Peter's Somashi

From: ian (i.) gorlick (igorlick@nortel.ca)
Date: Wed 16 Oct 1996 - 23:20:00 EEST


Peter,
I object to your rendition of Somash in Sun County because there is no evidence
to support it. I indicated that I might be willing to accept it if you could
provide a description of the cult of Somash that made those key elements of your
thesis (cross-dressing and hazia mostly) integral to the cult and made the cult
interesting. Then I might let MGF override my normal requirements for
plausibility. If you want me to accept your idea then you'll have to beef it up
some. If all you do is quibble about details then you won't convince me. You
have to inspire me with your vision instead.

On to your specific quibbles:

I said that the Somashi could easily give up their funny clothes and hazia. You
replied "So funny garb and wine in communion are mere 'cultural practices' and
not 'integral parts' of the medieval catholic church, say? I don't
think so."

Now really, Peter, you know better than that.

Funny clothes are just a cultural practice in the Catholic church. They never
had to change from their late Roman traditions, but if they had to then it would
not have made any difference to Catholicism.

As for the wine, you have to acknowledge communion wine that is not a good
analogy for hazia in an ecstatic cult of Somash. Wine is not used as an
intoxicant in Christian worship. Wine is not even essential, many churches use
other beverages for the communion, the ritual is what matters not the material.
I'm not Catholic myself, but I believe that even they will use alternative
beverages if wine is unavailable.

You say that hazia is used for ecstatic communion with Somash. Okay, that is
possible. However, Somash is the Teshnan analog of Yelm. I don't associate
drugged ecstatic trances with Yelm. You have to make clear how Somash differs so
that this different form of communion makes sense for the Teshnans. Just saying
it is so is not convincing.

As for botanical matters, I don't see why you dragged hemp into it except as
another bad analogy intended to confuse the issue. The issue is where does hazia

grow. We know that it is native to boreal forests. It has managed to be
cultivated in irrigated desert land. Now you are saying that it also grows
natively in hot humid jungles. That makes it one of the most adaptable plants on
the continent. It will be growing freely everywhere in Genertela. That makes the
whole plot idea of hazia being illegal and smuggled anywhere into complete
nonsense. Given the stuffs' wide distribution, powerful narcotic effects, and
extreme addiction potential, it will be the most widely spread mind-altering
substance on the continent and possibly the world. The whole plot idea of bans
and smuggling only works if the stuff is not common everywhere. So I suggested
that the native Teshnan ritual uses something else that produces similar
effects. Consider it a friendly ammendment.

And finally, you completely over-reacted when you said "And as for the fear of
gregging about speculations of Teshnos, I suppose we should all pack up and go
home?"

You can't possibly write up the cult of Somash without having a big influence on
the eventual write-up of Teshnos. We don't have enough official information
about Teshnos. So I appealled for anybody who may know if there is any
unpublished material out there that may eventually be coming out. This just
seems like a good idea before we paint ourselves into a corner. If there is
nothing written yet, and no plans for anything, then sure we can go ahead and
write our own. It just so happens that I have already been gregged on that
corner of the map. I had a good start at writing up Teshnos and the islands when
Genertela came out and I had to scrap everything. Once burned, twice shy.

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