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A short essay on the difference between Collective and Community

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If I follow myself correctly now, we go from multiplicity to individual, and back to multiplicity again. That means the next stage would be back to individual again. please see NGE: End of Evangelion for more details of what that might look like.

That long dead scion of saintliness, Soren Kierkegaard, long ago pondered this paradox: if an individual is part of a collective, then how, at times, must the rights of the individual be necessarily be valued higher than those of the collective? And if we are indeed all individuals, then how exactly does the collective then emerge from us?

There is a view of life which holds that where the crowd is, the truth is also, that it is a need in truth itself, that it must have the crowd on its side.There is another view of life; which holds that wherever the crowd is, there is untruth, so that, for a moment to carry the matter out to its farthest conclusion, even if every individual possessed the truth in private, yet if they came together into a crowd (so that “the crowd” received any decisive, voting, noisy, audible importance), untruth would at once be let in.

For “the crowd” is untruth.

Where the crowd is..a decisive importance is attached to the fact that there is a crowd, there no one is working, living, and striving for the highest end, but only for this or that earthly end; since the eternal, the decisive, can only be worked for where there is one; and to become this by oneself, which all can do, is to will to allow God to help you – “the crowd” is untruth.

A crowd – not this or that, one now living or long dead, a crowd of the lowly or of nobles, of rich or poor, etc., but in its very concept – is untruth, since a crowd either renders the single individual wholly unrepentant and irresponsible, or weakens his responsibility by making it a fraction of his decision. Observe, there was not a single soldier who dared lay a hand on Caius Marius; this was the truth. But given three or four women with the consciousness or idea of being a crowd, with a certain hope in the possibility that no one could definitely say who it was or who started it: then they had the courage for it; what untruth! The untruth is first that it is “the crowd,” which does either what only the single individual in the crowd does, or in every case what each single individual does.

For a crowd is an abstraction, which does not have hands; each single individual, on the other hand, normally has two hands, and when he, as a single individual, lays his two hands on Caius Marius, then it is the two hands of this single individual, not after all his neighbor’s, even less – the crowd’s, which has no hands.

This line of logic is important because it clears-up my confusion on the structural differences betwen Communism and Facsism. They’re both supposed to be carrying out the will of the people for the people, right? What? huh?  So what constitutes this will, anyway?  To answer, I extrapolate Soren’s line of logic further: if the individual is both himself *and* part of the collective, then it must be that the the individual emerges *from* the collective but is still embedded within its environment, like the Swamp Thing rising out of a sludge, a single material muxed temporally into two superimposed functions. Thus the individual risks disintegrating back into the goop if his individual will (freedom) cannot be maintained. That’s why I (and others) often claim that fascism is the end point of liberalism – it isn’t the only path that can lead there, of course, but inevitably *will* lead there – as its obsession with the individual for his own sake leads to crippling isolation and alienation from the world. (and I ain’t talking bout the world of plants and dirt here). And what is the power of one mere individual against these mashed up masses…? Nothing! Like that horse from the never-ending story, yer gonna get sucked back into that goop-soup faster than sand sinking into quicksand and no amount of tears will stop your fall, for “you” no longer exists… only by banding together in mutual respect, in a sort of self-supporting net, can we maintain our integrity!  Such is the dramatic importantance of community in a free society!

swumpy

And so, on the structural makeup of Fascism:
As a drone is to a colony of ants, so is a person just a facet of the One Unified Organic State. The leader of a fascist state is thus no mere dictator who controls the fate and the fat of the State by the strength of his own hands. No, Dear Leader is a living, breathing conduit for power – one *through* whom is channeled the collective will of the people, in the same spirit and in the same spontaneous reality that a rope is a conduit through which is channeled the collective judgment of a lynch-mob. He is One with the State. There is no such thing as an individual, self-determined will, and subsequently no such thing as individual rights or freedoms. A spirit of Might-Makes-Right replaces morality, and culture is purposed towards a cohesive rather than expressive goal. Dear Leader is thus the one most fit to embody these values.

Now, both Communism and Fascism are related in that both are reactions against extreme individualism, both recognizing that the concept of an Ayn Rand Individual is a ridiculous myth within the context of an individual living within a culture. While a person may think of their ethics, desires, and will as being completely their own, all these things develop from, and will always continue to be influenced by, the ethics, desires, and will of other people. Fascism and Socialism are in essence opposite perspectives on the teleology of how the individual should develop within society.

And thus, on the difference between the leadership of Communism and Fascism that defines them both:
Communism is the effort towards the “full realization of human freedom” – for society to be a community rather than a collective. The difference is that a community does not suppress the individual, but is instead *made up* of individuals. It works, ecstatically, to enable the individual to emerge, triumphant and free, *from* the base collective as a conscious participant in the community! So, I guess Deleuze would say that in the same pithy way that Communism is Democracy, rather than Totalitarianism, developed by and channeled through mass movements.

And there ya have it, the difference between Fascist and Communist Leadership is equal to the difference between Collective and Community.

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Written by meowywowy

November 30, 2010 at 9:47 am

The Adventures of Stretchy Stroodle: A Modern Fairy Tale for THIS HERE MODERN AMERICA

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one of my favourite stories, doncha know.  originally posted (here) on Feb 14 2010, although I actually wrote it for my girlfriend for Valentines Day cause she likes my stories. :~) the biggest influence for me on the style and tone was italo calvino’s big ass book of italian folk tales, which totally owns and y’all should get if you like this.  toby and i would read them out loud together :~)

i’ve made a few small edits just to make the text smootheri found the pictures in like, 60 seconds on GIS, and added them just to break up the text for the tl;dr crowd, so i ain’t adding them back here.

ole L&F sure didn’t know what to make of this sucker…

Listen so kindly, cause if you do,
I’ll tell ya a tale straight from Xanadu!

There once was a humble bakers man who was married to a princess, and they had a son named Stretchy Stroodle.  The baker had won the princess as his wife a long time ago in a great contest.  Every king and every prince in the whole wide world came to enter, bringing gifts of gold and diamonds. But the humble baker brought the best gift of all – the greatest treasure in all the land, they said! – one of his delicious apple pastries, named the Stroodle, after himself.  Not for all the gold and all the diamonds  of all the famous kings of all the world would that wise princess trade to give up even one bite of that wonderful Stroodle!  With the contest over, they were married at once.

The new couple’s happiness ended, however, on the night that Stretchy was born. At the exact moment that he took his first cry, two cats, one white and one black, meowed at once, followed by another exact moment where two bolts of lightning flashed and two chords of thunder crashed.  Papa Stroodle was so scared by all the commotion that he ran out screaming and never looked back.  The two cats became Stretchy’s godfathers.  His mother liked to say that a fiddle hummed for every step that Stretchy walked, played by none other than his black godfather, The Devil.  And, not to be outdone, mind you, his white godfather, The Lord, had the twinkle of a harp ride along for ever word that Stretchy talked.  Anyways they all lived together quite happily as a family until Stretchy came of age.

“My dear family, its time that I went out to make my fortune.  I will become the greatest singer and dancer in all the land! Goodbye!”
His mother hugged him tightly and his two godfathers gave their blessing.  “Goodbye, my son!” they all called after him, as Stretchy walked out towards the rising sun. And with that, he was off.

After walking for miles and miles, Stretchy Stroodle arrived at a great palace. A king, who also happened to be the President of the United States of America, greeted the traveler with open arms.  The king heard his story, and said, “Listen carefully.  You can stay here at the palace and do whatever you please, but you must do one thing for me in return.”
“Anything for you, Your Majesty!” Stretchy replied.
“As you might have heard, the fearsome Monster, who eats the body and souls of all those who dare enter his lair, has a great treasure. You must get it for me, or you’ll lose your head!”
“But you said the Monster eats the body and souls of all those who dare enter his lair.  You are condemning me to death!”
“That is none of my concern.  Think it over long and hard and I’m sure you’ll do your best.”
“Meowy Wowy!” Stretchy said, “As Sure as Stroodle, this is gonna be one tough cookie! But, I better try my best!”  And with that, he was off!

After once again walking for miles and miles, Stretchy came upon a great forest, which he thought might be a good place to take a rest.  As he was fixing a spot under a johnny apple tree, he heard, all of a sudden, a sweet, lyrical chirp. “Stretchy, why take a nap here, when you could go home to your mama?” a mysterious voice said.  “I know what you think: ‘Ooooh, I miss my mama, and I miss my warm, cozy bed.'”
Stretchy looked up to see the cutest little thing he ever did see.  It was a little baby bird with eyes opened wide.    “Stretchy, I’m super serious! You better turn back!” the bird said.  “That monster, I’ve seen him… he’s a, he’s a mean one, he is…!!”
“If you think I’m heading back now, then you’re just coo coo kaboodles!  Scary or not, I’ll beat that Monster if its the last thing I do!”
After hearing such an amazing display of confidence, that little babe bird hopped right on down and said, “Well then, I’ll show you just how to coo!”… and he wigged and jigged, up and down, just as birdies do! Seeing that funky chick shake his rump like that, well, ole’ Stretchy, he knew just what to do all right. He squatted his bum, plump as a pear, and *vrum, vrum, vrum* learned the birdie dance stepping along in snyc.  “Whenever you find trouble,” said the bird, “remember my moves, and you’ll do alright by me.”

A little time went by, and Stretchy traveled on and on. The thick overgrowth of this old forest obstructed much of the noontime sky. A cross-crossing of branches formed a sort of blanket that left little room for more than a few splotches and whiskers of the sunshine to slip on through.  Blanket… Stretchy was starting to wish he took that nap.  The forest was so still and quiet… the ambience was quite serene, one might say, if they had a loud mouth and were tryin to be funny. But before anyone even had a chance to think about that, the cool silence was broken when Stretchy, who certainly had a loud mouth, muttered allowed his realization that he was forgetting something important. “Oooooh, I’m so hungry…” he said. With all the commotion with that birdy, he had forgotten to eat his breakfast! And, just as suddenly as a forgotten memory, a banana peel came flying *SPLAT* right smack-dab in the middle of his face!
“Huh, what?  Whozzat?”
*SPLAT*  Another peel!  He couldn’t believe it!  And there wasn’t even any banana to eat!
“Oooooh, whoever you are, why I outta… well, you sure are a rascal, but I do love a good prank!”
At those words, a little babe chimp jumped right on out and said “Well I’ll show you just how to oooh!”… and he clapped and slapped, round and round, just as monkeys do!  Stretchy couldn’t help but clappin right along to the rhythm himself, *clap clap clap* hopping on every other foot. *hop hop hop* In this way he learned the monkey dance.  “Whenever you find trouble,” said the chimp, “remember my moves, and you’ll do alright by me.”  Then the monkey gave him a bushel of bananas and sent him on his way.

A little while later, Stretchy stopped by a pond by the side of the road to have drink…. but Yuck!
“Meowy Wowy, puddin’ and pie, this pond’s so salty that it makes me CRY!”  The pond had turned into a little sea, filled by so many tears of cowardly men on their way to face the Monster.
A little babe catfish, who had made the pond his home, lept right on up and said “Thanks for helping build my home.” The fish fell, but lept again to say “You’ll need my help,” and then “so I’ll show you just how to mew!”… and he flipped and flopped, side to side, just as fishies do!  This time Stretchy slunk down like a strand of spehettti, squrimin around on his tummy in the mud like that fish did in the salty water.  “Whenever you find trouble,” said the catfish, “remember my moves and you’ll do alright by me.”

At last Stretchy reached the lands of the Monster. He found himself before a great ravine.  “What am I to do?” he said.  The first thing to try, of course, was the birdie’s dance, and, with a light hop and a twice-tap of his feet, Stretchy was flying fast and free, as a gust of wind billowed up behind him and whisked him on across the valley.  “Well thats just alright by me,” Stretchy said.

Next, Stretchy came to a great moat, a hundred leagues wide, across which he could see the scary lair of the scary Monster.  “What am I to do here?” he pondered aloud.  “The monkey’s dance won’t help me here. Wait, wasn’t there some other moves I was supposed to try?” Thus, with the help of the fishie, Stretchy sped past the moat lickity-split. He never did reveal the secret of whether he danced on the water or under it, however.

Finally, Stretchy was face-to-face with the Monster himself. He was a huge gross thing, a mess of fur and thorns and teeth.  Tangled in the great beard under his chin were remnants of past meals partly eaten – the rancid, rotting bones and flesh of adventurers just like Stretchy himself. The Monster smelled about as mean as he looked, and worst of all, acted as mean as he smelled.  “I’ll swallow your ssssoul,” he shouted!  Well, with that Monster after him, what was poor Stretchy to do?  He took the whole bunch of bananas from his pack and threw them straight up into the air and *SPLAT* the whole lot fell right back down on his face.  Oh, how the Monster laughed and laughed and laughed!  Then Stretchy started hopping around on one foot, just like the monkey.  OOooH OOooH! And the Monster just laughed and laughed and laughed! Stretchy quickly grabbed the treasure with this distraction, and, with a light hop and a twice-tap of his shoes, did the last dance he knew – the Daddy Dance.  He ran out there as fast as he could, screaming “Wee Wee Wee!” all the way back home!

When Stretchy got back to the palace, the King lauded him with all the honours in the kingdom.  “As a reward, I shall give you my beautiful daughter for your bride, and one day you shall be the new President of the United States of America, and King of my Stroodle Kingdom!”
“But wait… I’m already a Stroodle! How did you know?”
“You’re a Stroodle too? Then you must be my son!”
Well how about that, it turned out the king was Papa Stroodle the whole time.  Stretchy and the princess got married in a lavish ceremony where they served steamed brocoli pudding, mincemeat casserole, and fried bananas. I was there, hiding under the tables.  But did anyone even think to say to me so much as “Have a glass of apple juice?”

Happily from then on did they live,
But nothing to me did they ever give!
♩♬

Written by meowywowy

June 20, 2010 at 7:11 am

Posted in stories, Trolls

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