Nick's Journal
2007-03-25 20:08:39 (UTC)

Culture Waaaaaaaaar!

i got that topic from the southpark, "with apolgies to
jessie jackson" it was hilarious, please watch it.
anyhow. as you may know if you watch bill o'reilly he is a
big proponent of a "culture war". while he isn't the
original creator of this theory (Samuel P. Huntington's
'Clash of Civilizations' first brought it up), he definitely
is the most hysterical about it.
he has conveniently divided people into "Secular
Progressives" (aka, smelly hippies who are sally bitches)
and "Traditionalists" (aka, flag waving lunatics). as we
all know that people are easily grouped into one of two
designations, we should thank Mr. O'Reilly for finally
elucidating what those two are.
now while i'm not all for the culture war, i'm not all
against it either. i think that Mr. Huntington actually
gave a rather educated view on the whole thing. be that as
it may, i think it is pointedly idiotic to say that we are
in a culture war. attackign someone's culture seems far
more personal than say their political stance. culture is
where you came from and howh you grew up. it is a certain
way you do things. and starting to group people and rage a
war against them and saying that they are 'wrong' in the way
they do things seems to me to not only be condescending, but
also self-defeating.
inevitably you start getting into a war of regression.
because the first premise you have to have is that your
culture is the "correct one". well how is that? well then
you regress to justify your opinion.
so anyhow, i don't think there is one culture that is right
or wrong (as O'Reilly believes) but more that there is an
antagonism in views (as Huntington writes).
which leads me to turkey joining the eu. coming from
austria i know that we hate it when immigrants come over.
why? well first off, we're a small country and are also the
gateway to eastern europe. a lot of refugees just stay in
austria rather than dispersing throughout western europe.
also we are a socialist country, meaning that these refugees
cost us money but don't pay taxes.
finally, with regard to turkey, we already kicked their
ottoman asses once, do we gotsta do it again? you know how
the croissant was created? austrian bakers were up late at
night in the 16th century (i think) during the ottoman
invasion. the ottomans were digging tunnels underneath the
city of vienna for a sneak attack, but the bakers were up
early in the morning and heard them. and i think we buried
them in their tunnels or something like that.
yes! western world 1: places where dragons live 0 i nthe
first culture war!
anyhow the bakers created the crescent which was the sign of
the ottoman emmpire into a bakery item and the kipferl (or
croissant) was born.
so now a lot of wester european countries are against turkey
coming into the eu. let's not even get into the greeks,
they like the turks about as much as i like people with
hummers. and so it poses a major question which i belive i
am qualified to answer...should turkey be allowed to join
the eu?
you see i believe the major reason there is an antagonism
between cultures is that there is a certain 'isolationism'.
cultures go on in blissful ignorance of others and all of a
sudden a 'foreign' culture is imposed (which is why
anti-globalization is really in large part anti-americanism
or anti-westernization). i am definitely against the
'melting pot' theory. that if you come to another country
you have to 'abide by their culture'. i think that it's
beautiful to see many cultures coexisting in any country.
that diversity is only a good thing and i belivee the
antagonism can be allayed if people didn't feel that their
way of life and culture were threatened.
that's why i think bringing turkey into the eu will make
them feel, not only welcomed by the western world, but will
give them a chance to see our society openly and not as some
closed club which routinely presses its culture on them.
anyhow, i think that the long term gains will outweigh the
short term economic problems.
one little footnote i'd like to add to this is that this
entry shouldn't be construed as advocation for "cultural
relativism" in a moral sense. i think that morality can be
deduced to a logical framework independent of "cultural
values". so if one culture is all about cutting off young
girls' clits to make them less "sexual" i think that that is
an immoral and wrong thing to do.
i'm not saying that O'Reilly is necessarily wrong in
critiquing cultures, but that his underlying principles of
critique are faulty at best. i think you should always be
critical and not be so open-minded that your brain falls
out. but holding a culture as wrong because it has opposite
views of your own and that being the only reason per se is
definitely not only idiotic but illogical. the contrary
view has to be deduced to a solid logical argument on why it
is wrong, not just being wrong for the sake of being contrary.
see there i go being pedagogical.