Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] LMOC: One Country or 51st State of the US?

Craig Jacobson cjake@pipeline.com
Wed, 16 Oct 2002 19:37:45 -0400

Consider the specific items included in PG's rant:  grunge, grunge 
fashion, rap, the Olympics.

First, the Olympics:  Australia hosted Melbourne 1956 as well as Sydney 
2000.  That's two of the last twelve summer Olympics, the same as the 
U.S. over this period.  (We'll leave the winter Olympics out of this 
discussion until Bondi Beach freezes over.)  So, Australia's involvement 
in the international sports community is hardly new.

The other items, all presented as an American cultural invasion, are 
choices made by Australian consumers, not something forced upon them. 
 If I can avoid all of the above living a few miles from midtown New 
York, and also avoid the ubiquitous McDonalds, I'm not sure why those in 
other countries can't as well.

Finally, we have the CNN issue.  Ironically, I spent many nights 
drinking many VBs in that club in Bali that was blown up with Australian 
friends, listening to what a joke they thought CNN was as a news source. 
 I've been reading the SMH online for news on the Bali situation.  The 
cable news channel I watch is owned by Rupert Murdoch.  My favorite news 
magazine is British.  The point of this is that news is far more 
international than it was in the pre-CNN days.  Anyone with an internet 
connection who gets all of their news from CNN is doing it by their own 
choice, not by dint of American dominance.

I used to travel overseas often, and it always saddened me to see 
McDonalds and Coke and Michael Jordan shirts all over the place.  I wish 
the rest of the world would chase McDonalds by simply not eating there.

Off of my soapbox now...

Kathryn Adams wrote:

> Its always fascinating to see the differences between the rants in Oz 
> and PG ranting that goes on elsewhere, particularly the US.
> When Pete rants in Australia, there seems to be a lot of declarations 
> of individuality and the need for cultural autonomy.  When Pete rants 
> on North American stages, he seems to wander toward internationality, 
> harmony, and universal respect sorts of themes.  The same broad brush 
> generalities may be more or less applied to Rob's comments to the press.
> Now I recognize that the message gets tailored to the audience, and 
> there is a strong comfort level factor in the things they say abroad.  
> What I'm trying to get a handle on is this:  what distinguishes the 
> "One Country" internationalist sentiments from "51st (52nd,53rd...) 
> State" laments voiced in Oz?  I know that some important differences 
> lie in the areas of consent and franchise versus domination and 
> colonization.  But how are the impulses toward global unity and 
> national autonomy reconciled?
> Any insights anybody?  Stories to tell that would flesh this out a 
> bit? It would be interesting to get multiple Oily data points from 
> different spots around the globe.
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