“If one watches the music-video-style evocation in Kony 2012 of crowds of young people joyfully mobilizing en masse to demand Kony’s arrest, it is quite hard to believe Invisible Children’s claim that their campaign encourages deep thinking — or, frankly, any thinking at all — beyond the expression of moral outrage. In the end, this is Kony 2012’s deepest flaw. For what it is actually peddling (under the flag of grassroots activism and a universal ethics of caring) is little more than a cheap techno-utopianism that conflates the entirely admirable wish for a better world with the belief that knowing how to move toward it is a simple matter, requiring more determination and goodwill than knowledge.”—David Rieff: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/14/the_road_to_hell_is_paved_with_viral_videos_kony_2012?page=0,1
Australia is such a special place. Aussies are warm, gracious people; they are haltingly direct at times though (*culture shock) [I love the expressions: “pull up” and “I gave ‘em a liven up”]. They are achievers and doers [“too easy” and “she’ll be right”]. Unsurprisingly, they wear their emotions on their sleeves; deft ironical flourishes are often not met with the same amount of subtlety… All it will take is a swift “get f**ked mate” or a “time to take a sip of concrete and harden up” to catch wafts from that drift.
I will post more Aussie photos over the next few days. My intention is to spend some time on ouya.com exploring the nature of Australia’s changing National identity- owing in large part to the increasing heft of the Country’s top trading partners- rising Asian economies- and the transactions of ‘soft power’ that arise from those economic interdependencies.
Culture is one of the most complex concepts in the social sciences, and with the globalization of our economies its importance ever increases. In this short paper I have argued that people in positions of responsibility in our multicultural world are tempted by seven specific sins in dealing with the culture concept: unawareness, ethnocentrism, amnesia, professional myopia, conceptual mix-up, academic polemics, and level confusion.
The importance of resisting these temptations is reflected in a famous quote from a French politician in the early twentieth century: “La culture c’est ce qui reste quand on a tout oublié” (culture is what is left after you forgot all else).