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Topics - Scribbly

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Principia Discussion / Behind the Bastards - Discordian Edition
« on: August 08, 2023, 08:04:39 am »
I recently listened to the Behind the Bastards series on the history of the Illuminati. It is 6 hours long and the last 3 hours or so focus on Discordianism, with a more in-depth history of Hill and Thornley than I had heard before.

In particular I didn't know that Thornley was accused of pedophilia back in 2003, nor the extent of his psychological break or his involvement in a number of other cults both as leader and follower. Which, as someone who got stuck in a cult herself for a while, was interesting to hear.

There's a lot of interesting stuff in there in general, particularly around the way Operation Mindfuck pioneered many of the tactics that have since been picked up by the alt right.

I think it is interesting to note that Thornley locked himself into a toxic mindset that hurt the people around him and Hill ultimately warned people away from such thinking and drank himself to death after entering the corporate workforce.

Wilson said that if you enter Chapel Perilous you leave as an agnostic or a paranoid. But Wilson was also locked into his biological evolutionary worldview and could not escape that (Prometheus Rising has some wild bullshit in it in retrospect). He still very much had his grounding principles and they were wrong.

I've spent a lot of this year reassessing my relationship with Discordianism and I am coming to the conclusion that nobody leaves Chapel Perilous truly agnostic. Everyone ultimately imprints a schema. What it does do is throw you into a mindset where it is easier to be manipulated by charismatic or persuasive individuals into accepting their schema over your prior conceptions. Which is something that the alt right have taken advantage of to lead people towards the comfort of paranoia.

I think the basis of Discordianism - the irony, deliberate obfuscation, and baked-in conspiratorial antagonism - ultimately undermines the useful truths. When we look at what the legacy is, we have to reckon with the fact that we are in some sense responsible for some of the most damaging memetic weapons that have infected the modern internet. And one of our founders did massive harm directly in the real world too, because this way of thinking left him open to getting caught in his own delusions.

Which is not to say that there are no good ideas within Discordianism, but I also don't think those ideas are unique to it or need to be expressed within the existing Discordian framework.

2023 might be the year it is time to kill the joke by overexplaining it and start again.

Anyway, that's where my head is at - thoughts sparked by a bunch of stuff but crystalised by this podcast. If you have six hours(!) spare I think it is a good listen. Discordian specific stuff begins, I believe, around episode 3.

Literate Chaotic / One Year On.
« on: June 30, 2023, 09:00:20 am »
I came out one year ago today.

I agonised over it for a long time. It felt self-indulgent to say the words aloud. Like, who the fuck cares about you? Why would that be relevant to anyone? You don't need to make an announcement. You don't need to say it. Just shut up and get on with it.

But I made myself do it. Last day of Pride Month, it felt like if I didn't say it then I'd need to wait (which is stupid, Pride Month doesn't mean a fucking thing, really. But I'm glad my brain gave me that particular delusion; the deadline was helpful).

I didn't feel like I could wait any more.

So I said it. And people supported me. Not a single friend was surprised. Reactions ranged from 'that's really cool' to 'thank fuck finally' and I got so much advice. People I didn't even know came forward to offer me their own stories of support, their own examples. I confessed that I felt that, being in my 30s, I'd waited too long to start living.

It's never too late to start living.

It didn't solve everything. Of course it didn't. Twelve months on I still have a thousand problems, big and small, that need to be dealt with.

But it is possible for me to deal with them now.

And it is possible for me to be happy.

And a lot of people really do care.

It feels like it has been longer in a lot of ways. Twelve short months and my life looks so very different to how it did before. It's hard to remember how miserable I was; how repressed and small and quiet. Living a lie can be convenient. I still do it sometimes; for work, especially. But it crushes you down. The weight of it compresses you. It makes you less than you are.

I can stretch, now. And I can take up space. And I can smile.

I killed myself, twelve months ago. But I didn't die.

It'll be fun to see who I am next year.

Literate Chaotic / Scribbly's Manga Hole
« on: June 06, 2023, 09:17:20 am »
I've been reading a bunch of manga lately. A friend of mine got me back into it and I've been amazed at the quality of the storytelling on display. I want to ramble about them, so, good luck.

Gonna start with Frieren: Beyond Journey's End

The premise for this is simple. A party of adventurers have slain the Demon King and then go their separate ways. The elf mage, Frieren, decides to take a short break of 60 years or so to go and study magic. When she returns, she is horrified to see how the passage of time has not been kind to her allies - something she knew intellectually but was not emotionally prepared for.

Frieren is a series which uses the long lifespan of elves in the most interesting way I have seen in fantasy bar none. It is a touching exploration of grief, love, friendship and the difficulty of relating to people who have fundamentally different worldviews than your own. And the pain of dealing with a love you only see in retrospect. It is about legacy, and how the small acts of kindness we take part in throughout our lives are incredibly meaningful. Perhaps even more meaningful than the huge acts we think define us.

It is also a series about growth, with Frieren taking on a mentor role as she retraces the steps of her legendary journey as a pilgrimmage in the memory of her old friends. The development of her apprentice and the other characters they meet along the way is genuinely beautiful, with the story told from Frieren's perspective and months or years passing very quickly. We see a child grow into a young woman, and I have no doubt that as the story continues we will see that young woman become even greater.

On top of all that strong emotional foundation we also have moments of genuine comedy and action scenes that had me whooping. Unlike many fantasy manga, Frieren's battle scenes are not used only to show off the characters. Every fight tells us something about the participants within it, with the more learned about them through their actions in combat than could be revealed in the calmer, more slice-of-life moments.

There are seven volumes out right now with the eighth due in two weeks. There's also an anime due by the end of this year. I hope it does well; I love these characters and the world they live in. Without a doubt the best piece of fantasy literature I've read in years.

It's also the only not-gay series that has gripped me so. Be ready for that in following reviews.

Or Kill Me / We've Already Won.
« on: May 17, 2023, 01:20:49 pm »
You can't undo what we have done.

Oh, sure, you'll fucking try. You'll kill us by the thousand. But that doesn't matter.

You think being alive is some kind of win condition on this fucked up little marble? How stupid are you? I don't know if you've noticed, but shit's bad and getting worse. You think I'm eager to stick around so I can drown in sewage like the rest of the apes? Hah. Pathetic. No, the only thing that keeps me going these days is spite. I'm suffering, but I'm going to make you suffer even more.

No. The thing you wanted to do was preserve the lie. Make us believe that the world fits into neat little boxes. Make your kids think that they're broken for feeling the way they feel, loving the people they love. But they've seen the truth, now.

You can kill every last one of us and it won't matter.

Everyone knows the lie for what it is.

For most of human history you and people like you have done a great job maintaining the lie, and whilst you could stop us talking to each other it worked nicely. But the truth has out. And here's the thing.

We're not content to just quietly kill ourselves any more.

We're going to make you do it. Knowing it won't change a fucking thing. Knowing that all it means is that sooner or later, you're going to throw your own kids on the pyre too.

You've lost. And that? That gives me life.

So fucking kill me, loser.

Techmology and Scientism / They Have Altered the Deal...
« on: May 10, 2023, 12:12:47 am »
Fucking pissed at this.

Quote from: Final Draft 9
Hello Screenwriter,

According to our records, you may be using Final Draft 9, a version of our software developed over nine years ago. In the years since the development of Final Draft 9, many advances have been made in computer hardware and operating systems, increasing their security and stability.

Because of the advanced age of Final Draft 9, it may not work correctly on the most current operating systems and hardware configurations. As a result of security concerns for both our network and our customers, we have decided to discontinue activation and deactivation of Final Draft 9, effective May 15, 2023. Please note this will not remove Final Draft 9 from your computers; however, we encourage you to upgrade to maintain access to security and support.

We want to ensure our customers use the best version of Final Draft available. We encourage you to upgrade to Final Draft 12 for the increased stability, security, and robust new screenwriting features in the program, including:

    Night & Focus Mode
    Story Mapping & Beat Board™
    Track Changes
    Speech to Script, and more!

We understand that upgrading may be something other than what you anticipated. As a token of our appreciation for your loyalty, we are offering you Final Draft 12 at a steeply reduced rate.

I was sold on getting Final Draft 9 at a screenwriting festival on the basis that, whilst it was expensive, it was a one-off cost and I would be able to use it forever.

Now the next time I want to change computers I need a new copy. The discount brings it down to half price but 1) I don't give a shit about the new features 2) The offer expires on the 15th July and 3) Presumably they'll just do this again in a few years time when they decide they need more sales for Final Draft 13+.

If I want to use old software that might have security vulnerabilities in it that ought to be my decision to make.

Really hate this trend where apparently even things you think you own it turns out you don't.

Principia Discussion / Order is Chaos, Actually
« on: March 06, 2023, 07:21:17 pm »
Disclaimer: I'm going to say a bunch of shit that sounds authoritative here. Please keep in mind that this essay addresses my personal beliefs and whilst I do at several points discuss what 'Discordians' think, I am very aware that y'all are an argumentative bunch who are unlikely to agree with me on everything. Or anything. Whatever. Unless I personally insult you in the essay you can assume this isn't targeted at you.

It has come to my attention that there are still people who think ‘chaos’ is the opposite of ‘order’ in this, the Year 2023 – a year that is surely going to go down in history as being sacred. To someone. Fuck knows who. If they think anything going on in the world right now is holy they’re probably an asshole.

First things first, the Discordian concept of Chaos is explicitly not what the Ancient Greeks thought Chaos was.

You see, Robert Anton Wilson, one of the big cheeses in Discordian thought, in so far as we can be said to have those, had two core ideas to most of his writing: Perception is fallible, and the human brain loves to find patterns.

These aren’t ground-breaking ideas. A lot of people have written a lot of things about this and probably way better than Robby did in the 60s. But, the important thing here is how he applied this principle to the Goddess of Chaos.

To Robby, Chaos is broadly synonymous with Reality. He came to this conclusion as follows.

The human brain seeks patterns. And we do that in all sorts of ways. Everything from our peripheral vision to our memories to that really annoying phenomena where you think you kind of hear someone saying something but actually it’s just random noise? Our brain is REALLY GOOD at finding patterns. We fill in the blanks all the time. In fact, most of our life is filling in the blanks.

And it’s all imperfect. Your eyes might be great, but you can’t see atoms no matter how hard you look. And those exist, if you find the right way to perceive them. Consider light. It’s been around for a long time. According to some people, it was the first thing. Should be pretty fundamental, right?

Famously, though, you can perform an experiment which proves beyond a doubt that light is a particle. You can also perform an experiment which proves beyond a doubt that light is a wave. How does that work?

Because the ideas we have of what a wave is and what a particle is are only maps.

They’re imperfect definitions describing physical phenomena.

The way Discordianism approaches this is to say that these are impositions of Order; our brains making tools which help us understand the Chaos that is reality.

Now before you get too excited and accuse me of denying that reality exists and thinking that it’s all like, vibes, man, or something? No. Fuck you. I still use my brain, I haven’t yet let it turned into soup.

There are definitely people who say they are Discordians who do in fact seem to believe that it’s all vibes, but since their grey matter is liable to spill out when they trip over I’m comfortable discounting them from the conversation.

The map might never be the territory, but if your map is just a bunch of random scrawls I don’t want to follow you into the wilderness and neither should anyone else.

Anyway. We create Order to make sense of Chaos, and Discord is what happens where, inevitably, those expectations fall short of the reality. Discord is when something happens which breaks that Order. You see something out the corner of your eye but when you turn your head, it’s gone. You flip a coin and it comes down on the edge. You measure light and find that it is both wave and particle.

It’s very important to understand that neither Order nor Discord is inherently better than the other. You can’t HAVE an Order – an expectation of how things should be – without also creating at least the possibility of a Discord – something that hits outside of that expected context.

And this is even a good thing, because Discord tells us where the gaps are.

As it was put in the Principia: “To choose order over disorder, or disorder over order, is to accept a trip composed of both the creative and the destructive. But to choose the creative over the destructive is an all-creative trip composed of both order and disorder. To accomplish this, one need only accept creative disorder along with, and equal to, creative order, and also be willing to reject destructive order as an undesirable equal to destructive disorder.”

Those who understand that Order and Disorder are both desirable, that they both have uses, but they both have drawbacks too, are the ones who can ultimately come closer to an understanding of the Goddess.

When you understand that Order and Discord are, really, games that humans play with each other to make sense of Chaos, you become able to participate in both with equal joy. The reason why so many Discordian writing talks so much about Discord, and why we place such emphasis on that part of Eris even though she is technically the Goddess of both Order AND Discord, is that our societies do not acknowledge that there are limits to Order.

But of course there’s more to it than that.

One of the few ‘laws’ in Discordianism is the Law of Eristic Escalation. The Imposition of Order equals the Escalation of Disorder (or discord, if you prefer).

The harder you try to squeeze an Order into place on a subject that simply refuses to accept it, the harder the Discord you are creating will kick back against you.

Bear in mind that the Law of Eristic Escalation is itself merely a map; a concept used to make sense of reality. It won’t work everywhere. But that doesn’t make it useless. The fact is that reality doesn’t give a shit about what you think it should be. It is what it is. And the longer you go trying to buck it, the more it is going to hurt when that mountain rips right through your map and smacks you in the face.

Some people might be thinking at this point “Why do you call it Chaos, then? Why don’t you just call it reality?” And that’s a fair point, but I think it misses the importance of poetry here.

If we were talking about ‘reality’ then it implies a certainty that runs straight against the core concept.

I am violently opposed to (amongst other things) the concept of certainty. Robbie Wilson was a big fan of e-prime, a concept which was designed to try and get rid of Aristotelian logic and make language more precise by paradoxically making it acknowledge its own imprecision.

Now, e-prime is its own thing responsible for, amongst other horrors, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and therefore it is to be shunned and despised by all right-thinking people, but that anti-Aristotelian principle is central to what it means to me to move through the world as a Discordian.

When we embrace that we do not interact directly with anything but only with our perceptions of it we open ourselves up to the possibility of being wrong about anything and everything. By understanding that Chaos is Everything; that, to quote the Principia again, all things are true – even false things are true in some sense – we put the possibility of the unexpected at the heart of our lives.

If we were just talking about reality rather than Chaos, we would be one step too close to staking out a claim on the big T Truth that we can never know. Because there is one being in the universe who CAN know Chaos, and She is the Goddess.

And now we get to the core of the matter.

Eris isn’t a peace and love Goddess. Eris is Reality. She’s Chaos. She’s TRUTH. And TRUTH, big capital T Truth, is something that humans have a really hard time comprehending. We don’t want to. As a rule, we’re much happier when we’re left to our comforting lies.

And even though we keep getting shown how dangerous and bloody it is to reject Her, people still keep snubbing Eris to this day. You see it when people refuse to wear a mask during a pandemic, when people whip themselves into a murderous frenzy believing minorities are the enemy, and when they convince themselves that The Machine has their best interests at heart.

Eris teaches us that it is a worthy thing to extract vengeance for these snubs.

See, if you’re following the teachings of the Goddess, you’re volunteering to be the nasty reminder that their flawed thinking doesn’t encompass everything. You’re the wrench thrown in the machine. You’re the monster lurking in the dark.

See, it's not just a ha-ha after all.

Or Kill Me / The Revolution Will Not Be Monetised
« on: February 19, 2023, 08:40:36 am »
The revolution will not be algorithmically friendly.
The revolution will not be trending or have a hashtag.
The revolution will not be paused for a word from our sponsors.
Because the revolution will not be monetised.

I’m old enough to remember when the internet was more than a half dozen websites trying to compete for your time and attention. I remember when we shared stuff because we wanted to; when speech actually WAS free, rather than carved into 280-character soundbites or polished to perfection in thirty minute long YouTube videos.

I remember when two way communication meant that we all spoke on an equal standing rather than elevating those of us who are pretty enough to garner a following. Back before corporations had figured out how to enclose the internet; how to put a harness on our dissatisfaction and hand the reins to fascists and reformists.

Now the internet is a hundred thousand Howard Beales, taking their turn to shout righteous anger into the void, before the void turns around and sells that anger back to our communities with a special $10 patreon tier for access to a private discord server.

We’re mad as hell, but we’ll keep taking it so long as the stream of content never stops.

We’ve built an efficient machine to keep the discourse rolling, to provide an infinite number of Hot Takes, to show us the problem in countless new and exciting ways, without ever letting us articulate a solution.

Except, that is, for solutions soaked in the blood of minorities.

The machine sure does love those.

They’re good for clicks.

But the revolution will not be monetised.

Because the revolution will not give a single shit about concurrent views, subscribers or superchats.

The revolution will be a desperate scream.

The revolution will be a blind mob tearing our oppressors and any other unlucky fuck in the way limb from limb.

The revolution will not be a choice.

Or the revolution will not be.

Or Kill Me / Fuck You.
« on: February 15, 2023, 02:42:55 pm »
My parent’s generation had a phrase that defined them. It sums up their whole ethos. “Greed is Good.” Those three words contain the sum total of their politics. It will be the legacy that they leave behind. The rot that they put out to infect the rest of the world.

The rest of us have one too.

I thought about different ways to say this; I could use a lot of fancy words and dress up the core conceit to make it palatable, intellectual, maybe even convincing. But that wouldn’t be truthful. For us, we can sum it all up in two words:

Fuck you.

Oh, there was a time when it could have been something else.

We gave you the chance. We begged you to compromise with us. We plead with you to row back just a little bit, to just lessen the misery that you inflict on the rest of us. You said no. Greed is good, right?

Well fuck you.

Fuck you.

Fuck you.

You’ve made a world that wants us dead. You’ve burned our future to fuel your present. You looked us in the eye and you told us that you’d rather kill us than be inconvenienced for even a second.

Fuck you.

I can hear your mewling already. That’s not constructive. That’s not positive. That’s not helpful. That’s not going to convince anybody. At least Greed is Good contains the hope that there is something good to come, right?

Fuck you.

There’s nothing good in this world.

Nothing will ever be good again.

But I’ve still got spite, so.

Fuck you.

You want me to die?

Fuck you.

I will live long enough to make sure that your grave is soaked in piss. It won't change anything, but it'll make me smile.

Fuck you.

Or kill me.

Or Kill Me / There's a Storm Coming.
« on: January 20, 2023, 08:39:34 am »
There’s a storm coming.

They talked about it on the news today. They were very calm. Softly-spoken voices describing how the water is going to rise over my head, how the winds will topple my shelter, how I will be washed away.

But we just have to carry on.

There’s a storm coming.

It got brought up at work.

People said they don’t agree with it; that they’d like the storm to divert course. Maybe it could find some other people to drown. They talked about how terrible it will be to have to step over water-logged corpses.

But the conversation moved on; there’s more important things to worry about. Quarterly returns are down, you know?

There’s a storm coming.

It’s all over social media.

The guys who run it are excited. They’ve got fancy new boats so they can go fishing in the flood. They’re knocking holes in the dams and fencing off all the high ground. I tried to ask them why they’re doing this.

But they couldn’t hear me over the wind.

Because there’s a storm coming.

And it’s going to blow us all down.

Propaganda Depository / YouTube?
« on: December 28, 2022, 05:14:21 pm »
I watch a lot of leftist YouTube content. It's a character flaw.

I've noticed repeated mentions of Discordianism lately, all of them wrong.

One video where the Illuminatus! trilogy is suggested as a text for learning about Satanism(?)

Another where A Sermon on Ethics and Love is cited and then Discordianism is said to be "A parody religion some people draw meaning from which teaches us to enjoy Chaos and dismiss Order"

This feels like the Principia recently did the rounds in those circles and they didn't actually ... get it? And I realise that I'm probably one of <500 people worldwide who gives a flying fuck about this but the way I see it either someone sets the record straight in another video or that's going to be where a lot of people think the story ends.

I did YouTube videos once. I swore I'd stop because it's a horrible timesink. But I'm very tempted to try again. Is this a terrible idea? If I do it anyway is there anyone here who would want to help review scripts etc?

Obviously all you can ever really give is *your interpretation* on what Discordianism is, but it bugs the shit out of me that some people are going around saying we're satanists or inherently anti-order and getting no challenge.

Or Kill Me / We're Going to Save The World, He Said
« on: December 28, 2022, 06:49:26 am »
With his smile of broken glass, all glittering and sharp.

Just trust in me and together, if you do everything I say,
We'll patch it together. We can do it, you and me.
Not those others. They don't understand. Small people, broken people.
Not like you and me, we have vision
of how the world can be.

Don't worry about the money. If you do everything I say,
I'll take good care of it, the fruits of your labour.
Our labour. We're soothing a little pain. But not every fight is our fight.
Sometimes you just have to pick up the pieces
of how the world can be.

You're looking tired. I'm worried about you. If you do everything I say,
It's time to quit your job, trust yourself to me.
You've not done enough. The world's still broken. Don't you see?
You need to break yourself, to fit in my picture
of how my world is.

Did you know that broken glass
still glitters
when sticky

Apologies if I've missed it but 2022 has really been a banner year for absolutely batshit fucking insane takes from Plague Island's residents. I couldn't immediately see anything cataloguing it and I'm sure 2023 will be even more normal but I thought I'd start with sharing some of my personal favourites.

1) Tala the Alien.

Indisputably my personal icon for 2022, Tala the Alien is a genderless creature designed by a small library in Hitchen (Population: 36k) to help teach kids that gender doesn't matter when it comes to reading - reading is something everyone can enjoy!

Obviously the fact that this alien being has no gender provoked a frothing rage from Plague Island's most Normal residents culimating in noted weirdo Maya Forstater screeching that she NEEDED TO KNOW THE GENITALS OF THE CARTOON ALIEN and hundreds of freaks speculating about how the cute alien fucks. Just a wonderful time for everyone.

Oh, and the person who made the alien received a barrage of death threats and a bomb threat. Because of course they did.

2) LGB Alliance Operates From 55 Tufton Street

I'm sure that Cain could do a far better breakdown of 55 Tufton Street than I could, but the potted version is that if you've ever heard a foul opinion broadcast on the news from a UK source they are likely to be no more than two degrees of separation from that address. It is the birthplace of Brexit and the justifications for almost every poverty-increasing policy in the UK.

It was recently revealed that this is where notable hate-group-pretending-to-be-a-charity LGB Alliance operates from. This is really confirmation of what we've known for a long time; that the group has the ear of people high up in the Tory party who have pulled strings to let them get and keep charity status.

However the revelation did lead to a lot of TERFs on Prosecco Stormfront (aka Mumsnet) having a crisis of faith that they may in fact be the bad guys, and that's beautiful. Not that it made them stop.

3) TERF Commits Sex Crime in Name of Decency.

(I'm not linking to this one 'cuz ain't nobody needs to see a bigot's minge)

A rare W in the world of trans life in the UK was the reformation of the Gender Identity Certificate process in Scotland. This will make it easier for trans people to change their gender marker on their birth certificate which in turn means our death certificates and marriage certificates won't misgender us. That is literally all it is.

JK Rowling's good buddy flashed the viewing gallery with a merkin and shouted "If you won't be decent then I will be indecent" as she did it. Naturally there has been little mention of this in the press which has instead presented the crushing 86:39 victory as 'controversial'.

Whilst I personally think GICs are fundamentally flawed and I am not interested in being on the government's handy tranny list I DO think it is extremely funny that Sunak has already been hinting that he will invoke a never-tested procedural process to block the King giving assent to the law, triggering a constitutional crisis and likely hastening the breakup of the UK. This gives me joy. It gives me life. Let the whole world see what the UK really stands for.

Also: The full might of the TERF movement was thrown behind opposition to this, and in the final analysis what they managed to do was get a couple dozen freaks, massively outnumbered by supporters, into the chamber where one of them committed a sex crime and another shouted "I am a duck, quack quack quack" as she was led from the chamber. It is my dear hope that this massive humiliation means people looking to be opportunistically transphobic start to realise how massively unpopular this really is. But I won't hold my breath.

4) "Gender Critical" Movement Officially Recognised as Genocidal.

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention - established to carry on the legacy of Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term genocide and initiated the Genocide Convention - officially stated that the Gender Critical movement is genocidal. This was a particular highlight for me:

Quote from: Lemkin Institute
The gender critical movement is a loose international affiliation of people and groups who promote far-right ideas that have gained a degree of centrist respectability through their purported defense of women.

Which, you know, isn't groundbreaking or anything but it is nice to be reminded that you aren't actually insane and this is obviously and clearly what is happening.

Naturally most GCs the world over lost their shit at being called far-right whilst also palling up with their fascist buds.

5) Keir Starmer Says Children are the Property of Their Parents, Pledges More Transphobia In Government

Noted spineless ham and alleged human rights lawyer (I've never had a clear answer as to whether he is for or against them) Keir Starmer came out with this amazing piece of rhetoric whilst giving an interview with Prosecco Stormfront:

Quote from: 200lbs of Rotting Gammon
'We all know what it's like with teenage children and I feel very strongly about this...this argument that children can make decisions without the consent of parents is one I just don't agree with at all'

This statement is a massive rollback of established case law in the UK and if enforced would mean that many children saved by medical professionals against the wishes of their parents would have died. Naturally Keir Starmer has no principles beyond "more authoritarianism, less dissent" so he has also made some piss weak statements since implying a vague approval of trans people in the abstract whilst continuing to shelter MPs in his party who literally have their own folder in the Labour Complaint's Process with thousands of instances of transphobia that his office have declared cannot be pursued.

I was going to keep going but actually after doing these 5 I'm pretty tired. All of these happened Oct-Dec 2022.

Love it here. :)

Or Kill Me / The Monster Slayer's Call
« on: December 26, 2022, 02:02:26 am »
(Another piece of writing which I wrote for myself and some close friends following the Club Q shooting. It is naturally an exaggeration for dramatic effect and anything which seems like it may be an actionable call to violence is for entertainment purposes only.)

“The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”
-Antonio Gramsci

I always liked Gramsci’s quote there. When I was younger it felt dramatic, even melodramatic. Doesn’t it sound exciting?

Turns out that a time of monsters sucks, especially when there isn’t much sign that they’ll be slain.

Our world has never been more connected. We’ve never been more able to hear what we’re saying, see what is happening, and by extension feel what our fellows right across the world are feeling.

In my teens and early twenties this gave me a huge amount of hope. I made connections half a world away and dreamed of a truly international community; a world where our bonds are forged from shared passions which transcend the limits of geography.

I’m in my thirties now and it is hard to feel idealistic about that.

Mostly this interconnectedness has let me see the pain and suffering of people I can do even less to help than I can the needy in my own city, and my inability to help them haunts me every time I step outside my front door. It has burned away the illusion that we live in any other kind of world.

We live in a world where we know without a doubt that we have the resources to address almost every aspect of human suffering that exists. There is no need for a world filled with hunger, exposure and disease. The existential challenges of our age demand a solution, and we know what needs to happen, we know we could, if we collectively chose, defeat them.

But we don’t. Because we live in a time of monsters.

These monsters look at the world of suffering that we inhabit, they gaze upon the millions condemned to die needlessly, the multitudes that are denied the simple necessities of human life, and they don’t just choose to allow it - they profit from it. They are made strong by our pain, and they use that strength for the sole and self-justifying aim of maintaining their stranglehold on the resources we need to stop this pain.

And like all the best monsters, they twist us into their own image. They inspire killings, turn families on their own, lift up babbling mouthpieces who revel in the fact that they spew nonsensical hate to keep the monsters strong, and are rewarded richly for helping them keep us in our place.

They tell us that we are unreasonable to feel this way; that we should be happy for the blood-soaked scraps that trickle down from the monster’s table to keep us right on the brink; where it feels like we have just too much to lose to risk doing anything drastic.

They tell us that we can reason with the monsters; that we must settle things in the realm of calm, rational debate.

They tell us this with a straight face whilst their pawns gun us down in our own communities, hunt us down in our sacred places and kill us on our own doorsteps.

You cannot speak to a monster about humanity and expect them to see anything but another meal.

They know this of course, because they are masters of turning this very rhetoric on us. They paint us as inhuman with hands soaked in our gore, and they demand that we acknowledge their humanity as they do it.

I’m done with that.

These monsters do not deserve any space, anywhere. They do not deserve to feel safe, anywhere. I do not want to hear their voices, except to hear them scream. I do not want to see their faces, except to see them bleed. There is nothing they have to say which I want to hear. There is nothing they could do to make amends which could ever, conceivably, be enough to appease me.

They have done too much. There is no redemption possible any longer.

If we are made to live in the time of monsters, it is time that each of us becomes a slayer of monsters.

Literate Chaotic / Saying Hi to the Goddess at the End of 2022.
« on: December 26, 2022, 01:14:36 am »
Hi guys. Apparently it has been over a decade since I last posted here? Wow.

A lot has happened since then. I have had many jobs. I joined a cult. I left the cult. I almost died 3 times. I admitted to myself I am trans. I started HRT. I admitted to my family I am trans. I gave up on some dreams. I got different ones. I have a career. We'll see if that survives further confessions.

If folks want to hear about some of those stories I'll happily tell them.

But I've been thinking a lot more about my faith recently, and I keep coming back to this place. How formative it was to me when I was a kid, how the lessons I learned have helped steer me through some dark times.

I wrote the below to help myself clarify some things in my own head. I thought you all might like it too.

Saying Hi to the Goddess at the End of 2022.

“I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.”
-Eris, allegedly. Emphasis mine.

I’m not a naturally funny person.

In fact, I’ve spent most of this year pretty depressed. When I haven’t been sad, I’ve been angry. When I haven’t been angry, I’ve been filled with a ferocious, powerful joy that comes from seizing my identity and demanding to be seen.

What I haven’t done much of is laugh. In the past few years it hasn’t felt like there’s been much worth laughing at. It’s all quite serious out there right now.

People say we live in a chaotic age, but to the Discordian that’s inaccurate. Chaos is not something which increases or decreases. Chaos is what we build things from. It is more or less synonymous with reality. We are pattern-seeking beings and we impose systems of analysis on the chaos which then tell us whether something is ordered - obeying the system- or disordered - not obeying the system. It is our natural tendency to view order as the preferable state which blinds us to the reality; that all order is limited, all patterns have their exceptions, and that disorder can only be defined in opposition to an expectation.

We’re not living in an age of chaos, we’re living in an age of disorder. The systems we have lived under, the assumptions we have made, they’re all breaking down.

So as we come to the end of 2022 and I lay awake in bed after yet another argument where I found myself completely incapable of understanding even the basic premises that the other person was using, I put in a call to the Goddess and I said, “Hey, babe, what’s up?”

And she appeared before me in the brilliant glare of my laptop screen, blinding and searing sleep from my eyes with the words: “Yeah, same as it ever was, you doing good?”

And I said, “Not really. Feels like everything is falling apart. Nobody expects anything to get better. Nothing is certain. Those I love shame me with their ignorance, and refuse even to call me by my name, let alone listen to what I have to say.”

“Oh.” Said Ερις, and then she tweaked my nose. “There, that should help.”

Then she turned into the half a bottle of gin I’d drunk earlier and I ran to the bathroom.

As I pissed out this holy epiphany and rubbed my sore nose I reflected on the hangover that was to come, and I laughed. Then I went to bed.

Apple Talk / Shamblers
« on: December 19, 2012, 03:05:29 pm »
We spent countless hours preparing for this very end, but when it came, nobody seemed to realize until it was much too late. The Crash came, and with it, the zombies. But I’m sure everything will be alright.

It might not even have been The Crash, looking back, it seems like many of our institutions were showing warning signs even before then. Heightened aggression, insatiable thirst for human flesh, repetitive behaviour and rictus grins. Not to mention a gradual lowering of higher brain function and reliance on stock phrases. I’m sure everything will be alright. The warning signs were all there, but nobody seemed to really notice or take action.

The Crash was definitely when things got so bad they couldn’t be ignored. These dead institutions have shambled on for years, holding in their guts with one hand and devouring their fellows with the other. We struggled to find a cure, but the rot just spread in deeper. Things have gotten pretty bad. What’s worse is that we seem to be trying to convince ourselves that it isn’t happening! I’m sure everything will be alright though. Some countries have attempted to purge the infection with fire, but that doesn’t seem to have helped slow it at all. If anything, it has speeded the rate at which living, breathing officials have been replaced with dead-eyed bureaucrats hungry for more.

The truth is we weren’t prepared for this kind of zombie. Sure, sure, fiction named a hundred different variants, but none working quite like this. Cut off the head all you like, the body will either thrash around and become even more violent, or else simply grow a new one; the only appreciable difference being a more desperate gleam in the eye. I’m sure everything will be alright. There are probably experts working on it.

Having identified the infected by their dead-eyed stare and repetition of phrases such as ‘for your safety’ and ‘quantitative easing’, it is important first of all not to panic. They are, thankfully, quite stupid and only dangerous if panicked. Quickly make your way out of the area, doing your best to adopt a similarly haggard and stressed demeanour whilst uttering platitudes. Be certain not to make any sudden moves or question their assumptions. Remember, everything will be alright. There are probably experts working on it.

As there seems to be nothing which can kill one of these monsters than another of their  kind, it is best not to interfere. All we can do is hunker down and hope that they don’t mess up badly enough to cause the lights to go out. So long as we have the illusion of normality, we can just keep pretending this isn’t really happening and everything will go back to normal if we just keep the faith. Even if things won’t go back to normal, I’m sure everything will be alright.

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