Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hallowed ground


Baseball and 7-Eleven, symbols of American cultural imperialism at the site of the world's first nuclear assault. McDonald's, by contrast, maintains a discreet 2000' distance across the river.

5 comments:

Ed Darrell said...

What do you think it means in this cultural olla podrida when we consider that 7-11 is now Japanese-owned?

Great post.

Scott Hanley said...

I was really looking for the nearest McDonald's to the bombing site, just because of that company's reputation for enlargement and stereotypically American low-price-over-quality approach to its product. 7-Eleven was a second-best choice, but it has American enough origins to make my general point: even though the perps' foreign culture has made inroads, the Japanese are still a free and independent people. In fact, they've been able to purchase American companies, and send their own baseball players to our major leagues. Allowing scope for foreign cultures has not enslaved them. It won't enslave Americans to tolerate practitioners of Islam, either.

There's a really weird, unrealistic view of culture in this country. It's imagined that Islamic immigrants will fail to adopt American culture, even though that's never happened in this country. They might also reflect on why the Pilgrims came to Massachusetts in the first place: their experiment in Holland was failing because the kids were growing up more Dutch than English. Plus ├ža change....

Btw, I like the use of the phrase "rotten stew" (olla podrida, which I had to look up). I never cared for the multiculturalist expression "salad bowl," which ignores the irrevocable blending that comes from close contact. Take the tomatoes out of your salad, and they're still just tomatoes and the salad is just a salad with no tomatoes. "Stew" is a better description, and "rotten" expresses a wry disdain for the concept of a pure culture. John McWhorter made the same point about English grammarians, who defend the purity of a highly-misgeneated langauge.

James Hanley said...

I'll take issue that McDonald's is low-price-over-quality. Sure, it's far from the best hamburger (you have to go to California, and In-N-Out for that), but it's an exceptionally reliable hamburger, wherever you go.

Scott Hanley said...

McDonalds - the Ford Escort of hamburgers.

James Hanley said...

Now that's a tasty thought. I do hope the hamburger has slightly less oil and grease.