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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
"The Twilight of American Culture"
    #2299139 - 02/04/04 12:56 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

A friend handed this book to me - "The Twilight of American Culture" by Morris Berman - after I circled a Morris Berman quote from the latest Adbusters magazine.

As with any writings that criticize anything (especially writings that are for sale), I've kept my skeptic hat on. But I have to tell you, so far there is very little that I disagree with (the statistics he cites are unnecessarily sophist-like).

I'm only 70 pages into it... I'll keep you updated.


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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OfflineStrumpling
Neuronaut
Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 7,571
Loc: Hyperspace
Last seen: 5 years, 6 months
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Sclorch]
    #2299250 - 02/04/04 01:41 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

there are many who claim that this country is going to hit another major depression within the next 10 years or so..

"President Bush is spending money like there's no tomorrow because there IS no tomorrow" is a quote I heard recently on Coast to Coast AM (Don't know how reliable the people on that show are but I found it interesting..)


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Strumpling]
    #2299332 - 02/04/04 02:14 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Yeah, I take all talk of "the end" and "decline of our civilization" with a large chunk of salt...


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Sclorch]
    #2299410 - 02/04/04 03:07 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

If you're enjoying that read, you may want to check out Culture Jam, by the Adbusters founder.

Adbusters does some amazing work - too bad not many hear it - I guess its hard for anybody to really be heard if people know their views are so counter-culture and against-the-grain


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Strumpling]
    #2299412 - 02/04/04 03:09 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

by the way do you happen to remember the quote you saw in Adbusters?


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Sclorch]
    #2300006 - 02/04/04 11:10 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Oh, come on! Reality TV is a sure signpost that we are moving into more sophisticated cultural realms.  :cool:


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The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Sclorch]
    #2300187 - 02/04/04 12:31 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

All great countries experience a rise and then a decline and/or fall. Why should the U.S. be any different? We are the modern Romans, we have moved from a republic to an empire and Ceasar's chariot and armaments are being assembled with the blessings and efforts of the compliant masses who are being kept happy with bread and circuses.


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineSpecialEd
+ one

Registered: 01/30/03
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Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Evolving]
    #2300412 - 02/04/04 01:40 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I don't like this thread, it's raining on my parade :sad:


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"Plus one upvote +1..."
--- //
-- :meff:
  /l_l\/
--\-/----


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Strumpling]
    #2300572 - 02/04/04 02:28 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Strumpling: If you're enjoying that read, you may want to check out Culture Jam, by the Adbusters founder.

Yeah, that's on my reading list... I'll get around to it.  :wink:


by the way do you happen to remember the quote you saw in Adbusters?
Quote:

"I want to consider the possibility that every age has an extremely small fraction of people who go their own way without making a big production of it: not Jean-Paul Sartre, but Boris Vian; not Goethe, but Heinrich von Kliest; not Martin Heidegger, but Ludwig Wittgenstein.  These are bohemians with a small b, in other words; their work breaks with fixed forms, and it is often about the idea of breaking with fixed forms.  Yet they don't try to elevate their iconoclasm into a movement, a new fixed form.  In his book Class, Paul Fussell calls this group "Class X," but since this group, for the most part, has very little in common with Generation X, I am going to substitute the acronym NMI, the new monastic individual.  NMIs, says Fussell, make up the class of people that belong to no class, have no membership in a hierarchy.  They form a kind of "unmonied aristocracy," free of bosses, supervision, and what is typically called "work."  They work very hard, in fact, but as they love their work and do it for its intrinsic interest, this work is not much different from play.  In the context of contemporary American culture, such people are an anomaly, for they have no interest in the world of business success and mass consumerism.  Their credo, if it could be formulated at all, most closely approximates a haiku by the seventeenth-century Japanese poet Basho:

Journeying through the world
To and fro, to and fro
Cultivating a small field.
"

-Morris Berman




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OfflineStrumpling
Neuronaut
Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 7,571
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Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Sclorch]
    #2303614 - 02/05/04 03:53 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

ahhh excellent - is this what his whole book is like?


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Evolving]
    #2303740 - 02/05/04 05:07 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

...who are being kept happy with bread and circuses

"Cirque de Soleil" is really cool and worth sacrificing for....


--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Strumpling]
    #2304482 - 02/05/04 12:54 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Well, I've read a little more... still not annoyed with him, but he's just talking about history (the Dark Ages and whatnot). There's much talk of cycles between periods of enlightenment (whatever that is) and "dark ages".

*goes back to reading*


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OfflineNiamhNyx
I'm NOT a 'he'
Female User Gallery

Registered: 09/01/02
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Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Sclorch]
    #2306028 - 02/05/04 06:41 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

That sounds like an interesting book, I'll have to check it out.

I must say, I agree that we are indeed in the twilight of american culture, in fact, the twilight of civilization itself. Once oil production peaks it's done for... that is likely to happen soon if it hasn't already occurred. I'm currently reading a book all about that called "The Party is Over: Oil, War and the Fate of Industrial Societies" by Richard Heinberg.


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OfflineElvish
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Registered: 10/18/01
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Last seen: 11 years, 2 months
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2306085 - 02/05/04 07:02 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

I hope civilization ' as we know it' does end.
...and is replaced by something far far more beuatiful.


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OfflineStrumpling
Neuronaut
Registered: 10/11/02
Posts: 7,571
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Last seen: 5 years, 6 months
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2306095 - 02/05/04 07:05 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

WOAH I've been using the phrase "Party's Over!" for a while and didn't know somebody had already made a book with the same title and context.... That's exactly how I feel

Party's over, folks - back to work


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
liberal pussy
Female User Gallery
Registered: 05/21/02
Posts: 5,646
Loc: innsmouth..MA
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: NiamhNyx]
    #2306447 - 02/05/04 09:14 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Once oil production peaks it's done for...

i have posted this link many times...and i will post it again...is it just a coincidence that the midpoint date of olduvai oil apocalypse coincides with the mayan end date??...


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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InvisibleSclorch
Clyster

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Registered: 07/13/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: "The Twilight of American Culture" [Re: Sclorch]
    #2352936 - 02/19/04 02:47 AM (12 years, 9 months ago)

Okay, I've finished reading the book.

1.  I like the idea behind the monastic option, but it isn't a new idea - just a new name.  To me, it's yet another reiteration of Buddhist teachings.
2.  The book leads me to perceive that Berman is somewhat chronocentric in his viewpoint.  Why is it that cultural decline and/or doomsday predictions (when given a date) are so close to the end of the predictor's expected lifespan?  However, this may be Berman's attempt to "wake people up" and shock them into action (the goal of most tragedies).
3.  The dialectical "pattern" that Berman points to for support is rather weak.  Just because cultures have failed in the past does not necessarily mean ALL cultures will fail.
4.  He points to Michael Moore as a good example of the "New Monastic Individual".  Of course, he wrote the book before Moore started getting all self-absorbed and whatnot.  (My Personal Experience:  I went to a Green Party Rally in 2002.  Moore wasted his entire speech (30 minutes or so) on how "the man" didn't want to publish his book - what a fucking letdown.)
5. Berman seems to be more focused on identifying a "correct" mode of action for the "inevitable" doom of American culture rather than actually DOING anything.
6.  The fact that Berman's book is a bestseller is actually contrary to the ideals contained within it.

In conclusion, the book reiterates familiar memes but I get the feeling that it's there to pacify me.  Baby steps are for babies; and so is spoon-feeding - one should have to dig hard for their gold.

7 (out of 10) beers for this book
:beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer: :beer:


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Note: In desperate need of a cure...


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