Consociation Credos

Whew, that was a lot, wasn’t it? In the introduction for the Taikon series, I lamented my inability to remember where exactly I came up with that word. I told you then that we would fix it in my post, and I was totally right. Here we are at the post-show installment—designed to bridge us to my current microfiction series, which will go until the end of the year—and I can tell you the answer. Taikon is a portmanteau of token and icon. When I transferred the notes for the television series that these stories are based on into a spreadsheet, rather than a document, it made most things a lot easier to read, but some of the longer paragraphed text gets lost in the scrolling. Anyway, I hope the taikon stories were entertaining to you. They were fantastically difficult for me to write. Like I said, these belong to a television series (my favorite one, actually, at least in the recursiverse). I need to be extra careful about how I tell the story, because of the nature of television writing. My biggest draw to the industry is the amount of collaboration that kind of art requires, especially when compared with novels and short fiction. I wasn’t concerned with giving secrets away so much as I was worried about including plot points that could one day conflict with some hypothetical brilliant idea someone on my writing team might have. I’m still worried about that. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, but I will be so relieved next year when I’m not constrained by a canon I’ve not yet figured out. As I’ve told you before, I plan my website far in advance, ya know, except for this one, which I came up with all the way back on Friday. Please consult this post here, which first outlines what I’m going to detail in this series here. I came up with four of those conventions on the fly, then upon realizing that they all shared the same first two letters, I consulted my trusted source in for related terms that fit the parameters. I found eleven more, and was satisfied with that being as far as it went, because I was merely trying to illustrate the outrageousness of your stupid religions, and all your stupid ideas that can be applied to practically anything else. A set of fourteen arbitrary conventions that don’t so much as begin to codify the complexities of moral improvement is exactly the kind of thing religions love to leverage against the rest of us. As the writer responsible for a particular quote spoken by the titular character, Donnie Darko once said, “okay. But you’re not listening to me. There are other things that need to be taken into account. Like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You can’t just lump everything into these two categories, and then just deny everything else.”

Meanwhile, I’m sitting over here with a set of 24 extra weekdays in 2017, trying to come up with an actual story behind the concept of 24 consecutive hours, and I got nothin’. I generally collect these stories into groups of 100 (this last one being a major exception) which makes the beginnings and ends of the calendar year uneven. I went to Wikipedia, and tried to look up what things in the world can be broken down into 24 parts, and nothing really fits, except for the fact that this is how we organize our solar days. Blech, whatever. Fortunately, the Consociation Credo fell out of my butt just in time to finish last Friday’s story, and I decided to use it again. It was a little awkward fitting 14 tenets into 24 installments, but I figured it out. Most, but not all, tenets will be given two installments because I’m hoping there’s enough content to fill that space until I get to Wild Cards in January. I plan to do my level best writing them in the same cadence that your precious “proof” texts use, with somehow both flowery and prosaic language, and vague generalizations that don’t really mean anything. And thus begins a series of excerpts from the new divine tome, The Book of Darkness.
Convention One: Coordination, Chapter One Convention One: Coordination, Chapter Two Convention Two: Collaboration, Chapter One Convention Two: Collaboration, Chapter Two Convention Three: Cooperation, Chapter One Convention Three: Cooperation, Chapter Two Convention Four: Cordiality Convention Five: Congruence Convention Six: Communication, Chapter One Convention Six: Communication, Chapter Two Convention Seven: Constructiveness, Chapter One Convention Seven: Constructiveness, Chapter Two Convention Eight: Cohesion Convention Nine: Commitment, Chapter One Convention Nine: Commitment, Chapter Two Convention Ten: Congeniality, Chapter One Convention Ten: Congeniality, Chapter Two Convention Eleven: Collegiality Convention Twelve: Consensus Convention Thirteen: Compromise, Chapter One
Convention Thirteen: Compromise, Chapter Two
Convention Fourteen: Courtesy

Microstory 745: Conclusion
The wandering child removed the last canister from his head, surprised that he did not have to gasp for breath. Though his head had been in the canister for over fifteen minutes, watching this woman’s life story being told, he never ran out of oxygen. The canister had protected him through his faith in the process. It was then he realized what the fish woman did not tell him. The canisters were always meant for him, which explained their size. No one was destined to complete this quest but him. This last one was puzzling, though, and he doubted whether he would get it right. All other stories were that of moral lessons. They taught him to empathize with others, that you get out of life what you put into it. They taught him how to deal with others, to be sensitive to their needs, and to work together towards common goals. They taught him to work hard, and never give up. But this one was different. He used the magic communication cup as a reflector, to see that the water from the last canister had not left on him a brilliant shine, like the others had. Furthermore, the sparkle from the rest of the body was beginning to fade. He knew that if he didn’t figure out the final lesson, he would lose everything, and fail at the quest. So he sat on the ground, and meditated. He went back through all the stories, remembering what had happened. He recalled the farmers learning how to grow their crops right, the criminals who became an independent peoples, business owner trying to find employees, and unskilled laborers looking for work. Again, they all taught him how to improve himself, but the last one was teaching him nothing. The small shop owner lived a horrible life, and died not having accomplished anything remarkable. No one remembered her, and for as hard as she worked to please others, she received nothing. People were never particularly nice to her. Nor did they get their comeuppance once her generosity was gone. All signs pointed to the rational conclusion that her actions were fruitless. But that couldn’t be true...could it? No, that’s not the lesson. The lesson is that it doesn’t matter. It’s irrelevant how others treat you, or how you benefit from your own goodness. The only course of action is to be a pleasant and courteous person. This was the hardest truth to accept, because there is no fulfillment in it. Still, it must be so. If no one else is good, you can at least take comfort that one such person exists. The shop owner was the greatest hero of all, not despite achieving nothing, but because of it. She experienced so much hardship. Nevertheless...she persisted.

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