“The First Statue” / Memorable Fancies #553

“What is it? Did something bad happen to Boleslav the Bold that turned him to stone?” “No, Boleslav is still our king.” “But what is this – object?” “I call it a ‘statue,’" said the man with rock-dust in his hair, “a thing like a man, that we at home may remember him as he swords his way through the provinces.” “And these banners, flags, …?” “For the ceremony,” said the sculptor, “for the dedication of our new ‘statue.’” “That will prove a great occasion, for sure!” “Yes, … [Read more...]

“Looking-At” / Memorable Fancies #498

     Looking-at is one of our principal weapons for enforcing obedience. One looked at is made to know he is being looked at, not secretly spied from behind a curtain or by an overhead drone.     The official gaze is constant, compelling. It does not stop until the one who is looked-at conforms, makes obeisance, obeys.     “The gazed-ones” they are called, those who have been looked-at. They are deeply affected. They become, in turn, highly effective in looking-at, applying the gaze of … [Read more...]

“’The tribe, our only god…’” / A Memorable Fancy #353

[“…la tribu, notre seul dieu, nous tient tous embrassés.” – Henri Michaux]      The tribe is our only god. Whatever our tribe commands we do unquestioningly, even to the loss of our lives. The tribe, after all, is what ties us all together, while each of us is only one lone human being. How could one presume to seek his own counsel against the tribe’s embrace? We bow, we do.      But one asked, “Who speaks for the tribe? Is it not a tyrant? Does he not command in his own interest, not … [Read more...]

“Wait for Sleep” / A Memorable Fancy #186

A government agency is formed to spy on citizens’ unconscious minds. Its mission is to detect dangerous tendencies, radical thoughts that have not yet percolated into consciousness, thoughts that occur only in dreams. Of course, since the offense is unconscious, it wouldn’t be right to punish the guilty while they were conscious and unaware of their crime. We can, however, wait for sleep.   … [Read more...]