One of my favorite things about living in another country is seeing what sort of television and songs get imported from America and the West. I already mentioned watching the ‘Jersey Shore’ with Reindeer People in a previous post.
Many travelers and some anthropologists decry globalization. They see a loss of knowledge, culture, language, and tradition. And it’s true that the forces of globalization are creating a new, more connected, seemingly less culturally diverse world. It’s important to support different cultures and respect different traditions. But, culture is also a fluid thing, and I think it’s dehumanizing to expect anyone to live the same lifestyle their grandparents did.
All this is to say, I appreciate the quirks of globalization, rather than feel threatened by them. The imported soundtrack of Mongolia for 2011-2012 includes Adele, LMFAO, and Foster the People, to name a few.
Last night, I heard a new gem on the radio in the taxi. I had not heard Toby Keith’s ode to the ‘Red Solo Cup’ before, and hearing it for the first time over the radio waves in the back seat of a taxi in Ulaanbaatar was quite a surreal experience. The song is ridiculous. And knowing that the cab driver, who didn’t speak English, couldn’t understand the absurdity of singing a song about a party cup just made me sad. I tried to explain to him why I was laughing uncontrollably in the back of his car in my pathetic Mongolian, but I know he couldn’t fully understand.
So, anyway, here is today’s globalization gem: Toby Keith’s extended commercial for cheap beer and the Solo Cup Company.