While reading an account of Edwin Begg
, the Clapham Antichrist
, I began to wonder at the nature of the cause served by the Just
Edwin Begg, while hosting the 9:45 Home Service after his defrock
ing and his years in the circus, no longer had "the Old Testament
boom of the pulpit
or the side-show, the Fireside Observer's voice was level, reassuring, humourous, a little sardonic sometimes when referring to authority. He reflected on our continuing hardships and what we might gain through them if we kept trying - what we might expect from our children." he gave his listeners the hope of a wholesome future worth sacrificing for. Pleading for such a quiet and English life, of firesides and friendship, when he is unquestionably of the Just, that bold and illustrious assembly of adventurers that includes the likes of Jack Karaquazian
and the Rose
, the heady scent of Meng & Ecker's special blend
and the aching harmony of brave souls travelling the moonbeams across the multiverse
, seemed strange.
In our world, the wholesome
life is inextricably bound to parishioner
, and quietism
, the smoking of M&E and duelling across alternate realities with heathen
vice and hedonism. I kid thee not.
What cause, then, do the Just serve?
It is not really a cause, I think. I would say it is instead a method, a means rather than an end, which I wholeheartedly approve of anyway, but it's really more of an attitude. They represent an approach to life that transcends ideology (but can be affected and even limited by it, if you allow) and speaks simply of experience and human pain and joy. (Captain Quelch I think represents some version that has lost its vivacity - incarnated as a Lord of Entropy, this is nonetheless not his Main Type...) The Just are individualists of the highest order (each is the epitome of their own example), yet all struggle and hope for the common good (George Orwell would probably be of the Just). Few respect religion, many do not believe, though none disbelieve. they do not convert others, though they do seek out those who are like themselves and offer them a place among the Just.
The cause is... well, I am tempted to say 'humanity'.
Yes, humanity it is, though recognise that the lower-case h means that the feeling is not restricted to sentience or even necessarily to beings.
It is a vision of a world (or universe, if you take La Zeitjuego as your context) where people fit together without jarring as they do in our world, without uniformity or stasis as in '1984'. A world where everyone touches the people around them, change and flow into one another constantly, and yet also represent elements of stasis, friction, and uniformity, where the negative connotations of these are stripped away because none are fanatical or enforced, or pure. Stasis is instead stability, momentary but real nonetheless, uniformity similarity, the jolts served to people by one another as real as the rest of it but never overwhelming, sadness is perfectly real, as is joy, but both are made more so and all the more acceptable by their ready acknowledgement.
It is the cause in which I believe, a cause which I do not yet serve with any but a tiny fraction of my strength.
I am changing, though. We are all changing into ourselves.