Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Note on Culture

You are in a theater in Myork watching an Anglic play. The sheriff walks into a public house (bar) and orders a beer from the bartender. The bartender says, “How’s the war effort going?” The sheriff grumbles back, “None of your damn business!” Who’s the bad guy? Well, it’s obvious: the sheriff is drinking in a bar when he should be off fighting a war, leading his patrol. Plus he swore. He’s evil to the core - in Myork. You’re in a different theater, this time in Garnock watching a Latvich play. The extortionist walks into a bustling bar and demands money from the bartender/owner. The owner says, “I don’t have the money to pay you.” Who’s the bad guy? Again, it’s obvious: the bar owner. I just said the bar was bustling. He doesn’t have enough money to pay the extortionist off? That’s a lie! And after all the extortionist is doing for the community. No, really! In Garnock, the organized crime families do extort money from the shop keepers, but they also run the community watch program (no one else better rob a store in their territory!), the fire brigade, and handle most of the civic programs. They also pass money upwards to the bigger crime families who pass it on to the government, so they are the tax collectors. Confused? I hope not. In one city the sheriff is considered derelict, while in the other the extortionist is Robin Hood. It all depends on the culture. Why write this blog entry? Because if your world has only one culture, you need to do some rewriting!

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