Cultural Prodigy

Bayu Wikranta
5 min readMar 12, 2022
Captain Cook killed by Hawaiian natives, 1779 - (by North Wind Picture Archives).

The advent and reification of human language and symbolic thought have been a disaster for the human species. Culture as to think and to do, always just like monkeys (monkey see monkey do) — departs in its historical course on a collective and simple definition, find its way of diversity on the cultivation of life and creative beings, soon eventually retro to the recurrence of sticks and stones intelligentsia. For most of a modern man, nothing of truth, or truths — matter, if it’s not regarding the basis of economic necessity, which then sheds any concept of ethics and cultural high ground in place and time of ideological contestation. For accomplishment born out a solution, it thrice the trouble.

Linguistic prescriptivism, the use and definition of a language must follow the norms and standards that have been passed down from generation to generation — the why that is the strongest (why would we use whom instead of who?). As opposed to descriptivism, following how language practice is used in actuality and cultural movement — both consequences for a fundamental question about the world’s reality. Alas, truth is not based on anything that which we can prove. For everything that we can prove is said to be reducible to the absurd acts of the brain’s chemical reactions — we value the chemicals as they are chemicals and we believe it as so (the urge to defecate and fall in love is no different).

The cultural practices and life of any place are not excluded in following currents of modernity and the dominant culture that develops outside the area. A place needs to accept, for example — its identity as a tourist destination, though the people know nothing about it, the historical and the etymology. Economic, political, and social consequences on the surrounding community, positive aspects will be in the realm of development, to all related sectors on the welfare of the people. For negative consequences, the identity of the place received was only growing rapidly for the economy and politics of a few parties, coupled with the stagnant concentration of geographical destination of the very said tourism. The culture has also removed the ties between the two social class rivalries, by the alienated experiences of tourism workers and tourists — it’s like a Stockholm syndrome, in which the workers felt to support the goals of the stakeholders — that for the tourists. Cultural identity conversion. The workers are workers by the weekdays and the tourists by the weekend.

Tourism culture is the supply and demand of reciprocal anticipation. To present a tourist destination and all its knick-knacks is a stakeholder effort to meet the needs of tourists. Tourists who are transparent with their needs, make stakeholders understand what they have to present and prepare for the tourist destination. Or this circulation is not needed — stakeholders just do the material first and it certainly works anyway, to the surprise also from the tourists. Outside of this relationship, exist the people who accept the crumbs of the dominant culture, in the choice to change their reflection of reality, or live outside the relations of production and consumption of tourism culture, retaining their cultural characteristics and then said being less economically, bound by narratives of being “less adaptive”. People live their whole life only in the shadow cultural practices of the dominant. Feeling timid, alienated, peer-pressured by a hundred death generations — for they already maintaining a high culture, now with cultures of the upcoming.

The theory of simulacra and hyperreality by Jean Baudrillard, focuses on the issue of the meaning of reality, culture, and symbolic thought in our society. For Baudrillard, this is not a problem of interpreting the state of reality, but the concealment of the facts that the real is no longer real. For a society and its reality will not return to the era that has been carried out (without a global scale catastrophe — in which we lose the fight), people still need to be aware of the relevance and consequences they presents, and hopefully could choose their actions as cultural subjects. In his critique, Baudrillard presents the example of Disneyland which has become a game of illusion, an imaginary world that attracts people to the satisfaction of their struggles and joys. The real is to make understanding of the unreal, and the real suggests that the unreal is unreal, and now the act of the real is concealed in the unreal act of the real. What? The dichotomy is getting hazy — or there is none, and we always have been in the search for the impossible noumenon.

The development of a tourism culture also has forced rural areas as a default state, to adapt and accept the lifestyle standards and cultural preferences of urban communities. It is the challenge to the possible collapse of natural tourism, not goes without saying the identity of places as tourism destinations, reflect with promotional power that revolves around that identity of the ‘natural’. Social media and advanced technology with the vision of progress and connectedness without limits is a matter of providing images and cultural representations of tourism destinations before the actual activity begins. It is to align the preceding imaginative state. It will never be again the journey into the unknown — like an act of necessity did by ancient nomads for survival (or could they seek also for the sake of leisure?).

At least the unknown was still up at the age of European discoveries, with big figures like James Cook and Columbus. Not so much for anthropological romanticism nor only the adventurous soul — it was to find new trade routes all over the world, an act of aspiration from one’s kingdom, and well gold glory gospel. Anyhow, James Cook died on some beach in Hawaii by the 14th February — stabbed in the neck by the indigenous inhabitant of the land. Art comes out and paint the very scene of that romanticism: “James Cook told his expedition crew to stop firing at the poor indigenous inhabitant with only bats and rocks as resistance”. The ignition of Rosseau’s idea of a noble savage — that humanity is innately good before the touch of civilizations: Bushmen of Kalahari desert who did not have the language of bad/evil. On the other hand, the Comanche tribe conquered other tribes for power and territory, long before the colonization. As Žižek said: “Every culture is horrible in its own way”, and Nietzsche with his eternal recurrence. Well, those surely are pessimistic remarks. Maybe that is the world we have always been living in: as a species who is very smart, rather young, a gifted anomaly, resulting in behavior problems…