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    WebSkald 1.0

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    elanya
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    WebSkald 1.0

    Post by elanya on 06/03/10, 09:40 pm

    Webskald 1.0

    This must be what going mad feels like. – Simon Tam

    Let’s start with an assumption. Let’s assume the gods are real.

    Which gods, friends and potential readers?

    For now, for the purpose of this speculation, let’s say… all of them. At least any of them who have been ever truly worshipped, to set aside those that (lets hope) live only in story. Just as an example, I am going to assume for the sake of my fleeting sanity that there is no real Cthulhu.

    The rest are fair game.

    It’s a real relativist, postmodern proposition, because they all come with their own origin stories, their own stories about how the world was made, and what the world even *is*. And, of course, these are all contradictory, or at least overlapping. And the gods have changed. Once, Aphrodite was an invasive eastern deity, and now she is generally accepted as a legitimate Olympian. She came from a shell, which is like the Levant, perhaps? Metaphor or truth? Is there even a difference? Can there be, if we stick to our assumption?

    I don’t know, at this point. I wish my friend N was available. N is a philosopher, and I am not – not really. I’ve flirted with social theory (I admit I played it cool), but I don’t find myself especially well armed for thinking about these sorts of questions. Hypothetical as they may be. N is asleep, or ….otherwise occupied.

    I have a tendency to distance myself from conflict. This is just one example. I am thinking about these big questions because it gives me some distance. I’ll cop to that. There are a lot of very specific things that I’m just not equipped to consider at the moment. That’s right, your author (narrator?) is taking refuge is metaphysics. That’s how you know things are rough, I think – when you delve into the real existential issues for comfort.

    Is it working?

    Of course it isn’t working. There isn’t any comfort to be had from answering this one. But let’s play along.

    Apparently, gods evolve. They’re like people that way, but they are also like, apparently, the Justice League. This is not my analogy, but I’ll run with it. The composition of the Justice League has changed over time, although there are some constant core members. Their pasts have been represented in multiple ways. Some of them have been, at times, completely reimagined. They have multiple alternate pasts, and alternate futures, and sometimes they exist in wholly alternate universes, or parallel ones, or both. But the characters are still essentially the same, and they’re generally recognizable. But what make them who they are – the stories? Their general origin? Their powers? Their names? Some shifting, contextual, combination of these things? Most people (well, okay, most ‘western’ people, maybe?) have some idea about what the Justice League is, even if they don’t read the comics or seen the cartoons, or haven’t for some time. They might know that it involves superheroes, or be able to name a few key members.

    I think I’m losing the thread of where I was intending to go, but I’m not at my most rational. Let’s leave off how people relate to the gods (the hypothetically real ones) as a parallel for how people relate to the Justice League, and get back to the story issue. How they’re written. Because, as fun (and distracting!) as it might be to follow the analogy down different paths, it’s in the context of writers that the analogy was first made to me. They change over time, and they’ve got different writers, and the writers want to tell different stories – stories that are relevant to them. Even in comics, it isn’t just about escapism... I know there is some guy (or some girl maybe? Honestly, probably some guy) who said something about how we can’t ever really escape through fiction, because our thoughts and imaginations are shaped by our own personal experiences within the context of the world we live in that gives us those experiences…. Yeah, circular, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true, in some sense. It’s like… why African Bushmen don’t write science fiction. I’m losing it again. Its slippery, and it probably doesn’t really matter.

    So, if all the gods are real, and we can accept that they (like the Justice League), have been conceived (by people – think of us as the writers) different times and in different contexts, then by extension, the past is, or has been, not a solid fixed thing. It has changed. Does that mean we can change it? Can we – current writers we – arbitrarily change things that have already been written? Is reality some sort of palimpsest (I had to look for that word – I heard it in an undergrad class once. Monks reusing paper, cleaning off the old ink, but the impression being left behind, new words over top but the old ones bleeding through…)? Maybe that makes sense, as much as anything does at this point. I wish N was awake – maybe I would show N this. Or C. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll delete it in the morning. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll put it on the web. I’ve already thought of a domain. I don’t know. People would probably lock me up if this ever got associated with me. Or I’d just get written off as some wacko and never get a real job. Or… worse. I don’t even know anymore. Sensing a theme yet?

    I can’t even think about what this means for science right now, but that’s big too. Like… So we have a world tree, and seven different levels of the world (I was just looking at that so it is fresh in my head), but also gravity fixing us to one little planet spinning around one little start out of millions… Well, gravity has more of an impact (ha) on our everyday lives, but is it more important? How does this work wth the palimpsest thing?

    I don’t know where I’m going with this any more. I don’t like to write things this messy, but everything is a mess, so maybe it’s just more appropriate. I don’t know how much I care, if the gods are real, or whatever it means. I want my family (my real family – the ones who raised me, in case there is any question on that account) to be okay, I want my friends to be okay, and I want, well, me, to be okay.

    I’m still too worked up to sleep, so I’m going to try and put this all out of my mind with some healthy simulated violence. Hello, Left For Dead, good bye real world.
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    elanya
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    Re: WebSkald 1.0

    Post by elanya on 27/03/10, 06:58 pm


      Current date/time is 17/10/17, 05:11 pm