If there is one thing I have learned from travelling the world, it is that somethings are the same in every country. A McDonald’s burger always tastes the same amount of greasy and wonderful. People universally dislike the average American tourist. Lastly, bureaucracy is a impossibly difficult no matter where you go. I speak from experience, I have dealt with governments agencies on 3 different continents.
Around 2010, a “buy local” trend started to emerge in America. Suddenly, it was considered wasteful and un-environmentally friendly to buy products that were grown or made abroad. Initially, this trend has solid logic. Local businesses like farmers directly contribute to their local economy. By buying your vegetables solely from them, you are ensuring that your money is going directly back into your own nearby economy. This ensures that your area continues to thrive and doesn’t face unemployment or poor living conditions.
Gentrification is the process that occurs when a geographical area goes from being predominantly lower class or impoverished to being an area dominated by upper middle class individuals, stores, and businesses. A common sign of gentrification is the introduction of Starbucks, Co-op’s and boutique cafes to an area. This is then followed by increased living costs and housing costs, which pushes the poor out and lets the rich in.
This quote struck a chord in me. Following the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Westerners have tended to focus more heavily on terrorist attacks by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other militant groups committed in Western countries. In the aftermath of the Boston bombers, the American media could talk of nothing else. A similar situation is occurring in France.
In the analysis of a BBC article discussing the death of a Japanese man at the hand of ISIS, it was mentioned that the man’s father apologized for the difficulty his son’s death has caused for Japan. And some of the general population is annoyed (while also sad) over the death. Initially, this might seem horrible. But digging into the reason why, shows that the population is not being crass or unfeeling. If this Japanese man had not put himself in a situation where he was at risk of being captured by ISIS, then Japan would have been able to avoid becoming embroiled in the growing conflict. The annoyance the population feels is somewhat justified in that sense. One death, could cause the country a lot of political turmoil. On the other hand, it would be unacceptable according to the people for the government to completely ignore this death and sweep it under the rug. If this man had not died, Japan would be able to avoid any stringent line about ISIS. But now Japan is involved.