75. Keeping still
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
I was sent to this planet about three decades ago and now, the Imperial Anthropologist will be pleased to learn, I have made significant advances in my study of this planet’s highest culture-group, the Anglo-Protestants. My fieldwork has not been without difficulties. I spent the first decade in a mental institution, diagnosed with severe autism. Apparently, this is how the people of Earth regard a healthy and well-adjusted personality from our planet! I finally readjusted my personality to such an extent that I became a schizophrenic, the complete opposite of my previous condition. It seems that we need to review our personality training module at the Imperial Academy; however, my full notes will provide a most amusing series of anecdotes for our storied anthropological literature. I have truly earned my knowledge by suffering among the primitives.
After a brief adjustment period, I became a normal member of this society. I work in the administrative section of a university and have had some relations with native women, known colloquially as “Karens” in the local tongue. I may take a wife. I live in the dominant culture-sphere of Earth, the Anglo-American hegemony. There are two other imperial blocs, the Russians and the Chinese; but, for now, these lag the Anglo-American hegemony.
The Anglo-American hegemony is run by a tripartite caste system of merchants, soldiers, and priests. Of these, the priests are the most important, although, through a unique act of cultural pseudomorphosis, these priests—the men who set the values system for the hegemony—are not regarded as spiritual authorities. Instead, they achieve religious legitimacy by claiming to be scientists—even those working in what we know as psychopoetics—and rule in a covert manner, denied even to themselves. These Anglo-Protestant priests (a Protestant was an earlier iteration of this religion, before the priests removed its supernatural aspects) regard themselves as entirely secular and rational. The system is quite ingenious and anyone who protests against it is labelled as a superstitious savage or backward reactionary, even if they are speaking the truth. Once again, we have a demonstration that Gnon—that great dark God of the far nebula—can throw up some truly insidious and sadistic practices, even in the sphere of the psyche.
The Anglo-Protestant priests, as with all priests, compete for status according to religious fervour, not monetary or military success. In the last decades, the highest of the Anglo-Protestant priests have initiated strict dietary laws—only consuming vegetables—known as “veganism”. This practice is most unhealthful for the body, and wasting. Yet, according to the religion, the man who shows the greatest restraint and modesty in his life is the most virtuous. The high priests of the faith say that a purely vegetable diet will avert a great cataclysm with Earth’s climate, specifically connected to the burning of fossil fuels by machines. They have many complicated numerological justifications for this belief, represented, naturally, as scientific models of the climate.
A new trend is for the most devout priests throw themselves in front of the lower classes to stop them from using diesel-driven mass transit machines. This is an act of devotion and scourging, designed to force the lower classes to acts of restraint that will save the planet from catastrophe. Of course, from an anthropological standpoint, the purpose is to raise priestly status relative to the mass of ordinary believers—a true fanaticism. The high priests will also compete among each other to own or appreciate “tiny houses”, an activity that is eroticised with computer-based media devoted to “tiny house porn”. They also venerate a minimal style of decoration, proving their virtuous austerity by painting their houses white and keeping few items of furniture. This trend is often exoticised, and the high priests claim they have adopted it from the genetically and culturally distant island of Japan (Appendix III). Last year, the high priests adopted a retarded girl, claiming that she had a special insight into the climate catastrophe that faces Earth. The trend passed…