Sunday, January 16, 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

33 A Raven Preparing Dinner (1)
© Eso Anton Benjamins

The Story of Crazy Jane and Clever John, Part 3
(…story begins at blog 15),

“That is very smart of you, Clever John,” said Crazy Jane. “If I can think of a thousand more impossible things before breakfast than the Queen, can you imagine of how many things I think before I go to sleep? I am sure that I think of you at least once.”

“I hope that you think of me all the time, Crazy Jane,” said Clever John. “I need your help if I am to marry the Princess.”

“Why, Clever John,” answered Crazy Jane, “how could I do other than think of you all the time? You see, I hope, you see that somehow my head got screwed backward, and my neck is always turned half a screw except when I sleep.”

“How can you sleep with your face in the pillow?” asked Clever John.

“Why do you keep hanging yourself, Clever John?” asked Crazy Jane.

“I am trying not to do that,” said Clever John.

“For that same reason, I sleep with my head turned to one side,” said Crazy Jane. “However, you called me to ask about gold, did you not?”

“Yes, it occurred to me that with all the dipping you did with that empty bucked of yours, you could dip me up some gold flakes, which I could then present King John I with so I could marry the Princess.”

“As I said, Clever John, that would take more than a thousand years. Besides, you are the kind of person who likes to hang himself at least once a year. I will spare you that. There is a simpler way,” said Crazy Jane.

“I do not see how gold will hang me, Crazy Jane,” answered Clever John. “It will get me the Princess and a real step up in life.”

“Do not worry, Clever John,” answered Crazy Jane. “Remember the raven, who promised to help you if you untied her from the tree?”

“Yes,” answered Clever John, “it stunk to high heaven there. So Rozinante and went past there as fast as we could.”

“That goes to show how little you know, Clever John,” said Crazy Jane. “The raven likes not only corpses, but also shiny things. It is a smart bird. It knows that the more things shine, the more stink and corpses are likely to be nearby.”

“Much obliged for your wisdom,” said Clever John, “but I am in a real hurry now. Is there anything else I need to know?”

“Not really, Clever John,” answered Crazy Jane, “just go clap your hands together thrice and call out: Raven, Raven, dear, I am ready to become your next meal!”

Clever John was about to do as Crazy Jane advised when Crazy Jane interrupted him by putting her hand between his. “There is one more thing, I should tell you. Since you no longer have my father’s boots, the raven will fly you to where the gold is. You leave Rozinante in my care until you come back. ”

“Yes, but who will drag that gold to the castle?” asked Clever John.

“There are other magic ways,” answered Crazy Jane. “You will find them when the time comes. However, you need to know is how to answer to the three questions the raven will ask you. Listen!” (To be cont.)

I will continue with the story of Crazy Jane and Clever John in the next blog. Having mentioned “other magic ways”, I am here reminded of guanjon and guanxi, which I mentioned in the previous blog. I discussed the two principles in connection with why the Chinese have it, but the Latvians no longer have any idea what Jahnis means and why Johns Eve was celebrated comes midsummer.

While the Latvian government is attempting to force the Latvians to speak in Latvian, it remains singularly unsuccessful in its effort. Not only do many Latvians continue to speak with people of Russian descent in Russian, but Latvian children read the least amount of books of any country in Europe, and what passes for communications in Latvian on the internet are often so vitriolic about any subject that can be found between A to Z as to suggest that the country is suffering from a collective Turret's syndrome  . A radiologist of Latvian descent in the U.S. is even suggesting that Latvians take another compulsion pill and all speak Latvian by the end of a set date a.s.a.p., exceptions not desired. Given the realities and the dim future prospects of the Latvian language in the future, the suggestion serves to highlight the fact that the policies of the Latvian government during the past twenty years have been notably unsuccessful in charging up the batteries of the language with charisma.

I have pointed to the sad demographic prognosis, the rapidly declining population of the country, which over the next forty years is projected to decline by one million, while the European Union is likely to expand to 500 million people. The best way that I know how to impress the point is that no Latvian writer (exceptions always possible) will in the future write novels, because the maximum number of book purchases will most likely never exceed 6000, the average number being somewhere around 2000. It simply does not pay to write fiction in Latvian.

What gives a language its charisma are not only the number of citizens of a given country. This is clearly shown by the number of people who wish to learn the language who are born to another language. A hundred years ago most Latvians who moved to Riga or other major Latvian cities also spoke German. Those who immigrated to Brazil spoke Portuguese. When the tsar fell, many Russians fled to France, because most of Russian nobility spoke French. What is the compelling reason why the citizens of Latvia must speak Latvian?

True, the government has passed a law that says that the law in Latvia must be written in the Latvian language. That makes it compulsory that before one becomes a Latvian citizen one passes a language examination. The great majority of schools in Latvia teach children in Latvian. This is all as it should be, except that when a language begins to lose its charisma, it rapidly deteriorates. One reason for the deterioration of the language is the deteriorating quality of the meme that disciplines the mind to being attentive to what it does and then doing it well. Slip shod thinking is just one more contributor to the aforementioned Turret’s syndrome. Don Quixote’s mare Rozinante never failed her knight because Sancho Panza did slip shod work on her hooves.

But if the Latvian language is not worth having fiction written in? Alright, let us allow for short pieces of fiction, because such take little time and may come with lots of internet links and illustrations. But then what? Should I be speaking/writing Latvian for reasons of patriotism? Am I to be compelled to read Latvian for reason of punishment? Because the government sponsored Latvian Language Institute flexes its muscle and insists to sabotage the addressing and cataloguing system of the internet by denying a family to use one version of its last name? That you cannot write your last name with two oo, when some outworn grammatical system says it must be only one o. And she cannot end her last name with an s, whereas he can end it with any vowel he comes by.

In earlier blogs, I pointed to the discarded subjective half of the language, accomplished through restricting the uses of the endearing word in public media and providing no encouragement for its use among students. Indeed, there is a lot more to say on the subject.

(To be continued.)

Asterisks & Links of Interest

Unchanged Feature: What is reality, what is myth?

Changing Feature: In the preceding posts, I started a compilation of video clips, which when seen as a linear sequence tell a story in a context which I hope will become apparent. This is a continuous story. If it began in the past, it is now moving parallel to the day we live in. Watching the film may or may not contribute to your understanding of my meaning. Put this clip as a tail to your so others may see. The origin of this post is at 

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