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Tue

31

Jul

2007

Zeitgeist Zone: Cultural Imperialism - Iraq Soccer - Transexuals - Liberal Empire - Barbie Girls
Tuesday, 31 July 2007 13:33
by Edward Strong

Cultural Imperialism: Why Must America Impose Its 'Values' on Others?

If you dare to suggest that we might not have the right to turn Iraq into Little America you'll be accused of "cultural relativist." The rabid right wingers who spew out the phrase truly believe they're engaging in a hardcore intellectual critique.

Bush Brings McDonalds to Iraq

America wouldn't be stuck in conflicts abroad if only we could stop believing that the American way is the best way.

Why can't Americans consider the possibility that we should be wary of judging other tribes

That participating in tribal wars of annihilation might not be a religious obligation -- might, in fact, be mere arrogant savagery.

Why weren't Americans made more aware of this, right around the time that Bush & Co. were telling us that we had a moral obligation to liberate Iraq.

It would have been nice if a few people who knew better had been willing to say outright that even if the war really was about liberation, it was an arrogant invasion born of the ancient belief that our tribe is the only one that knows how life should be lived.

But no one talked about the insanity of bringing Dairy Queen to Iraq because there are no cultural relativists around these days -- no one willing to admit it anyway.

What we have seen in the debate between pro- and anti-war Americans is a squabble between two kinds of Protestant busybodies: squeamish Unitarians and fierce Baptists.

Both sects are convinced that the world is no more than a war between good and evil, differing only about which evil should be zapped and by what voltage.

Football: Iraq Wins Asian Cup; Captain Condemns US Occupation

The 1-0 victory featured a brilliant goal from a header by Younis Mahmoud, the team’s 24-year-old captain. This was followed by an “own goal” for BushCon and its Iraqi stooge regime, which had hoped to reap a propaganda windfall from the event.

Propaganda Backlash for US Media

The American media was geared up for an orgy of propaganda, seeking to use the soccer victory as a metaphor for a military victory by the US and puppet forces over the anti-occupation resistance.

The LA Times Gushed Before the Final:Iraq salutes its Asian Cup soccer finalist

Each improbable Iraq soccer victory has been met with an outpouring of joy, a rare feeling in this bloodied country.

Thousands poured into the streets Wednesday when Iraq's team edged South Korea to clinch a coveted spot in Sunday's final against Saudi Arabia.

"From the north to the south and the east to the west, everyone was celebrating and chanting, 'one Iraq,' " said Mohammed Khalaf, a former team captain and popular TV commentator who now directs the coverage of the state-run Iraqiya Sports Channel.

Shiite and Sunni Muslim friends who can no longer visit each other's neighborhoods, for fear of being shot, found each other again amid the throngs who were dancing, drumming and spraying each other with water and party foam.

"There were people in my club that I hadn't seen for two or three years," said Uday Fadhil, a Shiite trucker and avid member of one of Baghdad's premier soccer fan clubs. "But I saw them in Karada during the celebrations."America's European propaganda outlets, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty went over the top after the final, omitting any mention the captain's comments.

Iraq: Asian Cup Win Powerful Boost For Unity


For the first time ever, Iraq has won soccer's Asian Cup, triggering scenes of jubilation around the war-torn country and among Iraqi communities abroad.

In Baghdad, fans filled the streets after the Iraqi national team beat a more experienced Saudi Arabian side 1:0 in the July 29 final in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The unexpected win against the Saudis, long one of the dominant teams in the Asian Cup contest, unleashed pent-up emotions in a country suffering daily sectarian violence. Many people wept openly, hugged each other, sang, and danced.

Message Of Hope

The Iraqi team included players from all major sectors of Iraqi society, Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, and Turkomans, working together with a common aim. "Celebrations took place in all Iraqi cities, and it sends a message to all the world that they favor unity, that they like their identity as Iraqis."

Their prospects as a team at first appeared so dim that three prospective coaches turned down the offer to train them. The man who finally took on the task was Brazilian Jorvan Vieira, who had only two months in which to work.

Radio Free Iraq's Baghdad bureau chief, Nabil al-Haidari, says the success they achieved stands as an example of the unity Iraq so desperately needs to forge on the political level.

"Celebrations took place in all Iraqi cities, and it sends a message to all the world that they favor unity, that they like their identity as Iraqis," he said.

Transexuals & Transvestites: Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

Despite the influence of feminism encouraging greater overall awareness of gender as a patriarchal construct, in mainstream society it’s still virtually impossible to avoid being categorized as either female or male. Bi-gender apartheid pervades all.

More than a "Chick with a Dick"


For me, gender identity is more complicated than masculine and feminine or even transvestite and transsexual.

I don’t want a gender reassignment/‘sex change’ yet at the same time my motivation to cross dress goes way too deep for an uncomplicated case of transvestism. Dressing ‘en femme’ now and again won’t satisfy me.

I’d more readily describe myself as transgendered, or even third gendered - neither male nor female.

Modern science may well have found physical evidence to explain why we’re like this.

Meantime, we struggle under a bi-polar gender regime in which only two mutually exclusive gender options are recognized.

How does it feel to be transgendered/third gendered in an either/or society? It hurts. It’s suffocating.

I’ve read pieces in which the pain of trans is described as being treated by others like a non-person, feeling invisible.

Yet worse still is not merely having your identity disregarded by others but having no choice other than to endure their insistence on choosing a different one for you that they superimpose upon you without permission.

Don't Just Blame the Neocons for Iraq; Liberals Are Guilty Too

Imperial 'liberal' interventionism is over. Invading Iraq was always in part an oil grab. The Bush Regime's objective was control of Iraqi oil, which forms a key portion of the Gulf reserves that are the lifeblood of global capitalism.

Arrogant Liberal Imperialism: A New World Order Where Peace & Democracy Thrive

When asked to define “the essence of Blairism” abroad, Blair replied, “liberal interventionism.”

Neoliberal imperialism would be a better way of putting it – the imposition of free market capitalism on the world by the Western powers in the name of democracy.

Liberal interventionists who supported regime change as part of a global crusade for human rights overlooked the fact that the result of toppling tyranny in divided countries is usually civil war and ethnic cleansing.

No doubt the idea that western states can project their values by force of arms gives a sense of importance to those who believe it.

It tells them they are still the chief actors on the world stage, the vanguard of human progress that embodies the meaning of history.

But this liberal creed is a dangerous conceit if applied to today's intractable conflicts, where resource wars are entwined with wars of religion and western power is in retreat.

It was liberal interventionists who first opened Pandora's box, by bending the rules on aggressive war in Kosovo.

It seemed innocuous at the time, but the gap they prised open in international law was worked on by US and British spin doctors until it was big enough to drive an invading army in 2003.

The liberal interventionists are the most useful idiots of the military-industrial complex.

Conservatives generally only attack people who have something worth stealing, but liberal interventionists will charge off to war in response to an appeal at an open-air benefit concert.

Unlike oilmen, arms dealers can make a profit from wars fought in the most barren, unproductive places.

I remember when Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for the leaders of Sudan to face the International Criminal Court.

America had the power to make it happen, she hinted, conveniently overlooking the fact that America doesn't recognise the ICC.

Hundreds of starstruck readers commented, saying yes, Ms Jolie is so right and has such a big heart, how can mighty America let such things happen, how could Bush be so cowardly as not to act in Darfur? America must have spare forces available etc.

These were the same readers who curse the Iraq war every day.

Barbie Girls Go Shopping

What Barbie is actually set up to do in her popular new virtual world is her ability to shop for stuff like "miniskirts, tiaras or home accessories." In other words, training girls to grow up to be women who are first and foremost consumers.

The All-American Girl

For all the obsession with the “new” — media, paradigms, world orders, etc. — the “old” certainly has a way of sticking around.

Take Barbie, for instance — who is in the middle of one of her many renaissances. Mattel reports that they’ve had the biggest increase in Barbie purchases in almost four years.

Her re-invention could be called Barbie 2.0. Her new website — still in beta — is a social networking bonanza, signing up close to three millions users in a two-month period and adding about 50,000 more every day.

Unfortunately, Barbie and her acolytes’ sole activity on the site seems to be shopping — “training girls to grow up to be women who are first and foremost consumers.”

I'm sure that Barbie Girls has been focus-grouped like crazy, and that millions of young girls want their Barbies to do nothing but go shopping and get makeovers.

After all, this is America.

Ed Strong
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a guest said:

0
Lily McBeth
Dear Ed,It is obivious that you want something very dearly,but have not been able to make the commitment to do so.Mybet is you will when the pain gets bad enough.
 
July 31, 2007
Votes: +0

a guest said:

0
...
Children are growing up far to quickly nowadays and you can partially blame their mentors bacause of their consumer habits which are past down to their children, but hey that is part of a consumer society which a country highly depends for their fianacial growth.

It annoys me why people seem to think capitalism works for them because they don't realise how it effects wider world as a whole (yet alone the local communities), and you only have to look at who maximises the profits (social elite) out of expoitation of the chinese or some other country with a low GDP.

People look at this high social order with envy and they would love to be initiated with this minority elite (for personal riches and indulgance) but their personalitiy must reflect someone like George Bush or Dick Cheney to stand any chance of being accepted.




 
July 31, 2007
Votes: +0

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