Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol 39. (nothing is final!)

Well sir and ma'am, here we are again.

I had a really great idea for Musical Mondays yesterday, but didn't post it up due to a combination of lethargy and actual work to do. But that is not what this post is about.

Also had an interesting dream last night, which involved my dream-posse being superheroes and working together to demolish an enemy yacht which was sailing towards us. And a different member of my dream-posse getting chompsorbed by an evil biomachine thingy after reading words on a screen connected to a pillar which turned out to have been part of the machine. But that, also, is not what this post is about.

This post is about this post I made on my other blog.

I am quite proud of it. Although I am nervous about it as well.

I stopped posting the POEE forums several months back out of a combination of boredom, bereavement, and cowardice. Those boys do not play nice, nor are they especially big fans of the types of content I produce most readily. Also I do not like doing things that upset people, which is a favorite hobby for many of them. I like to gain people's trust and then sneakily trick them into thinking of things from a point of view slightly different than the one to which they are accustomed. I do not like taking a radically different point of view and beating someone across the face with it until it leaves some kind of an imprint in the brain. I admire and enjoy people with the chutzpah to do so, but it is not my style. Also some of them made fun of me. Which under normal circumstances I am able to stomach, in the service of building a case for the legitimacy of my opinions through sheer stubborn reasonableness. But I was using my stubborn for other things this spring and summer and thus didn't have that much to spare for them.

However, the element of cowardice still leaves me disappointed in myself. In my private mind I feel I've gone down a peg and must do something to regain my own good opinion. To reaffirm my faith in my adherence to my nominal faith.

If you decide to be a Discordian, as I see it, you must work out for yourself what exactly that means in practice. It could be extremely vague. It could be totally meaningless to anyone but yourself. But it is important to come up with some standards of behavior for yourself, and then once you've come up with them, live up to them. Or at least judge yourself by them in as accurate a manner as you can devise. Otherwise, what makes you better than all those Sunday Christians and Saturday Jews and Friday night Satanists--the ones who talk a big game, but don't actually try to live out their so-called religions on a day-to-day basis?

I fall more in the category of "completely meaningless to anyone but myself", I think. Since I believe all judgments of morality are contextual, the distillation of a concept of honor is itself a process of experimentation, a sort of drunken lurching towards a dimly perceived truth. I worship chaos principally by attempting to create order. First in my personality, so that my perceptions of the world around me are filtered only through symbol sets with whose construction I am intimately familiar. Second, in my interactions with others, so that I evoke only those responses and provide only those stimuli which I judge to be appropriate expressions of my will given the structure of the relationships between me and the other people. Third, in the pattern of events in my life, so that I behave in ways which produce the kinds of experiences I want to have for reasons based on observation rather than assumption. (i.e., I pay my gas bill because I've had it cut off before and hate to be cold, rather than because paying one's gas bill is the sort of thing a grownup and a good citizen simply does.) Makes for a longer learning curve than is strictly necessary, but it suits me fine.

This is a religious observance for me because the attempt to create order, especially when the attempt is continuous, only throws into sharp relief how permanent, self-evident, and omnipresent is chaos. How even the most restrictive set of rules and laws is a thin stick dancing in a mighty wind. How really, really flexible I have to make the stick if it's gonna be worth dangling from.

But I am digressing in order to stroke some of my favorite shiny words and watch them refract.

Today I was reading a quite nice book lent to me by Amber called No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies. It is an exploration of American laws regarding women, in the context of the perceived legal balance between obligations and privileges. I am just now getting into the chapter which discusses the relationship between the privileges of citizenship and the right to bear arms.

And it occurred to me that this topic has implications in an area dear to my heart. That is, membership in a social group and the presumption of the authority to determine legitimacy. Different members of a group, based on their differing levels of authority within it, have of course different mandates from the group for determining the legitimacy of an idea, viewpoint, course of action, what have you. But this mandate to bear ideas is analogous to that of bearing arms. To be a citizen conveys the right to bear arms, just as it conveys the obligation to bear arms in defense of the group. To be a citizen conveys the right to hold opinions, just as it conveys the obligation to express those opinions regarding things one judges to be for the best good of the group.

So inasmuch as I am a member of my extended family, my presence and participation in it can be expressed in a number of ways. For example.