Re: Sticky Memes

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Wed 25 Jan 2006 - 03:14:33 GMT

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    >From: John Wilkins <>
    >Subject: Re: Sticky Memes
    >Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 11:32:16 +1000
    >On 25/01/2006, at 11:19 AM, Scott Chase wrote:
    >>>From: "Price, Ilfryn" <>
    >>>To: <>
    >>>Subject: Sticky Memes
    >>>Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 14:47:02 -0000
    >>> > Also let's not forget the fact that a significant minority *do* learn
    >>> > another language, convert to another religious viewpoint, discard
    >>> > attitudes or bizarre Santa-related practices (she's off again).
    >>>Can you really discard 'Rudolf the red nosed reindeer' or 'Santa' (as
    >>>opposed to certain 'Santa-related practices' out of your
    >>>head. I would call them highly sticky and relatively trivial (logical
    >>>dangers of manipulation and association with over
    >>>consumption excluded)
    >>I still remember Rudolf and Santa and the elves as they were a part of my
    >>childhood, especially given the heavy consumption of holiday television
    >>programming with all that Christmas lore (let me give a shout out to
    >>"Frosty the Snowman" representing the crystalline water anthropomorphs).
    >>At some point kids probably think "Mickey Mouse" and "Bugs Bunny" are
    >>real too, but eventually they realize otherwise.
    >>Can we discard colored eggs and chocolate bunny rabbits, neither having
    >>anything to do with Christian mythology, from the symbology of Easter?
    >>The Christians co-opted these pagan fertility symbols, so apprently they
    >>have some staying power. But what's really wrong with coloring eggs and
    >>hiding them on an annual basis, beyond the foul odor experienced due to
    >>forgetting one behind the couch for a couple months? One could do that
    >>and eschew the whole Christian aspect of Easter. Heck it's really about
    >>some long forgotten fertility goddess ain't it?
    >That's what was reported in some medieval chronicler, but in fact it
    >appears not to be. There were fertility rituals at about that time of
    >year, for sure, but that's because the northern spring began about then
    >and most agricultural societies were very aware of this. But the
    >calculation of Easter relies upon the Jewish calendar, and it is solely
    >based on that.
    >Arguably there are the "god-resurrected" myths that Fraser reports but
    >AFAIK this has tended to evaporate on hard inspection.
    Hmmm... What about what is said in my quote below:

    (From _Myths of the Norsemen From the Eddas and Sagas_ by HA Guerber, 1992 orig 1929, Dover Publications, Inc, New York p 55-6)

    [bq]"The Saxon goddess Eastre, or Ostara, goddess of spring, whose name has survived in the English word Easter, is also identical with Frigga, for she too is considered goddess of the earth, or rather of Nature's resurrection after the long death of winter. This gracious goddess was so dearly loved by the old Teutons, that even after Christianity had been introduced they retained so pleasant a recollection of her, that they refused to have her degraded to the rank of a demon, like many of their other divinities, and transferred her name to their great Christian feast. It had long been customary to celebrate this day by the exchange of presents of coloured
    (sic) eggs, for the egg is the type of the beginning of life; so the early Christians continued to observe this rule, declaring, however, that the egg is also symbolical of the Resurrection. In various parts of Germany, stone altars can still be seen, which are known as Easterstones, because they were dedicated to the fair goddess Ostara. They were crowned with flowers by the young people, who danced gaily around them by the light of great bonfires, - a species of popular games practised (sic) until the middle of the present century, in spite of the priests' denunciations and of repeatedly published edicts against them." [eq]

    So is any of the above true? I thought it was a matter of the evil violent Christians imposing their memeset upon the peace loving folk of Northern Europe.

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