They are given as general FAQs to executive types whose companies are sending them abroad on assignment. The tone of these things is usually quite condescending. They reflect the ruling paradigm of the two cultures from which they come. At the same time, they are almost comical in their hand-holding.
The British pieces are of a common tone. They primarily go to the idea that even though the ex-pat will not be under the direct control of the monarchy for a while, they will still be able to find a tea cart and cucumber sandwiches at 4pm, and if they look hard enough, even a bit of culture to while away their time.
The American ones are even worse. They have the tone that even though the ex-pat is away from the usual brain-washing, they can still find pockets of Americanism where they can get their fix of tele-screens and paranoia. Just, for God's sake, don't mix with the natives!
Now, let's just let that soak in for a moment...
For those who are still in the dark, sodium fluoride is an industrial waste product that was commonly used as rat poison until the post-WWII era. It is produced most commonly in uranium and aluminum processing. The Nazis used it in drinking water in concentration camps to keep the natives in a stupor and controllable.
Yes, I've read all the studies about fluoride. Most of the early ones showing benefit to teeth involved naturally occuring CALCIUM fluoride in ground water. The populations that had higher levels of CALCIUM fluoride had less incidence of tooth decay. Makes sense. When one drink the water, the calcium fluoride bond breaks leaving a calcium ion which readily bonds to the tooth enamel.
SODIUM fluoride is highly poisonous. If you look on the toothpaste tube, you'll see a warning NOT to ingest the contents, and to call a doctor or POISON control center if you do. They put it in small print and most people never read the damn labels on things they shove into their bodies. Sodium fluoride causes all kinds of problems, such as fluoridosis, that damages teeth and bones and suppresses certain brain functions. It is linked to suppression of the pineal gland, which has all sorts of implications.
I was floored. Here in a brochure was a warning that the ex-pat wouldn't get his daily dose of poison in the drinking water and should check with his doctor! Why didn't it simply go on to say, "Be sure to swallow your toothpaste every day to get your fix so you don't wake up?"
The entire piece was, of course, typical of the Anglo-American superiority complex. Both cultures have this damnedable attitude that theirs is the highest form of culture on Earth, and if you absolutely MUST live outside it for a time, don't worry. The natives generally won't eat you. The sheer arrogance of these people is rather astounding.
Indonesians generally consider Anglo-Americans to be sombong, meaning arrogant. The British are the worst, as they look down on everyone. The Americans still worship the British, but shit on everyone else. Both cultures have spent years terra-forming the Earth to meet their particular needs and aesthetics.
English language schools are a huge global racket, especially in Asia. Since Americans and Brits refuse to learn any other language, the world is forced to learn English in order to take their money. I'm not opposed to the use of trading languages. Certainly, the world is full of them. Indonesian is a trading language, as is French and a number of others. But none of them have the global infrastructure to force everyone to speak English.
In fact, most non-native English speakers I have met use better language than the average product of American public schools. If English survives into future generations, it will ironically be on the tongues of foreign speakers. The average Indonesian high school graduate knows more about English grammar than the average US college grad.
|Columbus Sticking It To The Natives|
To their credit, most of the Canadians, Germans, Dutch, Spanish, Romanians, Russians, Croatians, Mongolians, Chinese, and Koreans I have met here all speak Indonesian fairly well. Very few Americans or Brits do, at least beyond "I want...". The Ozzies? Well, they're still debating which is their native language, much less learning any other. Hahahaha!
Of all groups, Americans seem to be the worst offenders. Wherever they go, they demand that the locals supply them with hamburgers, pizza and fluoride. In general, Americans are the most provincial, quivering ninnies when it comes to diving into foreign cultures. They give endless lip service to diversity and multi-culturalism, and have quaint festivals once a year with arts and crafts from some hapless victim culture. But take them out of their protective, paranoid shells and dump them in the middle of a new land they can't even find on a map?
To be fair, Americanism is just an extension of Britishism. The unmitigated gall of a people to think they can go around sticking flags in things and calling them colonies sets one back a bit. It was that British mentality that led the US to wholesale slaughter of native North Americans, or Australian aborigines, or Indians or any of a dozen other peoples. How does a group of people come to believe that its culture is so superior to anything else that all others must conform or die?
I don't single out the Anglo-Americans, either. The French, Dutch, Portuguese, Italians, and Spanish, not to mention the Catholic Church have all done the same, just not to the jaw-dropping extent of the Anglos. I mean, they literally landed on foreign shores, were greeted with open arms, and then proceeded to slaughter anyone who was brown, spoke a different language, or didn't acknowledge the genetic aberrations called the royals.
There's an old joke that seems appropriate about here:
Someone who speaks multiple languages is calles a polyglot. Someone who speaks only two languages is called bilingual. But someone who only speaks one language is called British.
"Don't panic! Others have done this an survived. They have McDonalds and Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza here. You can even get your daily psychotropic medications readily at the local pharmacy without prescription, so you don't wake up before going home. There are many English speakers among the few natives you will encounter on your stay. They will not force you to participate in local culture or try to teach you new languages. YOU ARE SAFE! Just do NOT leave your hotel room, except to take our armored shuttle to your workplace. Be sure and register with the embassy so they can email your daily paranoia warnings. If at any point, you feel like you are assimilating, call immediately and we will be happy to re-indoctrinate you at no additional charge."
You know, if more Americans and Brits actually go out and learned about other countries and peoples, they might stop bombing them. But, that may be too much to ask. After all, those other countries and peoples are sitting on top of our precious resources. Can't have that. And certainly, nasty folks like Qaddafi who have independent central banks and debt-free currencies need special attention.
See your doctor about lack of fluoride in the water. Hahahaha! If that doesn't beat all. In fact, it says so much in so few words, though I think many people won't get the joke. In fact, the more I think about it, that little side-bar blurb may just be one of the sharpest jabs I have seen in a long time, and brilliantly disguised, at that.
I should write a letter to the author thanking him/her for such wry and subtle humor!