Wednesday, May 26, 2004

What a rich tapestry is American sandwichery

Have jersey, will travel
The standard cultural-studies response to the issue of globalization, internationalization, and the fluidity of jobs and capital is usually along the lines of glorifying the particular, the local, and regional differences. But so many of those differences are pretty much hokum. ("Wow, you call it a grinder - I call it a hoagie. What a rich tapestry is American sandwichery!"). There seems to be a general yearning for these marks of difference, perhaps especially the unimportant ones (license plates, pseudo old-fashioned "visit scenic blank" postcards, state quarters) in the face of change. (link above) calls the bluff on this - those indicators of locality aren't really much of a badge of authenticity - just difference, and pretty paltry ones at that. Local identifiers of that sort, I guess, aren't going to protect you from Halliburton or eroding family values or whatever other bugbear is eating your oatmeal.


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