The Gods demand a tragedy


Hey! How is your life story moving along? Getting the job done? Starring in your own personal movie? Listen, you don’t have to act all humble for me… I know, deep inside, everyone feels like he is the hero of the story, and the others are just the side characters for you, the main dude. And I guess that is how it should be. That is kind of the design of the universe, right? On the other hand, you must know, the thing with heroes is this: every hero needs a tragedy. The hero is right at home in the tragedy, it’s actually his best story fit. Think about it. This is one of the things Hollywood gets wrong on the regular. What they do right is the insane amounts of money spent on special effects and explosions, and the good looking actors and actresses. But the endings of Hollywood movies almost invariably suck. They feel tacked on and weak, you must agree? This pandering to the lowest common denominator, it doesn’t make for heroic stories. It can’t be helped, I guess, since patronage has been replaced by business models, and selling a couple of hundred cinema tickets to the people with actual good taste won’t recoup those millions invested, but still. So many of these movies start out hopeful with great premises as well as guys with fit bodies and hot females with ASMR-inducing voices, but then miss chance after chance to make it something epic or profound.
But let’s get back to you, the hero of your story. Any idea what your tragedy is going to be yet? You see, if you are going to be a hero, why not take some time to ponder on what your tragic end will be? What tricks will the Gods play on you? Although even if you figure it out, they might flip the script on you. That’s your fate, my dear hero! You see, I have the tragic script for my own story all figured out, and paradoxically, I know this means my life is going to take a bizarre turn somewhere along the line. They will get me, these trickster Gods, in the end they will, but I’ll make them work for it!
Notice, by the way, that I say Gods, plural. That’s right. The monotheists are wrong, yet again. I guess they got the community building thing right, and I’ll give them that. But humanity doesn’t always move strictly forward when it comes to good ideas. Sometimes, we even move back centuries, while technology might still advance. But to stay on topic, yes, there are multiple Gods. Guess you want to know how I know this, huh? Well I can’t get into it too much, but let me tell you I found a glitch. A glitch in the simulation we actually live in. Yeah, it’s true, we live in a simulation. To be more precise, we are living in a simulation IN a simulation, and this a thousand times over. But what the hell does it matter? It is as real as it gets for all of us! Anyway, I won’t bore you with the tedious calculations, just take my word for it. One caveat, I might’ve been fed false information by my patron God. Every God is a Dieu trompeur by nature, it can’t be helped. Whatever the case may be, you have to agree that a predictable God would be boring, I don’t think you could even call a predictable being a God. But I’m pretty sure I’ve got the correct info here.
So now naturally you want to know how I know what the Gods want, and you’re right to distrust those who claim to know the mind of relatively all-powerful beings, and even though this is my diatribe and I can say whatever the fuck I want to, I’ll humor you and I’ll handle that with a parable, a tactic borrowed from the religious leaders. Have you ever played Sim City, or other “God games”? Have you ever noticed that once you have it all running smoothly, once you’ve mitigated all risks, in other words, once all possibility for tragic endings has been removed from the game, that the game becomes very boring? Or if you have defeated all possible enemies, and there is no possibility of competition left, that it just becomes a chore to even finish your game? Sometimes, you even start blowing up your own stuff for the heck of it. Well guess what? The Gods are the same, albeit a bit more powerful and brainy. They don’t want boring feel good movies nor easy mode games. They want tragedies! The Gods demand tragedies.
I see that I haven’t convinced you of the pervasiveness of tragedy in the universe, so let me get into that. Suppose you do everything right in your life, and build a marvelous legacy in whatever you choose to do. Then dying is absolutely tragic, and not only because somewhere down the line your descendants are sure to fuck your legacy up thoroughly or squander all its gains, kind of like Europeans are now doing. On the other hand however, eternal life would be terrible, as everything you’d do would lose value. You could just do it tomorrow, or next week. Nothing would have real consequences. That is the genius of a life that ends, it creates choice, and it makes those choices infinitely important. And every mistaken choice infinitely tragic. Billions of years of development, of your evolutionary ancestors fighting for their lives, raping, overpowering, squeaking by, slipping through the mazes, doing the right thing, or lucking out immensely, all so that you can jack it to hentai porn or read up on celebrity gossip… you don’t see the tragedy in that? You don’t see that that makes for absolutely great story material?
Now maybe you don’t have the stomach for it all? I can see that. But that means, you agree not to be the hero. And it’s ok to be a side character, but that comes with it’s own set of grudges and inadequacies. And it could even be that that is your tragedy! The archetype of the hero who doesn’t want to be a hero! The guy who “never asked for it”! I’m sure there is a word for that. But I’m not that well-versed in literature, so I couldn’t name it. Whatever it is, the Gods are merciless, in this aspect. Once they pick you for a story, there’s no escaping it. Sounds an awful lot like determinism, doesn’t it? But we’ll let the philosophers handle that. I have to go out and make it happen now. So that the Gods may smite me once more. I wouldn’t want it any other way!



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