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Old 07-30-2012, 04:31 PM   #371
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Default Re: 'Imperial Culture' (non-canonista)

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Be pleased that you have a creative mind and a good wit.
Thank you...
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:22 AM   #372
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The Solidani Conspiracy :

This is a vague category for a number of speculations about the possibility of a Solimani-Zhodani alliance. These range from the paranoid and delusional(like the thought that the Zhodani and Solimani have been working together tightly sinse the Third Frontier War to subvert Imperial order as part of a master plan for an apocolyptic war of aggression for the purpose of overthrowing the Imperium; all arranged ahead of time by a Hiver master manipulator of course) to the fairly probable(Zhodani and Solimani send intelligence and policy requests to each other from time to time, insofar as circumstance allows), versions that are to mundane to be interesting . The obvious logistics and coordination difficulties tend to be downplayed by the superficial attractiveness to amateur strategists.

Writers often use this as a plot lever, the Solidani Conspiracy has figured in works ranging from genre-masterworks to Starport folktales.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #373
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Military Colonies and Fleet Followers:

This one I need to work on. One thing I noticed about the ISW is that during the time of the Terran defensive, there is no problem. But from the Protracted Conflict onward the terrans were spending generations at a time moving in sector long penetrations.

What that means is that the Terran military must be assumed to have evolved into a semi-nomadic ethnic group of it's own. It would also have had developed in it's wake an economic system developed around supply. There would have been a series of colonies developed around depots along the Terran line of advance. This would take care of dependents of service personal and retirees. They would also perhaps provide an auxilery for campaigns on partially conquered planets. These would grow into cities as they are serviced by the Fleet Follower merchants. All that would have happened accidently. But one thing would have needed considerable attention from the Terran government. This would be the transportation of dependents and retired service personal. The dependents would have been advanced forward along the line of advance as soon as a depot became secure enough and retirees would have had a backward traffic. While much of this can be handled privately, the needs of morale would mean the Terran government would at least set up a support department attending to such needs. As the Terran fleet advanced, Fleet Followers would be replaced by civilians and military colonies would have evolved into conventional starports.

Such a system would have been revived by the Imperium. While Imperial-scale wars that required such vast movements are rare(the frontier wars left only local changes in military and political geography), the usefulness in the Pacification Campaigns and in providing military support for the settlers. Scouts would probably have a similar system on a smaller scale; perhaps they shared the network with the military.

Military colonies as described would often be a focus of archeological and historical study.

The loose end to work out though is the criteria for providing transport tickets if there are government ships servicing fleet folowers. Perhaps personal are allowed a transport account in the service bank to pay for themselves and as many dependents or relations as can be afforded. As well perhaps there are a number of private vessels; probably whole corporations that specialize in such matters.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:53 AM   #374
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Not a specific custom but a rule of thumb. When making rituals the specifically religious ones tend to be the more rarefied and abstract and the more clannish ones are more "earthy", not meaning more vulgar; sometimes they are Earthy in a poetic way, but less sanitized.

This seems to be appropriate to what I understand of European culture that Churchy ceremonies tend to be more subliminated and clannish ones less so even when they are aspects of the same event. And a country with a Christian majority would continue this; other planets and non-Christian clans in the country where my story centers differ. Possibly this sublimination is because Christianity was an urban religion. Or just to remind that We Are Not Polytheists. For instance Mass/Communion isn't a real feast in Christian tradition but pot-lucks are. This is primarily a European phenomenon; I understand African Christians have a great fondness for wild-dancing that was carried over into their Church ceremony.

I need to think more about civic ceremonies as well. I've dealt mostly with clannish ones in my worldbuilding.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:52 PM   #375
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Here's one I just thought of recently:

Anti-triumph:

After the election season a parade is held for outgoing officials and legislators. First comes a grav-car with the effigies of all of them. The grav-car is pelted, traditionally with rotten fruit(waste is to unclean for a mere carnival; it is reserved for an actual shaming rite and would require more then the generic corruption attributed to all politicians but rotten fruit is appropriate). Following the grav-car are floats with allegorical representations of their supposed misdeeds in office, including among them depictions of infamous villains and villainesses of legend with their faces curdled in disgust at the supposed behavior of the outgoings. One of the favorite floats carries an representation of a prostitute, a thief, an informant, and a torturer standing above a representation of a politician to show the superior righteousness of their respective professions. In the rear of the parade is an image of Satan siting at a table with a knife and fork and a hungry look of anticipation at such delicious souls being sent to him.

When they reach the town square, all the effigies are placed in a bonfire surrounded by images of fiends with a blood-curdling expression. When the fire is lit, special effects are used to show the glee of the fiends and the agony of all the politicians being thus tormented.

After this comes a feast in which the good citizens will eat, sing, dance, give prayers of thanks and other wise show their appreciation for their "liberation." It is to be noted that the real-life politicians who are the butt of all this are expected to join in the fun with the citizens.

After this each politician is expected to give a speech. Sometimes this will be a ritual of self-deprecation. But equally common is a series of ritual insults toward the crowd. In either case the crowd will listen intently at the politicians cleverness. It is to be noted that insulting a rival politician at that moment is considered bad form; that implies that one wishes to steal a political march when an election is over. Of course that is what they are doing anyway but some things must not be made to obvious. In point of fact showing good humor at an anti-triumph will gain popularity.

It is to be noted that this is not an expression of the outgoing politicians unpopularity. In fact it is to some degree an expression of affection(insofar as their profession gains affection) and some have said that it is the most popular who get the most enthusiastic boos and hisses at anti-triumphs and an overly unpopular one might be greeted with near silence. But most of all it is a civic ritual designed to remind that the citizens are more important then the officeholders.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:45 PM   #376
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Nice one. Reminds me of Central American religous rites, combining the new European beliefs with the old native religions. A hard to accept situation made palatable to all concerned through intense ritualization.

You must live in a swing state.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:08 PM   #377
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Nice one. Reminds me of Central American religous rites, combining the new European beliefs with the old native religions. A hard to accept situation made palatable to all concerned through intense ritualization.

You must live in a swing state.
The first post or the second? I got the idea of the distinction between clannish, civil, and religious customs from Europe as a matter of fact rather then Central America. Some of the quirkiness of Medieval Europe a modern would find hard to believe and the tension between three competing value systems was described in Daily Life in Renaissance Italy.

In my case I used a different history then central america. The dominant culture in the country I described was from emmigrants from the Rule of Man era. However they(at least so tradition says) were evolving into a clannish form even back in the ISW and while some ceremonies were borrowed from Oldsters(clans claiming decent from natives) many were already formed.

My favorite was the "anti-triumph". Besides being a funny idea it gives a healthy attitude toward the political system. And is fairly plausible; similar ideas can be found elsewhere, the one coming to mind is the Saturnalia.

Oh, I live in Oregon. I don't think it is a swing state but I have never been affected in my outlook much by fellow Oregonians anyway.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:35 PM   #378
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Second one, but the first must have gotten me thinking along those lines. Great idea either way, it gives a 'life' to a setting.

I just mention swing state because I hear those areas are getting bombarded with political ads, worse than usual. Then again we here in California are starting to get those ads too, and we are definetly not a contested area. They can very annoying to see replayed over and over. Its certainly a ritual.
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Old 08-17-2012, 09:04 AM   #379
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Second one, but the first must have gotten me thinking along those lines. Great idea either way, it gives a 'life' to a setting.

I just mention swing state because I hear those areas are getting bombarded with political ads, worse than usual. Then again we here in California are starting to get those ads too, and we are definetly not a contested area. They can very annoying to see replayed over and over. Its certainly a ritual.
It didn't have anything to do with that. What I wanted was a ritual expressing the communities civic values. The idea just came up from there.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:17 AM   #380
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Allegorical meaning of substances:

Talked about before, but this is still an interesting system of customs. Pariochial rather then Imperial. If you remember I said that rotten fruit is used for an anti-triumph. As implied different substances are given different allegorical meanings and levels of prestige. Milk(including, perhaps especially, human milk) has a high level representing life as it does. Reproductive substance also has a high prestige for the same reason. Blood is ambiguous as it can either mean life or death. Coffee means friendship, wine passion, and tea affection among other things. Coffee also means masculinity and wine femininity and so on. Different tools also naturally have a mystique about them. This includes iconic foreign tools. Scout Knives, Marine cutlasses, and Ay-loi are highly respected. But among the most revered are the Cockscrow(kukri, though only intellectuals know the original derivation) and Grasper(baton with electroadhesive hardpoints that can be made into an ax, crowbar, etc) as well as the Handcomp(which carries a number of associations; paradoxically it is a symbol of both community and individuality). Coffeemakers are high on the list, and stoves including portable stoves are as revered as hearths are among Sword Worlders. For instance it is a common custom when a ship is retired to take it's galley stove and place it in the galley of the ships designated successor. Likewise a captured ship will often have it's galley stove removed into a trophy room and replaced.

This carries over into a peculiar Rite of Shame as hinted in the passage on anti-triumph. In a shaming a favored ritual is simply to paint an image of the one to be shamed on the receptacle in a fresher. This might be done as a punishment for misdeeds, say cowardice or disloyalty. It is also used as a teaching tool; characters not to be emulated are painted there. Interestingly this includes an image of Achiles who is taught as an example not to follow because of his selfishness. The most grim variant of this is in the case of a rape, abduction, or similar mistreatment of one of the clan. In that case the perp is painted with a wolves head or a skull and crossbones above. When the perp is caught and properly punished the image is simply marked with an X.
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