Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Cargo Cult - Who is John Frum? He is known to us by many names, this Visitor from Elsewhere, dispenser of endless abundance and wielder of mysterious technologies: John Frum, Quetzalcoatl, Osiris, "Bob." His cargo is splendid, his generosity boundless, his motives beyond our understanding. But across the ages and around the world, the stories all agree: one day he will return, bearing great gifts. Our theme this year asks three related questions; who is John Frum, where is he really from, and where, on spaceship Earth, are we all going?
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Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Thumbz » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:48 pm

I suppose this problem is much larger than Bman, but this is a good place for it's discussion, especially in terms of this years theme. How does a group of people reclaim their culture? I mean, first off I guess we'd have to say that there is one... which may or may not be against your view of playa people. But then, once it's agreed upon, how do we go about keeping it from being destroyed?

Any success stories of any scale would be nice to reference.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby trilobyte » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:51 pm

I'm giving this a nudge over to the 2013 Theme board.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:00 pm

I'll bite. :)

How does a group of people reclaim their culture?

I presume that you are referencing the people of Tuvalu, whom John Frum told them to get back to their "kastom" life. It's not always that simple, of course.

But I know of at least one American Indian tribe that has taken their casino earnings and put that back into teaching their young people about their culture. But if the young people don't care about their culture, you can't force it upon them.

And what about our culture? Yeah, our cultures? Can we have a history of abandoning our own tribal cultures and still say to the "little brown people" that they have to be content with grass huts?

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Thumbz » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:30 pm

I was actually referencing more a modern issue. Things like the internet forum scene, or the video game scene, or the electronic music scene are where I've been hit. It used to be all Digg, Counter Strike, Trance... all good. Now it's kind of Hate in forums, Hate in games, Hate in music type of deal. At least, the way it seems to me.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Thumbz » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:34 pm

trilobyte wrote:I'm giving this a nudge over to the 2013 Theme board.


Alright, but I think this discussions root is more of a philisophical/political question than one about the theme. At least, I hope it becomes such.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Savannah » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:38 pm

Be of good cheer. :) No one is saying your question isn't philosophical. However, it directly references the 2013 theme, and you may receive more traffic in the 2013 Theme forum . . . which has merely 1 (not-quite-full) page of threads.

The Philosophy forum has 21 pages of threads. Your post could get buried faster in Philosophy & Politics, because it's a broader topic with many more threads to bump.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby knowmad » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:13 pm

Thumbz wrote:I was actually referencing more a modern issue. Things like the internet forum scene, or the video game scene, or the electronic music scene are where I've been hit. It used to be all Digg, Counter Strike, Trance... all good. Now it's kind of Hate in forums, Hate in games, Hate in music type of deal. At least, the way it seems to me.

Well as far as I remember from my Cultural Anthropology course in collage: Culture being the vehicle a society uses to transmit it's values, traditions, arts and intellectual achievements to the next generation. As you pointed out there are many sub cultures within our culture at large. often the value sets of these Sub cultures clash with the values of other cultures. the dilemma that you ask about is the human dilemma "how do I move forward and what is worth taking and what is worth leaving." Often the answer is reduced to simple needs and utility. and it is a continuous change that happens with culture, even though the Marvels of modern communication and rapid dissemination of information seems new it isn't. Games gaming culture goes way back the fact that we play them on the video screen is no different than rolling the dice and arguing strategy. Same goes with love and hate, both are sub cultures within human culture. and are continuously transmitted through history because of their apparent value. yes hate has a value, it serves to instil fear, binds uncommon people together to fight a common enemy, just as love bridges cultural differences and allows the lateral movement of ideals when mutually perceived values and common understanding are reached.
If you can see your subculture in context of being historicity static; not new or novel. Than the answerer are pretty clear. there is nothing to be done but to endure. Change is and will always happen. Become a force of change.
As far as what to do, I say Steady the course, surround yourself with things and behaviours that accentuate your ability to express those values. transmit the cultural truths you believe in. Make friends with those that share your Ideals. become the vanguard of your own culture.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:24 pm

Thumbz wrote:I was actually referencing more a modern issue. Things like the internet forum scene, or the video game scene, or the electronic music scene are where I've been hit. It used to be all Digg, Counter Strike, Trance... all good. Now it's kind of Hate in forums, Hate in games, Hate in music type of deal. At least, the way it seems to me.

So what is the question you are asking?
"How does a group of people reclaim their culture?"

How can you be concerned with "reclaiming" culture in the internet age when culture itself is changing under our feet?
It's like trying to claim territory in a speeding car. Once glance and it's gone.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby MacGlenver » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:29 pm

Thumbz wrote:How does a group of people reclaim their culture?


Image

Guns. Lots of guns.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:35 pm

MacGlenver wrote:
Thumbz wrote:How does a group of people reclaim their culture?



Guns. Lots of guns.

Actually, Image
yogurt, lots of yogurt...
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:42 pm

They organize and take back the fucking jungle!

Image

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Rice » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:25 pm

Love Rice

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby BBadger » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:12 pm

What if the actual problem is the cultural-reclamation and preservation? The idea that culture should not change and adapt because a minority has decided that it has been perfected?

If you can't find any success stories of your own, it's probably because such policies have ultimately lead to decay and regression. Still, if you're hell-bent on emulating such "success stories" the process is easy: first you codify your dogma so everybody knows the ground rules, then you promote a culture of xenophobia and/or moral superiority to ensure that no heretical ideas pollute your culture.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:58 pm

Kinda like we do on eplaya.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby knowmad » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:13 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Kinda like we do on eplaya.

almost! but you forgot to say Bacon, Tickets, or I think.
bacon.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:38 am

from dust we came, and to dust we shall return.



fucking deal with it.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:09 pm

Just fucking JUMP, Karl!!!!

[media]

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:12 pm

You were wild once here. Don't let them tame you.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Thumbz » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:26 pm

I posted this thread somewhere else and someone mentioned Fraternities. I don't it's the best example, but I find it helpful. Perhaps the degree to which a sub culture changes is inversely proportional to how militant they are.

And I saw it said a couple times to just let things be, but I'm a fighter at heart. I don't just throw all the ingredients into one big stew when I'm in the kitchen, and I'd rather not watch time throw the Apple Pie of Bman into the salty pot where the potato chips of internet gaming and the chocolate covered caramels of electronic music are already being thrown.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Thumbz » Sat Dec 22, 2012 2:32 pm

@Ugly Dougly

I really like your quote about "growth for the sake of growth"

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:51 pm

Thumbz, I am not sure I follow you most of the time, especially the mixed metaphors. ;)

You might like Edward Abbey; look up his Desert Solitaire sometime.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby BBadger » Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:55 pm

The statue builders of Easter Island knew that the law of astro-tantric normalisation is the fundamental truth behind all nature. the Pope Ratzinger-led Vatican are systematically suppressing knowledge of the truth about pendulum gravity HyperNet mathematics and will annihilate anyone who exposes their secrets, as they did Fibonacci. the Pope Ratzinger-led Vatican destroyed Giordano Bruno because he accidentally discovered these secrets. They spread a secret mind-control substance using an altered electrolyte formula in ballooned/leaking capacitors to hide the cosmic secret of the cycle of humanitarian equivalence. They have suppressed the facts about UFOs to conceal the cosmic truth about the law of astro-tantric normalisation. the cosmic bio-spontaneous constant is 7. ONLY from the cycle of humanitarian equivalence can one calculate the CODES FOR UNLOCKING THE TRUTHS SUPPRESSED THROUGHOUT HISTORY.

I used this science-philosobabble generator for the above.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:52 pm

Now read that back when you're not stoned and tell me that it still makes sense.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Thumbz » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:30 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Thumbz, I am not sure I follow you most of the time, especially the mixed metaphors. ;)

You might like Edward Abbey; look up his Desert Solitaire sometime.


Oh. I use metaphors to simplify into something where the false high-ground is less obvious. The gist is that you never know if mixing something pristine with something less so will create a new pristine compound or a bland useless one. Further, by that logic, you should always set aside enough of the pristine ingredients to not lose them all to a bad mix.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:32 pm

I am seeing your thoughts as through a glass darkly.

So one culture meets another. What happens? Is one "pristine" and the other not? Or are they just different flavors?

In the case of the "classical" Cargo Cult situation, US culture has been absorbing other cultures right and left, while the Tanna-ese culture had (previously) been pretty much unaffected, on its own trajectory, for thousands of years.

In Nature, the strongest survives, and we can expect the culture of Tanna to vanish, and Starbucks to appear on the beach. This is the "unobserved" path, something that happens when all participants are unconscious of what is happening to them. The inhabitants of the USA get nothing more than plastic umbrellas in their "tropical" drinks, and a few hipsters get "tribal" tattoos and experiment with kava. End of story.

But does the "weaker" culture always have to disappear, and become part of the stronger culture? Do the people of Tanna have anything to gain by opening another Starbucks on the beach?

Perhaps those of us in the "stronger" culture have something to learn, to absorb from the weaker culture? Is our culture all that healthy, with millions in prison, schoolyard massacres and suicides. The people of Tanna would think that we have lost our souls.

Maybe we should all look at simplifying our lives and finding something more fulfilling in this?

Having lived in Hawai'i, I remember the "Aloha" spirit - it's so similar to what we encounter among the best in burner culture. Maybe we are living in Tanna already and are unaware of it.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby knowmad » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:34 pm

Potato!
that is all.
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Simon of the Playa » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:22 am

And I saw it said a couple times to just let things be, but I'm a fighter at heart. I don't just throw all the ingredients into one big stew when I'm in the kitchen, and I'd rather not watch time throw the Apple Pie of Bman into the salty pot where the potato chips of internet gaming and the chocolate covered caramels of electronic music are already being thrown.



shouldn't this be bumped to the "gibberish" thread?
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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:59 am


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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:09 am

And to think, until just now I had no idea what a koteka was.

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Re: Of Cargo Cults and Reclaiming Culture

Postby knowmad » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:49 pm

I also googled it.
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