So the endless recovery – tm — comes with a load of depression. I’ve been assured this is normal (oh, no. Tell me it’s abnormal. At least I’ll feel like I’m unique.)
Part of the way depression manifests in me as thinking everything I do is bad, and everything and everyone around me is tarnished by my incompetence, and…
Yes, I do know what part is real and what part is Memorex, because being me requires me to spend an enormous amount of time watching myself and making sure I’m not telling myself stories. Because it’s so easy to do.
I have been thinking of that – for obvious reasons – because of the whole “drinking your own ink” effect of our elites, and also because I’m thinking of stories in relation to culture and how to change culture with stories, and how that is in fact the only way to change it in the long run.
Not that the culture is ever exactly like the stories. I mean, look, if you don’t believe me go read a bio of Leonardo Da Vinci from the Renaissance, one from the Victorian age and one from our own time. You’ll see the gloss that was “approved” at the time. (It is common to blame Victorians for doing this, but every culture does it. Ours delights in picking on scabs and trying to bring geniuses down to our pedestrian level.)
Part of what’s fueling the depression is that I really want to write, but even doing these posts makes me nauseated. I think that is partly the effort of thinking through painkillers and partly the fact that I bet my astigmatism has changed completely yet again (the sort of seasick nausea is typical of when my astigmatism is out of whack.) This is to be expected since it changes with every hormonal shift and has been in continuous change the last two years – so bad I can only drive for a month or two after new glasses – and there’s nothing to be done there, because I am not going to get new glasses until April 30th to make sure I’m past all of it, because I can’t afford to. So. So I’ll have to bite the bullet.
Anyway, so instead of writing, because I can’t force myself to sleep all the time, I’m watching a lot of documentaries while sitting on a recliner. If you want the full horror of this you should shashay over to mad genius club, where I describe some of the gems.
But the documentary I watched tonight is about the terracotta army, which was apparently built by the first emperor, a tyrannical warlord that conquered China by the force of arms.
Note that one of the things he did first (and a lot of his successors did) was burn books and forbid grannies to tell stories. This means he knew the importance of stories, and when he was making a country out of many warrying states, he wanted to make sure the only tales were the ones he allowed.
The other thing was the terracotta army. I don’t know how widespread belief in an after life was in China at that time, but it clearly existed, and he believed in it enough to conscript hundreds of thousands to build him an army to protect him after death.
None of us has been there. We might have experienced supernatural (I have) but these things are possible of other explanations. So what he believed in, heart and soul (and fortune) was a story. A story that (probably) turned out to be wrong (unless there are realms where those terracotta warriors mean something.)
The Egyptian elite did something similar.
I don’t want you to consider it (just) from the point of view of drinking your own ink, though both of these were insular cultures that considered themselves superior to every other. But I don’t want to mock even their religious beliefs, simply because that is a realm where none of us can say we know how others are dealt with or in what way things are arranged. Yes, I know what I believe, but I have friends who believe vastly differently, and Himself up there, if He’s there, is a multidimensional time-ignoring creature and who wants to second guess Him? Or who can even approximate His thoughts?
No. What I want you to think about are these powerful rulers, facing the ultimate oblivion. And all that stands between them and the eternal is ultimately a thin veneer of story.
Enough story to conscript massive resources he could have better employed.
Faith? I wouldn’t call it that.
He didn’t go willingly, precisely. He wanted to live forever, which seems to be a peculiar Chinese madness.
But he needed that story to take him into the darkness.
And he knew the power of stories because he burned the stories that opposed them.
For decades now, our gatekeepers have been involved in an attempt to forge a people without past (or future) by metaphorically destroying or making inaccessible all the stories that don’t support the narrative they want us to believe. News, History, Stories, even religion, they’ve tried to deprive us of all of them (one of these is the however many ways to die in the west, which is trying to destroy our idea of the old west as a land of heroes.)
And now we have the internet.
I don’t know how long the freedom will last (I would bet it will be restored, if it fails) but I know they’re trying to clamp down on it already.
I also know the more widespread the use of these free means of communication, in story and news, in history and eventually perhaps in movie, too, the harder for them to snuff it out fully.
So run like the wind my friends, and sow story to the winds in all your voices.
To change a culture in a short time (and they’re betting on a short time) they need that single focus. They need to “burn” everything they disagree with, by either making inaccessible or discrediting it.
Read the forbidden. It puts hair on your chest and gives the SJWs the vapors (not that this is difficult.)