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27 August 2011 @ 03:16 am
Cross Cultural Tips  
Still plaguey. Will be fine once I can sleep without any coughing. Way behind in sending out flist love, but LOVE!!!! to all of you, especially the ones having crap weeks.

Very shortly, I have noticed that Australia and America have been exerting cultural influences on each other more strongly of late, and just wanted to share a few hints on the topic.

Things Australians SHOULD do more like Americans
* Personal and corporate philanthropy
* Respect for and interest in the arts
* Recognition of people achieving in academic fields and celebration of those achievements

Things Australians SHOULD NOT do more like Americans
* Politics (I'm looking at you, Tony Abbott!)
* Health care (Still looking!)
* Pop music (OK, this time it's whoever that crap was on 2Day that was playing in the Turkish pizza place. But I feel certain Tony Abbott's probably bought the CD.)

Things Americans SHOULD do more like Australians
* Irony. Some of you have the hang of it, but it needs wider acceptance
* Health care
* Media critique (there's not enough mixed ownership here, but there is a solid focus on cross-checking and making loud reports about perfidy when certain outlets are crap)

Things Americans SHOULD NOT do more like Australians
* Constant natural disasters
* Wear flipflops to work, even if they have some sparkly bits glued on. They're not professional. And I have been here too long as I originally wrote thongs and then realised the enormous potential for cross-cultural confusion.

Stay safe you East Coast kids. That earthquake looks like fun in comparison, I'll bet.
Kitten Kommissarchickenfeet2003 on August 26th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
I'd argue that, at least, some parts of Australia have far more respect for and interest in the arts than most parts of the United States.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 26th, 2011 05:52 pm (UTC)
Not at a governmental level. Don't get me wrong, there are some BRILLIANT companies over here and a lot of really fabulous practitioners, but when you talk to the average taxpayer about what should be supported by government, the arts rarely comes up. And when you look for governmental interest, you might find the odd tax break to encourage film, and then everyone else just hoping their not noticed so their funding isn't cut.

In the media, there is still an incredible amount of time and space given to American film stars and very little given to our own, let alone the people doing great things in literature, theatre, dance, opera and music. And then when you talk about supporting local performances, it's seen as the sort of thing you do if it's a fundraiser or someone you know is involved, but why would you otherwise?

Admittedly it's nearly 10 years since I was last in the US and I have a very New York/Berkeley/Boston/San Francisco skewed peer group there, but my impression was that it was more of a national priority.

Of course, there are only 22 million Australians, and we do require an awful lot of them to support all the sport ...
Kitten Kommissarchickenfeet2003 on August 26th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
What does government support in the US? Government spending on the arts in the US is lower than just about anywhere in the world and is being cut. And NY/Berkeley/SF/Boston are about as typical of US attitudes to the arts as, say, Toorak or St. Kilda are in Australia.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 26th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
Government spending in the US is low, but they have good administration programs that actively attract private and corporate donations, which are massively higher than in Australia. So they do get more bang for their buck, as it were.

Of course, both models are feeble compared to many European ones.

I don't think that regional comparison is actually true, given my peer group. It would be more accurate to say that they are akin to Adelaide (which I only know amorphously), Newtown or Brunswick. They are for the most part creatives rather than cashed-up.