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Read "Sixteen Propositions" by Michael Denneny in our online-Library!
 http://library.gayhomeland.org/0003/EN/index.htm

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Author Topic: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide  (Read 8213 times)

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Mogul

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Re: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #9 on: Mon, Feb 20, 2006, 11:07 »

Rictor Norton has written a fine essay detailing the scope of the cultural genocide that Denneny refers to.

Rictor Norton's website contains also some elaborate collection on "queers in history" and a discourse of the modern queer theory.

[..] My preference would go to some online political academy,where young gays having a computer and internet access could receive at last a civic formation.Not having to start all over what was probably thinked,but lost,by precedent gay generations.Such a modern destiny we gays have ! [..]

Yes, a kind of virtual library and a couple of online-books on gay/queer history, from brief introductions to a graduate study level. Just like in any other history courses. Additionally, reviews upon gay/queer painting, sculpture, literature and film art. And an archive for those, who intend to perform studies on raw material.

There are some good publications (e.g. Kenneth J. Dover: "Greek Homosexuality", ISBN 0674362705) and compillations ("We Are Everywhere: A Historical Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics", ISBN 0415908590.).

Unfortunately, the copyright laws prohibit any project which is intended to supply less wealthy individuals online with original material. Therefore we are currently doomed to offer bibliography lists and self-written reviews, in the hope that people can either buy the stuff on their own or find it in a local library. As the copyright-laws in our countries are unprobable to change in the next future, it would be a good and realistic solution to entertain gay libraries/film archives, spread over the world sufficiently tightly. All this is solely a question of ressources and organization.

In the distant future, if/when the gay state shall be established, we should probably consider laws restricting copyright to, let's say 10 years after production date (like patents). Alternatively, the gay state (or our foundation) might buy the rights from the rightfull owners after 10 years of commercial use and distribute the works freely or for a symbolic fee. Some works may be performed with the funds of the gay state (which is one of its important tasks).

It is not enough that whatever constitutes our cultural and political heritage reaches gays of the future,which it has a good chance to achieve with the internet.Whatever reaches gays of the future will also have to be acceptable to them.For they could themselves censor it,and not necessarily in the way we might first imagine. [..] So,it would be better that we censor ourselves now,before we are censored later by other gay generations who might not like what we are writing now.We should avoid writing defeatist stuff.

K6, you rise a very important question here - the problem of censoreship by the state or its organizations. It is true that it is very tempting to censore works which appear vulgare/unimportant/disgusting to us - e.g. rough violence or BL topics. There is no need to declare every kind of visual art as our cultural heritage (bestiality, rape etc. surelly is not worthy to be preserved for future generations). However, we have to be very cautious with censoreship - what seems politically correct today, might become questionable later. The old Greeks were very fond of boy love, whereas our current understanding of homosexuality usually differs from this very much. This will probably go the usual way of art - some works will be "officially" selected into state-supported "cultural heritage", others will be archived for research purposes, and lots of other stuff will be preserved by various private holders. The govrnmentally supported museums should have the right to store mostly the valueable content, but an outright censoreship should be restricted only to clearly criminal material.

As self-censoreship is concerned, I wouldn't dare to give any recommendations to anyone.  >:) People should express themeselves at the best they can. However, as a private person I think that some books were best not written at all, that's true!  =))
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

K6

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Re: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #8 on: Sat, Feb 18, 2006, 08:33 »


It is not enough that whatever constitutes our cultural and political heritage reaches gays of the future,which it has a good chance to achieve with the internet.Whatever reaches gays of the future will also have to be acceptable to them.For they could themselves censor it,and not necessarily in the way we might first imagine.What could be unacceptable to gays of the future ? The same we gays of the present would not ourselves accept from gays of the past.When I came out at age 16 and in 1970,there was already available gay litterature in my part of the world.I remember fondly
of "Les Amitiés Particulières" (Special Friendships) from a French author by the name of Pereyfitte.But overhall,whatever was available in terms of gay litterature or stories appeared to me as too *defeatist* to be of any interest.I would rather read books of general history,where one finds stories with such components as struggles,adventure,exploits and heroes.Which gay litterature doesn`t seem to hold in plenty.So,it would be better that we censor ourselves now,before we are censored later by other gay generations who might not like what we are writing now.We should avoid writing defeatist stuff.

K6

K6

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Re: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #7 on: Fri, Feb 17, 2006, 13:13 »


The invention of writing and then of printing could save the existence or at least preserve the memory of those heterosexual nations which lived on the edge of extinction.But they were of no use to us gays.Our chances will perhaps be better with the internet.Read and eventually perpetuated
by younger gay generations,forums having to do with political independence could serve as places of accumulation and channels of transmission of specific gay knowledge.All the more that this would happen on a global and not on a merely local scale,owing to the nature of the internet.My preference would go to some online political academy,where young gays having a computer and internet access could receive at last a civic formation.Not having to start all over what was probably thinked,but lost,by precedent gay generations.Such a modern destiny we gays have !

K6

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Re: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #6 on: Fri, Feb 17, 2006, 01:22 »

Rictor Norton has written a fine essay detailing the scope of the cultural genocide that Denneny refers to.
Stonewall was a riot.

Mogul

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Re: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #5 on: Mon, Jan 30, 2006, 23:28 »

Now certainly one must acknowledge and face the negative, but there's a danger (by habitually ignoring or downplaying the positive) of elevating the negative to a level that simply doesn't exist.

It is true that some theaters in Utah refused to show ‘Brokeback Mountain.' But it is also true that this decision (though heartily approved in some quarters) was received overall with ridicule and disapproval. That point, Vicky, you failed to mention as well. It's always critical to look at the overall picture in order to accurately gauge our situation. If one doesn't, than you are in constant danger of distorting reality; and in extreme cases of even falling into a form of paranoia.

Today (30.01.2006) the portal gayrussia.ru reported that "Brokeback Mountain" was forbidden to show in China.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Mogul

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Re: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #4 on: Mon, Jan 23, 2006, 09:52 »

One of the recent examples of cultural oppression is the last-moment decision not to show the film "Brokeback Mountain" in some film theaters in Utah.

Fortunately, the current liberal situation in the so-called "western world + Japan" inspires a general rise of gay art - partially with fruitfull participation of heterosexual artists and writers.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

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Re: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #3 on: Sun, Jan 22, 2006, 00:13 »

Two points are essential in discussion of this issue:

  • How can we prevent our cultural goods from being physically destroyed and be therefore lost forever?
Owing to our particular demographic structure,we do have a problem of transmission of cultural assets from one generation to another.But
that problem has become less insurmontable since the advent of the internet.Our demographic characteristics also have advantages which
compensate for their flaws.We are avaible full time for social and political service.A combination of exploitation of modern technology with
our availability could produce interesting results to our benefit.

K6

Mogul

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Re: Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #2 on: Sat, Jan 21, 2006, 23:31 »

Two points are essential in discussion of this issue:

  • How can we prevent our cultural goods from being physically destroyed and be therefore lost forever?
  • How can we guarantee the actual accessibility of the existing goods to our people?

Whereas it is obviously, that cultural gods are the best way protected by bringing them into our possession or at least making a good copy, the questions of accessibility of these goods is a more delicate one. The previous regimes effectively prohibited the access to these goods, supporting wrong translations, attaching fig leafs onto the statues while hiding the originals somewhere in archives. With invention of the book print, it became possible for scholars to spread they ideas among the folk. Some of our species took advantage of this means to introduce the homosexual culture to homosexuals themselves and the public at large - especially in the last 50 years. Unfortunately, these books were often hard to find or not at all available in the particular city or country. Libraries refused to take them into their catalogues or didn't properly describe them - a youth would vainly search explicitly for homosexual poetry, even if the books were on the shelves.

Now, in the western world it is of no especial difficulty to find some material about homosexuality - this is good. Internet gives us a great possibility to make a lot of texts and paintings available to everybody - but a systematical gathering into one larger resource would be very helpful, a kind of a National Library. Additionally translations into various languages would be very helpful, or we will face the situation that most of us still will be unable to access the contents of texts, despite of their internet presence. The commercial culture is doing a great job in creation and translation of much of the gay popular belletristic and films, but due to its commercial nature it is somewhat limited to the commercially most yielding projects. The currently neglected fields are e.g. short films and translations into and from languages spoken mostly in poor countries. Generally, our cultural prospectives are very good, thank to the internet and many voluntary translators and projects. The internet, however, is of course subject of control by the respective governments. In China the government is blocking many international websites with inconvenient content, gay topics belonging to the censored issues. Any domain can be taken from the web by an ordinance of a local judge - it is therefore possible that in case of need all our progresses can be reverted within 24 h by a single well-coordinated action of 12 or 15 governments, covering the waste majority of the "civilised world".

There is therefore a need to create a strategy of complete recovery upon any future attack. Ideally, we should have various archiving centres spread over the world, with some of them active and visible, others being kept secretly and serving as "back-up" archives not only for electronic information, but also for printed copies and sculpture copies. Also individual gays should be encouraged to regularly download the entire electronic archives for the worst case that gay infrastructure shall be completely destroyed and it will be to the citizens themeselves to rebuild it new.

For the daily work, a safe place independent from any other government would be great. Having the legislation which suits us the best, we could build up our National Archives free of any solely commercially copyright limitations and do as it is best for the entire people.
"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" Salvor Hardin

Feral

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Denneny 5: Cultural Genocide
« Reply #1 on: Fri, Jan 20, 2006, 21:30 »

Denneny's fifth proposition is as follows: "The appalling violence— physical, psychological, social, and intellectual—unleashed against gays by Western society in modern times is a clear attempt at cultural genocide."

American racists have inflicted extraordinary suffering on American blacks but they have not tried to pretend that the black hero, Crispus Attucks, the first casualty of the American Revolutionary War, was white. The Nazi lunatics sought to systematically exterminate Jews, yet opened perverse “museums” of “decadent” Jewish art (which, ironically, were very popular). The astonishingly systematic yet spontaneous attempts to expunge our very existence from the historical record—through silence, deliberate distortion, and mendacious interpretation—have very few precise parallels: one thinks of some of Stalin’s more bizarre attempts at rewriting history or the nearly successful extermination of the Albigensians, even in memory. Even the cynical will be startled by the catalogue of lies briefly reviewed by John Boswell in his brilliant and seminal work, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality. To quote one of the more amusing instances: “Sometimes their anxiety to reinterpret or disguise accounts of homosexuality has induced translators to inject wholly new concepts into texts, as when the translators of a Hittite law apparently regulating homosexual marriage insert words which completely alter its meaning or when Graves ‘translates’ a nonexistent clause in Suetonius to suggest that a law prohibits homosexual acts.”

When one reflects that the Stalinist scholars worked under the threat of totalitarian terror, that the Albigensian Crusades were fueled by a wave of popular hysteria that was transitory, if devastating, and contrasts these to the calm, systematic, un-coerced, uncoordinated, utterly pervasive, enduring, and relentless attempt to destroy, falsify, and denigrate gay history, paranoia seems a sane response. What are we to do with people who will go to such lengths as to doctor the records of a Hittite civilization that flourished three-and-a-half thousand years ago?

The importance of reclaiming and preserving our history is a precept that has been taken to heart by the gay community. A quick Google search will turn up dozens of gay history projects, of varying quality. Genocide is, however, a strong word. Denneny does not use it carelessly. What else can you call the attempt to expunge a people's existence from history itself. Apparently it is not enough for us to not exist -- we must never have existed.
Stonewall was a riot.
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