has an excellent post at:
I particularly liked the following:
we can see how the world surrounding Cowboy Bebop is brimming with cultural nuances in every aspect; from its people, to its locations, to its music. But it is also a world whose society is in a broken condition, with desolation, crime and poverty being present around every corner. The almost haunting ambience that is humanity’s post-trauma gives a rather bitter aftertaste to its otherwise wonderfully rich mixture of flavors. And because of the radical colonizing process that this trauma caused, human civilization is currently in an ambivalent phase between two states of belonging; it has cut ties with its original home but not settled down at its new one as a united people. While consisting of an extensive variety of cultural expressions clashing together like never before, it at the same time has no mutually shared Culture. It is a society in inner exile, lacking of any collective identity.
When I first saw that show, I thought it was the greatest show ever. After a few years, I was able to step back and reconsider it. It is a great show. It might be one of the greatest shows ever televised. It has flaws that are not apparent when one first binge-watches it.
Very soon, I expect that Asia will undergo some social convulsions. Indeed, for the people of Europe and the Middle East, the convulsions have already begun.
Will there be a mutually shared culture? I think modern culture is largely enforced by various artifacts of modern technology: birth control, smartphones, cheap transportation. Modern culture is mostly a sewer.
We may see something analogous to the invention of Christianity as a response to the decadence of Rome. Or rather, the generations that are born after we have long been dead might see such a new form of culture. For the immediate future, I think we’re just going to see the Unraveling.
The pendulum has to swing back eventually. The Unraveling has to turn itself around, one way or another. We can hope that the breakdown doesn’t exterminate the human species. We can hope that the new paradigm that arises will be nobler than past forms of religious tyranny.
Cowboy Bebop was made by people who were (and are) probably very sincere about multiculturalism. They cannot understand any of the drawbacks, or so it seems.
Civic nationalism works, to some extent. Many Chinese people believe that they are not racists, because they will accept anyone who learns their language and follows their culture. (Of course, many people who want to live in China are too stupid, too trusting, too unskilled to ever learn the language or follow the culture, so the Chinese will never have to worry about being nice to those people.) China could manage a civic nationalism. I suspect that even Russia will manage to keep its Tatars and Russians and Mongols working together in harmony.
However, the West – particularly the USA – wants civic nationalism to obliterate ALL possible distinctions – including race, religion, and sexual preference.
I think the USA is a remarkable country. If they could all agree on a narrow religion and a narrow sexual culture, they would be strong enough to obliterate racial distinctions. But of course, that’s not the road they plan to go down – except for William S. Lind, who is … eccentric.
Lind has penned a fantasy, available at:
In Lind’s fantasy, Jewish Americans are happy to subordinate their group identity to the needs of Christians, and blacks and whites work together, united by a faith in Jesus. Homosexuals return to the closet and don’t do anything to undermine that Christian culture. Poverty enobles these Christians and brings out their best qualities, without undermining their faith.
I don’t think the future is going to look like Lind’s fantasy.