In The Absence Of The Sacred

In The Absence Of The Sacred: The Failure of Technology & the Survival of the Indian Nations by Jerry ManderSierra Club Books, 1991 – 446 pages

It’s occurred to me, as it has to many others, that if I want to live more harmoniously, I might do well to learn more about the folk who peopled this land in relative peace for thousands of years. I’d read and liked Jerry Mander’s Four Arguments For The Elimination Of Television (a review for another day), but felt a little dubious when I saw In The Absence Of The Sacred. It looked like it might be some kind of misguided, backward-looking, native-romanticizing, technology-hating hippie trip, so I made a mental note and passed it by. But in light of the concern above, I wondered if the book might be more relevant than I’d realized – and it is. The two main points of the book are: 1. Our society needs to slow down and view new technologies much more skeptically, debating their potential extensively before they embed themselves in our lives, and 2. Our society could learn much of value from traditional tribal and subsistence-oriented peoples. Though I found some of the ideas in the book difficult to accept, I unfortunately also found them hard to argue with. Continue reading

Before Sleep 053

Before Sleep #053

I realize that it probably looks like some kind of drug action going on in the middle panel, but that being is in fact playing a slide whistle with tubing added. It’s something I saw in a book about homemade instruments – you add a stick to mark notes on, and the tubing so you can rest it on your lap and actually see the notes you’ve marked. The author claimed he thought the slide whistle was one of the most beautiful instruments when properly played. Anyway, between the unfamiliarity of that idea and the sketchy drawing, no one can actually tell that’s what it is.