The Guru Trap

The Guru Trap is worse than the Dark Side. It is easy, seductive, and life-affirming. One can easily make all sorts of regrettable decisions without ever realizing it.

Let me supply a quote from the “Illuminatus!” trilogy by Shea and Wilson:

“That’s right,” Hagbard agreed. “I wanted to see if you’d trust your own senses or the word of a Natural-Born Leader and Guru like me. You trusted your own senses, and you pass. My put-ons are not just jokes, friend. The hardest thing for a man with dominance genes and piratical heredity like me is to avoid becoming a goddam authority figure. I need all the feedback and information I can get—from men, women, children, gorillas, dolphins, computers, any conscious entity—but nobody contradicts an Authority, you know. Communication is possible only between equals: that’s the first theorem of social cybernetics—and the whole basis of anarchism—and I have to keep knocking down people’s dependence on me or I’ll become a fucking Big Daddy and won’t get accurate communication anymore. If […] all the governments, corporations, universities and armies of the world understood that simple principle, they’d occasionally find out what’s actually going on and stop screwing up every project they start. I am Freeman Hagbard Celine and I am not anybody’s bloody leader. As soon as you fully understand that I’m your equal, and that my shit stinks just like yours, and that I need a lay every few days or I get grouchy and make dumb decisions, and that there is One more trustworthy than all the Buddhas and sages but you have to find him for yourself, then you’ll begin to understand what the [Discordians are] all about.”

Sudden Change of State

By the time April rolled around, I was pretty worried about several things. My savings were depleting and I hadn’t found a new job. Mom was in a rehab center in North Carolina 4 hours away from me because of her latest mini-stroke, and getting to see my girlfriend only every other weekend was becoming intolerable. In desperation, I answered an ad for a job that was… less than satisfactory, but it would pay a few bucks.

I made it all the way to the interview before they told me it was an overnight shift, which I had specifically insisted against. I’d be a useless zombie to them on that schedule. So I stormed politely out, went back to my borrowed bedroom, and considered my options. And that’s when the idea struck me: I wanted a job in NC close to Mom and Maya anyway. Perhaps I’d get more attention from employers if I claimed on my resume to already be living there…

A few quick changes to my online job seeking accounts, and I kid you not, I had an urgent interview within three days. Two years of searching, and a simple fib dropped a job in my lap in THREE DAYS.

So it’s two months later. I’ve got a solid job that pays decently and has great benefits and perks, I have my own place in Raleigh with Maya, Mom’s doing okay with her cat, and they just delivered the first couch I’ve ever paid for all by myself. As I stood at the sink washing some dinner dishes, the whole thing seemed so unreal… but here I am.

I’m more stressed than I’ve been for a while, especially since I’m still doing the podcast, and in a fit of insanity accepted my first con staff position in around 20 years or so. And I miss my friends and chosen family in Hampton Roads. But there’s so much good stuff in my life, stuff I’ve been striving for for so long, that I think I’ll find the strength to handle it. I’m just still a bit bewildered by the speed of the whole thing.

Life-changing events don’t phone ahead, I guess.

Recursive Discordianism

I’m trying to decide whether or not to post my Alice costume up on I’ve been looking around the site, and it looks like crossplaying *without* making any attempt to pass is pretty damn rare. Like, I can’t find anyone else.

Why is it that even when I’m being weird, I have to be different?

Burning sensations

Strange dream last night. I was at a USS Yeager meeting circa 1994, and in charge of getting everyone together for a group photo; however, every time I hit the timer button on the camera and stepped over to the group, people started chatting and wandering away before the shutter fired. I would have to badger them back into position, and try again. Iron Chef Morimoto, who’d graciously agreed to pose with us, was getting fairly impatient with the whole thing.

Can’t say that I think there’s any deep meaning in that dream: since I was gamemastering last night, I already was in ‘herding cats’ headspace, and I’ve recently been taking more pictures. I think I’m more excited about pictures these days, since the Web’s been giving me more places to show them off. I don’t know what Morimoto was doing there, though.

Then I woke up with heavy coughing caused by a combination of pool chemicals and last night’s GM oratory. Got back to sleep, eventually, but my throat still burns a bit this morning. I’ll be so relieved when I can put the super-bleach away, I’ve been dosing that pool with this and that for weeks now trying to get it usable for what remains of the summer. Next year, I’m starting in March.

We’re finally on the new Shadowrun adventure, but we got rolling a little late, so the evening was spent in negotiating the job and traveling to the site. Our heroes are investigating the disappearance of a Draco Foundation science team that was researching Crater Lake; the GSSC had been providing security, and needs some deniable assets to cover their butts. I’ve got an action sequence ready to start the next session, and some curious plot points prepared.

Tonight: moving stuff into the attic. And more pool work.


The observant reader of this journal may have noticed that I didn’t mention exactly what outfits I wore as my hall costume or Costume Call garb. There’s a reason, and I think pictures are worth quite a few words, to begin with. So, my Technicon 26 hall costume and evening costumes:

Quasi-Victorian 'steampunk' dress . Anime superheroine Sailor Mars

It’s my take on the current ‘steampunk’ craze, in lace and black vinyl; and the anime character “Sailor Mars” in PVC fabric as well. I’ve actually had the second outfit for a while, but only found the nerve to wear it at the Technicon final blowout.

So I trust you to see these, as the folks at Technicon did, and understand that this is just a geek having some fun. These pictures are of a nerd who kept himself repressed and emotionally shut down for decades, and is making up for it now by going a little harmlessly wild, and collecting smiles and a few seriously startled looks in the process.

Unfortunately, I can’t trust everyone out there to understand these things. Call me a freak with a grin on your face, and I’ll laugh along with you, but say so with fear or anger in your eyes, and we’re going to have a problem. This is my LJ, and I like it that way. If anyone’s going to put that much effort into finding pictures of me in a dress, let ’em.

I had loads of fun over the weekend. My friends in fandom are some of the most awesome people I ever met: for all of Saturday and well into Sunday I was met with pleased laughter, friendly teasing, not a few admiring remarks, and jokes about who really ought to be bidding on the silk stockings in the White Elephant auction. I live for all of that, and the fen at Technicon were remarkably obliging.

As the years pass, I know more and more friends who are afraid society will punish them for being the perfectly decent, if offbeat, people they feel they are inside. My lifestyle panels and my costume choices comprise my own little rebellion against this prejudice. I love the folks in fandom who offer me the chance to misbehave.

Thanks again, guys. I hope to be amusing and mildly disturbing you at many events to come!

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Because it was hard, you fools

By an odd coincidence, I’ve had to deal with the “No, we didn’t land on the Moon!” claim three times in the last few days. My views on it ought to be pretty obvious: if you really want a conspiracy theory, there are far more plausible ones than that.

My current favorite argument against the Hoax: There were thousands, if not millions, of Very Very Smart people involved in the Apollo program. Either they were in on the secret or they weren’t; if they were in on the secret, then it wasn’t much of a secret, really. It’s like the “we test unusual stuff at Groom Lake” secret – the details may be foggy, but the whole world knows that it’s a government testing base.

If they weren’t on the secret, then you have all these Smart People being well paid to develop what they honestly believe will be a moon rocket – to the tune of several billion dollars. These people all think they succeeded, and they aren’t idiots – they would have noticed things like “Hey, there’s not enough radiation shielding in our design.” So, since all these people think we have a moon rocket, and we spent the money to make it, why just go ahead and make the landing? Hmmm?

As an aside – the Soviet Union at the time definitely had the technological ability to detect whether we really went or not – they were quite close to managing it themselves. If we didn’t really go, the Russians of the late 1960’s really didn’t have much motivation to help us cover it up. Unless you believe that the One World Government was already up and running by then, and the Soviet space establishment was also ordered to lie; in which case, I will choose to bow out of the discussion at this point and move on to another World of Warcraft post of some kind. Circy’s level 60 now! Woo!

The essential Moon Hoax links:

Quick and simple:

In-depth and pretty:

More Illumination

Really, I can’t bear to watch this “UFO Files” program for another second.

Yes, I do indeed love the idea of flying saucers and extraterrestrial visitors, for the same reason I dig Atlantis and telekinesis; because it would be cool. But can I please have more than second-hand stories and photographs of indistinct blobs? Could I please please have some indisputable proof, something that could be used to convince almost anyone?

Sagan said “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” and I’m not going to argue with the man. I’m not here to debunk anyone. I want to hear the story that shakes the world. But it’s going to take more than “I knew someone who had a friend who worked with a guy who swears he saw stuff in a government document of some kind.”

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