Letters Column for 2006: And Other Organs

Posted on March 7, 2006 by Jenna

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I see no reason in “zombie theory” to rule out the idea of a being which can act in a manner unconnected to any internal subjective environment, like a metaphysical zombie, but that does possess conventional analytical facilities like those of a normal being.
— Eric

The major institutes of zombie theory divide on this issue.

It is the titular position of the Western Zombie Academy that BRAAAAINS.

Conversely, the National Zombie Group (“building a better 21st century for the American people, dead or alive”) holds that intentionality, as such, does not exist; that we are all creatures of an ego that is constructed after the fact of our actions, and that the unit action for communication is BRAAAAAINS

In this they are not entirely alone. The Center for High-Energy Zombies at the Missouri Theocratic Institute also supports the notion that communication is not simply violence but a physical observation capable of collapsing quantum states. In essence, speech is not the formulation of verbal thoughts but the revelation of BRAAAAINS

Not all zombies are brain-focused, however. The Articulate Flesh-Eaters Conference is a strong proponent of the theoconservative political theory that intention and action are wholly disconnected, such that their high and noble goals and love for all humanity poses no obstacle in their anthropophagic revelries. To judge them based on their actions is to receive a fundamentally inaccurate impression of their nature. In this light one must ask if melomids are KIDNEYYYYS

So anyway.

We know that a human can become an angel if they make a promise they can’t possibly keep.
— DSPaul

But it has to be a promise from strength, not a promise from weakness….whatever that means!
— David Goldfarb

In this light it is instructive to consider the many times when, weeping, the national policy zombies of the national zombie group have sworn off brain-eating.

If they became angels every time then it would be bad for God!

He’d be all up on his throne listening to the seraphim singing Holy, Holy, Holy when suddenly everything would go still.*

Then he’d look up.

And there’d be these razor-mawed zombie angels shuffling towards him, muttering BRAAAINS

And he’d be all like, “Dudes, I don’t possess brains in the conventional sense.”

And there’d be these razor-mawed zombie angels shuffling towards him, muttering THAT GRACE UPON WHICH BRAINS HAVE BEEN MODELLLLED

And that’s when God’d just jut out his Bruce Campbell jaw and say, without looking to the side, “Son, get my chainsaw.”**

* According to traditional theology this can’t actually happen.

** It would actually be more accurate to traditional ideas to imagine God looking like the Pope or Mr. Dobson and not at all like Bruce Campbell, but come on, if we’ve got to have a divinely-mandated patriarchy, let’s base it on a REAL man.

“Some may say it’s a mean time…”
— ADamiani

It’s clobberin’ time!

THRILL as Greenwich Mean Time faces off against Dr. Armageddon!

CHILL as Daylight Savings Time stabs Greenwich in the back.

CHEER as the manifest concept of God drives a motorcycle through a window, pursued by a ravening horde of angel-zombies, to snatch Greenwich Mean Time from the jaws of death!

Testing comments.
— Michelle

Probing response!

it’s nice to see martin say something sensible for once
— GoldenH

GoldenH, why are you reading Martin-related Hitherby entries without wearing your cynicism goggles?

Don’t mind me, I’m still boggling over the exploding babies and talking sandwiches in a canon entry.
— ADamiani

Martin comments, “It’s not really that much crazier than logging on to a web site to find a fictional character, written by someone whom you’ve never met, giving you personally-targeted advice on how to understand the world in which you live.”

To which Jane adds, “!”

(Because she didn’t know that ADamiani was real.)

What freaks me out is the implication that all the Histories we’ve seen so far were being viewed by the Dynamic Duo on a history-viewing lens called ‘Necessity’.
— Ninjacrat

but if a story gets accidentally deleted from the site, doesn’t the fictional Hitherby universe change?
— rpuchalsky

It’s an interesting question.

The thing that I think is semiotically interesting about Hitherby is that daily publication blurs the line between story and corpus. On one level, you can watch how the author (both the fictional construct author that is your conception of me, and the miscellaneous near-objective stuff that’s your direct information about me) changes over time. On the other hand, Hitherby is held static on some levels by narrative choices that I’ve made at previous points in time—it has some consistency constraints that are more typical in a single volume than a large corpus.

So on the corpus level the deletion of an entry certainly modifies the fabric of the whole, and further implicitly changes the hypothetical authors (both your-image-of-me and Jane) responsible for its creation. On a story level, though, my decisions about the story have likely been permanently modified by the entry’s temporary existence, and if it’s deleted, there’s a good chance I’ll either explain why it was deleted or resurrect it.

I should note here that as fancy-dancy as I’m thinking about it here, Hitherby isn’t really *exploring* the connection between me as author and Jane as author—

I mean, I’m not making a *statement* about it that I expect people to sagely nod their heads about.

I think it’s funny. It amuses me. And I think about it sometimes. But real story vs. fictional story is not what this is all about.

That level-blurring is more …

It’s more …

It’s more about making a virtue out of Necessity. ^_^

Meredith seems to have become an isn’t. I can see how her last statement could be interpreted as a promise, thus making her an angel, but it seems just as possible at this point that she’s something else. Now I’m going to have to go look through the archives for legends involving Meredith to see if I can glean any more clues about her.
— Luc


On some level, professional pride says that I shouldn’t direct people towards things— it’s my job to make it clearer when something isn’t, not to add writer-level direction—

But! I will point you at the Martin histories, anyway, because my virtue exists today purely at the level of intention.

There we go! That’s it for today. I should finish tomorrow or the day after. ^_^