Saturday, July 05, 2008
Sometimes it could only be Saturday. The Top Gear boys are tearing their hair out while standing on Mexicans, Great Gapper warns that we can no longer afford chocolate Belgians, 'Yes, it's the moon. Over.' (Or so they say...), John Cage is still banging away on his old Joanna and it's become pretty clear that Iranian peaches cannot be had in Norfolk even for ready money. But, meanwhile, having been afflicted by a bad case of l'esprit d'escalier, I need to expand on the matter of Andrex Academics. I used extreme cases - Mao's China, Hitler's Germany - to deride Cashmore's all cultures are equal posture. Say we ignore these cases as aberrations; I don't think this is reasonable but let's try it. This would seem to strengthen Cashmore's case which now becomes all cultures are equal when not convulsed by extraordinary circumstances. This feels consolingly liberal until you notice the concealed metaphysic. To whom are all cultures equal? They are not to me - I prefer British, American and European culture to all others. I would guess they're not to Cashmore either. In fact, the individual to whom all cultures are equal is a fiction. He has been invented to satisfy the science envy of the soft sciences. Science works by seeing the world through the eyes of a fictional individual - an objective seer, devoid of all bias. This is how Cashmore aspires to see culture. It is a category error. There can be no scientific view of culture. Back to Saturday.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 7:48 am