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« Ah, the Distances We Unsophisticated Americans Will Travel | Main | The Major Leaves Iraq »

February 24, 2004



I have this image of sophisticated French cafe life being an intense discussion of philosophy over espresso. Not dissimilar from the discussions I had in College. How accurate is this impression?

One important point. Americans devote a good deal of time to charitable causes or business organizations and events. Do Europeans have a similar sort of participation? Is this American volunterism and active efforts to improve our world our substitute for the European "sophisticated" discussions regarding the ideal world?

Do we have a "European sophistication" vrs "American volunteerism" view of our world?


I think part of being "sophisticated" the Europeans are talking about includes not having a moral compass, understanding that consensual adultery is okay, God has no place in a fabulous dilettante life, and if it feels good do it because you deserve it. Ayn Rand sure helped rationalizing "sophistication" in the US if you ask me. When did sophistication stop being the epitome of cool and start representing pretentiousness? I guess the "me" generation has done a great job screwing up the world so far.

An example of what is sophisticated in the US and what it not just came to mind:

An artistic "rendering" of the Virgin Mary that is painted with feces and shown at the Brooklyn Academy - Very Sophisticated!

A movie showing, unflinchingly, the last 12 hours of Christ's life in a historically accurate Judea directed by an artist with a passion for JC - Not Sophisticated

An aside - I understand that if you don't like avante garde art, then you just don't understand it and aren't sophisticated. The fact that it is just crap never comes into the equation.


One thing I've never been able to fathom is the disdain of religion evidenced in a Europe which collects taxes to pay for religious structures and organizations. Is it done just to molify some segment of their populace? Is this segment at all sophisticated ("S") in the eyes of those of those who are "S"? My gut instinct says the religious are not "S".

Apparently, not all citizens of "S" countries are "S". So, again I ask, who is considered to be "S"? What portion of their country IS "S"? And why do they think a lessor percent of Americans are "S" than they?


Sophistcation? Hm, I always thought it was a group of people lounging in a cafe, drinking espresso, smoking unfiltered cigarettes discussing regional/world politics. And making sense. Dressing for dinner. Men in sports jackets and women in dresses. Genteel behavior.
We just returned from the Dominican Republic where we stayed at a resort with those "sophisticated" people. Mostly French with a sprinkle of German. I learned to wait for the second serving at the buffett due to the rude behaviors I witnessed. NEVER get between a Frenchy and his baguette.

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