"eastern" and "western"

Cal Eastman (shiva@FREENET.SCRI.FSU.EDU)
Mon, 25 Jul 1994 10:45:35 18000

im not a real supporter of PC fascist induced vocabulary - but i am a
believer in a soft form of the sapir-whorf hypothosis (no it has
nothing to do the star trek:the next generation).
I find the constatnt use of the words 'eastern" and "western" to be
problamatic at best, and damaging at worst.
These phrases imply a central point in reference which happens to be
christian europe, and acts as if we lived on a flat plain not a globe.
Furthermore many native cultures in teh "western" world hvae world
views that would be called "eastern" and visa versa.
If i want to fly to japan,eg, i fly west not east.
Im not a european, nor am i a christian. I do not choose to make my
central reference pooint there. I understand that verbal shorthand
arises, and serves a purpose, but he language we use determins to some
degree what and how we think. The "east" isnt a homogeneous culture to
be lumped into one catch phrase.
Maybe its time to use some phrases that reflect a non-flat earth
understand of cultures and geometry.
For example during my travels in asia the last time, the peace talks
between israel and the plo were going on. They were not refered to as
the "mid-east" peace talks, but the west asian peace talks. With
apologies to my mother, this is a far more accurate description of
what is going on there, without refernt to any mythical central point,
but describing geographically where teh participants are.

Boom shiva
mahalinga nataraj
(puffiness 4evah)