Sunday, May 29, 2016

NOTHIN' BUT NET !


There's lots of news and things to post about relative to our ongoing battle with Apuron and the neo-cult, but permit me a brief break from that to comment on a discussion I found both disturbing and amusing, though really more amusing than disturbing. 

There was a bit of a dust up on Facebook about the "pre-contact" Chamorro "fashion show" at FestPac last week which featured at least one mostly nude young woman who wore an "outfit" which gave new meaning to "Nothin' but net." LOL.

For those who don't know "Nothin' but net" refers to the perfect basketball shot where the ball passes through the hoop without hitting the back board or even touching the rim, "swooshing" through only the net. The young woman was pretty much covered with "nothing" but a "net" - a fish net.)

One of my daughters and a friend of hers got in on the discussion, both expressing their discomfort with the attempt to "re-imagine" pre-contact "lingerie," as it was said to be.  And quite quickly, my daughter was accused of 1) applying her "post-contact" Catholic moral sense to a "pre-contact" cultural (albeit "imagined") reality, and 2) not being Chamorro, she was told she had no right to opine. 

I had a good laugh at #2 since the guy chastising her non-Chamorro-ness had a very Spanish surname, making him probably more a descendant of the colonizers than any pre-contact Chamorros. 

And #1 was even more ridiculous since neither my daughter nor her Chamorro friend ever mentioned Catholicism but simply expressed how the outfit (what there was of it) made them feel as women - being about the same age as the woman who was on display. 

There were several other threads on the same issue bouncing around Facebook and Catholicism was getting quite a pounding. It was the usual stuff: all was idyllic until those evil missionaries showed up and forced the natives to wear clothes. 

I'm not an expert on the history of Guam and Micronesia, but Fr. Eric Forbes is. In a comment, he noted that the nudity of the natives was not an issue for the early Catholic missionaries. In fact, it is still not an issue where nudity or partial nudity is still the norm. Fr. Eric noted that there are still women in Yap who come to Mass wearing only their hair (for a top) and no one thinks anything of it. 

In general, the idea that Catholicism has a problem with nudity is a laugh. Walk into the Sistine Chapel where the popes are elected and the greatest painting ever painted has Adam's penis hanging out of the ceiling. LOL. Catholic art is resplendent with the naked human body. This is probably why the early Catholic missionaries to the Pacific had no problem with native nakedness and still don't. 

Continuing with Fr. Eric's comment, he noted that it was the advent of Protestant missionaries to the Pacific in the 1800's which precipitated the "Mother Hubbard dress," as he termed it. 

I hope to learn more about this in the near future, but here are a couple of passing thoughts.

"It's hot" is the usual reason given for "pre-contact" nudity. However, that doesn't explain why people in other "hot" places in the world wore clothes long before there were any European influences (India, Northern Africa, etc.). 

Methinks Pacific island nudity had more to do with the absence of items that could be used for material. The islands had no large animals whose skins could be used for clothing, which is why most pre-contact "clothing" seems to have been made out of vegetation and shells. And let's face it, pandanus leaves make for some pretty hellaciously itchy underwear. I'm sure I'd have preferred to go naked too if that's all there was to wear!

It also appears that when private parts were covered, it was more for protection than anything else. A man running through the jungle with his "family plan" dangling loose is asking for trouble (and pain). It seemed wise to do what one could to cover that up...or at least keep it under control. (More LOL!)

And back to our "fashion show." Therein lies the real issue. I thought it rather hilarious that my daughter and her Chamorro friend were told to shut up and sit down by someone who championed a so-called pre-contact experience of culture - as if ancient Chamorro's had fashion shows. LOL

The exposure of bare breasts or (even bared other parts) would have been quite acceptable in the re-presentation of a pre-contact ritual, dance, or re-enactment of a village scene. 

However, the mostly naked young woman was NOT presented in a pre-contact cultural context, but in the very modern, very western, very post-contact context of a contemporary fashion show where models are presented as...well, "models," objects, paraded about in a completely non-real way for no other purpose other than to stimulate an audience and excite the eye. 

Something tells me ancient Chamorro's didn't have time for fashion shows - and probably used fish nets for catching fish...not "lingerie." 

LOL. Courage. 



20 comments:

  1. Anna Maria I. DelgadoMay 30, 2016 at 12:14 AM

    Thank you for commenting on this. I was wondering in what situation this young woman was attired in this manner. If it were a reenactment of the Magellan landing, I would have no objection to how she chose to present herself. However, if it was meant to stir controversy, well...mission accomplished. One positive thing was that today (Sunday) was a day off for the events. I'm hopeful the reason was because of respect for the Lord's day. Overall, this is still a great thing for our island, but I am happy to live in this day and age on Guam.

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  2. Unfortunately, it wasn't just her that appeared slutty. I'm sorry if that offends anyone. But it's true. She appeared to be more of a Kim Kardashian than the ancient Chamorro woman. My male co-worker can attest to this.It's really just embarrassing how some of these girls posed for the camera.

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    1. Anna Maria I. DelgadoMay 30, 2016 at 10:46 AM

      Yeah I did and eye roll when I saw her picture. I thought "you're being a little naïve there if you think this is how we are supposed to be now." But I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt if she truly believes that this is the better thing for Chamorros. I don't want I don't want to presume that she had really evil intentions.

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    2. I doubt the girl had any intention other than to be part of the show. The organizers and designers are another matter. :) but I really am not concerned with them. It's the rationalization afterward that is amusing. Peace :)

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    3. Anna Maria I. DelgadoMay 30, 2016 at 5:01 PM

      Yep. One teacher from a Catholic school said his attitude is to be open to "new" things. Well, I guess this is his idea of being charitable.

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  3. explain to me how wearing chopsticks in your hair is pre-contact Chamorro? That's hilarious.

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  4. I believe it was all for shock value. She could have simply covered the nipple area of her breasts but instead chose to show them. Lingerie? Really? That's hilarious. Pretty sure they didn't have a Victoria's Secret back then.

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  5. To me this is the difference - I have been to Yap and would have no problem with my sons seeing the Yap women who are bare breasted because it's a part of their culture. It is genuine. I would not have been comfortable with my sons seeing that girl because it felt dirty and too sexy. No cultural element to it. Just plain old seeking sex the Kardashian way. Not genuine at all.

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    1. Anna Maria I. DelgadoMay 30, 2016 at 10:48 AM

      Absolutely. It's an artificial way to honor those who have lived long ago.

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  6. I read the report on Adrian conducting the ecumenical service at the fieldhouse on Sunday. I think it's a desperate attempt to boost his image, and perhaps a signal that the Neos will establish their own church. I hope Catholics who attended knew that the service did not fulfill their Sunday obligation to attend Mass.

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  7. Admission to Candidacy done in secret in the RMS Chapel. Did Diocesan priests attend or only RMS guys. See cult style SECRECY. FAITHFUL TOLD AFTER THE FACT. So clever. Then the Ordinary flees for his life. Oh, Em, Geee !

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  8. I don't think the ancient Chamorrita's walked around wearing fish net.
    Ok, let's make this fair, next let's get the guys also to walk around naked with their penis hanging for all our kids and visitors to see.
    And I thought we had a public obscenity or indecent exposure law.

    St. Michael help us.

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    1. Anna Maria I. DelgadoMay 30, 2016 at 5:02 PM

      Hahaha. True statement.

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  9. This is not a battle between pre-contact Chamorro culture and Catholic mores. This is a battle between post-sexual revolution culture and Catholic mores. Note that every claimed feature of pre-contact Chamorro culture which the UoG/Neo-Chamorro/not-incidentally-anti-Catholic-Church crowd wants to reinstate comports with modern sexual-revolution/sexual-liberation ideology, e.g., the two biggies: immodest dress and the replacement of Christianity with an amoral religious tradition which allows people to behave immorally whilst under the aegis of a pedigreed religious tradition (modern and post-modern counterparts of the latter example include the new age movement and the embrace of "eastern" religion in the west in the 1960s). Why don't the neo-Chamorros embrace more profound features of pre-contact Chamorro culture, such as, hereditary rule or the caste system? The reason, of course, is clear. They don't seek a return to pre-contact culture. They want Haight-Ashbury; and they do it (as others in other cultural contexts have done before) via a vehicle made almost totally unassailable by the fact that any honest criticism is met with cries of "cultural hegemony" and "cultural imperialism" or worse: "racism."

    ~ Shane Intihar

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    1. Sure as hell am glad you're on my side, Shane. Phew!

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    2. Anna Maria I. DelgadoMay 30, 2016 at 5:03 PM

      Shane, you are spot on!

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  10. Saw Fest Pac people hanging out with seminarians at RMS Yona. Even tho Pius and friends are being persecuted, they looked like a good time was had by all. Joy!

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    1. Wonder if they took the net from the girl. After all they'll need it to become fishers of men :)

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    2. Fishy fishers of men.

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