Friday, August 25, 2006


This blog sits at the is a readable blog that covers the intersection of anthropology and economics. Yes, it sounds odd but it works.

I don't usually comment on or link to it - whatever I could add would be like a chicken making note of the production network she's in. Sure, she's involved and in the loop but her comprehension of how it all ties together - eggs, farmer, market - is limited by the fact that chickens are the dumbest damn creatures God put on this earth.

Maybe that's not the best metaphor.

At any rate he snarked on the French (specifically French culture) and snark I dig the way a chicken gets scratching in the dirt; it aint' much but it's part of my repertoire.
. . . let's face it, without the intervention of studio bosses, marketers, and investors, Hollywood would not be the cultural force that it is. More particularly, most films would look like Shyamalan's Lady in the Water, by Edelstein's account an act of self indulgence the first studio wisely abandoned by Disney.

. . . with the intervention of business, the world of movie making might be a lot more like film making in Paris, and for that matter, American culture a lot more like French culture. (And one shudders, absolutely shudders, to imagine this. We would all eat, dress, and vacation much better than we do...and American culture would be a pale shadow of its present self.)
We loose Rambo and Arnold but gain Girard Depardieu and Jerry Lewis. Sacre Bleu, non!

But that in turn reminded me a paragraph from Ralph Peters I have on my desk. Way back in 1997 - and it does seem like a longer time than a mere nine years would indicate - he wrote;

American culture is criticized for its impermanence, its "disposable" products. But therein lies its strength. All previous cultures sought ideal achievement which, once reached, might endure in static perfection. American culture is not about the end, but the means, the dynamic process that creates, destroys, and creates anew. If our works are transient, then so are life's greatest gifts--passion, beauty, the quality of light on a winter afternoon, even life itself. American culture is alive.

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