Tales from the Magic 8-Ball

For the benefit of that majority of folk who find themselves embroiled in debates as to the absurdity of the mantic arts, let me offer this explanation, and then the fun.


All mantic arts, i.e. those disciplines that carry “mancy” at the end of their names — cartomancy (tarot cards), oneiromancy (dream interpretation), necromancy (seances, communication with the dead), bibliomancy (opening a book at random, and, in the extreme version of Biblical bibliomancy, opening the Bible at random), etcetera. — are based on a simple assumption, neither provable nor DISprovable by science, which itself rests upon certain unprovable assumptions. That assumption was given by the old dictum: As above, so below.

It is a non-causal relationship, e.g. the stars do not make you move, you do not move the stars. Both are reflections of the same universal reality, the same “one.” That is the fundamental assumption of the world of Ouija boards and yarrow stalks.

Now, accepting that assumed dictum implicitly — for argument’s sake — I offer the Magic 8 Ball oracle:

1. Barack Obama is the first American president born post-television, post-atomic bomb, post-computer and post-space age. *(Includes post-lasers).

This would seem to indicate an administration with a fundamentally different world-view than prior administrations. All of the presidential candidates this year — with the exception of Obama — were born before the advent of television in the 1950s. One, John McCain, was born before the advent of radio, but that isn’t germane here.

Magic 8-Ball, will Obama represent a fundamental evolution of the American world-view, as does his generation and those that follow him represent a fundamental evolution of the American view of the world?


That’s very interesting.

2. OK, Magic 8-Ball, then what do you say to the question that, Sarah Palin, for all intents and purposes, seems to be a pathological liar, who says anything that suits her purpose without the slightest hint of self-awareness — e.g. the flat-out lie that she’d been exonerated when she’d been found just the opposite — my question is this, Magic 8-Ball — and my apologies for making such a long and involved question, just like most Americans do on talk radio or C-SPAN, or at lectures or conventions, because I know how much it annoys me, all this pointless meandering off into rhetorical space, rather than getting to the point of the question, which was this: Are the media idiots or will they just let this woman lie and lie and lie without ever once calling her on it?


All right. Fair enough.

3. Finally, Magic 8-Ball, is the reason for this long week of mental silence — bloggers unable to blog, bloviators seemingly unable to bloviate — well, Magic 8-Ball, is it because the outcome of the election created a reality that a lot of people hadn’t bothered to consider, and they’ve spent this week rearranging the chess pieces on the board of the story they’re telling themselves in their minds?


OK. But, Magic 8-Ball, if it IS true, then isn’t the term “Mentalpause” a good descriptive for what’s been happening to us all this week?


Well, dang. I guess that’s all the time we’ve got for today, folks! And thank you Magic 8-Ball.



cross-posted from his vorpal sword

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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