October 20th, 2004
|jimbojones||09:14 pm - Hard musings|
I started reading this S.M. Stirling novel tonight, Dies The Fire. Pretty good so far... one of those Alas, Babylon sorts of books... you know, Technology Is No More, How Will People Survive, Follow The Tale Of This Small Group Of Incredibly Fortunate People sorts of tales.
One of the small groups in question - which I'm sure the other small group will wind up meeting later on into the story - is a bunch of Wiccans. It makes for a good balance to the story, because of course they're also Ren Faire and SCA types, so they have lots of medieval hardware and blah, blah, blah, just enough to help them survive once the shit really hits the fan and it's a matter of defending themselves against the hardbitten motherfuckers that might not have done much jousting at the ren fair but are PLENTY used to scrapping for whatever they can.
But of course you also get your fill of all the Wiccan mystical shit. Y'know - Do As Ye Will, An It Harm None, and the like. I always quite liked that one, actually. But another of the big tenets that gets gone over frequently in the story is the one about the Threefold Law - whether you do harm, or do good, it will come back upon you threefold.
Which, reading that, just reminds me that Wicca is still a Religion with a capital R, and as such, is seriously full of shit, no matter how good-natured and basically harmless it is. If that threefold return shit were true, we'd all be up to our eyeballs in ludicrously wealthy, happy witches and high priests and Maidens and shit, dripping money out of their assholes, living fabulous lives, without a care... and every would-be warlord asshole in sub-Saharan Africa or the 'Stans would be dead inside of a year.
But the fact is, like it or not, ethics and morality just aren't that easy or clear-cut. Doing the right thing isn't magic, it isn't spiritual, and no boogeyman in the sky (or earth) is going to heap rewards on you for it. It can be an investment - but like most investments, it very frequently pays off at under 100%, and you can only hope that the overall return will balance out somewhere at 100% or above, over the course of time. Sometimes, it doesn't return you a fucking thing at all, except a little bit more strength, so you can cowboy up, go back, and do it again another time. Really, doing the right thing is just a way of life.
Oh well. I've got a laptop to slick-and-reload tonight, and software to install on an ancient POS of a computer 100 miles away also, and neither of those things are going to happen as a result of any kind of crazy magic karma boomerang either. So I'd better go get busy.
Current Mood: cold
Current Music: Thievery Corporation - The Foundation