Occasionally, I’ll find a link to one of my posts somewhere I didn’t put it, which is always a pleasant surprise. Such was the case when I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and was like, “I feel as if I’ve seen this picture of Ganesha before…” then realized a Discordian page had shared my essay about Sri Syadasti and the Season of Confusion.
What was a little less pleasant was one of the comments, posted by someone who took issue with me acknowledging that there’s a racial slur in the Principia Discordia:
I was wondering if there were Woke Discordians and now I know the answer. To the charges made here I repeat: “All affirmations are true in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true and false and meaningless in some sense.”
Thing is, regardless of whether or not I drew attention to it, there’s still a slur in the Principia. And we can be aware of it and strive to do better, or we can be like, “Oh, yeah, we know it’s there. We just don’t care.” Which isn’t really in keeping with the spirit of the religion.
And so, to the author of this comment, whom I assume believed himself to be terribly droll by quoting Sri Syadasti out of context, I aver: You are not Discordian.
That may seem a bit harsh. But the central myth of Discordianism involves overthrowing the Patriarchy; our primary antagonist is the personification of oppression and injustice; our holy book promotes gender diversity. If you’re going to call yourself Discordian but use the word “woke” as an insult, then my condolences, but you don’t get a role in the Greatest Sideshow on Earth.
This may also sound like I’m gatekeeping. That’s because I am. Online Discordian groups are notoriously hard to keep running, since the spaces often get infested with misogynists, racists, transphobes, and incels, all of whom tend to believe that a religion dedicated to creative disorder means punching down without repercussion. So although Discordians must ever stick apart, and we’re encouraged to disco however we see fit, we still have to draw lines to defend our core.
Fun fact: Discordians always punch up. Only Greyface and his sycophants punch down.
Even if it’s unraveling a Gordian knot to describe what Discordianism is in comprehensive terms, we can emphatically stand up against what it clearly isn’t. And picking on the marginalized for banal amusement isn’t Discordian. Nor is whining about wokeness in favor of admitting that racism actually exists.
On page 0009 of the Principia, Eris states:
I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.
If our anarchy isn’t happy, and we’re bent on taking anyone’s freedom away, then we’re simply not Discordian.
I will also own that I am very, very agitated at the moment. Remember when I said that Texas’ anti-abortion laws were a test run? Surprise! Roughly half the US population is on the verge of losing their reproductive freedom. If I had any money, I’d be willing to bet that overturning same-sex marriage is next, followed by the reinstitution of sodomy laws. And please know that none of these attempts at oppression has anything to do with “morality” or “family values” or “protecting the children”: Greyface doesn’t care about that shit. Greyface cares about power — obtaining it and keeping it at all costs. And the most effective way to accomplish that is to take power away from everyone else.
Just like the trolls in Discordian groups who don’t care who they hurt, Greyface doesn’t care what happens to the people who get targeted in his fear-based management campaigns, so long as he gets to stay in control. If a given demographic is stamped out, he’ll just find another to demonize, thus keeping his followers convinced that only he can protect them from the sinister “other” du jour.
And the trolls themselves? Those edgelords who post Pepe the Frog memes unironically and fall back on “GeEz, SoMeBoDy CaN’t TaKe A jOke,” whenever they’re called out for Aneristic behavior? They’re doing Greyface’s work for him. They’re unwitting avatars of destructive order, and there’s not a damn thing wrong with refusing to tolerate their intolerance, no matter how funny they think they’re being. And there’s definitely nothing wrong with pointing out how un-Discordian they truly are.
And as we know, forcing destructive order onto creative disorder results in destructive disorder, which is why Discordian societies usually shut down whenever the Greyfaced hordes try to take them over.
We’re about to see a lot of Eristic Escalation in the real world as well.
“Peaceful demonstrations don’t do any good. You’ve got to get angry if you want to be heard, and black people have every reason to be angry right now.”
As it turns out, a lot of marginalized folks have every reason to be angry, and that anger is going to boil over. And it’ll be funny (more “I told you so” funny versus “ha ha” funny) to watch the right-wingers and segregationists who currently hide behind Discordianism drop anything even minimally non-Protestant to protect their precious privilege. Like, if there’s ever another full-scale Satanic Panic in this country, the dude who complained about my Sri Syadasti post will be the first to accuse his Catholic neighbors of practicing Witchcraft.
As an alternative, he could try consulting his pineal gland, which might lead him to accept that “woke” is about as much of a disparagement as “Discordian” is. And if he really stretches, and gets that third eye good and wide open, he might even understand that they pretty much mean the same thing.