Knatz.com / Teaching / Scholarship / Myth /
@ K. c. 2000
I began my Myth section a year and a half ago without ever getting much flesh on its bones (thanks to the work (Macroinformation) that interrupted me). Work I’d intended to add here remains in my head, in notes, or got developed in other modules. Work I’d intended to link here still hasn’t been linked. In other words, many of my intended points are here at my homepage; but they are not yet organized the way I’d intended. And the work that did get done here could easily be retitled and relocated: that is, my fast note on the factitious difference between fiction and non-fiction.
Today I iterate an emphasis important throughout this site: our most important words are the most ambiguous, though the ambiguity is seldom acknowledged (and may be acknowledged in public only at one’s peril). Myth is such a term in spades. One the one hand it means “false”; on the other hand (the hand that should be the dominant hand), it means “true” with a truth deeper than mere “fact.”
That was said in the old version below. [Everything’s been shuffled around in one revision of another.] That version obviously prefers the deep-truth meaning of myth. For the moment I want to utilize the pejorative meaning of myth:
It’s a myth that:
It’s likewise a myth that:
Just as it’s a myth that:
My tables could go on and on. As is, I hope you see the humor, I hope you see the truth. I hope you could add some entries of your own such that they would fit. But before seeking to expand my tables I spin a point from them. Standard logic has it that “identity” is “obviously” true. Where “logic” is applied to or through the natural language spoken by kleptocrats and manipulated by lawyers, it ain’t necessarily so. Ambiguity stymies the logic.
Christians: does any group have a right to label itself? Should anyone trust any label that’s self-affixed? In the story of Jesus, he didn’t go around broadcasting, “I’m the son of God”; he went around demonstrating mental, magical, and moral powers. Now the churches sell “salvation” based on the marks saying that they “believe” in Jesus. Before they’re called Christian, shouldn’t they also have to demonstrate some congruence with the mental, magical, and moral powers brandished by the Jesus of the stories?
In contrast to the Jesus of the stories, the God of the stories goes around claiming much, demonstrating little. (Oh, the stories are vast and not all of a type, and there are “demonstrations” (or at least things that passed for demonstrations in the sticks.))
The same logic should be applied consistently. If we judge the Nazis not by what they said but by what they did, should we also judge ourselves not by what we say but by what we do? And if we judge by what we do, what does it matter what we say?
That’s enough for the moment. What I plan to link from this intro, is a potpourri of non-standard candidates for status in the classic sense of myth: jokes, comedy routines, bits and pieces from movies … Somehave already appeared in other contexts.
I don’t recall when I mounted this but I see that on 2005 10 07 I moved the contents around, editing, exporting.