November 26, 2014


REVIEW of How The World Was Won: The Americanization of Everywhere by Peter Conrad : A chronicle of our obsession with the US (CHRIS BLACKHURST, 02 October 2014, Independent)

He quotes Lars von Trier, the Danish movie director. Von Trier made films set in the US, in Washington State, Colorado and Alabama, but he resolutely refused to enter the US. In 2005, though, he admitted his protest was a waste of time. "Sixty per cent of the things I have experienced in my life are American," which led this determined anti-American to conclude regretfully: "I am American."

In another tale, in a work sparkling with arresting vignettes - a testament to forensic research - Conrad relates how, towards the end of his life, Steve Jobs took his family to Turkey on holiday. The Apple founder hired a guide in Istanbul who explained to him the rites of the Turkish bath and extolled the virtues of Turkish coffee. Jobs snapped. "So fucking what?" he said under his breath. He commented that kids in Turkey drank what every kid in the world drinks, wore clothes that could have been bought at the Gap, and used cell phones. "They were like kids everywhere," Jobs concluded. What he meant, of course, was they were like his children, raised in California. This prompts Conrad to pose the question: "Is globalism actually the universalisation of the US?"

One of the most noticable things with the increased access to foreign tv series is that everywhere in at least the Anglosphere and Northern Europe is exactly like here.

Posted by at November 26, 2014 5:18 PM

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