Myths as Our Reality
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie-deliberate, contrived and dishonest-but the myth-persistent, persuasive and unrealistic." ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963). Commencement address, June 11, 1962, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
In the story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (the basis for the movie "Blade Runner"), author Philip K. Dick investigates the truth of whether robots (human in appearance and effect) were actually human. Caught in the midst of this, Rick Deckard, a (very human) bounty hunter for the San Francisco police, wanders this post-WWIII world.
Rick is assigned with discovering if the current test used for detecting robots will ID (with assurance) this latest generation of synthetics, he is sent to the manufacturer to 'psychologically test' a 'blind' group of androids and humans.
Robots, as the story is written, do not have certain empathetic characteristics; however, the new 'Nexus-6' cybernetic units may successfully fake their reactions in hiding this fact. Deckard has to find out.
He arrives at the factory, is ushered into an anteroom by two of the founders, Rachael and Eldon Rosen. And, the tables are turned.
Rachael is presented as first up for the testing. The family members want to be assured the validity of the test. Allegedly, only severely morally complacent people will fail.
But, here was Ms. Rosen fully capable of functioning society… …and, failing.
Deckard disheartened, frustrated, and professionally embarrassed prepares to leave. After all, why continue testing when a fully functional and rational human being has failed (an impossibility). He stops and asks one more question.
It was impossible.
Her creators led her to believe that she was real. She had the memories of a human of her age (implanted), but she was in reality not what she "knew" she must be.
She was a facsimile, an imperfect truth, a myth of reality.
Deckard found himself in a quandary eerily similar to the issue involved in the myths and popular 'urban legends' that haunt the leather community. He was an expert confused about the truth that was in front of him.
We read and are told stories about:
1. The Old Guard
2. Secret cloistered European Houses with ancient traditions and histories in BDSM and it's antecedents
3. Secret cabals from ancient days (perhaps associated with the inquisition or the Catholic Church and designed like the freemasons or Knight Templar) to be an invisible entity influencing social orders and customs for their own means
4. The rich and elite (royalty perhaps) who participate in these secret organizations and lead them
5. Secret groups that own, train, and sell slaves from antiquity through today
6. Standardized protocols recognized throughout the land by people who are 'true', 'real', and knowledgeable about arcane and intricate customs and ways of years gone by
The purpose of this paper is to explore and to debunk issues that are plaguing our common history and allowing people to place us in the place of "Deckard": not knowing what is real, who is telling the truth… and to also allow people who have a sincerely wonderful faith and belief in these tales an opportunity to challenge these precepts from a position of knowledge.
Although I will be expressing opinion from time to time through this epic, I will certainly not do so without providing supporting data, or, stating unequivocally that there is no data (proof) available to substantiate it.
In this way, I hope to challenge those who make such claims to either provide proof, or to slink away into the dark.
"Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men's reality. Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of "the rat race" is not yet final." ~Hunter S. Thompson, "Those Daring Young Men in Their Flying Machines ... Ain't What They Used to Be!" Pageant (Sept. 1969).
Because when all is said and done… I want to believe these tales myself. We all need legend and fantasy in our lives. It is a natural human trait.
The telling of tales precedes written history and records. Oral tradition has given us some of the most enduring stories of all time: Homer's 'Ulysses', 'Beowulf', William Shakespeare's 'MacBeth' and 'Midsummer Night's Dream', Gilgamesh, King Arthur, Daedelus and Icarus, and the list goes on and on.
I do want to believe in Santa Claus. I want to invite him into my house for milk and cookies on Christmas and be absolutely sure the milk will not get warm and/or the cookies grow stale.
And, these tales are truly getting stale.
Since the advent to the Internet revolution, BDSM has become a more and more common thing. People who had repressed their 'perverted' inclinations and sexuality are find easy discussion about "verbotten" issues. They have this as a solace in the restrictions of their every day lives. Even though the constraints of their social setting may disallow more, they have the internet chat rooms and posting boards to fall back on and enjoy.
It is one of the best things to ever happen to our community. And, it is one of the worst.
Besides community complaints that we are seeing 'cookie cutter' dominants and submissives on 'the street', despite grinding our teeth over folks who would love to live 'on the planet Gor', these are minor compared to the shams deliberately created and perpetrated upon the unsuspecting, and, those charlatans that can even fool our members and leaders locally.
We have more Grand Masters/Mistresses, people 'raised' as Old Guard or in leather families, people trained and/or teaching at European houses than would be feasible if they were even probable. We have folks who are trampling all over our community with impunity because we do not "make small talk" such as "Oh, yeah: prove it".
It is against the civil inclinations of our community to question individuals about their alleged backgrounds; and (with that coupled to a niggling in the back of our mind telling us that it might just be possible), sometimes we do not want to require it.
I am requiring it now.
Website & Graphics by my girl (subtleigh), with a special thanks to Tessa of Australia for the BDSM Debunking the Myths logo.
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