In Which The Law Will Reign Supreme
The Igbo tendency towards self-impedance and particularly self-delusion will never cease to amaze me. This of course does not mean that all Igbo people are like this or even that the majority of Igbo people are like this, but let me hold my tongue. (*side eye Igbo girl on Facebook that claims I'm a lesbian because I said that homosexuality existed in Igbo society for ages)
Anyways, I have become sick and tired of people (particularly and curiously mostly Igbo people) screaming at me to give them proof that their ancestors drank water using cups instead of with their hands so let me introduce you to a little regulation that we are going to abide by in all future historical discussions.
My great history professor at the beginning of the semester kindly informed all of us that the job of historians is to fill in the blanks of history using a framework of the relics of the past that we have been so fortunate to find, and through the liberal application of logical conjecture and speculation where necessary (even in the absence of concrete proof).
So, without further ado, here are the guidelines that we will be following every time we make an assumption about the past on this blog. Note, your assumption does NOT have to agree with mine or even resemble mine, but it MUST follow the law.
Sugabelly's Law of Historical Assumptions:
Most (>95%) human beings will act in such a manner that guarantees their own comfort, pleasure, satisfaction, safety, security, success, progress, dominance, and benefit, EXCEPT in the PRESENCE of limiting factors, be they environmental, internal, external, social, religious, cultural, physical, or spiritual (etc) or in the ABSENCE of conducive factors be they environmental, internal, external (etc).
So, there it is. I hope it covers everything, otherwise I shall have to revise it. That being said, what happens when you have two alternative assumptions that BOTH follow the Law?
In the event that you have two assumptions that BOTH follow the Law, then the assumption that is MORE TO THE BENEFIT of "Most Humans" is the correct one.
Application of the Law:
Sugabelly wants to assume that all Igbo people slept on mats (in the olden days :D)
Sugabelly must then ask herself: Are there any limiting factors to this assumption? (Answer = yes).
Limiting factor: Repeatedly sleeping on a mat on the floor is very, VERY painful and will result in all sorts of aches and discomfort.
Limiting factor: Poverty may prevent mat owners from procuring better sleeping equipment.
Now, are there any surrounding conducive factors that must be considered? (Answer = yes)
Present Conducive factor: Ready availability of cotton. (West Africa is the second largest producer of cotton after The United States - cotton [at least at the time] was/is also readily available all over Igbo land)
Present Conducive factor: All human societies display stratification along many different lines including economic and class lines (i.e. Not everybody is poor).
Present Conducive factor: Museum/Artefact evidence of Igbo wood beds with depressions to accommodate mattresses and place holders for pillows.
Absent Conducive Factor: Technology to make foam not yet available.
Based on the Limiting and Conducive factors, Sugabelly's original assumption is wrong and must be revised to account for the relevant factors.
Poor Igbo people slept on mats laid on the floor while wealthier Igbos slept on soft cotton mattresses in raised wooden beds.
And that is how you use the Law. Yay!!
Update: This is a sort of indirect addendum to my comment response to Azazel. I was watching that Chinese Alive Fish thingy video and looking through the comments - most of them were about how it's unfair and so on and so forth, but then I saw this comment.
And do you know the really sad and infuriating thing??? Somebody ELSE has said this to me before. And I've heard it echoed from many different people from different backgrounds, and it seems to be the generally held opinion.
And that is why I get pissed off that EVEN AFRICANS refuse to believe that their forebearers could be intelligent and multi-faceted well-rounded thinking logical people. It's comments like this, and the fact that so many people believe this bullshit to be true that make me fucking mad.
That's why I'm mad as hell. Because it's OUR OWN ATTITUDES AND BELIEFS ABOUT OUR OWN PEOPLE that give idiots like this the audacity to say this kind of bullshit.
Because noone is willing to believe that 1000 -200 years ago, Africans were pretty much more or less on par with everyone else.
Nooooooooo............ the only GOOD, BELIEVABLE African is the African who sleeps on a dirt floor, digs in the ground for bugs to eat, is covered in dust because they haven't washed in months, has a distended stomach from kwarshiokor, walks about barefoot even though the ground is littered with sharp objects, sleeps in a tiny makeshift hovel....for years, has rotten teeth, doesn't know what the sum of 2 plus 2 is, and most certainly cannot think enough to hold a concrete idea or opinion about anything.
What makes me even madder is that I could deal with this shit if it was just people from other countries saying it (in spite of the fact that thieves like Maya Lake steal designs, inventions, ideas, etc from us and our cultures everyday) but when Africans themselves have bought into the whole "Africans are Inferior Mentally Backward Scum of the Earth that just Leech off Humanity and Contribute Nothing" then who the fuck are we supposed to turn to?
Don't you see that continuing to perpetuate these stupid ideas in the name of "lack of proof" makes us no better than African Americans that continue to refer to themselves as "niggers"?
I am not one of those people that goes around claiming that we are all descended from Kings and Queens. Fuck, African Americans have permanently ruined the phrase "African Queen" for me, but I do believe in acknowledging what was and in the event that we are unclear about what was, I do believe in applying logic to fill in the gaps. Yes, we had kings and queens and emperors even, but guess what? SO DID EVERYONE ELSE!!!! What the fuck is special about that? Why must something that EVERYONE ELSE takes for granted be a "special case" when it comes to Africans? Are we less human than everyone else? Are we less intelligent? Why does EVERYONE doubt our abilities in even the SIMPLEST of all things for Christ's sake? Haba!! E don do! I am fucking tired. It's like no matter what we do or what we say nobody wants us to just be normal human beings like everyone else. We are the only people that are constantly asked to prove our worth or to fight for the right to belong.
What I cannot and REFUSE to understand is why Africans of all people are determined to believe that their very near ancestors (remember we are talking anything pre-1900 here) were no better than animalistic brutes with even less brain power. I don't know about you but if you think that you are directly descended from an idiot that does not know that sleeping on a mat is painful and does not have the common sense to make something soft and comfortable to sleep on then I am sorry for you. I sha know that my own ancestors were not that stupid. Fuck it, if you're asking for proof that nobody dug up until a random white person showed up and dug it up then don't be surprised when the tales of the hunt only ever glorify the hunter. WE are the ones who should be telling the world our history not the other way around. I refuse to be schooled on my country and my culture by foreigners who don't know shit about us. Face it, even to this day the rest of the world still knows little to nothing about Africa much less Igbos.
I need to fucking sleep. Where's my period??? You're late. Again.