I love the Great British Baking Show (The Great British Bake Off, in the UK) for many reasons. Here is one: It is an embodiment of some of what is best about Western culture.
Each season's group of contestants starts out with a very visible mix of ethnicities, and I'm sure this is deliberate. I'm also sure that there are many who dismiss this as "politically correct posturing." But that's a mistake.
You might notice something else about the people chosen to be contestants: While they are all very unique individuals, with different backgrounds, different ages, different styles, probably different political and religious affiliations, they share one thing in common: They all display a strong sense of sportsmanship, even coming to each others' aid (the aid of their competitors) when it is needed.
That's not something you'd necessarily see on most American reality/competition shows. But it is a trait that is common to Western cultures–even American culture to some extent, despite what media that celebrates what is most base about us would have us believe. There are cultures in the world in which this is not the case. There are cultures–and I've spent time in some–that view sportsmanship, and helping one's fellow man, not as virtues, but as signs of stupidity.
I can't help noticing that those who are most up in arms about the global assault on Western culture–and yes, there is one–often tend to be very vague about just what it is that's being assaulted, just what, precisely, this "Western culture" is that they are so intent on defending. When pressed, they will come up with things like: Private property rights, a system of due process, the rights of the individual, etc. And of course I agree with all of these, and I believe that their preservation is critical to maintaining civilization.
But at its core, and I would argue intimately tied to these things, is something else. It is what underlies the whole individual rights thing, and while it is too much of a stretch to say that it doesn't exist at all in any non-Western cultures, it is certainly true that there are cultures in which it has not taken root. And that is the idea that each individual is valuable in his or her own right; that every human being is sacred–not because of their utility, or because they belong to a certain family or group, but just because they are. At its heart, Western culture has a universalist view of humanity. At its core, it is at odds with tribalism.
And this is what the Great British Baking Show demonstrates so beautifully. All of the participants are British, and not only because they live in Britain and have the proper paperwork to show. They are British in their attitude and in their values. None of which have anything to do with skin color or birthplace or ancestry. The GBBS is a living embodiment of the fact that Western culture is a set of ideas and values and that anyone can adopt them and put them into action. They are not fundamentally tied to any particular piece of earth, set of genetic material, or even baking ingredients.
There is absolutely a culture war raging in the world right now. But it is a war of ideas and values, not of nationalities and tribes. And it is certainly not a war that is won by building walls or slamming doors on those who would partake of those ideas and values.