Buying through this banner helps support the forum!
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 16 to 30 of 30

Thread: How are Americans Pioneers?

  1. #16
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,358
    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    ...in order to suggest that Americans were especially pioneering - actually or metaphorically - you'd have to show that they produced more of this kind of stuff than any other nation.

    Considering America's relative youth as a nation in comparison to England... to say nothing of China... this might be a bit of a stretch. I do suggest that there is a certain pioneering spirit in the US as an inherent result of the manner is which it is a nation of immigrants. When one considers what it takes to migrate to another nation, leaving your native culture, family, friends... even your language behind, one must recognize that immigrants are certainly rather motivated individuals. This is something they undoubtedly brought to the nation... and I'll note that historically, a great many of the most dynamic cultures were those which had such an influx of outside influences. It is thus sadly comic that so many Americans... often children or grandchildren of immigrants themselves... have grown increasingly isolationist and hostile to "outsiders".
    It's the frontier that is both the father and the killer. As people came, opportunities widened with the spreading America, as it pushed westward - economic opportunities, coupled with cultural and innovative creations moved with them - music, for instance, changed with the changing landscape - money was brought in, and immigrants found a new prosperity.

    Of course, the frontier sort of was swallowed, and in the world the new frontier has opened up, as American vision of police and developer of the world grew with the frontier - to the moon even. Mexico was largely swallowed by the US, but even more recently influence in all nations has taken hold - the central idea has remained the same.

    The problem comes when the backlash hits. Simply put, the frontier has become to wide - like a modern day Rome, the spirit cannot hold, and the backlash is an economic disaster - the frontiers in China, for instance, care not for the identity - they just care for the profit. Likewise, in Canada, generally the sentiment is we like you if you pay, but if you have no money to buy our stuff, we wouldn't mind selling it to someone who could.

    The vision of the collective identity, and the pioneer spirit was unable to pass the eventually established border, and as a result, we have this so called "economic recession."


    What to me seems the centre of the pioneer spirit, which is something taken in by Fitzgerald and Willa Cather, is something of a faith in the coming prosperity in the expansion - that conquering the frontier will bring a new prosperity - it is the general attitude that really stands behind the war ethos (if not the wars themselves, as they are products of another mentality) and creates the image of the noble, flag planting soldier which dominates cinema. Is it a myth, or does it have ignoble repercussions? Generally that is the attitude - some are left behind, others paved to make way, and others still used as pawns - but the spirit, in its innocent phases, seems the lasting effect of an American vision, which is ultimately unique to itself, and the basis of the whole culture. If I were to make comment, I would suggest that the 1860s were the real time of independence for the US (or at least the white, anglo half of it). And that the earlier wig-wearing independence seekers were still more or less colonial subjects, with some of them anticipating the boom that would follow.

  2. #17
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    6,499
    Quote Originally Posted by MarkBastable View Post
    I didn't say it was an impact that everyone would consider beneficial. But, consider, apart from staying in your house all day, when's the last time you got through twenty-four hours without hearing an electric guitar? How much money do you think is generated each hour directly or indirectly by the use of the electric guitar? You, Brian, often refer to 'teenagers of all ages' and the way in which their tastes dictate so much in the world. What would you say was the single most potent agent in the development of that cult of eternal adolescence? I'd suggest it was the electric guitar.

    The senior politicians - left and right - who now run for office are the children of the sixties and seventies. They understand the power of electric guitar music - the resonance and the associations it has for their prospective voters. Sarah Palin, who's about as reactionary and conservative as it's possible to be within mainstream US politics - used Barracuda - a mundane rock song screaming with electric guitars - as her rally theme. Clinton used a Fleetwood Mac song. All of them want to get rock stars on their campaign platform. There are very few clarinettists up there with them.

    The electric guitar is at the root of many aspects of the modern world, because it was the focus for the very phenomenon on which you blame several of the world's ills - the cult of adolescence. Whether or not that cult is a good thing is open to debate (I tend to think some growing up would be a good idea), but it's certainly a fundamental paradigm in the modern world, and it couldn't have happened without the economic and cultural power with which teenagers were invested in the sixties, and which they expressed through the Les Paul and the Stratocaster.

    To answer your question I can honestly say that I seldom subject myself to the sound of an electric guitar.The difference between culture and 'pop culture' is that one evolves naturally and the other is manufactured by business men, propagated by the media and encouraged by politicians, all of whom have either material or political reasons for doing so.
    The introduction of the electric guitar has given rise to myriad pop groups warbling in mid-Atlantic accents and often spouting pseudo philosophical nonsense or simply making a noise for anyone who cares to listen. I think it goes without saying that I am not of their number. Apart from the wider social implications, I find the whole concept infantile and embarrassing.
    A colleague once said in relation to pop music: "You can't get away from it nowadays." To which I replied: "That's the general idea, but you can and it's well worth making the effort."
    Coming back to the electric guitar, I suppose it was only a matter of time before we went from Les Paul and Mary Ford to this:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnm9jTtw7Hg

    It's called pop culture, or should that be 'kulcher'?
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  3. #18
    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    4,433
    Blog Entries
    28
    Brian my friend, you are so missing out on some really great music. I'm not even going to argue with you, I'm just going to express my condolences.
    __________________
    "Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal."
    -Pi


  4. #19
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    6,499
    Quote Originally Posted by JuniperWoolf View Post
    Brian my friend, you are so missing out on some really great music. I'm not even going to argue with you, I'm just going to express my condolences.
    Last edited by Emil Miller; 07-12-2010 at 06:11 PM.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  5. #20
    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Mid-Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    13,843
    Blog Entries
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Bean View Post
    To answer your question I can honestly say that I seldom subject myself to the sound of an electric guitar.The difference between culture and 'pop culture' is that one evolves naturally and the other is manufactured by business men, propagated by the media and encouraged by politicians, all of whom have either material or political reasons for doing so.
    The introduction of the electric guitar has given rise to myriad pop groups warbling in mid-Atlantic accents and often spouting pseudo philosophical nonsense or simply making a noise for anyone who cares to listen. I think it goes without saying that I am not of their number. Apart from the wider social implications, I find the whole concept infantile and embarrassing.
    A colleague once said in relation to pop music: "You can't get away from it nowadays." To which I replied: "That's the general idea, but you can and it's well worth making the effort."
    Coming back to the electric guitar, I suppose it was only a matter of time before we went from Les Paul and Mary Ford to this:


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnm9jTtw7Hg

    It's called pop culture, or should that be 'kulcher'?

    Brian...I'll just have to comment...that was VERY well said!!
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

  6. #21
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,447
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Bean View Post
    The introduction of the electric guitar has given rise to myriad pop groups warbling in mid-Atlantic accents and often spouting pseudo philosophical nonsense or simply making a noise for anyone who cares to listen
    Well, yeah. I'm not saying it's any good. I'm not saying it's any bad. I'm just saying it's absolutely central. It's an invention that occupies a more fundamental position in Western culture than antibiotics or space exploration or religious observance or political fealty. I'm not asking you to like it. On the contrary, I'm saying that the very fact that someone like you is moved to dislike it rather suggests that it's sufficiently important to be disliked. Me - I'm a proponent of it, and even I think it's over-emphasised in our culture.

    My argument is not that it's good. It's that it's everywhere.

  7. #22
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    20,355
    Blog Entries
    248



    If that isn't pioneering, nothing is.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  8. #23
    a dark soul Haunted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    10,145
    Blog Entries
    4
    look no further:

    LITNET!!!

    "But do you really, seriously, Major Scobie," Dr. Sykes asked, "believe in hell?"
    "Oh, yes, I do."
    "In flames and torment?"
    "Perhaps not quite that. They tell us it may be a permanent sense of loss."
    "That sort of hell wouldn't worry me," Fellowes said.
    "Perhaps you've never lost anything of importance," Scobie said.

  9. #24
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    6,358
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post



    If that isn't pioneering, nothing is.
    Must suck to be the one holding the camera.

  10. #25
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Tweet @ScherLitNet
    Posts
    23,904
    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    If that isn't pioneering, nothing is.
    Pfffftt!

    Everybody knows that it was all staged and no man has been to the moon!!!!


    Haunted> But the "world wide web" was invented by a British prof.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  11. #26
    Jethro BienvenuJDC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Mid-Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    13,843
    Blog Entries
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    Pfffftt!

    Everybody knows that it was all staged and no man has been to the moon!!!!


    Haunted> But the "world wide web" was invented by a British prof.
    Everyone knows that Al Gore invented the internet!!!
    Les Miserables,
    Volume 1, Fifth Book, Chapter 3
    Remember this, my friends: there are no such things as bad plants or bad men. There are only bad cultivators.

  12. #27
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    6,499
    Quote Originally Posted by BienvenuJDC View Post
    Everyone knows that Al Gore invented the internet!!!
    I thought he invented global warming.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  13. #28
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,447
    Tim Berners-Lee. He went to my school in South London.

  14. #29
    a dark soul Haunted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    10,145
    Blog Entries
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    Haunted> But the "world wide web" was invented by a British prof.
    yeah but someone has to know what to put on the world wide web or else it's just going to become a giant cobweb.

    amazon.com is also a great invention. It turned the Internet into a marketplace. The world wide web has been around for decades but it was just a few dorky researchers/scientists sharing dorky data. Boring.

    By the way, who invented html? That's what made websites possible.

    "But do you really, seriously, Major Scobie," Dr. Sykes asked, "believe in hell?"
    "Oh, yes, I do."
    "In flames and torment?"
    "Perhaps not quite that. They tell us it may be a permanent sense of loss."
    "That sort of hell wouldn't worry me," Fellowes said.
    "Perhaps you've never lost anything of importance," Scobie said.

  15. #30
    www.markbastable.co.uk MarkBastable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,447
    Quote Originally Posted by Haunted View Post
    0
    By the way, who invented html? That's what made websites possible.
    I was too glib before. Berners-Lee is generally accepted as having 'invented the web'. But essentially what he did was make the web possible by inventing html. The internet was the domain of geeks and tekkies in academia. Berners-Lee realised a protocol was required that would allow non-technical people to use this method of communication - and that's what html was for.

    "I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the Transmission Control Protocol and domain name system ideas and — ta-da! — the World Wide Web."

    His real achievement, though, was to see that it would only work if it were universal, and to be universal, it had to be non-commercial. So he didn't copyright it - he just let it out into the world.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. The Pioneers
    By Rachatiu in forum The Pioneers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-10-2007, 05:26 PM
  2. Cooper's Pioneers
    By vandaml1 in forum Cooper, James Fenimore
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-16-2006, 10:46 PM
  3. The Pioneers
    By David in forum The Pioneers
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-24-2005, 06:07 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •