Saturday, May 13, 2006
As I complete my week of working in Brussels here is a front page headline from today's International Herald Tribune (IHT) newspaper -- "Antwerp on edge after killing prompts racial hate worries" -- which is a story regarding the murder of a black woman and a white child she was caring for apparently murdered by a "black-clad teenager with with a shaven skull and a new weapon.............." Timing is everything!! I am doing a day trip to Antwerp today -- typically known as the diamond capital of the world -- but it appears the city's production of skin heads is increasing as evidenced by the rise of the Flemish Interest political party which has an "anti-foreigner program." Unfortunately the IHT did not elaborate what the elements of this program are but we could see the results in October 2006 when municipal elections are scheduled. I should note though that the Flemish Interest party did "condemn Thursday's murder."
Clearly a perfect example of cultures clashing in a Europe that prides itself on its ability to blend diverse cultures, languages, and political systems into the bureaucratic utopia known as the European Union. Another example of cultural friction also noted in today's IHT via an editorial is the decision made by 80 members of the Nukak tribe in Colombia to "renounce their ancestral ways" of living in the Colombian jungle to join the "modern world" in the nearby village of San Jose del Guaviare -- no metropolitan area by any means but clearly a different world for the Nukak.
What struck me most was this (numerous adjectives could be inserted here - "elitist, , pessimistic") statement in IHT's editorial:
"The Nukak have every right to make this decision for themselves. But it's hard to escape the feeling that their self-sustaining existence - which went almost entirely unnoticed by the rest of the world - was holding something open for us, something that has now been lost."
Hey, come on IHT (published by the New York Times, NYT) staff!!! Why don't you save what you fear being "lost" by leaving your modern world, along with some of Hollywood's finest social engineers/policy experts commonly known as actors and actresses, by moving to the Colombian jungle to learn the way of the Nukak culture. I suggest we send 40 staff from the IHT/NYT and 40 of Hollywood's brightest :) stars to the Nukaks' homeland to replace the 80 Nukaks who left the jungle for the local village in an exchange program to benefit Mother Earth.
See you at the village elders' meeting,