Further Up, Further In
Somewhere back there I crossed over. I’m not sure to where, but I’ve left there and arrived here, so I guess now I’ll just have to wait and see where here is.
It’s not just a mental thing, either, it’s physical. I feel like I’ve moved.
I haven’t, of course, I’m in the same place I’ve been for a couple of years now, and probably where I belong, at least for the time being.
The IdleNoMore movement has had an effect on me in a way that reminds of the art book, “Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain”. I’m thinking particularly of the negative space exercises where you draw what you don’t see between what you do.
It’s been a long time coming, a decade, really, but I think I’m starting to get it, how constrained I’ve been by my culture. I’m not blaming it, it’s got me to this point, but enough is enough and I’d like to slough it off.
It’s not good for me, my culture. It makes me feel bad, and not just because it makes other people of other cultures feel bad, but because I’m too good for it.
What are we fighting for, anyway? Why are we so resistant to another people having a go at their culture? What is it about us that we think we know best when, well, just look around? How did we end up with all this crap?
It finally clicked today when I was reading yet another attempt by the people behind IdleNoMore to explain why they’re doing what they’re doing and why it’s my fight, too, but not to lead, so – no, it isn’t my fight, too. I’m part of a culture that only knows how to tell everybody how to live. Trust me, I know what of I speak.
I’m part of my culture and my culture leads. It dominates, it oppresses, it really is a bad culture and good luck to you IdleNoMorers but I’ve got to get out from under it myself.
Put the oxygen mask over your own face before you try to help somebody else with theirs.
It’s hard, knowing your culture is the problem for another people, harder still to know it’s a problem for you. And I think that’s some of the reaction to IdleNoMore, there’s a sort of culturism coming to the fore as we realize that not everybody aspires to be us.
Adamantly, it seems.
My rightwing friend brags all the time about our British heritage (although I’m Scottish/Dutch, and 4th or 5th generation Canadian, but anyway) and I take it as a joke because of course he’s talking about its brute force domination of other cultures, its assumption of superiority, and who could seriously be proud of that?
But at least he’s honest. I’ve always thought that assimilation wasn’t just a matter of time, but that it’s inevitable, the natural course of events, maybe for the best.
And I thought I meant First Nations on reserves and Inuit up North, you know, the people our government has failed so miserably, who would join us here in Lalaland and have better lives. You know, lives like ours.
I mean, who doesn’t want to live like this?
But I really meant me, didn’t I. Because I don’t want to live like this. And what the hell do I know about inevitability, nature, and what’s best. And my friend isn’t living in England, he’s living here, where First Nations and Inuit have managed, in spite of it all, to live in their cultures, not mine.
How to resist, though… And where does a dominant culture resister go…
Interesting isn’t it, the Crown, an idea from a country that doesn’t even have an Aboriginal population, assuming a say in how we’ll all live forever and a day. But I guess some order is better than none, not that our government has played it straight.
So here I am, feeling good at the crossroads, planning a drop by Victoria Island to drop off a bit of cash. Direct giving is the way I roll now because I don’t have the kind of money that can make a dent in the anonymous need out there.
Anonymous need, now that’s our culture, isn’t it.
Anyway, I’m optimistic, if a little daunted, but I think I’m ready to give a culture-free life a go for a bit.
I know, I know, Sooey Says reader(s) – “What, and leave all this behind?”