Us and them - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Us and them

Us and them

Published February 11, 2005

Western Civilisation thinks in term of binary opposites. There’s black and white, left and right, men and women, us and them, truth and lies. This was particularly apparent during the Cold War. There was red and blue, East and West, communists and, well, peace loving democrats. Us and them. Our truth, their lies. Then, in 1989, it all collapsed. The wall came down. There was no them anymore. So who was the Us? What was the U.S.? Along with the Berlin Wall, Western thought virtually collapsed overnight. Nobody understood what the thinkers were thinking anymore. The thinkers didn’t even know what the hell they were thinking. Everybody was quoting each other quoting each other. The poets wrote about poetry rather than about the world. Nothing made sense. The whole of Western civilisation was disappearing into a bottomless pit of Post-Modernism. And then, September the 11th happened. We had an enemy again. There was a them again, and an us. A good and an evil. But, somehow, the line between truth and lies are not that apparent any more.

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