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

27 Watching A Language Being Lost (2)
© Eso Anton Benjamins

How does one recover from such a blow, an irreversible population crash? How does a language recover when the population it depends on reaches the demographic “no return” point? No one talks about the murder.

Or maybe the killing is not done with yet and someone can dash to the rescue? The common place answer to such concerns is a “do not worry, be happy; there is nothing else we can do; Latvians have always made it before, they will again.”

This kind of response dismisses language as essential for subjective life—as if a community lives without it. If the response reflects an attitude and the attitude is that of a government, the government secures for itself a legalistic monopoly over the language, while it leaves the individuals who speak the language outside the realm of government. The citizens  falsely assume that government is also taking care of the language. No one seems to mind (…or is it that no one has thought of it?) that the speech of the inner voice of Latvians has been choked up at the throat by the government and its sleep walking ministers.

Politicizing the Latvian language dismisses the psychologically imbedded aspects of the endearing word (and other internalized traditions) as irrelevant to our age and with no role to play in the war over who controls Latvia or the world. The perspective of pietism in its broader sense, the sense that evolves with and from out of a language as carrier of human nature (religion evolved through language, the enterprise of one’s life, family, and community is dismissed as irrelevant to the official view.

The officialdom would have done well to stay out of the language business and stick to the business of good government. Good government has to do with enabling a study of languages according the need of the times; and the time now is for Latvians to speak two three languages: English and their own. Seizing on the Latvian language as its special ward, the Latvian government has substituted secular corruption for the spiritual evolution of the language. Having long collaborated in the despiritualization (of native inhabitants by way of neo-Christianizing them, the government is attempting to fetishize the Latvian language now. To some extent this is a done job. At the same time the government attempts to lie its way out of the obvious: the death of Latvian as a result of fear, i.e., protectionism stifling the creative powers of the language.

The legalistic pretense over the Latvian language even as it builds expensive glass houses, shows up the government not as facilitating the Latvian language, but as facilitating a neoliberal elite flunking economics 101 by permitting same to mistake debt accumulation for capital accumulation and choose short-term interest over long-term.

Of course, if the orientation of a culture is to be short-term, it does not matter, glass is fine, and all that glistens is gold. But who has determined that Latvian is for the short-term? Who has determined that there is no crisis? Many years ago it took me the whole of an afternoon to walk around a 4th of July gathering at the Washington Monument. The crowd was estimated by the authorities to be about four million. How long does it take to walk around 1.2 million Latvians? Perhaps two hours.

There are always the poets, the last refuge of a dying language. But modern Latvian poets are not very attached to the endearing word or pietism. Their religion has been of a more pretentious meme. One can take as an example the well known Latvian poet Aleksandrs Chaks, or Ojars Vācietis, or Imants Ziedonis. The endearing word is not a stranger to them, but none of the poets uses the endearing word often. So are they un-Latvian poets?

The poets are as Latvian as they come, but they are all poets of urban times. The poets all are pretenders to the stage of the world, not the kitchen, the yard, or field, or wood. These poets are not people who live in an intimate community. These poets’ speech has little time to indulge a stone, a pot, or politics.

Through the poets of the urban court, we meet with a circumstance where the Latvian language meets up with the same problem that the Japanese language does. The famed Japanese Haiku—the scaffolding of the poems by way of an exact number of syllables and a certain sentiment dependent on the image the words evoke—comes close to echoing the endearment implicit in a Latvian folk poem.

Would not a culture minister who is aware of the danger facing the Latvian language, its subjective self, invest in the language? Ought one to not encourage—next to Haiku—the development of a Dainu tradition?

A Latvian folk poem.
What is it?
It is an endearment,
a few lines of words
come wed for life.

Tautas dziesmiņa.
Kas tā tāda tāgadiņa?
Tā ir svētībiņa,
Vārdu kopas dzīvībiņa.

The reason the pietist meme is hidden from poets may be because it is in danger from unidentified bureaucrats and a danger to itself because it and the people who own it are in a sacrificial crisis. A state of sacrificial crisis brings everyone special responsibilities, which is why at first no one wishes to see the situation for what it is.

The sacrificial crisis turns on the issue of religion, implicit and explicit, as it resides in the Latvian language. Its pietist elixir is a “weak power”. The language is a force like gravity. One is so used to talking religion through one’s language that one no longer feels it except when one must jump.

This is about where we reconnect to contemporary politics and political events. This is where we come nose to nose with the Latvian government. Like Clever John, it has a horse that grows wings and pretends charisma, when in fact it is a goose with wings clipped.
The Story of Crazy Jane and Clever John, Part 2 as retold by
© Eso Anton Benjamins (…story begins at blog 15)

“No problem,” answered Clever John to King John I, “just tell me where to find the gold, and it is as good as here.”

“You misunderstand me, Clever John,” said the king. “You have to go and find the gold for yourself. If you want my daughter for your bride, you go find and bring me the gold on your own.”

“Can I just see the princess a little before I go?” asked Clever John. He was suddenly seized by anxiety: What if the princess had crooked teeth like the king had crooked toe nails?

“Do not worry, Clever John,” said King John I, “if you bring me a wagon of gold, the princess will give you the time of your life.”

So, Clever John let Rozinante go graze, while he went for a long walk and think where there might be a pile of gold. In those days banks were not yet invented, so there were none to rob. He knew that he did not want to dig for it. That would take all life, but he wanted the princes as soon as possible.

The more Clever John thought, the less could he think of where to find the gold. When evening came, Clever John still had no idea where to look. Then he remembered the ring and kerchief that Crazy Jane had given him in remembrance of their night together at The Old Witch’s Inn. Clever John started to rub the ring with the kerchief. If Crazy Jane had not been lying, she should hear his call for help and come running.

(To be continued.)

Asterisks & Links of Interest

Unchanged Feature: The Witches of Ghana in Gambaga
Could we have the word and name of Ghana pronounced as Yana? If so, we could 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 or start your own "movie". The origin of this post is at 

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