Perverted Sciences

Ah, isn’t it amazing how we look back at past cultures and civilizations and try to read into them or write about them as if we could understand them? It’s crazy enough that people from the USA try to write about Japan or China, much less the ancient Mayans or Vikings or Daoists.

I think of this as being a broader example of the same problem that comes from translating languages. For a translator to be effective, they must have the same energy as the person who wrote the original work — they must come from a similar inspiration. They must be on the same page (hilarious pun) as the author.

I’ve always considered anthropologists and sociologists to be somewhat perverted in their practices. One can’t possibly hope to understand another culture without going native. And even then it’s kinda questionable. Those folks just seem like missionaries to me. I know they’re trying to stay completely objective or whatever, but that’s a pure fantasy of the Victorian England period, of the Industrial Revolution in Western Europe. Scientific objectivism comes from the attitude of simultaneous novel amusement and seriousness.

Knowing a culture is having a state of mind. I think it’s unlikely people actually get more from sociology/anthropology than entertainment for themselves. Creepy…kind of like the psychologists who have dysfunctional relationships with their friends and loved ones, but have read a bunch of books and paid a lot of money for a school to say they can give advice to insane people for money. Sorry to sound like a Scientologist there, folks.

So much has been written about foreign cultures from the white, often Anglo and athiest perspective. White(ish) Europeans happen to be the ones who threw their weight around the world and walked freely through life without stigma. This is why it’s so amusing to read their interpretations of other cultures and faiths, because their investigations cannot be anything but condescending. Isn’t an “objective” look at foreign societies a really inherently European thing? Aren’t the sciences and the way they’re presented an inherently European invention?

Eh, I’m not really ragging on anybody though (insidious lie). ‘Coz, everybody is as nasty as the Europeans, aren’t they? (And when we say Europe, don’t we mean Western Europe?) Okay, the colonial Europeans were pretty obnoxious. For all we know maybe they marauded African and Asian culture.

But a deeper subject! People talk so big about making the world a perfect place, about having peace and everyone being equal. I agree, duh, but it’s not something you can convince people of through dialog. That’s why it’s so tough — you have to cut through to people in daily experiences or by tricking them into perceiving what is good. And aren’t you taking too much of their spiritual freedom then? Ha, freedom…

It’s old news nowadays, that one can’t observe things clearly by analyzing them. (Or weren’t you paying attention to my little layman’s revelation on the nature of desire versus willpower?) You can talk all day about how the sushi tastes, but it’s not until you eat the raw flesh that you know what’s up. And then once that’s over, you don’t talk about it. Except to hear your own voice. C’mon, the reason we talk and write about things is to marvel and laugh at the cleverness and intelligence present in the description of the said thing. The item of description is not actually the focus.

Exemplified: who do you really want to meet at parties? Clever people or really smart people? You’ll only like the smart people if you’re interested in their area of expertise/arrogance. But the clever people make friends all over the place, am I right? Clever people are successful because they can adapt to other people. Hmm…

Do things exist without an accompanying selfish description? I’d say yes, but that they’re boring without the clever commentary. The key term being clever.

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