Masai tribal warriors

Bunga, I Say, Bunga

In certain dialects of the Bantu language, the lingua franca of which is the Swahili spoken by the pictured Masai warriors, the word "bunga" derives from the word "i-bunga" for a tribal council. To "bunga" is to meet in such a council, and upon meeting another tribe, it is not uncommon for one to suggest such a meeting. In essence, the word "bunga" means a combination of both old science fiction tropes, "I come in peace" and "take me to your leader."

It's also quite possibly the most common racist utterance in white supremacist literature. If you go pick up a copy of The Burning Cross, the official newsletter of the "Invisible Empire" Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, you'll quite likely find multiple racist cartoons and diatribes in which the only word spoken by black characters is "bunga." And this isn't some quaint artifact of pre-civil-rights America, either; it was still being done in the late 1990s.

Both of these evidence the opposite sides of what is is to be Tribal, which is the T in FAT. FAT Jack aspires to be Friendly, Active, and Tribal. And now it's time to get into the dark triad.

The dark triad is the core source of perceived power: to be arrogant, inconsiderate, and dangerous. But in a very specific way.

The Bantu language treatment of "bunga" is arrogant. You walk up to other people and say "let us meet in council as equals, because clearly I am every bit as important as your leaders."

The KKK treatment of "bunga" is inconsiderate. Why, they're just savages, the only word they know is "bunga" because they're ignorant. You can tell, because their skin isn't white.

It's always an us-and-them dichotomy. And the dangerous part is that you constantly play up the coming confrontation between us and them. Hey, did you see what they did? Why are they so angry about this? Did you know this could be banned any time now? Don't you want to be one of us? Because this isn't our fault.

It's always a battle, a war, something where everyone needs to take a side. And it's dangerous, because one side or the other is going to win. (It's going to be us, don't worry.) So you have to get on one side or the other of the battle lines.

It's no different here. Hey, you want to be a badass, right? Well, they don't want you to be a badass. They're just a bunch of SLIM Jims trying to keep you covered in SHIT, so you can't dig out your badass self and be a FAT Jack like us. It's a fucking war zone out there, man, and if you don't get over here with us you are losing.

Look, it's no good telling you I can teach you how to be a badass unless I practice what I preach, admit that I practice it, and show you how and where I do it. There's a certain mystique that has to be penetrated - I can't say "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" when I'm teaching you how to become the man behind the curtain.

And tribalism is important. You have to make it special to be on your side, so people will desire to be there. We're not just a bunch of people who think a certain way. We don't just agree on some minor point of how to do business, or how to interact with other people, or what to do on the internet.

We are badasses. We are a legion of badass (quia multi sumus), and we go around practicing general badassery, and this is our badass manifesto. We are a coherent force for truth, justice, and the internet way. We even have our own language - SHIT, SLIM, FAT, want-need-desire triangle, dark triad, and we're just getting started.

Just like the KKK have their own language - kludds and kleagles and klaverns and all that. The Masai have their own dialect of Swahili; there are words in that which other tribes don't understand. Marketers have their own language, their own jargon, just like the internet has LOLcats and trollface and ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US.

Because they do, you know. We totally pwn your base. You are on the way to destruction. You have no chance to survive make your time. Ha ha ha.

That's the core of tribalism: us and them and the coming conflict. Being arrogant, inconsiderate, and dangerous. Demonising and dehumanising the opposition.

So let's put all this together and look at how the SLIM and FAT combination fits together... tomorrow.