“Every language in the world - from English to Mandarin - evolved from a prehistoric ‘mother tongue’ first spoken in Africa tens of thousands of years ago, a new study reveals. After analysing more than 500 languages, Dr Quentin Atkinson found compelling evidence that they can be traced back to a long-forgotten dialect spoken by our Stone Age ancestors.”
“The visiting sea captain may pay handsomely for a Kula necklace, but because the sale removes it from the circle, it wastes it, no matter the price. Gifts that remain gifts can support an affluence of satisfaction, even without numerical abundance. The mythology of the rich in the overproducing nations that the poor are in on some secret about satisfaction—black ‘soul,’ gypsy duende, the noble savage, the simple farmer, the virile game keeper—obscures the harshness of modern capitalist poverty, but it does have a basis, for people who live in voluntary poverty or who are not capital-intensive do have more ready access to erotic forms of exchange that are neither exhausting nor exhaustible and whose use assures their plenty.”
—Hyde, “The Gift”
Norway’s Sami singer supreme Mari Boine and her “Vuoi Vuoi Mu.” The vastness of the north!
“When the gift is used, it is not used up. Quite the opposite, in fact: the gift that is not used will be lost, while the one that is passed along remains abundant. In the Scottish tale the girls who hoard their bread are fed only while they eat. The meal finishes in hunger though they took the larger piece. The girl who shares her bread is satisfied. What is given away feeds again and again, while what is kept feeds only once and leaves us hungry.”
—Hyde, “The Gift”
Trailer for “Lost Angels: Skid Row Is My Home.” LA is the homelessness capital of the US, with Skid Row alone containing some 10,000 individuals, most of whom are mentally ill, addicted to drugs, or both. I’ve lived in downtown LA twice, in the Old Bank District (6th and Main) and Little Tokyo. Both neighborhoods border Skid Row, all three couldn’t be more different. According to the documentary, many of Skid Row’s residents aren’t actually homeless; they live in the low-income housing that exists in the neighborhood. That is, until the tide of gentrification swallows Skid Row in its sweep towards Boyle Heights (the next next frontier). There are several problems with all of this, but the one that means the most to me is the city’s heavy-handed treatment of the actual Skid Row community that exists outdoors. The inalienable right to merely be a body in space, something humdrum physics grants us, is denied every time LAPD or the “purple shirts” shut down corner and stoop socializing. Gatherer/hunters everywhere should be insulted.
“There is no good reason to believe that humans evolved in hierarchical tribes between tens of thousands to two million years ago. To the contrary, there is a mountain of evidence showing that humans evolved in largely egalitarian bands that punished attempts of dominance with social sanctioning, banishment, and death (Boehm 1999). Yes, that’s basically saying that alpha males got offed by their social group — not exactly a benefit to reproduction.”
“When you see an old man sitting by himself over here in camp, do not disturb him, for if you do he will growl at you. Do not play near him, because he is sitting down by himself with his thoughts in order ‘to see.’ He is gathering those thoughts so that he can feel and hear. Perhaps he then lies down, getting into a special posture, so that he may ‘see’ when sleeping. He sees indistinct visions, and hears ‘persons’ talk in them. He gets up and looks for those he has ‘seen,’ but not seeing them, he lies down in the prescribed manner, so as to see what he had ‘seen’ before.”
—Elkin, “Aboriginal Men of High Degree”
“The Punch Line” by fellow San Pedrans (aka “Chawvevits” in Tongva) the Minutemen, one of the finest American bands, period. Cyclicity beats progress, myth beats history, aboriginality beats hubris—the punchline to modernity’s killing joke.