The Wall

It occurred to me in the last few days that there is a comparable situation between two unlikely events, that can end up producing similar outcomes.

At the turn of the millennium, I was a YWAM missionary, first training in the UK then in the Middle East.  Part of my own research and study involved coming to factual terms with what is termed “culture shock,” which is a very real, dynamic and potentially dangerous event.

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Different cultures operate in different ways.  Hot climate cultures differ from cold climate cultures.  Even one hot climate culture may differ quite dramatically from another hot climate culture, to lesser or greater degrees.  Most people who go abroad will know in tiny part what I mean.  We go for a week or two, enjoy the experience, soak up the atmosphere, enjoy ourselves.  Laugh or frown at the driving, customs, language or principle mood of the place, but in the end, the return ticket is in our pocket.  We’re going home, and we know it.  Imagine going to a place so alien in language and custom, not to mention temperature and (from a Western perspective), hygiene – with a single ticket.  You’re there for the long-haul and you’ve got to deal with what comes your way.  And anyone who thinks or assumes this is easy has not experienced what I am attempting to articulate. 

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Boris and Saudi

There is something perverse about the headline BBC News at Six tonight.

Sensational – sure.  Alarming – yes.  Silly – certainly.

British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, brought in by Teresa May because it is better to have enemies and loose canons closer than friends, has said “words” above and beyond his political station.

boris-johnson-2“You got the Saudis, Iran, everybody moving in and puppeteering and playing proxy wars, and it’s a… it’s a tragedy to watch it.”

Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary

First understated alarmist word from the BBC political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg following this statement, “Awkward…”

Yes, it’s awkward.  Because Boris is stating in plain language what the problem is.  The problem is, is that plain language is not the international diplomatic language we are used to (i.e. brainwashed in).  Oh dear!  Let’s use tough but understandable diplomatic guff-language that perpetuates the entrenched problems we face, and, more importantly, keeps my alarmist journalistic profile high in the international current affairs circu(s)it….

Will someone tell me the truth?  But only if it is in vague, political, deferring and the usual bland rhetoric.  Anything beyond this, Laura, journalists call it “awkward”!  It’s not awkward, it’s the reality in a game-show of unreality called “News”.  It’s like playing Monopoly to the rules of anti-Monopoly…and we all think we’re participating in democracy.

57cd4806c3618851618b46f4His “Boss”, Laura, is the Prime Minister!  Would that you would love Boris toe the line.  Only then to scapegoat him on the altar of some foreign god-slash-policy.

“The Foreign Secretary’s views are not the Government’s position on … Saudi Arabia and its role in the region.”

Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman or whatever

If you wanna dance with the devil you’d better be wearing damn good shoes.

Of course this is the government’s position….PRIVATELY.

Teresa May is engaged in Hot-Climate-Culture-Dimplomacy whilst being a Cold-Climate-Culture-Politician.  Of course she’s right to slap Boris down.  But of course Boris is right to slap Saudi down…Hot v Cold – Same old.

Dancing is the vertical expression of a horizontal desire (so I’ve read somewhere).

Prime Minister May, I do respect you (although I vote Labour – soz), but if you want to dance, don’t be too alarmed if (and I say this advisedly), someone points out where the bed is (i.e. dancing is a vertical expression of a horizontal desire)…it’s a mixed metaphor admittedly but well  worth thinking about, culturally speaking!

Thames

Ps.  Cultural studies teach us quite a lot.  A short skirted red dress is wonderful in the liberal and free democratic West, but seriously, what are your advisors telling you?  I offer myself, in all humility, at your service, to teach cultural basics……