Dishing Out Babies

From: Hughes, John (NAT) (JohnP.Hughes@dva.gov.au)
Date: Wed 01 Mar 2000 - 00:34:28 EET


        Gedday folks

        INFANTICIDE: SOMETHING TO CHEW ON

        Gary Switzer:

>"Some of the more backward Orlanthi near Far Point were rumored
>to be exposing their unwanted female children in the old fashion
but
>our host, a tavernkeeper formerly from Sylila, ended that in the
following
>manner: Whenever word came to him that such a death had occured
>he would make it a point to prepare one of those puddings known far
>and wide as a "Drowned Baby" and, serving it forth on a large
platter
>decorated with the totems of the local clans, have his hired
Donandar
>songstress play such well-known songs as "Ernalda's Lament." Soon
>enough such foundlings were finding there way to his backdoor to be
>sent on safe to the Telo Nori, as is only proper."

        Loved it. Grounds the entire argument so nicely.

        In our debates we so often say, "the Orlanthi do this" because a
reference in this myth says that, in an encompassing way we wouldn't dream
of when discussing human cultures. "Americans rob their partner's valuables
to buy drugs, cause I saw it on NYP Blue". "Australians lives are filled
with serial arguments, misunderstandings and love affairs, as Neighbours so
clearly indicates". (too name just two of our more influential mythic
reference points). Gary's comment on infanticide grounds the current debate
by pointing out the range of human responses to what is a difficult decision
either way (if the debate was continuing, I'd be talking more about the
feelings and values of those involved), nicely pointing out the great axis
of heortling culture: tradition vs innovation, Umath's firstlaw vs "There is
always another way".

        Just two (minor) points. It's 'traditional', not 'backward' boyyo.
:) And in at least some of the upland FP clans, the only difference between
infanticide and giving children to Telo Nori (a particularly deceptive form
of Chaos), is that one is is a lot slower.

        I'm off! Neighbours is starting...

        John

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