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Principia Discussion / Neophilic Irreligions
« on: April 12, 2007, 01:52:49 pm »

The unprecedented growth of the World Wide Web signals the emergence of new forms of communication in the so called Age of Information. Social groups are reevaluating the manners in which they conduct relationships and form organizations. Religions are no exception. Many faiths have online sites where members and nonmembers can gather facts about the group's beliefs, history, and locations of worship. Groups utilize electronic forms of communication like e-mail or newsgroups that bridge the distance between members. Audience cults, a term used by Stark and Bainbridge in The Future of Religion, are dispersed, unorganized religious groups. Three will be the focus of this paper: Discordianism, the Church of the SubGenius, and the cults of Cthulhu. I have attempted to show that the 'members' of these groups are actively involved in the construction of the World Wide Web. Due to their intimate affinity for the computer interface and lack of interest in traditional organization, these audience cults are better categorized as neophilic irreligions, diffuse groups of individuals committed to chaos and the unfamiliar that find meaning in supernatural forces embedded in parodies of conventional faiths. These irreligions construct social space and provide meaning for, instead of retreating from, the confusion and unpredictability so rampant in cyber communication. These groups provide members with ultimate meaning and general compensators that are in tandem to what the Web, and more generally, the Information Age, is all about.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Neoism
« on: April 11, 2007, 07:13:29 pm »

Neoism refers both to a specific subcultural network of artistic performance and media experimentalists and more generally to a practical underground philosophy. It operates with collectively shared pseudonyms and identities, pranks, paradoxes, plagiarism and fakes, and has created multiple contradicting definitions of itself in order to defy categorization and historization....

Neoists refer to their strategies as "the great confusion" and "radical play". They were acted out in semi-private Apartment Festivals which took place in North America, Europe and Australia between 1980 and 1998 and in publications which sought to embody confusion and radical play rather than just describing it. Consequently, both Neoist festivals and Neoist writing experimented with radical undermining of identity, bodies, media, and notions of ownership and truth. Unlike typical postmodern currents, the experiment was practical and therefore existential. Monty Cantsin, for example, was not simply a collective pseudonym or mythical person, but an identity lived by Neoists in their everyday life....

In the early 1980s, the Neoist Reinhard U. Sevol founded Anti-Neoism, which other Neoists adopted by declaring Neoism a pure fiction created by Anti-Neoists. The Dutch Neoist Arthur Berkoff operated as a one-person-movement "Neoism/Anti-Neoism/Pregroperativism". Similarly, Blaster Al Ackerman declared himself a "Salmineoist" after Sicilian-American actor Sal Mineo, and John Berndt was credited by Ackerman as having given Neoism the name "Spanish Art," circa 1983. In 1994, Stewart Home founded the Neoist Alliance as an occult order with himself as the magus. At the same time, Italian activists of the Luther Blissett project operated under the name "Alleanza Neoista"....

Neoist plays like multiple names, plagiarism and pranks were adopted, frequently mistaken for Neoism proper and by mixing in situationist concepts, in other subcultures such as the Plagiarism and Art Strike 1990-1993 campaigns of the late 1980s (triggered largely by Stewart Home after he had left the Neoist network), Plunderphonics music, the refounded London Psychogeographical Association, the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, the Luther Blissett project, the Michael K Project, the German Communication Guerilla, and, since the late 1990s, by some net artists such as Other artists who explicitly if vaguely credit Neoism are The KLF, Luther Blissett, Alexander Brener/Barbara Schurz, spart and Luke Haines (of The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder).

Neoism is also mentioned briefly in David O. Russell's 2005 film I ♥ Huckabees. Dustin Hoffman's character says the word under his breath in response to Jason Schwartzman's experience to "the blanket thing," which is a method of understanding the universe derived from being zipped up in a body bag.

The California-based tech-pop band Brilliant Red Lights also applies the word in the song "Neoism," the first track off their second album, Actualism. The band imagines a literal--albeit applicable--definition of the word, defining it as "the culture of the new."

On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense


    In some remote corner of the universe, poured out and glittering in innumerable solar systems, there once was a star on which clever animals invented knowledge. That was the highest and most mendacious minute of "world history"é─ţyet only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths the star grew cold, and the clever animals had to die.

    One might invent such a fable and still not have illustrated sufficiently how wretched, how shadowy and flighty, how aimless and arbitrary, the human intellect appears in nature. There have been eternities when it did not exist; and when it is done for again, nothing will have happened. For this intellect has no further mission that would lead beyond human life. It is human, rather, and only its owner and producer gives it such importance, as if the world pivoted around it. But if we could communicate with the mosquito, then we would learn that he floats through the air with the same self-importance, feeling within itself the flying center of the world. There is nothing in nature so despicable or insignificant that it cannot immediately be blown up like a bag by a slight breath of this power of knowledge; and just as every porter wants an admirer, the proudest human being, the philosopher, thinks that he sees on the eyes of the universe telescopically focused from all sides on his actions and thoughts.

    It is strange that this should be the effect of the intellect, for after all it was given only as an aid to the most unfortunate, most delicate, most evanescent beings in order to hold them for a minute in existence, from which otherwise, without this gift, they would have every reason to flee as quickly as Lessing's son. [In a famous letter to Johann Joachim Eschenburg (December 31, 1778), Lessing relates the death of his infant son, who "understood the world so well that he left it at the first opportunity."] That haughtiness which goes with knowledge and feeling, which shrouds the eyes and senses of man in a blinding fog, therefore deceives him about the value of existence by carrying in itself the most flattering evaluation of knowledge itself. Its most universal effect is deception; but even its most particular effects have something of the same character.

    The intellect, as a means for the preservation of the individual, unfolds its chief powers in simulation; for this is the means by which the weaker, less robust individuals preserve themselves, since they are denied the chance of waging the struggle for existence with horns or the fangs of beasts of prey. In man this art of simulation reaches its peak: here deception, flattering, lying and cheating, talking behind the back, posing, living in borrowed splendor, being masked, the disguise of convention, acting a role before others and before oneselfé─ţin short, the constant fluttering around the single flame of vanity is so much the rule and the law that almost nothing is more incomprehensible than how an honest and pure urge for truth could make its appearance among men. They are deeply immersed in illusions and dream images; their eye glides only over the surface of things and sees "forms"; their feeling nowhere lead into truth, but contents itself with the reception of stimuli, playing, as it were, a game of blindman's buff on the backs of things. Moreover, man permits himself to be lied to at night, his life long, when he dreams, and his moral sense never even tries to prevent thisé─ţalthough men have been said to have overcome snoring by sheer will power.

    What, indeed, does man know of himself! Can he even once perceive himself completely, laid out as if in an illuminated glass case? Does not nature keep much the most from him, even about his body, to spellbind and confine him in a proud, deceptive consciousness, far from the coils of the intestines, the quick current of the blood stream, and the involved tremors of the fibers? She threw away the key; and woe to the calamitous curiosity which might peer just once through a crack in the chamber of consciousness and look down, and sense that man rests upon the merciless, the greedy, the insatiable, the murderous, in the indifference of his ignoranceé─ţhanging in dreams, as it were, upon the back of a tiger. In view of this, whence in all the world comes the urge for truth?

    Insofar as the individual wants to preserve himself against other individuals, in a natural state of affairs he employs the intellect mostly for simulation alone. But because man, out of need and boredom, wants to exist socially, herd-fashion, he requires a peace pact and he endeavors to banish at least the very crudest bellum omni contra omnes [war of all against all] from his world. This peace pact brings with it something that looks like the first step toward the attainment of this enigmatic urge for truth. For now that is fixed which henceforth shall be "truth"; that is, a regularly valid and obligatory designation of things is invented, and this linguistic legislation also furnishes the first laws of truth: for it is here that the contrast between truth and lie first originates. The liar uses the valid designations, the words, to make the unreal appear as real; he says, for example, "I am rich," when the word "poor" would be the correct designation of his situation. He abuses the fixed conventions by arbitrary changes or even by reversals of the names. When he does this in a self-serving way damaging to others, then society will no longer trust him but exclude him. Thereby men do not flee from being deceived as much as from being damaged by deception: what they hate at this stage is basically not the deception but the bad, hostile consequences of certain kinds of deceptions. In a similarly limited way man wants the truth: he desires the agreeable life-preserving consequences of truth, but he is indifferent to pure knowledge, which has no consequences; he is even hostile to possibly damaging and destructive truths. And, moreover, what about these conventions of language? Are they really the products of knowledge, of the sense of truth? Do the designations and the things coincide? Is language the adequate expression of all realities?

    Only through forgetfulness can man ever achieve the illusion of possessing a "truth" in the sense just designated. If he does not wish to be satisfied with truth in the form of a tautologyé─ţthat is, with empty shellsé─ţthen he will forever buy illusions for truths. What is a word? The image of a nerve stimulus in sounds. But to infer from the nerve stimulus, a cause outside us, that is already the result of a false and unjustified application of the principle of reason. If truth alone had been the deciding factor in the genesis [Genesis] of language, and if the standpoint of certainty had been decisive for designations, then how could we still dare to say "the stone is hard," as if "hard" were something otherwise familiar to us, and not merely a totally subjective stimulation! We separate things according to gender, designating the tree as masculine and the plant as feminine. What arbitrary assignments! How far this oversteps the canons of certainty! We speak of a "snake": this designation touches only upon its ability to twist itself and could therefore also fit a worm. What arbitrary differentiations! What one-sided preferences, first for this, then for that property of a thing! The different languages, set side by side, show that what matters with words is never the truth, never an adequate expression; else there would not be so many languages. The "thing in itself" (for that is what pure truth, without consequences, would be) is quite incomprehensible to the creators of language and not at all worth aiming for. One designates only the relations of things to man, and to express them one calls on the boldest metaphors. A nerve stimulus, first transposed into an imageé─ţfirst metaphor. The image, in turn, imitated by a soundé─ţsecond metaphor. And each time there is a complete overleaping of one sphere, right into the middle of an entirely new and different one. One can imagine a man who is totally deaf and has never had a sensation of sound and music. Perhaps such a person will gaze with astonishment at Chladni's sound figures; perhaps he will discover their causes in the vibrations of the string and will now swear that he must know what men mean by "sound." It is this way with all of us concerning language; we believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colors, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for thingsé─ţmetaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities. In the same way that the sound appears as a sand figure, so the mysterious X of the thing in itself first appears as a nerve stimulus, then as an image, and finally as a sound. Thus the genesis [Entstehung] of language does not proceed logically in any case, and all the material within and with which the man of truth, the scientist, and the philosopher later work and build, if not derived from never-never land, is a least not derived from the essence of things.

    Let us still give special consideration to the formation of concepts. Every word immediately becomes a concept, inasmuch as it is not intended to serve as a reminder of the unique and wholly individualized original experience to which it owes its birth, but must at the same time fit innumerable, more or less similar casesé─ţwhich means, strictly speaking, never equalé─ţin other words, a lot of unequal cases. Every concept originates through our equating what is unequal. No leaf ever wholly equals another, and the concept "leaf" is formed through an arbitrary abstraction from these individual differences, through forgetting the distinctions; and now it gives rise to the idea that in nature there might be something besides the leaves which would be "leaf"é─ţsome kind of original form after which all leaves have been woven, marked, copied, colored, curled, and painted, but by unskilled hands, so that no copy turned out to be a correct, reliable, and faithful image of the original form. We call a person "honest." Why did he act so honestly today? we ask. Our answer usually sounds like this: because of his honesty. Honesty! That is to say again: the leaf is the cause of the leaves. After all, we know nothing of an essence-like quality named "honesty"; we know only numerous individualized, and thus unequal actions, which we equate by omitting the unequal and by then calling them honest actions. In the end, we distill from them a qualitas occulta [hidden quality] with the name of "honesty." We obtain the concept, as we do the form, by overlooking what is individual and actual; whereas nature is acquainted with no forms and no concepts, and likewise with no species, but only with an X which remains inaccessible and undefinable for us. For even our contrast between individual and species is something anthropomorphic and does not originate in the essence of things; although we should not presume to claim that this contrast does not correspond o the essence of things: that would of course be a dogmatic assertion and, as such, would be just as indemonstrable as its opposite.

    What, then, is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphismsé─ţin short, a sum of human relations which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that this is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.

    We still do not know where the urge for truth comes from; for as yet we have heard only of the obligation imposed by society that it should exist: to be truthful means using the customary metaphorsé─ţin moral terms: the obligation to lie according to a fixed convention, to lie herd-like in a style obligatory for all. Now man of course forgets that this is the way things stand for him. Thus he lies in the manner indicated, unconsciously and in accordance with habits which are centuries' old; and precisely by means of this unconsciousness and forgetfulness he arrives at his sense of truth. From the sense that one is obliged to designate one thing as red, another as cold, and a third as mute, there arises a moral impulse in regard to truth. The venerability, reliability, and utility of truth is something which a person demonstrates for himself from the contrast with the liar, whom no one trusts and everyone excludes. As a rational being, he now places his behavior under the control of abstractions. He will no longer tolerate being carried away by sudden impressions, by intuitions. First he universalizes all these impressions into less colorful, cooler concepts, so that he can entrust the guidance of his life and conduct to them. Everything which distinguishes man from the animals depends upon this ability to volatilize perceptual metaphors in a schema, and thus to dissolve an image into a concept. For something is possible in the realm of these schemata which could never be achieved with the vivid first impressions: the construction of a pyramidal order according to castes and degrees, the creation of a new world of laws, privileges, subordinations, and clearly marked boundariesé─ţa new world, one which now confronts that other vivid world of first impressions as more solid, more universal, better known, and more human than the immediately perceived world, and thus as the regulative and imperative world. Whereas each perceptual metaphor is individual and without equals and is therefore able to elude all classification, the great edifice of concepts displays the rigid regularity of a Roman columbarium and exhales in logic that strength and coolness which is characteristic of mathematics. Anyone who has felt this cool breath [of logic] will hardly believe that even the concepté─ţwhich is as bony, foursquare, and transposable as a dieé─ţis nevertheless merely the residue of a metaphor, and that the illusion which is involved in the artistic transference of a nerve stimulus into images is, if not the mother, then the grandmother of every single concept. But in this conceptual crap game "truth" means using every die in the designated manner, counting its spots accurately, fashioning the right categories, and never violating the order of caste and class rank. Just as the Romans and Etruscans cut up the heavens with rigid mathematical lines and confined a god within each of the spaces thereby delimited, as within a templum, so every people has a similarly mathematically divided conceptual heaven above themselves and henceforth thinks that truth demands that each conceptual god be sought only within his own sphere. Here one may certainly admire man as a mighty genius of construction, who succeeds in piling an infinitely complicated dome of concepts upon an unstable foundation, and, as it were, on running water. Of course, in order to be supported by such a foundation, his construction must be like one constructed of spiders' webs: delicate enough to be carried along by the waves, strong enough not to be blown apart by every wind. As a genius of construction man raises himself far above the bee in the following way: whereas the bee builds with wax that he gathers from nature, man builds with the far more delicate conceptual material which he first has to manufacture from himself. In this he is greatly to be admired, but not on account of his drive for truth or for pure knowledge of things. When someone hides something behind a bush and looks for it again in the same place and finds it there as well, there is not much to praise in such seeking and finding. Yet this is how matters stand regarding seeking and finding "truth" within the realm of reason. If I make up the definition of a mammal, and then, after inspecting a camel, declare "look, a mammal" I have indeed brought a truth to light in this way, but it is a truth of limited value. That is to say, it is a thoroughly anthropomorphic truth which contains not a single point which would be "true in itself" or really and universally valid apart from man. At bottom, what the investigator of such truths is seeking is only the metamorphosis of the world into man. He strives to understand the world as something analogous to man, and at best he achieves by his struggles the feeling of assimilation. Similar to the way in which astrologers considered the stars to be in man 's service and connected with his happiness and sorrow, such an investigator considers the entire universe in connection with man: the entire universe as the infinitely fractured echo of one original sound-man; the entire universe as the infinitely multiplied copy of one original picture-man. His method is to treat man as the measure of all things, but in doing so he again proceeds from the error of believing that he has these things [which he intends to measure] immediately before him as mere objects. He forgets that the original perceptual metaphors are metaphors and takes them to be the things themselves.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / How academics say "Law of Fives"
« on: April 10, 2007, 05:06:28 pm »

Social constructionism or social constructivism is a sociological theory of knowledge based on Hegel's ideas, and developed by Durkheim at the turn of the century. It became prominent in the U.S. with Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann's 1966 book, The Social Construction of Reality. The focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived reality. It involves looking at the ways social phenomena are created, institutionalized, and made into tradition by humans. Socially constructed reality is seen as an ongoing, dynamic process; reality is re-produced by people acting on their interpretations and their knowledge of it. Berger and Luckmann argue that all knowledge, including the most basic, taken-for-granted common sense knowledge of everyday reality, is derived from and maintained by social interactions. When people interact, they do so with the understanding that their respective perceptions of reality are related, and as they act upon this understanding their common knowledge of reality becomes reinforced. Since this common sense knowledge is negotiated by people, human typifications, significations and institutions come to be presented as part of an objective reality. It is in this sense that it can be said that reality is socially constructed.

Within social constructionist thought, a social construction (social construct) is an idea which may appear to be natural and obvious to those who accept it, but in reality is an invention or artifact of a particular culture or society. The implication is that social constructs are in some sense human choices rather than laws resulting from divine will or nature. This is not usually taken to imply a radical anti-determinism, however.[citation needed]

Social constructionism is dialectically opposed to essentialism, the belief that there are defining transhistorical essences independent of conscious beings that determine the categorical structure of reality. The specific mechanisms underlying Berger and Luckmann's notion of social construction are discussed further in social construction.

Propaganda Depository / Discordian Music
« on: April 09, 2007, 09:39:20 pm »

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Unfinished notes
« on: April 09, 2007, 07:52:51 pm »
The correspondence theory of truth (access to knowledge through senses or reason is flawed) is denied.  No reason to suppose mental concepts tally with reality except through direct interaction.  Cannot be universalized. 

Discordian view: the universe is in a state of é─˙becomingé─¨ (Heraclitus) chaotic movement and change and coherence is a mental construct.  é─˙To knowé─¨ means to have imposed categories on chaotic processes which are useful to us and/or based on incomplete data (Law of Fives).

Broad to universal consensus must be reached for a society to exist.  This is naturally an enforced decision (alliance between military and priesthood), however it is incomplete in its understanding and so cannot succeed (Law of Imposition).  Collective life is made possible, however it begins to break down and takes increasing amounts of force to be held together, which only destabilizes the system further.  Illusionary hunt for proof of metaphysical musings.

Linguistics as a BIP.

People think with words.  Higher concepts can only be thought of through verbal means in particular.  However, language simplifies the world, removes the chaos.  Controls how thinking happens as well as what can be thought (subject-object framework).

Science a BIP?

World can be observed and learnt from to our benefit.  However, science cannot discover absolute or transcendental proofs.  Science vs worship of science.  However, global scepticism an unsolvable paradox.  Absolute rejection is another blind alley and not a very fruitful or accurate one at that.  Contingent knowledge?  Acceptance of knowledge, that has been tested, working for the now, but without blind worship as to its eternal value?  Possible.

don't represent any cohesive ideology or material solution, but rather a plethora of different solutions that appeal (by providing meaning and/or security and/or economic advancement) to specific target groups,

are typically networks rather than hierarchies (they are not replacements for the state)

aren't tied to territory (and hence aren't required to provide services to anyone other than their members)

often find extremely profitable ways to finance their own growth

have developed a new method of warfare to protect themselves and extend their power (open source warfare)

Now consider that context when reading this:

Or Kill Me / An analysis of 2006: Discordianism and the Pagans
« on: March 31, 2007, 04:06:58 pm »
In many ways, the best way to understand something is by watching and noting the effect it has on other agents and institutions.  The best and most obvious example of this in modern history is Discordian interaction with contemporary Paganism.  Whatever our reasons at the time for seeking the contact with a large and apparently disparate community, it can serve as a useful lesson for future encounters é─ý as well as prepare new Discordians for the harsh and often inflammatory reactions to their presence.

Obviously, there were some positive gains from the encounter.  However the negative ones are of more interest, because there is so much more to be learned.  Often from those who opposed us, we were the victim of slander campaigns and relegated to a lesser status in religious standing (and while avoiding contamination from the majority of Grey and Cabbage religions is hardly a bad thing, there was a notable lack of logic to their reasoning as to why this was done), not to mention falsely ascribed certain motives and opinions which were taken from a purposefully incorrect understanding of Discordianism.  These reactions and other related observations will be noted below.

A notable and common reaction is that many will seek to downplay or ignore your contributions.  To accept the opinion or help or argument of a known Discordian is to acknowledge validity to the irreligion and its beliefs.  Since your very values are set up to mock their own systems of implausible and unsustainable belief, it implicitly implies their own incorrectness (ignoring for now the admirable é─˙quantum agnosticismé─¨ of many Discordians, such as RAW, in this regard) and questioning their faith.  Obviously this only applies to those who have a superficial understanding and reading of Discordianism.  As your status becomes better known, this reaction will become more common.

However, the most common reaction was to simply treat Discordianism as a parody religion that only a fool would believe in.  If it was treated as a purely artistic project that only a simpleton could mistake for a real religion, its proponents are at once are sidelined.  Of course, this is to totally ignore several points for similar reasons to above, but it also fails to draw a distinction between religion, spirituality and irreligion.  The foremost is what the vast majority of Pagans take part in, the second some Pagans and Discordians both take from the form of their belief system and the final is a purposeful creation of a spiritual system that undermines religion instead of meekly being alternative to it.  The Church of the Subgenius would probably be the only other example of this and it is rooted in Discordianism anyway.  Because of its hostility to mainstream religion, irreligions must be denied validity.

Of course, the next major avenue of attack is to seize upon the word é─˙chaosé─¨ while gripped with a primordial fear of anarchy, the collapse of civilization, the permission of everything and all the other desperate fantasies of intellectually stunted and repressed demagogues.  Of course, because reading a book is too much hassle when deciding to condemn something, the clarified Discordian definition of the word is overlooked, as well as the dialectic between Disorder and Order that is expressed.  To accept that chaos is the synthesis of these two notions, that allows evolution, creation, possibility and chance, as well as understand the Discordian position of supporting one extreme to aim for the synthesis, well would require a knowledge of Western philosophy beyond that of most Pagans (while that the last statement was meant to be purposefully insulting, it is true that many are very unaware of developments outside mainstream Christianity and their own faith é─ý over the last 2,400 years in some cases).  Among the more intelligent and intellectual, the tendency is therefore to think of Discordians as abstract theorists, whose support for their position is intellectually based, either in a Hegelian system or philosophical anarchism.  In short, because we apparently exist in a world of abstraction and theory, our activities and forms of dissent and attack against regimented society, authoritarian institutions and individuals are denied coverage.

This is of course to set up the next denial, which is also another form of attack.  A contradiction in the reasoning is obvious.  This claim is fairly familiar, that Discordians are active, but only within the student movement and among certain ageing Yippies and other counter-culture movements of the 60s and 70s who é─˙ought to know betteré─¨.  In short, we are a contemporary form of Dadaists, who run amok performing street theatre, practical jokes and constitute a lunatic fringe of activists who oppose current society and certain individuals.  Here of course, we are given more credit, but who has heard of Yippies being despised by a broad section of the Pagan movement?  Much less while being philosophical anarchists?  This criticism often comes from the politically left inclining Pagans, for a very simple reason.  In effect we are their bad conscience, who unlike them, are able and willing to act on the physical level to achieve our goals.  In short, we do not make recourse to é─˙magicé─¨ to disappear our problems, nor do we hide our timidity under a religious cloak of universal law.

While on the general subject of politics, it was important to note the many criticisms and confusion that occurred in this area.  Discordianism is of course not a political philosophy, though many of its followers take an interest in it and apply certain Discordian ideas to the practice and proper conduct of government.  Pagans surprisingly have some very broad and often contradictory political positions in relation to their religious beliefs.  Most interesting was the emergence of é─˙Conservo-Paganismé─¨ which is neither conservative as Burke or Oakshotte would understand the term, nor particularly Pagan.  Instead, it seems to be an attempt by conservative and free market ideologues to create a new market while splitting the usual left-environmental concerns of most Pagan groups.  In addition, it is only comprehensible through the distortions of the US political system, where the meanings of political science terms have been so corrupted by populist discourse they barely resemble reality.  In this case, to be a Conservative is to support the Republican party, despite its hijacking by Dominionist and Evangelical groups who would gladly see most Pagans denied constitutional rights and freedoms.  Naturally, the centrist and neo-liberal Democratic Party is considered é─˙left wingé─¨, a vague and some would say meaningless term in a country with no history of a popular socialist party.

In other words, debate was framed under the US model, with all its misunderstandings and rhetoric.  Naturally, there was disagreement with virtually every established position.  We were considered anarchists because we criticized Marxism, right wingers for criticizing liberals, liberal radicals for criticizing Marx and conservatism (of the new and old varieties), socialists by the libertarians, technocrats by the primitivists and vice versa.  In short, no one person could actually define our political thinking and so create false theories with which to contrast with their own beliefs.  We would then be berated for not acting as a é─˙liberalé─¨ or é─˙socialisté─¨ or whichever chosen theory should, in the mind of the attacker, be our system.  Naturally, we were more liked by certain liberal sections, but mainly because we concentrated on NeoConservatvism for our attacks.  Our reasons for this should be obvious, namely at the time this was the dominant force among both Congress and the Executive and allied states often fell into line regardless of their own political ideology (the UK, Israel, Australia).  Attacking a group that essentially had no current power is pretty worthless, hence our sidelining of Democratic policy up until the point of our departure before the 2006 elections.

As I'm sure none of you need telling, the idea of a unified Discordian viewpoint on virtually anything is nonsense in itself, but it did not stop certain factions from seeking one, in some cases explicitly.  Naturally, the complaint from this that arose was that Discordian thought was é─˙too complexé─¨ or é─˙contradictoryé─¨ for people to understand and thus should either be abandoned or simplified.  What was actually meant was that the person in question did not like Discordianism because it did not place demands on them like other religions, did not require slavish devotion to a single or two mythical characters and in short did not give them a step by step guide in how to deal with life without recourse to their own brains.  Rather than admit this, they transfer their confusion and dislike onto the masses.

Finally, the reaction of authority figures to the presence of Discordians is fascinating.  Putting aside concerns previous to our arrival involving favourites of the leaders and economic concerns that directed interest in certain ways, it was a most enlightening experience.  Quite obvious attempts were made to intimidate and reduce the influence of the Discordians through various tactics of removing writings from their proper place and sidelining our theories to only those who sought them out knowingly.  In addition, we were placed under additional scrutiny and surveillance.  More often than not an authority figure would deal with a Discordian in a far stricter manner than other members, simply because of their recognition that we were their natural enemies.  Reasons beyond this were not needed, since we were able to accurately critique their systems of control and coercion while at the same time making fun of them and refusing to be intimidated.  In addition, several Discordians had a sizeable if superficial following among the forum members (a common reaction of Pinks when confronted with more Subgenius like Discordians with some charisma) and there was a very real threat of the place of the leaders as the centre for authority being undermined.  Of course, this reached a breaking point where we were expelled or otherwise coerced into passiveness so that we could no longer counteract their leadership.  What was most interesting was this was framed as a Discordian problem and they and their allies were the only targets, yet it was denied because of the retaining of a couple of token dissenters, normally the more mystically inclined or those who had not yet given sufficient grounds, in terms of threat to authority, for their removal.  In short, an attempt at a moral split between Discordian factions.

I know this has been longwinded and verbose to say the least, but I felt some sort of analysis of the events of MysticWicks, taken from a less personal and more abstract perspective would be of use.  Not least for understanding how Cabbages will react in other settings, although it is in itself a damning indictment of the current state of the Pagan community (although not all Pagans).  I hope this can be of considerable use for those considering future actions along similar lines.

Literate Chaotic / More tin foil hat material
« on: March 29, 2007, 09:36:36 am »

You see the lengths I go to in order to find high quality lulz?

Literate Chaotic / The Grey Lodge Occult Review
« on: March 22, 2007, 09:32:30 am »

Back Issues of the "Grey Lodge", who seem to be into their counterculture/Robert Anton Wilson style freakery.  Each issue has downloads for you to steal, sometimes as text files, pdfs, videos or mp3s.  Topics range from Alien abduction, the OTO, A;.A;., Men In Black and basically covering the range when it comes to wierd occult shit.

Bring and Brag / ATTN Artists and creative types
« on: March 18, 2007, 04:51:49 am »
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Discordia wishes to commission a logo for our esteemed organization.  The payment will be free membership in Scotland's premier quasi-terroristic organization as our Artistic Director, knowing we are likely to use your logo forever and, most valuably, my eternal gratitude.  Me and the 6 or so asshats I've duped into being my minions basically need something for the local flyers and rants sent to the newspapers.  I'm thinking maybe one seal based design and another as a page header of some description.

I'd do it myself, but my computer design skills are teh crap.

Propaganda Depository / What others say about the Discordian Society
« on: March 18, 2007, 03:17:47 am »
Found lingering on my laptop hard drive from where I had left it since Xmas...despite making several dozen flyers and spreading them in London, Bristol and Edinburgh


Their principal activity is an extreme mental derangement. . . . In the maximum number of languages the Discordian Society sends letters from foreign countries filled with the most filthy expressions. In our opinion the Federal Bureau of Investigation gave them too much credit in investigating them.
- Unnamed US Justice Department Official

The concerns of this movement, currently supported by é─˙The Good Reverend Rogeré─¨ and é─˙East Coast Hustleé─¨ among others, are in some sense comparable, a hundred years later, to those of the Young Hegelians and especially to the Marx of the 1844 Manuscripts . . . . That is to say, they imagine that a revolution is possible and their program is aimed at making one.
- New Absurdist Magazine #23

These é─˙activistsé─¨ have insulted the society in which they live and all its values. They should be dealt with by psychiatrists. I doné─˘t want to take any legal measures against them é─ţ they should be in a lunatic asylum. . . . As for their incitement to illegal acts, the Minister of the Interior is looking into that.
- Dominique de Villepin, 2006

The Discordians . . . are more anarchist than the anarchists, whom they find too bureaucratic.
- Robert Anton Wilson

Their doctrine, if such a term can be used in describing their delirious ravings, . . . is a sort of radical revolutionism with an underpinning of nihilism. . . . A monument of imbecilic fanaticism, written in a pretentious jargon, spiced with a barrage of gratuitous insults both of their professors and of their fellow students. It constantly refers to a mysterious é─˙Discordian Societyé─¨
- Militant Tendency, 1981

Then appeared for the first time the disquieting figures of the é─˙Discordian Societyé─¨ How many are there? Where do they come from? No one knows.
- Daily Mail, December 1994

Discordianism is, of course, no more the specter that haunts industrial society than was communism the specter that haunted Europe in 1848.
- Gregory Hill, Usenet Post, 1996

WARNING: Leaflets have been distributed in the Brixton area calling for an insurrectionary general strike. It goes without saying that such appeals have not been issued by our democratic trade-union organizations. They are the work of provocateurs seeking to provide the government with a pretext for intervention. . . . The workers must be vigilant to defeat all such maneuvers.
- Socialist Workers Party Directive, 1981

. . . the Discordian Society, which has its base in San Francisco and which is controlled by the security and espionage police of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics...
- John Birch Society

Their general headquarters is secret but I think it is somewhere in London. They are not students, but are what are known as Discordians; they travel everywhere and exploit the discontent of students.
- Anonymous interview published in the News of the World, 1987

We are here concerned with only one small group who alone set the scene for the May events and provided the insurrection with a dialectical backbone. These few outlaws, these Discordians, universally despised by political organizations and student bodies, have their base on the surrealistic fringes of the Left Wing. From there they have nurtured one of the most advanced, coherent revolutionary theories (though often plagued by academic arrogance and é─˙iné─¨ references), which provoked a near-liquidation of the State.
- Taken from the suppressed Colombia University Report into the April 23rd take over of the University in 1968

Miss Martin said the é─˙Discordiansé─¨ were a religious movement active in Greece in the 10th century BC, and that there had been é─˙talké─¨ on the campus of a revival under that name in Berkeley.
- San Francisco Examiner (18 May 1972)

The Discordian Society was created by the CIA from scratch in 1957 in New Orleans under the slogans é─˙Nothing is True, Everything is Permissible,é─¨ é─˙A Discordian is prohibited in believing what he reads,é─¨ and é─˙Creative Disorder!,é─¨ and is the paradigm example of a CIA synthetic all-purpose formation. The loose and programless anarchist é─˙left coveré─¨ countergang on the Discordian model is ideal for the CIA for the recruitment of new agents, the launching of psywar operations, the detonation of riots, syndicalist workersé─˘ actions (e.g., LIP strike), student power revolts, etc., the continual generation of new countergang formations, and infiltration, penetration and dissolution of socialist and other workersé─˘organizations. . . . During the 1968 problems, the Discordians were assigned to stop the Labor Committees from developing into a mass-based working-class party.
- New Solidarity, 28 August and 6 September 1977

Discordianism seems to have é─˙caught oné─¨ in the U.S.A., particularly in California, that playground of the ideologies. . . . The American Discordians seem to be repeating the pattern of mutual exclusion and criticism as occurred in Europe, and to be employing a fairly impenetrable Hegelian vocabulary. . . . Wilson and Hill are worth reading for their critique of modern consumer-culture (if you can arrange a few weeks free of work and booze).
- Time Magazine, 1976

Behind the angry young men of Amsterdam we find a secret Society. . . . The Provos provide the previously isolated theorists of the Discordian Society with troops, é─˙intelligent surrogatesé─¨ capable of constituting the secular arm of an organization which itself prefers to remain more or less behind the scenes.
- Figaro Litt?ęraire (4 August 1982)

Bring and Brag / Latteart
« on: March 14, 2007, 05:33:22 pm »

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