Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Proud to be...

... what, exactly?

Proud to be Chinese? George Carlin raised a very interesting point during one of his shows: Why should one be proud of an accident of birth? I mean, I like certain aspects of Chinese culture and everything, but proud of it? Great food, beautiful written script, NO dietary restrictions, no religious obligations and no real cultural restrictions. But on the other hand, traditional Chinese culture places far more value than I feel is necessary on material wealth and family ties. If my brother/cousin/uncle is an asshole, why should I stick up for him purely on grounds of shared blood?

Proud to be Malaysian? An emphatic NO, thank you very much. For a start, as a secular humanist, I consider it damned childish to place one's loyalty in something as meaningless as a flag. For another, M'sia has no small amount of dirty laundry to sort out. The rascist kind, so that just strikes me as pretty fucking unforgivable. So, no, definitely not proud. Embarassed, in fact. At least in Taiwanese parliament, MPs have the stones to let their fists do the talking. Around here, they just call each other names. It's like a kindergarten!

Proud to be atheist? Not so sure. Atheism just came to me as the logical choice. Should one be proud that 2 + 2 = 4? I suppose I could say that I'm really happy my mind hasn't been poisoned from youth with medieval religious texts. And I'm definitely grateful to the luminaries who came before me in the sciences, without whose efforts I'd never know the wonders of the natural universe.

Proud to be me? Yes! That is, relatively speaking... I just came across a pretty depressing article in IHT today. I really don't watch much TV, so I was quite surprised and disgusted to encounter MTV's I Want a Famous Face for the first time. How is it that a dozen people can be so utterly lacking in self-respect that they'd use plastic surgery to look like celebrities? Idiots! I hope their noses fall off...

*sighz* What would Bertrand Russell do?

No comments: