Mudcat Café message #3186601 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138735   Message #3186601
Posted By: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
13-Jul-11 - 07:49 AM
Thread Name: Do purists really exist?
Subject: RE: Do purists really exist?
My principle of being is that for every person who says something, there'll be another saying the opposite; they can't both be right, but they can both be wrong. Opinions are all very well, but seeking for the provenance of those opinions is even better. That said, for every kid who goes to drifts into innocent slumber on Xmas Eve with comforting thoughts of Jovial Santa Clause leaving gifts of Subbuteo and Action Man beneath the Xmas Tree, there'll be a Folklorist feverishly tossing in his wanking pit about bloodsoaked Siberian Shamans and how Xmas Tree tinsel, baubels &c. are the vestiges of the still warm viscera of sacrificial reindeer (hence the old song Run, Run, Rudolph presumably). I live in avoidance of overly Prescriptive Pagans eager to tell me what things Really Mean, from the Phallic Maypole to the Green Man to Hares to Blacked-Up prattish Morris Dancers.

However - when after many years of genuine blissful Ignorance I discover the real reason that Peter Alolph called his innovative table-top football game Subbuteo (probably on QI) I rejoice at the pure genius of it. But that is different. Unlike Folklore, that is both real and relevant, to my culture, my life, and my times; my community, my folklore, my past and in many ways my future too; it stands as Very Essential Ethnography.


The Folk Process is the water that makes my Indian coffee grounds drinkable; it is the rain on my window; it is the stinking stagnant water in my washing up bowl; it is The Tees (the chilly slow brown Tees); it is the Tyne; it is The Wyre; it is The Thames; it is the ice in my whisky; the water on my knee; it is both the clouds and the face of Harpo Marx I once saw therein as a child; it is the bottles of Sparkling Spring Water we buy from Aldi; it is the surging floods now so typical of a British Summer; it is the melt water of the Polar Icecaps that will dilute the Gulf Stream; it is the blizzards of another ice-age; it is the erstwhile permafrost of a million mammoth graves; it is the Holy Water from Lourdes in a plastic bottle shaped like the BVM; it is the leavings in the Baptismal Font; it is the noctural dripping of a distant tap; it is the water off a duck's back...