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Content tagged 'Pantheon'

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  1. As Pantheon infects the public consciousness, there will be questions that needs fielding. Here are a few early attempts, originally posted on instagram:
    Q. entaimaddness@thanatologist your story is very complicated! Do yo have a simplish explanation?
    A. thanatologist@entaimaddnesssimplistic explanations come in many flavors.
    Homeric explanation: Whom the Fates would destroy, they first make mad. 
    Blurb explanation: an epic tale with philosophical characters from mythology set in a post human future. 
    Literary explanation: Pantheon is theory-fiction masquerading as a graphic novel, in which the vapors of Golden Age oozes out and clot into a heretical cynicism that savages itself. As a perverse slave of its own existential nihilism, Pantheon gnaws at the root of the Yggdrasil of its own fatuous abortion, with an amputated Mythos that goose-step around petrified totems of exhausted pop art, either out of mockery or perversion. 
    Pantheonic explanation: in mythology the gods punish hubris by imposing frustration -- allow a mortal to almost achieve her desires only to be denied in the end. In Pantheon the Fates punish naïveté by imposing existential failure -- allow a goddess to achieve her goals only to be disappointed in the end.
    Q. entaimaddness@thanatologist what is Yggdrasil? I love myth and fiction and your art! So there are gods in your story? Or are they behind the scene characters? Are the fates more powerful than the gods! ? Are they more than just knowing? They interfere with mortal/ non mortal lives? I'm so interested, have you already done your story line and characters then?
    A. 1. Yggdrasil is a universal tree that serves as a cosmic axis holding the 9 worlds of Norse mythology in its branches and roots. 
    2. Most of the characters in Pantheon are gods and goddesses, including one mortal immortal, Cartaphilus. 
    3. The Three Sisters of Fate in Pantheon reside in the Underverse, a clockwork universe that undergrid the physical universe and determines its laws, etc., etc.  So the Sisters are gigantic self-aware living artifacts. In Greek mythology the Fates, Moirai are more powerful than the gods, because the ancient Greeks believed in a meaningless universe without reason or order. The Olympians gods, tho powerful and immortal, to obey the Moirai. I incorporated them to serve as a foil for Pantheon. 
    4. The gods are more than knowing, or passive figureheads, because they compete for prestige in numbers of worlds of worshippers & luxurious realms, all bedecked with artifacts. And they do interfere with mortal existence in order to improve their power over other gods, other pantheons. 
    5. The characters and the storyline for the first three volumes are completed. I am now drawing the final chapter of the third volume. 
  2. Lakshmi explaining Sociology of Divinity to Kaeli
    Lakshmi:  Your dogged bleating about the rightful freedom of these pathetic mortals betray a willful naivete on your part.
    Kaeli:  Perhaps, but it is not up to us to determine their nature, even if we have the advantage of wisdom on our side. Mortals need space to develop their own society, on their terms, whatever that may be. 
    Lakshmi:  After a few thousands of years, you'll agree that society is an incompetent idea. Such valorization of the individual as a romantic hero will lead you to the realization that society submerges the individual into the social. Moreover, there are other experiences that the idea of society does not account for: the mystic, the aesthetic, the psychological, the moral, so on and so forth. An intelligible theory of society? of brief blips, easily forgotten? No such thing. 
    Kaeli:  You settle for conclusions rotted after centuries of failure and resignation.
    Lakshmi:  Wisdom is wasted on the young. The forms as experiences are reflections of mortal experience. Perhaps these forms are causal in dictating and guiding culture. Then again, forms reflect through contents the idealization of an individual life. Therein lies the contradiction between cause and effect, and the impossibility of a sociology of mortals. Life is fluid, whereas forms are provisionally frozen logical concepts. And the history of mortals you are proud of must be about change between the contesting forms, contesting experiences that reflect mortal existence. That is why all mortal culture consists of remainders, vestiges of brief identifiable moments of order. 
    Kaeli:  A lot of talk that parades your exhaustion with mortals as justification for exploitation. That all forms of mortal culture leave behind remainders or vestiges betrays your weakness for fatalism. I on the other hand, see that same exhaustion of form as the triumph of existence over form. Mortals are free to express themselves in all cultural manifestations.  Yes, they are also free to worship you, just not on your terms. 
  3. It's always interesting in tracing the cultural mindset of a time period through popular culture, and sometimes, it is even enlightening. In fact, the time during which fictional works - be it magazines, novels, music, film or television - are created, actually are more telling about the mindset of the period than the majority of non-fiction accounts, including those written during the time period in question by the academics and cultural observers themselves.

    When scholars examine the UFO or aliens or flying saucer science fiction of the 50s and 60s, they look beyond the art or message of the work and pay closer attention to what they unintentionally communicate about the collective unconscious of the post-war, early Cold War Americans. These stories are chock-full of a sense of dread about being destroyed by a clever and sinister technologically advanced "other." These aliens would rain death from above, turn people against themselves, take over the world through a highly advanced version of the Holocaust or through subversive body snatching strategies from within. The protagonists of those stories were earnest, clean cut All-American types, sometimes athletic farmers and a couple of sassy & buxom women, who saved their villages and communities, and the entire world. So the creators were unconsciously betraying their own period based anxieties, a well of collective paranoia the Americans experienced during the early Cold War where worries of nuclear annihilation, Soviet invasion, or secret Communist subversion through spies and brainwashing were rampant. Only the zealously morally upright white Protestant youth could save the planet from the errors of society's ignorance.

    In other words, the post-apocalyptic fiction from the eighties, set in some distant future tell us more about the 1980s than they could about the bleak future of humanity. In the eighties, we had: The Road Warrior. Night of the Comet. The Day After. The Quiet Earth.

    that show a horrible post-apocalyptic future where a Mad Max-styled hero travels around, distributing Dr. Pepper. The cola wars had destroyed the planet, and all that's left was a George Miller-styled vision of civilization as the Australian desert.
    The reason we don't make 'em like that anymore?

    Just look at the post-apocalyptic future in current movies and fiction. Quite different from the wasteland of the 80s' dystopian futures.
    WALL-E. The Road. Cloud Atlas. Oblivion.
    And yes, Interstellar.

    They all show a world that's abandoned, but visitable by people in environment suits, blessed with hyper-technology, and live mostly off world. It's a sterile and utopian future that meets the barren past. Basically, Earth has been destroyed, and the climate became so inhospitable that man had to move offworld.

    Is the current trend in post-apocalyptic fiction more or less pessimistic than those from the 80s? Is it too optimistic to think that we will develop the capability to move offworld someday? Or a resigned pessimism that admits we're gonna screw the pooch so badly that not even Mad Max will be able to make sequels?

    In the 80s, the post-apocalypse was about survival. No matter what, something will survive, and there will be heroes.
    In the 21st century? We just run away.

    In the 80s, apocalypse is always nuclear. One and Done destruction of Earth. No time to prepare, no second chances. As for the 21st century version of the apocalypse? It's environmental. A slow decay, gradual climate change. At least there's time to prepare. But according to those stories, it's easier to build a space based civilization than it is to fix the environment we've known about for years and decades. Basically, the scifi geek is yelling: "You can live in space but you can't come up with tech to fix Earth?" Then again, Earth in the current films isn't home. It's the antagonist.

    And what does that say about Pantheon and its depiction of Earth as a barren wasteland?
    Then again, it fits neither post-apocalyptic trope, and perhaps closer to the end of AI, in the far distant future where human race has gone extinct one way or another.
  4. Post on Ultimate Paradox in Explore

    By The Heretic, posted
    While it is true that logicians do come up with great paradoxes, they are ultimately shallow.

    Logical paradoxes are shallow because they exist only where words contradict themselves, where one meaning is juxtaposed next to a contradictory one. Such as "this sentence is false" or something like that. That's only at the aleph One level. There are deeper, more fundamental paradoxes that lie at the heart of all meaning, of all language. The thinker who came closest to that insight is Derrida. At the deepest, lowest, bottom-most level, the aleph zero, language contradicts itself, where the possibility of meaning becomes impossible. It is a formulation that assumes what it denies, e.g., in order to talk about doubt one must assume that there's certainty.

    The paradox of meaning cannot be articulated, because a functional articulation would be the destruction of meaning itself. Derrida himself cannot articulate the paradox of an aleph zero, of course, So what does he do? The very next best thing. He writes "under erasure." In French this is called sous rature. Of course, for Derrida this is a pun that makes fun of Saussure.

    To write under erasure is to write a word and cross it out but leave the word and the strike-through alone. Heidegger came up with this technique, where he tried to critique the word "BEING," because to say the word presupposes that anything can be. Heidegger wants to attack this presupposition, but it's too hard to examine or question the possibility of being in a language which exists, because it assumes the possibility. So, Heidegger writes the word as [.] That lets him to point in a metaphorical sense to the fact he can't help but use the word in the process of questioning its meaning. But his use of the technique suggests that Being does exist and can be apprehended through philosophy. Just like Plato, Hilbert, and others.

    Derrida out-Heidegger Heidegger here. He argues that all language is written under erasure. Language is possible only because there is a paradox at the very origin, very source where language comes into existence. Therefore there's an aleph zero paradox at the heart or origin of language.

    Now, back to Pantheon. the Sumerian story of the Babel? That articulates an aleph zero paradox. Of course, this text is in a language that lacks the limitations of human language. They have to be from a transcendental language that cannot be translated to any human language and whoever reads them cannot ever explain what they just read.

    This aleph zero paradox must be a text about itself, because to read it is to instantly experience what it describes. In describing transcendental language, it forces readers into a transcendent state of consciousness. This text renders the USE/MENTION distinction irrelevant, because to mention it is to use it. The nam shub from Sumerian mythology is self-reflexive in this way, where the story of the destruction of language, when heard or read, destroys the language of the readers or listeners.