Victor’s sin wasn’t in being too ambitious, not necessarily in playing God. It was in failing to care for the being he created, failing to take responsibility and to provide the creature what it needed to thrive, to reach its potential, to be a positive development for society instead of a disaster.
We have to be aware that when you create magic or occult things, when they go wrong they become horror. Because we create technologies to soothe our cultural and social anxieties, in a way. We create these things because we’re worried about security, we’re worried about climate change, we’re worried about threat of terrorism. Whatever it is. And these devices provide a kind of stopgap for helping us feel safe or protected or whatever.
We can see the hidden, occult operations of programmers, of people who are seeking to get very specific outcomes by operating on very particular components, ritually operating within very particular symbolic frameworks. People who are using particular coding languages, people who are using particular setups of hardware because for their purposes, for their end goals, these are the things that get the job done. These are the things that have the resonance and the capability, the power, the efficacy, to do the work.
The whole point of myth is that it’s just the kind of ambient stuff of culture that you can reach out and do whatever you need to do with. Yes, it means things, sort of, it has dispositions, it has tendencies, but you could rewrite all of that.
It’s the expectations themselves that start to change the material qualities of our world, the material qualities around science and technology, around our political activities. That it’s not just that the entrails have been read, but the fact that you now have to make a decision whether you’re going to [ward?] that warning or not.
I think there’s something interesting about a discipline that historically is tied to political intrigue, to secrecy, being linked into this debate over what is good magic or true divine magic, and what is the work of demons. And I think there is something interesting to be said about the moment we are in right now and how states themselves kind of identify and invent existential threats to justify their own behavior.
Pretty much anything that Lucifer says in Paradise Lost, you could probably imagine the CEO of Uber saying. They’re just disrupting the Heavenly orders, you know. They really needed it.
What is genre? I think it’s probably a set of assumptions, and it’s a loose contract between a creator and an audience. But for most of you, genre is something that tells you where to look in a book shop or a video store.