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The Shrine of Koobecaf and the Nacirema - Andrea Spry
The Nacirema civilization has greatly advanced and risen in power over only about half of a century. Not only has the economy strengthened along with their ability to produce food, but their ritualistic tools have also greatly advanced. They now have magic boxes which they can carry around with them or place on pedestals within their houses which enable the Nacirema to carry out new rituals. Their distaste for their bodies continues in an even more acute form now, and they utilize the magic boxes to keep themselves young in their minds. Wealthier houses sometimes contain more of these magic boxes than people, and they often outnumber the sacred private shrine rooms contained within the house. They are also used more often and for longer periods than the sacred rooms. The magic boxes contain many flat rectangular shrines which allow the Nacirema to reach out to others who could be living on the other side of the territory or world while hiding their faces to keep their ages secret. One of these shrines in particular has become almost vital to life for many of the younger Nacirema. Since it is free any of the Nacirema can access and use it. They call it Koobecaf. Within Koobecaf the people create an eliforp on which they can project a copy of their selves of how they want to be. They seem to hope to in essence become the eliforp, as it is what they act through in Koobecaf and invest much of their time within it. In an effort to improve themselves in the sight of others, the Nacirema list details about themselves they think will make them look good, young, and attractive. In a further effort to hide their age, some of the Nacirema will use a seeming of themselves on the eliforp of them as a child, an animal, or other seeming. The Nacirema elders who use Koobecaf try to fit in with the younger generations by creating relationships with their children’s friends, youths whom they associate with in physical life, or even random younger people they have never met. Many users of Koobecaf create relationships with others they have never met, or only vaguely know. This effectively allows them to create a youthful impression since the others have no life experiences with which to compare them. The Nacirema also appear to avoid excessive verbal and physical communication when they can communicate through Koobecaf instead. The seem to think this will help them avoid confrontation and lengthen their relationships with their friends. With this effort to avoid physical interaction they hope to stay young in spirit since they won’t have to deal with as much change in their lives. Despite their avoidance of conflict, the Nacirema ironically use Koobecaf as a tool for competition. Many rituals within Koobecaf compare the eliforps to each other and declare which ones are better than the rest. Rituals like erapmoc elpoep ask questions about eliforps and their qualities and the Nacirema choose the eliforp they think answers the question best and Koobecaf compiles the data and tells the Nacirema how they rate. Typically the Nacirema who are more popular and powerful in real life will also experience popularity and power within the shrine since everyone wants to associate with them to improve their image. Conversely, people who aren’t popular in physical life will create relationships with as many others as they can in Koobecaf to improve their eliforp but put little effort into improving their physical life. So it can be seen from this that the Nacirema's distaste for their physicality has deepened since they are now trying to detach themselves and their lives from their bodies and place them within the magic boxes.Andrea Spry
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