(Cascadian National University, Lecture Hall)
Good morning again to everyone. Thanks to those who've taken their own time to catch up our new students. Don't worry, I am not going to make you come up here and introduce yourselves, like some of the more traditional professors. Unless you want to of course? No? Never mind then.
It's just a remnant of another time. A polite little gesture of respect that helps hold people together. Please do introduce yourselves to me after the class though, since I'd love to help you with any questions you might have.
Which brings us around nicely to the subject of today's lecture, American Mythology. This is a topic we have more information about than any other topic, primarily because of the huge amounts of cult documents and records kept. In some cases, the myths are still performed to this day, so nearly everyone is familiar with the basic celebrities and their general myths. What was most interesting however, was how the Americans instituted this mythology into their daily lives.
American myths all focused on the idea of someone becoming more than Human. While the caste system was strongly enforced, the dream of going higher than the caste system and becoming one of the worshiped celebrities was everywhere. The great cults promoted this belief heavily, constantly raising apparent slaves to form small cults around them, while omitting that most of their selections came from the Upper tiers of the slaves or were sponsored heavily by the cults themselves. As a result their myths often fell into that same journey.
Often the story would involve a young male slave who was unaware of his status as a member of an elite ubercaste. He would then be raised into the caste, and trained in secret knowledge that only the caste owned. Often the caste systems of the mythical reality would mirror that of Americans, and the hero would be of course in the highest caste.
As a result, those that fully bought into the American Mythology would often mimic the appearance of the supposed superior castes, spending their meager rations on items to make them appear to be members. Many would go to areas where the fantasy would be fully indulged, complete with the illusion that they were indeed valued, with servants and diversions available, but only for those that could pay. Indeed, initially it was discovered that those who most were able to mimic the outward appearance of one of the heroes well enough would be given the respect and wealth that was due the hero. Of course, the Corporate cults quickly discovered that they could take a tidy profit by selling versions of the heroes caste clothes, and so the new cults were quickly subsumed into the main worship of Empire.
Indeed the entire concept of the Ubercaste was everywhere in American society, with cults claiming to represent it in nearly every conceivable dimension, save that of the true upper classes. Nearly every possible division of the slaves was encouraged, with the divisions becoming more and more niche, and even the power of the most minor heroes attempting to be diverted by the various minor cults.
The ultimate goal of course, was to be fully elevated into one of the greatest cults by being tasked with the mantle of the greatest heroes. Often these heroes were considered to be wise enough to disrupt the caste system, and as a result only the most loyal and beautiful of the slaves were chosen to portray these characters. If a slave got out of line, of course, the role could be easily mocked and destroyed by a "Re-imagining" which occurred with increasing frequency as the Empire neared its end.
Taking on a role you were not given by the American Cults was considered a huge breach of the social rules. Aspiring to the greatest role of martyr or savior was reserved for only the highest castes, and any lower caste member who attempted to act in that manner was to be treated as insane. In some cases, the Cults would even force the followers of such individuals to renounce their beliefs or be killed by poison.
The overwhelming message was that you had to become a member of the ubercaste before you could engage in any social activity. As an individual an American's only goal was to be accepted into one of the cults. In what manner you did that was your own responsibility, but you had to subsume your own identity in order to become a changed being. Ultimately of course, that changing required a mindset that supported the Empire.