My Recent Posts



A recent discussion with one of our dear writers brought "Western World" on the table. The tone was that we have to defend our Western values against .... (as the media tries to tell us) Russia or China or Islam or whatever.




So let's defend. I go to Moscow, and what do I see ? People staring at their cellphones, iShit here and there. And there's an iPad over there ! The guy in Starbuck's uses an iPad !


Frustrated to see that "Western" is all around in Russia I board a plane to Shanghai. As I get off, I ask where I could find a bite to eat closest to the airport. "Oh, 5 minutes from here there's a McDonalds." ? I thought that China is not a "Western" country, but, well, never mind.


So, unable to find a non-Western country apparently, I book a flight to Teheran. In front of the airport, I call for a cab. The first car which stops is a Mercedes. Shit. I want to refuse to enter and ask for an Iranian made car, a non-Western means of transportation. The driver tells me: "I am very sorry, this best car, Germany made, you know. No fear !".




So, then, I'm tired. I was unable to find a non-Western country. I figured that, by now, the whole world is a "Western World" - as long as people are allowed to have the cash to be "Western".


There is no "Western World" in fact. It's a rich world versus a poor world. It's a MATERIAL world which defines if you are "Western" or not. No phone, no TV, no car, no "Western" ? Is it so easy ? I guess not.


What people REALLY define by "Western World", is, I'm afraid, "Christian World", a world which is still deeply influenced by religion and all its prejudices and limitations. Muslims, Buddhists or Hindus are not part of that "Western World", even though they are like the people in places I described above.


I don't discuss religions and cultures here since the subject is "Western World". Maybe YOU can define that exactly ;-)


BTW: The first part is fiction. But my experiences tell me it's just like that.


Ric Wells Added May 20, 2017 - 1:25pm
Stone the term western world is outdated and useless. So called western consumerism traveling east and so called eastern spirituality traveling west. Tie into this instant communication and global economics. For better or worse the world is trying to become one huge.melting pot. The ones from the past are the ones clinging to the past. 
George N Romey Added May 20, 2017 - 1:37pm
Western world at one time referred to modern, updated, smart, fair, sophisticated, progressive, etc.  Now in fair disclosure if probably always has been overrated.  Today it means just as much corruption, poverty, unfairness, crudeness, and maladjustment as the "developed" or "less developed" world. 
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 1:38pm
I think the term "the West" can be best translated by "the corporatocracy".
Ric Wells Added May 20, 2017 - 1:41pm
If one chooses to label I guess that's as good as any until tomorrow then it all changes again. Hypothetically. Labeling is useless anymore. Opinion.
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 1:46pm
I'm not a fan of labeling as well, I try to avoid it. I meant it more in the way of "defining" it. When I put a label on something, I try to do it according to reality, not ideology. That's the difference. "Socialism" or "Capitalism" are theories, models. "Corporatocracy" is what really happens. Although most people make no difference between the two, or don't know the latter (yet).
Capitalism is the theory, and Corporatocracy is the result we see today.
George N Romey Added May 20, 2017 - 1:52pm
SEF very well said.
Ric Wells Added May 20, 2017 - 1:56pm
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 2:04pm
Corporatocracy originates in the "West". Other cultures don't have such strange and dangerous ideas. Book a holiday in Bhutan and you will get ideas about how people can live together.
And when we look for "culture" in the "West" we end up on corporatocracy. Why ? Because many people regard Disney and fast food as culture.
I don't.
But given the world still exists in 200 years people might be calling it a lost culture...
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 2:21pm
Exactly. Unfortunately.
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 2:22pm
The movie The Gods Must Be Crazy leaps to mind. lol
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 2:25pm
BTW: Good definition, that one...
Westernized means Industrialized. Places that favor tradition and are largely agrarian, are excluded from this club.
Thing is when they wouldn't be agrarian, we wouldn't be as industrialized here, since we use all their resources .... some would say they're naive, but in the end they might be better off than us.
I didn't miss 2 weeks without electricity in Cameroon. Life went on. Here ? LOL
Minister Peaceful Poet Added May 20, 2017 - 2:31pm
Yep, that's covered in phase III.
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 2:35pm
I loved that movie. But there's a sad thing about it....when we look at today's societies.....
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 2:35pm
Phase III ??
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 2:42pm
Yes, although very comedic, it was also kind of sad in several ways. If I was to teach a sociology class, that movie would be part of the syllabus for sure. I actually use the term "coke bottle" to describe something that people got along fine without, but once they have it, they suddenly can't live without it.
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 2:49pm
Exactly !
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 2:50pm
BTW: You're right. That movie is educational, as long as our dullphone kids can grasp its meaning :-)
Minister Peaceful Poet Added May 20, 2017 - 2:51pm
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 2:54pm
Hm...can't remember but thanks :-)
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 2:56pm
The way the bushman described the white woman is my favorite part:
"That morning, Xi saw the ugliest person he'd ever come across. She was as pale as something that had crawled out of a rotting log. Her hair was quite gruesome long and stringy and white, as if she was very old. She was very big. You'd have to dig the whole day to find enough food to feed her. Although it was a hot day, she was covering her body with skins that looked as if they were made from cobwebs. She was doing strange and magical things, and it struck him that she must be one of the gods, and he wondered what she was doing on earth. But he was glad he met her. He'd give her the evil thing and go home to his family. He said tactfully that he didn't need the thing, and she could have it back. But she was very rude, and she walked away."
John Minehan Added May 20, 2017 - 2:56pm
Well, Russia is "Christian," as is Ethiopia.
In fact, parts of Russia (the former [?] parts that were the former [Classical] Kingdom of Armenia) and Ethiopia dispute which were the first polities to adopt Christianity as a State Religion (although both adopted a form of the Faith that lost out at the Council of Nicaea, which has an anniversary today).   
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 3:01pm
You'd have to dig the whole day to find enough food to feed her
Mircea Negres Added May 20, 2017 - 3:06pm
The term Western World used to mean to me: social democracy based on Judeo-Christian ethics, very thorough governance systems, highly respected education systems and superb universities, broad social tolerance and gentleness, prosperity and recognition as rewards for innovation and a light burning brightly in the face of communism's mind-numbing darkness. Like every human construct, it's subject to change and seems to have become these days more closely identified with consumerism and insecurity. At least that's what I think. Interesting post, it sure got me thinking about something other than the three-hour power cut I just went through, which forced me to read by candle light...
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 3:24pm
A tough one to reply. I agree on that, but the problem is that this system already existed in Asia or Africa long before - maybe not as "organized" as we expect that.
And there's the problem: We expect. We arrogantly think the way we organize and think is the way the rest of the world has to do too. We don't even notice or consider the old and valuable philosophies and cultures of Asia and Africa. The "West" always looked down to cultures which did not have the same technological level as we have.
But where did it lead to ? We sacrificed our mind for the sake of material and status, we forgot the ancient philosophies and found new ones like Jobs and Gates, Soros and $$$. Is that progress ? A hashtag and a nude pic on Fuckbook ?
Dino Manalis Added May 20, 2017 - 3:37pm
they've all been Westernized!  The focus is on money; entertainment; and jobs!  Bravo for capitalism!
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 3:41pm
Bravo for capitalism!
Mircea Negres Added May 20, 2017 - 3:54pm
Stone-Eater, the way I see it, systems in Asia and Africa tended to be more organic than artificially systematic. That seems inefficient to Europeans, but it worked there for a long time. Having said that, both rigid and organic forms of government have pros and cons. Perhaps the answer is for them to learn from each other. However, I also agree that what we have today isn't all that great an improvement on the past because the "hashtag and a nude pic on Fuckbook" philosophy we currently find operating has undermined a lot of societies.
For example, some months ago people were making a big deal about a new shopping mall (Bay West or something like that) being built in Port Elizabeth. I looked at the situation and wrote to the newspaper that a new mall is useless if shoppers don't have jobs, that prosperity comes from work instead of a sex tape. Given the South African economy is in the crapper, the nearest mall I go to (not the new one) is emptier than usual and analysts are saying that countrywide there is an oversupply of commercial space at present- but hardly anything is said about creating employment. Instead it's all about the president's last idiotic comment in public, an opposition leader's tweet or the fight between a cabinet minister's former mistress and his wife, as if that crap pays the bills or puts food on the table...
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 3:58pm
+++ Off topic +++
More than 100 Billion for the Saudi weapon deal. The "West" really likes to blow the rest into outer space....
Now someone tells me that the US does NOT simply survive on war and weapons.
I had hopes for Trump. But now I see he's the same asshole as the rest of the DC gang.
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 4:01pm
countrywide there is an oversupply of commercial space at present
Maybe it's labeled as "development" and gets a tax exemption.
George N Romey Added May 20, 2017 - 4:03pm
Interesting I'm reading and hearing more and more of how China is trying to transform itself from a nation of low paid workers dependent upon cheap exports to the West into a prosperous nation that will have a broad middle class supporting itself with world class products for its own use.  Think a modern version of the US in the 1950s.
I've called for this approach in the US yet I'm constantly told that isn't possible and that I do not know how things really work, or that the US was never really that prosperous or fair.  Seems a couple billion people agree with my (and many other) thesis.
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 4:04pm
The US is not interested in the development of anybody else than themselves.
John Minehan Added May 20, 2017 - 4:05pm
"I looked at the situation and wrote to the newspaper that a new mall is useless if shoppers don't have jobs, that prosperity comes from work instead of a sex tape."
I wonder why it was built, other than a tax break, and how well it is doing (or, more likely, not). 
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 4:10pm
Actually, every industrialized nation that has a well-developed arms industry actively and eagerly seeks to sell them to whoever has the money to buy them. Nothing new under the sun, really, but that's yet another legacy from the Cold War. Even neutral Switzerland gets around its own fairly restrictive arms export laws by simply having them license-produced in other countries. Not every country buys American, or even Western; many countries that were Soviet client states continue to buy Russian arms. The Chinese also are active in this field.
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 4:23pm
...I admit, true. But then, it's only the "industrialized" nations....then again....human structure.
But how can we raise awareness today where people are practically unable to understand more than slogans and headlines ?
Ah....I get another beer I guess ;-)
Mircea Negres Added May 20, 2017 - 4:27pm
John, I guess some people saw the potential to make money. One of those involved was a black real estate guy who is apparently a rising star. I'm not sure if he was the sole developer or if there was some sort of a consortium. It was quite busy in the beginning (as usual for any new shop or mall, the curious come), but I don't know how it's doing right now. I can tell you the mall near me has shopper traffic at about 30 percent of what it was between 2010 and 2014. They've done some significant renovations and upgrades but the sales just aren't what they used to be because the economic situation is so bad (economy limping along at 1% or less growth per year) that many simply have no money to buy anything, no matter how good or cheap.
John Minehan Added May 20, 2017 - 4:28pm
"Ah....I get another beer I guess ;-)"
But that only benefits the international beer-trade. 
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 4:29pm
I drink a "Chopfab". Pure Swiss beer. No Heineken or Tuborg or that US piss LOL. Over there I only drank Malt Liquor LOL
John Minehan Added May 20, 2017 - 4:33pm
"They've done some significant renovations and upgrades but the sales just aren't what they used to be because the economic situation is so bad (economy limping along at 1% or less growth per year) that many simply have no money to buy anything, no matter how good or cheap."
I've never been to SA, but I was sent to Kenya in 2004,  when I was in the US Army and I noticed that the very popular soap operas/stories/tele-novelas were South African.  It sort of seemed "aspirational," like SA had it figured out, sort of like CA once seemed to the rest of the USA.  
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 4:34pm
The fundamental ignorance and stupidity of many people never ceases to amaze me. The fact that much of it is willful doesn't leave you with very many choices. Years ago I heard someone say to another, "If ignorance is bliss, then you gotta be the happiest motherfucker on the planet!" Actually, it is. There are many things out there that I'd rather not know about. I really do think this society is devolving in many ways. A couple of months ago, I saw the 2006 movie Idiocracy for the first time; I thought, "No, that's not 500 years from now...more like 10 or 20, tops." When you write something that has more than seven words or even seven syllables, their eyes glaze over. Attention spans are similar to that of a butterfly. If something isn't catchy in a Madison Avenue kind of way, it's not worth the time. Nothing new, really.
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 4:43pm
I noticed that the very popular soap operas/stories/tele-novelas were South African
In West Africa it's Nollywood (Nigeria) and Ivory Coast which are producing that shit. Together with US (Top models and stuff) and Brazilian soaps.
Then people who watch that figure hey I want that too. And the closest is Europe. So they take the boat.
I once talked to one of those guys here in Switzerland (I work for refugees, druggies and the unemployed to get them back on track), and he told me in French:
"Most of us know what happens in Europe, that there's no work and prejudice against us. But even when we have a job as a cleaner we can support our families better that when we stay at home. One mouth less to feed, and they all saved up during years so I could go. So do I have a choice ? When you would really invest and give us a fair chance to work and stay, you think we would take such a boat ?"
I've been saying that message here in Switzerland for 15 years, but people don't listen. They prefer to complain about the refugees or immigrants....
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 4:49pm
BTW: I'm talking about Africans, not people from the ME. The ones which are not accepted as refugees, because "there's no war going on".
But: Is the fight for food not also a war ? Come to Cameroon and I show you people who almost starve in a land which looks green and fertile...
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 4:51pm
That also has a connection to the "West" .....
Jeff Michka Added May 20, 2017 - 4:59pm
Wow, Michael Bgliffe being human?  Musta found a source for stealing all his copy in order to comment, past all his "best army buddy material" he stole elsewhere.  Michael Bgliffe. plagarist at large. No copy or thought is original for him.  Where you steal your material, MB?  OR WILL WE JUST WAIT FOR THE ACTUAL SOURCES TO SHOW UP ON WB AGAIN, looking for the asshole that stole their copy?
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 5:08pm
...please come on, Don't fuck the thing up. Stay with the subject somehow, ok ? We're not here to carry on neverending fights. At least, not me.
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 5:17pm
And let the lame and pathetic geriatric ward trolling begin! Bitchka, I must have fucked you up pretty good for you to be so shook up. LOOOL!!!
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 5:22pm
Ok. I wait and see.....and may I propose then a shared article by Jeff and Michael ? ;-)
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 5:24pm
But for now: Jeff has started the fight. Why, Jeff ? I'd like to see an explication why you suddenly provoke in an otherwise decent article ?
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 5:25pm
LOL! Actually, I'm going to take the high road on this one. Don't worry Stone, no further combative comments from me regarding my homeboy there.
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 5:30pm
Ok, thanks. I think I wait for Jeff's answer. I mean you insulted me quite a lot here but snow melts. I'm not the resentful guy, and so Jeff shouldn't be too, the more as he started that shit again :-)
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 5:54pm
Yes Stone, and I apologize to you and several others here for some of the fucked-up things I've written. I'm trying to take a new tack, we'll see how it goes. lol
Stone-Eater Added May 20, 2017 - 5:56pm
No sweat Michael :-)
It takes something to say that and I hope that Jeff sees it the same way.
Welcome back :-)
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added May 20, 2017 - 7:11pm
Good to see you boys making up and playing nice. Most of you at least :-) 
On the "Western World" term, I use it a lot. To me it means the American Christianized world, plus Israel. That obviously means America's vassal states in Europe. It clearly excludes China and Asia. Russia is very heavily Christian, but Eastern Orthodox which is not a Western/American thing whatsoever. Christian or not most of Africa and South America are not Western because they are not beholden to America (some places are, but others are very much not). The biggest non-Western Alliance is the BRICS their principle members and associate member states are not Western. As a Kemetian I do not consider myself to be Western culturally at least. 
Michael B. Added May 20, 2017 - 11:16pm
Actually, the U.N. resolution that you're referring to regarding small arms (Resolution 2117) was passed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council, with Russia abstaining:
The most ubiquitous small arms on the planet are AK-47s and their derivatives; approx. 100 million of them have been produced. Additionally, RPD, RPK, PK-series machine guns, and RPG-7 rocket launchers also far outnumber their Western counterparts in sheer quantities. The Soviets/Russians have never limited themselves to small arms, and their tanks, artillery, mortars, multiple rocket launchers, ammunition for the same, and other military vehicles have been produced and exported in copious and staggering quantities.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 7:10am
I guess arms exporters are found primarily in the "West". One can say Russia also plays its part, but the military aggressions against the rest of the world comes primarily from the "West"....
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 7:15am
BTW: So in fact the "West" can be defined as such:
- Christian religion (not according to Jesus)
- Technologically superior
- Aggressive towards non-compliant cultures
- Superficial and materialistic.
Is that a good example which will last ? I guess not.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 8:06am
+++ Off topic +++ ? Is it ? Trump in Saudi Arabia....
The new "tighter friendship" between Saudi Arabia and the US is dangerous to the world. There are plans to integrate Arab States into NATO - and what for ? To tighten the grip on Iran and China. The ring around Russia IS the goal. And the Russians know that. Don't get fooled by mass media and TV.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 8:07am
...even the biggest idiot must realize that by now !
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 8:09am
BTW: Will the Arab States be called part of the "West" soon ? ;-) ..........
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 8:53am
Funny, the original Saudi-U.S. alliance was originally meant to curb British influence in the Middle East. As much as the Iranians hate the U.S., they actually should hate the British even more, as the Limeys fucked them out of tons upon tons of oil and money and interfered in their internal affairs FAR more than the Americans ever did. That's what kind of cracks me up about modern Limeys; they blame the U.S. for so many things but they themselves are the chief cause of much of the world's historic and contemporary problems. They didn't form a global empire by playing nice and sitting down for tea and crumpets. Murder and robbery on a large scale was how the British Empire was formed, like any other one. Many of their colonies, including America and Australia, were populated by people of all colors...in chains.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 9:16am
Right. And now they've become small and bow to the US...
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 9:34am
That's something I never really understood about many Americans' attitude toward the French. We never really "saved their asses"; WW1 raged for almost three years before the U.S. got involved, and even then, it was because the Germans wouldn't stop sinking our ships (even though it was an open secret that we were supporting the British and French). When we landed in Normandy in 1944, it was because the U.S. had its way and thought that was the best route to defeat the Germans, whereas the British wanted to go from the south in a more gradual campaign, among other reasons to hold and cement their influence in southern and eastern Europe. If the U.S. saved anyone's ass, it was that of the Limey. lol
John Minehan Added May 21, 2017 - 9:37am
"The sun never sets on the British Empire and the blood never dries."
But, you have to admit they were clever about how they ran that Empire, a lot of divide and conquer based on some actual understanding of the culture of the places they exploited. 
For all the disasters, like the retreat from Kabul in 1842 or the Sepoy Mutiny or the fall of Khartoum or the Boer War, people like Clive or Gertrude Owen or T.E. Lawrence always came along to serve the Empire's interest, usually to the detriment of all others involved. 
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 9:39am
Clever, but did it last ? No. So in the long run they weren't clever ;-)
Leroy Added May 21, 2017 - 9:50am
Wow!  I am amazed how people view "Western".  Seems obvious to me that "Western" means a specific, philosophical view of the world, first developed by the Greeks.  It has nothing to do with food, industry, arms, cars, religion, materialism, location.
John Minehan Added May 21, 2017 - 9:51am
There is a new book out about  Passchendaele in 1917.  The US is not the only Anglosphere Country to bloviate about "saving France's @$$.  It seemed to be Haig's prime function.
The people who had a clear view of that one were the Canadians, who got bled making Haig look remotely competent.  Sir Arthur Currie, a flinty militia officer, not particularly popular with his troops made it work through meticulous preparation under bad conditions.   Currie was not a "soldiers' General," but he tried not to let his people get pissed away to no tactical, operational or strategic advantage.        
Ian Thorpe Added May 21, 2017 - 10:00am
SEF, 'western values' is probably as meaningless in sociology as 'left' and right are in politics. Until recently people would equate western values with 'the Judeo - Christian culture', which itself did not make much sense because Jewish culture and Christian culture have little in common. 
If we think in terms of west European culture we are getting closer, after the Renaissance a merging of Greco - Roman and Celtic - Germanic cultures seems to have taken place, and that has been the root of modern European social values between The Black Sea and The Baltic. Consumerism is an ersatz global culture, its roots are no deeper than those of tumbleweed and so it is blown in different directions by the hot air emitting from the advertising and public relations industry.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 10:06am
Ian (and Leroy)
Consumerism is an ersatz global culture, its roots are no deeper than those of tumbleweed and so it is blown in different directions by the hot air emitting from the advertising and public relations industry.
But it IS seen by most people as a "culture" nowadays. And it originates from the "West". Why ? Because we have forgotten the original cultures of our ancestores you mention, alas we have forgotten our own culture. We have become superficial.
Or maybe we have to redefine what "culture" is. Once it was considered something philosophical and artistic, today it is something you consume ?
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 10:23am
What to say about culture? In comes in infinite forms. I've always defined it as high-brow, low-brow, and everything in between. There's really nothing right or wrong in much of it; people will do whatever they want as much as possible. Some people go to the opera, while others go to live sex shows. Some people watch tennis, while others watch two guys or girls beat the holy shit out of each other with their fists and feet. Some people go birdwatching, while others go to cockfights. I remember a certain woman talking about her mother and what an upper-class snob she was; "She looks down on me because she smokes her coke, and I slam mine! Fucking bitch!"
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 10:33am
Culture is:
Broadly, social heritage of a group (organized community or society). It is a pattern of responses discovered, developed, or invented during the group's history of handling problems which arise from interactions among its members, and between them and their environment. These responses are considered the correct way to perceive, feel, think, and act, and are passed on to the new members through immersion and teaching. Culture determines what is acceptable or unacceptable, important or unimportant, right or wrong, workable or unworkable. It encompasses all learned and shared, explicit or tacit, assumptions, beliefs, knowledge, norms, and values, as well as attitudes, behavior, dress, and language.
Ok, I give in. Disney, gang violence and Gangsta Rap are culture. Really ? If that's so I'm glad I'm not young anymore.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 10:33am
....but they are "Western culture", anyway ;-)
John Minehan Added May 21, 2017 - 10:37am
"Clever, but did it last ? No. So in the long run they weren't clever ;-)"
It lasted almost 200 years so that is fairly "long run" to me.
Additionally, they left the common law, British-style Civil Service and British-style Armies in a lot of the world.  That might really be "the Western World" (although France might disagree virorously).     
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 10:41am
Don't forget that the Magna Charta is a lot older than even the start of the British Empire. They needed 400 more years to get the idea to become hegemon.
But undoubtedly it's the anglophone world which created the label "Western" - and also "le gout pour la guerre".
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 10:42am
Und wir anderen finden das absolute Scheisse LOL
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 10:44am
BTW: The French didn't succeed the same as the Brits. Because they never considered local customs and rules of their colonies but simply flattened the places when possible.
Reminds me of the US nowadays.
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 10:51am
I still vividly remember when I first got to Germany, and how surprised I was at how popular American movies and music was. I was also amazed at how many people spoke fluent English. When I went to my first German bar, in a small town called Butzbach, I said, "Ich moechte gern ein bier, bitte." The bartender looked at me and said in semi-sarcastic English, "What kind of beer do you want? We have lots of different beer here. Where do you think you are?"
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 10:53am
LOL :-)
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 11:15am
Whenever someone asked me what it was like living in Germany, my stock reply was that besides many subtle and not-so-subtle differences, it really wasn't dissimilar to the U.S., except that it was much cleaner and generally much better organized. Their public transportation system was very good. I liked how the traffic signals went green-yellow-red, and then red-yellow-green. Germans were fairly well-behaved overall, but turned into homicidal maniacs when behind the wheel; besides soccer (or football, take your pick), I think high-speed tailgating is their national sport. WW2-era topics were generally avoided, but I got drawn into them once in a while. Whenever the Holocaust was brought up, the Germans would immediately point out that the U.S. did the same thing to Native Americans. I had a woman almost physically attack me once because, when talking about the British/American bombing campaign, she said they were a bunch of murderers and terrorists. I pointed out that the Luftwaffe had bombed and razed many cities long before a single bomb was dropped in Germany, and if the Luftwaffe had had more and bigger bombers, they would have done far worse.
Jeff Michka Added May 21, 2017 - 11:58am
As far as Michael B. goes, that's up to him. His phony behaviors and multi accounts over time says little for him, despite "trying to be momentarily nice." He's already patting himself on the back for "upsetting me so much," and spared nothing in a thread of Autumns where someone else called him out for his obvious hypocritical nonsense, so everyone is supposed to forget, until he attacks again?  Remember: he is the WB plagarist, folks.  He steals copy, so....up to him, not Slade Hartman this outting.
Jeff Michka Added May 21, 2017 - 12:00pm
SEFa sez: Disney, gang violence and Gangsta Rap are culture. Really ? If that's so I'm glad I'm not young anymore. - I think the only original culture Americans can claim is that of Jazz as a gift to the world.  Else?  Disney?  Only if you're Walt.
Bill Kamps Added May 21, 2017 - 12:11pm
Well Stone, is Buick a Western car or a Chinese car? there are more Buicks made and sold in China than in the USA.   So when you go to China you may very well be riding in a car made in China called a Buick.
Yes the world Western used to more or less mean Western Europe and the USA, but as more of the world has industrialized, the lines have blurred. 
So does it matter where it is designed or built ?  The Chinese recently have designed their own commercial airplane, the C19 so is that a Chinese plane?  Well is has many  Western components, including jet engines, etc. and it looks not surprisingly like most other jets in the world, probably because that design has been proven to work and there are companies that can make the parts.
Is my TV a Western TV ? well it was made by Sony, and like almost all TVs today made somewhere in the Far East, so is it a Far East TV?
The products of the world are becoming more homogenized.  But that doesnt mean the cultures are the same.  When I talk to people from China, Colombia, Russia, and Nigeria, there are vast differences in the cultures, even though we all ride around in similar cars, and fly in planes that look  much the same.
John Minehan Added May 21, 2017 - 12:14pm
Blues; Rock & Roll; the Detective Story; the Hardboiled Detective Story; Space Opera; and Comic Books.  Not bad, that. 
Tom Naegele Added May 21, 2017 - 12:41pm
And what is meant by "Christian world"? What does it mean to be a Christian? To be a follower of Christ, it would seem, but what does it mean to be a follower of Christ? We must follow His teachings, obviously, but what are those teachings? Where can we find them? Surely Christ wouldn't leave all of His teachings in a very abstruse book that can be interpreted in a multitude of different ways. That would create as many creeds as there are heads. Surely, Christ--being as smart as He was--would have foreseen this problem and anticipated a solution. Surely, Christ would have instituted a visible church to guard His teachings. But which church could that be? Well, the only church that dates back to His time is the Catholic Church, so it is infallibly true that to be Christian means to be Catholic.
But there's a caveat. The Church cannot be above Christ. The church's authority is subject to Christ's. So if the Church commands something that is contrary to Christ's teachings, we must refuse to obey this unjust command. With the advent of Vatican II, the visible Catholic Church has all but abandoned her role as the safeguard of Christ's teachings. Now, the church is in eclipse, and one must struggle to find her. What's emanating from Rome is not the true Catholic Church. Only the Traditionalists comprise the true Roman Catholic Church. Find Traditional Catholics, and you have found the only true Christians. 
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 12:43pm
Jazz as a gift to the world.
Well...Jazz originated out of what ? Of Blues. And who brought the blues to the US ? The Blacks of Africa. So......otherwise you would still listen to Gregorian chorals and Classical music from Europe.
So......the US is not a country which produced "culture", not even now. Now that culture of Blues and Jazz have been perverted to sexual lust games on stage by plastic singers like Lady Beyoncé Minaj Rihanna Perry whoever.
The US has no culture of its own - how could it in such a short time ? It is or was immigrant land. But sadly they're not trying to develop one but the "culture" of money and power.
Sad....and the worst is that the rest of the world seems to follow that blindly not caring about their own REAL culture.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 12:47pm
I didn't mean that Mercedes example literally. I just wanted to show that "Western culture", or better, what we try to "defend against the bad bad people (Trump) LOL" has for long succeeded in ALL parts of the world.
"Western Culture" is obsolete. It has become a world culture, but I personally, have another definition of culture than this - see above. Less money and power and influence, but more spirit and reflection.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 12:50pm
BTW: Frankly: Do you think that a Big Mac has more "culture" than a Filet Mignon ? I see culture as a grown and refined art of life. Not as a throw-away and forget thing.
Ric Wells Added May 21, 2017 - 12:52pm
So if I stand on the west coast of N. America. Japan China Thailand etc become the west where capitalism seems to be on the rise and the US and Europe are east where socialism seems to be on the rise. HMMMM is there a reversal going on? 
Bill Kamps Added May 21, 2017 - 12:54pm
Well, as implied in what I said, culture isnt the car we drive, agreed. So there are world products, and some world culture, but the normal things we think of as culture are still very different.
The people of China, the US, even Europe, even within Europe are still different.  Look at how they decorate their houses, even how they interact with their families.  Stand on a street in Amsterdam with all their bicycles, and compare it to a street in Spain, with few bicycles, you will see the difference of course.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 12:56pm
LOL Just like looking to "heaven" above. Where is above when the ball is round ;-)
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 12:59pm
Agreed. But then.....look at the clothes, the digital gadgets, the taste of music, the food.....at least the below 30's seem to already have become clones of a world "culture" which leaves no room for thoughts anymore. Just for a look at the purse to see how many $ are left to get.....
Ric Wells Added May 21, 2017 - 1:01pm
It does come down to a matter of perspective doesn't it. 
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 1:04pm
I'm just afraid that we will end up with a world where there's only one "culture" left. The one the "West" dictates. We're well on the way to it - to unidress, unigender, unibehave, unithought and unispeak (thanks PC).
Easy to lead 8 billion sheep when they're one like the other ;-)
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 1:35pm
+++ Off topic +++
Trump really is a comedian. Goes to Saudi Arabia, the home of Wahhabia Islam, and tells to "kick out the terrorists". Does this guy know that IS is following Wahhabia doctrine, which is, by the way, the official system of Saudi Arabia ? Is this Monty Python or are the Marx brothers born again ?
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 1:36pm
BTW: Now I know why politicians are so ignorant. Bilderberg makes sure only the biggest idiots get up there.
Ric Wells Added May 21, 2017 - 1:37pm
Keystone Cops if you ask me. Buster Keaton hanging from a huge outdoor clock desperately hanging onto to minute hand.
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 1:52pm
I think that as the world shrinks, you're going to see more and more fusions of cultures, rather than one that is all-encompassing. With most people, their primary cultural tool is their language. I'm not sure, but I think there are almost as much people who speak English as a second or third language as there are native speakers, if not more.
Everything eventually winds up being taken for granted. I vaguely remember a story that went something like this:
A man sat in his chair (invented in ancient Egypt) drinking his morning coffee (which originated in Arabia). As he read the morning paper (which was invented in ancient China) while in his pajamas (invented in India) and moccasins (invented by Native Americans) awaiting his breakfast, which was bacon (from an animal first domesticated in Mesopotamia), toast (from bread, invented in ancient Europe), and eggs (from a bird originally from Southeast Asia), he thanked God (an ancient Middle Eastern deity and a Germanic word) and considered himself fortunate to be an American (as a result of British colonization).
Something like that.
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 2:02pm
Cool one - we consume the world but can't get along with it LOL
there are almost as much people who speak English as a second or third language as there are native speakers, if not more.
True. You know why ? English is the easiest language to learn. Only one article and pretty flexible. It's easy to learn it to communicate simply, but in fact, English has a very large vocabulary when you intend to get a real expert....
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 2:02pm
BECOME a real expert. See ? LOL
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 2:11pm
Yes, I think English is a difficult language to master because of the massive lexicon, but also because there are so any exceptions to its rules. I usually don't nit-pick people who speak English as a second language, as long as I understand them. Some people can write it very well, but speak it with such heavy accents that understanding them is very difficult. I enjoy their mistakes and faux pas though, for example:
A German woman who told me she was making chicken chest for dinner.
Another German woman who told me she was going to see the vaginacologist.
A Russian man who told me he was going to intercourse with an engineer to solve a problem.
Probably many more that I can't think of right now. lol
Ric Wells Added May 21, 2017 - 2:17pm
And then you have the difference between English and American and then the multi nuances in just American alone. 
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 2:30pm
I went to Britain ten years ago for a couple of weeks for work purposes, and it was funny how many different forms of English I encountered. Most people I didn't have any problems understanding, and vice-versa, but there were several people who I simply could not understand. I was in the odd position of being someone who spoke English who needed an English translation of someone else speaking English.
And then, there's the whole slang thing, which this segment from Austin Powers in Goldmember illustrated pretty well:
Austin: Listen, dad, if you are are going to talk about naughty things in front of these American girls then at least speak English English.
Nigel: All right, my son: I could've had it away with this cracking Julie, my old China. (Subtitle: I was about to make love to this pretty girl.)
Austin: Are you telling pork-pies and a bag of trout? Because if you are feeling quigly, why not just have a J. Arthur? (Is this true? If you were aroused, why didn't you pleasure yourself?)
Nigel: What, billy no mates? (What, alone?)
Austin: Too right, youth. (Indeed.)
Nigel: Don't you remember the crimbo din-din we had with the grotty Scots bint? (Remember Christmas dinner with the Scottish girl?)
Austin: Oh, the one that was all sixes and sevens! (The insane one?)
Nigel: Yeah, yeah, she was the trouble and strife of the Morris dancer what lived up the apples and pears! (She was the wife of the dancer who lived upstairs.)
Austin: She was the barrister what become a bobby in a lorry and... (A lawyer who became a policeman in a truck) [inaudiably] (????????)...
Stone-Eater Added May 21, 2017 - 3:13pm
Sounds like when I speak Swiss German to a German LOL
Jeff Michka Added May 21, 2017 - 3:50pm
the US is not a country which produced "culture", not even now. Now that culture of Blues and Jazz have been perverted to sexual lust games on stage by plastic singers like Lady Beyoncé Minaj Rihanna Perry whoever.-I'd be inclined to disagree with you on Jazz, and Jazz was the product of the American jazz stool, with the legs consisting of New Orleans, Kansas City, Mo, Chicago and New York, the so-called"artists" you mention do "urban blues," not traditional R&B, or Blues...
Michael B. Added May 21, 2017 - 3:53pm
There's that, too. Although I never became as proficient in German as I probably wanted to be (and should have been), I found many local dialects unintelligible. Oberhessen has a language all of its own. Some of the nicer ones would switch to standard German or even English when it was obvious that I had problems understanding them, but others would refuse to do so. I never really begrudged them for it; it was their turf, and I was the scheis, sau auslaender.
I hate it when people point out to me that I have a Southern California way of talking - no shit Sherlock, where the fuck do you think you are? That usually comes from dildos from somewhere in the Midwest.
Stone-Eater Added May 25, 2017 - 9:35am
John I agree. Ethics are independent from religion - or SHOULD be.

Recent Articles by Writers Stone-Eater follows.