What the Hell's Going On Here?
Look around you. No - really look.
The world is kind of a fucked-up place. It is largely brutal, stupid, and
unhumorous. People seem to be motivated solely by fear and the love of simple
ignorance. If the chords of Discordianism resonate in you at all, this is all
obvious to you. As a matter of fact, Discordians have a name for the place that
surrounds us all.....
The Region of Thud
I think you'll agree,
The Region of Thud is a pretty nasty place. For starters, it's full of cabbages
disguised as humans. See if you can spot the cabbage in this exchange that took
place on rec.humour:
From: Zilobuh %cakes < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Q: How camera is reindeer?
A: Fourteen dollars and buckets of lymph nodes!
Q: If you lick my monkey tobacco, why dance with sardines?
A: Rectangle my fingernails!
Q: Who won't elephant if the chirping is frigid?
A: Pencil dacquiri and sparkplug scrotum!
Q: Can you cancel a cricket?
A: The noodle is nothing but a fnoodle!
E-mail me if you like my JOKES!
With utmost pretzel,
Person Number Two:
Clearly, Person Number Two just doesn't Get
It. Maybe you don't either - in which case, please select another link and enjoy your
browsing! But maybe - just maybe - you do! Maybe you're not one of
THEM - maybe you're one of US!
And maybe you're just as pissed
about this whole Region of Thud thing as we are.....
What's Up With This Region Anyway?
Things that bite as much as the Region of Thud
don't just happen. They exist for very specific reasons. Now, other belief
systems say that the Big Kahuna God (Jehova, Allah, Krishna, Ahramazda,
whomever) set up a place that sucks to test the faithful. In our disbelief
system, however, we know better than that. The Region exists for many reasons,
such as the influence of Greyface and his Orders
of Discordia, divine retrubution for the Original
Snub, etc. However, it survives and thrives primarily because it acts as a
Definition of Memetics Time:
oversimplification mode ONMemetics is a theory that says that ideas
are transmitted like viruses, and that some people are more susceptible to
certain idea-viruses ("memes") than others. When new ideas come along, you might
pick them up if you don't have a stronger, conflicting meme. If you tell all of
your friends about it, you can help spread it. Any group or society has a large
"meme pool" that most members share. This pool has faced evolutional pressure
for quite some time, and can sustain and protect itself pretty well (for
instance, the "patriotism" meme allows governments to make people do what they
want, such as attacking "commies" or "terrorists" (read: "those with competing
memetic structures"), thus protecting itself from contrary memes). As memes
change (through mutation or "corruption" from outside memes), the new structures
either replace the old or get squished by it, and evolution marches on. (That's
all the memetic theory you'll get here. If you want more, you'll have to go somewhere else.)
oversimplification mode OFF
Ok - sorry about that. Anyway, the concept of a "meme pool"
is largely metaphorical - it consists of all the ideas that are generally held
and accepted. These ideas, however, are not necessarily the best ideas -
they are the ones that have best survived. This is a critical difference.
For instance, when a certain species of bee decides to do the nasty, the males'
reproductive organs literally eject and plug the female. This process kills the
male, but it makes damn sure his genes propagate. Evolution doesn't give a rat's
ass whether or not the bee is a Do Bee and makes his world a groovy place - if
his reproductive method isn't best, he doesn't get a genetic vote.
In the same manner, memetic evolution doesn't reward the most
useful, beautiful, or valuable ideas. It rewards ONLY the most fecund ones. If
you are a meme that can fill a specific niche and you can spread 100 times more
quickly than your competitor, you win! You become part of the meme pool, one of
the commonly accepted memes. You become reality. You become True.
Our memetic pool has been stewing for a long time now. Along the
way, people have managed to slip in their own memes (and some have just fallen
in accidentally) so that this pool is as murky and smelly as any public pool
ever has been. Every one of these memes is a survivor, and therefore, every one
of them is considered True. And do the cabbages protect this pool? Try tweaking
some of the most peripheral memes and see what kind of response you get. And I'm
not talking about God, Flag, and Mother - some of the truly insignificant ones,
prediction? Nearly every Thuddite you say something like this to will react with
a mixture of disgust and confusion - disgust, because what you're saying is
wrong, and confusion, because they're not completely sure why. If you press
these arguments with them, 99% of the Thuddites will not be able to carry on
past the second or third exchange, and will probably end up wrinkling up their
noses and dismissing you as crazy.
- "I think that the Walt Disney Company is a truly evil organization."
- "Beastiality laws are kind of strange - I mean, if you can cut your pig
into pieces and eat it, shouldn't you be able to screw it?"
- "If you can say 'fuck' on HBO, why can't you say it on NBC?"
Which you are, since crazy is defined as "not buying the
same shit that Normal People do".
So, you go about your
business, trying to fuck with Thuddites as little as possible (except for the
ones that really have it coming), you try to associate with like minded people
(both Discordians and people who don't realize that they're really Discordians),
and you try to set up a small area of the Region where you can live in
But then you notice....like the beginning of a
nightmare.....you're starting to get surrounded by
Maybe you were in a cool neighborhood
coffee shop, when you noticed a clean, antiseptic Starbuck's springing up in
every strip mall with space for rent. Maybe you were listening to alternative
music when you started noticing that more and more bands were calling themselves
"Alternative" but sounding more and more mainstream. Maybe the cutting-edge
radio or tv show you loved suddenly and unaccountably got popular, and slowly
lost its fire as its audience grew.
since we are all connected to the world around us, we are influenced by the
actions of others. There are some people who are real Humans, but are so
surrounded by disguised cabbages that they behave like THEM, instead of the
other way around. Every once in a while, one of these humans sees a New Cool
Thing and is drawn to it. It seems attractive to them, but still a little alien
to their Cabbage-like tastes. So they water it down a step - make it just a
touch less alien. Pretty soon, even cabbages can stand to hang there. Just as
barnacles cling to a ship's hull and encumber it, so do Thuddites accrete to
"new" things. Like cells attacking an infection, they slowly bring the new thing
back in. Coffee houses end up being Burger Kings that sell coffee. Alternative
starts morphing into cock-rock. Beavis doesn't set things on fire anymore (note:
the effect has not been as pronounced on Beavis and Butt-Head soley due
to Beavis's status as a Prophet). By assimilating these things, they become less
and less threatening to the Thuddites, until they're quite simply the same as
everything else in the Region.
But Ffungo, What CanWe Do?
Thuddites can take cool things and make them suck, why can't we take sucky
things and make them cool?
Fortunately, we can!
This is where
Operation Mindfuck comes in. OM is an effort to hit the Thuddites where it hurts
- right in their rigid, fragile conceppt of "reality" and "normalcy". Just as
civil libertarians defend those at the fringes to protect those in the middle,
so does OM hit things in the middle to open up the fringes. It works through a
principle known as the Functionality
of the Strange. Pope Icky Fundament over at Hyperdiscordia
has carefully documented some case studies of OM put into action under the name
You see, as long as people think
that they will understand everything they see, they will fight things they don't
understand. It is only by directly attacking this illusion on unanimity that we
can make the Region of Thud into a safe place to be weird. Check these things
out, and then invent your own. Don't let Thuddites make this world over in their
own boring images. Eris needs YOU!