David Brooks seems confused. He wrote this oped about the differences between American culture and most Asian cultures.
The world can be divided in many ways — rich and poor, democratic and authoritarian — but one of the most striking is the divide between the societies with an individualist mentality and the ones with a collectivist mentality.
That was on the 11th.
Then today he wrote this oped where he’s confused by apparent lack of grief in China. He interviewed a man who had lost his wife in the big earthquake in May.
This week, he sat on the spot of her death, telling the story with a matter-of-fact, almost cheerful air. A small group of villagers was hanging around, and the interview, outside under a tarp, was a communal affair. The villagers joked with each other and smiled frequently in a manner I found hard to fathom as they described the horrible events from May.
Uh – David…..people in China grieve, but they would of course go about it differently. They don’t expect their government to prevent death. They realize that others grieve also and they believe we all work together to overcome odds. Read your first column dude.
Mr. Brooks has a great respect for these attitudes ending with
I don’t know if it’s emotionally sustainable or even healthy, but it raises at least one interesting question. When you compare these people to the emotional Sturm und Drang over lesser things on reality TV, you do wonder if we Americans are a nation of whiners.
Maybe he needs to write a column on American culture. The can-do spirit and the idea that everything can be improved upon. If there is a disaster it’s only because someone didn’t do their job right and by george we could do it better. We haven’t dealt with poverty/disaster/totalitarian govt forever and we know we have choices. What would be the point of just “accepting” and going about our business vs cursing the night when we know we can create a light bulb?
Culture Mr. Brooks. Culture. Sheesh – I understand that and I’m a redneck!