Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #114
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 15:57:06 -0600 (CST)

On Wed, 18 Dec 1996, Ken Pantheists wrote:

> I wrote:
> > This got me to thinking about the Chosen One Meme. How it is prevailent <snip> ...
> > how it is gender specific. ...
> Kenneth Boyd replied:
> I don't think it's gender-specific.
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> No?
> I have always considered the stories of "Chosen Ones" to be
> instructional stories that teach men to take power in the world and to
> lead nations of other men.
> Women, in these stories tend to be infinately versatile in their ability
> to selflessly assist The Chosen men.
> The man is Chosen and imbued with the power of light which he learns to
> control and manipulate for the good of all mankind.
> Women bear the men (in all senses of the word) or are an inversion of
> this-- they are the victims/vessels of dark powers that posess them.
> There mey be some recent envelope pushing in this genre, but I still
> think of it as something that appeals to teenage boys. (I think all
> teenage boys toy with fascism)
> I can't think of one woman (or man for that matter) author who has
> written a story about a "chosen woman" without having that story
> reference/comment on the greater, dominant body of man-hero
> literature... speaking from the margins as it were... or without
> changing it so much that it becomes another genre.

Most pre20th-century cultures with written records are chauvinistic by
natural selection at a cultural level. "All texts are culturally
informed", especially mythology and mythohistory.

> I remember this from many years ago--forgot the source-- part of the
> oral tradition of theatre training.
> The Fascist plotline- The ultimate power to destroy or give life is
> thrust upon one man who must bear this, unertake tests and control this
> power for the good of all mankind. (Akira, Elric)
> The Socialist plotline- The ultimate power to destroy or give life is
> held by one man (the villian) and the hero must take it back and
> distribute it among all men equally. (Total Recall)

Interesting. I'll have to keep these in mind.

> Kenneth:
> I have observed that the most effective science fantasy builds at least
> 2
> or 3 of the 10 key delusions [the Chosen One Meme is one!], that
> Karl Menninger listed in his book "The Mind", into the plot. Doing this
> explicitly has improved my own fiction.
> Me:
> What are these 10 delusions?
> I want to improve my fiction as well. (actually I lie... I really want
> to diagnose myself)

I'll handle that in the same reply as to David Pape. I have to *find*
that book--it's 250 miles away.

> Kenneth:
> [The book is still effective for a basic overview of conventional
> psychology. The copy I have access to has a print date of 1925--it
> refers to World War I as The World War....]
> Me:
> I may be wrong, but I don't think it's called World War I. It's the
> World War or the Great War. Maybe for the same reason we don't call
> Stallone's first big movie "ROCKY I".

Then history texts in the U.S. school system, and several encyclopedias, are
uncultured. I was imitating the only references I had seen.

This doesn't surprise me.


/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd