Ruby Rohrlich (rohrlich@GWIS2.CIRC.GWU.EDU)
Wed, 6 Sep 1995 20:05:56 -0400
Are you comparing the Nativ e American of yore with the contemporary
Western American? That's anachronistic. Read Louise Erdrich's The Bingo
Palace to find out how contemporary Nativ e Americans who have some
knowledge of traditional beliefs are also a part of contemporary U.S. culture
and how that makes for individuals who are far more complicated and
interesting than most of us who are fully contemporary. Ruby Rohrlich On
Tue, 5 Sep 1995, Nick Corduan wrote:
> > (Could it be that meta-positioning, i.e., obsessive worry about what we
> > ought to be doing, as opposed to worry about what we're doing, is a
> > symptom of our malaise?)
> Actually, this too is a worthy topic of anthropological debate, no? The idea
> of worry and how it differs between cultures, and how it effects different
> cultures differently?
> I was thinking -- as I wrote that paragraph, in fact <g> -- that this would be
> a fine topic for a study in contrasts, perhaps between Modern Western culture
> and Traditional Native culture. (I'm sure such studies have been done, too,
> but if we simply refer to them, we have no topic for discussion. <g>)
> For instance -- who worries less? The Native American who is fairly
> certain, because of his or her ties to tradition, the past, nature, and the
> spiritual cosmos, of his or her place in things; while the Western American
> lives more for the moment (or perhaps for the short future, but almost never
> for the past), engages in endless inquiries into existence, and feels more
> spiritually and personally isolated from nature and humanity?
> Or the Western American who is secure in his or her necessities (e.g. food,
> clothing, homes), confident of his or her ability to achieve "progress," and
> able to get in instant contact with any other person anywhere else in the
> world; while the Native American was more "at the mercy" of nature, did not
> generally have "better" social position to strive for, and could only speak
> with those with whom he or she was face to face?
> Thoughts anyone?
> Flames everyone? <g>
> Nick Corduan "...there is as much dignity in tilling
> at a field as in writing a poem."
> (email@example.com) --Booker T. Washington