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Thoughts on the Culture Code, by Clotaire Rapaille
Part 4: Keep Dreaming: America in the eyes of Europe
So far in this series of thoughts based on The Culture Code, by cultural anthropologist and marketing Guru, Clotaire Rappaille, we’ve talked about Emotional Imprinting and the meaning of “toilet paper”, “sex” and “love” as well as the meaning of “shopping” and “Christmas” in America.
Before we reveal the one word, the “Code”, that unlocks the heart of the American, let’s take a moment to answer the question, what one word or “Code” captures the European view of America?
Let’s start with the French. According to author Clotaire Rappaile, the word that explains France to the French is the word, IDEA. Rappaille explains that the French are confounded by the fact that, while they [the French] see themselves as defined by IDEA, America actually leads the world in the arena of ideas. So confused are the French, says Rappaille, that, during their surveys, they consistently spoke of Americans as if they were an alien race. The Code for Americans, then, for the French is SPACE TRAVELER.
The German stands equally befuddled. The word that describes the self identity of the German is ORDER . They see themselves as superior in education, engineering and creating order, and yet see the primitive Americans doing things on the world stage that they cannot. Their word, according to the Culture Code, that defines America is JOHN WAYNE. A good-guy cowboy who rides into town, saves the day and then leaves with no thought of reward.
The word that unlocks the Culture Code of the English is CLASS. To be born british is to be born to a priviledge given at birth. To the English, the “loud” American lacks restraint and tradition. What impacts them is that America is “supersized” in every sense of the word . The word that unlocks the Code of how the English view the American is UNASHAMEDLY ABUNDANT.
That’s how Americans look to the French, Englsh and German. But how does the American look to himself? What word unlocks the code that moves the American heart? The Culture Code for America is…
Americans dreamed of putting a man on the moon, the founding generation dreamed of a democratic nation, the westward migration of Americans was wet with dreams of land, homes and gold, immigrants dream of a better life in America. America’s role in the world is to keep the dream alive. Pessismism is totally “off code” for America. Maybe that’s why the naysaying, depressed, pessimistic half-angry emerging postmodern pastor may have been an item of recent interest but fell way short of becoming a hero or model in America. He was just jealous. He might as well have been French. Americans are moved by dreamers who do and doers who dream. That’s why the long standing tagline on Niza’s Blog is so “on Code”. She really nailed something good in the American soul, the ability to dream. So in the words of Niza, “keep dreaming.” All of the west and the world need dreamers like you…whether you’re American or not.
See you in the mystic.