Showing posts from 2019

Batshittery - An Anthropological Commentary

The Cult That Made Your Grandmother’s Fine Silverware a video on Today I Found Out - Feed Your Brain
A friend asked what I as an ethnographer, a student of Humankind, make of the cult reported on in the above video. My answer: “Batshittery americana domesticus, anthropologically speaking.”
This genus, species and subspecies belongs to the taxonomic family of religious cults and other beliefs and practices that have failed to find a place in mainstream American life. Such cults and their beliefs are not in a dustbin with similar nonsense the likes of which are never to be seen again. This one and its sundry mutant variants await us in a holding pattern in the Ethnosphere. Awaiting what? Awaiting their chance to rejoin us and hopefully get into the mainstream of American thinking. That is, as a new and improved human-made supernatural myth to propel us further toward our place in Abrahamic heaven.
But, shockingly (well, not too shockingly), such bizarre approaches, in all spheres of human l…

African Philosophy

Thank you to those who attended Owl & Ibis on February 12th where a presentation and slideshow, "African Philosophy", was given by Immy Rose Lassiter and yours truly.
A PDF of the slideshow is here. All photos by JEL.
We covered a lot of topics yet had plenty of time for questions and discussion.
~ Overview of Africa's Geography, Demography and Major Foreign Influences
~ What, Whose African Philosophy? ~ "Culture Philosophy" & Ethnophilosophy ~ African Culture and Personality ~ "Traditional" African Cultural Characteristics ~ Revitalizing, Reverting to "Traditional" African Ways ~ Case Study: The Bamasaaba of Eastern Uganda ~ Take Home Handout: Excerpts from the book, Circumcision and Coffee in Ugandaby yours truly.
Sincere thanks to the attendees for their interest and their great questions and comments!
}:> ~:)

United The World Stands, Divided It Falls - Choosing Between Capitalism and Socialism

Virtue can only flourish among equals. Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797
Davos is a Microcosm of the World – And the Outlook is Grim Fareed Zakaria January 24, 2019 Washington Post
“This, then, is the post-American world. Not one marked by Chinese dominance or Asian arrogance. Not an outright anti-American one, but one in which many yearn for a greater U.S. presence. One in which countries are freelancing, narrowly pursuing their own interests, and hoping that the framework of international order remains reasonably stable. But with no one actively shoring up the international system, the great question remains: In a world without leaders, will that system over time weaken and eventually crumble?”
This is the Gloom and Doom Fareed. Below is an essay a week later where he comes on as Mr. Sunshine and Hope. In both essays he ignores the fatally flawed, thousand pound gorilla in the room – consumer crony capitalism.
Now, let’s consider the above, his first essay.
Regrettably, the US is not withdrawing…

I Am A Citizen Of The World - Diogenes

Diogenes Looking for An Honest Man
Attributed to JHW Tischbein

I am a citizen of the world. Diogenes of Sinope 404-323BCE Friends, People often refer to our “political leaders” here in the U.S. when in fact they are “followers.” They follow, in descending order, their wealthy patrons; the polls and votes of the people; and activist groups that are powerful enough to threaten their money, polls and votes.
Democrats are the lesser of two evils. Both major parties are “broken.” That is, broken to the bit and saddle of crony-consumer capitalism. Voting is a necessity. But the only real power the people have to influence politicians to do humane, responsible things beyond what serves the wealthy and powerful, can only be had through activist groups that vie for control of the saddle and bridle.
Power to the people! Power to support progressive, non-political groups that take the politicians by their vote-sniffing noses and pocket books, and make them do the will of a reason- and evidence-informed,…

Little-Known Facts About Gardening, Steve Yothment

Kudos and a sincere thank you to Steve Yothment on his excellent January 8, 2019 O&I presentation, "Little-Known Facts about Gardening!"
Steve, a master gardener and core group member of O&I provided basic information on plant anatomy and physiology as well as detailed information on plant taxonomy, soil types and soil testing, and photosynthesis and plant respiration. He also provided other little-known information on farming and the major plant crops in our area and elsewhere in the U.S.
A PDF of Steve's superb slideshow may be found here.

Great presentation, Steve!
O&I ]:> ~:)

Letter to a Friend

Photo: Ann Kreilkamp
Dear Friend,
Here is a short read for you:
How I Got Bamboozled by Fake News: And the Good That Came of It Ann Kreilkamp Exopermaculture January 6, 2019
 “And thus, a few years later, was Green Acres Village born, first as a neighborhood garden, and then fully fledging as a potent little human community in communion with our Mother Earth. It has been evolving, organically, for over decade now, starting on the mental plane in 2007, when I took the permaculture design course, and was astonished to recognize in its principles real hope for a transformed world...
“It was just then, just when I had worked my mental/emotional system into a frenzied intensity, that I heard a little voice in my right ear: ‘No need for that. Just change perceptions in your neighborhood.’”

Here’s some folks doing something other than violent revolution or trying to reform our dead-end, powerful and wealthy-controlled way of living. They see what’s coming, like what happened in Cuba when the USSR col…


"The Evangelism of TED Talks Has an Eerie Resemblance to this 19th Century Religious Tradition" Roxanne Cooper AlterNet January 12, 2019 
“But if TED and the 19th century lecture circuits—the new lyceum and the old—can offer us anything, it’s a reminder that science and research offer more than new knowledge. They come with a kind of aesthetic, and they invoke certain emotions—among them thrill and hope. ... [A] certain fuzzy optimism takes hold. There’s a promise here that would be familiar, I think, to anyone who’s been moved by a great motivational speech or sermon. It’s a sense that, faced with the grind of daily life, and the intractability of its problems, somehow, through some flash of understanding, the basic terms of our struggle will change.”

“Thrill?” I’ll pass. “Hope?” Okay, but not based on “fuzzy optimism” or “somehow” or “some flash of understanding.”

I am not dark, gloom and doom, or nihilistic. I am not a hedonist or an Epicurean. I am a realist, skeptic and…