16 Mar 2009

Lame Cultural Ideas -No.1- No Statue for Charlie Chaplin

I hope this will become an online archive for lame ideas that come about because of the obsession with cultural identity. No 1 comes today from India, where Hindu activists are upset by a proposal for a 20m tall statue of Charlie Chaplin, because he was a Christian. The activists have actually succeeded in preventing the statue from being built, however I don't agree with the Times' assessment that they are 'extremists'. This label is applied too easily these days.

When cultural identity takes the place of politics, this is the kind of excess that you can expect. Such protests are motivated less by bigotry than by a sense of insecurity and a fragile identity. All over the world there are examples of how cultural identity is distorting politics and producing more examples of these lame protests. Please send in your examples to this post.

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Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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