I believe I have arrived at a solid New Year's resolution finally. Upon great reflection and deliberation, I have decided to spend the year 2009 further exploring my oft-neglected cultural heritage.
In this multicultural, homogenized, globalized world in which we live, we often feel the pressure to try new things, to embrace ideas and traditions from cultures outside our own. Often this leads to great advances in a more tolerant, more understanding world. Like Laotian restaurants. And margaritas.
But far too often, as well, the plethora of choices available to the modern man or woman leads to ignorance of one's own cultural heritage. As we learn more and more about the world, we find less and less time to delve deeply into the traditions that once bound our ancestors together, the shared knowledge base that provided community and a sense of purpose. My resolution is to rectify that neglect.
Too long have I ignored the simple truth of my past. As a white, upper middle class, private and prep-school educated member of the intelligentsia, I feel it is my duty to my people to learn more about our great and glorious past, to gain a firm grounding in the traditions of our forefathers. So my resolutuon is to spend the year acquainting myself with all those traditions that I have shamefully neglected in my first twenty eight years upon the earth.
Therefore, in the month of January, I am beginning to compile a list of things to accomplish. Things that will bring me closer to the inner Anglo-American snob that has too long remained suppressed within me. The shame I have brought upon my noble lineage shall finally be overcome, and I will be able to hold my head high amidst the glorious accomplishments of the past.
As such, I am soliciting suggestions from you, my readers and peers, as to things I can do in pursuance of this goal. Texts, activities, knowledges to pursue--any advice is welcome as I strive to bring myself closer to my heritage. So far, I have comprised a preliminary list, which is admittedly brief at the moment, but will hopefully grow as the year develops.
1. Read classical texts, particularly Greek and Latin tragedies. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey as well as the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Other suggestions welcome.
2. Read Dante's Divine Comedy.
3. Watch Gilbert and Sullivan operas, particularly H.M.S. Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance.
4. Learn something about wines.
5. Read something by Proust.
6. Listen to more classical music. Suggested composers/pieces I can get from iTunes welcome.
7. Continue education in fine Scotches. Maintain snobbish disdain of blendeds.
A short list to be sure, generated solely upon one night's brief reflection. Further suggestions and advice are welcome. Remember, any insight you offer will not only be for my personal edification, but will aid greatly in the preservation of a noble tradition in the modern world.