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713 posts tagged with culture.
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Help me adjust to (or tolerate) the Midwest...

I grew up and attended university on the East Coast. I don't know what I was thinking when I matriculated at a graduate program in the Midwest-- perhaps I thought that having lived in diverse settings would be a good life experience or something (?) ... Well, what's done is done, and I'm here for the next three years. Please help me better deal with this culture shock! [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 14, 2014 - 60 answers

What do I need to be a bedroom / no plans on going public / turntablist?

I am obsessed with DJ Yoda, who is a pretty famous turntablist DJ. Example of his work In a nutshell, he takes either existing music or beats he creates on his own and mixes it with dialogue samples from other music, tv shows, movies, etc.....Add some scratching and all that type of stuff. I wanna learn how to do that. What do I need? [more inside]
posted by TwilightKid on Mar 10, 2014 - 3 answers

Best of New Orleans

A friend and I are taking a short trip (about 3 days) to New Orleans. We're staying near the French Quarter, access to buses and bikes. Where should we go, what should we do? [more inside]
posted by serelliya on Mar 8, 2014 - 7 answers

I have a $33,000 dream. Plus or minus 10K.

I'd like to buy a home in a very cheap place that still has culture--local, regional, and national music. Museums, public attractions, parks. Bike friendly and/or walkable and/or good public transportation system. Great natural attractions nearby--hiking, rafting, kayaking, swimming, climbing, caving, hunting, fishing. Where is this possible? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Mar 4, 2014 - 44 answers

African languages among enslaved people in the USA.

When did enslaved Africans in the US stop speaking African languages? [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Mar 2, 2014 - 19 answers

Inspired by The Vagina Monologues?

Which other productions have taken on the model of The Vagina Monologues - first-person stories about gender, sexuality, and womanhood? (I'm interested in those that share the model but have custom material, not necessarily the script of VMon as performed by specific demographics.) [more inside]
posted by divabat on Feb 24, 2014 - 6 answers

Help me come up with Pop Culture ways of saying goodbye

I was thinking last night that I would would like to start being cooler. One way I have came up with is by using some really cool parting words when leaving work or groups of friends (hopefully I can get some with this new "cool" plan). Some phrases that I came up with were "Stay gold Ponyboy" and "Be Excellent to each other". Now wouldn't I be cool? But that won't get me very far down the road. What are some other awesome Pop Culture phrases I can use to leave a cool impression on people?
posted by kenaldo on Feb 20, 2014 - 68 answers

What was the last major racially-segregated event in the US?

Does anyone know what the last segregated event was in the US ? I'm curious about "major events", say around 10,000 people. [more inside]
posted by dubold on Feb 18, 2014 - 8 answers

If You Have Half A Brain

In Rupert Holmes' "Escape", there are a couple of lines that seem at odds with what I would call hippie culture, namely "If you're not into yoga" and "I'm not much into health food." Yet some of the other bits like "getting caught in the rain," "the feel of the ocean," and "making love at midnight in the dunes on the Cape" seem, to my more modern viewpoint, in line with hippie-esque ideals. So what's the deal? [more inside]
posted by papayaninja on Feb 17, 2014 - 29 answers

Moving beyond Sokal?

I am interested in articles that try to analyze and explain the conflict between the hard and soft sciences. In my casual web surfing I have come across e.g. highly-trained scientists who yet express a deep disdain for fields as open-ended and far-ranging as sociology, feminism, queer theory, postmodernism, and so on, sometimes even economics, psychology. I find such attitudes hard to comprehend, and even disturbing since my educational background is in the applied sciences. Which are the important works that have been done to better understand this ongoing social/intellectual gap, and that are presented in a readable manner for a non-expert?
posted by polymodus on Jan 4, 2014 - 10 answers

Learning how to set limits and follow through on them

I need help in learning how to firmly say no and in changing patterns that have been years in the making. I’m an empathetic and intuitive person and I’m very generous. It’s second nature to me to offer to help out or to support my friends. I come from a very ‘what’s mine is yours’ approach. I’ve given people places to stay, financial support, intensive emotional support and career assistance. I like being this way; it’s true to me and I’m not resenting or adding it up…but I feel I am training some people to exploit me or to assume they are always entitled to my help. I’m happy with these parts of myself, but recently I’ve started feeling that my kindness and sensitivity to others needs and boundaries is encouraging some people to treat me as if I have no boundaries or needs myself. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 4, 2014 - 35 answers

What are some good blogs for learning about other cultures?

I'm interested in resources (particularly blogs) that will help me learn about the interesting aspects of other cultures. I would like to be exposed to ideas that will challenge my assumptions about what is "normal" and about how society should work
posted by casebash on Jan 2, 2014 - 12 answers

Coffee in Italy Question

A friend just moved to Italy and has mentioned that almost all of the cafes in Milan and Rome now serve a product called Caffe al Ginseng (coffee with ginseng). Given Italy's status as one of the authentic and original coffee cultures, I was surprised to hear about the seaming popularity on this new offering. Can anyone shed some light on this coffee type? [more inside]
posted by beisny on Jan 2, 2014 - 10 answers

Around the World in Eighty Pages

I am trying to read my way around the globe. Can you please recommend me international fiction/memoirs that frame the contemporary culture, customs, and values of the country that it is set in? [more inside]
posted by sevenofspades on Dec 30, 2013 - 13 answers

Crush Me Out on Sweden!

I have developed an unavoidable crush on Sweden. I want to hear from Mefi locals about the best your country has to offer, things you love about living there, music, culture, all of it - help me crush out on Sweden! [more inside]
posted by Lipstick Thespian on Dec 17, 2013 - 10 answers

Examples of transactional relationships in pre-industrial cultures

Anthropologists, please help-- I'm looking for unique examples of interpersonal relationships or family/friendship customs that are blatantly transactional, specifically in so-called "primitive" tribes or far-flung cultures that exist/have existed within the past century. The more surprising, extreme, or out-there the anecdote, the better. [more inside]
posted by np312 on Nov 29, 2013 - 10 answers

How do courses at dinner work where you live?

I am in the UK and am fascinated by a 'salad course' separate to either a starter or main course. I would like to know how that works, and how a typical multi-course meal would go where you live. [more inside]
posted by plonkee on Nov 22, 2013 - 27 answers

Can you help me understand this sign of mourning I saw in Honduras?

When I was living in Honduras, I noticed that when a person died, the family would hang up a large piece of black fabric outside of their house or in their window. This banner would be cut into a shape that reminded me of a bow tie. This might be a long shot, but does anyone know what the history is behind this tradition? [more inside]
posted by Paper rabies on Nov 16, 2013 - 7 answers

Are cliques the result of human nature, or a cultural/societal thing?

OK... I'm probably going to mangle this question, because I'm not a sociologist or anthropologist, or remotely knowledgeable in those fields. So, I'm probably using all my terms incorrectly. But, long story short - it's been my experience that most behaviors that laypeople, in casual conversation, call "human nature" are really just cultural phenomena. In other words - a behavior that someone from the United States thinks is "human nature" might be completely absent in another culture or society. It that's true - then it's not really "human behavior" at all. So - my question - is the tendency for kids in grade school to form cliques "human nature" - or a phenomena that's specific to certain (e.g., our) cultures? [more inside]
posted by stuehler on Nov 5, 2013 - 17 answers

Beyond the Berlin Trilogy

Seeking recommendations on media--books (novels and nonfiction), movies, music, maybe even documentaries--on life in Berlin during the 1980s and 1990s. I'm especially interested in the punk scene and any other counter cultural groups through this time period. [more inside]
posted by Kitty Stardust on Oct 26, 2013 - 12 answers

Moving to Belgium. What do I need to think about?

This is a pretty big question but there are two essential parts to it: the things I need to think about when moving, and those I need to consider for living there for a reasonable length of time (18 months probably). [more inside]
posted by fearnothing on Oct 21, 2013 - 11 answers

Something that's lasted for a long time will continue to endure?

Is there a word to describe the idea that something that has proven its value for a long time (for example the music of Mozart) is likely to endure into the future? I remember reading something to this effect in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Antifragile, but my a search of the index and my google fu fail me. TIA
posted by quidividi on Oct 19, 2013 - 18 answers

Who said "culture is the rulership of the dead over the living"?

Who said something like "culture is the rulership of the dead over the living"? Is is Zizek? Looking for an exact quote please. [more inside]
posted by esprit de l'escalier on Oct 15, 2013 - 7 answers

Answer this question, and I may send you a stupid t-shirt.

What is the origin, or the earliest known example, of the "X went to Y and I all got was this stupid T-Shirt?" t-shirt?
posted by Shepherd on Oct 11, 2013 - 11 answers

How Do I Take in Better Stuff?

How do I practice better taste - in my art, music, and other kinds of cultural consumption - without being a prude or curmudgeon or elitist? [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something on Oct 8, 2013 - 19 answers

What to do about a difficult roommate?

I freely admit I'm not good at having aggression directed towards me, so I can't tell what to do. Essentially, cultural differences are making it really hard to get along with my roommate. Please help this co-op living delicate flower (me) coexist happily with my very German roommate! Like everyone, I am a special snowflake. This is long and detailed because I'm processing as I write. [more inside]
posted by c'mon sea legs on Sep 29, 2013 - 48 answers

How can I improve my writing?

My writing tends to be very brief, and it's difficult for me to write long essays that are good. Also, I would like to start writing literary and cultural critiques and would like MeFites' advice. [more inside]
posted by myitkyina on Sep 28, 2013 - 11 answers

Who was that guy?

I know Walter Benjamin treasured a drawing by Paul Klee, Angelus Novus (angel of history).. So much so that he wrote about it in his essay "Theses on the Philosophy of History". [more inside]
posted by Mister Bijou on Sep 27, 2013 - 2 answers

Why do I have strong emotional reactions to smell and music but not art?

Why is it that people have super-strong reactions to different types of sensory stimulants? Do you have any tales of experiencing strong reactions to visual art as opposed to sounds and smells? [more inside]
posted by fishingforthewhale on Sep 26, 2013 - 33 answers

Miley twerking?! MeFiNK needs a regular pop-culture schooling.

MeFite, No Kids here. Where do I dedicate 15 minutes a day on the internets toward study of what's fresh, even if it's stupid? [more inside]
posted by AnOrigamiLife on Sep 23, 2013 - 25 answers

Advice on really appreciating/taking advantage of living abroad?

How I can make the most out of a few months living in a foreign country? If you've spent time living abroad, what kinds of things were you most glad you did (and/or most regret not doing)?  What helped you feel like you were really experiencing/appreciating a different culture?  (Definitely interested in general advice, but FYI I'm in Buenos Aires if you have specific thoughts.) [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Sep 19, 2013 - 10 answers

Portuguese cemetery wall vaults?

I was recently in a small village cemetery in Portugal. In the cemetery there was a wall with coffins interred on shelves, with a modern lockable double glazed door over each vault so that you could look in at the contents. [more inside]
posted by mani on Sep 16, 2013 - 9 answers

Please help me to understand the drinking culture of my boyfriend

My boyfriend is german and I am spanish. We are both in our early 30s and are together for 2 years. Our relationship is good and in general we deal quite well with the fact that we come from very different cultures. However, there is a topic where we always fight. In my opinion, he drinks too much and too often beer. In his opinion, he is doing what all his friends and family are doing and he even drinks moderately compared to them. He doesn't like to get drunk every time he drinks but he likes to get boozed. [more inside]
posted by maggie32 on Sep 13, 2013 - 44 answers

I've exhausted Iain M. Banks. I want more. What should I read next?

So I'm a dedicated Culture fanatic and have loved almost everything I've read by Iain M. Banks. (His Iain Banks stuff is pretty good too, but his sci-fi is what I really dig.) I particularly love the holistic, humanist morality that pervades his work and the way that he digs right down into the philosophical implications of various ideas and worldviews while simultaneously serving up lots and lots of sex, action, and sensawunda. However, I've read everything he's written several times over. What should I read next? [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Sep 9, 2013 - 37 answers

Religious pilgramages united India prior to British rule?

I read an article a few months ago that challenged the idea that British colonization united and created the country of India. Instead it suggested that religious pilgrimages to holy sites across vast distances prior to British rule created a cultural cohesiveness prior to any British involvement. Now I can't find it! I am pretty sure it was on reddit but I can't find it. Please help!
posted by j03 on Sep 6, 2013 - 6 answers

Balzac's Benchwarmers

Recently, I purchased a complete set of Balzac's Human Comedy for my Kindle. At roughly the same price as my morning coffee. Balzac was a infamously productive writer. So I'm asking for some recommendations to help me navigate this hyoooge corpus. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Sep 1, 2013 - 4 answers

Visual Culture Films

I need suggestions for movies to show in a series I'm curating. The series is associated with a Visual Studies program, and so I'm seeking films that relate to visual culture or non-cinematic modes of representation in some meaningful way. In other words, the theme of the series is intermediality. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Aug 28, 2013 - 20 answers

Help help I’m trapped in a Graham Greene novel

I am in a foreign country. I just had an encounter with another foreigner, on his way back to his own country, which went along the lines of “You’ll never make it here, you are destined to be unhappy, these are people for whom lying is second-nature.” I just moved here and I feel like I’m being sabotaged. [more inside]
posted by spaceheater on Aug 20, 2013 - 36 answers

Age-Gap Relationships in Europe

I just finished watching Fat Girl (2001) [French: À ma soeur!], I'm currently reading A Certain Age by Rebecca Ray and I previously read and watched An Education. In every one of those films and/or books, an early teen (e.g. In A Certain Age the girl is 14.) has a boyfriend that is at least in his late twenties. In each case, the mother doesn't seem to mind, the father is only a bit annoyed and the man is even allowed to come to the house for dinner. Are these open age-gap relationships anomalies or are they common in Europe?
posted by lrnarabic on Aug 10, 2013 - 25 answers

How is the jargon in Shadowrun translated in other languages?

Kind of curious about this. I know Shadowrun does/did well in Germany, and has/had at least a nominal presence in Japan. One of the (for good or ill) characteristics of the setting is the jargon and street slang. How are these translated into other languages? What are some examples?
posted by curious nu on Jul 26, 2013 - 4 answers

Where can I find reactions to the original Godzilla?

How did audiences in Japan 9 years out of WW2 react to the extensive use of war-imagery in the original 1954 Godzilla? [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Jul 21, 2013 - 2 answers

"Late" to the game - Cultural/Therapy/Educational Qu. - Snowstorm?

Hey folks. I'm having some hang ups lately about arriving "late" to some areas of culture and life. I'm also still in a "phase" where I am reaching out, establishing new social circles, and attempting to validate a sense of self(I just* turned 24). Largely, I am wondering if any Mefites happen to recall stories of success, especially on a grand scale, of folks who pursued passions academic or not, a wee bit later in life and still fought/worked/finessed a means of becoming successful/happy/prolific in their fields or passions - especially after a means of difficult time or trauma. Super inspiration, please? Motive to keep going, work harder, even if you feel like you've been pretty beaten up/down and out for a little while? Stories of life-changing occurrences or pick-ups in character/pace, in a positive/radical/tremendous way? [more inside]
posted by thewolfandewe on Jul 17, 2013 - 8 answers

Watch your vegetables first, then dessert

My ten year old wants to spend most of her summer days on the couch streaming TV over our roku. It is a zillion degrees outside with 200% humidity, so I sort of understand the couch potato impulse. How can I direct her so that her couch potato time doesn't spud her brain? [more inside]
posted by cross_impact on Jul 16, 2013 - 23 answers

What's cool in Metro Manila, Philippines? I'm new and I need friends.

What's cool in Metro Manila, Philippines? I'm new and I need friends. [more inside]
posted by Hawk V on Jul 13, 2013 - 10 answers

What interesting unique items should I buy in Japan?

I'm travelling to Japan for the first time. I'll be there for about a week, and want to buy some interesting, unique, useful items. What can I buy in Japan that I can't get anywhere else, or that is better than what I can get elsewhere? I'm a utilitarian minimalist who doesn't like owning stuff for the sake of stuff. I like things that are useful, well-designed, beautiful and high-quality. I also like small things. What should I buy in Japan, and what kind of stores should I be looking for? [more inside]
posted by Susan PG on Jul 5, 2013 - 32 answers

Tips for travelling to Kurdistan

Does anyone have recent experience of Erbil in Kurdistan? [more inside]
posted by arcticseal on Jul 2, 2013 - 2 answers

How did the Japanese public come to admire U.S. culture, post WWII?

Japan and the Japanese public are often portrayed as being admirers of the culture of the United States. But within living memory the two countries were involved in a brutal war, which culminated in conventional and nuclear bombings targeting Japan's citizenry and devastating their country. In Japan's case, how did a societal contempt sufficient to wage and sustain total war turn, in such a short time, into a societal affinity sufficient for some to embrace many parts of the culture of the nation that had dealt them destruction on such a massive scale? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Jul 1, 2013 - 14 answers

Most libertarian culture in history

What culture throughout history has most closely approximated the Ayn Randian ideal of the libertarian state? [more inside]
posted by goethean on Jun 20, 2013 - 15 answers

Examples of background clues from vocabulary and/or usage?

When someone says head or latrine for bathroom its likely that they were in the military or around the military. A less common example,when someone says "avoid the near occasion" about something its likely that they are from a Roman Catholic background, I'd even say its use indicates a likelihood that they are or were a priest, seminarian, religious, in a kind of serious catholic family or school etc. Reckon is a common word and its being used once doesn't mean anything but when its use is pretty frequent it might be indicative of someone's having lived in the south east United States. When people say pop instead of soda or coke they likely are from somewhere roughly between Chicago and Denver, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Things like this interest me and I'm sure I know only a infinitesimal fraction of a percent of them. Do you have any like observations to share? [more inside]
posted by logonym on Jun 19, 2013 - 92 answers

Wedding and controlling parents-- how to cope

I'm getting married in 10 days, and it's stressful for everybody involved, mostly because I have controlling parents who are intricately involved with every part of this. Any tips/advice for coping with this situation? Lots of culture-specific snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 18, 2013 - 45 answers

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