is best

You have become Westernised, sir. Definitely Westernised. You are no longer in a position to return to your homeland, a third world country where people live basic lives, because you have been living our ways for too long. Our ways. You are Westernised. Your standards have been raised, sir. You like to live efficiently, rationally, hygienically and alone. This is good. You have moved forward in your life, and you cannot go back. You no longer relate to your home country. You no longer know what your nationality means. You are one of us. By living here, you have become us. You may have come here for safety, but now you are like us. You are us. You eat our food. You wear our clothes. You listen to our music. You are one of us. Welcome. You must not go home. It will be bad for you. Bad for your health. Bad for your mental health. It will be dangerous. It will not be good for anyone. You must stay here. You have become Westernised. It’s a gradual process, it’s slow and steady and sure. You may not have noticed, I know, but it has happened. You like our transport systems don’t you? You like our hospitals don’t you? Our schools? You like our shops, don’t you, so many shops, you like them, don’t you? You like choice. You like freedom. You like the fact we vote for our leaders, don’t you? Don’t worry. You are one of us. You have become Westernised. We welcome you, heartily. We congratulate you. It’s good isn’t it. It feels so good, doesn’t it? In a way, you were lucky to have a third world country to run from. Some people don’t have such bad luck, so they have to stay where they are. But you’ve come here. You were lucky. And now, look at you, just look at you, won’t you? You are one of us. You have become us. Stay here. You know it’s best. Stay here. With us. You are us. You have been Westernised. Relax.

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6 thoughts on “is best

  1. and there was me thinking I would get a profound comment from someone else pondering the philosophical debates about what it is to be Westernised.Ah well… we live in hope.
    I’ve sent you an email anonymous

  2. restraining myself to this last 100 years (!?)…I sometimes wonder if the practices, objects, places that we have today would exist or be significantly different, if the Western participation in the modernity/modernism project had not been so overpowering,…?!

  3. I feel like I’ve missed something about this whole “modernism project,” and I don’t know if that’s because of being (under)(mis)educated or for another reason, but the preoccupation with modernity, in my experience, comes from without. Put differently, while I and others certainly experience alienation navigating between these worlds, it would never occur to me to express that in terms of modernity and a modernism project. I don’t know that an effective resistance can be built around contesting the terms of modernity.

    Still hoping to hear from you, Lara.

  4. Interesting discussion..! There is a wonderful short book that comes to my mind that delves into modernism, resistance, participation…!

    In “In Praise of Shadows,” published in 1933, Junichiro Tanizaki (the author) wonders about “how different everything would be if we in the orient had developed our own science”….”Suppose for instance that we had developed our own physics and chemistry: would not the techniques and industries based on them have taken a different form, would not our myriads of everyday gadgets, our medicines, the products of our industrial art — would they not have suited our national temper better than they do?”

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