Posted tagged ‘soft power’

Dropping the Iron Curtain

2010/12/29

Nowadays, American bands don’t just influence American bands. American bands also influence British bands, Canadian bands, Australian bands, heck, American bands influence at the very least bands all over the world, if not also in places that aren’t even planets, like Pluto. (sorry Pluto)

The same was the case during the Cold War. Despite the USSR’s official rejection of western culture, all things American were slipping through the Iron Curtain. Music was no stranger to this transmission into Eastern Europe and the USSR. Musicians picked up from acts like Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Velvet Underground, and of course later punk bands like the Talking Heads. I know this to be true because I read about it in a fanzine called Flagpole Magazine, from Athens, Georgia.

BIX

In 1991, a band called BIX came across the Atlantic to perform across the United States. They were from Lithuania, a country that had just declared independence from the Soviet Union. Already veterans of playing throughout Europe, and at a short 1990 US tour including a stop at the New Music Seminar in NYC, BIX was back for their second tour of America.

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Spam might not be real food, but it’s a real American hero

2010/12/26

Don’t tell the terrorists, but America’s secret weapon is none other than SPAM. And it has been since World War II.

the real key to a woman's heart

Kevin Connolly from the BBC provides some Spam trivia:

-The US supplied huge amounts of Spam to the USSR in WWII
-Its original name was Hormel Spiced Ham – the name Spam was chosen in a competition
-Production in the UK (in Liverpool) ceased in 1998
-Hormel Foods sued Jim Henson in 1995, after an “evil” boar called Spa’am featured in a Muppets movie
-Spam email is said to have been named after the Monty Python sketch, where the word takes over the dialogue
-A web archive of haiku about spam (or “spam-ku”) contains 19,000 poems

Kevin Connolly from the BBC also provides this article on Spam, American influence abroad, and a little town called Austin, Minnesota:

“How the US cemented its worldwide influence with Spam”

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