Lawrence W. Levine ends Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America with these words:
In defining and redefining the contours of culture, we are not merely dealing with intellectual abstractions; we are dealing with lives and minds, we are dealing with people, and we owe them more than the hubris of narrow self-defense; we owe them no less than the adoption of an open search for and a careful understanding of what culture has been in our past and can become in our future. (256)
The open search for culture in 2011 too often results in the utter ugliness of recognition. From the perspective of the United States of America, there is ample evidence that people are determined to murder civility in everyday life.