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Messages - Cain

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Literate Chaotic / I had a GREAT idea for a book
« on: March 08, 2009, 12:42:32 pm »
Those of you who know my reading habits probably know I am not the greatest fan of fantasy writing in history, unless it is exceptional (see: Terry Pratchett, George RR Martin, Tolkein and Gaiman for more).  Therefore, it only seems fit to parody the fuck out of the genre.

The idea I had, while stewing in late-stage insomnia last night, was elegantly simple:  Have the usual fantasy setting, the 'evil' kingdom, the 'good' one, the ancient religion, hidden royal bloodline and all that usual crap...and then portray the "hero" as a sociopathic loose cannon with a chip on his shoulder and unreasonable sense of entitlement, who brings two said nations to the brink of war, merely to satisfy his own racist, messianic, authoritarian wet dreams (which most fantasy "heroes" have, when you strip away Authorial Intent and Implied Character Traits).

Instead, the real heroes would be the diplomats, spies, courtiers, mercenaries and other usual ensemble bad guys for the genre, who try and keep the peace while the fuckhead hero is intent on creating a devestating war which could plunge the region into complete chaos.  You know, the people actually trying to stop a war entirely, instead of glorifying in its bloodshed.

Naturally, it needs fleshing out, but that is the basic premise.

« on: March 08, 2009, 12:34:27 pm »

Or Kill Me / Re: 2012
« on: March 07, 2009, 11:00:10 pm »
By the point the music actually starts, half the partygoers will have been abducted by 'elves' or be tasting the sound of the music anyway.

Its amazing how much better drugs can make a shitty playlist.

Added to the blogroll

You guys, are there any categories you want adding?  I've noticed I've got a pretty comprehensive list for my topics, but you guys may not.  Is there anything you want put on Teh List?

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: IdeologyTropes
« on: March 06, 2009, 12:56:16 pm »
I have a few ideas, but I'm really busy with trying to sort out potential training right now.

I'll lay them out though.  A structure will be really helpful.  For example, Political Theory, Political Speech, Propaganda, Religion and Popular Culture would be good sections, to start with.

I have a few ideas for entries too.

Demographic fear - the worry of being overrun by a certain "other" or outgroup due to demographic growth.

Cockroaches - uses thereof in political propaganda

Anarchy (international relations) - examination of the concept

Heroes (the TV program) - examination of the political themes within the show

The evil advisor/man behind the throne archtype

However, it would be good if you discussed this with Doloras as well, Req.  Do you want her email addy?  You can probably contact her via the Chaos Marxism site, if you wanted, and see what she has in mind for this as well.  She does has a flair for organizing structures and ideas in readily easy to understand ways, so I would recommend throwing ideas around with her.

Depends what you want to achieve.  However, acting like a jerk gives people an excuse to ignore you and act in contrary ways.  Now, if you want them to act in contrary ways, then that's all good.  Forcing the register and playing reverse psychology is fun, especially if you have interests in making people act one way, but have to appear to want them to act in another. 

However, if the idea is to convince them to stop, diplomacy and tact normally work far better.

Nietzsche had it right, "we often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us."

Or Kill Me / Re: Reverse Rorscach
« on: March 06, 2009, 12:40:01 pm »
P3nt, you should really read some Foucault.  You'd like him.  I'll explain why in an essay or rant, but essentially you said the same thing there as he did towards the end of his work in the 80s, after he'd finished bumming people out by talking about prisons and knowledge and power and how essentially everyone is fucked because power exists everywhere.

Literate Chaotic / Re: The 100 Greatest Books, according to
« on: March 06, 2009, 12:34:10 pm »
my votes (partly inspired by this thread, only ones I've read myself):

- Goedel Escher Bach, D.Hofstadter
- Thief of Time, T. Pratchett (my favourite Pratchett, still)
- The Illuminatus! Trilogy, R. A. Wilson
- The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, D. N. Adams
- Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
- American Gods, Neil Gaiman
- Neuromancer W. Gibson
- Fooled by Randomness, N. N. Taleb (I prefer this one greatly over Black Swan, and deals nearly with exactly the same subject)

The ones I've left in all have my vote, although I'll vote whichever way on BS/FbR with Taleb.

Also, I have read Pattern Recognition.  I'm not sure I would include it, since I don't think its his best work, but its well worth a read, yes.

And I'll be your presidential sugar daddy!  Wanna play with my bags...of cash.

NT: I am Jack's smirking revenge.

The conclusion is what really bothers me about the whole Law of Attraction.  Its basically an excuse to sneer at people suffering through no fault of their own, and plays directly into Horatio Alger-esque bullshit fantasies.

Or Kill Me / Re: The Truth About The "Octomom"
« on: March 05, 2009, 06:26:31 pm »
Does paying for Octomom cost more than AIG?

Essentially, yes, its The Secret.  Lo5 is probably a good angle to take.

PM on another forum:

just signed up and was trawling a few posts, noticed that you are listed as a Discordian and seem to poo-poo the law of attraction. I'm not being judgemental at all I just wondered if you had a specific avenue of thought which lead you to state this as the way I understand it RAW wasn't against the ideas of the law of attraction, being as he was a dedicated Crowley student.

I know what I think ie that the Law of Attraction is New Age mumbo jumbo which, when reversed, has creepy implications.  While I don't deny mood and emotion can have an effect on how you act, and so how people act to you, this is an interpersonal domain and little more.  And even then, you're into a notoriously subjective area, where lots of other factors are at play.

But I'm willing to hear other potential explanations and arguments.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Fascism reloading?
« on: March 05, 2009, 01:24:57 pm »
Huh, that's fascinating. I guess I didn't really know what fascism is before. The idea that it appeals to the people under its control is not something I'd ever considered before, but it makes sense.

I've always thought that patriotism (which, if I'm understanding correctly and it's entirely possible I'm not, is a fundamental part of fascism) is an extremely dangerous concept, though very enticing for obvious reasons (people wanting something to belong to).

It seems like a sort of ultra-simplified political system. I wonder if that is also part of the appeal, that it's easy to understand. I dunno, though, I may be off base.

I think you're working along the right lines.  There are two general types of patriotism, the first of which is civic (usually respect for the institutions and values the state purports to hold) and the second which is ethno-nationalist (usually in reference to tradition, kin and shared history).  The second can degenerate into more nationalistic sentiment quite easily.

Defining fascism is hard, because it was conceptually incoherent still before the war, and of course after the war few people wanted to admit to being a fascist.  However a few key concepts stand out.  I personally like Roger Griffin's definition:

[Fascism is] a genuinely revolutionary, trans-class form of anti-liberal, and in the last analysis, anti conservative nationalism. As such it is an ideology deeply bound up with modernization and modernity, one which has assumed a considerable variety of external forms to adapt itself to the particular historical and national context in which it appears, and has drawn a wide range of cultural and intellectual currents, both left and right, anti-modern and pro-modern, to articulate itself as a body of ideas, slogans, and doctrine. In the inter-war period it manifested itself primarily in the form of an elite-led "armed party" which attempted, mostly unsuccessfully, to generate a populist mass movement through a liturgical style of politics and a programme of radical policies which promised to overcome a threat posed by international socialism, to end the degeneration affecting the nation under liberalism, and to bring about a radical renewal of its social, political and cultural life as part of what was widely imagined to be the new era being inaugurated in Western civilization. The core mobilizing myth of fascism which conditions its ideology, propaganda, style of politics and actions is the vision of the nation's imminent rebirth from decadence

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Fascism reloading?
« on: March 05, 2009, 01:17:05 pm »
Hey Pinecone.  Sorry, I missed you reply earlier, so I'll try and address some points now.

While early Fascism was certainly filled with anti-capitalist elements, I would suggest this only applies to fascist movements when not in power.  Partly to try and show themselves as an alternative to both capitalism and socialism, and partly in hope to split socialist movements, which were of course popular at the time in Europe.  After getting into power, such elements tend to be sidelined or purged, and settlements are made with the economic establishment.  Much in the same vein, most fascist movements will consider conservatives as traitors and scum, but will make tactical political alliances with them (above and beyond any other ideology) when necessary.  Fascism does tend to be somewhat amorphous, and has varying strategies for its different stages of political influence.

I would agree totalitarianism, authoritarianism and fascism are all distinct things.  I tend to find myself ageeing with Hannah Arendt in that both Fascism and Soviet communism were totalitarian, but I would not say that Fascism and Communism are the same, for example.  Equally, there is a huge difference between, say, Frederick I of Prussia and all of the above, despite Frederick being an authoritarian ruler.  Bush, as far as I can see, was not fascist, however there were fascist elements among his supporters most notably Michael Ledeen, a fan of Mussolini, but also from the far-right militia movement and their overcross with the Dominionist Christians, who have a powerful say in local and state Republican affairs.  So, I would argue, some policies undertaken by the Bush administration were either "dual use" (for instance, the unitary executive theory, while authoritarian, also appeals to a fascist need for an all powerful Fuhrer.  The war on terrorism, while arguably legitimate on security grounds, also plays into the fascist "eternal war" mindset and paranoia.  Etc etc).

As for the evolution of fascism.  Of course, it is possible.  I believe it has, in some ways, from my own observation of the BNP, and the American far right.  I think, as you mention, the glorification of violence, the almost messianic insistence on its use, is certainly symptomatic of fascism.  As to how fascism might have evolved specifically to a postmodern environment, I'll have to think on it more.  I do believe it is a latent possibility in all industrial and post industrial socities, due to the social engineering necessary to create such societies leaving "exploits", in the hacking sense, that groups can exploit. 

I in fact have a book on some of the psychological and sociological aspects of fascism that I just downloaded today.  Not Reich, though, but promises to be interesting.  Might be worth seeing what carries over, and the schema for investigation.

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