Beware of elves bearing gifts.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Beware of elves bearing gifts.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
In September 1998, local residents of Briey France awoke to a grisly sight: 11 garden gnomes hanged by the neck from a bridge. A letter found nearby indicated the true horror of this tragedy, that these gnomes took their own lives (cnn.com). The letter read, “When you read these few words we will no longer be part of your selfish world, where we serve merely as pretty decoration.” Driven to the brink by their slave owners, these gnomes saw no alternative but to end it all, or so the Garden Gnome Liberation Front (Front de Libération des Nains de Jardin) would have the public believe.
Following the mass suicide in 1998, the FLNJ remained quiet until the 2000 Paris garden show, which displayed over 2,000 gnomes. In a nighttime raid, the FLNJ ‘liberated’ twenty gnomes from the show. Following this reemergence, police in France issued a general security alert to gnome owners (Sampson 2000). Many gnome owners resorted to taking their sculptures indoors at night. The people of Gignac, near Montpellier even formed a vigilante patrol using a truck with an elevated platform and a powerful searchlight to thwart any potential liberators (Sampson 2000).
According to Harpers Index from 1996 to 2001 the FLNJ relocated over 6,000 gnomes to the forests of France (Mennes 2004: 47). Not all have been found. In 2001, 100 gnomes were discovered in a forest in the Vosges region of France, and the following day, 74 gnomes were arranged on the steps of a cathedral in Saint-Die (Mennes 2004: 47). That same year in Chavelot, dozens of gnomes were arranged in a traffic roundabout to spell out the words, ‘free the gnomes,’ (Mennes 2004: 47). As recent as 2006, the FLNJ stole 80 gnomes in the central Limousin region of France (flnjfrance.com/).
Many sister organizations to FLNJ now exist all over the world such as the Gnome Liberation Front and Gnome Liberation Army in the United Kingdom and Los Gnomos de Jardin Quieren Viajar in Spain. Others include Free The Gnomes in the United States and the Movimento Autonomo per la Liberazione delle Anime Giardino (MALAG) from Italy.
FreeTheGnomes, an American based gnome liberation group, is one of the youngest, founded only in 2006, but most widespread via the internet on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace (www.freethegnomes.com). Unlike other groups, they do not advocate gnome theft or criminal acts, but instead call upon their supporters to peacefully protest and petition gnome owners and governments to end oppressive gardening and emancipate captured gnomes. They also encourage the formation of local chapters of freethegnomes to work within the community. They have ongoing petitions to governments to legislate for gnome freedoms and long standing boycotts against businesses like Home Depot, which they refer to as Home Despot, who supply gnomes to potential slave owners (www.freethegnomes.com).
Thursday, July 16, 2009
- Males indulge in pipe-smoking
- Males think of marriage about age 200 years
- Gnome women deck themselves out with blossoms or berry-bearing twigs for the celebrations
- Greetings, farewells and goodnights are expressed by rubbing noses.
- Gnomes are 7 times as strong as a man.
- Brain capacity larger than man’s.
- Hair grays very early, baldness unknown.
- Life-span is around 400 years.
- Gnomes are not tone deaf.
- Fingertips as sensitive as those of a blind person.
- Fingerprints are mainly of a circular pattern.
- Heart attacks unknown.
- Capable of smelling 19 times better than man.
- Sense of direction (as good as a homing pigeon)
- ESP...(nonverbal communication over great distances)
- Weather forecasting
- Visit their birthday tree yearly...often live under it
- Birth of gnomes is always twins
- Pregnancy lasts 12 months
- Girl children are raised by their mothers and neighbor women in homely arts.
- Boys at age 13 are taught the manly ways and taught his fathers trade
- Boys at age 75 years are introduced to the members of the Regional Council, a few he may already know.
- Gnomes love to dance and fine occasion to celebrate.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Today I thought I'd share some of the folklore of gnomes for those of you who may not be familiar with where we come from. Gnomes are elusive wee folk thought to bring luck and to be helpers to humans in the garden and house. Gnomes are small humanoid woodland creatures that stand approximately six inches tall and live for exactly 400 years.
Garden Gnomes, such as myself, traditionally wear red pointy hats and old fashioned tunics, often holding or using garden implements such as wheelbarrows or shovels...again, take note of my picture and you'll see I fit that description to a T. Gnomes generally live underground in elaborate tunnels, and remain unseen (Huygen: 1976). Gnomes act as guardian of woodland life, aiding wildlife in times of need and generally acting as protectors of forests and gardens (Huygen: 1976). Additionally, gnomes have the ability to travel large distances on the backs of other animals (Mennes 2004: 9).
In the 1800's, potters in Germany began to produce the first clay garden gnomes...I assume because we real ones are so elusive to humans. The use of garden statues soon spread to other European countries that expressed a love of gardening and a sense of humor (what exactly does that mean? are humans laughing at us?). These beautifully handcrafted garden statuary soon became treasured family heirlooms handed down from generation to generation, creating a family garden gnome history. But then in the 1960's mass production of plastic garden gnomes tarnished the reputation of the classic clay gnomes. There are only a few artists today who still make clay gnomes and there is only one in the USA, his name is Mr. Kimmel.
There has been a resurgence of interest in the garden gnome tradition. Gnomes have become a pop culture icon...the Travelocity Roaming gnome (he has a pretty sweet job)...and the movies The Full Monty and Amelie (my favorite movie of all time) featured garden gnomes...this has all brought an awareness of garden gnomes to a wider audience than ever.
Well, friends, on that note I say Cheerio and we'll chat more tomorrow.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
But I digress...unfortunately, I must share my garden home with four pesky hounds who are always trampling through my garden and lifting a leg to piss on my plants, or heaven forbid, me! There's also a crafty feline I must tend with. She's always trying to knock me over or jump over me, but I have more patience with her because she's still a kitten. Still, she's a pain in the arse. Besides these creatures and the havoc they wreak in my life, I lead a very simple life and I love it. I love to garden and I love to travel.
I'll be going on a short holiday this weekend, blessedly without the hounds, to North Carolina. I'll be sharing my adventures with you when I return. Ah, this is the life!