Saturday, August 25, 2007

Divvying Up the World

The same night I had the alien amplifier dream, I also dreamt about a map of the world. I couldn't believe what I was doing, but I was doing this strange and cliched act. I had these unusually shaped Post-It Notes, and I labeled on them these very generalized cultures of the world.

It's been done before, and I believe the way I divided the world, is the way most Americans do...from a very "American" point of view.

I had United States divided...the American South, New England, the Midwest, etc. It was cliche census stuff; I know better than to do that...there's so much variation and cultural flavor in localities, but I behaved like a bureaucrat in my dream.

South America pretty much followed the age-old Treaty of Tordesillas: (1) Portuguese Brazil, and (2) Spanish-speaking everything else. Again, I was a bureaucrat.

Asia became South Asia, Central Asia, East Asia...and I was lumping these nations and diverse cultures within nations into these cliched, almost like the game Risk, kind of geographical, pseudo-cultural divisions.

I don't remember what I did with the continents of Africa, Australia, and Europe, nor the many island nations that dot the seven seas...but I do recall several Post-It Notes everywhere on the map.

When I went over the Middle East, I lumped all the Arabic-speaking regions together and I think I labeled a separate Farsi-speaking region for Iran. I do remember that I didn't know what to do about Israel and Palestine. I think that was the most real part of the dream: Does anyone know? would be great to go on a world tour. The world's more than a sheet of paper to paste Post-It Notes on.

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