The difference between the US culture and whatever-culture-I-have-internalized is that the US generally (and I mean quite broadly) has a very wet culture. That is to say, whatever one says is presumed to be emotionally-laden and very earnest. I have a very dry culture. I speak from a detached, observational perspective, hoping that people will engage with my ideas rather than my personality. To me, emotion is representational and not a core part of who I am, so if people want to engage with the emotions that they think are implied in my work, I might find that interesting enough, but more in the sense that it reveals them to me, rather than that it reveals my ideas or values or intent.
Because I’m dry, my tone is usually ironic. I’m not trying to represent an earnest moral struggle, so much as the way things fall together when you least expect them to. I’m not trying to convince you of my moral stature. My sense of what defines us is historical rather than personal. I’m not asking for assistance to become a better person or to make my way. I’m describing the way as it has been.
I’m not trying to sell anything — least of all myself. I’m not for sale. I don’t have to convince you to be a buyer. I’m not offering self-help or a self-esteem workshop for your particular identity.
I’m not wet. I’m dry.