Cultural differences and Eurovision


#1

It doesn’t have anything to do with [the USA], and that is rare and wonderful.

This is exactly why I love Eurovision. There is no way to reframe this phenom to fit in an American box.


Let's do international shots, it's Eurovision 2014!
Let's do international shots, it's Eurovision 2014!
#2

“England will never win it, of course”

Well, not being in the competition is a bit of a handicap.

The name of the country is the UK - ‘England’ is just one part of it; Americans might like to consider it analogous to a state.

Pedantic? Perhaps, but this really pisses-off us (emphatically) non-English Brits.


#3

The English don’t much like it either.

I do hope you’ve never called The Netherlands Holland, though.

Ironically, if the UK does split up, one fringe benefit might be an increased chance of winning Eurovision :smile:


#4

I’m sorry, something is great because it isn’t American? Isn’t that, I don’t know… bigoted?


#5

No. I think it’s perfectly okay for other people to be proud of their culture, and to not like ours.Not everyone has to like America, you know. why should they?


#6

It’s socialistic at the very least, I’d imagine. If not outright communist.


#7

I don’t think you get it, being the predominant culture and all. It can be a relief to have something truly none American. That’s not bigoted, you see, we still use US website, US browsers, US operating system, US snackbars, US search engines, US social media. We still watch US movies and US series, listen to US music. I’m typing this on a US international keyboard, in the language they speak in the US. Our news covers the US elections extensively, a US styled Christmas gets more popular here and people are starting to celebrate the US holiday of Halloween.

Is it bigoted to sometimes be relieved that that other culture isn’t there?


#8

I get the England/UK distinction, but what’s the difference between “the United Kingdom,” “Britain,” and “Great Britain?”


#9

Though some non-English Brits resent that the UK’s submission to Eurovision is invariably English. Apparently Scotland has pushed a few times to send their own contestant in, but been rebuffed.


#10

Enjoying non-American culture is “bigoted” to jingoistic Americans in the same way that feminism is “bigoted” to male chauvinists. “How dare you dent my privilege!” “I want ALL of the culture-cake, why do YOU want a slice!?”


#11

Great Britain is the island that England, Scotland and Wales are on. It’s a purely geographical term, not political.

The UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The British Isles are Great Britain, Ireland and the smaller islands (Isle of Man, Channel Islands) that constitute the archipelago. You have to be careful with that one, as it’s obviously not generally a popular usage in the Republic of Ireland.

I don’t think Britain has a specific meaning. Usually refers to either GB or UK.

Last year’s entry was Welsh.


#12

I did not say that enjoying non-American culture is bigoted. I said that enjoying something specifically because it is not American was. I love a lot of Japanese, French and sometimes even English culture, but not because they aren’t my own, but because they are great. However, the countries represented by Eurovision certainly don’t share a culture. It is great to love it, but to love it because it is not American? That’s just some jingoistic bs.

I mean, if I said I loved cheeseburgers because they weren’t Indian or I loved electronic music because it wasn’t African, that would be pretty f’ing wrong.

BTW, as an American, I love Eurovision - especially when watching it with people who can guess accurately how each country will vote based on their politics/current events/etc.


#13

The United Kingdom includes Camelot, Britain doesn’t, and Great Britain also doesn’t either but includes Doctor Who (Doctor Who makes it great).

Disclaimer: I’m not British, don’t listen to me.


#14

Yes! Bigotry is an American tradition! But I don’t care!


#15

I regret to inform you that not only are you a pedant, you’re also absolutely incorrect in your pedantry.


#16

Just like England for the UK, then. And I’ve met Dutch people who object to the use of Holland for the country. Yeah, anecdote/data, but the situation is analogous.

ETA: because this guy’s videos are great.


#17

I’m typing my reply from a German desktop based on a Norwegian toolkit (that was later bought by a Finnish phone company) using a US browser whose Web engine has German origins, on an operating system with Finnish origins.

And as far as that Web engine of German origin goes, that’s WebKit. Granted, the bulk of the improvements have been made by Apple and Google, but it used to be KHTML.

The icon set is called Faenza, created by a French artist.

Anyway, it’s possible to use computers and not be 100% US-centric, and that’s coming from a USian. However, I did have to look much of this up as I went along, as I don’t make a habit of looking into the country-of-origin of such things; mainly, I happened to remember that KDE started in Germany.


#18

Exactly. I like Sami folk music because it’s not the least bit African. Nothing wrong with that!


#19

Sorry, but no. That’s like saying “It’s bigoted of you to say you enjoy this party at the gay club, because there aren’t any straight people here. After all, it’s also bigoted if someone says, they enjoy a party, because there are no gay people there.”

You need to consider US-America’s position of cultural hegemony. US-American culture & cultural products completely dominate most of Europe. In many European countries “national film” is it’s own genre, because the vast majority of films shown in cinemas are American. In some countries the “national film” genre takes up about as much space as the “foreign film” genre in the US. (France being a huge exception) The same goes for national or national language music.
If you turn on the television to any commercial channel, you will most likely see a US-American show.

It’s not like that’s necessarily a bad thing. I’m not complaining. The US can churn out cultural products at a much faster rate than the rest of us and they do flood European markets, but Europeans also want to see Breaking Bad and The Big Bang Theory and the next Hollywood Blockbuster. European charts are often barely distinguishable from American ones, because Europeans like American music.

Still, the fact is, that there isn’t much space left for things that aren’t American. So when people are happy that Americans don’t factor into the Eurovision contest, they aren’t saying “Thank God, there’s no America, we hate America”, they are saying “Hey! No America for once! Let’s see what everyone else is doing!”

If you call that bigoted, you really have no understanding of the pervasiveness of US-American culture in most of Europe.


#20

Yes it’s possible. Note that I am not necessarily complaining about the products itself. It would be possible to live life almost completely US-product free. That will need a conscious effort though. My point was to show how American culture has penetrated in Europe (given: to a different extend in different countries).

A second point is that, apart from the icon set, you’re mostly talking about the underlying technology. It’s culture I’m talking about. For example, in our local cinema there are currently 14 movies, of which 12 from the US. As a child there were a lot of television series featuring schoolbusses, I knew what they looked like, even though there are no school busses in our country. I knew how the grade scale F-A worked somewhat, even though we had a 1-10 scale. I did only learn about the German grading scale somewhere in my twenties, even though Germany is our neighbor.

This is a thing that happens, there are several reasons for it, and I won’t be one to judge whether this is a good thing or not. However I do know it can be a relieve to have some things that are not associated with the US sometimes.