Saturday, March 12, 2022

The Tradition of Dirt-Eating

I've been going through my clippings, trying to downsize, and came across a printout of this 1984 NY Times piece on the last remnants of the old practice - since largely forgotten - of dirt eating. All these years later, I recall the deep impact it originally had on me. I find it beautiful.

Click for easier readability:
This would never be published today. And that's why this practice has largely been forgotten. It's a squelched memory. And while I realize there are stupid people who'd draw nasty conclusions, to me it's very deep. I'm not ready to scarf mud, myself. But this gives me a visceral feeling of how close we still are in time to an ("earthier"?) era that's nearly unrecognizable. And the quotes even make it relatable, perhaps almost seductive to some part of me. It's wonderful all around.

White-washing (perfect term) history to obliterate cultural memory that doesn't jibe with the retconned storyline seems like the ultimate disrespect. Mrs. Glass - who understood things you and I don't and never will - is shamed by our willful looking-away from her, as if she were some awful person doing some awful thing. I want to hear more about Fannie Glass and her forebears. I reject the diversion of my attention toward higher-toned storylines better fitting the preferred narrative of superior cultural authorities.

I don't want their narrative, I want the truth. I love the truth. And I'll bet Mrs. Glass would have been right there with me on that.

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