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Messages - Cramulus

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31
This was an extremely surreal thread for me.

Now that it's a few years out, I feel like I can talk straight about it.


I had developed this Pterodactyl Handler character as a way to poke the "gaptoothed barefooted mud fondlers" at wicca.com. It started off as this, like, comedy routine. And over the course of several years, he grew more and more fleshed out & real to me. (maybe more 'real' isn't the right word -- more coherent) Eventually I could feel the Pterodactyl Handler in the back of my head, going BIKAAAW, impatiently scraping the earth with this claw-feet.

And there came a recognition that Cramulus was a similar construct - a certain mix of ideas and attitudes I'd been brewing here for a long time. And these two personalities, Cram and the Pterodactyl Handler, had developed in reaction to one another, had become polarized.

It's kind of like - there's a certain (I don't know how to put it) trance you go into when you're playing a character - in acting, RPGs, whatever. You can feel that person inside your head. And in my case, these two people were in conflict.  For me, the 'trance states' of PD and Wicca.com were anathema to one another.

And when I made this thread, it was because people from TCC were coming to PD.com. All of the sudden I was relating to them from the Cramulus headspace instead of the Pterodactyl Handler headspace. And it felt weird. Uncomfortable. It was the definition of cognitive dissonance.

And the third character, the OP, was kind of my attempt to step away from both of them. I guess I'm like half the people in this thread. Years later, this still sticks out to me as an extremely weird time.

32
Propaganda Depository / Re: Strange Times Pamphlet
« on: March 29, 2016, 04:37:30 pm »
Love it!


in other weird news, The Strange Times is being published/printed by a Turkish fashion magazine. I'm still not sure what to make of that.

33
I don't know about you guys, but I'm probably living in an information bubble. My facebook and tumblr feed are filled with progressive memes which make a silly caricature out of the conservatives and libertarians.

The other day, a libertarian friend* popped the bubble by posting a riff on the "Jesus is a socialist" meme...



*this guy is a small-gov libertarian who is employed by the TSA... wrap your head around that one








It made me curious to see some conservative/libertarian image-memes or political cartoons which are caricatures of great left-wing stuff I agree with.

What can you find?

34
I'm sorry I missed this.

But also, you fucks have completely ruined oranges for me, so fuck you. Even smelling an orange gives me this pavlovian response: nausea, disgust... loathing. They're horrible. Like planets of acid, floating in an infinite void of ... bullshit ... fuck you

35
as I get older, I find myself apologizing on behalf of the world as-is.

I used to get really upset about stuff like "all our choices are the lesser-of-two-evils", our endless consumer obsessions, our meager mental lives

I used to get upset that so much of the world felt like a flat gray monotone.

Now I'm 34 and I've had the daily news and the 9-5 lifestyle beaten into me by a guy that looks like Rowdy Roddy Piper. I can see why it makes sense.



Deep inside, there's a 16 year old kid who is pointing outside and saying listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go
and I'm saying "shhhh, I've gotta get up for work in the morning"

so I feel it too






'pity this busy monster, manunkind'
      ee cummings
Code: [Select]
pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
                          A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

36
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: Steal my heart?
« on: March 29, 2016, 03:53:48 pm »
I like that a lot.

It brings to mind this moment from The Invisibles where Mad Tom touches Jack Frost, and Jack reacts violently, defensively... Jack's heart is protected. Behind a firewall, as you say. But then what happens when it's time to take it back out?

Mad Tom says


What'll you do? Set Jack Frost on me? Let him ice up your heart so it stops hurting? I'm not afraid of little robots like you, with your little robot threats. I'll burn him up. I'll make a puddle of him and that puddle I'll turn into vapor. I'll tear you out of your armor with white-hot claws. You're so tough. So tough and rigid and frozen that you can't even move out of the space you've been given. You think you're an outlaw but you just do what they want you to do; cause trouble for a little while, screw some tart, raise more robots, and on and on and on.

Five fiends have been in Poor Tom at once: of lust as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing; Moho, of murder. Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing. So many giants and demons and always room for more in Poor Tom's head. Your head's like mine, like all our heads; big enough to contain every god and devil there ever was. Big enough to hold the weight of oceans and the turning stars. Whole UNIVERSES fit in there! But what do we choose to keep in this miraculous cabinet? Little broken things, sad trinkets that we play with over and over. The world turns our key and we play the same little tune again and again and we think that tune's all we are.

37
The violent rejection of truth is the part of the Plato's Cave allegory that speaks most to me.

Its something I've wrestled with as a larp writer. After you go check out the big european larps, and you sample the different styles and game types out there, you realize how deficient and diseased some parts of US Larp culture are. Like, larp games in New England (and most of the USA, actually) are very rules-heavy, don't allow alcohol, and have a lot of narration (ie, somebody tells you "You see an orc" and its just a kid with green grease on his face). In a lot of larps, you have to call out a number every time you swing, which makes combat sound like an argument about algebra rather than, say, a battle.

But you try to tell people around here about The Better Way of Doing Things, how when you drop a lot of the baggage we're carrying around, the experience itself feels different - more direct, more attention-grabbing, more engaging... and they will argue with you until the sun comes up. People have rationalized crappy stuff, and that's a wall they're chained to.

 WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH THAT, IF IT IS WHAT THEY WANT TO DO?

        "But nobody wants it! Everybody hates it."

  OH. WELL, THEN STOP.

38
This reminds me of that awesome fight scene from They Live. Rowdy Roddy Piper has the glasses that show the truth, and he tries to force them onto Keith Davis. And they slug it out until they're both fucked up.

It's not enough to show somebody the truth - they will fight you and resist you every step of the way. Nobody gets the Holy from an instruction book, they have to find it themselves or get it beaten into them.

Forgive the Zizek link, but he says it up better than I can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVwKjGbz60k


39
By the way Rog, you look great with hair. I didn't know you had that capability--I figured all your follicles had been scoured off by scalpal volanic activity by now.

40
It's funny, in 2008, everybody was going "This place was better in 2006".

I'm in that IRC channel pretty much every week day from 9-5. It's a cool spot. Burns built this awesome bot which turns our chats into awful comics. You can also play word-jumble duck hunt. Come in and type !duck to see what I mean.



Anyway, back in 08, this forum had caught the "let's re-invent discordia" bug in a big way. And that's a hot topic - volatile, contentious, wild. There was a feeling that we were doing something together, building something together, becoming something together.

I don't know if Discordia changed or the Internet changed, probably both..

As for the Internet - the medium seems to move us towards more dense and fast communication, which lends itself to the "disco" crowd of Discordians. The Legion of Dynamic Discord. Often little more than surface level dickery, seems like more of a spin-out from #chan culture than anything else.

As for Discordia... have you read Illuminatus? One of the things that strikes me about it, reading it now, is that a lot of the topics its bringing up have been explored and evolved since the 1970s. Same with Zen Without Zen Masters.. there's like 1/3rd of that book which is about Free Love... which all feels a little weird now in the AIDS / Tinder era. No longer revolutionary. The traditional sex values and conservative sex culture that Camden was pushing against.. faded away.

Anyway, a lot of Discordian topics seem like that to me these days. The Pastafarians and satantists are doing a better job satirizing religion, for example. Absurdism starts to feel old, the endless procession of novelty starts to get worn out. The Internet doesn't surprise us like it used to. What's Discordianism got for us? What's left? What could it be? How do people wake up themselves and their neighbors? What's outside of the trance I'm in right now? These questions electrified me, and our collective interest in them kept me coming back.

41
The Richard Nixon school of ballet and the arts / Re: WOMP-ertainment
« on: March 29, 2016, 03:06:43 pm »

42
What's up, cats? I was just going through my archives and bumped into the video I took at the 2008 Day of Discord meatup in Rhode Island. Wow, what a bunch of spags! Got me thinkin about this place. I wanted to swing by and check in - see how everybody's doing. It's weird how this bizarre blend of community and personal spirituality sticks with you. I could use a shot of crazy - the good kind - in my life.

Stuff's good over here with me. I'm working in Manhattan now, which is stupid, but it's a living. Living with my girlfriend in Sleepy Hollow, the most haunted town in America and possibly the solar system.

I signed up to be the GM of this larp in Connecticut. That pretty much consumed my life for about 2 years. It was exhilarating but ultimately very draining and frustrating. At the end of the last season I stepped down as GM, and am now about to embark as a regular NPC. Which is gonna be hard, as the game is probably in its death spiral--hard to watch stuff you love go to shit. But you also can't fight destiny. If it's gonna die, it's gonna die.

Occasionally I like to go through old journals. My active membership at PD represents a time of transition for me - moving from a hippy dippy magical headspace into the more straight-faced conventional world of the suck-ass adult commuter. As much as I cringe at the past me, I can't help but feel I lost some vitality and spontaneity since then. So partly out of nostalgia, partly out of aspiration, partly 'cause I miss the fuck out of you cats, greetings and beatings. have some sauce.


43
eh you know, this is more frustrating than it's worth

sorry if I caused any of it, it was honestly not my intent

44
Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Discipline
« on: July 02, 2014, 05:04:56 pm »
Then what do you call "power is subtle and all pervasive and there is nothing we can do to effect it"?


Foucault doesn't say we can't affect it

He says we can't decapitate it

Foucault, by the way, doesn't think power is evil or that it shouldn't be concentrated. It's just a tool. If you're the one its being used against, it's good to understand what exactly we're talking about. Because the way things are right now, the guillotine can't really solve anything. The antisocial behaviors of governments and corporations are generated by a mutually sustained system of rewards and punishments, not by one evil guy collecting taxes for personal profit.

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That time has passed. The current mode of power cannot be altered via beheadings like a sovereign power could. There will never be another guillotine style revolution in the west, and the reasons for that are buried in the French and American revolutions.

This is where this viewpoint becomes pure evil. When I said "dont worry about power" I was wording my point bad. My point is that the system does have a pervasive and subtle effect on us, but everyone lives in a system with similar effects on them. Humans self organize into big systems like this, on pretty much every continent on the planet fuckhuge systems like ours have arised. Zulus, Romans, Aztecs, Imperial Japan, Mongolia, its pretty safe to say that this is human nature. Humans are designed to organize into groups, what Foucalt is doing is drawing a false semantic connection between this natural self organizing tendency and concrete power by giving them the same name. He then proceeds to assume that because you cant get rid of one(which again, is like complaining you cant get rid of the weather. Even if we could destroy the current system completely people would just make another one.) you cant alter the other.

Saying that the current power balance is just a result of human nature sounds like a cop-out.

The school to prison pipeline
The pay-to-win criminal justice system
The bichromatic spectrum of american politics,

these aren't just ubiquitous structures which naturally arise from "human nature", or the fact that we live in groups, there are specific historical reasons for their existence.

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Thats where I call shenanigans. You can alter power, you just have to take a different route than before the French and American Revolutions. Naturally different systems manifest power in different ways. If you cant just kill the assholes in charge to change things then why the fuck did they kill Kennedy and MLK? The difference between this system and the old system is that power just isnt well labeled. It doesnt wear and a crown, and most importantly, there is no one person in charge you can behead. Our system is a monument to Humanities ability to build things so complicated probably no one can understand it. But you can still effect it in meaningful ways, which is what the people in concrete positions of power are doing right now. They dont have absolute control, no one does, even the old kings didnt or they wouldnt have been beheaded, but they can effect things.

I don't think any of that is in disagreement with Foucault

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Concrete power is real and it can be changed. Focusing on the "subtle and pervasive" aspects of power is a losing life script. Its worrying about things that you probably dont have much power over while lumping in things you can meaningfully change in with them. This is a deadly feedback loop, because youll keep focusing on how "power" manifests in the little interactions you have with people and your trips to the grocery store ect ect and youll see how you cant really meaningfully effect it. Then because youve lumped concrete power under the same general label of "power" youll say "See, theres nothing I can do to change power." And youll have a constant source of feedback reinforcing this worldview where you are powerless. Foucalts whole argument is a sleight of hand and its just plain evil on top of that.

Seriously, dont trust the French.

I think we've seen examples in recent years of power shifts, and how that can happen rather organically through a deliberate attention to those subtle and pervasive interactions.

For example - homosexuals experience less oppression now than they did 20 years ago. The shift happened in part due to legislation (concrete power), but to pave the way for that, we had to participate in the consensus. Prejudice had to become uncool, socially, before legislators started to follow suit.

That's why I don't see the current distribution of power as necessarily a bad thing (though clearly it's concentrated in some bad places)- it's probably better than sovereign power. The fact that it changes more slowly and is insulated against revolution is a double edged sword. All those people posting politics on social networks are actually playing a role in broad change.. In olden times, having a low opinion of the Crown was something you'd have to keep quiet for fear of retribution. Sovereign power reacted to challenges as if they were a duel of wills between two entities, and that resulted in hundreds of years of public executions and failed coups - Now public dissent is a recognized and necessary part of the political process, and those little social interactions between groups are part of it too.





45
Cain, at some point you posted a line, not sure if it was yours, about the disconnect in the SJW dialog... something about how one one end of the spectrum, trans kids are being thrown out of their homes and beaten, but most of the net dialog is about not offending somebody by using the wrong pronoun --- You got a copy of that floating around? I want to savor it some more.

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