Sunday, October 25, 2015

Quotes from _The Flower and the Scorpion_ #43

"Juan Vernal, who had lived his entire life in Iguala, stated that he had used this spell many times to kill highwaymen who had come to rob him. He begins the incantation by invoking several gods, including Yaotl, an appellation that literally translates as "war, warrior, enemy" and that is also the name of an ancient war god, used here to refer to Tezcatlipoca. Juan asserts that he will "give pleasure" to his "older sisters," using the term alhuia, pleasure, as a metaphor for his fight. Nahuas commonly used this term to refer specifically to sexual pleasure. He also uses the term nohueltihuan, "my older sisters," as a fictive kinship term feminizing his attackers. By pleasuring his enemies, Juan develops an imaginary incestuous relationship with his older sisters in which he penetrates and overpowers them. Juan asks Yaotl/Tezcatlipoca to provide him with a weapon with which to defeat his enemies. He further demands that the gods make his enemies weak and him strong. And he asserts his strength through the use of a metaphor for fertility: "The stones will become drunk, the trees will become drunk; the land will become drunk at my will." Juan goes on to assert the power of the gods by stating, "I am the priest, I am Yaotl." But his enemies "are accompanying my older sister, Xochiquetzal. They are bringing that which will be her breath, her cotton fluff, and her ball of thread, with which they will give me." Juan then will close the incantation by stating that his enemies will be covered with blood. He also will add some terms in the final stanzas of the incantation, including tonacametzin, "sacred sustenance thigh;"' and several other elements that refer to the land."

The first glimmer of Pete's somewhat unfortunate Lacanian Freudianism and his subsequent obsession with the emasculating power of being penetrated.  While certainly many cultures have drawn a connection between the sexual "top" and power, I find much of Freud's commentary on such a little beyond-the-pale and even unbelievable.  Also, as a committed "bottom", a non-binary/genderqueer transperson, and a transfeminine person, I often find it distasteful, oppressive, offensive, and almost always just plain not reflective of my own reality and the realities of those in my community.  From the last point there, I extrapolate that, at the very least, such interpretations, are missing something, if not that they are entirely false.

I would have expected better from Pete Sigal, as he seems to be an openly kinky gay man, who I would have assumed would have known better.

That being said, I do find it quite believable that Juan Vernal intended the penetration of his enemies in this curse to be a way of describing his power and victory over them.

Alsoalso, I love the mind-feel of the term "sacred sustenance thigh".  It does fun things in my brain.  Just saying ;-)

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