Posts Tagged 'culture'

Music Monday: December roundup

Extra-Christmasy edition!

1. Trans-Siberian Orchestra (402)
2. Anonymous 4 (313)
3. Mediaeval Baebes (120)


Wordless Wednesday: The Tor in Winter

Storytime: The Troublesome Tooth Fairy

Year: 2000
Author: Sandi Toksvig
Illustrator: Georgien Overwater

Jessica’s granny wasn’t like other grannies. She never wore a shawl or a flowery dress or sensible shoes to help bad feet. In fact, the day Jessica went to see Granny about her tooth, Granny was wearing a cowboy outfit. Granny was in her kitchen but she wasn’t doing granny things like knitting or cooking. She was dancing. It was a Tuesday and Granny went line dancing on Tuesdays.

‘Granny,’ said Jessica, a bit excited, ‘it’s happened!’

‘That’s wonderful,’ exclaimed Granny. Then she leant forward and whispered, ‘What has?’

Jessica smiled at her. Right in the middle of her mouth was a large gap.

‘My tooth has come out!’

Jessica felt in her pocket and pulled out a small piece of tissue paper. Inside was a small but perfect white tooth, which, that morning, had been helping Jessica to eat an apple.

‘That’s marvellous,’ declared Granny, doing a short tap dance in her cowboy boots. ‘I think this calls for champagne, don’t you?’

Jessica nodded. She knew it wasn’t real champagne but they had the drink in champagne glasses anyway.

Continue reading ‘Storytime: The Troublesome Tooth Fairy’

Music Monday: Victorious

I discovered Victorious over last weekend through someone posting this particular song, and it’s already among my favourite things to watch (art school environment and catchy songs trump it being a kiddie sitcom).

‘Take A Hint’ is literally the Official Anthem of ‘No Means No’ (TM). Someone please explain to me how this gem has existed for five years without anyone dragging it out to play on a loop until the dudebros get it. Boosting the signal here!


We can learn much from the Native American tradition of the potlatch. It is a tradition that values generosity above all else, and a potlatch, which is a very grand ceremony, is an exercise in giving away material possessions, food, and money. It is not uncommon for the host of a potlatch to give away so much of his own resources to his guests that he ends up with nothing. However, he can regain his wealth by attending potlatches at which he is a guest. In this way, a potlatch validates generosity and encourages the flow of resources in a community, while at the same time continually reaffirming the importance of community ties.

When we are held in a web of trust and connection, we can give generously, knowing that when it is our turn we will be supported. In this way, our whole sense of ownership becomes less individualistic and more communal. Resources are in an acceptable state of flux, moving within the community through the vehicle of the potlatch, which serves the additional function of strengthening community ties. This seems clearly preferable to isolating ourselves from one another and hoarding our resources.

Perhaps we can find ways in our own lives to create a community in which a flow of resources happens in this way, in which we support one another to be generous. We might begin by celebrating our own type of potlatch, having a dinner party and giving each guest an object that is dear to us. Or we could give everyone a little bit of money in an envelope to spend on themselves just for fun. Someone might get inspired to throw their own potlatch, and before we know it we might have a tradition that supports and validates generosity even as it creates a safety net for leaner times. In the most profound sense, that is what a community, a tribe, and family do best.


Month at a Glance

March 2018
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