Method: A short socratic essay in four pretentious parts

Part I: Reconstruction

You are given a jukebox from 1952. You do not yet know if it is in working order, but chances are, it isn't. With that juke box, you are given some artwork featuring jukeboxes in the 1950's, as well as some songs and poetry about jukeboxes and that were played using jukeboxes. They are in no discernible order and may, or may not, be emended or feature transcription errors.

How do you go about restoring and using that jukebox? Do you stick to only the literature that arrived with the juke box? Do you look further afield? Do you limit yourself only to other juke box enthusiasts, or those academics that only focus on the jukebox as it was in 1952, and not those who study older versions and newer incarnations? Do you go and see how jukeboxes were used in Europe, North Africa, Asia, and across the world to compare against what little you've found to see what the similarities and differences are in the Jukebox world? Do you concentrate on cultural analogs, say other parts of the United States, or even Canada, and see if there are vestiges of jukebox culture? Or do you simply make it up, use the jukebox totemicly, and never go further than that?

Or do you instead seek out all you can about jukeboxes, from enthusiasts, to anthropologists, but further than that, do you study electrical engineering, cabinetry, metalworking, audio engineering, music, and poetry, all with the eye of reconstructing a jukebox culture that by necessity won't be the same as the 1950's, but still recognizable to someone who participated in that culture? Perhaps you don't play records by Al Martino or Louis Armstrong, but you still play records.

Part II: Personal Relationships with the Gods

Can the President of the United States have friends? Assuming he can, can he make new friends after becoming the President of the United States? Assuming he can, does he make friends with people who seek him out, or does he have different criteria for whom he decides to grant friendship? Assuming he manages to find someone, is that friendship the same as how we might view friendship as regular people today?

Why not?

Part III: The "Toxicity" of Online Heathenry

You are a gardner. you have built for yourself a beautiful garden. The act of gardening is something that resides at the core of your identity, and you seek out others who pursue gardening in order to discuss ideas. What you find is shocking. People are advocating putting gasoline into the plant food. Others are saying it doesn't matter if you let your soil get too acidic, or to basic, or if you use raw human excrement for fertilizer if you want to, its really about the experience of gardening that is the point.

Disgusted, you leave the greater gardening community and instead call yourself something else. Maybe a Horticulturist. Only a few years later, you notice that the gardeners are calling themselves horticulturists now too. So you are back having the same argument. Only this time, its your word. You've worked for it, you've suffered for it, it has meaning and value to you. So you wade back into the fever swamps, hoping this time it will be different.

Part IV, or Rather, III 2.0: It's never Geól because it's Eternal September

I have come to the conclusion that what Heathenry needs is more bingo cards. Or more kindergarten teachers. Watching public heathenry, even now at a step removed, is an exercise in watching Sisyphus, which is itself a Sisyphean task. Every few weeks, newcomers with more enthusiasm than sense seek to "revitalize" discussion by posing questions. Questions that are not only terribly unoriginal, but also to which it is rather simple to find, with only a few moment's effort, answers. Hell, even those unwilling to put some effort into research can, for the price of waiting 3 weeks, find the answers to their question when the next itinerant comes along.

Those of us who have been around — and I am by no means long in the tooth in this pursuit, especially when compared to others — have answered your question before. And we will probably be called to answer it again. And when our patience runs out, when the uninterrupted march of the selfishly ignorant become too hard for us to bear, we return to point 3.

Do not mistake a lull in a forum, particularly one populated by the grognards, as somehow evidence of its death. Quantity, in the pursuit of Theology , is inversely proportional to quality. One only has to visit the likes of Jön Upsal's Strange Fruit[1], who writes post after post after post after post rehashing the same 14 words on folkishness; or endure the constant retweets and reposts and shit posts of The Asatru Community[1:1] so that each individual post and share is drowned out until they become this horrific explosion of thought-vomit assaulting the senses not unlike Adam Savage's Duck Bomb[1:2].

  1. I'm sorry. You're Welcome. ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎

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