Sci-2

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  1. Comics XII: All New, All Twelve

    Ah I lost track of Black Science. Might get the trades at some point though I have to admit the narrative started losing me. Providence #10 - the subtle presence of the Old Ones becomes explicit. Bound to happen...but not sure how to feel about it. It does try to explain what the Mythos wants with us. The good thing is there are still two issues left and the protagonist's Self is not erased by contact as far as I can tell. Black Monday Murders #1 - The big banks are run by occult forces, some of whom might be immortal. And there might be vampires (demons?) involved. Interesting first issue, but I'm gonna need more to go on. Very much an intro issue, a lot of people really liked this and maybe the over hyping ruined my expectations as I was thinking I'd get blown away... Avatarex #1 - This was interesting, a magi-tech interpretation of Vishnu's avatars as distinct entities (I think), with the final Redeemer being born. Again, interesting first issue but clearly need more to decide if it's a keeper. Have some other reads but haven't gotten to them yet...
  2. Or perhaps a Dunyain can be trained to use their pain to purify their meaning? Personally I think Sorweel negated the collar though.
  3. When people say the philosophy, do they mean the metaphysics? Or even the allegories/metaphors/symbolism?
  4. Hated my job in clinical research. Went back to gradschool for compsci. Cousin came to me with a proposal to start software company. We didn't go broke. That's about it.
  5. Great stuff Solo. Yeah, Proyas makes meaning from his suffering. Arguably he already has an addiction to monstrous acts of violence, not so much in the commission (like, arguably, Saubon) but rather the scriptural significance of said violence. We might even invoke Serwa's conception of the Real, that Proyas' solidity comes from both physical burden in war but also the weight of his emotional burden. I'd say it's ascetic but also aesthetic in some sense? And when the significance of all this is drained, the only way back to "clarity", really a blotting of doubt that comes from religious ecstasy, is sex with the one who maybe, just maybe, is doing all this for a reason. Admittedly this is me fumbling around a bit, trying to explain my intuition about the importance of that Kellhus-Proyas scene. My explanation makes it seem Bakker is critiquing religious sentiment as akin to rape but that's not really where I'm going, I [think] he's trying to get us to rather sympathize. As has been noted in the old Genchat religion threads, just about everyone has faith in something - most (all?) of us make a Ground of things we know are true where "know" is not based on empiricism or logical proof.
  6. I do think Bakker had this sort in mind, along with the more traditional religious "Inquisition wasn't so bad" types, when he wrote the Earwa novels. (Along with the milder sort who fantasize about living under Aragorn's rule upon his Return.) Sadly that sort of modern commentary seems to be the weakest parts of the novels - compare whale mothers (lame) + abuse of women (hackneyed) to the eroticism/terror [of religion] combo involved with Kellhus/Proyas stuff (genius).
  7. Basically an idea that the Enlightenment (and the humanist values associated with it) was a historical mistake. You have variations on that idea - sometimes racist, sometimes biased toward STEM majors - where the chosen group aligned with the bigotry is the "nobility" to the rest of the world's "serfs". A lot of selective if not outright pseudoscience involved.
  8. I kinda doubt the Dark Enlightenment really wants to live in a feudal reality, since then you have to either be nobility, be one of the gifted Few, or have the physical fitness necessary to gain power by strength of arms.
  9. Comics XII: All New, All Twelve

    I'm actually confident Moore has a reason for adding it more than being provocative...but it's not the kind of thing I personally want to keep in the house. That said, it's unfortunate that one scene will prevent me from purchasing the collected edition. Providence is an excellent horror work, with the sense of something awful on the edge of perception much better presented than Neonomicon and arguably Courtyard. My worry for the overarching narrative is neither of the aforementioned Lovecraftian comics really works in a narrative sense. People who seem to have character arcs meet the Cthullu Mythos and their personalities are completely overwhelmed. I guess one might argue that's the point, that as symbols of cosmic indifference/entropy the Mythos is meant to cut short everything we'd hold dear in a narrative tale. And in fairness to Courtyard it's brevity can sorta of justify that treatment. Neonomicon, however, uses a literal Deus Ex Machina to "resolve" the story. It ends up being nothing but a dragged out tale where the first act could've been 1-2 pages for all that it matters in the end.
  10. Well the symbolism occurs for reasons that are likely beyond the cultural in the Bakkerverse - both Onkis and Ajokli represent aspects of Consciousness that are beyond our - and perhaps the rest of the Hundred's - ability to capture. So I do think it's a nice catch.
  11. Jerusalem by Alan Moore

    Having read the "prequel", Voice of the Fire, I'd tentatively recommend this - the size is daunting but at the same time I like the idea of someone trying to do something rather off the road in SFF. I'd probably suggest reading Voice to get a taste of what to expect, though I guess that would depend on how long the free sample is on the Kindle version. Additionally as a preview of sorts here's an Aeon article on Alan Moore's view of time. I think this [Eternalism view of time] is incredibly wrong-headed, as I'm more in Smolin's "Time is Real" camp, so I'm also wary I'll find the text irritating though that's admittedly more me than Moore's problem.
  12. Well it's a psychological phenomenon in the sense that it deals with an interaction between our own experience [and the context of our circumstances]. I'd say that in terms of the Bakkerverse Proyas at first feels the numinous in terms of how Otto might think of it - as something genuinely touching an aspect of the Real beyond the confines of his own mind. Over time, as Kellhus pummels his faith, he begins to feel it is simply the latter as noted in your quote - that his own ability to sense the Truth Faith is nothing but self-deception. However Proyas' whole life has been a seeking of this religious ecstasy, whose only comparison in mundane existence is sex. (I suppose some might suggest certain drug use, though the reliability of orgasm and religious ecstasy seems to bring those closer than psychedelics? No bad trips, cutting a baggie with garbage, etc.) For years, during the hardest years of his life where he oversaw the deaths of thousands, the focal point of that ecstasy was Kellhus. Tear away the religious aspect, and the only hope of reaching that comforting certainty for Proyas is the blotting out of wayward thoughts - easy to see why Proyas doesn't resist when Kellhus anally penetrates him. That Kellhus looks like the ideal Aryan Jesus....perhaps a bit too on the nose?
  13. Comics XII: All New, All Twelve

    Got into Alan Moore's Providence - I like the atmospheric effect of metafictional strategies used in League applied to Lovecraft...but there's of course a rape thrown in there. Not as long or graphic as the stuff in Neonomicon, and there is a point to it, but nonetheless it's the sort of thing that makes it harder to unequivocally recommend the book even if one enjoys Lovecraft. A bit more under a spoiler tag:
  14. "Unequivocally ugly"? I was thinking more Rudolph Otto's ideas of the Numinous, where the Divine is both beautiful and terrifying.