Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Consider me Miles Davis

For all the brow-beating over a falling, failing American global reputation, apparently we are still numero uno.   The social network site Badoo.com polled 30k people in some 15 countries, and America ranked as coolest.  The rationale :
"We hear a lot in the media about anti-Americanism," says Lloyd Price, Badoo's Director of Marketing. "But we sometimes forget how many people across the world consider Americans seriously cool." "America," says Price, "boasts the world's coolest leader, Obama; the coolest rappers, Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg; and the coolest man in technology, Steve Jobs of Apple, the man who even made geeks cool."
On the least cool side: Canada! 

What I read in this is that all of these components can fit within in the parameters of American culture.  Say what you will about Obama the politician, he still has cred as a cultural icon; the rest fall in within American culture.  Just burnishes my own thinking that the most important thing to promote is American cultural diplomacy, because that is an area where we still are held in the highest regard.

1 comment:

John Brown said...

Paul, Thank you for your piece. Allow me to speculate: American "coolness" is a late 20th/early 21st century version of Old World European "culture" (with a capital "K") when the continent's political, economic, and military power began to decline. As for those who maintain that the "cool" American popular culture will continue to dominate in our new century, please consider my "Is the U.S. High Noon Over? Reflections on the Declining Global Influence of American Popular Culture" http://eng.1september.ru/2004/07/3.htm which I wrote some years ago. Best, John.
P.S. As for the pix that accompanies the article you cite, to me it suggests that Americans, far from being "cool," appear to be absolute clowns. I would have chosen another photograph, as for example of Miles Davis...