Went for a walk with Wife in the crisp light under the blaze-blue lid on the sky, a walk in a different direction, toward a sweetly second-rate park where we stopped in the shade of a cluster of slim-trunked trees and bushes blossoming in blossoms identical to the bone-white trefoil buttons of my grandmother’s last new coat. There we became attentive to the song of a bird which Wife informed me was a nightingale, performing for us at 11am. Wife and I spent quite a while trying to spot this nightingale and our shared sensation became, increasingly, that of a baffled couple listening to a looped recording being broadcast, for reasons unknown, from speakers hidden in the bush.
We tried and could not find the nightingale and eventually walked down a hill toward a pond where the rust-brown offspring of some sort of duck or other (Wife instructs me in natural facts while the pleasure I take is entirely in her instruction and not in the facts: my retention hovers near nil) formed a bristly, caterpillaring “S” or cedilla along the shore as a dozen of us giants watched, some squatting and cooing and pointing the ducklings out to human children, who won’t have the ducklings’ rudimentary ability to survive for another sixteen or seventeen years, if ever.
On a long walk the day before that I passed a building with a sign that identified it as Gesundheitszentrum (Health Central), a building I often pass on my long walks. It’s a kind of Elder Care facility of four stories, a little glass-walled office building with ambulances parked in front and nurses and ambulance drivers often in clusters outside, taking cig breaks, and as I walked by this building this week, an ambulance-van with motor idling was parked in front and the driver was wheeling a fellow of perhaps seventy five, or eighty, into the building. There was a cluster of nurses near the entrance, taking their cig breaks. All of them (but the elderly patient) health care professionals and not a one… not the nurses, not the driver wheeling the patient, not the unbothered patient himself… was wearing a mask or gloves. Because the “pandemic” is bullshit and they all know it. And I know it. And perhaps twenty per cent of the people on the street are smart and cynical enough to know it.
The bullshit, as ever, is merely a means to achieving a goal.
The goal is horrible.
Wife and I sat on a bench, in half-shade, near the edge of the okay park and a compact car drove by emblazoned with a logo telling us that the man driving it was a courier for a company specializing in in-vitro fertilization.
That was when I had the epiphany that things will only get worse… that Technology will, obviously, never stop its permuting ramifications and the curve of “progress” can only skyrocket asymptotically and that that has been the problem all along, staring us right in the face: the Psychopathology of the Ruling Classes… plus Technology… is a very bad dance.
You can go to YouTube right now and participate in the ohhhs-and-ahhhs of the comment threads appended to videos of the prototypes of the ever-more-autonomous robots sure to be chasing our descendants around the walls and tunnels of the global Beirut of The Future (just like the movie). It seems very nearly a structural inevitability that technology evolves to a certain crucial and orgiastically destructive level, destroys the civilization that hosts it, and, as the smoke clears (and the lava cools), human development resumes from the warm ashes of Square One with the straggling and traumatized human remnants of the catastrophe, though, still, one wonders, if that golden age Sci Fi trope were true: where are the technical ruins of “Atlantis”? Surely we would have uncovered one two-million-year-old power cable by now?
No: this must be the first go-round. Let our straggling descendants, of a million years hence, unearth our defunct cables and corroded mainframes and inexplicable statue of Michael Jackson.
But what they won’t unearth will be the most important: our Lies.
Our inter-related (interbred) families of ruling psychopaths, minus the Tech, would be of little concern beyond the strictly local, and they would, undoubtedly (minus the tech) be well under control by us vastly greater, in numbers, Serfs; in fact, without the tech, our Overlords wouldn’t be Overlords at all and neither would we be Serfs. Our Overlords wouldn’t even be wealthy, without the Tech: they’d be inmates in asylums for delusionally grandiose human-haters with cataclysmic sexual dysfunction. The Tech makes all the difference and for every light, or bridge, or cure the Tech has given us, sadly, there are a thousand massive links in the electrified chain of horrors we are each, in turn, chained to.
No powerful technology develops only as far as it should and then stops (self-limits) before the harm starts. Power not only corrupts, as the truism goes, but Power itself degenerates metastically; becomes grotesque in its baroque and tentacular extremes. Isn’t a nuclear bomber a metastically-degenerate form of the original apparently-benign invention of heavier-than-air flight? Isn’t a subcutaneous tracking chip… or a pharmaceutical implant, autonomously doping an ignorant human guinea pig with X-drugs on a timetable, or via a radio-networked trigger…. the metastically-degenerate forms of the miraculous apparently-benign invention of the syringe, and the personal computer, both? And isn’t the interval between original invention and metastically-degenerate iteration, in both of the above-cited technologies, terrifying brief? Try to imagine how grotesque these technologies will be just ten generations from now. How they will blacken and sizzle and ramify, snarling, then ramify further still.
This is not a Gloomy post, btw.
The Future is beyond our remit, after all, and nothing alive is more alien than the people of 3,000 AD… except the people of 3,020 AD. There was never a thing we could have done about it.
Philosophy… real Philosophy… whispers, in its bravest, simplest, unbullyable voice: making a Life despite the pitiless facts was always the point.
No more illusions.
Make a Life, live ethically… hold yourself to the highest standards, always… and stop fretting. Fight if you must; shout if you must; sneer always. But stop that energy-wasting fretting. Use your freak bonus, of c. 90 years of Existing, well. Don’t waste it. You will never get those moments back. You will certainly not get reimbursed for putting your minuscule fund of freak-Existence against the enormous wheel of the irreconcilable math of All That Has Come Before You… only to get crushed as the insensate mega-mass rolls on. When you entered this Game you had no idea what the terms of it were.
Surely, by now, you do?
When that vehicle with the in-vitro-fertilization-technology logo drove by as Wife and I sat half-in shadow on a bench, on that good fresh day, I knew, with utter clarity, that the Future will get worse and worse, by our (decreasingly relevant) standards, and that the New People will think of things as getting better and better instead. Most of the screaming, of the foreseeable future, I predict, will be off-screen. Even for the screamers themselves.
Will it be a century before natural birth, the result of naturally reproductive intercourse, is a rare thing (perhaps a luxury-experience of the Ruling Class)? Will it be a century before the State gets what it has obviously wanted all along: outright ownership of all the non-Ruling Class fetuses produced in a given year…? Is this all several generations away, at least?
I can remember reading the great camp and kitschy Dystopian Sci Fi pulp novels and anthologies, produced in the Golden Age (the 1930s and 1940s), with a little boy’s shivers that were buffered by the absolutely unsupported reassurance that such things could never exist beyond the wonderfully lurid covers of those books. And I can remember… lots more recently… the dawning horror that these things were, in fact, happening, and going to happen; they were becoming real, as if those books were a kind of blueprint. And perhaps, in a collectively Jungian (Reichian?) sense, they always were.
The New People will always make war on The Old People and win, won’t they?
The roots of the New are always seeded among the Old. Faint previews, here and there, of the New People are already appearing among us. Look for the Neanderthal standing in the mirror behind you: you will soon finally (suddenly) know how He felt; you will know how She felt, at long last. The New People will be weaker and dimmer and value nothing we value and they will believe almost nothing we believe and everything they are told to and they shall drive us, softly, from the face of the Earth, led in their idiotic charge by Time itself.
But not yet.
Go for a walk. A picnic.
Listen very closely to a nightingale.