Sunday, March 2, 2008

Is My--Or Anybody Else's--Metapantheon Cultural Poaching?

Look at my blog post about Metapantheon. My personal metapantheon includes Deities and figures from quite a few pantheons. Some represent disparate historical cultures, others literary sources or pop culture upwellings or occultural discoveries. It's a true post modern assemblage, not a legacy of continuous tradition passed on to me by my ancestors. I put it together. It speaks for me. And it's probably an assemblage unique to my practice and my world view. A work of
Neo-Pagan occultural art.

And it's crossed my mind more than once that this sort of assemblage relies on cultural poaching. It mashes up cultural elements, subsystems, and realms that probably would not happen within the domain of any particular historical culture. Or only in the course of culture contact and acculturation.

That's for the historical cultural sources. It's a little tougher for me to say that borrowing from literary sources or the heaps and harmonies and holocausts and and hordes of pop culture that englobe me across so many media and modalities is poaching much of anything. Yes, we have copyrights, trademarks, and intellectual properties by the digital millennium. But the fannish adaptation is to pay homage more than steal outright.

When I get down to it, that's how I see my personal metapantheon. It's a fannish homage to the multi-layered and inter-connected culture I live in and live through and live around. It's the sort of culture where everything makes sense and nothing makes sense and this current makes sense for a moment then that impulse makes sense for another moment and this impulse is skewed from that one only they converge without dissonance over here and everybody has to believe five impossible things just to get to work.

Fannish because I gotta have some enthusiasms to survive and prosper, express what inspires me and do my best to smother what alienates me. Fannish because the many ways things fall together or do not is often funny, occasionally ha-ha but more likely according to other dimensions of incongruity and contrast. Fannish because there's a continuing series of new events, issues, matters, interests, discoveries, knowledge, forms, formlessness, models, episodes, tales, lore, tunes, gossip, technologies, rules of thumb, identities, mysteries, versions, angles of view, summits, nadirs, discourses, panels, paginations, storyboards, scenes, styles, and who knows what more on the horizon or sinking beneath it.

Besides, so much of the sorts of things that make up my metapantheon were already within my own culture before I was born. I didn't have to mount much bigger an expedition than to get to school, the public library, turn on the TV or the radio, listen to a folksong or a concert, walk down the street, or talk with other people to learn about most of what's in my metapantheon.

Culture went global a long time ago. Culture got more global in my lifetime. If it's cultural poaching, we're all of us cultural poachers.

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