Aspects of the American Salesman Mythos Modern Mythology

Following the threads of any far-reaching narrative can be a trecherous task. If one is so inclined, one can find oneself tumbling down strange rabbit holes. These rabbit holes may reveal actual events and connections, or they may be created by the human mind’s tendency to impose patterns over random sets of facts. The trick is to discern between an understanding of a set of facts and narratives that allows one to understand a simpler overarching order to the complexity or if prejudices and blind spots distorts this understanding of the facts.
Central to the how the American mythos of success and power relates to the individual is through narratives of salemanship. The ability to sell supercedes the ability to produce goods and services. The reason the government and businesses put so much energy into controlling media is so narratives that contradict their sales pitch are not heard by a critical mass of the populace. Just as a dude at a bar who is trying to score doesn’t want his rap spoiled by someone who knows him telling a story that runs counter to his tale of aggrandizement. (Or sensitivity, or erudition, or wealth – whatever narrative that works best with the hearer.)
After troops were deployed to Iraq and Afganistan one arrow in the quivver of the domestic and diplomatic effort was that we were bringing “Democracy” and “Freedom” to these countries. “Ah”, said some citizens, breathing easier. “We’re there to sell these unfortunates on our most precious commodity!”

Jarboe Announces– INDEMNITY : Phase One Dominion Magazine

Legendary artist Jarboe announced the upcoming release of INDEMNITY Phase One. This is the first in a series of releases featuring intimate interpretations of Swans and World Of Skin plus new songs from written exclusively for the limited edition release. INDEMNITY is a concept album to be released in 3 parts. Each CD will have a different aesthetic, though the approach will be consistent per cd. A clue as to what tone is to be set on each CD can be gleaned from Jarboe’s description: #1 is elemental, #2 expansion and #3 full blown chaos. At length, Jarboe describes the three Cds thus: “This first cd of 3 is meant to be intimate and personal. I hope I have made it so as it is from my heart. Indemnity # 2 begins this autumn and will show a different development in structure. Indemnity # 3 will be a type of symphony.”

INDEMNITY is available exclusively for pre-order from her site. In a move emblematic of Jarboe’s intimate relationship with her fans and of her artistic mode of working, this unique approach that fuses crowdfunding with special exclusive product. In fact, conversations with fans played a large part in the concept of the INDEMNITY project. Jarboe explains: “to respond to some messages i have received primarily on one of my facebook pages, Indemnity is a 3 part series. the first installment still in production is primarily the elements of melodic voice and piano. the second installment will add instrumentation such as cello and percussion. the third and final installment will feature bombastic loud instrumental passages, and vocals of a vitriolic persona.” And what lies behind naming the project INDEMNITY? “The word Indemnity was chosen primarily for this meaning : ‘a sum exacted by a victor in war as one condition of peace.'”

Human Demonology: Salome Modern Mythology

And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 
And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, and brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
– (Mark 6:21-29, KJV) 

The story of Salome is a familiar one in Western culture, the climax of wich with her lascivious dance and the severed head of John the Baptist has fired the imagination of artists, writers and composers for hundreds of years. Then there’s Dracula as an allegory describing Victorian men’s fear of female sexuality, Lilith in legend and art… The mythical Salome can be seen as both a product of and a window into the minds of those who told it. Salome was a real historical person, born EV 14, the daughter of Herodias and the stepdaughter of the Emperor Herod Antipas. Though she is unnamed in the New Testament, Salome is named in the writings of the historian Josephus.

There’s a flavour to the tale that feels more like one from the old testament than the new. Her role in the book of Mark continues such tales of women and men’s desire for them leading to degradation and murder as in the tale of Athaliah, who established the worship of the aggregate of all heathen gods Baal in Judah. Women are shown as leading men into sin from the very beginning with Eve, and before her, the lack of subservience in the uncontrollable Lilith has her cast out and transformed into a demon, stealing the children of Eve and seducing men in the night. Salome’s actions combines the gruesomeness of the two mothers who, during the siege of King Ben-hadad in Samaria during a famine, conspired to boil the son of one to eat him with Jezebel, the proto-femme fatale, murderer, prostitute and enemy of God, though in her seduction of Herod, Salome is not leading a righteous man astray.