Is culture a screen through which we orient ourselves, how we see and experience reality? Do we surrender ourselves to the complacency of someone (lifestyle gurus?) telling us what to value on the other side of that filter?
There is a lot of discussion around culture, the first article that made me sit up was the recent How "Rock Star" Became a Business Buzzword by Carina Chocano.
And that reminded me of Natasha Singer's article about the lie that is the sharing economy. In an attempt to make our consumer society more palatable, are we co-opting the language of culture?
How we talk about business now, is that an appropriation of our cultural values? Blurring the line between work and life?
Culture is how we pass the time between hypocrisies
That's from Joshua Cohen's review of Llosa's new book on the 'Death of Culture,' which offers many examples of the issues at stake when we begin to pass judgement on culture.
To me, what's striking about this essay on culture's decline is that Mr. Cohen, clearly scornful of an editor who demands that his reference to Eliot have a descriptor, propagates an incorrect and inflammatory accusation that, among other things, Llosa announced his new marriage on Twitter.
How should we react to a critic who laments that we don't respect audiences enough AND also has the temerity not to check sources? Has the unreliable narrator gone from a literary (or cinematic) device and become an everyday tool of communication? Why?
With all the information out there we need to renounce laziness and engage in our world. We have to use critical thinking and question not only what we do, but what we buy and why we take the actions we do and, well, you get the idea. (But if research is correct, you probably haven't read this far—)