Author Topic: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?  (Read 22631 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« on: January 26, 2011, 06:51:03 pm »
I’ve been thinking about a couple of recent points of view that have been expressed here in the last few months, and their relation to what - if anything - we hope to accomplish.

Cramulus has given off the impression - which may or may not be correct - that his principle motivation is to attract a progressively larger audience, regardless of who they may be (ie, pinealists, “kaos magickians”, etc) for his and other peoples’ writing.

Nigel, on the other hand, has expressed disdain for anyone playing to an audience (By means of Cram’s preferred audience expansion, or simply by where rants are placed).

Both views have their merits, and both views have serious flaws.  I’d like to go into those merits and flaws as a lead-in to what I feel is a rather important point.

First, the Cram approach...The merits are obvious.  A larger audience means a greater dissemination of your ideas.  The problem with this is that Cram also prefers the Kopyleft approach, which allows the “telephone game” problem to creep in...By the time it’s been passed through three or four iterations, it won’t resemble what you’ve written at all, and may in fact be co-opted for something you find counterproductive and/or odious.  Worse, your name may still be on it after the Aryan Brotherhood - for one example - has been at it, which will cause you credibility problems to one degree or another.

The other main flaw with Cram’s approach is that you start thinking of yourself as either an entertainer with fans, or a guru with groupies.  It leads to posting as a form of ego, rather than as a means to an actual end.

Second, Nigel’s concerns have their validity, as given above.  If it’s about your ego rather than the ideas you’re trying to push, then perhaps some re-prioritizing is in order.

However, if you aren’t trying to reach people, then what the hell ARE you doing?  I mean, the stories I’ve written for the last year or so haven’t exactly been aimed at changing the world, but a lot of the other stuff that has been written - by many people - sits gathering dust in BIP or OKM, instead of being placed where it can do any good...And by that I mean “outside of this community”.

Because if we’re only writing for each other, then we’re just wasting our time preaching to the choir...And the times are too ticklish to allow that to happen.

There’s a strange world out there, and it’s our job as Discordians to keep it that way.  I mean, you haven’t been drafted or anything, but who else is going to do it?  The Pagans are all obsessed with out-Paganing each other, the Pastafarians have become bitter reclusive atheists, the “transhumans” are just Goths who wear the future as an accessory, like that stupid fucking dog Paris Hilton used to cart around...We’re on our own, at least as far as we’ve seen.

Of course, we’ve sort of tried evangelizing with a ball peen hammer over the last 6 years or so.  We’ve pushed Discordianism at other boards, and never once have we learned from our mistake.

And that mistake is ego.  We weren’t pushing ideas, we were pushing ourselves.  We have fucked up mightily, and wasted the better part of a decade in wrong-headed, counter-productive crank-yanking.  And while it WAS a lot of fun, it didn’t accomplish anything more than giving us a king-sized superiority complex (Actually, we ARE superior to many of them, but realizing that has been harmful as hell).

What we have to ask ourselves now is What - if anything - are we trying to accomplish, here?  I know what my goals are, but I’ve been so busy hollering about them that I haven’t listened to what any of your goals are...And I suspect that I am not alone in this.

So, I tell you what.  I’m going to clearly state my goals, and then I’m going to ask you to state yours, if you have any (And not everyone does, after all...To some, this is just a rather interesting social group).  Then we can discuss where these goals meet, and what we can do to accomplish them, having learned from past mistakes.  You know, like a biped ought to do.

My goals are very simple, and very few.  In order of importance, they are:

1.  Maximize freedom in all forms.  If you aren’t free, then nothing else matters.

2.  Learn to see things as they really are, not as how Roger wants them to be, and encourage others to do the same.

3.  Keep the world strange.  Make it stranger, if possible. 

4.  Have fun, and try to foster an environment that will allow our descendants to have fun, too.

Let’s hear yours, and then we’ll have a chat about what we can do next.  This also gives anyone not interested in activism - or seldom interested - a chance to say so.  And that’s perfectly okay.  Saying so will help us understand who NOT to bother with this sort of thing.

Or Kill Me.
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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 06:58:36 pm »
1) To be free.

2) To point to others what freedom is and why we are losing it.

Mine are pretty simple as you can see. I used to think the world could be changed. I am usually pretty careful about who I invite here, if I invite someone it is because I think they will become an operating part of this community, not just an audience.


The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 07:02:38 pm »
1) To be free.

2) To point to others what freedom is and why we are losing it.

Mine are pretty simple as you can see. I used to think the world could be changed. I am usually pretty careful about who I invite here, if I invite someone it is because I think they will become an operating part of this community, not just an audience.



If it can't be changed, then we're fucked anyway, so we may as well try.  I'm going to give about 24 hours for responses before I continue (though by all means, responses after that are welcome and I'll do my best to back them into what I want to say next).
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 07:06:50 pm »
1) To be free.

2) To point to others what freedom is and why we are losing it.

Mine are pretty simple as you can see. I used to think the world could be changed. I am usually pretty careful about who I invite here, if I invite someone it is because I think they will become an operating part of this community, not just an audience.



If it can't be changed, then we're fucked anyway, so we may as well try.  I'm going to give about 24 hours for responses before I continue (though by all means, responses after that are welcome and I'll do my best to back them into what I want to say next).

I understand what you are saying. Allow me to rephrase. I used to think groups of people could be changed, thus changing the world. Now I realize that it is a one person at a time process.

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 07:08:52 pm »
I'm pretty much a soloist.

I agree with Roger's 4-point plan, but in a much more personal way.  For the majority of my day or even week, I'm fairly socially insulated.  So I use the 4-points to help myself through my life, and live in a way that brings me happiness, or at least comfort; but this rarely involves deliberately and explicitly spreading Discordian ideas in thier purest form.

I choose to spread the word through example... that is, instead of hollering at people about how stupid Aristotelean Absolutism is, I show them in the way I behave.  The people I meet don't want to be preached to, and don't like being deliberately confused.  But they do notice that I'm having fun, and eventually, if they're lucky, bits an pieces of ideas are absorbed through osmosis.

I use discordian ideas in my writing, and in my music, and in how act and react to the world around me.  I hope that people who encounter these things notice and think about them.  That's the best I can hope for, realistically.

My goals, then, are to remain happy, and not be broken by the world.  I use Discordia to help me in these goals.  I'll speak to it if directly asked, but I'm not the evangelizing sort.  I realize this makes me fairly selfish, and not that useful as a carrier.  I gladly create content, but I'm not that great about spreading it.


Not sure if that's the kind of response you're looking for, Rog.  If it's disappointing, I apologize.


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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2011, 07:09:54 pm »
Hmm... thought provoking, good post Roger.

What exactly AM I trying to do, anyway?  I'm not sure I've ever stopped to think about it, which could be a problem.

If I had to collect my aims (and since that's what we're doing here, I suppose I shall), they would be as follows:


1)  Alert people to the fact that their own personal reality is largely their own creation, so they might as well have fun with it.

2)  Get people to realize that the laws and rules of their society are not Objective Laws of the Universe, but rules created by them and their people, and therefor challengable.

3)  Pointing out to people that ONE view of the world is limiting, being able to cultivate multiple views of the world, even views usually despicable to your "normal" self, is a helpful tool in dealing with anything.

4)  To get people to really understand the Law of Fives, not just nod and say "yes, everyone knows that." Because YES< everyone does fucking know it, but almost everyone ACTS as though they don't.

5)  Make people laugh at the absurdity of it all.
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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2011, 07:11:18 pm »
I'm pretty much a soloist.

I agree with Roger's 4-point plan, but in a much more personal way.  For the majority of my day or even week, I'm fairly socially insulated.  So I use the 4-points to help myself through my life, and live in a way that brings me happiness, or at least comfort; but this rarely involves deliberately and explicitly spreading Discordian ideas in thier purest form.

I choose to spread the word through example... that is, instead of hollering at people about how stupid Aristotelean Absolutism is, I show them in the way I behave.  The people I meet don't want to be preached to, and don't like being deliberately confused.  But they do notice that I'm having fun, and eventually, if they're lucky, bits an pieces of ideas are absorbed through osmosis.

I use discordian ideas in my writing, and in my music, and in how act and react to the world around me.  I hope that people who encounter these things notice and think about them.  That's the best I can hope for, realistically.

My goals, then, are to remain happy, and not be broken by the world.  I use Discordia to help me in these goals.  I'll speak to it if directly asked, but I'm not the evangelizing sort.  I realize this makes me fairly selfish, and not that useful as a carrier.  I gladly create content, but I'm not that great about spreading it.


Not sure if that's the kind of response you're looking for, Rog.  If it's disappointing, I apologize.




I like it, and I personally don't see it as selfish at all.

Those who are curious will seek.
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"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2011, 07:15:46 pm »
I don't have the time on my hands like I did when I first joined this community.  Back then, I worked the Retail Hell shifts and only had one small child.  So when I did the night shift, I'd have an entire morning to do stuff.  

Now, I'm in 8-5 world, 2 kids, 2 cats, and a wife who enjoys fine crafted spice racks.  I just don't have the time to get involved in projects anymore.  I barely have time to create content.  That only happens when I'm in a particular mood.

However, for awhile, I've been doing my best to incorporate BIP/PD ideals and philosophies into my work.  I try to live by example both for the kids I work with, as well as my fellow professionals.  I try to convey the importance of TFY,S and being able to see all of the Paths.  

So, honestly, my goals for being here at this point are primarily social.  It helps to still have some immersion into this community to keep me grounded while the surrounding world churns on.  I guess, it's sort of an online refuge from all of the IRL horrormirth.  
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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2011, 07:16:14 pm »
I'm kinda looking for a bit of direction myself, and have on some occasions asked myself what is the purpose of me being a Discordian. The easiest answer, of course, looks something like this:

1. Try to get people (including myself) to think more about things (become "Enlightened", see things from a different perspective, whatever).
2. When number 1 fails, to at least have fun trying.

add to this, recently,

3. Try to change the political and cultural climate a little by taking some of the stupid out of it (see item 1), even if it's only one person.

Number 2 was fairly important when I EggGASMed a party. I got other people in on it, and they did it for fun. The people who found eggs didn't know what the hell was going on, and found some of the memebombs confusing or pointless, without really thinking about them. They found one entertaining, but it taught me something pretty quickly. Some people are always going to be cabbages. But, it was just as fun to see them looking confused as it would have been for them to get into some sort of discussion about the messages inside. On the other hand, I find that people are generally pretty receptive to Pope cards. Perhaps because there are a lot of Catholics here and the idea of being a Pope is at the very least entertaining.

One question I keep coming back to, is "am I trying to make more Discordians?" And I don't have a really good answer for that. You could say yes in that everyone is a latent Discordian, and you could say, no, people find that sort of thing ridiculous/geeky/whatever. One of my inclinations with CDGASM is to disseminate Discordian ideas without Discordian packaging, but maybe with some clues for the listener to get back here if they followed them enough. Otherwise it feels like proselytizing. Plus it gives them a journey. But by the same token, without some sort of Discordian packaging it might come across as something that it's not, like some sort of extended rant from an anarchist group, or some sort of bored art students, or a bunch of wannabe hippies. And that sort of impression is something that will turn a lot of people off.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2011, 07:16:14 pm »
Not sure if that's the kind of response you're looking for, Rog.  If it's disappointing, I apologize.

It's precisely the sort of response I was looking for:  An honest, up-front one.

Not everyone agrees with my ideas of what Discordianism's purpose is - if it has one - and I'm just looking for a consensus.  If it turns out that PD isn't the best place to launch shennanigans out of, on a more serious level, those of us who are interested can form a different group off to the side (ie, another website) for our purposes, for anyone who is interested1.


1  For anyone who is interested not "for those we deem worthy of our sooper-elite board".
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2011, 07:22:45 pm »
I...don't have an agenda.  I move about the universe just trying to keep my head above water.  My sinking means a whole family tanking...beyond just my household.  So I forge ahead, whatever that means.

But the culture of this place is now in my bones, rather than the other way around, if that makes any sense?  My proselytization is definitely done in a sleeper fashion--I find myself (and I shared this before in an OKM rant) how in the midst of a conversation with any given person around me I'm all of a sudden exploiting some precepts of something I've read here or discussed here. 

I witness to the testimony of this board DESPITE myself, almost.  So my efforts are not terribly overt.  But I roost here to get...I dunno...a sense of community that I once got elsewhere online?  And I found some very cool dudes and dudettes.  I care about everyone here.  So what you think and say and do is terribly interesting.  Enough so that I feel in cahoots even when I'm not.

And then I feel like a silly old fat hen and go away when shit gets real.  Either on here or IRL.  Because sometimes I *am* a silly old fat hen.  :lulz:

But I can't perform to any level that's expected--real life does that to me already.  So here, I study, I guess, or participate lightly for entertainment, and hopefully my contributions, though not ground-breaking, at least form some sort of usable content...

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2011, 07:22:53 pm »
I'm seeing some interesting stuff here, and I'll strain out the responses (verbatim as much as possible) into bullet points.

Incidentally, being busy with day to day life isn't an obstacle.  Nobody's asking anyone to quit their jobs and take up ranting on the street corner, or postering up the break room at work.

One possible goal of this would be to find ways to help LMNO and RHWN - for example - affect those around them without keeping them up all night, breaking the bank, or getting them fired.

There's some creative bastards at this site, and what I'm looking for is new and feasible ways for us to effect the world around us, within the capabilities and time constraints we are under.  Not looking for insurrection, here, but rather direction for my efforts, and the efforts of anyone who wants to join in.

The world's circling the bowl.  We can enjoy the ride, hooting and giggling on the way down, or we can try to make things better, or a combination of the two...But we don't have a whole lot of time - in the grand scheme of things - to fart around making up our minds.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2011, 07:28:33 pm »
There are few things I enjoy more than the peak of creativity that so often follows a board melt-down.

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2011, 07:29:48 pm »
My main goal is to make people think to make them ask questions and for me to have fun while doing it.

I feel that the majority blindly accept what is said/done to them without even questioning the why or wherefore behind it.  My topics of focus change with current events on a lot of things, but there are a few core things.  Freedom, the importance of having fun, the seriousness of personal responsibility for one's actions.....

If I can make 10 people start to question, then how many people will they influence?

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Re: So Just Exactly What ARE We Doing, Anyway?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2011, 07:31:15 pm »
There are few things I enjoy more than the peak of creativity that so often follows a board melt-down.

Likewise
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