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6 Jihad Strategies Being Developed Against America - Page 3

post #81 of 121
One more:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkidVP0AcQ8

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #82 of 121
dmz, you said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz

The fact of the matter is that nothing short of free love is presented as SOP in every Sexuality, Psychology, Human Interactions, etc., text you can lay your hand on, down at the local college bookstore.

I don't know Human Sexuality texts, and I'm not even sure I know what Human Interactions is, so I won't make any claims about those. But I'm very familiar with Psych texts, and I'll put it on the line for you: I don't think a single current Psychology text presents free love as SOP. Not a single one. You say that every one does. All it takes is a single Psyc text to discriminate here: If it presents free love as SOP then I'm wrong, if not, then you're wrong.

Or, perhaps you could define what you mean by "free love is presented as SOP." If it means "there is no warning that sex is a sin against God and abstinence is the only way to Jesus," then you're right. But I'm taking it to mean that there is some advocacy of casual sex.
post #83 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I'm not sure I understand what the problem is here. If there is an X% possibility that something will happen, that assumes that there is, within that percentage, a certainty that it will sometimes happen.

What's the problem?

Interesting that dmz chose not to respond to this bit.
A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
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A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
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post #84 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

dmz, you said this:



I don't know Human Sexuality texts, and I'm not even sure I know what Human Interactions is, so I won't make any claims about those. But I'm very familiar with Psych texts, and I'll put it on the line for you: I don't think a single current Psychology text presents free love as SOP. Not a single one. You say that every one does. All it takes is a single Psyc text to discriminate here: If it presents free love as SOP then I'm wrong, if not, then you're wrong.

Or, perhaps you could define what you mean by "free love is presented as SOP." If it means "there is no warning that sex is a sin against God and abstinence is the only way to Jesus," then you're right. But I'm taking it to mean that there is some advocacy of casual sex.

Just what I mentioned before, if it feels good, do it. As long as the interactions are "Loving" it doesn't matter.

But like I said earlier, I'm biphobic, so that probably taints my perspective.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #85 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Usually, when you run though a chapter subhead, they give you an idea and it's norms, along with what usually goes wrong..........

I'm tired of arguing -- have a gander: (not related)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29CMRsWlDt0

Ah, Hedges. YOU KNOW JUST HOW TO DISTRACT ME, YOU BASTARD. Especially easy since Michael's brother went to high school with my wife, Michael's recently-deceased mother is a friend of my mother in law, and Michael's father was my mother-in-law's speech pathology mentor.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #86 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Good Lord, it barely holds water now, why would it be here in 50 years? By definition it is a "collection" of "differing" cultures anyhow.

By then you'll obviously have at least two highly motivated minorities: probably a collection of outright Islamic and RCC/Evangelical Universities.

I'm not sure what you're saying here. The culture doesn't "hold water"? What does that even mean? It doesn't hold water because, what, we steal all our TV shows from Europe?
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #87 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Just what I mentioned before, if it feels good, do it. As long as the interactions are "Loving" it doesn't matter.

But like I said earlier, I'm biphobic, so that probably taints my perspective.

What BRussell said. And I wouldn't mess with him. He's on sabbatical from corrupting America's youth, which means he's got extra time to corrupt PO's youth.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #88 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Here's a question for you:

How is it possible to abandon "morality" (which is a vision of how individuals ought to behave within a society) and still function "politically" (which is a vision of how the world ought to be)?

Well I think that the tendency is to see political organization as salvific -- so I'd say they start there. Morality is a numbers game, absent a God-dictated ethical landscape.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #89 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Ah, Hedges. YOU KNOW JUST HOW TO DISTRACT ME, YOU BASTARD. Especially easy since Michael's brother went to high school with my wife, Michael's recently-deceased mother is a friend of my mother in law, and Michael's father was my mother-in-law's speech pathology mentor.

Wow.

Hedges was a genius.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #90 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I'm not sure what you're saying here. The culture doesn't "hold water"? What does that even mean? It doesn't hold water because, what, we steal all our TV shows from Europe?

but midwinter, it's not working -- this culture isn't going to scale, we are becoming neurotic, atomized creatures who look at each other as things to be used. Public service is in decline, fertility rates too -- I don't see this ending well.

Have you read The Children of Men?

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #91 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

but midwinter, it's not working -- this culture isn't going to scale, we are becoming neurotic, atomized creatures who look at each other as things to be used. Public service is in decline, fertility rates too -- I don't see this ending well.

Isn't gong to scale? Scale to WHAT? Mars? The rest of the solar system? It would be very difficult for Western culture to scale any bigger.

And while I agree with you that

Quote:
we are becoming neurotic, atomized creatures who look at each other as things to be used. Public service is in decline

I would point out two things:

1) We have always already been/becoming/are neurotic, atomized creatures

2) The rest is a function of late capitalism

At any rate, I liked this debate better the first time around in the 1680s.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #92 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Isn't gong to scale? Scale to WHAT? Mars? The rest of the solar system? It would be very difficult for Western culture to scale any bigger.

And while I agree with you that



I would point out two things:

1) We have always already been/becoming/are neurotic, atomized creatures

2) The rest is a function of late capitalism

At any rate, I liked this debate better the first time around in the 1680s.

Yes, we have always been neurotic, but we are taking it too seriously -- it's starting to edge out the meaningful stuff. I don't know about you, but the only place I can have conversations like this is on the internet. Anywhere else, and it's either listening to a **cheap shot** Jezzus testimony, or pretending to care which corporate logo franchise is in the playoffs. Bring up Byron in an "Adult" Sunday School class on the Book of Kings, and you might as well be citing Space Shuttle telemetry.

Aren't you seeing some serious apathy from the kids in your classes?

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #93 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

but midwinter, it's not working -- this culture isn't going to scale, we are becoming neurotic, atomized creatures who look at each other as things to be used. Public service is in decline, fertility rates too -- I don't see this ending well.

Have you read The Children of Men?

I don't understand your view of the relationship between cultural success and fertility rates. If anything, the more successful cultures - liberal, stable, healthy, wealthy - tend to have lower fertility rates than the poor, unhealthy, backwards, and undemocratic cultures.
post #94 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I don't understand your view of the relationship between cultural success and fertility rates. If anything, the more successful cultures - liberal, stable, healthy, wealthy - tend to have lower fertility rates than the poor, unhealthy, backwards, and undemocratic cultures.

Just that a replacement rate of 2.1 is functionally stable -- people are truly/functionally interested in life to continue their existence. (In the case of the Scandinavian countries and the U.K., the replacement rate is ~1.7, Italy is 1.3, Japan 1.2, Russia and Germany are at 1.4 )

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #95 of 121
Bypassing rue Descartes

I descended toward the Seine, shy, a traveler,
A young barbarian just come to the capital of the world.

We were many, from Jassy and Koloshvar, Wilno and Bucharest, Saigon and Marrakesh,
Ashamed to remember the customs of our homes,
About which nobody here should ever be told:
The clapping for servants, barefooted girls hurry in,
Dividing food with incantations,
Choral prayers recited by master and household together.

I had left the cloudy provinces behind, I entered the universal, dazzled and desiring.

Soon enough, many from Jassy and Koloshvar, or Saigon or Marrakesh
Would be killed because they wanted to abolish the customs of their homes.

Soon enough, their peers were seizing power

In order to kill in the name of the universal, beautiful ideas.

Meanwhile the city behaved in accordance with its nature,
Rustling with throaty laughter in the dark,
Baking long breads and pouring wine into clay pitchers,
Buying fish, lemons, and garlic at street markets,
Indifferent as it was to honor and shame and greatness and glory,
Because that had been done already and had transformed itself
Into monuments representing nobody knows whom,
Into arias hardly audible and into turns of speech.

Again I lean on the rough granite of the embankment,
As if I had returned from travels through the underworlds
And suddenly saw in the light the reeling wheel of the seasons
Where empires have fallen and those once living are now dead.

There is no capital of the world, neither here nor anywhere else,

And the abolished customs are restored to their small fame

And now I know that the time of human generations is not like the time of the earth.

As to my heavy sins, I remember one most vividly:

How, one day, walking on a forest path along a stream,

I pushed a rock down onto a water snake coiled in the grass.

And what I have met with in life was the just punishment

Which reaches, sooner or later, the breaker of a taboo.

--Czeslaw Milosz, Berkeley, 1980

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #96 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Yes, we have always been neurotic, but we are taking it too seriously -- it's starting to edge out the meaningful stuff. I don't know about you, but the only place I can have conversations like this is on the internet. Anywhere else, and it's either listening to a **cheap shot** Jezzus testimony, or pretending to care which corporate logo franchise is in the playoffs. Bring up Byron in an "Adult" Sunday School class on the Book of Kings, and you might as well be citing Space Shuttle telemetry.

Aren't you seeing some serious apathy from the kids in your classes?

Yeah. You're talking about "cultural literacy" al la E.D. Hirsch.

Of course I'm seeing apathy from students in my classes. I'm also seeing intense dedication and involvement. I'm seeing laziness. I'm seeing rudeness. I'm seeing stunning displays of kindness and insight.

The problem with the notion of a "cultural canon" is that it's really just about bitching about "these damned kids today."

Nevermind that assembling such a list is a fool's errand.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #97 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Yeah. You're talking about "cultural literacy" al la E.D. Hirsch.

Of course I'm seeing apathy from students in my classes. I'm also seeing intense dedication and involvement. I'm seeing laziness. I'm seeing rudeness. I'm seeing stunning displays of kindness and insight.

The problem with the notion of a "cultural canon" is that it's really just about bitching about "these damned kids today."

Nevermind that assembling such a list is a fool's errand.

Well, yes or no? You've been teaching for, what, possibly ~10 years? Is the apathy tending to be greater, are students less interested in reading dead white people? Is it the same? Better? Are you saying that American education at large is doing a better job of late? Or perhaps there is no problem?

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #98 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Well, yes or no? You've been teaching for, what, possibly ~10 years? Is the apathy tending to be greater, are students less interested in reading dead white people? Is it the same? Better? Are you saying that American education at large is doing a better job of late? Or perhaps there is no problem?

I don't think you got the point I was making. There is no "yes or no," and I reject the premise of the question altogether as a whinging that happens with every single generation throughout history. This complaint is, I suspect, the older generation doing two things: 1) getting old, and 2) recognizing that its values aren't as permanent or enduring as it would like to have thought.

Your grandfather will bitch about how you don't know stuff that he knows. You'll bitch that your kids don't appreciate the things you do. Their kids will, too.

Don't even get me started with things we value without really knowing *why*.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #99 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

I don't think you got the point I was making. There is no "yes or no," and I reject the premise of the question altogether as a whinging that happens with every single generation throughout history. This complaint is, I suspect, the older generation doing two things: 1) getting old, and 2) recognizing that its values aren't as permanent or enduring as it would like to have thought.

Your grandfather will bitch about how you don't know stuff that he knows. You'll bitch that your kids don't appreciate the things you do. Their kids will, too.

Don't even get me started with things we value without really knowing *why*.

Hmmm.... I'm going to infer that as "yes, the apathy is worse, but it's not relevant."

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #100 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Just that a replacement rate of 2.1 is functionally stable -- people are truly/functionally interested in life to continue their existence. (In the case of the Scandinavian countries and the U.K., the replacement rate is ~1.7, Italy is 1.3, Japan 1.2, Russia and Germany are at 1.4 )

There's something deceptively racist in this all.

Concerns about "replacement rates" may just indicate a desire to maintain cultural dominance in the wake of the massively increasingly population of China and the Indian Sub-Continent. But the way you're phrasing it-- "functionally stable"-- just seems to imply that we can't co-exist in an increasingly browner and yellower world.
post #101 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Hmmm.... I'm going to infer that as "yes, the apathy is worse, but it's not relevant."

You are going to make my head explode.

How about this: I would like to engage in a conversation with you about the poet Augusta Webster. What? You've never heard of her? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?!?!
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #102 of 121
Aw, here. Just go watch this.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #103 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

He's undead.


Somebody get a steak and a cross!
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
Reply
Without the need for difference or a need to always follow the herd breeds complacency, mediocrity, and a lack of imagination
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post #104 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Well, yes or no? You've been teaching for, what, possibly ~10 years? Is the apathy tending to be greater, are students less interested in reading dead white people? Is it the same? Better? Are you saying that American education at large is doing a better job of late? Or perhaps there is no problem?

So you get to speak in hand-waving generalities without evidence while your opponent must provide you with specific information?
A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
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A good brain ain't diddly if you don't have the facts
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post #105 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShawnJ View Post

There's something deceptively racist in this all.

Concerns about "replacement rates" may just indicate a desire to maintain cultural dominance in the wake of the massively increasingly population of China and the Indian Sub-Continent. But the way you're phrasing it-- "functionally stable"-- just seems to imply that we can't co-exist in an increasingly browner and yellower world.

Right.


I threw Japan in there to throw you off the sent -- but you still caught me!

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #106 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

You are going to make my head explode.

How about this: I would like to engage in a conversation with you about the poet Augusta Webster. What? You've never heard of her? WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?!?!

Ha -- I think this has gotten to the "there is no problem" point in the discussion -- which is much better than the "I don't understand how you are describing the problem" option. Some interesting ideas, and a few things that aren't going to go away any time soon. I'll shut up.

It'll be okay -- just remember -- It's not the end of the world, just the end of you.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #107 of 121
Maybe DMZ is a dadaist cut-up collaboration. I picture a small group of mildly insane, non-english speaking bohemians, taking turns extracting random phrases from discontinued textbooks, purloined teenage diaries, apocalyptic tracts, Cosmo, overheard snippets of conversation, misremembered film dialogue, A Treasury of World Poetry, the earnest musings of some guy somewhere with a ham radio, a badly water damaged copy of Bartlett's Quotations, the back of a cereal box, some garbled recordings of a half dozen vaudeville routines and a pristine recording of Abbott and Costello doing "Who's on First?"
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #108 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

It'll be okay -- just remember -- It's not the end of the world, just the end of you.

It's the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.
We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
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We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned -- They Might Be Giants          See the stars at skyviewcafe.com
Reply
post #109 of 121
Thread Starter 
Quote:
It seems to me that at the root of the divisive and rancorous dispute over the war on terrorism (or whatever you choose to call it), is an individual's belief in one of the following two mutually exclusive propositions.

Quote:
1. There is a broad-based, highly aggressive, well-funded, and effective jihadist movement which poses a dire threat not just to secular and pluralist societies in the Muslim world, but to civil societies in Europe, the Americas, and Asia.

2. There isn't.

http://www.fourmilab.ch/fourmilog/ar...09/000901.html

Those who say there isn't are uninformed, ill-informed or mis-informed.

You can remedy that by reading from these two sites.


And if you happen to be a Ron Paul supporter, read THIS first!

http://www.nysun.com/article/51234?page_no=1

Ron Paul misunderstands Jihad. Anyone who continues supporting him is helping the Jihadists.

If you are a loyal American and resent my charge then start reading and stop supporting the 'good doctor' until he changes his position.
post #110 of 121
Thread Starter 
You guys remind me of the people in the cable car who talk talk talk but are unable to see the important parts of an issue.

Quote:
'Make it happen' Campaign

Our commercials dramatise The Royal Bank of Scotland Group's ethos that actions speak louder than words. They humorously highlight how much time is wasted procrastinating and deliberating when, as those who work at and with the bank know, action is required.

Screen shot from Make-it-happen Cablecar TV ad.
Cablecar

http://mediacentre.rbs.com/advertisi...pen/index.aspx
post #111 of 121
So I was reading this thread - and kind of liked it, because from its vacuous and barren origins it somewhat bloomed into an interesting bouquet of moving emotions, pointy wit, sharp intellect, surprising insight and a sprinkle of Adda's plagiarism-proof Take-on-Things.

And I was just scrolling down to the next post, when blinding lightning struck, in deafening silence, and my heart sank, and I knew!


It was one, no two, of Mojo's (Marden's, Abe's, etc) Thread-o-Dead enhanced Zero-Gravity(!) Neutron-only thread nukes, the Mother of all Thread-Busters, that vanishes all angles, vaporizes all dimensions but one, sucks the IQ-level into a dangerously unstable negative, evaporates all meaning, but miraculously leaves the words intact, now littered about.

*sigh* shame, really\
post #112 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwinter View Post

Hassan is absolutely right, although the smart person would counter that America is also the biggest nation on the block, which carries with it all kinds of problems.

I am trying to follow what this actually means.

As an outsider looking in, I see America uniquely combining extreme religious beliefs with extreme materialist beliefs. In other words it likes to have its cake and eat it.

Popular American belief says that individuals are in charge of their own destiny and therefore responsible for the consequences. Somewhat similar to the Hindu notion of karma, where if you are not rewarded in this life it is your own fault, but in the Hindu case it was decided in your last life.

In religion, the worshiper follows a formula of religious observation and total adherence to the Bible, in effect to control God and reap their rewards. Many Americans take this belief in formulas to just about everything. Aesthetics, social and financial success can all be replicated if you only hit the right formula.

Material possessions not satisfying? toss them for another. Personal relations not working? Obviously your spouse is not right, toss them for another. Religion not working? toss that for another. Reality not working? toss that for another with drugs etc etc.

In an escalating set of expectations dissatisfaction leads to unhappiness, fueling further demands and further dissatisfaction.

A rich man is never rich enough. Natural beauty is not enough. A bulimic individual is never thin enough, and at the other extreme, for the vast majority, consumption is never enough. The awfulness of American food seems to be based on "this bite was not much good, maybe, just maybe, the next might be better".

More becomes a simple minded substitution for better.

There is nothing so addictive as perceived failure, the success that does not satisfy because the target merely shifts.

This obsession with acquisition leads to competition, conflict with and fear of others which expresses itself ultimately in violence to get what they want.

Maybe that is what being "the biggest nation on the block" means. America is like the fat man already bursting out of his airline seat asking if you are going to eat all your meal. You know no matter what you say, he is going to have it anyway.

Moderation may come back in fashion but for the time being excess is literally hogging centre stage.
post #113 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

I am trying to follow what this actually means.

My point was that because America is such an enormous place, it is also a stunningly diverse place (despite the WASP hegemony).

Quote:
As an outsider looking in, I see America uniquely combining extreme religious beliefs with extreme materialist beliefs. In other words it likes to have its cake and eat it.

You could say that about any Western or Westernized culture. The issue is that America isn't a country of "extreme religious beliefs." It's just that the zealots in America are really loud and generally know how to manipulate American media.

Quote:
Material possessions not satisfying? toss them for another. Personal relations not working? Obviously your spouse is not right, toss them for another. Religion not working? toss that for another. Reality not working? toss that for another with drugs etc etc.

Indeed. That's the logical extension of a culture that requires to conspicuous consumption to make it go. Should you really be surprised? Add to that a technology that supports it, and there you go. Lawrence Shames argues that this is the end result of a country founded on the concept of "more": we sacrifice values that can't be quantified for those that can. How many cars? How many houses? How much money? Community can't be quantified, so we exchange the front porch for the walled garden in back.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #114 of 121
America may be big but it is not uniquely so.

Russia, China, Canada, Brazil and Australia are also "big". As is Europe now that it is united and it is culturally much more diverse.

I am sorry but America is a stand out in its combination of extreme religious views and materialism. Most other countries have had their materialism transplanted from America since WWII as part of American consumer marketing. Very little of the extreme religious views have come with that.

A majority of Americans believe in the literalness of the Bible unlike anywhere else, and America is the only modern western country where proponents of evolutionary theory need to apologise and defend the presentation of evidence in public institutions.
post #115 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

America may be big but it is not uniquely so.

Russia, China, Canada, Brazil and Australia are also "big". As is Europe now that it is united and it is culturally much more diverse.

Once Europe starts to think of itself as "Europe" and not as a bunch of nation-states bound together by a common currency, then I'll agree (and I looooove the EU).

As for the rest, it is refreshing to know that Russia, China, Canada, Brazil and Australia are so heavily populated by immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Britain, Africa, Mexico, and untold other nations. I was not aware that there are large chunks of China and Russia with enormous Italian and Irish communities.

It is also refreshing to know that the US's 9,826,630 sq/Km is very much like other counties is dwarfs by a million square miles and sometimes a hundred million people.

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I am sorry but America is a stand out in its combination of extreme religious views and materialism.

And there you have it.

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Most other countries have had their materialism transplanted from America since WWII as part of American consumer marketing. Very little of the extreme religious views have come with that.

Better not tell that to John Ruskin! Materialism, and complaints about conspicuous consumption, predate America by a longshot.

Quote:
A majority of Americans believe in the literalness of the Bible unlike anywhere else, and America is the only modern western country where proponents of evolutionary theory need to apologise and defend the presentation of evidence in public institutions.

Yeah. That makes it kind of suck to live here sometimes. But don't feel bad! A third of folks in the UK think Everest is in Europe:

Quote:
A separate National Geographic report found a third of UK respondents thought Mount Everest was in Europe, while the "most visited" local destination was a DIY store rather than a church, museum or leisure centre. Asked what they remembered of geography, most cited maps first, followed by "nothing", which beat cities, rivers and the weather. As the Guardian reporter concluded: "We are a nation of reluctant explorers with little sense of adventure."

In short, things are tough all over.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #116 of 121
Russia 17,075,400 km² 143 million people of widely varying ethnic origins and languages

Canada 9,976,139 km² 33 million with a far greater percentage of immigrants than the USA

China 9,598,086 km² with 1,321 million who may all look alike to you but contain minorities that are bigger than most countries

Brazil 8,514,877 km² with 183 million, many different ethnic groups and large number of immigrants.

Australia 7,741,220 km² with 21 million, over 25% of whom were born overseas.

India 3,287,590 km² 1,120 million of innumerable different ethnic and language groups

Argentina 2,766,890 km² with 40 million also many of which are immigrants.

Indonesia 1,919,440 km² 230 million and an enormous number of ethnic groups

_______________________

Time to come out of the xenocentric cupboard you are pronouncing from.

Name any other western country which has court cases involving religious fundamentalism and attempts to suppress the teaching of evolutionary theory?

Name any other country that refuses to agree to international treaties to restrain the runaway consumption that is causing damage to the environment based on the populist sacred right to consume? (Australia has just kicked out their "US deputy" PM and will now sign Kyoto. His own party has now renounced those policies now that he was voted out of his own seat and is history).

Materialism as a culture is ancient, Ruskin was not pronouncing on anything new. What is new is how American hegemony and marketing have so thoroughly enforced this worldwide and the effect it is having. As well as the reaction.

I am well aware of the ignorance of the British. They are not alone and you are right, it is becoming a worldwide problem for the smugly affluent.
post #117 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post

Russia 17,075,400 km² 143 million people of widely varying ethnic origins and languages

Wow! A whole 143m people! Almost half the US population! Excellent!

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Canada 9, 976,139 km² 33 million with a far greater percentage of immigrants than the USA

Care to back that up? I'm just curious. Wouldn't surprise me that a country with a population the size of New England could have a greater percentage of immigrants than the region of the US most heavily populated by immigrants, but for some reason I just don't buy it without seeing proof.

Quote:
China 9,598,086 km² with 1,321 million who may all look alike to you but contain minorities that are bigger than most countries

I didn't realize we were talking about "minorities"; I thought we were talking about my claim that America's size and diversity bring to the table certain problems.

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Brazil 8,514,877 km² with 183 million, many different ethnic groups and large number of immigrants.

Excellent! Half the US population, again.

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Australia 7,741,220 km² with 21 million, over 25% of whom were born overseas.

21 whole million! In that nation that remains, to this day, a fine example of English imperialism! And a quarter born overseas? You don't say! No doubt they're all moving there to get on Big Brother.

Quote:
India 3,287,590 km² 1,120 million of innumerable different ethnic and language groups

Yup. India is big. It has problems.

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Argentina 2,766,890 km² with 40 million also many of which are immigrants.

Indonesia 1,919,440 km² 230 million and an enormous number of ethnic groups

Yeah. I'm not so sure Indonesia helps you here. But congrats on using the CIA World Fact Book! Fantastic resource.

Quote:
Time to come out of the xenocentric cupboard you are pronouncing from.

OK. Look. You seem to be determined to pick a fight with me. I don't know if this if because you just have some kind of typical stereotype of Americans in your head or if you have some kind of specific beef with me for agreeing with a Londoner (WHO, I SHOULD POINT OUT, HAS FAILED TO MEET ME FOR LUNCH TWICE NOW...HASSAN! I'LL BE COMING BACK, YOU KNOW!). But I would suggest that you consider a couple of things:

1) It is just as bigoted to think all Americans conform to some stereotype as it is to think all Brits sit around wearing ascots and drinking tea. I know, I know, Segovius most certainly wears some Welsh ascot. And he does love his tea.

2) If you think that I'm pronouncing from a "xenocentric cupboard" when I note that America is big and diverse and that being big and diverse generally brings problems with it, you seriously need to re-evaluate what "xenocentric" means.

3) I'm really tempted to just write you off and a tosser and add you to my ignore list.

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Name any other western country which has court cases involving religious fundamentalism and attempts to suppress the teaching of evolutionary theory?

None. So what? And? We shouldn't allow people to bring lawsuits? If you're talking about the most recent abomination of a "trial" about Intelligent Design, not that I defend such nonsense, you would do well to note that it was not about suppressing the teaching evolution.

Quote:
Name any other country that refuses to agree to international treaties to restrain the runaway consumption that is causing damage to the environment based on the populist sacred right to consume? (Australia has just kicked out their "US deputy" PM and will now sign Kyoto. His own party has now renounced those policies now that he was voted out of his own seat and is history).

So now we're on to Kyoto? Ugh. I don't want to talk about Kyoto. I want to talk about how I'm a xenocentric American pigdog!

At any rate, there was much rejoicing in my house when Howard was booted; I just hope that Rudd can refrain from eating his own earwax on television again.

Quote:
Materialism as a culture is ancient, Ruskin was not pronouncing on anything new. What is new is how American hegemony and marketing have so thoroughly enforced this worldwide and the effect it is having. As well as the reaction.

So it's America's fault but it's not but it is? Except when it isn't? I think maybe you'd do better to pop down the pub and harangue some random American tourist with this kind of tortured logic.

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I am well aware of the ignorance of the British. They are not alone and you are right, it is becoming a worldwide problem for the smugly affluent.

And yet you want to blame America for it. I'm not one to shirk from blaming America when it deserves it, as any conservative around here will tell you, but you just seem like you want to bash, well, ME, for some stereotype of America and Americans.

Lesson one in not being a jerk: no culture is monolithic; not all members of a culture agree.
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #118 of 121
Someone should probably point out that Midwinter is, himself, a lethal nexus of terrorist concentration, a quality that he has more than once deliberately visited upon England and which he apparently has every intention of reinflicting (and which clearly is the reason Hassan finds other things to be doing when lunch with the Target rolls around).

Not sure what this has to do with Ugly Americans and cultural hegemony and shit, I just think an argument proffered by a ticking time bomb should be noted as such.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #119 of 121
I didn't have to look up the CIA World "Fact" book (read it's version of Iranian history and spot the interesting gaps). The specifics I got from Wikipedia and only because you were specific in your figures for the USA.

I could hunt up the specifics of Canada, which from recollection is midway between the USA & Australia as far as migration, but it would be useful if you did some research yourself to get the facts straight.

They were all general knowledge to me and I think you are dismissing them in nearly every instance because they are not exactly like America. In some cases they are more, some cases less or a combination of both.

The point is that Americans think they are uniquely varied and cling to myths of size and diversity that don't hold true anymore.

The instance of Australia in particular is interesting because it is so similar to the USA in size and immigration, though not population. Because of the high immigrant percentage, I myself am 1st generation Australian, and our habit of travelling widely, means that we have a far more internationalist outlook.

This is most obviously lacking in America and I wonder how it will change in Australia should the rate of immigration ever change, which it doesn't appear to be.

You do not know Indonesia if you so lightly dismiss it. Of the all the nations it has the widest geographic spread, with thousands of islands over a huge area containing many different cultures, races, religions and languages.

I am not picking a fight with you but I am certainly disagreeing with you on specific points.

Especially on the marketing of materialism. That is at the core of the fight with fundamental Islam which sees its religious view of the world being relentlessly bulldozed by the need of, mainly American, corporations to move "product".

BTW The consumption of earwax is merely part of our multi-cultural diet. Soon as the harvesting problems are solved and the training of underage, underpaid staff can be arranged it will be coming to a fast food chain near you, probably served up in a burger with fries and coke on the side.
post #120 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by gastroboy View Post


The point is that Americans think they are uniquely varied and cling to myths of size and diversity that don't hold true anymore.

Well, a) that's called a "hasty generalization." b) I would like to know other things that all 300m Americans think.

Quote:
You do not know Indonesia if you so lightly dismiss it. Of the all the nations it has the widest geographic spread, with thousands of islands over a huge area containing many different cultures, races, religions and languages.

Did you even read what I wrote? Indonesia is big and diverse and has problems. Do you not get what I'm contending here? That large countries with diverse populations have certain problems that are a function of size and diversity.

That's all I'm saying.

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I am not picking a fight with you but I am certainly disagreeing with you on specific points.

No. You're not. You're not paying attention to anything I'm saying and are "disagreeing" with me on matters where I'm not disagreeing with you in order to provide some kind rant about how all the world's problems are America's fault.

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Especially on the marketing of materialism. That is at the core of the fight with fundamental Islam which sees its religious view of the world being relentlessly bulldozed by the need of, mainly American, corporations to move "product".

Well, I suspect that that's one of several cores in the "fight with fundamental Islam." The other, as addabox said, is sheer proximity to me.

Quote:
BTW The consumption of earwax is merely part of our multi-cultural diet. Soon as the harvesting problems are solved and the training of underage, underpaid staff can be arranged it will be coming to a fast food chain near you, probably served up in a burger with fries and coke on the side.

Haha!
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
Reply
Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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