Perambulating MP: Pretense vs. Pretense

January 17th, 2019

spyvsspy

The only potential "winner" is you.

So it happened this morning, as it fairly often does, that my reading of a Trilema article1 set off what I can only call The Churning, a distinct psychophysical sensation involving more or less every organ which threatens to culminate in a nervous fit if the inspiring material is not further examined and personally atypical considerations are not ingested.2 That sentence aside, allow me to specify3 two precursors:

I.

The "for women" part is provided by weakass sauce like some minor plot token pointing out to the hero that since his lordship, who knows quite a lot about male antecessors older than his greatfather, nevertheless knows exactly nothing about any women in the same line, even should they be younger than his grandmother, therefore it (the plot token) could in fact very well be the very grandmother in question.

The pretense involved, if it wasn't thickly laid out enough and it could take further belabouring, being that women are equally important to men, and equally meaningful and therefore notable, but "unfair arrangements" make men remembered and women forgotten.

II.

Pro tip : just because whichever god is stuck fucking the same Geea to make people, dun mean neither that people are all god's children, nor that there is or can be such a thing as "the goddess". The gods are all different, and earth is no goddess.

I brought these to breakfast, intent on using without abusing my unfathomably fabulous access to the very font of such allergens and their alleviations: the author. What follows is my distillation; inadequate as it may be for severe or obscure cases, I hope it offers some degree of support where it may.

I.

The emboldened passage led me on first pass to wonder whence and wherefore came the notion that women aren't equally important, meaningful, or notable to men. I suspected retreat into the concept of "non-equality", as in "no two things are equal" or such. Not the case; analysis of the problem here begins with the quantitative, hinted at in the preceding paragraph: "who knows quite a lot about male antecessors older than his greatfather." The set of this (or any given spring chicken's) antecessors is easily brushed aside as "big", or even "very big", but these are unexamined and unspecific.

If we take a loose approximation of man's time on this earth, say 100,000 years, and suppose every generation is about 20, we're left with 5,000 generations. In terms of individuals, then, we're left with no less than 25000, as every one was borne of two, one man and one woman, without exception. To get an idea of the size of the number of individuals, we'll move from base two to base ten and notice4 that 25000 ~= 101500, a number with 1500 digits. Divide it by two and you'll have, quantitatively anyway, two exact halves with fifteen hundred digits each. Exactly as many men as women, a minor miracle existing nearly nowhere, certainly rarely amongst things touched by the hand of man. Two particularly well made cups might be identical to three or maybe four digits; two CPUs perhaps twelve, at the cost of billions in fixed capital. There is no such thing known to man's industry or artifice as fifteen hundred digit equality, perfect and unyielding, exactly exact forever. In any case, the war was won by barely similar machinery.

The statement of fact that foremothers and forefathers are exactly equally sized, despite their incredible abundance, passes unremarked upon by the friendly fiend. The problem rather raises from MacDonald's proposal those two groups be equally important, meaningful, or notable. Yet why is it Anondos "knows quite a lot about male antecessors"? I proposed it was because those male antecessors did something. What else is there to know about someone, anyway? MacDonald might've countered, as I did (indeed, myself!), that it is inherent in feminine nature to keep quiet about doing, and to just do, whereas men are inclined to fabulate, to insist they've done what they've not, or to make the knowledge that they'd done something the focal point of the doing. This may even be true, yet what difference does it make? If indeed that's the female nature, then that's the female nature --nature no doubt is naturally happy in its nature. If it isn't, someone's lying, but in any case, there is not nor can there be such a thing as objective meaning. That, after all, is the one lesson of human inquiry.

What, then, is meaningful? What does MP's "...and equally meaningful and therefore notable" actually say? I proposed that if the trumpeting of deeds trumps the deeds themselves for meaning, let us all retire from doing and join for instance the Power Rangers or whoever else. At which point I was ready to receive the crux, staring out at me from the very beginning of the sentence I'd objected to5!

The pretense. MP describes the author's pretense. Of course the Power Rangers are the meaningful party to them, and of course MacDonald proposes some unknown females are nevertheless meaningful to his character, as part of the traperdition of placating the talkers and dreamers of the world by idly pretending that they're just as much a part of that world as the doers. I asked MP why he thought MacDonald dunnit. "He thinks that's how you write fantasy. But it's cheap fantasy, cardboard fantasy." Don't you find?

II.

What then of goddesses? Why would gods be talked about as though their possibility were unquestionable, and goddesses rejected as a very conceptual possibility? I was asked to produce a god. I chose Zeus6, and when asked "what is the thing about Zeus?", offered a beard and lightning bolts. Yet it turns out the ancient Greeks codified mythology as a tool, just as well-oiled and ready to be used as the fractions I'd been fumbling over in I. above, and there's a lot more to it than aesthetic tokens and mundane symbology.

The correct answer is: Zeus said "...and if you don't like it you can all grab a ring and I will grab the other side and throw you all across the sky." Cronos ate his children. Athena struck at her father's skull with her lance from inside 'til he had her birthed just to stop the pain. Diana kept her ass hidden from they who wanted to see it. Gods do, and the doing defines the godhead; Gaia7 "just is".

"So are there goddesses or not?" I asked. "What about Athena, what about Thetis, Diana?" "They did. They have tits, they're still male."

At this point it might occur to you, as it did to me, that MP's use of language --"goddess" vs "do-nothing", "men" vs "the only parties to actual activity"-- can only be fairly described as a pretense of its own. Why not state it plainly, the lazy and idiotic are therefore not as good?

It's pretense vs. pretense, and even if you don't favor the method, I doubt you can argue it's not wildly instructive for the audience.

* * *

  1. MP proposes said article's title is incomprehensible, but I have the answer key. Neener. []
  2. It is, to be sure, a blessed illness, and I know of no better, and certainly no swifter, way to learn or grow than by tending to it; text that never makes one feel sick is as so much government cheese, irradiated of culture and shelf-stabilizing unto one's death. []
  3. Specifying is, woefully, rather personally atypical. []
  4. I'd like to note for my own self-immolation that none of the reasoning herein contained blossomed forth from my own brainpan. Part of the The Churning's cure is the revelation of the number and size of one's holes in knowledge and dams to facility. Never ever believe anyone who proposes you "don't need" or "just aren't meant for" or etc, math. Innumeracy will suck your life away, guaranteed. []
  5. No shit, actually intelligent people order what they say by importance; imagining an opener is decorative is bound to fuck you up. []
  6. And quickly regretted it, asking to change to "a less complex? one" for the sake of lower outlier example potential. My request was denied. []
  7. Geea in MP's original. []

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