Why Discordia is more relevant than ever in the year 2008?
As time marches on and culture gets weirder and weirder, I think Discordia becomes increasingly relevant. I'd like to discuss why Discordia is a better choice now than it's ever been.
Here's my take, and I'd love to hear yours:
At its core, Discordia has some very valuable lessons about ignoring cultural programming and navigating our fractillian society on your own terms
. Its satirical approach towards religion, something that was once so sacred we couldn't joke about it, is an attitude we can carry into numerous other straightfaced territories. Gender, politics, the economy, war, terrorism, our expectations for the future, your goals, your flaws, your life -- these are things that we can easily misunderstand if we take them to be Real and Serious and a Big Deal. Which isn't to say that they're not
a big deal. But that it's better to take them with a grain of salt.
When we take something seriously, we get rigid, we get tunnel vision, and we become (in some ways) indentured to it. Discordia is about tearing down walls internally as well as externally. In this decade, where there are so many conflicting messages being shouted at us, it's important to differentiate between What Matters and What Doesn't. And the crystal lesson in the center is that people probably take more stuff seriously than is healthy. Healthy for all
of us. Discordia is about using flexibility and humor to cope with the dangers and paradoxes of modern living. It's about escaping the two-man con where both choices are bum, and become an active (rather than passive) character in your life's story.
I think this is the most interesting and confusing period of history to date. Historians will struggle to understand what it was like to live in the 21st century. The Bureaucracy is getting bigger and bigger, and sicker and sicker. There is a great cultural demand for agents of change who will challenge the existing order and suggest that something better will follow. The heroes of our day are the people who are kinetic enough to weave a new tapestry from this threaded culture, and not get weighed down by the dross of the human condition. I'm not interested in the next logical step, I'm interested in that cool stuff that's totally
off the beaten path. This is the modern Discordian's role, to exist outside
of binary choices, to make objection and change part
of the hegemony, and to enjoy oneself despite our programming. We are the silver lining to the cultural cabbage patch. This is not
just a society of robots, and we
are evidence of it.
Personally, I don't see Eris as a Goddess in the same outdated way that the Christians or Jews or Ancient Greeks think of Gods. She's not some force in the sky, regulating the world by will. You can't communicate with her through prayer. Personally, I see Eris as a force similar to the internet, similar to the spirit of protest, similar to hair metal. She's not the force, but the attitude
through which Bureaucracy is transcended into Aftermath. She is the feeling of finding freedom rather than formula. She is the punchline at the end of a decade long shaggy dog joke. And in that I think she has more to offer than the sepulcher and bureaucratic tangle of other contemporary edifices like religions and ideologies and static.
So if you ask me, the Principia is 49 or 50 years old, and it's more relevant than ever.