Here Thar Be Monsters!

From the other side of the argument to the other side of the planet, read in over 149 countries and 17 languages. We bring you news and opinion with an IndoTex® flavor. Be sure to check out Radio Far Side. Send thoughts and comments to luap.jkt at gmail, and tell all your friends. Sampai jumpa, y'all.

14.3.10

The Far Side Manifesto

OK, kids. Get out your Slinkies. Go on, I know you have one.

Good. Now stretch it out on the dining room table. Ten feet ought to be enough. Lock it down.

OK, now get down and look at it from the side. Stand back a little so you can see the whole thing. Looks like a wave, right? It cycles up and down peaks and troughs, and progresses through time. Now shift around and look at it from one end. It's a full circle with no beginning and no end. Got that picture in your head?

You've just entered The Far Side. The same object has transformed from a wave to a particle, and all you did was shift your perspective. From one view, it looks like a series of events that are strung together across time. They are related, yet separate and distinct. From the other perspective, it becomes a single object, an endless series of stopping and starting points that form a single circle.

This model applies to history, light, time...pretty much everything. It can all be viewed from multiple angles and from each angle you get a different result. It's like the old joke about four blind men describing an elephant. Each one has a completely different perception of the beast from his perspective.

The ancient Romans and the Cubists have one thing in common: multipoint perspective. They enjoyed the esthetic of viewing things from many different points at the same time.

This is the definition of The Far Side.

When I chose to uproot from mainstream Texas (that may be oxymoronic) and change my perspective in Indonesia two years ago, I chose to see the world from several vantage points at the same time. I physically relocated to the exact opposite side of the world, and yet it was the same world. Nothing had changed, yet everything did.

I went from a country with about 300 million people to a country with about the same population. I went from a country that spanned about 4,000 kilometers and 4 time zones to the same. But, one was rock and the other was water. One was West and the other was East. One was North and the other was South. They both had stars, just different stars. My day became my night and vice versa.

I went from a career in the visual arts to being functionally blind. I changed from cynic to optimist. I breathed the same air, but now that same word (air) meant "water." The transformation was complete. I had stepped through the looking glass with Alice and completely upended my perspective.

All my life I have had the wanderlust. I chose my career because I could work and learn in many different fields. I worked in news, medicine and petroleum. I wandered the sidelines of NFL games, peered into tragedies close-up, I went into caves and hung out of helicopters and smelled the inside of a living human body. I witnessed birth and death and every stage in between. I've met and interviewed intellectual giants and mental midgets. I have sat next to great spiritual purity and the darkest evil.

And yet...

It hasn't been enough. I haven't seen it all. I haven't sampled from every dish. Nevertheless, sometimes life closes in; it becomes claustrophobic. After a while, it feels like you are on life-support and you need radical intervention to jump-start the mind again. That's when it's time to seek The Far Side.

I have traded my perspective for something radically different. Instead of church bells, I hear the mufti's chant. My new language is completely divorced from anything European. My coastal plains have become volcanic mountains. My visual world has become textual.

With all being said, The Far Side Manifesto is that I will endeavor to share with the reader a new perspective. Perhaps I will help to find a new perspective or, at the least, shed new light on the old one. With any luck you will find some things interesting, maybe inspiring and occasionally infuriating. I hope you will follow along and enjoy the show.

Welcome to The Far Side!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to leave your own view of The Far Side.