Review: ERIS unveiled, “the story about a mad giggling goddess who gave humanity a mysterious conspiracy to resurrect itself… through interpretive dance!“
Okay. Where to begin… Wow…
Knowing that the Principia Discordia is the book by which all other Discordian creations will be measured, anything new must be brave, brilliant, and totally insane all at once, seamlessly weaving disjointed contexts into something enjoyable. To even begin to attempt a work of Discordian Literature is a declaration of one’s tenuous grasp on ‘reality.’ To return from the project coherent and passable as human is nothing short of a miracle.
Eris Unveiled, ‘the Podzine Pilot’ does all of that. Its author/narrator/protagonist seems to phase in and out between brilliant rationality and divine madness, taking the reader with him. By the end it all seems perfectly normal and sane; Eris succeeds in shifting your reality tunnel, and grasping the tunnel(s) of the zine that much better.
The Podzine concept itself requires a shift in expectations from standardized media. The textual, zine, part of the work is interspersed with QR codes that, once scanned, lead you to audio pods. These pods are incredibly enjoyable interludes… addendums… expositions. They bring a “real world” connection that comes from hearing fellow humans (and very non human elements too.) Do not skip the pods; you’ll miss the point.
Eris Unveiled content is also nonlinear and pastiche. The narrative, timeline, artwork and mixed audio form a “hyper-collage,” if you will. (A collage spanning more than the visual dimension.) Like Blade Runner, Lyotard’s classic example of pastiche; you won’t just be struck by the mixed aesthetic of the work. The line between real and simulation is blurred quite nicely. Plus, there’s actual cyborgs, like real ones, and I wonder if they could pass the Voight-Kampff test.
The reader/listener is going to experience and learn from the mythic past and the not set future, which combine to shed light on our present WTF world. Also, you will find much of what Discordians have come to expect thematically: levels of conspiracy ranging from the mundane political to the abstract and cosmic, a healthy, well researched infusion of esoteric lore – containing insights for both the novice as well as the adept. You’ll find the required drug references, political commentary and most importantly, an apocalyptic revelation worthy of RAW himself. The alarm call is real and it is clear without coming off as preachy in the slightest.
Yet, for all of this deep, rich content, the author keeps the prose engaging, light and it is intensely funny, even hysterical. The dialogues in the pods are another perfect blend of the profound and the absurd. So don’t assume for a second that this work is too heavy to enjoy either sober or tripping balls. Do not make the other mistake assuming that this is an absurd bit of niche humor with nothing of value. Both claims would be accurate and completely false at the same time.
Early on in the work we are told, that we will go through madness, discover the power of myth, and be exposed to a great mystery beyond. Anthropologists might call those the three stages of initiation, and this podzine might be just that. I cannot recommend it enough.