the Jan. 27 article “Dolphin slaughter film a hit at Sundance”: I hope the Japanese continue to politely defy the morally hysteric finger-wagging. Some Japanese, in keeping with very old fishing traditions, kill dolphins and whales. From most Western perspectives, mine included, it’s pretty awful. But it’s not as though they throw acid in the faces of teenage girls for going to school, or stone them to death for being raped.
If Westerners are not going to be guilty of crass cultural imperialism, we’re going to have to accept some serious divergences from our cherished value systems. Multiculturalism is not ever going to be one big bucolic picnic. Respecting other cultures involves more than enjoying their music, food and quaint costumes.
This is not a call for moral relativism, but the line one crosses when judging others’ cultural practices has to be drawn at a goodly measure beyond our comfort level. And if Sting wants to get a taste of the old limelight back, he should concentrate his efforts in the music studio.
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