Thursday, March 15, 2012

How do they do it?

There is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say there is nothing to say.

Someone told me once that if you just start typing whatever you're thinking or feeling that eventually you'll think of something to write.  I don't KNOW that that's true, but then again, I only typed 'there is nothing to say' a dozen times (I'm not counting to make sure) before becoming bored, so maybe that's the cure for writing.  Boredom.

I've been reading a couple of IRB Applications for class tomorrow and have acquired  a few ideas from see how others dealt with the application for my own application, particularly in the Methods and Procedures section, Michael's IRB gave me some ideas of how to explain my methods a little more completely.  I've always been rather cautious so making plans I know will change seems like a waste of time to me.  This is why I have a hard time 'proposing' a project that I don't know for sure will work, and I have a hard time 'proposing' how I will do things, when in reality I have no idea if that's how they'll get done.  It's debilitating for me in this class, since so much of the class is merely 'proposing.'  I just have to get used to the idea that everyone else, not just me, knows that the project will change, and they don't expect me to stick to the proposal once/if I find a better way of doing things.


I read today about "The Unforgotten War," that is WWII and its application in France.  Did you know that in France, on paper, citizens do not have a religion, a skin color or an ethnicity?  This was a policy put in place after the second World War to keep the Holocaust from happening again.  If anyone asked the French to round up all their Jews again they could simply say, 'We have no idea who is Jewish.'  If someone asked them to round up all their Arab immigrants they could say, 'Once someone receives their French citizenship, they are French.  We do not know who is Arab.'  And if that someone said to take everyone in with dark skin, they could simply respond, 'But they are French, too.'  I love that.  I love that on paper there is no distinction between any French citizen.  I think this, also, that this is a significant governmental and cultural shift because of history, and there's a lot of that in France, but this is more recent.  A 20th century upgrade, as it were.

I also learned that while the largest number of Jews were rounded up and killed in France than any other Western European country, more than two-thirds of France's Jews survived World War II, meaning many of the French never turned in their neighbors, hid away children, or smuggled Jews out of the country.  This is in comparison to the less than 25% of Jews in Holland or Belgium surviving the war.  I think this is heartening given the anti-Semite reputation the French have.  That's another thing about learning about people and culture: stereotypes may exist for a reason, but they're so much more complex than that, and one must never assume a stereotype for any individual because its assumed of the group.  I would add, that stereotypes ought to be discarded all together, though caution should always be taken with everyone you come into contact with.

War is kind of a bizarre thing, and I think every culture is significantly altered by their history of war, the way they wage war, whether they've been beat or whether they've been victorious, whether they're proud or ashamed of said victories or defeats, the money they've received, the men they've lost, the way in which a war was ended whether by marriage, treaty, or stalemate.  I think this is why we organize our study of history often times around, during and between major wars.  In France, we study the Gallic Wars, the Hundred Years War, the Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the Franco-Prussian War, World Wars I and II, the Wars in Indochina, the War in Algeria.  And Honestly, most wars that France has been involved in, they've lost. They've LOST most of their wars.  But they're France, how is this possible?  What I find so fascinating about the French is that most countries, heck, most CULTURES would be decimated and destroyed and scattered and lost by such staggering wars.  Not the French.  They're still one of our leading "cultures" one of the Western European countries we still find synonymous with the word "culture."  What makes France so fascinating is that despite all their loss, the elements of their culture have always pulled them out ahead, have always dug them out of the rubble so to speak, have always persevered.  That isn't easy, and what's more they make it LOOK easy.

What is it about their culture that does it?  I guess what's what I want to find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment