“I wanna be Sedated!” Cafe Discussion 2/19 Allison,Nathan,Savannah

The video on Korean Punk sparked an interesting discussion
and a bit of a debate between the members of our Café Discussion Group.
Ideally, I would like to agree with the theories of both Appadurai and
Patterson. I would like to believe that the Global Culture is not just a result
of the globalization of American culture. Appadurai argues that the global
cultural economy can no longer only be understood in terms of the center and
periphery model. It is much more complex than that. Cultural flows come from
everywhere on many different planes. As he states for example, Koreans may be
more worried about Japanization than Americanization (588). Patterson
complements this argument by writing that “peripheral regions are increasingly contributing to American popular culture… (103)” We cannot simplify global culture flows as merely ‘from the West to the rest.’ I argued that you can see examples of other cultures sneaking their way into American culture. As Patterson writes it is a
global trend to see revivals of native cultures such as the Irish language
revival of the 90’s to present and the Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement laced with
nationalism of the native culture of the island. This is an example of an
argument of how American culture is not homogenizing the world.
Even on this campus I see examples of cultural purity and revitalization
such as Bachata dancing and the playing of the traditional Ehru Chinese fiddle.
Nathan put me in my place however, by reminding me that as an American I am
only apprieciating the culture not internalizing it. Therefore, these
cultural flows would not in fact have any effect on the American culture as a
whole. While, the Korean Punk bands would like to argue they have made a kind
of music that is unique, we are skeptical. It was obviously the influence of
American punk which sparked this movement in Korea to begin with. Also, to
combat Patterson, the group agreed that American culture doesn’t see the
influence of Korean Punk, so therefore the cultural flow is not equal and
therefore homogenizing. One example that might contradict this however is the
emergence of Eastern religions in American culture. I might go out on a limb
and say it is fashionable to some extent to be a Buddhist.
Nathan and Allison both rebuked Patterson’s argument that
cultures have the capacity to pick and choose what they will from American
culture and every other culture for that matter. They pointed out that while
Kenyans can in theory choose to not go to a new KFC or worship Beyonce, if
American MTV buys out the Kenyan music channel, who has the advertising power
to promote these American industries? In a realist sense it all comes down to a
power play. Who controls knowledge? With that being said one can argue that the
Kenyans have no choice whether or not to go to KFC. I might argue that the idea
Kenyans merely have no choice is another form of intellectual and academic neo-imperialism.
In conclusion, the topic of cultural flows, homogenization,
and Americanization can be debated for ever and I’m sure we’ll continue all
semester. In my opinion these Korean ‘punks’ need to step up their game and
really create something. Admittedly the success of British Punk developed out
of American Punk, but I just don’t think it’s in the cards for Korea.   Come at
me in 5 years with 10 cords or a brass metal band with a washboard or something
and I might be impressed. Until then … “I wanna be sedated!” (had to get that
in here somehow)
[youtube 8FxaJKm9sdI nolink]
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