For those who don't read the comments section, this is from the "Images of Morocco" feedback:
Sad to think that American style clothing is replacing ethnic diversity. Someday we'll all look the same, eat the same foods, etc. How boring!"
It seems Julie is a little uncomfortable being assimilated into the Borg. We can help her with that...
Okay, maybe not a good idea to start this with Star Trek references. I'm not the first one to point out that religious fundamentalism and global capitalism both have the same ultimate goal: worldwide conformity. Everyone joined under one system. A marketing success is something bought by the largest number of people possible. A fundamentalist is convinced that their belief system is the One True Way and isn't happy till other belief systems are eradicated. This isn't hyperbole, but history. Neither capitalism nor fundamentalism has much use for peaceful coexistence. As far as I'm concerned, the worst case scenario would be a leader who is both a former business executive and a religious fundamentalist.
One of the reasons I went to Europe was I wanted to be the "other" for a while. I like being around people and places that are different from me. Alien. Foreign. But they weren't foreign. I was. There are tourists who want to travel but want things to be as similar to home as possible. I heard them in Europe complaining about the food, the prices, the laundry service, etc. I want the basics to be the same (ie I don't want to hunt and kill my own food, but go to a market or cafe) but I want said basics to be different enough so that common everyday tasks become interesting again. Familiar dish, but new spices.
It's not just that the lack of diversity is boring, although it is. It's also a system of control. If you aren't aware of differences, you accept the status quo and soon lose the ability to conceive of something better. One of the horrifying aspects of Orwell's 1984 that's usually forgotten is the way Big Brother is eliminating words from their language, eliminating diversity of expression. Language is connected to thought and if words don't exist to express an idea, than the idea itself doesn't exist.
If kids in the Atlas mountains want to wear Yankees caps and Chicago Bulls shirts, that's fine. For them, that's diversity. It may be as much a kick for them to wear US-themed clothes as it is for me to dodge mules in a millennia-old medina. Perhaps the shirts in some small way give them a different way of thinking, hopefully opening their minds to something beyond acquisitiveness. I still dig the differences, such as how odd the Mickey Mouse slippers looked. Sometimes it's more interesting when people get it wrong. If we are moving towards a Monolithic Culture, we're not there yet. In fact, it seems like there are more subcults and strange strains in world culture than ever before. It's the opposite of the Dark Ages: there's such variety that there's no way of keeping track of it. Who knows if it will last? History doesn't travel in a straight line. It moves like a drunk finding his way home from the bar on payday. But to end on a happy note, here's a picture of Jeff Koons' topiary dog standing guard in front of the Guggenheim Bilboa.