Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

A Christmas tale

by kcurie Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 07:53:57 PM EST

I have been reading absolutely flabbergasted the latest discussions.. I was so flabbergasted that I stayed away of one of my favourite topics: Anthropology, science, magic and religion.

It is in this time of emergency that I think I should break my vow (becasue that's why vows are for, to disobey them) of not writing anything serious or relevant anymore.

So for the first time in a long time I am going to write something very very serious (you'd better hit the rec bottom and fast!.. what the hell Mig you'd better frontpage this :) [editor's note, by Migeru] Yeah, why not?). It is time to humble humbilly save this community (yeah sure *)

Once upon a time I had a master... a master that taught me "the secret",  yeah the secret.. the secret about how to really overcome the wedge philosphical barrier among members of the left.. the so-called rationalists uberscientists vs spiritualists-magic-youcrazyscientists.

I must say I hate those words for the two cathegories because we are all different (as the life of Brian proved). So here I am , sharing with you one of the most deep secrets... all with the hope that this small secret/tale will show that we have more in common that we dare to speak... and hoping that we all will be friends again after the christmas drunk party is over and that everybody will be happier than before Xmas.

Follow me below the fold to the christmas tale.


A christmas tale..

It was a long long time ago in a  faraway kingdom that four families in the same street had to come/endevour/enjoy four equally smart 18 year old women/men. The day came when all the four friends, living in the same street had to depart for a long long journey. A new life was waiting for them..but unfortunately a big warning came from the central palace that brought discomfort to the Street. If the men/women of the Street wanted to depart to new and adventorous lifes they had to pass a very difficult and cunning examination. All the men/women in their 18's had to present themselves in the court/main/cinderella palace in four months where the masters of the Kingdon will deliver them ten questions that they had to answer. If they failed to answer them properly (most of them) they would have to remain in the kingdom for another year or even more doing the dreaded and hated "usless bank accounting".

The dreams of our four men/women (ok men from now on....they were still pre-Shrek times) were in the balance... they would not be able to finance  windmills as one wanted or study complex system dynamics in biophysics, or be a cloud/clown or a teacher in foreign land unless they passed the exam. All their dreams, their lifes, everything depended on that incredibly difficult exam.

As soon as the topics the pupils had to learn for the exam reached the houses in the Street, strong deliveration burst into each one of the houses.

In one of the houses, one of our brave men (later known for his incredible insight into the world of protein unfolding) went to the library, copied all the books that could be somehow related with the topics in the exam, closed herself in his room (I love changing english male/female pronouns) and almost disregarded any social life. Meanwhile all the family decided to support him by making the standard four wheels turn around magic rithual. The rithual, whose main goal was to create a universal trascendental magic influx that, according to the tradition, helped everybody in a situation of "passing a life test". Since it was clear that it was a real life test for the younger in the house, all the family performed the rithual every single day until the day of the exam and even some days afterwards. The young guy in the family who had closed himself in the room actually could not care less about the family...he had never believed in this magic protocol whatsoever. The family, his son reticence notwithstanding, performed the magic rithual every single day.

Very close, in the neighboring house, the family of a future brilliant windmill financer had taken a completely different approach. They could not accept that their son would close himself of any formal social life, they loved him too much. So they decided that he would only study in his free time, and not very deeply. But since they really wanted him to pass the exam they decided to gather morning and night in absolute family prayer. In their house, there was a long tradition of believing in an spiritual entity that was behind all the forces in the unvierse: An entity that actually you could not name though I think everybody called her G_d: Some members of the family believed that she was actually the light behind the things. Other people, well actually one, in the family said he was "the Word" (although nobody really listened/understood grandpa when he talked). Other people felt like the deity was three people at the same time (something about a father and a son and I do not exactly what more), while others actually thought that this deity actually worked via a hundred or a thousand semigods (or saints as the female aunt in the family liked to call them) that should be attended and almost blackmailed in an every day prayer. If they gave so much attention to the deity, they thought, the deity in turn would take care that the son, and future windmill financer, will pass the exam with minimum time outside the family... and so they prayed.

A little bit more uphill, the third family had a similar discussion.. but the future clown (one of the best that ever existed) told the family that his vocation was making fun of rules and that of course he could not follow that "rule of examination". Not studying for the exam was a matter of choice, a decision. The family of course had to decide if they wanted to support his son with any magic or spiritual rithual.. but actually, they thought, it would be like helping him against his wishes..even if it was in an indirect way. So the family formally decided that the future clown would study almost nothing and they would pray/sing/enchant even less. Everything was left to the karmic future.. and whatever had/should happen would happen to be, this being him not passing the exam. Some members of the family decided to filibuster in private.. There was no wrong in them making the holly-holy-holly chanting of the Re phase so that whatever would be good for his son would happen. For this subgroup, if the good thing that should happen to his son was passing the exam (even when he did not really wanted to pass the exam) they would make sure with the song that this indeed would happen.

And finally, we move to our fourth house where the future teacher in foreign land lived... the younger man in the fourth house, following the instincts/instructions of one of his best friends, went to the library and also took all the books he could gather.. and also decided that the best thing to do was to  study, and study a lot. Alone, in his room. He did not particularly believe or disbelieve magic rithuals but he did know as anybody his age, that studying would be better. But the family was not at all supportive of his son, sure he was smart, and nice, and the relation was ok but his younger sister was actually the focus of attention of the family since she was so cute and adorable.. They frankly  never gathered to make any actual discussion about how to help his son. So no rithual was proposed, no magic would appear in the house,  nothing , nilch, nada. They were too focused on his sister, and, after all, the son would study a lot so.... there was nothing really to worry about..One of the most important points in the life of his son was rendered as magically and spiritually irrelevant... so they did nothing.

And the big day came, and the fourth guys went to palace..and the four handsome smart men took the exam.. and all left with mixed feelings about how the exam had gone, and what was the proper answer to the questions.. All of them went back home.. to sit down calmly with the family and wait for the notes that sooner or later would have to arrive.

The first family which received the grades was the family of the future biologists and physicist. The grades were absolutely/incredibly good. Happiness was all around. Our man was very happy because he knew he had worked hard and now the reward had arrived, it was him the one that made it.. but he also was happy to see his family happy. And the family was no less happy. The magic rithual they all had done, had worked. They all knew that the son had worked a lot .. but the magic had made sure than nothing weird happened, that no weird question appeared in the exam, that his son did not have a bad day the day of the exam and that the books that he had chosen to study were really helpful. They all knew that the son had studied but magic had taken care of all the contingencies. When the son saw the happiness of the family and how they were proud of him, magic rithuals notwithstanding, he suddenly realized that it had been a blessing to have the support of all the family, and that after all, maybe the support had been in a very physical sense, magical/real.

While everything was happiness in the house where study and magic had worked together, the same can be said about the house of our lovely future clown. Of course, he had failed miserably, so he had made his stand. It was clear that he, at the end of the day, did not want to pass the exam, so the members of the family that did do the chanting and the singing accepted that the best for the younger of the house was actually making a stand and failing... a new future would be around the corner... it would be again for the family to decide in the future what path to take... but the karma had done his job.

No less joy bursted in the house of our future windmill financer when the grades that arrived showed that he had passed the exam. There was absolutely no doubt that all the prayers had effect. Without the Light, or the Word or the essence the son could have not done it. The different faces and rithuals sharing a common goal had without doubt brought the miracle. The son actually had the idea that the fact he studied smartly had also something to do with him passing the exam (he also mentioned something about an universal health care sytem in his memories but we quite do not still understand what he meant).. but he had no doubt that the magic-religious beliefs and acts of his family, and the strong unity in front of the deity had made the trick.

Three year laters, the young windmill financer recalled those days and asked himself.. what would have really happened if he would have not passed the exam? what? Not in the sense of what would have happen to him since he would had, for sure, took the examination the next year... but what would have happened to the family? And he inmediately knew. The reasons for the failing would have been easily explained. On one hand, the boy had not studied enough, next time he should study more. You can not leave to chance so many things.. you know just in case  G_d thinks you are not taking it seriously. And at the same time, the failure of the deity to follow his part of the pact showed that he/she/it was clearly not happy with the arrangement, so next year the family would have to take a serious vow, and not simply praying...So more study for him and more pray would have clearly lead to him passing the exam next year. The windmill financer was happy to have such a family.

And finally, we reach our last house. the house of the futrue teacher in foreign land.. well actually of the future teacher in foreign land that never came to be. Despite his days and nights of study, despite his efforts, despite how smart he was, he had failed the exam. He really wanted to pass it, and move away from home, but somehting happened, he really did not know at first. May be he did not take the appropriate books, or maybe it was that he was not smart enough, maybe it was that something wrong was in the air that day that made him stupid for some hours... why him, why? And then he looked around, he looked at his family who never really supported him, who never moved a finger for him because they were focused on his younger sister.. and when he looked at them, the family realized. The family, absolutely ashamed, tried to ask for forgiveness, for not being there.. The son was now sure, the only thing he needed was the magic support of his family, and this support had been missing, he had no real family, no social net, no support... and the house froze suddenly.. relations were lost, enemity ensued.

Only  the grand-grandfather of the family uttered with a low and crackign voice some words that still can be heard in the now-ghosted house....you walk by the house today you can still hear the echo of his voice saying "If only.. if only we had made a magic rithual we would be sure now that you did not fail because we did not love you"

I vet aqui un gos, vet aqui un gat, aquest compte s'ha acabat.

Merry Chrsitmas- Happy NY everybody!!!!.. oh and use the thread wisely.... this is a magical reconciliation place... specially for Jerome and Fran (though I love you all)

Display:
Well, kcurie, that is a tale I'm going to have to read a few times...

And a lesson for me is the next time I come late to a party, I won't bring any more booze...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 07:41:45 PM EST
everybody should read it a few times...it's a tale!

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:22:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 07:48:43 PM EST
Forgot to say--excellent!

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.
by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 07:49:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow rg.. wow...

Què li darem, an el Noi de la Mare?
Què li darem que li sàpiga bo?
Panses i figues i nous i olives,
panses i figues i mel i mató.

Què li darem, al fillet de Maria?
què li darem a l'hermós Jesuset?
Jo li voldria donar una cota
que l'abrigués ara que fa tant fred.

Una cançó jo també cantaria,
una cançó ben bonica d'amor,
i que n'és treta d'una donzelleta
que n'és la Verge Mare del Senyor.

...

....

Li darem panses amb unes balances,
li darem figues amb un paneret:
tam, pa, tam, tam, que les figues són verdes,
tam, pa, tam, tam, que ja maduraran;
si no maduren el dia de Pasqua
maduraran en el dia del Ram.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:08:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope I (and mrs rg) can meet you in Barcelona soon!



Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:27:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yepa!!!!

Just infomr me in advance.. to be sure that I am going to be in barcelona.. Lots of travelling around this year..even Paris during the Holy Week.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:40:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beautiful song, but what are panses?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 09:21:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raisin_sec

http://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pansa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raisin

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 09:28:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pansa - Viquipèdia
Una pansa és un aliment obtingut per l'assecament d'un fruit, en particular, el raïm o les prunes.
Raisins.

This is funny, my father sometimes used this old word from La Mancha: pansío which I understood to mean something like 'spent' but now clearly shares the etimology of panses.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 09:29:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While fishing around the guitar solo rg posted, 'El Noi de la Mare', I found this:

Victoria de los Angeles.

by Loefing on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 06:59:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was so flabbergasted that I stayed away of one of my favourite topics: Anthropology, science, magic and religion.

Interesting. I started reading the thread. Got out my word processor. Closed my word processor and stopped reading the thread. I have just gone back to it and skimmed it after reading your wonderful story.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 08:30:26 PM EST
I'm always out of town when the opportunity for destabilization with my evolutionary psychology weaponry comes about.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Dec 27th, 2007 at 11:40:56 PM EST
Nice story, thank you.
by FarEasterner on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:30:28 AM EST
Peace!!

(Isn't that what its about for us here? And if not between us, then where?) Thank you kcurie for your words of wisdom! Happy New Year!!

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia

by whataboutbob on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 02:50:31 AM EST
You're back!

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 08:29:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just dropping by to give witness to a peacemaker!

What he say? What he say?? "Blessed are the...cheesemakers, for they will inherit the earth" Cool!!


"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 11:59:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Fran on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:58:33 AM EST
Thanks for the story and peace and love to you, kc!

Do I need a magic ritual to say it? Love may be expressed in ritual, but it does not need it. I was brought up surrounded by loveless ritual. So I'm sorry to say I think your grandfather (in the story!) gets it wrong. He should be saying: "if only we had loved him enough", not "if only we had carried out a ritual".

Some people tend to love ritual. Many (perhaps most) people welcome it as a relief on certain occasions, because it absolves them of the responsibility for searching for the best way to express their feelings -- in the case of love and support, of thinking about the best way to help the person who is the object of that love. (A thoughtful Christmas present is communicative, but better still to spend time helping that person develop, get past a problem, succeed in some work, be happier.) I know, you're going to say you can only do that through magic ritual, but no, I don't agree. I don't think that ritual is inevitably part of the human condition and necessary to life.

The family in your story was non-functional because it concentrated its attention and affection on one child and not the other, not because it didn't do ritual.

[Disclaimer I hope isn't necessary: this is a serious comment to kcurie, not an attempt to revive a flame war.]

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 04:01:05 AM EST
I beg to disagree: rituals are at the core of social life. But many rituals are neither magic nor religious. For example, the daily Salon de News (as the Friday photoblog) is a ritual of the ET community, even if it is not magic, nor religious...  

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 05:13:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say they were not at the core of social life -- I said they were not necessary in all circumstances.

And I insist that the failing of the family in kcurie's story was not a failing in ritual.

Re the Salon: if we want to take it all the way, anything we do is a ritual, including war by blog thread. Which kind of defeats the point (as I take it) of kc's story...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 05:19:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rituals (secular ones) are the tools with which we build (and repair) the social fabric on a daily basis. Saying "Good morning" is a ritual, shaking hands is a ritual, celebrating somebody's birthday is a ritual. Rituals are the way we materialise relationships which would otherwise remain abstract.

Pierre Reverdy said: "Il n'y a pas d'amour, il n'y a que des preuves d'amour". IMHO, it applies to all social relationships.

Not anything we do is a ritual. A ritual has a more or less fixed form, a symbolic purpose (be it cathartic) and rules. Flamewars can become a ritual for a community if they occur regularly following the same pattern and obey to some (even untold) rules, including about how to end them and what cannot be done.

BTW, Reverdy also said: "Aimer, c'est permettre d'abuser"

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:02:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A thoughtful Christmas present is communicative, but better still to spend time helping that person develop, get past a problem, succeed in some work, be happier.

ie rituals may be (or may facilitate) proofs of love, but they are not the only ones, and they are not inescapable. I also mentioned loveless rituals of which I've had some experience. What use are the "proofs of love" (ie family support rituals as in the story, even if not magico-religious) if the love's not there? (In other words I don't really agree with Reverdy).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:31:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think Reverdy meant there can be proofs of love without love, but that love can only be seen through signs of love, whatever these signs might be.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:37:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I'd agree with that. But you know, I was reacting mostly to the grandfather's conclusion to the story, that seemed (though kcurie will of course deny it with the utmost energy!) to be the moral of a fable.

(Ooops! Did I say moral? Did I say fable? Something with meaning? May I be struck down by all the post-modern powers!!!)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:49:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Me? Denying something with energy? You must be kidding!!! :)

Ok , now a second of seriousness..really .. a second. The core of the tale is a tale (originally of course, now it is whatever you think it is) and the core of the core actually was a creational tale, this is a tale about the beginnings.

So I can absolutely certified (with the stamp of the International Board of tales, fables and myths) that this is a tale and not a fable...or at least it was :) because maybe my style can certainly make people transform into a fable (which is absolutely ok and fine and great)

.. and here I am guilty, the writing is indeed my style.. which proofs again that you can not split content and style, they are all the same (I hear the master saying despite my protests claiming that actually they are very related but not the same)

Unfortuantely the tale was spoken to me.. I do realize that I can not change a single word of a tale (because then it is a different tale), but in this case I did not have any written copy.. only the memory of it as time goes by... so I ahve to made another tale... which of course can be a fable for you.

Isn't it great to have this kidn of thread where having any dispute is impossible ? :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 04:27:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
having any dispute is impossible

Oh really? Well look here. Anyone who says style and content cannot be separated is a heretic and will be burned.

No, forget that. I don't think style and content can be separated either. ;)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 04:50:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was reacting mostly to the grandfather's conclusion to the story

So you were thinking that it was the grandfather in the tale who was answering your comment? It's time for you to get some rest...

Besides, being mistaken for the grandfather is not very flattering for me...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 06:02:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The tale is as it is..you can not agree nor disagree... je jej.. you can like or not like it but no agreeing-disagreeing with it :) It's a tale.

so... I am sorry you did not like the ending but tales mean what the reader wants them to mean, nothing more nothing less. So if you think the grand-pa was wrong, then the grandpa was wrong.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:15:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We think alike kcurie. I always carry a lot of insurance.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 04:15:18 AM EST
LOL!
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 04:23:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand one thing in this story. Can anyone translate it?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 04:27:07 AM EST
I'm having trouble myself - and my mind is attuned, as you know, to indirectness.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 04:33:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Briefly, it says: "Take all the help you can get."

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 04:37:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can illustrate this point with an old New York Yiddish story.
It takes place in the largest Yiddish theatre of New York , circa 1920.
Moshe Goldberg, the acclaimed Yiddish actor is giving his grand soliloquy, a very famous piece. Just before the end, he turns white, clasps his heart with both hands, and falls to the floor. A shocked audience watches as the curtains close. Two minutes later a man comes out and announces: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am very sad to announce that the great Yiddish actor, Moshe Goldberg is dead." A little old lady, seated in the balcony stands up and cries "Give him an enema." The man repeats again, "Ladies and Gentlemen, the great Yiddish actor, Moshe Goldberg is dead." The little old lady stands up again and cries: "Give him an enema." The man now exasperated retorts: Madam, you don't understand; Moshe Goldberg is dead; an enema wouldn't help." The old lady stands up one more and says: "It wouldn't hurt either."


Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 06:05:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It does not work though - if the spiritual thing exists only in your head then you'll have spent your all life (and wasted everything you have) in the pursuit of something that does not exist. Maybe some will find that pursuit enough. I don't.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't say you have to believe it. But I'm like the first kid in the story. If my family wants to pray for me or do magic, "Where's the harm?" And if it makes them happy, even better!

Jerome a Paris:

if the spiritual thing exists only in your head then you'll have spent your all life (and wasted everything you have) in the pursuit of something that does not exist.

That reminds me of another Yiddish story, but its real long. The penultimate punch line is "Life is a fountain."
If nobody here knows it, and I get some requests, maybe I'll write it up later.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:30:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The harm is at the point that they tell you not to bother studying because they're praying ...
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:32:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if you believe that, you deserve to fail.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:48:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it is also harmful when those things which are the result of actions & intentions of human beings are attributed to the Will of God.  In fact, I think that just might be one of the most harmful things in the world.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:50:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but you can't change those peoples minds ( see Boxing Day Diary) so if those people are important to you accept their beliefs without adopting them as you own. Easier said than done, I admit. That's the action of a sage, like kcurie.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:01:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is funny LEP.

Now I read this tale and it tells me a  different thing that the one you explained in the previous comments.. but the first time I listened to it ten years ago, this is more or less the notion I got it.

Actually you said better than what I actually could have said.

Of course, people change, see different things, and life cahnges...but funny I traveled ten years in a comment.

thanks

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:19:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Request.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 29th, 2007 at 05:33:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll try to squeeze it in another time, when it's appropriate. If I can make it long enough I'll do a diary.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Sat Dec 29th, 2007 at 05:49:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Briefly, it equates success with magical thinking and support with prayer.  Pure Oprah.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:20:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
where Oprah means Oprah the TV entertainer....???

Wow.. it really seem you did not like it then :)

I will talk with the masters of the kingdom and my master to see if we can arrange something .. ej j ej e

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:30:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If it is any consolation, I enjoy the way you write.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:47:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well yeah. the style is mine :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:00:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh poemless; what a terrible interpretation of kcurie's Christmas tale!

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:52:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, he said I could interpret it however I like! :)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:53:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes he did, but you're a literary person, one of my heros on this blog. I'm going to attribute it to fatigue from too much Christmas partying.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:04:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes I am and thank you.  But I actually got a full 7 hours of sleep last night, so instead, why don't you just come out and tell me what you find so appalling about my "briefly" comment instead of simply insinuating my mental faculties are not up to par.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:07:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course I'm just teasing you and please forgive me for that, But......

poemless:

Briefly, it equates success with magical thinking and support with prayer.

I can't see how you arrive at that conclusion. Maybe with the windmill kid, but thats all. You have to look at this from the kids' heads, not the adults.
The most honest house was the clown's. He hated the system and the adults respected his wishes. He probably grew up and became a great political satirist, like H.L Mencken.
I'm afraid kcurie will never give us the answers. He only answers questions with other questions.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:22:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But there aren't any answers! It is up to each of us to interpret how we wish.  I automatically try to place myself into the families but I seem to fall into the one who worked hard with no support.  Yet I didn't fail.  But on the other hand I very much agree with the 'lesson' of the tale that without encouragement, support and attempts at maintaining 'togetherness' we will ultimately all fall down.  A situation I would rather avoid here on ET.

It also reminds me of some 'words of wisdom' of a primary school headteacher of mine, who would say "empty dustbins make the most noise" to get us to be quiet when we were queuing to go to our classrooms.  I interpreted that as the quiet kids being full of rubbish, which I felt was very unfair on me.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:30:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because this is ostensibly about "reconciliation," I don't want to debate this.  You read something into it that I can't see, and I find fault with it that you can't find.  Just like religion.  Project whatever you like onto it and and declare it brilliant when it reflects your values.  :)

You know, I keep coming back to an interview I read with a sleep researcher Robert Stickgold and Michel Gondry, talking about dreams.  Stickgold made the statement, responding to some speculation about why we dream, "I know it is a beautiful story.  But I just don't know if it is true."  That's my take on a lot of things.  Including this diary.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:46:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
   ;)  My first smiley, ever!


Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:51:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is just a tale:)!! There is no need to debate anything. Some peopele like it, other people do not. Some people like anothers interpretation of the tale, other peoples do not. There is actually nothing to debate.. it is just about what each one thinks about the tale. You can share what it told you and whether you like or dislike it.. or just do not. It's up to each one of us.. this is why it is about reconcilation:

There is no truth nor false, no being right,no being wrong, not in the diary nor in the comments.. no hurt feelings, noone trying to say anything more than what they really humble think about the tale.

Nothing better than having you say that it is awfull!!!! while LEP says it is not!!! :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:57:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kcurie:
There is actually nothing to debate.. it is just about what each one thinks about the tale.
But we're an argumentative bunch, so we debate.

De gustibus non est disputandum, sed disputamos.

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 02:06:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
J aj ajaja

we just can not control our impulses..... ja jaj ajaj

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 02:41:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, and it's our right, isn't it? Goddamn thought police around here! What about the First Amendment? Habeas Corpus? The Code Napoléonien? The Bill of Rights? This kcurie guy hates us for our freedoms, or what? Let's start a fight!

(The GWOT interpretation of the tale. May I be forgiven).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 02:51:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ja ja jajajjaj

I just want everybody to be happy again :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:13:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My takeaway is this:

"If only.. if only we had made a magic rithual we would be sure now that you did not fail because we did not love you"

... which makes it an appropriate Christmas story IM(sentimental)O...

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:15:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It means what you want it to mean.. nothing more and nothing less...

oh.. and I hope my english is not so bad :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:20:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A great tale, thank you kcurie.  I hope this space can help dissolve the festive hangover we've experienced.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 05:36:00 AM EST
Another christmas story - shows that currently infights are in:

Priests brawl at Jesus' birthplace - CNN.com

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) -- Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests attacked each other with brooms and stones inside the Church of the Nativity as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning on Thursday.

The clean-up turned ugly after some of the Orthodox faithful stepped inside the Armenian church's section.

The basilica, built over the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities.

Any perceived encroachment on one group's turf can touch off vicious feuds.

On Thursday, dozens of priests and cleaners were scrubbing the church ahead of the Armenian and Orthodox Christmas, celebrated in early January. Thousands of tourists visited the church this week for Christmas celebrations.

But the clean-up turned ugly after some of the Orthodox faithful stepped inside the Armenian church's section, touching off a scuffle between about 50 Greek Orthodox and 30 Armenians

Well, thank the spagetti monster, there were no brooms and stones involved at ET. :-)

by Fran on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 06:31:06 AM EST
That is, sadly, no surprise.  It's not some kind of accident that the custodians of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem are Muslims; the different Christian denominations fight amongst themselves too much to take that role themselves (or trust one of the other denominations to do it).  

"Holy."

On another note, I was going to post a link to this in the other thread at one point, but decided against it for a variety of reasons.  Maybe I shouldn't do it now, but hopefully it can be seen in the spirit of reconciliation, and of being able to like & respect people whose views on important matters do not coincide with our own....

by the stormy present (stormypresent aaaaaaat gmail etc) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 06:42:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I seem to remember that one faction (I think the ethiopians) at the  churchs representative consists of one priest who has a chair on the roof and thats their bit. Violence kicks off if any other faction touches the chair.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 08:49:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOLz! I fully realize how pathetic this is, but it's still hilarious. "The cleanup turned ugly" indeed.

This is definitely one for the You-can't-make-this-shit-up list.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman

by dvx (dvx.clt ät gmail dotcom) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 07:18:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't let's forget that Jesus himself had a go at this, cleaning out the Temple, kicking out the money-changers etc. It's probably something local. ;)
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 02:56:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You left out the other 2 houses on the street.  The one where the son studied for the exam, the family supported him and prayed, and he failed it anyway.  And the one where the son did a no studying, the family did no praying, and he aced the exam because he had done some favors for the masters of the kingdom.

I think there are more families on this street.  I think one had a son who was a genius prodigy and his father was a vicar but the son was killed in a freak accident the day before the exam.  And I've heard something about one son who answered, "C," for every question on the exam - he was orphaned maybe - and actually passed the exam.  But I don't know if that is true...

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 11:17:01 AM EST
I did not left anything out. the tale is what it is.. you may like it or dislike it. But the tale is like it is.... and it means what you want it to mean. Nothing more , nothing less :)

I just can say that there were no such families in the tale.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's very slippery of you, you know.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:52:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a tale!!!! :)

A magic tale of reconciliation I was told.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:00:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And what has been reconciled?

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 01:00:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Everyone else, it seems...

Joy to the world!

by Trond Ove on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:54:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You just made up the story for the occasion, right?

We have met the enemy, and he is us — Pogo
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:57:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
some details which could be helpful to bring people together yes,.. yes.. but the core of it.. no never.. I do not do private tales in public :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 12:59:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
kcurie, time is of the essence

merry xmas

"Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity." MMcL

by igor vincha (svjeronimatgmail.com) on Fri Dec 28th, 2007 at 03:57:26 PM EST


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