Cultural Blindness and Agricultural Practice

Culture is a powerful thing. Here is some earth, laid bare by a plow, in preparation for seeding in the spring. In the past, it has been used to grow tomatoes. This last year, it lay fallow, to recover.

In Canadian culture, this is an image of fruitfulness, taken at the most fruitful time of year. Enjoy it.

The only thing is, it’s not fruitful, it’s dead. Look at how this soil is nothing but congealed clay and sand. Living soil, that things grow in, is a complex environment of fungi, microbes, insects and dead and living plant material. This is just clay and sand.

And it started like this.

 

That’s how powerful culture is.

Suburban Body Painting

Every house is a representation of a human body…P1050219

… including social representations of that body …P1050220

… and its cognitive sense of itself, inviolate in otherwise empty and invisible space…

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So, of course, you’re going to want to decorate it with jewelry and bling…

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These rhinestones are called “gardens”. You buy them. You, understandably, root out any plant that chooses to grow there on its own. It is not a gesture. It is the erasure of a gesture. Gestures are about tidiness. And boundaries. What is over the boundary is empty space. It is invisible. It should stay that way. If it crosses the boundary to the human body, it starts making the jewelry look cheap, and what kind of investment is that?

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These jewels are very industrial (an old word for “creative”), that’s the thing, as you would expect from an industrial culture that invented artificial diamonds, so top marks for that. Just don’t let anything in through the skin. These jewels are also very ordered, as you would expect from a managerial culture.

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Beauty has nothing to do with it. Beauty is a transient gesture. You can find it in any old lavender plant, and then move on, sated.

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A glimpse will do you. The little gold choker around this body’s neck, for instance. Cute.

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The only thing is, humans are, well human, and their minds wander and before you know it, they have made other little bodies and they scatter them all over the place. Oh, those humans! They like languages in which every word is discrete.

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No connection between them except the gesture of setting them there. They clap their hands at this. “Beautiful!” they say.

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These big apes are in love with artifice.

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It’s reality they have troubles with.

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Shoo! That’s body jewelry you’re eating there! Shoo, boys, shoo!