Archive for the ‘Eris’ Category

Discordianism is (not) a religion

March 6, 2013

And now, obscure pseudo-theology because I feel like it.

  1. Discordianism is not a religion but a vaccine.
  2. Discordianism is not a religion but a flower.
  3. Discordianism is not a religion but the religion.
  4. Discordianism is not a religion okay maybe it is.
  5. Discordianism is not a religion butt.
  6. Discordianism: I can’t believe it’s not religion!
  7. Discordianism is not a religion but it will do.
  8. Discordianism is not a religion but you’ll never prove it.
  9. Discordianism is not a religion but neither is Christianity.
  10. Discordianism is not a religion but you will still worship our Goddess in the end, I swear you will. Ha ha ha!
  11. Discordianism is not a religion but don’t worry, be happy.

Eris prophecy!

July 29, 2011

Someone had googled for “erris prophecies” and ended here; and while this may be some Erris I don’t know about, it might also mean Eris, the sweet and sour Goddess of Discord, on whose behalf I feel competent to lay down a prophecy or two.

Or rather to quote my own words from over on Mirrors of Eris, but a prophecy is obviously better if it is old already.

* * *

The Vision of H. Drocsid

or,
the Future Through The Past,
or,
the Apple-Tree All A-Fallen
UM SLEA OM
(Genuine Prophecy!)

I looked south, and saw the cone of an immense white mountain; and when its eye opened I cried and fell to my face; and there was cotton in my eyes.

I saw the cattle-driver fall down dead, and a righteous elephant rise from its ashes: but a shot rang out and in a theatre of tragedy the elephant fell; when it rose up it never was the same again. And I saw the elephant locked in a mortal fight with a braying ass that was praying, and I saw a shadow in the schoolhouse door, and a drinking-fountain divided against itself; and I was cast down to my face by the white mountain and I cried for succor.

Then came the green man of great gold who denied the Roman Foreman’s power, and was a king and the first among equals; and a man came back from Mexico and drove three steel hornets at the green denier, who by his denial had placated the waves; and waves unending sprang from his fall. Behind him was a man of the land of endless toil, the hungry first among those that count the numbers and twist the hands, the master of the gilded chamber; he did set the people of night free, for the second time, and then passed away.

A noxious man of sweat and vulgarity came to set the flower and the briefcase against each other, and the old against the young; and he rode the ringing of hysteria and reigned in infamy, signed the moon and held the hand of the king, until the floodport burst and he was strangled by the shadow of his own words.

Then came a small man, who saw the strife of tears ended in blood, and the noxious man fled beyond justice, and liberty made a pet of his and not the victor of nations; and he had a long life but is forgotten.

Then came the foe of rabbits, and the infamous lunatic; the sand-striker and the inhaler inhaled; then a lackwit fool stole the throne, and all was afoul with fear and blood; and then came the sign of contradiction alive, opposed to the tricorns and the bleeding of men. After him the first one shall come again, and shall excuseless cut down the nation’s tree, and the nation shall be no more.

Nothing will remain but the statue of the cauldron’s mouth, the lady of the burning needle-pair, the gift of the baguette, waiting for Nehemiah. A beam shall be set against a crossbeam, and one against the green moon; the bald-hairs shall rise, and fall, and there shall be a nemesis, ah, scuddered the hopes of men under the looming of the New Jerusalem.

The stern-faced bitch reforged and tricolor-hued will reign over the huddled masses, and cheat them of their yearning; and she shall be crowned with crosses and bars and stars, and bear a torch in one hand and the tablets of the mosaic punishment in the other; and rising from the waters in front of her a bleak stab of steel will come up to her knees, black and terrible, to remind people that a firebrand’s for the stake and the burning of witches, and the law’s to know who they are. This is how the end will come; and all shall burn with green fire, the moon falling and the beam shattering; and the last shall go to shadow all alone, never to return.

One more Discordian book

June 29, 2011

Here’s an art project / ineffable holy book:

LIGHTBOOK (pdf)

It is one more Discordian opus, as you may have guessed / feared; this one is called “The Manual of the Light Warrior”, that is, most probably a warrior of the light entertainment division. I’m not sure if I’ve managed to say anything in it, though I have included some kernels of serious philosophy, and a good deal of humor, and some bits where I just purposefully tried to mislead and confuse the reader; it is much as any other holy book. (Except that few holy books have had portions of them pre-published as blog posts; o tempora o mores and all that.) If I have said nothing much, I hope I have said nothing much entertainingly for enough of those 193 pages. Of central theme or plot, the book has none: it grew in the telling, and is an anthology as diverse as some other holy books, as clear as some others, and has roughly the same amount of divine inspiration and serious intent as some.

Feel free to copy, distribute, ridicule and re-use as you see fit; there’s too much fun in the wrangling of these for me to deny others the same. If you see a line or a bit that hits you, take it, mix it, have it; there’s no greater honor you could do to anything of mine. Writing a really smashing good holy book is difficult; if I’ve come up with a few good one-liners or fables, that’s enough.

* * *

As for the earlier outpouring, Erisiana, it’s still available. (As if something released online could ever really go away.)

Now I’m back to holiday as hard as I can; I’ve just discovered Jim Butcher and there’s a nude wizard that needs rescuing from a serious shitstorm.

Listen to the indeterminate animal in a bunny costume

May 6, 2011

Well, I honestly did not mean to go this far.

I just had a bit of free time, and there was this link on Youtube, and I thought I’d see how shit the implementation was, and…

Ah, heck: I did a video of talking animals and put it on Youtube. The text is the first bit I thought of, thinking of something to test the animaltalkatron with: the Discordian “Greater Poop” interview of Mal-2, as usually seen printed on the first pages of Principia Discordia, or on the last ones, but outside the main body of the book anyway. I’m pretty sure it’s as copyleft as copyleft can be.

Will do a more polished version (hey, maybe even one that doesn’t pronounce “Eris” as “eeeeehris”) later, if I get more into this Xtranormal stuff.

Interesting times in Maryland

April 7, 2011

To quote,

Police do not suspect that the victim was specifically targeted, but that the incident was a random prank, [police Lt.] Donnelly said. They have not received reports of glue-laden toilet seats since.

The funny thing is, the one behind this sticking of the behind “could face second-degree assault charges”. What an idea!

* * *

“Did you, on April 1 of 2011, with malice aforethought, apply quick-drying adhesive to the toilet facilities of the men’s room of the Wal-Mart of Elkton, Maryland for the purposes of distress and entrapment?”

“I did, your honor.”

“Did you… wait, what?”

“I did it! I plead guilty to third-degree hilarity!”

“There is no such crime in the book, Mr. Defendant, though these times of the year I often wish there was. But, given your guilty plea, only one question remains.”

“Squirrels?”

“No. The question of, ‘For the love of God, why?'”

“Goddess.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“I plead guilty to religion. My particular brand of observance led me into it. She made me do it.”

“Explain yourself.”

“Your honor, have you heard of Eris Discordia, the glad goddess of disorder?”

“Oh God, not one of you again.”

* * *

“So, bud, what you in here for?”

“Contempt of court.”

“Harsh.”

“Also, gluing a man to a toilet. How about you?”

“Triple homicide.”

“Anyway toilet-related?”

“No, not really. Just one of those days when you’re not in the mood for banter.”

“Ah.”

“Not that the judge thought that mitigated the matter, which I regard as a grievous miscarriage of justice and a breach of my Twenty-Third Amendment rights. Whatever that is; I’m just reading from this paper I found in a book in the library.”

“What’s that on the other side?”

“It says ‘Get out of jail free card’. A bit of insider humor.”

“The ‘inside’ being this side of the walls and the barbed wire?”

“You’re quick to learn, bud. Say, you wouldn’t be a practising homosexual by any chance?”

“Not practising, no.”

“Experienced, then?”

“I… I have the inkling I may soon be.”

“Well, it’s a cruel world, and a cruel prison. Buggery and religion is all we have, really, though not usually at the same time.”

“Depends on the religion.”

“Pray tell more.”

“Have you ever heard of Eris Discordia, the glad goddess of disorder?”

* * *

That is fiction, but the facts are over on CNN.com, as “Maryland man glued to Wal-Mart toilet“.

(The reference to “one of you” refers, obviously, to ye ordnung-unordnung, a contrafactual Maryland Discordian organization.)

A brief virtual Erisian service

March 26, 2011

#1 : SERMON

We come together today…

Wait, no; we are Discordians, are we not? We do not come together; verily, as St. Mal has said, we Discordians stick apart.

For if there is a lone reed, that reed is easily broken.

And if there are many reeds, in a bundle, then won’t there be some moron with a chainsaw and the bundle’s cut in half real easy.

But suppose one of the reeds is in Atlanta; another in Helsinki; a third in the middle of Lake Uvs Nuur, Mongolia.

That’s some reeds that are safe — a distributed small stick security system that works no matter how paranoid you are.

They see you.

Or suppose there’s some reed fungus. Then those reeds in a bundle are in a real pickle! Or if someone steals the reed bundle, the whole damn fascis. What then?

And if you’re a lone reed, what if a dog comes along and piddles on you. Or takes you in its teeth and buries you somewhere. What a pickle that’d be!

This is all highly metaphorical, as I am sure you understand: the dog is the Pope. And Lake Uvs Nuur is the Pope, too.

And Mongolia is a kennel!

And that’s why we Discordians are told to stick apart. Because of the dogs. And like dogs, sometimes we too must come together. To gang on a rabbit maybe. And that rabbit, my friends, my fellow husks in Eris, that rabbit is the Man. And so, when you go mindfucking, do so in company, in memory of this person who is the person you do it in memory of, and do it regularly. Because sanity is defined by the majority.

All fail Discordia.

* * *

#2 : READING

From the Book of Vile Darkness:

The world is a vortex of colors, lights, noise and screaming delirium.

Those in the world are grotesque hulks, fleshy bulks droning and swaying to the tune of blind idiot pipes which are the voice of the world, the voice of chaos.

This all is true, and this too: There is no friend anywhere.

What this means is that tranquility is not the natural state of anyone; and it is not a state that is stable, or easy to get to.

Worry not; tranquility is not a state to be desired, either.

Join the dance! It is not that all others are grotesque swaying hulks, and you a precious flower — you are one of us hulks too; come, sway!

The world is a vortex of many faces; you are one of them. This pandemonium of cachinnation and flickers is your natural home. There is no friend anywhere; there is no place to run to; no safehold walled away from the world’s tumult. There is no enemy anywhere; have no fear for this is where you belong.

Come, dance! The voice of the world is the voice of chaos, the voice of discord, and it is the tune for the sweetest dance of all.

* * *

#3 : MUSIC (use your imagination!)

Let us chant a bit. With three choirs, two flutes and an oboe. Also a ceremonial exhibiter of hot dog buns.

* * *

FIRST CHOIR

What is the voice I hear ringing?

What the voice that comes calling?

What that clash of tones, that collapse of ordered cosmoses, that din of life?

What the voice which I follow, eager, willing, hand and cock alike stretched out?

Lo, it is She; it can be no-one else.

It is She.

It is She.

It is Eris.

All hail Eris.

All praise Discordia.

* * *

SECOND CHOIR

What is the voice I hear singing?

What the voice with tones falling?

What that laugh of spheres, that echo of careless origins, that din of strife?

What the voice which I follow, eager, willing, hand and cunt alike stretched out?

Lo, it is She; it can be no-one else.

It is She.

It is She.

It is Eris.

All praise Eris.

All hail Discordia.

* * *

THIRD CHOIR

Yes!

Yes!

Oh yes!

Don’t stop!

Oh, Goddess!

Shake those buns!

* * *

#4: ORGY

(Help yourself.)

* * *

And to quote John Hodgman, “That is all.”

Mothers for Violence

February 18, 2011

She’s a pretty, smiling, well-adjusted single mother, three-time winner of the WorkplaceEfficiencyGreat! Award at Hayek Associates and the coordinator of her local cell of Neighborhood Watch. Her child is a smiling, frequently laughing angel, and already a two-time winner of the ArtsyDoodlePrize, Barnaby Elementary’s highest award for success in art and graphical design.

And according to Mary-Jo Thrasher this is because, and not in spite of, her uncommon method of child-raising.

“Well really I think a lot of people are, on this one matter, fucking silly”, Thrasher, MfV’s Mom of the Month, says. “The world is a big, bad, dangerous place. My children are not going to grow up ignorant of this.”

The MfV method of disregarding all age limits on all entertainment has drawn criticism from various organizations, including the furious condemnation of Callum Wahm-Bulans, M.Div., of the Catholic Propriety League. Thrasher sees this all as misguided and unfounded prejudice; understandable given the weight of historical tradition, but fundamentally misplaced. “Dialog will solve this”, she insightfully points out.

What she strongly denies and cannot stand are the occasional and outrageous blood libels of child abuse. “For Christ’s sake! Showing them T2, Predator and Beetlejuice isn’t abuse! It’s not real, but blood and pain are real enough, out there. My child’s not going to come unstrung when she stubs a toe, or when a bully pushes her, once she’s seen a man skinned alive and his skull made into a belt buckle.”

“Real terrors don’t have a pause button. That’s why it’s frankly insultingly irresponsible to have real terrors be the first terrors your child meets. She needs to know the world! She needs to have a reflex for kickin’ the creep in the nuts!”

On supposed nightmares and trauma, Louisa Dingus Hemphill, MfV’s Social Director, is less colorful but equally frank. “They come. Of course they come, nightmares and bedwetting and running to Mommy. Childhood is pure terror, no matter what you do. Think of it, thinking for the first time of mortality, of the permanence of mistakes, of loss and senseless cruelty. Thinking that those things are real; they could happen to you… or to Mommy. Childhood is hell, in addition to heaven; you can’t take either part out.”

“We in MfV feel it’s not a good idea to keep children ignorant of the dark parts of life. It’s not ‘better’ if they stumble into them on a DVD surreptitiously loaned from a friend, or in vague rumors of something bad. It’s not ‘sweet’ their world and dreams of future will be shattered when they hear the world is not as rosy as their misguided parents have told them. They deserve better.”

“Children are the future”, Hemphill says, as a tear of infinite sadness and deep love rolls down her careworn cheek. She’s a mother of five, yet somehow finds the energy to volunteer for MfV’s Some Parent Gotta Tell hotline. “I’m not going to have a world run by people unaccustomed to reality”, she says. “And I’m not going to treat my children as dainty innocent pets; they’re their own people, they’re the future, and I am going to raise them to be informed adults and I’m going to be proud of them!”

Hemphill notes that MfV wishes, perpetually, always, forever, to express its full support and gratitude to all the filmmakers, game designers, rap and heavy metal lyricists and any TV screen chicken stranglers out there — they’re doing, in addition to art, also valuable educational work, and are often and unjustly maligned for it.

“Shit”, Thrasher laughs, mussing her daughter’s hair, “am I supposed to put on leather pants and hump Pa to loud rhymes? And crack a bloody whip? That would be weird, wouldn’t it? Yet it’s life. I think a DVD of Overblooddeath’s Bloodskinfest concert is show enough. Who knows, I may even buy the little one a ticket for the real thing if she behaves and keeps the bed dry.”

“Because”, she finishes with a wink, “innocence is pretty, but experience is beautiful.”

Little Donna flashes the horns and smiles in agreement.

* * *

In other news, the Catholic Propriety League wishes to announce the publication of the latest number of its magazine, Passion. The new theme issue asks tough questions about penitence and self-mortification, and includes a lengthy history and a handy how-to on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, i.e. the Inquisition. The theme number is subtitled “Massive Racks and Hot Screws”, and is available in select bookshops and kiosks worldwide.

Entropic neotheology

February 9, 2011

I like making stuff up; and from Mercadian Masques to Mirrodin I was a devoted reader and (until Onslaught or so) a player of Magic: the Gathering, the first and the best collectible card game. (This is a fiat, not a fact. Do not bother me with your fact-based disagreements.) The only reason I’m not heading to Wizards of the Coast’s site right now to read what has happened since, having now thought of the game after a long pause, is that I think there would be several years of unread Mark Rosewater columns and cruumph that’d be goodbye for the rest of the day.

I offer these two facts, making-up and Magic, to explain the fabulism below; sometimes a man just wants to write theology. Oh, theology, the insane troll logic of religion: atheism is no barrier to your call.

* * *

Entropy is not disorder. Entropy is blandness; it is the province of Anodyn, the goddess of lukewarm and inoffensively mild mush. It is said the universe tends toward increased entropy. This much is true. But Anodyn herself is not the reason; she is always described as a passive actor.

Others say entropy is one pole of the world; the other is the twin serpent of the opposite thing, the intertwining forces of Order and Disorder. This is also incorrect. Representatives of both Order and Disorder have denied this; it is a silly idea. No, it is a much more pleasant idea, though still heretical and wrong, to say there are five great forces in the world: and each is allied to two and opposed to two. The five are, then, Disorder, Creation, Order, Entropy, and Destruction.

These are the five, then, again:

  • Disorder (Ally of Creation and Destruction; Foe to Order and Entropy) — Sweet confusion, discord and endless forms most beautiful. Disorder’s the province of Eris.
  • Destruction (Ally of Order and Disorder both; Foe to Creation and Entropy) Death, doom, forms struck apart by the untimely hammer, and the looming sudden cliff-face of the end. Destruction’s the province of Perses.
  • Order (Ally of Destruction and Entropy; Foe to Disorder and Creation) Crystalline arrangements, rigid constructions and hoary immutable laws of Things That Should Not Be. Order’s the province of Harmonia.
  • Entropy (Ally of Order and Creation; Foe to Disorder and Destruction) Decay, old age and erosion; also forgetting and unremembered times future and past. Entropy’s the province of Anodyn.
  • Creation (Ally of Disorder and Entropy; Foe to Order and Destruction) The beginnings of all things, births and gestations, and minds crawling up from the muck seeking a place. Creation’s the province of Make-make.

These five then form the pentagram which is the wheel that turns the world. There is no up and no below; no Heaven or Hell; only the hypnotic turning of the Great Pentagram of Life.

What it turns on is, naturally, the Axis of Enlightened Self-Interest.

The most obvious objections to this ineffably effervescent effusion of affable affect’s effluvium are:

#1: So Entropy is opposed to Destruction? This is clearly nonsensical and ludicrous; Entropy is almost the same thing as Destruction!

Rebut: Nonsense yourself! Entropy is decay, and things falling apart; the center not holding and strings cut by the arrow of time. Decrepitude and old age are entropy’s doing. Destruction is a more active force. A violent, sudden death would be a death through destruction. Destruction is an outside force which undoes; it is the ending alteration from the outside, not from the inside as the worm of Entropy. Entropy is waiting, and Destruction impatience; they are naturally opposed.

#2: So Entropy’s allied to Creation? Now this is bullshit, then; how can the slow decay of things be allied to the birth of new ones?

Rebut: Entropy’s allied to Order and Creation. Order keeps things as they are; from which decay inevitably follows. Creation doesn’t only make new; it also makes the less new things older, much as a new model makes your formerly new cellphone an old thing. Creation puts life into new things; and as that life is stolen from things that already are, they fall under the obliging shadow of Entropy. On the other hand, Creation needs space, and would rather have it effected by the doddering obsolescence of Entropy than by the blazing uncontrolled nihilism of Destruction.

#3: What, “Make-make” the patron of Creation? You couldn’t make up anything better?

Rebut: Get thee to Wikipedia, then: Make-make. A genuine Easter Island creator god and the boss of the bird-man cult.

#4: Okay, Make-make was a fluke. But “Perses”? Surely you mean Perseus? And how come he’s a God of Destruction? That’s clearly nonsensical.

Rebut: Well, no, I did not mean Perseus. I meant the dread titan Perses, son of Kreios, whose name means the Destroyer, and who was the God of Destruction! He, the hound of hell, the doom from the ill winds of the dog-star Sirius, is who I mean! Not this trembly mortal gorgon-fucker Perseus. (Also father of the witch goddess Hecate, the red-mouthed lover of serpents; when you are the God of Destruction your children really need to go all out to rebel.)

#5: So wait. Eris, Perses, Harmonia, Anodyn, Make-make… one of these is not like the others.

Rebut: Eris thanks you for your compliment. Discord and witchcraft! Next!

#6: But… but… how can you just… I mean, what gives you the right? Where does this all come from?

Rebut: To quote rabbi Heschel, “any description of the act of revelation in empirical categories would have produced a caricature. That is why all the Bible does is to state that revelation happened; How it happened is something they could only convey in words that are evocative and suggestive.” Which should explain why I’m wagging my eyebrows at you and winking, suggestively. My revelation or yours, baby?

#7: Where… where are all the other familiar concepts of mine in this ungodly mess?

Rebut: First, there are two gods and three goddesses already and you call this ungodly? No pleasing some people indeed. Anyway, your concepts, I haz them. First these five, and then a few more:

  • Stodge: Is the name for Disorder’s complement, that is, those four elements that are not Disorder: Stodge is made of varying parts of Order, Creation, Destruction and Entropy; but mostly of Order and Entropy, as the name suggests. “Solemnly them bishops march, lips dripping venom and stodge: throats ululating much hodge, and podge.” (Poe)
  • Maintenance: Destruction’s complement. “Creation and Entropy keep the machines running. Their combination is called Maintenance, and it is the life-blood of every Sysop and Supportperson, stronger than coffee or sleep; without Maintenance, the Sysop would lose his soul and wither in body, become fey, wild and dangerous; and eventually go into the darkness, to the side of Spam.” (Knuth)
  • Anarchy: Order’s complement. Anarchy is “the lack of Narchy”, and a Narchy is the rule of an Archon, which is the title Harmonia’s chosen use. “Anarchy’s not old! It’s thirty-seven!” (Dennis)
  • Life: Entropy’s complement. Entropy, however, is only the process of Death, not the end-state. “Life sucks. Unfortunately, that suction is caused by the vacuum of Death.” (Anon)
  • Existence: Creation’s complement. Creation, however, is not Non-Existence, but only the process of Un-Non-Existing. “To be or not to be… not to be. (Kaboom.)” (Schwarzenegger)

What of Good and Evil?

These concepts have no universal meaning in this system. To Disorder, both Order and Entropy are Evil; while Destruction and Creation are Good; and Goodest of the Good is Disorder itself.

As for which of the five one should choose for one’s moral compass, well, that depends on the person — just remember this burning pentagram wheels and turns atop Enlightened Self-Interest: forget this Enli First of Gods, and greedy zealotry or muddling idiocy follows, and your cause and desire will both suffer.

A naive pursuit of Disorder ends up merely scaring others; as a result their desire for Order grows stronger, and they cease their efforts to understand: and Entropy increases also.

But an adept of true and gnostic Disorder, well, she (all true adepts of Disorder are honorary females) turns Order against itself, and makes withering Entropy a mere curtain for the play she presents: and through the action of Creation and Destruction, there is much addition to Disorder.

What of Balance?

One might guess this pentagram is a wheeling thing of balance, all parts of it equally fed by some law of cosmic karma.

That is nonsense.

There is no karma; such a concept is a most pernicious illusion of Order. Each of the five points listed above strives for its own growth, and as they strive, the pentagram spins: it is not teetering balanced on a point, but fixed to the heart of the world by Enli’s nail. The faster it spins, the faster it spins; that is all. There will be no victory in the war of the five. If Order should gain, that gain would flow to its ally Destruction as well; and a portion of Destruction’s gain would come to its ally Disorder — and thus the rise of Order results in the rise of Disorder and, similarly, of Creation.

The stronger Order grows, the wider the seeds of its downfall are cast — this is called the Illusion of Dominant Order. There are four other Illusions; and together they are called the Illusion of Purpose: for in the pentagram there is no purpose, no law, no peace, but only the awful eternal war that makes these illusions appear. This insight is called the Gibberination of Mystics, because it can do weird things to your peace of mind.

This whole system is called the Pentagram of Five; that is a rather redundant name but it will do. For more, consult your Inner Eye or some other applicable body part.

(K)  (This post is highly official
OPEN SOURCE RELIGION
copy, edit, cut and paste
what you like.)

the Family Feuds of Eris, part 1

February 7, 2011

And now, some mythologizing.

* * *

I

In the beginning there was a human head.

Then a blade clove the head in twain, and the blade-wielder roared in grim mirth. In the beginning there was Ares, the rampaging God of War.

This beginning was in the time of the dim old Greeks; and among all their gods Ares was always a wolf prowling at the edges, a god of slaughter and unrest; the only one of the Grecian gods that spurred barbarians against the civilization of the thousand valleys and and the hundred harbors. In the Trojan War he cheered for the alien Trojans, and his red face flew like a banner of northern lights over the walls of that city, a mirage in the lights of the besieged and the besieging.

Ever was Ares glad to see battle and slaughter. Some say for the sake of the battle; some say because of the rising blood, or the test of courage, or to woo Death Herself; others say bloodsport was Ares’s nature, as burning is the nature of fire. Men do not ask why fire burns; why should they ask why the Blood Knight wars?

No man asked; not twice, anyway.

Ares never had a wife, but he had a lover: Aphrodite, the loveliest of all the goddesses, and the wife of the gimp god of the mountain, Hephaestus. Often would Ares come from his field of work, from the sowing of iron and salt, come as a tower of black intent, come clad in the entrails of men who’d met their unmaker; and casting aside his armor and arms, he would fall on the Goddess of Love in fierce and insistent embraces.

This was not much to the liking of Hephaestus; but being a cripple and much in the disfavor of the other gods, he could do nothing.

Besides, in those early days this cuckoldry was not such a shame as it later became: for the King of Gods then was Zeus, who loved both flesh and wine, and held no vow of trust or marriage sacred. As there were a thousand bastards of Zeus, so there were likewise many dalliances among both gods and mortals, and between them; and though this was a cause of much disapproval, especially by the parties thus disincluded, little could be done with the Lord of Gods not being inclined to force the general matter.

As for Aphrodite herself, well, she was a nice, obedient girl ever eager to please, and well knew it was proper for one as beautiful as she to have suitors, and paramours, and many daring meetings and contests of love tested and fulfilled — and knowing this, that was ever what she sought to be: a perfect goddess of beauty, grace and love as well as she could be.

In other words, she was a clueless ditz, and Zeus was a horny goat.

Aphrodite was more liked by the men-gods than by the goddesses; and her children were many, though less if they came within a ramming distance of Ares.

Though more, if they strayed so close to Zeus.

II

From the unions of Ares and Aphrodite, there came three daughters. Two of these were sickly, and were cast into the mortal world by their embarrassed mother. To the cliff of Sparta they fell, where the weak newlyborn of that city were cast into a pit to die. In that pit there prowled a wolf, seeking feed; but coming across the two daughters of Ares, the wolf was torn apart and eaten instead.

These two daughters, weak among the gods, were unsurpassed among mortals; they, though their beauty was not up to the statue-like standards of Aphrodite, were full of life and more beautiful than any mortal or demigod ever was. They came out of the pit of Sparta, and went into the wild lands beyond Greece, and beyond the rude kingdom of Macedonia; in the plainslands of the Scythians they came across a great tribe of that folk, horse-bound and quarrel-hungry; and the tribe’s chieftain made the mistake of thundering these two girls would be his slaves and consummated wives before the moon rose.

As the moon rose, a pair of bare feet danced on the chieftain’s skull, now dead and as bereft of flesh as it had formerly been of wit. The Scythian camp blazed with fire and screams, and with terrible twin gales of laughter; and as the moon grew, that bloody joy howled from a thousand throats more. By sunrise the men were all dead, and in place of a chieftain there were two fell goddesses, two queens unlike anything in the legends and prophecies of any tribe of men.

Ever since in a corner of Scythia soon empty of other tribes there were two new ones. They had few men, and those were cook-slaves and carriers of sofas and pillows, hewers of wood and drawers of water, sports of the daytime arena and the nighttime chamber. The women, formerly so dour and demure, were the warriors of those tribes; their warriors and heroes, queens and deciders; and above all others there were the two queens cold of eye, fierce of temper, sure of hand and shameless in joy, just in judgment and peerless in battle: the Amazon queens Penthesileia and Hippolyte, the forsaken children of Ares and Aphrodite.

This accounts for two of the three children of Ares and Aphrodite: but there was a third, and much to her grief and that of all the world, she was more to the liking of her parents. Of her, soon more.

III

Wherever Ares went, a flock of his folk went with him, save into the mansion of Aphrodite atop the Vesuvius mountain; that was a place of quiet light and pinksome frilliness the crowd of war could not tolerate, nor pass the efflusively cherub-carved pastel lintels of that place.

Thus whenever Ares and Aphrodite met, these four were left outside; and they sat playing dice, drinking and muttering of bloodsheds past and those soon to come.

The first two were the twins Phobos and Deimos. Their names mean Fear and Terror; they were the heralds of Ares, and one carried a horn and the other a drum; their sound was enough to turn blood to ice-water, to burn hearts and to make men gasp for breath. Their clamor told of every battle ever fought, and all the apprehension and despair felt before those bloody dawns. Theirs was a music that made women weep and men soil themselves; theirs was a sound that struck the wise blind, and made sages into blubbering fools.

The third was the armsman of Ares, and carried his sword. His name was Enyo, which is, Horror. He ever wore a helm because of his ruined face; and he knew the ends of battle as well as Phobos and Deimos knew their beginnings; no death nor injury was alien to him, and his own sword was a jagged thing that was cursed to always maim, but never to kill.

The fourth was a girl, Ares’s adopted daughter, clad in black and crimson silks and scraps of a hundred suits of armor. She was as loud and boisterous as the others; and though she was beautiful even by the standards of the gods, her beauty was disquieting, ever mixed with some subtle wrongness, or something unusual one could never quite grasp.

It was not her attire of silks and scraps of iron, not her scarred gilt and red ruffled perfection.

It was not her mane of black hair bound with silver rings, though it flew behind her and round her like Medusa’s ichory curls.

It was not, quite, the quiet depths of her ever-observing green eyes, nor the golden flecks that hovered closer to the top.

It was not her lanky, boyish frame or her fingers, never free of turning a cup of dice or a bone-handled dagger; not her heedless femininity in the most masculine of acts and appearances.

It was not the barbarian make-up of her face, even, not that one side was painted black as midnight with lips and eye in ovals of oily white, and the other side a negative image of this ghastly monochome ghostliness.

No, there was nothing anyone could actually say that was wrong with her, but wherever she went rest and sleep vanished, and the night was torn with the sound of screams. Wherever she went, people became dissatisfied and ceased to see the world as they had seen it before. Though she was stern in the manner of all Ares’s folk, she was never overly fractious or warlike; and yet her quiet presence was enough to start fights and schisms and feuds. Though she seldom drew a dagger, all discord was drawn to her — her name was Eris, which is, Strife.

IV

Now Eris was an adopted daughter of Ares, and Phobos and Deimos were like sons to him, and Enyo a dear companion; but of children of his own spirit and kind Ares had but one, the third and most woeful of the three he produced with Aphrodite.

This child was golden-locked and pale-faced; sweet and beautiful in the manner of her mother, and insistent and unforgiving in the manner of her father. From birth, she had every gift and privilege the daughter of the most jealous god and the most vain goddess could; from birth, she was never without servants and slaves attending to her every whim, and attenuating her every minor distress.

She grew in the mansion of her mother, the palace of pinks and roses; but her rule of it was that of the iron fist of Ares, though veiled in the finest of brocaded, pearl-encrusted fabrics. She was quick to command, and quicker to assume obedience and punish disobedience; though she called it “disloyalty”, because “loyalty” sounded better than “obedience”. She was ever insistent on courtesies and forms, laws and niceties; and no voice was raised in her presence, save hers alone.

Her name was Harmonia, which somewhat predictably means, harmony; and as her mother was called the Queen of Beauty, she declared herself the Queen of Good.

She is the villain of this tale, if one is to believe the Erisians.

* * *

There may be continuation.

Discordianism a la Karen Armstrong

January 25, 2011

According to Karen Armstrong, “the principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.” (The Charter for Compassion; emphasis mine.)

A cad may ask where God is in this view of religion — but now that cad will be answered, for once God is added into this compassion-centered view of religion, the ultimate of religions, what I call Armstrongian Discordianism, springs forth like a gleeful Athena from the forehead of a formerly dour Zeus! For is God not an actor on the scene of the world? Is God not a will, a person, something more than a blind force of nature? God may not be a mere being, but He certainly is a Character! And as God feels compassion towards us, as a quick perusal of any religious tradition will tell you, so we should also act in compassion towards God — that is, we should treat God as we wish to be treated ourselves.

As a confession for the sake of a greater good, I admit I am lazy, slow, easily irritated, and have quite a few irrational fixations, dislikes and vehement hatreds; but I hold that is not something to judge me on, for these are small things; and besides, the wench is dead. Thus I won’t natter at God about His little faults; we can do better than speak of such tabloid fare.

But wait — that is the lesser of the two revelations of Karenic Discordianism!

The other reading of the Principle of Compassion is that God should also treat us as God wishes to be treated Himself. As it would be rude, crude, shrill, almost Dawkinsian insanity to say God is not a moral actor, He will act in accordance with this law — and thus we can from the ways God treats us learn the Mind of God! What God does to us, He wishes us to do to Him.

Thus if we wish to please God, we must observe his actions towards ourselves.

Firstly: God hides from us. Not mischievously or maliciously, but in a very apophatic thingamajic sort of a way. He will not be tempted into speaking his mind clearly, or showing his allegiance. He will not show Himself to the contrary unbeliever; it would demean the dignity of both.

Hence let us ignore God; or rather, steal glances at Him when He isn’t watching, but keep from saying what we think of Him. We won’t lower ourselves, and God, by showing God we believe in Him — hence we shall tear down all churches, and abstain from all symbols, and never admit we believe in Him, or have even heard of Him. Only in a few anonymous, contradictory pamphlets attributed to people who sometime met us, maybe, will we admit to having heard of God.

Secondly: God works in mysterious ways. He don’t give us a way to point at something and say “God did it!” Except that He did everything; and everything He does, He does for a very good reason. But He won’t tell; we just need to accept He has a Cunning Plan.

Hence let us not give our reasons to God. Each of us can have a Cunning Plan, and execute it as he or she wills; we need not tell God (or indeed, anyone else) what our personal Cunning Plan is. God just needs to accept we do things, things like suffragettism and caffeinism, for a Reason. Being a moral actor, He will not rail against our actions, for he knows they are not random or malicious; they are Premeditated.

Thirdly: God judges us. He doesn’t want to punish us, but if we choose to be obstinate, proud and sinful, then He bloody well will punish us. And God does not make excuses for His laws or His morals; they are what they are, and by them will He judge us.

Hence let us judge God; it is his will we do so. Let us take the morals we have, say the morals of today; and let us judge God as the megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic genocidal misogynist bully that He is. And if it seems fit to us, let us cast God into a burning pit of —

Well, in the name of compassion and practicality, let us forgive God His depravity and His sinful crimes and selfish mistakes, as He forgives those things He sees as the same in us. (Indeed, is that not almost the Lord’s Prayer?)

But only, mind you, only if God humbles Himself and accepts the spirit of Mankind, nay, the Holy Spirit of _________ (fill your name here) into His heart, and repents His follies and His pride and lust for glory and worship, and vows to Not Do That Shit Again. If God does that, and stays righteous in the eyes of _________ (fill your name here), that person is fine with God, and will reciprocate, a bit of God in a human heart and a bit of humanity in God’s, in a dotted ying and a dotted yang, as a reflection of quintessential continuous sharing, as if two mirrors ever reflecting each other, and so ascending to the infinitude of a compassionate utopia, forever.

Amen!