Friday, January 21, 2005

Globalization blog.

Some wisdom for the day: Time flies, things change. Yesterday after one of the tech contractors that my company occasionally hires to work on our computers called me up to say that he couldn’t come to the office today as scheduled “because it’s a holiday.” I knew at once he meant Eid al Ahda, which I’d noted on my new DayMinder brand calendar. Considering his Semitic name and swart appearance, that seemed like a reasonable assumption. He didn’t spell it out for me, however, perhaps because he didn’t feel like explaining it again to someone who’d never heard of it.

I’m no authority on Muslim holidays, but I did look it up when I noticed it on my DayMinder. A British web site had a succinct definition, complete with the usual transliteration variations you get between English and Arabic: “Eid-ul-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice) is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's (Abraham’s) willingness to sacrifice his son for God. Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of the month of Zul-Hijja.”

Currently my company (for example) allows employees to take certain Christian or Jewish holidays as part of their schedules (but not, alas, both). In the future, no doubt, American companies will also start to include Muslim holidays in a similar fashion. Maybe some already do. So who says that globalization only goes one way, that is, American culture forced on otherwise happy peoples around the world? Wankers, that’s who.

No time for a screed on “cultural imperialism,” but I will say this: it’s terrible how Americans force people worldwide to watch our movies—surely the greatest agents of cultural imperialism. That’s what all those marines we dispatch overseas are doing, I think. Herding natives into movie theaters at gunpoint.

More globalization: Some Fellowes brand screen cleaning wipes came to my desk today, inside a plastic jug that’s about as yellow as anything can possibly be. Made in the UK, but it’s a true EU product: instructions written on the jug come in nine languages (in order): English, German, Swedish, French, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Dutch and Russian. Various terms for the UK in other languages include Angleterre, Ingloterra, Grossbritannien (I don’t have the German double s symbol), R.U., Engeland, Storbritannien and best of all, Zjednoczonym Krolestwie.


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