I am in L.O.V.E with Salman Rushdie’s writing, imagination, and stories! The one that absolutely captured my attention is “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers” This story is absolutely fantastic! I’ve read it three times in the past week (…and I’ll admit that it was also my daughter’s bedtime story all three time, hah!). The worlds and stories he describes truly capture the essence of the haunting journey towards finding identity whilst welcoming change, without displacement, and holding on to one’s roots without being left behind. Rushdie does such a lovely job with realistically analyzing and portraying culture and national identity.
“We, the public, are easily, lethally offended. We have come to think of taking offense as a fundamental right. We value very little more highly than our rage, which gives us, in our opinion, the moral high ground. From the high ground, we can shoot down at our enemies and inflict heavy fatalities. We take pride in our short fuses. Our anger elevates, transcends.” (Rushdie 89-90).
I cannot get enough. This paragraph by Rushdie is hypnotizing, it just rolls nicely off the tongue, but mostly because It is oh so very true. And if this paragraph could somehow come to life and become anything in the whole wide world, it’d be society. Ours, to be exact.
Way back then, when I lived life carefree, when the hardest part of my life was pushing my rose-colored glasses back up at the top of my face…so long ago, I used to toy with the idea that globalization wasn’t so bad. I mean, if anything globalization brought with it jobs! And culture! And higher economy! And blah, I’m smarter now. What many don’t realize is that while, yes, globalization does offer all of those things there is such a high price to pay; loss. Loss of identity as a culture. Where do “they” (those globalizing) stop? Who draws that line? and where do they (those being globalized) remain? What’s left?
…. maybe left believing that they too would receive a Free Radio? Hmmm, movie stars, maybe. Rushdie’s Short story “Free Radio” is both fanciful and saddening. Ramani reminds me of many of our youth, expecting one thing, obsessively, not caring of consequence or logic, but ending up with another. Hmm Ramani almost reminds me of the “how bout dat” girl. I mean, think about it…no?
What’s left if not a distorted world of what used to be? This is all I thought about as I watched Monika Bulaj’s TED talk “The Hidden Light of Afghanistan.” I was pained by the 13, 000 girls learning is basements of schools. Basements riddled with scorpions. “My aim is to give a voice to the silent people” Says Bulaj as she shows pictures of candid pictures of the effects of inhumanity, pictures that portray Afghan life. “To show the hidden lights behind the curtain of the great game, the small worlds ignored by the media” she finishes.
Doesn’t this inspire questions? Hidden, why?
I see a lot of things differently. I’m stuck on cultural identity and displacement. Educationally, I can’t help but wonder how much different society would be if we taught our youth correctly, openly, honestly. I enjoyed this course, but more so I enjoyed how much time I dedicated to shifting and unlearning what had been instilled in me throughout my entire educational life to welcome more progressive thoughts.