Tag Archives | Americana

Americanization Training At An Indian Call Center

graveyard400The most marketable skill in India today is the ability to abandon your identity and slip into someone else’s.

An American spends his summer at an Indian call center, including a boot camp in which new employees try to change their nationality in three weeks by shedding their accents, gazing at photos of Walmart, watching Seinfeld, and eating pepperoni. Via Mother Jones:

I am waiting for a company cab, now an hour and a half late, to drive me across town to a call center, where an Indian “culture trainer” will teach me how to act Australian. For three weeks, a culture trainer will teach us conversational skills, Australian pop culture, and the terms of the mobile-phone contracts we’ll be peddling.

Bright recent college grads pore over flashcards and accent tapes, intoning the shibboleths of English pronunciation—”wherever” and “pleasure” and “socialization”—that recruiters use to distinguish the employable candidates from those still suffering from MTI, or “mother tongue influence.” The lucky ones will secure Spartan lodgings and spend their nights (thanks to time differences) in air-conditioned white-collar sweatshops.

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Because I Can: How This American Celebrates Osama Bin Laden’s Demise (Video)

Adrian Chen on Gawker got in touch with the video's creator:
I made this video because I felt like it represented a feeling many Americans shared regarding the brave and daring actions of our service members who tenaciously and doggedly pursued Osama Bin Laden. I feel like it represents something in the collective consciousness of America at that particular moment in time. A cathartic release.
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Coca-Cola’s Secret Recipe Finally Revealed

Coca-ColaWell, no surprise there’s no cocaine in it (it hasn’t had that “health elixir” for quite some time) but interesting to note there’s one ingredient only Coca-Cola can get — fluid extract of coca (the leaves stripped of cocaine) — due to a deal with the DEA. Casey Chan writes on Gizmodo:

The secret recipe of Coke has been hidden and locked down for 125 years. But apparently, not anymore. This American Life says they’ve found the ingredients that make up the delicious bubbly cola and have revealed it to our delight.

The story starts with John Pemberton, a Civil War veteran who’s credited with inventing Coca-Cola. His original recipe was written down in a recipe book of various ointments and medicines that was passed down from generation to generation.

A photograph of that recipe, from that very recipe book, was taken in the Feb. 18, 1979, edition of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution and only recently came to light when Ira Glass from This American Life stumbled upon it.

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‘The Empire Strikes Back’ & Others To Be Preserved By U.S. Library

VaderStar Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back is to be preserved by the US Library of Congress as part of its National Film Registry:
Each year, 25 "culturally" significant films are added to the registry, which was founded in 1989. Lucas's Star Wars and American Graffiti are among the 550 titles already selected for preservation. This year's raft of entries includes Robert Altman's 1971 western McCabe and Mrs. Miller starring Warren Beatty, Blake Edwards' The Pink Panther and Elia Kazan's first feature film, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, made in 1945.
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Peaceful Countries Do Not Celebrate Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingBrownscombe

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" by Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914).

Thanksgiving commemorates the successful harvest and a time the Pilgrims gathered to give thanks, sharing a feast with their Native American neighbors, who had made possible their survival in the New England wilderness.

“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” written by Henry “Dean” Alford, the gifted Christian leader of the 19th century and distinguished theologian and scholar, is considered to be one of the finest harvest and Thanksgiving hymns in all of the hymnals of Christian singing.

Writers and textbook publishers of American history have generally omitted or, if mentioned at all, glossed over historic accounts of genocide and inhumane treatment of American Indian populations.

The mythology of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights is a national story of great significance to the way the United States views itself.

The United States of America was founded on the fundamental principle of freedom of religion.… Read the rest

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Beneath the Surface: Nashville’s Flood of 2010

Almost completely ignored by the national media (eg. CNN’s big headline on May 3 was — and I cringe — “Catastrophic” Flood Being Ignored?, which was just an iReport), the flood destroyed thousands of homes and killed at least 34 people.

This is a first-hand account, posted on  “Confessions of a CyberCasualty”:

JoeBot, "Disaster Tourist" (Photo: Andrew Edman)

The rain came on May Day without mercy, drenching Middle Tennessee for nearly two days. The downpour finally let up on Sunday — May 2 — immediately drawing disaster-tourists with cameras in hand.

I join them downtown on 1st Avenue, by the Cumberland River. The water marker reads 47′, and it’s climbing fast. Gawkers gather around to document the progress.

The riverfront stage is completely submerged at this point, but that doesn’t stop the show. We all watch an endless parade of municipal trashcans, propane tanks, dock stairs, basketballs, and uprooted trees floating down the river.… Read the rest

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