Gach bliadhna aig àm a’ Mhòid, bidh e a’ cur dragh orm cho dona sa tha an taste ciùil aig mo cho-Ghàidheil. Gu fortanach, tha mo cho-Ghàidheil a’ smaoineachadh an aon rud mu mo dheidhinn-sa!
Ach ged nach toil leam am Mòd fhèin (no fèis ciùil Bhictorianach sam bith eile), tha e daonnan math a bhith ann is a’ faicinn nan gaisgeach uile a bhios a’ dol ann – cho fad’s as urrainn dhomh an ceòl traidiseanta agus an tartan a sheachnadh!
Bha mi aig a’ Mhòd anns an Òban airson latha na bu thràithe an t-seachdain seo airson coinneamh no dhà agus chòrd e rium glan fhèin. Tha mi uamhasach dèidheil air a’ bhaile agus fhuair mi cothrom iomadh caraid fhaicinn. ‘S e deagh leisgeul a bh’ ann a dhol air rathad-iarainn na Gàidhealtachd an Iar cuideachd!
Am measg nan gaisgeach ris an robh mi a’ bruidhinn aig a’ Mhòd, bha EIlidh Lewsey bho LearnGaelic.net. Tha mi fhèin is Eilidh gu math deidheil air metailt throm agus tha mi fada den bheachd gum bu chòir prògram meatailt a bhith againn air BBC Alba le ainm mar Eilean nan Damnaichte!
Fhuair mi cothrom bruidhinn ri Eòghan Stiùbhart is Liam Alasdair Crouse aig DànaMag cuideachd. Am measg cuspairean eile, bha sinn a’ bruidhinn air tursan rathaid is rèile sna Stàitean agus sòiseo-chànanachas.
Mar a thachair e, bha mi air a bhith a’ smaoineachadh gu cruaidh air sòiseo-chànanachas fad an latha sin. Thoisich e nuair a chunnaic mi an ìomhaigh seo air an t-sràid taobh a-muigh bùth. Chunnaic mi e agus smaoinich mi “iasgach cruthachail”.
Tha mi fhèin is mo chàirdean gaisgeil is co-luchd-iomairt Gàidhlig Alison Lang is Wilson MacLeòid gu math dèidheil air an leabhar Rules for Radicals leis an sgrìobhadair radaigeach Saul Alinsky.
Fhuair sinn an deagh abairt “iasgach cruthachail” bhon leabhar agus ’s ann tric a bhios sinn ga cleachdadh a thaobh cùisean na Gàidhlig. Seo na thuirt Alinsky:
A large shadow over organizing efforts, in the beginning, is, then, rationalization. Everyone has a reason or rationalization for what he does or does not do. No matter what, every action carries its rationalization.
One of Chicago’s political ward bosses nationally notorious for his use of the chain ballot and multiple voting once unleashed a tirade well seasoned with alcohol on my being a disloyal American. He climaxed with, “And you, Alinsky! When that great day of America, election day, comes around — that day of the right to vote for which our ancestors fought and died — when that great day comes around you care so little for your country that you never even bother to vote more than once!”
Organizing, one must be aware of the tremendous importance of understanding the part played by rationalization on a mass basis — it is similar to the function on an individual basis. On a mass basis it is the community residents’ and leadership’s justification for why they have not been able to do anything until the organizer appeared. It is primarily a subconscious feeling that the organizer is looking down on them, wondering why they did not have the intelligence, so to speak, and the insights, to realize that through organization and the securing of power they could have resolved many of the problems they’ve lived with for these many years — why did they have to wait for him? With this going on in their minds they throw up a whole series of arguments against various organizational procedures, but they are not real arguments, simply attempts to justify the fact that they have not moved or organized in the past. Most people find this necessary, not only to justify themselves to the organizer, but also to themselves.
In an individual a psychiatrist would call these “rationalizations,” as we call them here, “defenses.” The patient has a series of defenses, which in therapy have to be broken through to get to the problem — which the patient then is compelled to confront. Chasing rationalizations is like attempting to find the rainbow. Rationalizations must be recognized as such so that the organizer does not get trapped in communication problems or in treating them as the real situations.
An extreme example, but one that very clearly spelled out the nature of rationalizations, came about three years ago when I met with various Canadian Indian leaders in the north of a Canadian province. I was there at the invitation of these leaders, who wanted to discuss their problems and solicit my advice. The problems of the Canadian Indians are very similar to those of the American Indians. They are on reservations, they are segregated, relatively speaking, and they suffer from all the general discriminatory practices Indians have been subjected to since the white man took over North America. In Canada the census figures on the Indian population range from 150,000 to 225,000 out of a total population estimated at between 22 and 24 million.
The conversation began with my suggesting that the general approach should be that the Indians get together, crossing all tribal lines, and organize. Because of their relatively small numbers I thought that they should then work with various sectors of the white liberal population, gain them as allies, and then begin to move nationally. Immediately I ran into the rationalizations. The dialogue went something like this (I should preface this by noting that it was quite obvious what was happening since I could see from the way the Indians were looking at each other they were thinking: “So we invite this white organizer from south of the border to come up here and he tells us to get organized and to do these things.
What must be going through his mind is: “What’s wrong with you Indians that you have been sitting around here for a couple of hundred years now and you haven’t organized to do these things?'” And so it began):
Indians: Well, we can’t organize.
Me: Why not?
Indians: Because that’s a white man’s way of doing things.
Me (I decided to let that one pass though it obviously was untrue, since mankind from time immemorial has always organized, regardless of what race or color they were, whenever they wanted to bring about change): I don’t understand.
Indians: Well, you see, if we organize, that means getting out and fighting the way you are telling us to do and that would mean that we would be corrupted by the white man’s culture and lose our own values.
Me: What are these values that you would lose?
Indians: Well, there are all kinds of values.
Me: Like what?
Indians: Well, there’s creative fishing.
Me: What do you mean, creative fishing?
Indians: Creative fishing.
Me: I heard you the first time. What is this creative fishing?
Indians: Well, you see, when you whites go out and fish, you just go out and fish, don’t you?
Me: Yeah, I guess so.
Indians: Well, you see, when we go out and fish, we fish creatively.
Me: Yeah. That’s the third time you’ve come around with that. What is this creative fishing?
Indians: Well, to begin with, when we go out fishing, we get away from everything. We get way out in the woods.
Me: Well, we whites don’t exactly go fishing in Times Square, you know.
Indians: Yes, but it’s different with us. When we go out, we’re out on the water and you can hear the lap of the waves on the bottom of the canoe, and the birds in the trees and the leaves rustling, and — you know what I mean?
Me: No, I don’t know what you mean. Furthermore, I think that that’s just a pile of shit. Do you believe it yourself?
This brought a shocked silence. It should be noted that I was not being profane purely for the sake of being profane, I was doing this purposefully. If I had responded in a tactful way, saying, “Well, I don’t quite understand what you mean, “we would have been off for a ride around the rhetorical ranch for the next thirty days. Here profanity became literally an up-against-the-wall bulldozer.
From there we went off to creative welfare. “Creative welfare” seemed to have to do with “since whites stole Indians’ lands, all Indians’ welfare payments are really installment payments due to them and it’s not really welfare or charity.” Well, that took us another five or ten minutes, and we kept breaking through one “creative” rationalization after another until finally we got down to the issue of organization.
Mar a thachair e, bha Alison air an aon ìomhaigh fhaicinn agus chuir i seo suas air Twitter.
Agus seo an fhreagairt
Leasan dhuinn uile!
Chuala mi iomadh eisimpleir de dh'”iasgach cruthachail” ann an saoghal na Gàidhlig fad nam bliadhnaichean. Gach turas a nì cuideigin le Gàidhlig gearan mu rudan ùra a bhith air an dèanamh tron chànan is iad ag ràdh “tha sin fuadan”, no daoine ag ràdh rudan gòrach mar “chan eil ann an sin ach Beurla tro mheadhan na Gàidlhlig” no daoine ag ràdh “chan eil e math gu leòr an cànan ionnsachadh, feumaidh tu an cultar ionnsachadh” smaoinichidh mi “iasgach cruthachail”. No nuair a tha daoine aig a bheil Gàidhlig a’ cumail a-mach nach eil luchd-ionnsachaidh no na bailtean mòra cudromach dhan Ghàidhlig – sin “iasgach cruthachail”.
Tha mi a’ smaoineachadh gu bheil an t-àm againn “iasgach cruthachail” a thoirt a-staigh gu briathrachas na Gàidhlig!
Air m’ ipad: The Clash London’s Calling (1979), 9/10. (Strummer is Jones – sin dithis a chuireadh an aghaidh iasgach cruthachail gu làidir!)
An leabhar agam: St Helena, Ascension, Tristan da Cuhna, Brandt Guide.