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Foreign Culture Fetish


(permanent link) added: 2010-01-05 16:09:44 sponsor: Yamikuronue (last reply: 2010-01-05 16:09:57)

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A fandom trope. Many fans, upon discovering that they like one aspect of a certain culture (the most common example these days being Japanese Cartoons), quickly decide that "Japanese cartoons are WAY better than [insert nationality of fan] cartoons". Soon after, some extremist fans (often dubbed "weeaboos" or "wapanese") begin decrying anything western at all, claiming that Japanese *everything* is better - food, clothing, language, technology, all forms of media. Often they're only enamored of The Theme Park Version of the given culture, purposefully ignoring all negative points.

This can lead at times to Hype Backlash against, well, an entire country. Also often leads to Pretty Fly for a White Guy on the part of the fan. Common non-Japanese targets include France (among the intellectuals) and America (in many countries). If they're only enamored of a given art from from a culture, that's True Art Is Foreign.

NO specific person examples please! Let's keep it general (genres or countries) or specific to works of fiction.

Fictional Examples:
  • The Mikado: "There's the idiot who praises, with enthusiastic tone/All centuries but this and ev'ry countrie but his own"
  • Patience: "I do not long for all one sees/That's Japanese."
  • The Cyber Punk genre has a Japanophile tenancy, partially as a function of key writer William Gibson's affinity and fandom and partially as a response to the impressive technological and economic progresses of Japan during the genre's peak. The future was going to occur there.
  • In Lucifer, the demons developed a vogue for 18th-19th century England (can't remember the period exactly) and were extremely pleased to have a soul from that era teach them how to best immerse themselves in it.
  • The Teen Girl Squad spinoff "4 Gregs" has Japanese Culture Greg.
  • Mentioned at one point in Something Positive (other than the whole "smite the catgirld" thing) by one of the characters after she scared off some guy with a Calling Your Attacks moment: she says adding "Ancient Secret Chinese thechnique" will scare opponents off much more effectively, adding "White people are so much fun" or words to that effect.
  • Mad Men's Bert Cooper is very much the orientalist. That is, the old-school version of the japanese culture fetish.

Historical examples:
  • Ancient Romans adored Greek culture starting around the 3rd century BC.
  • Australia had (has) a very strong Anglophile streak, lessening in the 1970's to be replaced by America, though that's more of a conflicted fandom.
  • Hungary had a hardon for anything that's not Russian while the Iron Curtain was up. Then, after 1989 the foreign stuff started pouring in, and throughout The Nineties people were going crazy for literally anything that came from west of the border. This eventually led to the development of an ultra-nationalistic cultural (and political) movement around the turn of the millennium.
  • During the High Middle Ages, and again during the Grand Siecle there was a French fashion, in which all true courtliness was done according to the manner of the French court, and, if possible, in the French language.
  • The Renaissance went through a Greco-Roman fad, which was repeated (naturally) during the Neoclassical period of the early 19th century.
  • In the 18th century, there was a Turkish fad (some of you may remember it from Amadeus.
  • After Napoleon's Battle of the Nile, there was an Egyptian fad, which was repeated in the 1920's after the discovery of King Tut's tomb.
  • There was a Scottish fad in Victorian England for a while (c. 1870-1880).
  • Ludwig II of Bavaria had a thing for pre-Revolution era France, Voltaire believed in a "benevolent despot" system after visiting Russia and Prussia, and in more recent times, there was this one black guy in post WWII US who firmly believed everything was better in the USSR, including the treatment of minorities. When Stalin died and the corruption of the system revealed, he never recovered from the shock.
  • "Eastern" Spirituality in so many of its glorious forms are really a "western" imagination of something deemed excitingly exotic, peaceful and, well, "spiritual", and most of all, full of opportunities to escape one's dull life.
  • Also applies to martial arts.
  • Oh, and way back in the 70s, everything American was sooo hip in Europe.
  • A very touchy example is the glorification of all things Africa by black Americans, most of whom are not seen as "fellow Africans" by people currently living on that continent, but are rather viewed as simply Americans with darker skin color.
  • Quite a few Estonians liked German culture in the late 19th century and tried to imitate it. They were called juniper Germans and has a reception of your typical Wapanese.
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