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Messages - BeardFisher-King

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16
The noted archeological team of NŰwan NŲs and Khan Tri Membr claim to have found fragments that may constitute what is considered to be the Holy Grail of Ešrwan comedy, the Epic Achamian Repudiation Rant, by ZŰreius ÷enghŻs. Transcription is proceeding. WARNING: Strong Language.

*   *   *   *   FRAGMENT THE FIRST  *   *   *   *

[......what] the fuck do you think being a comic is like? Put it this way: the pay is like your dick. Insufficient and unsatisfying..... <uproarious laughter and sustained applause>.....I mean, why heckle me? Really, why?.....<long pause....audience gets silent>..... Comics, fuck......it's a dog's life, really. Trying to entertain, trying to be funny, trying to keep you fuckers laughing, trying to keep working, trying to get paid......Trying, yeah, that's the word! It's trying! Really, I'm at the end of my fucking rope, here.....<scattered laughter>.....Oh, now I'm funny, huh?.....You all wear me the fuck out....You know who I feel like?....<silence, then scattered shouts of "Achamian!".....That's marvelous, three guys. Folks, that was what we in showbiz call a cue. Once again, you know who I feel like?...<shouts of "Achamian!>...I SAID, DO YOU KNOW WHO I FEEL LIKE?....<audience roars, "ACHAMIAN!">.....I feel just like Drusas Achamian when he repudiated the Aspect-Emperor....<cheers, laughter, applause>

Now, folks, you all remember that during the Holy War, I had the good fortune to be embedded in the contingent that contained Kellhus and Achamian, and that the noted Achamian even transcribed some of my performances. So, I got to know the guy a little. Well, as you also know, no one version of the Epic Achamian Repudiation Rant exists. Some say he said this, some say he said that, yadda yadda yadda. Well, without further ado, here's my take on what went down:

<ZO begins pacing back and forth>..."You fucker. You absolute bastard. You fucking DŻnyain piece of crap. Hey, stay the fuck away from me, you motherfuckers, I have just kicked the ass of a Ciphrang and trust me, you do NOT want to fuck with me right now. That's right, just stand where you are, people, and listen up."

"Well, here we are. I mean, here YOU are. Where was I? I wasn't here, was I? Anybody miss me? Anybody fucking LOOK for me? Did anyone, anyone at all here give one single good goddamn where I was? Fuck no. Why the fuck would you? YOU WON! And what do winners do? They have a big fucking party like you assholes are having right fucking now. Well, you know what? I FUCKING WON, TOO! I could, right now, be in possession of the baddest, I mean the BADDEST bitch of a Ciphrang the Three Seas has ever seen. Except I was so fucking black-out-rage insane fighting the motherfucker that I don't believe there's enough of it left to fill a fucking anpoi bowl. By the way, you're off the hook, Iyokus. At least there's one Ciphrang that won't be chewing on your balls for eternity. Hey, Iyokus, I'm over here! Somebody point him in the right direction, please. Nice to SEE you, Yoke. Glad to SEE you survived. You about done sending Ciphrang to harass my ass? Word of advice to you, Yoke: Keep a low profile. Because believe me, you give me any more shit--but, hey, at least you'll never see it coming! You could be dead right now, except I just love the idea of you bumbling and stumbling around for the rest of your life. You'll be wandering around, bumping into people, saying "Are you Achamian? Anybody seen Achamian? Where's Achamian?" I'll be around, Yoke, don't worry."

"Hey, there's Nautzera! My peeps! Mandati!! My shit-stupid School! You stupid motherfuckers. Thank God this DŻnyain prick Kellhus came along, huh? "Where's the Consult? Where's the Consult?" The Big Question, right,  Nautzera? News flash, boss: The Consult is standing RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR SORRY ASS! Open your fucking eyes. I swear, you couldn't find a Consult skin-spy if it was fucking you in the ass. Well, I am well and truly done with you and your bullshit. No more fucking Cants of Calling from you, Nautzera! The number you are trying to reach is no longer in service, you got it? Return to fucking sender, address unknown. Over and fucking out of here. Mandate......fucking rename the school "Ingrate". No goddamn thanks, no goddamn help. Get the fuck out of my face."

[.....to be continued....]

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 30, 2018, 08:28:57 pm »
Quote
Achamian turned to him, caught by something in his tone.
Simas's gaze faltered. A small struggle darkened his face. He continued.
"You've noticed how intense the Dreams have become. I can see that much in your eyes. We've all become a little wild-eyed as of late . . . Something . . ." He paused, unfocused his eyes as though counting his own heartbeat. Achamian felt his hackles rise. He'd never seen Simas like this. Indecisive. Frightened, even.

A clue something is off about him. Interesting that this comes after the "Perhaps dangerous enought to be sceptical even of our scepticism" line. We know all about skin-spies' issues with paradoxes and the like, might be his own comment confused him a little and rendered him unable to "function properly" for a short while, which Akka interpreted as fear? Yes, I know that this probably shouldn't happen in the case of this particular skin-spy, due to him having a soul, but they're still artificial beings, and we have no idea what were the circumstances that caused thing-called-Simas to have a soul in the first place. There could be some "strangeness" there, even with the soul.
And yes, I'm in the "Simas was already a skin-spy at this time" camp. I do think it's plausible that he had been around for a few decades (after all, the same was presumably true of SkeaŲs). While skin-spies are either functionally immortal or, at the very least, seem to have extremely long lifespans (if I remember correctly, the SerwŽ skin-spy mentions having been a Scylvendi a couple of centuries before), it does make sense that they could acurately mimic aging.
Quote
Why did he begrudge Simas so? Was it because the man's eyes had yet to fail, while Nautzera, like so many others, had to rely on his students to read to him?

See, this to me is evidence that Simas had to be a skin-spy at this time. Sure, it's not implausible that human Simas would be still be able to read (especially since he'd be over a decade Nautzera's junior - only 57-58 as of 4110, thank you wiki). But this taken together with SkeaŲs' abnormal agility for his apparent age later on does make it seem like Simas was indeed a skin-spy at this point.


Quote
But if the years had taught Nautzera one thing about Polchias Simas, was that the man was so shrewd as he was devoid of sentiment.

Something already present in the original Simas? A personality deliberately cultivated by the skin-spy? Or another indicator that he was not actually human?
It's kind of a shame that this is the last we see of Simas (whether or not he's the thing-called-Simas at this point) until the skin-spy's reveal in TTT. To me, Maithanet revealing he was an anomaly with the soul just brought to mind so many questions and made the whole situation so much more intriguing. I wish we could have seen more of this skin-spy, given how unique he was.
If this is, indeed, the last appearance of Simas/Not-Simas until he's outed in TTT, then I take that as an indication that Simas is still Simas in this chapter. ThoughtsOfThelli makes a good case for Not-Simas (as did JerakoKayne earlier), but consider: as we proceed in TDTCB, our skin-spy POV will be Not-Sarcellus, a "normal" skin-spy. Bakker spends much time on the "sham" of the skin-spy's "soul". The anomalous ensouled skin-spy, Not-Simas, doesn't really influence the plot as significantly as one would think, in retrospect. So I'm happy to be in the Simas = Simas camp. I will wait upon events.

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTDCB Chapter 3
« on: April 28, 2018, 03:51:31 pm »
BFK's ARC: TDTCB, Chapter Three

I have lots of thoughts on this chapter, so....onward!

Here's a very fine paragraph: Achamian musing on the voyage to Sumna.
Quote
Maithenet carried a plague whose primary symptom was certainty. How the God could be equated with the absence of hesitation was something Achamian had never understood. After all, what was the God but the mystery that burdened them all? What was hesitation but a dwelling-within this mystery?
A hint of the beauty and necessity of skepticism. Yet, not a hard commitment to radical skepticism, but to a hesitant kind. Further on, musing on the isolation of sorcerers:
Quote
He had expected the mythic to raise him up, to exalt his every act, and instead he was set adrift...Detachment enlightened no one. He could turn this ship into a shining inferno, then walk unscathed across the surface of the water, and yet he could never be...certain
And there Bakker shows us the cost of skepticism: the yearning for certainty. Beautiful and succinct.

More "small-screen" Bakker in this chapter. We get our introduction to Esmenet. I like this scene a lot. When asked if she believes Achamian,  Esmenet's answer, "Let's just say, Akka, that I believe the question of the Consult exists", which triggers this reflection from Achamian:
Quote
Even for him, the Consult had retreated from the terror of fact to the rootless anxiety of questions. Had he, by mourning the absence of an answer, forgotten the importance of the question?
Or, said another way, has Achamian's skepticism over the Mandate mission dulled his awareness of the mission's importance? Here, Bakker shows another danger of skepticism: its tendency to lead to resignation.

Then, the scene in the tavern with Achamian, Inrau and Sarcellus. TheCulminatingApe thinks that Sarcellus = Consult is strongly hinted here. The hints are very subtle:
Quote
The man [Sarcellus] between them, his face slack with upper-caste arrogance, met Achamian's eyes and nodded.
and
Quote
The white of his elaborate tunic seemed to shrug off every shadow, but for some reason, his face did not. [italics added]
and finally
Quote
Sarcellus smiled, but his large brown eyes remained curiously dead.
Just enough to plant some unease.

Finally, the scene at the Hagerna. Akka's dismay in the press of the crowd is pretty amusing:
Quote
It hadn't taken Achamian long to regret pressing so close to the JunriŁma. Sweat stung his eyes....Achamian found himself periodically clamped by tides of movement....At some point, he cursed everything: the punishing sun, The Thousand Temples, the forearm between his shoulders, Maithanet. But his most savage moments he reserved for Nautzera and for his own damned curiosity.
(Aside: This sounds like BFK in line to pay for gas behind someone buying a dozen Powerball tickets: "Oh, for God's sake, come on already, you $@%!!!". Or, to be honest, BFK driving almost anytime...)

And here's Achamian's thought upon seeing Maithanet for the first time:
Quote
Could the Consult have discovered this lack? Crafted you to fill it?
And I never paid close attention to this beautifully-written scene of Achamian crowd-surfing:
Quote
Then hands were all over him, and he was lifted by strangers onto the surface of the crowd. Palms and fingers, their touch so many and so light, there a moment and then gone. He could feel the sun burn against the black of his beard, against the wet salt of his cheeks. He glimpsed fumbling crevices of soaked cloth, of hair and skin--a ground of faces watching his shadow pass. Across the inner sky of half-closed eyes, the sun was spliced by tears, and he heard a voice, as clear and warm as an autumn afternoon....His body prostrate across hands beneath the sun, Achamian found himself moved to delirious wonder by the sound of the man's voice. Such a voice! One that fell upon thoughts and passions rather than ears, with intonations exquisitely pitched to incite, to enrage.

Simply an amazing scene, upon rereading. (We also get a hint of the DŻnyain abilities of Maithanet!)

This chapter captures everything i love about the series, and I don't think I'll ever tire of revisiting TDTCB.

Chapter Three Body Count: Zero!




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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTDCB Chapter 3
« on: April 23, 2018, 12:33:45 pm »
First of all, what a great epigraph! Who, indeed?

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 21, 2018, 08:50:50 pm »
Nicely argued, JK. But I don't think the Consult would risk the Mandate's discovery of the existence of skin-spies by a high-level infiltration such as replacing Simas with the one, irreplaceable souled skin-spy. That's a valuable piece to be held in reserve until events warrant its deployment.

Unless, as I've speculated above, the sorceror/skin-spy was responsible for the assassination of Sasheoka, the Thousand Temples Grandmaster.

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 21, 2018, 02:20:47 pm »
BFK's ARC: TDTCB, Chapter Two

I like this chapter a lot, especially given all the retrospective interest in Simas/Not-Simas. I find that I prefer "small-screen" Bakker,  and this chapter is a gem. A three-way  confrontation among Simas (good cop), Nautzera (bad cop) and Achamian. [Aside: I'm reading Simas as not having been replaced by Not-Simas in this scene.] I didn't realize until now how old Nautzera was. There's a nice mention of the architectural style of the ancient North (whose architects "knew nothing of arches and domes"). Achamian shows weariness and even skepticism over the Mandate's mission of opposition to the Consult.

Then, we get to the concern and perplexity over Maithenet and the need for the Inrau ploy. Nautzera and Simas tell Achamian that they suspect that Maithenet may be a Consult agent, or at least that there is something "new" about this Shriah.

Here's a thought for the Not-Simas theory: Simas argues with Nautzera that Achamian should have been given the information that Maithenet's target of his Holy War is already known by the Mandate. Why would a Not-Simas argue this point? Wheels within wheels...

Chapter Two Body Count: Zero!

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 21, 2018, 01:46:02 pm »
I do truly wonder how long Simas was a skin spy. My intuition tells me for years at least. But, I don't think he was when training Akka.

Perhaps he didnt start as Simas either. Hard to believe he could replace one of the Quorum on a first bet.

I don't think it has been Simas for so long, but maybe its been in the Mandate for decades. Maybe even as that peer/student Akka loved early on who later died... :)
We eventually learn that Simas is a skin-spy with a soul who can, therefore, perform sorcery. Query: Did Not-Simas suffer the Dreams? That would seem unlikely to me; and so Simas was replaced by Not-Simas after becoming a Mandate sorceror. Further, how well can skin-spies simulate the aging process? Even if the answer is "very well", the longer a spy is in place, the more likely it is liable to be discovered.

I would infer that not-Simas must have suffered the Dreams. Their dreams are regularly observed by their brothers. We know that sorcerers-of-rank within Atyersus are known and expected targets for Cants of Calling. We also see Achamian Call Nautzera, amid a Dream of Seswatha, and tell him to "send this dream to the others". We can even assume that Mandati sorcerers-of-rank have and thus can be contacted amid mundane dreams (it would be unusual if they did not). But for a particular individual among them to never suffer a true Dream would, I think, be highly unusual and suspicious.
More support for the idea that, in Chapter Two, Simas is still Simas. My thinking is that Simas is replaced during the Holy War's march to Shimeh.

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The Almanac: PON Edition / Re: ARC: TDTCB: Chapter 2
« on: April 20, 2018, 12:38:19 pm »
I do truly wonder how long Simas was a skin spy. My intuition tells me for years at least. But, I don't think he was when training Akka.

Perhaps he didnt start as Simas either. Hard to believe he could replace one of the Quorum on a first bet.

I don't think it has been Simas for so long, but maybe its been in the Mandate for decades. Maybe even as that peer/student Akka loved early on who later died... :)
We eventually learn that Simas is a skin-spy with a soul who can, therefore, perform sorcery. Query: Did Not-Simas suffer the Dreams? That would seem unlikely to me; and so Simas was replaced by Not-Simas after becoming a Mandate sorceror. Further, how well can skin-spies simulate the aging process? Even if the answer is "very well", the longer a spy is in place, the more likely it is liable to be discovered.

All this is to say that I think Simas is still Simas in this chapter. And taking Wilshire's excellent argument above into account, I imagine the future Not-Simas is at this time Not-Someone Else, biding his time or awaiting instruction.

Here's a thought: Could our sorcerous skin-spy be responsible for the assassination of the Thousand Temples bigwig? Were the Cishaurim infiltrated first?

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Writing / Limericks!
« on: April 19, 2018, 02:29:59 pm »
From today's Quorum:

There was a young waitress named Maddox,
Who had the most marvelous buttocks.
She would say with a grin,
"If you're inclined to sin,
I'm willing to service your bollocks!"

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General Earwa / Re: Visualizing the Inverse Fire
« on: April 15, 2018, 06:23:57 pm »
https://youtu.be/6jxRnodaKzE
"As Seen On Quorum!"
.....an analog, "low-Tekne" version of the Inverse Fire.

Aw, I like it so much. Every match is an idea, a belief, an assumption. And all them will burn.
A cool trick I discovered is to randomly pause the video of the matchsphere as it burns. See how many faces you can find. Maybe you'll find your own!

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BFK's ARC: TDTCB, Chapter One

Some brief thoughts:

Bakker's choice of Drusas Achamian as primary POV for this chapter of exposition is necessitated by the fact that the Mandate sorcerors know more, especially about the past. So the exposition that the story needs can proceed concisely and dramatically, thanks to the Dreams. Very clever and astute of Bakker.

A glimpse of the enemy! The removal of Geshrunni's face links us to the Nonman's cloak of faces in the Prologue.

Prologue Body Count: Innumerable
1. The entire population of IshŁal save the surviving AnasŻrimbor Prince.
2. Numerous Sranc.
3. Leweth.
Chapter One Body Count: 1 (Geshrunni)

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I'm thinking more along the lines of your "Consult long con" theory. Is this line a hint from Bakker that the DŻnyain (who have repudiated the Gods) have learned that the Apocalypse is being driven by inhuman forces? Have they plumbed the depths of the Consult? What is the extent of the DŻnyain's mundane knowledge?

I think "inhuman" here might hark back to earlier in the chapter, where Kellhus experiences himself nearly "going feral" and needs a reminder than he is not an animal.  What comes before, as far as the DŻnyain are concerned, is inhuman, i.e. primitive and animalistic, unvoiced and a-linguistic.  The Logos is what sets them apart from the animals; literally The Word(s).
That's a sound interpretation, H. What I like is that Bakker, in this introduction to the DŻnyain, gives us a little chill of foreboding. "Inhuman" has many implications. It could imply that "what comes before" are those powerful, mechanistic forces of custom and heredity to which the un-Conditioned man is subject. That's my guess, but I like feeding the "Consult long con" theory.  ;)

3. The DŻnyain celebrate their discovery of IshŁal as a great correspondence of cause. What is a correspondence of cause? Who are these DŻnyain?

Doesn't cause have a more specific meaning to the Dunyain?  Also to me it seemed ambiguous as to whether they were celebrating the discovery of Ishual or of the Anasurimbor boy. 
You're right about the ambiguity, CA. In fact, building on your thought, the "great correspondence of cause" that the DŻnyain refugees are celebrating is the "co-incidence" (thanks, Wilshire!) of these two events. Nailed that one down, folks!

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Quote from:  BFK
3. The DŻnyain celebrate their discovery of IshŁal as a great correspondence of cause. What is a correspondence of cause? Who are these DŻnyain

Its part of the reason I believe they was sent there. Think on it. The Bard would have survived if not for a very pissed off young boy. Brought a disease with him to clean house? And, lo and behold, a secret redoubt for the Dunyain. Truly, a great correspondence of cause, or a Consult plan they fucking forgot about because Mek is a Nonman. (I'm just saying, really no evidence that makes it a fact, but evidence keeps piling up that it could of been a Consult long game.).

Quote from:  BFK
During the interrogation of Leweth, Kellhus views sorcery as just another of Leweth's myths. Leweth, like all men, does not know what comes before. And then comes this line: "But what came before, the DŻnyain had learned, was inhuman." (pg. 17) Inhuman? What could this mean.

Legion. Passion, envy, spite, etc, etc. Hell, in Earwa's scheme of things, the 100....
I'm thinking more along the lines of your "Consult long con" theory. Is this line a hint from Bakker that the DŻnyain (who have repudiated the Gods) have learned that the Apocalypse is being driven by inhuman forces? Have they plumbed the depths of the Consult? What is the extent of the DŻnyain's mundane knowledge?

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BFK's ARC: TDTCB, Prologue

(Note: A lot of my questions and comments are just rhetorical. I'm trying, not very successfully, to maintain the illusion of a first-time careful reader.)

I agree with H, the Prologue is excellent.  An introduction to the DŻnyain and to Kellhus.

Prologue, first part, notes:

1. The DŻnyain are already in pursuit of "awareness most holy" when they arrive at IshŁal, and have repudiated the Gods.  They deliberately obliterate all records and evidence of sorcery. (pg. 4). What could they be up to?

2. DŻnyain: "We are DŻnyain, child. What reason could you have to fear us?"
Boy: "So long as men live, there are crimes!"
DŻnyain: "No, child. Only so long as men are deceived."

(Deception, we soon learn, is an art that the DŻnyain have mastered.)

3. The DŻnyain celebrate their discovery of IshŁal as a great correspondence of cause. What is a correspondence of cause? Who are these DŻnyain?

Prologue, second part, notes:

Generally, just an first-rate introduction to Kellhus. It is very difficult not to identify him as our hero. Even his abandonment of Leweth seems .... necessary. We learn about DŻnyain methods, the Probability Trance, and Kellhus' ability to read persons and to craft, through his words and expressions, responses that will enable him to "come before" all men and all circumstances. Superhuman also in physical ability. Defeats his Nonman adversary (one of my favorite scenes) as he defeats the Sranc. But he is nearly undone by....sorcery! Surprise!

 During the interrogation of Leweth, Kellhus views sorcery as just another of Leweth's myths. Leweth, like all men, does not know what comes before. And then comes this line: "But what came before, the DŻnyain had learned, was inhuman." (pg. 17) Inhuman? What could this mean?


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Philosophy & Science / Re: The Imaginative Conservative
« on: April 04, 2018, 07:02:10 pm »
http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2014/11/ethical-failure-philosophical-skepticism.html

Philosophical skepticism is a problem that must be solved, not a position that can be maintained indefinitely.

That said, I think the author conflates skepticism with relativism, which is not quite fair. While skepticism, untreated, can lead to radical relativism, I think a conscientious skeptic can accept the possibility of objective truth.

Imho.

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