Raison d’être

by Rick Rockwell

The truth will eventually surface about this blog.

Yes, it is a university class exercise. But who requires such exercises to be stuffy and academic?

What is it about? The answer: everything (think American culture writ large) and nothing (think Seinfeld).

Argue if you will but as we parse the meaning of the new century, American culture is the dominant form. American culture is often what other cultures are in open rebellion against. If one thinks the War on Terror is simply about religion or politics then think again. American pop icons are every bit a part of the seething reactionary anger coming from Jiddah or Jakarta or Jinan, for that matter.

Some feel that as the dominant culture on the planet, American culture should contribute to uplifting society as a whole. Instead, we often seem to be about what gets the trailer park buzzing: the latest bobble-headed doll from some NASCAR driver; Brittany Spears nude and pregnant on a magazine cover; or who really killed JonBenet Ramsey.

So we will be here commenting on culture, communication and all things American from our post in the ivory tower. Does that mean we will always have the snooty, starched, sacrosanct view? Far from it. Likely this spot will host a multitude of views, often at odds with one another. Think of this spot as a cafeteria of the mind, with everything from punk rock to cable television to the internet being served up with commentary.

How very American, no? But if that’s so, how did this entry get such a French title?


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