Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gutless Caribbean Scum (Pt.1)

Modern society loves 'uniformity'... it irks me. My special grouse has always been with the education system. The transformation of our classrooms into factories that manufacture little dicta-regurgitating ibots upsets and concerns me to no ends!

I'm always cussing that they put limits on our creativity and self-expression: word limits, time limits, page limits... thought limits!! And oh how they love to throw up the almighty past to us as superior; and urge us to be like long-dead and well-gone people, (or some unimaginative classmate who happened to master imitation of aforementioned deceased), instead of encouraging us to delve deeper to unearth the individual diamonds of potential we all possess.

In some ways, the quest for 'one world' seems similar to this mass de-individualising of our children and youth. This mad obsession with 'one world'... this obsessive compulsive need that some nations seem to feel to ensure that everybody else conforms to one standard (usually theirs)... where is it leading?? Where is it going??

It often seems to me that the human race lacks the ability to look at its history, look at its present and answer one simple question: where are we going?? And as if that question is not elusive enough, you can't imagine the quizzical, blank stares you'll get for the second most crucial question: who is leading us??

The Caribbean has trouble answering these questions as well... maybe because we're spineless wimps who would rather merely exist than face the answers to these hard questions: Where are we going and who is at the helm?? Who is our Commander-in-Chief? Whose orders are we following? What orders are we following?

The Caribbean is, according to Rex Nettleford, the ideal model of what the world is trying to achieve through globalisation: different people and cultures and races melted into one big pot, sharing the same geographical space. CARICOM is supposed to epitomise this union of cultures and people.

But I often wonder if we ever stopped to think that maybe our social constructs and standards not so similar that we can throw everybody into one pot and just melt away the differences. And even then, after everybody conforms to one standard, then what?? A big, beautiful, boring world?? Is that really the aim of all these efforts at unions and uniformity?

If the aim is to make everybody equal, then why are we preaching our idea of governance as superior to everybody else's, instead of accepting that it is possible for us to be different -very, very different- but still equal?

I'm probably missing something essential in the equation, but it seems to me that this quest for one region, for one world - is accompanied by a great evil: the crucifixion of our human/national individualities...

Of course, that leads to the question of whether or not these lines of demarcation aren't all farcical creations in one man's attempt to laud himself as superior to his neighbour. Are our 'cultural differences' myths? Or are they realities that help to fuel our fear of facing our truths??

6 comments:

Rae said...

Thought provoking Ruthi, and that title is a real grabber. I can see you are very passionate about this, and rightly so.

The Seeker said...

hmmmm.......
You raise a number of very volatile points here. And to respond to them would mean I'd have to write an epistle.... So i'll leave it at i think you are both right and wrong......

Orrette said...

Very Interesting reflections, or might I say points of view. I must objectively say It makes good reading. Cant wait for the part two. Alert me when it is out.

I relish a phylosophical debate and greatly appreciate people who think for themselves.

Not many people are bold enough to even open their eyes to the chaos that has been created through the manipulation of humanity. We have become an experiment, so we have to learn everyday how to live again, where to go and why and when.
Even politics have now become science and although science itself was born out of Phylosophy, we have lost our ability to do operational thinking. We have made life so easy that we become lazy and comfortable with what is normal while the next generation suffers. We are locked into logic while nature remains stochastic

Schools have become businesses in keeping with the capitalist mentality...

"The Way of the World"

Cheers
OJB

Annie Paul said...

Hey Ruthie,

good one, yes, what's wrong with difference? If we could all learn to live with difference rather than insisting on conformity the world would be a better space...

heavylogix said...

Very powerful ideas you expressed here. Schools do seem to be mostly about rewarding conformity rather than the truly creative. What is interesting is that Jamaicans are naturally non-conformist yet they are closed minded like the Taliban itself at the very same time.

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