LNH20: Bite-Size Tals of the LNH v20 #5: "I Never Metafiction I Didn't Like"

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 28 03:46:40 PST 2012

On Feb 27, 10:57 pm, "Adrian J. McClure" <mrfantast... at gmail.com>

> "Interesting. I've noticed the same thing. We're living in a world
> where the definition of what 'real' is has changed considerably. I'm
> sure you're familiar with the theory that there are certain... what I
> suppose you could call metaphysical forces... that affect the
> probability of events in the universe:  comedy and drama."
> "You mean the metafictional theory of reality? Yeah, I've heard of
> that. I used to think it was a big steaming pile of pseudoscience,
> just like ancient astronauts, Bigfoot, Mothmen, jackalopes... but now
> I've met them all. I don't even know anymore."

I don't know.  I'd prefer if scientists in Earth-20 weren't really
aware of the fourth wall.  In LNH proper,the LNH speaks of the writers
and most people assume that "the writers" are their religion, that
they are deities that they appeal, sometimes literally in the case of
the Church of the Fourth Wall and the Acolytes of Dvandom.

The analogy I would make is with "color" and "flavor" and "up",
"down", "strangeness", "charm", "bottom" and "top" when referring to
quarks.  None of these words mean what they sound like: we cannot see
or taste quarks for example.

So I would think that when scientists in Earth-20 talk about
"metafictional forces" they are actually talking about retrocotheric
forces and "drama" and "comedy" are just names they give to different
wavelengths of retrocotheric energy which just happen to have
precisely the effects that the words describe.  This fits with classic
LNH and the description of Irony Man "emitting and detecting irony".
The power Kirby could also be a metafictional force that makes
everything awesome.

> Note that while people on Earth-20 are slowly becoming aware of
> metafictional forces and tropes, none of them--except for Minority
> Miss and the refugees and travellers from the classic Looniverse--are
> yet aware of the Writers as such.

I don't think anybody is aware of the Writers in Looniverse Y.  I
don't know if knowing about the writers is a good thing.  I mean, it
leads to Deux Ex Machima: the characters can appeal to the writers to
get them out of situations.  I also kind of liked the way Nudist Man's
nudity was explained.  (He's the Batman of nudity.) If you are aware
of the writers then he just becomes comic relief.

Besides, if scientists in Earth-20 are not aware of the writers then
they would need some explanation for "metafictional forces" and, for
that matter, magic.  I know that retrocotheric energy was originally
coined to explain magic in the Looniverse so it seems that scientists
would be able to detect retrocotheric energy and say "It isn't really
magic!  It's science!  Any suitably advanced technology just looks
like magic!"  Similarly scientists wouldn't believe in the fourth wall
or writers.

I think a Stephen Hawking quote is appropriate here:

"The idea that space and time may form a closed surface without
boundary also has profound implications for the role of God in the
affairs of the universe. With the success of scientific theories in
describing events, most people have come to believe that God allows
the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not
intervene in the universe to break these laws. However, the laws do
not tell us what the universe should have looked like when it started
-- it would still be up to God to wind up the clockwork and choose how
to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning, we could
suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely
self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither
beginning nor end: it would simply be. What place, then, for a
creator? [Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam,
1988), p. 140-41.]"

Substitute "boundary" for "fourth wall" and "God" for "Writers" and
you'll see what I mean about Earth-20 scientists being agnostic about
the existence of writers.


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