I'm working on catching up on my reading list, after not touching it for a week or so again.|
I just had a moment of realisation: people kept talking about "Gregorian New Year", and I was bemused, because I was like... was someone talking about the Julian dates for some reason or something? And then I realised that people were distinguishing it from other extant calendars.
Which led me to realise that to me, Gregorian/Julian is a paired set of distinguishing adjectives. Sort of like positive/negative, where one implies the other. (I'm pretty sure there's a term for this, but I'm tired and can't remember it.) The quality of Gregorianness is, in my head, in opposition to Julianity.
I was about to draw parallels with "eastern"ness, but that is tricky territory, because most people will default to "eastern" as the sort of "Oriental" image, which, it doesn't really map that way to me much. My mental map of "eastern" is to the largely Occidental and "Antipodean" eastern states. Of Australia.
All of these terms are, in a way, awesomely bad, because all of them define things relative to other things, and therefore will break depending on perspective, and also, how far is what?
I mean, to me, the East vs West thing - the boundary, to me, is largely marked around the Mediterranean - Delphi in particular, with its "centre of the known world" status in Classical Greek times. But at what point does East become West again? It's all so arbitrary.
I'm blethering. Never mind. And I have many, many tabs developing from trying to catch up on reading things.
Hmm, I've been quiet again, lately.|
I have posts vaguely percolating in my head. About beauty, about people, about thinking, about travel shows and Top Gear. Note to self, write them.
Oddly, my impulse to post right now is mostly to do with wanting to do *something* to offset the discomfort I felt, because there are certain words with which I am not comfortable, at all, even when I know why I'm using them.
For example, entering Nigger as a search term makes my skin crawl a tiny bit, even though what I was actually doing was looking up Dick Gregory's autobiography on Amazon. I want to read it, I'm thinking I might order it, and yet, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable having that on a shelf where people could see it or reading it in public, even though it's the autobiography of a civil rights campaigner.
Twitch. And yet. But. Twitch.
That's words for you.
Especially since that isn't even a racist word of my own socio-cultural background. That's an American racist word. Neither where I was born nor where I grew up did I ever come across someone who would use nigger as a racist slur, that I know of.
(And yet, a word that has similar degrees of racist baggage in my socio-cultural background turns up in plant nurseries here - as the "kaffir lime" tree. Which also makes me twitch really a lot. Because in my socio-cultural background nice people don't use that word.)
Then again, in the eastern states there's a chain of Indian restaurants called "Curry Munchers". When I worked at directory assistance I nearly hung up on a customer who said that, until she - understanding my shocked and horrified reaction - explained hurriedly that no, it really was called that...