Maynard James Keenan: Events and Rituals
If we're at all realistic about the nature of inevitable change and the impersonal universe in which we live, we have to admit that someday we may be without the Internet. (Hello , Sandy. We didn't really NEED pieces of Massachusetts in Michigan, but thank you I guess?) If we keep going down the path we're on with regards to digital vs. analog, there may not be as many physical personal diaries left to discover in a post-apocalyptic world. I think on some level we get this. And historically speaking, we have understood the power of oral tradition.
To accurately pass on the details of life saving/threatening events and rituals over generations in the form of rhythm and verse is no easy task. Especially if some of those details include obvious references to the "other side of the story" - the side opposite the status quo. But that side of oral tradition has more to do with secret society stuff. Yawn.
I'm speaking more about the inclusion of important historical details and Life 101 classes. I'm touching on the simple yet critical tasks, such as water purification processes in the form of tea ceremony (boiling water) or fermentation (wine-making), sewn into our daily routines and rituals because of our local lore and tale. Quite often you'll find some of these basic equations in the rhymes we teach our children, especially if the rhymes are as old as the hills. For those stories to accurately span multiple generations, the architect of the verse must have a firm grasp on the important details and be able to wrap them around archetypal frameworks that speak to our daily lives. And then the architect must also understand the importance of a compelling delivery. A skillful storyteller must be employed to pass down the story. And they in turn must be able not only to pass on the story, but also to pass on the skills necessary to effectively deliver the story.
I realize this may not appear to have anything to do with Mr. Coates staring longingly at Mr. Goggins as a tranny, but I assure you it sort of does. If what I'm suggesting is true - and I realize that's a big if - and oral tradition contains bits of pragmatic or utilitarian information which is meant to survive being passed down over generations, then it will take a skillful, imaginative, and expressive artist and performer to carry out this task.
If ever there were ever an argument to keep the visual and performing arts programs in our public education system healthy and well funded, it would be this. Developing and then flexing our imaginative, creative, and expressive muscle is what eventually led us to flying to and walking on the moon. It will also assist us in escaping those sticky situations that tend to pop up during the Zombie Apocalypse, many of which I'm about to watch on this week's episode of Walking Dead.
Chicken Little out.
Follow Maynard James Keenan on Twitter: @caduceuscellars, @mjkeenan, @puscifer. Read more of Maynard James Keenan's columns at Up on the Sun.