In almost all cases, this particular ritual occurred at least once every twelve years, once members of the Nacirema reached age 15 or 16 on the Gregorian Calendar. This ritual involved several steps but ultimately permitted them to legally steer large machines on rows of asphalt, concrete, or dirt. These machines went at unprecedented speeds for their time–up to 150 miles per hour, although, 30-80 miles per hour was most typical. These rows stretched hundreds and hundreds of miles. Instead of walking or teleporting themselves, Naciremas used these machines to get from place-to-place.
Although some members of the Nacirema drove without permission from the State, most had permission. The final step of receiving permission was particular odious. With their body fully covered, they walked into this small structure that could only hold fifty people at most. This structure had one large room and three tiny rooms. At the back of the room, there were four people in charge. There were three rows pointed away from the people in charge. Each row contained several objects the Nacirema used to temporarily squat.
The Nacirema had strict rules against talking to people they did not know well and rules against being too physically close to people they did not know. These rules were closely followed. The Nacirema squatted down in absolute silence with spaces in front of them, behind them, and next to them empty. The Nacirema felt so strongly about these rules that they would go to extraordinary lengths to obey them, even if it meant suffering. Only ocasional whispers could be heard between younger members who knew each other from elsewhere.
Occasionally, one of the four people in charge would call out something like “80” or “85” and one of the Nacirema would get up and walk over to that person. Naciremas waited several hours to be summoned. The people in charge were very coarse and each processed over one hundred Nacirema each day. They were particularly coarse to people really young or older than 80.
Processing each Nacirema involved dozens of papers and several different objects. Some of these objects had the capability to magically display everything about any of the Nacirema. The people in charge constantly banged loudly on little objects that were part of larger objects. Each object they banged affected what was displayed in front of them. Before the Nacirema were released, the people in charge shined a bright light on them and printed a copy of their face.
(If you’re unfamiliar with the Nacirema, please read this, too.)
Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda
Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives