Tricksters

LIFE

…………….AGRICULTURE

………………………………………..HERBIVORES

………………………………………..RAVEN AND COYOTE

………………………………………..BEASTS OF PREY

…………….CARNIVORES

DEATH

Editors note regarding the above: Levi-Strauss said that in Native Amercian mythology, coyotes and ravens show up to play tricks, and mediate the place between life and death. Duality. Contradictory personalities. Tricksters. Carion eaters.

91 Replies to “Tricksters”

  1. is that the levi-strauss who wrote a bunch of stuff on phenomenology, or the levi-strauss who invented denim pants?

  2. he was far better at sewing and tent manufacture than ecology studies. besides writing down the oral history of a native population does not equate to wisdom, or even wisdom transferred.

    next. (please take a number for faster service.)

  3. humans are therefore the same as coyotes and ravens. they eat carion on a regular basis. carion is dead meat from someone else’s kill, left to rot. frozen chicken patties from the meat section of the super are exactly the same. Duality: check. Contradictory personalities: check. Tricksters: check.

    so, humans can relate to coyotes and ravens. my father had a special place in his heart for these animals. he would always chase a coyote found while hunting to shoot it. (i don’t think he was ever successful, with either rifle or shotgun.) OTOH, he’d feed meat leftovers to ravens, usually early in the AM. he admired them. he was doing that just before he died. strange dude that way.

  4. wow, JHK had a double-bypass last week. i think they guarantee those for 10+ years, so he should be good for awhile. 90% blockage on one of his mains. so much for diet and exercise.

  5. I believe JHK worked as a waiter for a period of time in Saratoga Springs restaurants where he developed a taste for “fine food”. He has since changed his diet. He has talked about this on his podcasts and blog. Diet and exercise still rule – like it or not.

  6. GB, I know JHK liked butter. it tastes great. anything that tastes great is bad for your heart, as a rule. butter, bacon, lobster, oysters, crab, steaks => bypass city.

    he used to smoke, too. getting healthy late in life don’t reverse out all those layers of cholesterol and plack in your arteries, built up over decades like rust in an iron water pipe.

  7. “Getting healthy” as in better diet and moderate, especially aerobic exercise later in life is still the way to go, and I’m not sure that the body is not capable of reversing some atheroschlerosis. There are differences of opinion on that.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atherosclerosis

    Going tribal looks both fun and painful.

  8. Doom, sounds like your father paid attention to things. Couple years ago I was in my deer stand and watched a coyote through my scope, about 100 yrds out. He was snooping about, going back and forth, sniffing the ground. I put the cross hairs on him, but had already decided to not take a shot. Suddenly he lifts his head and looks right at me. Direct eye contact. One of those “go ahead make my day” looks. Then jumps behind a nearby tree. Didn’t see him again. He somehow exited via the blind spot.

    Speaking of coyotes, ravens and shamans, I was just now reading about Carlos Castenada, his death, and the subsequent vanishing of his band of followers. They probably all turned into crows!

    http://www.salon.com/2007/04/12/castaneda/

    Wow that “Going Tribal” guy is nuts. Hallucinogens, stick fights (with your nuts hanging out!), drinking blood, lip stretching. JFC!

  9. JHK sure has been under the knife a lot lately – i.e., neck, hip, and now heart. My experience with people who have had open heart surgery is they emerge from the ordeal kind of subdued and humbled. However he seems fiesty as ever, judging from his posts anyway.

  10. Mmmm. I could go for a bacon-wrapped lobster tail stuffed with crab and cooked in butter, served on a bed of fries. I’m not kidding.

  11. when he was a young man in the 1930s, my father spent a bit of time south of the border, in Juarez area. i know that’s where he first smoked pot, got tatooed on his arms, etc., although details are unknown, like peyote use, etc. i think he knew about native american customs from first-hand experience.

  12. “JHK sure has been under the knife a lot lately – i.e., neck, hip, and now heart.”

    the warranty’s probably past on that dude. it’s probably no one’s fault but his parents, for passing on bad genes. hard to tell how long one has, if parents and grandparents died young (as his probably did, at least both his parents did, per his LE book). a lot of people used to die young from lung-related illness, because the weather was poor, living conditions were spartan, bad habits like smoking were OK, and they had so few antibiotics available. up to about 1940, sulfa drugs used to be about all they had to combat infections, and they were not so effective.

  13. i played that GB bird song clip for the dog. made her ears stand straight up. then she got a confused look and headed for the computer. looked at the screen, shrugged and left.

  14. that deer seems a bit young to have been rumored it was going to withdraw US troops and end the military-industrial complex’s big spending party in SE Asia during his second term if reelected, as seemed certain. serves as a nice object lesson, however.

  15. i just love shit like this, really! [JOKE Warning]

    Woman Stops Grizzly Bear Attack With .25 Caliber Pistol

    This is a story of self-control and marksmanship with an itsy-bitsy shooter by a woman against a fierce predator. What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself?

    The Beretta Jetfire .25 caliber is the weapon of choice for this woman.

    In her own words: “My story.

    “While out hiking in Alberta Canada with my boyfriend, we were surprised by a huge grizzly bear charging at us from out of nowhere. She must have been protecting her cubs because she was extremely aggressive. If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire .25 caliber pistol with me, I would not be here today!

    “Just one shot to my boyfriend’s kneecap was all it took. The bear got him and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace.

    “It’s one of the best pistols in my collection.”

  16. George Mobus takes the long way around the block on human population reduction here: http://questioneverything.typepad.com/question_everything/2011/04/overpopulation-here-is-the-solution.html

    nice read if you have 30-40 minutes to spare. i’d call it candy-coated, 21st century eugenics meant to least painfully squeeze through the upcoming bottleneck with the Arians, err Sapiens popping out on the other side.

    cue “springtime fur Hitler”. besides, he forgot climate change NTE.

  17. i didn’t read the whole thing. but i got to some part where he seems concerned about preserving the genus homo, i.e., some spiecies similar to us. all i could think was something like, “well, that’s pretty stupid”. then i lost interest.

  18. so, i’ve come to conclusion that the buddists are right about at least one thing, life means suffering. iow, suffering is the default condition. what we witness in life is all living things trying their best to escape, minimize or mitigate their inherent and unavoidable suffering. of course, it, life, has no clue about how to go about doing this, so it just frantically wails away at whatever presents itself.

    whether they’re, the buddists, are right about the rest of their schitch, i’m not sure.

    http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/fourtruths.html

  19. Yes, it probably sucks to get eaten alive, but the bats are really the ones that eat the mosquitoes. I guess you have to take your place in the food chain.

  20. dave, you’re right about the buddhists and suffering in life. last night, i was suffering with indigestion from some local beef hamburgers the wife made. probably too much country dijon mustard and hot peppers. anywho, i got up at 3 am and took 3 maximum tums. my suffering leveled off enough to get some sleep after that. glad today is sunday.

    imagine life without antacid tablets. the horror.

  21. actually, the fate of mosquitos and most flying insects near coastal areas and large lakes is death by starvation or drowning. something like 90% of them are blown out to sea off islands. thanks to the winds, or everywhere would be like midwestern canada on a calm spring day.

  22. “To love is to suffer.
    To avoid suffering, one must not love.
    But then one suffers from not loving.
    Therefore, to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer, to suffer is to suffer.
    To be happy is to love.
    To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy.
    Therefore, to be unhappy one must love,
    or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness…”

    – Love and Death

  23. pour moi, the take home point about george mobus is one can be articulate and a good writer and still lack wisdom or intelligence, if the latter term is narrowly defined as possessing wise or sapient behavior. i have moron respect for JR, who writes next to nothing these days.

    ironic that the subject matter was sapience. george would not get the red pill.

  24. to really hate something, and do something about it, that’s living without suffering. of course, after awhile you’d have to find something else to hate. i guess.

  25. Dave don’t know about the hate part but i think you are on the right track about suffering as being a key ingredient of life. Life is suffering and dealing with it. All the strategies (e.g. religion, wealth, drugs and alcohol, etc) or avoiding this fact fail. In some cases the experience and acceptance of suffering can build knowledge and strength. Although there is no preparation for some forms or depths of suffering. The horror. Thats also a fact of life. Resistence is futile.

  26. yeah, i think that, for a time anyway, on an individual basis, some strong feeling or obsession, like hate, maybe love, can mask or overwhelm the suffering. other than that, it’s all suffering all the time. most people accept this as normal, which of course it is.

  27. I don’t know. Wouldn’t be a bad idea, maybe. Possible destinations: Battenkill river, Adirondack pond or lake, or someplace else?

  28. does the tree bark in the Adirondack mountains taste especially good? is that why the indians used to eat it? just curious.

    i assume if i can get some excuse to be on the east coast, i can tag along. i have previous experience trout fishing in america.

  29. good grief dave, you started that “life is suffering” meme over on america2.0 and now they won’t stop talking about it. thanks.

    on america2.0, i asked richard duncan a question about the connection between peak oil and grid collapse. all i got so far is richard saying it was real easy to answer that question and he would get back to it, but he has not yet gotten around to actually answering it. so, questions for him and a few, like one or two answers to others, have gotten lost in the posting noise, meanwhile. geez.

  30. “good grief dave, you started that “life is suffering” meme over on america2.0 and now they won’t stop talking about it. thanks.”

    Thats funny.

  31. Trout season! Thank god! I”ll miss opening day but should get out by end of week. Good luck gents.

  32. so far on America2.0, we have had attempts at 3 guest interviews:

    Guy McPherson: superb job at fielding all questions asked. great interview.

    John Michael Greer: declined to be interviewed, citing igorance of subject matter*.

    Richard C. Duncan: a spotty mess so far, citing “computer problems”.

    * a wise move on his part, as we would have eaten the blowhard for lunch.

  33. I plan to deny everything, and go about my business, gathering acorns and grubs. If I never have to get on another airplane that will be good enough, for me.

  34. The big rock has been moved. The cave tomb is empty. He has risen. He walks amongst us. No I’m not talking about JR.

  35. actually i think that tolstoy was closer to the truth when he said that life was a “stupid joke”. but they take their doom seriously for there. so it’s tough to take the conversation in that direction.

  36. tolstoy also divided humanity into four categories, that i think are pretty good:

    1. the hoard of dummies who don’t get that the joke’s on them. iow, most people.

    2. epicureans, those understand the joke but try to get as much out of life, and the dummies, as they can.

    3. the strong and the brave commit suicide as soon as they realize that they’re the butt of a cruel joke.

    4. the weak are incapable of suicide. they cling to life until the bitter end.

    in tolstoy’s parlance, i consider myself to be a weak epicurean.

  37. unlike the budda, tolstoy offered no formula for ending suffering, and remaining alive; a more realistic outlook.

  38. here’s one i learned from dale carnegie a few decades ago: “act enthusiastic and you’ll feel enthusiastic”. it’s stupid, but it really works. you can also flatter someone, and make it very obvious that you’re flattering them, and it still works. therefore, our lives must be a joke. tolstoy was a smart guy.

  39. “to really hate something, and do something about it, that’s living without suffering. of course, after awhile you’d have to find something else to hate. i guess.”

    worked for Hitler’s third reich for awhile. i guess it helped Stalin for awhile, also.

    i wonder what they did with Hitler’s skull after Stalin died? must still be in the Kremlin, somewhere.

  40. “I wonder what they did with Hitler’s skull after Stalin died?”

    They emptied the ash tray of course.

  41. There’s different kinds of suffering. Some suffering is beneficial, instructive or necessary to a larger purpose…like the suffering of a long distance runner. Also, there are the occasional, brief moments of clarity that make suffering bearable.

  42. yeah, humans are fucked up critters. the lines between agony and ecstasy can be very blurry. i think.

  43. Roach, yes, we know the ferry story well in Hawaii.

    As long as their are interisland airlines, no interisland ferries will make it out here.

  44. JR, that Predator drone doesn’t look very friendly. If you’re a WWIII fan, this must be a great day and age. Lots of tough talk everywhere, swords rattling all over. Last of the big time FF wars.

    I guess if Hillary doesn’t run in 2016, they’ll trot out John Kerry again, assuming there’s an election in 2016.

  45. dad’s either short or standing in a hole. back when i wuz about 15, there wuz a girl about 14 who wanted to do something similar. she was taller than me, also. fortunately, my parents saw the trap i wuz heading toward and helped me avoid it. thanks mom and dad.

  46. on the first dave post: her life will be very short. she may already be dead.

    on the second: see, proof that those north korean nuclear and rocket scientists have a great sense of humor. kidding around all de time, heh heh.

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