[NB] Person, Persona, Style

This post began a bit far afield and so ranges widely to circle closer to home.I’m revisiting some old ground here, and this is very notebook-post, more observation and juxtaposition than well-articulated statement.

Today, Stacey and I were driving into Greensboro and talking about the clever use of doors in Jessica Jones, about the way the doors serve to mediate interactions between characters, and about how the doors where the characters live tells us more than a little about the sorts of people they are.

That set me to thinking and talking about the tail end of the first season of Person of Interest (haven’t seen beyond that; I’m a slow consumer that way), where the almost invisible eye of the Machine starts to acquire its own independence, where its camera-eye view shows signs of being guided by some peculiar machinic sense of interest and concern. That, in turn, set us off talking about how disappointing, how banally villainous, the Ultron AI of the last Avengers movie was.

Continue reading “[NB] Person, Persona, Style”

[NB] Teen Witch

“In order to play this game, you must be a teenage girl who is a witch. If you are not these things already, you must become them before playing.”—Teen Witch, Avery Alder McDaldno

Damn, can I rave about this little game for a moment? The way in which it inverts the tropes of a lot of magical literature gracefully, unargumentatively, with sincerity?

That the first spell is about purification and finding a sense of beauty. That the whole game is a delightful testament to Venus-Netzach, to Puella and Amissio.

Seriously, read it (linked at the top of the post). It is only 5 loosely formatted pages.

Notice the lack of hierarchy, beginning with the instruction to avoid the magic shop and its snooty ingredients. Even in teaching, the teacher enters the student’s space as a guest, the student is instructed to practice on their own so that the magic is theirs and not under a teacher’s command. Don’t show off as teacher, trust the student to find their way. The play of truth, trust, secrecy, play, and becoming delights.

The instruction to listen to the work itself, to the ingredients and the space, to find yourself, as a teenage witch girl, within the working. Consider, too, the way in which the apparatus can be changed to dramatic effect–be a teenage witch boy, be an old wizard. Compare this with the Picatrix/Gayat Al-Hakim and its games of dress-up.

Damn. How wonderful the way it throws light upon the force of Venus in so many spiritual operations. When you become that other thing, put on the clothes, you are on Venutian soil. Don’t underestimate that. At all. Venus will make a fool of you. Venus honored crowns foolishness with truth, though.

“That something is a fiction doesn’t make it any less real.”—Teen Witch

This may be the best bit of chaos magic I’ve seen in a bit. That it doesn’t call itself magic is even better.

This is a clever, clever little key.