Counter Clockwise Culture Shock is a memoir focused the narrator's return to his hometown, a place he barely escaped: drug addiction, incarceration, bad relationships, alienation, an Oedipal mother, and suicidal threats. It is reflection on both culture and self, after I gained an outside perspective from Japan. The narrator is forced to relive nihilism and monotony, and face the troubles of his younger years. It describes the difficult journey of today's youth, in an evermore technologically dynamic world - with few role models able to plot a course through. This is a meditation on past actions that ended in survival. Unlike most books dealing with cultural alienation, it focuses on a reinterpretation of my own culture. The main theme of the memoir is identity. The remnants of adventure, ingrained in the narrator's mind, contrast with a return to the deja vu of a distorted hometown. Many of the stories cut across time and space to mimic the disorientation of the narrator. The clarity of these cultural distortions emerges when viewed through an outside lens. Not only does Counter Clockwise Culture Shock distill these distortions, it uses an Eastern perspective - and language - to better understand the flaws and strengths of indoctrinated cultures. An outside perspective of a different culture expands the narrator's former view of the world. Suicide and depression are destroying Western society, and this is an attempt to catalog stresses of Western culture and help people in similar circumstances.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Mercer, Matthew, "Counter Clockwise Culture Shock" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6193.