mirrorshard: (Autumn skin)
[personal profile] mirrorshard
Somewhat incoherent - reaction-dumping. Context:


Writers (and fans, by extension) are caught on the horns of a dilemma (or possibly a gazebo): on the one hand, we don't get to write honestly about other peoples' cultural experience, because it isn't ours to write about. On the other hand, other peoples' cultural experience is really fucking cool and interesting. On the gripping hand, most of these Interesting Cultures are actually really poor and deprived and don't have luxuries like time to write, a thriving publishing industry, or even a corpus of work in their own language and cultural idiom to grow up with. Which means that if it isn't written about by privileged white people (or coconuts, or bananas) then it isn't written about at all.

Poor us, what a problem we have.

Except...

We don't. It's not our problem. Seriously. The cultural experience of imperialism is not about the imperialists. I don't give a flying fuck what keeping someone in chains, whether steel or economic or both, does to your soul. Angsting about that makes you sound like Cordelia. [Edit: That's as in Buffy, not as in Lear or Vorkosigan.]

It's really tempting to assume that a) for every problem, there's a solution somewhere, if we only work hard at it with good intentions; and that b) that solution is more likely to be arrived at by smart educated people in developed countries.

But I don't see anything to support those assertions in these cases. Problems come in a lot of different domains, which often don't share anything with each other. And I appreciate that Not Doing Anything is a) hard, b) morally problematic when you think you might have an answer, and c) a whole barrel of No Fun.

(No, I don't have a consistent, coherent answer, or a manifesto to set out, or a program of things to be done. I'm neither that naive or that arrogant. Besides, I'm a privileged white Westerner myself, and the nearest thing to an oppressed minority in my bloodline is Welsh.)
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