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A Rather Long Rant
reflective
yodge
Sometimes I get the feeling that my world is too small. This little island, here, I mean. Maybe it's because I grew up in an international community in an international school where everyone was from everywhere and nowhere and we all liked finding out about other cultures and we all got along great, but here... argh, I dunno, maybe there are people like this all over the world and it's got nothing to do with This Island.

So here are two things that have been bugging me like crazy recently (and by crazy I mean that it's something that I go over and over and over in my head while I'm brushing my teeth)...

1: Christians who are offended by the way "Christians" are portrayed in movies like Saved and even Kingdom Of Heaven. We discussed this earlier today over dinner, but this issue has been going around for some time now, and I can't believe the silliness of it. I mean, look -- just because you call yourself a "Christian" doesn't mean you can't be a complete raving lunatic. There are plenty of crazy and, well, evil (gasp) "Christians" around. There are! There are plenty of Christians around who ignore the teachings they are supposed to adhere to. There are people who call themselves "Christians" who lie and cheat on their wives and kick puppies and murder strangers and do all sorts of horrible and/or stupid things and then act like it's OKAY simply because they claim to be "Christians". PLENTY. Movies that expose these people are neither blasphemous nor wicked. They portray plenty of truth that Christians, as a body, should stop whining defensively about and actually address.

2: People who have no idea about the difference between religion, culture, and ethnicity. There is a certain person I know who I can't bear to watch American Idol with, for no other reason other than the fact that this exchange nearly always occurs:
Ryan Seacrest: ...and say hi to Paula Abdul.
Person: Abdul! Is she Malay?
Me: Um, no...
Person: So why is she called Abdul?
Me: It's her surname. She probably has some Middle Eastern ancestry.
Person: Oh, so is she Muslim?
Me: Can't be sure. Maybe, maybe not.
Person: But her name is Abdul!
Me: AAAAAUUUUGGGGHH....

And see, this would only happen on This Island, where the government has royally twisted the definitions and boundaries of ethnicity and culture and religion. Here, unlike in Indonesia, this equation is accurate 99.9% of the time: "Ethnic Malay = Muslim". However, not all Muslims are Malay, and not all people listed as "Malay" even consider themselves Malay, but many non-Malays and non-Muslims have no idea because they only swallow what the government has been telling everyone, which is the simple equation of "Malay = Muslim", "Muslim = Malay". So we get Chinese people who do not understand that Malays are not always Muslim, and others who don't understand that not all Muslims are Malay. I don't know why, but it drives me bonkers. I have half a mind to name my firstborn Yusuf or Noor just to mess with the registration system.

Another thing happened while we were watching Kingdom Of Heaven that I still can't get out of my head:
Movie Muslim: Salaam alaikum
Movie Christian: Alaikum salaam

Friend: *gasp* He said an Islamic greeting! That's not very Christian!
Me: *stares at Friend in utter disbelief*

Do we not know that "Salaam alaikum - Alaikum salaam" is exactly the same as "The Peace" ("Peace be with you" etc.) in the Christian liturgy? Can we not separate religion from a cultural nicety? Or language?! Later on...
Movie Muslim: Salaam alaikum
Friend: Are they speaking Malay?

AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHHH.

I hate the way This Island has tried (and more or less succeeded) in distorting the lines around culture, ethnicity, and religion. It frustrates me when I come face to face with the ignorance and shallowness that it has spawned. Then again, maybe this happens all over the world, and you can never get away from people who will always have distorted views of reality due to misinformation. On one hand I hope this is true, and on the other I really really don't.

Rant over.


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AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHHH.

Good. You can do all the ranting and yelling. I don't have the energy. It's not just your liddle island.
Fortunately, Oz has such a diverse culture and ethnic background that names don't cause much comment at all. It is funny (in a distinctly diametrically different way) when names and faces are soooooooo different. Like seeing a definitely chinese person with a strong cockney accent. It still amuses me.
As for the religion thing, *sigh*, it happens all over. In fact, it is the very openly "I am a Christian" type, that I'm very very wary of. I prefer Christ's own ethics for an example. He talked to anybody and put himself above - I don't know, - did he put himself above anybody?

Re: AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHHH.

Well, I consider myself an "I am a Christian" type, but there's a difference, between those who simply follow Christ and those who think that the reputation of the religious institution should be protected at all costs, to the point of being fake. and that's what bugs me. I will defend Christ and his teachings, but I won't defend people who do blatantly wrong things just because they claim to be doing it under a Christian banner, because then we're just wading in Pharisee-land, and I refuse to pretend Christians are perfect.

Everything, in my opinion, should be open to attack. If it's defensible, then good. If it's not, then just as well it got attacked. God likes to shake things up. :)

*puts on a Cockney accent*

Re: AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGHHHHH.

Well, I consider myself an "I am a Christian" type,
yes, well I wasn't thinking of enthusiastic young people when I said that. More the kind that thankfully you are aware of and not sucked in by.
I've known a few deviates in my time that hide behind that mantle.

(Deleted comment)
I'm having a problem because my accent naturally goes Murkian when I'm speaking to a North Murkian, and starts going British when talking to a Brit or Ozzite. (I can do an Aussie accent, but I don't slip into it naturally.) Although it's been staying Murkian of late, and I can't get rid of it. I'm trying to shake it, mostly because I prefer the sound of my British accent... but it's really annoying that I can't!!! eeeek. I spoke to one of my Canadian profs and he asked me where I got my "genuine" American accent... and when I tried to explain that it was just a bad habit that I slipped in and out of, he didn't buy it!

I'm SHTUCK! *sbo*

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