Thoughts and ramblings on tech, media, culture, and food. Plus some other stuff, I'm sure.

Thoughts on Nationalism

Or maybe it should be on internationalism.

Consuming culture. Right? The ways we consume cultural media changes how we look at the world. Personal example. I support England in the World Cup. But I'm an American. This results in a lot of idiocy about how unpatriotic I am and how terrible England's team is (look at your own team USA). Know what else? I watch British television, buy imported British snacks, have my office decorated in London-themed artwork and spell using the Queen's English. I enjoy books about English and Irish history by British authors, keep up on UK politics (I followed this year's election pretty closely), and enjoy English beers.

Maybe I am unpatriotic. So what? What about those kids who absorb anime and all manner of Japanese culture and dream of moving there? Many of them would support Japan's teams (if they weren't too geeky to like sports, that is) and have started the process of learning the language.

What we consume culturally affects the framework by which we view the world. I have consumed a lot of British entertainment media, and its influence comes out in the cultural references I make in every day speech, in the sports teams I support and in the places I vacation.

The digitizing of the world has made cultural boundaries smaller. I can easily get ahold of just about any media from any country with a few online searches. I can interact with friends in Somerset or research universities in Sussex and London instantly. I can follow blogs like Londonist and maintain a connection, even if several degrees removed from actual life and citizenship.

To me, patriotism and nationalism are changing. McLuhan talked about the global village and I would say we are going beyond that. Where media has converged already (and international media will soon be ubiquitous), nationalism will eventually move. As we are more defined by our cultural preferences and leanings, our location won't matter as much.

And soon I won't be as bothered that I was born in America rather than the UK.