Alex Kurtagic on Why We Write
News/Comment; Posted on: 2010-01-11 17:46:24 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
Living in the future is extremely frustrating: a highly dysfunctional place, where mediocrity has triumphed over excellence, and crushed and suffocated the latter.
by Alex Kurtagic
I write because the future is not what it used to be.
I know, because I have lived in it. My parents had overseas jobs
during the 1970s and early 80s, and, consequently, I spent part of my
childhood and early teenage years in Latin America. Venezuelan schools
— at least at the time — taught their students that the country’s
population was racially diverse, going from White to Black, with eight
shades in between. Schoolbooks stated that these ten shades of skin
color — each with a designation and a definition — were the result of
intermarriage between three original populations: the native
Amerindians, the Spanish Conquistadors, and the Black slaves. The
educational narrative was matter-of-fact, but prevailing attitudes on
the ground suggested a tacit ordering of social status that loosely
correlated to skin pigmentation: whites were at the top, blacks at the
Not surprisingly, whites were wealthy and in positions of authority,
while millions of their dark-skinned counterparts were poor and lived
in slums. Skin pallor was a valued asset among women. There was no
obvious racial hostility in the air, however, beyond the occasional
playground taunt: outside the most rarefied of gated communities,
racial diversity was ubiquitous in everyday life and accepted as a fact.
News Source: occidental quarterly