Saturday, April 14, 2018

BITING THE SUN



Wow, what a great read this was!  

Tanith Lee's novel of a future dystopia (available under ISBN 978-0553581300) is a gaudy vision of human society that's been placed under firm orders from their robot masters to ENJOY THEMSELVES ANY WAY THEY WANT, IN A CONSEQUENCE-FREE ENVIRONMENT.   This world has no crime, no want, no danger.  If you want it, and if you can imagine it, you get it.

What are you frowning about?  Doesn't that sound dystopic enough for you?   It should.  With no challenges to overcome, no meaningful connection with anyone, no conflict, and not even a job to slouch off to in the morning -- in short, NO DISCORD -- people in this society , hemmed in by Order, spend a whole lot of time KILLING THEMSELVES.  Not just once, but OVER AND OVER.  And why isn't once enough to finish the job, you ask?  The robots have figured out a way to rescue you from death and they just slot you back into a new body.  Then you go back to Square One.  Welcome back to despair!!!

The story really begins when one of these people starts to seriously CHAFE, wondering how life could somehow become, I don't know, maybe the right word is MEANINGFUL.  The protagonist's efforts to find anything to do that is really worth doing starts the story rolling.  

And oh, the wonders we get to see!

This book is a wonderful process of CLEARING AWAY THE COBWEBS and walking away from everything you know.  If everything you know is 100% PHONY, you can hope that the new territory you're entering somehow turns out to be REAL.

Sighted along another axis, this is about discovering that your perfect, universal Order is screwing you up six ways to Sunday, and what you need is a serious dose of Chaos to make it right again.

This would be a great story, not just for Discordians to read, but soto Zen Buddhists, scientolators, chronic drunkards, fanatics, general-purpose hedonists and anyone else who could benefit from a little head clearing.

I want to draw your attention to what the woman in the cover illustration is doing.  She's standing in a garden...

...Plucking an apple off a tree.

That's the whole story in a nutshell.  When she rolls that apple it will change everything.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

A Thought From "Bling Ring" Attorney Sean Erenstoft



"I'm a righteous guy.  I feel like I see justice...I believe I have the pulse on what is right and wrong...I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHAOS AND ORDER and I have a complete sense of how it should be helped...I am pompous enough to think that I have a greater sense of justice here."

OK, what is he saying here?

>> That he feels the difference between Chaos and Order needs help?  Why?  How?

>> Can you really "have the pulse on what is right and wrong"?   Doesn't he mean he has his finger on that pulse?  Does "what is right and wrong" even have a pulse?  Even on a purely metaphoric level?  If it's a metaphor, it's a pretty scrambled one.  

>> So, as far as having his finger on the pulse of Chaos?  Check.  But where's the Order in this paragraph?

>> If he knows the difference between Chaos and Order -- and when you start to pick at it you quickly realize that they're interpenetrating ghosts that bleed invisibly into each other at all times -- why doesn't he show us what the difference is?

>> And what in the name of everloving blue funk does any of that have to do with the famous case he worked on?  This quote was take from page 196 of the trade paperback edition of The Bling Ring,(ISBN 978-0-06-224553-3).  It's the story of a bunch of teenagers -- every one of them a refugee from reality TV -- who decided to burgle the homes of as many celebrities as they could think of so they could wear their watches and shoes and stuff.

I admit, there is a great deal of CHAOS in TV, especially reality TV, but in a scripted, flavorless-potato-pancake form boring enough to put Speedy Gonzalez into a coma.  It certainly feels CHAOTIC to have your place broken into and your stuff stolen, at least usually, but these kids did most of their crimes in such an ORDERLY way that a lot of the victims didn't realize anything had happened until the criminals confessed.  And many would see the intervention of the criminal justice system as the restoration of ORDER, but with excelsior like this falling from the lips of the attorneys involved -- these people are supposed to be articulate sellers of ice to Eskimos! -- I'm not sure it didn't generate more CHAOS than anything else.