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21 April 2007 @ 09:56 pm
Calling of the Amnewor  
There's a part in Delany's Flight From Nevèrÿon where a group of secondary characters from other stories gather in a secret place to call upon a god of death to release their friends from a plague that is ravaging the city. Many things about this scene are meant to make the reader aware of its actors as secondary, while their activities obviously become the central crux of the "Tale of Plagues and Carnivals". Gorgik the Liberator, the series' central figure, is not only not in attendance, it is in apparent opposition to the carnivals and official celebrations in his honor that this ceremony is taking place. Of the characters who have accompanied Gorgik through the series, only his one time lover has an important place in the activities, and that posthumously. The irony here isn't necessarily in the elevation of the characters themselves, but that this "looking at the story from behind", which is common in the Nevèrÿon series, has thus itself become the "front" of the narrative. Regardless, the characters fall back into secondary status when the tale is over, their futures being completely lost except for a sketch that Delany leaves unfinished, and the ceremony is itself a failure by the MC's own admission. The plague (ancient allegory for AIDS) goes on unabated and largely misunderstood.

Why do I bring this up? Why did Delany? Because I think it illustrates well how we-the-powerless have come to react to the great undeniable public evils. We have stopped storming the halls of government or even marching in the streets of the capitols. In a world where the masters speak as if all the death and destruction we see is only a sign that their plans are working for our benefit; in a world where the criminally insane, by ones or dozens, can explode themselves onto the scenes of any happy occasion they wish; in a world where the traditional symbols of love and law are usurped by those dilitantes and murderers; we can no longer gather in public and speak with words that gave our parents comfort from such dangers because it is that public identity that has been most perverted and stolen from us. We, the secondary characters, in order to find what comfort we can, must do it here in private, divided by glowing screens and keyboards, calling on the magic of new, though no less mysterious, gods. For us, Amnewor is the god of the blogosphere, and it is to that which we pray for deliverance.

But what happens when we turn off our computers and go back to "real" life?
Current Mood: grumpygrumpy
ramonesfan77ramonesfan77 on April 24th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately I am not familar with Delany or his stories. But you essay leaves room for a question about the seperation of our society at the level of Mass Communications. Why do people tolerate the war on terror, liars and crooks at the head of the Government, an ecomomy fueled by money borrowed from Foreign Countries, Inflated gas prices and foreclosures on mortgages that leave people in the street? What is it that makes people not notice that what they have now will deminish over and over until they don't have shit in the future? Why do people still believe that a vote for the Republicans means they are promised success in business and ever increasing wealth and at the same time live in close to poverty rather than vote for a party that would actually help them now?

I believe the answer is people can't see beyond this second, and what they see and hear is, "Remain calm, everything is alright, there is nothing to worry about." This mindless chatter from the world's mass communications media lulls us all to sleep while we hear at the same time the other message of the establishment, "spend. buy this. apply for credit. Our products will make you a complete person." This application of denial over the world view of complete and utter ruin which you and I can see so well, coupled with the "rewards" of the technology of the world in your own home ( to entertain you and anesthetize you so you are completely asleep when the end comes) helps everyone march forward as a great army of consumer sheep.

but wait a minute, what's my excuse? If I know so much about the truth why don't I speak out and speak my mind about it? Because the rest of the world is asleep and needs to be hit by a truck driven by god (perhaps that Death God you were speaking of) The world's economy, consumption, and technology have merely isolated us and seperated us from the rest of the world....No one is going to stop watching American Idol or Dancing with the Stars long enough to pay me any mind. And if I did make it into the media I would only be a sound bite that sounds like the spectacular society I am a part of and trying to rebel againist....In other words my rebelion would be "Canned" by the media for the use of the media to feed it to the sleeping...it would have no impact. it would be just more entertainment.