Tagged: evolutionary psychology

XLIV

Amazing. Leading into a maze.

Under-stand. See what is under.

Woful = woeful, woe + ful => woman, woeman (wretched man, the wretched one)

In managerial economies like ours, high remuneration tends to accrue to positions held in depersonalizing organizations (cf. The Organization Man by W.H. Whyte). It is therefore surprising that few intelligent people, if the concept of meritocracy is accurate, are facing a motivation obstacle that prevents them from sacrificing personality to remuneration.

The concept of meritocracy ought to be further reviewed. For one thing, it may not be true that a degree is a sure sign of intelligence, insofar as we are now seeing women widely outperforming men in academic achievements while IQ testing does not predict it. All in all, those who take in earnest the Pygmalion effect (the influence of expectations on performance) are implicitly rejecting the concept of meritocracy as they claim school results depend on third parties’ expectations rather than IQ.

Which, by the way, makes John Stuart Mill’s idea of granting plural voting to intelligent people as deduced from education – ‘The distinction in favour of education, right in itself, is further and strongly recommended by its preserving the educated from the class legislation of the uneducated’ (Considerations on Representative Government) – nonsensical. Do the Millists of our days, then, advocate weighting votes according to IQ?

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Veil Down in the West: A Woman’s Convenience

A couple of more quotes from literary documents supporting the thesis of my essay Le Voile en Occident here (en français).

She took those rooms for the pleasure of going there with her veil down, and imagining she was a heroine. She had a passion for secrecy, but she herself was merely a sphinx without a secret. (Oscar Wilde, The Sphinx Without a Secret)

Though it was midsummer Hetta entered the room with her veil down. She adjusted it as she followed Ruby up the stairs, moved by a sudden fear of her rival’s scrutiny. (Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now, 1875)

May I not ask you to lay aside your veil, so that we may look at each other fairly? (Ibid.)

The Veiled Lodger, in The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes (1927) by A. Conan Doyle: The lodger keeps her veil down at all times to spare people the sight of her scars.

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‘A machine-like footman.’ (The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes) ‘Tis how a footman ought to be. Anything beyond machine-likeness would be obtrusive.

It is not being misanthropic to prefer being served by machines. Do not let the condition of our present feudal society think of yourselves as misanthropes.

Drop man from service. The habit of dealing with humans for purely monetary-functional transactions erodes our humaneness.

In terms of service Chinese dealers are closest to the perfection of the machine. This is why I patronize their businesses.

Amusement and recreation are necessary to relax from work; they are not leisure, which is an end in itself.

In Thomas More’s Utopia, the workday lasts six hours. But everybody works. Whereas, for Thomas Aquinas, the surplus of work for some (above, say, six hours) allows others to live a contemplative life (vita contemplativa) – in other words, a leisure life (See Sebastian de Grazia, Of Time, Work, and Leisure, 1962). It is this very notion of leisure life that has vanished from Western conscience, which disappearance makes the idea of the slavery of machines for the sake of living a leisure life sound quite… utopian.

Time-starved and as good as dead.

In our society many a man has no place intended to him as a man – only as manpower.

London subway, Dec. 24, 2014. A prerecorded female voice tells you to ‘alight here for the museums.’ But all museums are closed Dec. 24, 25, & 26 each year – you know why.

According to Marshall McLuhan, colonization has detribalized Africa through the introduction of the written medium. According to Cheikh Anta Diop, colonization has retribalized Africa, where great unified empires existed.

Old-fashioned vs mass-fashioned.

The great man’s mistakes are closer to the truth than the little man’s exactitude.

The craving for dignity, in a deterministic world, leads to absurd work ethics – to an unproductive show of make-feel-worthy.

On a plane with x-axis capacity and y-axis wealth I say we shall find a bell-shaped curve, because mediocre individuals are capacious enough to unite against the highly capacious and prevent them from competing. Not allowed to compete! [However, the main problem, as hinted above, is motivation – motivation obstacles. Competition is time-consuming and its rewards unlikely to compensate great minds for the time lost away from enjoying the company of other great minds through books, and their own inner dialogue, thinking, contemplation, leisure.]

According to Kant, it does not take intelligence to know one’s duty, i.e. the moral law, whereas it takes intelligence to thrive in the world, to be worldly wise. Kant thereby disqualifies this kind of self-serving smartness (Klugheit) as in no way being a noble virtue and in no way central in mankind’s calling. As to Schopenhauer, he considers true intelligence as unselfish, as he posits a trade-off between Wille (will) and Vorstellung (‘representation,’ insight). The genius is detached from nature’s pursuits, finding no higher enjoyment than his own insight at representing the world in his mind, that is, in his own genius.

Perverted into compliance.

What best characterizes the present age of information is that it’s not an information age.

There must be something wrong with the so-called ‘extraversion-dominance’ dimension of psychology (one of the Big Five), as the organization man must be both extraverted/other-oriented and dependent/submissive in his life as a hierarchical team worker. Or it shows the dramatic extent of the strain the organization exerts on our nature.

Cities are no less pestilent than villages. Yet in cities one’s relationships are limited to people one cares to see, whereas in villages one is expected to socialize with all other villagers; the pestilence of social life is thus transferred from interpersonal relationships to some holistic crowd effect, in which the injury comes from unknown passers-by.

Most pets are castrated, sterilized by their owners. Remember we are a domesticated species. A self-domesticated species.

Ubiquitous mass media pornography is externalized delectatio morosa.

Assignment: Carry out big-data survey on scholars’ writings in scientific journals compared to their published books in order to assess the extent of publishers and editors’ intervention in the latter.

The specialized scientist’s worldview is unbalanced. As his worldview manifests itself even in his work as a specialist, the specialist’s work itself is unbalanced. The cold objectivity of facts and figures, so much flaunted by the specialists, is imbalance.

The specialist is an unbalanced man. His activity is knowledge as toil. Toil is what unbalances man’s development. Leisure ensures the balanced development of man’s faculties.

Morals has been replaced by priming, but the latter does not escape the objections addressed to the former, as scientists inevitably sneak priming in their writings.

In developing countries the role of the importune beggar is played by the street dealer.

All men are equal’: the legal axiom defies science. It is based on purely moral grounds and at the same time the recognizance of this moral axiom as being the fundation of the civil compact has become, or is becoming, though history, universal. Literally it only means that ‘all men are equal before the law’ but the qualification is immaterial for that the law should treat as equals people who are unequal according to nature is at defiance with nature. Where is the scientific evidence that ‘all men are created equal’? By opposing the civil state to the state of nature, Hobbes stressed the necessary humbling of natural urges before the civil law for the maintenance of civil order and peace, which, in religious terms, compares to the humbling of the natural man before the law of God. As it imposes an absolute restraint on nature, the law may be called moral and any breach of compact is abhorrent to the moral law. The restraint is absolute in the sense that if one is free to contract with others in the way that best suits his own interest, he is not free to violate, in his interest, a contract. The latter is incompatible with civil order. A person caught in the act of breaking his word is not allowed any longer to pursue his interest until a sentence has been served.

If science primes us (psychologically) to indulge in tendencies that are being surmounted by progress, then science becomes an impediment to progress and will be left behind.

When work is through, status via work will be no option anymore.

What is the ultimate cause (vs proximate cause, i.e. sudden rush of air in the lungs or whatever) of human babies being the only species born crying?

Civilization means psychoticism because mass media conditions maladaptive sexuality and the psychotics, according to H. Eysenck, are the least conditionable.

Admission of the naturalistic fallacy (the tendency to grant indicative statements the value of injonctions) implies that our aims are determined outside natural life. Darwinian theory, thus, gives no account of our aims, and Darwinists who warn against the naturalistic fallacy downgrade their own work and pursuit. And those among them who, like R. Thornhill, do the same while insisting on applying the experimental test to all propositions are inconsistent in the bargain.

I have a doubt on Ronald Fisher’s ultimate explanation of equal sex ratios. Fisher’s principle states that, when females are scarce, siring a male will be selected against as more males will not mate, and vice-versa. It is the vice-versa that disturbs me, because males are polygynous. ‘Whichever sex is in excess will have lower reproductive success, in average,’ yes: for two sexes having equal reproductive strategies…

I have a doubt also on some claims about parasites and evolution. Predators do not weed out the genetically slower individuals but those individuals that are made slower by parasites (for instance, susceptibility to predation is increased thirty times for infected fishes, according to one study). Being free from parasite indicates a better immune system, but I should think parasite infestation has a random dimension too: in some cases it depends on where the individual has been (the wrong place at the wrong time), what he has eaten, etc. If randomness is high, how can selection mechanisms, in the predator-prey interaction, generate adaptations?

The world is not within man’s reach – the world in the physical sense: stars and galaxies. Our thriving on a speck of dust lost in infinity cannot conceal its (our thriving’s) indecorum. We must leave room to a one better suited than us to explore and know the world: Der Geist.

Biology will become anecdotal because the most important for Der Geist will be to know Itself. In biology Der Geist will find what It is not, not what It is.

The profound meaning of political freedom is that political ideas do not matter in the least. The program will apply and Der Geist will awaken.

Subsidizing children amounts to a windfall. It is because children are one’s highest stakes in the system that governments subsidize reproductive success while burdening all other forms of success.

Crime novels are read by practical people who have no time and no patience for things remote from their self-interest. Not because these novels are easier to read – they are not – but because practical people always keep in a corner of their minds the more or less conscious idea that one day to kill someone will be necessary to safeguard their interests.

Lucretius’s ‘unalloyed empiricism’ (Milord Matt Ridley): yet the idea that the world is made of two things only, atoms and void, was not empirical but speculative.

In business they’re always talking about having ideas, but the ideas they have in business are of the kind a thinker would be ashamed to have.

How to pronounce the word ‘read’ when reading it is at times impossible to know before the end of the sentence.

It seems that scientific marketing has been so efficient that only those who underwent some religious conditioning (in part inconsistent with mass marketing) are now capable of being critical toward the current state of the society.

When I was young I was feeling a need for religious belief and I would see the scientist who lacked that need as a defective mind, same as I would see a man without sexual needs as unmanly.

I remember very well that when I used to be an avid reader of classic philosophy I couldn’t shift to more recent material without being highly disappointed by their content, I mean by the thinking evidenced in it. No matter how noted the authors were, Ivy League professors and all, they couldn’t rise any high in my estimation.

Love eternal: about the fourth or fifth time it comes in your life you start wondering. Women as transient objects of love eternal.

Google has decided they wanted to help you search things on the Web. So you start typing a name and their engine completes it, with the closest Hollywood star or soccer player, when you’re looking for a biologist… Am I the only one to think this will reinforce herd mentality?

Mexican film La sexorcista (Satánico Pandemonium) (1975) by Gilberto Martínez Solares takes place in a convent during Mexican colonial times (there are still black slaves, some of them escaping from slavery into convents and monasteries, where they are hardly treated better, and there is plague in the country too). Although the title is a bit of a ‘catcher,’ the film, about a nun falling into sin and consequently becoming a serial murderer is subtle and profound. Once one devotes her life to God in the way a Catholic nun does, that is, relinquishing the most demanding urges of nature, the slightest slip can lead one astray and into the deepest regions of despair and madness via a terrifying logic. If she loses in the slightest the firmness of her faith or faith in her firmness, and realizes in what grave she has buried herself alive, she becomes demented – a demon. Yet the apparences can be preserved, including through murder, and the horrible irony of the film is that by accepting to live in utter deception of others the criminal nun is offered the highest honors, the leadership of her community, whereas the confession of her crimes would have brought her into the hands of the Inquisition and to death after atrocious abuses. It is made plain, however, that her reward will corrupt the whole community and beyond: under the guise of devotion and unbeknownst to them, the believers will be paying honor to Satan, into whose sheep they have been turned.

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‘Israel does not suffer from rape’

i

About the fantastic claim that Israel does not suffer from rape (made by Tobias Langdon, in his essay Fake Jews: Deceit and Double-Think in Britain’s Hostile Elite, UNZ Review online, May 16, 2017)

According to Tobias Langdon, as an ethnostate Israel’s blessings include Israeli women’s being spared from rape.

According to A Natural History of Rape (2000) by Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer, rape is at least two different things, 1/rape by a sexual predator (his victims being unknown to him), 2/rape by a relative (including incest on children) or by a known person, that is date rape; and the second category is the commonest by far – very far. Yet rape by migrants is of the sexual-predator category.

(I also believe that the first category has always been more reported than the second one, and if it is found that a statistical increase in rape is due in part to more victims reporting, we will also find that this reporting concerns in large part family or date rapes.)

Rape, being a sensitive issue, comes handy for propaganda. Shock value of violent murders and rapes can cloud the reasoning and then one would swallow anything unsupported by statistics. And I don’t find statistics as much as shock-value cases in anti-migrant internet literature.

As to the fantastic claim that ‘ethnostate’ Israel ‘doesn’t suffer from this crime’ (rape) as she does not allow third-world immigration, it is preposterous, on three counts:

1/The claim assumes that family and date rape does not exist in Israel.

2/That there is no third-world immigration in Israel is not true, as Black Ethiopians and other third-world nationalities have immigrated to and settled in Israel.

To be sure, the numbers of Black people and third-world immigration in Israel may be considered negligible. But as Langdon notes, there are 20 percent non-Jewish Arabs with Israeli (however second-class) citizenship: hardly an ethnostate! Israel is not as ‘sane’ as Langdon likes to, perhaps craves to believe.

3/& finally rape rates in Israel are said to be rather high. [There are problems with international rape statistics, however. For instance, in the article here (wonderslist) about ‘Top 10 Countries With Maximum Rape Crime,’ I can see no reason why Canada has 14 times (!) more sex assaults than similar country USA. Canada: 460,000 assaults each year for a population of 36M =1277 per lakh; USA: 293,000 assaults/year for a pop. of 323M =90.7 per lakh…]

Tobias Langdon is one case of delusional thinking about Israel, combined with an ingrained repulsion toward colored people – that same repulsion that led one of my Twitter contenders to make, in the heat of an exchange, the fantastically preposterous claim that all rapists in Israel are Blacks (see Tweet Anthology 2 here).

ii

Nor was ever the U.S. an ethnostate, as the economy of the South was based on slavery (on the paper, however, it could be said it was, yes, as slaves were not citizens). Neither slavery America nor apartheid Israel are ethnostates. Both are exploitative caste states.

Of course, that ruthless exploitation could be a political aim is not considered proper today, except perhaps to the most unabashed supremacists. For all others, an unarticulated desire to enslave a whole class of people in order to make one’s own life easier would translate as a perceived need, an actual anxiety to defend one’s civilization – where there’s nothing to defend but a heritage of exploitation and misery for the greater number.

It is because of the earnest possibility of such a collective desire for enslavement and exploitation that academia tends to reject IQ studies, as inferior IQs would be deemed a sufficient reason to enslave, say, the Blacks, however shocking this is to our moral sense. Liberals are often snubbed as moralists, but morality is no more to be dismissed from the fabric of man than are man’s lower instincts.

If there exist statistics that demonstrate high rate crimes of Black and other people of color, then I’d like to see them. What some are wont of doing on the internet is tweeting shocking cases of rape and murder, say once every week or two, when heinous crimes happen in the U.S. alone at the rate of dozens a day. So as these highly motivated militants can’t bring more than such numbers of cases to my attention, then I say to myself, wait, I am deeply nauseated by these Black on White crimes, but what about the figures now? Again, if there are figures…

The figure I know is Black inmates in American prisons. There’s no reason to suppose, like many liberals, that this high percentage is per se a proof of racism in American society rather than, say, the criminal nature of the Black man, as the opponents of those liberals would have it. Once this is being said, I have heard that the greater part of these inmates have been sentenced for drugs and I think that changes everything, because even if that might prove one of the Black man’s natural tendencies, I wouldn’t exclude that Blacks are being targeted on purpose by pushers having all the means of scientific marketing at their disposal, especially knowing that they are working in prison, that is, are just like the slaves of old and just like the Black peons of the Jim Crow regime (where they were not allowed to diversify their crops, to take just one instance). This is a pattern.

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Singled Out

Some thoughts after reading Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After (2006) by Bella DePaulo, PhD.

i

For a ultimate cause of ‘matrimania’ (marriage mania), I’d be tempted to look into evolutionary psychology. Bella DePaulo uses a meaningful phrase: ‘intensive coupling,’ or ‘intensive nuclearity,’ and I think it is key to understanding matrimania. Intensive coupling is the current form of mate guarding. Women’s emancipation has made it necessary that both partners couple more intensely than ever in the past, when the relative social isolation of the woman would guarantee some stability to the couple, as mate poaching would be obstructed by women’s reclusion and minority status.

The corollary of intensive coupling is the emotional value attached to coupling, which, as DePaulo observes, has not always been so exclusive in the past. Another corollary is the delusions she describes under the word ‘singlism.’

What she says about the fifties in America (‘Consider … the Americans who were newly wedded in 1956. No Americans on record married at a younger age than they did, before or since. Half the 1956 grooms had not yet reached the age of 22.5, and half the brides were 20 or younger’) also triggered various reminiscences. I see the American fifties as an era of profound change marked by ‘hidden persuaders’ (Vance Packard), ‘affluence,’ ‘reversed sequence’ and the rise of the ‘technostructure’ (Galbraith), ‘managerialism’ (Burnham), and I am led to hypothesize the intervention of  technocratic power (more efficient than that of churches!) in normalizing marriage in the American society. There may have been two incentives in that direction for these technocratic ‘persuaders.’ One is social control, as by and large single males would be seen as sexual predators and single females as feebly-inhibited nomads (from eugenicist Charles Davenport – and my understanding is that eugenics was still okay at the time). The other is consumption at the levels required by the newly achieved affluence. DePaulo stresses the response already made to Japanese scholar Masahiro Yamada’s contention that ‘single parasites’ consume less, yet I am not quite convinced that singles consume as much as couples; data should not be too hard to find on that score.

Yamada’s indictment of singles based on their consumption patterns or consumption levels is revealing of a tendency of capitalist societies toward ‘democratorship’ (from German Demokratur: Demokratie-Diktatur).

ii

Evolutionary psychology postulates that we are replication machines for our genes (Dawkins): the goal of life is reproduction. EP scholars insist that the phrase ‘struggle for life’ is actually a misnomer, since survival is in fact at the service of reproduction. The phrase ‘reproductive success’ is key to their understanding of social relations. Now, as DePaulo says, some singles have children (and more and more people with children are singles); but this is still a way to maximize/optimize one’s reproductive success, if one’s partner turns out to be abusive, violent &c. She underlines that many singles and their children are better off single than in pair. But then they are in a typical EP pattern, whereas childless singles are not, and are rather, in that view, well, if the former are successes, then the latter are – the contrary of successes (and unhappy).

One EP scholar (Kanazawa) has come with an ‘intelligence paradox,’ trying to explain why intelligent people tend to commit ‘the greatest crime against nature’ (in his own words), namely voluntarily not to reproduce. Having read his book, in fact I can say this doesn’t even describe intelligent men by and large, only (or more likely) intelligent women. Still, in one other book (Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, 2007, Kanazawa & Miller), he points to a productivity peak for scholars happening later in life in the case of singles than in the case of marrieds. He sees it as a confirmation of the EP view that once you reproduce you’ve done what you were called for in this life (by your genes) and you now concentrate on giving your children the opportunities to reproduce in the best conditions in their turn.

For a more thorough discussion of Kanazawa’s intelligence paradox, see here.

iii

With Singled Out, Bella DePaulo almost made me think good of Oprah Winfrey (I can’t say I know Oprah Winfrey well, it’s just I have no warm notions of TV personalities generally speaking). But I have just been reading she is involved with a cult called A Course in Miracles (a course allegedly dictated by Jesus to a female medium, starting in 1965) and has put her large notoriety at its service. No doubt this has contributed mightily to the cult’s affairs.

In Order by Accident (2000), Miller & Kanazawa claim that, faced with unemployment, women evidence a tendency to join cults. I am pretty sure that cult membership also counts singles in larger proportions.

iv

DePaulo sends a pique to those Americans who see themselves as adventurous and yet dare not go alone at the restaurant. Well observed!

In my experience, in restaurants that ambition to be fashionable, service to singles is extremely poor and as customers abandon themselves to the goodwill of the waiters the experience can be quite unpleasant. It’s as if these restaurants have an anti-single policy that they implement through bad service. They do their best to spare their ‘normal,’ or ideal, paired customers the inconvenience of being seated near a single – looser by definition in the dictionary of singlism.

Alternately, it may be no policy from the management but come from the staff themselves. As union is strength, waiters might hesitate to be inconsiderate and mean to pairs, while it’s fair game with singles, and they release it! If the waiter intends to be mean with a pair, Madame will insult him in soft voice while talking to Monsieur and making sure the waiter hears and his pride is hurt, while the single remains silent, doesn’t even whisper, because then they’re looked upon as having bats in the belfry.

Try the burger parlor.

July 2017

L’Occulte touareg / Tuareg Occult

Sur le modèle de notre glossaire malais (I & II), sont ici réunis des vocables tirés du Dictionnaire touareg-français de Karl-Gottfried Prasse, Ghoubeïd Alojaly et Ghabdouane Mohamed (Museum Tusculanum Press, Université de Copenhague, 2003) qui nous semblent particulièrement intéressants pour la connaissance de la culture touarègue et en particulier de ses traditions occultes (ce glossaire n’est donc pas un recueil de termes usuels). Le dictionnaire utilisé se concentre essentiellement sur les dialectes touaregs parlés au Niger.

Nous classons les entrées dans l’ordre où elles apparaissent dans le dictionnaire, c’est-à-dire « par ordre alphabétique selon leur racine consonantique », l’alphabet utilisé étant le suivant :

b d (dy) ḍ (ṭ, ṭṭ) (ḍy) – f g ɣ (q, qq) – h k l m n (ŋ) – r s š t (ṭ) (ty) – w x y z ẓ ž pour les consonnes, et

a e i o u (longues) et ə ă (courtes) pour les voyelles,

ce qui ne correspond pas totalement à la transcription latine du touareg officialisée au Niger en 1999 (voir wikipedia « Touareg (langue) »). Les consonnes couvrant un point correspondent à l’emphatique en arabe, le ɣ au ‘ayn (ﻉ), le x au ḥa (ﺡ), le š à sh (ﺶ) et le ž à dj (ﺝ).

Le présent glossaire étant un outil ethnographique plutôt que linguistique, nous omettons le pluriel des mots, sauf  pour les noms de tribu où le pluriel est censé être le plus fréquent (la tribu des Băžubăletăn, les Idăberăn…). Nous renvoyons le lecteur intéressé par la langue et les aspects linguistiques à la source originale.

Quelques abréviations : ha. (le terme provient du haoussa), ar. (provient de l’arabe).

Mes propres remarques sont entre crochets []. Les quelques photos ajoutées ne font pas partie du dictionnaire. Enfin, j’ai traduit chacune des entrées en anglais.

*

The present glossary gathers several words/entries from the French-Tuareg Dictionary by Karl-G. Prasse et al. (2003) together with my English translation and a few personal remarks in brackets [].

*

B

ăbogaz : cousin croisé (fils de tante paternelle ou d’oncle maternel) ; par extension (p.ext.), cousin en général. On estime que les soins d’un cousin croisé sont particulièrement propices au traitement de certaines maladies, par ex. la teigne.

A cross-cousin (son of a paternal aunt or daugther of a maternal uncle); by extension, a cousin in general. It is thought that nursing by a cross-cousin is particularly favorable to the cure of some ailments such as ringworm.

ăbagən : espèce de petit crocodile vivant dans les mares. [Ils vivent coincés dans les oasis depuis la désertification.]

A species of small crocodile living in ponds. [They have been stuck inside oases ever since the desertification of these areas.]

ăboɣəlli : mulâtre. Les iboɣăllităn des Kel-Ataram ont un statut un peu supérieur à celui des eklan (esclaves) noirs.

A mulatto. The iboɣăllităn of the Kel-Ataram have a status slightly higher than that of black eklan (slaves).

băllăwri, băllăwli : sorte de pierre rouge translucide (de la région d’Agadez) ; p.ext. anneau de doigt en băllăwri.

A sort of red translucent stone (from Agadez region); by ext. a finger ring made of this stone.

abăngor : morve séchée ; lambeau de peau desséché (qui pend au bord d’une plaie) ; p.ext. nègre (terme de dérision).

Dry snot; a shred of dessicated skin (hanging from the edge of a wound); by ext. a negro (derogatory term).

səbbərəg : se vanter ; montrer sa plénitude (chamelle) ; faire semblant d’être pleine (chamelle).

To boast; to show off one’s pregnancy (she-camel); to pretend being pregnant (she-camel).

abărăybăray : « gorille » (il n’y a pas de gorilles en pays touareg, mais les Touaregs en connaissent l’existence ; pour eux c’est un monstre qu’on rencontre parfois en brousse. On dit qu’il provoque l’homme à la lutte au corps à corps ; s’il gagne l’homme reste mort ou fou, si l’homme gagne le monstre lui donne une bague magique source de grande richesse, mais si l’homme répond à l’appel de son nom la bague perd sa puissance (D. Sudlow).) [J’ai du mal à comprendre en quoi cette description d’une sorte de lutin ou de gnome de conte de fées est la preuve que les Touaregs connaissent les gorilles. Pourquoi traduire par « gorille » ce personnage du folklore ? Hypothèse : les Touareges ont probablement donné le nom de cette créature de leur folklore au gorille pour quelque ressemblance dont ils auraient ouï dire et que rien ne révèle dans la description du dictionnaire (si ce n’est que le gorille est réputé attaquer les gens ?).]

A « gorilla ». (There are no gorillas in the Tuareg country, but Touaregs know their existence. For them it is a monster that one sometimes meets in the bush. It is said that it engages in hand-to-hand fights with the individuals he comes across; if it beats the man the latter is killed or becomes mad, if the man beats the monster the latter gives him a magic ring that brings riches and wealth, but if the man answers to his name being called the ring loses its power.) [Why such a fairytale sprite or goblin proves that Tuaregs know the existence of gorillas is beyond my understanding. Tuaregs probably gave the gorilla the name of this creature of their folklore from some resemblance they heard about and we are not aware of from the description (unless it is because gorillas are said to attack people?].]

abăybăya : habitant noir de la côte (Togolais, Béninois etc.) ; p.ext. personne maladroite.

A negro dweller of the coast (Togolose, Beninese etc); by ext. a clumsy person.

Băžubăle / Băžubăletăn : ancienne tribu berbère aujourd’hui tout à fait négrifiée et parlant haoussa, vivant dans la région de Kéita-Tahoua.

An ancient Berber tribe that is entirely negrified today and speaks Hausa, dwelling in the region of Keita-Tahoua.

D

emud ən-ḍan : la fête des chiens (fête où l’on tue un chien/des chiens ; célébrée certaines années chez les Kel-Faday, surtout à Agadez).

Dog festival (during which one or more dogs are killed; it is celebrated on certain years by the Kel-Faday, above all in Agadez).

tədda : farine de mil mouillée ; mil mal pilé (c’est un moyen des femmes pour engraisser). [Voici ce qu’écrit notre Simone de Beauvoir nationale au sujet de la graisse chez les femmes touarègues : « Autrefois les chefs [touaregs] gavaient leurs épouses au point que, pour forniquer ces blocs graisseux, il leur fallait le secours de plusieurs serviteurs. Ces temps étaient loin. » (La Force des choses) La pratique existe toujours, à tout le moins parmi les populations nomades de Mauritanie, sous le nom arabe dialectal de leblouh. Cf. ɣăbbăt-əffəz pour plus ample discussion.]

Wet millet flour; badly crushed millet (used by women to fatten). [Simone de Beauvoir writes the following about Tuareg women: ‘In the days of old Tuareg chiefs used to fatten their wives so much so that, in order to copulate with these boulders of fat they needed assistance from several servants. Those days are over.’ The custom has survived at least among the nomadic populations of Mauritania, where it is known, in dialectal Arabic, as leblouh. See ɣăbbăt-əffəz for more details.]

tadbəq : bâillon de sevrage pour les veaux ; état de respiration retenue ou sortant avec difficulté ; silence prolongé et volontaire (d’une personne) ; sorte de maladie vénérienne (mortelle, empêche l’éjaculation du sperme).

A muzzle for wheaning calves; a state of restrained or difficult breathing; prolonged, volontary silence (said of a person); a venereal disease (lethal, impedes ejaculation of semen).

Edăber / Idăberăn : tribu, littéralement (litt.) les tourterelles. Les Idăberăn comptent parmi les tribus touarègues les plus anciennes. [Pourquoi ce nom de tourterelles ?]

Name of a tribe, meaning ‘the turtledoves,’ among the most ancien. [Where does the name come from?]

mədədəqqət : se taper l’un l’autre dans la main (pour se passer des messages secrets).

To clap each other’s hands (in order to communicate secret messages).

dagəmi (ha.) : sorte de bracelet magique (tube de cuir rouge empli de bourre de tagăyt [palmier doum] ; protège contre les morsures de serpent).

A magic bracelet (a tube of red leather filled with doum palm floss; protects against snake bites).

adoməni : substance somnifère sécrétée par le mil (sous forme de gomme).

A soporific substance secreted by millet (in the form of gum).

Dăw-Ṣăhak : litt. « les fils d’Isaac », la plus grande tribu d’origine juive du pays touareg ; parlent un songhaï mélangé de touareg ; entretiennent désormais des relations avec l’ambassade d’Israël.

Litt. ‘the sons of Isaas,’ the greatest tribe of Jewish origin in the Tuareg country; they speak Songhay mixed with Tuareg; now have relationships with the state of Israel’s embassy.

uḍu : météorite (étoile filante) ; son d’un aérolite qui tombe (selon la croyance populaire c’est la mort violente d’une étoile) ; le son du ăga n-aṃan (son sourd et prolongé qui se produit parfois dans l’atmosphère et dont l’origine est inconnue ; se produit surtout la nuit ; présage de pluie) ; coup de tonnerre en général.

A meteor (shooting star); the sound of a falling meteor (in popular belief that is the sudden death of a star); ăga n-aṃan sound (prolonged, dull sound that is sometimes heard in the atmosphere and which origin is unknown; occuring mostly at night mostly, it portends rain); thunderclap in general.

ḍan-tyărara (ha.) : homme atteint de diarrhée ; sorte de clown sale qui vagabonde et salit les gens de diarrhée (dans les régions peuplées du sud).

A man suffering from diarrhea; a kind of dirty clown that roams about and soils people with diarrhea (in the populous regions of the south).

asədəs : chirotonie (imposition des mains pour guérison).

Healing by imposition of hands.

F

Fəhen, Nəhen : pays fictif des génies (ălžăynăn [djinns]).

Land of the jinns.

Fakru : nom d’une chamelle légendaire qui donnait du lait à tout le monde jusqu’à sa mort ; aussi confondue avec la chamelle du prophète Salih (Coran VII,75). => emənɣi-n-Fakru, « tueur de Fakru », espèce de singe cynocéphale (Papio nigeriae), également appelé emətti-n-Fakru « mangeur de Fakru ».

Name of a legendary she-camel who was giving her milk to everyone until her death; also conflated with prophet Salih’s camel (Quran VII,75). ‘Killer of Fakru,’ ‘eater of Fakru,’ a species of baboon.

tăfaršit (ar. fârisiyya « la persane ») : sorte d’encens extrait d’une plante importée (pour chasser les démons).

‘The Persian,’ a kind of frankincense extracted from an imported plant (to chase demons).

G

gobəz (ha. ?) : diable, mauvais esprit.

A devil, an evil spirit.

găfăkka (ha.) : sachet à Qoran (en cuir/toile pour transporter le Qoran).

A purse for the Quran (in leather or canvas to carry the Quran).

aggəl : graisse fondue ; graisse d’autruche fondue (sert d’onguent contre les rhumatismes).

Molten fat; molten ostrich fat used as ointment against rheumatism.

əgəllul : homme capable d’invoquer les esprits.

A man able to summon spirits.

tagələllet : cercle, rond ; marque de propriété des Ifəqqar (forgerons marabouts) des Kel-Geres.

Circle, round; property mark of the Ifəqqar (marabout blacksmiths) of the Kel-Geres.

guma, təgumat (ha.) : homme possédé de génies => tende n-gumatăan : tam-tam exécuté pour guérir des possédés en les amenant à la transe.

A man possessed by jinns. => tende n-gumataan: tamtam played to heal the possessed by bringing them to a trance.

Gənbəya : nom propre de femme, litt. femme courtaude et grasse, ou fille de chef [cf. tədda : la citation de S. de Beauvoir, ɣăbbăt-əffəz]

A woman’s name, litt. little, fat woman, or chief’s daughter. [See tədda, ɣăbbăt-əffəz]

tagənnəgənt : manière spéciale de parler touareg, consistant à intervertir l’ordre ses sons dans chaque mot et à intercaler certaines syllabes supplémentaires (d’après certaines conventions), langage secret.

A special manner of speaking Tuareg consisting in inverting the order of sounds in each word and in inserting some more syllables (according to some convention), secret language.

ăgar : espèce d’arbre non épineux (dégage une mauvaise odeur en brûlant) (Maerua crassifolia). L’ăgar est réputé être habité par les génies ; on évite de s’installer à son ombre sans avoir donné d’abord dans son tronc quelques coups de hache qui chassent les génies. Sa fumée est dangereuse et peut rendre aveugle. Les femmes en retraite visitent parfois un ăgar pour se décharger sur lui des obligations d’abstinence devenues trop lourdes.

A species of non thorny tree (gives out a bad smell when burning). It is reputed to be the dwelling-place of jinns; people avoid to sit under it without having struck its trunk severally with an ax before in order to chase the jinns away. Its smoke is dangerous and can make one blind. Retreating women sometimes pay a visit to an ăgar to discharge themselves of abstinence obligations that have become too heavy.

agəru : grenouille ; crapaud ; espèce de croix en or ou argent portée par les femmes touarègues dans la coiffure (symbolise la fécondité ; bijou de noces traditionnel).

Frog; toad; a sort of cross made of gold or silver and borne by Tuareg women on their head (a symbol of fertility; traditional wedding gift).

Ăgori / Igorităn : Noir/nègre de la forêt vierge (de Nigeria etc.) (ne se dit pas des Noirs avec lesquels les Touaregs sont en contact quotidien).

A negro of the forest (Nigeria etc) (not used for black people whom Tuaregs meet on a daily basis).

ămăggerše : jeteur de sort par le mauvais œil. => oh əməggerši! exclamation servant à parer l’effet fâcheux d’une louange (en effet, les louanges trop ouvertes sont incorrectes).

A wizard with the power of evil eye. => oh emeggershi! An interjection which aims at warding off the unfortunate effect of a praise (excessive praises are deemed indecorous).

tagărăyyat : espère de lézard (jaune à traits noirs, puant ; les enfants le soupçonnent de téter les chèvres). [Cf. takəzukəzt]

A species of lizard (yellow with black stripes; foul-smelling; children believe that it sucks the goats.)

agəs : danser avec la tête et les mains (en position assise).

To dance with the head and hands while sitting.

təgəyye n-Yăḷḷa, tan-Yăḷḷa : goître. On dit que Dieu afflige d’un goître celui qui se parjure.

A goiter. It is said that God punishes perjury with goiter.

tagăzot : panse (des ruminants) => imawăn ən-tăgăzot : partie antérieure de la panse, « herbière » (revient aux forgerons).

Rumen. => imawan en-tagazot: forepart of the rumen (reserved to the blacksmiths).

igăzan : divination par des points faits sur le sable, géomancie.

Divination by making points on the sand.

agăzzăram : fouette-queue (espèce de lézard). Les Ouelleminden Kel-Ataram regardent ce lézard comme un génie.

A species of lizard considered by the Kel-Ataram to be a jinn.

Q

ɣăbbăt-əffəz : fait de prendre une bouchée et de la mâcher longuement ; gavage (d’une femme qu’on gave avec du lait à l’aide d’un biberon (aɣălla)). => aɣălla : gavoir (sorte de casserole en bois, avec manche à tuyau ; sert à gaver de lait les femmes adolescentes).

[Comme nous l’avons vu à l’entrée tədda, les Touaregs pratiquent de manière traditionnelle le gavage des filles (en particulier des filles de chef), qui deviennent de ce fait obèses. On lira avec profit l’article d’E. Bernus sur le sujet (en ligne sur L’Encyclopédie berbère : ici). Bernus considère que ce gavage permet aux filles de mûrir plus rapidement et donc de se marier plus tôt. L’obésité qui en résulte est chantée par les poètes touaregs comme étant un élément de la beauté féminine (Bernus cite quelques vers à cet égard). Selon la psychologie évolutionniste, un rapport métrique taille-hanche (waist-hip ratio, WHR) de 0,7 est perçu comme le plus attrayant en raison des capacités maximales de fécondité qu’il indique. Dans ce contexte, le fait que l’obésité passe pour un caractère désirable de la femme est une énigme. Cependant, Bernus a sans doute apporté la clé de cette énigme en indiquant qu’il s’agit d’avancer la maturité sexuelle des jeunes filles : de cette façon, il est possible d’accroître le taux de reproduction en réduisant l’écart temporel entre générations. Cette stratégie est viable à condition que le gavage ne nuise pas aux capacités reproductives de la femme (alors qu’en règle générale plus la taille de la femme s’éloigne du ratio 0,7, plus sa fertilité est compromise [à confirmer]) et que l’obésité ne joue pas négativement dans les préférences masculines. Or le fait que l’obésité de la femme soit une préférence des hommes touaregs est peut-être mise en doute par le terme əḳtər du dictionnaire de Prasse, traduit par « avoir une taille de guêpe (une femme) », ce qui laisse supposer que cette taille de guêpe est un marqueur de beauté chez les Touaregs également (l’expression « taille de guêpe » correspond à ce qui a été dit plus haut à propos du rapport taille-hanche : taille étroite et hanches larges). Photos : E. Bernus, article cité. 1/gavage d’une jeune fille 2/femme touarègue obèse : voir le bras.]

To chew lengthily; force-feeding or gavage (of a woman with milk and the help of a special ustensil) => a’alla : ustensil to force-feed adolescent women.

[As we saw under the head tedda, Tuaregs have been traditionally force-feeding their daughters (especially the daughters of chiefs). The women thus force-fed become obese. Bernus considers that the aim is to make girls achieve sexual maturity and marry earlier. Tuareg poets laud obesity as a marker of beauty and Bernus quotes a couple of verses to illustrate this. According to evolutionary psychology, a waist-hip ratio (WHR) of 0.7 is perceived as the most attractive owing to the greatest fertility that it indicates. In this context, that obesity should be a marker of beauty is puzzling. However, Bernus probably gave the key to the riddle: gavage allows Tuaregs to increase their rates of reproduction by reducing the time spread between generations. This strategy is valid on the proviso that gavage does not impair women’s fertility (whereas as a rule the greater the deviation from WHR 0.7, the less fertile the woman physiologically [ought to be confirmed]) and that obesity does not affect negatively males’ preferences. In this latter respect, the fact that Tuareg men prefer obese women may be doubtful given the word əḳtər in Prasse dictionary, translated as « to have a wasp waist (woman), » which seems to hint that a wasp waist is a marker of beauty among Tuaregs too (the phrase itself, wasp waist, can serve as a confirmation of the WHR idea wherever it is used, as in French too).]

tewăɣne : ligature ; lien ; paquet ; écriture liée (manière d’écrire les tifinagh qui les rend très difficiles à déchiffrer et servant à rédiger des messages secrets, consistant à lier les caractères entre eux d’une certaine manière convenue d’avance).

Ligature; link; parcel; longhand script (a manner of writing tifinagh characters that makes them very difficult to decipher and is used to write secret communications, consisting in attaching the characters to one another in a certain way agreed upon in advance).

eɣəri : cuivre rouge. On dit que le port d’un anneau de cuivre allège les rhumatismes.

Red brass. It is said that wearing a brass ring soothes rheumatism.

Aɣrəm-Səṭṭəfăn : nom d’un pays énigmatique d’où vint le premier sultan de l’Aïr. [Aɣrəm signifie ville et désigne également Agadez, « la ville ».]

Name of a mysterious country whence the first Sultan of Ayr came.

Qurăyš : nom de la tribu du Prophète Muhammad (Qurayshites). Beaucoup de tribus berbères se disent être des descendants du Prophète, certaines de droit.

Name of the Prophet Muhammad’s tribe. Many Berber tribes claim descendance from the Prophet, some rightly.

taɣəst : vieux volcan éteint.

An ancient, inactive volcano.

əɣsəb : calculer ; prédire l’avenir en consultant les esprits ; chercher la solution d’une énigme en consultant les esprits.

To compute; to foresee the future by consulting the spirits; to find the solution to a riddle by consulting the spirits.

aɣu-saḳa : espèce d’ogre (qui tue les chamelons) == ar. ‘ifrit (se manifeste à une seule personne, en brousse et dans la nuit, sous la forme de différents animaux qui crient ou beuglent, comme un taureau/chameau/mouton etc.)

A sort of ogre (who kills camel cubs). Same as ‘ifrit (Appears to one person at a time, in the bush and at night, in the form of several animals that utter their cries, such as bull, camel, sheep etc).

eɣăwel : homme noir d’origine esclave (anciens eklan vivant en liberté sous la protection de leurs anciens maîtres ; il existe des iɣăwelăn en dépendance des Kel-Denneg, des Kel-Ayer et des Kel-Geres).

A black man of slave origin (they are former eklan who live free under the protection of their former masters).

H

hăbbăy : avoir les lèvres fardées en noir ; femme aux lèvres fardées en noir. => hănbăy : avoir la bouche noire (âne) ; avoir la bouche fardée en noir (femme). [Le rouge à lèvres existe aussi de manière traditionnelle chez les Touaregs: cf. kălgo. Selon la psychologie évolutionniste, le rouge à lèvres permet aux femmes de simuler une caractéristique de l’excitation sexuelle et les rend par là-même attrayantes pour les hommes. Ainsi le rouge n’est-il pas un ornement arbitraire. Il ne paraît pas possible d’en dire autant du « noir à lèvres » des femmes touarègues et l’on ne saurait non plus considérer qu’elles cherchent à imiter les lèvres noires des ânes auxquelles s’applique également le terme selon Prasse. Et si c’est parce que l’excitation sexuelle noircit les lèvres des femmes à la peau mate tandis qu’elle rougit celles des femmes à la peau claire, pourquoi les femmes touarègues utilisent-elles également du rouge ? Serait-ce que les femmes touarègues à la peau mate, voire les Touarègues noires, utilisent du noir tandis que celles à la peau claire utilisent du rouge ?]

To have one’s lips painted black; a woman with painted black lips. => hanbay : to have a black mouth (donkey); to have one’s mouth painted black (woman). [Tuareg women also know rouge : see kălgo. According to evolutionary pyschology, rouge is red because it simulates arousal. It is not arbitrary. It does not seem to be case with black tincture, yet both have been traditionally used by Tuareg women. What would be an evolutionary explanation for women blackening their lips? In case it is because arousal blackens the lips of dark-skinned women instead of reddening them, then why Tuareg women use rouge at all? Is it that dark-skinned Tuareg women use the black tincture while the fair-skinned use rouge?]

ehăles : mirage matinal.

A morning fata morgana.

Ehəti : homme libre d’origine songhaï-djerma. Les Songhaïs sont traités comme cousins des Touaregs.

A free man of songhay-zarma origin. The Songhays are treated like cousins by the Tuaregs.

K

təkabt : grand grigri frontal.

A large charm borne on the forehead.

ăkabba : sorte d’amulette frontale (en forme de banane, pour homme).

A kind of amulet borne on the forehead (in the shape of a banana, for men).

Akădămma / Ikădămmatăn : tribu métissée isolée appartenant à l’ancienne confédération des Ouelleminden Kel-Denneg, particulièrement célèbre pour la fabrication de talismans (guérisseurs ou prophylactiques). Ils sont dédaignés pour avoir fait de la fabrication de talismans un commerce.

An isolated half-bred tribe belonging to the ancient confederation of the Ouelleminden Kel-Denneg, well-known for the making of talismans (healing or prophylactic). They are despised for making a business of their talismans.

əkkuf : rhume ; grippe : p.ext. troubles respiratoires causés par la consommation excessive de sucre.

Cold (ailment); influenza; by ext. breathing difficulties caused by excessive sugar consumption.

ăkala : longe à nœud coulant ; p.ext. cicatrice de tatouage ethnique au visage.

A tether with a running knot; by ext. scars on the face as ethnic tattoo.

kălgo, kădăgo (ha.) : espèce d’arbre (de couleur brun clair ou chamois ; avec son écorce on tresse des cordes ; de sa racine on extrait un colorant rouge dont les femmes se fardent les lèvres) (Bauhinia reticulata).

A species of tree (light brown or chamois; with its bark rope is made; from its root is extracted a red dye with which women paint their lips).

kălăw : jeter un sort à, ensorceler (surtout : marabout, en écrivant un verset coranique).

To cast a spell on (especially a marabout by writing a verse of the Quran).

kenbəltyu : sorte de démon (Peul métamorphosé).

A kind of demon (a metamorphosed Fula).

ekərkəwi, ekərkəwwi : vampire (personne capable de sucer le sang d’une autre à distance et jusqu’à la mort ; sorte de sorcier).

A vampire (someone who can suck the blood of another from a distance until the person dies; a kind of sorcerer).

kərənbaski (ha.) : ceinture d’amulettes.

A belt of amulets.

iḳărănḳărăn : scarifications faites dans les narines d’une chamelle pour lui bloquer l’odorat et la forcer à accepter un chamelon étranger. [Le dictionnaire connaît plusieurs autres techniques, dont certaines réversibles, pour obtenir le même résultat.]

Scars made on the nostrils of a she-camel in order to impair her sense of smell and force her to accept a stranger camel cub. [The dictionary knows various other techniques to the same end, some reversible.]

korti (ha.) : sorcellerie (consistant à frotter la peau de quelqu’un).

Witchcraft (consisting in rubbing someone’s skin).

tasăḳḳarăyt : sorte d’amulette (écrite pendant qu’on appelle à haute voix la personne anathémisée/envoûtée/maudite).

A kind of amulet (written down while calling loud the name of the person one wants to curse or bewitch).

ikas : chaud => ax iḳḳûsăn : lait chaud qui vient d’être trait (et qui répand la chaleur dans le corps entier du buveur).

Warm. => ah ikkusan : warm milk just after milking (it diffuses its warmth in the whole body of the person drinking it).

akătab : écriture => akătab n-iblis : écriture non sainte (se dit parfois de n’importe quelle écriture autre que l’arabe, y compris les tifinagh).

Script. => akatab n-iblis: unholy script (sometimes said of all scripts other than Arabic, including tifinagh).

akătar : couleur indigo de la peau [signe de beauté].

Indigo color of the skin [a marker of beauty].

aḳwa : goudron (fait à base de bois ; sert à traiter la gale) ; également fait à base de grains de coton qu’on brûle.

Tar (made of wood; used to cure scabies); also made of burnt cottonseeds.

kăwda : fruit sec (en général, goro sec) ; p.ext. amulette écrite qui empêche les blessures au combat.

Dry fruit (in general, dry goro); by ext. a written amulet that prevents wounds in battle.

kăygăro : grande ceinture munie d’amulettes.

A large belt with amulets.

takəzukəzt : vipère sauteuse (très venimeuse, sa morsure est mortelle dans 90 % des cas) ; espèce de lézard (grand, tacheté) (selon une fausse croyance populaire, il tète les chèvres en hivernage).

Jumping adder (very venomous, its bite is deadly in 90% of the cases); a species of lizard (large, spotted) (according to an erroneous popular belief, it sucks overwintering goats).

L

Ǝlquran : planchette sur laquelle sont inscrits des versets du Qoran. On dit : širəd Ǝlquran, laver une planchette coranique et donner la lavure à boire à un malade pour le guérir ou à un jeune guerrier pour le rendre invulnérable (marabout).

A wood board on which are inscribed verses of the Quran. => Shired al-Quran : to wash such a Quranic board and give the washing to drink to a diseased person in order to cure him or to a warrior to make him invulnerable.

eləw : éléphant. Les derniers troupeaux d’éléphants ont été observés dans l’ouest de l’Azawag vers 1885.

An elephant. The last elephant herds were observed in the west of the Azawag about 1885.

Ăyt-Lawe, At-Lawe, At-Lăway : tribu du groupe Dăw-Ṣăhak [voir ce nom] (d’origine juive ; parlent touareg mais gardent les coutumes juives).

A tribe of Jewish origin (they speak Tuareg but have maintained Jewish traditions). [See Dăw-Ṣăhak]

laya : nom d’un gri-gri (contient des verset coraniques ; rend les hommes invisibles aux djinns ; porté par les caravaniers de Balma).

Name of a charm (contains Quranic verses; makes its bearers invisible to the jinns; used by the caravan riders of Balma).

ălẓu : raser (barbe, tête etc.) => win laẓẓinen : les marabouts (litt. ceux qui se rasent la tête).

To shave (beard, head etc) => win lazzinen: the marabouts (litt. those who shave their heads).

M

imi n-ăḍaḍ : bout du doigt ; p.ext. nom du prix dû d’avance au marabout qui s’apprête à inscrire dans le sable, avec le bout de son doigt, une formule de guérison (pour guérir un malade éventuellement possédé par les djinns).

A fingertip; by ext. name of the prepaid earnings of the marabout who will inscribe on the sand, with his fingertip, an healing formula (to cure a diseased person perhaps possessed by jinns).

madak : espèce de plante (tue les serpents quand on la met à l’entrée de leurs gîtes) (Commicarpus helenae).

A species of plant (kills the snakes when placed at the entry of their lairs).

Ǝmrəwəlqis (ar. Imru’l-Qays) : nom d’un poète célèbre de l’Arabie préislamique. Selon une légende touarègue, il aurait été un roi géant des Arabes et aurait inventé les tifinagh ou au moins contribué à civiliser les Touaregs.

Name of a famous poet of pre-Islamic Arabia. According to a Tuareg legend, he was a giant king of the Arabs and invented the tifinagh or, at least, helped civilize the Tuaregs.

ămata : extenseur de puisette (branche insérée dans la puisette pour étendre celle-ci et puiser plus rapidement) ; p.ext. rameau suspendu à la tente d’une femme en couches (moyen magique qui doit lui faciliter l’ouverture du vagin).

Dipper extensor (a stick inserted in the dipper to extend it and allow faster dipping) ; by ext. a sprig hanging by the tent of a parturient woman (a magic tool that must facilitate the opening of her vagina).

Taməzgədda : secte mouridienne de l’Azawag (dont les membres viennent de plusieurs tribus). La secte islamique des Mourides est d’origine sénégalaise, fondée par le cheikh Ahmadou Bamba [Serigne Touba]. Connus pour faire des talismans (guérisseurs et prophylactiques).

A Mouride sect of the Azawag (which members come from various tribes). The islamic sect of the Mourides is of Senegalese origin, being founded by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba. They are reputed for making talismans (healing and prophylactic).

eməžir : ancien emplacement d’un camp ou campement (les piquets sont souvent laissés sur place). On dit que les djinns habitent les campements abandonnés et frappent ceux qui s’y aventurent. P.ext. ruine, vestiges archéologiques.

The former site of a camp (the posts are often left behind). It is said that the jinns dwell in abandoned camps and strike those who tread those places. By ext. a ruin.

răṃa : chanvre indien (Hibiscus cannabinus) ; fibres de chanvre (servent notamment à confectionner des liens et à tresser les tresses artificielles des femmes haoussa).

Hemp; hemp fibres (used among other things to make ties and the artificial braids of Hausa women).

tiṛăwt : lettre (missive) ; amulette écrite (contenant un verset du Qoran) => tiṛăwt n-ăḷăm : talisman pour chameau (suspendu au cou) ; Šiṛăwt ən-Tăḷămt : nom de l’étoile Alcor, dans la Grande Ourse (litt. Amulette coranique de la chamelle).

A letter (missive); a written amulet (containing a verse of the Quran) => tirawt n-alam: an amulet for camels (hanging from the neck); Sirawt en-Talamt: name of the star Alcor.

ăṛwa : sorte de danse frénétique des Haoussa (pour exorciser les mauvais génies ?) [Le point d’interrogation est de K.-G. Prasse.]

A kind of frenetic dance among the Hausas.

S

Săqqăra (ar. Saqar) : l’Enfer glacé (le centre glacé de l’Enfer, considéré comme le plus dur des enfers). [Il me paraît douteux que ce soit là le sens de l’arabe Saqar, qui est bien une région de l’enfer mais dont je ne trouve pas qu’elle soit glacée. S’agit-il d’une particularité touarègue ou d’une erreur d’interprétation des auteurs du dictionnaire ?]

The Hell of ice (the icy core of Hell, considered the harshest of hells). [I do not think that the Arabic Saqar, although it is the name of a region of hell, has this meaning. Is this a Tuareg particularity or an error of the authors?]

sonti (ha.) : mot lâché involontairement pendant le repas. L’étiquette touarègue demande qu’on mange dans un silence absolu. Le sonti est considéré comme dû au plaisir excessif de manger, sentiment qui est en soi illicite et ridiculisé. On se moque à l’amiable de celui qui commet un sonti en famille, alors qu’en présence d’étrangers l’acte est impardonnable.

A word uttered involuntarily durint the meal. Tuareg etiquette demands that people eat in absolute silence. The sonti is said to be caused by excessive pleasure in eating, a sentiment that is illicit and ridiculed. In the family the person making a sonti is gently mocked, but in the presence of strangers the act is inexcusable.

tasăsḳot : tombeau ; cimetière. On dit que les djinns habitent les cimetières et qu’il est dangereux de s’y aventurer la nuit.

A grave ; a graveyard. It is said that jinns dwell in the graveyards and that it is dangerous to roam in them at night.

ăssăxar (ar.) : sorcellerie ; spécialement, eau contenant les lavures d’une planchette couverte de versets coraniques (bue à des fins magiques). [Cf. Ǝlquran]

Witchcraft; especially, water containing the washing of a plate covered with Quranic verses (which one drinks for magic effects).

Š

əmaši : cadavre d’un animal tombé dans un puits (fennec, écureuil, chat, rat, zorille ; capable d’intoxiquer l’eau et de la rendre imbuvable pour tous les animaux sauf le chameau).

The corpse of an animal inside a well (fennec, squirrel, cat, rat, zorilla; likely to poison the water and make it undrinkable for all animals except the camel).

šaro (peul) : épreuve de flagellation (rite d’initiation des jeunes Peuls) ; escrime (avec bouclier).

The ordeal of flogging (initiation rite of the young Fula); fencing (with shield).

šet-ălxer : nom de l’encens donné par le bdellium brûlé (sert à chasser les djinns). [Cf. tăfaršit]

The frankincense made from bdellium (used to chase the jinns away).

T

təfatəfa : raclures d’encre (du Qoran ; bues diluées dans l’eau comme remède protecteur contre les maux de toutes sortes) [Cf. Ǝlquran, ăssăxar] ; crachats de bénédiction (petits crachats de salive d’un marabout, sur la tête de son élève).

Ink scrapings (from the Quran; they are drunk delayed in water as a remedy against all kinds of ailments); blessing sputum (small sputums spat by a marabout on the head of his disciple).

əttəhlul (ar. enveloppe) : livret religieux (miniature) (sert d’amulette ; normalement ce livret contient des versets du Qoran).

Religious booklet (used as amulet; normally the booklet gathers verses from the Quran).

W

awəṇṇəwən : lieu sacré, lieu habité par les esprits saints : spéc. sépulture néolithique en forme de tour en pierres.

A sacred place, a dwelling place of the holy spirits ; espec. a neolithic grave in the shape of a stone tower.

Y

tăyṭṭăft : esp. de fourmi (grande, noire, fait des magasins de grains). On dit que les fourmilières sont habitées par les djinns. Les femmes captives qui en excavent le grain doivent se taire complètement pendant cette opération, sinon elles risquent d’être frappées par les génies.

A species of ant (large, black, builds stores of seeds and grains). It is said that anthills are inhabited by jinns; captive women who dig the grains from them must remain completely silent during the operation lest the jinns strike them.

Z

ize-n-ălžănnăt : (litt. mouche du Paradis) esp. de mouche bleu-violette. On dit qu’elle augure la richesse à celui sur qui elle se pose.

« Fly of Paradise, » a species of bluish-purple fly. It is said to augur wealth for those on whom it alights.

Azubăya / Izubăyatăn : membre d’un peuple légendaire d’idiots vivant dans la mer ; idiot.

A legendary people of cretins living in the sea; a cretin.

ezăgăz : fennec (renard saharien). On dit que les lieux où se trouvent les terriers des fennecs sont habités par les djinns et dangereux la nuit.

A fennec fox. It is said that the places where fennec foxes have dug their burrows are inhabited by jinns and dangerous at night.

tazlaft : corbeau noir ; p.ext. augure de bonne fortune (signe faste en géomancie) ; parole de magicien.

A black crow; by ext. a good omen; the words of a magician.

aẓəkka : tombe. Les tombes se font normalement dans les endroits pierreux.

A grave. Graves are usually made in stony ground.

teẓma : pouvoir magique des forgerons ; pouvoir de maudire.

Magic power of the blacksmiths; the power to cast a curse.

Ž

Žəbəkeli : nom d’un djinn qui habite un bois de la vallée de Tadist (arrache brutalement les entraves des chameaux qui y paissent).

Name of a jinni that dwells in the Tadist valley (it tears off the hobbles of the camels that graze there).

žabal nâr : volcan (considéré comme porte de l’Enfer).

A volcano (considered a gate of Hell).

ăžobbar, əžabbar (ar.) : homme géant de l’époque préhistorique. On dit que les fantômes des ižobbarăn occupent toujours leurs tombeaux et sont une sorte de djinns.

Giant people of prehistoric times. It is said that their ghosts still haunt their graves and are a kind of jinns.

ăžoggam : grande route ; trace de géant (empreinte de pied présumée laissée par un géant préhistorique).

A highway; a footprint allegedly left by a prehistoric giant man.

Enregistrer

Enregistrer

Subliminal Junk XII: Transmarginal Advertising

Back to our Subliminal Junk series! (Go to Index for previous issues.)

For an explanation of the title “Transmarginal Advertising,” go to Complements, after Cases 88-95 below.

……………Case 88 Tyrannosaurus Toyota

An advert from the Italian weekly L’Espresso (1st October 2015).

Is it possible to miss the ferocious look of the car, with its headlights designed as brutish eyes and the bumper as the mouth of a furious animal ready to attack? It seems possible, yes, because who would admit, even to themselves, that they buy a car that looks frightful – a car that takes one back to some fantasy prehistoric times when cavemen would be riding dinosaurs to raid on their enemies and exterminate them to the last man?

Here you get an illustration to some scholarly conclusions I find thus expressed: “It is well-known that staring eyes can elicit fear in humans and other nonhuman species (Eibl-Eibesfeldt 1989; Aiken 1998) because such patterns are associated with ambushing predators and aggressive conspecifics (Coss 2003). Eyespots are exploited by certain organisms to ward off potential predators and sometimes they are even present in art, architecture, and design (Joye 2007). For example, some car brands seem to tap into these arousing effects by designing vehicles whose headlights are similar to frowning and threatening ‘eyes,’ which can give them a conspicuously aggressive look (Coss 2003; Joye 2007). Recent research by Aggarwal and McGill (2007) indeed confirms that car fronts are perceived as face-like and can express different types of emotions.” (“Evolutionary Store Atmospherics” – Designing with Evolution in Mind, Yannick Joye, Karolien Poels, and Kim Willems, in Evolutionary Psychology in the Business Sciences, G. Saad ed., 2011)

The “seem” in the next to last sentence (“some car brands seem to tap”) is superfluous: They do tap into these effects.

In the last sentence the authors cite some research that tends to show people are conscious of their perception of car fronts as being face-like. No doubt you can, in a psychology lab, draw the attention of people on the fact, but I suggest the perception is not conscious during purchase decision, for a man who would acknowledge he is buying a car because of its threatening and aggressive look would by the same token admit to himself either that he needs to compensate for some deficiencies in his life or that he is a public danger. Besides, if the same man is conscious of the ferocious look of his car, then certainly he can reflect that others will be conscious of it too and that they may make inferences from his choice of such a car to the kind of man he is, namely a man in need of compensation for deficiencies or an outright antisocial person, or both. Therefore, I think the ferocious aspect of the car as pictured in the advert remains largely subliminal. If perceived at conscious level, it will be explained away as unintentional, when it is in reality that sick mind of his that manufacturers and advertisers are tapping.

Case 88

Case 88

88-2

88-2

……………Case 89 El Corte Inglès SEX

Cases 89 to 92 are taken from the Spanish magazine ¡Hola! (30 September 2015).

El Corte Inglès is a local store chain. I specify it because nothing in the ad would tell you. On this ad you only see a model leaning against the frame of what seems to be a huge mirror. Or maybe it’s just an empty frame, because you see no reflection; instead it’s the same whitish, empty wall inside and outside the frame. And the model is leaning against it. The copy, in Spanish, says “Inspiras otoño,” or “breathe the autumn.” The local store chain advertises its autumn fashion collection.

Yet this is not all. The back of the model’s left hand is in contact with some gilded pattern of the frame. This adornment is an erect penis, of which I have outlined the testes, the shaft and the glans (picture 89-3). What would make you overlook that it is an erect penis is not only the downward direction of the penis but also the somewhat warped proportions of the shaft and glans. No matter how realistic the curvature of the shaft, it tapers at the junction with the glans, which makes the latter look extremely big.

The model is caressing it with the back of her hand. Moreover, the index finger is pointing to the model’s mouth, which may be telling you she is intent on putting the penis in her mouth.

Case 89

Case 89

89-2

89-2

89-3

89-3

…………….Case 90 Jo Malone (London) SEX

The copy says that the combination of mimosa and cardamom is “sensual, warm and enveloping.” Fine. Now, strangely, part of the tablecloth is hooked to, I don’t know for sure, either a branch of mimosa or the model’s ankle just behind it (more likely the branch, however). This, in my opinion, is completely crazy. How could the advertisers overlook such a blunder? Couldn’t they just disentangle the tablecloth from the plant or the model’s ankle bracelet before taking the picture? How much were these incompetent fools paid for that shot?

Yet, when you look more carefully at the tablecloth, you see that the fold it is making due to its being entangled with the mimosa looks like an erect penis. It’s not that they needed the hooking to make the fold, because most of the picture seems to have been airbrushed and they could have airbrushed any type of fold they wanted, but they needed a dissonant element to draw your subconscious attention to the subliminal sexual depiction. From the tip of the penis, sperm, drawn as white irregular blots, is spurting (sluggishly). This ejaculation happens on the same spot where the copy’s word “sensual” is written.

Further on the right of the penis, you can see a spectral face on the cloth. The model herself has something eerie about her too. She may be described as been completely thoughtless and emotionless, as if zombified.

Case 90

Case 90

90-2

90-2

90-3

90-3

…………….Case 91 Travelkids SEX

Travelkids organizes travels and sojourns “for the family.” Yet, in case you would find it a bit trite, they suggest you may find more excitement than just that. I am not talking about the meeting with Santa Claus, which is the copy line, but of the subliminal embed in the background. A woman is laid with two men. One man is actually lying beneath her; you can see his face, looking at you, between her right thigh and her right breast. The other man’s face is against her face. I have also outlined what seem to be a stretched arm and a hand resting on the woman’s head, hinting at the possible presence of a third man. The man beneath the woman is penetrating her in the anus (picture 91-3). The vaginal slit may be stuffed with a penis too, if you look carefully, but I have not outlined this because I’m not so sure there.

Case 91

Case 91

91-2

91-2

91-3

91-3

…………….Case 92 Rabat (Barcelona Madrid Valencia) SEX

The bust shows almost only naked parts, uncovered skin. The pattern of the few centimeters of dress that you can see looks like spermatozoa.

Under her eyes, in the shady area, have been embedded a couple of SEXes which I leave to you to spot.

What I have concentrated on is the subliminal presence, in the background, of a woman wearing only a dark shirt or blouse wide open on her naked breast. The blouse has fallen down her shoulders, slightly, so the shoulders too are largely uncovered. Her left hand is on her vagina. The inclination of the head hints at a moment of abandon. That subliminal woman is masturbating.

Case 92

Case 92

92-2

92-2

IMG_1100_2

…………….Case 93 Gucci SEX

Cases 93 to 95 are from Cosmopolitan UK Edition, October 2015.

On the left page of this two-page advert for perfume, you can see, beside the name of the brand and the copy (“Underneath it all she wears Gucci Bamboo” – this by itself is eroticism, isn’t it?), a Japanese-like ink print, complete with birds in bamboo trees and grass by a river. The river stream and grass stand for a moist, oozing vaginal slit with pubic hair.

The model on the right page, wearing a risqué evening dress, is looking at you intensely. You too are on the picture, mind you, because albeit you may think the shadow on the wall is hers, whose shadow is it that is on her? There is only one shadow and that’s the shadow of a man with erect penis (outlined on picture 93-2). This is whom the woman is looking at.

Case 93

Case 93

93-2

93-2

…………….Case 94 Pantene SEX

Are words necessary? I don’t know how to tell you, but there’s not even a façade of propriety in your world. You talk like a person of worth and dignity, and yet that’s the kind of stuff your guests will find in your living room, on the sofa or under the coffee table – depictions of fellatio.

Please take a look at what I wrote on Case 72 (here), where I already discussed the “blow dry” copy. The present advert confirms that I am right. For, yes, it’s a fellatio that you’re seeing just now. And it’s a fellatio that was intended, with that hairdryer and that wide-open mouth. Had it not been intended, there would have been some guy in the staff telling the others: “Shouldn’t we do something to make the picture look less like a fellatio?” And someone would have replied: “Oh yes, it’s true some people will think of a fellatio there! Let’s do something about it.” No, they wanted it that way.

Case 94

Case 94

……………Case 95 Fiat SEX

A female hand is about to apply lipstick to a car rear light. Because, as the copy goes, the rear light is as glossy as lipstick. On the other hand, the stick is about to penetrate the dark space between the red glossy “lining” of the rear light. It’s just another sexual representation.

Why do women put on lipstick in the first place? According to evolutionary psychologists, it’s a way to simulate sexual arousal, since her lips tend to redden and shine when a woman is aroused; such a state of arousal being in its turn sexually arousing for men, lipstick makes women more attractive. It’s like swollen genitals during estrus among certain primate species. Among species with visible estrus, a female can take no rest at these periods because all males want to copulate with her, and even if she’s monopolized by one dominant male he won’t stop copulate with her, in case she would be inseminated by another male despite all his vigilance (and he wants to counter the other male’s semen with his own: this is called sperm competition, see my Science of Sex series).

In echo with Case 88 (Tyrannosaurus Toyota), even though the ad is obviously aimed at women, its copy intends to be alluring to aggressiveness: “The Icon Reloaded. Change the Fiat 500? That’s crazy talk. So we set out to subtly style-up the little beauty. Take a look at the red hot halo-style rear lights with body coloured inserts. Just one of many ferociously fashionable (author’s emphasis) touches that make the new Fiat 500 even glossier. Shine baby, shine.”

Being fashionable is not enough, one has to be “ferociously” fashionable. Many a psychologist (even among evolutionary psychologists) will tell you women are not aggressive… They don’t live in the same world as us, seemingly. Women are aggressive and when they mean business they know how to use men as weapons.

“Icon” can apply both to the car and the customer, that is, the female ad viewer. If the latter needs “reloading,” and that can mean something very organic such as vagina-loading (this is consistent with the whole seduction line of the ad), she’d better reach out for the car.

Case 95

Case 95

…………….Complements

Have I the right to make use of all these adverts (95 so far, folks!) without asking permission to no one? I have read several scholarly books dealing (more or less competently) with advertising and they all thank the companies for their kind permission to let them use their material.

On one occasion, when Kentucky Fried Chicken faced a viral campaign on the Web because of a racist ad, first they hinted somewhat ominously at unpermitted use of their advert by the people who launched the campaign. Then they pulled the ad like good boys.

Still, I find it would be strange that the companies that otherwise pay for an advertisement to be made for one of their products and also pay for that advert to appear in various media, object to another medium showing the same material without even asking money for it. To be sure, I take the liberty of making comments on that material, which the other media never do (they take the money and shut up – that’s what they call informing the public). This is why I add here the following excerpt from Eric McLuhan’s introduction to the 2014 edition of Marshall McLuhan’s book Culture Is Our Business (1970):

Many have wondered at the lack of acknowledged permissions for using the ads in both books [The Mechanical Bride and Culture Is Our Business]. The reason is that permissions were unnecessary: the ads were available for free. Editors at Vanguard had found a curious legal fiction. Advertisers were being given huge tax breaks on the grounds that they were engaged in a sort of educational enterprise, “educating the public” about products so that it might better make informed choices. The upshot is that anyone can make use of the (government-supported) ads for free providing they were not being used as ads, but as educational materials, for educative purposes. Needless to say, the agencies were reluctant to let these matters become known to the public.

And, on behalf of advertisers, thank you for the tax breaks.

Whether this legal provision applies to my case or not, I haven’t the slightest clue (under which jurisdiction lies this blog is unknown to me), but I guess that if multinationals want to crush me they have the means. But I, on my side, have nothing to lose. (They perhaps have the means to buy me, as an alternative, who knows?)

I’ve got nothing to lose and besides I’m not alone; there is at least one living dead with me, namely Aldous Huxley, whose book Brave New World Revisited (1958), written about 25 years after Brave New World was published, I urge you to read, especially, regarding the present topic, its chapter IX “Subconscious Persuasion,” which I quote:

Poetzl was one of the portents which, when writing Brave New World, I somehow overlooked. There is no reference in my fable to subliminal projection. It is a mistake of omission which, if I were to rewrite the book today, I should most certainly correct.

Last but not least, a quote from William James on his views about the “transmarginal field of consciousness,” in The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902):

Such rapid abolition of ancient impulses and propensities [by religious conversion] reminds us so strongly of what has been observed as the result of hypnotic suggestion that it is difficult not to believe that subliminal influences play the decisive part in these abrupt changes of heart, just as they do in hypnotism. Suggestive therapeutics abound in records of cure, after a few sittings, of inveterate bad habits with which the patient, left to ordinary moral and physical influences, had struggled in vain. Both drunkenness and sexual vice have been cured in this way, action through the subliminal seeming thus in many individuals to have the prerogative of inducing relatively stable change (author’s emphasis). If the grace of God miraculously operates, it probably operates through the subliminal door, then.

and

Incursions from beyond the transmarginal region have a peculiar power to increase conviction.”

And the money-grubbers would deem it below their dignity to make use of such a powerful tool at their disposal?…

July 2016