*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

"The Man in the White Suit"

As your child grows into idealism, and suckerdom, you need to show this old Alec Guinness movie: "The Man in the White Suit".  In fact, when you begin to ease into second-year-in-Japan culture shock and are convinced that the Japanese are the most obstructionist, incurious and passive-aggressive people on Earth (passive-aggressive may be true), watch this British movie from 1951.  Puts things in perspective.  A good thing too, because when you go home you are going to be astounded how obstructionist and incurious everybody is.  Welcome to the human race.

Not to congratulate ourselves too much, but if you have got yourself an education and took a couple of years to go overseas, you are less obstructionist and incurious than the norm, unless you are some incurious expat recruited to come here, or you got the education but stayed in your own environment.  It's true!  Haven't you noticed all of your interesting Japanese friends have broadened their own experiences?  And the complete @$$hats here are those who haven't?  Expect it to be impossible to stay friends with those at home who haven't.

A man creates something that will ease the suffering of millions, but his creation is destroyed by both the forces of finance and of labour: the movie summary is in the second link of the first paragraph: the trailer in the first.  It would sound like the Republican 'Tea Party', except that in the movie labour is not fighting against its own class interests (just against others').  It is a fantastic metaphor for human endeavour, not just because visionaries are brought down by vested interests, but because we have all of the technological solutions to solve the impact that we have on the Earth (climate, pollution... ) and each other (war, poverty... ), but it doesn't pay to fix these if you're doing fine by them.  The only thing the movie fails to address is that few of us obstruct change because we are consciously self-interested (a sociopath lives in 'good faith'), but because we are in deep denial of our own motivations.

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