On the subject of the penultimate post, the narcissistically wounded Americans will assume that this is about race. They project their hangups on the world and can’t imagine anything existing outside these sad little obsessions.
But it’s not about that at all.
One of the things I enjoy watching are Russian talk shows that demonstrate the cultural abyss between the Westernized urban bourgeois Russians and the provincial non-Westernized Russians. Both groups are obviously very white. But the ways they understand the concepts of a child, a rape, sex with children, incest are just as different as that of the “babies in cages” and the guy from rural Huehuetenango.
“How could you rape your underage daughter, sir? It’s horrible!”
“Me? Never! I’m not one of those perverts! I’m her dad so I [bad word] her! Who else is supposed to [bad word] her? Some other guy? I’m her father so of course I [a graphic description of sex acts] her!”
The Westernized urban audience faints.
The incomprehension here happens because the concept of a child as you and I understand it was invented by European Enlightenment thinkers in the 18th century and then exported to 5 square centimeters of the planet’s territory. Everybody else is doing things exactly as they always have and thinking you are a damn fool.
This is why I feel guilty because I once talked “in a not very kind voice, Mommy” to my toddler while a woman who grew up ten miles from where I did goes on TV to explain how it’s a good thing that she brutalized her child with a broomstick and the audience goes, “yeah, totally, kids get so annoying. Good for you!”
There’s also another aspect to this which is that a fertility that works as it should (first pregnancy at 16 and then one every year after that) produces a completely different value of children and women.
The moral of the story is that other people are not a mirror you can look in to admire yourself. The world is complicated, and diversity is very very harsh. Especially on people who are incapable of understanding what I just wrote about.