In Which The Guardian Wishcasts
Before I start this, I want to put in the link of the article that got me started. Now you have it and can refer to it, and also read the whole thing if you have no better use for an afternoon when there’s nothing good on the telly. Usually, when I take off after an article, I try to reproduce it in its entirety, but this one consists of miles and miles of derp, and we’d be here all day. So for the full derp effect please follow the link. Meanwhile, I’ll shred selected tidbits and the general thrust of the article which amounts to denying the elephant in the room.
The Guardian – aka teh Grauniad, in homage to their amazing spelling -- is nothing if not consistent. The domain of international socialists, they continue the project the socialists started, after WWI, of convincing the west that it should be “post nation-state” or that in fact the “nation state is obsolete.” What they fail to adduce is, in fact, anything that would convince those of us not of their persuasion to believe the same.
They start, mournfully, by telling us that populist victories in a lot of countries are making it look like there’s a resurgence of a nation state, but they use language that assures us it’s no such thing, including referring to the Brexit as a national nervous breakdown – instead of a sane defensive measure to separate oneself from a Europe being eaten from within by unassimilated minorities – and resorting to the laugh line of referring to Germany as a bastion of European stability.
Seriously. I laughed out loud. Germany. Which has only been a country since the mid-nineteenth century, and which in that century and a half has been the fulcrum of two world wars, and had been broken in two for fifty years.
When it comes to history, Teh Grauniad has learned nothing and forgotten everything.
Then they go on to tell us that the nation state is obsolete since we all use google and can order from Amazon.
This is where I do the sinal salute, inclining my head and pinching the bridge of my nose between thumb and forefinger.
You’d think it was impossible for the author of this article to be a blinkered provincial since the author’s name is Rana Dasgupta, but who knows? Perhaps the author grew up in England with relatively little exposure to any other culture. Or perhaps Dasgupta is an international “intellectual” belonging to that elite that goes abroad only to communicate with their counterparts, stay at the same five-star hotels and eat the same food.
But it is obvious that however it comes about this person isn’t aware of the saying, common among archeologists, that potsherds aren’t culture. Or in this case, the stuff we all buy from Amazon and read in Google is used in completely different ways, according to the hardware in the head. As someone who had to acculturate from a relatively industrialized country to the U.S., the differences are more than would hit the eye of a casual observer — trust me on this. Cultures are still different and very much alive, and people venturing on the internet from their own nation states see everything through the lens of their own culture and might not even be aware of the differences between their view and others. (I’ve watched people from the U.S. and Europe argue past each other without realizing it.)