Pomona Laments Passing of Haruspex Hagedorn
By Alex Linder
I will write the following in my favorite tongue, near English. If ebonics be legit, then mebonics be legitter. I declare I will practice sociology without a license. Unsafe sociology is the best kind, it nearly goes without saying. I will divine from signs, like a haruspex, but working dry. This is a Pomona professoress, recently deceased. Her name is Hagedorn, pretty sure that's German, not jewish, from New Jersey, into Santeria, of all things. This is the odd sort of creature liberalism abounds with. German-descended liberals mesh very nicely with English-descended libs. Germans have always been known for traveling around, sniffing things, and a certain strain of this impulse routinely throws up creatures like La Hagedorn.
Katherine Hagedorn dies at 52; Pomona professor was Santeria priestess
Katherine Hagedorn, a longtime music professor at Pomona College in Claremont, became a Santeria priestess after years of studying sacred bata drums
Look at the look on the dark girl's face - that's your classic 'minority' (that aint) responding to your overly intelligent, caring, helpful white liberal. If you were a mud, you wouldn't like white people either - although you'd damn sure like their bodies and what they put together for themselves, as Sam Kinison put it.
By David Colker
November 18, 2013, 10:39 a.m.
Katherine Hagedorn was not your stereotypical priestess in the Cuba-based Santeria religion, known for its complex, ecstatic drumming that adherents believe can call forth deities.
She grew up in New Jersey, was white, had a doctorate in music and was a longtime popular professor at Pomona College.
But as a graduate student on a cold, rainy day at Brown University in 1988, she spotted a poster for an upcoming performance by an Afro-Cuban ensemble of drummers and dancers. The performance changed her life.
"From the moment the drummers struck their instruments, I was stunned," Hagedorn wrote in her 2001 book, "Divine Utterances: The Performance of Afro-Cuban Santeria." "Each delicate stroke seemed to hit my solar plexus, and I was immediately embarrassed lest anyone guess how intimately I was experiencing the sound. I could not breathe normally."
Hagedorn traveled to Cuba, studied with masters of sacred bata drums, and after a decade of practice and study, became initiated into Santeria as a priestess. It was a journey from academic objectivity to total involvement in a world that once seemed entirely foreign to her.
"My wide-angle lens of folkloric performance," she wrote, "had suddenly zoomed in to the close-up focus of personally experienced religious performance."
Hagedorn died Nov. 12 at home in Claremont after a long struggle with cancer, said Pomona College. She was 52, and had been part of the school's music faculty since 1993.
Drumming was just one of several topics she taught at the school. She also oversaw the Balinese Gamelan ensemble and taught courses in gender in music, performance traditions of the African diaspora and protest music.
Her classes were emphatically participatory, not to mention loud.
"If we are learning about West African music, if we're reading about it, listening to it, we're playing it too," she said in a 2001 Pomona College Magazine article. "Same with Tuvan throat singing and Balinese Gamelan. I try to get the students to do it."
In 2000, Hagedorn was named California Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.
She's red-stamped "good" by the System. Nothing more Systemic than Carnegie Foundation.
Katherine Johanna Hagedorn was born Oct. 16, 1961, in Summit, N.J. Her undergraduate degree was from Tufts University, with a triple major in Spanish, Russian and English studies, plus a minor in classical piano. She earned a master's degree in international relations from John Hopkins University and a master's and doctorate from Brown in ethnomusicology.
Now that's very interesting. Many do not know that New Jersey has plenty of rural area, and plenty of people of German descent, as well as the Italians and jews everyone knows about. Now, the fact that Hagedorn went to Tufts is very interesting, as this is a jewish college. Not all Tufts students are jews. It makes my theory Hagedorn is German rather than jewish less likely, but I still would guess it's the case. The way she wears her hair, in the photo, and her dress, suggest it. The way she gathers her hands suggests Germanic plainscrub piety, rather than jewish accusatory meddling-hectoring. It is clear this unadorned Hagedorn's a rather plain but intelligent white applemeat woman. And it is a guess. Altho her concerns touch on the leftist litany, the feminism etc doesn't appear to be the driving force. She probably belongs to the group that assimilates the going ideals and agenda without any internal objections. Her interest in Santeria and its oinks was no doubt genuine; more that Hagedorn's peculiar interests fit The Agenda, were useful to the System, than that she was an aggressive driver.
In 1989, she made the first of many trips to Cuba to study bata drums, which are played in sets of three. "The only way you can learn to play those things is to be taught by someone who is an expert, who is consecrated," said Raul Fernandez, professor of Latin American studies at UC Irvine. "They knew she was honest and truly interested, not there on some capricious whim."
I remember being in some hall at Pomona, and hearing some earnest liberal say something on the order of, "every time I hear drums, I feel like I'm stealing black culture." I did not grow up among this type; statements like this were the first time I knew it existed. That is, I knew liberals existed from reading the newspaper, but to catch the real flavor of this type and its mindset, have to hear it first-ear.
She completed her first step of initiation into Santeria about a year after her studies of the bata drum began, but then took each subsequent step only after "much trepidation" and self-examination, "shying away from what appeared to be my religious calling," she wrote in her book.
This is why we call liberals onionskins. All this sensitivity. These tears. These trembling vacillations. Yet they turn into great hostile white sharks if you cross them. Crossing them could mean harshly, as in mocking with laughter, or merely softly, with plain honest rational questions. You'll receive dark return. You'll learn, as all before you, that liberals have endless boundless love of their inferiors -- roughly, all muds and white deviants -- and boundless hatred of all their equals - whites and other intelligent folk who don't think the way they do. Invisible plantations and invisible apartheid are their preferred forms. Where a white man, a right man, builds a real-world segregation system based on rational reasons; a liberal creates an invisible empire based on irrational hatreds.
Back to the story - what on earth would Haggy be trepidatin' about? What's not to love about Santeria? It sounds colorful and delicious, like a scooped-out watermelon filled with delicious and colorful mixed fruits. Or like a gutter gushing with delicious red Kool-Aid recently liberated from the throat of an uninnocent yardfowl. Ah, but that's why I can't be a liberal. That's why I failed to cult up like a real softspoken man of the world. My plebeian need to guffaw (a guffaw is a fart to these people), my boorish insistence on the actually-real were too great. How could Katy's delicate emotional conscience handle the rude combo of spicy drums and exsanguinated roosters? Well, we don't know that, we can't enter a plain woman's heart. We can only know the outcome. I divine from the ether that the soft, noble soul of La Hagedorn was in her delicate, sensitiver-than-sensitive way essaying a new branch of Santeria; poking out a new vein of the Old Thing like a watercolorist with his thin swirled brush eking out a new brown tree branch. A new vein that would sacrifice date palms, or ground nuts, or some other native African vegetable, rather than meaty breathers. It's not easy being a liberal. No one ever said that. But with enough patience, sensitivity, imagination, sighs, grants, fellowships, and Gone-Fishing signs over the eyelids, one can overcome the obstacles and unite the opposites. Some thought crimes law doesn't hurt either. Makes it all cohere, you know. Like corn starch in your cooking pot.
When she finally became a priestess, she wore a special outfit for the occasion. It had tiny figures believed to represent vegetarian Santeria priests sacrificing avocados and pineapples on ex-sanguinary altars. Goats that formerly would have been the star of the show now allowed to lick the spilled juices after the service. Friends say she had her gorgeous raiment hand-sewn by an Equitorial Guinean sewing circle microbusiness she encountered on a research trip to Central Africa.
"It's the dress she will be wearing when she is buried," said her friend Margaret Waller, a professor of French at Pomona.
Hagedorn is survived by her husband, Terry Ryan, a professor at Claremont Graduate University's Center for Information Systems & Technology; a son, Gabriel; her parents, Fred and Grace Hagedorn; and her sister Martha Hagedorn-Krass.
Further evidence Hagedorn was probably German rather than jewess.
She does not whiff jewish, going by her particulars. Now, the interesting thing here is how this apparently mild woman would have felt about the thing most associated with Santeria - the thing it's known for: animal sacrifices. One wonders if anyone anywhere ever pressed her on this, how she felt about it. I highly doubt it. Many things evil when white men do them are noble or at least not-to-be-mentioned when darkies do 'em. Sniffing these fine differences is what makes the liberal a connoisseur.