Log in

No account? Create an account
Stephen's Journal
[Most Recent Entries] [Calendar View] [Friends]

Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Stephen's LiveJournal:

[ << Previous 20 ]
Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
2:48 am
I think, for the first time in my life, that I'm pleased with my own creativity.
Monday, March 6th, 2006
5:32 pm
The Myth of the Individual and Heroism

Western Society is built largely on the concept of the individual. Our stories are hero-centric. You are a bueatiful and unique snowflake. Compare this to asian cultures, where much greater emphasis is placed on the needs of society, on the social group (Disclaimer: Asian art forms have gone bat shit insane in the last few decades. This isn't a condemnation, more a clarification that I'm not referring to contemporary or near-modern story-telling.)

In western thought, every hero cop is a rogue, a renegade. He must hear the phrase "Gimme your badge! You're off the force!" before he can apprehend the criminal. Our hero is always apart from the inneffecient, and sometimes malevolent system, the man. Think Die Hard. James Bond. Even if associated with a larger body, the hero must stand out from it, he must be distinguished in a manner that is usually socially unacceptable.

So what does that say about us? Is there a basic desire in our culture to display this rogueishness ourselves? Do we return from the office, wearied with a case of the Mondays and the endless stream of meaningless pleasantries and water-cooler gossip we have been forced to endure, and throw on the TV to hear Sammuel L. Jackson scream "WHAT AIN'T NO COUNTRY I EVER HEAD OF! THEY SPEAK ENGLISH IN 'WHAT'?" as a form of catharsis? Is it desirable as entertainment because it's an expression of what we would never do ourselves, or because it's an innate desire in all of us?

From an evolutionary perspective, it's easy to see why one would want to stand out from, and above the crowd. But this is just as easily done in a socially accepted manner. Standing out in the crowd doesn't necessitate standing apart from it. An alpha male gets more tail than the male without a pack. So why would be have this desire?

I can't explain my reasoning yet, but I believe that it is an inborn instinct in humans, to find other ways. That which stagnates dies, and human culture has changed utterly, many times in the course of history. This desire may have helped a failing dynasty evolve into something new. When even some have a desire for new methods, new customs, that hopefully would prove better than the current trend, they now exist as an option, that is need should arise, humanity can adapt too.

But I think there may lie another, more insidious reason for the perpetuation of the renegade hero. By allowing this desire to play out in the form of entertainment, people will gladly accept the easy fantasies rather than pursue the difficult reality. Think again on Die Hard. How many people do you think would chose to experience that, or watch it as a movie? And this conditions us. We are told movies aren't real. That the most reasonable of them are mere fantasies, a fictional string of implausable coincidences. In this way the modern world has been conditioned to believe that hero's aren't real. Or rather, true hero's aren't real, but I'll deal with that later. Through such social conditioning, we are molded into that hich society sees fit. We honor the ascetic who has mastered himself, but society wants us to consume, so we do. We root

for the underdog in every movie, but how often in real life do we believe in the courageous facing 50-1 odds? Through the mediums of entertainment, we delude ourselves into thinking we are that which we should aspire to be, the virtuous. But for the most part, we aren't. We trample grandmothers to overpay on a Tickle-Me-Elmo. The mundane and the epic have been sorted and assigned a place in the world, and there is no place in reality for the epic, not when mundanity serves nearly every system of government, religion, and society better. There are a few exception, but none hold much influence.

A further cause of this malaise is the devalueing of the concept of a hero. Lu Bu fought three of the greatest swordsmen in ancient China at once, and held his own. That was heroic. The nameless viking who held a bridge against the English army, alone, was heroic. A street cop is not a hero. A firefighter is not a hero. They are in positions where they may be called to perform a heroic action, but when their momentary danger is passed they will return, happily, to their white picket house, containing 2.8 screaming brats. The acts they perform are heroic only because they themselves are not hero's. Every last one of "the troops" is a hero. But they're drawn from the same population as the rest of us. Some certainly have the potential, but being a hero would almost require them to end up court-martialed. Most, by far, lack most forms of virtue, and are simply willing to sell their lives (none I've spoken to see it as that, but none of my peers who signed up for the military thought there was a chance of them even being wounded.). But this trend curbs the possibility that a man such as Guan Yu, a woman like Joan of Arc could arise in modern times. Heroism is [i]hard[/i] compared to taking a 6 week training course and a written exam followed by thirty years of pulling over speeders and busting teenagers for having a gram.

Society wants us to become cogs in a machine, which, in the manner of Brave New World exists to provide stifling stability and to perpetuate itself. Anything can be accepted as something to be tolerated. As far as such governments go, Fascism is probably the single most effective. Islam works the best for religions. Is there any coincidence that from a societal perspectives, the government type and religion that would be most effective (by effective I mean most effecient at perpetuating itself) are also the most strangling? You are not a pretty and unique snowflake, but it is imperative that you continue to think of yourself as one. This is the Myth of the Individual and Heroism.

I'd pray for chaos, and for trial by fire, if I had any hope that they were possible in this modern world.
Thursday, February 23rd, 2006
12:32 pm


I have issues with this thing, mostly on the limitations of the word choices. My own introspections tell me that my problems don't properly distill into such single-word concepts. But maybe they do to the outside observer. I once asked nearly identical questions. Maybe the addition of a neat little interface will get some feedback. Feel free to comment and elaborate, even anonymously.
Friday, December 30th, 2005
8:34 am
The word "loading" is written inside my skull in fire.
Sunday, December 25th, 2005
2:36 am
It's Christmas Theo...
...it's the time for miracles.

I find it appalling that that line is not included in the IMDB's Memorable Quotes page for Die Hard. I couldn't find a way to add it, but someone should. Spread the word.

This holiday has seriously denigrated from it's true meaning. All the commercialization is just sickening. The Mass of Christ, formerly known as Jul, is about sheer, unappologetic debauchery. Jesus is about as far from debauchery as one can get. Hell, the fuckin' Buddha had at least gotten laid before. Christ's entire life did not involve so much as a single orgasm. Hell, even his mother was concieved through God-love (The crappiest of all loves, by the way.), rather than at the very least hormone-fueled and driven by 4.5 billion years of genetic conditioning "Of course I love you. We can discuss the wedding details tommorrow." lying bullshit kind of love.

Then again, even Saint Augustine had wet dreams (He considered them "distasteful". The quip that comes to mind could also be thusly described, though the proper idiom, while grammatically and meaningfully identical, differs slightly.), and he was pretty much the inspiration for the words "austere", "abstemious", and "grave". A prophetic epiphany of all-encompassing puritanicalism, with nary a Patrick Swayze to flamboyantly dance his way to sultry decadence, nor an authority-defying, stylish Nubian God to rock out the funk.

But for all of his anathemas of fun, Augustine was still a mere mortal. The Christ is a God, the God, whose titling "the Son of God" was done to spare the non-scholar theist the righteous anguish of a seemingly inherant paradox; a vital component of evangelicalism in a time and place where there were no fewer than three other messianic healers of the fallen, conquerers of death to contend with, each of whom could claim antecedence, the greatest by millenia, yet even the freshest by at least a century.

Not that simplification was the cornerstone of Christ's victorious strategem. That honor falls to less than admirable dedication to technicalities, an aggressivly adaptive advertising firm (Alas, the likes of which transform our near-omnipotent seeming modern incarnations of the ideal into a reasonable fascimile of a crying six year old girl, with a torn dress and a runny nose.), and... I'd continue, but I don't care to explain to myself the difference between an ethnic and a universal religion. If you're reading this, and understand, by all means consider yourself free to internally bask in the glowing radiance of your mildly superior intellect. I know I will.

But back to Augustine, and a single digits removal from my original point (Tangents! Tangents for everything!), yeah he was all prissy and shit, but JC was motherfuckin' omnipotent. He was assuredly capable of, and seemingly did (At least once he got his shit together. He was like both kids from The Good Son in one body before his balls dropped.) go his entire life without once engaging in debauchery.

So while sex may sell, and religion shotguns gravity hits to the masses, remember what today is truly about. This time next solar revolution (band name?) I want to see a drunken, octosexual orgy, the likes of which would make Hassan II blush, and zombie Augustine drop dead.

Yippi-Kai-Yay, motherfucker.

Current Mood: Vin Diesel
Wednesday, November 9th, 2005
12:24 am
"But another Republican-leaning county, Monmouth, was nearly even with just 10 percent of its precincts reporting."

Yeah. All me, mother fuckers.
Monday, November 7th, 2005
10:33 pm
So, we're watching the D&D cartoon. They have such a terrible DM. There's six of them, presumably first level, with only two weapons between them. Their first encounter: Tiamat. Their second encounter: ALSO TIAMAT. What a dick.

Update: They fight Llolth in the third fucking episode. The Demon Queen of Spiders and dark elves. She rules an entire layer of the Abyss. They're still level one, and at this point they have no weapons. I'm beginning to doubt they will ever level, as this is D&D1, where experience is rewarded solely for kills.
Friday, November 4th, 2005
4:53 am
If this is madness, it's pretty fucking weak. I mean, I consider myself strongwilled, but come the fuck on! Perhaps the fractured nature of my ego helps here.

I just wish my body would actually hack up one of it's lungs and be done with it. This is getting old.

Current Mood: annoyed
Monday, September 26th, 2005
1:01 pm
So, apparently, the combination of chemicals I currently have in my system has a "good chance of painful, prolonged death".

Well, butternuts.
Saturday, September 24th, 2005
6:40 am
Wake Bake Dahli Lama Home Nap Taco Biscuits Blunt.

And then we'll have our Sunday.
Thursday, September 15th, 2005
3:56 am
2005.09.14 -- The old server finally crapped out. The web site is currently on-line using a backup copy of the web pages running on a friend's PIII server. The PIII server cannot keep up with the demand put on it by the BBS, so the BBS is going to be off-line for a couple of days until I can rebuild the old server. E-mail is off-line, so don't send me e-mail because I won't get it. Be calm. The server has needed a rebuild for a while now, this will force me to get it done.
-- Jeff Hunter

I want my happy place back. I had like a dozen threads I was following, and so much empty time that I should be using to mock Axis, or make gay remarks to Dagnabbit, or scolding the fucking perverts stalking Paradise.

Be calm my ass.

On a much less important nore, I was arrested tonight. Fortunately Dylan bailed my ass out.

It's not as glamorous as it sounds.

Current Mood: anxious
Thursday, September 8th, 2005
5:36 pm
1. Go here.
2. Pass it on.
my answersCollapse )
Tuesday, September 6th, 2005
6:28 pm
Totse is down, no telling when it'll be back up, and that baby on the ceiling is starting to mock me.
Sunday, August 28th, 2005
10:10 pm
Every day is a good day to die. But tonight is not the night to invite it.
Monday, August 8th, 2005
5:57 am
Class and kanji quiz tommorrow. Should suck. But I feel so much better after tonight, and this weekend. Well worth it.
Sunday, July 31st, 2005
12:56 am
This torpidity is killing me, yet I might see a way out. Is it too much to pin all hope to one metamorphasis, which I cannot even believe possible anyway? Yet I hope it is. All thoughts to focus are simply scattered, can somafera prevent such scattering? I'm afraid to ask, my mild apprehension exacerbated into mindnumbing hysteria. Which, in a pecularly circular manner, restores hope in the somafera for release. My experiences nearly mirror Waylands. But to accomplish it in time? I'll almost assuredly rush in over my head, but is that not the very essence of the gangr?

Tonight, I'll try the old fashioned way.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2005
3:11 am
Quote of the night
"Hey, hey, let's keep this racist. Go the the politics board to debate US vs. UK."

-Spatula Tzar, TotSE
Saturday, June 11th, 2005
4:06 am

Seriously. How the hell can anyone buy this shit? If the Blade movies are the result of a writer shitting a script, God must have splurged on fucking Taco Bell while writing the Bible.
Monday, May 30th, 2005
12:19 pm
Not only is Will Smith a metalhead, his wife is touring with Ozfest with her metal band.

We are all just brothers.
Saturday, May 28th, 2005
3:58 am
Spoon<-->Knife. Spoon and knife is one.
[ << Previous 20 ]
About LiveJournal.com