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From Gestalt

Every time we remember something, we do so a little less accurately. Each recall, we remember less and fill the gaps with more fiction, so that the memories with which we feel most familiar are lies, and the most confident of us the least likely to be right. Weaponized, commoditized nostalgia threatens to wipe out the future by rewriting the past. The future is ungraspable, because the present seems like what came before on shuffle-repeat. What could come next if not more of the same?

"The direction of escape is toward freedom--so just what is 'escapism' meant to be an accusation of?"[1]

Science fiction subgenres like cyberpunk interrogated the morals and values of science fiction’s Golden Age, and like punk rock, re-injected innovation, naturalism, and working class concerns into a genre that had grown elitist and over-reliant on stale tropes. The revolutionary ideas Harlan Ellison, Philip K. Dick, and William Gibson innovated in the 60s, 70s, and 80s became the tropes of the following generations—new tools to tell a more accurate and effective story about the future—our now.

Fantasy, meanwhile, descends from stories whose power came from belief, metaphor, and moral: myth, dream, fable, psalm, song. Magic, alchemy. Hypersigilla, charged with the sexuality or sexual repression of entire ages, reflecting the morality and core allegories of the age. No mere tropes--the tropes of fable and folklore are archetypes of the Jungian subconscious. They are both the bubbling up of repressed or ancient desires and programming, and the reinforcement of how the society in question thinks those desires should be dealt with, a program in and of themselves--a waking dream with just as much power as those in our sleep. This powerful genre of Dreamcraft has dwindled to a shadow of itself, a way of hiding from reality instead of reshaping it. The most powerful form of storytelling is now the most impotent. Not escapism; escape is freedom. This recycling of our past is the refusal of the tamed animal to open its unlocked cage.

Science fiction gets to grow up with the world. It’s time for fantasy to as well.

Punklore is a world constructed with the conscious intention to break a cycle of programming and reinforcement inherited from the Darkest Ages, where conquerors not only wrote the histories, but rewrote myth to make war into progress, conquerors into heroes, and repression into morality. Punklore's concepts are built to deprogram through reclaiming metaphors that speak to our very souls, and its mechanics designed to likewise reinforce our collective reality and not the hologram of hegemonic rule and its skewed views of life as filth and death as purity. By making a game of this kind of world, and one that plays with your actual personalities divorced from identity, widespread psychological change is made possible.

Fantasy doesn’t use the future to hold up a mirror—it holds up a mirror. A mirror world, a mirror class structure, a mirror…Mirror. It plays with our subconscious, a world of pure emotion and imagination, magic and metaphor. This is the realm of ancient myth, dream, chaos magick, quantum physics, and the Jungian collective unconscious. When they are torn this way and that without a conscious design based on reality, they turn the each of us into the capricious demigod of our own crumbling, warped universe. But if we willfully, collectively edit our own unconscious mind, we can democratically commune with our primeval selves and alter our instincts from the ground up. This is the next phase of evolution, the Meta Ego reshaping the Superego and thus the Ego and Id, and it must be done before we blindly ride a corrupt, Neolithic morality into climate catastrophe, or gene editing without respect for nature's forms, or the dawn of AI in the absence of a consensus morality with which to program it, or cybernetic enhancement amid a slowly mechanizing, lifeless culture.

"One ought not to go to cadavers to study life."[2]

There are plenty of original fantasy stories out there, avoiding the old, tired archetypes. There are plenty of stories re-using the archetypes without care to what they mean. To affect real change, we should neither deny the archetypal structure of our minds and hearts nor allow them to re-enact the same old lies, all of it based on situations no longer relevant. We have to seize the archetypes—the Great Mother, the Wise Old Man, the Shadow, the Tower, the Water, the Fool, the Tree, the Labyrinth, the Bull, the Lion, the Eagle, the Serpent, the Chalice, the Blade—and hold them, the mirrors that they are, up to our current reality, while knowing they are the soul's alphabet, the mathematics of the mind. Do not redefine terms, rediscover the terms original meaning and construct truer sentences. To break linguistic rules properly and construct a poem with power and meaning, we must first know the meanings, the feelings, and the rules, and break them with intent.

  • Realism is propaganda
  • The mechanic is the message
  • Myth is a language, and language is alive

Believe in The Realm.


14:55, 11 July 2021 (CDT)

  1. Ursula K. LeGuin
  2. Carl Jung, in his foreword to Richard Wilhelm's translation of The I Ching or Book of Changes.