With a great amount of glee, I imagine plucking a stereotypical goodfearing chap right out of some rural town in the “bible belt” and placing him in the lower east side, street side, on a Saturday at 2am… in the midst of the normal fray taking place at such a place at such a time. The reason for my glee is not purely sinister, anticipating and smiling to myself “take that fucker, you don’t even have your pocket bible on you”, but also because I enjoy what must be a mind opening experience to this said man.
Sure, there is a good chance he will recoil and become more stereotypical than he was prior, and listen and believe more than ever in socially conservative talk radio… but there is also a chance he will realize how narrow his own life has been. In fact, there is a greater chance of this because he did not choose to go to NYC to affirm his suspicions that it was a place of filthy mores and unkemptedness… I stuck him there when he wasn’t at all expecting it. After checking that he had both kidneys and his wallet in his pocket, he’d probably have to take quite a bit of time just figuring out where he was: in a dream, in an eastern European city, or Jesus knows where? … “I now understand why they call them the Indo-European language group” he’d think as he listened.
When he’s just exiting confusion, I could be a character in his play just for him, passing by and saying something to the effect as “your values have no value here.” Aw, to bask in the glory and power of one’s own culture belittling and overwhelming another’s, basically saying “your entire life’s accumulation of experiences mean very little to us”
How great it is for me now, to know that he knows his values are limited, and though he may keep them, he can’t expect them to be regarded and should respect the fact that they are very circumstantial and unoriginal, and the rest of the living breathing world has many different values and views on how life should be lived… with or without ethics, with or without religions, with or without governments.
(I am glad that I can only imagine this, that I do not have the power to actually do this to people, because of course that opens up the possibility they can do such things to me, and I know that a personal hell could be shaped for me just as easily as I shaped one for this man)
Thanks for reading! More as soon as I get opinionated near a laptop again!