“We’re too important to take ourselves seriously.” -Janet Cliff
According to the Discordian calendar, the year is 3189. However, according to the Gregorian calendar, it is 2023, and since 23 is a sacred Discordian number (2+3=5), this year officially belongs to Eris.
Quoth the grand folks over at PrincipiaDiscordia.com on the matter, “Buckle up.”
Although speaking of names: In honor of the Year of Our Lady of Discord, I’m adding “Horkos” to my already way-too-long nom de plume.
Horkos is the Greek personification of curses against those who break oaths, and He’s the companion of Dike, who is, among other things, the Goddess of notaries. But He’s also the only child of Eris who’s not an unrepentant savage, so incorporating His name into my own (probably) won’t bring unnecessary horrors into my life. Additionally, this gives me five names instead of four — Thumper Ὁρκος Marjorie Splitfoot Forge — with a grand total of ten syllables. Plus “hork” is one of the funniest words in the English language, so yeah. Discordian AF.
Granted, making my name even harder to fit on my debit card won’t save anyone from the onslaught of disorder the next eleven months may bring. We’re going to have to pick our battles as we navigate the spectrum of weirdness, focusing as much as we can on the creative instead of granting power to the destructive.
In fact, here’s a fable by Aesop on this very subject, with a moral worth minding in 2023.
One fine day in old-timey Greece, Heracles was wandering down a narrow road, when he spotted an apple in his path. Miffed by the tiny obstacle, he attempted to smash it with his heel, on account of… he had an allergy? Hated carbs? Aesop wasn’t clear on this part.
Anyway, Heracles stomped on the apple, and it promptly inflated to twice its size. So he stomped on it repeatedly, but it just kept growing larger. Finally, he tried hitting it with his club, at which point the apple expanded so massively that it completely blocked his path.
So Heracles was standing there, glaring helplessly at this kaiju of a fruit, when Athena suddenly appeared next to him.
“What’s up?” She asked.
Fully enraged by then, Heracles just gestured violently at the gargantuan apple and did that mouth-flapping thing that happens when you’re too angry to form coherent words.
“Ah, I see,” said Athena, translating. “That right there is the Apple of Discord. If you don’t mess with it, it stays small; but if you try to fight it, it swells into something unmanageable.”
“Like a sebaceous cyst?” Heracles asked.
“I mean… sure, okay,” Athena replied, recalling why She avoided cameos in his myths. “Exactly like that. But if you’ll excuse me, I gotta be somewhere else. Like, immediately. Goddess of Wisdom stuff.”
Destructive order begets destructive disorder, and the angrier we get about not being able to control, say, inevitable inconveniences, or arguments on the Internet, the more uncontrollable those things become. Better to let sleeping apples lie in the road and direct our attention to the issues which are within our capacity to manage. Like how we react to those obstacles when we encounter them.
Page 00074 of the Principia Discordia: offers a similar, if slightly more batshit, take on the situation:
The human race will begin solving its problems on the day that it ceases taking itself so seriously.
To that end, [Paratheo-anametamystikhood of Eris Esoteric] proposes the countergame of NONSENSE AS SALVATION. Salvation from an ugly and barbarous existence that is the result of taking order so seriously and so seriously fearing contrary orders and disorder, that GAMES are taken as more important than LIFE; rather than taking LIFE AS THE ART OF PLAYING GAMES.
To this end, we propose that man develop his innate love for disorder, and play with The Goddess Eris. And know that it is a joyful play, and that thereby CAN BE REVOKED THE CURSE OF GREYFACE.
If you can master nonsense as well as you have already learned to master sense, then each will expose the other for what it is: absurdity. From that moment of illumination, a man begins to be free regardless of his surroundings. He becomes free to play order games and change them at will. He becomes free to play disorder games just for the hell of it. He becomes free to play neither or both. And as the master of his own games, he plays without fear, and therefore without frustration, and therefore with good will in his soul and love in his being.
No matter what inanities get thrown at us over the coming months, we will undoubtedly thrive and survive, provided we keep in mind that humor is just as important as seriousness, and that laughter transcends all other emotions. The more fun we can have, the more empowered we’ll be — after all, the winner is always the one who laughs last.
Happy (belated) YOLD, my fellow clown witches and chaotes. This year belongs to us as well, and we are going to shine.
We also just entered the Year of the Rabbit. As a Thumper with a soft spot for jackalopes, I think this is pretty cool, too.