Remoy Philip

writer. creator. producer.

My Cultural Footprint

Forgive me, but I haven't done this in a minute.

If anybody has been alive in the last five years, you've heard, whether to your liking or not of the collision of doom that is our current state of affairs; global environmental crisis. Again, whether you believe it or not, the idea is living, growing, and booming, and with that the terms and jargon are also very alive among youngsters in cafes across the country sportin' tight jeans and angelic logic. One of those scandolous technical phrases is that of the "carbon footprint." Let's lower your/our carbon footprint. Well I have a quaint mimic of that phrase: "cultural footprint."

We can agree that the idea that the true or untrue environmental crisis is a very complex idea. A numerous amount of variables that deal with an ecology on a whole which is so obtuse that the knowledge is continuing to expand. So the efforts to chill the "footprint" means taking in a scope of understanding and doing the least amount of damage as possible. Sacrificing your selfishness in order to propel the world forward instead of living for your self while destroying a future of a very diversified world. Now there probably will not be a definitive right answer, but at least through using deductive reasoning, a person can make decisions no matter how costly to themselves in order to better this world; in order for this world to have a future. The same holds true for my idea of a cultural footprint.

I love the movie The Last King of Scotland. There's a line that Idi Amin uses to degrade Doc Garrigan: "You came to Africa to play the white man. But we aren't a game. We're real." Do you see where I'm going?

There was a point in my life where initially I thought I was doing so much good. I don't regret what I did, but now in retrospect , I see my folly and truthfully am very lucky that I learned what I did when I did. I see how my goodheartedness was an ignorant approach to living and sharing this world. I went to a place where I thought people needed my help. And I went there and I helped how I had defined and credited my "help." And for me, I was doing good; I was helping, and not only that, but I was romanticizing the place and it's people while devaluing their humanity and their world through my understanding of goodness and through pity.

It's modern colonialism. Any way you look at. There's a hegemonic power at play that defines good on a world understanding. So when that power steps across into another world--no matter how sweet and innocent and "really" good they may seem, even to themselves--especially a world or environment that is so old and delicate and privy to the manipulation of that hegemony, then any occurrence of the power meeting the prey causes serious damage to our world. This will forever alter that environment. Like how when a road for loggers is built through the temperate forests of Bolivia, a negative chain of destruction begins not with the loggers but with the road and then just snowballs and snowballs into a crisis of existence for flora, fauna, native peoples, and also just as much in the neighboring lands. Whether you understand the history of that luxurious existence or even if it doesn't have any intrinsic value to you, you are still ridding the world of that existence. It's such a cultural norm (colonialism is an almost inescapable cultural norm in the modern western world) which is taught and glorified for Americans to do. Go abroad, do good, sleep in a monastery, see the world, ethnic foods, "Eat, Pray, Love"... Jesus Christ! So when kids with selfish desires (maybe even selfless desires, but not objectively surveyed under the microscope) go into worlds that again are very delicate with diversity and are held together by a web of fragile ethnic beauty, they are capable of doing so much damage. Serious fuckin' damage.

I really don't get it. Why can't the white kids go to Canada, Europe; goddamn, the US of A is so wide open and has so much to see and learn. But for some reason people go to third world or developing countries instead of letting the native peoples deal with there own issues or at least grow in a native environment free of cultural pressures. A homogenizing of the world slowly and forever reducing the world to a static nothing. And yet, they feel the need to go to places that are vulnerable to their cultural power which can and will change the world: South of the border Worlds, the histories of South East Asia, India and it's pretty colors and funny people. GET THE FUCK OUT OF INDIA! These aforementioned countries have a sweet demeanor to the whole that allows them to continue to be vulnerable to the outside pressures of people from the Western World. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying these places with their peoples can't stand on their own, but the subconscious pressures of goodness and quality are easily formed and very malleable in the mind. Like how the prior humans wanted just to explore, establish worlds of modernity, learn, the same is done but hidden by Kelty and Patagonia branded backpacks and remembered in pictures plastered over the net by the generic Canon Digital whatever. It's ironic because these are the people, pundits of social and environmental awareness, who will fight with words and deeds in order to educate everyone on how bad the state of our environment is, but then they will trudge all over people groups and cause just as serious damage as a "big truck" owner or a person who doesn't understand the dilemma of overpopulation because they didn't really think and see what their own selfish wants are doing to forever change the world. I mean we could adapt and live in a world that was completely concrete and sterile world which is limited to only what us as humans need as necessities for our brief stints in this universe, I mean environmentally we could. And very much so, we could live in a world where cultures blend all the same and there thrives a gross homogenized people where everybody thinks the same and acts the same and values the same. I mean, we could.

It's like this. In the Hassidic parts of the city where you go and you know you are an outsider and you will not be let in. You can walk around, you can be around, but you will not be let in and you will not change the culture. The culture will choose under it's own volition when and how to change. No cultural change will be allowed, well at least not very easily. You know on skin level, it may not feel nice but I appreciate that. I had to wrap my mind around a conflict that involved two very, at least at face value, similar words: Tolerance or Acceptance? And for me, i'd rather have a tolerant world rather than an accepting world. Because like I said, there is a majority, a power, a supposed right, a hegemony, and with that they hold the value scale to determine what is valuable for all. So when acceptance occurs things are amalgamated and changed and stolen from. However, with tolerance and acute acumen you can recognize the value of all while logically forming boundaries where things are not allowed to be changed due to their own cultural value which is internally defined, and all are therefore accepted as equal but different where the principles of those existences are bound to those of the individual groups.

I'm done
at least for now

Be Relentless,