Tag Archives: Campeche

DONALD TRUMP’S WALL AND WHAT IT MIGHT MEAN…. a debate inspired by Pat Buchanan’s “What Trump’s Wall Says to the World”

Asmodeous Rex • an hour ago
Donald J. Trump intention to build a wall at the southern border is an insult to all of Latin America.
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Tim in NY to Asmodeous Rex • 13 minutes ago
Uh huh…
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Charles Edward Lincoln, III to Asmodeous Rex • 43 minutes ago
I don’t see that the WALL is anything more than a re-inforced border. By your standard, Mr. Asmodeous, isn’t every border an equal insult?

Does your house have walls? is that not an insult to nature, or at least to your local weather and all your neighbors?

Walls don’t work against every kind of invasion or catastrophe (modern bombs and the IRS can penetrate almost everyone’s walls) but walls do serve to establish and declare one’s claim to private space, of reasonable expectation of peace and tranquility within a space that we can call “home”.

I don’t think Trump’s wall is going to change America—but it MIGHT help prevent MORE change than has already happened, and perhaps we can start deporting millions of people BACK on the other side of the wall who should never have crossed the border.

As a Symbol of National Sovereignty and Identity, I accept the need for a wall, although we will need to back up that SYMBOL with substantial action—I’d like to see every Latin American, African, and Asian Naturalized in 1986 by “Amnesty” to illegal alines or who immigrated after that date, lose his or her citizenship….

America is the New Jerusalem of the Europeans, by the Europeans, and for the Europeans….
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Asmodeous Rex to Charles Edward Lincoln, III • 36 minutes ago
O.K. Your reply is sensible and polite enough but the USA should be building bridges to Latin America; not promoting distrust and hostility. Are you aware that the USA has spent a lot of money and energy and lives trying to prevent that region from turning to communism?
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Charles Edward Lincoln, III to Asmodeous Rex • 26 minutes ago
That’s kind of preposterous: we have thousands of bridges of every type (air, land, and sea) to and from everywhere in Latin America. It’s easier and quicker to reach Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, Cancun or Acapulco from any major airline “hub” in the USA than it is to reach Alaska, which is one of our own states. It also easier and cheaper to take a cruise in the Caribbean than to Hawaii or American Samoa…or again, along the “inland passage” to Alaska… just compare the effort it will take you to get to Curacao compared to the Aleutian Islands…. I’ve done both trips….

As it happens, I turned 18 as a legal resident of Honduras while working on an archaeological research project at Copan sponsored by Harvard and the World Bank. And since then I have lived about a quarter of my life in Latin America since then, in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela….

And I have been living and or visiting in several Latin American countries during Coups…. or kidnappings (I once watched the helplessly as the German Consul in Guatemala was kidnapped)…. And on top of it all, my grandfather did major business with the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force, so yes, I’m quite aware of the U.S. attempts to fight communism all over Latin America….

So what exactly is your point? That because we have more-or-less succeeded in keeping communism from taking root anywhere except for Bolivia and Venezuela, and for a time in Chile—we should let all the rest of them in?

Chileans and Argentinians are pretty much “white people”…. as are MOST Colombians and many upper class Mexicans and Brazilians, for that matter, but other areas are much more racially mixed, and “upper class” immigration into the USA is NOT the source of any problems I’m aware of….
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Asmodeous Rex to Charles Edward Lincoln, III • 17 minutes ago
So then what is your point? What you’re saying is that there is already a lot of trade and commerce with that region. Shouldn’t that continue? Why create new hostilities in a region that wants to further integrate. I do hope sane people will stop all this recent madness.
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Charles Edward Lincoln, III to Asmodeous Rex • a minute ago
I guess we’re basically talking past each other about totally different things. You’re talking about Trade I guess, mostly, but I’m talking about the need to preserve America’s cultural and racial integrity by stopping the flood of immigrants. I don’t despise Latin American elites or peasantry IN THEIR CULTURAL CONTEXT. I think a lot of valuable lessons can be learned from the study of the Ancient AND Modern Maya—among other things, the value they have placed since the Spanish Conquest on resistance to cultural and racial assimilation.

The Maya of Yucatan and Guatemala are a great noble people. But that doesn’t mean they need to all move to Los Angeles. Out of heir historical physical environment and cultural historical context, I don’t think their nobility will survive any more than their culture. Los Angeles and Phoenix do not need to become Maya Cities—or Quechua cities or Nahuatl Cities for that matter.

Los Angeles has now the largest ZAPOTEC SPEAKING population IN THE WORLD…. larger than any city in the Zapotec Native (Mexican) State of Oaxaca. This is bizarre and perverse. The Zapotec will NEVER become real Americans but they won’t be real Zapotec anymore either. The Nahuatl (Aztec) speaking population of Los Angeles is not far behind. This is insanity. This is a perversion of nature.

And as for Trade, which seems to be your focus, I DO disagree with you if you think that NAFTA has been good for Mexico or that CAFTA is good for Central America.

Many if not MOST of our real racial problems, and especially those of Europe, come from the heritage of a Colonialism which was abandoned, not because the British and French and Dutch (or the Belgians or Germans, for that matter) FAILED at their enterprises of Colonialism, but because of the post-World-War II ideological shift….. towards communistic insanity and the demented doctrine of unearned freedom and meritless equality….

But NAFTA and CAFTA are essentially new Colonialist programs WITHOUT the benefits of Colonial Administration and Education. NAFTA and CAFTA have led to the mutual cultural degradation of North America AND Mexico and Central America…. and I applaud President Trump for his willingness to back away from these catastrophic enterprises (and to avoid new ones like the Trans-Pacific, which would have been the same only MUCH BIGGER and hence much worse).

Isolation leads to diversity…. and diversity leads to greater value in exchange…. So I think that we need to return to a world model where each region develops itself according to local traditions and environmental circumstances, and trade is an exchange of positive values developed in different regions, not moving plastics and electronics from cheap labor areas to expensive consumption areas.

So no, I think that fewer bridges and more barriers will benefit EVERYONE.
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Funruffian • 20 hours ago
“To the tens of millions for whom Trump appeals, what the wall represents is our last chance to preserve that nation and people.’

This wall is more than just Political theater and a way to stymie the bureaucratic onslaught of the Multicultural monster. This is a bold statement White America is making against the world who has intentions of undermining and destroying us. Many other nations have criticized America for years, but at the same token they want to reap the rewards and benefits America has to offer. I know that President Trump finds this attitude obscene.
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Carrie Luft’s Extraordinary First Amended Complaint Allowed in the Middle District of Florida

Magistrate Judge Sherri Polster Chappell of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida sitting in Fort Myers has made me feel like Peter Pan: She’s made me want to crow:  “I’m just the cleverest fellow ’twas ever my pleasure to know!”   Magistrate Judge Chappell has also given Carrie Luft an extraordinary chance to litigate some unique questions of first impression in the USA, such as whether the USA needs a CIVIL Constitutional Writ equivalent to Habeas Corpus, for which I have suggested here (as I have been advocating, on-and-off now, for twenty years) the adoption of the Mexican Constitutional Writ of Amparo:

06-15-2012 First Amended Complaint Carrie Luft 06-15-2012

06-15-2012 Affidavit of Mario Kenny 06-15-2012

The Juicio de Amparo (which can be only VERY roughly translated into English as a “Writ of Prohibition”) enshrined in the Constitution of Mexico is a Constitutional Proceeding with the full force and effect of a CIVIL Writ of Habeas Corpus such as has never existed in the United States.  Historically, this writ originated and was designed by the early 19th century revolutionary Creole (Hispanic White, First generation Colonial) jurists of my “second home” state of Yucatán, so strangely aligned from the late 1830s onward through Ernesto de Zavala (born in Ticul, Yucatán) with my “first home” state of Texas.  Of course, it was neither Zavala who authored the Texas Declaration of Independence and gave his name to the State Archives building in Austin nor the famous Editor of the three great “incunabular” press journals of Southeastern Mexico, El Fenix de Yucatán, El Museo Yucateco, and the Registro de Yucatán, namely Justo Sierra O’Reilly who solicited Congress to admit Yucatán as a State in the 1840s.  Rather it was a figure even less well-known to even to the well-educated American, by the Manuel Crescencio García Rejón, born in Bolonchenticul, Yucatán, a small town now renamed in his honour Bolonchén de Rejón, in the (now separate Mexican) State of Campeche and across the Puuc (Hill Country of Yucatán) from Ticul itself where Zavala was born.

Bolonchen means “Nine Wells” in Yucatec Maya. The number nine is quite mystically intriguing here, being, however coincidentally, not only the number of levels of Hell in both the Maya Underworld of Xibalbá and Dante’s Inferno, but also the number of justices who sit on the United States Supreme Court…. It was the Nine Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, especially Chief Justices John Marshall and Roger Taney, whose theory of Constitutional review by judicial procedure so thoroughly impressed and influenced this heroic Hispanic jurist whose name should become famous in the United States of America:

Manuel Crescencio García Rejón

1799-1849

A Great Mexican Constitutionalist and Yucatec Creole Nationalist

I feel strangely certain that if telephones or the internet had existed in the 1830s and 40s, the provincial creole patriots of Yucatán, introduced through Ernesto de Zavala and Justo Sierra O’Reilly, would have thoroughly made friends with John Caldwell Calhoun, Chief Justice Taney, and the other great Southern Constitutionalists of that time, and that Mérida would have become the Southern terminus of a cross-Gulf commerce linked to Galveston, Mobile, and New Orleans in a “Greater South” including all of Mexico after 1848.  In light of subsequent history, in light of the likely union of our countries within the next hundred years, it cannot be said that it would have been so bad for all this to happen a century and a half ago.  For one thing the Creole and Native American Mexicans would never have had to suffer the indignities and inferior status to which they have been relegated by the strangely “colonialist” policies which resulted from the United States’ FAILURE or REFUSAL to integrate Mexico in 1848…. the Hacendados of Mexico would have aligned themselves naturally with the Plantation Owners of the South and the large Indian populations would have had MORE protection under American Constitutional Law than they had under MOST of Mexican history–but all this is a terrible digression from Carrie Luft’s Crusade against the Corruption in Florida Courts (although it is a corruption echoing Miami’s status as “the Capital of Latin America” and Florida’s status, with Louisiana, as the Northernmost Banana Republic…..

I reiterate, we NEED your responses to Carrie’s survey, and so far we have gotten VERY FEW:  06-06-2012 DECLARATION CONCERNING JUDICIAL HABITS

Please circulate this all around and return to one of us, either to Carrie directly or to me c/o Peyton Yates Freiman at our “Home Office” of 603 Elmwood Place, #6, Austin, Texas 78705 or to me at Mid-Cities Escrow in Downey:

MID-CITIES ESCROW, Charles Edward Lincoln, III CEO & Director,

10890 Paramount Blvd., Downey, CA 90241, (562) 861-2251 facsimile.

or by e-mail here to this blog!

Confessions of a Lifelong-Heroine Addict….(oh well, since I was 6 or 8 I guess, probably not so much before that…)…from Dorothy Gale to Katniss Everdeen

The California Secretary of State having quite literally locked the doors to my running for Senate this year (at least in Tulare and Fresno Counties)—and the California Courts not seeming to offer a sufficient or accessible remedy—I now have time to indulge other (if related) obsessions my life, such as my sufferings from a lifetime of heroine addiction….  

Like almost every other aspect of my life, I blame my mother Alice and grandmother Helen almost equally….

It was my mother and father who, when I was very small, used to take me down by the Thames in Westminster near the Houses of Parliament and show me the statue of Boadicea (aka “Budica”), the last independent Iceni Queen of East Anglia who rebelled and died trying to evict the Roman Conquerors, in whose memory it was said and sung that “Britons never shall be slaves.”  We also took one trip out to Norwich to visit one of the woods where the Iceni supposedly worshipped their own goddess of Victory….called “Budika” in the Ancient British language of the Druids….(my parents were both heavily into historical and comparative linguistics).  Budika/Boadicea in A.D. 60-61 apparently burned Roman Londinium to the ground along with several other cities before being defeated and poisoning herself by the long Roman Road called “Watling Street” which we also visited…. She was a heroine and supposedly a great archer….  

Of course my parents also tried, as heart as their own agitated and addled lives would permit them, to make me aware of a very different heroine, regarding whom they required me to memorize “the Magnificat” from a very early age….”My soul doth magnify the Lord….Abraham and his seed forever…” And yes, the Virgin Mary was indeed a rebellious heroine… and she has remained a heroine to hundreds of millions of people up to the present time….  Later on, I learned to sing the Magnificat and other pieces of Anglo-Catholic “Maryolatry” as a choirboy in the junior Choir at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, under the tutelage of the late, Great Russell J. Brydon (who died just a few months after this post was originally written, in September 2012 at the age of 88:

http://www.dallasnews.com/obituary-headlines/20120906-russell-j.-brydon-jr.-longtime-dallas-church-and-temple-organist-dies-at-88.ece

But it was my grandmother Helen who was something of a heroine in my young eyes herself, and it was Helen who introduced me to the very first literary  (as distinct from Historical or Biblical) heroines of whose stories I ever learned in detail: namely Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and the Roman Goddess Diana and her Sacred Temple by Lake Nemi  near Ariccia (Diana was also an archer…)

The path of fictional heroines from Dorothy Gale’s grey home in Kansas to Katniss* Everdeen’s equally grey home in District 12 of Panem took 108 years….from the first publication of the Wizard of Oz in 1900 through the appearance of archer Katniss Everdeen  Hunger Games in 2008**….is really the history of the idealistic dreams and ultimate failure of the 20th century (idealist dreams in Baum’s time giving way to a more cynical realism by 1939, passing through the somewhat confused “liberation” of the 1960s, sinking into the dark, pessimistic world of Buffy and Angel and finally coming to rest in the despair of District 12 in Panem in 2008—the year Barack Hussein Obama took over from George W. Bush…two different faces for the heartless, soulless, President Snow….)

But the difference in spirit between those two places traces indeed the tragic story of the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization (and of the American Dream) in the 20th Century. Major stopping points along the way (for me at least) include 1939 with the Dorothy Gale’s transformation in the person of Judy Garland and Scarlett O’Hara’s complete redefinition of the concept of “progress” in the late 19th century, Jane Fonda’s comic Cat Ballou and Barbarella in the 1960s, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in movie and television from 1992-2003.  

At each of these intervals, the world is more cynical and darker, and the heroines more complex.  Many critics have observed that the “head injury/dream sequence” aspects of the 1939 Movie Wizard of Oz and the metathesis of real individuals to “dreamtime” residents of the Land of Oz (which was COMPLETELY absent from L. Frank Baum’s book) resulted directly from Freudian psychoanalysis and the early popularity of psychology.  The general effect is to radically weaken the power of Oz as metaphor or lesson—but the movie was a wonderful hit—a lightly comic Wagnerian gesammtkunstwerk of acting, visual art, and music, so nobody really cared.  

A lot of the verbal banter and humor in the movie likewise showed a certain “worldly” sophistication with which I think Frank Baum would only have been somewhat congenial. E.G. the Cowardly Lion’s song “there’s just no use denyin’, I’m just a DANDYlion…” and the Wizard’s closing comment to the Scarecrow:

Back where I come from we have universities, 
seats of great learning 
-- where men go to become great thinkers. 
And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more brains than you have .... 
But! They have one thing you haven't got! 
A diploma!

As a former denizen of the great academic halls of Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 and Chicago, Illinois 60637 (from various halls of which august institutions I did, for all the good that it’s done me or the world, get diplomas), and a regular visitor to many other such places, I can tell you that the Wizard here is absolutely right: 

And when they come out, they think deep thoughts -- 
and with no more  brains than you have.... 

But such cynicism simply was not part of the original vision of Oz, and although Baum occasionally did occasionally turn such comments to ridicule life back in North America in later books, he did not at all in his first installment in which he remade European folk mythology and archetypes and reshaped them in a very idealized panorama of a world where death was rare if non-existent and even the most evil of men and creatures did not kill for sport or pleasure.

For all of L. Frank Baum’s futuristic visions, I do not think he could have foreseen the transition from the naïve and hardworking life of Kansas to the nightmarish dreamworld of Suzanne Collins’ grim opera—neither a soap opera nor a very lyric, although even in the written version (which I finally got around to reading), music plays an immensely important part in the methathesis of metaphor and character, from Katniss’ Father to Peeta, from Prim to Rue… as between the unnatural National Anthem of the Conquering Capitol and the free world of nature and the poor of the “outlying districts.”

L. Frank Baum’s Oz books in so many was shaped and defined the culture of early-to-mid 20th Century of a predominantly White Christian America, especially after the release of Judy Garland’s movie….***  The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Kansas was stiflingly dull and harsh—the American dream had already, at that point, apparently kind of run aground and needed new life— The spirit of Dorothy Gale’s Oz was half atavistic throwback to the Middle Ages, half filled with futuristic wonders (such as Glinda the Good’s Magic Picture, which permitted her what we would now call “live video access” to whatever was going on in Oz or elsewhere earth she was interested.

Dorothy Gale was a simple, pre-teenage girl (Judy Garland was at least ten years older than the original character was portrayed as being in the First Oz Book, but Dorothy Gale remained essentially a-sexual throughout the series, never had a boyfriend or a beau…. perhaps recapitulating some archaic notion of “the Virgin Goddess”,  e.g. Diana Nemorensis or the Virgin Mary or the “Virgin Queen”, Mary again or Queen Elizabeth I) whose strength derived from common sense, great courage, love, and determination.  Dorothy Gale was a generalist who never specialized in anything or focused on any particular trade, profession, or way of earning a living (all throughout the long series of Oz books, in fact).  She was just flexible, imaginative, and practical—kind of a “Renaissance girl” in a very low tech way.

Being a non-specialized generalist seems to be the primary role of all feminine heroes.  Of the earliest three I knew (Dorothy Gale, Scarlett O’Hara, and Diana Nemorensis), if Dorothy Gale had the purest and most asexual identity, Scarlett O’Hara surely had the most impure and sexual.  

It was perhaps for that reason that I was never really taken with her until I was a teenager, even though with my grandparents I religiously had watched Gone with the Wind at every possible opportunity and my grandmother compared the mythic South with the real South over and over again.   Scarlett O’Hara was beautiful, flirtations, and OWNED men in a way that is both fairly realistic and quite cynical.  But the book and movie Gone with the Wind were brilliantly timed between the First and Second World Wars to show that the American War Between the States of 1861-1865 was the first really and truly modern war of total destruction.  

Throughout history, up until Abraham Lincoln loosed Sherman on Georgia and Grant on Virginia, the goal of Conquest Warfare had been to preserve as much of a conquered land’s wealth as possible—so that it could be stolen and appropriated for the victors.  There might have been a lot of talk in Ancient Rome about how “Carthage must be destroyed” and about Salting the Earth once it was vanquished, but Carthage was not only not burnt to the ground and left to rot by the Roman Conquest, it became one of the Great Cities of the Roman Empire, as 20-30 years of Harvard Archaeological excavations in Tunisia have so clearly shown.  Gone with the Wind showed something else when Sherman’s “wind blew through Georgia.”  The purpose was indeed, as the opening lines of both the movie and the book suggested, to wipe out an entire civilization, a way of life—to replace what Marxists call one “mode of production” with another.   NONE of Baum’s villains in Oz were as bad as that, although the movie version of the Wicked Witch of the West was pretty murderous in her general attitude….

One major innovation of Jane Fonda’s heroines Cat Ballou and especially Barbarella in the 1960s was the advent of “free love”, which never appeared even once in any of Baum’s pre-1920 writings, which was only very obliquely alluded to in Gone with the Wind, but which by the 1960s was all anyone really cared about.  

Like Dorothy Gale and Scarlett O’Hara before her, Cat Ballou and Barbarella were unspecialized generalists who could adapt to almost any situation.  They were strong, intelligent, sexy, deadly in a good cause, and then Jane Fonda went to Hanoi….  In retrospect she may have been right to do it because the Vietnam War was totally wrong, a seriously failed experiment in 1984-type “perpetual war”….but Jane Fonda’s actions did not seem positive at the time.  

In this defiance of the outward semblance of world order sense, Jane Fonda’s characters of both Cat Ballou and Barbarella somehow came to life as defiant outlaws….crossing boundaries that no one else would cross, and doing so with both impunity and (what seemed most shocking at the time) complete immunity from real official sanction.  Like the righteous killer Catherine Ballou who avenged her father’s death in the Wild West—Jane Fonda first enacted herself as a mythic reality and then, by going to Hanoi, remade herself as a historic metaphor—walking through the image of a treacherous act, unscathed, in essence to show that Vietnam was all a staged event….. a dramatic diversion to keep the masses simultaneously afraid, amused and absorbed….  

Fast forward 24 years from Jane Fonda as Barbarella and you arrive the first incarnation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a completely modern LA County San Fernando Valley girl with no hints of modesty or virginity about her…. followed by the much more intriguing evolution of Buffy Summers in the TV Series from virginal high school freshman to intensely sexual college freshman, in a world which is increasingly dark and where reality is increasingly concealed….. Buffy’s Sunnydale was a mythic place, a lot like Los Angeles, while her first boyfriend and lover Angel eventually goes to the real Los Angeles and sets up shop as first as a private detective and then director of a large law firm—two professions which, in Los Angeles at least, possibly in the movies generally, have almost acquired the status of modern Jungian archetypes….  

The increasingly dark and brooding, sad and depressed Buffy Summers never lost her general adaptability—she could never specialize in any profession or line of work any more than Dorothy Gale or Scarlett O’Hara or Catherine Ballou… but the realization that the dark forces of the world were effectively unbeatable and had pre-existed anything good in the world—these were major transformations of the American Dream from the Early 20th Century.  And it was during the 7 televised seasons of Buffy that the 20th Century, which came in with a little girl magically transported by a tornado from dull grey Kansas to a bright and beautiful alternative universe which knew no death, went out during Buffy’s Freshman year at UCLA with a young adult barely out of her teens who was alone in the world, with her small circle of more specialized friends, fighting vampires and the forces of darkness.

And five years after Buffy ended, Katniss Everdeen picked up the bow from her archetypal ancestors the Goddesses Inanna and Diana and Queen Boadicea, and began to hunt for meagre food in the desperately hunger fringes of District 12 (in what was once called Appalachia in what was once called North America).  

The gruesomeness of the Hunger Games apparently shocks some people—I would have thought that Americans had long since forgotten how to be shocked about or by anything.  Children murdering children for sport isn’t the most pleasant of ideas, to be sure. But in that 17-19 year olds have gone off to fight in every war America has ever seen….along with a few 16 year olds here and there, and since the History Channel periodically shows authentic news clips of 15-16 year old resistance “werewolves” in 1945 Post-World War II Germany being shot by firing squads of American Troops, and countless tens of thousands of teenagers have been silently snuffed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Vietnam, it is hard to believe that the idea of children fighting and dying is really such a big deal to our ever hypocritically squeamish population.

The Hunger Games resonate with so much in our history and culture—with the original Victor Hugo version of Les Miserables (hopelessly buried and lost in the Broadway Musical of the same name), and in Suzanne Collins’ own account with the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.  

But above all the Hunger Games resonates with the year 2012 in which America has taken so many steps towards being a brutal, repressive dictatorship like Panem, already—with idiot fake and fraudulent “Conservatives” like Lindsey Graham and Newt Gingrich competing with idiot truly fraudulent “Liberals” like Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama competing with one another to see who can shred the Constitution fastest.  

Interesting to me, given that I based my own doctoral dissertation at Harvard in large part on revisiting Frazer’s the Golden Bough and with it Diana’s Temple by Lake Nemi near Ariccia, are the parallels between the Hunger Games and the myths and rituals of Divine Kingship.  There is nothing in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, however, about games or about Tributes being well-fed and allowed every luxury leading up to their deaths.  But precisely this treatment is common in the rites of Divine Kingship, where sacrificial victims, like the individual selected for sacrifice during the rites of Toxcatl among the Aztec, are equated with the God Tezcatlipoca (“Smoking Mirror”) during the last year of their lives, given wonderful food and drink, and then sacrificed.  Similar paradigms of sacrifice are found throughout the world—

And the sacrifice of children, likewise, is extremely common: to the rain gods in Mesoamerica, relic traces of this existed even among the modern Yucatec Maya who tie small children to the legs of the altar during the cha-chaac or rain ceremony—although the children have to do nothing more that happily chirp like rainy season frogs (but woe to the boy who croaks like a dry season Toad—he will be beaten, not sacrificed, but beaten).  The Hebrew Bible itself is filled with child sacrifice (all through the Books of Kings and Chronicles, in particular, are Kings who make their children “walk through the fire”—perhaps most famously the daughter of Jeptha…), and by way of archaeological parallel—the excavations at Carthage have revealed hundreds and thousands of child sacrifices…. Among the Natchez of Mississippi, families sacrificed their children in order to rise in social status from commoners (“Stinkards”) to “Honored” Nobility according to the French records by Dupratz and recounted by John R. Swanton….

And in this sense it is perplexing: sacrifice almost always lead either to elevation in status or to outright deification: why the elite of Panem would not have recognized the risk embodied in Golden Bough-Divine Kingship type of analysis: the sacrificial victim—like the Rex Nemorensis at Ariccia who becomes King by killing the old one in combat, will always become the next king.  

At the end of the first book of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, Katniss Everdeen is poised to become (with Peeta), Queen and King of Panem.  This was not only foreseeable, it was in comparative mythological terms inevitable—and yet Suzanne Collins’ trilogy does not allow this drama to evolve that way.  In part, this may be because technology and traditions of oppression have obliterated the natural succession of Divine Kingship….

But Sir James G. Frazer’s point in writing the Golden Bough was to show that Divine Kingship involving the deification of sacrificial victims and their elevation as Kings is a nearly world-wide phenomenon.  I sit here puzzling at the significance of all the trappings of Divine Kingship and the Golden Bough in the Hunger Games.  

Frank Baum had either borrowed or unconsciously recreated so many motifs from ancient mythology—the Four World Quarters with colors Winkie-yellow Quadlin-red Munchkin-blue and Gillikin-purple with Green for the Center of the Emerald City are like nothing so much as the mythological and symbolic organization of (1) Ancient Mesopotamia, “Land of the Four Quarters” centered on Uruk, (2) Celtic Ireland, Ulster, Munster, Connaught, Leinster, and centered on Midhe (Meath) at Tara, and (3) pre-Hispanic Yucatan which, at several Classic sites, is divided into quarters dominated (as recorded on Stelae A & H at Copan) by Tikal, Calakmul, Palenque, and Copan and which even now is divided into four quarters (Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Petén, with Belize claimed by Guatemala and Geographically appearing to be a southern extension of Quintana Roo).

But in Frank Baum’s Oz, kingship is never strong and is always frowned upon, as are all attempts at centralization or standardization of culture, customs, or laws among the four/five regions of Oz.  For that reason, I would assume, there are no hints or traces of divine kingship in Oz—it is a Federal egalitarian Democracy of sorts (even though no one ever votes).  

But by the time of Buffy, as the 20th century closes, the need for a leader has brought forward the Slayer—“one girl in all the world” who fights the Demons.  Now Joss Whedon optimistically ended his series with a devolution of power and prowess from Buffy through the magic of Willow to Millions of “potential” slayers—-but it didn’t quite ring true, in a Television series where even the most outrageous vampiric and magic witchcraft was somehow made to feel “emotionally authentic.”

In the Hunger Games, Dictatorship is the reality and the two victors of the Hunger Games, Katniss & Peeta, are set to become the Divine Kings and possibly the real sovereigns of their land.  Perhaps the need for leadership, the need for someone to save the population, is not yet great enough, but in terms of the political and emotional significance of our story-telling, I think that the journey from Dorothy Gale’s Grey Kansas to Katniss Everdeen’s Grey District 12 tells us the story of the loss of hope and impending doom and despair which was the 20th Century.

*  Katniss is named after a plant called Sagittaria, and my grandmother was born under the sign of Sagittarius—it could be that Katniss reminds me a great deal of my grandmother Helen—similar complexions and faces…. Actress Jennifer Lawrence certainly fits very precisely the image in Suzanne Collins’ book…. and the younger pictures I’ve seen of my grandmother with long hair as a teenager in the time before the U.S. entered WWI….growing up in a place very much like the defeated districts of Panem in the Southern USA.

** In some New Age texts, 108 years is said to be a Venus Cycle, the more ordinary astrological cycle is one of 104 years.  108 is used, but oddly enough, is four years longer than longest calendrical cycle and planetary identity of the Ancient Goddess of Love, namely Inanna/ Ishtar/Aphrodite/Venus.  The calendrical cycles of Venus and the sun are said to “bind” (i.e coincide) every 2920 days, but the ultimate binding of 5 Heliacal Cycles of Venus with 8 Calendar years …. (365 x 8 = 5 x 584 = 2920 x 13 = 37,960 = 2 x 52 years (my current age) = 104 calendar years/105 “tuns” or 360 day periods—the root of the Maya and Aztec Calendars).  Like her Roman Counterpart Diana, Aphrodite and Inanna were both archers—it seems to be the feminine weapon of choice, possibly for purely sexual Freudian reasons, possibly for some mixture of Freudian sexual and Jungian archetypal causation.

*** In the 1970s, Broadway Musical and 1978 movie “the Wiz” the just recently departed Diana Ross and the late Michael Jackson did their best to reframe and appropriate the Baum story for African-America in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement (or Fraudulent Civil Rights Fiasco) of the 1950s-60s…. I have never been comfortable Easing on Down the Road with them in that direction…. although my grandfather was a great supporter of alternative all black productions (now almost extinct) because they upheld and even developed, really and truly, the old segregationist’s doctrine of Separate but Equal (we actually attended the Wiz at the Majestic Theater on Broadway as well as an all black revival of Guys & Dolls in my one major summer with him (ever in my life) in 1976.