Feb. 4th, 2004

urocyon: (water)
A page a friend linked to in a different context got me thinking about anomie in the context of "ethnocide". Throw in economic exploitation (and the bottom completely falling out)--no wonder comparisons have been made to the Third World by those sympathetic* and those definitely not--and there are the WV/KY coalfields in a nutshell. (Take a look at that second link if you're interested in an amazing concentration of stereotypes, and some terrible-sounding recipes. Then again, the Foxfire series isn't the best source of cooking information, or much else.) Funny that I'd never connected the prevailing ills with Durkheim's terminology.

That is the way it frequently seems to work, though, with little explications which hit the right buttons; sometimes it takes a bit of a nudge to set off that "aha!" reaction. An essay I ran across recently on a Creek concept of Power helped me clarify my thinking on some things, and I didn't know there was quite so much to clear up on that subject still. *g*

A friend's recent post also got me thinking again about my choice of a rather quiet and private religious life of late. To some degree, that does seem to be my natural bent, but I do think I may have done myself a disservice by avoiding a more public role. I believe I've actively been avoiding responsibility because I do feel the weight of responsiblity pretty keenly; I've actually had to consider that, for example, were I to marry people and were the marriage to go horribly wrong, I might feel partly to blame for not spotting the potential problem and dealing with it appropriately. (As in, insisting on counselling or flat-out refusing to perform the ceremony in an extreme case.) Avoiding this touchiness and tendency to take on too much, rather than dealing with it and going about my business, doesn't seem as reasonable/sane an approach. There does seem to be a need for people willing and able to act as more public clergy in the local Pagan community--whatever that may be--and perhaps it's a decent sign that I'm not sure I'll ever be knowledgeable enough. Degrees in psychology and Celtic studies may not be necessary, but it is somehow less than comforting to tell myself that I'm at least as qualified as the average Holiness preacher. ;) **

* This particular locality, IIRC, is in the Rust Belt, but the same points apply to the coalfields. It is only implied here that the land, now largely owned by coal companies and the like, was taken from the inhabitants, who received a pittance if that. Additionally, the picture which is becoming clearer through research is one of many area Eastern Siouxan families having purchased or obtained through land grants title to some of their ancestral lands once they'd gotten British-enough-sounding names and/or relatives by marriage--only to be pitched off again a century or so later. (Incidentally, many of the ideas of "illiteracy" stem from this time; there are good reasons to play dumb when people come around and initially try to persuade you that it's in your best interest to give up use of your land.) We've been relatively lucky in this respect locally--not sitting on a lot of suddenly-valuable minerals *knock wood*--though our branch of the McCraws' fortunes suffered in a fit of pre-TVA madness; that homeplace (quite a large farm with good, silty river bottom land) is now sitting on the bottom of Claytor Lake. I believe the official story now is that only a few Dunkards lived in the area now covered by the lake--suitably quaint, perhaps?

** If that's what they overwhelmingly choose to call themselves, I have little choice but to use the term as well.

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