The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0773 Thursday, 24 April 2003
Date: Thursday, 24 Apr 2003 17:00:51 +1000
Subject: 14.0746 A Dream of Hanoi
Comment: Re: SHK 14.0746 A Dream of Hanoi
Richard Burt's critique of this film makes me reflect on an attitude
that often crops up in the US media that it seems to me has derived, in
a curious way, from the influence of Calvinism on that culture.
It began with the confusing of money with morality, whereby poverty and
failure were viewed as morally suspect, and those with money were
assumed to be more morally worthy than the poor. That was the Calvinist
bit, but it's recently developed into a way of blending marketing with
morality. By this I mean that superior sales are treated as superior
values, and having influence is seen as a goal, rather than a means. The
fact that American culture has influence is taken as proof in itself
that it has value, even if that influence has been bought or imposed.
Is this a new form of sophistry - the best sales pitch is deemed the
The US, of course, practically invented marketing, and is better at it
than anybody. So is it just that every country seeks to turn whatever it
is best at into a virtue?
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