Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"'Avatar' & 'Last Samurai' Disease"

There's a strange thing that happens with people who go ocean jumping - boarding an air ship and jetting across oceans to far-off distant lands.  After they're there for a few years, they begin to believe that they understand the country better than any other foreigner (to the country they landed in) ever has before.

I've had this disease myself (not still I hope, but you never know), and either because of that, or in spite of that, it's often quite irritating running into other foreigners here, as they... how to put this nicely?... seem to be living the "Last Samurai"/"Avatar" delusion.  You know the story, how the outsider becomes more local than the locals and is accepted by the locals after initial resistance once they realize how tuned-in the outsider is?

Certainly you really can make more friends in any given culture once you're tuned into it, but the depending-on-the-individual problems you knew so well back in the old country (wherever that might be), are equally in play in the new land.

Wait... relatives!  Now there's a problem!  They support you (naturally); admire your foreign adventure, and look upon you as an expert (which - relative their near zero comprehension of the foreign land you are in - you are), and combined with movie theater dreams of being the hero, their support can help push you into ALSD (Avatar and Last Samurai Disease).

Well - whatever!  Just felt like ranting about that for some reason.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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