to link to a Feed article – I do it all the time – but that’s only because, to me, it is the most interesting magazine going, in any medium. Anyhow, tonight’s object of my attention is the excellent, refreshing article, This Is Planet Earth. Mitchell Stephens has begun a long journey to report on the state of globalization around the world.
His first stop was to meet with the inestimable Clifford Geertz and his second, Wichita KS, where he found Laotion food among other things.
It’s personally interesting to me to read that because it mirrors my own experience in a way. In the early 90s I had this insane job in which I travelled to every city in Canada (pretty much). In my travels I was shocked, quite literally, to find a completely legitimate Thai restaurant in Prince Albert SK, to meet Indian (i.e., from India) businessmen (they were invariably men) in all sorts of cities, no matter how small and remote, and generally put the lie to the standard Canadian dogma: immigrants live in the big cities (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, etc.) and the rest is still very white and protestant. In my experience 10 years ago, that is simply not true.
I grew up at University in an environment in which very different issues were at the front of everyone’s mind – a very similar world as was described by Naomi Klein in No Logo (in fact if I’m not mistaken we overlapped at McGill). But I studied political theory, so even then the idea of globalization was kicking around – but at that time the whole edifice relied (at least casually) on the bedrock principle that cities=diversity, towns=whitebread. In Canada that’s an even deeper idea that permeates our entire canon of literature until 1990 or so. And it was, and is, wrong.
All this by way of saying that this sort of fresh, novel approach to the question of globalization is long overdue.