Friday, August 08, 2008

Globalization meltdown in my living room

AOG, Madrid


I’m all for globalization, and sometimes the extent to which our World, certainly my life, are globalised, amazes me.

Today I was at home watching some television in my newly installed satellite dish. I live in a XIX century building in an XVIII century neighbourhood in Madrid, a city turned into a capital in the XVI century, of a country striding all centuries between the 500 AD and now. Hard to believe? come on over and see for yourself!

But back to today's lesson...

The furniture at home is Swedish (Ikea), my television, DVD player and mobile phone are from South Korea (Samsung). My laptop was assembled in China and it is a Toshiba- Japanese.

The clothes I wear are mostly European and American labels, sawn in Southeast Asia.

The cologne I wear is mostly French.

Bed linen is British (Laura Ashley, Habitat), Swedish (Ikea), or American (Ralph Lauren). I use an iPod, designed by an American company (Apple) and assembled in Taiwan.

My digital camera is a Canon; American, though it is probably assembled in Asia somewhere.

My life has always been like this, cosmopolitan even when I was not aware of it. Labels and international companies have always accompanied me and my friends.

But today I experienced a complete meltdown.

There I was, at home, sipping a latte from Starbucks (Seattle- though the beans were probably African, or Brazilian- the milk? local Spanish cow from the North fare) watching television through a US-designed system pegged unto a European satellite named ASTRA.

I was quite savvy with some of the television channels- Cubavision, Al Jazeera in English, France24 in both French and English, television from Ecuador, Colombia, the UK, Argentina, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal, even Korean and Russian television... in English, (don't ask, I don't know).

I could cope with all this, in fact, I loved it. But then it happened.


I flipped the channel and, suddenly, I was watching a Mexican soap opera dubbed into Arabic on a Moroccan television station through a European satellite using American technology unto my XIX century building and my XXI century life.

I spat out in laughter my Kenyan-Seattle coffee brew all over Ikea's imitation English Floral (itself an imitation of Chinese XIX century florals) and all over my Bolivian red carpet.

My brain exploded. It was too much. Even as I write this I laugh. I’m still giddy.

I can’t help but wonder what might come next?

Chinese opera dubbed into Swahili with Arabic subtitles courtesy of Tanzanian television?

1 comment:

Timbo said...

Yes...I really do understand. I live in the deep south (Alabama). My bank is Canadian, my car assembled in Japan and Australia, much of my furniture comes via Ikea from Sweden, my iphone is most likely assembled in the far east somewhere, I am addicted to British TV ....where to stop? However...my President is a home-grown Texas moron!