Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Is America exporting culture anymore?

In the last 80 years, the United States has exported the idea of the perfect place to live. The “Land of the free”, the “American dream”, the land of endless possibilities. A whole cultural landscape was presented to the world when the movie industry started in the 1920’s.

Generations of people all around the world grew up with and were marveled by Silent era movies, the glamorous 40’s with its beautiful women (Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford and later Marilyn Monroe)), the idyllic 50’s and classic movies such as “Giant” with Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, as well as “West Side Story”. Musicals made Americans seem happy-go-lucky people who could sing and dance at the drop of a hat.

The 60’s came and brought revolutionary ideas through social movements, such as the hippie movement, the “love & peace” era and war protests, that extended through the 70s. The 80’s made American TV ever more present in every household across the globe with series such as “Starsky & Hutch”, “Dynasty” and “Dallas”. American was the place where anything could happen. American was the place of big cars, big houses and tree lined safe neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, big box office Hollywood hits such as “Jaws”, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Star Wars” have awed teenagers everywhere with its popularity, special effects or great music. Hollywood still produces big hits, and American TV is still watched in many countries, but exactly what kind of American culture are we exporting now? TV is dominated by reality shows (we have exported the IDEA of the shows to other countries, but not the shows themselves) and Hollywood has produced too many duds recently. What do we export that can be envied by millions of people in other countries? Snooki and “The Situation”? Please. Maybe along with this economy in its never ending recession, the American dream is also in a slump?

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July 12, 2011 - Posted by | Society

4 Comments »

  1. I don’t think anyone in their own time can really identify what their era represents. It takes the perspective of a couple years to understand. Baseball is a good example. We came out of the Steroid Era, but didn’t know that is what that era represented until the very end. Up to that point it was a great time in baseball where there were a lot of home run records being broken.

    We are in a post-9/11 era. The teenagers and young adults today have only known a United States at war. There has never been a time in our history when this is true. It has skewed and desensitized a generation. It is no wonder that they see the world as a different place than I do. The same was true for different reasons with me and my parents.

    Culture changes. That’s what makes it culture.

    Just my opinion…..

    Comment by Pete Dwyer | July 19, 2011 | Reply

  2. You might consider some positives America has to offer. Movie: The Help. Leader: Obama. Higher education for foreign students, etc. : )

    Comment by David Krancher | January 16, 2012 | Reply

    • So totally agree David. Great movie, great higher education, great president.

      Comment by Brasilmagic | January 16, 2012 | Reply

  3. i would say that it is exporting culture, as evidenced by the fact that people worldwide seem to know about it, people worldwide appear to still want to go there to live (or at least visit), people worldwide watch american movies and tv shows in the BILLIONS, america still has a bigger problem with illegal immigration than any other nation, people are willing to to wait 7-10-20-30 years to legally immigrate to america, you see typically american food in abundance whereever you go in the world, and when you actually travel to different countries and talk to people (particularly those of the 2nd or 3rd world) america is often a goal they aspire to (as opposed to russia, cuba,nigeria, or brazil). many of the brazillians i have met have moved into the anti-american sentiment, but when i dig a little deeper with most of them, i find that the sentiment actually comes from the deeply ingrained insecurity that they will be denied a visa. it is much easier to just dislike it (while consuming its products that are available here) and get an easier visa to ireland (as england has also become a challenge for many people from other countries). but the ones who have been there appear to love it and usually go back repeatedly (as opposed to europe) for more visits.

    Comment by bamabrasileira | February 21, 2012 | Reply


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