Forever Under Construction

Sophia, NY & the Rest of Us

Posted in Art, Civilization, Culture, Middle East, USA, World by homeyra on April 3, 2007

Sophia is back. She and her husband have celebrated their 24th anniversary, spending a long week-end in New York.

She has a marvelous post, Echoes of Empire, taking you to exhibitions, operas and a play. Aware as she is of the current state of the world, she draws most interesting parallels between the marvelous and the awful of our lives.

I highly recommend you to read this post in its entire version.

met0.jpgAn excerpt:

“New York is a great city and represents in its cultural scene the best of what the US has to offer to the world. And why the US does not offer this to the world instead of offering its army and its might, which come with destruction, humiliations, resentment, and more wars? One of the reasons is that the US itself has a hard time accepting the premises of the cultural life and the spirit of its most glamorous city. In the US, unlike in Europe, culture is considered a good for the elite. The rest must content itself with what they can watch on US TVs and cinema screens; Christian evangelists and other cultural mimes destined (albeit unintentionally) to maintain the population in a state of perpetual darkness. The sad thing is that the US exports only its ‘trash culture’, the culture of its own disgraced and ill-favored class. So before going on a Middle East tour civilising mission, the US must bring itself and its own majority, not only its elite, to civilisation through culture. Liberation comes through culture and not through the destruction of other countries and other cultures on the basis of racist and dangerous religious ideologies. And we can turn to culture only when our physical survival is not under threat.”


10 Responses

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  1. peoplesgeography said, on April 3, 2007 at 9:50 pm

    A very enjoyable and thoughtful read, appreciate the heads up Homie. Thanks Sophie, and Happy Anniversary!

  2. Sophia said, on April 4, 2007 at 3:29 am

    Dear Homeyra and Ann,
    I am glad you appreciated the post. Thank you very much for the link, the comments and the wishes.

  3. servant said, on April 4, 2007 at 3:35 am

    New York City is the Heart of Darkness from where I sit in Washington, DC. High culture notwithstanding, New York “culture” is a miniscule conceit of the people who live there compared to the avante garde working in the rest of the world.

    There is “culture” (multi-meaning term) there because the wealthy like their seemly things in their lives and they can afford them because they are starving the rest of us to death on the road to perdition. You must be referring to “culture” narrowly as those artistic venues which are consumed there in mass quantities like wine in boxes. All the best soap operas are also made in New York, and also the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric – an absolute vacuous puss bag whose journalistic credentials are just slightly better than the toilet paper they were wiped on.

    New York City is the headquarters of the fascist corporate empire, where resides the infrastructure and plumbing and planning of capitalism, greed, and almost the entire political base of the Zionist hegemony in the United States. New York City is Mordor. New York City is where the dark power lusts after the power of the Ring that will unite all the other rings.

    New York City is the heart of Hillary Clinton’s campaign – the darling of the American Likud – the vaunted New York money people.

    New York isn’t even part of the United States. As far as they are concerned the rest of the country is just a market for their advertising.

    To hell with New York I say.


  4. Sophia said, on April 4, 2007 at 4:01 am

    What you write is true. I am always a little embarrassed by the amount of wealth and money one can see in new York while the rest of the world is starving. And sure there are ‘cultural’ products for mass consumption made also in this city. However, one can chooses if one is armed with a critical mind and the critical mind comes with education, openness and exposure to diversity. I was not equating new York with Culture, I was just meaning that the city has a lot to offer if we know how to choose…

  5. servant said, on April 4, 2007 at 4:41 am

    I know what you were saying. I was just mixing up a batch of hyperbole for my friends Ann and Homerya. Things can get mighty serious around here at times what with the threat of imminent war and endless supply of tragedy. Sometimes a little change up is nice.

  6. homeyra said, on April 4, 2007 at 9:10 am

    I knew this would be a popular post 🙂
    Thank you all for your inputs. This reminds me of another phenomena, well I don’t know how exactly it relates to this topic, but this is what came to my mind.
    If you have had a chance to know or work with any international, mainly cultural, organization, you have probably noticed the following. Usually, these organizations are transformed into a safe heaven for their employees. Friends of friends of relatives are appointed to these fun, comfy posts and lifestyles. … and after a while, their initial mission tends to change into “how I should keep my position and who is threatening it”.
    These organizations tend to transform into expensive bodies, devoid of the very reason of their existence. I know that this does not do justice to many hard workers and motivated people working there.

  7. sophia said, on April 4, 2007 at 10:56 am

    Homeyra, it seems that the world Bank has become such an organisation. No wonder why Wolfowitz found a safe haven there for him and his girlfriend…

  8. homeyra said, on April 4, 2007 at 11:01 am

    🙂 The world bank, the UN, the Unesco the Unicef… to name a few…
    Often cultural sections of Embassies… etc…
    All these organization could have had such a positive impact. I think they used to have, and it bothered often local policies.
    They had a heroic time which is unfortunately weakened by the larger context.

  9. servant said, on April 4, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I understand what you’re saying about featherbedding at the international organizations Homeyra. One of the old timers at the State Department told me that the only reason we maintain embassies anywhere in the world instead of Internet cafes with video conferencing is so that the children of the rich can carry on the great white burden and call themselves diplomats.

    Most embassies are bases of operation for the CIA the military anyway, I actually liked his idea. Let’s be honest. Diplomacy is dead. Let’s just turn them all into military bases and be up front about it.

    Embassies were really nice ideas in a previous time but what do they really do in there now?

    Since the U.S. is so popular in most countries around the world, many people just sleep right at the embassy just so they don’t have to risk so many trips in the armored car to and from the military compound where they are quartered. They mainly process visas, which could easily be handed by parcel. Real diplomacy can take place over the telephone anyway, which could easily be replaced by video conferencing.

    Now the the military – that’s a different story. You talk about massive featherbedding – the military machine is a self-perpetuating nightmare.

    They have complete subsidiaries of scenario imaginers who do nothing but make Powerpoint presentations which envision bigger and better boogie men to scare the American public into giving them more and more money.

    I like to ask – do you know how many teachers you can pay with the annual operating cost of one carrier battle group? Now we have two of those hovering off the shore in your neighborhood protecting us from what? Who are they kidding?

    Apparently they’re kidding all of us.

    So far they are expanding their markets way faster than the State Department.

    Sorry about the rant, but you started it!!

    Neener neener! 😛

  10. homeyra said, on April 4, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    I guess you are right. Ambassadors used to represent a country and take some of the decisions on its behalf in a time when there was not even a Telephone to consult first. In the light of what you wrote one wonders what is this huge – the largest in the world, larger than the Vatican – American Embassy in Iraq exactly for.
    Perhaps for more of this !

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