Britain is so different from the US. Case in point...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by vrDrew, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #1
    1) A public elementary school in Bristol named one of their houses for famed UK street artist Banksy. (School "houses", which most US folks have only encountered peripherally via the Harry Potter books, are a common way of subdividing a student body for the purposes of intramural sports, etc.)

    I can't imagine any US public school naming anything after an artist. Let alone one who is still alive, and whose medium is frequently described as vandalism.

    2) Over a brief vacation period, Banksy apparently decided to show his appreciation by creating a mural on one of the school buildings.
    [​IMG]

    I struggle even harder to imagine an artist in the US doing something like this. Let alone creating an image showing a child pushing a burning tire.

    The interviews in the BBC story are priceless. From the little kid who wrote to Banksy, and apparently has a budding appreciation for cutting edge art. To the school headmaster who seemed quite cool with the mural. Even the custodian who discovered the mural, and - upon noticing the artists signature - decided not to attack it with a pressure washer and chemicals.

    As far as I can tell, the Bristol police are not conducting an investigation. Groups of concerned parents are not hollering with rage. And the school board is not planning on auctioning off the mural to make up a budget shortfall.
     
  2. DUCKofD3ATH Suspended

    DUCKofD3ATH

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    #2
    Yes, you're absolutely right. Britain is much different than the US! I've never before heard of a "school house" as they're called in the UK. Thanks for the article. I'll try to use "school house" a few times in a sentence.

    Really really fascinating.
     
  3. cube, Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016

    cube macrumors G5

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  4. nbs2 macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Really? I'm not a fan of naming a throng for a person who is still alive, so I'm not going to worry about that part of your comment.

    As for artists, I went here for couple of years. All of my other elementary schools were named for geographic areas.

    My high school was named for a mailman.

    And my kids' elementary school is named for a former school teacher - I don't see that happening in the UK, but I guess they are too busy naming things for pop culture celebrities (see, I can generalize too).
     
  5. aaronvan, Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016

    aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #5
    A stick figure pushing a burning tyre. I get it: she's "burning rubber" into England's Brave New MultiCulti World. That is so, so...provocative. It really challenges my previous Euro-centric post-colonial contratextual neo-Derridian conceptualizations of kids, sticks, and tyres.

    What next? An exhibition of Tracey Emin's smelly bedsheets with bold strokes of brown, spattered with various and sundry bodily fluids?
     
  6. Populism, Jun 6, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2016

    Populism macrumors regular

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    #6
    So, "the case in point" of The Subpar US is ... your opinion?

    Awesome.

    Tell us more. Opinions. Of yours.

    Pretty please.
     
  7. jkcerda macrumors 6502

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    #7
    look at how "diverse" it is, it's a female, hard to say what ethnic background she has and she is burning things down in the name of equality...........
    /S
     
  8. Renzatic Suspended

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    #8
    Damnit! Did I miss the two minute hate again? I have the worst luck...
     
  9. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9


    Uh, no. "Burning rubber" isn't even a phrase that most British people would recognize. And if you've ever tried to smoke the
    tyres in a Mini Metro or Austin Allegro, you'd understand why.

    The burning tire has become the symbol of youth protest around the world in the past half century. From the slums of apartheid-era Soweto; the war-torn cityscapes of Lebanon; to the wastelands of Belfast and the Paris banlieues - a discarded tire provides a cheap, readily available, and unmistakable symbol (visually and otherwise) of rage and dissatisfaction among the oppressed underclass.
     
  10. steve knight Suspended

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    #10
    what is it with you and race ????
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

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    #11
    Actually, I'm laughing reading this thread.

    Firstly, I know Bristol fairly well, and have seen some of original versions of Banksy's works. And yes, this is a rather lovely tale - I spotted reference to it on the BBC.

    Secondly, @Renzatic has my sympathy. Two minutes indeed.

    I have to say that I read the feeble offerings from some of the usual suspects with growing stupefaction - apart from the usual targets of their muttered malediction (women, people of colour, artists), what on earth were some of them talking about?

    It didn't worry me that their posts - and here, @aaronvan's were especially opaque - didn't make sense; that is not at all unusual.

    But thank you, @vrDrew. I am grateful to have learned that an expression I always assumed had to do with young idiots driving cars at stupid speeds (and thank you, too, urban dictionary) actually can mean something else entirely, and often does, Across The Pond.

    Well, it seems that we are back again to the late George Bernard Shaw and his remark about how how the UK and the US are "two countries divided by a common language".
     
  12. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I actually thought that post was quite good, if you understood American sarcasm. Have you ever seen the TV show Portlandia? I love the West Coast and I'm glad that we can celebrate and enjoy the culture out there and still make fun of the extremes.

    In the United States we have the beginnings of a very healthy counter-culture toward the sanitized, empty-headed, politically correct robots that are full of self-loathing after being manufactured out of university. We call them "social justice warriors" and it's quite a derogatory label (as it should be). It's like the opposite of a sexist, racist person. The other extreme and very bad for liberal society.

    As to the actual topic at hand. The entire point was to attempt to poke fun at the U.S. or suppose some sort of superiority because somebody named a school after an artist. Entirely laughable and worthy of ridicule. Europe needs to take care of it's immigration problem and stop worrying about the U.S.. We're doing fine.
     
  13. Renzatic Suspended

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    #13
    I wouldn't say they were manufactured by our universities, especially when you consider how viciously they've turned upon them.

    I've always considered the SJWs as the end result of a generation raised alongside the internet, deeply exposed to the strange, almost cultlike feel-good fluffiness at all cost subculture that thrived on some of the more alt-oriented social media services like Tumblr and its ilk.
     
  14. aaronvan Suspended

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    #14
    Especially when hung around the neck of your neighbor, filled with petrol, and touched with a match.

    Greatest show ever. Sleater-Kinney (Carrie Brownstein's band) is supposed to tour this summer. Hoping to catch one of their shows.
     
  15. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    There are certainly other avenues of "enlightenment" that they could have taken. I think universities are bad when they do manufacture these people because it turns into a vicious cycle of never ending one-upmanship.

    Social media is one of the worst things that's happened to this planet.
     
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #16
    No, I'm afraid I had never even heard of it until this post the evening.

    In truth, I watch very little TV and hardly any American shows.

    Actually, I didn't get the sense that @vrDrew's OP was an attempt to mock or make fun of the US.

    Rather, I thought it an attempt to draw attention to how certain actions would be interpreted in a different way across the Atlantic because the respective cultures are different.

    Now, to be honest, that is not something I have seen happen in this part of the world - not even in Northern Ireland in the Bad Old Days - where tyres were most certainly burned, but not around the necks of people, who tended to die violently by other means.

    It is entirely possible that you may be confusing it with the methods of the KKK.
     
  17. jkcerda macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Do you not understand the /S?
     
  18. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    The same. I reserve any time spent watching television to only the absolute best TV shows, or ones that I enjoy very much. I don't casually watch TV or even have cable. Portlandia was pretty good though, but I fear you may not "get it" (and I mean that in the best way). It's very Amero-centric.


    That's interesting. Been around the Internet for awhile now, and particularly on forums where there is a healthy European population (which I absolutely love and enjoy) there always tends to be this back and forth between Europeans and Americans where it results in, frankly, Europeans looking down at Americans or treating us in a patronizing way. So I think perhaps being European yourself you have a different viewpoint, but we've grown so accustomed to these types of threads actually being a new avenue of attack toward our own culture that the default (and I think justified) response is to be defensive.
     
  19. Renzatic Suspended

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    #19
    I won't deny that some professors at some schools do push too hard towards their students adhering to single line of thought, but I wouldn't blame universities as a whole. That said, the primary function of higher learning should be concerned with how to think, not how to think, if that makes sense.

    Eh, I wouldn't say that either. Though it has done a great job of giving a very large springboard to some of the weirder voices in society, helping them blossom in ways previously unimaginable.
     
  20. vrDrew thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20


    No, it wasn't.

    It was simply to point out that two countries, alike in so many, many ways - culturally, linguistically, socially, legally, politically, etc. - can be so utterly, and yet subtly different.

    Thats not to say the UK way is better than the way we do things in the US.

    It isn't.

    Let's start with this: From a purely factual, legalistic standpoint, the Bristol police probably
    should be doing an investigation. Because somebody, acting without permission, illegally entered school property and committed an act of vandalism. Artistic merits notwithstanding, Banksy (or whomever) didn't have permission to put that artwork on the side of that building.

    Is there some sort of unwritten rule in Britain that lets Banksy not just get away with that, but moreover be hailed by everyone from the Daily Mail to the Telegraph as a hero?

    I can't answer that question.

    Arguing that Britain is a better place for recognizing and accepting an artist like Banksy than would be possible in the USA is a meaningless question. Its like arguing that Imam is a more beautiful woman than Lauren Hutton. That Guernica is a better painting than the Mona Lisa. That Beethoven's Piano Concerto #5 is better music than Uptown Funk.

    What works in Britain wouldn't work in the USA. That I know. And what works in Paris or Oslo; in Nairobi or Johannesburg; in Beijing or Kuala Lumpur - wouldn't necessarily work here. That doesn't make it wrong, or right.

    Its just that I think we'd all do ourselves a favor by trying to appreciate and understand that we live in a very big world; and that there is beauty, and magic, and wonder
    wherever you look.

    But like great wine, sometimes it doesn't travel that well.
     
  21. smallcoffee macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Yeah, perhaps blaming some professors who are there to push an agenda versus "the university" is a wiser choice of words.

    This I won't budge on. Not so much in regard to social justice warriors but in the way that social media has come to be used. It's a medium for stupidity and advertising and consumerism. Only a very small fraction is actually useful communication, which could be done using other means.

    It's sad that the smartest people in the world are being employed by people like Mark Zuckerberg to figure out how to get you to buy more **** you don't need and spend more time wasting time scrolling and on that website instead of working to get us to Mars ,or solve civic problems ,or enter into public service as elected officials or otherwise.
     
  22. Scepticalscribe Contributor

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    #22
    Hm. Interesting.

    Perhaps there is some truth in this - though elements of such prejudice cut both ways.

    In fact, I will say that the first time I taught a clutch of US kids from the UC, initially, I was convinced that they were complete cretins. They knew absolutely next to nothing about history, culture, politics.

    However, their work rate, dedication, and application stunned me, so that while they started my course knowing next to nothing, quite a few of them ended up getting 'Firsts'. That made me think about things a bit, and examine some of my own attitudes and - yes - prejudices.

    Agree completely.

    Having seem some of Banksy's work 'in the wild' n Bristol, I think I can say that He is regarded as a sort of folk hero in the city. While there may well be place in the UK where he and his artworks would not receive much of a welcome - I couldn't see the good folk of Cheltenham, to take one completely hypothetical example, responding with enthusiasm to this sort of artwork on their gable walls - in Bristol, he is viewed with much more than toleration.
     
  23. wlossw macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    I went to school in Canada, and we had 4 houses at the school I attended... The house you where in dictated your tie colour and colour of your gym shirt and that's about it.
     
  24. Renzatic Suspended

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    #24
    Right. You don't want to lop off your head to cure a headache.

    All you have to do is understand that everyone always thinks they're right, up to and including professors. And you know, that's fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, so long as they don't allow their opinions to overwhelm them. Our professors should be open to the idea of vigorous discussion, not defining the grade curve by how closely their students hew to their beliefs.

    Well, it depends on what social media site you're on. Facebook, despite it's popularity, isn't really anything except for dumb memes and advertisements these days. I still use it, but other than checking out the occasional worthwhile post, I stick mostly to messenger. For the most part, it's glorified email to me.

    Though Reddit is pretty alright sometimes. It's not nearly so busy and in your face with its advertisements as Facebook, and, well...I like reading scary stories in nosleep.

    As for the rest, that is kind of the downside of a capitalist economy, most everyone sticks to the sure thing, the lowest common denominator. But at the same time, when properly motivated, it can become the greatest engine of creativity the world has ever seen. Yeah, we can blame capitalism for Facebook, TMZ. and derrpurdurpehdur. But we can also thank it for NASA, the internet, the greatest output of art, literature, and highest quality of life for the average person the world has ever seen.

    ...and there are still very smart people working on getting us to Mars, even while Facebook is making billions off the ******** they do.
     
  25. cube macrumors G5

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    #25
    The Internet came from DARPA, the Web from CERN, so I would not say the source is strictly capitalism.
     

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