Bad Publicity and Fictional Literalism......
News “Good morning, Seattle. It’s time to wake up.”
Posted by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on April 13 at 16:12 PM
In the early morning hours of April 6th, Seattle Center security witnessed two individuals carry a “device” onto the campus, leaving it attached to a metal pole with a note.
Seattle Center, who cancelled its New Years Eve celebration in 1999 due to terrorism fears after Ahmed Ressam was caught with explosives while crossing into the US from Canada, called in Seattle’s Bomb Squad to deal with what the police report describes as “a collective of plastic, wires, paper, cardboard and metal tubing.” When police arrived at Seattle Center, they discovered the ‘item…buzzing and blinking [and] the surrounding area was secured with police tape,” while the bomb squad “took control of the scene.”
A one-page manifesto attached to the device read
Good morning, Seattle. It’s time to wake up. I watch you all. Every day. Watch you try and make sense of your wars, of your hatred…because [you don’t] fit with what the rest of the world expects them to be.
The manifesto continues, addressing what its writer believes to be the root of society’s ills: fear.
Fear, a great pulsing, beating heart that drives the human race’s blindness. A great pulsing, beating heart that – instead of the spark that’s inside all of you, instead of your common humanity and in that, DIVinity – connects each and every one of you. An organ of control that drives everything you do. This beating heart…right here. Take a look. A good look.
The bomb squad assessed that the device was “non harmful” and removed it for disposal.
You’d think the bomb squad showing up to the Seattle Center in the middle of the night would be big news, but none of the city’s papers have reported on the incident.
The Stranger contacted the device’s creators, who turned out to be a Bremerton couple who go by the names “Neo” and “Trinity.”
I met with the couple at a Capitol Hill coffee shop and asked about their connection to the Matrix film series. Neo and Trinity told me that they enjoyed the action in the Matrix films, “but they didn’t really accurately portray our lives”…and they were totally serious.
Sitting in the coffee shop, Neo—short and round faced, dressed in a torn black trenchcoat, hair dyed blue and eyes hidden behind mirrored sunglasses—said, “People are making the same mistake they did in Zion,” referencing his alleged past-life in The Matrix.
Neo believes “quantum reincarnation” has brought him to our world to open humanity’s eyes and save us from ourselves.
When asked about detractors on his website (currently
down terrible) that have accused him of being an extremely dedicated role-player or a loon, Neo responds, “Technically you’re only crazy if you can’t function. I’d like to be able to roll a D-12 and forget the memory of being raped on the deck of The Logos,” referencing elements of The Matrix series Neo says were not accurately represented. Additionally, Neo and Trinity claim to run an international grassroots organization, with over 1200 members dedicated to their cause.
Neo’s device, which he claims to have seen in a vision, says his piece represents “the human race being connected and driven by the heart of fear.”
Stranger art critic Jen Graves stared at the photos of Neo’s device for a solid five minutes before declaring “It’s just terrible. There’s a million reasons why.”
I called Seattle Center to find out their take on the incident.
A public relations representative called it “a non-event.”
I have some great pictures of “Neo” and “Trinity” that I took yesterday but I left my camera at home. I’ll update later today.
Okay, this is not a good example of self-outing (which often isn't a good idea anyhow, even if it doesn't involve suspicious-looking and mediocre conceptual art).....and it brings me to the central problem that I have with taking Otakukin seriously 'at face value', even when I have every reason to respect them otherwise. Namely, it just doesn't make sense.
Let's get this straight -- I'm definitely otherkin myself. Angelic, sidhe, wood-elf, therian, and a goodly lot of soi-disant 'human' lives too, so it stands to reason that I believe in reincarnation, souls, etc., and that history sometimes does get the real story scrambled/fouled-up considerably in the telling. But "reason" is a key element in this, and one that I think a good many people have forgotten how to apply, whether it comes to testing their own perceptions, researching their supposed existences, or communicating themselves to others. In an earth-based and historically-documented paradigm, there are ways of checking things as being arguably "true" -- in the realms of games and films and anime (to take the most extreme opposite), there's no standard of credibility to prove or disprove one's claims. Soulbonding runs rampant. Everyone has to 'be somebody'....but are they really?
The thing that so many people just don't get is....it's fiction. And if it's fiction, that means that you can hardly be the only person who identifies with it. You think you're that special that you're the one-and-only original Neo? Fat chance -- post-modern Messianic-figures are a dime a dozen in the subjective identity department. Doesn't mean you're 'not Neo'...but how exactly do we understand this matter of identity? -- is it really that discrete and possessive, and can it ever be, when one's dealing with fictional (or fictionalized) characters?
Look at the Internet (okay, like you haven't been soaking in it lately...) -- look at all the fan fiction and art and RPGs out there, all these multifoliate quantum branchings-off from something that was once, for good or ill, a single 'proprietary' idea. Now there are facets -- now there are reflections and iterations and elaborations, to the point that (let's face it) it barely matters what an "original" character was to begin with, because every character becomes infinitely multiplied by the number of consciousnesses that reflect themselves through it. Some do this better than others, deeper than others...and more tangibly and urgently than others.
"Identifying with it" is not bad....that's often very useful in self-understanding, as long as you're aware of it. "Identifying" with it and claiming it as being just yours and no-one else's, is not good -- because, again, it's fiction. At best, logically, what you might have is a life that was similar to that, that fits the pattern enough to ring a bell. But, chances are that it's not the exact same thing, because there's this little thing called imagination that occasionally functions (even in mundane humans, omg!) to create personae and stories that haven't existed before in that verbatim condition.
And "verbatim" is practically a thing of the past anyhow when it comes to fiction -- because we the erstwhile readers-and-watchers have discovered, with more or less psychological acumen, that it is we who complete the characters we perceive there, fleshing them out by our own minds and sensations and visions. We "know" what they should be like, look like, act like, we feel through them, we act like them and know it even when no one else can tell. Some of us call it soulbonding, some call it self-faceting (my term when I first decided it needed talking about as a general phenomenon), and some call it -- and themselves -- fictionkin/otakukin.
I don't like being in the position of "attacking" people's personal histories-and-beliefs -- generally, it only really has a reason to bother me when their claims impinge on my own history and already-well-considered understanding of things. (Hands off my reality, ya know...ain't that the mantra these days?) But really, I pity their mindset, when it comes to the point when they feel literally bound by their character's literal limitations, or literal plot arc and disasters and death -- is it real or is it Memorex?--are you more real than Neo, or must you simply protest that "they got the story wrong" in order to retain some degree of semi-autonomy over yourself, clinging to the distinctive name and image as a self-definition while denying your dependence upon it? Or, are you going to both assert and undermine yourself at the same time, using the vocabulary of a fiction/fandom even though it belies the possibility of your "real" reality underneath?
If there is something there, chances are it's not in a quantum mirror-dimension or some mystical plane of anime that inspires all mundane creation. Chances are that you might have to look at your own reasons for why you feel you are what/who you are, and stop leaning on other people's fantasies and creations to build yourself up. I'm not saying that otakukin don't have a real basis to their identities, or even that they aren't really "other" whatever their species (it helps to have a wider fundamental definition of "other" to work with, there). The central question is, are their identities free or confined, real or make-believe? And does it have to be all or nothing, this matter of whether there's 'something there'?
My suspicion is that these felt identities are often very real ones (I won't say always, as some people are merely wishful and latch onto what they like externally), but recognised through the catalyst guise of fiction -- in whatever degree of intensity they occur, whether it's a present aspect of selfhood or an entire past life that lies behind the mask -- and that one must sort carefully to separate the essence from (as it were) the matrix of the thing. Take away the overexposed names and catchphrase terms, the studio-imprint and its legalities, the structure of the artifice that makes it a "popular" thing, and look at what's at the core of this persona, what's in its internal profile and experiences that just can't be separated out as 'someone else's work', no matter how scrupulously you try. Because when it comes to fiction and the reflections it shows us, everyone's got their own originality -- they just have to have the -*cough*- depth of character to figure out what their character really is.
[Note: If you think that this commentary doesn't make sense, or that it is offensive to your personal identity, please do let me know precisely why you believe in your particular fictionkin literality "as such." I can't guarantee that I'll accept it as a valid reality, but I am interested in your reasoning all the same.]