I dont think anyone here advocates children smoking cigarettes. But I feel that men shouldn't wear their pants around their ankles in public. Thats the culture I want back. That and the one where its cool to work and feed yourself and your family.
One man's feathered headdress is another mans saggy pants.
Granted, showing solidarity with prison culture doesn't seem to be anything like wearing a ceremonial headdress, but cultural symbols are ultimately about identity and inclusion and you work with what you've got. Prison and gang culture were arguably imposed on those who are immersed in them against their will, both directly and through all the big-picture social issues like poverty, education, history, cycles of violence, etc..
"Society prepares the crime. The criminal commits it." -Henry Thomas Buckle (the guy who also said “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” I'm sure we can think of exceptions to that simplistic framing but it's pretty clear what he was getting at).
Fair enough, I can bail what your swathing TV. Like most things I think really comes down to the individual and how they feel about their respective cultures. Some things are obvious to others but harder for me to see.
There is too much nuance there for me to navigate this on a Friday so I will stick to talking about myself.
Perhaps my disconnection from my own historical culture might have something to do with it.
I suspect that that's a major part of why it happens.
I don't really feel like I'm part of any particular culture at all. I was spat out of a hospital in Los Angeles like a car rolls out of a factory; the implicit message in that approach is "welcome to Earth, now get out of here and go deal with it, we need the bed!" Except cars at least come with Owner's Manuals while some of us never even manage to discover all of our standard features.
If you were not born into and raised in a coherent and cohesive culture then why wouldn't you pick and choose what to adopt from whatever cultures are around, like it's an all-you-can-appropriate buffet?
I can understand why someone might wear an offensively stereotypical costume or whatever; when you have no cohesive culture of your own then all of them look like "costumes" so what's the difference?
"American" culture is both vilified and celebrated around the world (used to be celebrated more, but we've really been slacking on PR in recent decades), but IMO it doesn't actually exist as a singular, coherent, and cohesive "thing" that can be meaningfully described as such. The U.S. seems more like a patchwork of many different sub-cultures, some of which get along and some of which don't (understatement of the decade). Conflicts among those that don't get along are ultimately insoluble in most cases and so won't be solved so much as settled by whichever sub-culture has sufficient power to make their version of reality stick.
Incidentally, this is also why truth and factual information are superfluous; it's not about whose conception of reality is the most accurate, it's about whose cudgel is heaviest. You know you're calling the shots when you declare that 2+2=5 and everyone enthusiastically agrees (including everyone who knows it doesn't).
I'd expect that most of the details of cultures that are unfamiliar to us are hard to see, so one way to increase the getting-along and reduce the conflicts is to look and listen more. That begins with perceiving someone as a human being before perceiving them as a gangster or pig or whatever.
When someone from the suburbs who doesn't get out much avoids eye contact, speeds up their walk, and crosses the street to avoid someone who looks "dangerous" when they're in a big scary "urban" area it can spark an aggressive response from the guy perceived as "dangerous" (thereby justifying the fear and avoidance in the mind of the frightened). But the reason why someone gets pissed off and aggressive in that instance is often as not because they understand at some level that they're not being seen as people, but as stereotypes. Yeah, fuck that noise!
It fucks with your head if upon seeing you someone pulls their children closer, avoids any eye contact or any acknowledgment of your existence, reroutes their direction of travel to avoid you and ignores any attempt at greeting (a quick nod, saying "hey" as you pass by, anything at all really). The people reflexively reacting in fear to people signifying a different sub-culture don't consider the possibility that the "dangerous" guy thinks that they are the asshole, I'm guessing, and are acting accordingly (so if they say "Fuck you!" to someone who flees from the sight of them they're really saying "Fuck you, too!").
I don't understand how folks can sometimes drive the way they do - like piloting a video game automobile with reckless impunity.
They can't. Not for long, that is. Everyone who texts and drives on a regular basis will almost certainly crash at some point. Hopefully it will not get anyone killed. For about a decade now I've looked at pulling out of my driveway like entering hostile territory where everyone is actively trying to kill me with their vehicles. It seems to help me avoid a lot of craziness.
Crashing while texting or being similarly distracted seems to have become a rite of passage for new drivers in particular.
A startling number of my friends' and acquaintances' kids who got their license and a car totaled the first one they drove fairly soon after hitting the road solo. In a couple of cases it was less than a week. One hasn't driven since and she's almost 18 now. The rate is FAR higher than the rate of wrecks among my fellow teenagers when I got my license, but thanks to huge advances in safety tech many are surviving or even walking away unscathed who wouldn't have if they'd totaled the cars we drove when I was in High School.
What baffles me the most about a surprising number of teenagers these days is that more and more of them don't seem to want a driver's license at all.
That's utterly inconceivable to me, but then I could only escape my house by physically leaving it; the 'Net existed but wasn't a big thing changing how we socialize yet. Now I guess they just go deep into their heads and devices instead. I can't see this being a viable long-term strategy, as in wtf are they going to do when mom and dad are no longer offering chauffeur services? I guess they have to stick to only living in major cities with good public transport, having a big Uber budget, or ride a bicycle (everywhere, all the time). Doable, but also like handicapping oneself for no good reason (fear and social awkwardness are not good reasons IMO).
These aren't even kids that live in a city like New York where driving is genuinely optional. When forced to drive eventually they will be truly terrible drivers since it's a skill that benefits from practice and experience (and focus!).
In the Making Lemonade department, if you want to theft-proof your car these days all you have to do is buy one with a manual transmission. You can park and leave it unlocked and running outside a store and it will still be there when you get back, though it might be a few spaces away and have a burnt-out clutch if someone tried to steal it anyway, lol.
Edited by TVCasualty, 12 June 2021 - 01:00 PM.