Friday, January 2, 2015

On American culture

"To really learn much about another culture is a very long and slow process and you're not liable to receive anything in a spiritual sense unless it's already in yourself waiting to be discovered.  In the past two decades there's been a great deal of spiritual shopping which, though understandable, carries with it and is disastrously married to our culture's collapsed sense of time, where speed is, finally, of the essence.  There is a fatal impatience to quickly count spiritual "coup" and get on with it.  This includes a great deal of the eco- and ethno-travel "opportunities," and the comic aspects of faux shamans selling three-hour "power visions" for a few hundred bucks.  That's just us, whether it's the Zen of tennis, or fishing, or shooting,  the Zen to make you a better businessman or help you write "spontaneously," or the "Apache" or "Redskin" football teams that abound, the warriors, the mightily white Mohawks, the secrets of Black Elk learned in an afternoon seminar after which Indian fry bread is served and then a buffalo ghost is ridden back to the suburbs.  Of course there is no kind of  absurdity we'll refuse to perform if the economics are tangible.  If anyone is truly sick of "the fucking American culture," as I frequently hear, they better get ready for a long haul.  An hour staring at a fifty-ton Olmec head will offer you a preposterous emptiness that all the sugar in the world can't sweeten."
Jim Harrison
"Off To The Side" (2002)

No comments:

Post a Comment