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She makes a good point. As a child of Chinese immigrants, in some ways, I lost myself to American culture when I went to college. “Foreign” influences aren’t inherently bad, but it can lead one away from being oneself.
The whole abominating against invading the head with plugs reminds me of the kind of Jewish law that forbids any tampering with the body.
Hmm, but isn’t Oriana sticking things in their heads too? It’s newly invented dogma. And they are eating it up.
Yes. Exactly. That had occurred to me. But the Ascians are ok with spirits taking over them. They’ve got history with that. And they’re trying to find a way in Anvard, so the wealth goddess will supposedly show the way.
So, the deeper meaning here is .. religion vs. technology?
One or the other?
There’s a god-shaped hole in their head they could fill with a chip, by the look of it? Perhaps that’s what the gods are all scared of.
I just hate the ‘religion or science’ false dichotomy. Usually it’s a device the powerful use to keep the peons ignorant (and powerless). It is not at all clear that Chief Coward is doing that, though, and you are more subtle than that, so I suspect something really interesting is going on.
Cultures define themselves through their practices, what is forbidden and what is mandatory. (e.g. (male) Jews are supposed to be circumcised and not supposed to eat pork.) When cultures are in proximity (e.g. Coward’s group and the larger city of Anvard), the smaller group is in danger of being consumed and assimilated. The newly-created taboo about brain implants is a part of Coward’s group remaining distinct, though perhaps at a material cost of job opportunities and cultural participation.
There’s also idea that the process of getting and using headware could supplant the Asciians’ initiation rituals, which is a key aspect of group identity. Why fast/sweatlodge/hang by hooks in your back or whatever they do until they see the spirit world when, as Jack/Kavka seems to think, you can get a chip in your head?
However, I think what’s happening is that Coward is maneuvering Jack/Kavka into being a kind of liminal/marginal figure, who can break that taboo and do useful things, at the cost of not being considered a full member of the group. Not unlike Jaeger’s role as a sin-eater, a necessary pariah.
Yep. That’s what I was saying. The abominating is for the integrity of the tribe. And there are apparently plenty in the tribe who are plenty happy with the way things are. I like the way you put it, though.
I don’t think the gods are scared, though that’s an interesting perspective. It’d be interesting to hear Coward’s view on the gods. Seems like they are in part tools to him.
Something about Cowards expression seems to imply an ulterior motive…
thisfox, how did you put in a picture for yourself? I don’t see that option on the Profile page.
I just watched a Hindu Garba Raas dance on YouTube, after a Muslim coworker told a Hindu coworker how he went to a Garba after Ramadan was over. The conformism of the choreography and the costumes (consonance unintentional) reminds me of the various social structures that put into place a great system of conformism for control. Jewish society is one. Chinese society is another. The amazing numbers of performers all in sync during the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony shows the vast conformism power of Chinese society. There are all sorts of structures out there. Religious, social, political. Each a form of “The Matrix”. And just as out of The Matrix rose The One, Jesus, as mythologized as he became, arose out of the Jewish Matrix. And out of the conformism of Ascian society, shown in the chorus of voices and faces here, Jack, we anticipate, will arise, as well. And if Chief Coward is deliberately orchestrating this metamorphosis, I wonder to what degree other liminal figures in society were deliberately orchestrated, as well. At the very least, if there isn’t some human figure orchestrating it, perhaps it’s some divine hand at work. The same way that Lucifer in “Sandman” found it frustrating that he could not escape God’s will, and that no matter what he did, he was still a tool for God’s work.
I just wonder if any of them appreciate that Rachel herself has a skull computer/phone/whatever.
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