The globalization process, starting with man’s first steps beyond the horizon, is nigh complete. This integration of politics, economics, culture and biology has erupted a volcano of change to many traditional societies as well as shaped American culture. Not only have uncontacted Amazonian tribes, carrying on their lips questions of the flying metal birds they’ve viewed for many years, but men such as Percy Fawcett, and Edmund Hillary and David Livingstone have already plucked the apple of uncharted regions for which to explore. The Final brush strokes of Earth’s maps have dried, yet the assimilation, acculturation and alteration that is taking place today is lead by the melding and molding of societies by the hands of globalization.
Not only is American popular culture being affected by the patterns of globalization, it is eagerly seeking out and speeding the appropriation response through globe-spanning networks of exchange. The oldest traditions of a foreign culture are leaking into the American lexicon, as they had for centuries through immigration, economic ties and exploration, yet now even the latest food, dress and technological trends find themselves integrated into Western ways.
When this occurs, there is of course the unfortunate truth of a diversion from original intent, or a bastardization of the original form. The American’s insatiable taste for all things foreign falls into the maw of America’s even more overwhelming sense of cultural superiority. The love of the ways of others falls victim to the lust of oneself as the original economic, technological, sociocultural, political and biological import elements run the gauntlet of both transnational dissemination and the meat-grinder of American interpretation. What comes to pass is not quite parody not quite tribute…but a divergent and distinct breed.
One needs only to look to the average American dress, mannerisms, vernacular, religions, arts, media, and food…. The list is extended as far as the imagination…to find the outcome of cultural appropriation in American life. From Japan, we take the sushi fad, kimono robes, martial arts and more. What we did with them is fry them in oil, wear casually, practice for exercise and mock in movies. The adventurous wear berets and black clothes to the French cinema. Neighborhoods thrive on the reveling of a perceived/dishonest compact with the old country, extending stereotype and generalities to their children. Americans eat up religion, pseudo mysticism, philosophy and iconography quicker than they can tie a Kabbalah bracelet, faster than they can downward dog or rearrange the living room to promote positive chi.
While these corruptions are spreading what was once exotic “isms”, once relegated to crossword puzzles, trivia and social studies classroom posters, ownership also takes on a new significance. With a proliferation of Westernized (read bastardized) foreign elements to be found in the Western world, also is an easing of cultural trauma, acceptance and acclimation that immigrant populations face upon coming to receiving cultures. The “Coolies” of yesteryear, being both gawked at and treated as inferiors, now are nothing to bat an eye at. Americans may well be more apt to spend a day celebrating Bastille Day, Cinco de Mayo or any other day of drink and gaiety than a Frenchman, Mexican or otherwise. Frozen Curry Lean Cuisine, instant Pad Thai and celebrity-endorsed Pannini sandwiches are an easy testament to the Protean proto-culture that reached American society via offshore culture wells. The product may be seen as a usurpation, a co-opting or vulgarity of the original form and intent, yet the melting pot has long been stirred with a skewing soup spoon.
Article Source: http://ezineseeker.com/?expert=Zachary_Parker
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