Here Thar Be Monsters!

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20.11.13

Reader Rites

Our post the other day (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression...) struck a chord with a number of readers, and the hit rate hit the ceiling.  I think I screwed up and said something profound, for which I sincerely apologize.  One regular reader and correspondent on the Far Side was moved to write an excellent note that got me to thinking (I know - stand back).  It was well worth sharing with the general audience and a little alliteration, I thought:
 
Bernard --
 
... Yet again, I am interrupting my comfortable daily routine to write out compliments for your latest blog post.
I need an automatic program that sends out emails saying, "Bernard -- Well done, again."
 
... But Ayn Rand instructed me to "reward the good for being good", so here is another email to you.
 
... The concepts of "suicide" and "insanity" in connection with America have been on my mind, also.
Not just connected to America, but all countries that are connected to America.
The farther away, the less the connection, the less the insanity.
You and I have escaped in the only way possible, to "the far side".
 
... Alas, here in Thailand, there is still some connection to the insanity machine of American media.
You understand that better than I do.
Here, I am seeing steady degeneration of the culture.
The Thais are exceeding good at imitating others, but they have no idea what or why:  a "cargo cult" on a national scale.
Examples:  women trying to act masculine, graffiti destruction of property, boom-boom cars and similar intentional annoyance of public peace, worship of Negros in advertising signs, movies, television, and massive adulation of homosexuals.
I call it inversion of values, all values.
There is not one that is right side up any more.
 
... I selected Thailand because this insanity was developing about 20 years behind the USA.
You probably chose Indonesia for a similar reason.
But no place I can see is immune.
 
... This is not going to end well, is it?
 
Cordially, A Faithful Reader
 
To which, in my customarily terse manner, I responded:
Dear Faithful Reader,
As always, I get excited when I see your name pop up in the email, since I know something juicy follows - and I don't refer to the kudos, though I deeply appreciate your time and effort to follow Rand's admonishment.
I think Thailand is somewhat more susceptible to the insipid cultural invasion from America because the Buddhist mentality is significantly more permissive than the Islamic.  If there is one saving grace here, it is that the muslims are fighting tooth and nail to resist the onslaught.  It is and ultimately will fail, but it may be a bit slower than the take-over of Thailand.
I do have a chance to put my money where my mouth is, though.  I recently accepted the position of General Manager of the Ciputra Arts Center here in Jakarta.  As such, I am in a position to filter the influence of degenerate Western culture in favor of more civilized fare from a by-gone era.  However, the ever increasing wealth and expansion of the middle class here means that millions are clamoring for the lifestyles that previously they could only lust after watching movies and TeeVee.  If I can do anything about it, I intend to foster a uniquely Indonesian solution.
It is a terrible shame.  Americans are so paranoid and xenophobic that they can only survive in areas where "home" has been cookie-cut for them.  Endlessly repeatable experiences like Holiday Inn and McDonald's are all the fragile American psyche can handle.  Until now, they have been able to demand and receive it because of their money, but that is rapidly changing.
I believe that the collapse of the US will be tragic for a great many people worldwide, but that Asia may have both an economic and physical buffer from the worst of it, which is the prime reason I moved here.  Furthermore, folks in these parts are still able to survive without modern amenities much more ably than Americans and Europeans.  Back home, I would be hard-pressed to find 10 people in a hundred that could build a decent shelter, whereas I think easily 75 out of a hundred here could...but that is quickly changing with the spoiled and overly-indulged generation coming up.  The rising epidemic of hyperactivity, spreading waistbands and hollow looks on young folks' faces around here tells me that soon, all will be lost.
The one thing I am counting on is the rapid and soon collapse of the Western hemisphere.  I am convinced that is all that will save humanity at this point.  Painful as it will be, the long term survival of the species demands it.  I see plenty of healthy saplings down in the forest floor that need only a good forest fire to release them to the sun's rays.
I don't look forward to the coming mess either way - West wins or West loses - but I honestly think the only viable solution is to encourage the suicide and be done with the family loony.  I think of it as a merciful act, both for the loony and for the rest of the family.
Sorry for the ramble, but you always encourage thought with your notes, for which I am deeply grateful.  Thanks for reading and continue to keep in touch.  While you're at it, check out the website http://ciputraartpreneur.com.  It's a very exciting project and one-of-a-kind in Indonesia at the moment.  If you make it this way at some point, of course I'll drag you to a show.
All the best!
B