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Ishmael Community Guestbook Archive

Back to the *Current* Guestbook Previous 15 Records · Next 15 Records

VerevolfTheGrouch #15033
, USA - Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 21:8:52 CST (GMT -6:00)

Actually, I was visiting this site every now and then for a few months before I ever looked at the guestbook, because I crazily assumed that it was just a guestbook.

doug #15032
, USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 21:6:44 CST (GMT -6:00)

I have writtten up a summary of what I have concluded from all my reading and sharing here over about two years and its a little long, it might sound crazy as well. Dont let that bother anyone...and jsut scroll thru if not interested.

Thanks so much all you guys. Good summary Fig- Power...versus real Power, eh. But Life is not Power, it jsut IS. Where "power" will pass away, soon and very soon....

Jim Linder #15031
San Jose, CA USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 21:2:39 CST (GMT -6:00)

Julie, do you think maybe we don’t hear from new posters because they think this is a “Guestbook” that you sign once and forget?


Vered #15030
, South Africa -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 20:46:13 CST (GMT -6:00)

Hi All :-)

Robert - Thanks for post # 15365. Even though I am ex- Israeli I see no justification in pounding the rocks of Afghanistan and pretending that killing people is 'for their own good'.

Violence leads to violence - and frankly "THE WAR" is just another skirmish with the ultimate aim of eliminating all cultural diversity.

There has also been a silencing of diverse voices on the GB lately. - All typical of 'Father culture'.

I would like to share with you something optimistic :-)

THE CULTURAL CREATIVES ARE COMING - The best kept secret going is just how many people are looking for alternatives to pollution as usual. This article by Donella Meadows may surprise you. "I don't know whether to cheer or cringe at the news that the way of life my friends and I have been quietly crafting for decades, always assuming we were far off the mainstream, suddenly has a name and constitutes a trend.

"Cultural creatives" they call us, or worse, "trans-modernists." According to anthropologist Paul Ray, who seems to have named us, "this group has no established leaders, no professed ideology and no cohesive sense of community. Its members loosely adhere to humanistic/spiritual ideals and life-styles that are eco-friendly." There are, he says, 50 million of us in the United States and another 50 million in Europe. Our numbers have grown from less than 5 percent of the population a generation ago to nearly 25 percent now. Well, it's nice to feel part of a crowd. Hard to get used to, though. I know I fit into this trendy new category, because the person who brought it to my attention, cultural creative Peter Alexander of New Mexico, sent a list of the characteristic habits of the clan. We cultural creatives, says Alexander: · Create our own economies based on buying local and buying green. (Check -I've been a loyal member of local consumer coops for decades.) · Get out of global financial markets and corporate-driven consumerism. (Check -- most of us never got in.) · Make contact with the earth, grow our own food, buy from our friends and neighbors, start and support local cottage industries that can provide for basic necessities. (Check -- I'm a homesteader who trades lamb for plumbing services and eggs for maple syrup.) · Work on making our lives less dependent upon systems that are unsustainable and unethical. (Check -- the ultimate goal of cultural creativism seems to be to unplug from institutions. Work for yourself. Get off the grid. Build your own house with no pipes or wires going in or out. Get your electricity from the sun, heat with wood, own your water supply, compost your own sewage.) · Take a much greater part in the education of our children. (Hey, the farthest-out cultural creatives don't even have children, because of our concern about population growth. We take joy in helping with the education of other people's children.) · Give ourselves time every day to commune with nature and to check in with our own souls. (Some of us are too busy weeding and writing and making black-bean chili to live by that one. It's a great idea, though. One of these days I'll get around to it.) · Simplify our needs so we have more to share (or less to earn). · Get out of the American "disease-care" system by eating and drinking healthy organic foods and using alternative healing technologies. (I'm a study in contrasts here. Pure organic veggies from the garden, except for junk food splurges. Megavitamins and alternative healers, unless I'm really sick.) · Find each other, share stories, build our communities and our worldwide network. (Story of my life. But do note Ray's point about "no cohesive sense of community." In my experience cultural creatives are no better at working together than any other Western individualists. Maybe, because of our distrust of institutions, we're worse. Contradance bands and coops are about as much organization as we can stand.) · Read, study and learn. Work on increasing wisdom. (Sounds a bit self-righteous here. Cultural creatives do have a reputation, partially deserved, for thinking they're above the unenlightened masses who ignorantly despoil the earth. But then, any group distinctive enough to be namable, from the Christian right to the Republicans to the local football fan club, believes in its own superiority.) Alexander's list contains many more items, but you get the idea. If you don't see yourself as a cultural creative, you probably know someone you'd put in that category. Avid recyclers. Always trying to think through the large-scale implications of their smallest actions. (Let's buy only organic cotton! Organic bananas raised by small, grower-owned coops! Magazines printed on recycled paper with soy ink!) Contemptuous of the glittery arenas of politics, advertising, entertainment, multinational business and high finance. Personally content, except for an underlying despair that the world is going down the tubes. One glaring absence in this description is "politically active." Ray says we have "no professed ideology." The self-reliant lifestyle can be consistent with either the left or the right, but the cultural creatives I know are disgusted with all current political choices. They don't get into power games, don't give campaign contributions, and often don't vote, because there isn't one politician in a thousand who pushes a cultural creative agenda. Subsidies for solar energy and organic farming? High taxes on clearcutting, junk food, and fossil fuels? Forget it. But you know, now that I'm getting used to being part of a trend, something occurs to me. If there are really fifty million of us, that's more than the total number of Americans who voted for Bill Clinton in the 1996 election. Maybe, in spite of our individualistic instincts, we ought to get organized."

Well - I DON'T think we should get organized - diversity is our strength, but i am delighted to be part of such a big community :-)

Love to All :-) Vered

Brent #15029
Oakland, CA USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 18:2:16 CST (GMT -6:00)

Here are the discussion sites I'm aware of:

Delphi: http://www.delphiforums.com/ (search Ishmael)

Ishmael Message Board: http://members3.boardhost.com/ishmael/

MoonShadow Visions: (more than Quinn) http://www.mshadow.com/wwwboard/

New Tribal Revolution: http://pub73.ezboard.com/bnewtribalrevolution

Some of these site have been a bit quite lately and could use some new perspectives and support. Between them all there is a variety of formats to match your tastes.

Celebrate the Diversity of Life,


Brent #15028
Oakland, USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 17:47:54 CST (GMT -6:00)

Brent #15027
Oakland, CA USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 17:42:53 CST (GMT -6:00)

I've been participating in the guestbook for about a year now. I'll admit to recently having difficulty following along. Thats probably why you haven't seen anything from me lately. I think in the past some of these very complex and involved discussions eventually found their way to emails between the participants or were at delphi. At least that was my personal experience. The guestbook seemed like it was more for sharing than debate. I'll admit that I was involved in plenty of debate here, but we usually knew when we wore out our welcome and migrated to other forums for the remainder of the discussion. The guestbook can be a wonderful and useful tool if we choose to make it so. When people first find the website, it helps them to know that others are out there. I'm sure it is useful for plenty of other purposes, like:

Recent interest from some new local guestbook participants has rejuvinated the Bay Area, Ishmael Group. We should have some meeting anoucements up in a few days at www.bayareaishmael.org


Stephen Figgins #15026
Monroe, WA USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 17:6:29 CST (GMT -6:00)


Quinn's suggests the motivation was power. Having a domesticated crop that travelled and stored well gave them incredible power.

A friend of mine also points out TA is an amazing weapon. What happens to the leaver tribe once the forest on which they depend is hacked to the ground? Who then can survive in the descimated land that remains? The agriculturalist. It's the end of the dispute for the hunter gatherer--it would take generations for the forest to return, but next year, the agriculturalist has their first yield.

So there is a new tactic, destroy the forest, tame the land, bring it under control, and put it to work for you and your family. All a part of enacting the story. You are a cultural hero.

And yes, it grants wealth too, but wealth means nothing on its own. Wealth is a means to power. The destroyed tribes had few choices, come crawling with their hands out, flee in hopes of finding a new home or just plain die.


Ameno #15025
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 16:48:59 CST (GMT -6:00)

As for the guestbook, I agree. Someone tell me where the delphi forum is and I will go immediately. This is a poor envirnment for conversation.

Ameno #15024
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 16:44:42 CST (GMT -6:00)

Stephen, in 15349 you say :"On TA: you point out that TA is not a set of agricultural methods but rather motivation, and suggest Quinn never made this clear. Yet in Story of B, he points out that TA is not methods but rather an agenda: to claim all the food in the world for our own use."

Ok, so what are you telling me? He still hasn't said the motivation. Quinn's agenda is fine. Just like Hitler's final solution is and agenda. It still does not speak to the motivation.

Why does Quinn say that people decided to claim all the food in the world for their own use? So, that is why I am saying that business must be the root of it all. Think about it, we know that we can't USE all the food in the world. So why would someone want to lay claim to it?

That is what I have been trying to point out with the discussion on intellectual property and my discussion on the right to OWN natural resources. The ONLY reason that I can think that someone would want to lay claim to 100% of anything (it's a monopoly, remember, I discussed it) is because of business. This is especially true in the case of food.

Imagine this- Let's say I had a way to lay claim to ALL of the food in the world. I could "lock it up" and stop anyone from eating it except for me. Picturing that? Now, in about 3 months, I would be the only one left on Earth. So that kinda sucks. BUT, if I laid claim to ALL the food in the world and you had to give me SOMETHING in exchange for eating, then I would be a wealthy man.

THis is what ANTITRUST lawsuits are about. You can have a monopoly so long as whatever it is you sell isn't deemed to be a "necessity." That is why, now that Windows OS is just about a necessity in America (especially in the corporate world), Microsoft is under the gun.

Quinn addresses the agenda, but to solve the problem, you have to work on the motivation. Read through my posts and my discourse and you will see that THAT is the focus. MOTIVATION!

Ameno #15023
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 16:27:53 CST (GMT -6:00)

Jim, regarding #15340, you obviously took the analogy way too literally. The ket was not SIZE, the key was competing. You said that there were times that you gave a contract to "the little guy." Proves my point right there. The little guy was competing to the maximum. That is how he beat the big guy. If you go and reread the analogy, the plants differed not in their size, but in the level to which they compteted for resources.

As for not being mom and pop stores and the situation with "farmer's markets." Where you live there is a demand for "farmer's markets," A HUGE DEMAND. I know, I travel north regularly for gigs and to visit my brother at school. In THAT PARTICULAR market, there is a huge demand for farmer's markets and so they continue to spring up. Not only that, but they compete with one another. It is all about freshness, selection, "organicness" etc... Those vendors are competing for 100% market share. Every person selling stuff goes there WANTING to sell 100% of what they brought. And if they do and there is still demand, you can bet that the next time they will bring more product. Not only that, if there is another vendor selling the same thing, and one outcompetes the other, the one that competed best could, conceivably put the other out of business (if there was some reason that the firsts product was exceeedingly better than the second's)

It is the same for your Prius. That car was not made because Ford (it's Ford isn't it?) had some burning desire to save the world. No, that car was ONLY put into development because there is a market. And that market just happens to be, for a large part, in the pacific northwest, from SF to the border with Canada. Hmmm, interesting that that is also the biggest market for farmer's markets, hemp clothing, intentional communities, Phish concerts, and more hippie-esque sorts of things. You are a demographic, a number to the industry. That's it. The market has just as much a hold of you as it has of anyone. It is just fortunate that your demographic does much less damage to the environment.

Ameno #15022
Los Angeles, CA USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 16:13:49 CST (GMT -6:00)


This board was better before I arrived? Better how? Is it that you DON'T want discussion? Isn't that what this board is about

As for this quote: "Oh, and personally, I don’t care who has what piece of paper or title, or if they have been studying for 8000 years, if you can’t back up your arguments with facts or at least reference some resources, don’t expect me to blindly agree with you."

That is the exact reason that I have been upset with people. I think I have given facts, history, analogies, etc. to back up all of my points. Have you?

julie #15021
, -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 15:55:46 CST (GMT -6:00)

one more thing..

i was just rereading resent posts and i think that the word "uninteresting" sorta fits in as to why the words of some people have not been evoked by what is going on here. especially for newcomers.... i read manytimes from all sorts of people: "hi, i'm new here. i don't really konw what to say because i've just joined in, but i read daniel quinn's ishmael and my whole world has been mysteriously changed. mr. quinn is an expert for seeing things for me!" and that's the last i read from them.

i guess this doesn't really explain much, but when you're new in an environment that's under heavy duty observations and reportings and discussions and arguments it's hard to adjust. it's hard to want to adjust. and those who read 50 year long entries about everything everyone's heard about for 50 years can't stand the mere thought of horny repitition - where it's like a broken record. some can i guess. but for the others, it's like having a fly stuck in your head, buzzing around and bumping into your brain and stuff. and you can't get it out because the whole in your ear is too small and you can't really stick your hand in it, and you can't roll your eyes around to see inside, so we just choose to ignore it, and eventually the fly is forgotten. it dies. goodnight.

julie #15020
, USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 15:47:32 CST (GMT -6:00)

WOW. SOME PEOPLE (who have at once reprimanded me about this) finally agree with my former thoughts about this guestbook and what is being typed in it. i am referring to mike and john (if you didn't "reprimand" me per se, don't respond saying so), and they have put their resent thoughts about this in much better words than i have (which causes for reprimandation). but anyway (and i do not mean to imply that i'm any sort of ringleader or something), i'm glad someone finally caught on.

or maybe i should say some people.

or maybe i could say fellow people share the same "drift", and hard feelings from hard words can be avoided.


lemmingdrops.b0x.com">robert e g black #15019
pasadena, ca USA -
Sunday, December 9, 2001 at 13:46:35 CST (GMT -6:00)

just wanted to share this column i wrote recently for my rodent bits message board:

"duckspeak patriotism" by robert e g black

United we stand.

God Bless America.


This is, allegedly, a place where we have free speech. But, God forbid we waste any breath on unpopular speech. God forbid we not pretend like being attacked suddenly makes our 285,437,071 citizens all brothers and sisters. We're NOT all the same. We're not united behind the "war on terror." Some of us even think--don't be too shocked--that terrorism will never end as long as humanity continues on its current path. And, no, I don't mean that we'll all discover God and all live in some blissful "world tomorrow" paradise.

Truthfully, I don't think we have much chance of fixing the path. Our cultural evolution has come to a stand still. And, our various subcultures have no choice but to war against one another.

It's 1984, people.

Big Brother IS watching. He watches through traffic cameras on stoplights. He watches through nosy neighbors and camcorders. He watches through "live team coverage," an omnipresent media. And, he offers us a celebrity pool of gods to worship. He offers us dreams of getting rich hand in hand with the knowledge that most of us will be lucky to get by, and we should thank god and country (not in that order, of course) for that luck.

The giant nation states have yet to clarify their borders, but it's clear what one of them is. America. The United States. Its citizens too ignorant to notice or care that the continents of America involve more than just our specific nation, more than just our ideals. This land is NOT our land. We stole it from people who understood that we don't own this land. And, we aren't this land. We aren't even one people. And yet, we are part of one nation state, one empire. And, whether or not our empire was attacked first (which is arguable), we are the aggressors here. We are the aggressors, and we have the United Nations begging to join us.

It's sad in a way.

United we stand.

God bless America.

"Newspeak, indeed, differed from almost all other languages in that its vocabulary grew smaller instead of larger every year. Each reduction was a gain, since the smaller the area of choice, the smaller the temptation to take thought. Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centers at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak word duckspeak, meaning 'to quack like a duck.'"

United we stand..

God bless America.

Consider this. Consider Saudis having a military base in California, or New York, or Pennsylvania, or Oklahoma, or wherever you live. Ridiculous, right? What possible reason could they have to build a military base here?

Now consider this: the United States has a built in military presence in more than one hundred countries, outright bases in many of those. And the media reports that one of the great evil one, Osama bin Laden's reasons for acting against us is that we have violated the holy land by having our troops based on Saudi soil.

The media reports this, sure. But, there's always a tone to it like it's the ravings of a madman saying we violated anything. We're America, for God's sake. How can our presence anywhere be a bad thing? We are the ends all be all of history. It all was leading to this: America. All history was just a prelude to us, billions of lives driven by the, until recent centuries, unnamed American Dream.

We are the height of arrogance. Hell, we're so arrogant that we believe our arrogance to be a virtue. And, we have business being anywhere we want to be, trying to make everyone live like we want them to live. We actually think a worldwide America is a good idea.

Nevermind the increasing trade off of freedom for security.

Nevermind the exponentially increasing population.

Nevermind the rise of poverty and crime.

United we stand.

God bless America.

America is Mother Culture's favorite child, not her firstborn, not the cherished runt of the litter, just some middle child a little too bright for his own good. They used to say "the sun never sets on the British Empire." That's still true in a way. The thing is, we're the Empire now. We didn't fight England for our independence. We didn't revolt. We didn't rebel. We staged a mighty coup. WE let them keep the name, but we took on the role of leading the Empire.

And the sun never sets on the American Empire. We've got troops all over the world. Our movies distributed everywhere. Our culture broadcast to anyone with a television set. And, we think we have every right to it.

United we stand.

God bless America.

And God bless the world for suffering us.

regb 10-27-1

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