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Thread: Rattlesnake tail rattles in mandolins, do they change anything?

  1. #126
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rattlesnake tail rattles in mandolins, do they change anythin

    See what y'all have done with your mojo...

    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  2. #127
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Rattlesnake tail rattles in mandolins, do they change anythin

    Quote Originally Posted by billkilpatrick View Post
    Sticking a rattlesnake rattle in your instrument is a stupid thing to do.

    ... I realized it was just stupid and childish and no matter how much tradition and macho b.s. gets associated with it, it panders to the very same ignorance and pressure that compelled any number of poor boobs to banish their prized fiddles away from the house, however many years ago, and leave them stuck out there in the barn. That ignorance and vile influence is with us still - alive and well and do you really want to promote it?
    You could have just left it at "not rational" without hurling the insults. That was kind of over the top, I think.

    I'm curious why you've gotten so angry about the subject. What do you care if people follow a fun tradition? Again, there is literally nobody here who puts any serious stock into the superstitious nature of rattlesnake rattles in their mandolins. Nobody does it today out of "pressure" or a "vile influence". But following a harmless tradition like this is a way of remembering where our music comes from, and perhaps even understanding the people who passed this music on to us. If anything would be foolish in my mind, it would be trying to carry on a musical tradition without any of the cultural context that came with it.

    So yes, I do want to promote it. It's important to remember where we came from. We can laugh at it compared to our modern way of thinking, but I think that following certain traditions, knowing full well where they came from, has cultural value.
    Keep that skillet good and greasy all the time!

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  4. #128

    Default Re: Rattlesnake tail rattles in mandolins, do they change anythin

    Quote Originally Posted by billkilpatrick View Post
    ... Sticking a rattlesnake rattle in your instrument is a stupid thing to do. It's based on a sinister superstition, borne out of ignorance.... I realized it was just stupid and childish and no matter how much tradition and macho b.s. gets associated with it, it panders to the very same ignorance and pressure that compelled any number of poor boobs to banish their prized fiddles away from the house, however many years ago, and leave them stuck out there in the barn. That ignorance and vile influence is with us still - alive and well and do you really want to promote it?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6cx...ature=youtu.be

  5. #129
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    Default Re: Rattlesnake tail rattles in mandolins, do they change anythin

    Just think about all the stupid, unnecessary, and silly things that superstitious people do! For example, they avoid walking under ladders or breaking mirrors, avoid letting black cats cross their paths, throw salt over our shoulders after spilling it, believe in something called "beginner's luck", carry a rabbit's foot, never number a building floor or airplane row with 13, knock on wood, make wishes over birthday candles or with chicken wishbones, cross their fingers, and avoid opening umbrellas indoors. We also say "God bless you" when someone sneezes, a relic of a time long ago when sneezing was thought to render someone vulnerable to invasion by an evil spirit. See how long all this nonsense persists?!

    Some of these behaviors border on the ridiculous. They are persistent relics of an ignorant past. I simply do not accept the convenient (but deeply flawed) rationalization that superstitious behaviors somehow help us to "remember where we came from" or that they somehow honor our cultural traditions. Nonsense! No, they don't carry positive cultural value.

    Many folks with a Chinese heritage are enamored by Chinese numerology, and therefore crave anything with the number 8 (to the point where they give gifts of $888, rather than $1000, and tend to bet on anything with 8 in casinos) and avoiding anything with the number 4 in it (to the point where they reject being assigned telephone numbers with too many 4's in them, or staying in a hotel room numbered 444, etc.). We here in the West tend to think of this as pretty darned silly. And it IS silly! But is is no more or less silly than some of our other superstitions, listed earlier. It just sounds more silly to us because we haven't been indoctrinated in these particular false beliefs. We've been taught other false beliefs.

    To promote an irrational, false belief by insisting that you are honoring a cultural tradition is ridiculous on its face. It defies common sense. It might be mostly "harmless," in the sense that the downside for many of these behaviors is usually quite small -- even if the upside is truly zero. No harm done, you might say. Better safe than sorry, you might say. But the real harm that is done is that it perpetuates wrong ideas, and it erodes our ability, as a society, to behave rationally.

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