Re: Shamans, wonks, and working by the book

John Pastore (venture@CANCUN.RCE.COM.MX)
Fri, 10 May 1996 07:53:59 +0000

On 11 May 96 at 8:22, John McCreery wrote:

...What they
> have in common is the habit of seeking definition instead of trying
> to sort the muddle of various realities to which a word of Siberian
> origin has, historically, come to point, more or less obliquely,
> from a good many different directions.

Isn't that 'sorting' defining? 'Ah-men' is shaman, in Maya, by the

...Besides, for those content with stereotyping,
> one need only point to the ramblings of Mircea Eliade or Joseph
> Campbell, which are far more nicely written than the average e-mail
> message.

If defining was merely stereotyping, which I believe broad
generalizations tend more to do than the contrary, then wouldn't all
definitions be stereotypes? If so, then why bother defining elements
of a working terminology at all?

> Turning now to Holly Swyers who does, I think, a marvelous job of
> describing the predicament of so many of us these days:
> "Part of my paralysis came from the realization that there is not
> really a single culture at work in the U.S. - or if there is, it's
> beyond my grasp right now. How do you impose policy across cultures
> (especially bearing in mind a relativist stance)?"

There is a single culture at work in the U.S. It is an extreme
right-wing coalition of entrepeneurs, politicians, evangelic
ministers and scientists (particularly in the development and
deployment of parallel information mining machines). They impose
their policies by simply submitting to the money of the few
entrepenurs whose businesses are to control the manufacture, storage
and dissemination of information. They will (and have) mine whole
law libraries to acquire a precedent for censorship under the guise
of protecting children, and when there is opposition such as the
media, they merely preempt the media charging them with what they,
themselves, are guilty. They decry the media with the most base,
and outlandish anti-intellectualism, while practicing the perversions
they purport themselves to be against. It started with Goldwater, and
became de riguer with Regan. Simply stated: How do you impose
policies across cultures? With money -and lots of it. Sound
conspiratal? Not really. The few highly-monied entrepeneurs need not
conspire to understand their commonality and methods.

..There is a form of labor action called
> "working to rule." Its intent (and effect) is to paralyze the
> organization in which it is practiced.

That sounds just about right.

Ka Xiik Keech Ya Utzil,

John Pastore
Writer/Guide in 'El Mayab'
("The Mayan Homeland")