The Great American Culture
Today was a sad day for me. As I sat in my marketing class, I was discussing the many amazing things that American culture has brought into the world, including some musicians that I believe every human being with any idea of what the American culture is, should know about. Of course some of my top choices included Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, and ole’blue eyes himself…Frank Sinatra, one of my personal favorites. In my group discussion, I had a few international students and a mixture of students from the U.S.
I was shocked, and I mean a heart-stopping level of shocked to find that two people didn’t know who Frank Sinatra was. One was an international student who recognized his music, but not his name, and the other was a student from Minnesota who didn’t know his name or his music. (Have you been living under a icicle-covered rock?) Am I the only one who is not only shocked, but also disappointed, that a fellow mid-Westerner doesn’t know who the Sultan of Swoon is? Perhaps my standards of music are different than others, but I believe if you have any semblance of knowledge of the U.S. you have to know about a few key pieces of the culture.
I believe all Americans should use their ability to the right to freedom of speech in one way or another. I love the First Amendment and the freedom of speech that comes with it, a freedom that I enjoy employing on my writing on here as well as my accounts on Wattpad and Figment. Second, I believe all Americans should take advantage of the variety of foods we have to offer. I work at a small mom and pop diner back in my hometown, and no matter where I go, nothing beats their half-pound burgers, price or taste-wise. America has created a name for itself with burgers and fries, but it’s so much more than that. We have amazing food unique to the U.S. like custard, lemonade, mac and cheese, corndogs, and of course, toasted ravioli. Have you ever had toasted ravioli? I thought that it was a national, maybe even international food, but apparently it’s native to St. Louis! If Chicago has their deep dish, I will proudly say that we Missourians have our toasted ravioli! I believe all Americans should incorporate one of the hundreds of professional sports teams into their lives. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals supporter, I believe that baseball is more than a sport, it’s a national beacon of hope through dark times. Baseball is more than that, it’s a legacy, a way for generations to connect even with decades between them. If you ever find yourself lost, talk about sports, it’s an easy to find common ground. If I was lost in Chicago, I probably wouldn’t discuss my love of the Cardinals, but I could discuss Jason Heyward (keeping in mind his betrayal of course, I mean I do root for the Cards…) and find common ground with someone there! Baseball is a networking tool I guess I could add in.
Fourthly, and perhaps the most important birthright all people can connect to, it’s the musical style that America has created over the years. Ranging from Stevie Wonder to Billy Joel, Elvis to Sinatra, Diana Ross to Michael Jackson, the musicians that America has created span music categories far and wide and are an important part of growing up in the U.S. On the way to work or class, I see students, teachers, and everyone in between with earbuds in playing their own music interests and nodding along with the music. Across the nation, music is created, allowing different cultures and lifestyles to be born. On the west coast, you’ve got the Beach Boys, The Doors, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and many others, on the east coast you’ve got Sinatra, Billy Joel, Madonna, Billie Holiday, Jennifer Lopez, and once again, many others. Far and wide, musicians are bursting from the seams of America’s borders and I am proud to say that my interests show the wide variety of talent that America has to offer. The American music scene is rich with talent and original sounds that it’s difficult to think of American culture without it in it.
Hopefully someone reading this has realized what few things make up the American culture and realize how important they are. Who knows, maybe this entire rant has been a rant, but maybe, just maybe someone is headed to the nearest Walmart or Target to go and get a Sinatra CD, a box of frozen toasted ravioli, and some MLB gear. Either way, I’ll have my Sinatra and toasted ravioli and cry when I don’t see Holliday in the pre-season, and I don’t believe that American culture is going anywhere anytime soon.
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