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decolonizing: some discussions, dialogues!

i think i’m going to post a number of dialogues i’ve had over the years here, at least once in awhile…Thanks to the THOUSANDS of you who read this blog regularly! Wow! Great to feel like i’m getting the word out!!

This from a website apparently no longer running: http://www.tribe.net

intro comments:

i was searching for some of my old art online, and searching tribe.net when i came upon some of these old threads! Neat-O! This one, where i’m challenging people to think through how the settler mentality over-arches settler thought, across the spectrum, here poetry.

(also mentioned were “new agers”, which i think when critiqued, needs to be thought through more carefully than many are thinking it through, so far; why? Because the political police are sure to exploit our different “camps” even when there is authenticity amongst them and try to paint them as negatively as possible so that we never are able to even organize our internal thinking (!) enough to organize outwardly (i.e. in defense of humanity in general).

excerpted dialogue:

Unsubcribed wrote:
Re: above post is meant to reply to…
Fri, October 26, 2007
informality and formality don’t equate with innocence and guile. – well, there’s nothing innocent about the informal discourse you’re using, or that anybody uses for that matter – it’s all culturally loaded. no talk exists in a cultural vacuum. even for children (who, by the way, tend to be a lot more concise than adults). the good thing about the stream of consciousness approach to writing or chatting is that it reveals the ideologies that drive you. that’s great for self-reflection, to read back over that stuff. that’s a good starting-point for people considering decolonizing.

i’ve found the most startling things reading such texts – one is that new-ageism seems to be grounded in exactly the same colonial discourses as the mainstream culture it claims to oppose.

both forage in the indigenous world for validation and new ideas. and both excuse it by dredging up and reframing indigenous practices as negative or “dark”. a whale hunt, a driving of a herd over a cliff, a twelve-year-old bride, etc etc etc.

wow! maybe it’s true! maybe all people really are the same!

Sun, November 11, 2007
My reply to: Unsubscribed…um,
while i agree that “poetry” generally is yet another vehicle for the status quo, and that its mechanics *also* reflects that value system and its assumptions, i disagree that those who utilize the craft are *always* tooled; as if they *can never* wake up to the realities of this corrall and learn to exit it, and even tool it in thoughtful ways –well, that is something curious to me.

Perhaps there’s something i’m missing, but if someone who “writes poetry” wakes up to the colonization game that plays most “poets” and how the “market” (or whatever other reductionist name and value-loaded “rules”) tools them, i say that has crucial significance, and cannot be reduced into simplisitc ideological confines.

Significant also is the fact that colonized people take on frames of reference like “poetry” and its identity, because such is the only *category* they know of. If they want to write creatively, they “naturally” take up that reference. Most never question it as a form, and subordinate to its rules, and don’t see the politics/polytricks of warfare just under the surface, at least until they’ve been “poets” for a lengthy time, and intuitively begin to question and rebel; “luckily” for colonizers (and others who unquestioningly implement its confines), even the drunken “poets” and others intuitively questioning, don’t usually validate their intuitions and experiences, simply, i think, because they don’t want to lose even the small sense of “community” that they’ve found. So they learn to “shut their mouths” and go along with the program.

And of course, they won’t take up pre-colonized and decolonizing ways of seeing, because they’ve been so well programmed to not validate this other realm of truth/alternate paradigm as well!

(Hey, anyone feel free to post this portion of our discussion on poetry lists/tribes!)

The link this is originally from:
“Arrogant europeon assumptions? Or?” (scroll down a ways to this particular post in the thread)


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