hobey-dobey is the word that Junhong coined for the people who bought million-dollar townhouses overlooking the courthyard where the children's playground is and who now yell at the kids to shut up.
On Friday I left in the morning to the Oxford-Boston-Melbourne-Vancouver conversazione full of vigour and enthusiasm - eager to be stimulated by international intellectuals. David, in his usual cynicism about academia, said, "Good luck with the intellectual hobey-dobeys".
It turned out I really needed that luck.
By mid-afternoon Saturday I found myself crying in the washroom: exhausted from the effort of not leaving my fork in the eye of an Australian white supremacist over lunch, disoriented at the overwhelming conservatism permeating the intelligentsia; and depressed, depressed beyond belief at the stupendous lack of imagination in the world. Also fatigued: fatigued and burdened by having to bear the responsibility of speaking on behalf of the multicultural hordes in this anachronistic anglo-centric bubble of myopia and fear.
It is not so easy to do as Naipaul says, to take it on the chin and move on.