Letters Column for December 2006: “Talk to Your Doctor About Authoritarian Nationalism”

Posted on January 8, 2007 by Jenna

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Hi everyone!


I’d like to thank the following people for their kind words:

David Goldfarb
Elijah Roland
Penultimate Minion
Rand Brittain
Vincent Avatar


I’d also like to thank people also for the $68.58 in donations received during December. I can’t help feeling that it’s either a dime short or $10 too much, though. Did someone err?


Would Evil Jesus (supervillain name forthcoming… Prince of Pieces? Glossolalia?) wear green? Traditionally, he wears white, and it seems like Evil Jesus would go with either that or black/red. The issues confronting a returning messiah who has taken up the mantle of his own anti-self as are so confusing!
— Rand Brittain

Somewhere I have a scrap of paper with an abortive Hitherby on it, focusing on the succession struggle in which the Prince took power over Peace; and of which my favorite line is, “The streets of Peace ran red with blood.”

As it turns out, there’s just no way to write it without being more offensive than funny; but there, now, you have the jewel of it.

Also, can you write a rhetorical argument about how lame it is that Marvel is completely unable to commit to one course of action? I’d be worried about the House of M thing but I have absolute faith that Marvel’ll crack in 6 months and return all powers to all mutants.
— syme

Before one criticizes, one should recognize that all stasis in the Marvel Universe ultimately derives from the actions of the High Equilibriumary, who lives on the moon and maintains a persistent dramatic equilibrium.

Are you interpolating that Norman Osborn is Jesus?
— syme

That’s just silly. Electro is the one with the crown of thorns.

Let us bow our heads in memory of Jean Grey, who died for our sins, and on the third, eighth and sixty-third days rose from the dead, in fulfillment of the scriptures…
— ADamiani

That’s not a Savior! That’s a Weeble!

Also: Minister Glock?
— ADamiani

He went supervillain between the time of the story and the time of its narration.

I *loved* this and the legend and FINALLY seeing someone break up the stupid Wuxia lovers. Yay! Yay! Yay!//
— liralen

I’m glad you liked it. ^_^

Hero didn’t work out because it was, I am told, financed by the government of the PRC to serve as a propaganda piece. The essential moral of the story is that any atrocity, any personal sacrifice, any violation of the rights of the individual is justified to establish (and ergo maintain) Chinese national unity. Discovering this managed to completely ruin an absolutely gorgeous film for me. It’s an apologetic for authoritarian nationalism…. but it’s soooo prettty….
— ADamiani

It could have been worse.

Imagine if that final scene with Flying Snow and Broken Sword had ended with her yanking back the blade, them falling into one another’s arms, and then turning to the screen and saying,

FLYING SNOW: “If you’d like more information on authoritarian nationalism, you can call our authoritarian nationalism hotline at 011-ALL-UR-HEAVEN.”

BROKEN SWORD: “Talk to your doctor about authoritarian nationalism!”

TOGETHER: “It might just be for you!”

CUT TO NAMELESS, standing in the center of a field of arrows, which have landed all around him to form the giant number 011-ALL-UR-HEAVEN in the ground.

NAMELESS gives a thumbs-up and smiles.

This is about Exalted! Furthermore, this is about that thread, where people kept arguing about the Flaws of Perfection.
— Eric

Hee hee.

Yes, it is. I wrote up the plot outline in a response to that thread, started to post it, and then said, “This is crazy! I should make it a Hitherby instead.”

IM IN UR FIGHT, BLOCKING UR ATTACKS is found on the Perfectly Defensive Samurai Lore.
— Kasumi

So *that’s* what’s on pg. XX.

I was never able to read it due to all the blocking.

This is a fun little arc, but do you ever worry that encouraging poorly-spelled internet memes in this fashion will encourage some form of poorly-spelled karmic retribution?
— Rand Brittain

On the contrary, I consider it an act of spiritual generosity, a treasure field of merit.

Wasn’t it Iesvs Nazarenvs himself who said,


I think in principle that it is mindfulness in spelling that is important and not outcome. To add “UR” to your lexicon increases the potential facility and precision of ur expression—it makes ur language more adaptable and increases your ability to communicate. It’s when you delete “your” or lose track of the circumstances where you should use it that your language skills begin to wither.

Now I think that there is virtue in living within a certain palette on occasions. The photographer cannot reasonably exclude blues from a given work; a painter, on the contrary, may find that deliberately doing so increases the work’s grace and power.

In a CV, I should think, I would avoid such phrasing as “IN UR QUALIFICATIONS” or whatnot.

I should not wish to sell myself to others as “totally” having experience with Java, or to write under accomplishments, “Moved every zig.”

Even though, in a real way, I did.

Even if that’s the core, the heart, the essence of life—to be moving every zig, and for great justice; to be in ur base, seeing with ur perspective; to HAVE that quintessential spiritual openness through which the flying spaghetti monster’s noodly appendage slips; to say arr when it is the time to speak like a pirate and yarr when it is time to speak like a pirate with an extra y and to speak silently, if at all, and without explanation, upon a ninja day; to live and love and badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger MUSHROOM MUSHROOM and strive always to *learn* … oh God, even if that *IS* what it is to live.

Because people would probably not hire me.

So, summing it up:

Sometimes, I think, it’s okay to use “UR”. And other times, it’s more important to leverage core languaging efficiency and applicate broader communicatives. Sometimes, you skate on the surface of the void and make a scattering of light. Other times, you talk.

It’s not about how you spell things.

It’s about the mindfulness with which you spell them.

And with all great good wishes to you who’ve read these words—

Lol; namaste.

Wow, enlightenment can be harsh, even when it’s put as gently as possible. Some shoguns just aren’t up for it, I guess. Too much attachment, is my diagnosis.
— JoeCrow

Seems sound!

Shogun, like all guna, is intrinsically a part of Maya. To become gunatit (“free of the gunas; an ifngun or enlightened person”) one must release one’s attachment to the title.

Fascinating. He’s terribly offensive, but is he offensive enough to uproot the basis of his own power.
— mhoram

Oddly enough, I think that’s typical behavior for power.

Honoring the roots of one’s own power—not overdoing it and draining one’s own basis—seems like one of the hardest things in life. I think it’s because we’re in a top-down authoritarian society, so there’s a notion that separating from the pyramid of things that holds you up brings you closer to the sky.

We don’t usually say we are in ‘a’ love, we say we are ‘in love’– love is described as a state rather than an object. Mood is different, being a subclass of possible states (that is, states having to do with emotion), rather than one specific state (as love is usually categorized).
— ADamiani

The standard phrase is in fact “in love.”

People are only likely to use “in a love” if cognitively primed to differentiate it into multiple states. I can justify its use in this case, because there is a narrator, and the narrator is thus primed; however, the truth is, I probably failed to provide the necessary supporting evidence for that interpretation.

I’m unable to grasp the Devil’s fiendish Satanic rhyme scheme.
— Rand Brittain

“The music that I was hearing in my head at the time.” *^_^*

Hmm…hard to call the Devil a troll. He was quite polite, well-spelled and only one use of internet memery (’lol’). Ahh, but if the Devil can quote scripture, perhaps too he can Read the Manual and use proper ‘netiquitte’.
— BethL

Suddenly my rant above seems more embarrassing. ^_^

Also: clever as your lines about wanting a devil in our own image are, I think that’s likewise inaccurate, sociologically. We have an innate tendency to demonize The Other.
— ADamiani

We do!

We definitely do!


We also have an innate tendency to project squeezability onto Charmin; and yet when we imagine someone squeezing us, we don’t think of them as Charmin-like.

That’s it for now. I haven’t figured out in which format I’m going to reply to comments on the secured stuff, but rest assured I’ve read them. ^_^

Thanks for reading, thanks for donating, thanks for commenting, thanks for living, and I’ll see you all next month!