virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #114

Ken Pantheists (
Wed, 18 Dec 1996 03:07:34 +0000

I wrote:

> This got me to thinking about the Chosen One Meme. How it is prevailent <snip> ...
> how it is gender specific. ...

Kenneth Boyd replied:

I don't think it's gender-specific.


I have always considered the stories of "Chosen Ones" to be
instructional stories that teach men to take power in the world and to
lead nations of other men.

Women, in these stories tend to be infinately versatile in their ability
to selflessly assist The Chosen men.

The man is Chosen and imbued with the power of light which he learns to
control and manipulate for the good of all mankind.

Women bear the men (in all senses of the word) or are an inversion of
this-- they are the victims/vessels of dark powers that posess them.

There mey be some recent envelope pushing in this genre, but I still
think of it as something that appeals to teenage boys. (I think all
teenage boys toy with fascism)

I can't think of one woman (or man for that matter) author who has
written a story about a "chosen woman" without having that story
reference/comment on the greater, dominant body of man-hero
literature... speaking from the margins as it were... or without
changing it so much that it becomes another genre.

I remember this from many years ago--forgot the source-- part of the
oral tradition of theatre training.

The Fascist plotline- The ultimate power to destroy or give life is
thrust upon one man who must bear this, unertake tests and control this
power for the good of all mankind. (Akira, Elric)

The Socialist plotline- The ultimate power to destroy or give life is
held by one man (the villian) and the hero must take it back and
distribute it among all men equally. (Total Recall)


I have observed that the most effective science fantasy builds at least
or 3 of the 10 key delusions [the Chosen One Meme is one!], that
Karl Menninger listed in his book "The Mind", into the plot. Doing this
explicitly has improved my own fiction.


What are these 10 delusions?

I want to improve my fiction as well. (actually I lie... I really want
to diagnose myself)

[The book is still effective for a basic overview of conventional
psychology. The copy I have access to has a print date of 1925--it
refers to World War I as The World War....]

I may be wrong, but I don't think it's called World War I. It's the
World War or the Great War. Maybe for the same reason we don't call
Stallone's first big movie "ROCKY I".

I do recall Snoopy saying "Here's the famous World War I flying ace in
his favourite saloon in Paris...."

  Ken Pantheists