Dessie Octavia Vargas wrote:
The problem with Aristasia is that we have to leave it! Those of us who are not fortunate enough to have seceded and live in Aristasia full-time, that is.

I have been a “part-time Aristasian” for nine years now, and it’s becoming quite maddening. I always preferred up-to-date movies and clothes and other things, but it was merely a preference until I discovered Aristasia. Aristasia influenced me to actively seek out up-to-date things instead of merely enjoy them when I happened upon them. I bought up-to-date magazines, acquired a lot of the Kadorian and Quirrie ads Coca-Cola has reproduced on refrigerator magnets and coffee mugs and postcards, and while I did not give up post-Eclipse movies and books entirely, an increasingly large proportion of my viewing and reading have become up-to-date. (I didn’t watch television in the first place, so that wasn’t a factor.)

The result of these years of cultivating my taste for Real things is that now I have become almost unbearably sensitized to the Pit. Movies and statements and things that wouldn’t have bothered me before are now like Chinese water torture. I’m especially conscious of this right now because I just visited some relatives and of course they had newspapers around and the television on, two abominations which have long since been banished from my own hestia. Before my personal racination began these things would have been merely dreary or dull, but now accidentally reading one line in a newspaper while I am passing the scrambled eggs can make me depressed for an entire day, and did.

And it isn’t merely that bongo things are ugly, though most of them are. (Not quite all; bongos are still human beings, hard as they try to forget it, and they can’t help occasionally doing something right.) It isn’t merely the immorality, because they’re not always being immoral; a bongo commercial I saw this week exhorting youngsters not to use dangerous substances struck me as being every bit as dangerous to those youngsters as the substances themselves. It’s the fundamental wrong-headedness that underlies all of it. It seems that everything in the Pit, even things that have a degree of soundness in them, is covered in a layer of slime. Sometimes it is only a thin layer, but it is always there. Miss Ayn Rand, a sagette I disagree with on many things but must nonetheless admire for her genius, once described the evil she saw as “not Satan with a sword, but a corner lout sipping a Coca-Cola”, and another time she said, “Not fire and brimstone, but goo.” I couldn’t have put it better myself, so I won’t try.

I just ordered a kinnie-shiny of up-to-date television commercials and one of up-to-date newsreels. I already have some of Real cartoons, and I’ve long thought it would be lovely to have a cartoon and a newsreel before the movie when I go to the Magic Cinema. I can imagine the expression on the faces of my unseceded friends who know my tastes when they learn that I intend to interrupt my viewing to watch up-to-date commercials! But I know that it is only going to make me even more frustrated with the so-called world that I have to live in.

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