A good conversation erupted in FreeIntaki today.

This was my first opportunity to speak to Bastian Valoron since that mail from James Syagrius arrived earlier this week. I was pleased he inquired about the Intaki Cultural Center and seemed to have an interest in learning more about our people.

It was nice to talk about the artistic part of my past without it feeling like “a big deal” for once. That I could use my music and that of others as an example of the Federation’s cultural oppression was quite interesting to me. It’s not something I planned on but the timing worked out well, as it was still on my mind from that lengthy meeting I had with Suresha Hawke at the beginning of the month.

The conversation was enjoyable. It was nice to have more voices chiming in with support, rather than feeling like being on the back foot from all sides as tends to be the norm. It was too bad I had to cut the discussion short when I did, as I would have liked to explore the topic a bit more. I wonder what thoughts the Chancellor took away from the conversation.

It almost made me wonder if I could try picking up my instruments…or even the microphone…again. Maybe one day soon? Somehow I don’t think so… But then, the way things have been going, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Transcript follows.

Channel ID: 2114849776
Channel Name: FreeIntaki
Listener: Sakaane Eionell
Session started: YC114.06.25 01:40:04

Saxon Hawke > Mr. Valoron, how are you?
Bastian Valoron > Quite good, just studying some economic figures. How about you, Mr. Hawke?
Saxon Hawke > I’m well, thanks. I wanted to talk to you about your visit to the Cultural Center. I’m afraid I’m not in Intaki presently and might not be for remainder of the month. Perhaps we can schedule a time when I return?
Bastian Valoron > It sounds excellent and thank you for letting me know. The culture won’t probably change too much in that time frame.
Saxon Hawke > No, not too much, I suppose. Will you be coming alone, or should we plan on an entourage?
Bastian Valoron > I would like to take a couple of advisers with me if that is all right. It was surprising to find out that actually there is some amount of ignorance regarding the subtleties of the Intaki culture among young people.
Saxon Hawke > I’ve seen the Federation’s textbooks, I can’t say that I’d be surprised to find some level of ignorance about much of Intaki culture.
Bastian Valoron > In my mind, this is why Cultural Centers are in so high demand these days.
Sakaane Eionell > It’s a lovely place. I’m certain you’ll enjoy it.
Saxon Hawke > Indeed. It makes no sense to simply complain about ignorance when you can do something to end it.
Morwen Lagann > Speaking as one who grew up in one of Caille’s cultural districts, I can say it’s definitely the case. Had a bit of it from my father and his side of the family, but not tons.
Bastian Valoron > The Federal texbooks don’t do a great job even at describing the Gallente culture. Much of the sophistication and elegance of the old days has been omitted. I can imagine that the situation is even worse for the Intaki and Jin-Mei.
Saxon Hawke > Certainly. Add to that the subcultures of each and the volume of what isn’t told far exceeds that which is.
Saxon Hawke > I must be going, but I look forward to speaking with you all again soon.
Morwen Lagann > Rest well.
Bastian Valoron > Have a good one, Mr Hawke.
Sakaane Eionell > I’m curious, Chancellor. Was there something in particular which highlighted the amount of cultural ignorance in the Federation to you?
Bastian Valoron > Many important areas, such as music and theartical arts were not explored in any detail.
Sakaane Eionell nods.
Sakaane Eionell > It’s interesting you bring up music. It’s a topic I touched on with the Suresha just recently.
Morwen Lagann > … My chlidhood was kinda saturated with it, heh.
Bastian Valoron > Perhaps literature, painting and sculpture get more attention because they are easier to convey through a passive medium.
Sakaane Eionell > Possibly.
Morwen Lagann > It depends on a lot of factors.
Syyl’ara > Music is a big part of the sensory stimulus programs Yaan and I use to keep from potential downsides to time in the capsule.
Sakaane Eionell > As far as cultural impact goes, we’ve suffered some due to proliferation of Gallente themes and instruments which have pushed out our own traditional musical forms.
Bastian Valoron > At the same time, Intaki musicians and artists have grown in popularity among the Gallente consumers.
Sakaane Eionell > True. But how much of that is owed to our skill at adopting the Gallente pop fads and catapulting them to ‘the next level’? Rather than adhering to our more traditional themes and instruments. When I studied at the Vidyaae ki Khaskaph they were constantly trying to push me into what would be most widely accepted by a Gallente audience.
Bastian Valoron > Music has always been evolving and changing and this is what keeps it interesting and engaging. Historically, the emergence of a new theme may have taken hundreds of years. Now, the corresponding time frame may be only a few months, or even less.
Sakaane Eionell > That doesn’t necessarily mean it is a good thing. The Federation’s fickleness for “the next fad” has a tendency to destroy traditional artforms—of any kind—which otherwise existed for decades or even centuries. The value in their longevity is glossed over simply because it isn’t “new”.
Bastian Valoron > The teachers probably just want to provide the best profits for the time one spends practicing the art of music. They all probably have their personal preferences but by following their intuition, they might harm their student’s future prospects.
Morwen Lagann > Music isn’t, and shouldn’t be, about profits.
Syyl’ara > I think when it comes to aesthetically engaging music, genres that are about artistic depth still evolve slowly, but pop culture stuff does tend to rise and fall quickly. This is usually true for more than just music.
Morwen Lagann > It’s about sharing a wordless language with others.
Sakaane Eionell > Agreed, Morwen. Even when I sang, it was never about making money.
Morwen Lagann > Just having fun doing it and enjoying seeing everyone else enjoy it, right?
Sakaane Eionell > Yes. Being able to share a story, either with or without words, and seeing listeners touched and moved by it. The Khaskaph is not a school that promotes a business. It’s a school that hones skills into a better artform with the hope of producing masters who can inspire generations to come. But the Federation has corrupted that calling with the insidious infiltration of Gallente themes, styles, instruments. They have all but eliminated traditional Intaki instruments and theory.
Bastian Valoron > So why have the Khaskaph teachers chosen to go down that path?
Sakaane Eionell > I don’t think ‘choice’ is the right word. Why does any part of Intaki, Jin-Mei, or Mannar society “choose” to let itself be smothered by the Federation? It doesn’t. As I said, the Federation’s absorption and obliteration of subcultures is insidious. It takes what it wants and overwhelms the rest, pushing it to the side. Then one day people begin to wake up and notice how much has been lost. How much, as you stated, the youth are ignorant. If the youth are ignorant, they grow up and pass their ignorance onto their children, and the cycle grows worse. Consider then, that the Federation has been doing that since its inception.
Bastian Valoron > Federation is the most open-minded of all the intergalactic factions. Mixing of cultures is an inevitable byproduct of interaction, and I like to see it creates new rather than destroys old.
Morwen Lagann > You’ve got a lot of work cut out for you, then.
Syyl’ara > I think what she’s getting at is there’s a difference between mixture due to interaction and overwhelming usurpation.
Sakaane Eionell > Indeed. Everything must evolve to survive. But if the cost of that evolution is tradition, culture, history, values… The cost is much too high. I have no desire to be part of a homogeneous blob.
Bastian Valoron > Well, let’s take a look at the Jin-Mei culture. They are in a state of passive-aggressive civil war, and they still have a caste system. Federation lets them have their way, as long as they don’t threaten others, and let the trade and traffic flow free.
Sakaane Eionell > Why do they need the Federation’s permission to “have their way”? It’s a very poor attitude.
Bastian Valoron > If human rights are in danger, there are many of us in the Federation who see an intervention to be justified.
Sakaane Eionell > What gives you the right to interfere? Certainly they are capable of settling their differences on their own. They did, after all, get on for a long time without the gracious Federation to hold their hand.
Bastian Valoron > Human rights are universal, and many people believe that it is natural to feel compassion towards our fellow human kind.
Sakaane Eionell > Feeling compassion and meddling in their affairs are two totally different things. By all means, feel compassion. But respect their right to figure things out on their own, according to their traditional laws and actions. The Federation doesn’t need to rescue anyone.
Bastian Valoron > Quite a few Jin-Mei left their area to escape the hostilities. Who knows what would have happened if they didn’t have a place where to go.
Sakaane Eionell > But that is their choice. Not yours.
Bastian Valoron nods.
Bastian Valoron > I agree that meddling with local affairs should be kept at minimum. However, when the local affairs run into problems, outside help may sometimes alleviate the difficulties that common citizens are facing.
Sakaane Eionell > And if there had never been a Federation, what then? Those local affairs would still have to find a way out on their own. Maybe they would perish in the attempt. Maybe they would rise to a glorious new height all on their own. Why should that chance be denied to them simply because the Federation exists? “Here we are to save the day simply because we can.” So rarely does the Federation stop to consider whether it should.
Bastian Valoron > So, should one then also stop worrying about the fate of the Intaki music and let it perish or flourish, without intervention from outside the music schools?
Sakaane Eionell > The Federation should, yes, and not pressure the schools to teach their curriculums, but allow them to promote traditional artforms instead. Just because the Federation thinks something is better for another culture, doesn’t mean it is.
Sakaane Eionell > Alas my friends, I will have to continue this conversation later. I have matters to attend to planetside. Thank you for the conversation, Chancellor. Suprab nahi, friends. o/