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arts / rec.arts.books / "Posers," "pretentions" and cultural growth

o "Posers," "pretentions" and cultural growthIlya Shambat

"Posers," "pretentions" and cultural growth


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Subject: "Posers," "pretentions" and cultural growth
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 by: Ilya Shambat - Sun, 5 Nov 2023 07:05 UTC

I once knew a former hippie woman whose son was into Jim Morrison, had long hair, and was having all sorts of adventures. I heard her call him a poser..

My response is that if someone is doing something when it is not a part of a trend, then he must really want it; which means that he is more the genuine article than someone who does it when it is part of a trend.

There are some in America who do not want to have immigrants coming over from France. These people are not thinking straight. In France, the media culture is very anti-American, and people are relatively well-off. This means that a regular French person would never think of coming to America. A French person who does come to America must really want it. Such a person is more likely to be patriotic than would a person from a place such as Nigeria, where sentiment is highly pro-American and many regular people want to come to the United States.

I had a girlfriend from Portland, Oregon, who found the “European pretentions” of Portland yuppies to be annoying. She was not looking at why they had these “pretentions.” These people wanted to have in their lives some kind of style; and if they were going for that to Europe or to Japan, it was simply because these places were better at doing style than was Portland.

Were they “pretentious” or “posers” or “snobs”? No. In fact these people improve their country by bringing into it something from another place that has value. The Europeans are better at culture and style than Americans, and that has a legitimate appeal to people in America. By bringing something good into one's country from another place, one improves one's country.

The person from India or China or Russia who looks up to American political or economic systems is likewise not a “poser” or a “snob.” He is someone who sees something that Americans do better than do the folks at home. And he improves his country by bringing that influence into it.

Similarly people improve other countries by bringing into them worthwhile things from abroad. A Russian immigrant to America brings education and culture that exerts a positive effect on America. And a man from American feminist culture immigrating to Australia brings better ideas of how to treat women, likewise improving the country to which he comes.

Countries grow that way; cultures grow that way. In all cases, there are people loyal to bad habits and wrong ideas who object to this – such as people in Portland seeing yuppies as “pretentious” or “snobs,” or folks in Australia posting slander against me. That is because they want to maintain their inferior habits and are threatened through introduction of better ways. These people think that they are loyal citizens, but actually they exert a destructive influence on their home society. They oppose introduction of better ways into their country and keep their country from benefiting through introduction of these ways.

America benefits through introduction of style from Europe or Japan; and Australia benefits through introduction of more gentlemanly attitudes. Similarly Russia benefits through introduction of American or Australian ideas of how to do politics and economics. The people who oppose any of the above in the name of patriotism or “their way of life” are either deluded or lying. Countries grow through introduction of good ideas from abroad. And that is the case with every country.

arts / rec.arts.books / "Posers," "pretentions" and cultural growth


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