10 January 2006

Some Things I Don't Like

Actually, only a couple for now, and the first is that I don't like how I came off in the previous post, talking about aborigines as if they were a faceless group of people rather than a vast and disparate collection of individuals. That's not to say that one can't (or shouldn't) talk about the problems and challenges facing a group of people, but I was thinking about this yesterday and today, and realised that while people might often expound on "the aborigine problem" (even if they're polite enough not to put it in exactly those words), you seldom hear anyone talking about "the white problem," despite the fact that there are certainly issues and problems that occur most frequently among white people. Talking about other races as though they were some strange species that needs to be managed or cultivated perhaps being one of them.

The other thing I don't like is writing long posts. Some famous writer whose name escapes me is supposed to have said, "Today I have written you a long letter because I didn't have time to write you a short one." The point is, it does take more time and more work to write something short and succinct (and still say something) than it does to blather on at great length. And yet I do far too much of the latter.

Part of my excuse is that while I'm here in Sydney, I have to rely on internet cafes where I'm paying by the hour (or minute, it seems more like), so I'm always feeling impelled to get everything said quickly and less inclined to do the careful editing I might do at home. But then I can look back and see that many of my posts from home have been awfully long, too. I guess I'm guilty of being too fond of the sound of my own voice, or the onscreen equivalent thereof. And with that, I'll shut up. For now.

1 comment:

Wesley said...

I don't see anything wrong with talking about cultural/ethnic groups as such -- particularly when their proponents identify them in that way (and I would imagine that most Australians of aboriginal descent still self-identify as that, as do most Native Americans). If anything, I think you're right, people should spend more time talking about the problems of white culture. Not that I necessarily self-identify as that.

As far as writing long posts (I thought it was a Mark Twain quote, but of bit of googling reveals the original is in a French missive by Blaise Pascal, 1656), no excuses necessary. I enjoy the lot.