Fly away: reflections on Westerners abroad
Fly away, plug in to your chosen third world metropolis with the arrogant urgency that accompanies our civilisation, departure lounge to lounge, no sense of progression or gradual change necessary within this flying tube. Watch out for those greedy beggars at the airport entrance, you look on with pity and disdain…throw them some change.
Anywhere you want to go, bring your inflated currency and manufactured aspirations. Find motivation in those dark days of expedition fundraising in the home colony in bartered rumours and mythic narratives, parties on the beach, a summit of Uluru; all possible you’ve been told. Ignore the trail of disruptive distortion you bring to ‘lucky’ hotspots. There’s no problem, you’re bringing in hard cash aren’t you? Yes, a boost to the local economy, a splurge of unthinking assumptions related to trickledown surely follow.
The world is open, I can go anywhere, I see no fundamentalists looking on from neighbouring hilltops on hustling moonlit beaches brimming with vomit, their conception of this landscape, its people and culture are not afforded thought, money enables us to do it. One may perhaps even embark upon some noble development work for a brief window, a break from hedonism to share some of that all-important Western knowledge. Hush now, the elixir of progress is being imparted from the lips of these chosen Caucasian few. There are no limitations, absolute poverty and pleading eyes seeing dollars through white skin to mixers, promenades, suburban chatter and, don’t forget, rubbish collection day – all in a week.
The imperial caravan marches on towards its undisclosed but undoubtedly brilliant end point along the path of progress. A now, for the most part, secularised divine lady providence leads a death march, the world in step behind one, narrowed from a multiplicity, warped European vision of modernity. But out of choice? These nations surely saw that this was the only way, just as the Mesopotamian man unquestioningly left his savage neighbour hunting in the bush to cultivate his sustenance from the earth, so too does the world follow the path of national government, democracy, infrastructure obsessions, a purely exploitative approach towards the earth and its resources, the toxic drive of GDP.
We drift from essence; the children of the righteous people, as determined by their lead in the march of progress towards the cliff edge, may, and shall, continue to globetrot as they please. Hedonism will be moderated by selfless philanthropy, with the added prize of digital self-affirming proof. Little guilt will be felt, a drive to change? No. The metropolis welcomes back with its open arms, forget the trueness and visceral nature of what your eyes have witnessed, it doesn’t matter now. The bubble remains inflated, aid continues to flow, status quo as the bedrock of progress – just another aspect of its illusory nature.
Come, another destination beckons, we escape the advanced concrete soul vacuum for the savage amongst his quickly vanishing culture (an end we hasten with our presence). He too has seen the flashing lights.
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's
1Bian November 10th, 2019
I found the article to be the work of an amateur wordsmith. What on Earth was he saying? whatever it was he failed top get his point over to this reader.
2Dave Darby November 10th, 2019
I got it. For me, he’s saying that entitled westerners flying around the world, damaging nature, bringing a toxic idea of ‘progress’, destroying local cultures and infecting them with aspirations to be just as environmentally and culturally damaging, and then returning to their pointless, wealth-concentrating corporate jobs, is a bad thing.