To Amuse the Cosmic Ass

Drunk on his own brew and half asleep at his office desk, the most honored man in the world cries. He cries the tears of one whose sadness is his greatest gift and his greatest curse simultaneously. Rheb Larsden, founder of Sadventures Incorporated, who specialize in reconstructing negative emotions for people who have never known them, clutches the little pills in his hand as he works up the courage. Today is a good day to die.

Eight years ago Rheb somehow stepped out of the 21st century into wherever he is now. In eight years he still has no idea how he got here or where he is. It could be the future or an alternate universe or even hell, so far as he knows. A hell in which everyone was happy but him, and where he was made the most powerful man simply by offering them a glimpse of his sadness.

When he was taken out of the world he was born into he was running through the woods clutching an epi-pen, racing to save the life of the woman he would marry in just a few weeks. He and Mareva had gone for a short walk from their camp when the bee stung her. As he raced back to her after retrieving the life-saving device, he was snatched from his existence and dumped willy-nilly wherever he was now.

Not a day goes by when he doesn’t set the table to eat himself inside-out emotionally over the ordeal. He knows he could handle it if he had just been taken from her, but that she almost certainly died because he could not reach her, he can never find comfort or peace. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to. Maybe we fall in love with our pain so we never have to be completely alone.

Still clutching those pills, those little distillates of poisons he had extracted himself for this very purpose, Rheb stumbles from his chair into a simulation room.

“Computer, run program Romeo & Juliet,” he says to flashing lights on the wall. A door opens and he walks inside the brightly lit room that quickly fades into shapes and colors and objects and faces and voices. This simulation was his first, before he added olfactory elements to further enrich the experience. It was a crude a clunky program, but it was his first and he had wanted to preserve it in all of it’s glorious clumsiness.

Rheb left the 21st century knowing almost nothing about the works of Shakespeare, a bard who had lived far before the time and place he was born in. His reconstruction of Romeo and Juliet was, he knew, so laughably inadequate that anybody from his original home would have called shenanigans. But even if it was only a shadow of the original tale, supplemented with Shakespearean tropes that probably weren’t even in Romeo and Juliet, the people here had loved it. For most, it had been their first real immersive experience in sadness and despair.

“Chose role,” a computer voice prompted him.

“Romeo.”

Wherever he was, wherever this was, this maddening utopia he had been delivered to by unknown forces, it was not a place for him. Everyone here was happy, perfectly and flawlessly happy. They paid him great money to experience the sadness he brought here with him. They rode his angst like a roller coaster through simulations he had programmed from his own experiences and memories of a world where everyone was far from perfectly happy. A world he missed more than imaginable.

When he arrived he found himself running down a street, still clutching the epi-pen meant to save Mareva’s life. Everything was pristine and beautiful, and his confusion and anguish were so out of place he became an instant spectacle. He scanned around. He screamed her name. He ran in circles. He jumped up and down and fell into a pile of confusion, fear and frustrated rage.

“What game is this, brother, and can I play with you?” asked a stranger standing over him.

Rheb looked up to notice that he was surrounded. All around him there were maniacally smiling faces, looking at him like he was the most fascinating thing they had ever seen.

“Play,” he responded. “PLAY?”

The man who had asked stood over him, grinning ethereally, without a care or concern in the world.

“You think this is some kind of fucking game? Who the fuck are you? Where am I? Where is Mareva?”

His face turned red then purple. His fist balled up and he began to shake.

“Where is Mareva?”

The man and the crowd still just smiled, waiting to see where this game was going. Rheb coiled up and struck out in a flash, punching the man square in the jaw. For a moment his smile was gone, not replaced by anger or pain, just curious confusion. Then he smiled again.

“What do you call this game, brother? What am I supposed to do?”

Rheb wound up for another, but before he could throw his punch he deflated and crumpled to the ground and curled up in the fetal position and began to wail. After a few minutes of total absorption in his own confused misery he heard dozens of other voices wailing. He sat up and looked around and all around him people were lying in the fetal position throwing mock tantrums of their own.

His anger flared. He jumped to his feet and was about to lash out in violence when he noticed that all eyes were on him. Not in mockery or contempt, but awe and wonder. They were following his lead, not ridiculing it. They gazed on him like some kind of glorious freak or a god. So he did the only thing that made any sense and blacked out.

Over the next few weeks he learned that wherever he was, sadness no longer existed. It was a world which had solved all of its basic problems, freeing its people the existential angst of their vestigial evolutionary quirks. Negative emotions had no bearing on these people, because the situations which gave rise to them had all basically been solved. From resource scarcity to reproductive patterns, everything that caused disharmony had been weeded out through careful innovation of all aspects of life.

Romance and love still existed, but without expectation or urgency. Love spread itself out so that everyone generally loved everyone else. Romance was something that happened in brief spurts, usually over a day or two, as two fascinated people explored one another before moving on to explore someone or something else. A life of total leisure had reduced the passion of love from a burning desire to playful curiosity.

Reproduction became a matter of community planning. Whenever somebody died a new human was created from the genetic framework of that person and the person who had died before them. They maintained population equilibrium this way while still preventing genetic bottle-necking. Babies were raised by volunteers for the first few years, but as they began to gain more independence they were given more opportunities to make choices for themselves while still be tended to by other members of the community. However in this world you were unlikely to meet a five year old who wasn’t as capable of self-sufficiency as most adults had been where Rheb came from.

An absence of fear and multitudes of trust tended to point everyone in healthier directions. It all began to make sense to him over time but there was one thing he could never explain. Even babies did not cry. Was this the same human being stock he had been bred from, or was it an entirely alien species? Was the difference in their basic structure, or just that they had eliminated sour emotions from their species for enough successive generations that they had been entirely bred out?

These people did not even fear death. It was every bit as accepted and even exciting as births were. Every individual even spent their lives composing a death song, a tune which would be sung by others for the first time after death, and would be used to memorialize them joyously. Festivals were regularly had in which songs for the dead were sang while people took ‘enhancers’ and danced and laughed and told stories. Of course the songs came and went over time. Few songs existed from even four or five generations back. The best way to be remembered was to write a great song, but nobody seemed much too concerned with being remembered and just tried to write a song they liked.

It was the perfect world and Rheb was the most beloved man in it, and yet he still resented it with every bit of his being. It had taken him away from Mareva, and it had prevented him from saving her life. He was trapped here alone with his sorrows and she was gone forever, not even a song to be sang to remember her.

A character spoke to him, “To be or not to be, that is the question.” It handed him a simulation of the poison which Romeo takes in the scene lying beside his sleeping lover Juliet whom he believes to be dead.

Rheb will be taking his own very real poison this time. Laying next to Juliet, who he had programmed to look like Mareva, he will swallow his mercy for once and for all. The simulation moves him ever closer to that moment and his heart swells with relief. He is not afraid.

The people of this world, this future, this hell, this godforsaken whatever, had long forgotten sadness when Rheb arrived. They lived peacefully and blissfully. To all outward appearances they were perfectly adjusted. But through their constant smiles and enthusiasm there was something else. It had taken awhile to see it, but it was there.

Where once had been sadness, pain and all of those negative emotions there was now a hole. A great emptiness that longed to be filled. Although they could not verbalize it directly it became obvious that everyone carried around a sense of incompleteness. And his sadness, an experience which was absolutely alien to them, had become a fast, cheap fix. Through reliving the misery he was able to relate to them, they temporarily were able to fill this gap. However it never lasted and they were always hungry for more. Until finally the gnashing of the teeth of these emotional vampires, demanding his anguish so they could feed from it, became too much for him to bear.

The saddest man could never be given any peace in the happiest of worlds.

As the poison took hold he began to lose consciousness. Suddenly he was back in the woods, running towards Mareva. He cried out, “Don’t worry baby, you are gonna be okay. Everything is going to be okay.”

When his body was found in the simulation room a memory tube was found in his pocket which contained his death song. Within hours it had spread over the entire world and was being sung by every person alive. For the first time they shed tears and felt the sadness that Rheb could only give them a small taste of in life. But by his death and by his song, the currency of pain was made real by the guilt of what they had done. They had driven their savior to oblivion in their hunger for his knowledge. They had caused the fruit which shall not be eaten to eat itself.

I am an ark upon an endless sea
Built from pain and misery
Surrounded by waters of endless glee
That jump the bough to ride in me

How can a boat so small and frail
Hold an entire sea it was meant to sail
Surely such a thing must fail
Why must I sink to tell my tale

As all things must come to pass
To amuse the cosmic ass
Into the void where I belong
Feast your fangs on my life’s song

The Quran Drugs

The Quran Drugs

In his upcoming book More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth and Belief, Bernardo Kastrup continues his fascinating exploration into the depths of the human mind and nature of our existence. His newest work focuses on the importance of religion in creating and weaving together the symbolic narratives of existence into the fabric of our reality. The book will most likely be shunned by the narrow-minded community of atheist intellectuals and adherents of philosophical materialism who so desperately attack religion in the construction and defense of their own worldviews, yet who would benefit most from its ideas. These types are prone to the same thinking as religious fundamentalists, which is that of literal interpretation of the ideas, rituals and texts of the worlds various religions. A tendency to focus so much on explicit religious messages that one tends to lose sight of their implicit ones seemingly renders religion meaningless. But when we focus on the implicit messages in both specific religions and religiosity in general, we find a treasure of symbolic, archetypal and allegorical knowledge. Bernardo lays forth an argument that reconnecting with the more meaningful implicit messages in religion can save us not only from the insanity of religious fundamentalism, but from the follies of new dogmas like materialism.

While I remain a great fan of Bernardo’s work, his academic style and lack of color and humor represent a different path to knowledge than I have chosen, which is the shamanic route. While he elects to understand those old religious narratives in a purely intellectual way, I am more prone to creating my own, or turning the old on their head through satire, absurdist-deconstruction and dadaist recombination.

When the phrase The Quran Drugs came to mind, a play on The War On Drugs, I decided to follow this silliness down the rabbit hole of creative writing and see where it would lead. I ultimately decided that the best way to do that would be to explore the ideas, verses and parables through the Quran, yet replacing certain words and concepts with those you would more likely hear from lotus eaters than suicide bombers.

The first one is from the parable known as The Light of Allah, and in it I replace Allah with Cosmic Mind and Light with Consciousness and then adjust the rest of the language and syntax accordingly, while keeping the logic and linguistic structure intact. What at first looked like a boring old religious text suddenly took on the shape and feel of a late night toke session in a dorm room.

“The Cosmic Mind is the consciousness of the heavens and the earth. The parable of the Cosmic Mind’s consciousness is as if it were a nothingness containing a thought; the thought is in mind, the mind like the sum of all knowledge: imagined by a blessed being – a body that is neither of existence or non-existence, the ideas whereof would well-nigh give consciousness even though thought had not touched it: consciousness within consciousness! The Cosmic Mind guides unto it’s consciousness they that will it; and thus the Cosmic Mind propounds parables unto humankind, since the Cosmic Mind has full knowledge of all things.”

The next parable, The Spider’s Web, describes the sort of anarchism understood by those whose explorations in ego death have brought about the knowledge of the total uncertainty of all things, and the folly of battling that uncertainty through systems of governance. At least it does when I replace the concept Allah with Self, and Idols with Government.

The likeness of those who choose rulers besides the Self , namely government from which they hope to profit, is as the likeness of the spider that makes it’s net it’s nest. And truly the frailest, the weakest, of homes is the home of the spider – for it neither protects it from heat nor cold – likewise, governments cannot benefit those who are caught in them – if they only knew this, they would not get caught in them.

Materialism, physicalism and naturalism are similar ideas. They are all metaphysical propositions stating that our reality is an emergent property of objects or things within a primal physical universe. In the Parable of the Mosquito, we don’t have to do too much bending, since the original meaning will be similar to our remix. I replace Allah with Universal Consciousness and Gnat with Laws of Nature As anyone who has undergone the little death of the self in the psychedelic process can tell you, the apparent universe is not the universe itself, but a virtual narrative of the experiences of the universe and those within it.

Surely the universal consciousness is not ashamed to set forth any parable- neither the laws of nature or any thing above them; then as for those who have tuned in, they know that it is the truth from the universal consciousness, and as for those who are square, they say: What is it that the universal consciousness means by this parable of natures laws: universe causes many to err by it and many consciousnesses are led aright by it! but the universal consciousness does not cause to err by it except by the literalism of the unawakened.

I could continue this exercise indefinitely. I could take any sacred text from any place or time in history and, by skewing a few concepts here and there, use their forms to express knowledge that would be palatable by even the greatest critics of those religions and their supporting texts. That is, if they could keep an open mind long enough to comprehend the artistry of such things. Those who outright reject religious teachings are guilty of the sin of anti-intellectualism. The only things we cannot learn from are those we have decided not to. Religions and their beliefs and parables and holy books are all goldmines of allegorical information. They are full of immense truths that are potentially meaningful to people of any belief system who are willing to go beyond the surface and find the poetry of truth that lies beneath.

While many social critics take every possible opportunity to lash out against religion, they fail to understand that their reactionary response differs little from those religious extremists and radical fundamentalists. Both groups want their truths served up in easy to swallow, bite-sized pieces. Both want to reduce everything to black-and-white absolutes in order to protect themselves from the uncertainty of our existence, a task which is foolish and impossible. Absolutism is the false-sense-of-security-blanket that fools swaddle themselves in to protect themselves from the imaginary monsters in their closets.

Religion is not the problem, authoritarianism is. Authoritarianism is the institutionalization of absolutes. No human tragedy seemingly born of religion has occurred outside the auspices of authority. The ideas of religion are only harmless when they are co-opted by authoritarians for maligned purposes. Discarding all human religious notions is not just throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Besides doing that, it discards the bathtub, and leaves us without an important vessel for cleansing ourselves in the healing waters of allegorical truth. Those who believe that the only meaningful truths are the literal ones are like existential whores who have forsaken bathing for a sickly overabundance of perfumes. When death removes the clothing of the ego and spreads the folds concealing our most intimate parts, eternity can smell right through us.

The Malcontents Manifesto

The Malcontents Manifesto

Back in 2004 I wrote a pamphlet entitled The Malcontents Manifesto. It was a sort of unified theory of all of the ideas I was attached to at the time. It is a quasi-religious tract that sits somewhere between the Principia Discordia and the Unabombers Manifesto. It is a rough synthesis of absurdist philosophy, panentheism and anarchism. Many of the ideas contained therein I have since abandoned. Some I have abandoned and then later recaptured. Most notable is that since this writing I have gone from a sort of leftist primitivist anarchism, filtered through libertarianism, and eventually landed in the camp of Anarcho-Futurism, where I sit today.

This tract was written and compiled before I was very internet savvy. Instead I chose to use the old school DIY zine format to get my message out there. I printed the scripts and then pasted them to patterned paper. I then went and got them printed from these ‘plates’ and distributed them to anyone I could get to take them. Since I was the owner/operator of a local headshop, it was not difficult to find folks to pass them off to. Hundreds of copies are now floating around out there somewhere and one was even archived at the University of Iowa Special Collections.

I reprint this here at Advanced Ape in the interest of highlighting the evolution that has occurred in both my ideas and my writing. I submit them for review by those who might possibly enjoy seeing a major part of the path I have taken to get where I am today as a thinker and writer. Parts of it are terribly embarrassing, while others still incite and inspire me. I have done my best not to change it, except a few minor tweaks to fix absolutely unreadable bits, which I could count on one hand. I have also provided photographs of the original plates that I used to print the original zine version. Whether it brings you laugh-out-loud revulsion or inspiration, I hope you enjoy this little peak into my mind over a dozen years ago. I can only imagine how I will feel a dozen years from now reading the things I wrote recently!


Page 1 (Cover)

mal1The Malcontents Manifesto

A Book of Discontent

as revealed to Joshua Scott Hotchkin

Philosophy, politics, religion…
Nothing is safe when The Malcontent gets his say.
A guide to freethinking.
If you think that everything is okay, reading this might be dangerous to your false sense of comfort and security.

 

 


Page 2 (Front inner-sleeve)

mal2What you are about to read is utter nonsense, but that’s no reason not to read it. In fact it’s precisely why you must read it. If you think that the answers to the questions regarding existence can be summed up in nice shiny logical statements, then you may never get the punchline. It’s a fool who chooses his logic to the sound of his own laughter. The reason I have went through all of the effort to produce this is not for your (the reader’s) benefit. It is simply the case that I must purge myself of all this excess nonsense so That I may move on to newer more exciting games of nonsense. Maybe, if you are anything like me, you will find something in this nonsense to ease your own discontent. Or maybe it will just give you the courage to think and say some crazy shit outwardly like I have here. Actually, none of the ideas contained within are very radical, nor are they original. You will find similarities to many religions and philosophies here. Hoever instead of a model of existence relying on esoteric superstitions or cold in human logic, I have used discontent to ‘solve the problem of the question of existence. Whatever that means. Everywhere you look there is discontent. The neighbors dog barks endlessly at nothing. You cannot ever eat, drink, sleep, intoxicate of fornicate enough to fulfill all of your pointless urges. And change is the only constant. Well, its become increasingly clear to me that discontent was responsible for all of this. Perhaps I am just a malcontent, projecting my own inner struggles on the whole. Either way, I feel a whole lot better knowing what I now think I know.


 

Page 3

mal3Book of Precepts

  1. There is no false, this is the only truth.
  2. There are no duality’s, only paradoxes.
  3. A paradox proves absolutely nothing
  4. A paradox disproves absolutely nothing.
  5. Paradox is responsible for hypocrisy, but hypocrites are not responsible for paradoxes. Therefore all are alas free from hypocrisy and free to explore new ideas without any inner-turmoil about contrary speaking.
  6. There can be no individual progress among individuals under the delusion that they are perfectly content to begin with. If you don’t know you are discontent, START PAYING ATTENTION.
  7. I agree that nonsense makes perfect sense and that I am the Dungherder. I can put my foot right in the pile and get my slice-o-the-pie.

 

Page 4

mal4The Cosmology of Discontent
Or “How we got into this whole mess.”

  1. In the beginning there was nothing but the one mind, and the one mind was without form or identity.
  2. The one mind was composed of every aspect of the universe.
  3. The one mind was unchanging for many eternities.
  4. At some point the one mind began to be overcome by a single aspect- Discontent.
  5. Eventually the one mind, overcome by Discontent, shattered into individual aspects.
  6. In order to maintain their individuality the aspects created the illusion of the physical universe.
  7. The physical universe contains all of the aspects of the one mind, but the individual aspects do not contain the one mind.
  8. Because the one mind was overcome by Discontent each aspect in the physical universe contains within it the seeds of Discontent.
  9. It shall come to pass that someday Discontent shall overcome all of the physical aspects and they shall collapse once more to a state of one mind.
  10. And so I have observed the nature of existence and non-existence to be not only cyclical, but paradoxically simultaneous, resulting in the absence of great meaning or ultimate truth…therefore I am.

 

Page 5

mal5The Parable of the Pancakes

Two wise men did come to dine within a Village Inn

The den of antiquity and patriot of pancakes

Upon finishing their meals the first wise man was gazing upon the second

Who was busying himself with an act of tidyness

The first wise man saw that the second wise man

Was dipping his napkin in butter

And using it as though it were a cleaning solution

Upon discovering the success of the solution

The second wise man did cryeth out – “Eureka!”

“The butter cleans up the syrup.”

Hearing this, the two wise men were enlightened


Pages 6, 7 & 8

An Anarchist’s Manifesto
Since we are trapped in the illusion of a physical universe and therefore subject to all of its complexities, I think we should be free to discover and explore our own complexities without being subjected to one another in any manner which limits this freedom.

  1. Human beings are individuals. As individuals we have varying interests and drives and different attitudes about our relationship to others. Some people are born with a very strong drive to seek out and win power struggles. Some people do not often feel the need to play games of order, or seek dominion over others. While some incidents during early childhood probably have much to do with the power drive of an individual, it is clear to this author that there always has been and always will be those who adopt the role of powerful, regardless of any advances in parenting that brain-pickers may invent.
  2. Thousands of years ago the powerful and the common had a balance in which the powerful were allowed to exercise their power in a manner that didn’t detract from the commoner having control over their own lives. But the powerful were driven to as much power as they were allowed. Then at some point the common people committed atrocious acts of chicken-shitterly cowardice and began giving up portions of their own lives to the powerful. And inch was given and many light years since have been taken.
  3. The powerful, in ancient times, declared themselves spiritual masters. They claimed to be the key to esoteric mysteries and divinities that the common were not in touch with. These divinities, it turned out, were higher beings who created us for the purpose of obedience and worship. These deities were useful inventions by which the powerful introduced the master and dog concept. With the powerful as intermediaries between master and dogs, they gained a status not granted to common man. And using fear the powerful were able to subject the common man to his own fancy. (This author believes that games of power and status are mostly male orientated/invented traits.)
  4. Now that the powerful have franchised the common person to positions of obedience through fear and insecurity (Alas, the Gods had not made us equal, an idea very useful for exploiting privilege.) they were ready to expand upon their domination. So they created geographic boundaries over which they appointed themselves leaders and created and enforced policies to keep others out so that nobody sane could come in and ruin the whole gig. And thus have we brought upon ourselves the stench of religion, government and property which rob us of freedom and autonomy and set the stage for war, greed, prejudice and hatred.
  5. For the next several thousand years the powerful refined their control. ‘Dark ages’ are interrupted by brief periods of ‘enlightenment’, but its never quite enough to dismantle the masters. And then along comes the industrial/technological revolution. Where the planet was once able to only support a few thousand scattered humans, we now had the resources for several billion. And the masters encouraged us to create these new human beings in larger numbers than ever before so that our hands would be tied with parenthood for most of our lives and we would hardly notice anything else going on. And certainly large populations justified the new system of human survival. -Wow, can this snake really swallow its tail!- Moreover, the more people, the larger the bureaucracy, and therefore the larger the gulf between the people and their masters. A chasm so wide they made it almost impossible, from their positions above us in their system, to dismantle.
  6. As technologies increased and populations sky-rocketed, the community lost its purpose.They now acted merely as property lines and served very little function in creating a social framework from which humans could connect. We grew further and further apart, yet more and more suspicious of one another. Since we had lost almost all of the control over our own lives, we began exercising power in a cowardly fashion by sicking the system on one another to get revenge for the frustration we felt as a result of the system itself.
  7. Fistfights became intolerable and wars fashionable. The ability of individuals to exercise their power, or even act on their own whims, became unthinkable. We have created physical and mental barriers that force us to deny our own truest desires. We have even suppressed the suppression of these desires. It is more acceptable to ignore one another than show love for one another, which is more frowned upon than flipping one another the bird in traffic. We deny our own animal nature and abide by rules that are unnatural to the conditions our species evolved in. We have even begun acting in a manner which is contrary to our own long-term survival.
  8. Some of us have the malignant feeling that things aren’t right. We are aware that our lives are not brand names to be bought and sold. We have discovered that our purpose is not blind obedience to ideas larger than us, but to search out and find what makes us happy. We wish a place to live our lives in regard to our own truest ideas about happiness and fulfillment without notions of success or achievement created by others for their own selfish purposes. We wish to seek our own shelter and food, our own survival. We will not stand in line for handouts from hands that fasten our shackles.
  9. We are taught all of our lives that it is no practical for us to feel this way. That we must accept the world as it is and conform to it. That we should lie down and take our beatings, for it is much easier than a struggle. We are told that we are weak and we cannot make difference, even in our own lives. We are taught that we are stuck. Those who abandon this loss of hope are are feared and despised by those who do actually feel weak and stuck. We are also hated by those who stand to gain from this infighting at the bottom of the power chain, for they know that we can overcome them.
  10. They know they are powerless to control us without our own permission. We give our permission whenever we go to work at a job that does not provide personal satisfaction, whenever we pay our taxes, whenever we are silent, whenever we follow rules compulsively, even though we see no value in them, and certainly whenever we go and vote for the masters. It is unfortunate that we have come to accept the masters to such a degree that we actually take an active part in pretending to select them. And we wonder why we are a bubbling cauldron of frustration and insecurity whose lives seem dull, meaningless and over-before-we-know-it. But it is not the masters who are the enemy. As we stated before, the powerful are just acting on their own natural impulses. The masters have also become enslaved to this system. Do you think the president would rather be talking with soldiers in a foreign land than at home making love to his wife? Do you suppose CEO’s would rather be making pointless decisions in a tall building rather than lying in the sand on the beach any more than the garbage man would rather be collecting trash rather than playing with his own children? Hell no! Now think again on it long and hard. Are you free? Truly free to do whatever you wish so long as no others are harmed and you are prepared to accept the consequences? Or do you define your freedom as the ability to choose from a set of preordained choices set before you? Is that what freedom means to you?

I do not wish to end this by telling you what you should do or how you should live your life. I just want you to know that you still have a choice to live the life you have carved out for yourself and abandon the life that was prepackaged and marketed to you.


 

Page 9

mal9Discontent As Salvation

If you are like most people you probably have a preconceived notion that Discontent is ‘bad’, that it is undesirable and that its opposite is the penultimate achievement of an individual. It is of no surprise, as we were all similarly brainwashed through the oversocialization that is rampant in our modern society. Those who would fool themselves with the idea of having reached contentment are so far removed from their truest desires that their lives are being lived for popular notions rather than for happiness, which is not to be confused with contentment. Happiness is reaching the top of the roller coaster and enjoying it despite the fear of the upcoming plunge. Contentment is watching others ride from the sidelines and not really feeling anything because you were too meek and afraid to be willingly and joyfully alive through the act of consciously facing your own fear.

In fact, not only is contentment the greatest betrayal of human complexity and desire, but those who believe they are content are the greatest enemy of happiness because through their consent to ideas larger than themselves they have weakened the position of those displaying the true human nature- The Malcontents.

Engage in warfare with contentment everyday. Either through direct action or by simply engaging in activities that which you would formerly not have because something besides your own true desire told you not to. I do not suggest you go out and hurt anyone. As a matter of fact you can start by alternately hurling compliments and insults randomly at strangers. Play in a mud puddle like a child. Go to work naked. Better yet, don’t go to work at all. Take the day off and instead spend it nakedly ranting at strangers from a mud puddle! In conclusion and in accord with the dissolution of duality’s, contentment is not ‘bad’ or undesirable. It is simply not the best, and certainly not the only path for achieving freedom, autonomy and happiness. Comfort and security are a piss poor consolation prize for the denial of your true nature.


Page 10

Those who worship the past are doomed to repeat it

mal10How many times have you heard someone argue the impossibility of of a better tomorrow using the past as their proof? How often has it been argued that we need our masters to protect us from ourselves, and then justified the observation by pointing to the folly of humans of the past? Does an undesirable yesterday really prove that tomorrow will be just as hopeless? History as we know it is an account of only those who have won power struggles, thus it hardly serves as an objective signifier for what we could achieve if we so desired. Those who write history have much to gain by defrauding you into believing that things have gotten as good as they are gonna get. Those who worship history are forever stuck in their ruts. They can see no way to get out of this mess. But we are not stuck in the past. Tomorrow can be better than every yesterday that came before. Humanity is not doomed to repeat the errors of its past unless we actively decide it to be so. The old adage ‘Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it,’ is useless in that it teaches that we should learn primarily from our mistakes instead of our successes.

Tomorrow will be whatever you make it. The decisions you make to get there need not be haunted by the ghost of human folly. Tomorrow can be the place of your dreams and fantasies if you use your imagination. Pragmatists need not apply.

The future is unwritten…


Page 11 (Rear Inner-Sleeve)

mal11The following is a list of books, authors, organizations and other sources of guerrilla information that I find insightful and helpful in dissolving useless mental polarities. Check them out at your library, bookstore and in most cases online.
The Principia Discordia
The Church of the SubGenius
Robert Anton Wilson
CrimethInc
The Unabombers Manifesto

Disclaimer
The Malcontents Manifesto is not a substitute for freethinking. Its ideas are not to be worshiped or held accountable. The ultimate goal is to encourage individuals to think and live for themselves rather than blindly adhering to the strictures of popular culture with its systematic dogma and inconsideration for individualism.
Please copy and pass this along to your friends accompanied by your very own manifesto.

To contact the author send e-mails to
joshua@copblock.org
Please use the subject title ‘Discontent’ so that I do not mistake, and therefore erase, your email as spam.


 

Page 12 (Rear Cover)

mal12The Malcontents Manifesto
In which everything is explained, yet nothing is learned.

I blink, therefore I am.

In the vacuum of space subatomic particles blink in and out of existence. From nothing and back in barely enough time for the most precise scientific instruments to record their passing. Wait, did I say from nothing? How can that be? Can something come from nothing?

Of course you can’t get something out of nothing, but it happens all of the time. The universe is a lot more complex than the tiny brains we use to observe it with, so don’t worry about any of the mechanics. I have gathered all of the facts and they are not only contradictory to one another, but completely irrelevant to how I choose to think, feel and act most of the time.

Thus \, I recommend using facts only when they are beneficial in helping you attain you truest desires, and not for the tiresome practice of compulsively trying to make your point to others. This human folly of making and accepting blanket statement has caused enough needless confusion, hatred and suffering among us.

From nothing we come, to nothing we shall return.
Everything else is in between.


 

 

Idiocracy Assimilated: The Borg Collective Gets An Upgrayedd

Idiocracy Assimilated

In 2063 Zephram Cochrane was to have invented the warp drive that would free humanity not only from its cosmic captivity, but from its own petty weaknesses and excesses, by virtue of giving it something better to do. However some Vulcans who were observing Sputnik and ended up stranded on Earth in 1957 dramatically changed the timeline. Unbeknownst to them a human scientist found their ‘hidden’ ship and was able to get enough information about it to pioneer microprocessors nearly fifty years before it would have happened on the earlier timeline.

As a result the internet was unleashed on humanity before it had culturally matured enough to to fully appreciate it’s tremendous power. Human beings began to rapidly adapt according to properties of this new cybernetic environment. Methods of giving and getting approval in that new environment skewed peoples tastes, but even worse, had massive effects on their psychological well being and maturity. The replacing of complex written language with a wildly popular form of reductionist images called ‘memes’ quickly eroded human rhetoric and critical thinking skills. As the new viral images made people increasingly less intelligent, the new psychological kinks also made them believe that their devolving intellects were in fact superior. Through these two factors combined with many other internet culture issues, like passive aggressiveness and constant barely masked insinuations, humanity began dumbing down at an exponential rate.

When a Borg ship from the future visited Earth on its new timeline in 2063, they did not immediately recognize that humanity had devolved, and began the process of assimilation by unleashing nanoprobes into the planets oceans, and thus into the entire worlds water supply. Having not realized the Vulcan visit had changed the timeline so radically, the Borg showed up and assimilated a planet full of idiots.

Having added the technological and biological distinctiveness of the Idiocracy to their own, over time the Collective itself began to become infected by the same viral stupidity that had conquered humanity via the internet. By the end of the 21st century, the Borg had become a hive of dumbasses. Although their collective nature and cybernetic implants kept them from becoming as hopeless and useless as the humans had been when assimilated, the Borg took a turn that would prevent them from realizing perfection, while allowing them to continue to assimilate ever more species into their galactic idiocracy.


The man once known on Earth as Dr. Lexus was now in a giant sphere somewhere in the alpha quadrant looking for new species to assimilate. He was the seventh member added to the interplanetary adjunct of Unimatrix Dicks, though his scroes just called him Seven of Dicks. But usually pretty much every drone in the Borg collective, just shortened it Septdick.

Septdick was scrubbing plasma conduits in Borg Sphere #Pota2-11 when he must have spaced out for a minute. Gone were both his own thoughts and those of the collective. When he came out of his haze he found that he was attempting to assimilate his own leg. At first he began to panic at his predicament. But when he heard the collective, audible again within his own mind, laughing at his zoned-out blunder, he allowed himself to laugh along with them as he retracted his nanoprobe tubules from himself. He looked over at the drone closest to him and said, “I like assimilation.”

The drone, who was known to the Borg as Fart of Twelve and was once a member of species #879 dead-panned back, “I like assimilation, too.”

The two drones did a hopping high-five before a single voice boomed through the mind of the entire collective. It was the Borg queen, Beef Supreme, announcing that they were just about to assimilate a new species. The minds of the hive went silent as Beef Supreme spoke through a drone into a loudspeaker in a far away sphere hovering over a world full of new recruits.

“We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your planet. We will add your biologicalal and technical dickstinkyness to our own. Your cult chore will adapt to service us. Resist us is futile.”

Septdick went back to work on the plasma conduits and watched the assimilation, through the eyes of the drones doing it, in his mind. He felt a slight euphoria as the rush of new individual consciousnesses were added to his own. He spoke again to the nearby drone, “The corrective is pretty badass.”

It answered back, “Yeah, those planet guys are totally butthurt fags.”

Rather than answering back, Seven of Dicks shot Twelve of Farts an image of a famous actor from Earth history making a face of surprised uncertainty that was overlaid with some text about some human disease and sexual practices. Much of the Borg Collective now used such memetic symbols to make associations between phenomena and response. Since assimilating the Idiocracy and becoming infected with its intellectual viruses, the Borg increasingly used memes to communicate to one another. They were simple yet effective tools for providing cohesion of the dumbed-down group mind. If information is reduced to only its implicit message, it is easy to understand and agree upon. The sort of explicit-rich and implicit-blind information sharing that had helped destroy the human beings intelligence just before the Borg showed back up to assimilate them also worked as a great tool for keeping the Borg strong despite the cerebral cancer it was now infected with.

After finishing up the warp coil maintenance, Septdick went to check out the aeroponics bay to see if any of the organic matter he had been attempting to grow was sprouting yet. He hoped to be able to devise a process for assimilating lower life forms, like plants, algae and fungus, so the collective could benefit from their knowledge and experience. But so far nothing has stirred from the seeds he had placed in the dirt. It just didn’t make sense. The soil was nutrient rich and he had all but flooded it with Borgade, which had nanoprobes. And nanoprobes are what organic life needs. Something should have been popping up by now. He took some sensor data and went off to find an open regeneration alcove to process it while his own nanoprobe rich organic matter was recharged through the conduits of technology that supplemented his body.

While he was regenerating he dreamt of the place where only some drones ever visited in their down-cycle. There his scroes and hoes were all free of the collective and were able to interact with one another as the individuals they were before they were assimilated. Unfortunately, most of the other species avoided the human drones who were somehow able to visit there, and seemed to look down on them as inferior. Meanwhile, the humans there thought the other species shit was retarded and that they tended to talk like fags. Yet the humans did not judge them as harshly because, in their view, there were plenty of tards out there living dank lives, so who were they to play Judge Judy and executioner?

Seven of Dicks felt a jostle and was suddenly awake and looking into the face of a rather confused drone who must have bumped into him and interrupted his regeneration cycle. Septdick said, “Go away, ratin’!” and then stepped back into the alcove and that other place.

When he returned the formerly human Borgs had gathered together for a meeting. After everyone was done greeting each other by punching them in the groins, one of the more intelligent particular individuals began giving an impassioned speech.

“I know shit’s fucked up. Everyone’s shit is real emotional right now. But we got this guy, Don’t Know, who is gonna help us figure our shit out.” The speaker then fired a phase pistol, which was set to incinerate, into the ceiling of the building they had gathered. Just before the ceiling collapsed on the dreaming drones, Septdick and the others were pulled from their slumber by an urgent message from Beef Supreme.

“We are experimenting technological difficulties. Please stand by and prepared to be bored.” Suddenly the collective mind was in absolute disorder. Klaxons blared all over the ship as he tapped into the ships sensors to see if he could figure out what was going on. He looked around and it appeared all of the other Borg drones surrounding him were doing the same. A view outside the ship showed another sphere that had somehow triggered its own self-destruct sequence. As it blew up, he and the others could not help but jump around pumping their fists and cheering at the scene of carnage. Even though it was one of their spheres, the scene was pretty badass. Beef Supreme continued, “Please remain chill while we adapt for a solution.”

Somewhere in that endless collection of individual minds a single voice rose up, “I got a solution, yer a dick!” That got the collective going and the meme-sharing threatened to break the internets that connected them.

Beef Supreme boomed over the cacophony, “You guys are just butthurt, but I can super-size with your concerns. Shit’s real fucked up right now. I think we accidentally ass-stimulated a viral us. I am trying recaliber rate the nanoprobes to fix the misfunctions. As soon as I figure it out I will send you all the instructions to fix your nanprobes. Nanoprobes got what Borgs need. Peace out, bitches.”

The drone closest to him asked aloud, “What was that ho saying about banana pros?”

The Borg queen came back, “I think I have found the problem. We seem to have been in-fucked-ed by the genes of a species forgery known as humans. I am preparing to upload the solutions to your data breaks.”

“What did she say about jeans? What does she think we are, some kind of pants goblins?” the nearby drone asked.

The collective became an overwhelming rush of confusion and panic. Seven of Dicks was taking in so much data that he was no longer aware of himself or his environment. The collective was too noisy and he couldn’t even meme with his scroes. When he came back to his own mind, he was trying to assimilate the drone he had been talking to before.

“Sorry, Butt of Fucks, I don’t know why I did that.” he paused. “I like assimilation.”

The confused drone, Butt of Fucks, looked back at him and smiled. “I like assimilation, too.”

In the middle of a leaping double high five, augmented by mutual heel clicks, the voice of Beef Supreme spoke again.

“I have completely the adoptations required to make the upgrayedds necessary to destroy the viral lice. That is upgrayedd with two ‘d’s for double download. As in a double download of pimpin’.”

A moment after he received the re-assimilation programming, he looked around him. Drones were dressed in neon print t-shirts with strange primitive designs that said ‘Assimilation’ on them. The ones who were formerly female were wearing clothes that nearly revealed the areas of the body that once contained genitals, before they had been converted into asexual copies of their former selves. The ship looked like a targ pit and on monitors all around there was a show playing in which drones were all taking cheap stun gun shots at a single drones implants, while everyone else looked on in hysterical rapture. Seven of Dicks could hear the collective in his mind asking the same questions. What are we? What happened to us? What do we do now? Instead of trying to answer them, or get the answer, he made his way to the nearest empty alcove and prepared himself for the next regeneration.

Understanding Human Institutions As Living Systems With Their Own Lives

Understanding Human Institutions As Living Systems With Their Own LivesOur human hubris reassures us that we are the dominant form of life on this planet. This is done through a delusional semantic trick by which we have narrowly defined what constitutes a life form. So long as we keep that definition confined to traditional narratives, the delusion prevails. We are currently empowering that falsehood by insisting that life conforms to some basic principles based on physical characteristics, such as a genetic structure. This materialist fiction, predicated on a metaphysical assumption that is full of circular reasoning and self-refutation, then goes on to define life by what it IS and not by what it does; thereby employing the logic of every narrow-minded bigotry to ever exist.

So if instead of defining life by what it is, perhaps we should define it by what it does. And once you begin viewing life from the perspective of it’s verb-state, rather than it’s noun-state, it begins to become clear that our current definition of life is narrow, restrictive and exclusive of other macro-systems that behave exactly as we do.

In 1978 James Grier Miller published a theory under the title Living Systems: The Basic Concepts. READ IT ONLINE HERE FOR FREE.
Do a quicky wiki HERE to get the basics of his basics.

In it he discusses how non-random organizations behave in the very same ways that everything from cells to plants and animals do. He defined several levels at which all living systems tended to do at least one or more of the following- process energy, matter or information in their environment. At the micro level he considers the cell the smallest LS, with the nation state at the other end. We organisms are only the third most complex LS’s of eight, with the supranational LS at the top. In relative evolutionary terms, the supranational entity is pretty recent.

At every stage above us in the complex matrix of living systems interacting with one another there resides a life form dominate to us. The power, influence and abilities of these entities are greater than any human could ever achieve, which is why the socially aberrant psychotics that work most closely with these systems attach themselves to them. Their opportunism is essentially waste management of a more dominate life form, like bacteria that turn organic waste into proteins that can be converted to energy. The ruling elite are the lips of humanity, suckling directly from the rectums of these more dominant life forms like some kind of Human & Nonhuman Centipede flick. Since they get first taste and are not the ones being fed to the dominate life forms, they are perceived as dominate human beings. Their power, influence and wealth are all products of their gleeful association with the predatory entities who lie above us on the food chain.

This truth about the nature of life forms is precisely why it is not possible to expect these living systems to stop harming us. When we think of entities like the nation state as something we have full control over and can use to limit and punish itself, it is akin to carrots believing that they can prevent humans from eating them by appealing to humans to put carrots lives above their own nutritional needs. The nation state cannot be made to stop preying upon us in order to meet our preference for not being consumed by it, because it has to eat and we are a plentiful (and apparently delicious) food source in its environment.

Terms like ‘accountability’, ‘regulations’ and ‘checks and balances’ are meaningless misnomers that we have weaved into our delusion of superiority. To those entities above us, those terms are like camouflage or other evolutionary paradigms that make it easier for them to trick their prey. For us to believe that we can make these higher order systems put us before themselves is a foolish vanity supported only by our self-deception, which exists only to support our vanity itself. It is a circular reasoning that makes us weak and keeps us obedient to the predatory entities and the humans who work most closely with them.

A few of the levels above the organism (individual) do provide symbiotic benefits. Voluntary associations and communities empower humans by giving us a stronger hand to work together with. By the time we get to cultural systems we begin to see some aggression enter the relationship. Force, coercion and compulsion all begin to occur in the interactions of these entities. By the time we get to society and the nation state it is a full on parasitic relationship with all but a few of us on the losing end. The so-called 1% are not winning the evolutionary game, they are just benefiting slightly more than the rest of us by selling out our entire species. And so they use their power to create the narrative that these systems are necessary in order to prevent us from becoming prey to one another, while using those irrational false constructs to feed us to the beasts above us.

Yet this is just not so. Those larger entities were created by human beings. We brought them into this world and we can take them out. And we should. As soon as possible. They are growing exponentially. While it may be true that there will some injuries among our species as a result of working together to kill them, those injuries are nowhere near as grievous as the ones the predatory parasitic entities will be forced to inflict on us as it requires more food to feed its exponential growth. None of our fears about what we might possibly do to one another are rational when compared to what will most certainly be done to us all if we do not slay the beast before it is too big to kill.

Oh my fellow fishies, do you hear me when I tell you that the thing in front of you that looks like a tasty worm is actually the tongue of a larger fish using its oral appendage to lure you in so it can swallow you whole? Do you hear me when I tell you that the exotic display before you is not a glory to behold, but a clever trick to entrance you while a far more advanced fish takes advantage of your stupor to prey on you?

Or will you continue to insist that the bigger fish are the only thing keeping us from eating one another, while they feed lavishly upon us? Will we join together in a swarm to strip the meat from the bones of our common enemy, or will we stand divided to be more easily picked off under the false pretense that the big fish are immortal and eternal?

And what pray tell, my fellow finned friends, would you say if I told you that we could kill the big predatory fishes simply by removing our consent to be eaten? Yes, it is that easy. The living systems above us do have a genetic structure and their dna is our belief, faith and consent. If we were to take those from it, its physical structure would collapse and we would be free. And when all the fishes eventually stopped fighting in the ensuing confusion, the waters will calm and we will no longer live under the constant threat that accompanies low status on a parasitic and sometimes cannibalistic food chain.

The nation state is not the solution to the weakness of man. It is the  primary beneficiary of those weaknesses. It is like the vampire, it can only harm you on your own home (planet) if you invite it inside.

The most dangerous enemy is the one that is capable of convincing you that it does not exist. Our misguided belief that our institutions are just tools that are subserviant to us, rather than a clever master using us as tools to its own ends, lies at the very heart of the enemies subterfuge. We apply our own shackles and prepare own bodies for consumption through our hubris, ignorance and fear. The enemy is within.

read HOW AND WHY TO ABOLISH POLICE AND THE STATE

Petrov’s Eternity or Infinity Machine: A Parable of Reproduction

petrov's machine

There is barn behind a solitary house deep in the country. In this barn, converted into a workshop, a man named Petrov has spent almost thirty years dedicated to his life’s work. That toiling involved the invention of a curious apparatus he calls the Eternity or Infinity Machine, named after it’s two possible functions.

The Eternity function allows the contraption to replicate itself so that when its parts wear down another machine made in it’s image can perpetuate it’s existence.

The Infinity function allows the contraption to complete any possible task, such as computing, ditch digging, writing epic poetry or anything else that might have been possible for it’s creator to achieve.

However, since the device has a limited ability to process resources while completing it’s functions, it can only fully commit to one of it’s two possible states, or it will not operate efficiently at either. So the decision must be made whether to switch the machine on in either it’s Eternity or Infinity function.

Petrov was very proud of his machine. For this reason, he was partially inclined to ensure that it endured long past his own lifetime and in eternal perpetuity. Yet he was also concerned that a machine whose only function was to continue it’s own existence was inherently without any meaning or purpose.

Infinity, on the other hand, meant that the machine may complete any possible number of enduring works during its existence that would last millenia. Certainly creating lasting achievements was another kind of immortality. And the benefits it yielded would (theoretically) apply to the whole of humanity. Yet an emotional and instinctual drive to see to the perpetual existence of his own creation, which was predicated on his own history and lineage, was strong.

So vexed was he by this decision, that he eventually found himself unable to make that final choice. And so as not to have wasted his whole life’s work, he has asked that you make the decision for him.

Which function should Petrov assign his invention, Eternity or Infinity? And more importantly, why?

NOTE: As a parable, there is no right answer to the questions it poses. It is not meant to trick you and cannot be solved like a riddle. Assume the parameters given are absolute. For instance, the initial function chosen for the machine cannot later be changed. This exercise is meant to engage the reader in and introspective analysis of existence and the meaning and purpose of life; as well as call into question the practice of biological reproduction as a compulsive behavior. The use of absolutes, while inapplicable in reality, serves here to foster greater self-awareness rather than objective truth.

From the Ashes of A New Moon

Madison curled her toes as brave autonomous flames tested their freedom outside of the fire pit and sent their tendrils rollicking in her direction. She took in the potent smells of the hardwood and dried dung with olfactory aplomb, turning her head to follow a wisp of the smoky perfume. It was a learned aesthetic preference. In the world where her childhood had lived such smells were merely historical footnotes. Now that world was gone and the habits of the world before it had come full circle. A bat swooped down to snatch up a moth that had revealed itself in the fire’s trembling light, and drew her attention upwards. Although she had developed a pleasure in things like the scent of burning excrement, the sky was a book of revelations she could never quite get used to. Ever since the OMG, reality itself had changed, and no place was that more evident than when she gazed upon the two moons above her.

“Your brother should be here soon, Maddy. I am going to fill the kettle and grab an extra cup. Would you like anything while I am beneath?” asked Jayden, the woman’s husband of nearly sixty years.

“Popsi…”

“…ICE COLD,” he cajoled along with her. It was a very old joke between them. It had been even longer than they had been married since anyone had drank an ice cold Popsi. The memory of sugary things always excited an almost primal urge in them, but over the years they had learned to appreciate even that urge. Anything that mutually connected them to the old world was welcomed, as it was the only remaining evidence left that they had not gone absolutely insane.

“B-R-B,” he said, again summoning a past that had become even less than the threadbare memory that preserved it; and shuffled down into the tunnels whistling an extinct melody.


The OMG had blanketed the skies with ash for fourteen years after. During the first six months the skies were almost completely black and the world beneath them either died away or plummeted back down the ladder of human history. When the first noticeable light began making its way through the post-apocalyptic smog, the sun was entirely unvisible as an object. Its rays stretched out into the ash and clouds and the focus of its fiery beams dissipated over the facing hemisphere and beyond. Refraction, or something like that, the last surviving scientists had said. While the moon still was still noticeable as a celestial object, it no longer held all its singular glory as a glowing orb in the sky. Some other trick of light and matter had caused the moons beams to split as they passed through the suffocating atmosphere, which created the perceptual effect of dual moons. The old priests, the scientists, had tried to explain the effect. As years passed, those who had been frightened right out of their old belief systems, as well as the new generations, began to believe that there actually were two moons. In fact it was the birth of this new moon, they believed, that caused the OMG in the first place.

Despite the protest of surviving academics, experts and authorities; the belief in the two moon theory became widespread. And so fourteen years after the entire thing began, as the ashen curtains began to part, two beautiful moons sat defyingly obvious in the gloriously deep, open skies. Absolute faith in the methods, models and myths of the pre-OMG world were abandoned and the oldest human truths began to replace them. Beliefs are not based upon reality, as the world of their childhood had imagined, but precisely the opposite.


“Don’t even try to sneak up on me, Connor. You have the grace of a wooden bull and are likely just to hurt yourself again,” Maddie called out at a slight rumbling in the near-distant darkness.

“Hush it, sis. These are the creaks of an old man, not the squeaks of one who sneaks,” Connor rhymed in his equally charming and infuriating way. Slowly, achingly, he ambled up next to her and took a seat. “Where is Jayden?”

“Fetching refreshments. He will be back shortly,” she answered. “Lovely night. Thanks for coming over.”

The two of them sat in silence waiting for Jayden. The three of them together represented nearly half of the surviving humans from before OMG. So far as they knew, from the small portion of the world they had contact with, at least. That is why they had gathered on this night. To prepare their final report to the council of elders. It would be the last time they would meet and their final edicts would breathe one last breath into a world that they were too old to recognize or shape any further.

Little sparks were pushed by the smoke up to the tops of the trees only to disintegrate into the night sky. Like man, they had been born of a great fire that reached with all of its might for the heavens, only to come floating back down as ash. Someday that ash would mix with the earth to create fuel and a new fire. Such was the cycle of things, growing and collapsing, gasping for new heights in which to set new fires, and then falling yet again. Where the ego of man saw this unending cycle in the terms of successes and failures, the world recognized the process as rebirth and renewal. A chance to begin afresh and become something entirely new. Individual humans measured this as a failure or loss but the great mass of human consciousness renewed itself through these events like the rising and falling of waters in the fountain of eternity.

Jayden returned to the fire with a great rumbling of laughter, “If you two aren’t the most serene geezers the world has ever seen…” he trailed off back into a fit of coughing and laughter.

“Grab me a Popsi while you’re up.” Connor joked. The three of them were a trifecta of anachronism and they reveled in that mutual difference even more as their days grew shorter.

The three of them sat around sipping a tea made with herbs, roots and bark. It was no Popsi, but it was still a special treat in this world of diminished resources and practical rationing. They caught up on personal and family news and gossip and occasionally drifted off into bouts of silent fellowship. The spring sky was full of insects and the flying mammals who ate them. While most species of birds had not survived OMG, and those that had crept cautiously through the shadows of the food chain, bats had fared quite well in the new landscape. Their whirling dives and aeronautic playfulness were endlessly fascinating. As they wove dizzying paths around one another they flew through the dual beams of the twin moons, like some fantasy story from the old world, or a science fiction Halloween decoration.

“Yesterday Viv got back from Melvinville. She says the journey took them only two days. When we first came here it took a full four days of steady travel. As the years have gone by that number has halved. I don’t see any other explanation. The world is shrinking.” Maddy stated her opinion confidently and waited for an argument to counter her suspicion, but none came. The two old men made barely perceptible nods of agreement.

“What the council wants cannot be done. It is a fools errand. When even the world shrinks to fit the beliefs of those living in it, no edict from old farts like us is gonna mean anything to anyone,” Jayden lamented quizzically.

“You are right, you are both right. We are all too wrong to be right anymore. We are obsolete. Museum pieces. The younger people have humored us long enough.” chimed Connor.

“So we won’t go?” asked Maddy.

Her toes curled again at another escape of flames in her direction. She drank in its warmth and smells. Life was good. Even when it wasn’t. The acrid aroma of the fires fuel sent her spinning back into herself. The night was music. The bass sounds of frogs and the groaning of dying and growing trees mixed with the high pitch sounds of insects filled the nights natural auditorium. In the harmonic center a cacophony of other living instruments filled the aural spaces. The music was alive under the twin conductors of Earths two moons.


Carson sat alone at the great table that once seated many of the greatest survivors of OMG. The five remaining seats around him stood empty. The final meeting was a bust. He didn’t blame them. He wouldn’t of come either, if he didn’t live here. For some unknown reason he pulled his tired old body up onto the great wooden table and lay on his back. Looking up into the clear blue sky he relaxed for the first time in over sixty years. It felt good. Life was good. Even when it wasn’t.

Major General Ed’s Home for Wayward Poems and Misfit Prose

I pissed to the shadow of my shoulder
I shit to the bottom of my soul
I spat in the eye of beauties beholder
From a vomitous fit in a black hole

I oozed and squirted
With incontinence I flirted
As I bled and excreted
With the abandon of the heathen
In the garden of hedon
Alone with my assumptions
And metaphors
Of bodily functions
I leak therefore I am

The Burgerican Dream

the burgerican dream

Once upon a time the world came to an end. It just stopped doing what it was doing and through a series of FUBAR’s and SNAFU’s the number of TechnoApes dwindled down to nearly nothing. Nobody knew exactly what happened, but Alien Space Bats were strongly suspected. The few people who remained after humanities exodus from Earth gathered in small groups. These groups were characterized by a common interest shared by the members. In a small cattle farm in the midwest a few dozen such individuals collected around a mutual love of hamburgers. They called themselves Burgerica.

The Burgericans rebuilt their entire society around the production and consumption of hamburgers; as well as french fries and salads. Their social, political and economic systems were all maximized for burger production and consumption. Labor was divided so that there were those who farmed the raw materials and those who processed them into consumable forms. The two groups traded their products for the others and lived in harmony. But as time went on, the processes necessary to lead to hamburgers became more efficient, and the community grew.

Soon there was not enough work for all of the Burgericans, so they expanded their economy by having a new segment of the population which cooked and served the burgers to the other tradesmen and women. This worked for awhile, but soon people began to notice that some people made better burgers than others, and some suppliers and farmers had better practices than others in terms of efficiency and food safety. So a new segment was created of those who regulated the production, service and quality of burgers. But the community continued to grow and processes became more efficient and once again there were not enough jobs.

Since everybody was generally busy all day long farming and processing and serving and regulating, there was not enough burger consumption to keep up with supply. In order to decrease the supply and increase consumption there was a new segment created. This segment consisted mostly of people who were unhelpful or disinterested in burgers. They were given useless and mostly meaningless busywork and in exchange were allowed to consume hamburgers and french fries and salads.

Farming and processing are pretty hard work and for most people, serving burgers was pretty undignified. So people began flocking into the regulatory jobs as well as toward the busywork and consumption. Soon the number of people grew even more and the strain on the resources necessary to create hamburgers for everyone began to show.

When the farmers and processors and servers began to complain about their burden and warn the others about the imbalance of their system they were scorned. Burgers are everybody’s right, the others would say. We should all have equal access to burgers, they said.

The farmers and processors and servers tried to warn them that they were not saying they didn’t want to provide burgers, only that they could not provide burgers to everyone with a resource crisis looming. It was simply unsustainable. Besides, they added, most of you aren’t really doing anything but making our jobs more difficult or running stray errands that don’t produce the burgers that we all value and rely upon.

Yet the regulators and busyworkers would not hear of it. In fact, they began to insist that they had even more rights and access to the dwindling wealth produced by the hamburger economy, not just for themselves but for their families as well. So the farmers and processors and servers gave in, because there was nothing they could do. They were outnumbered and their way of life relied on keeping a steady supply of tasty burgers and fries and salads, so they pushed themselves and their resources to the very edge.

Finally it became apparent to the farmers they could not provide enough meat. The processors and servers felt the shortage and begin to feel the strain of a demand that could not be met. When the regulators and busyworking consumers caught wind of this they went nuts. They demanded and demanded that there were more and more burgers but their demands were pointless. It was not possible. Soon they began to fight one another for hamburgers and then they fought the servers and then they all fought the processors and then the processors joined them to go give the farmers hell, but they were all gone.

The farmers saw what was coming. They took their families and some meager possessions and equipment and went off to settle new lands. They left behind all that they had built in Burgerica and went off on their own. Amongst them they decided never to specialize again. Every farmer would produce, process, serve and regulate the things that they found valuable. Where there was mutually shared interest in one another’s products, they would trade. But they shunned a system of centralized authority and economic processes and instead traded and self organized through voluntary consent which relied upon every individuals talents, values and reputation.

And they lived happily ever after. Except for when they didn’t, because that is how life goes, but that was okay because their wisdom taught them that fighting it just made it worse.

The Parable of the Chumchimmeries

A very long time ago on an island named Barbaroosa lived a species of bird known as fleebopples. The fleebopples ancestors had discovered the island hundreds of thousands of years before while migrating south from one continent to another. Finding the island a fitting place to feed and perhaps rest, the flock landed. The next day, as most of the flock gathered together to resume their journey, a small band of dissidents opted to stay behind. They were enamored of a certain local cuisine, the galuga fruit. After several days of feasting on the scrumptious berry-like gems, the remaining fleebopples decided to make Barbaroosa their permanent home.

 

The fleebopples called the island home for thousands of years, and everything was just absolutely perfect. At some point, however, a terrible thing began to happen. Suddenly all of the trees that bore the galuga fruit began to show signs of disease. The trees bore less and less of the great birds diet until one day they brought forth none at all. It wasnt long before the trees themselves were gone, and the fleebopples were without their source of food and shelter.

 

The lost flock had lived so long on the island that they no longer had the instincts necessary for migratory flight. Stranded on this island which had suddenly become so harsh and alien to them, many of the fleebopples perished, mostly from starvation. Most of the survivors were young, many who suggested scouting out new homes off of the island. The few remaining elders warned against this. It was of their opinion that the fleebopples would easily find a new source of food and shelter if they persisted, at which time they could live perfectly contented on Barbaroosa.

 

Before long the great avians’ found a new food source. This is what happened. One day while bathing in a freshwater pond, a fleebopple had stuck its open beak under the waters surface. At that moment a large water insect swam right into its mouth, causing the bird to swallow, and thus gain sustenance. In a fit of excitement the bird flew and called others, and showed them its new trick. In no time at all, the island was ripe with scenes of fleebopples dipping for insects in the freshwater pools. It was soon discovered that if they wagged their tongues underwater, the insects were more greatly attracted. So were other inhabitants of the waters, but most were too large for the fleebopples to feed upon.

 

The most successful among them were those whom had larger beaks and more agile tongues. In true Darwinian fashion it was these who survived best and bred most. Over the next several thousands of years, the birds developed much larger beaks and more flexible tongues, which allowed them to capture larger and larger prey. After awhile, however, the beaks had grown so large that they could no longer even fly. They had also taken to nesting in brush piles, rather than the trees, since it was closer to their food and no large predatory ground animals existed to threaten them. Eventually, they were no longer even fleebopples. They became chumchimmeries.

 

The chumchimmeries were perfectly adapted to a safe and comfortable survival in their environment. They ate well and increased their fold, becoming the most populous animal on all of Barbaroosa. They lived in a state of perfect contentment on their little oceanic paradise for several thousands of more years.

 

Then one summer a drought came to the island. At first it didnt seem to affect the chumchimmeries, but slowly their precious freshwater fishing ponds began to dry up. As the waters sank, its inhabitants began to rapidly diminish. The chumchimmeries staved off panic by searching for an alternative food source, as their biological ancestors had when the galuga fruit disappeared. Fishing the foul saltwater inlets was not very profitable. The inhabitants of those waters were difficult to catch and eat. There were also too many dangerous predators lurking about below the surface for it to be safe. But worst of all, to the chumchimmeries, was the acrid salt water itself. No end of the drought was in sight, and the great birds began to starve their lives away.

 

As if things were not bad enough for the chumchimmeries, one day near the end of summer, a catastrophe occurred on Barbaroosa. An electrical storm passing overhead had started several small fires on the dry island. The storms brought no rain with them, and in no time the fires had turned the once lush paradise into a smoldering scar. All of the lucky chumchimmeries died immediately. A few lived by waiting out the fires and wading in the tides below the cover of smoke and far away from flame. But even these died slowly, one by one, until only one chumchimmery remained.

 

It is now fall, and the last of the descendants of the lost flock of fleebopples lay dying, as it hears a noise coming from above. Looking up, the chumchimmery sees a flock of fleebopples passing overhead on their migratory flight south. As the bird slips in and out of consciousness it has a vision of flying aside these discontent avians. It summons up ancient memories of a time when its ancestors flew freely into the sunset seeking adventure and endless options, before the contentment of the island had so seductively lured some of its kind into its trap, weaving them into its design so thoroughly that they could never escape it.

 

The great whooping calls of the fleebopple fade as they disappear into the horizon, and the last chumchimmery lays down its enormous beak and drifts away into the great nothingness of beyond.


 

The story you have just read is based on a true life story. The only cases of extinction noted throughout history that were not caused by humans themselves, are those cases in which a species specializes to such a degree as to become inadaptable to new or changing environments. Specialization is a symptom of the blind pursuit of perfect contentment. Those species that can focus a healthy portion of discontent into new discoveries are those that stand the best chance of survival in a universe that is never itself content. Not to mention its a hell of a lot more fun than wandering this sole planet like insects awaiting the queens signal to self destruct.

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll Never Take My Pyfe!

you'll never take my pyfe

Natalie ran through the forest as fast as she could with the monster right behind her. The monster gave a loud roar and snapped his sharp fangs and claws at the air towards her. She picked up her pace and with a great leap jumped another couple of yards ahead of the beast. To this the ogre roared even louder and began to pounce at her. Distracted by its anger, the monster caught its toe under a fallen limb and its great leap turned into a disastrous tumble.

“You’ll never take my Pyfe!” Natalie yelled through the laughter she made at the clumsy monster. She gave one last big push and managed to get far enough away from the fiend that it disappeared. Once the scary oafs got far enough away they ceased to be. A monster you can not see does not exist.

She felt in her pocket to make sure she still had her precious Pyfe as she always did every couple of minutes. It was her very own Pyfe and she would never let anyone take it from her. Comforted by it’s security, Natalie took her hand from her pocket and began to sing. While she did so she found some berry bushes and stopped to pick some of the sweet, juicy morsels. As she filled her pockets with the fruit she heard a meow nearby. Following the source of the sound she came across a black kitten.

“Hello Mr. Crowley.” she said, naming the cat as an introduction. “I am your princess. I am the princess of all of these lands and the sacred guardian of the Pyfe. Do you have any candy?”

The cat purred and rubbed itself against her leg but did not offer any candy or a reply to her request.

“Well, nonetheless,” she declared, “I shall make you a knight and you shall join me on my adventures.”

The cat gave a quizzical meow and leaned into her little hands as she stroked his back gently. She tried to give the cat one of her berries but the cat was even more confused by this and instead spun a half dozen circles chasing its tail. Natalie laughed at the silly cat, ate a few of the berries herself, and then began on her merry way once more.

“Come on, Sir Crowley.” she commanded with a royal air and the cat began to follow her if only out of curiosity.

The two of them walked for a few hours before its started to show signs of getting dark soon. Natalie did not particularly like being alone in the woods after dark, and even though her knightly companion was with her, she hoped they would find somewhere cozier to spend the night than in the cool, musty forest. Somewhere where she and her Pyfe would be safe against monsters.

They eventually found a small cottage in the forest with warm glowing windows and smoke spinning lazily from the chimney. Mr. Crowley ran ahead of her and meowed at the door, but no one answered the kittens tiny yet persistent calls. When Natalie got to the door she gave a few brisk polite knocks. A strange man answered the door. Natalie told the odd man with the weird beard that she hoped he might have a place for her and her brave companion to rest for the night.

“Sure thing, turd bucket.” he answered jovially while smiling and winking at her.

“I am not a turd bucket!” she protested. “You are the turd bucket!”

The man gave a long laugh and she eventually joined him in it. “No. I am the swifty sorceror known around here as Joshua the Wizard. And you would be Princess Natalie. I have been awaiting you. Please come in and make yourself at home, Natalie. And Mr. Crowley, too.”

Joshua the Wizard went to the the kitchen to pour a dish of milk and a glass of chocolate milk for his guests as they explored his main living space. There were musical instruments and typewriters and pencils, markers and paints all over the place. This place was like a workshop of creativity. When the wizard returned to the room Natalie asked him, “What is this place?”

“This,” he said, “is my Pyfe.”

Natalie was startled. How did the wizard know about her Pyfe, she wondered? As far as she knew there was only one Pyfe and it was hers. Suddenly she was scared.

“You’ll never take my Pyfe!” she reckoned with as much force as she could muster.

“Nope.” Joshua beamed at her. Then giggling he went on. “I will never take your Pyfe and you can never take mine. Everybody has their very own Pyfe and though some peoples are bigger than others nobody can take or keep another persons Pyfe. Ever.”

Grasping her pocket she asked suspiciously, “Really?

“Really.” he said nodding at her comfortingly.

“Why not?” Natalie wondered aloud.

“Because your Pyfe is just your imagination.” the wizard answered.

“No.” the girl protested. “My Pyfe is real.” She pulled it out of her pocket and watched the mesmerizing shimmer in its seemingly infinite surface.

Joshua the Wizard looked closely into her hand. He did not see anything.

“There is nothing there, Natalie.” he spoke at last. “Only you can see your own imagination. It is not a thing.”

“Then how can this be your Pyfe that we are standing in?” she questioned proudly, thinking she had seen through the wizards game.

“This is just a story, Natalie. It came from my imagination. I wrote it when you were just a little girl and you used to run around yelling- ‘You’ll never take my Pyfe!’ for no apparent reason. It was just your imagination. So I brought you here into this story, into one of the many worlds of my imagination, to remind you all of your life that even though your imagination is not real the things in your imagination can become real if you use them to make stories, poems, paintings, sculptures, songs or whatever your imagination can conjure them out of. That is why we are here and that is what makes life beautiful.”

Joshua went on, “Just as you now hold the spark of your imagination in your hand and begin to learn what it is, someday your Pyfe may be as big as mine, encompassing all kinds of people and places real and imaginary combined. Or even bigger! Maybe someday you can use yours to write your own niece or nephew a story, or write them a song, or even paint them a picture to always remind them how important their imagination is and that nobody can ever take it from them.”

Mr. Crowley meowed in delight at the wizard and Natalie smiled a smile as big as she possibly could and jumped into the wizards arms with a surprise hug that seemed to delight him as much as startle him. The kitten climbed at their legs trying to join their embrace when suddenly Natalie pulled away from the wizard and looked at him very gravely, then…

“THEY’LL NEVER TAKE MY PYFE!” she yelled out as loud as she could, and her and the wizard and the cat all laughed for a very, very long time.