I love that one: "The statement that all these ideas are speculations "for which there are no facts" sounds a bit condescending."
The statement that we might not know stuff... it sounds rather... what? Self-aware.
Swiryn doesn't recognize any distinctions, so the idea that fact-based blather might be different than fact-free blather is offensively constraining. That ties to your earlier post. I know you've already tugged a forelock for seeming so negative, but... I think that you were exactly correct.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:They don't like authority, it implies hierarchy, patriarchy, control, repression, evil, the Church, society ... SCHOOL, with its judgments, valuations, hierarchy, win-lose, pass-fail...
"They" is Tarotists, that is. Most, the vast, vast majority, are people who consider themselves marginal, alternative, smarter than the rest of the stupid herd. Most are not used to being students, to sit and listen, to read and study, to think, to have discipline in thinking, to be wrong most of the time, to do practice until it makes perfect.
So - the very form of the statement "I don't know enough to say anything, so I don't" shows how the poster thinks. They don't have questions, they just want to state their opinion. And after that, to have their intelligence affirmed. They are not used to criticism in such a warm alternative environment, with friends, like Tarot is supposed to be.
So those of us who claim to know something, so called "historians", "experts", big-wig know-it-alls, are really just standing in for the same society that rejects them and their superior intuitive insight. We don't belong there, we are THE ESTABLISHMENT.
Of course, that DOES sound elitist and condescending. Studying hard, taking the tests seriously, repeating what the books said instead of just making stuff up and playing around, and trying to get good marks instead of talking to our friends about more interesting topics... not fun.
Where's the self-esteem and personal empowerment there?!
On the other hand, i.e., my POV, experts are COOL! The people who know vastly more than I do (like you and Huck, to name a couple obvious ones who have answered "Here!" for this class session) are a phenomenal resource. You've done SO much work so that I don't have to -- assuming
that I'm willing to accept your findings and conclusions. I would never have known much about Tarot history if it were not for Dummett, and the other playing-card historians who followed him. That fat nasty $300 textbook is for Intro to Tarot History 101a
, first course, first semester. The good news is that you also use the same book every semester after that.
The point is, paying obeisance to Tarot historians is not a burden, it is a gift. It is what allows me to NOT be a Tarot historian. Years ago, the estimable (jk) challenged me to debate some point or other. I half-heartedly offered the historians' view, but he insisted that I defend my own. I tried to explain to him that I had no personal opinion, because I was a consumer of history rather than a producer. I judge expertise in general and specific conclusions in particular as best I can, but in terms of history I'm always deferring to someone or other, "The Man". That's why I stick up for some of the old guys, whether Hind and Gombrich and Panofsky in art history, or Moakley, Dummett, and even O'Neill in terms of Tarot writings.
So your comments about it being a kind of countercultural sensibility seems apt in that sense, as well as in the obvious fact that most Tarot enthusiasts are likely to suffer from New Age it's-all-good syndrome: while rejecting mainstream ideas on principle, they reject nothing else. That's why, for example, Umberto Eco laments the Gnostic/Hermetic/Postmodern approach to meaning: "the glory of the reader is to discover that texts can say everything, except what their author wanted them to mean".
Directing that POV back toward the online fora... bring out the dunce caps. Some of the children need to sit facing the corner for a little time-out.
P.S. Unlike Tarot history, in terms of the iconography
of Tarot, I am of course both an avid consumer and producer.