Tuesday, March 15, 2011

cultural pessimism

For a westernized, self-centered individual, spoiled with all imaginable conveniences of civilization, most turmoils in the world come and go without a trace for one's own life. But when Japan faces new horrendous calamities day after day we hold our breath. Since most of us know or is friendly with a person there and worries. And since it makes us ruminate about how vulnerable and questionable the basis of our prosperous lifestyle is.

I felt sick these last days and somehow guilty in enjoying the day. I couldn't follow my Google Reader and keep reading on receipes / home interiors / travels. I avoided facebook where at the same time, there were Japanese refugees uploading pictures of their mass shelter and people discussing passionately the latest shoe purchase of a girl.

How can one's own existence remain so unaffected when the earth is so messy?

And the pressing question coming along with this was how to design a pleasurable day that is not anyhow based on material consumption.
Does that even exist in our culture?
Are non-stop jet-setters still tolerable or should one stop flying so that future generations get a chance to experience one, two flights in life as well? Should gasoline prices boost drastically and cities without mass transportation be reinvented? How can we stop the vicious circle of buying and tossing away gadgets?

The end is clear yet the way how to make a difference as obscure as ever. It is this dilemma that can render the most lighthearted city girl into a deep pessimist.

Photo: The Burghers of Calais in the Met Museum

No comments:

Post a Comment