<div dir="ltr"><div>"... Christina, much of our American culture also arose from the cultural
extermination of the American Indians (which luckily did not occur with
the black culture) rather than integrating that culture into the
American mainstream..."<br><br></div>Reading my previous post, I realize that a section of it may be read in a different way than how I intended. I do not mean that Native Indian culture has been exterminated. It has remained alive through ceremonies, social gatherings like powwows all over the country. I was referring to the integration of the beliefs, ceremonies into the middle class, midstream culture. <br><br>Alan has pointed out to me the Native Indian culture has been thriving in the last fifty years. And perhaps the penetration of the sensibility has been deeper than I think. It made me think of films, the medium I am most intimate with, like Jarmousch's Dead Man and The Way of the Samurai, Powwow Highway, Smoke Signals in all of which the actor Gary Farmer, besides his part, embodies an iconic spiritual presence or Thunderheart where Val Kilmer, an FBI agent, has to face his own Native Indian identity as a dreamer of visions. The list goes on... Recently I discovered to my utter surprise that Myrna Loy, the very essence of urban sophistication, had Native Indian roots.<br></div><div class="gmail_extra"><br><div class="gmail_quote">On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 4:52 PM, Murat Nemet-Nejat <span dir="ltr"><<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank">email@example.com</a>></span> wrote:<br><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"><div dir="ltr"><div>Christina, much of our American culture also arose from the cultural extermination of the American Indians (which luckily did not occur with the black culture) rather than integrating that culture into the American mainstream, an integration which I think occurred in a country like Brazil. This extermination occurred in the 19th century simultaneously, if De Tocqueville is to be believed, when the seeds of a vibrant middle class was being sown.<br><br></div>I want to be clear the integration I am referring to occurs independently from the suppression of one group of another. Historically, the defeated have often left big imprints over the triumphant. The only cultural echo I see of the American Indian in the United States is in place names so many of which derive from American Indian language. I refer to one of them "Oklahoma" (as in Kafka's "Theatre of Oklahoma") in my essay "Questions of Accent."<br></div><div class="gmail_extra"><br><div class="gmail_quote">On Wed, Nov 26, 2014 at 3:41 PM, Christina Spiesel <span dir="ltr"><<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank">email@example.com</a>></span> wrote:<br><blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex">----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------<br>
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<div>Thank you Ana for the links to the
French exhibition! Ana raised many issues and this is only a
partly, and personal, reply. There is a point where grown men
beheaded and little girls sexually exploited meet in the common
theme of the exertion of absolute power over the bodies of others.
These are demonstrations of what the group can do/get away with.
And it is terrorism, meant to create fear and compliance in
others. I think this is distinct from the far more common theme
of the maintenance of patriarchal social power through control of
sexual information. A very influential book for me is Walter
Kendrick's <i>The Secret Museum, Pornography in Modern Culture</i><i>
</i>(1987)<i>. </i>He makes many arguments<i> </i>but the most
compelling for me is that erotic materials actually convey sexual
information and that protected classes -- women and youths, poor
men -- are kept in subjugation by denial of sexual information.
(We can see the latest iteration of this in the United States
where some people are trying to put the genie back in the bottle
by trying to repress birth control, sexual education, abortion
rights, etc.) Traditionally, young warriors (and athletes before
competition) are taught that their prowess will be diminished if
they have sex before battle. It is not hard to imagine that having
sex would reaffirm life's pleasures and make one less inclined to
risk life and limb in warfare. Upper classes have always had
access to materials forbidden to the rest of us -- hence the
"Enfer" sections of libraries that have become the repositories
of materials once held in private collections. "L'origine du
Monde" was painted for Khalil Bey, Ottoman diplomat, who had a
collection of erotica. Reportedly he kept it behind a curtain
which would be pulled back to show particular guests --
performance as display. Circling back, I do wonder what
particular cultural arrangements has produced ISIS. Yes, of
course, official propaganda might talk about rejection of western
colonialism, etc. but what of the psychological factors local tpo
that culture? And somewhere in this discussion we might ask about
DeSade who would probably assert that we are dealing with the
human condition. And one more circling back -- Alan is writing
about what happens to humans when their culture is going off the
rails. In the case of the United States, much of our culture arose
from the existence of a middle class, now under extreme threat.<br>
On 11/26/2014 10:02 AM, Ana Valdés wrote:<br>
<pre>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
I was trying to find a red line in our discussion, reading what others
wrote, Aneta, Monika, Murat, Alan, Johannes, Christina, Aristita,
Andreas, Simon, Rustom, Alicia, Leandro, others...
I go always back to Modernity. Yesterday we discussed with Alicia
about Bataille and all the French writers and painters using erotic as
a kind of rebellion against the power, again the etablished norms. In
the French National Library there is a place called "Enfer" (Hell)
where erotic texts written by Voltaire, Diderot and many other are
hidden from public view. They can only be consulted and peroused by
researchers with several degrees of clearing.
Why are these texts so revulsive today? In a society where pornography
is an industry with millions of people employed these texts are still
so revulsive and must be kept secret.
The same with the paintings. Gustave Courbet "L'Origine du Monde",
showing the vulva of a woman, was censored by Facebook several times
only a few years ago.
Bear with me, I am trying to find paralleles here between beheadings
and naked women. The beheadings are shown in You Tube and can be seen
by anyone with a screen nearby, the real erotic seems more powerful
and more dissident and must be kept from the public.
Isis marriages with small girls and the selling of women as slaves are
for me more horrific than the beheadings.
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