Cultural Exchange: Roman Baths, French Metalwork, Boats and Cars

First of all, I want to share this WSJ article which summarizes a prevalent East Asian attitude about Elitist Japan.

Then, go watch Thermae Romae. It’s an enjoyable show. Not because what is amusing about that show is how it subtly extol exactly that virtue. But what’s even more amusing is the way our time-traveling designer/architect adopts those technologies for his own use.

I mean, it’s almost offensive if you read it too deep.

[Also, when I see Mingosu on stage I always think “FLAT-FACED TRIBE” now. Also #2, inc. iM@S post.]

It makes the cultural exchange in Croisee a little more palatable (rather than boring, I suppose) because now you have at least two cultures of similar status trading things.

As opposed to, say, in Aria, which is more just tourism.

The other day I read an article about how Sony is considering shutting down its battery manufacturing operation within Japan and moving to some other Asian country. That’s how everything in the electronics industry is going these days, as well as many others. But there are still some consumers who cling to that national brand/identity as a synonym as quality. It belies the nature of IP and mass production, at least by today’s standards. Of course, I am not going to disagree to the observed reality that at times, one factory can produce something better than another producing the same SKU, but usually there is some specific reason that can be (and often is) resolved by engineers, managers, and employees, on the road to globalization. I mean don’t Honda and Toyota spend a ton of effort and money to fight this problem?

I think more concretely, and importantly, there’s something to be said that in the end, at the end of the day, at last, we can enjoy Thermae Romae as a fun piece of entertainment. It is just like how I can surely enjoy the tastes of the best French cuisine made in Japan, or the best Japan has to offer, imported from Ohio. Or go to Uniglo and see how everything is made in the same countries that makes clothes for every other brand anyway. This is the truism that props up this whole cultural remix-ism and give people even the slightest reason to give it damn.


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