Continuing from part 6 of the Dune Book Club, run by Comic Book Girl 19.
Notes Before the Twitch Stream
What do you despise? By this you are truly known.
Fair enough, time to get to know me. I despise pickles; social justice warriors who bitch and moan about the pettiest things that shouldn’t be a big deal until they made it one; political correctness; being taught to be fine living without independence; big fat motherfuckers who are fat because they can’t control their diet; closed minded pricks who are only about confirmation bias; a lot of politicians from all sides; news media that skewers the news, doesn’t check their facts, and promotes intolerance; dipshits who censor speech and art that shouldn’t be censored (from movies to games to books, and those who just want to bring up their philosophical/political/theological/societal opinions); monopoly (both the game and the cocksucking corporations who actually have a monopoly on something, like those people who control the diamond industry) and people who are a lot better than me at games than I’ll ever be (you fucking Koreans and you’re fucking ridiculous skills at Starcraft, you make everyone else feel like an inferior species when it comes to gaming!). That last part is a joke in case you’re wondering.
Pretty sure there’s other things I despise, but that’s off the top of my head.
“The absence of a thing,” the Baron said, “this can be as deadly as the presence.”
The Baron is referring to the absence of something one is addicted to as a weapon to be used against others. This is a philosophy I’m sure many (including me) have experienced since childhood. When we’re young, we have access to anything in the house our parents will allow us to have. But if we do something bad, we get punished, sometimes by having something taken away from us. “You did what!? That’s it, I’m taking away your game system!”
But this goes beyond that, obviously. It’s bad to be addicted to anything, though there are things that have always been necessities (needing to breathe air, needing to drink water, needing to eat food). But everything else…
It’s also a philosophy that, while I’m sure this isn’t intentional by Frank Herbert to indicate this line can be interpreted this way, can work in regards to horror films. How many films are terrifying precisely because we often don’t see the monster, or the killer, or whatever threat there is? A fear of the unknown can be more terrifying than the fear of what is known. It’s the very thing H.P. Lovecraft based his works around.
“Never obliterate a man unthinkingly, the way an entire fief might do it through some due process of law. Always do it for an overriding purpose–and know your purpose!“
I think this can be applied to Death Note somehow. It is easier to take back words than it is to take back a kill. It makes me think about calls for someone to die. How some call for politicians to die, or for supporters of said politician to die, or for someone who holds a certain belief he/she preaches to die. There are always consequences to something like that, and even if the death is justifiable. It can lead to an uprising, a conflict, chaos, and things overall turning out for the worse. War, killing, murder, those should be last resorts. As Sun Tzu says, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” Hence politics.
There was also some other line of wisdom that I heard somewhere a long while back. I don’t remember if it was Sun Tzu, but it basically goes like, “Do not take pleasure in war. Enter into conflict with a heavy heart. Take no joy in the killing of others. It must only be done if it is only absolutely necessary.”
Granted, the Baron isn’t exactly a role model for this, and I doubt his intentions with the above quote are good, but it’s something to take from it for everyone else.
Idaho was with us in the vision, he remembered. But now Idaho is dead.
An opportunity, a decision, something was there that Paul could’ve done so that Idaho would have come with them and gotten to the place they are at now. But decisions that were made, actions that were taken, closed off that path. Now Idaho is dead. Was Paul too inexperienced? Too distracted? Who knows? But the point is Paul recognizes that, even with his powers of foresight, he is still capable of making mistakes.
He looked at his hand. How inadequate it appeared when measured against such creatures as that worm.
How small we seem in the grand scheme of things, or even against others. But there cannot be big things without the little things that make them. The hand is small compared to the worm, but the cells making up the hand are even smaller in comparison. And, as we’ll soon see, the hand can be used to take control of a worm, when it holds the right tool, a tool that can be crafted by hands. We are small in comparison to a planet, but we can build things to allow us to survive the forces of nature a planet brings to bear against us. We are small in comparison to the galaxy, but we are capable of developing technology that can one day allow us to travel it. Small, but capable. The big things are capable of wiping out the smaller things, but the smaller things are capable and not to be underestimated. Much as how the Baron considerably underestimates the Fremen.
“Speed is a device of the Shiatan.”
Patience. Don’t rush into things, don’t attempt to resolve things too quickly if it means you become more careless and vulnerable as a result, much as how some fighters in MMA rush to finish off an opponent they rattle with a blow, and thus swing wildly and less accurately, which can lead to the opponent recovering and delivering a counter-blow. There’s a time to be swift, and a time to be methodical.
The mind can go either direction under stress–toward positive or toward negative, on or off. Think of it as a spectrum whose extremes are unconscious at the negative end and hyperconsciousness at the positive end. The way the mind will lean under stress is strongly influenced by training.
Much like soldiers in the military. Herbert probably read some Sun Tzu stuff.
“Religion and law among our masses must be one and the same,” his father said. “An act of disobedience must be a sin and require religious penalties. This will have the dual benefit of bringing both greater obedience and greater bravery. We must depend not so much on the bravery of individuals, you see, as upon the bravery of a whole population.”
Kyne’s in a delusional state, imagining his father, and the lines he spoke in the past, as Kynes approaches death. The message here is that there should not be a separation between church and state, that the state should be run by a main religion, and have penalties/punishments/laws that conform to that religion. This has issues that should be readily apparent (such as how many do not wish to live under Sharia law, among other religious customs). But the benefit is greater obedience to avoid the harsh penalties and to avoid the strict rules. The benefit is also extremely patriotic and brave citizens, united nationally.
Bravery and obedience are what is gained, but at the cost of independent thinking/living. But if the state is doing poor economically, this could be one of the only ways (if not the only way) to live and survive. Unavoidable Middle East allegories here.
“No more terrible disaster could befall your people than for them to fall into the hands of a Hero,” his father said.
The fear here being that uniting behind a hero rather than behind an idea/religion could cause chaos and for the people to lose faith, because a hero is mortal, and imperfect, and will inevitably make a mistake and/or die, and thus shatter the image followers have of him being a hero, because their expectations will inevitably become too high.
Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error.
After the Twitch Stream
I’ll get to this when I can actually get access to the video.
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