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The Fall of Civilization  

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 
This was in another thread, but I think we could explore this more in depth. What are your signs of the fall of civilization?
Quote:
When historians look at the Decline of the American Empire they will fix the institution of "Casual Fridays" as the turning point - the last nail in the coffin of civilized America.
Another is when waiters and waitresses in resaurants began to don goofy sombreros and sing Happy Birthday to a helpless victim.
post #2 of 93
I think it is a little opportunistic to call America a civilisation, the Romans, The Greeks, The Byzantines, The Aztecs, and The Bedouin were/are, not America yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the English and French have not reached that yet; I cannot see how America can have.
post #3 of 93
You may have a point about "American" and "civilization" but I think the original intent of the post was clear. That said, I'd have to have to rank the debut of MTV as a prominent contributor to the demise of American <insert appropriate alternative to civilization here>. dan
post #4 of 93
Quote:
I think it is a little opportunistic to call America a civilisation, the Romans, The Greeks, The Byzantines, The Aztecs, and The Bedouin were/are, not America yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the English and French have not reached that yet; I cannot see how America can have.
I hope this post was a joke.
post #5 of 93
The day Fuji TV cancelled my show.
post #6 of 93
television
post #7 of 93
I think that the increasing extent to which young people (teenagers and pre-teens) have become "consumers" has had a very great impact on culture and it's perceived decline. The tendency for parents to provide their children with excessive disposable income was probably first evident in the U.S., but it seems to be present in many industrial countries these days. MTV was/is probably an effort to capitalize on this. I would dare say that the modern state of hyper-consumerism in general is probably having the most deleterious effects on global culture, but this would probably be seen as provocative.....
post #8 of 93
I think it's more accurate to refer to a Western European civilization.
post #9 of 93
I am flattered that my rather offhand remark from another thread was thought-provoking. I think the advent of MTV is an important milestone in the development of a consumer culture. The entry in the encyclopedia will read something like this: "Music Television (MTV): Phenomenon of the early 1980s, paralleling the wider availability of cable television. This channel offered short promotional films for popular music acts and their records. Now Americans were not only sitting still for a channel filled with nothing but advertisements, but actually paying for the privilege."
post #10 of 93
Thread Starter 
I don't remember MTV having comercials when it first came out. On most cable systems, it was part of the standard package. Nor did it have Michael Jackson. It was originally going to be only rock. Jackson's label coerced MTV to put Jackson and pop on or they would pull their rock artists. MTV didn't have a big enough catalog at the time to say no. So, it the vein of this thread, Michael Jackson was the downfall of MTV. Maybe we're working our way to the prime cause.
post #11 of 93
World War I.
post #12 of 93
Android - My point is that the programming on MTV is essentially advertising for musical acts.
post #13 of 93
Quote:
You may have a point about "American" and "civilization" but I think the original intent of the post was clear.  That said, I'd have to have to rank the debut of MTV as a prominent contributor to the demise of American <insert appropriate alternative to civilization here>. dan
To fill in the blank, I would say culture.
post #14 of 93
Quote:
Quote:
(jmswentworth @ April 24 2005,08:57) I think it is a little opportunistic to call America a civilisation, the Romans, The Greeks, The Byzantines, The Aztecs, and The Bedouin were/are, not America yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the English and French have not reached that yet; I cannot see how America can have.
I hope this post was a joke.
Perhaps if we are looking at your pride. But no, it was not a joke, America is not a civilisation, nor is the UK, nor is any of Europe at this stage, the closest thing to a civilisation in this region are, by definition of the word civilisation, todays Scandinavians.
post #15 of 93
Quote:
I think it is a little opportunistic to call America a civilisation, the Romans, The Greeks, The Byzantines, The Aztecs, and The Bedouin were/are, not America yet, by any stretch of the imagination. Even the English and French have not reached that yet; I cannot see how America can have.
I hope this post was a joke.
Quote:
Perhaps if we are looking at your pride. But no, it was not a joke, America is not a civilisation, nor is the UK, nor is any of Europe at this stage, the closest thing to a civilisation in this region are, by definition of the word civilisation, todays Scandinavians.
Well if it's not a joke, then it's probably one of the stupidest things I've ever seen posted on this board. I'd be curious to know what your definition of a civilization is.  The generally accepted definition is a society in an advanced state of development, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, written language, and complex legal and political systems. Let's look at some of the "civilisations" which you consider superior to the US and the UK: The Aztecs: a culture built around human sacrifice. The Romans: a bellicose and bloodthirsty people whose primary achievements in the arts were stolen or copied from the Greeks. The Bedouins: a bunch of primitive desert nomads. The Byzantine Empire:  a period of 1200 years dominated by religious conflict and with almost no advances in the arts or sciences. The Greeks are the only civilization you mentioned who are comparable to the US or modern Europe, and their glory years only lasted about 150 years (500-350 BC).  The Romans were certainly a civilization, and the Aztecs probably fit the basic criteria, but to claim any of these cultures are more of a civilization than the US is just silly.
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