The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

It’s All A Matter Of Perspective …
February 22, 2010, 6:19 am
Filed under: Comment

So I was reading a book recently when the expression ‘Far East’ came up.

To put it in context, it was an American lawyer talking about his wife who was an air stewardess and regularly had to fly to the ‘far east’ … and this got me thinking, what gives America and Europe the right to define Asia as the ‘Far East’?

OK, so I know it has a lot to do with time-zones, sunrise / sunsets, history and even the layout of the bloody World map … but I find it so interesting that the people in Asia don’t look at the US and refer to it as the ‘Far West’ or – if they want to really fuck with people’s minds – the Farther East.

Whilst I am sure the origination of the term wasn’t created with malice – more a rational ‘truism’ of the time – over the years it has sort-of evolved into something a bit sinister, kind of subliminally positioning Asia as the region that lies ‘behind’ the power and majesty of the West.

Well given the World’s financial power and influence is once again returning to Asia, wouldn’t it be interesting if the region started referring to America and Europe as ‘the land behind us’ … bet that would cause all sorts of shit.

I know I sound like one of those ‘right-on’ sods who say’s “blackboards” is a racist term … but I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you express something long enough – and back it up with some examples of perceived dominance – then you can re-position your competition just as well as you are re-positioning yourself.

And for planners/marketers who think a brand should never be arrogant, then may I suggest you at least read this.

13 Comments so far
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you dont sound like youre right on, you sound like a fucking weirdo but i like the “land behind us” idea just because it would stir the shit pot to boiling point.

that “be arrogant” post is fucking good though. pity nothing but fridays streets of porn has come close to it for the past year. 2010 isnt shaping up to be the great fucking white knight everyone said it was going to be is it.

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t think the “far east” expression was created to keep the people of the West feeling superior but it might have some subliminal effect because whenever I hear that term I rarely vision the modern, vibrant, hungry side of Asia, just the cultural side weighed down with Hollywood cliche.

I’m with Andy on everything else though. 🙂

Comment by Pete

I didn’t say the term was created by Westerners who had the sole intention of encouraging some sort of subliminal prejudice against the Asian region, I’m just saying it might have that effect now – albeit on sad, un-travelled, already prejudiced bastards who think anything ‘Asian’ means poor quality, backward living and plastic Kellogg’s toys.

But I do like the idea of them fighting back by calling Europe/US something subliminally negative and see what happens over time – but that’s my bastard streak coming to the fore. Again. Hahaha!

Comment by Rob

Does this mean that due to timezone etc, your good old friend Australia can now position itself as “The place in front of the place in front of you”?

Comment by Age

Yes Age … as long as you don’t saying Australia always plays second fiddle to NZ.

Comment by Rob

NZ to Oz is like that loser kid up the road, but he’s got the best toys ever.

Comment by Age

That’s funny, because I just asked my Kiwi mate and he said:

“Oz to NZ is like that loser kid down the road, nothing else.”

Comment by Rob

Haha gold!

Comment by Age

Nottingham Far East. said with maybe a scottish, or irish accent. it’s close, right?

Comment by lauren

Nottingham far, far, far, far east is probably more appropriate Lauren. That or – half way towards Liverpool or an 1/8th of the way towards Wollongong.

Comment by Rob

this post has really captured the fucking imagination hasnt it rob. cant wait to read tomorrows nobel peace prize winning scripture.

Comment by andy@cynic

Did I miss anything?

Comment by John

not a fucking dickie bird doddsy.

Comment by andy@cynic

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