Aug. 25, 2020


Rituals are important.

My Spanish teacher sent me a text with a picture of an enormous Penis. My wife was suspicious. I felt inadequate.

Boringly, it began a description of various rituals around the world. 

My blog host informed me that the picture I wanted to attach was too big. Imagine that!

Here are my thoughts, cynical as usual.

Rituals help hold groups of people together.
They occur in religions, politics, sports, the military, business, families, science, and every other aspect of human life you can think of.

When a ship is launched, a bottle of Champagne is broken across the bow, after a speech by someone important. When a road bridge or building opens, a tape is cut, after a speech by someone important. This to reinforce the benificence of the important person for bringing this gift, funded with our taxes and work of course.

Weddings are full of rituals. They are expensive, often combined with religious promises. In many countries they include a dowry or other legal contracts. The expense, rituals, and involvement of legal and religious authorities make marriage promises serious and harder to break. Then rich men date prostitutes molest minors and have mistresses.

The international political gatherings of the IMF, the UN and the rest include welcoming rituals, false signs of friendship and group photographs.

In sports, players bring children onto the pitch by the hand. They stand solemnly for the national flags and anthems. An important person distributes the cup and the medals.

In the military, we were taught to drill, march behind bands and flags, and salute. Each regiment has its history and tales of heroism and honor. After which, it's okay to go slaughter foreigners in distant lands.

In universities, graduation ceremonies are loaded with rituals. There are the speeches by important people. These somehow make up for the many expensive and useless degrees and the lack of job opportunities.

In companies there are rituals in the boardroom below pictures of past Chairmen. There are speeches to employees about the culture and mission of the company. Meanwhile, the bosses and shareholders scoop the wealth created.

Rituals are a means of manipulating us to do what the elites expect of us.

Rituals about fertility ensure that there will be future generations of peasants to obey the elites.
At least the peons are having a little fun.