According to US Embassy sources, nearly half the population of Iraq is under age nineteen, and with the heavy US-soldier presence, tough-guy hip-hop attitudes have infiltrated the country’s youth culture. A twenty-two-year-old Baghdad rapper calling himself ‘Lil Czar’ dreams of becoming a star in the US. Many youth don hoodies, call themselves ‘hustlers’ or ‘punky,’ listen to 50 Cent and Eminem, and watch Twilight movies. Skin exposure, a cultural taboo for the Iraqis, is now blatant among youth of both sexes who wear tight revealing clothing to show off their tattoos. As US soldiers prepare for departure, youth raid dumpsters to find cast-off uniforms and other memorabilia, including hats to wear with the brim turned around backward. The waiting list for English classes can be full for months. Of note in the article was a picture of a local Iraqi restaurant sporting a blatant rip-off of the McDonald’s name and themed logo color scheme.
“This is what I’ve been writing about all along in my America’s Galactic Foreign Legion series,” says science fiction author Walter Knight. Knight’s sixth book, Culture War, in particular humorously demonstrates the cultural contamination when two vastly different societies clash.
Knight’s series, although classified as military science fiction, focuses on the cultural aspects of America in a setting three hundred years in the future on the distant planet of New Colorado caught in a tug of war between the United States Galactic Federation and the Arthropodan Empire. Knight’s alien spiders draw many parallels from today’s world cultures where stricter codes of behavior are still observed.
“I see our culture as a secret weapon to take over the world,” Knight says jokingly.
(Blog note: A direct link to the AP article was not available at the time of this posting.)