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The idea of reusing familiar ideas and phrases in a new context has long been a popular one within many lesser cultures. The ease with which a fiction can be constructed by combining disparate elements of a culture into a new text has perhaps inevitably led to a greater rejection of story in these societies.

Cliché is one of the most powerful War concepts, it being one of the few non-memetic ideas inherent in the Spiral Politic. Cliché as a concept, by its very nature, is the idea that never changes, never evolves, and can be seen as the defining characteristic of a time-aware static culture. For every artist, every creator, every act of imagination or addition to the aesthetic, there is somebody standing behind it that doesn’t understand the idea, has no creativity of their own, but wishes to become part of the dream, and so “rips it off”, usually without even thinking about it. A popular avenue of this on the only known time-aware static lesser species, humanity, was found in twenty-first century “fan fiction”.

The notion of creating without creativity was both a delightful paradox and a wonderful concept, and it’s not difficult to see why it appealed to so many War-time powers. So when one hears stories of alien civilisations made up of bored little rich kids dabbling in rituals they don’t understand and of all-powerful Gods who still somehow have a capitalist society and go to the public houses in the bad parts of the city, ideas so banal they couldn’t possibly be true, it seems obvious that some subtle cliché tactic is at work. One begins to wonder if the entire background to such stories was artificially constructed to deliberately discredit the genuine civilisations, which could not possibly - surely? - have such a humanist society. In a sense, it is almost as if the authors of the fiction have no ideas of their own and in addition, have no idea of this fact; which is why it is often assumed that some inherent War-play must be at work. As Robert Scarratt was reported as saying, “nobody could write this derivative bollocks because they actually enjoy it, surely?” Though, due to the central paradox of simultaneously creating something yet displaying an utter lack of creative imagination whatsoever intrinsic in cliché, this is by no means a closed matter.

Interestingly, cliché became a prime War-era tactic against the Remote, leaving as it did each individual without a unique personality of its own, and thus created a civilisation liable to the simplest attack. One War-era participant jokingly referred to it as “Faction Fiction”.

dronid/book/articles/cliche.txt · Last modified: 2008/01/30 15:16 (external edit)