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Americans Wake Up, Realise Other Cultures DO Exist!

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Americans Wake Up, Realise Other Cultures DO Exist!
Submitted by capdog on Friday, January 26, 2007 - 09:19

There's a new trend in American prime-time TV shows, in which script writers are starting to use international characters over all-American ones. As media often leads popular opinion, I think we're going to see significant broadening of minds over on the other side of the Atlantic.

If you haven't already "collected" all the "Lost" episodes ever produced, then I have to assume you've at least seen a few on MNET. It's a great show (well, it started out great) that revolves around the plight of airline passengers that crash-landed on an island in the pacific.

Plot holes and cliff-hanging endings aside, it's interesting to note the creators of the show used Australian, British, Iraqi and Korean characters in the story. And they don't all speak English, either. The Korean couple have long, involved conversations in their native tongue, entirely subtitled for the benefit of us English folk.

And that's not all - those with fast internet connections (or friends with big hard drives) will probably be following a new X-Men themed show called "Heroes". It's another one of these hybrid soap-opera / sci-fi genres, just like "Lost" - slow moving, but gripping and very addictive. It's the top rated show in the US at the moment.

HeroesHeroesOnce again, the script writers have decided that a global outlook is far more tasteful than the usual all-American stars. Amongst other internationals, there is a duo from Japan who converse entirely in Japanese, subtitled once again for those who don't know the lingo.

As someone who has followed popular American media for most of my life, I find these foreign characters and subtitles in major American programs such as "Lost" or "Heroes" to be a breakthrough of epic proportions.

Finally, xenophobia is being replaced with acceptance of other language and culture in mainstream media! Instead of the pretty blonde American girl ending up with the quarterback, she finds herself swooning in the arms of the Iraqi soldier, as seen in "Lost".

Shannon and Sayid, LostShannon and Sayid, LostI can draw strong comparisons between this and the phenomenon of mixed-race couples being shown completely naturally in scenes from "Egoli" in early-90's South Africa, a time when this sort of thing was still highly taboo.

Our various cultures were still very sceptical and distrusting of each other, and it was prime-time TV that took the lead and depicted scenes of racial and cultural integration that were for the most part, completely fictional.

We now find ourselves 14 years down the line, and my how things have changed! How will this trend affect America, and ultimately, the world's perception of the American people? It can only get better from here.


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Subject:  Indeed
Author:  hedmekanik
Date:  26 January, 2007 - 12:05

Indeed, o great and relatively flealess Captain Canine, it can only get better from here on out. But, as with all things Amerkin, we mustn't get our hopes up and all bets are off till the Texan Hog Farmers Association's mascot steps down (hopefully to the sweet sound of bloodthirsty Democrats baying for blood and the whole receptacle in which it has been coursing, albeit coldly, these past two terms of office) and we see the unsavoury back of him as he exits right of screen to go on to greener sties, I'm sorry, I'll read that again, pastures.

Motherfucker.


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Subject:  Giving A Bush the Bird
DeanRichards's picture
Author:  DeanRichards
Date:  26 January, 2007 - 12:21

One thing I'll say for the Americans, is that they at least tolerate healthy satire and criticism. You can apparently even legally burn the American flag. As far as we've come (and we have come very far), we still have a way to go before we can entertain the same level of freedom of speech.


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Subject:  freedom
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  26 January, 2007 - 12:50

I agree, it is a very healthy sign!

Have you watched the South Park episodes called "Cartoon Wars", in which they tackle the issue of the Danish Mohammed cartoons? Bloody brilliant, in the end Comedy Central refused to let them show Mohammed as a cartoon character, and they ended the episode with a skit of President Bush, Jesus and some random people all crapping on each other, supposedly a retaliation from Muslims... ok pretty sif and childish, but it says a lot for freedom!


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Subject:  Dixie Chicks - tarred and feathered
kliktrak's picture
Author:  kliktrak
Date:  26 January, 2007 - 12:55

well not all birds are tolerated in the good ol' U S of A

quite a shocking example of the complete intolerance prevalent in the USA, dont believe all the media hype about land of the free, liberty and progressive civil rights

alot of these so called tolerated alternative media eg South Park, are actually part of the overall propaganda machine, ie look at us we allow this type of "freedom of speech" unfortunately alot of it is quite crass, and dismissed as "juvenile antics" and therefore doesnt really get taken serious or seen as credible critique

the social control and propaganda machines in the US are very subtle and sophisticated, one as to critically evaluate things very carefully, even LOST and other seemingly progressive media, are probably part of the machinery, softening the blow, creating that warm cozy cacoon of unreality in which most americans couch themselves in, living "virtual" lives through entertainment media, and not accepting the hard reality of the brutality their society is inflicting on the world ...

check more info on the severe backlash the group the Dixie Chicks endured after making anti-bush/anti-war comments [check links, copy and paste them into browser]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0811136/

Tagline: Freedom of speech is fine as long as you don't do it in public.

Plot Outline: A documentary on the Dixie Chicks in the wake of singer Natalie Maines' anti-George W. Bush statement at a 2003 concert.

http://www.dixiechicks.com/06_dcmovie.asp

KLIKTRAK
http://kliktrak.partychief.com


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Subject:  At least they have the
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  26 January, 2007 - 13:07

At least they have the ability to change things, look for example now at how the Democrats are back on top in the U.S. by promising to change the situation in Iraq. There may be loads of conspiracy, and it may take a while, but ultimately there is change in government.


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Subject:  revolution vs evolution
kliktrak's picture
Author:  kliktrak
Date:  26 January, 2007 - 13:23

every society/culture/regime/country etc has the ability to change

its just the way the change is managed, mismanaged and how the change occurs [ie what form it takes]
USA is a nation of sheep - a very uniform capitalist consumerist culture - ie so the form of change would most likely take place in a vote, rather than say a bloody revolution ie see ex-communist balkan states for reference

and who is to say which "method" is better, a more placid voted in "change" does not necessarily deal with all underlying issues/disparities, a revolution is probably more likely to secure a complete overhaul of a current "state" , but could have create an equally large amount of "losers", who will get their revenge in the 2nd wave of revolutionary behaviour in the future - see African states and some Australasian ie Philipines/Indonesia etc states for reference

the ability to change isnt necessarily an indicator of an egaletarian society

jeesh how did friday afternoon end up so intellectual, man cant wait for that first beer later on ;-)

KLIKTRAK
http://kliktrak.partychief.com


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Subject:  Aaaaayy!!
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  26 January, 2007 - 13:52

Aaaaayy!!


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Subject:  Country and Western
PrairieDog's picture
Author:  PrairieDog
Date:  27 January, 2007 - 09:02

Lofty pOlitcal idealisms aside. Dude. YOu listen to the Dixie Chicks!

I got soul but I'm not a soldier.


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