September 29, 2005

As I Was Saying....

In a comment on my essay Quick. Don't Think of a Black Elephant immediately below Francis W. Porretto of Eternity Road says, "It looks as if we're doing that telepathy thing again, Gerard."

And indeed with have as he reveals in "The Shamans," written at about the same time:

The shamans of contemporary linguistic taboos have adopted nigger, faggot, cunt, and the other forbidden words as passwords, emblems of group membership -- and membership, as American Express has been at pains to remind us, has its privileges. No one outside the shamans' circle is permitted to speak the password; it's an arrogation of a jealously guarded status. He who dares must be cut down, ground into the dust, and forbidden ever to speak at all, to any effect, in any context. For as in all systems of nymic magic, the word is deemed congruent with the thing: the taboo words are at the root of the shamans' power. Failure to enforce the taboo would risk the loss of the group's privileges and immunities, laboriously amassed over the decades of exploitation of others' guilt.
And that's just the conclusion. The entire essay is worth reading carefully.

One of the central values of what we call the "New Media" (Blogs, Web Pages, Podcasts, YouTube Videos and the like) is that they can give a voice to the thoughts many have but few speak and fewer still write. In the traditional media, such as the reporting vehicles of newspapers and corporate television programming, we can only have a very oblique discussion of these issues, if discussion is at all attempted. Most of the time it is confined to the pernicious ambiguity of phrases such as "the N-Word." Those things all understand, many think, but most are forbidden to speak. For the Shamanistic priests this is both and empowering and enriching situation. For the rest, they are left to tip-toe through the minefields of truth lest in speaking truth they offend and trigger the always lurking threat of violence.

It is in raising these issues, even in this small way to -- in large measure -- those who are predisposed to agree, that the alternative media proves and expands its worth.

It seems axiomatic that unless a society can speak frankly of the issues that concern it, it is doomed to remain forever in statis on the most pernicious issues that haunt it's history and threaten its tomorrows. It would seem so, but so many now have an investment in Race Hustling that it is more probable that this particular strain of crap will wash around our ankles long after we cease having to take off our shoes to get on an airplane.

Ironic that the Witchdoctors, those dark angels of our darker pasts, will probably haunt our Republic long after the last terrorist has been sent down into the dust. But that seems to be our fate unless, of course, our current Happy World comes to a sudden and unexpected conclusion.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 29, 2005 6:27 PM
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