These stats tell a story

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) nears the end. One week left! I'm up to 33,677 words, out of my 50,000 word target. I can do it. I can do it. I can do it... :-)

My current story is about claustrophobia (though I need a title that doesn't give it away too early); exploring old caves looking for treasures to plunder is a setting I haven't tried before, and is ripe with opportunity. I'll have that one finished in a couple of days, the fourth story since I began NaNoWriMo. I also had some good news yesterday. I'll put it in my next newsletter, I think - something I'll send out after NaNoWriMo. Sign up if you're interested.

Since I'm feeling generous, I dug out links to two posts from my archives, for those who like listening to stories. Back in 2013 one of my horror stories, Creeping Jesus, was turned into audio - blog post / YouTube. Then, a month later, it happened again! Just Telling Stories was adapted with actors - blog post / YouTube. Both productions are really good quality, so give them a listen if you want to get into a creepy mood!

Lastly, I keep reading articles about things being "banned" as being culturally insensitive. The media obviously sensationalise these stories, so the founding incident may not be so severe as it is represented, but the discussion around the events can get quite heated. I've just read this one about yoga. It left me with three thoughts.

  1. Imperialism is enforcing your rule and power on others. Cultural imperialism is enforcing your culture on others. However, adopting elements of other cultures (language, dress, practices) is the opposite of cultural imperialism. The world would be better if more of this went on, not less.
  2. Often this adoption of other cultural practices is labelled as “cultural appropriation”, which is equated as “theft”. Theft is taking something, leaving the other person/nation the poorer. But culture doesn’t work like that. The more widespread knowledge and elements of a culture are, the stronger it is. Languages, stories, and cultures wouldn’t have died out if they had been adopted more widely. This adoption can be the key to a positive future in a world based on sharing and knowing, rather than forbidding any move to share in another culture. After all, how can you hate what you identify with?
  3. Culture is a bit of a twisted concept anyway, since it diminishes the role of individuality. The concept is used when it benefits the speaker, to imply shared values; but at the level of the individual it turns out that the values are not as widely shared as was claimed. Culture is how things are presented in public, not necessarily how things are perceived in private.
Am I talking nonsense? What do you think?