Why do we celebrate inferior, foreign cultures?

America’s history is one of having absorbed some of the best of culture from around the globe, while having eschewed some of the more disagreeable aspects of societies from which she adapted these cultural components. The result has been a synergy that resulted in a powerful and unique product, if you will, which in some ways surpassed the sum of its parts.

cavemen2If you think this notion a conceit, I would point to the two centuries of America’s profound and rapid success in nearly every area of endeavor compared to other nations.

Still, for many years, I have puzzled over Americans who become inordinately and superficially enamored of foreign things. We’ve all seen the plight of starry-eyed young American girls who fall in love with a mass media-proffered stereotype of some romantic foreign male, then run off and marry one, only to discover that the man’s culture is frighteningly cloying and patriarchal, sometimes dangerously so. They wind up losing their children to a parental kidnap, or having to escape a sadistic family situation in a misogynistic regime somewhere, coming to the heartbreaking realization that their studly beau was only looking for a quality breeding cow.

We’ve also witnessed the fads that have come and gone from overseas – sometimes not going fast enough – having been brought to light by the media or some celebrity du jour. In the 1960s, the Beatles brought East Indian culture to the West, and the ripples of that introduction are still passing through the lives of Americans in the form of yoga and other such pursuits.

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