We don’t talk about being American, or English, or Mexican, or Canadian, or Chinese, because nations don’t exist.
We don’t talk about being black or white or Hispanic, because race doesn’t exist. He’s never specifically forbidden that (after all, some folks are different colors than others, it’s just that when people mention it at all, they’re usually talking culture rather than skin color), but it’s considered a taboo subject. Especially after dark.
We don’t talk about religion or the religions we used to follow, if any.
We don’t talk about the old days. Here’s why.
They never happened.
This wasn’t part of His explanations of the law in Riyadh. It was something that’s kind of evolved since. You don’t talk about ideas of nation, race, religion and other ideologies because they were never valid to begin with. God never existed, so there’s no point harping on what people used to believe. Nations were never more than people standing on a patch of dirt and screaming “Ours!”, so there’s no point rehashing their slogans and songs. Race was never a valid reason to deny or extend anything to other people, so there’s no point mentioning it.
As usual, He’s got a point, but the larger issue overshadows it. Maybe he’s right that nations, religion and race are artificial constructs, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t important or that there’s no value in studying them. And even ignoring that, the fact of the matter is that they were worth killing and dying for, to a lot of people for a lot of years. And now He’s saying, “Forget these parts of yourself ever existed, or else the monsters come in the night and kill you.”
It’s been 10 years, don’t forget. Slowly but surely, They are taking out the people who just can’t let go. The fire, the passion, the desire to stand and fight is becoming a less desirable trait.
Call it “unnatural selection.”
I put this post up on the LJ a while back when I was conceptualizing curse the darkness. It’s a post that got a lot of comments, mostly because the notion of ethnicity and religion being just flat-out illegal, punishable by death, is something that folks find hard to swallow. And I get that, but I also think it’s part of the horror of the setting. Take away people’s identifiers, the labels they self-affix, and then identity becomes threatened and that is a scary, scary prospect.
But it’s not like it’s never happened. Hell, it still happens. Nations change hands, religions change beliefs, political parties change platforms. What’s not happening is the supernatural shadow-opening bit or the monsters popping out and killing people, and that’s just as well.
I include this today, though, because it refers back to the passionate people who want to fight the status quo. At the time I wrote this, I didn’t realize how important those people would be to the game.