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Getting Things Right: To Nitpick or Not To Nitpick...
Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:09 pm
After seeing some claims on a website on Welsh magical traditions that I knew to be false, I was moved to email the author and enquire about them. Does this make me a) an annoying nitpicker...or b) just someone who wants newbies to recieve full and accurate information? I'd prefer to be option b),
I would feel very uneasy that newcomers to Welsh traditions could read inaccurate things and I didn't do anything to possibly change it.
Granted, the author of the site could just ignore me and not bother to answer my email, but I would hope that they would consider what I wrote, especially when we should all be presenting accurate information for people.
I'm just curious whether that feeling has ever come over someone else in the Library
Ragnar? Have you ever felt the need to correct someone who made assumptions about your family tradition? Daibanjo? Have you ever met someone who claimed to know more about Welsh traditions than you do?
Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:55 pm
There is, of course, a further option.
There may be more than one variation within a tradition, all of which may have some validity. (This may not apply to the example you give, but I'm speaking in a general sense.)
By assuming that the variation we are familiar with is the only valid one, we may well be close-minded.
By telling others that they are wrong and we are right we may well be acting like fundies.
Posted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:41 pm
Two things come to mind.
The first was when a friend of mine recommended a book called "The 21 lessons of Merlin" by Douglas Monroe. I couldn't get past the second chapter. It is so much rubbish. In the intro' the author claims to have spent two years studying manuscripts at the Univerdity of Wales. Then he talks about the young Arthur sleeping outside and being kept awake by crickets. When were there ever crickets in the british isles? Then he has Merlin talking to Arthur about Druids being vegetarian and celibate, trust me, the ancient Druids got first choice of the women and the pigs. I won't get into pumpkins. But what really got me was his "Magick" He gives spells and incantations that are supposed to be Welsh. I am fluent in Welsh and I know classical Welsh. What he is presenting is pure gibberish. Yes, it could certainly lead honest seekers astray.
The second was at a camp site where a woman heared my accent and asked me where i was from. After a short discussion she said that she was in a Welsh tragition and that she spoke "Druidic Welsh"
To say i was stunned wouldn't do it justice. i was tempted to say that i am fluent in "presbyterian English" but i bit my toungue and asked her for an example. She asked me how i would call forth a dragon in Welsh. I just smiled weekly and asked her to enlighten me. She then said something wholly unintelligible, once again announced it was druidic welsh and i exited as soon as i could.
I don't criticize or condemn the honest seeker who might get it wrong. I do tell the old stories in such a way that it might help but for me intention is everything. If the intention is right then i'm fine but some things, like the ones i've mentioned go so far over that i have to say something like "This far you have gone. Go no further."
Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:32 am
To be honest, more to you! I posted on the fundie section about dare2share and Daibanjo was kind enough to research them and the guy wants more info on Wicca, so I'm writting an email as we speak. While I'm not Wiccan now, that's where I started, so I'm gonna see if I can't give him better info then what he has now, if not better, then more to choose from. I know, it's helping the enemy, but if we're gonna hate one another, lets do it for the right reasons.
Re: Getting Things Right: To Nitpick or Not To Nitpick...
Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:10 am
I'm just curious whether that feeling has ever come over someone else in the Library
Ragnar? Have you ever felt the need to correct someone who made assumptions about your family tradition?
THAT obvious is it?
I consider us all to be learning, but as having a duty to pass that learning on. Otherwise the learning is just an ego trip, whch is NOT what Heathenism/Paganism is about AT ALL.
But then, I get paid (sometimes) to put film directors right as to why their Generalfeldmarchall Rommel is TOTALY in-authentic because your film is set in 1942, and he is wearing oak leaves on the Knights cross which were not presented to him until May 1943.
Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 1:58 am
Rain ForestMoon wrote:By assuming that the variation we are familiar with is the only valid one, we may well be close-minded.
That's what I was worried about. I don't want to come across as a "this is the TRUTH!!!" kind of Fundie.
It's just that I've read the Mabinogion and I'm very familiar with it, so it was a total surprise to read some of the things on the site - One example -
"Branwen of the fair Bosom, is a goddess of love and is identified with the sea, like the goddess Aphrodite, and is descended from an earlier Celtic goddess of love. She was the daughter of the sea god Llyr by Iweridd, sister of Bran, and wife of King Matholwch of England. She is also Bronwen, Sister of Bran, and is called White Raven"
- Branwen means 'fair/white raven', Bronwen means 'fair/white breasts', Branwen is the sister of Bendigeidfran/Bran the Blessed, but as far as I'm currently aware Bronwen isn't an alternative name for her. Maltholwch was actually King of Ireland too (there's a lot of cross-overs between the tales of the Children of Danu and the Children of Dôn in the Mabinogion.)
"Druidic Welsh" sounds quite bizarre and more than a little made up! I've got no problem with people identifying with cultures other than their own (I'd be a total hypocrite if I did because I love Ancient Egypt) Butbutbutbut...making sweeping statements on an informative site for seekers/newbies surely can't be a good thing...particularly if those statements contain falsehoods.
Ragnar wrote:But then, I get paid (sometimes) to put film directors right as to why their Generalfeldmarchall Rommel is TOTALY in-authentic because your film is set in 1942, and he is wearing oak leaves on the Knights cross which were not presented to him until May 1943.
Ahh the history nitpick! I'm good at those too, although it's mostly English Civil War stuff for me
Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:09 am
Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:20 am
No, I've never done it (too poor for all the costumes and stuff
) but I would absolutely love to one day.
Posted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 3:35 am
I do Napoleonics here. I know what you mean about cost.
Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:28 pm
I love books. Therefore, it seriously frustrates me when someone writes a book that they claim to contain fact, but that they have apparently made up as they went along. (I'm looking at you, Edain McCoy.)
You know you're onto a winner when they mention an ancient Celtic dish based on potatoes, or manage to somehow misplace Stonehenge. Seriously, people, five minutes of research before you write a book would be freakin' appreciated. And publishers, please, it would be nice if you actually read the non-fiction books you publish to ensure the writer spent more than a few hours writing it.
Grr, I say, and grr again.
Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:41 am
Windwalker wrote:And publishers, please, it would be nice if you actually read the non-fiction books you publish to ensure the writer spent more than a few hours writing it.
That would be wonderful! Some glaring weird claims just pass editors by when all you need to spot some discrepancies is a little knowledge of history.
Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:00 am
Wrong facts are one thing. Yes annoying. But what REALLY gets my goat is when you see an advert, as I have seen recently;
"Napoleons campaigns 1890 - 1815. "Extensive coverage
of the politics of the time, Orders of battle, campaign strategy for each battle, with detailed maps, 100 photographs. 128 pages
WHAT the HEL is this guy taking?
Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:39 am
You must need a magnifying glass to read all that on just 128 pages! Or, I suppose, it's just not as extensive as he claimed...you could sue!
Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 2:59 am
Jescissa wrote:.you could sue!
Only if he did not advertise the amount of pages. THEN you may have a case under the "Trade descriptions act", but.... na, it would not be easy to prove.
But it seems to be a reguler occurance now. Books are claiming to be "The complete this", or " the difinitive guide to, say, the worlds political history from neanderthal tp present day" All with 100+ a few pages.
I am wondering if it is the same thinking that means the time between adverts on T.V is now 15 minutes, as opposed to half an hour ten years ago.
I.E, that peoples attention span can not cope with books of more than 150 pages.
Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:08 am
I'm more inclined to think it's people's laziness rather than attention span. My boyfriend can have the attention span of a gnat sometimes, but he's not lazy, whereas a lot of other people I know with longer attention spans are too lazy to read books and would rather watch a telly programme instead!
My bookshelves are full of nice thick books! Anything shorter than 200 pages I think of as a pamphlet