Flights of Faith

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Awkward Turtle Strikes Abroad


I loved exploring Japan alone, free from impersonal cutesing. Solo.
China, here comes the gang.

I really dislike first interactions with people from a random pool.
Give me a church, protest, dance and I will be fine.
Throw me in a room with no dig...I become silent and restless.
Still observant though, which makes it so entirely painful.

but fun for you since I record my awkward moments

1) coughing right before attempting to shake someone's hand. Then
2 talking to someone about my experience in Israel and simply making a hardly
progressive claim to dual victimhood (Israelis and Palestinians) then finding
out she is a member of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) who
made me affirm the "little Israel" stereotype by pushing "right? right? right?"
My passive murmur flashbacked me to the awful complicity that was summer 2006.
3) being silent during an entire conversation about the Iraq War because my
perspective in the crowd would have had me thrown in jail. a lot of dangerous
hypotheticals that implicitly praises what we've done.
4) cringing at the awful imperialist language and essentialism that's
contributing to our ongoing project of dividing the East and West into
irreconcilable halves. Of course, they make the Chinese vendor experience the
normative one.
5) seeing how awful my cultural gaze is and also witnessing it in others through
the camera lens.
6) imagining the pain it would be to be Asian-American on this tour. And not
really knowing where the solution starts for this problem and wondering if I'm
even positioned to make a dent publicly.

I'm also in a weird place thanks to some books I'm reading. Floating in a lot of
ideas and potential problems. Hopefully, I can sort them out in the coming days.
Maybe there will be posts soon.

Until then,


Blogger Mark said...

josh, i miss the doorway!

i need to hear about this tour...i can only imagine

i discovered this AMAZING native american band this weekend that you would love...bought a cd for the first time in years(you know how i do...normally the only cd artist whose cds i'll buy are hil's)...will have to share in the fall!

7:28 PM  

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