Monday, May 30, 2011

Intermittent Communications

I thought I should tell you a little about the background to that quote. I may have told you once about a friend I had when I was young - you would have met him once, Marco - who when he was even younger claimed to have believed he was an Inca. That is, an incarnation of the Sun God. He claimed to have believed he was put on this world as a place of testing. We used to discuss current events and utopian schemes for bringing about world peace which involved radical detente and neo-Stalinist population transfers. We once started writing a novel about 'first contact', humans landing on an alien world, with him writing the story from the human point of view and me from the alien point of view.
When I look back on the mixture of Vulcan rationality and psychotic bastardry with which we used to treat each other, I am amazed at how well our spouses have managed to integrate us into normal society.

Anyways, after many years out of contact, he sent me an email during my hiatus from Clamdom asking my advice on whether someone who had come to his employer seeking a loan was a crackpot or not. And in the very brief correspondence that followed, before we fell out of contact again, he said I should read 'The Devils of Loudon' by Aldous Huxley. So I did. You probably should, too. That quote from the Introduction leapt out at me. I think it played a role in the epiphany I described. We should believe those things that seem true to us when they are expressed in halting and inarticulate ways by unattractive people. Then we can be confident that they are really true.

Another friend of long ago, though not quite that long ago as my Inca friend, is N(athana/o)el, who emailed me after a long gap out of the blue much more recently. I reminded him that he had promised to read the Qur'an and he hasn't yet written back. Islam is one of the things I have soured on in recent years. It seems another terrible manifestation of the elevation of form over content. It is good memetic survival behaviour to take people dissing your meme so seriously, but it is also sociopathic.


Marco said...

I am afraid that I don't quite know who you are talking about, but he sounds familiar. I tried to articulate something similar to my spouse about how she has managed to integrate me into society, which was supposed to be a compliment but sounded to her that I was saying that I would have a happier life if she hadn't hmm..

It appears that on my side anyway that we are having a Sheldon/Penny kind of existence

Chris Fellows said...


He was at that party at John Nichols' house in Tucson where we showed the furriners the 'broom trick' and I did the 'I'll bet you a dollar...' thing that I hope there is a statute of limitations on.

Marco said...

Sheldon/Penny is a "Big Bang Theory" reference - as in the tv sitcom rather than the theory. A lot of the situations which may appear to be gross exaggerations of character are everyday experiences between me and Kylie.

Marco said...

I was thinking the other day about that beekeper/ popcorn shop guy we stayed with in Fargo. Did you ever catch up with him as you had planned over the years?

Chris Fellows said...

No, I sent him a wedding invitation (19 years ago...) but it came back - the popcorn shop must have closed :(

NatoNoel said...

Hey Chris - nice to know I made a reference in your blog. Sorry for not coming back to you - we've had family cancer (mother in law) that has placed some stretching on us all. I haven't yet read the Koran -still on my list and now that I have an iPad with a kindle app I guess there's no more excuses. On my "to do before I'm 45" list.