Re: Marana tha!

1

Clearly the difference is that cargo really exists.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 7:48 AM
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the same way Christians think theirs will "actually" bring back Jesus

Uh, no, orthodox Christian doctrine does not teach that -- or at least not in the sense of hastening the Second Coming. If you mean "bring back" in the sense of transsubstantiation or "real presence", then yes, there are flavors of Christianity that so hold.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 7:52 AM
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Uh, no, orthodox Christian doctrine does not teach that

True, and I am reminded why analogies are banned. Let me stipulate instead that the cargo cultists were celebrating the anticipated second coming of cargo.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 7:58 AM
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Surely a cargo cult is where you correctly identify a pattern of purposeful activity as leading to a desired outcome, but misidentify that pattern as a ritual which can be repeated successfully outside its original context.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:11 AM
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I believe there is a tradition in Judaism that suggests that Jews behaving especially virtuously may hasten the arrival of the Messiah.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:13 AM
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I'm not sure rituals are identified or misidentified, properly speaking, and I don't know what it would mean for a ritual to be successful (at least to someone outside the cult).


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:15 AM
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One imagines that if the orthodox Christian doctrine of the Second Coming were to be created anew today, it would look a lot more like the cargo cults and less like the Biblical prophecy. Christ coming on a white horse to usher in a 1,000 year reign of justice? *Yawn.* That's not going to attract believers in a new religion.

Indeed, the belief in the Rapture (a heresy of fairly recent vintage) seems to have been invented for precisely the purpose of improving on the emotional appeal of the orthodox storyline. Fuck a messiah on a white horse. How much more satisfying is it to anticipate being whisked away and enjoying paradise while the sinners left behind suffer their comeuppance in the time of tribulation?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:18 AM
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Clearly the difference is that cargo really exists.

Yeah. The fascinating thing about cargo cults is the way they let you see all of the ingredients of the logic involved. I find them poignant. Perfectly intelligent (if optimistic) people doing their best to make sense of things given the limited information they have at hand, but because we can see from here exactly how wrong they were, and in what way, it makes them look extra foolish. But they were no more foolish than anyone would be in their place! They are adults with rational, even defensible, understandings of the world! Only they end up as comic figures, like when your kid comes to the rational conclusion that the neighbor's dad is the tooth fairy. Poignant!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:19 AM
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s/b "I'm not sure the process of adopting or evolving a ritual involves its identification or misidentification as such"


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:20 AM
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1 gets it right, if we are to assume ogged truly exists.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:21 AM
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I believe there is a tradition in Judaism that suggests that Jews behaving especially virtuously may hasten the arrival of the Messiah.

I think this is what I had in mind, or early Jewish Christianity. Naturally, Orthodox Christianity, being in part a response to Jesus' taking his sweet time, is going to see things differently.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:26 AM
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re: 8

Channel 4 had a documentary a year or two back with men from a Vanuatan tribe who worship the Duke of Edinburgh coming to the UK to visit and to try to gain an audience with him. It was interesting, and poignant, because, again, these were clearly intelligent men of some standing in their community.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Philip_Movement


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:28 AM
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6. In a classic cargo cult, you observe people carrying out various actions (building a dock, assembling gangs of longshoremen, signalling, etc.) which culminate in the arrival of a ship full of goodies. You infer that by carefully imitating the various actions observed, you will cause another ship to arrive at a place of your choosing.

What you miss is the context in which the actions are performed, which is that somebody has, unknown to you, placed a long distance phone call to tell somebody else to send the ship, because the dock will be ready for it. If you knew that bit, you wouldn't make the mistake of seeing the preparations to receive it as causing its arrival.

Your observations are correct but incomplete. Your inference of causation is wrong, largely for that reason.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:31 AM
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I don't think even most early Christians, at least those who come to us through canonical scripture. thought that they could ritually or behaviorally induce the Second Coming, which I take to be the point of the Cargo Cult -- they just thought it was going to happen soon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:34 AM
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I can see that (classical) cargo cults are cults that formed in a particular way, but my question relates more to their qualities once they've been established.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:34 AM
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OK, fine, pretend I said nothing of Christians. Pretend I said something about observers of the Jewish messianic tradition peep mentioned in 5.

Goddamn analogies.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:37 AM
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It strikes me that there's some similarity between cargo cultists and economists.


Posted by: dob | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:40 AM
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Lenten fasting has left me too lightheaded to think clearly about this. If my devotions cause the Messiah to return, I'll let you know.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:41 AM
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The Tannans weren't that strange: if one can tie this in to the ancient Greece thread, Prince Philip has several divine attributes, among them a complicated family life and a short temper.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:41 AM
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if we are to assume ogged truly exists

IF? IF!?

HERETIC! UNCLEAN!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:41 AM
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Maybe if we talk a lot about swimming and hot lifeguards, ogged will come back.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:43 AM
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I actually thought your initial analogy was asking a different, interesting question: why is it more legitimate to say that the cargo cults were seeking the literal, physical return of cargo than to say that Christians are seeking the literal, physical return of Jesus? Aren't we (as rational types) privileging familiar religions by allowing them to be mystical and metaphorical? Who's to say what the cargo cultists thought about the actual literal meaning of their religious practices?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:43 AM
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22 to 16.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:44 AM
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21: Russian lifeguards. With squeaky voices and lots of makeup.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:46 AM
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I was thinking about that question, Sifu, but I got sidetracked by a bunch of orthodox nitpickists. In my mental shorthand, cargo cults are a subset of comparatively young religions for brown people.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:48 AM
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re: 25

Thank god there are no heterodox nitpickists here!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:53 AM
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25: seems like the nitpicketers were doing exactly what you were wondering about.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:55 AM
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In any case, thanks for articulating what I hadn't. Now, Sifu, since we have attained comity, I have to hate you to restore equilibrium. I hope you don't mind shitting in the ocean.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 8:59 AM
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Mind? It's the best part of my day!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:00 AM
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Who's to say what the cargo cultists thought about the actual literal meaning of their religious practices?

This is actually an interesting question. I know, at least with some forms of shamanism, that different individuals' rationalization of the same religious behavior will vary widely in level of abstraction (and some individuals will use multiple rationalizations).


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:02 AM
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31

You've adapted your excretory habits to counter my hateful language, you bastard.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:02 AM
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32

why is it more legitimate to say that the cargo cults were seeking the literal, physical return of cargo than to say that Christians are seeking the literal, physical return of Jesus?

Because nobody (or at least nobody canonical) has ever suggested that there's anything we can actually do to affect the date and time of the second coming. If you live according to the strictures of Jesus and Paul, then you'll get a gold star when the big man eventually decides to show up. But the whole point is that you never know when that might be.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:04 AM
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I know, at least with some forms of shamanism, that different individuals' rationalization of the same religious behavior will vary widely in level of abstraction

Said the Jesuit to the altar boy.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:04 AM
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34

I don't think my underlying point, however badly I first put it, depends on the particular doctrines of orthodox Christianity.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:06 AM
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35

But the whole point is that you never know when that might be.

Yeah, I never understood how all those supposed literalists (I know, I know) got past the whole "thief in the night" thing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:08 AM
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36

What's the thief in the night thing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:09 AM
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32: well, okay, but plenty of canonical people suggest you can affect your own particular outcomes by faith and works. The mechanism of the god-bonus-prize is different, but the idea is not so different.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:12 AM
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What's the thief in the night thing

It describes the way in which you never know when Arsene Wenger will show up to your small French club and steal your promising 16 year-old starlet by giving him a professional contract.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:12 AM
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36: it's about this thief that wears lingerie. It's a contraction of "the thief in the nightgown and lacy underthings".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:13 AM
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40

It's a contraction of "the thief in the nightgown and lacy underthings".

A clipping, really.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:14 AM
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41

A scandalously revealing clipping!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:15 AM
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42

Alternatively, it's a line about the Second Coming:

1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Rev. 3:3 - the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:15 AM
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34. But the doctrines of orthodox Xianity preclude its inclusion as a cargo cult. Because in a cargo cult, to draw the widest possible definition, the cult members have to do x to bring about y, or at least suppose that real world y is explained by cult belief x. Xianity is founded of the explicit assertion, attributed to Jesus, that the time of his return is unknowable inprinciple, and nothing can be done to bring it about. It is, if you like, an anti-cargo cult.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:19 AM
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But the doctrines of orthodox Xianity preclude its inclusion as a cargo cult.

I am not trying to make a claim about Xianity. I made a bad analogy to Xianity. See the difference?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:23 AM
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45

Next time I'll pony up for the imprimatur.

But you'll never get a "nihil obstat" -- Never!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:29 AM
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It is, if you like, an anti-cargo cult.

Forget the Second Coming. What about Lourdes, praying to St. Anthony to help me find me keys, etc.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:29 AM
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47

That was supposed to be "my keys," not a phonetic rendering of a Scottish accent.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:31 AM
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48

What saint will help me find me lucky charms?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:33 AM
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49

In case 42 isn't enough, H-G, the point is that Jesus made completely clear that his return would be a surprise and unknowable, yet Rapturists are constantly talking about the signs of his coming, as if it's knowable.

It would be like a bunch of self-identified followers of Heisenberg spending all their effort on precisely observing the location and velocity of particles. It's stupid and self-defeating. Yet they demand our respect.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:35 AM
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50

But you'll never get a "nihil obstat" -- Never!

*weep*


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:36 AM
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51

St. Patrick?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:36 AM
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In case 42 isn't enough, H-G, the point is that Jesus made completely clear that his return would be a surprise and unknowable, yet Rapturists are constantly talking about the signs of his coming, as if it's knowable.

Not only that, whenever it seems like the Antichrist is about to become US president and really get the ball rolling, they actually try to stop it from happening!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:38 AM
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41 reminds me of the definition of a Freudian slip as "an undergarment which reveals more than the wearer thinks it does".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:38 AM
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54

Take away my trouble, take away my grief
Take away my heartache, in the night like a thief


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:39 AM
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49: Thanks.

Clearly, "Jesus made completely clear that his return would be a surprise and unknowable, to the out-group, yet Rapturists are constantly talking about the signs of his coming, because they're the in-group" is the answer to 35.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:47 AM
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The nihil obstat precedes the imprimatur; if SB is going to get the latter SB must already have gotten the former.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:52 AM
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57

I should have mapped what-I-meant to what-I-wrote with a fully faithful functor.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:56 AM
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58

Is a lot of socialism a form of cargo cultism?

"Build the cadre and the revolution will come."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:03 AM
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People are getting hung up on the whole comparison of Jesus to cargo; most Christians are obviously not observant just on the off chance they're around for the nocturnal buglary; they're directly interested in the "believe in me and never die" thing. So why does that belief for Christians get to be a metonym for a whole host (sic) of concepts, but the return of cargo has to literally refer to crates unloaded from airplanes?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:04 AM
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Next time I'll pony up for the imprimatur.

Just go and fill a few cloth bags with organic lacinato.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:04 AM
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the cult members have to do x to bring about y, or at least suppose that real world y is explained by cult belief x.

This happens in Christianity frequently, where the value of x is "pray to Jesus" and the value of y is "for our team to win the big game."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:14 AM
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43, Right, let x be "pray to invisible sky god for forgiveness" and let y be "live forever in heaven". Per 1, that's even less rational than the traditional cargo cult.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:15 AM
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63

"Build the cadre and the revolution will come."

Also: "Incite a revolution, and justice and solidarity will prevail."


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:18 AM
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64

Isn't conservatism itself a cargo cult?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:31 AM
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65

63:You know, knecht, there is a big part of me that just wants to kill Daddy Warbucks, and doesn't much care what happens after. I guess you do know that. It is only a part though, which probably doesn't redeem the rest.

I suppose the moral/liberal thing to do is to help the armless orphans in Afghanistan after Daddy Warbucks gets his thrills, but that feels like an enabling of DW. Money He gets to put into derivatives. It also feels like a desperate escape from complicity.

Whatever. I'm confused. It's hard. Glad you have all the answers.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:32 AM
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66

Standpipe is a mathematician?


Posted by: Laine | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:42 AM
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67

Standpipe is mysterious.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:46 AM
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68

Standpipe is mysterious.

Or so he the mullahs he would have you believe.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:49 AM
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69

My continuing mystery has always depended on the kindness of mullahs.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 10:57 AM
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You know, knecht, there is a big part of me that just wants to kill Daddy Warbucks, and doesn't much care what happens after.

Don't feel too bad about that, bob. There's a small part of me that wants the cops to cuff you and give you a good kicking.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:25 AM
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(a) does anyone know if there is an easy/fast way to get transcripts of radio shows of TAL? Particularly the one linked in 8 because it keeps coming up in conversations.

(b) you know what cargo cults are really like? people (including me) who deep down on some level continue to believe that not watching pots will make them boil faster, and starting to walk away from the bus stop will make the bus come, and ordering a new phone will make you find the one you lost.

(c) also like those kids in that one book by William Sleator, with the staircases and the flashing lights and the dancing and the food-like rewards.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:39 AM
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71.c I loved that book! What the hell was it called? Snarkout?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:41 AM
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73

||
I am about to go Dr Amy Bishop on the academic who has parked us into our driveway for the past 18 hours. But I'd make him move his fucking car first.
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:45 AM
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71.b is a very good point.

Tom Sawyer has a scene in which [some object] is missing, so Tom gets another [some object], says to it, "Brother, go find your other brother," and tosses it over his shoulder in the direction of the lost object. I tried that a few times as a kid, knowing it wouldn't work, yet... hey, why not?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:45 AM
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73: That would be so awesome.

What are you doing with that gun!?
Just get in the car.
OK, don't shoot me!
Now move your car.
OK, don't shoot me!
[moves car]
OK, I moved it, now don't sh-
[Bang]


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:47 AM
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76

It looks like transcripts are very, very infrequently posted here.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:47 AM
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77

Not that I've seen too many Hollywood revenge fantasies or anything.

Megan would be on my side.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:47 AM
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78

I have long been a believer in the "light your cigarette and the train will come" school of thought. Even after I quit smoking, I would encourage smokers on el platforms to light up so we could get on our way.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:47 AM
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79

73: Are there no tow trucks in Oudemiaville?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:49 AM
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I suppose you could start using the term "cargo cult" to refer to any case of superstition or sympathetic magic, but that takes away everything that makes that moment in history interesting. As Shrub and OFE point out, the cargo cultists were being as rational as they could with the information they had. They weren't just throwing objects over their shoulder and saying "go find your brother." They had observed people doing something that looked a lot like finding things by throwing objects over their shoulder and wanted to make it work for them.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:51 AM
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72 House of Stairs.

The picture on the wikipedia page is the same cover as the one in my high school library. It is kind of great.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:54 AM
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About shooting someone after s/he moved her car? Naw. I like predictable Hollywood movies, but only the sports ones.

Three of my girlfriends from my gym went out for dinner; I'm not sure quite how, but the driver's Mini-cooper got stuck (on the high curb, maybe? or boxed in?). So they decided the only thing to do was for the three of them to pick it up and move it. It wasn't even a decision. They didn't think of any other options besides picking the car up and moving it.

Then they tried it, and it was really heavy and they couldn't deadlift it after all. But I love that that was their first thought. We'll pick it up! Obviously!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:55 AM
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As a nice cargoculty coincidence, a NYRB review of a book that TAL episode draws from was published today, mere hours after I started listening to the episode.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:55 AM
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But "go find your brother" does make sense. A similarly sized object would probably roll the same way and land close to the first lost one. (Makes sense if the first one had been recently lost, like a dropped contact or something.)


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:57 AM
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85

♫ Oudemia goes better with Megan freshness ♫


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:57 AM
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79: Oh, although he is a thoughtless prick, and I have considered this, I am not going there, yet. There are messages for him on his home and office phone and a note on his door. If he does this again, I won't even hesitate. (CA has, as always, dug out our very long driveway all by himself. Neighbor guy thinks this means "Cool! Somewhere for me to park!" Rather than "Oh, that was nice, perhaps I could dig out the tiny 10 ft square bit in front of my part of the garage.")


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:58 AM
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84: Yes, but have you ever seen it work? Have you seen it seem to work very reliably for other, strange people?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 11:59 AM
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88

Could there possibly be a worse candidate for "Brother, go find your other brother" than contact lenses?

Testicles, I guess.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:00 PM
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Mini Coopers are very heavy -- very bottom heavy, really -- which is part of why they handle so well. They weigh, if I remember, nearly as much as a VW Golf. They're built like (well, they are) BMWs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:02 PM
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86: that car needs to be filled with snow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:04 PM
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91

18 hours in your driveway? Can you get a working garden hose out to his car?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:07 PM
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92

Oh, and how cold is it?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:07 PM
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93

Garden hose? Try a hypodermic syringe filled with deer urine (available at any good outdoors store) and inserted through the rubber weatherstripping.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:10 PM
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94

It's a shared driveway and he is entitled to drive on it, but not park there forever. The driveway goes from the street, past the length of the lawn, the length of the house, at which point it turns and widens and goes into a double garage. CA shoveled every last inch of this except for the bit directly in front of Neighbor Guy's part of the garage. This is too much for him, so he feels he should just park at the head of the drive.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:12 PM
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95

Or if you have a dead beaver handy, hide it under the driver's seat. Nobody expects that one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:13 PM
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But "go find your brother" does make sense. A similarly sized object would probably roll the same way and land close to the first lost one.

Never ask an engineer to explain sympathetic magic.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:17 PM
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I'm sorry, neB. What I meant to say is that the sprites that hid the first one would also take a liking to the second brother, but this time, if you turn around fast enough, you might see them carrying it away and follow them to their nest!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:25 PM
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That's also not how sympathetic magic works, Megan.

The sympathy operates between similar objects in virtue of their similarity, not by the intervention of some totally fantastic "sprite" shit.

It's as if you've never even read The Golden Bough!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:37 PM
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Borges explains sympathetic magic nicely, referring to Frazer, in his essay on novelistic techniques.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:37 PM
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A lot of otherwise incomprehensible events in my life could be explained by unsympathetic magic.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:46 PM
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101

Les choses sont contre nous.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:49 PM
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102

Mais où sont les choses d'antan, qui ont été si sympathique?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:51 PM
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103

I don't know French, Flip.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:54 PM
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104

71c, 72: House of Stairs.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:55 PM
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105

Things don't like me

I associate that line with Yuri (wikipedia spells it Yury) Olesha, but I don't think he could have been the first to say it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:56 PM
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106

It predates the report on resistentialism, anyway.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 12:57 PM
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107

106: Well, I'm glad I eventually realized that was a 50-year old joke not an actual philosophical movement.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:11 PM
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108

102: +s


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:34 PM
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109

Cargo Culte by Serge Gainsbourg is a really, really, really good song, as I think we've discussed here before.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:42 PM
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110

108: God damn it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:45 PM
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111

||

A friend is helping cast a reality show with footballsoccer fans from the participating countries in the World Cup. If anyone is or knows anyone who loves soccerfootball and is from one of the listed countries, please drop me a line.

|>


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:46 PM
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112

What does the show concern?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:49 PM
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113

Speaking of sympathetic magic, it would be kind of cool if the reality show is of the progressive-elimination type, and the participants were eliminated not on the basis of anything they did, but solely on the basis of elimination of the team of the country they represent (which would not necessarily be the country from which they hail).


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:50 PM
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114

OT What's the meetup status tomorrow? Are we still going to Pacific Standard?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:50 PM
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Parasympathetic magic is disgusting.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:54 PM
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116

Please ignore the mood mixup in 113.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 1:54 PM
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117

How about that!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 2:05 PM
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118

"The consideration of human suffering is not one which enters into the calculations of primitive man."


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 2:17 PM
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117: Wow, I always intended to read that book, but that looks thoroughly dense and underrewarding. I can just watch Star Wars instead, right?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 2:25 PM
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119: I've always enjoyed reading TGB. Most of the sections are quite short, so it's easy to examine one or a few while making propitiatory gestures to the relevant deities to ward off punishment for reading something so imperialist, etc., etc., etc.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 2:39 PM
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I've always enjoyed reading TGB.

Ah, so that was your OkCupid profile.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 2:47 PM
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122

My grandmother oddly gave me a copy of The Golden Bough when I was about nine. I found it... less inviting than I hoped at the time.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 2:51 PM
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122: Ha! I got the impression that TGB was a book that was read by all precocious 12-year olds. Maybe also by some extremely precocious 7-11 year olds, and some slightly less precocious 13-17 year olds. Since I didn't find this out until I was in college I decided I should never read it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 2:58 PM
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I didn't read it (no, not even Frazer's abridgment) until college, fwiw.

But I did read Joseph Campbell's Masks of God tetralogy and Graves' The White Goddess in high school.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:01 PM
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124: I think you just barely managed to retain your status as having been a precocious teen.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:05 PM
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121: Likes: Large wicker figures, ritual purification, kurdaitcha, ayahuasca, Häxan, sushi.

Dislikes: Touching the earth, seeing the sun, that punkass bitch Rumpelstilzchen, Salem, Massachusetts, Indian food.

In my bedroom you'll find: Stone vessels, pine resin, drying ash branches, fragments of meteoric iron, the latest issue of Primitive Archer.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:05 PM
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I can't recall whether I've said this before, but:

When I gave up Catholicism, I more or less assumed that I'd slip into some sort of quasi-pagan belief - not necessarily anything New Agey, but I'd always felt God-in-Nature as my primary religious experience, so I thought I'd at least gesture in that direction. But it turned out that I was a stone-cold atheist. It's just atoms, all the way down.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:09 PM
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Paganism is a worn-out scene.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:12 PM
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I think I read the first chapter and a half of TGB, pretended to read the rest, and got a B in the class.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:19 PM
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It's just atoms, all the way down.

At least until you get to quarks, which, in turn, are made out of turtles.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:21 PM
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130: Didn't we just have a physics thread?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:23 PM
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127: Have you considered converting to cargo cultism?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:24 PM
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The soccer fans will be in a mansion in Cape Town watching the World Cup. They will not be eliminated. It will be a good time, sponsored by Budwe/ser.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:52 PM
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As so many good times are sponsored by.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 3:53 PM
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109: It has indeed been gone into before, but, truly it cannot be said enough that Cargo Culte by Serge Gainsbourg is a great song (and that whole deranged concept album is insanely great and deranged). But perhaps the rest of you reject this wisdom. You are wrong.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 4:17 PM
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58. Yes.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-20-10 5:35 AM
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I'm glad SB brought up cargo cults in such a relatively clueless way since it gives me cover to post my own pet hypothesis*: Cargo cults have actually "worked" in that they hastened the return of cargo to places with cargo cults compared to similar places without. Cargo artifact mock-ups did in fact attract cargo.

But I really like Sifu Tweety's observation in 22 and 59. My religion is nuanced and abstract, yours is naïve, theirs is laughably primitive.

*Which someone knocked back when I mentioned it here before. rtfs? snarkout? ... someone who knows stuff.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-10 11:30 AM
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but how is the infamous Cargo Cult different from any other cult*?

In all other cults we eat leavened or unleavened bread, but in the Cargo cult we build airplane replicas out of straw.

In all other cults, we eat all kinds of vegetables, but in the Cargo cult, we ask the gods to send us canned vegetables.

In all other cults we do not dip even once, but in the Cargo cult we dip our torches in fuel to light the signal fires.

In all other cults we eat sitting or reclining, but in the Cargo cult we wave landing signals while standing on the runway.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02-21-10 8:04 PM
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Awesome.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-21-10 8:11 PM
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