Spent some time today in the "Man Cave," which is a discussion group-class taking place at the AiR Centre in Ramsgate (18 Harbour Street, Tuesdays at High Noon (12PM)). What a rich experience it was for me to be a fly on the wall and an occasional contributor to the very interesting dialogue. I enjoyed my tea and biscuits as well!
Who participates can change from week to week so there are many individual perspectives represented. This week the focus began with a look at self-expression. How can individual men express their truths in the constantly-changing current "normal?" Turns out we had a modern bard, a storyteller and an artist in the mix. Subjects ranged from new facts about Mutiny on the Bounty to ancient cultural creation stories, the nature of truth and language and much more.
What began as a fairly academic discussion became very rich when the story-tellers began to recount the history of culture change in the past couple hundred years, and at the same time bring us all up to speed on the ancient social norms of Polynesia, The Americas, and ancient Australia. It turns out that oral histories from Babylon, Persia, Asia, and other cultures have been handed down almost verbatim, informing each successive generation as to what their culture was about.
The battle for the sexes (as opposed to "Battle Of") was discussed - how can the masculine and feminine principals be cherished and upheld. How can basic biological viability be ensured for the human species despite the dual pressures of de-genderification (is that a word?) and hormone-destroying toxins in the environment. We heard discussion of climate change, species extinction, our brain usage versus that of our ancestors, and notions of intelligence through the ages.
It was an amazing hour and fifteen minutes. Wow. I look forward to spending more time there.