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A little less than a happy high
Pointy Stick People Ascendant
Inspired by some recent posts by d2leddy, and likely to ruffle some feathers. Please forgive me for sharing this without an ear to the internal censors. I'm happy to talk about anything here with open mind. And with that...

I had a friend who attended White-Light University for a program of studies that afforded him certain unique opportunities. One of these was a class that was an exploration of proto-European Goddess-oriented cultures facilitated by Starhawk. The premise was that such cultures would have been matriarchal, consensual, agriculturally-oriented, and likely would have eschewed the use of phallic weaponry.1

In an effort to demonstrate how such a society would function, Starhawk created a role-play exercise where the majority of the class would represent such a tribe of proto-Europeans, and three would be selected to represent the "chiefs" or "generals" of a tribe of the Evil Sky God Worshipers who had swept out of the East2 and had come to take their stuff. 3 The intent was to show how a consensual tribal structure could successfully thwart the plans of a marauding band of men wielding pointy sticks. Since my friend was one of the only men in the class, he had the dubious honor of heading up the Pointy Stick People. Both groups met in secret to discuss their plans.

The FrisbeeTM People decided that they would hold a great feast in honor of the Pointy Stick People, inviting their chiefs to a parlay in which they would discuss the PSP leaving them in peace. This was largely a ruse, however, as the real intent was to feed the PSP poison during the feast so as to reach a irrevocable solution to their problem with the interlopers.

The chiefs of the Pointy Stick People received the invitation to the feast and decided that given the initial, not-so-friendly encounters with the bizarre weaponry of the FP, they would be cautious. Instead of having the whole tribe join in the revelry, representatives would go to feast with the FP and a warband would stand in readiness. Should a signal not be received within a certain timeframe, the warband would sweep into the village, kill all who resisted, and take their stuff.4 As a show of good faith, two of the chieftains went with the delegation.

The results were predictable enough. The delegation was poisoned and so no signal was sent. The PSP warband swept into the village, found their kinsmen murdered and went on a rampage of killing and destruction. Starhawk was not pleased. Apparently, in every previous permutation of the exercise, the chieftains of the PSP were largely complacent and (in my opinion) failed to look after the best interests of their own community. The warband contingency plan had not previously been suggested.

The poisoning scenario was fairly common, though.

1Given that pokey things which afford a certain amount of reach tend to be the most efficient tools for hunting and warfare, this is unlikely. Still, in an effort to overcome this logical stumbling block, he suggested that such cultures must have used sharpened stone FrisbeesTM for hunting and defense. This theory was not received well by the class or the instructor.
2Ok, pet peeve here... why is it that many pagan pseudo-histories take pains to discuss the demise of a European Goddess culture at the hands of the Evil Sky God Worshipers from the East and then go on to idolize the Celts? The Celts WERE Evil Sky God Worshipers from the East. Sure, they distinguished themselves by fighting the Romans, but so did most of the other tribes of Europe at one point or another. Is this just part of the whole, "If it’s Irish, it must be cool" movement?
3Because after all, what else would they do?
4They figured it best to stay in character.
14 comments or Leave a comment
clayrobeson From: clayrobeson Date: June 18th, 2004 11:58 am (UTC) (Link)
That's just awesome.

I really can't say anything else.

Your writeup is brilliant.
komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 04:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thank you, sir. It's one of my favorite stories.
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komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you can believe it, this pre-dates the Xena phenomenon.
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komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I laughed out loud when I read this.
c_m_i From: c_m_i Date: June 18th, 2004 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I was one of the Fuckers From The Hills (as opposed to a Pansy From The Valley - all of history is a tale of the Fuckers wanting the Pansies' stuff, taking it, and becoming Pansies themselves), I would have raided first thing.

The signal is a good idea. But what kind of general doesn't have a food taster? These guys were killing rivals off before they even started raiding. A poisoned food taster could have been dealt with in a "Ha-ha! We are more alike that it seems. Now you must give me one of your children to be my new food taster. I'll take the hottie over there."

And what would killing three generals get? There's always another Fucker waiting to take their place. At best they delay an attack for awhile. At worse, they have martyrs.

A consensual structure dies because of "All of us are dumber than one of us." Good thing the PSPs had some decent leaders.
komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was my first instinct as well, but when Corby told us the other chieftains had volunteered to be part of the delegation, I asked him why he didn't just let his rivals go into the village and then sack it and conveniently do away with the other chieftains and the awkward tripartite governance.

Incidentally, I think the plan was to poison the entire tribe en mass. Apparently, while defending yourself with pointy sticks is somehow abhorrent, genocide is perfectly acceptable.
From: ex_sjc Date: June 18th, 2004 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm going to take this more seriously than I probably should. AND DIVE IN!!!

At one point, the necessity of the PSP killing the FP was...well, that's where we were at as a species. It's only now, with a civilization that is highly advanced (comparatively) and with our own development along with that that we can contemplate a better type of society and civilization to have that doesn't involve slaughtering lots of people.

I do like, though, how the matriarchial, nurturing society had no problem poisoning their enemies. I suppose as long as it's not stabby, it's Okay.

And obviously Sky Gods will win. They can see farther off! DOY.
komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
From what Starhawk described, the FP were the bonobo chimps of pre-historical Europe... survival seemed to be based largely on isolation. ('Course, jenareal might correct me here, which is cool.)

What I thought was interesting was that Starhawk had no problem with treachery on the side of the FP, but in an instance when the PSP didn't cooperate with the desired outcome, she was rather displeased at their turn. It just looked like good leadership to me, but it rather discounted the theory that there was a possibility to save the FP without coming to blows.
From: skygoodwill Date: June 18th, 2004 01:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
eye_abstain's comment inspired me to comment.

'Goddess-oriented' cultures or so-called survived and were usually smaller in size depending on the terrain they lived on. They survived the warmonger through stealth, camouflage, and intelligence/foresight. Also by creating wonderment with the creative appearance of control of natural forces, ie. fire, smoke, lightening, etc... To think these cultures eshewed 'phallic' use of weaponry is ridiculous. Would they cut down trees too, for the sole purpose that they are phallic?

Its disturbing the notion that the feminine is all passive and peaceful and does nothing but knit. (oops pointy things apparent). In fact, it is the hidden feminine in men that drives men to action. What kind of action is determined by the spirit/quality of that feminine.

Creating strife, death, theivery, annihilation, despair, confusion, doubt, pain, suffering etc... all indications of a poisoned well. The inner waters.

The masculine drive is have things function. And this is the hidden impulse in women. This is the premise that women are better equipped in creating a society, for they are instinctually driven and aware of what functions and what does not and will continue unbidden to make it work to their liking until forced to stop. And since they lack, in general, outer strength, they band together to reach their goals of a functioning society.

A society dominated by women is very much at risk... for it takes only a few drops of the dark spirit of a few members to begin the domino effect. Men have witnessed this in their own families and in their communities over and over again. It begins with perfectly happy healthy female members having unexplained anxieties that quietly remain unvoiced and then over time are constant Chicken Littles running around with their heads cut off. The ones resisting, are in constant spinning thought attempting to solve the riddle getting no where until they finally are completely without life force. There is no one to left to care for the society as they are all paralysed in fear. It is then that men are recruited to begin the dark bidding of the dark ones.

Puppetted from behind, as the dark feminine force takes them over, the others begin to wake up, freed from the bonds, but then see men in control. In their lack of wisdom, and drive to see things function, they judge the actions of the men as being BECAUSE THEY ARE MEN, and believe the solution is to destroy their authority. The result? Societies dominated by men, puppeted by the dark feminine, with the positive feminine resisting, degredation, and very very slow change and evolvement; with some massive disasters/wars/famines/population wipe-outs along the way.

A healthy balance is always required.

That said in the experimental scenario, if the numbers were the same, the 'Frisbee' tribe would succeed by stealth, use of fire and full cohesive defense, if forced to. Prior to that, there would be the foresight to send emissaries to examine the needs of the 'Pointy Stick People', invent or find a common enemy and work together to provide safety to the land. Commerce would be set up, and outer trading of goods with other communities. 'Frisbee' people would hide their production, only showing half the sustainable goods for their community. The 'Pointy Stick People' would look elsewhere as it would not be viable to raid. Nor would they reason how they could sustain themselves with so little, for they too sustain themselves on so little.
komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 04:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's the trouble with exercises that begin from a flawed premise... they end up not really being reflective of reality. Starhawk's sanctification of her feminist political agenda has always struck me as about as appealing as the Roman Catholic notion of women as the weaker sex.

Incidentally, the response you've suggested from the villagers reminds me a lot of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai.
riverbank From: riverbank Date: June 18th, 2004 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
poisoning is too obvious. take them for your lovers, use your cunning to ruin thier power from the inside. or if all else fails kill them in thier sleep. eheh
komos From: komos Date: June 18th, 2004 04:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure that this group was particularly... agressive in their thinking. The mass genocide idea does seem to come quite naturally, though.

macthud From: macthud Date: June 20th, 2004 09:57 pm (UTC) (Link)

thank you for sharing...

I read this late last night, while wrestling with recalcitrant computers, and between bursts of laughter, I relayed the story to Sue, who knows both Corby and your troublesome liquor consumer.

It was quite appreciated at the end of a day of much work.
komos From: komos Date: June 21st, 2004 06:00 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: thank you for sharing...

We do what we can. It's actually one of my favorite stories in the retelling.
14 comments or Leave a comment