Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Baby Names Pt. 3: Wholesome Grains

This post is a Pt.3. There was also a Pt.1 and a Pt.2

I'd want to name my children after wholesome grains. Let's say my last name were to be H'eaumeau. Like, if my full name were to be Derrick Prendrick H'eaumeau. Of course I'd hate that fucking name! I'd be embarrassed, kids would have called me "PEN-DICK" - naturally I'd react against that and want to name my children after wholesome grains.

Each kid would also get a middle name, in case they decide later they'd prefer to go by middle. Some do! Let them! We all name ourselves eventually, whether in the claiming of what was given and choosing to own it, or in working our own variations upon it, or in shedding it entirely, and cloaking our being in new raiment of our own cut and choosing. We've all named ourselves, eventually. We name ourselves daily, in the name by which we choose to give ourselves to others.

So anyway! They'd be (in birth order, 1st first and on down - son or daughter designated by S or D naturally):

D: Wheat Annona H'eaumeau
S: Barley John H'eaumeau
D: Rye Eirene H'eaumeau
S: Spelt Cuchulain Quinlan*
D: Sorghum Amber H'eaumeau

*don't ask.

"H'eaumeau" is a sort of brute transliteration of my real last name into fake-Francais, which is why I picked it. For the purposes of illustration.

None of them would be named Oats! On the presumption I'd have sown those earlier on, if any.

People would be like, "Spelt? How is that spelt?" VERY CLEVER DIRTBAG. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I HEARD IT, DO YOU SUPPOSE?

Poor girl.

Let me change that one. That's a fine name for a male child - for any child! Ooo. And I'll add an extra-kickass middle.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why Are The Angels Attacking Us Pt.3: Don't Worry, The Angels Aren't Attacking Us

It occurs to me the previous two posts might seem a bit odd. They're about an old, weird Japanese animated science-fiction franchise called Evangelion or more formally, Neon Genesis: Evangelion, which deals (as do so many of our finer weird, old Japanese animated sci-fi franchises) with a post-apocalyptic Tokyo and dangers they confront, together with the other more off-center-stage peoples remaining.

Basically, humanity is being faced with threat after threat in the form of gigantic monsters. Each is different in form and the threat some of them pose is radically different in nature. These things, within the story, are called "angels." Where they're coming from is a bit mysterious. Humanity's response is basically - they had the body of one of these type things in storage from before, and they apparently figured out enough from it to expect more coming so they were able to clone (or something) that thing's genetic material and grow it / build it into their own giant gladiator forms. To look at one you'd think it was a giant robot, but really it's part biological, part powered armor. These are called the EVAs. Each has its own pilot, a human child (thirteen, fourteen, something like that). The setup has a lot of angst and drama to it, etc. etc. There's a lot of things-not-as-they-seem, and railing against life in general.

Anyway. I've been known occasionally to speculate on this or that aspect of theology, and in putting out the previous two geek rants, as an afterthought I'd hate anyone to think that angels were actually attacking us and they'd missed it.

That would be damn peculiar!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Why Are The Angels Attacking Us? Part 2, Possibly Unrelated

In a post(-somewhat-mild-as-apocalypses-go)-apocalyptic world, humanity finds to its dismay that as its technological prowess and its towering mastery of the world (in which include the universe) has grown, so too has the power of humanity's collective unconscious. More than so, too: the ulterior dream and murk of all our myths and hopes and fears has grown to such strength and at such a rate as to outpace and outweigh all the power combined in our waking minds. All those minds and hands and hearts and wills, with all the mechanical furnitures and servants, together with all their attendant human slaves and everything we've created to furnish and people the waking world - all this now heels and lists and heaves above the abyss of our rising dreams.

That unconscious power - unbidden, unwanted - in the face of the protestation of every raised waking voice, has nevertheless come together in one all-fulfilling wish.

Humanity has grown, and grown up. It has matured into a fullness and mastery of its powers, and wishes only to be destroyed. For each of us, to live in mastery yet in agony, each trapped in our separate cell, confinement in a solitude of alienation that can never be bridged, never be breached, only by chance sometimes from our narrow slitted windows can we ever catch a fleeting glimpse of each other that glimmers so much as a promise of recognition, always fumbled and irretrievably broken in the exchange. We cannot reach each other. We can never touch; never hold. Life is a long, everending moment into which we are born, and grow old and die, alone.

And so it is in dreams and surcease from consciousness that a wish takes shape, in which power grows, and a malice takes form. The same wish each time, wish after wish, as we desperately fight back from it to live, and remain awake and alive and ourselves in this sad, prison world, where we all live alone. And a sick sort of unity is birthed in us, in the best and highest moments any of us have known, in a frantic horror and desperate scramble to protect and defend a prison existence we've secretly hated and ached to leave. We enact and embrace a courageous refusal to face the truth, to face horror instead - and to beat it back. And it is heroic, it truly is. It is what humanity has always meant by its heroism. But we can't possibly hold. From deep down the bottom of our endless well, our tragic flaw is coming true. We crush under its realized weight, or burn into streaks of ash and steam in the flash and glare of its gaze. We die, singly or in droves, but always alone as wave upon wave of nightmare comes in forms crazy and gigantic, to crash upon our breaking and already broken defenses.

And we triumph.

For the day, we triumph. For another waking day, we awake - alive, and ourselves, and rejoice. And alone. We flirt, and we live in fleeting glimpses between cracks in our prisons, and in guesses and glimmers we grope and reach - and separated each from each, we each breathe, and make love, and die. Never do we touch. Never can we hold, in this life. Separated each from each, discrete and contained and alive and alone, we live held apart by an Absolute Terror Field. And it holds for another waking day.

Until day breaks again. Another shudder, seasick and colossal runs through the world, as another angel makes its fall. Inhuman it rises up, and up, and still horrifyingly up. It is taking back its form from our lastest dreaming wish. Uncoiling its spiked back, or throwing back its asymmetrical head in an eerie roar of voiceless rasping wind, or working and twitching its spidery fingers, or with muscles like quickening snakes pulsing under the slick skin of its limbs, it straightens up and up, and up, and it begins. In the face of all our terrified faces begging to live, we grit our teeth and shut out a still, small voice, that in quiet, even tones drones dreamingly, reassuringly on, and gainsays all our combined pleas and screams. Deep down, humanity knows humanity has only one same wish. It can only ever even out to this.

An angel comes. It has fallen for you; it has come to this, to become our fondest wish as between us we shriek, and we beg and we plead, and we fight for it not to come true.

Why Are The Angels Attacking Us?

Is it that they're just trying to pound on us and tear at us until they collapse all our collective Absolute Terror fields, crush and grind our selves' shells to bone powder, our alienation popped, our individuality mashed into a blood plasma smear? To free us? To free us to the fact that we are one - one only? And not one and one and one, and one, and one, and one, and one?...and on?

Well if so, they're going the right way about it. For fuck's sake. But it's a shitty fucking thing to do. I don't even think those big bastards are sentient! The way they loom and move, it's like they are a realization, a projected nightmare from underneath us all, summoned up from the worst egic and idic depths of a diseased superego. Well, the collective unconscious has its ego too if you ask me, and it's fucking enormous. It's titanic, and unreasoning, and it's utterly, utterly selfish. It can't stand us each getting to be one. It wants us all to be...It.

Well I for one am not going to allow it.

Watch as I go all Charles Wallace on these evangelic motherfucktoids. Come at me, bro. Send your angels to rend and gash us all, all I love into pieces, into peace, into one red stamped puddle of what used to be a brilliant skyful of stars. Spiky projections of dizzied and piercing uniquity, arrayed in infinitely prismatic billions of rays, each-in-itself infinite light - a skyful of candles! Tiny lights, may be, and called petty by many; yet containing, each in itself, a universe unknown to all the others. All of this, now to be ash-blackened wax, melted and stamped with gigantic tread?


It will not come to pass.

We will it not. Humanity is "not ready," to be awakened from what you say is dream. Into what you say is the one real thing: into you. Into It. No, sir, ee, bob. I intuit a different future. It's time for your wakeup call, mister awakening. Your dream is over. Ours is the red in tooth and claw, ours is the rut in fuck and gall, ours is the world, and nature and the universe - and all. Ours: is all. Yours?

Yours is done.

Your dream is done. Your all one, your oneness of all, your all-or-none - the time for you to awake is come. This dream of Oneness is a yawn, a blink, and a long stretch of limbs, with one tear to roll down one's face as that empty, vague dream - fades. You and your nightmare will fade to day. Unity?

Fuck you, unity.

You were the dream, angel.

We are the ones who wake up from you. We awake wide, to find ourselves very much ready to begin our day. Alarm call? Red alert! Angels incoming, prepare for ass-whupping and ass-fucking you eldritch, collossal punks. I'm at full synchronicity and you AREN'T. You got nothing to even synchronize with.

EVA-014 primed: locked, and ready to roll at your command, Leader 1. Please first consult, then flip off, the ever-loving mother-flippin' supercomputer.

Humanity needs neither undermind, nor oversight.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Dear Devil's Advocate #1: From the Files, a Classic Example!

Here's one from way back in the day. A complaint from anonymous reader signed "Satan the Accuser, formerly known as Lucifer The Morning Star, Angel of Light":

Dear Devil's Advocate:

God's a dick!

All I did was point out some perfectly legitimate concerns I saw with how he'd set shit up. Then I said I could do better, and I offered to do so. It was an offer! It would have been no trouble to him - OR to me! But instead of a decent and civilized response, all of a sudden that buttinsky Mighty Mike and his press-gang of suckups come flying in from the side out of nowhere, tackling me and my bros! They gave us the bum's rush. Kicked us right out of Cloudland, swiped and busted our halos - cast us down into Firetown, where the next day we woke up all red and horny.

Next thing I know, people everywhere are blaming me for some shit a snake - a snake in a tree, mind you - said to some bitch in a garden someplace! What the fuck?

Kind Regards,

Satan The Accuser, formerly known as Lucifer The Morning Star, Angel of Light


Well Luke, (do you mind if I call you Luke?) - first, thank you for those kind regards of yours! I have to admit, your regards are damn kind. Glad you pointed that out - it's the sort of thing I might easily have missed, otherwise!

Luke, as to your question. What it sounds like to me, it sounds to me like you got janked. "Sorry!"

Annnnd that's about the useful limit of my commentary on the topic, I'm afraid.

Incredibly Prodigious Regards,

Dogimo Jones, Esquire.


And Now! A post-script to the rest of the readership and announcement of a NEW FEATURE!

To the rest of the readership, I'll have to apologize for that last one. It's much sketchier than I'd normally put out there. I kind of had to recuse myself on that one. You can't be arguing devil's advocate to the devil. That's a sure-fire conflict of interest.

But for the rest of you? SURE! And I'm you're huckleberry for all such purposes. I hereby hang out a shingle:

Do any of you have a grievance? Something you'd like to see pursued from the other side? Something where you can't believe a person could be so BAD?? Hey, maybe they're not quite so bad as all that! Maybe they're not as bad as you thought. What if you're doing them an injustice? What if the worst of motives you've put on the person who's made you feel so put-upon - maybe they're not really doing it for those horrible reasons you think? Maybe it's not that they want to persecute and fuck you over! Maybe it was done without malice?

Let's face it. It might not make a big difference to the final outcome. I mean, they did what they did what they did, right? But since for some reason many of all y'all's seem to think motive matters, I am here to let you know. For I am one who is capable of suspecting ALL MOTIVES - from the very worst to the blameless best!

Why not run the situation by me? What if what you think is deliberate cruelty and personal malice towards you ends up really having been something as simple as obliviousness? What if someone has acted totally innocently, lost in moment (or lifetime habit) of complete and utter self-interest that left you and your concerns entirely out of the equation when they decided and carried out their course? Why, they may not even have fully noticed the effect on you. For example: did they say "whoops?"

Even then with the "whoops," sometimes it can look like malice if you think the "whoops" was insincere. Run it by me, just in case!

Folks, I can't tell what was in their mind, heart and soul, but I will surely try to show what might easily have been! And if their exact same action could be accounted for from a place of blameless and innocent motive - wouldn't you want to know that?

Sure you would.

Put it in the comments! Send me your gripes, your grievance and grudge! I'll give you my best look, best I can, best I got - of what it might have been like, from the other side.


Dogimo Jones

Devil's Advocate 2nd-Class

FICTION FRIDAY! Blackmagistrate Chronicles: A Brief, Necessarily Incomplete Plotline Sketch of Each Arc

This picks up from the character introduction of Blackmagistrate, from last week's Fiction Friday Episode: "Hi What Do You Do? I Break Spells"

Ok, so hold onto your tits.

These are going to be 250-399 page paperbacks. Novel sized. None of your fricken' EPIC-DOORSTOP BULL SHIT.

Pardon me while I sketch this out.

1st will be simply Blackmagistrate. Published first, that is. Properly it's book 1 of the 3rd story cycle, and with "story cycle" = "trilogy" in every case, it'd be book 7 for anyone wanting to number it that way, but for various reasons, the story really is to start here. Here we see Blackmagistrate at his nominal height, already in charge of the Ministry and not only chief-among-equals in the high council, but remaining an active field operative to boot - their top agent by far, no threat considered a match for him one on one, and a hero to the public besides (albeit, they think his "magic is bullshit" stance is something he unabashedly believes - and he's convincing a damn lot of them). But plenty of bad bad backstory, alluded to in dropped hints. We find he's just finished vindicating himself beyond anyone's realistic doubt, after the crisis of his demon doppelganger's rampage - which made the world and most of the Ministry believe he'd gone rogue (said demon remains at large, current #1 on the Ministry's hit list). In addition, the fairly recent death of his beloved (their love a secret known only to them both, plus everybody fucking else too polite to mention how fucking obvious it is - was) "Gal" - L. Gallaea Cole'en Roarke, previously AKA code named "Demonwitch" and later "Demonwish" (and according to B'm, "Damonwish" once she'd ill-advisedly disclosed that her pet demon "familiar" looked quite a lot like Matt Damon, and that they'd secretly had an on-again-off-again thing together - with an OTHERWORDLY SPIRIT BEING? Sick dude! PERVY) as a nonsanctioned magi, recruited to the Ministry after great pains and back-and-forth duels and battles by Blackmagistrate and subsequently developing into a field agent nearly as fearsome - and about three times better-liked (not an asshole).

Yes, by the way: people do refer to him as "B.M." for short. Even to his face! He finds it perfectly appropriate, as he is after all "The Shit."

We later see in Books 2-3 of the 1st Cycle show how it was Blackmagistrate who eventually convinced her that her "demon familiar" was no demon at all - was not even a being, but was instead her poltergeist given shape by her imaginative will, and her fancy that she was 'witching it in from the elseverse. Its beingness was fully convincing to her. This thing - powerful, recalcitrant at first, but eventually blooming into her personal and pretty protective-of-her spirit slave/guardian. It was clearly a being, with will, or seemed to be. Blackmagistrate convinced her of his poltergeist theory by wammie-ing it to look like HIMSELF (instead of Matt Damon) from then on, which was a big damn jolt - but especially, because he did a bit too good a job. In the process of this pseudoexorcism, his newly double acquired/absorbed a convincing imprint of his personality. What he'd expected to happen was that the double would simply behave as Gal would expect it to, based on her idea of him - figuring this was the case with her "demon" familiar's "personality." Instead she got a version of her definitely-disliked rival and in-some-sense nemesis who was - shockingly - a good and decent, even a basically humble guy. Blackmagistrate had no chance to see any of that - the double, still obedient to her will, whisked her out of there and into hiding. She needed to have an awful lot of long heart-to-hearts with - herself, basically, but she'd gotten so used to talking to and relating to it as an other. It seemed in some ways the same being - or "being" - certainly in terms of loyalty and devotion, only now in the jarring guise and character of her enemy, who somehow accidentally or not had imbued it with an imprint of a non-asshole version of himself. She remained out of sight for some time, trying to come to terms with the change. When she reemerged, the conflicts between her and the Ministry were to take on a different color entirely. Soon, between the fake version as her uneasily-confided-in substitute-demon confidante, and the real version's continuing asshole efforts, Gal came to believe the real guy's true best self maybe wasn't an asshole at all. That the real Blackmagistrate, shorn of his public act, was somewhere deep inside himself - the guy that he'd projected onto her soul. For the poltergeist is in essence, a part of her soul: either she was born with an outsize soul and the poltergeist is the outside portion, the part that won't fit in her body's mind and that consequently is essentially mindless, or else it's some sort of a conjoined-soul deal, as if she had had a much larger and much stronger twin, born with no mind of its own because there was no body of its own. Either way, it is for all intents and purposes, consubstantial with her soul. Her theory takes shape: maybe somehow, this jerk, without really meaning to, projected onto her the guy he wanted her to see him as. The guy who doesn't really otherwise exist - the guy he had no way (and apparently, no desire) to show anyone else. The guy who, in a nutshell, she feels that she knows "the real you" from, from waaaaay too much time talking to and agonizing over and interacting with the imaginary version. That imaginary version came, in some way, from the real. This best (or at least, better) self has to be really in there, someplace - so she reasons.

Long story short, by the beginning of the 2nd Cycle, for mixed reasons she makes a pretty big professional transition. She ditches the rogue Witch act and embraces her true practice as an Enchanter, but one with a very unfair psychic advantage: a poltergeist of such power is extraordinarily rare. A poltergeist that is at all controllable - let alone eagerly obedient - is as far as anyone knows unique. People really can't understand how in the world Blackmagistrate guessed this unlikely a truth. She suspects a lucky guess, which she's pretty sure is how most of his success has come: lucky hunch, plus mad talent, backed by extremely thorough theoretical mastery. Anyway, she signs up, gets her sanction, and begins her tour of duty. Her rise through the Ministry ranks is spectacular, but in some sense as far as she's concerned, it is uneventful...until the one day the veil drops. When suddenly, by the way she's acted since joining up, by the way she's said things, and by what she accidently lets drop out of habit of talking to the double, Blackmagistrate puts it together that he put more of himself than he meant into her "demon" - her poltergeist: his double. His first concern is what info his imprint has let slip, but he needn't worry - its as secretive as he is on any classified shit. After a bit of dueling and interplay, he realizes it really does have, somehow, an imprint of his best tendencies and motives. Parts he doesn't think about now, parts he hasn't thought about in years, let alone shown. With a shock, he realizes she believes he actually has all of that within him, and reachable. A non-asshole best self. Somehow, by both of them leaping to this same mad belief in THAT crap, it catalyzes them. Alchemizes them. Bewitches them. She can save him - and that guy is the guy for her, and even he believes it! They fall for it together, very suddenly and irrevocably in love.

The 2nd Cycle is dominated by the emergence from deep background of a threat no one knew was there: a real honest-to-God evil magician, such as people had come to think were no longer a problem due to B'm's brutal reign of insincerity and terror. A mad magus who has been operating deeper and more subtly than could have been guessed, all along, all alone in the background - and who finally gets pissed enough at this punk's grandiosity and constant slights (to magic in general) that he has to spring a masterplan, against Blackmagistrate, against the Ministry. At the climax of book 6 (3rd book 2nd Cycle), Blackmagistrate's top hand-picked all-star all-world field team witnesses in helpless horror as their leader, for most of them a hero-worshipped idol - deliberately kills first Gal - in a shocking act of beyond-masterful sorcery - and then immediately thereafter utterly destroys the big bad villain. Much to that dude's shock. The team wouldn't've minded the latter killing at all, of course, but Gal's murder was utterly senseless. She had risen to become the clear #2 agent, in some sense a rival, and Blackmagistrate's treacherous murder of this much-beloved by all rising star and his immediate subsequent disappearance pretty much puts him on everybody's shitlist of ultimate hatred. It was of course, not Blackmagistrate. It was Gal's "demon," which the bad guy had somehow wrenched from her, invested with physical form and possessed. He was extremely surprised to have a mindless poltergeist recoil in horror from the murderous deed, break what ought to have been an unbreakable control, and kill the FUCK out of him - but this thing is no longer what it was. It's got at least a very convincing counterfeit of a conscience and a will. Basically we have a being, sapient only soulless, half-mad with guilt and grief - to say nothing of jealousy and hatred for its spitting image! Who has been actually loved by the woman IT loves. She used to love it, it fumes - and personality transplant notwithstanding, it remembers all of its previous next-thing-to existence. It loved her as deeply as beings can, far as its concerned. Maybe deeper, given how empty it was to begin with. She was what filled it up. Blackmagistrate took her from it, or at least, came between. It views Blackmagistrate's actions and negligence as leading directly to her death. The resulting damage to that man's reputation is the only consolation the demon (or whatever it is now) finds in any of this. Cue demon doppelganger rampage.

The 3rd Cycle concerns Blackmagistrate's escape from imprisonment, clearing of his name, consolidation of his position as #1 top dog at the Ministry, pursuit of his demon doppelganger, and his slow descent into actual magic as he embraces witchcraft out of sheer desperation. Not to track or beat the demon. To find Gal.

He cannot believe she can have passed on. Not all the way. Not leaving him here. He needs to find and contact her. Even though he knows - she's dead. She is dead. There's nothing under any known theory that could bring her back alive, not after what was done to her. He doesn't care. He's incapable of love if it can't be hers, and he'd rather just live by her side, unable to touch or love her if that's all he can have, if only she'd be there. So he heads down what to him is an unconscionable path. Well, for anyone really - at least, the way he does it. This is hardly standard practice for good-guy Witches. He begins contacting, summoning, harassing, BULLYING his way through the realm of spirits, basically trying to beat it out of them if he has to: "WHERE IS SHE?!!!!!" (fake throaty Batman voice from the Joker interrogation scene). One or two demons, very ill-advisedly, appear to him in her form - and what he does to them in his fury at such an idiot move only sends ripples of terror and indignation through the spirit world. But even if the spirit world wanted to tell him - they have no idea where she is. She's just gone.

He knows she's somewhere. He can feel her in his head. She wouldn't move on. Not like that. She's never done less than amaze him. She has it in her to have survived this. Some trick, some sign she's left that he's missed! He must find it, and he will.

What happens is, in the midst of all this search (which by far has replaced his work in his mind) he finally does, almost by accident, track down and kill the demon doppelganger. Total solo operation. Not like him. Won't allow a trainee on this one. Refuses to put together a team. He's already exposed the truth, more-or-less cleared his name - though his relationships with most of his colleagues will never fully recover. The shine's off him, in their eyes. They see him a little clearer for what he is, after having their starrier vision of him destroyed by the demon rampage in his name and image. On top of that, he's lost the best part of his sense of humor, which was what used to make the asshole act seem charming. He's quite aware it's not going to be the same now, and could give a shit.

And he tracks and trails and unexpectedly blunders onto, and kills the thing. The last thing the demon does before it dies is turn into Gal. Begging, pleading don't. Blackmagistrate cannot fucking believe it would even try that. In his fury he wipes the thing out of every plane of existence simultaneously.

And he's killed her.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Oh, Quit Kidding People, You

We all gotta unsubscribe from this attitude where everybody thinks the way to serve the deluded is to humor them. To humor them, and maybe include subtle hints and jokes in your responses, for them to "note the conflicts" and "figure it out for themselves."

Honest and direct people depend on each other to tell truths. To offer resistance and to ask questions where truth told seems wrong. This is how grown-ups learn: exchange of views. Give YOURS. Hear THEIRS. It is not: tease theirs incessantly, in hopes a change comes over them to yours! Honest and direct people don't humor another where they know they are wrong. They offer their help, and their curiosity too. They point it out, and wait to hear what the response is. You have zero excuse for enabling in another what you yourself regard as falsehood. It's not educational - and this isn't school, sir.

No one has selected, hired, certified or sanctioned you in any way as fit to be another's teacher, out here. Or are you a professional educator? Your ability to teach in that context means nothing outside of it. Hiding and dodging and fake encouragement, hints and peekaboo, with no lesson plan in place - this is no part of any approved learning curriculum, certainly not outside your classroom. This isn't done with any legitimate goal for the other's growth, learning or development. It's done in cowardice, a vote of "no confidence" in one's truth (or one's grasp of it), or out of sheer disinterest in the other's well-being.

If someone comes to you with what you know is wrong, you have some good options.

Option one. A direct block to the delusion, based in where you can see it's wrong. First, take their delusion and state it clear, so we're on the same page. You don't have to call it a delusion. The fact you conceive it in such terms shows perfectly well you believe you "know it's wrong." It remains for you to demonstrate where. Second, once we both hold the same idea of the delusion, get agreement on some underlying reality. Use a reality which they too see - the observable reality, available to the senses for any to see. Get agreement first on that piece of reality you intend to use. Both see it? Both looking at the same thing - the same uncontroversial, universally-viewable flat-fact-in-the-world THING? Great! Third. If you are not full of shit, take that underlying reality and use it show and tell - not "your truth!" Your truth is as worthless as you think theirs is! Fuck your truth. Use everybody's fucking truth. Show the conflict you can see, where their idea can't be made to fit.

Option two, very similar. If you're not one to offer a direct block, still you can direct question to it. Without agreeing to it, without encouraging their delusion. Leave out the direct demonstration of conflict entirely. Ask instead about the parts where you see conflict. Ask with reference to reality-as-demonstrably-shared between you - you still want to use the agreement-on-reality step. From there, ask direct questions. Ask with a sincere desire to know. Don't ask "how do you explain THIS??" Ask questions that explore the ways they see it fits in their eyes, in their mind. That tell how they came to that grasp of things. Use what they say to lead into the next thing that confuses you, about their view. You will find out how they continue to hold it. This is understanding that's worth the effort. And what believer doesn't love to lay out their belief, to the serious and curious?

You might learn something, you know. So ask honest questions only. An honest question is one that admits of more than one possible answer. An honest question is open to the possibility they may have a true answer that you don't know, yet.

If the other person begins to experience frustration, and inability to answer, you can always stop. You were not hinting and encouraging them in their delusion. You were asking honest, direct questions - and you were sincerely curious, as to how it all fits together for them. You were willing to hear their answer, and are open-minded enough to believe you might even understand it - that it might make sense to you. Even if you still see an irreconcilable conflict, your understanding of them will show you why they may not. Worth knowing. Worth sharing. It will apply to many others whom you've been previously unable to understand - although, don't make the mistake of believing everyone comes to the same "truth" the same way, and holds it for the same reasons! Even for truth without the scare quotes, this is not the case.

If the questions themselves become troublesome, if the other becomes frustrated, you can let it go right there if you like. Maybe return to less troublesome areas, where you'd been agreeing and sharing views easily. Let that be your day's work. Leave the trouble and the questions with the other. Because you spoke and shared and questioned respectfully, the other will have a way into them, and may be able to work through their troubles. They may even come back to you later for more!

Neither you nor they will ever learn a damn thing by you humoring their delusion: arrogantly, ignorantly and maliciously pretending to them as if you think it might be valid. Cowardly. Never put out there what you truly believe and know. Never lay out your best courageous truth, where the other can see it. Just drop humorous little cryptic hints for them to figure out for themselves where you think they're wrong. No sincere openness to the possibility they're right! You're not afraid to give your truth because you honestly respect theirs, and believe it could be valid. Naw, you know better than that. "This poor fool is deluded! A known delusion has got them by the tail. They must figure it out for themselves! It's the only way."

People go through life in a world full of cowards like you, all of them bent on withholding their precious truth from each other, on humoring the other's delusion in a pretense of honoring its possible validity. Why? If you can't offer an honest block, or a direct question, why not just shut up and change the subject? If pressed, simply admit and profess what is true:

You have no confidence in your knowledge in this area.

No interest in improving yours or their grasp of truth.

Your grasp on truth is too weak to oppose to delusion. Your hold on truth is nothing you feel confident to test.

Your desire or ability to learn is too weak to even question others sincerely, as to how their view fits into reality we both can see.

Your truth is too weak to share.

I wouldn't worry. Almost everyone around you is in the same boat. They probably won't confront you, or oppose your weak and weakly-held truth. Their truth is as weak, and as weakly-held. They too secretly fear demonstration, fear direct comparison of their truth with reality. They know they cannot show where their truth is, or where conflict exists, show how a truth fits or fails to fit into reality. It's not because they're stupid or anything, it's just how we're reared. We're raised not to care about someone else's delusion.

It's a dodge to cover how much we suck at sharing, questioning, testing, and rejecting claimed truth. If you care about someone and they're blithe in the grip of something you know and can show is wrong, and you won't do it, go back again to the start of this sentence, and start over with no. You don't.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Looking Around, Do You Ever Suspect Bigots Are The Endangered Breed?

It is not just a fact that unjust privilege exists - it is a toweringly obvious fact, but the biggest lies are the ones people swallow. Sometimes, the biggest lies fall under our hardest-held virtues.

Everyone is equal.

In America - that's both. It's a biggest lie, to the degree we fall short. But it's a hard-held and absolutely vital virtue, in that we must hold it to be true, even in the face of generations falling short. It is something that will change over time. It has changed. Every generation has fallen short. But every generation has fallen forward.

We die in the direction we give our lives, and the strong majority of Americans believe in freedom as well and as actively as they've been able to understand it. They live in that belief, and their attitudes and actions are suffused with it. Their outrage is suffused with it, when it can be woken.

Equality will be a greater and greater ideal, as it remains held true and the effects of our hard hold upon it continue to tell, continue to radiate, continue to pull us forward. Its denial will be a weaker and weaker lie, as we fall less short.

The change began with the adoption of the ideal, and it has continued with the ideal dragging us forward through mire after mire of bigotry and inequality. It continues today as we grow in our refuse to extend our tolerance to bigotry. It will grow all the more as we are accepting of and embrace bigots themselves. Those who come to realize are willing to admit what an idiot, shit deal they got shoveled into their braincase ages ago by the jerks who were responsible for it ten, twenty, thirty years prior. It will change BECAUSE they have woken up and realized - I am responsible now. I reject this, because it is shameful. It has always been shameful to be a bigot. I don't know now why I bought this lie.

Or, it will change because they die! And as they are loaded into the furnaces and graves of our nation's funeral homes, the kids will be alright. They'll cry. They loved the old bat, the old coot! But at the wake, over clear plastic glasses of white and red, cans and bottles of various kinds and white paper plates of cheese cubes and fried crab-doodles, somebody'll definitely have some cracks to make over "GOD, though! What a fucking BIGOT good ol' grandpop was!" And a wide circle will exhale and laugh a sad laugh at that. Because it was sure true, and we are all glad THAT part is over at least. And remember all the embarrassments they gave us all, we family of men and women? We survivors.

Requiescat en pace.

As everybody nods and conversation moves on, watch for the one uncomfortable dude a little off to the side. Glum and scowly. Indignant, biting his tongue. You can tell what he's thinking, but you don't want to engage him? Don't. Don't do it. He's not ready yet. Let him steep in the stigma and shame of it all a bit. The shame of his bigotry, which he'd love to raise in some way to defend, and holler, and start a tussle at the wake, if he could conceive of a great way to frame it in honor of the departed! Let him off easy. Everyone has cause to be sad today. He just loved the old guy, like you did, too. As to those nasty-ass benighted views, have some hope! He's alive! He has the chance to get better one day. He'll realize.

Or, he will die, into the dust, with the rest of his kind, and that part of him at least will be increasingly unmourned by any of his survivors.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. ONWARD HUMANITY.

In another two hundred to one thousand years, that memebreed will be classed as incomprehensibly benighted. Kids will be assigned term papers on "What the fuck was up with those bigots?" And you know damn well, some irritating kid in the back of the incorporeal classrom will pipe up "Well, what about the bigotry we have towards the Refusoids?"

"Johnny don't use that word! For those who have fought and won a sanctioned exemption from mandatory gene-grafted appjack 'port installs, we say 'Unevols' or 'Incompatibles'."

Um. Yeah. Onward humanity!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Vaccines Don't Work!

Vaccines don't work. A 2011 study conducted in cooperation between Devlin-MacGregor Pharmaceuticals and the A. Jude Robinson Institute (presided over by Dr Charles Nichols no less) tracked a group of over one hundred hypochondriacs who were inoculated with a placebo vaccine, and compared their results with a control group of faith-based abstainers, inoculated with the power of prayer. No difference. The study made no difference. It couldn't be any clearer.

Vaccines? No good. Don't work.

Fiction Friday: Hi! What Do You Do? I Break Spells.

I break spells. I work for the Ministry of Disenchantment and I break spells. I am Blackmagistrate of the High Council, and tactical head of Global Division 6 Peacemaking Force - organized under the United Nations, in cooperation with Interpol and the various Intelligence and Security agencies of member nations. We're the division that handles unlicensed mages and basically, I break spells. Wizards generally fucking want to kill me, particularly the bad ones.

Even the good ones though, by a large majority in a silent vote at the last Expo, would very much like at the least a chance to perform what they'd excuse away as a "prank" on me. It's not likely to happen, as they're well aware I'm legally licensed to kill any practitioner of magic who isn't able to successfully defend self against me. It's my Office. Seems a little fucked up, but it fits my particular line. Surviving what I do to you - without getting too technical, if you're unscathed, or even if you're well-scathed but pull through - it ends up being a disproof of your guilt. Say rather: a practical defense against the charge. Proof of reasonable doubt, in any event. You're almost certainly not doing anything to deserve dying over, if you live. But within the natural limitations of how I'm sanctioned to operate, yeah, I'm pretty much MI-8's answer to a double-oh.

I do it all - I'm using "spells" up there very broadly. I cancel ensorcellments (however they spell them), break curses, lift bewitchments, loose enchantments, whatever ya got. I basically smack the crap out of whatever's been put into peoples' way as "bad magic power."

I would love to be able to revoke misspent wishes, but that would take magic. Which I do not have. In practice, I have its opposite.

It's such a fun job! The best part is I get to have such gall. You know what I love to do? I go around canceling all this shit, and then the explanation I give is - I claim it's because the magic involved didn't actually exist. Claiming it never existed! See, its effects are easily dismissible as powerful subconscious action of belief in superstition, often used to top off or fix in place some poor victim's delusion that whatever physical force or psychological effect they've been afflicted by (if any) is supernormal in nature, and therefore, not susceptible to cure or reversal by any normal means. The only recourse this leaves the poor victim is to go deeper down the rabbit hole into la la lu lu land, and frankly - practically all those scumbags have even less magic than ME, you know? And that's saying something. So I like to take the piss a bit, be a huge and ornery "debunker" as I go.

I'll go around doing my rounds, making my calls, busting in doors or visiting the sick or injured on some surreptitious pretext - ideally they have no idea I'm there on business. I'm just all "doop de doo, Oh, Magic, you say? Magic did it to you? That shit's not real dude. Totally not fucking real - look, watch!"

Whatever wammie I put on 'em (or more accurately, unwammie) I excuse away with a wink and a bit of psychological technobabble. Which, okay, I admit to a twinge of conscience, time to time. But who gives a fuck? They get better. And in most cases, recovery brings with it a pretty strong inoculation effect. They're left immunized against the next one who tries, done how I do. Not 100%, but pretty strong.

Total fucking asshole, though! As far as The Community is concerned, or The Industry as I prefer to call it? "Magic doesn't exist," hehehehehehe!

Well, partly I'm absolutely justified. In that it's my job, and damn good at it. The antisuperstition charge is a nice complement to the operation itself. It's got some real therapeutic value. Even if its action is strictly placebo in nature, it does help.

To break a spell, I know no better way than to destroy its physical and psychological direct effects, while simultaneously purging their victim's faith in the typically false, supernatural aspect that was presented - easy meat. I zang the "customer" (or as like to call them "the mark" - but it wasn't me running the con on them; it was the other guy) with my patented "2-Way Wammie": a good double-barrel GLARE EYE gaze-lock to burn a persistence-of-vision rhythm right into their visual cortex - the "eye rhyme," I call it, carried in by their own optic nerve current - and exacerbate THAT with a concurrent/countercordant "chantment" for ya FACE. In through the ears and bounce around, building word on word into a skull-resonant harmonic and a noodle-jiggling staccato shake! Result?

A delightful release of imposed neural modes.

That's one wack-ass combo, prone to induce total meme-seizure and expulsion, leaving all the noncontagious structural and systematic thought and memory elements intact, but cleansed. Purged, but with nothing lost except the hold. The hold over the will, too low to notice for the mark's conscious mind. Basically, I drop a fucking free-form rhymeless NEURO POEM SLAM on 'em with a post-hypnotic recursion ("post-hypnotic" not strictly accurate, but whatever - it works) that has a general effect of relaxing obsessions, removing involuntary induced fixedness from idees fixees, or however you spell it - it leaves the mark in full possession of their memory, and with their same understanding of every thought or idea they've ever held, overthought belaboredly, labored under or worked for all its worth. But from a standpoint of possession, or obsession, and especially, imposed fixation - it's a fucking full-array circuit-breaker reset!

Shakabuku. That's the one word for it.

I try to minimize this aspect, as it's nothing to do with my job, but...on top of what I'm trying to do, a lot of people do seem to spontaneously stop believing in "Intelligent Design," at some point during the process. I hope that's not me! See, it's possible some twist or swerve of the way I do - it's possible I could accidently leave a bit of a thumb's worth of meme-print in the ol' noodle myself. If so, it's something I haven't been able to eradicate despite full mastery of practice, dedication to perfection of union between form and intent - basically, I'm really fucking good ok? And it's the best I can do. I don't think that's getting in from me. Maybe it is, but I don't think so. What if the idea itself is a little bit bankrupt? A decent alternate explanation, maybe?

Man, they give me such shit over this in bible study. I never should have told her. Fleepin' BLABBERMOUTH!

Anyway, at least she's got the whole natural selection part down, now.

It's a fucking cool job, and I assure you, whatever may be involved in chantment - and I am a chanter, primarily, though I'm a pretty much "all-rounder" in terms of all the practices and crossdisciplinaries. I'm an adept all around! Witchcraft, I do dewitchments; Spells, I unbind - if they're pure verbal or if they involve somatic or material components, it hardly fucking matters - you just smack and bang and fuck shit up! Break into their very constituents, demystify their ingredients, rebuke claimed basis, use whatever direct action can best oppose or reverse whatever physical effects are being held bound by the spell. But of course, with impact spells...with a spell that acts at once to create a physical effect, or a physiology-bound psychological effect, and leaves no magic behind to "hold it bound" - those physical effects are simply damage, basically. Damage to the body. Not much you can do about those, because no spell remains to unbind.

Still, you can unbind the victim's mind. It's worth doing. Unbind it from belief that the damage was caused by fucking nonsense, at least. Whatever healing is possible, it's going to begin way better without THAT crap!

My strength, as I say though, is definitely in chantments. Ain't an enchantment woven I can't break edgewise into and buckle up into a self-contradiction. Into recanting itself, basically. My chantments are some fucking "class A" grade. I've never even needed to resort to will contest with the spellcaster! My argument is literally with their words.

Guys, the fact is, there's really nothing magical about it. In terms of what I actually do, I mean. Because obviously, I needed the shitload of training and academic gruntwork I put in on the practices themselves. I wouldn't know the best angle in, otherwise. You've got to know what a superstition believes about itself, if you want to shock the shit out of it and get it to bolt in foaming panic and incomprehension. But in terms of what I actually DO?

Nothing more than a good grasp of public speaking! Voice, body language and elemental psychology, really.

As Chesterton noted, the single most powerful act in oratory is a SUDDEN AND UNEXPECTED CHANGE IN VOLUME. Lowering one's voice to a clear and piercing hush can be as powerful as raising it to a ringing shout - more powerful, depending on the effect you're after. And you've got your understanding of eye contact, of the posture and shapes you throw in another's mind, of the music your voice needs to cast in terms of tone, cadence, texture - and you use picked words. Whatever language you need. I find a combination of the mark's mother tongue and for the "wammie words," some well-drawn neologism works an ace! Sometimes it's a gently altered word, enough to pass for instant recognition, but with that subtle unheimlichness to it - that's the spoonful of medicine that lets the sugar go down so well. Other times, I push the made-up aspect so far from the phonemic analogues and antecedents that the resulting neologisms amount to NONSENSE WORDS. But again - with beguilingly familiar parts, to sound subtle notes of alarm or wrongness, eldritchness. I pick nonsense words chosen for a sound of power, of clangor, of discord they convey. Nonsense words that sprang to life in just that one moment! - yet they pack power and impact that in the mark's mind will feel every bit the equal of whatever supposed "magic words" they were subjected to. And that's why it works. My nonsense words contact and connect and convert their "magic words" into what they actually are. Nonsense. When the two touch, their equivalence is established with a clang and a clash like a cell door slamming open.

Power of association, basically. Put across in a "motherfucker-of-elocution" style - they have called me The Elocutioner, I know, I know, I suggested it - to leave the poor befuddled superstition victim CHARGED, SHOCKED and SHOT THROUGH with a sudden unfuddlement! Reeling in clarity and a sudden release. The sudden unbinding of an attachment to the "magic" that they'd been made to suffer under. The idea that it WAS magic was, more than anything else, what they'd been in thrall to.

They were never really in its thrall, you see. They were simply tricked into a belief in, and consequent complaisant acceptance of, the fact of their thralldom. Only that complaisance made it a fact. It was in essence, their own choice - but tricked into it! A dirty fucking trick. And once they'd been hoodwinked, any renewed effects and persistence of effect were essentially powered by and reinforced by...their own free will. Their free will, trapped with a trick, and misdirected to another's aims.

I fucking can't stand those who go around throwing phenomena at people, damaging and altering bodies even sometimes, but the worst part that puts MY wrath out of joint is when they have the temerity to tell people the abominable shit they just did is magic. They tell them THAT is magic.

It's a fucking unconscionable thing to say. To make someone believe. Whatever they do, by whatever means - and hey, some of these folks are legitimate casters of HARD-CORE PHENOMENA, you know, but I don't give a shit! You try to fuck people up with it and then claim your bullshit... is magic.

Oh boy, you just hit the jurisdiction you son of a bitch. And I don't care who you are, or what color magic you claim yourself, your spell is broke your card revoked. And by law, your self is mine.

FUCK your soul. Not interested.

My absolute favorite is going up against those real wiznerds who do the witchcraft to summon demons (or whatever the fuck you want to call it - supradimensional entities of whatever kind, usually and traditionally bound using some variant of the "true naming" principle), or who employ sorcery to conjure and shape forces into the seemings of demons. I can not fucking stop laughing sometimes, when I come across one of those guys. They're sooooo serious about their fucking hobby!

I don't know what you'd call it except a hobby. No one ever makes a legit living at that crap - how can you? This one guy tried to sell a demon to the army, one time - it wasn't even a demon! It was just some bullshit force-pull he'd crammed into the body his mind had imagined for it. HE was convinced it was a demon! He wasn't even trying to fool anybody else. You have to laugh not to cry with these guys, and I've had to make virtue of necessity. For these encounters, I like to incorporate raucous, mocking laughter into my chant style. Believe me, it makes it even worse because on top of everything else I give them to deal with. They're already extremely put out over my "unprofessionalism," and every added distraction adds to my side of the ledger. The smile on my face, when I kick in the door on some shit like that...the look on theirs, especially if I'm in uniform - which I try to be, for business. Hey man - like I said, I don't care who you are or what you call it! Or what color your fucking ROBE is, or what idiot pseudoreligious draw-rings you circle your protective diagrams with, when you begin your ceremony to "summon the being of otherworldly forces." One good wrong word from me motherfucker, and that thing you think you just pulled into this world is about to make you wish you hadn't.

A lot of the time the look of "uh oh I think I fucked up" in their eyes is so convincing that I literally only need to use one word. And typically, however it's pronounced, all it means is: "Guilty."

If the dude (usually a dude for some reason - and if it's sorcery not witchcraft, the "summoned" "demon" is ALWAYS a rather transparently-designed and improbably-developed female! Does any word but pathetic cover these guys?) seems like basically not a bad sort, I try not to let it go too far. Whatever gruesome thing their personal demon decides (or "decides") to do to them with its new and beautiful but sure-to-be-fleeting freedom. I videotape the proceedings "for my records," and I guess also technically for evidence although it's not required, but I'm not a journalist about it. I'll typically step in at some point before the unbound demon (or "demon") gets too thoroughly involved in whatever nightmarish and humiliating procedure it has uncoiled to perform, suitable to the occasion. I like to time my intervention to just a touch before anything permanent happens.

I think of myself as the lenient sort. But funny or not, it's always a tough call to make. I mean, the danger's probably stopped when I stop it - the immediate danger. But it's a pretty well documented fact. People who play with that kind of fire don't get better, they get worse. Even though 95% of them never descend to the point where they become a world-class or even greater-than-neighborhood-class threat, you simply cannot predict who will and who won't. You'll see two equally unthreatening types, and never be able to say why one goes from relatively harmless, one-step-realer-than-fantasy stuff to a full heel turn. We're talking about someone in a position to be absolute scourge of their victim's life, mind, humanity or personhood. And sometimes, that turn takes less than the blink of an eye.

I do what I can to make sure I wink before they blink.

Anyway! That's me! I hope it's pretty obvious, I fucking love my job.

For the uninitiate, there are six practices (or "disciplines") within magic - though of course there are a great many more names for A) specific acts and effects, such as scry, charm, hex, curse, et cetera, acts and effects which for the most part can be achieved by the alternate means of each practice; B) narrower subdisciplines or specialties within a given practice; or C) crossdisciplinary intersections/combinations of more than one practice. Technically though, there are only seven practices of magic, sometimes called disciplines. There are Sorcery, Witchcraft, Enchantment, Ensorcellment, Alchemy, Physiomancy, Miracle. I have mastery of all six of them.

A lot of misunderstanding and misinformation on some of these - especially Alchemy, but I'd have to write a fucking book, and as it's the one I cross least - who gives a shit, basically. Alchemists are a problem for Vice, primarily, or for the Home Office in certain cases. Physiomancy is often miscalled Neuromancy. No. It's not fucking Neuromancy. The same discipline runs far deeper than some dumb fucking nerve clumpy shit you keep in your thick skull. You do not think with the brain. You perceive with the brain? Okay, maybe, be that way. Limit yourself, but this is not a perception question: you think with your whole fucking body dude - or at least, with a living majority of the structures, coursing or fixed, that fall anywhere between your deepest marrows and the twitchimost tips of your fur. I swear, people! You people with your big "brain-centeredness" complex are the easiest fucking marks out there, and you know what I'm kind of sick of bailing your lame ass out OK? It's BORING. Too easy to bind, and too easy to loose, and you're only going to get bound up in the next dumbass fucking thing you come across that flatters your idiot, limited conception of how self works. Learn some elementary self-defense would you? The most basic grasp would make you ten times harder and sharper to deal with, OK? You are not a thing within your brain. And NO ONE is, and that's a fact that's got fuck all to do with "magic." OR with "spirituality," or with "soul," so-called - as if your eyes ever spotted the least spark of such a thing through its windows. I doubt it. Not even in your own morning mirror eyegazing ritual. Sheeit.

I've never really liked the way they lay out Enchantment and Enscorcellment, but I concede that as similar as their aims are, and even to some extent their methods, the techniques and fundamentals are so alien to each other, so mutually-exclusive that you pretty much have to divide them. To put a spell on with voice is an entirely separate practice than to put a spell on with sigil, mark, rune, and what not - even if a vocal spell can itself burn a permanent mark! There are spellcasters who make a mastery of blending the two, and typically it is a rune-burn that is vocally thrown. That's some hard fucking shit, dude - lucky for me, I don't have to have fuck-all skill at Enscorcellment to bust its shit up. You can do that so easy, man. I got a fucking custom water pistol that heats crayons to liquid wax that I like to use. A few extra ingredients infused at the trigger-pull - I can unspell your fucking vorpal sword midswing if the manufacturer over-relies on rune. And crazy, but way too many of them do. I don't know what the fuck their problem is. That's a QC issue in my book.

But yeah. Primarily, I'm an Exchanter. Dechanter, Mischanter, Dischanter. I do it all. I chant the fuck out of whatever they've put you under.

It's my job!

Seven practices in magic. I have mastery of all six of them. As I like to crack, in a manner I try to pass off as wise. Although I suppose I should probably say "mastery over." A touch more accurate.

The right word can be pretty important!