Toward Post-Salbianism

Note: This post has been automatically imported from my old blog. Formatting may be incorrect.

OK, since this is my first post since Spelunk 04!1, let me be clear that we will be respecting GlassWave's request to abstain from public speculation here. Whatever really happened there, GlassWave's always been a decent dude and he's promised us a writeup, so we'll wait.

So before I get into this, I should explain why I have the link I'm about to share and comment on in the first place. Though I'm one of the few who came upon CC as an adult, I first binged the whole series years ago. It never occurred to me that there might be a community built around it, though, until I offhandedly mentioned I was starting a re-read in a thread on the RPGamer forums (yep, I'm one of those too). A friend of mine there, Nostalgebraist, asked if I was a member of the Cafe, and well I've spent basically all my free time there since. I didn't know this until recently, but it turns out Nost knew about the Cafe because he's good friends with GlassWave, and in addition to being an awesome guy he's a really good writer, so GlassWave has been asking him for help editing his writeup as a sort of completely disinterested third party eye.

Everyone reading this already knows that I have this intense love-hate relationship going on with CC2 and the Cafe. On the one hand, it's always been clear to me that LS's moral framework is on to something big and important here, but he gets close enough that where he's off the mark it's much more dissonant than it would have been if he were just plain wrong. You'll all be completely surprised, I'm sure, to learn that I've never needed CC to talk on and on about my ethical ideas, and Nost has been good enough to listen to my spiels on more than one occasion. So when GlassWave showed him this Salby journal entry, he knew I'd be dying to see it.

Now, stop here and read this. Seriously, none of this is going to make any sense without it.

Done? Trippy, right? Now, I have no idea what GlassWave meant with that cryptic "we're all Salbians now, anti-Salbianism is obsolete" comment (and I'm not going to guess), but this entry is the last piece I needed to crystallize my own understanding of what Salby was going for, how the other Cafe patrons have been engaging with his canon, and where I think we should be going. And in this sense, GlassWave is absolutely right: there's nothing left for anti-Salbianism, because Salby was right. But we're not stuck with Salbianism either, because Salby didn't go far enough. And thus the title of this post.

Let's be clear: Mundum's responsibilities are never ending, can't be overridden by God nor man, and there is no heaven or other reward outside of Mundum itself. But if that's true of our responsibilities, of right and wrong, shouldn't it also be true of our approach toward them? As the cherub and Sally look down on the low men with their laughing unconcern for DEFINITE WRONGNESS, mightn't we also look down on their pure seriousness? After all, if Mundum is all there is and all there ever could be, then we should not face that inevitability grimly, we should embrace it wholeheartedly. Keep the unending vigil, have care for the consequences of your actions however far-reaching, but do so with joy, not because you may gain some higher plane or fix the world, but because in doing so you thereby inherit Mundum, which of course is where you live.

To address the obvious objection, I'm not falling into the trap of reducing responsibility to mere desire. Heeding Mundum is not always pleasurable and rarely easy, and frankly more often looks like Sally and Charles having to leave Tom behind in Regained than like the simple cleanup in ATT. I don't object to the nature of the requirements LS put on our beloved heroes (which is why I've just never been able to get on board with any of the "the gang takes a break and has fun" fic), just to their outlook on them.

I have no idea what else will be uncovered in the coming days and weeks, and so can't make any predictions until GlassWave is done and the gory details are all laid out. But if I'm right, we at the Cafe still have work to do, and I hope this post can be a first step on that new path.

1: If you've been stuck in the plains lately, this is my favorite writeup of what's known about Spelunk 04! so far.
2: I've never read TNC, which I now really regret and will remedy as soon as the Spelunk 04! stuff clears up. I burned myself once, ignoring all the warnings against the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie and thinking it couldn't be that bad, so when I heard the repeated cry of DGITC I heeded it.