Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Francis made a comment on culture in today's post on "how do you like it in Sweden".

Being without a culture certainly allows me to be lazy - I don't feel I have enough of a toehold in the culture to be able to make accurate and fair judgments about political issues, for example, and so I'm not burdened with having to make the effort of finding out more or trying to change things one way or another, something I most definitely felt when I had a culture. It makes me sound like a bum, though, doesn't it?

The way he writes it, yes, he does sound like a bum. But at the same time culture sometimes is better observed from the outside. Perhaps this is exactly why I love Francis' writing, because he observes like an ethnographer: from outside of culture. He is an alien in a strange land, and that makes his writing fresh, different and filled with delightful little surprises.

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