Monday, May 23, 2011

Chaos Cosmology

For the past few days I have been reading Thousand_Shinji and it's sidestory/sequel. In many ways it resembles Shinji and Warhammer40k that I read a while ago, but with generally less focus on interesting metaphysical stuff and including more stuff from Warhammer 40k of which the fanfic I read before, despite having it in the name, really doesn't have much to do with besides a few reffrences and ideas.

Thousand Shinji is also a lot darker and violent then Shinji and Warhammer40k in a lot of ways, and while Shinji and Warhammer40k has it's main character more or less care deeply for humanity and strive to be good while occasionally doing monstrous things but refusing to become some sort of god or use his friends as tools, Thousand Shinji's main character is more or less the opposite, being a sociopath who makes it a point to look at people as tools and scum who slowly begins to actually care about his friends and embraces godhood when given the chance.

And while Thousand Shinji is interesting, it's really it's sequel (which is almost more a side story) where the main characters are gods which are beginning to mass their forces and exploring across multible alternate universes based on different TV shows, anime, and other media that I want to comment on mostly, though my comments have to do with the first too.

Really I have three main complaints. The first is that especially in the sequel, and in Shinji and Warhammer40k, or even Warhammer40k in general, there is the kind of silly build up of powers. A kind of thing where all the multiverse is out to get you with these incredibly strong god-like beings who are fought using equally strong god like beings, and armies spanning galaxies, and so on. There is a need to justify brutal war machines and terrible weapons of unimagined power because it's "necessary". With the whole multiverse thing it gets even worse as there are untold many of other universes with beings that can swat even the most powerful of their forces if annoyed.

The second is related to the first in that the sequel tries to, as many stories involving this sort of thing do, make some sort of grand organization or map to every reality. The problem with both is, at least for me, how utterly small and silly it all is. If each work of fiction was included, the size of the whole structure would be so massive that any possible army or being in any one universe is utterly unable to actually do much of anything by force. But more importantly, when you start to develop a cosmology and creation story you run up to all sorts of contradictions and retcons and different ways to do the same thing in other works of fiction. You can't just make up some cosmology when dealing with things because that cosmology just becomes one of many floating around in the literary pool of such things.

And the thing that they never even hint at, and I surely wish stories like this would more often, is that on the whole no matter how utterly powerful a entity or group is, it doesn't matter. Because they are still operating on the incorrect assumption that power matters. I could just point out "their fictional", but that's only half what I am getting at. In a multiverse where each universe has subtlety different rules, gods, powers, energies, whatever, isn't the most powerful being the one who figures out the metaphysical truth that ties them together the most powerful one? Or better yet creates that truth. But do any but a scarce handful of dimension hopping crossover stories actually bother to bring this up? No.

Which is the frustrating bit because all the pieces are there in the story. And maybe they were working to it as some grand final plot twist, but I doubt it and I won't know because there is not and will never be a ending. Some one wrote a alternate version of the sequel seemingly because they weren't happy with the way the "heros" are always found more or less right even if they are monsters, but I never read it so I don't know if that's part of it.

But that's how I would end it, as the new gods of chaos seeing how silly their war is, because all they really need to do is this: Make a new universe. It's easy to do. Just write a new story. The story they want to write. A Universe without evil beings from the darkest depths, not without struggle, or without pain, but without gods or demons or horrors. One that was not part of a multiverse created with these things.

Which brings me to my last complaint. The heroes call themselves Chaos Gods, as do the Warhammer40k gods. And I am sick of chaos being a crazy violent force. One that if not wholly evil, is at least not good or nice. I almost want to write my own self-insert fic with Killo just so he can scold him over that (and the silliness above). I mean, actually I mostly think of Killo in a lot of the same ways, as a mostly a moral almost god-like being who is smarter and more "noble" then he lets on. The difference is Killo is very slow to anger and doesn't particularly enjoy violence, and really doesn't see the point of it. Killo would not make some sort of empire or pass himself off as a god, because he looks down on empires and gods, not because they are inherently tyrannical, but because they are part of a stupid, useless, game. One that's not even very fun. Killo is ultimately only interested in himself, but he knows other people can make him happy, or at least entertain him. And even with the point that order is ultimately part of chaos, which was made often in the story, Killo would point out order can be preserved just as much in individuality as it can in a collective. I guess in short, Killo's Chaos is more like the brush strokes of an artist, the growth of a tangling vine, a fractal iteration function, and most potently, the human soul. Something that seeks to create, to grow, and will only destroy if something gets in it's way. It's life. It's existence. Crazy violent maniacs who shout and holler for the sake of shouting and hollering or gods who raise massive armies and fight tooth and nail for some silly ideal, both are just expressions of it not the end result. You can't make people follow chaos because they already are following chaos. You think they are wrong for doing things a particular way, so be it. But don't you use chaos as a justification for a moral philosophy and even less for a empire. If you understood chaos you would know how ridiculously stupid that is.

Sorry I guess that last bit started into a speech.

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