First of all, if you're wondering why I'm posting so much lately...I don't have an answer. I've been in a bad mood, and I guess that makes the need to get things out stronger. But this isn't a rant or anything; it's more an exploration. First, let me recap. I have a set of traits that are quite contrary to my personality, and which only come out when fiction (usually video games) allows me to act on them. Together I call this my “dark side” and it's one of the cornerstones of the idea that my kin type is to some degree demonic. The “dark side” really manifests in two different ways: a violent primal rage, and a sadistic desire to control and manipulate others. As you guys can hopefully tell, neither of those describe me at all...in this life, anyway.
Let's not get into the question of whether or not this is actually related to being kin; I lean towards believing it is, and I'm keeping the issue on the back burner for now. What I want to talk about is something that I only recently considered: the two parts of the “dark side” are practically opposites of each other. To put them in the context of how I let them out, I'll use a game that accesses both: Fable. One part of the dark side is going into town with a big two handed weapon and just smashing whoever I can find. The other part is spending way too much time befriending people so that I can literally drag them to the altar where they will be sacrificed to an evil god in a variety of ways. That actually reminds me of something else, but I'll try to stay sort of focused. What I'm talking about is, the first one requires no strategy and little preparation; as long as you're strong enough you can just keep on going. But the second one requires going significantly out of my way for something that doesn't even make much of a difference.
Now that I think about it, though, I realize there's actually a third part of my dark side, which I'm going to label “hedonism.” It manifests just like the other two. I'm not going to go into any more detail than that. But here's the thing: I define a fauntaur as a creature sharing traits with centaurs, fauns, and demons. But despite their similarities (and depending on which depiction you're looking at), those three things are very different. In fact, they're exactly like the aspects of my dark side. The centaur is primal rage, the faun is hedonism, and the demon is sadism. So what does that mean?
Well, maybe you think it means that I've described my “dark side” as I have to convince myself that it fits with my current understanding of my kin type, and that's fair. But it strikes me as causing a big problem with my understanding of my kin type: how can it be all three? How can a creature embrace primal rage, sadistic control, and hedonism when they're all so different from each other? It doesn't make sense...or does it?
Humanity has ascribed certain traits to certain animals, regardless of whether the matchup is accurate. Owls are wise, sharks are vicious, foxes are sly, and so on. Mythological creatures are also often described like this: dragons are greedy, goblins are stupid, etc. But for the animals at least, we know better; one trait can't possibly define an entire species. We have no singular descriptor for ourselves as humans, after all. So why can't “mythical” creatures be equally complex?
You might have noticed the stumbling block I unwittingly placed in front of myself, though: the question isn't whether a faun can be professional or whether a centaur can be disciplined. The question is, how can a fauntaur be vicious, sadistic, and hedonistic? The best answer I have is that those traits can be true without totally defining the species. A fauntaur could be, for example, normally pretty relaxed but prone to letting baser urges take over. Anger can lead to primal rage, and hatred can lead to sadism, but that doesn't mean the fauntaur is always like that. Or if you want to describe it with a single trait, it's a trait that's more nuanced. Perhaps the trait is that fauntaurs are prone to succumbing to baser urges. It fits everything I've said up until now, but leaves room for more detail and complexity.
When I started writing this, my goal was simply to consider the question of how a person or a species can have such wildly differing traits. But in writing about it, I've actually come closer to that answer. What I've discovered, among other things, is that I have to remember why I call myself a fauntaur. It's because I'm not a faun or a centaur or a demon, no matter how close I might be to those things. My kin type is something different, and I need to start treating it that way.
Finally, a note for those of you who don't know me: I know what this sounds like. I know it sounds like I'm being a “special snowflake” and making things up so that I don't have to really understand them. But the truth is, I've been working hard towards this understanding for a very long time. So don't get me wrong, I'm not saying there's anything necessarily “good” or “special” about being a fauntaur. I'm just saying that it's what I am.
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