“Simon’s Saga,” Vocabulary from Episode 27 – 25 Words

hindsight

understanding the nature of an event after it has happened

At the time I didn’t think it was important. I was happy in my world. But with hindsight, I realize he was right.
vantage

place or situation affording some benefit

It was important for me to see things from a different vantage point.
insular

narrowly restricted in outlook or scope

I was pretty insular, you see.
imbue

fill or soak totally

“I was really imbued with Indian culture. I was totally into it—Indian art, music, philosophy, everything.”
ethnocentric

centered on a specific ethnic group, usually one’s own

For a while I was pretty ethnocentric. Anything—any other way of looking at the world—was inferior in my eyes.
doctrinaire

stubbornly insistent on theory rather than practicality

I was completely doctrinaire.
reactionary

an extreme conservative

“Jaz was becoming a real reactionary, weren’t you?”
fundamentalism

the interpretation of sacred texts as literal truth

Yes, I guess I was something of a fundamentalist.
conservative

resistant to change

You know, it’s interesting how sometimes young people are more conservative than their parents.
reductionism

the analysis of complex things into simpler constituents

“Isn’t that a little reductionistic, Jaz?” Simon said. “You’re always warning me about reducing a person’s motives to some simple cause.
xenophobia

a fear of foreigners or strangers

“ Xenophobia,” Simon said.
monolithic

characterized by rigidity and total uniformity

Some people start to see the West as some monolithic force consciously bent on getting everybody in the world to eat hamburgers, wear Nikes, watch CNN and Mission Impossible or whatever blockbuster is playing at the movies, spend all day making money, and think that the degree of individual freedom is the sole criterion for judging the success of a political system.
analogy

drawing a comparison in order to show a similarity

“Evolution can be a dangerous analogy when we’re talking about culture and ideas,” Jaz said.
homogenize

become homogeneous or similar, as by mixing

Anyway, it looks like the world might be heading, for better or worse, toward one homogenized culture.
hybrid

a composite of mixed origin

A mongrel hybrid.
rampant

occurring or increasing in an unrestrained way

Rampant materialism. Conspicuous consumption the privilege of the elite and the dream of the masses.
ominous

threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments

There are some pretty ominous trends.
ideology

an orientation that characterizes the thinking of a group

Some of that sounds like Marxism. I thought that ideology had been completely debunked.
debunk

expose while ridiculing

Some of that sounds like Marxism. I thought that ideology had been completely debunked.
affirm

declare solemnly and formally as true

I mean, some of what I’ve said would be affirmed by many adherents of the world’s major religious faiths.
adherent

someone who believes and helps to spread a doctrine

I mean, some of what I’ve said would be affirmed by many adherents of the world’s major religious faiths.
despotism

dominance through threat of punishment and violence

Did you know, for example, that in 1931 Pope Pius XII described capitalism as ‘the economic despotism of a few’?
pontificate

talk in a dogmatic and pompous manner

Once I get going on this sort of subject I have a tendency to start pontificating.
polemicist

a writer who argues in opposition to others

There’s this polemicist inside me that’s bottled up, but is always ready to come out if anybody is willing to listen.
sententious

abounding in or given to pompous or aphoristic moralizing

“Yeah, Jaz doesn’t have a sententious bone in her body, do you, honey?” Simon said.

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