Old social values you could get behind

Therumancer

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Vault101 said:
Westaway said:
I said that was incorrect and asked you for proof.
Canada was settled by I think the French and British, both French and English are the main languages spoken there, if I assume correctly it is predominantly Caucasian in population, you live in first world standards the reason being its one of the many country's we classify under the "west" which due to a ton more reasons is a more developed nation, while culturally very similar to America the accent is noticeable in its pronunciation of words like "out" it is known for ice hockey maple syrup and a stereotype of people being incredibly polite

how is this not a culture?
I missed the initial message, but the bottom line is there is a difference between a nation and a culture. A culture is a long standing set of traditions, beliefs, rituals, and a way of life that exists in of itself.

To put things into perspective I frequently go off on attacking Muslim culture throughout The Middle East, as the culture as a whole is something that exists in more than one nation despite some regional differences. It's also different from Islam itself since it comes down to specific ways Islam is practiced in terms of daily prayers, and an indoctrinated belief in superiority and a need to assimilate others into the religion or destroy them, or at least in there being a destiny for this to happen one way or another. I typically identify regional "Muslim Culture" as the enemy that needs to be fought because the ideas are what keeps the conflicts alive, different groups and nations in/from the region are at the forefront of the threat at any given time, but as a general rule destroying say Al Qaida, ISIS, or even nations like Iran, won't really achieve anything because the ideas and culture go beyond those particular institutions and nations. As long as the basic culture and set of beliefs exist (that way of viewing and practicing Islam and it's various subcultures... Islam CAN be practiced peacefully unobtrusively as has been shown elsewhere so Islam itself is not the enemy) the threat never ends, it just takes on different names.

The thing is that in "The New World" it's been argued that the US and Canada are pretty much non-cultures which is both part of our appeal, and also why a lot of people don't like us. We're very new nations, who largely rejected large parts of our parent cultures, and we took a lot of the things we do, think, believe, and use from different groups all over the world.

Canada is doubtlessly a nation, but without reading the initial message (can't find it for some reason), I'm guessing the other poster is saying it's not a culture because there isn't really a whole lot that you can say is distinctly Canadian or helps define Canada and what it is. Perhaps because it hasn't existed all that long in the scope of the world, but also probably because it's a melting pot.

See, if you tell someone from Canada to "do something distinctly Canadian" or "show off something distinctively from your culture" there isn't a whole lot you can do. People from Japan or China could show various dances, styles of crafts, martial arts, and people like say Geishas, or objects like Samurai Swords and Armor which are incredibly distinctive and automatically associated with them because they tend to be very distinct. None of these kinds of things ARE a culture, but they all contribute to having one. As a Canadian you might be able to show off things like say a Mountie in uniform, but really he's one of the last remnants of the British Colonial Army (seriously, that's actually a point of pride apparently) in terms of dress (which has admittedly been modified) and ritual, you could show off maple candy, but I don't think Canada is the only ones who make that. An accent or saying "Eh" a lot (joke) don't much count. Pretty much everything Canada has it took from someone else (and perhaps modified).

The USA is largely in the same boat, which is why so many people make a joke about "American Culture". We have a some distinctive ideas and attitudes, and produce a lot of media, and even inventions, but there really isn't many things that distinctive about Americans that you can point to and say "That's American". Certain things like Rock music and
the like could be trotted out, but it can be hard to really point to a cultural identity since we're such a melting pot, and pretty much everything America created it wound up giving to the world.

Arguably the US, Canada, and Australia could all arguably be called "Culturally British" because that was the core of our identity more than anyone else, as we all sprung off of The British Empire and became independent, and that's the deepest root we have. We just happened to have branched off a bit in our various ways and put our own little spins on things based on what cultures we melted into ourselves and so on.

I'm sure some can make the opposite argument, and quite well. I'm mostly posting this because especially back when I was learning sociology the whole issue of "American Culture" and "What defines a Culture" came up and it's not an easy thing to pin down, but at the end of the day while it's possible to defend nations like the US and Canada as having cultures, pretty strong, reasonably valid cases can be made for us being non-cultures, basically we'll need to be around for centuries yet before we really come into our own, as we're mostly a mass of things we've assimilated. We don't have the weight of history yet to be truly distinctive. I mean the USA isn't even 300 years old yet, and most of the big cultures have existed far longer, even thousands of years, and developed their own identities and distinct styles very slowly over that time.
 

Westaway

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Vault101 said:
Westaway said:
I said that was incorrect and asked you for proof.
Canada was settled by I think the French and British, both French and English are the main languages spoken there, if I assume correctly it is predominantly Caucasian in population, you live in first world standards the reason being its one of the many country's we classify under the "west" which due to a ton more reasons is a more developed nation, while culturally very similar to America the accent is noticeable in its pronunciation of words like "out" it is known for ice hockey maple syrup and a stereotype of people being incredibly polite

how is this not a culture?
You listed its history, official languages, demographic, living standards, then skipped the part where you proved it had a culture and simply said "culturally very similar to America". Then you made something up about an accent and listed three stereotypical things about the country.
 

Westaway

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Therumancer said:
America has manifest destiny, The American Dream, the stars and stripes, baseball, jazz music, Westerns, etc. The difference between The United States and Canada (and perhaps Australia, I wouldn't know seeing as I've never been there) is that America went through some rigorous nation building. America has a wealth of distinct literature, film and art. Canada has none of these things. So when I said Canada has no culture, I meant Canada specifically.
 

Vault101

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Westaway said:
You listed its history, official languages, demographic, living standards, then skipped the part where you proved it had a culture and simply said "culturally very similar to America". Then you made something up about an accent and listed three stereotypical things about the country.
an "off-shoot" culture is still a culture

it just might not have much besides maple syrup or vegemite
 

FlatCat

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Dirty Hipsters said:
People in the past sucked. Lots of racism and bigotry, sexism, etc. You name it, societies of the past persecuted people for it (and still do in some cases). Still, it wasn't all bad, and there are some social values that we've lost due to "progress" that I wouldn't mind seeing a revival of, like for example the old Victorian adage that "children should neither be seen nor heard."

I hate other people's children. They're loud, they're annoying, and they ruin everything. Airplanes? Children make them hell. Restaurants? If there's a child in there you will not get a peaceful meal. Movies? There's always some shitty parents who decide to bring their toddler to the theater and then act surprised when the little bastard can't sit still and be quiet for 2 hours.

I really wouldn't mind if "children should neither be seen nor heard" made a comeback.

What about the rest of you? Any old social values that you miss and wish would be revived?
Erm... None. Really, none. I can't think of a single old cus... oh, wait!

There is one!

The custom of hospitality to strangers - I like this one. So did Jesus, apparently, from his Book and all:

http://www.cresourcei.org/travelers.html
 

Phourc

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Really modern society's doing pretty good, to be honest - a lot of what I see in this thread is stuff I would either not want in the slightest, or really seems like wishful thinking (i.e. yeah, that's what they *said* they did back then).

The only thing we've really lost in modern society that our ancestors had better, and I mean the ONLY thing - the stars.

Seriously. I can see maybe three if I'm driving home late, go out into the boonies in the winter and there's literally thousands of the bastards visible!
 

Westaway

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Vault101 said:
Westaway said:
You listed its history, official languages, demographic, living standards, then skipped the part where you proved it had a culture and simply said "culturally very similar to America". Then you made something up about an accent and listed three stereotypical things about the country.
an "off-shoot" culture is still a culture

it just might not have much besides maple syrup or vegemite
It's not an off shoot. American and Canadian societies function in a similar matter. That's all you've pointed out.
 

Thaluikhain

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Sean Milligan said:
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If more people treated others the way they would like to be treated, a lot of stuff just clears itself up on its own. Honestly this is all I would like to see, and its a very old principle never seeming to catch on with most people, and very likely never will. But it would be nice to see more of, without any bias toward my own life choices. I respect others freedom to live the life they want to pursue, and defend my own right to do likewise, just as I defend the right for others to make choices I may not agree with... but isn't that the fair way to try and do it? Maybe "Live and let live." fits too some what.
There is a lot of truth in that, of course, but it's based on the assumption that everyone is the same, that what others want is the same as what I want...there's a lot of problems there.
 

Robert B. Marks

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Westaway said:
Therumancer said:
America has manifest destiny, The American Dream, the stars and stripes, baseball, jazz music, Westerns, etc. The difference between The United States and Canada (and perhaps Australia, I wouldn't know seeing as I've never been there) is that America went through some rigorous nation building. America has a wealth of distinct literature, film and art. Canada has none of these things. So when I said Canada has no culture, I meant Canada specifically.
You talk about having travelled this country - tell me, have you bothered to travel to any of the others? Have you been in an English pub in England and seen how different it is from the Canadian version? Have you been to the United States?

But as far as Canada not having these things, let's take a closer look at this, shall we?

Distinct literature:

Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale...that's CANADIAN)
Robert J. Sawyer
Pierre Berton
Lucy Maud Montgomery (yes, Anne of Green Gables is CANADIAN)
Oh yes, and "In Flander's Fields" - that's Canadian

And here's a list of famous Canadian authors: http://particle.physics.ucdavis.edu/Canadians/authors.html


Distinct film (and we'll count television in this too, shall we?):

Atom Egoyan (Exotica, the Sweet Hereafter, Ararat)
David Chronenberg (Videodrome, eXistenZ, A History of Violence)
Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Nothing, Splice)
John Fawcett (Ginger Snaps, The Boy's Club, The Dark)
Continuum
The Red Green Show
Royal Canadian Air Farce
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Da Vinci's Inquest
Corner Gas


Distinct Art:

The Group of Seven
Ted Naismith (he illustrated the Silmarillion, and yes, he's Canadian - so is John Howe, by the way)

Here's a list of Canadian painters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_painters


Nation building:

The Boer War
World War I (particularly Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele)
World War II (Juno Beach, and particularly Dieppe)
The railroad that forged Confederation
Sir John A. Macdonald


I think I've made my point, unless you really want me to go into Canadian music.

So, you travelled this country and you missed all of this. You may not have liked these things, Westaway, but they're still there. And if in light of this you're still going to declare that Canada has no culture, then you're so full of it your eyes are brown.
 

Westaway

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Robert B. Marks said:
You talk about having travelled this country - tell me, have you bothered to travel to any of the others? Have you been in an English pub in England and seen how different it is from the Canadian version? Have you been to the United States?
Yes, besides Canada the United States and England are the two countries I have traveled the most extensively. I have spent months at a time in London and the West Country.

Robert B. Marks said:
But as far as Canada not having these things, let's take a closer look at this, shall we?

Distinct literature:
Going to stop you there. None of those pieces are distinctly Canadian. The Handmaid's Tale takes place in America. I have no fucking clue who Robert J Sawyer is, but then again I don't read genre fiction. Pierre Berton is probably the closest thing you've listed to being distinctly Canadian, since he spent a hell of a lot of time trying to popularize Canadian history. Which he ultimately failed to do, didn't he. Prince Edward Island makes for a quaint setting but the fact remains that Anne could have taken place anywhere in North America. Then Canada's most famous and widely misunderstood poem, which people think is a lament when it is really a call for war.




Robert B. Marks said:
Distinct film (and we'll count television in this too, shall we?):

Atom Egoyan (Exotica, the Sweet Hereafter, Ararat)
David Chronenberg (Videodrome, eXistenZ, A History of Violence)
Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Nothing, Splice)
John Fawcett (Ginger Snaps, The Boy's Club, The Dark)
Continuum
The Red Green Show
Royal Canadian Air Farce
This Hour Has 22 Minutes
Da Vinci's Inquest
Corner Gas
I don't know anything about film or music. Red Green is hilarious. Corner Gas is universally mocked.


Robert B. Marks said:
Distinct Art:

The Group of Seven
Ted Naismith (he illustrated the Silmarillion, and yes, he's Canadian - so is John Howe, by the way)

Here's a list of Canadian painters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Canadian_painters
Yes, I put my foot in my mouth when I said it had no distinct art. I realized it after I made the post and forgot to edit that out.


Robert B. Marks said:
Nation building:

The Boer War
Acting as a tool for Britain? Please.
Robert B. Marks said:
World War I (particularly Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele)
Yes, Vimy Ridge is cited as Canada's formative moment. Too bad it was recognized by the allies as a thoroughly unimportant battle in the grand scheme of things compared to those simultaneously being fought by the British and Americans. And do you think the average Canadian know the date of Vimy Ridge? Most Americans I know know the date of Bunker Hill.
Robert B. Marks said:
World War II (Juno Beach, and particularly Dieppe)
The nation was built at this point
Robert B. Marks said:
The railroad that forged Confederation
Sir John A. Macdonald
Correct.


This is the part where I say I won the argument and claim anyone who disagrees with me is full of shit. At the end of the day all you've managed to do is list a number of Canadian "things" without realizing that it's not the things that make a culture. Shared traditions and values makes a culture. National heroes. Shared memories.

Also, you forgot David Sim and Mordecai Richler, who were both far more influential than anyone you listed.
 

DugMachine

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On Tumblr it seems like a problem that some young adults nowadays can't even fathom a relationship where you're not fucking 24/7 and you just enjoy each other's company and do activities you both enjoy doing. If your "ideal" date is getting together to just watch netflix and eat some pizza I can't even imagine what the fuck kind of awful relationships you've been in. I guess I just want "hook up" culture to go away. Take relationships seriously people. I know sex is fun and all but when you find someone you care about it just gets that much better.

Also people being held accountable for their actions. Seems too easy to place the blame on someone else or play race cards when it's convenient because you made shitty decisions.
 

Westaway

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Robert B. Marks said:
What makes a book Canadian is not its setting, it is its AUTHOR, and the nationality they claim. Are you going to suggest that because Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King's Arthur's Court is set in England, that makes it British literature?
I'm saying the setting and its ethos must be integral to the aesthetic of the story for it to contribute to a culture. A Canadian author may write a stunning piece on Congolese tribal masks with excellent research and remarkable prose, but it in no way creates a culture for Canada.

Robert B. Marks said:
And yet you declare Canada doesn't have it. I live in a city that has run a Canadian film festival for a number of years. They have no shortage of films to show.
No, I claim whatever pieces of Canadian film or music exist are not popularized on the national level. I don't know about any house hold name must see Canadian films. Most of the time our musicians or film makes have success they move to California anyways. When someone says Canadian music, I think of Barenaked Ladies, Celine Dion, that band from Alberta whose name temporarily escapes me, Justin Bieber, etc. Generally cringe worthy stuff that everyone makes fun of. Oh, and Rush. Rush is pretty good.

Robert B. Marks said:
So, there's an admission that you're just wrong on that count.
I'm always willing to admit I'm wrong.


Robert B. Marks said:
Seeing as the United States entered the war on April 6, 1917, and Vimy Ridge started on April 9, 1917, that would be an impressive trick. Did the Americans bring Concords in from the future to ferry their troops across?
That's another embarrassing mistake on my part. I almost didn't put the Americans in that sentence but could have sworn they were there already. After reflection I remember it was the French, not the Americans, being trusted with the more important battles next to Britain. But that's all irrelevant now that I've already been called out on the mistake.


Robert B. Marks said:
Aside from which, when it comes to nation building, it doesn't matter what it meant to everybody else, it matters what it meant to US. Vimy Ridge was the place where the soldiers went up the ridge as Quebecois, Ontarians, etc., and came back down Canadians.
Fair enough, but you have ignored the fact that Canadian military history is a common source of pride for Canadians. I have doubts that average Canadian could tell me when or where the battle of Vimy Ridge actually took place.

Robert B. Marks said:
For that matter, the War of 1812 was a side-note of the Napoleonic Wars, but it is a major part of the Canadian identity and national myth.
You mean Stephen Harper wants it to be. More or less the same as Vimy Ridge, and I'll even pretend for you that the British troops stationed there were actually Canadian.


Robert B. Marks said:
Nah. The only one who's full of it at this point is you. Your understanding of culture is to begin with is faulty, your ideas about literature are wrong, and you freely admit to being flat-out wrong about art, which you said wasn't there, and not knowing anything about film or music, which you also said was absent.
The details about what pieces of art have been produced in Canada are irrelevant to me. There are obvious quite a few, I never said there wasn't or that they were not good.



Robert B. Marks said:
Off the top of my head: Shared heroes: Sir John A. Macdonald, Jacques Cartier, General Sir Isaac Brock, Billy Bishop, Arthur Currie, Laura Secord.
I'll readily admit the only person on the list I would have come up with is Macdonald but those people are all perfectly valid. Had to Google Billy Bishop, Currie and Secord.

Robert B. Marks said:
Shared values: Good governance,
Come on
Robert B. Marks said:
socialized medicine, respect and dignity regardless of race or religion, gun control.
I have met far too many people who strongly oppose those values to say they are Canadian.

Robert B. Marks said:
Shared memories: Afghanistan, 9/11, World War II, World War I.
Fair enough besides 9/11

Robert B. Marks said:
I'd continue to chip away at your argument, but you're just not worth my time. Kindly stop trolling the thread and let it get back on topic.
Believe it or not, not everyone who has a controversial opinion is a troll. Trolling comes from 'trawling', which means putting a net in the water next to your boat and waiting for fish to swim in. In internet terms, that means saying something inflammatory and usually false then waiting for people to 'take the bait' and get mad.

I should hope this is the only time you hear someone say but I mean it very sincerely: My ignorance in regards to Canadian heroes, artists, etc serve to demonstrate how these things are not engrained enough to actually construct a coherent culture, or a culture at all. I am a recent product of the Ontario and Albertan public education systems and I am currently enrolled at UBC. If you want to lie to yourself and claim that all other Canadians know about all these things I'm the only one who didn't get the memo, go ahead. But we both know that Canada has no identity or culture.
 
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Paulhorne Schillings said:
davidmc1158 said:
Fat people being more sexually desirable. Seriously, back when food was a constant worry, if you were fat, the ladies all knew you had the scratch to live through the lean times. You were a fine catch.

Now, some jackass with washboard abs from the Jersey Shore is seen as a "catch" (though I would wonder what you would "catch" from such a twit, really)
To risk looking like a total idiot that responds seriously to joking comments, the reason why it's reversed is because we glorify what we find harder to accomplish. Today it's easier than ever to get fat, but to become physically fit? No easy feat, that.
While the comment was originally meant as a throwaway joke, your reply is reasoned and well thought out. Thus proving the opposite of being a "total idiot".

Among myself and my friends, the whole "fat was sexy once" is kind of a running joke. We all understand that it says FAR more about how food was scarce and survival more precarious if such a perception was going to come into general usage.

But it was also fairly jarring to us when we discovered that one estimate on Cleopatra (considered one of the most beautiful women of all time) was that she stood about 5'2" and weighed around 280 pounds. Made us wonder what Helen of Troy really looked like.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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davidmc1158 said:
But it was also fairly jarring to us when we discovered that one estimate on Cleopatra (considered one of the most beautiful women of all time) was that she stood about 5'2" and weighed around 280 pounds. Made us wonder what Helen of Troy really looked like.
I thought it was popular knowledge that Cleopatra was kind of ugly, but that men were enthralled by her not because of her looks but because she was smart, daring, and powerful and could converse with them as equals.
 

Jamieson 90

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Grants for University fees instead of ya know charging £9,000. It was bad enough that I had to pay £3,000 a year. Feel awful for the current generation of students. Be nice to get some of that old good will towards education today.

Accidents can happen - once upon a time shit just happened and instead of trying to find someone to blame or sue, people just accepted it as being an accident.

Common decency to fellow human beings. Seems like this doesn't exist anymore. At least not in the cities/urban areas anyway.

Gender neutral clothing for kids. The Victorians were a lot more blase about children and gender. It was pretty much the norm for boys to wear dresses/skirts along with girls until they were breeched at around the age of 5/6. Some were even breeched a lot later and no one really batted an eyelid. It didn't really fall out of practice until the 1920's and even then it still went on only it was a lot less common. I just think it's a bit sad at how determined we seem to be in pigeon holding boys and girls into set gender roles etc. It'd be nicer if we were a lot more relaxed about these things, even with men and women too.
 

Vault101

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Jamieson 90 said:
Gender neutral clothing for kids. The Victorians were a lot more blase about children and gender. It was pretty much the norm for boys to wear dresses/skirts along with girls until they were breeched at around the age of 5/6. Some were even breeched a lot later and no one really batted an eyelid. It didn't really fall out of practice until the 1920's and even then it still went on only it was a lot less common. I just think it's a bit sad at how determined we seem to be in pigeon holding boys and girls into set gender roles etc. It'd be nicer if we were a lot more relaxed about these things, even with men and women too.
yeah I think its a shame we have to "blue isle" and "pink isle" everything...I mean you could make the argument that kids are gonna go for what they like anyway <-that would be an interesting study...to see how or if kids takw this stuff onboard

but its still silly they make "girl" nerf products friggen pink (and a bow...because nothing says "strong independent women" like archery)
 

HalfTangible

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I'd like to return to the idea that a smaller government was the path of progress. Failing that, the idea that the central bank was not only a bad thing, but something we could do without.

Assuming those don't count... Rome used to put such a heavy emphasis on honorable conduct that for hundreds of years, every dictator they had gave up their power after six months. I'd like that again in our leaders, at least. People who give enough of a damn about doing the right thing to willingly hand over nigh-unlimited power are too rare these days.

But the absolute worst thing our culture has right now is a sense that failure is acceptable. That it's okay to be poor, to be a horrible person, to be a violent sociopath because of your home life, or you had a bad day, or because bringing up your bad behavior somehow makes the other person 'racist' or something dumb like that. Just... no, okay? Can we go back to thinking that failure is a BAD thing that you should do everything in your power to fix?

because nothing says "strong independent women" like archery)
Uh... how is archery a bad thing?
 

Thaluikhain

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HalfTangible said:
But the absolute worst thing our culture has right now is a sense that failure is acceptable. That it's okay to be poor, to be a horrible person, to be a violent sociopath because of your home life, or you had a bad day, or because bringing up your bad behavior somehow makes the other person 'racist' or something dumb like that. Just... no, okay? Can we go back to thinking that failure is a BAD thing that you should do everything in your power to fix?
I don't see anything inherently wrong with being poor. There will always be large numbers of people on the bottom of society, and it's not always their fault that they are there.

Sociopathy is a mental disorder, and likewise not the person's fault.

There's no reason to assume that someone must be a horrible person just because they are poor. That, at least, is a choice, and something we can most definitely condemn them for, should we get round to defining what a horrible person is.