Whitewashing? Was the John Frum quote modified? Why?

Cargo Cult - Who is John Frum? He is known to us by many names, this Visitor from Elsewhere, dispenser of endless abundance and wielder of mysterious technologies: John Frum, Quetzalcoatl, Osiris, "Bob." His cargo is splendid, his generosity boundless, his motives beyond our understanding. But across the ages and around the world, the stories all agree: one day he will return, bearing great gifts. Our theme this year asks three related questions; who is John Frum, where is he really from, and where, on spaceship Earth, are we all going?

Whitewashing? Was the John Frum quote modified? Why?

Postby burn2burn » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:55 am

On the 2013 Art Theme page there is this quote about John Frum:

http://www.burningman.com/art_of_burningman/bm13_theme.html

"'E look like you an' me. 'E tall man. 'E live long."
— Melanesian informant

But according to the Wiki the actual quote was:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Frum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cargo_cult

"'E look like you. 'E got white face. 'E tall man. 'E live 'long South America."[1]

First, what is the actual quote?

If Wiki is right, why censor out "white" and why add "an' me"? That completely changes the meaning. Seems like either meaning would be an appropriate theme for Burning Man, but perhaps one meaning is too uncomfortable for Burners to face?
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Re: Whitewashing? Was the John Frum quote modified? Why?

Postby tatonka » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:58 am

PC culture :(
winners never quit , quitters never win

4 wheels move the body , two wheels moves the soul

Music is the great healer of the soul
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Re: Whitewashing? Was the John Frum quote modified? Why?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:02 pm

Why censor "South America" too?

My guess is that the white face is a red herring to the theme as Larry envisioned it. And with most of those who attend the event having white faces, it adds a whole lot more "huh" than anything else.


Now, if Simon had done it, "white" would have become "green"...
Simon's real sig line?

Embrace the Sock

Winners never quilt, quilters never win...
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Re: Whitewashing? Was the John Frum quote modified? Why?

Postby Bless » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:09 pm

Looks like you may have to check out a copy of People of Paradise from your local library
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Re: Whitewashing? Was the John Frum quote modified? Why?

Postby trilobyte » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:15 pm

Clearly it's a case of quoting a different person than the guy David Attenborough talked to ;)
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Re: Whitewashing? Was the John Frum quote modified? Why?

Postby 48_love » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:40 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
Now, if Simon had done it, "white" would have become "green"...


or silver
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Re: Whitewashing? Was the John Frum quote modified? Why?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:17 pm

White man's way of butchering charming native superstitions in the name of brevity.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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