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Apr 22 2018

The Anti-Life Equation

I hope by now that regular readers will simply accept that I know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff even though it’s not everything about anything and in some respects I’m as clueless as Sherlock-

“What the deuce is it to me? You say that we go round the sun. If we went round the moon it would not make a pennyworth of difference to me or to my work.”

Well, I’m a little more open and less focused than that, but what I want to talk about is Darkseid.

Now I could bite the heads off live chickens in a pathetic attempt to attract attention (OMG! Do you know that Ava DuVernay who directed A Wrinkle In Time has been chosen to helm the DCEU New Gods movie!) but I think it’s sufficient to sketch out in broad terms that Darkseid’s equivalent of Thanos’ (total ripoff btw) Infinity Gems is the Anti-Life Equation and not delve into the Mother Box, Boom Tube, Granny Goodness, Big Barda, Metron details (though I know all of them).

Simply put it’s “a mathematical proof of the futility of living.”

As interpreted by Grant Morrison’s 2005 Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle limited series-

loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding × guilt × shame × failure × judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side

“By speaking said equation, Darkseid can insert the full formula into people’s minds, giving them the mathematical certainty that life, hope and freedom are all pointless.”

So, have I spent my entire life in a dank basement reading comics and rolling funny shaped dice?

No. I’ve spent a part of it in nice, cool, well lit, below grade spaces where I’ve read libraries- even the dull books, encyclopedias, and dictionaries, several thousand of which reside on my shelves today much to the consternation of my family and friends who have forbidden me from library and used book sales. My fascination with Platonic solids is an entirely different matter.

Harry Anderson from Night Court recently died and if that’s all you know him from you may not know he was an accomplished stand up comedian and magician.

That’s an illusion. A trick. A fantasy.

Want to see how it’s done?

1984

The book fascinated him, or more exactly it reassured him. In a sense it told him nothing that was new, but that was part of the attraction. It said what he would have said, if it had been possible for him to set his scattered thoughts in order. It was the product of a mind similar to his own, but enormously more powerful, more systematic, less fear-ridden. The best books, he perceived, are those that tell you what you know already.

The aim of the High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an aim— for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives— is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal.

The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade-union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists, and professional politicians. These people, whose origins lay in the salaried middle class and the upper grades of the working class, had been shaped and brought together by the barren world of monopoly industry and centralized government.

As compared with their opposite numbers in past ages, they were less avaricious, less tempted by luxury, hungrier for pure power, and, above all, more conscious of what they were doing and more intent on crushing opposition. This last difference was cardinal. By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. Even the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was tolerant by modern standards.

Part of the reason for this was that in the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance. The invention of print, however, made it easier to manipulate public opinion, and the film and the radio carried the process further. With the development of television, and the technical advance which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. Every citizen, or at least every citizen important enough to be worth watching, could be kept for twenty-four hours a day under the eyes of the police and in the sound of official propaganda, with all other channels of communication closed. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.

There are only four ways in which a ruling class can fall from power. Either it is conquered from without, or it governs so inefficiently that the masses are stirred to revolt, or it allows a strong and discontented Middle Group to come into being, or it loses its own self-confidence and willingness to govern. These causes do not operate singly, and as a rule all four of them are present in some degree. A ruling class which could guard against all of them would remain in power permanently. Ultimately the determining factor is the mental attitude of the ruling class itself.

It’s all art. A trick. An illusion.