Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Normality. Part 1

It took me a while to get back on the horse and bash some words out on the keyboard. Besides the dissatisfaction I felt a while ago I was ransacked with a few major school obligation... like going. Aside from that I'm in a better state of mind now, and with it I have made the decision that I don't care about anyone else. I've vowed to never look at my statistics again, because realistically I enjoy doing this...so to my naysayers and unsubscribers I decreed that you can drown yourselves in a magma pit.

So to the task at hand then.

Normality, or at least the concept of normality is both absurd and offensive. The very idea that our species can decide a standard while ignoring cultural influences, personal bias, experience, etc... is rather insulting. Normal is an abstract concept, I'll assure you that it doesn't even have a proper definition. Its basis lies in averages and statistics, concepts which quantify individuals without scratching deeper under the surface.

If one is going to assume normal they need to take a look at culture. The things which are considered to fit the definition are based more theory than fact, and wholly controlled by the cultural influences put upon us. These forces are cover a broad spectrum of everyday life, but are completely invisible to large percentages of the population because they have always known them.

You need to step out of the "normal" to really understand it and why it is a culturally induced idea. So lets move take a step outside of North American culture, which is my context, and move to Papua New Guinea...

Food is a huge cultural force which is driven by culture, history, and many other factors. It will serve to provide a nice basis for cross cultural examination.

North American's typically cringe when they think about all that "nasty heathen food", and tend to have a nice diet of mainly processed foods with supplements of European introduced meats and vegetables/fruit.  I'll just ignore that most of the foods we eat didn't even originate here, so I'll assume ignorance and fully immerse myself.

So the the majority of the population ideas of eating insects, strange fruits (ripe or unripe), rats, bats, roots, wild pigs any pretty much anything else if the opportunity arises (even human). These eating habits tend to disgust many of the participants in North American culture, and thus because it isn't practiced in that culture it is immediately deemed barbaric, uncivilized, and abnormal.

What isn't understood is that in the Papua New Guinea cultural context this is perfectly acceptable, and cross examination of many other cultures will show that these foods and other ones which aren't culturally acceptable in North America are enjoyed and embraced.

Unfortunately I need to cut this blog short due to time constraints, but this is going to be one of many parts. I assure you that you aren't normal, and no one is...

2 comments:

Kelly said...

It seems from the time I was a kid, people have thought of me as not normal. My only guess for that is because I never acted like much of a kid. I read a lot and wasn't screaming and hyperactive. Later, as an adult, I grew to realize that doing the same routine and having the same goals (the constant desire to have more and more money, buying a house, etc.) as other "normal" folks was the only thing society tolerates.

Society, as a whole, can go fuck itself. Most members of society are boring, narrow-minded followers not worth a glob of spit.

claza said...

I have never felt 'normal'. Society does suck when your goals and thoughts seem so far away from the majority of those around you.