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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Cuilionn What is a Céilidh (37) RE: What is a Céilidh 12 Jan 10


"In the UK the purveyors of secondary culture are successfully using the government to make it harder and harder for primary culture. Witness the licensing act which heavily favours recorded music and large audience performances."

Aye, that's why I like to describe a house ceilidh as "organic" and "free-range" entertainment. I believe there's a strong link between what happens in culture and what happens in agriculture.

Here in Maine, as in many parts of the world, small family farms face incredible pressure from politically-well-connected AgriMegaBusinesses. The AMBs lobby (usually successfully) for laws that favour highly-mechanized, gear-intensive operations. For example, if I keep a small, sustainably-managed flock of chickens and sell someone a farm-butchered bird that has been cleaned and processed carefully in my own well-sanitized kitchen, I can get in trouble for not having an "appropriate processing facility." In order to afford such a facility, I'd have to raise enough chickens to cause serious harm to our farmstead, watershed, and ecosystem. No thank you!

(Rant Over.) Like healthy locally-raised low-tech food, healthy locally-made low-tech entertainment faces daunting opposition just when we need it the most. I'm doing my best to wean myself away from high-tech unsustainable farming methods. I'm doing my best to reclaim sustainable expressions of human culture, too. Why? Because I believe that a "ceilidhing" community is a community that understands itself, at least on some levels, as creative, skilled and resourceful, no matter how many contrary messages they may receive from folks at MegaBigCorp.

I'm fine with ceilis/ceilidhs being many things to many different groups of people--as long as we all understand the radical origins and original meaning(s) of the term: a convivial gathering wherein folks discover--and share--the upwelling creativity within ourselves: a well we can all return to again and again and again.


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