Monday, July 14, 2008

Quaker Roots

In doing the research for my upcoming interest group on American Transcendentalists and their influence on Friends, I'm discovering how useful it'd be to not confine my attention to the western hemisphere and the Americas. For example, Emilia Fogelklou of Gothenburg contributes strong writings. Plus Margaret Fuller, friendly to Friends, wrote some of her best stuff as an expat, so once again we're outside of Walt Whitman's favorite stomping grounds (where he sang of himself).

I think I'll start off by looking at barbs and/or spoofs aimed at Quakers, for example this one blog alludes to Quagans, our Quaker-pagan subcultures (not like others haven't played with exotic hybrids), whereas this other contains an hilarious review of a first person "non-shooter". What's especially revealing is the following paragraph:
Multiplayer Discussion
Rainbow Six: Quakers features online multi-player that lets you and the opposing team talk it out in a variety of highly-detailed maps like Village Café, Modern Boardroom and Comfy Mattress.
In other words, the tools of diplomacy have a transcendentalist flare, hearkening back to the "make love not war" aesthetics of the 1970s. One of our best "east meets west" collaborations was Yoko Ono's with John Lennon, a couple who helped us awaken from the Vietnam nightmare. I'm not saying either is Quaker (not my call), but that their personal testimonies well fit with such as we find in Lives That Speak.

Of course in practice I'm rubbing shoulders with only a tiny minority of Friends, a wandering (if not lost) bunch of Beanites and fellow travelers in the Pacific Northwest, circa Seattle.