To the Watchmen Among Us

Eject! Eject! Eject! has written an essay called, ‘Tribes’. I do not have the words to properly describe it.

Think Braveheart, and go read something to stir your noblest aspirations and your desire to be of some good in your generation.

And as you read it, remember this: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”.

We are what we are taught and what we internalize.

4 thoughts on “To the Watchmen Among Us”

  1. I read it. He has done much better in the past. The timing is unfortunate with the post-Katrina stampede. Tribes feeds the more atavistic of our human appetites. There is an “us/them” fire burning everywhere I look. Nobody is saying “we”, and it seems to be getting worse.

  2. “There is an “us/them” fire burning”

    You’re right about that, but that was the very reason I found the essay so a propos. It is time to face this head on since there is no escaping it in these times.

    There is an us/them in our culture and it isn’t all on the WASP side either…. It is time to get it in gear in looking at what humanizes our way of life and what degrades it.

    He apologized, sort of, for not being polished. I personally don’t think you always have to polish up the truth with fine prose, sometimes you just let it pour out.

    I felt he brought the discussion of the culture war to a new plane… one actually of culture and how we identify ourselves, and what we cultivate, rather than simply isolated issues.

    And this is what we see warring in ‘right’ and ‘left’ today. Or maybe they are simply playing into the mindset of this generations way of relating. Perhaps we could attribute some of this to the alienation we have had from each other in our communities, so that tribal relating is what has arisen. Us/them is everywhere…maybe we should be identifying it and dealing with it instead of wishing it away.

    All alot of maybe thoughts rolling around in my head right now.

    I’ve lived in bad neighborhoods and upper scale. Each neighborhood has its “flavor” , that extrapolates out into what our territories and then what our nation is like. I feel Whittle started some dialogue.

    The Christianese application is “what does ‘renewing of the mind’ mean for us in our communities?”

  3. I want so very much to agree, but in this case I think you are being too charitable. What I am reading is more vitriol than discussion.

    I remember reading about an archeological dig — I think it was somewhere in Nova Scotia or that part of North America — that found skeletal remains of a male of late adolescence or early adulthood who had spina bifida! Now think what that means: he had to be cared for season after season, eating enough to stay alive, taking up a share of scarce community resources that he could never have taken part in producing. That shatters a lot of ideas about “savage” behavior, of course, but it also tells somethig about how an actual “tribe” is put together. Even without the teachings of so-called higher cultures, those Indians knew something about community that we are not only losing, but deliberately running from with our condescention toward the bottom edge of society.

  4. I think I use the word “tribal” in a more modern sense, not as a put-down that we are talking about “uncivilized” or barbaric. I felt that was the way the word was used by Whittle. The idea being that we are grouping in ways that are separate from national or geographical or even racial…we are grouping on the basis of similiar acceptance which has strains of ideology. It is tribal in that it is a smaller scale by which our identification and loyalties are bonded.

    I don’t think I would class all Indian cultures together, at all.
    ====
    I do recognize the cutthroat sniping that is going on, and have no intention of being charitable about that . I am of the opinion that it is territorialism and opportunism fighting it out. I am stepping back from that and not commenting on it much…. it is symptomatic I think, rather than causal. I am trying to see if there is anything evident to me that I may consider and discuss. Right now it is simply spear throwing and lots of yelling for “order!”. You can’t reason in that sort of atmosphere.

    That is why I am sitting back a bit on this. I do think we have some cultural shibboleths that it is time to addresss. As long as there was quiet it made no sense to try to pinpoint it, if it could even be found for all its shapeshifting. I think now is a revelation time, an exposure of some of the cracks in our foundation.

    If we are careful perhaps we can do something about them. If not, we can at least be aware.

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