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[Xmca-l] Re: Halloween, Yale and other complications

Carnival is also associated with Mardi Gras and that in turn with Dionysian (as opposed to Apollonian) festival - which is exuberant, cathartic, and random - could be Serendipitous or could be fatal. Weaving together the literature and culture with primary and secondary education is a discourse project which requires a framework.
Mobs riots swarms, Maharishi effect.
All these things cannot be plotted on a single line.
Dropping in with a comment on the fly,
Vandy Wilkinson

n 2015/11/12 4:42, Glassman, Michael wrote:
Hi Rod

I have been rethinking the idea of Carnival in the context of swarm intelligence and the types of turns it can take, like how celebrations after sports events can turn very dark very quickly.  It is interesting that carnival in the United States often has very dark connotations.  There was recently an exploration by American Horror Story into this dark side of carnival  Almost always it is portrayed in very dark color.  The carnival barker is not a very good character.  Clowns really are scary.  Has anybody explore the two sides of carnival?


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+mglassman=ehe.ohio-state.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Rod Parker-Rees
Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 2:33 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Halloween, Yale and other complications

I have just been reading a lovely book by Barbara Ehrenreich - 'Dancing in the streets: a history of collective joy' which deals with the familiar arguments about the role of carnival as an opportunity to play with the rules and constraints of everyday life - a culturally important function for playfulness.


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces+rod.parker-rees=plymouth.ac.uk@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+rod.parker-rees=plymouth.ac.uk@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of greg.a.thompson@gmail.com
Sent: 11 November 2015 18:43
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Halloween, Yale and other complications

Stanton wortham has done interesting work on role playing in the classroom and how the identities of the roles bleed into the identities of the role players.

Sent from my iPhone

On Nov 10, 2015, at 7:27 PM, Ben DeVane <ben.devane@gmail.com> wrote:


I have some awareness of the literature on play, and I have to object
to your characterization. I would invite correction, but most
contemporary literature on the anthropology or sociology does not view
play as a complete or even thorough "suspension of the rules regulating social life".
In fact, the rules of social life are often thoroughly embedded in
play, albeit altered in some way. Gary Alan Fine's work on live-action
role play does an excellent job of examining the layers of "nested
identities" that are made manifest in such play, and my colleague
Thomas Malaby explores the blurred lines between work and play in
contemporary games in depth (drawing on Ortner's work on Himalayan mountaineering).

Your example of the costume party serves to illustrate the point: All
rules are not suspended. At a costume party, one cannot crudely insult
the other guests, abuse the furniture, be careless with one's drink,
or grope the other guests, without being ejected for misconduct. (I
include groping because 'in-character' sexual harassment is an
infamous problem in live-action role-playing games). And if one were
to show up with a costume crudely mocking a number of participants,
one might expect said partygoers to give voice to their displeasure.

If one were to show up at a Yale housemaster's Halloween party in
costume as an oblivious, overpaid, and unqualified residential hall
administrator, I doubt one would be warmly received. In said example,
the resulting lecture would likely tackle the topic of civility
instead of "thinking for one's self".


P.S. No rules were "set up" at Yale. Only educational materials about
cultural sensitivity were distributed.

On Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 6:58 PM, David Preiss <preiss.xmca@gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for the link, Peter! I will hear it.

It is curious how Halloween became a mirror of how difficult is to
deal with cultural and other differences.

When is a costume celebratory and when is a costume offensive? There
is not clear-cut line.

One wears a costume because one is borrowing other (living or dead)
person’s identity to play a game. Indeed, wearing a costume always
involves some sort of pretense. I pretend to be somebody else as a
part of an activity that intends to be non-serious and involves and
agreed (or
collaborative) suspension of the rules regulating social life.

Problem is we all take our (cultural, other) identities quite seriously.
Yet, if we don't suspend the serious rules we adhere to build our
identities at some point in our daily lives there is no chance at all
to make a costume party. And if we can’t make a costume party, we may
become not only boring but eventually fundamentalist.

Therefore, there has to be room to play, to make a costume party, at
least in a society that allows for some difference.

Question remains, how far can we go in this game so it does not
become an aggression instead of a celebration of difference. If we
set up rules, as some people made at Yale, we kill the party. If we
don’t, we risk an identity conflict. There is no clear way out of this.

On Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 5:09 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:

In case anyone's interested, I recently was a guest on the Atlanta
NPR station, talking about political correctness (the implicit theme
article on Yale).
2015 WABE (NPR) 90.5FM Atlanta: College PC Culture: It’s Not About
Offending But Respecting

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces+smago=uga.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
xmca-l-bounces+smago=uga.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 2:22 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Halloween, Yale and other complications

And so it goes with Halloween... It seems that this holiday is
becoming a college issue. Here, a college master (I never liked the
term because of the slavery implications it has), got in trouble
because it did something different than the other university
president: she asked the students to think independently. And the
students were, of course, disgusted because
the request.


Ben DeVane, Ph.D
Assistant Professor
Psychological & Quantitative Foundations University of Iowa


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