are you cultured?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by nonsqtr, May 8, 2005.

  1. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    How do view the element of being "cultured" in our modern society?

    Just in the way of an example, do you hold your fork in the traditional European way, or do you use it more like a shovel? :D

    How important is the element of "culture" in your perception of yourself and others?

    And more to the point, does the element of "culture" enter into the equation when you're assessing other peoples' behavior?
  2. DougP


    Sep 4, 2001
    me definition of cultured means "someone who is knowledgeale and aware of other cultures." i dont define it as being confined only to what i consider "high society" (only mention that because of your example). for me, it is for more important to be cognizant and respectful of other cultures, and anyone that i meet who displays the same traits gets a lot of respect from me.

    i have been blessed enough to have been around the world a few times and been able to experience many great cultures...all of which have taught me something and have helped me to open my eyes to a more global scale.

    thats sounds kind of BS-y i know, but its true and thats about as flowery as i can make it. :)
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile

    not at all, makes sense to me.

    Brian, on the fork thing... I guess I eat "european" and because of the crap my mother gave me about "table manors" and how I was scolded that the shovel style is "wrong"... it took me a while to not look down at people who use that style. I've had to kill a lot of class & social bigotry handed down through my family... not that my folks are bad people, just the typical "what we do and how we are is right" stuff. Just Traditional Pride I guess.
  4. LOL

    The traditional european way ? I didn't knew that something like that existed. All i know is that many people here use it more like a shovel ( including myself when i'm really hungry...)
  5. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    i'd say i was inherently cultured, from my upbringing, but do my best to disregard it now.

    i love that some people are just naturally charming, polite and dashing, even when they are ridiculously drunk.
  6. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    I drink Guiness instead of Budweiser, does that make me "cultured"? :D
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I consider myself pretty cultured. To me it means being aware of and partaking in or having partaken in a variety of experiences of all types. There's probably more to it than that in my connotation but that's a basic understanding. I enjoy and appreciate all kinds of music, foods and wines, literature, movies, art, cultures etc... That's kind of how I view being cultured. I feel like I fit in equally as well at a physician's formal ball or a barbq. I also think part of being cultured is being able to converse with the scholar or the redneck equally well. At the same time though it's kind of hard to really be cultured if you never leave your hometown.

    I think how you hold your fork falls more under manners. Even when I was in 6th grade it drove me crazy that my friend held his fork shovel-style.

    brad cook
  8. Gia


    Feb 28, 2001
    bad manners are inexcusable.
  9. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Isn't culture best defined by how many vehicles are in your front yard on blocks? ;)
  10. Agreed. :)

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

  12. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    All human beings are "cultured." The problem with your thesis is that you are using the term incorrectly. Enculturation is the primary human adaptation. Without a culture, humans are without context and cannot live a life of any relative value. Culture is what holds a society (a group of humans living in a collective group) together and is created through interaction and cooperation. It creates patterns of predictable behavior that define values, perceptions, and norms shared by the group. By that definition, all humans are "cultured" because they belong to a culture group that gives their lives a contextual meaning through the construction of personality. You are a product of your culture. All you know of the world is a product of your culture.

    When you ask, "how do you hold your fork?" you are really asking "what cultural convention do you observe?" A cultural convention is a normal way of acting that carries little cultural consequence if violated. If you hold your fork like you are shoveling coal into a furnace, you are not going to be thrown in jail, but you may elicit a small rebuke from someone who watched an elite hold their fork as though it were a pen and decided that was more "civilized." The different social classes (who consume different cultural content and observe different conventions defined as "etiquette") have distinct ideas about what constitutes "proper" behavior.

    I think what you are asking is "what cultural content do you consume the most?" Western civilization has always stratified cultural content into elite and common (mass) content. What makes "high" culture is relative. Today, creator art is seen as the highest form of artistic expression. It takes experience and knowledge to understand it, and it is not made for mass consumption. Today we hold Shakespeare as a paragon of linguistic and thematic originality, but fail to recognize that in the 19th century, Shakespeare was a staple of popular theatrical culture. It all depends upon the "gate-keepers" of culture who make the distinction between low and high cultural content.

    So, if you spend more time going to fine art galleries, listening to opera/chamber music, and eating in the finest restaurants you are NOT more "cultured" than those who spend their time going to comic book stores, listening to Black Sabbath/Ozzy, and eating at White Castle. You just find other places to spend your cultural capital on the things that make greater connections to the world around you. We are all "cultured," but we have wide lattitude in making free choices when it comes to what kind of cultural content we find most satisfying.
  13. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    It's called cultural relativism. It's the antidote to enthnocentrism (the idea that one's own culture is superior to others)
  14. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    I have never understood why some will measure another's worth (whether it be intellectual, or otherwise) by their "exposure" to different cultures. Although I understand the term, and I understand the new importance of the blurring of culture barriers as one (of many) means to lead to success in many regards, being "cultured" is another one of those subjective terms. If you frequent exotic restaurants, does that make one cultured? If you study/practice foreign religions, does that make one cultured? Does understanding another society's points of view make one cultured? There are too many variables to answer a simple-sounding question.
  15. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I am buttermilk, and I have bacteria.
  16. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I was grown in a dish as part of an evil government expiriment, so yeah, I guess I am cultured.
  17. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    Good definition. I think a big part of it is based on life experiences. My dad was military, so we grew up all of the place - From the east coast, to California, to the dirty south, to middle America. I've seen a lot of how this country lives on a day to day basis. At different times, my Dad was a squadron leader which meant the events we went to as a family ranged from very formal ceremonies on base to craw fish/beer parties in our back yard. I'm comfortable in either situation, but I prefer the latter.

    As far as manners go - I hold the door for women, I hold my fork like a grown adult, I chew with my mouth closed, and I ask for food to be passed to me at a dinner table instead of reaching over people.
  18. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Plus, I usually say excuse me when I rip a big air biscuit at the table. Unless it's silent but violent, then I just blame the dog. Now THAT'S cultured.

    brad cook
  19. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Cultured enough to impress parents and senior citizens.

    Vile enough to delight small children and fratboys.