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Tag Archives: Culture

A Firefly in the Forest

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It has been a long break from this blog and the world is none the worse for it….! But fixing the world anyway is not the agenda here.
In a forest is full of fireflies, does one tiny firefly ask itself, “ What should I do with my tiny lantern? Why should I glow? Am I adding any light?” And then it remembers its name, ‘firefly’.
That little spot of shiny light is its nature.
The agenda in this blog is similarly personal, to light my lantern and leave it out there in the forest. It is possible someday, someone will take away my tiny lantern and return to me a bigger one.

The plan is to post at least twice a month.

More than ever, culture is still our shared concern. There is violence in every culture. Individuals can be violent in every possible ways, and mental imbalances are understandable. But if groups like ISIS resort to something as extreme as beheadings, what is one to make of it? Granted that it is about politics. But then, why do they go back to religion and culture to find its validations and justifications?

Why is culture such a convenient tool?

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THE CULTURE OF DISTRACTION: THERE IS TOO MUCH, TOO INTERESTING OUT THERE

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The short term, the temporary, the unsustained, the ephemeral and the fad define  the cultures of our times.

It is not our faults—it is the fault of our ages! Things are changing too fast and even 87 year old grandmothers have to learn to facebook. Keeping up with changing technology takes up too much time. Switching on the TV can be a relearning process every few months—unless you are a 5-year old—in that case you are born with a “reboot/update/relearn/” mental button.

To cope up with this, we as a species are responding with short attention spans.

Nothing can interest us for too long. We are no longer capable of reading a long passage. Listen to music or watch –short attention span—it is the immensity of the range of things that can distract us.

Never has the Now been so important as today. Is it surprising that tradition cultures are loosing their role in out lives? How much of our times everyday—10%, 5% or less do we spend on practices/ activities that we have inherited from our ancestors?

Is it surprising that YouTube with its new minutes of videos is the perfect cultural medium for us? Guess how many people have seen Charlie Bit My Finger on YouTube?

Or Psy’s Gangnam style—that supreme example of random popularity based on curiosity about how supremely bad/good is bad style + confidence that comes with total lack of self-evaluation.

I admit it is so bad that it is extremely good—just like Sarah Jessica Parker, that classic example of beauty that is extremely ugly and ugliness that is extremely beautiful.  These are categories all by themselves and a lesson.

A conclusion about the culture of our times:  We cannot handle the constant flow of brilliance, smartness, merit and genius. So, the best way to be really good is to be really bad.