Monday, August 18, 2008


Here is a piece about Rome looking to build a Euro-Disney type amusement park. Personally, I can't see why you'd travel all the way to Rome to go to a Disneyland clone; maybe the locals will flock there. Maybe traveling with kids is just that taxing that'd you'd forego a day in Rome to hang out at Euro-Disney Rome.

But the line of interest is on the second page: "I say no to Americanization."

This always gets me-- whenever McDonald's or Starbucks or (insert American company here) set up shop, people get upset about the spread of "Americanism," whatever that means. My thoughts:

1) Usually it's Americans that are saying this about other cultures (though this quote is from a member of the council). Anyone is free to an opinion, but what say should one have about the characteristics of their own culture, much less someone else's?

2) These comments are usually levied to say that we need to stop the spread of America NOW. (Again, not a phrase that I'm agreeing with in the least, but just for ease of conversation.) Why now? Why not 10 years ago? Why not 10 years from now? 100 years from now? 1830? I'm curious what it is about 2008 that is optimal. Or any other time frame given.

3) Shock! Euro-Disney and McDonald's and Starbucks and every other company is voluntary; their success denotes a demand for such "Americanization." So we're to forcefully deny citizens what they freely demand under the shadowy guise of "culture?"

There's a real easy way to let citizens of any country say no to unwanted Americanization-- let anyone open their business and see if people show up.

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