To have my books burned would be an honor. This is what I absorbed from the last episode’s talk about exorcism and its relationship to a given entity’s face and name.
Book burning is very similar to exorcism. Well, no, let me correct that. Book burning is a form of exorcism. The slight difference is that, in most cases of exorcisms, the devil is inside a human being, whereas in book burning, the devil that is being exorcised resides within a book.
A long while ago, I heard about some religious groups that burned Harry Potter books, claiming that they’re the books of the devil. They thought the story in the book was evil because it promoted Satanism. And so they felt the need to burn a bunch of those books.
I find this infinitely amusing and laughable.
And before continuing, I would like to make a statement regarding my position on religions.
You can believe whatever you want. But when you start doing things in the name of your God or gods that destroys what other people have done, then you don’t deserve respect.
I believe there is some sort of higher force that is beyond my control. But I will never again partake in an established religion. I find it extremely offensive when someone claims that their god, especially their One God, is more important than the absence of other people’s gods.
Sometimes I think I should just call my belief system a religion, because the leeway given to religions is utterly nonsensical. Such auto respect toward religions is how countless literal murders were committed in their names, and I despise that.
So, I will laugh at nonsensical behavior like book burning, committed by some religious groups, as I please. I have zero respect for them. Why should I respect them, when they destroyed one of the manifestations of something that is as close to a religion as it gets for me, which is storytelling?
Anyway, my lack of respect for these people doesn’t stop me from finding it insanely fascinating that various religions, throughout the millennia, have attempted to trap something so shapeless and formless as a story into a shape and form, specifically in order to destroy that shape and form. I guess, just as a typical exorcist would attempt to make the devil manifest within a victim’s body, and then demand that it say its name, the book burners thought they would have power over the book once they knew the title and could see the cover, and physically destroyed them.
But unlike in the case of the devil, which seems to latch onto a physical body, which is why it tries to possess people, a story doesn’t need to latch onto anything physical. If any latching is happening, then it’s the physical that is latching onto the story, not the story latching onto the physical.
This is why you can’t kill Harry Potter, the story. Or any other story. You can’t. It’s the same as, you know, when someone tells you to not think about the purple elephant, you will keep thinking about the purple elephant. Or was it the red bear? When someone tells you to stop thinking about the red bear, you nevertheless think about the red bear. In fact, them telling you to stop makes you think about it even more.
And the most laughable part is that book burnings aren’t just a matter of a random purple elephant or red bear. These particular people who burned the Harry potter books did so… after buying the books.
It’s stupid and touching at the same time. I guess book burning could have worked at the symbolic level, up to, say, the middle of the 20th century or so. It might have worked when books couldn’t be easily created, bought, and sold. But since the middle of the 20th century or so? And folks, this particular book burning happened after Harry Potter made an appearance in this world. The earliest that this could’ve happened was in the last decade of the 20th century.
This means that a group of people actually thought that burning books could work as a meaningful symbol in the age of mass book printing and the Internet. Absolutely fascinating.
What did they think book burning was gonna accomplish? I mean, if you’re going to hate something, do something that will do some real damage to the thing you hate. Buying someone’s books and then burning them benefits the book’s writer and does nothing to damage the story.
That’s why in a twisted way, I think it would be an honor for a group of people to waste this much time and resources to burn my books. Like, “Wow, you actually read my story and hate it that much and will give me that much marketing material to talk about? Thanks!”
Imagine the content I could make from that book burning. I would hire a film crew to go make a documentary about the whole thing. During the process, I could get several dozens of Tiktok videos. Yes, I think I might make an exception to my No Tiktok policy, because this is such Tiktok material. And I could make several Youtube videos out of this, I could write a book, fiction and nonfiction. I would podcast about it. It would be amazing.
And my recording the whole event would be good for both parties, myself as well as the book burners, because, don’t they need a record of having burned the book? Otherwise, how would they prove that the books ever existed, and now are gone?
It’s a classic win-win scenario, me creating so much content around this event.
But… yeah, I don’t think this will happen to me. First of all, it’s incredibly difficult to become as famous as J.K. Rowling. And also, the most hilarious part is that my stories aren’t even in a printed book format at this time.
I mostly read fiction digitally. I read too much to keep all of them in my house. And in the way I read, I write. I write and publish digitally.
So if there is going to be a religious group that wants to burn my creations for some symbolic purpose, here’s a tip for that group: you gotta print and then burn that.
Yup. You will have to make the phsyical books first, before you can burn them.
Or, if the book burners wanted to really put shape and form to the concept of “sacrifice” in the name of their One God… because, let’s be honest here, it’s usually the believers in One God who gather around this kind of activity, because if you believe in multiple gods, there is no need.
Anyway, if the One-God-believing book burners really wanted to put shape and form to the concept of “sacrifice,” what they could do is: buy a bunch of iPads, and then download my books there. Then they could burn those iPads, because it’s way more meaningful a sacrifice than printing the stories on some cheap paper.
If anybody burns multiple iPads just to prove that they hate Satan and love God? Wow. I might even respect them, not because they’re any less foolish, but because even for fools, it’s not easy to live according to the way one preaches. Burning iPads is a whole lot of sacrifice, enough of a statement to exorcise the devil out of anything. Burning apples and burning money. Way to go to show your devotion.
Although, yeah, at this time, which is the year 2022, paper prices are rising. So if the book burners want to have a nice-smelling paper bonfire while sacrificing lots of money and showing devotion, then perhaps now is the ideal time.
Just know this. You will never ever be able to fully exorcise any story out of the world, no matter what you do. This is the age in which information lasts pretty much eternally. Forever.
Just like an evil spirit without a face and without a name, the works of we the creators shall forever speak out in the voice that you’re trying so hard to destroy. Those creations live in hard drives. They live in the cloud. They live on the blockchain. Wherever. The location doesn’t matter.
Their essence doesn’t reside in their shells.
They are invincible.
Immortal – Twin Signals
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© 2022 Ithaka O.