ethnocentrism in the western world

Although the rapid, fast paced changes in the technological field of modern society would indicate a movement steering away from ethnocentrism, the reality suggests otherwise. At this highly “sophisticated” age, where all information lies between our fingertips and a keyboard, one would assume that as a society we are becoming more exposed, educated and aware of the world as it exists outside this “protective” bubble we call America. This type of ethnocentrism appears to be more of an arrogant-ignorance approach, rather than that of on overly confident accomplisher. However, the ethnocentrism of an ignorant nature is displayed, mainly, by the masses. Those in positions of power and authority use other techniques to further promote ethnocentrism.

In a class discussion (a few years ago) where the professor asked the students to identify one of the ongoing conflicts in Asia, not one student was able or well informed to provide an answer. It’s not like the information isn’t provided! It’s there at uncle Google’s living room! The youth of today is a product of this society; a society whose level of authority has taken the approach of sedating our minds with unnecessary and seemingly entertaining information. In the news, stories related to Britney Spears flip-flops, and cats being trapped between walls seem to be given much more importance than wars, poor living conditions, and political turmoil else where in the world. This type of attitude suggests a high level of self-absorbance. It is instilled into us, forcefully though indirectly, on a collective level by those in power and is hardly questioned by the masses.

Many New York City subway riders read a paper distributed for free, which can be read from cover to cover in about 5-7 minutes. Many of those who aren’t reading occupy their time with their blackberries, or video games, or portable DVDs and iPods. Have our lives become so uneventful and one-sided that we need to constantly be entertained? I think not. Steering away from ethnocentrism requires a much broader, indepth awareness. This awareness, however, does not seem to be promoted or encouraged. Instead, the advancement of technology is used to further sedate and occupy our thoughts.

Furthermore, on an individual level, we make this approach our own.
Ethnocentrism of today’s society, particularly as it affects our youth, might begin at first innocently or unintentionally. Cellulars, text messaging, instant messaging, network websites are used at all times, seemingly, for delivering information that seems to hold little or no substance. And yet, we seem to be almost addicted to our toys and gadgets, repeatedly checking for new messages, comments, news, gossip, etc. This is how we become wrapped and submerged in a reality so small and one dimensional that we forget about our surroundings.

My two cents. What does the web world think?

Klodi

Memories….

It’s snowing! I have been waiting to snow for the longest time and now its here. I keep watching the snow flakes as they fall in the ground and they are so beautiful. As i watch the snow my mind takes me somewhere else far away from New York, it takes to this little village in the northern part of Albania, where i was brought up and where i learned so many things. Winters were much different than then they are now, maybe for the fact that i am not a little girl any more and i am not sitting by the fire and dreaming about the future, how it’s going to be? I miss those winters for the simple fact my family would gather around the kithchen table and we would share a meal, might have been the simplest thing but oh it was the most delicious one might have. I remember one night the electricity went out. It happened that because of a strong wind or the snow lights would go out. That was my favorite part because my parents would start telling us stories about their lives and me and my siblings would listen to them and enjoy these moments so much. Sometimes, we would eat boiled corn, or roast chest nuts on the stove, or similar things like that. I remember one time i asked my father to sing a polyphonic song. For most of you that are not familiar with that kind of singing might sound very boring and not at all cool, but i think that is such a unique thing about our culture. Anyway, that didn’t turn out that well because none of us know how to sing that way and keep “iso” and didn’t know the words either, but we had so much fun and laughed. I wish i could turn back time and be that little girl for just one minute and experience it all over again. I wish that i could be with my parents and enjoy the fire, the snow that keeps falling from the sky above, and why not the singing with the iso sound….

Belle

Love is….

February 14, 2007!!! Many people today will celebrate this day as the San Valentine, the day of love. So much publicity about this day but do the people really know the full meaning of true love? They spent so much money just for one single day thinking that they will make happy the person they love by buying them flowers, chocolate, teddy bears, nice dinners in expensive restaurants, and the list goes on.


I wish people would stop and think more of this word when they express to the one they love, and not expressing it only this day of the year, but they should be more loving and more tender to one another. I wish that this love would be expressed all year long and not only today.
I decided to quote a few verses from the Bible where the Apostle Paul talks about love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always perseveres. Love never fails”!!!

I love the last verse and i wish that people would think more on this one. I believe that true love never fails no matter what? I hear people often say “i am not in love with this person any more, its all over, it didn’t work out btw the two of us, etc…. I wonder when these people express their feelings to the one they love, do they do it just for good days, and in the rainy days they forget the promise they have made once??

Anyhow, i wish all of you that will read my blog “A Happy Valentine’s Day” May you give love and receive love because its both ways, and most importantly don’t forget to love all year long even when the other person disappoints you or makes you mad.

Belle

Life is too short…..

Hello, Hello,
Belle, It’s me Zh.
Hi Zh, what’s going on?
B’s mom just passed away yestarday in Albania.

These were the words that came from the other side of the phone. I didn’t know if I were dreaming or what I heard was true. The voice kept telling me what exactly happened and that she was going to see our friend. It was 2:30 am when i received this phone call. I was shocked to hear this news that late at night. I didnn’t know what to do considering the time, and plus what could I say and do this late at night. I was sorry to hear such an abrupt news about my friends mom but the worst has already happened and none of us could stop the damage that death has caused in the lives of these dear people. I didn’t go to see my friend right away. I live few blocks away from her so I waited for the morning to come give her a call and stop by for a visit. I dialed the numbers knowing fully well that this conversation was going to be hard, as it happens in situations like this. The voice that responded from the other line was not the one I am used to, I could tell that she has been crying for the loss of the dear mother. My friend knew that her mother had been sick and had been following the health situation from here, but who would have thought that her struggle with life would end so soon. I am talking to my poor friend and as she tells me more about her mother we both start crying over the phone. Our conversation doesn’t last very long because she is packing her stuff and getting ready to fly to Albania in time to wave goodbye to her loved one for the last time. Thank God she is able to visit back and forth without any problems, otherwise it would have been such a horrible situation not to be able to move freely from one country to another.
Since the moment I found about this I have this negative feeling within me. I want to believe that nothing will happen to my mom or my dad, or the rest of my family that I miss so much. But, when we are confronted with death there’s no way you can’t stop and think about life and how fragile it is. I guess that’s what I am doing right now thinking what if…… I don’t like thinking about this unpleasant feeling that is captivating me but I can’t help it. It brings tears to my eyes when I think that our life is like a biscuit that will crumble down at any given moment and boom we’re gone.
I hate this word that begins with d and ends with h. Usually this word doesn’t scare me but apparently today is different. D…..hurt my friend’s mother so why not be afraid of it? It could happen God forbid that sometime in the future I could be hit too. I don’t want to believe it but I know that this is the procedure that we all are going to face one day. Why should we die?? Why can’t we live forever?? Why do we have to go through this unpleasant experience??? So many why’s but no answers, at least for the moment. This happens each time I hear that x person and x years entered new and long journey that is unknown and scary for each one of us.

Belle

As a Woman I Have no Country…


As a woman my country is the whole world. (Virginia Woolf)

She must have known a thing or two about abandonment, pain and loss. Suffering and instability. Heck. She did write To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway after all! My love and adoration for this woman is immense. A soul so troubled such as hers has often rendered me speechless and, dare i say, almost exulted.

This frightens me.

As i sit here, contemplating my pitiful, oh-so-microscopic, existence…as minutes turn into hours and those into days…as my spine grows more crooked…as i grow bloated from alcohol consumption, cranky from too many sleepless nights, incredibly dazed and sluggish from the complete annihilation of my darling brain cells…as i perpetually walk this self created pathetic path…as i carry the burden of this water bucket, chuck full of holes…i realize my once glorified perception of this pile of shit i call life has been but a beautiful lie.

A beautiful lie.

I guess there was a time in which i was truly, really, utterly happy.

I don’t remember it.

Though brave at heart, fear has been my constant companion. I know this now, though I’ve continuously defined myself as fearless, for my personal journey has concluded so. My compulsive obsession with life’s transience, my reality’s subjectiveness and my life’s meaning through art, has been thoroughly led and at times misled by my perpetual fear of shattering “stability.”

And then again…a beautiful lie.

I need stability. I crave it. It has, quite simply, become my fix. In the stage of my life I see myself as that character repeatedly searching for meaning and struggling for order out of mind chaos–chaos so deeply and unnecessarily tangled, that it renders itself moot. Powerless. Ultimately however, all ends, thus to yearn stability is purely absurd. Whether the persistence of my memory is paralyzed, for it cannot bear the idea of no longer cultivating precious moments, or out of fear that those heart wrenching turning points will ultimately detour me back to the entrance, i know…I KNOW! that no-thing is permanent.

I also KNOW! that when i attempt to make my personal mark through reasoning, philosophical and intellectual thought, i merely present myself as a fraud, really. Because no matter the experience or its profundity, each moment is but a fleeting one, proving entirely inadequate of holding the true essence. I claim to hold no fear toward that ongoing evolution we call change. Truth be told: i am scared to death, though i know everything is in a constant state of change.

Plagued by continuous self-doubt and an overly inflated ego i live each day… over and over and over. It’s all the same fucking day. I know this. And yet, i wait for tomorrow. And the day after. And the one after that. So that i can start over. So that i can die to old ugly ways of being. So that the old me is buried once and for all. I wait. For my resurrection. For stability. For meaning. For order.

I wait. Sometime patiently. Other times, not. I wait as i am held together by pills and buttons of many sorts.

I wait.

Klodi

‘Til death

Today’s article in the daily Metro newspaper mentioned that people that develop cervical or testicular cancer may face another harsh reality: “They are more likely to get divorced than those without the disease”.

- Men and women with cancer are more likely to divorce than those without it.
- Older couples are less likely to divorce since they might be more committed.
- Those who get get cervical or teristical cancer at an older age are less likely to divorce.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the article. God forbid if one person faces a problem or a terrible sickness like the one mentioned from the European Cancer Society, otherwise we would be doomed for life, because our chances of getting divorce are higher.

What’s happening in today’s society? What happened to the core values that molded each one of us? What happened to the promises that people give to one another? I guess the vows for better or for worse don’t mean anything because when life crisis or health problems arise their solution is divorce:( I have never been pro divorce unless in extreme situations. Sometimes, things don’t work out between two people and its better for them to go their separate ways. But, reading this saddens me even more. The chances to get a divorce are higher if one of the partners is diagnosed with cancer. Instead of, being close to each other, going through such a unpleasant experience, showing more affection and telling your loved one that no matter what happens we will see it through together, one of the partners, decides to walk away and leaving the other one in the field of battle all alone. Wow! Do such people really exist? Can they really plug the life out of the person that once upon a time declared their unconditonal love until death separated them? Apparantly not! Their egos is much higher than the welfare of their beloved wife/husband, all they can think of is “me, poor me, what’s happened to me”. How pathetic?!

I guess the real promises and vows that people make now days do not count. So, dear friends be careful of who you choose to share the rest of your life with? It might happen that the one person you would have given your life for would not do the same thing for you.

Belle

america’s next top model

so.

on the nights i don’t*ahem* read War and Peace or do the Times crossword puzzle *snort* i like to watch a little massively dumb show, with superb faux drama and legs that start at the chin, so humbly known as america’s next top model.

yes folks.

i like to sit on my red couch, quite possibly with some ice cream or some other ridiculously high fat content food, and watch the girls faint from starvation and clawing at each other over stolen poses, weaves, make up, clothes, gossip, red bull and peas. drowning my sorrows (pertaining to the sad, sad affairs of the world, obviously) into this mess of insanely excited, high pitched screaming legs – did i mention the legs? – gives me some sort of a weird satisfaction. it’s quite the circus experience. and i love it.

the faces are good too, by the way.

last night, as i watched my beloved (and recorded. what?) america’s next top model premiere its new season, apparently chuck full of nuts boarding all sorts of crazy trains, it occurred to me that the producers had really upped the ante on diversity this time. every season (and i’ve watched them all. shh.) they introduce a new character to prove just how layered and diverse the show is, because…hello, look at tyra banks! she all fine and rich now, but homegirl had it really rough, possessing a giant forehead and a single momma and all that jazz. so she says.

anyway…

the tyra chooses each competitor and she’s been quite creative in the past. we’ve seen the anorexic girl, the fat girl, the ghetto girl, the muslim girl, the jesus girl, the jewish girl, the blewish girl (remember that? black dad, jewish mom.) the science girl, the dumb girl, the ‘i-don’t-give-a-shit’ girl, the molested girl, the long suffering girl, the yale girl, the druggie girl, the psycho girl and the miss J. alexander girl. just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, i mean crazier. shit, i mean diverse. i mean ridiculous. BAM!

introducing: the retarded girl. i mean, special, challenged, whatever.

you know they’re gonna drag her ass along for good ratings and then drop her like a hot potatoe because twiggy, hot nigel and the gay dudes are going to determine she lacks the social skills and she has a hump. and no, it ain’t lovely. miss J. wants perfection girls, ya’hear?

now…watch the autistic chick win. i contradict myself. i know. this is gonna be so good. just sayin’.

that’s all.

Klodi

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