It's all around you, like smog.
This train isn't bound for glory.

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Sunday, December 04, 2011
The XO Murder

Fiction, myth, religion, faith, voluntary reality, ritual, and play.� The stakes today are rather high.�

It pains me write of it in such terms.� But I have engaged in a few voluntary realities. Five or six, if you count MUDs.� (For the uninitiated, consider MUDs as being like Second Life or World of Warcraft, (depending on the MUD) but with only text as the medium.)� In some of these, there was a religion in circulation, to the effect that (in world) the MUD was understood in a metaphysical sense to be a MUD, and for some sectarians, the world in which it was a MUD was also understood to be a MUD, which is rather profound, and they allowed also for more levels above that.� When I say "in world" I mean that one might proseltyze for said cult in-character.� I am not aware of anyone proseltyzing for this faith in this world, but I may consider doing so now.� This was, I should mention, years before that concept was exploited rather cleverly by The Thirteenth Floor, which is the one that isn't Night City or The Matrix.� (Or Total Recall, if you noticed the eye-bulging thing.)� I think that this may be actually true, insofar as "culture" is a sort of rule- governed game.� And, as one moves between differing social contexts, functional spaces (home, work, recreation, school, store, church), and subcultures (which exist in all these functional spaces), one operates under multiple sets of rules; and in some cases (professional politeness) outright lies - or, to be more precise, incarnated fictions.�

Years before, in late childhood, and into early adolescence - there was, first of all, XO Land - a world of my, shall we say discovery, that was a literal other world - plane of existence, you might say - which one could visit via subway.� It was an realization of the world of Tic-Tac-Toe, populated with Xs and Os, with faces and appendages, (to say nothing of the occasional hat) who would be found, among, at later dates, additional letters, and the rare but notable mongoloid scribble.� For some reason, I recall early on there being reporters, criminals, and some odd miscegenations that looked more or less like the word OK with minimal kerning.� Commendably, these were regarded by all as providing a desirable variety to the population, and I recall no instance of discrimination against these, shall we say, characters - somehow, the idea didn't even occur to me.� I feel OK about that.� I do recall that the earliest episode in that world that I was aware of (having drawn an account of it), involved a letter O being shot by a letter X on a Tic-Tac-Toe grid. � I think this may have actually been introduced to me by a baby sitter in the wholesome Varrio in which we lived.� Nonetheless, it appears that XO Land got off on a rather gritty footing.� I explored this with one other friend in the Third Grade and perhaps a little into the Fourth?� Together, this got expanded to multiple worlds, with multiple subway stops.� (I think the subway charmed me in those days as blimps do now - as supremely quaint and exotic.)� Other means of transport were also added, and I recall taking an elevator behind the washing machines in the laundry room in our apartment complex, to George Washingtub Land, which the friend in question had apparently discovered on his own, and good for him.� And after my initial friend and I parted ways, two later friends and I (under the influence, perhaps, of the Amber novels, which we all read enthusiastically) developed a knack for walking between worlds.� At no point did any of us deviate from the party line that this was objectively real.� That was the rule and yet the rule was never discussed, either, because how could it ever come up, supposing the rule is true?�

And this dovetailed with one friend's IIA, the Insane Imps of America - an organization of the insane by which the superiority of insanity over sanity was asserted as objective fact, the superior staus of IIA members (and Messmakers - our Managers, of which I was one) thereby assured.� I believe we had a refinement to the effect that being out of our heads, we were effectively "over the hill", but moreso, and would ceremonially cross over multiple hills - there being an art to it insofar as one too many would be a bit too much inspiration.� That all of these excursions involved no drug taking whatsoever I boldly assert here and now, for I didn't touch anything until college.� Again, one can hardly disagree with the proposition that consensus sanity is clearly not what a dispassionate observer would call "healthy", so you figure it out.� The fact that the IIA and the XO Land complex originated independently in our two prior lives and yet operated under such terms remains remarkable to me.� Another, later friend and I took up a similar interest in a novel religion whose three dieities - Almatea, Symmetrus, and Psychus - and assorted symbolism still warm my heart - along with the the modified law / chaos emblem, the Monarcy symbol designed to dissent from the at that point nearly banal Anarchy symbol.� And the opposition of Chastity, Purity and Chamber Music as against Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll.� These were good days.� A loved one relates to me having been a mermaid for a while, and I imagine those, too, were good days.

I wonder, too, sometimes, if Otherkin are playing on the same turf, naysayers being dismissed by us all as pitifully lacking in imagination, particularly with regard to the art of living.� And perhaps, in a certain sense, religions are also playing this game, without necessarily being fully, articulably aware that this is what they are doing.� But what is "Faith" but willful assertion by choice and not by evidence?� Relgio - it is a binding together, as under an unspoken mutual oath:� "Let us behave speak and reason together under the proposition that this is the case."� -� Or rather, that it were the case.� It is a subjunctive orientation toward life, and as such, is perhaps forgivable.� (In which case F.C.S.Shiller was right, and the Will to Believe is Will James after all.)� But so is materialism - and upon an equal footing, I fear.� (Pace Dawkins, who is, I concede, no dummy, but I fear perhaps not a top-flight philosopher.)� And we do fear to relate that behaving with practical epistemic neutrality is pragmatically impossible.� Regarding the voluntary elements of valuation, I have two books coming up on that, so let's just shelve them for now, written or not.

But I do feel terrible for having said anything - even obliquely - against the ongoing pageant.� I especialy regret if someone not entitled to understand these ideas (because they got them from me, rather than getting them honestly, and simply being reminded of them by me; these are two very different classes of entities) gets it in their head to act on them without the discernment to do so with excellence.

� One is smart enough to see what's going on, but not smart enough to do anything about it, but open to suggestions from geniuses, if any there be.� But aren't geniuses just demons?� And the rest of the world, possessed of these Spirits? - Or: engaged in play with them.


Posted at 11:03 pm by Jeremiadist

April 26, 2014   02:22 PM PDT
Thanks dawg for reading, and thanks horde for trolling.
The Maddening Horde
February 19, 2012   05:46 PM PST
We know you.
We know of your discontents.
We have heard your rambling discourses, nattering on and on of somesuch thing or another.
We disregard you.
December 13, 2011   09:34 AM PST
It is tough for me to wrap my mind around the concept of third graders playing video games because out side of an abacus or slide rule, I never saw a computer until I was 25. In my neighborhood where I grew up, our favorite entertainment was playing army or cowboys and Indians. We mostly reenacted WW2 because we knew little of the Korean conflict and we had no idea that some of us would soon be tip toeing through the rice patties of Viet Nam taking the utmost care to avoid punji sticks.

However, I grasp the bit about the George Washingtub transport (isn't he the guy who said, "Father, I can not tell a lie, I think one of the slaves did it?" Also, I used to go with sex, drugs and rock and roll until I contracted an annoying skin condition that at times provokes irrepressible scratching so I think I'll go with chastity, purity and chamber music.

I know "Bob" not to be confused with the one in the ocean, but I'm not totally behind submission to Bob yet (obedience was never one of my strong points).

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