Sunday, January 2, 2011

The following blogspots center on a variety of subjects, which I have initiated. You are invited to look and respond. Not-Violence main subject Temple of Janis (John) site Arguments for systems change Sacrificial crisis in Latvia

I suggest you look at the links imbedded in these blogs or at the end of the blog as an integral part of my argument.
The 4th Awakening
26 Watching a Language Being Lost (1)
© Eso Anton Benjamins

The mission of the Latvian language is implicit in its unique pietist foundation. Pietisms, reverence for life, animate and inanimate nature, and gentling are all part of the “weak” force that labors to turn the Earth’s habitat into a more livable place.

To the Latvian baby along with the mother’s breast comes a language its forebears fashioned to feel themselves welcomed into the world of nature, too. Thus, a stone against which I may lean my back against is no longer a mere stone, but a “dear stone”.

Pietism distinguishes the Latvian language by means of enabling its users to turn every noun into an endearment real or ironic. Through the Latvian language a Latvian gives evidence to a mindset that disputes the aggressive and mercantile Zeitgeist of our time. No doubt, this linguistic facility may be ignored; and today we live in days when it is ignored. For that reason, we may say that today the Latvian language is half of what it can be. The missing half cannot be replaced by advertisements showing pretty nature pictures with few or no people. This harsh and at the same time slick meme, which has occupied the mindset of Latvian media, bureaucracy, government, and much of private communication on the internet defines our times,

We have a good example of what a wholistic language ought not to be in English. Whether English words acquired their clunky-ness as the result of the Great Vowel Shift that took place in the 15th century and practically speaking destroyed an earlier poetic tradition may of course be debated. However, by way of example, we may note how the word Sonne (the Sun, feminine gender) was turned into the sun, masculine gender, with a small s. In German, the sun is still die Sonne, and it may be endeared as when we speak of it as Sonnchen [Saulele (Prussian), Saulīte (Latvian) = (Sonnchen; saule=Sonne), die Sonnengoettin, Saule, the Dearest Goddess].

It may seem a paradox to some that on the one hand I urge Latvians to learn to speak and write English; on the other hand, suggest that the Latvian language is more relevant to our times than English. What is the reason for such apparently contradictory advice?

The paradox is of pragmatist origin. English, the language of expedience when it comes for two or more people born to a different language, to communicate, is one of the most widely distributed languages. It is also—as per the Great Vowel Shift—a hybrid and a relatively recent language, and, thus, in many ways an academic language. [No, I am not contesting American country music, but if left to itself, it would probably revert a la populism to a form of profoundly emotive speech.]

The arrival of English is intimately linked to the bastardization of democracy by political science and the arrival of the Magna Carta, the latter a document limiting democracy for the forest dwellers (the forest cover necessary for true democracy was fast disappearing at the time), and increasing it for secular princes and today’s oligarchs.

At the time of Chaucer and his “The Canterbury Tales”, the poet had three languages to choose from: Latin, French, and Middle English. Chaucer chose Middle English not only because it was the evolving vernacular of those who lived about London, but the poet’s own intuition of the way the tilt of the Vowel Shift would lean. One may imagine that the poet had a meme that had followed him (who knows through what labyrinth) and was developing an increasingly powerful charisma.

The charisma, in this instance the attraction of clunky words, was sufficiently strong to attract not only Chaucer, but to turn out to be the call of the future. Perhaps one of the causes of this meme was what one may call the “galloping” mindset. There are no memes of endearment to interfere with the academe when it comes to enlarging the classification and filing system. Like violence, clunky words have no bars to hold them back. Dissed emotion checks neither violence nor greed unless one pays with one’s life for it.

In other words, violence and freedom (to be greedy or whatever) belong to the same meme. Both are elements belonging to the great wilderness, to nature unrestrained. They are the syndromes that remove all obstacles— children including.

The Latvian language (valodiņa) [Vaidelotis = singer = moan = ruler = priest = male witch = wound = fault …], on the other hand, carries a “weak” meme. The language is able to endear everything about it, and if the endearment seems to be questionable, then surely it speaks in irony. Today the posts on internet sites, if not blocked by some computer activated editor, are a river of plastic bottles, rotten oranges, condoms, and misplaced flowers. This froth of rubbish is said to be of the Latvian language. This is true because for the last one hundred years or more the endearing word has been relegated to the barn or garage. The children who are born today receive in school lessons in sanitized Latvian, i.e., Latvian sans the endearing word. The secularist catechism is no longer an overtly a religious script of neo-Christianity, but comes to strip the language of its native and spiritual meme all the same.

The immediate blame for the demoralization of the Latvian language goes to the Latvian government of the past twenty years. This is to say, the blame is with the post-Soviet-Latvian government turning the language into a rag for its own purposes. In hind sight, the Soviets were kind to the language even if everyone had to speak Russian. Bleaching words like rice and then sowing freeze dried white rice in the nation’s garden is of positive advantage to those in office. Positivism recited by rote, with not a gram of self-sacrifice or endearment to pepper coming with it, drives the Latvian language and the people behind the language off the bridge. Never mind. Every bureaucrat and politician continues to wear a look of saintliness as if nothing happened.

The government keeps the undercurrents of the Latvian language, some would say the real language, the language with a mission, out of everyone’s field of attention. While the word ‘government’ has beneficial connotations, the Latvian government’s embrace of the Latvian language as a matter of identity is smothering the real function of the language—its mission, its vision. Such behavior brings one to the conclusion that what is happening is a hiding of the death of the Latvian language—if not actually desired, then not opposed either.

For how long can the government defend the Latvian language and hope that no one will notice that its failure as government is complicit in the exodus of Latvians to foreign lands? Conservative commentators observe that over 12% of Latvians have left Latvia for jobs abroad. That is 12% out of an estimated total of 2.3 million people; that is ~ 250,000 people conservatively. Other figures suggest that 340,000 340,000 have left. Some may think 500,000. These are not census figures. The census may double that figure.

Now for a quick return to

The Story of Crazy Jane and Clever John, Part 3 as retold by
© Eso Anton Benjamins (…story begins at blog 15)

It so happened that King John I was taking a stroll through his garden and saw Clever John arrive. He and his mare looked like they had ridden through an apocalypse circa 1492. That was the year for which the Apocalypse had been written six years before. King John himself had commissioned the work and was happy enough that the astrologers had got the year wrong.

King John I walked up to the gate. His guards were about to seize Clever John for a vagrant, except his bear skin coat and he stunk like a real bear. The moment the guards saw the king, they sprung to attention and gave a salute. “Hail King John I,” they shouted.

“A good Sunday,” said King John I. “Who have we got here? Is it another cricket bather?”

 Clever John did not wait for the guards to speak, but spoke first. “King John I,” he said, “I am just from Sun Mountain and a visit with the Sun. The Sun sends her greetings.”

“Why thank you,” answered the king. “I have visited the Sun also. I know how hot it can get there. By the way, what is your name?”

“I am Clever John,” answered Clever John. Just as he said it, he noticed that King John I did not wear a golden crown as he had expected, but that his toe nails were uncut, long, grey and curly. Clever John had heard that rich men could afford to look however they wanted; on the other hand, if the guards had not saluted him, he would not have believed the king to be king at all.

“What brings you here, Clever John,” asked the king.

“I have come to ask for the king’s daughter,” answered Clever John trying not to look at the king’s toenails.

“What a great idea, Clever John,” answered King John I, “however, no one can have my daughter without first bringing we a wagon full of gold. Do you have such a wagon or do you believe that you could find one?”

(To be continued. Part 3 of story.)

Asterisks & Links of Interest

Unchanged Feature: The Witches of Ghana in Gambaga
Could we have the name of Ghana pronounced as Yana? If so, could we then call the withches Yanas (Janas, Zhenas) of Yana (Jana, Zhena)?

Unchanged Feature: What is reality, what is myth?

Changing Feature: In the preceding posts, I started a compilation of a series of video clips, which when seen as a linear sequence tell a story in a telling context. This is a continuous story. If it began in the past, now it is moving parallel to the day we live. Note what is happening around you. Put this clip as a tail to your blog so others may see. The origin of this post is at 

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