Friday, January 28, 2011

24 January 2011: Exploitation (?)

We're safely back in the states, though hardly through the time-less limbo of jet lag where three a.m. is the new 8:30, and little children never sleep. Throughout our stay in the Megamall in KL, I thought about this quote from David Mitchell's novel Ghostwritten, spoken by a young Japanese man working in a second-hand jazz record shop in Tokyo as he contemplates a quartet of teenie-boppers space-headedly parousing the stock. I think it could hold true for the youth of Malaysia as well:

Then one of them asked why Japanese kids try to ape American kids. The clothes, the rap music, the skateboards, the hair. I wanted to say it's not America they're aping, its the Japan of their parents that they're rejecting. And since there's no homegrown counterculture, they just take hold of the nearest one to hand, which happens to be American. But it's not American culture exploiting us. It's us exploiting it. -David Mitchell, Ghostwritten

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