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Gmane
From: Ross A. Laird <ross <at> rosslaird.info>
Subject: Re: unicorn
Newsgroups: gmane.emacs.orgmode
Date: Friday 27th February 2009 18:33:11 UTC (over 8 years ago)
Carsten Dominik  writes:

> On Feb 27, 2009, at 12:12 PM, Bastien wrote:
>
>> Carsten Dominik  writes:
>>
>>> I guess it is something like an official logo, yes (even though
>>> some people don't like it, I have seen it being called
>>> "demasculinating"
>>> ...)
>>
>> Hehe...  Since I picked up this "animal", I entirely assume any queer
>> connotation it may have.  The IT world is already "masculine" enough!

>> Bastien
>
> I like it, and I really do like the list of reasons
> we have (in hindsight) for choosing it...
>

I teach several courses in mythology at my university (it's my area of
concentration), and I feel inclined to say that the unicorn, as a
mythological animal, does not have any type of queer of emasculating
connotation in myth. In fact, it is sometimes quite a masculine animal
that is related to the stag in the grail quest (the stag stabs, with his
antler, the inner thigh of the grail knight, thus showing the stag's
greater masculinity). These animals are symbols of divinity,
essentially, of the fusion of purity and power. They don't really have a
sexual connotation other than the idea of generative power (like the
bull). Queer is a new idea in myth; it's about fifty years old. Myth
itself, on the other hand, is about 70,000 years old. So, the
application of queer terminology to mythological items such as unicorns
is a modern practice which has no real impact on ancient myths and myth
items such as the unicorn. In a thousand years we will still have myths
of the unicorn, but the idea of queer will probably have evolved into
something else (it already is evolving into something else...).

As to the question of whether or not unicorns still exist (see org FAQ),
this falls within the same domain as the question of whether Atlantis
exists. The answer (as much as there can be one) is that they do exist,
as mythological items that Carl Jung called "archetypal;" they are
essential to, and foundational of, human nature. They will always be a
part of human culture, and exist timelessly in that sense whether or not
they exist in fact.

I can hardly ever contribute anything useful to this list. Today is an
exception.

Cheers.

Ross

-- 
Ross A. Laird, PhD
www.rosslaird.info



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