Tuesday, 8 January 2013

SIN (Saturnalia, why am I here, and Nietzsche)...tremble in your boots, mortals...

    Saturnalia was an archaic Roman fesival, etymolologically derived from Latinate plural of Saturnalis, 1590s, held in honour of the agricultural God Saturn and falling somewhere in between contemporary Christmas and Mardi Gras in terms of modern LULz.  It predated and was often said to have inspired Christmas, given the chronological time period in which it was celebrated (December) the general traditions associated with it (gift-opening and partying, with some strippers thrown in the mix), and the fact that it was a religious holiday.  'Saturn' was said to have presided over an antediluvian world a lot like the Christian Eden when people prospered, life was a utopia, etc.  See, thing is, I don't think this world ever actually *existed.*  However, the holiday was created as a way to celebrate an idyllic version of the past.  I, like many people, tend to romanticize both the past and current affairs, somehow seeing myself falling short of the standards set by history.  I tend to believe that times were once better and that, with a lot of luck (call it divine intervention if you must) thrown into the mix, that they can be made better again.  It's also the name of a really old book, by a Presocratic philosopher named Macrobius who was said to have inspired Plato.  Macrobius discusses solar worship in his text, the idea of making a god out of the sun (similar to what the Egyptians did during the cult of Akhenaten).  I in turn tend to liken ambient depression to the sun, as this universal thing you can't stare directly at which both cultivates everything and is everywhere.
     Also, the word 'saturnine' describes me very well.  The etymology is again Latin, derived literally from the phrase "gloomy, morose, sluggish, grave."  All this because the planet Saturn is cosmologically located the farthest from the sun, and is thus slowest.
    "Citizen E" is a minor character and 'hacktivist' from a very cool video game, "Assassin's Creed: Liberation" by Ubisoft, in which you play as a mulatto member of the gentry in the years leading up to the American Revolution.  The entire game is a 'commercial' for a fictional time-travel machine called the Animus by Abstergo, run by the progeny of the Templars.  The Assassin's Creed games tend to be about the age-old feud between Templars and Assassins, and depict it through various historical periods including ancient Palestine, Renaissance Italy, and colonial America.  "Citizen E" is a (presumably Assassin-aligned) 'hacktivist' who introduces himself to you early on in the game.  He reveals that Abstergo is deliberately lying about the 'real' historical story to further a Templar agenda, and offers to show you the parts that the Templars have edited out.  At different points in the game, he reveals himself to you, and the player has the chance to 'kill' a virtual proxy of him in order to trigger flashbacks which show said 'real' story.
    I am not a 'hacktivist,' and, though I generally have some regard for people who are, I probably couldn't even count up to the gross IQ scores of these folks, let alone seriously compete with them.  I think that real people like 'Citizen E' are the new journalists; those who dispence with the pretence of bias, those who admit openly to you that they're biased and leave it to you to piece together the real story.  I think you're smart enough to do that, that you don't need to be 'spoonfed' the facts by me or anyone else.  My standards for journalism are that it should be Significant, Interesting, and New, though I dropped out of journalism school shortly after I learned that, so to hell with my standards.  I've told myself ever since I left said school that I planned on starting a blog, and now, four years, one novel, and several fragments later, I'm finally making an honest shot at it.

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