Friday, 15 April 2005

fiction snippet

"Of course a well-developed They-system is necessary--but it's only half the story. For every They there ought to be a We. In our case there is. Creative paranoia means developing at least as thorough a We-system as a They-system--"
"Wait, wait, first where's the Haig and Haig, e a gracious host, second what is a 'They-system,' I don't pull Chebychev's Theorem on you, do I?"
"I mean what They and Their hired psychiatrists call 'delusional systems.' Needless to say, 'delusionals' are always officially defined. We don't have to worry about questions of real or unreal. They only talk out of expediency. It's the system that matters. How the data arranges themselves inside it. Some are consistent, others fall apart. Your idea that Pointsman sent Gloaming takes a wrong fork. Without any contrary set of delusions--delusions about ourselves, which I'm calling a We-system--the Gloaming idea might have been all right--"
"Delusions about ourselves?"
"Not real ones."
"But officially defined."
"Out of expediency, yes."
"Well, you're playing Their game, then."
"Don't let it bother you. You'll find you can operate quite well. Seeing as how we haven't won yet, it isn't really much of a problem."...

It's a little bewildering--if this is a "We-system," why isn't it at least thoughtful enough to interlock in a reasonable way, like They-systems do?
"That's exactly it," Osbie screams, belly-dancing Porky into a wide, alarming grin, "They're the rational ones. We piss on Their rational arrangements..."
"Hoorah!" cry the others.

- cut from Gravity's Rainbow by T. Pynchon

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