Violence & Uz; ZZ lies revealed! <g>

From: James Frusetta (gerakkag@wam.umd.edu)
Date: Mon 13 Jan 1997 - 21:25:28 EET


Peter Michaels points out that it's not exactly easy to "get inside" the
head of a troll, and be free of human bias.

Too true. 'S just as an uz apologist, I don't like it when trolls are
"crude," "brutal," "cruel," etc. I recognize that we have to use human
language for it; but my inherent knee-jerk reaction is probably _always_
going to be, "Hey!" <Shrug> Sorry: chalk it up to dealing with years of
"stupid troll" comments while playing.

>How does it feel to slowly devour a living sentient being?
Filling. <g>

> comedy can grasp the essence of humanity, it is _violence_ that can grasp
> the essence of the Uz.
Mmmmm... defining eating as violence, okay. I'm not sure I completely
agree with this -- the uz were pretty peaceful in Wonderhome. And I don't
like the idea that eating = violence. But I'll shut up and go with it for
a minute:

> I don't think the trolls use humor as such a "release mechanism." For this
> to happen troll comedy would need to create social bonds, and I don't
> think it does. It is a HUMAN thing to feel closer to someone after sharing
> a laugh together at something comic.
Ah. My fault. I don't think Trolls "feel closer" after such an event; I
think it isolates/humiliates the loser. I suppose this could be called
cruel. I _do_ think humor has a place among the trolls; I agree it may
well not be as important as it is among humans. It's probably not the
same. But I would say that humor which has the Other as a target would
probably create social bonds (like when the Humakti flee Humakt's Hall of
Shame). (Although this would also fall under your category of
"participating in a violent act together.") No, the Karrg's Son doesn't
have a jolly laugh with the Death Lord: he slinks off in defeat. But he's
_alive_ and future conflict is averted for a while, which is the release
mechanism I think is important.

> But even if I'm wrong and humor is used to moderate conflict, so what?
Nothing, actually. I don't think it'd detract from your arguments about ZZ
one whit. What I want to point out is that humor plays an important part
in uz society, which (IMO) you were arguing it did not (that it existed,
but was not important).

> personal expression of enjoyment which does not have the same social
> effects it does for humans. What makes trolls feel closer to one another
> is to participate in a violent act together, during which they may laugh.
<snip>
> Violence plays an important part in human interactions, but as a race we
> don't consider it to make us human. Instead we believe that it is comedy
> which says something important about the human condition. But trolls
> are non-human, and I think part of their inhumanity is that they consider
> violence to make them trolls.

Hmmm. The original trolls weren't violent, though, IMO (Wonderhome =
peace). And I'm _also_ not sure that you can say humor helps define

humanity, and violence does not: I think that's an opinion. There have
been those who would point to violence as being the essential factor of
humanity, the capacity to destroy and murder that animals don't possess.

Are the Dark Trolls -- or Dark Men -- _that_ different? If violence
defines the trolls, I find a surprising number of peaceful occupations
among them, and a surprising number of peaceful gods (I'd argue for XU,
Xentha, Argan Argar, Aranea and Subere as being primarily peaceful in

outlook). IMO, you're placing the "darkest" elements of humanity in the
uz, and saying that's their primary motivation. I would counter that
unless you can find a "red thread" that unites all trolls within violence,
it can't be said to define the Uz race. You may be right, that eating =
violence and ergo (as Uz = eating), that's the key. I just don't agree (at
least at the moment: let me mull it over some more).

Disclaimer at this point: although I obviously don't agree with all of
your argument, I think it's something that _would_ be argued by both some
humans and some trolls in Glorantha. A debate that might be replicated in
different ways over different time. And if nothing else, it's quite
thought provoking! The Michaels School of Troll Psychology, hotly debated
by the uzophiles in the Lhankor Mhy temples... I'm quite enjoying it,
actually.

On to Zorak Zoran:

> >ZZ is _not_ a creator deity...
> > Of course he is!!
Peter lists Zorak Zoran creating weapons:
Shameless lies. _Karrg_ is the master of weapons. The Zorak Zoranis have
been feeding you propaganda. Unbiased sources, of course, support Karrg
on this while condemning the Zorak Zorani claim as the product of
revisionism and obvious political manipulation.

(On a more serious note, I _do_ think this is true. I think Karrg was the
primary war god of the trolls at the time of the exodus, and that his
position has steadily declined afterwards. He invented weapons; ZZ now
takes the credit for it). In any case, nice myth. :)

> After eating, Karrg (mother-loving son that he is)
"Wot!" (Karrg's Sons heft maces meaningfully) "What's that about his mom?"

> the idea, gains their permission
I think it'd be better here to just refer to Kyger Litor herself, actually.

> gains the name "Master of Weapons" for himself.
I wanna know the source material for this. If their name ends in "Death
Lord," I rest my case. <g>

For throwing rocks: No, I think Vaneekara the Hurler was the originator.
Unless you've got another "wimpy spawn of KL steals ZZ's idea" story. <g>

> So, for Uz, Zorak Zoran is the creator of weapons. (Of course he also
So, for Zorak Zorani, Zorak Zoran is the creator of weapons... <g>

> And, while there are different stories about how he did it, he also created
> zombies and skeletons. One story is that during one fight all of Zorak
True: he "creates" the undead. Good point.

The undead as clowns: _this_, I'll have to think about.

> quite what you meant. And anyway, THAT'S MY POINT: in Uz culture the
> Trickster WOULD NOT BE a fool, an illusionist, or a shapeshifter!!! Those
> are what Trickster is in HUMAN cultures! In a non-human culture he will
> be something DIFFERENT!
Okay. But what you've argued is that in Human culture Trickster is many
things, and that in Uz culture he is violence. I still think there would
be more, as it were. Unless you're arguing that Humans are much more
complicated and so on than trolls, which I don't think is true. I WANT THE
REST. And my MTV, too. Where's the other trickster manifestations that
TROLLS would view? Besides violence? I think it might be true that ZZ is
the uz trickster of violence. Other troll tricksters, apply at the door.
 
> And I feel this view of ZZ as Uz Trickster is _much_ more than just
> "Scary Monster with added bells and whistles."
Ah. Apologies. I was not attacking your capacity for myth or cultural
description (which is quite good), but the fact that Scary Monster =
hunger/(violence?), Zorak Zoran = violence/(hunger?). I meant that he was
driven by a single motivation (as Scary Monster seems to be), not that
your placing him in cultural relevance isn't quite well done. I'm taking
exception to his single-mindedness as a trickster.

I think it could be said that ZZ _was_ a trickster figure (RomoZoZo,
please stand forward. Heh, heh). ; I just think he's been superceded since
he focused on War. (Quibble, quibble).

And, BTW, I suspect some of the difference in our arguments is in terms of
exactly _how far_ we feel the Uz are from Human culture. Just how
"non-human" are they, considering they share the Man rune and considering
that the Kitori show men and trolls, sleeping-- er, living together.
Dunno. I've always thought of them as Dark Men, as representing a culture
that is alien but, at least on the surface, understandable to humans.
Probably another hot debate topic among uz-study scholars living in
Glorantha.

James

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