Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Nothing seems to be able to explain to me the over-ripening of all kinds of fundamentalisms as neatly as Leonard Shlain's The Alphabet Versus the Goddess. Link. I mean, a few folks have noticed how interesting it is that the fundamentalisms of the world seem to be fighting it out with each other in Iraq, Afghanistan, places in Africa and Southeast Asia. "Our" fundamentalists seem to agree with "theirs" to such a degree - is it coincidence? If not, then Why? Why now? Shlain sez that it's because we're nearing the end of the age of patriarchy, and that patriarchy co-exists with, if it isn't a causative factor in, literacy, slavery, misogynism, homophobia, militarism; what we now call fundamentalist trends in religion and society. So, as I understand it, what we may be going through right now is a last paroxysm of patriarchy as it fades from the human scene, at least as a controlling factor. Shlain also posits that a matriarchal worlk predated the patriarchal, and that we may now be in the beginning stages of a reconciliation of the two. Wouldn't that be nice!

Isn't it bizarre, really, that gay is the hottest of hot buttons for fundamentalists, of any the Bookish People variations? One can see how it might be on the list of unmentionables for some people, but when it causes such fury I wonder what's really behind it... Shlain says that to the left (patriarchal, verbal) hemisphere of the brain, the right (feminine, graphic, wholistic) is a dark and scary unknown, and must be controlled. "The husband is the head of the household!" Homosexuality poses a threat to the patriarchalists because it represents a mixing, or blending, of the two opposites. Fear of the unknown: I'm reminded of a case in Texas where businesses wanted to forbid their workers from speaking Spanish at the workplace. What might they be saying that is so threatening?

Some shamen of the underworld - some of whom are known as Scientists - have taken us on a tour of the underworld, with all of the marvelous inventions one can find there now at our hands. Now, we find that they cannot take us out - and indeed have forgotten that this is where we are. Hell? How do we get out? Do we have to go crazy?


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