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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard
It's funny how nobody ever says 'the money the Tooth Fairy brings symbolises the rich wisdom of adulthood', or 'the Tooth Fairy symbolises the benevolent Goddess'. It's as if people instinctively know that all these assertions of symbolic meaning are inherently bollocks.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
The Easter Bunny does not symbolise a damn thing. None of the egg-bringing animals of legend are in any way 'symbolic' any more than the Tooth Fairy is. Not symbolic of 'fertility' nor of anything else.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
But there is a reason why people are now conditioned to read 'symbolism' into things like the Easter Bunny, and it's worth saying a few words about that reason, because there is an asston of class privilege and erasure involved.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
Back in the last century, there was a mania for writing oh-so-learned interpretations of folk customs. It was a superb racket to be in, because the basic premise was that the original meaning of the customs had long been forgotten.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
So you, the scholarly researcher, could make up - sorry, cleverly deduce - whatever 'symbolism' you liked, and there were no ancient pagans around to tell you you were wrong. Of course, if the silly commoners who actually PRACTICED the customs told you you were wrong...
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
... then you could condescendingly put them in their place. This actually happened. See Hutton's 'Triumph of the Moon'.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
So what, you may ask, was the chief obsession of the folklorists? What themes did they persistently read into the folk customs, regardless of what the working class celebrants actually told them?
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
If you answered 'pagan survivals' and 'fertility' then congratulations. Have a bun.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
So there you go. The reason we are currently drowning in this 'omg it's all symbolic of pagan fertility' stuff is that a bunch of arrogant, well-intentioned, scholarly, superior bods not only believed they knew better than the regular people, but said so again and again.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
If you want a good way of deconstructing this stuff and showing just how daft it all is, try reading 'symbolic meanings' into any everyday phenomenon. It's easy to do and yields convincing results.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
Here's Ron Hutton again, from 'Triumph of the Moon', which anyone interested in this stuff ought to read.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
In 1937, the very learned S L Hooke delivered a presidential address to the Folk-Lore Society in which he proposed that football matches on Shrove Tuesday were actually descended from a ritual combat between the forces of light and darkness.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
That is the background to all these 'Easter was pagan because symbolism!!' assertions. It's like a farce. But people eagerly swallowed it and we are collectively still feeling the effects to this day.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
As a general rule, if something has an obvious and straightforward practical value, you don't need to project a fanciful symbolic value on to it. Eggs at Easter had a practical value. You could eat them again, because Lent was over.
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Sexy Face-Eating Leopard 31 Mar 18
Replying to @Cavalorn
If you go for fish and chips after a football match, you are not celebrating the reconciliation of the sea god's sacred fish with the earth goddess's sacred tuber in the aftermath of ritual conflict.
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