Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome to the Center For Fawkesian Pursuits Real Folk Blog


Somewhere between the world of capitol ism and the world of the folklorist wishing to let things run their course without intervention there is the world of Real Folk. It is an alternative, a balance to things commercial. More than an alternative it is a partner- simply the other side of the same spectrum.

The Center for Fawkesian Pursuits has evolved from a Bonfire Society to an organization that promotes Real Folk. We like to think of it as "Self Help" folklife. We believe that as custodians of folkloric treasures: artifacts, techniques, and celebrations we must provide a strong link between real people and folklore.

While professionals and archives are strong links in the chain that preserves and helps extend folk productions they are at the same time the weakest links. Libraries are destroyed and the last surviving few professionals and experts die out.

To complete the chain the Center for Fawkesian Pursuits proposes that the third and most neglected link in the chain is that of the folklore that lives in the minds, hearts and acts of ordinary people. This one of the most important ways that our folkloric legacies have weathered the centuries.

It is important that our mission is not confused with conservativism which blocks all change and growth. Quite the countrary. Living folk traditions are forever growing an adapting in addition to carrying forward the treasures of our legacies.

The CFFP is also in action. We design and conduct "self help" folkloric events and make our research available freely on line as best we can. We open our doors to everyone. We have successfully removed financial transactions from these cultural practices. While we rely on self help we realize that our methods are worthy and correct. After all entire communities have come from barn raisings and cultures have long benefitied via self help activities such as covered dish dinners and music at the crossroads. Trully ticketless events.

Everyone can and should take part. Not just paid professionals.

All will benefit. When folklore comes out of the books and away from limited states and media venues and into the hearts and minds of ordinary people the demand created will be limitless and professionals will be the first to prosper.

We hope you will stop by this blog and contribute to our discussions as we refine our strategies along this new path. Also be the frist to learn of our events and educational resources.

Conrad Bladey Director


  1. I like your idea but I am interested in playing and singing not talking about it. Folk music is a complex mix of art, craft and pleasure - it can't be defined nor should it be over analysed. When the singer becomes more important than the song, when art becomes more important than pleasure, or the concept of correctness is raised I lose interest. We don't live in the times described in many songs and we don't have to live the lives of the characters we sing about. We can empathise with these characters, their plight and their causes, but that's all. Let's just play the tunes, sing the songs, and enjoy ourselves.

  2. A good comment. I understand. But should we not be concerned with the legacy? Enjoying ourselves is fine but should it not be tempered with a bit of obligation to the legacy? We can do both. We can enjoy and play but we can also put a little time into intervention to make sure that the old ways at least have venues and that they can be taught and passed on.