Saturday, July 17, 2010

Why the gab fests?

In an Economist review of John Calvert's Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism (which I have not read), the reviewer mentions Qutb's two years in the U.S. and notes that many have wondered whether that stay ("the sight of scantily clad women on the dance floors of Greely, Colorado") helped to radicalize him.

Yesterday's WSJ included "Exporting Broadway" which mentioned the popularity of Fiddler on the Roof ("The late Hisaya Morishige played Tevye 900 times over two decades") in Japan and Mary Poppins in the Netherlands (among many others).

Modernity has allure and American culture has been a huge export, probably since jazz and the early movies of the 1920s and 1930s. For some reason, I get "alerts" on the many conferences on "Globalization" around the world. I suppose that international gab fests are a fixture, but globalization will be and will be on its terms, no matter how many conferences or how much hand wringing.