Saturday, March 21, 2009

First Post: BBC Claims There's An International Community!

I'm a podcast junkie lately. I've had no cable TV for over two years now, and I was really beginning to feel under-informed. So now I'm over-informed, and I can't decide which is better...

Anyway, this will be a short entry, as it's getting late (for my age, anyway). You see, I'm exhausted in the shoulders, as I've been tearing my bathroom apart in preparation for a contractor to come in and fix it up. In so doing, I've slogged through hours of pundit opinion on NPR, BBC, etc. podcasts. Lots to hear, especially during this dreadful economic collapse.

One observation: the BBC, about ten times more frequently than any other news entity, swaps the terms "other countries" and "allies" with the amazingly non-descriptive catch-phrase "international community."

That's right: "community." It's inescapable that I define myself a sensitive person (and others have described me that way to the point of true insult), but at the risk of sounding like a scheming, hardened banker-villain, I must say that the word "community" has been abused nearly to the point of irrelevancy.

What does it mean to participate in a community?

In terms of location, do I just have to live in the place defined as a community? Is it the city-proper? Is it West End? Is it those of us who live north of the fairgrounds (or, the "No-Fairs")?

If the neighborhood is too small, then perhaps the entire city, or state! Pennsylvania, then? Is that my community?

In the "tribal" sense, must I consider myself to be part of some ethnic "community?" Would that be true whether or not I'd ever met any other actual members of that "community?" Because, if so, what's so very communal about that?

Okay, age-old, rhetorical remarks from a guy who's too old to learn all the cool, new ground-combat video games. I admit that. But clearly it's absurd to even entertain the term "international community." Taken figuratively, it's a little patronizing, especially considering the often-strained relationships between the governments of different nations.

But taken literally, it simply means "all the other countries" or, more to the point, "everyone in the world." And what's so hard about just saying that?

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