King Rat (gkr) wrote,
King Rat

NOLA: Jihad vs. McWorld

Written 1 Nov 02. Since this is a political screed and not really related to my NOLA trip even though I wrote it while there, I am putting it in the public Live Journal. Speaking of which, it appears that very few people are wanting to read the trip entries this time around. This is fine; I write them mostly for myself. However, only a little bit is really private. I truly only am making them private cause they might seem boring (I've been accused of writing a novel in someone's friends list). So if that's your reason for not reading I'm okay with it. But if my last comment (about it being hard to be on my close friends list) in the administrivia post scared you away, don't be. The NOLA stuff isn't going to that except for a very small part dealing with my fears and insecurities.

During the flight, we were treated to a showing of "Men In Black 2." It is a short, vapid piece of Hollywood fluff. I thoroughly enjoyed it. During the rest of the flight, I read "Jihad vs. McWorld," by Benjamin Barber. THis book spends the first third of its pages inveighing against the vapid homogenization of world media by American culture (McWorld). I'll review the movie elsewhere, as I will the book when I finish the tome in a couple of weeks (it's slow reading).

The juxtaposition of the two morsels in my media diet is too tempting not to mention though. At this point, I have not read Barber's section on jihad nor his analysis of the conflict between McWorld and Jihad. My impression of his work is incomplete. Yet his invective against "American" culture, although correct on it's ubiquitousness, I think is misplaced.

I am not really the typical member of American culture. While I see the point that America is consumption oriented, and I do not think this focus is good for our culture or the world, the situation is not so dire as he makes it out to be. In my experience in sponsoring people in A.A., I've had to learn to let people make their own mistakes. SO it does not behoove one to take on worry on the part of the sponsee. If you do, you accomplish nothing expect stress yourself out. Meanwhile, the sponsee makes his mistake and learns from it, or doesn't. I truly believe a largish percentage of people will reject McWorld after trying it. Maybe not in this generation or even the next. But at some point citizens will wake up to the vapid Hollywood offerings and demand more. Or better yet, create their own.

The point being, civilization naturally goes through phases. While not necessarily good, I don't think we will permanently kill off growth in our culture because of this. We will recover and become better.

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