Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How East meets West, West East

When you say you understand the West, don’t speak to me in the tired platitudes of freedom or individualism. I cannot stand them; they stick in my mouth like cotton balls. They are tasteless and they choke all discussion, leaving nothing but sputtering and agonizing gestures that the offending words should be taken back.

Ask me: where are the communities of the West? And who struggled to forge them? And the families? The histories that bind them?

And when you come bogging on about the East, don’t begin with your blunted generalizations about relationships and duty and society and histories of 5,000 years. They are just glass panes you look through. They are ultimately the keepers of your own reflection. Through them you see whatever you want, or nothing at all.

Start with the individuals. Start with the iconoclasts. Start with the ones who stand outside, few as they are.

Understanding any people is understanding their struggle, especially the struggle with themselves.

posted by ferret at 1:10 am  

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