Friday, June 30, 2006

Elvis Who?

My next door neighbour is from a small village in India.
He came over here not so long ago to an arranged marriage to his beautiful wife.
I was talking to hima whil ago and made a joke about Elvis having left the building.
He replied Elvis who?
I said you know Elvis Presley "The King","The White Nigger",you know Heartbreak Hotel and several hundred other hits.
He said no he didn't know this man.
I was astounded, dumbfounded even.
So I asked what about the Beatles?
He looked at me blankly.
You know "I wanna hold your hand", Sergeant Peppers,Fab Four, Mop Tops....
Sorry he said.
They worked with Ravi Shanker....
Oh this man I have heard of, he replied.
We make so many cultural assumptions, not just and people from different places but from different time periods as well.
My Indian neighbour speaks english pretty well but knows no Rock n' Roll.
I have had a similer experiences with other friends who you do a Doctor Smith and the robot impersonation at (from the 1960s TV show lost in space) and they look at you blankly.They never saw it ,only the film version which was quite different.
Which just goes to prove the old saying
"Don't assume -it makes an ass out of U and me".

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Bloggers use their heads, not lose their heads

Well I'm back here again.
I must admit I'd had a kind of bloggers block caused in some small part by Mr G.Reaper who seems to have been harvesting souls near by.
Must return to the saddle of my trusty blog, dust off my spurs and barbs and head up a posse of thoughts your way.
Ever read the real story of Easter Island?
The Polynesians who landed on this most isolated of islands found a fertile forested paradise and their population soon swelled. To amuse themselves or as some sort of inter tribal art competition they started to build large statues called Moai and as competition heated up they made bigger and bigger ones. We suspect they used the forest trees to transport these heads all over the island. Shortly before European contact they cut down the last tree and their population crashed perhaps due to the fact they could fish anymore coz they also used the trees to make canoes. So they spiraled down into war and canibalism.
You can pretty much see the whole Island from the top of the mountain in the middle,
which means they knew they were cutting down the last tree.
Why didn't they maybe leave a few standing? Because to paraphrase a prominent American -The Easter Island way of life was not negotiable.Their society was doomed by group think, a herachical structure where perhaps no one spoke out.
Of course they didn't have Bloggers either.
Increasingly the voices reporting events from inside some of the worlds closed societies, the people saying hey maybe we should keep a few trees on the island, are bloggers.Including the Middle East amongst other places.
Heres a nice example of Arab lady who speaks her mind.
Of course she is risking her liberty and perhaps her life to publish this.
I only hope shes read Handbook for bloggers put out by Reporters without Borders.
We can only wish her good luck and safe passage and maybe an invisiblity cloak!