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Jan 26, 2021 - 8:02:59 AM
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rinemb

USA

13037 posts since 5/24/2005

I am presently reading the book "Pappyland", (the Kentucky culture, history, mystique, of bourbon, horse racing, how they are related,etc) by Wright Thompson (whom I know nothing about) . He is a senior writer for ESPN and lives in Oxford, Mississippi. And, he sits in the box at the Kentucky Derby with Julian Van Winkle. And he loves his bourbon-and gets to drink old Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon!.
Early in the book he is commenting on the people that now attend the Derby, and why. He makes a comment that keeps swirling in my brain. Not sure if I agree or not, or if it is a good thing or not???

Mr. Thompson writes:
"The homogenization of America has left people wandering the land in search of a place to belong. We are a tribeless nation hungry for tribes. That longing and loneliness are especially on display in early May in Kentucky."

What are your thoughts regarding this quote?

Brad

Jan 26, 2021 - 8:22:59 AM

ChunoTheDog

Canada

588 posts since 8/9/2019
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I think that phrase is quite vague and applicable to the human condition in general.

Jan 26, 2021 - 8:56:32 AM
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banjo bill-e

Tuvalu

10648 posts since 2/22/2007

I disagree completely. Homogenization should be the goal. "One out of many" and all that. But we are moving the other direction, towards Balkanization. Tribalism is the movement now tearing this country apart. It is not some lost ideal to be lamented.

Jan 26, 2021 - 9:32:17 AM
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rinemb

USA

13037 posts since 5/24/2005

quote:
Originally posted by banjo bill-e

I disagree completely. Homogenization should be the goal. "One out of many" and all that. But we are moving the other direction, towards Balkanization. Tribalism is the movement now tearing this country apart. It is not some lost ideal to be lamented.


Bill, that would be my first impression about tribalism.  So I am puzzled about his observation. Again I know nothing about his background and ideas.

People often identify America as the melting pot of peoples.  But with homogenization, don't we lose a lot of interesting culture and interactions-and foods!   What if we had tribal identities, but with no racism or war?  I think how cool it would have been to live in NYC with so many cultures packed in together...if there were none the bad sh/t.  Brad

Jan 26, 2021 - 9:44:05 AM
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banjo bill-e

Tuvalu

10648 posts since 2/22/2007

The blending of cultures gave us Korean Pork Tacos which should end any discussion about the desirability of such homogenization!

Jan 26, 2021 - 9:56:29 AM
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6419 posts since 9/5/2006

The United States is one of the most racially diverse countries in the world. Americans are mostly multi-ethnic descendants of various immigrant nationalities culturally distinct in their former countries. which assuredly means mix of races,,culturally ,, beliefs,, and traditions.

experts predict that by 2050, decendants of eastern european immigrants will be the minority.  mixed race,, hispanic,,asian and black will be the majority citizens of the usa. 

Edited by - 1935tb-11 on 01/26/2021 10:02:20

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:01:58 AM
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KCJones

USA

1351 posts since 8/30/2012

Part of it is communication. Technology has made the world smaller. Used to be, every holler had its own banjo style. Nowadays, it's just clawhammer and scruggs (hyperbole, but you get the point). Homogenization occurs naturally as we become more connected.

That said, there's something else at play. There has been a concerted effort among international merchants to destroy the shared cultural heritage of peoples throughout the world. A bunch of people with no shared history is not a nation at all, and is easy to manipulate and exploit. A People, with a Homeland and shared cultural history, are much more resilient to hard times and attacks from nefarious external entities. 

I disagree completely that we are a "tribeless nation". We are a nation of many tribes. Some of these tribes have historical connections, shared culture, and interconnected goals. Some of the tribes have mutually exclusive goals, which creates conflict with other tribes. Some of the history of these tribes has been intentionally erased and hidden from the "cultural conversation" in order to weaken the tribe, and what Mr. Thompson is observing when he writes that statement is the result of this erasure: people looking for their tribe, a couple generations after it's been erased. 

quote:
Originally posted by banjo bill-e

But we are moving the other direction, towards Balkanization. Tribalism is the movement now tearing this country apart. 


Balkanization is the natural result of forced "diversity" and "multiculturalism". Tribalism is not a movement at all, it just is. It is human nature, a fundamental constant exhibited throughout the entire kingdom of all living things, and trying to stop it is like trying to make water flow uphill.

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:02:39 AM
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m06

England

9596 posts since 10/5/2006

I'm not going to second guess what the writer is referring to in regard to a specific place, but there is a profound truth lurking within his quote that relates not just to the US but to modern societies in general.

Personally I'd replace the word 'tribe' with 'community'. In essence though that still has to do with a sense of belonging and meaning on a human scale. It also overlaps with the discussion of 'evolution' on another thread. Our environment and the nature of connection has changed radically in the last three hundred years - a blink of eye in human evolution. Our basic human needs to sustain wellbeing have not altered in that same period. Right there is the tectonic psychological shift underpinning an unease that many feel but fail to accurately attribute the cause.

We are too busy to notice that much of what we deem 'normal' is anything but, and is in fact a recent construct. When we examine what has shaped that construct we quickly realise that it is forces external to ourselves. Therefore our wellbeing is not the determining factor in how we are required/compelled to conduct ourselves.

One example - work: the 9-5, 5-day working week in a location which for most people is remote from their homes. Of course that is a 'norm in our society. But when we look at the history of work we see that for millennia humans did not attempt or need to distort themselves into such long-term and defining artificial construct. Often it is our instinct to compete and succeed comparatively in the conditions pertaining here-and-now that prevents us from realising that historic distortion. The fact (also taken as a norm) that we have to compete to work i.e. to succeed via interview and selection to have a job a t all. When we stand back from that norm and really think about it the idea is ludicrous. 'Unemployment' is an anethema to the human condition; it is our system that brings into being the artificial notion - and for many the hard reality - of perfectly capable people as 'deficient' and their contribution of effort unwanted and side-lined. In reality it is only about a fit to the requirements of that system; it has nothing to do with the fitness of the individual or their wellbeing.

However, we may be on the cusp of social changes that bring the nature of work back more in line with human nature and that which imparts a sense of self-determination and core wellbeing.

Edited by - m06 on 01/26/2021 10:16:47

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:23:09 AM

m06

England

9596 posts since 10/5/2006

This underlying dissonance is analysed, challenged and an alternative way of life outlined in these texts:

resurgence.org/shop/elegant-si...vering%3A

resurgence.org/shop/soil-soul-...-114.html

We discover we have the natural instinct and tools for wellbeing if we stop and consider what wellbeing truly is.

Edited by - m06 on 01/26/2021 10:26:16

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:36:12 AM

m06

England

9596 posts since 10/5/2006

Saying that people 'feel an unease' is not strictly true or helpfully accurate. What we witness in, among and between the dissonant artificial constructs of our society is that unease manifesting in large scale distress and the drive to numb or compensate that distress.

Actions may be manifest without the least understanding of their root cause.

Edited by - m06 on 01/26/2021 10:38:02

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:48:31 AM

banjo bill-e

Tuvalu

10648 posts since 2/22/2007

I would also say that such unease, or the "longing and loneliness" of the article ,is ripe for exploitation by those predatory cults who offer convenient comforting answers to those who require them.

Jan 26, 2021 - 10:53:55 AM
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421 posts since 10/4/2018

Homogenization makes us all bland and vanilla. The Americanization of countries around the world is particularly disturbing. But, strictly on an American scale, I believe we are losing our regional flavor as well. On the up-side, if you are in the money making business, homogenization makes us all a bit easier to manipulate. Sad time for us all really. I prefer to celebrate our differences than our shared love of watered-down culture.

Jan 26, 2021 - 11:18:34 AM

73958 posts since 5/9/2007

I don't pay much attention to broad statements of a population.
I've never cared about wandering around looking for something.
All I've ever wanted I've found in my own back yard.
My brother couldn't get out of here fast enough and I never wanted to leave.
I have a very clear idea of what I like and dislike and my tribe has been the Wawenock for a few hundred years.
When I think of life in a tiny fishing village and a life-long access to the neighboring islands. We have a Davis Island and my Aunt Hazel and Uncle Alden Hupper used to own Hupper's Island).My Great Grandmother was a Hupper.
I can't think of anything homogenous about that.

I retain my region's Downeast accent and know lots of the old stories.
We multi-generational Mainers tend to eschew the "Broad Brush" of homogenization.

Jan 26, 2021 - 11:23:41 AM

m06

England

9596 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by banjo bill-e

I would also say that such unease, or the "longing and loneliness" of the article ,is ripe for exploitation by those predatory cults who offer convenient comforting answers to those who require them.


The irony of your comment is that we are all already involuntary members of what is an unacknowledged (and highly predatory) cult. The most extensive and globally powerful cult in human history.

The quasi religious focus of that predatory cult is unquestioned adherence and obedience to surplus and profit. As with all cults heresy is scorned and harshly punished by the high priests.

BTW human spirituality and wellbeing is not the realm of cults as you imply.

Edited by - m06 on 01/26/2021 11:39:29

Jan 26, 2021 - 11:38:40 AM
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73958 posts since 5/9/2007

I don't look at life that way.
I see it as exceedingly simple and pleasing.

Jan 26, 2021 - 12:25:36 PM

banjo bill-e

Tuvalu

10648 posts since 2/22/2007

---"unquestioned adherence and obedience to surplus and profit. --- "

You would prefer shortages and losses? Which is to say that you prefer the basic human condition of poverty? Profit is nothing but productivity in excess of consumption. Can you justify the opposite?
And sorry, but human spirituality IS the premier stock in trade for cults, with "well-being" not too far behind. That which is desired, and lacking, is what is being peddled.

Jan 26, 2021 - 12:38:27 PM
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278 posts since 4/10/2018

I love Korean pork tacos. A little Sirachi mayo, cabbage kimchi, pickled carrots. That’s the stuff of community! The thing about the US is there’s space for all kinds and creeds. The problem is when somebody says y’all gotta be just like me . . .

Jan 26, 2021 - 12:53:40 PM

m06

England

9596 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by banjo bill-e

---"unquestioned adherence and obedience to surplus and profit. --- "

>You would prefer shortages and losses? Which is to say that you prefer the basic human condition of poverty? Profit is nothing but productivity in excess of consumption. Can you justify the opposite?<
 


There's no requirement to 'justify the opposite'. A viable alternative does not have to be an 'opposite'.

Working to simply create what is sufficient is a sustainable alternative to working to accrue yet more grotesque surplus and an obsession with maximising profit regardless of our individual or community wellbeing.

'Justification' is inherent in the improvement self-determination and balance bring to our wellbeing.

To disparage spirituality and wellbeing is in effect to submit to whatever conditions someone else imposes (and convince oneself those conditions are good for us).

Edited by - m06 on 01/26/2021 13:05:22

Jan 26, 2021 - 4:36:29 PM
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banjo bill-e

Tuvalu

10648 posts since 2/22/2007

It is that very "grotesque surplus" which has radically reduced worldwide starvation and poverty and made a life beyond grinding subsistence a reality for millions.
And it is not disparaging spirituality to note that this is the arena in which emotional predators search for prey.

Jan 26, 2021 - 4:44:42 PM

Paul R

Canada

13886 posts since 1/28/2010

"Balkanization" is just a convenient buzz word. And, as shown above, it's not an either-or choice. That, of course, is a convenient tactic to get someone to take your side - either my way or the highway, if you will.

Diversity is not something to shun. Nature thrives on diversity. A monoculture is ripe for destruction. Species interact and provide benefits for each other. So, too, do we benefit from being a part of a community of diverse cultures.

You don't have to go far back to see what becomes of a society that tries to stamp out diversity - just to the Thirties and Forties. What Allied troops found in 1945 shows what the end result can be - in the name of a one-size-fits-all society.

I lived in Toronto, often cited as the most diverse city in the world (feel free to differ), It's a city that prides itself on its variety of neighbourhoods and cultures. And it works. It's not a place where cultures clash, rather where they exist side-by-side, and people tolerate and learn from each other. There was a growth period. For example, when I arrived there was a lot of "white bread" cuisine. Then the ethnic restaurants sprouted and an appreciation for their origins, and a consequent appreciation of the cultures they represented, grew. (I even played in Aussie bands during Caravan, an annual festival of diverse cultures, each showcasing its food and culture.)

Neighbours here once asked us about T.O. - "What about the VMs?" "The what?" "The visible minorities." "Oh, nothing. Ride the subway often enough ... ." No issue.

Jan 26, 2021 - 4:46:27 PM

m06

England

9596 posts since 10/5/2006

quote:
Originally posted by banjo bill-e

It is that very "grotesque surplus" which has radically reduced worldwide starvation and poverty and made a life beyond grinding subsistence a reality for millions.
And it is not disparaging spirituality to note that this is the arena in which emotional predators search for prey.


So, as you believe that all is as it should be there is no purpose served discussing the topic with you.

That's a shame. Particularly in regard to the increasing eradication of choice circularly caused by the commodification and systemic inflation of the cost of human necessities such as housing. That is how conditions and conditioning become a treadmill that people are life-long compelled to keep treading whether they like it or not, whether they are aware of it or not and regardless of their wellbeing and physical and spiritual health. I assume you support choice and self-determination? Liberty?

Edited by - m06 on 01/26/2021 16:59:52

Jan 26, 2021 - 5:34:32 PM

104 posts since 1/23/2017

I thought I'd chime in on some of the earlier comments re: the desirability of tribes vs tribelessness, since I'm a tribesman myself.

I got a chance to go to the 2018 National Indian Education Association convention thanks to my mentor in the American Indian Teacher Program that I had just graduated from. There were Native American and First Nations professional educators from countless tribes. I've been to plenty of powwows and other Indian events growing up, but this was easily the biggest bunch of Indians I've ever seen in one place. People joked that we were making the city nervous that we were gonna invade.

There were lots of excellent presentations on language preservation, Native methods of learning and teaching, connecting STEM to traditional knowledge, etc. It was a good feeling being part of a gathering that connected everyone through multiple layers of shared identity, not only Natives, but also Natives with a love of education. Lots of different tribes, lots of different kinds of people from all over the Americas, but with important things in common.

While I was doing my student teaching at a school in a well-to-do neighborhood here in Portland I got invited to help my teacher mentor out with meetings of the middle school students of color group. What a great time! Any of the kids who self-identified as a student of color could come, and a very diverse bunch of boisterous kids it was! We had a lot of fun and some great conversations, but the kids told us that some of their white classmates thought it was unfair that the kids of color got to have their own meetings, and that there should be White Student Meetings too (I'm told that some of their parents also thought so).

There were some obligatory jokes from the kids ("The whole rest of the school is a white student meeting though!") and some of my fellow teachers and student teachers hemmed and hawed and grumbled. However, if I had been more than a lowly student teacher at the time I would have been all for it. I would love to see any kids who self-identify as white have their own meetings with the guidance of a good teacher. Since my mom's side of the family is white I'd come and help facilitate as I did with the students of color group. I'd be interested to see what kind of group identity the kids would come up with, and how they would codify the rules of who can come to the White Students Group. What do y'all make of that?

Jan 27, 2021 - 7:06:58 AM

2512 posts since 2/10/2013

As people with different backgrounds immigrate to a country, the character gradually changes. The process can also create tension. Some European countries are experiencing this in an accelerated process.

Jan 27, 2021 - 7:24:02 AM

5954 posts since 9/21/2007

I love these highly promoted books (and movies, and tv shows) that glamorize booze and gambling.

The only difference between expensive "crafted" booze and hobo rotgut is packaging, chemically they are pretty much the same. One is consumed out of a fancy tumbler with "craft ice", the other out of a plastic bottle in a paper bag. Both do the same thing.

I have not read the book, but the marketing on Amazon makes me want to raise a glass or 6 (and spend tomorrow morning hunched over the toilet).

Jan 27, 2021 - 7:28:41 AM

KCJones

USA

1351 posts since 8/30/2012

quote:
Originally posted by Good Buddy

On the up-side, if you are in the money making business, homogenization makes us all a bit easier to manipulate. 


Yes, indeed it does. Now imagine that you're in the money making business, and you have so much money and power that you can create global media empires to change cultures. Do you think that's happening today?

Jan 27, 2021 - 8:14:13 AM
Players Union Member

DC5

USA

16827 posts since 6/30/2015
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Joel Hooks

I love these highly promoted books (and movies, and tv shows) that glamorize booze and gambling.

The only difference between expensive "crafted" booze and hobo rotgut is packaging, chemically they are pretty much the same. One is consumed out of a fancy tumbler with "craft ice", the other out of a plastic bottle in a paper bag. Both do the same thing.

I have not read the book, but the marketing on Amazon makes me want to raise a glass or 6 (and spend tomorrow morning hunched over the toilet).


And Strip Steak is chemically identical to Fillet Mignon.  If your goal in drinking is to get drunk, you are correct, don't waste your money on good booze, beer or wine.   I haven't been drunk in 29 years, and I don't ever intend to get drunk again.  I have a collection of fine Scotch and Bourbon and I enjoy a good craft beer.  I can tell the difference between every one of my whiskeys, and I can clearly taste the difference between them, and cheaper whiskeys.  But now I only have 1, and I enjoy the flavor.  I have never tasted a really expensive scotch or bourbon as there is only so much that I can afford.  But I can definitely taste the difference between 10 year old Laphroig and Laphroig Lore, the latter of which costs almost 3 times what the first costs.  I can also tell the difference between a 12 year old MacAllan and an 18 year old MacAllan.  I have a treasured bottle of MB Roland Dark Fired Kentucky Bourbon whiskey that is a pure delight and I only drink it on rare occasions as I don't know if I will ever be able to get another.  I believe this is only sold at the distillery.  This is bottle number 30 of a batch of 105.

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