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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Duality in America

Recently, I was in south of France where people live more of a Bohemian lifestyle and I saw a few people wearing t-shirts with a picture of Kate Moss showing her middle finger.

There is a context behind the picture with Kate Moss drugs scandal and revival of her career after that.

I wondered how people would react if I wore the T-Shirt back home in a suburb of San Francisco. So, I bought the T-Shirt. Last week, I wore it and sat outside a cafe where a lot of people walking by could see the shirt.

The reactions were quite amusing. Some people were shocked. Some could not believe and they had to look again. Some were visibly angry others looked away after a glance. The people I know told me that I was wearing a radical shirt. However, they could not explain to me what was so radical about the shirt.

In business, technology, entertainment, and Science, the US leads the world in openness to new ideas, new people, and risks. However, the social life is still dominated by traditional Christian values.

America represents a fascinating duality of conservatism and openness in the same culture.