Sunday, March 25, 2012

Puck on... Rights, pt. 2

Now, why do you suppose people prattle on so much about rights, given that they don’t really have any?

Some people think they do.

Which is one way to say…

The want to think they do.

Ah, yes, it all comes back to desire.  You want rights.  Something to call on when the universe just won’t play by the rules.  The fact that you don’t have any claim to them is inconsequential.  You want them.  So, in the absence of their existence, you simply create some.  Out of thin air.  Call them rights and declare that you have some claim to privilege.  Oh, you funny, funny humans.

And here we again see your hypocrisy.  Truth is relative.  There are no absolutes.  Except, of course, for these.

Come now.  Will you not even play by your own rules?

So, do we have any rights?

Why should you think I would know?

You said you were a student of human nature.

I did.  That I did.  But be careful, my boy, who you ask certain questions.  Remember what I am.

Are you saying I can’t trust your answers?

Oh, you can, certainly.  Absolutely.  But how will you feel if you find answers in the things I say?  What will your “readers” think of you, should you find truth from the mouth of a devil?

I don’t know how to answer that.

Very well then.  To answer your original question.  What rights do I think you have?  I would have to say one.

I would expect you to say none.

Yes, you might.  But you do actually have one.  And you might find those clichéd expressions are not too far off the mark.  You think you have a right to life.  You don’t.  But you do have a right to something very similar.

What’s that?

You have a right to die.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Puck on... Rights

Oh, but I’ve gone and done it again.  Drifted off on some tangential tirade against you.  Forgive me, my boy.  How did we end up here?  I haven’t the foggiest idea.  Weren’t we discussing truth?


Ah, yes, that cumbersome thing.  You humans don’t like it very much, do you?

Some don’t.

And why is that?  I mean, it’s truth after all, who would want to devalue it?

You said they were afraid of it.

You’ve been listening.  Yes.  People fear truth.  Because it demands things of you.  Once something is recognized as a fact, well then you have to follow it.  But if you can deny, debunk, debate its fact-hood, you can drain it of its power.  After all, the opposite is just as true.  No one would want to follow a lie.  So, if you can somehow make it so that the things you do not wish to follow are lies, then you don’t have to follow them.  And conversely, if you can maintain that what you wish to follow are truths, then you can hold to them, moreover, you can demand that others do as well.

Oh, you humans and your words.  “Truth.”  “Fact.”  “Reality.”  And let’s not forget my favorite: “Right.”  Ah, “right”, the incantation of Man.  How absolutely deft you are with that word.  In one swoop, demanding all that you would wish out of the universe, and in the next, denying any power’s hold over you.  Of course, no one bothers to define the word.  That would destroy the illusion.  Ruin the game.  The best thing is to keep it as loose as possible.  Like relativism, hold it just lightly enough that you can wield it like a lethal weapon, but not so much that you must start to consider what exactly it is, and which way it is pointing.

I should wonder if even you, my boy, have ever sat down to consider exactly what “rights” you have.

I could probably think up some.

I’ll save you the time.  Let’s start with the most widely-known and, thus, most clichéd.  “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”  Concise.  Straight-forward.  And, of course, utterly meaningless.

Life. What claim do you think you have to that?  You didn’t purchase life.  You don’t own it.  You’ve been thrust into this reality against your will, more than that, before you had a will to speak of.  And you are ejected from it just as much against your will.  One could argue, as some have, that you have the right to end it, which would denote some claim on it.  But that is much like the argument a child makes to breaking their toys rather than share them.  And that assumes an end of death.  “But in death, what dreams may come?”  You do not know what you are getting yourselves into.

Liberty.  Oh, please.  Tell that to the slave.  Tell that to the economically, socially, physically, mentally disadvantaged.  Tell that to anyone who has even been in a place they did not want to be.  Tell that to yourself.  You have as much claim to it as Life.  Even less so.  Liberty is a made-up word.  It means you can do what you want.  It means choice, which is a subject I could spend more time on, but I shall save it for later so that we may consider the last and most laughable of all.

The Pursuit of Happiness.  Really?  We’re back to relativism.  We’re back to whatever makes one feel good.  What society could function like that?  What household could function like that?  It would tear itself apart.  Yet how telling of you as a people that that claim is what you hold to, what you admire.  The ability of man to seek his own happiness, however he should define it, whatever it should mean, whatever it should require, whatever it should cost.  How many lives, homes, careers, marriages, childhoods have been shattered on the rocks of that statement, thrown against it by your own self-absorbed sense of entitlement?

Rights?  Don’t talk to me about rights.  You don’t have the faintest idea.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Puck on... Chances

You don’t believe me?

I’m not sure.

A wise choice, but a stopgap measure more than anything.  You don’t believe I can do what I say I can.

A part of me… doesn’t wish to, I guess.

Ah, very honest, young one.  A very big part of you, I’d wager.  And why should it want to believe?  The outlook certainly isn’t very positive.  After all, if it’s true, what does that mean for you?

I don’t know.

An even wiser choice.  Embrace your ignorance, boy, it’s the only way you’ll learn.  Don’t worry, though, if I wanted to take you down, I never would have started this little endeavor.

So, what do you want with me?

A question for another time.  Right now, let’s focus on the real thrust of the matter before us.  I know you.  Better than you know yourself.  I know how to take you down.  Do you believe that?  Oh, but let’s not get too into that, too personal.  How about this?  You said that some would say that they would never break, no matter how hard I tried, right?


Why do you think they would say that?

I suppose they think they can outlast you.

Of course, and why wouldn’t they.  I am a demon after all.  I must be some weak, deluded fool, traipsing about, taking in dullards and the like with my sad, sorry attempts at temptation.

If you put it that way-

It sounds very ridiculous, doesn’t it?  That’s what you all forget, most of the time.  If you bother to remind yourselves that you have an enemy at all, you do like to picture him as some simpering idiot, too deluded to realize he’s on the wrong side.  How little you understand.  But that’s to be expected.  It was the subject of our first conversation, wasn’t it?  How people are always so keen to dull and diminish the really evil.  Unknowing, blind to the real, sharp, deadly evil you are up against.  Who are the deluded ones, I should wonder?

Yes, they would doubt our abilities, and thus fall into the trap we have carefully laid for them.  I am a student of human nature.  I have studied your species since the days you stood naked on the surface of this world.   I have seen births and deaths beyond number, countless civilizations rise and fall.  You think now is so different?  You think you have something I haven’t seen before?  You are as predictable to me as you have ever been.  “There is nothing new under the sun.”

So, I ask you, how do you rate your chances?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Puck on... Pride

How long did it take you to figure out my ploy?

Not long.

I don’t believe you.  No matter.  I’m caught.  You have me.  I’ll admit it.  Thought I could pull a fast one on you, but, no, you are just too good.

I suppose appealing to pride is one of those tools you were talking about?

Yes.  Yes, it is.  And it’s usually quite effective.  It’s easy, in many respects, to invoke that vice.  It’s very reptilian; it grows to the size of its tank.  The wise are no more immune to it than the foolish, the strong no more than the weak, the mature no more than the insipid.  The power of pride.  Perhaps the most potent of our tools, at least one of the most.

What would you say is the most potent?

Nice try, boy, but this is a conversation, not an interrogation.  I am not some encyclopedia of spiritual warfare that you can peruse at your leisure.  You want answers; you will have to work for it.

All right. Why is pride so effective?

It’s universal.  As I said, no one is beyond it.  Every single human being that has ever lived or ever will is vulnerable to it.  It is the bit error in your souls.  The single gap in your armor that any tip can find.  Accuracy is the key.  Not just where, but how.  What mode will be most effective?  It is always important, not just for effectiveness but style as well, to tailor your methods to your patient.  It’s just good demoning, I find.

Know your target.

Precisely.  And we know you.  Oh, yes.  Better than you do.  I know exactly how much it will take.  The dosage.  The frequency.  The mode.  The timing.  I know exactly how much it will take to break you.

Some would say that no matter what you do they will never break.

They all say that.

Don’t “they” also all say that?

That they do.  But don’t forget who you’re up against, little one.  I’ve played this game before.  Many times.  Want to guess what my track record is?