?

Log in

No account? Create an account
(Don't want to live in a) hub and spoke world - click opera — LiveJournal
February 2010
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 01:16 am
(Don't want to live in a) hub and spoke world

85CommentReply

imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)

I happened to be listening to the BBC series Routes of English: Globalisation last night, and the rather interesting point came up that it's precisely the fact of English as the emerging lingua franca which will allow the spokes to speak to each other -- Pole to Czech, Swede to Dutch and so on. In other words, what we left out of the hub and spoke model is the rim which links all the spokes in the bicycle wheel. Global English is -- forgive me! -- rimming.

But language is one thing, culture another. It would be sad indeed if the Swede was talking to the Czech about Meg Ryan, and nothing else.


ReplyThread Parent
kesil
kesil
Luke White
Mon, Mar. 26th, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC)

Very much agreed (I was the anonymous comment, sorry). The rim model is way more satisfactory even with the very un-american-english double entendre.

So a new question for you: How do you preserve a common tongue without promoting a common culture?

My guess is that you can do that, but it's going to be at the expense of pop culture. The bulk of the population is going to want their Meg Ryan and cheeseburger, and that will be the engine for keeping English in enough currency to foster interchange among the more creative set.

It's the same thing on a purely economic level: we offer people who work a high standard of living even though we know that most of that will be spent on ugly houses, bad food, bourgeois ephemera. But we take a little off the top and that's enough to fund all the great art. Without the incentive of bland, we wouldn't have the resources for great.

Conversely, perhaps this is why demagogues are so intent on preserving national languages and brands: it's the only way to protect popular culture against an enemy with a superior entertainment engine. Wagner sticks around and all the good artists get shipped out: the taste of the proletariat is a political, not aesthetic question.


ReplyThread Parent