Saturday, 10 July 2010

Ignorance is a delicate bloom. One touch and it is gone.

I very often wish people wouldn't travel abroad even on holiday. Ignorance is a delicate bloom. One touch and it is gone. I imagine most Western Europeans feel the same though not East Europeans who rightly delight in their new freedom to travel.

Foreign travel broadens the mind, gives people ideas. That's the whole problem. And not always very new ideas but often the same plastic ideas, music, films, celebrities, as millions of other people who are also milling around. Good luck to them but the world is becoming more and more deracinated. Much energy is spent talking about endangered species of wild animals but no-one discusses the endangered cultures of the world. As I rode in a bus in the Syrian desert watching with the sound off a British thriller on a TV screen (I could see the black protagonist punching gangsters was a cool updated Richard Hannay while the upper middle-class senior civil servant inevitably was the villain) I couldn't help feeling sorry for Al Qaeda whose crusade (the wrong word) against modernity and modernism is doomed to bloody failure.

I am absolutely not advocating traditionalism which is a dreary, dead thing but living traditions. The worst culprits are British: all those second homes. 90,000 British subjects own property in Bulgaria Martyn Birchall told me.

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