Friday, February 22, 2008


There are a great number of ways in which I am a warped person. I spend enough time engaging alternate realities, ones of fantasy, that I have within myself a whole plethora of knowledge that has essentially no application. I, for example, would feel confident in my ability to ward off any of a large number of supernatural threats. I'm much less confident of that now because I left my supernatural defense kit in Houston, but I still feel fairly sure of at least knowing how I would have fought that particular un-seelie foe before I'm cast into the eternal torment of the wyrd.

Also, for the record, the supernatural defense kit is not a joke. I really have one.

One more tangent. The Firefox spell checker, very useful tool, is hopelessly lacking in the lexicon of the supernatural. I just had to teach mine lycanthorpe, undead, and wyrd. Bonus points to anyone who stopped to wonder why because I haven't used those words in this entry. That particular paragraph got a bitter handful of the editorial process.

My familiarity with the monster manual is not the only way in which I am broken. In discussing the idea of the gradual integration of ideas into the news media in order to prepare to masses for some move on the part of the The Powers™ I immediately remembered the technocrats from yet another game, Mage the Awakening. The premise of the game is a bit tricky, but the salient story is that the technocrats are a form of shadow government using super science in the place of magic. One of the key mechanics of this game is that people using magic, including the technocrats, get zapped if they use it around sleepers, people who aren't awake to the supernatural. This is known as Paradox, and so called because it is the backlash you get from humanity's collective belief that you can't do magic, making your ability to use magic paradoxical. The way the technocrats are getting around this is by masking their magic in the guise of technology. The best example of this is a technocrat communicator. They release, lets say, the iPhone into the collective consciousness. It communicates at a distance, in ways that they don't really understand. So when a technocrat is using a magical device that isn't dependent on wi-fi and can do things like scrying, people will write it off as being a piece of high tech gadgetry, and paradox won't zap them.

See what I mean by broken? What we were discussing was a very real and present threat to the masses, a problem that will have to be confronted, but the metaphor that I used to understand it was a fantasy realm. Even little things begin to click on weird levels. A girl in class today gave a particularly insightful answer to a question just as her cell phone jingled, and without pausing to consider it I thought:

She must've gotten bonus points for that one.

Bonus points!? What the hell man?

Here's the worst part of it though. It's not just that my brain is beginning to fry and my gamer knowledge is seeping in, it's that I'm deviating. I've tossed the word deviant around a lot, and I've been labeling myself one for some time now, but only recently would I say that's really become true. The turning point, the thing that makes me a real deviant, is the sheer breadth of inappropriate knowledge and perspective that I have access too. There are a number of topics that society just doesn't approve of. Politics, if you're not taking a blue team read team stance. Sex, if you're not condemning it. Religion, if you're not giving a feel good message. The Poor, if you're actually talking to and interacting with them instead of just saying you feel bad for them and that they should be helped. Philosophy, if you've gotten to the point where you're willing to question everything. The more extreme art forms, if you're going to them for more then shock value.

All of these things have slipped into my mind, and it's lead to a phenomenon which is occurring more and more often. Something will trigger a thought, and immediately after having it, I'll be shocked by how societally reprehensible it is, and how mundane it seems to me. I was watching south part earlier tonight and someone threated to cut off someone else's dick. I don't remember why, but it's South Park, what did you really expect. And as soon as I heard that my thoughts weren't about terror or outrage, they were "Many tribal cultures in and around new guinea practice a ritual form of male menstruation in which they walk out into the surf, masturbate themselves to erection, then slash their own glans with a crab claw, allowing themselves to bleed into the water until they become light headed."

I'll pause for a moment to let any non-deviant male readers recover from that sentence. If Adam is any kind of barometer the thought is apparently a shocking one to you normals. That I not only do think random things like that, but think these things without horror, and that my subsequent thoughts are about the nature of purification rituals and the idea that society would've been less patriarchal if a society which practiced a male menstruation ritual had risen to power is the proof of my deviance. It's important to note here that the rituals are universally viewed (in the cultures they apppear) as being done to give the men something that girls get naturally, nearly always a mode of purification.

There's a lot more of these things, far too many to get into, but there's one other important note in this. I'm warped, I'm not broken. I'm not the only one like this. There are a great many others. There's Kevin, for example. People who have this kind of deviant mindset, this combination of unnecessary obscura and a mind that's a bit more open then society actually approves of are all around you, and I bet that unless you really got to know us, you wouldn't notice, because we still fit. We're not the normal shape, we're weird, but we're just warped, not broken. And we're really not hurting anyone. The worst we'll do is embarrass ourselves and maybe force you to learn a few weird words, like "obscura."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

when did obscura become a weird word?

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And when did "lycanthorpe" become a word?

5:21 PM  

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