Culture is contagious, its strength inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source.

Why one village has people carrying around pictures of the virgin of Guadalupe and another half a world away has villagers lined up behind images of the Buddha while still another could give a bloody shit (British people or hemorrhoid sufferers) about any of it is beyond me.  Why one has stupas pointed to the sky while another has steeples (same root word?) while the other points his finger, likewise.  I can identify with all three, and do.  I can’t help but think that the village people (no, not THOSE Village People) would get along with each other just fine if given the opportunity, and the religious background.  Unfortunately most village people don’t have money to travel, except as wetbacks, and even when they do, would not likely mingle with other village people.  They’d go to Las Vegas or Disneyland or Mount Rushmore (hurry up!) or the regional equivalents.  It’s up to anthropologists and a few devoted travelers like myself to spread the gospel mouth to mouth of universal sisterhood and the end to futile feudal racism.  Maybe I’m so anti-racist because I’m from Mississippi and have seen its psychological destructiveness from so close-up.  That would please the determinists who otherwise might insist I be just the opposite.  Don’t expect corporations and their executives and their salesmen and their products to truly transcend racism, though they can leap some buildings in a single bound.  Religion has certainly proven itself incapable of creating a world suitable for all, but consumerism is superficial by definition and doesn’t exactly satisfy the hungry soul searching for universal truths.

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