Viewing 34 posts - 41 through 74 (of 74 total)
  • Random Americana
  • lobby_dosser
    Full Member

    OK I’ll add number 10

    10. Japan.(also considered to be good at stealing ideas). Japanese industry pre & post WWII churned out inferior, poor quality copies of western goods. It was transformed by American Dr Edwards Deming.

    So you agreed with two things the US have invented, but also agreed on 5 points were the US have contributed (hugely)to the invention and adoption.

    Comparing Hollywood and Bollywood, especially using Quality over Quantity as an argument, is a matter of taste and maybe cultural background. For me, the US has released most of my favourite films. If i was French, I may have a selected a 3rd option.

    neverfastenuff
    Free Member

    Vegas – tacky
    Grand Canyon – beautiful
    Hoover Dam – magnificent
    Central park – beautiful – just go and people watch
    Top of Empire State – awe inspiring
    Brooklyn bridge – got to be done
    Free ferry from battery park to staten island – fantastic view of downtown manhatten
    Broadway – you can meet the whole of the worlds nationalities just walking down it..

    andy_hamgreen
    Full Member

    well I’d just like to say I spent several months many years ago delivering cars around the US and it’s a fab place with (on the whole) very friendly people – much more so than here (of course not all their intentions may be honourable)

    RudeBoy
    Free Member

    Knew I’d get this kind of response…

    ‘Xenophobia’? Ok then, whatever.

    You could also argue that every single genre of music popularised in America has it’s roots elsewhere. Film? Many of the best directors have also come from overseas, and one could argue that the current crop of US directors have been influenced by these people. Plus, many European artists and film-makers fled to America, during the last War. And you appear to have too little knowledge of Bollywood films, to offer an informed opinion, tbh. And I think the British film industry is a little more diverse than what you suggest.

    I’ll disagree re the techno music thing. Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Einsturzende Neubaten, Karl Henz Stochausen and Delia Derbyshire could all be considered influences, and most of these predated the Detroit and Chicago House scenes by a fair bit.

    Classical?: Benjamin Britten, Vaughan Williams, John Taverner, Andrew Maxwell Davis, Michael Tippet, John Williams…

    My point is, that too often, the US presents stuff as it’s own, without actually acknowledging foreign influences at all. And many Americans believe that they ‘invented’ everything. Which is why I won’t gush about America’s ‘influence’ as much as some people. team effort, a lot of the time.

    And as for any suggestion that I’m ‘anti-American’, well…

    A land that is one of the most geographically diverse on Earth.
    A culture that is rich in diversity and co-operation.
    A philosophy of ‘anyone can achieve anything’.
    And a desire to triumph, that perhaps we would do well to adopt, in many circumstances.

    But so much of the US is artificial, contrived, insincere.

    Just trying to offer a balanced opinion, that’s all.

    Personally, I would love to visit more of the US. But there’s loads of other places too. The US is not the be all and end all, is all I’m saying.

    Ps; my current fave film? No Country For Old Men. Yank, I believe…

    greyman
    Free Member

    my missus

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    Rudeboy, I think Noteeth started this thread with the idea that people would single out bits of American culture that they liked, not turn it into the typical chip-on-the-shoulder rant about "yanks". As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter where something started, but to make out that America is a country with no culture of its own, other than what it appropriates and passes off, is just rubbish.

    Oh and I’ll see your Delia Derbyshire, and raise you Louis and Bebe Barron. 😉

    BigButSlimmerBloke
    Free Member

    9. denim: Fair enough.

    denim -> de Nimes (french) -> "from Nimes" – the material has a French origin

    Mr Jacob Davies, the tailor who first thought it would be a good idea to cut the hardwearing material into trousers was actually Latvian and his business partner Mr Levi Strauss, who funded the patent and helped get the business off the ground, was German.

    noteeth
    Free Member

    …most of these predated the Detroit and Chicago House scenes by a fair bit.

    Maybe so (especially the marvellous Delia) – but I’d say that the likes of this majestic record are particular to a certain time and place (old Detroit techno being the sound of brokenhearted machinery… or something). But you’re right: "culture" is mostly a bastardised thing.

    Absolutely nothing

    Imo, rather akin to saying that Faulkner can’t be considered a great writer – because of American policy in Vietnam (I accept this might be a question of taste). Contra much of this thread – it’s not about who invented what, but the plain ol’ geography of it all. For example, in case I hadn’t mentioned it, Chan Marshall is from the US – and I **** adore her, even despite the aggressive hegemony of the Military-Industrial complex. Come on! You’ve got nearly 20,000 years’ worth of culture(s) sat atop a vast landmass. So that’s anything from Clovis points to Fat City Cycles – even TJ might be able to find something in there he likes. 🙂

    noteeth
    Free Member

    I think Noteeth started this thread with the idea that people would single out bits of American culture that they liked

    Yes he did!

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    OK, back on track, here are my random 10:

    Ben Davis workwear
    "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole
    Harry Partch
    Grand Royal magazine
    Pen and Pixel album covers
    Pastrami
    House Industries (and the old type faces that inspired them)
    Fantagraphics comics
    Ten pin bowling
    Slint

    lobby_dosser
    Full Member

    9. denim: Fair enough.

    denim -> de Nimes (french) -> "from Nimes" – the material has a French origin

    Mr Jacob Davies, the tailor who first thought it would be a good idea to cut the hardwearing material into trousers was actually Latvian and his business partner Mr Levi Strauss, who funded the patent and helped get the business off the ground, was German.

    Oh dear, another one that’s missed the point.

    No matter where Mr Strauss (albeit Loeb Strauss was an American Citizen when he is accredited with starting Levi Strauss & Co) or Davies originated from, it was still in the US that ‘denim jeans’ 1st were made and became one of the most popular form of clothing for the Western world. If Strauss had remained in Bavaria/ davies in Lativia would they just be another regional dress like lederhosen, kilts, saris etc? Who knows.

    If you were being that picky you would know that ‘de nimes’ was material made of silk and wool, jeans (from Genoa) was cotton & linen. The material most recognisable as ‘Denim jeans’ was developed in North Carolina and historians still debate why ‘denim’ and ‘jeans’ were used to describe ‘denim jeans’.

    DezB
    Free Member

    I’ll stick to the listing rather than the big debate!

    Yeti Cycles
    The Sopranos
    Coen Brothers films
    Iggy (pre-Swift Covered!)
    MGMT
    Muhammad Ali
    er, 4 more…
    TV on the Radio (band)
    Subtle (band)
    Elmore Leonard
    Aaron Pryor

    noteeth
    Free Member

    Pen and Pixel – how STW mag covers should be done.

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

    BigButSlimmerBloke
    Free Member

    Oh dear, another one that’s missed the point.

    ever try reading the thread before posting an "oh dear, look at how clever i am" reply?

    Someone posted 10 reasons to like America, someone else replied refuting every one bar no 9 – denim. So I replied that denim isn’t 100% american.
    maybe we should start a "random things about britain" and start it with supercilious daily mail reading tw*ts

    ..and how come no-one’s mentioned the Weekly World News? top stuff and very "only in america"

    greyman
    Free Member

    FOX
    CNN

    LOL ! ….

    gotta hand it to ’em, they invented "cool"

    imho of course

    TandemJeremy
    Free Member

    I have not got the decorators in! My list was partly serious and partly not

    I really dislike the deliberate harm the Americans have done and still do – the counter examples given about Britain are also true but are mainly very old and the more recent stuff involves far fewer deaths.

    Take Chile for example. Salvador Allende was democratically elected. He was deposed in a coup by American backed forces. This resulted in decades under dictatorship where tens of thousands were killed.

    Or Venezuala. They democratically elected a socialist. The USA has attempted to oust him several times despite Chaves having an obvious popular mandate.

    Iran / Iraq war – there was a deliberate policy to arm both sides in the was to ensure maximum destruction of both countries.

    I really think they have been a major driving force behind much evil that has been done since the secoind world war.

    fennesz
    Free Member

    David Simon
    Al Jourgenson
    Will Oldham
    Gus Van Sant
    William Burroughs
    Glen A Larson
    Jeff Buckley
    Ben Stiller
    TV on the Radio
    Harrison Ford

    lobby_dosser
    Full Member

    Oh dear, another one that’s missed the point.

    ever try reading the thread before posting an "oh dear, look at how clever i am" reply?

    Someone posted 10 reasons to like America, someone else replied refuting every one bar no 9 – denim. So I replied that denim isn’t 100% american.
    maybe we should start a "random things about britain" and start it with supercilious daily mail reading tw*ts

    ..and how come no-one’s mentioned the Weekly World News? top stuff and very "only in america"

    Hello Mr Pot, my name is Mr Kettle.

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    That’s a mighty big brush you have there TJ. And a mighty big pot of tar.

    DezB
    Free Member

    TV on the Radio

    Good man 🙂

    chakaping
    Free Member

    DezB – Have you seen Subtle live? Caught them at ULU last year or year before and they were incredible. All-time top five, easily.

    Does One (?) really knows how to work the crowd.

    DezB
    Free Member

    No, I haven’t you git!
    Subtle and TV on the Radio are on my must-see list. Then I can die happy.

    ourmaninthenorth
    Full Member

    the counter examples given about Britain are also true but are mainly very old and the more recent stuff involves far fewer deaths

    Ah, so that’s OK, is it?

    TJ, you don’t like any Americans because of what has been done by the American state.

    That’s like saying I don’t like any of the Scotch people because of Gordon Brown. Or any of the French because of Mururoa Atol. Or any of the Germans because of WW2. Or Chinese because of Tiananmen Square.

    You are ridiculous sometimes, and while I would defend to the hilt your right to be ridiculous, you are nonetheless showing yourself to be fundamentally prejudiced. You made a poor statement first time round, which you have subsequently felt the need to defend because admitting you were being an idiot would be too much to bear.

    😀

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Did the Americans invent the word "pwned"?

    RudeBoy
    Free Member

    I’ve got something I like about America!

    Wall-E.

    What a truly brilliant film. And in fact, there, I have to give a nod to walt Disney, and the Disney Studios, for some of the best films ever made, really. Considering the enjoyment they bring to millions. Two of my recent faves have been Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. ‘Kids’ films? Yeah, right!

    I’m kind of with TJ on some points, though. The US has had the wealth to exploit it’s industries and cultural production, mainly because of it’s exploitation of many other countries. So, much of it’s output is sadly tinged with the blood of such endeavors. Plus, there is still gross injustice in America itself, with many of the countries poor living no better than in many third-world countries. The US is still home to communities that are segregated by strong cultural and social divisions.

    Enough of the negative, though, although I think people would do well to be mindful of the facts, tbh. I find it quite disturbing how American ‘culture’ is greedily devoured by the masses, all over the World. Seems we, in Britain at least, are increasingly living in a society where people think for themselves less and less, and are more content to have ‘culture’ spoon-fed to them, through various forms of consumerism.

    And let’s face it; of all the film, music etc that is churned out by the US, how much of it actually contains any meaningful substance? Britain may not have a film industry to rival Hollywood, but then, we don’t churn out utter shyte, such as High School Musical, or Independence Day.

    McDonalds, anyone?

    Leatherman Tools are good, though…

    lobby_dosser
    Full Member

    have you seen the incredibles rudeboy? excellent film

    MrAgreeable
    Full Member

    And let’s face it; of all the film, music etc that is churned out by the US, how much of it actually contains any meaningful substance?

    How much of any art contains meaningful substance, other than what the viewer, reader or listener imbues it with? And just because 99% of art is inoffensive dross, does that invalidate the 1% that’s made with genuine fire, passion, vision and skill?

    On a related note, did watching Wall-E make you decide to turn your heat down, or realise you could live without getting full speed out of your broadband?

    RudeBoy
    Free Member

    Not as good as those other ones I’ve mentioned, Lobby, imo. Good fun, though, yes.

    Actually, I’ve been wracking my brains trying to think of positive things about America that I do like, but it seems that I’m just not a big fan of Americana, and not just for political reasons.

    But, I’ll give it a go:

    *1950s’ styles, in Cars, fridges and all sorts of things. An era when people dreamed of space travel, other worlds and stuff. swoopy lines,outlandish designs, totally impractical sometimes. Ice-cream parlours, Corvette Stingray, Ford Thunderbird, Winnebagoes..

    *Chrysler building, New York. Perhaps the finest example of Art Deco architecture, anywhere.

    *Velvet Underground; a collection of very talented musicians and poets, producing some really gritty, meaningful music.

    *George Eastman; founder of Kodak. As a photographer, I couldn’t possibly ignore that.

    *Ansel Adams; see above; hugely inspirational and one of the most important figures in the history of photography.

    *Alvin Toffler; author of one of the most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read, ‘Future Shock

    *Apple Computer Inc.; for making something I can actually use…

    *NASA; for spending pornographic amounts of money, doing mad stuff, and giving us Teflon, Lycra, Kevlar, smoke alarms and pens that can write under water. And loads of other stuff.

    *Trying deperately to think of a worthy invention, then ping! The metaphorical light-bulb switched on in my head: Thomas Edison.

    *And last, but not least; Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you….

    …the potato.

    DezB
    Free Member

    Velvet Underground; a collection of very talented musicians

    You’d get a lot of arguments about that from the Leona Lewis is a "good singer" brigade.

    Edit: Although most of them probably won’t know who the Velvet Underground are.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    I like the Velvets and Leona.

    OK, I like the Velvets a lot more, and I’ve only heard two Leona songs, but it would be difficult to argue she’s a bad singer.

    btw Dezb – Have you heard Boom Bip? Don’t want to teach you how to suck eggs, but he’s very similar to Subtle.

    Saw him playing Royal Festival Hall supporting Tipsy a few years back. Two more musical treats the US have given us.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Right. Things I like:

    My Mrs
    My Mrs’s family
    The landscape out West
    Openly friendly people (yes, Brits are friendly too but they need prompting)
    Tex-Mex food
    Sitting on the porch drinking beer in the sunshine chatting to the neighbours passing by
    Going into a restaurant and getting served straight away and fed within 10 minutes
    Being able to stop anywhere and get good food
    The Trek corporation
    The Specialized corporation
    American music (off the top of my head Green Day, Third Eye Blind, REM, the Strokes, Incubus, Counting Crows, Fountains of Wayne, Moby and about a million others)
    American films (almost every film I’ve loved)
    American Radio – being able to listen to the above any time you want
    Shops where the staff actually know what they are selling
    Starbucks (and other places that have bothered to go beyond hot water and cheap coffee grounds)
    Culvers
    People who understand an appreciation of the outdoors without thinking you’re some kind of freak
    Did I mention my lovely Wife?
    Maine
    Oregon

    Oh and I almost forgot:

    TACO BELL! YEAH!

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    American TV- HBo specially, but the Simpsons, the Wire, Battlestar Galactica
    Hawaii
    Friendliness and openness of the people (in most places), and their politeness and hospitality even when your world view and their’s disagree
    the National Parks
    NASA
    Pete Seger and Steve Earle
    The attitude of shop and service industry workers that puts this country’s to shame
    That what’s effectively a federation of 50 countries actually works pretty well.
    The patriotism.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I don’t get this ‘no history’ nonsense. The country was only founded 200 years ago, yes, but a hell of a lot has happened – and it’s pretty much all documented. New York has a much longer, more interesting and more varied history than the city I live in – Cardiff.

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