This evening, I was travelling with one of the girls; heading up to my old stomping grounds where I spent my youth. We were discussing some of the stories of my past; exploits, misadventures, and generally being a basic teenager.
Many of the smaller towns around Bruce and Huron County had populations around 1,000 people. Each town had its own sports team that traveled to all the surrounding towns to play – hockey teams, baseball teams, etc.. Every town had their own colours, and the players proudly wore melon leather or black leather jackets with the town name rocker sewn on the back to identify themselves.
Throughout my youth; our town was fortunate to have several teams that went All Ontario. I played on some of these teams, and built a strong friendship with many of my fellow team mates over the years. There was and still is a sense of loyalty and passionate recollection each time I visit back in Lucknow and surrounding area.
While visiting, the discussion will usually include the competitiveness and animosity we had towards the other towns around us. That is still true today.
Over the years, there have been numerous fights and dislike for anyone wearing another colour or rocker. Boys being boys, usually it involved another town’s girl, a particular game, or if several towns were bused to a larger centralized high school. That was the case with Lucknow, Teeswater, Brussels, Wingham, Howick, Fordwich, Belgrave, Wroxeter, Gorrie and Blyth. All the high school students went to one high school.
At high school, each town had their area they claimed. We claimed the upstairs foyer and atrium outside the Home Ec rooms and girls change rooms. Another town claimed the cafeteria, another claimed the library, etc. etc.. There was a co-existence and relative peace except for the fights that would break out periodically.
While involved in school life, many became involved and mixed together to play high school football, boxing, joined clubs, or were involved in other extra curricular activities. These factions still identified from their town, but involved themselves and joined together in school activity and personality.
The Gorean ‘Community’ is very similar. There are several groups, factions and sects within the overall identity that could be labelled as the Gorean ‘Community’.
One group came together by meeting in person with others that shared the same ideals and principles taken from reading the Gor Books. Another group grew up on the old IRC and early forms of internet role play and chat rooms. Another group came together through Yahoo, CM, Silk&Steel, and other similar boards. Recently some have come in through modern mediums such as Fetlife, BikerKiss and random Google searches. Visualize each group as a small town. Each has there own colour, and identity.
All share a couple of common denominators –
* the Gor Books
* their own interpretation of what is the Gorean Philosophy..
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts and genuine concern; there are still many divisions and camps present within the Gorean Community.
One faction wants to go strictly ‘by the Books’. A second faction wants to debate and go strictly by philosophy. Another faction believes that the author’s personal opinions, John Norman, influences what encompasses ‘What is Gor’.
Within each faction, there are sects or subgroups. Each subgroup has different personal principles, standards or philosophical belief system, usually an offshoot of a larger group. One sect believes that Goreans may choose or not to be kinky. Others believe that Goreans cannot be kinky. One sect believes homosexuality is forbidden. Another sect believes that sexual orientation (bi-sexual, hetroflexible, pansexual, gay, lesbian, etc..) does not restrict you from being Gorean. Each wants to control a section of turf. Each wants to be the personality of ‘What is Gor’. Visualize each faction or sect as going to one place (a high school).
What do all have in common; a name, an identity, “Gorean”. A community made up of many different citizens. Young and old. New and seasoned. First and second generation. Free and slave.
> “United we stand divided we fall…”
>Attributed to Aesop
Each group, faction and sect brings with it unique perspectives and eccentricities that keep the larger community in check and on course. My Gor is not better than your Gor; your lifestyle is not more authentic and genuine than mine. We are more alike than different, and there’s more that unites than divides us. Because of that, we do not need to compromise nor assimilate to strengthen our community.
Over the past few years, it has been lamented that numbers are dwindling. The older generation is tired and becoming silent. The younger generation looks differently at what is relative and important. People are turning away from all the infighting and clashes of what is considered ‘Gor’.
All are considered to be part of the Gorean community. Just like each town, team, group, faction, or sect, continues to march on believing they are the Chosen Ones, The Gorean ‘Community’ really is similar to High School.