Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Self-Contradictory Gratifications.

From a Theodore Dalrymple Book Review in the City Journal there was a sentence, or rather clause that stuck out: educated, prosperous, but slightly dissatisfied Westerners roam the world in search of self-contradictory gratifications;. Now, I can't label myself as prosperous (as a Westerner) though I may be more prosperous than most of the people here in China. But the words dissatisfied and self-contradictory do certainly apply to me. Why I am dissatisfied is hard to explain. Really, I shouldn't be. I have gotten through this life with my faculties intact so far. I am wising onto things like dissatisfaction is the lot of everyone in life. I would readily admit the self-contradictory things I do, but life is paradoxical and the achievement of any consistency would bring on insanity. But being in China is a selling of one's soul in a way. I am in a situation where it is best to be an outsider. But it is the things that are close that involve one. Feeling an outsider in one's own culture, it is self-contradictory to be an outsider in a place that is truly foreign.

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