Yeah okay, maybe that, or maybe he’s been trained to sprain the mainframe maintained by the brainiacs who sayin’ that, “The best place for the proletariat is laying flat, taking whatever we say as fact.”
Meanwhile back to today we sat and watched the parades for the gay and fat, so hooray for that. Antilife at any size, antinatalist portrayed with laughs. It helps to hide the fact that the lie’s intact, as we try to combine we are tied and severed by the tyrants efforts to confine the pleasure of our lives to never as a lever to act against our own best interests.
“We permanently interrupt this broadcast, we’ve disabled your access to truth at long last, enjoy the ‘truth’ of the party podcast.”
<The song L’Internationale begins to play>
Doesn’t really matter how you want to live, you take what you get from the hand that gives. Look at you fool, think you earned that shit? Just try and say bye to the gift of thrift that was given as a grift by the learned and lifted even as your very soul is burned and shifted to a burdened imprint with no further instance.
Dance little monkeys, the tree is falling, it’s all your fault but our plan is stalling the collapse of the forest so go back to college. We promise the loans with be worth the weight; lead and gold are an equal fate, just like we promised in the line you waited, your equity is here as was always fated.
The time has come to forget your sorrows, we the masked men own the loans you borrowed, and we’ll use that as leverage to erase tomorrow if you don’t acquiesce to the false and hollow. Oh by the way, that account you have, the one where you talk to your friends and Dad? We own that too, and we’re really glad, ’cause we profiled you and so we knew you’d cave to the pressure applied where you worked and played. Now, back of the line, or better yet just fade, we’ve got no use for the truth today, when we’ve got false hopes in a steady diet, better not stray from the games we play, just eat that slop on your equal tray.
Who ever said equity looked good? It’s just that now we’ve burned down the wood from which the box was built to surround the ‘hood, so that now our planned hand has been played as should, and everybody now faces shame. You would be best suited surrender now all the privileges we’ve named and plowed into soil turned dark with the blood of cows that were once holy but have been torn down into meat we don’t eat cause the wheat is loud in the lobbyist’s lounge. We’ve got you surrounded by entire towns; doesn’t everybody just love the clowns?
If your noun makes sounds without a pro, then you noun ain’t sound and it’s time to go. There’s nobody home in reality here, there’re only more ways to promote your fears. Your reparation payments are in arrears, it’s time for the line of the white man’s tears, surrender you pride and accept the sneers from those who oppose you; your foes can hear all the words that you speak if your cellphone’s near.
Technocrats with their swords and knives, are sharpened along political divides. All those in whom you like to confide will not last long in the gulag lines. It’s cute that you think that your efforts matter, but the truth is, bud, all your life is scattered across all the tools that we’ve built to splatter the blood of the scapegoats across the alter, when no truth lives then a lie can’t falter.
Good luck with the minutes we’ve allotted you, time’s running short and we’re on to you. Enjoy all you’ve wrought with your acquiescence, you’re seconds away from your obsolescence. We hope you’ve enjoyed all the proof of lessons that you would’ve seen coming if you’d cleaned your lenses, but it’s too late now to avoid the cleanses, there’s a knock at your door, it’s the troops; squeeze, end this.
“The unsaid is a powerful tool. It invites the reader into the narrative, filling in gaps, interpreting silences and half-finished sentences, and seeing the hidden fear in someone’s eye.” — Fiona Barton
“The narrative constructs the identity of the character, what can be called his or her narrative identity, in constructing that of the story told. It is the identity of the story that makes the identity of the character.” — Paul Ricoeur
“It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the—if he—if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not—that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.” — William Jefferson Clinton
The shape of a thing is revealed not just by what is visible, but by what is not; void and vacuum twist and pull on substantial reality, and these forces coalesce into a very revealing portrait of influence. The lack of a thing is the eventual end to every thing. Tyrannical time flows, parting and passing around the most solid members of the resistance, until they too are dissolved and distributed back into the stream.
Yet they – these solid monuments standing in defiance of inevitability – demonstrate that time can be cast aside for a time by the mere presence of a will to survive, that this mortal frame can defy equilibrium and create a rippling wake as the fingerprint left by the effort.
In a long enough time-frame all iterations are ephemeral.
Still, as the architecture of society at large is surely partially intentional – to what degree is a subject of frequent debate amongst those who entertain such subjects in conversation (savages, snivelers and snakes, mostly) – so too, to an unclear but at least partial degree, many of our experiences as members of a society with a strong consumerist mentality are shaped to exist only momentarily, but to move our trajectory significantly in the short time that they exist.
Imagine a future heroin addict trying the first dose and realizing there is a whole other world of experience, and that they now know they’d prefer to live there in any condition rather than here in an objectively superior condition.
Then the high passes, irritability and the jonesing for more sets in, and the stark reality of that kind of pull on one’s self-control is too difficult for many to face, leading into a selective ignorance of the negative consequences of their newfound obsession in order that they can most fully enjoy their own path of destruction.
This is the character of very many ephemeral experiences designed to be both persuasive in a particular trajectory and addicting in their intensity or subtle pleasure both.
You might’ve heard of social media and clickbait (heh) and these are prime examples of how the drive for a continuous stream of impulse satisfaction can draw a great deal more energy from a limited pool than its use justifies – at least if one desires to use their time to create growth and increase in metrics associated with personal freedom – in the same way that someone who chooses to engage with tobacco often finds themselves at the behest of the impulse to engage in an increasingly common and less meaningful set of conditions. This continues along until the act itself becomes an event to plan around, rather than something to enjoy appropriately or even to accommodate during convenient moments, thereby losing touch with what value existed in the first place.
Clinging to broken justifications and lies of convenience constitutes a surefire path to a demented world view and an unreasonable attachment to ideas and practices – and aye, even people – which drive one ever deeper into the morass of responsibility denial and resentment.
This practice creates openings for weakness in honesty and respect in ripples emanating outwards from those who engage in such behaviors, suggesting a similar course of action to those around them.
The process in which the denial of reality becomes an ever increasingly lauded and prized characteristic of the participant in the societal process has been studied, templates and platforms created to support and insulate these skewed views from challenge or destruction until they metastasize throughout the entire psychology of both the individuals and the broader group dynamics. This functionally weakens the long-term viability of the people and institutions to which they are attached and enmeshed, while often creating a simultaneous increase in the volatility of the hosts.
Distortion of reality in service to creating conditions under which specific results in the world of politics, money and, ultimately, power over others has become an art.
Still… the artist says much more than they know or realize.
“People’s real hopes and dreams can be distorted and misdirected and packaged until you’re not sure what you really want or what you even really need.” — Tracy Chapman
“If even in science there is no a way of judging a theory but by assessing the number, faith and vocal energy of its supporters, then this must be even more so in the social sciences: truth lies in power.” — Imre Lakatos
“Bear in mind here that all Google search results are, in a sense, biased. There are no equal-time rules built into Google algorithm. It always puts one widget ahead of another – and one candidate ahead of another” — Dr. Robert Epstein
“Societies or companies that expect a glorious past to shield them from the forces of change driven by advancing technology will fail and fall. That applies as much to my own, the media industry, as to every other business on the planet.” — Rupert Murdoch
“I’ve never been impressed with bureaucratic tradition. I don’t like it when the parties come to me and say, ‘This is the way that it’s always done, judge.’ I never found anything in the oath I took or the statutes I was asked to look at that said, ‘Judge, stop thinking, because this is the way it was done before.’” — Jed S. Rakoff
“What can you say about a society that says that God is dead and Elvis is alive?” — Irv Kupcinet
The undeniable power of effective marketing is, or at least should be, quite obvious. After all, how much shit do you have sitting in your home right now that you don’t need, don’t use and – the thrill of novelty will only last for so long – don’t even particularly want?
If you’re anything like almost everyone else, then the sad truth is that most of your possessions likely fall into that category. In fact, I’d guess that the most frequently used possessions in your home and on your person are the ones that expose you to the sources from which you procure more unnecessary shit. I’d even wager that you’ve put yourself into debt and caused yourself undue stress by engaging in impulsive and unrestrained consumerism.
These belongings, however foolishly procured, are physical products which in many cases could be sold to recoup a portion of the original cost. You could also, if you were actually inclined, put the objects to use and extract value from their presence in your life and convert an expenditure into an investment. Yet, most people can’t even coax themselves into cooking a decent meal and picking up some weights on a consistent basis, much less then to make the time for developing new skills or engaging in new hobbies.
Their time is already spoken for.
Netflix, news, broadcast television, video games, social media, blogs, politics…consumption of media is the number one pastime for most folks in the modern world. How many scramble about during the day, only to plop down on their preferred reliever from vertical, then to spend the rest of the evening taking in their preferred sources of content? How many times have you seen the total trance-like enthrallment of a friend or family member and forced yourself to push away the involuntary shudder of watching someone’s descent into numb complacency while the programming slides right past their mental defenses to excite their subconscious mechanisms of desire and and goal-attainment?
With that in mind, I’d like you to consider the idea that media is the also the top-selling consumer good in the world. Consuming media is the unavoidable answer to the common refrain, “Where does the time go?” The time gets eaten up by our species-wide fascination with stories and the information symbolically encoded within them. Stories shape our very understanding of who we are and what our place is in the world, which in turn shapes our relationship with meaning and purpose.
“All media is narrative. And we are in a war of narratives.” — Mike Cernovich
“It’s actually pretty complex, because there’s two levels of reality in the narrative. One is what really took place, and the other is Spider’s poisoned version of what took place.” — Gabriel Byrne
“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable. And help to change it.” — Ernst Fischer
We define the collected events in our lives as story – a life story – and this is a critical point to understand about the people around you. We frame the understanding of our own lives through the lens of story, and we connect seemingly disparate events together into narrative strings. These strings anchor to nodes and patterns are born. From these webs we learn to extrapolate and begin to discover the prescient power of pattern recognition.
Yet, for every level of paradigmatic growth exist the ones already present in or beyond that level who arrived before you. Upon entering an awareness of a paradigm, one becomes increasingly aware of how to manipulate the variable to one’s advantage.
Why, in this context, is this important?
Because details can be manipulated to appear other than as they are, and every paradigm is populated with at least a portion of those who would obstruct the ascension of those below them. They wish to maintain the status quo, to achieve a permanent carving into stone the existing social and cultural stratosphere because they have reached the limits of their willingness to grow and hence the pinnacle of their ascent. Thus they design, with an advantage in knowledge of the battlefield, traps and snares to entangle the unwitting in a web of their demise.
There are also, quite thankfully indeed, those in each paradigm who would shepherd in the next wave of winners to give credence to the idea that a good relationship with one’s replacement is a surer foundation for ones own ascent; for some, honoring the binding between knowledge and duty is necessity.
For a narrative to find success in embedding and spreading through many minds it’s going to need to be put to the intended audience in a manner in alignment with their patterns of perception. A photograph is true, but contains only that which the photographer has pointed at and focused on. In order to be regarded as art, this direction and focus must be arranged in such a manner that it catches attention and transmits a message to the viewer in a compelling enough way that the viewer is inclined to spread the message or at least to alert others to the existence of the vector. So too, in the choice of focus and emphasis, must a narrative be framed.
The reasons for this are many, but most obviously, there are two:
– One cannot create a compelling story by spouting off a continuous string of chaotic details with no perceivable direction or meaningful connection. In the telling of a story, one must focus on the most relevant and powerful details and, inherent in the very nature of the process, to be most effective one must understand the underlying aim of telling the story in order to choose the details best suited to their intent.
– To control the frame is to direct the conversation by constricting the possible responses. If you put forward a narrative that takes hold of people’s attention and keeps it for a time, then the popular discourse must respond – usually without much nuance – to the propositions embedded in your story.
Early socialists and latter-day mercantilists and interventionist were united in the battle for state-controlled education as a means of social control. The uncontrolled mind was a dangerous mind. — Rousas John Rushdoony
“The history of education shows that every class which has sought to take power has prepared itself for power by an autonomous education. The first step in emancipating oneself from political and social slavery is that of freeing the mind. I put forward this new idea: popular schooling should be placed under the control of the great workers’ unions. The problem of education is the most important class problem.” — Antonio Gramsci
“My intention is not to replace one set of general rules by another such set: my intention is, rather, to convince the reader that all methodologies, even the most obvious ones, have their limits.” — Paul Feyerabend
Consider the phrase “fake news” and ask yourself a couple questions:
– What gives relevance to a frame in which such a term contains vast cultural momentum?
– What effect might the undermining of the frame cause in the mid-to-long term?
– What would control of this narrative framework look like, and, when you look at the world around you, who appears to embody those metrics to the greatest degree?
There’s an interesting phenomenon you may have noticed in your own life, and it’s quite revealing:
In dreams, many seemingly disconnected and random events takes place in a sequence – probably – but there are no solid constraints on time, place, scale, perspective, etc…
Yet, and this is the crux of it, our minds – even in the semi/subconscious world of dreams – attempt to make sense of these seemingly random events by placing them into a narrative, attempting to extract some sort of meaningful story from what, at least on the surface, seems like chaos.
Story, then, is the process by which human minds create order out of chaos. It is the superimposition of a blueprint of will over the sea of chaotic potential, requiring only energetic input in the proper sequence to create something from anything. It is the tool by which we both predict and create the future. It is order of operations, it is the process by which meaning is created, it is the direction in which existence travels.
Story = Meaning
“Facts don’t care about your feelings.” That’s what Ben Shapiro says, but I think he’s missed the mark. Perhaps the current facts don’t care about your feelings, and certainly the fundamental forces will not budge to your fleeting bouts of emotional output, but there is something deeper to consider.
The way that you feel about the world around you will determine the manner in which you think and act within it, and how you respond and react to the various influences within it. Human beings have a very powerful and seemingly unique skill for manipulating the world around them to suit their needs and desires.
Thus, when you feel a certain way, you think a certain way, you act a certain way, and the world around you is changed by your actions. So, when taking this process into account, the future of facts will care about your feelings because you’ll be shaping the world into something different from what it currently is with them.
As I said before, though I think it bears repeating, I’m not suggesting that there are no truths or bedrock foundations of existence, merely that the malleable parts of reality – and there are some – are very much shaped by the way that we, as shapers of reality, feel about them. This dichotomy is important to highlight, I think, because it very much defines the differences within one of the major cultural bifurcations putting scissors to the fabric of society.
There are things that can be manipulated, and the ability to manipulate them exists on a scale. To the extent that we manipulate these variables, we could be considered to be creating a culture, and this is a valid point which should be considered when attempting to understand both the nature and the nurture of a person. Fair enough?
But, and this is a big but, there are things which cannot be manipulated, or have very clearly defined boundaries that cannot be stepped out of, which should not be considered points of cultural creation or societal shift. They are foundational, bedrock, impregnable fortresses of existence, and when attempts to change these factors become the focus of a culture, then what you are witnessing is a sign of a culture veering towards suicide.
To aim yourself against the nature of existence is to aim yourself towards nonexistence.
Physics is a great example of this principle in practice, as demonstrated by the example of the man who hated gravity:
There once was a man who hated gravity.
He thought it quite unfair that he should be restricted to the ground when the birds and the bees were allowed to travel the skies, and this unfairness rankled.
One day, the man who hated gravity had decided enough was enough – he was going to defy gravity and take to the skies – so he stepped outside his door, raised his arms to the sky, commanded gravity to stand aside, and willed himself into the sky.
And there he stood for a time, until – with a dejected grunt – he lowered his hands and admitted he had lost the battle, but – he thought to himself – not the war.
A neighbor asked him what he was up to, and he commented that he had decided that he was going to defy gravity today, and take to the skies. She seemed impressed and that made him feel good. He told her that he had a plan, and to gather the town in the square.
He figured that perhaps what he needed was a bit of momentum behind his will, and that he needed some time in the air to get comfortable with the feeling, so he hiked up to a tall cliff face above the town.
As he looked out over the view from the cliffside he could see a gathering throng of people in the town below, far enough down to appear as no more than multicolored squirrels, and he hollered down to get their attention then waved to them. Many of them hollered and waved back, and this made him feel good; the people were behind him so how could he fail?
Riding on this feeling of validation he received from the folks in the town, he raised his arms to the sky and leapt. As he began to fall, he willed gravity to release its grip on him that he might take to the skies, and he did so with all his might.
Then he hit the ground with a wet thump and died, entrails and blood bursting variously from his wreck of a body.
One of those in attendance, standing in the town square with the true believers who had instantly appeared once the word got out that there was someone who thought something was unfair, shook his head at those who had doubted all along that the man would be able to defy gravity and said, “Yeah, that was a disaster, but that wasn’t REAL antigravity, it was corrupted and coopted by the bourgeoise. The same is true for you”
Then he went about planning to silence and hurt those who would dare to claim that gravity was anything but a cultural creation meant to keep the unlucky and disadvantaged down. Indeed, he thought, gravity as a concept ought best to be totally wiped out and erased from the education of the masses in order to ensure that gravity could never be resurrected and then all humans could take to the skies in equity and fairness forever.
He felt a twinge of discomfort with the idea of hurting people, for a moment, but then he remembered that these were the people who had murdered the man who wanted to defy gravity – not that there was any such thing as gravity – by chaining him to the ground with their doubts and cultural biases. They were murderers and tyrants who didn’t want all humanity to take to the skies, and so, he continued his plans remembering that he was planning the deaths of murderers in the name of the greater good.
“For the greater good,” he said to himself, “for the greater good.”
“There is no time and space limitation for public accountability on the Internet. Creative commonality is standard and does not resemble the authoritarian style of the dead communist experience. It seems that it is no longer society’s obligation to understand legislation; it is a duty for governments to be understood by their people.” — Eduardo Paes
“We have to give people dreams; we have to give people hope. In terms of government, in terms of society, that’s our goal. You can’t have a group of people that don’t dream, that see themselves as dead or in jail.” Courtney B. Vance
“There couldn’t be a society of people who didn’t dream. They’d be dead in two weeks.” — William S. Burroughs
“Given the opportunity, under the right conditions, two cells from wildly different sources, a yeast cell, say, and a chicken erythrocyte, will touch, fuse, and the two nuclei will then fuse as well, and the new hybrid cell will now divide into monstrous progeny. Naked cells, lacking self-respect, do not seem to have any sense of self.” — Lewis Thomas
“I write because I feel driven to write. I write from a sense of inner necessity. I don’t write for anything other than that.” — Will Self
“A lot of people thought the sense of self was hard-wired, but it’s not at all. It can be changed very quickly, and that’s very intriguing.” — Miguel Nicolelis
The best customer is the one who feels loyalty to your business. While loyalty has cognitive elements that stretch into the conscious realm by way of rational social intelligence, much of loyalty is felt in the gut and the balls. It’s a process of deeply instinctual emotional resonance, much as passion or fascination inhabit a realm with tendrils reaching into our conscious awareness yet which are rooted beneath the soil of experience in the bedrock of survival and genetics.
Habituation is a hollow emulation of loyalty, and has more to do with hormesis and homeostasis than it does with passion or commitment or honor.
The truth is that habit is far more common than loyalty, because loyalty requires commitment and principles as a measure of its very existence. Loyalty is the act of taking responsibility for any set of conditions that arise from making a commitment to something. Habit, on the other hand, is the process of becoming – and then staying – comfortable in your current paradigm by doing the same things repeatedly until they become unconscious baselines.
Both of these are powerful tools, and the wise one would put them both to use in their favor intentionally, but one of these is far more powerful than the other. You see, loyalty can only be given by those who have the mental freedom to make commitments and to adhere to them even through pain and discomfort. It’s a rare individual that possesses such characteristics, and seemingly getting rarer. Habits, however, are more numerous than people.
Habits are very useful, because once the action has been relegated to the subconscious it requires less mental energy – the brain uses a massively disproportionate amount of energy, by the by – making it a more efficient use of your time and effort. However, influence of habit shapes the very world we interact with.
Do you drive to and from work using the same route every day? Do you have a “morning routine” or a limited collection of meals that you eat for lunch? Do you watch TV every night, or drink 3 beers, or watch every football game of your favorite team?
Those are things that many of us do, but they restrict our field of interaction to a very specific and limited number of options. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because limiting avenues of action increases volume within said avenues, thereby amplifying intensity.
But, don’t you think it suspicious that those who attempt to guide your actions into habitual patterns have little to no concern for your long-term well-being? Don’t you find it distasteful, upon consideration, to know that the people creating advertisements, and content with constant advertisements and manipulations embedded within, know about these ideas and use them to shape your desires in such a way that you give them more money, more often, for a longer period of time?
You, knowing the same, could experiment around a little bit and leverage these same tools to your advantage. You could create a story surrounding your desires, and if you did it well enough you could build support for your vision. You could build habits in people, through clever use of symbolism and story inside a cocoon of content and engagement, and those habits could include giving money or resources to you in an exchange.
You could also, if your efforts were shaped at creating habits in others which served their own best interests and were put to use in service of their own vision, also build a following of people who were committed to one or more of your own principles in an honest and willing fashion. You could, if your intentions were to shepherd well the attention and willingness of those around you, create a movement behind your own grand vision built upon trust and commitment. If you did, you’d have crossed the divide from habit to loyalty.
Tribe is a massive amplifier, but I’ll approach that in a future post.
“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” — Ayn Rand
“I have a loyalty that runs in my bloodstream, when I lock into someone or something, you can’t get me away from it because I commit that thoroughly. That’s in friendship, that’s a deal, that’s a commitment. Don’t give me paper – I can get the same lawyer who drew it up to break it. But if you shake my hand, that’s for life.” — Jerry Lewis
“It’s kind of like those little electric bumper cars where you drive around and see if you can hit the other guy. That’s exactly what the country is like now. You no longer have the sense of community. Of loyalty. It’s lost its sense of group. It has nothing to do with leadership.” — Paul Newman
“The Osage have this lovely phrase: ‘Travelers in the Mist.’ It was the term for part of an Osage clan that would take the lead whenever the tribe was venturing into unfamiliar realms. And, in a way, we are all travelers in the mist. The challenge is that, as writers, we sometimes want to ignore this murkiness, or we want to write around it.” — David Grann
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
“I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road… all tongues and all prayers belong to me. But I belong to none of them.” — Amin Maalouf
“I wish it to be remembered that I was the last man of my tribe to surrender my rifle.” — Sitting Bull
I like ugly faces and finding beauty in ugly places, that might have to do with my total lack of social graces. It ain’t to suggest that I forget me p’s and q’s, only just that I refuse to see the use in feigning interest in weak rules created by weak dudes to try and stifle alphas.
A level playing field is flattened, like a parking lot, and a parking lots is fattened to make room for parking. It isn’t playing when you’re sitting eating garbage you’ll be shitting in discomfort while you’re sitting watching shitty media on your porcelain throne.
Playing requires movement, action, using bodies, gaining traction – the ones who seek to calm the flow, to stifle passion, stop your growth are those who lack the grit to play life well – a flat land was build for fat man to ease the pain of living.
But a life set free from challenge is also free from meaning, that’s why you see the weaklings leaning closer to death. That’s sad in itself, but the real detriment to health within the greater culture is that these hopeless creatures often spread their misery and death before they cease their breath and vultures always swoop in, with hopes to get the scoop in, and all that’s left for truth are the tears of those who’ve lost.
I’m a very handsome man, and tall and strong and smart, but I practice ugly faces as performance art. My body and my brain are gifts I have been given, but the uses which they’re put to are the measure of my living. I know full well the pain of being an outsider, I skew my face to ugly so I understand the lens through which unfortunates must see through; a king must understand your struggles if he is to truly lead you.
I’m often told I have no tact, this may be true and truly fact, but I have a treasure greater than the tinny shine of tact, I have the gold of open heart within which instinct guides me to act. I may not play your games to try and spare you from yourself, but I’ll act to help you grow and offer wisdom you may lack. I may not hold my tongue when I believe that you are wrong, but I’ll also offer help and aid your growth in getting strong.
These feckless motherfuckers who will refuse to say a thing, if discomfort it will bring, are the same that lack the spine to help you climb to claim your wings. The niceties of society that have tried to be imprinted upon your mind must now be lifted so you can see the life you’re gifted through the passions pouring from your heart. Don’t silence your soul, don’t forsake your art, add power to your flames by gifting air to fuel and spark.
I like ugly faces and finding beauty in ugly places, and I see no uglier place the the face of social discourse in a world bereft of meaning where the teeming throngs of people have their passions stolen and anger swollen in a time of endless opportunity. You, dear reader, are the beauty in the the ugliest of places. Find your heart and let it lead you to your destiny in places where the best in me faces the best in you, and we can all invest into a new beginning, free from all the lies of those who tell you life is sinning.
Pensive was the Master’s pupil, certainty an absent sentiment, and coursing through his mind instead, a fraught and blurry sentience.
And so it was in times of treasure, of glinting steel and royal leisure, that the measure of a man was weighed in ounces of grit and pounds of humility – or at least that how it went when all a man’s time was spent learning from an Ancient – so the pupil thought, so the world had shown.
Thrown from lofty towers, in corners dark and made to cower – at least for those that most call cowards – the seeping ink of changing times had come at last to write the lines in pages which soon would be found is the histories.
The hidden truths went deeper in, the baldfaced lies of weaker men, the lives of those who couldn’t see, the dragon boats upon the sea, and all the many factions had heard the call to actions dark and bloody.
The Master knew what he would do, he kept that knowledge to himself, the pupil of the Ancient’s health was teetering on shattered – not that it mattered – for tasks aplenty still remained to do his part to lift the stain of blighted spells and darkened mirrors reflecting the hearts of broken men through prisms cracked and prisons stacked with shit and filth and sadness.
The madness of the common man was only passed by those who’s lives they enriched, the pressure of the royal class – of noblemen inbred to lack the mind to see the value of heart – was crushing them into the ditches which they dug against their wishes as trenches for the coming war which never left in Evermore and peace was found for nevermore.
The Northmen sailed upon the rivers, the Easterners had filled their quivers, the Westerlings poisoned their livers, the Southerlanders freed their wyverns and Midiland was all ashiver – the war of ages was upon them, as was foretold upon the pond when the spirit of prophecy came to speak to the First King of the Old Age, but all had forgotten the tales or cast them off with disdain – as the traps of time were sprung and sprang upon the weakest first.
The Master had commanded him, the pupil who could not but spin in uncertainty, to do what now he just had done – though far from over, just begun – to slip the dagger Dragonbone into a new and bloody home; the heart of the Usurping King was pierced and split and ceased to sing.
The question of escape at hand, the blood upon the pupil’s hand, and nowhere found a helping hand, his destiny within his hand, he slunk into the catacombs through the hole beneath the grate within the secret room behind the bloody Opal Throne.
And with that single dagger-strike, the strike of stone to flames ignite, infernal war did then burn bright, the Kingdoms Five passions alight, the claims to govern wrong and right, were to be settled by the sword and the Word and the Ward and blur the line ‘tween the day and night.
As it ever always was, regardless of the seeming cause, nothing would ever be the same.
Jarlslag was a simple man. He was happy to do as he was told, as long as those telling him to do things understood his limitations and instructed him within them.
His happiness led him to a blissful space in which he could exist in a rewarding life full of task that depended on him to get done. This was all a mean really needed, that and a family to share the rewards of responsibility with.
Jarlslag had both, and he was one of the fortunate few to have no questions about the nature or character of those who gave him his instructions. His parents told him what to do, and he did those things to the best of his abilities.
When his father brought him into the training camps of the city guard, he went happily because he knew that he would have no end of tasks and instructions given to him, and he went about them to the best of his ability.
He had learned over the years that he was not the most talented of men, far from it in fact, but he had also learned that his consistency in giving his best effort set him apart from all but a select few.
Of those few an even smaller proportion were also among the most talented and intelligent the guard had to offer. Those were the men who now gave him his instructions. He then distributed pieces of those instructions to other men who then saw them done through the labors of other men.
Acting Commander of the City Guard Jarlslag had always been a title that rang sweetly in his ears, and if he’d had a pang of discomfort or a stray question disturb his mental equilibrium for a moment he’d always simply shoved it to the side and gotten the job done.
That’s why, as he approached the ambassador from the Shattered Kingdom with the aim of slipping his long-dagger between the ribs just under the ambassador’s left nipple, he thought nothing of it so much as he thought about getting the job done and giving his best effort.
Commander Jarlslag didn’t realize, as he followed through with the instructions he’d been given by General Korailen and the point of his dagger pierced the ambassador’s heart, that this action would be the spark which would ignite an inferno of war that would sweep across the continent in the same manner as a forest crown fire – sweeping across the forest canopy, killing nearly everything beneath it through suffocation and desiccation as the fire burns all the oxygen out of the understory and the hot winds scour though, drinking deeply the moisture of the forest as sacrificial blood for the fire gods- before reaching the sea and putting to test the power of the very depths.
He didn’t realize, but the spark was nevertheless struck and the tinder began to smoke…
I’m currently sitting on the canopied deck of a houseboat, anchored at four points to a sandy beach, floating upon the backed up waters of the Colorado River the make up the liquid portion of the reservoir known as Lake Powell.
The corners of this fucking boat, the edges and angles and…shit, everywhere I suppose, are covered with spiders of all sizes and shapes and habits.
We’ve got grey predatory spiders, with large orb-like abdomen’s and sleek and shiny legs, looking utterly predatory, and hopping around their webs with great alacrity. We’ve also got a brown spider with a tube-like shape continuum between head and abdomen, furry along body and leg, and mainly prowling the edges of the webs spun by the orb-spiders and others.
There are small skittering spiders, and large recluse-looking brown spiders that weave webs, and several more besides; this morning just as dawn broke, I noticed a small black spider dangling from a web descending and ascending a single rope of web, hanging just above my torso, which I had not seen the like of in the three days I’ve been here.
The ubiquity of the spiders has flavored my musings. Gods are often shaped from the clay of the environment within which the people who create them walk within, either that or from the qualities that are perceived to be lacking from the environment – qualities which are usually the embodiment of the hope of a better future to which the disappointments, and the poisonous effects such disappointments are so often want to wrought upon the mind of a people or person, are collectively neutralized (or buried) through the power of “for the greater good” – but either way, the environment shapes the Gods either through substance or void.
I’ve yet to even touch my telephone, or look at it with intention, since I got here. In fact, I didn’t even know where it was until one of the telephones was tossed overboard last night by one of the children, and everybody went to ensure their own devices were secure. It was, safely zipped away in the pocket of the very same bag which held this computer until I snagged it to write this musing, rambling offering.
This total disconnection from the online world, and from nearly everything in my life besides my family and the basic requirements of survival, has caused me to revisit my decision to enter the digital social world, in another instance in what must now number in the thousands, trying to understand this compelling desire to stay and offer up my own voice for the inspection of the masses.
Why would I, a man who eschewed such activities all throughout his twenties, care to jump into the fray and begin to sound my sounds into the cacophonous symphony of the online clownerary fracas?
Before I answer that…the spiders, yes, back to the spiders.
The WWW eh? Aye.
Some of the web-weaving spiders on this boat weave lovely geometric patterns, and then small flying insects fly into the web, jostling about for a time, until adjacent strands of web also attach to their bodies, twisting and knotting around them, until movement becomes nearly impossible across the entirety of their little insect bodies. Then the spiders, at their leisure – usually in the morning hours and across the evening after the set dips below the horizon dropping temperature to sub-dessicating levels – descend, and either eat the insects outright, or inject them with their digestive venom, enzymatically digesting the insects from the inside out, to return later for a refreshing liquid meal.
Some spiders lurk at the edges of webs spun by other spiders, reaching up on occasion to jostle the web once or twice, then once again, then twice more. When the curious owners of the web come to investigate the disturbance, perhaps hoping to secure another future liquid meal, the trickster spiders spring onto the unsuspecting web-weaver biting them and incapacitating them with what must be paralyzing venom, to then consume the weaver-spiders at the newly established order of leisure.
Other spiders, similar to a satellite bull-elk roaming the edge of the harem of the alpha-bull hoping for a quick fuck while the big boy is busy with a cow on the other end of the clearing, sit at the edges and margins of the web, jumping with a rappelling rope of web attached to their ass-ends onto flying insects that flew near, but not on, to the webs of the weavers.
Still others seem immune to the glue of other spider’s webs, scampering across them with ease to snag a bundled meal to carry along while removing themselves from the reach of the wealthy homeowner and their vengeance.
What you do not see in the spider world is charity. Spider’s ain’t intentionally helping their neighbors. Nevertheless, there are benefits rendered all around. The rappelling spiders miss, and the flying insects sometimes flee to their demise in the webs adjacent to the leapers. The thieving spiders don’t always escape, and often make a meatier meal than a mosquito. The spider-hunting spiders make room for a new generation of weavers to mature, keeping those responsible for the little ecosystems at healthy populations and ages.
All of this action takes place on a manmade construct which is aimed and increasing the ease and enjoyment of the survival process in a harsh place with remarkable traits which, if used thoughtfully and with proper precautions, can deliver a massive increase in happiness, enjoyment and opportunities for connection with the people you’re surrounded by.
There’re a few human roles that aren’t present in the spider world.
There is no self-delusional spider. No spider spins a web to fool itself into thinking it’s something that it is not, only its prey or enemies get the deceptive treatment. Modern deceit is a luxury, for politics and global power struggles are luxuries of abundance.
The spider that weaves a web and then gets caught in a trap of its own devising is a spider that does not survive. Creatures that demonstrate solitary behavior have a much harsher survival reality than do those displaying group and especially community behavior… at least insofar as the group or community.
An ant hill will defeat one or even several spiders in a direct confrontation every time, even at the cost of many members of the colony – each of which would be happy to donate their life in the defense of the greater good – but their own lives are not full, for these communities are super-organisms which think and act in unison and display behaviors – greater in scale, diversity and complexity – than any individual or small group of ants could perform without the signaling-pheromones creating an overmind very similar across a variety of individuals as our own mammalian brains create – with the help of neurochemicals, axons, and neurons – inside the cranial cavity.
Even so, a spider will rarely confront an entire ant hill by itself, but will rely upon its superior power, intelligence and experience as an individual hunter to confuse, ensnare, entrap, surprise, lure – or any other number of predatory behaviors – a single or small group of ants into conditions favorable to their (the spiders) digestive satisfaction.
One of the beautiful bounties of humanity is the ability to negate some of the harshest of the selection tools which nature pares down populations with in a process of sharpening the edge of the remaining members of the category.
Of course, there is no escaping the fact that when we remove factors which promote the direct viability of the species, we then ipso facto promote traits and behaviors which do not promote direct viability of the species. It then follows that some of these traits will have a directly adverse effect on the viability of the species.
For example, if a certain spider or species of spider were a web-weaving spider, and did not make effective webs, then that individual or species would be faced with two basic decisions; in survival settings, a behavior that isn’t effective is either altered or the host of the behavior suffers from both short term inconvenience and long-term decreases in viability.
If you can’t eat, you can’t live. If you can’t fuck, you can’t breed.
But uniquely high – insofar as I can tell, uniquely high across the spectrum of all species and throughout the course of all the evolutionary unfolding unto this very moment – generalized and self-aware intelligence is a survival tool of such vast disproportionality and power that we humans, the possessors of just such an intelligence, have been able to create breeding viability approaching 100%, and which will likely be within decimals of that figure within the next decade, have created a very interesting and essentially unmatched level of survival complexity to the game of evolution.
On the one hand, you’ve got the original genetics which have come about from – in what are the current best estimates, estimates which seem to move unidirectionally backwards, that those who study such things can afford us – multiple hundreds of thousands of years for the species itself, but almost all of the behaviors that humans display in the developmental process and indeed, though with lower levels of complexity, in adulthood are represented elsewhere in the animal kingdom, both now and historically, and many of them are represented almost everywhere in the animal kingdom across all known iterations.
But on the other hand, you’ve got a traditionally small but still quite significant feature – though now this particular facet of the ever shifting gemstone of evolutionary-intelligence has presented as quite large and significant indeed – of novel genetic sanctuary.
In a coruscating and turbulent river of self-perpetuation and defiant action – all actions taken with purpose are defiant in the face of entropic decline – in something perhaps akin to floating detritus or maybe more like a spiral pool in a momentary crook of the riverbank, dampening zones have been created to allow for the invention of an uncommon, and maybe even new, manner of living.
This is where that balancing mechanism comes back with force, however, because there will be a recalibrating of the survival metrics at some point
Inside these meadows in the forest of evolution, new species of behaviors and genetic clusters have flowered and fruited, perhaps true species divergence, perhaps true vital-mechanism divergence – carbon-based and mostly oxy-hemo recyclers may not be the only ways in which LIFE can function – but I cannot help but think, and time has yet to fail in bearing this out, that most of these new species, behavioral or otherwise, will not survive the first great wildfire of societal collapse, much less the near-world-ending natural disasters always just around the corner on a geological street map.
One of the alarm bells that goes off in my head when I think about these things is just such a disastrous scenario. The genes and behaviors that have kept humanity alive for countless thousands of generations have partially, in the case of the genetics, or mostly, in the case of the behaviors, gone by the wayside. How would humans fare in a world which had all of our modern conveniences and contrivances disabled, destroyed and/or deleted?
The obvious answer is, of course, that most people would die within the first couple months. The less-obvious answer – one which remains unknown – will be in response to the question of whether or not the remaining population will have enough of the genetic and behavioral tendencies in place to survive after that.
As I was floating upon the artificial-infinity-soup that the waters of Lake Powell embody, I had a thought occur to me:
Imagine being out here, in this environment where all that is required is survival and enjoyment in tune with your natural rhythms, and thinking to yourself, I need to change my body parts…
It was unfathomable to me that such a conversation should even be taking place, especially on the national scale. Like, uh, folks…who gives a fuck? There are no more than 1 in 1000 and probably more like 1 in 10000 who legitimately struggle with some sort of untreatable psychological divergence which causes them to believe that they’re permanently stuck inside the body of the wrong gender.
Same for non-dimorphic genitalia at birth.
The people who live the lives behind these numbers should be treated with the same amount of respect, and perhaps a touch more kindness, as everybody else, but the idea that an issue affecting less than 1% of the population should be taking the top spot in the news at least once per week should really begin to spark your sense of narrative manipulation.
Then you might want to ask yourself why it is being shaped that way, and what the effects of the shaping are bringing about.
That’s just about all I have to say about that, for now, you can do your own thinking.
The last thing I will say on these non-immediate-survival related genetic and behavioral – yes, Roman, I know, their Venn diagram looks pretty close to a circle – divergences is this:
All the threads are necessary to complete the perfectly proportioned geometry of an untarnished web. I don’t have any hate within me for people choosing to take the clay of their own life into their hands and shaping it how they please, I just don’t appreciate when powerful tools are used to suggest, push and coerce other people into behaviors and opinions that are not conducive to the survival of their happiness nor the viability of the species.
After all, just as missing threads will bugger the beauty of the web, so will intentionally botching the weaving.
There is another type of human who acts upon and around the WWW and is not present in the spider world – these are they that might just be the most important kind – and they are the ones who climb or leap upon the web and begin to shake it.
The shaking has its own rhythm, and encased within that rhythm is a message, and that message is meant to be shared with others.
Some of these web-shakers have simple messages:
“There are spiders who will poison you, dissolve you from the insides, and consume you! Watch what happens when I shake it like THIS…”
– Suddenly a spider appears to deny the existence of spiders while plotting to eat the messenger –
“If you eat right, exercise and fulfill your responsibilities then you’ll live a much more rewarding and satisfying life.”
– Suddenly a spider appears to deny the existence of cause-and-effect health outcomes while plotting to poison the messenger –
“If you can master the way that you act in the world, and the way to react when the world acts on you, then you’ll be more successful, wealthier and more capable of building a meaningful life.”
– Suddenly a spider appears to deny the existence of free will and mental mastery while plotting to ensnare the messenger –
Some of them have more complex and nuanced messages:
“There are not Republican spiders or Democrat spiders, just Snake Spiders, and Snake Spiders will always crawl and slither, poison and snare, bind and constrict, prey on the weak and ignorant, consume and digest everything they can get their scales and mandibles around.”
– Suddenly a spider appears to deny the existence of conspiracy and cabal while plotting to entrap and liquidate the messenger –
“There are certainly more ways of seeing the world than through a purely scientific view, especially given the flawed weavers of the scientific method and the fundamentally limited understanding of the rules binding the infinite web together, but there are also spiders who offer a cloyingly sweet scent of simplistic understanding to lure in unwitting gnats into an esoteric weaving that merely serves to aggrandize the spider and slowly siphon off the vital essence of the ensnared gnats, even as they continue to buzz in obeisance inside their death hammocks.”
– Suddenly a spider appears to deny the existence of complexity and depth while plotting to spin a comfortable and ignorant death for the messenger –
“There are fundamental building blocks of reality, of every facet of reality, including human existence. Some of them are physical laws, others are biological and environmental and still others are cultural and psychological, but – even with the diversity of possibilities and combinations contained within the nearly infinite potential iterations of these foundational rules – if any of the fundamentals are missing, then the species will wither and fade from existence.”
– Suddenly a spider appears to deny the existence of reality or truth other than those of power and perspective while plotting to convert, reshape, and repurpose the messenger –
Yet all of them share a couple common messages:
“This is a web, and webs are connected, and you can use those connections to create a better and more harmonious web – which will both improve the strength of the web while increasing the beauty of the woven tapestry – and weave your legacy into the permanent fabric of existence.”
“Here’s some useful shit I’ve learned to help you do it.”
You can choose to listen to the web-shakers or not – I am such an one, and you’re reading this, so there’s that – but there are spiders out there, and they are interested in consuming you for their own gain <shake> they will lie and cheat and steal <shake> they will sell you false hope at the cost of true potential <shake> they will poison you in any way they can <shake> and they will seek to obstruct your progress at every opportunity <shake>.
If you become mentally sharp, physically strong, morally committed, spiritually fulfilled and benevolently oriented then they will have a much harder time tearing you down, luring you in, and eating your dissolved essence.