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Crooked Doctor and the Soulless Man
a Child Can Laugh in the Face of Hopelessness
Higher Education and the Lowly Educated
She stands pondering the perfume with the most capital letters in
His sunglasses and diet beverage catch her eye
A deep gaze
Just like a magazine
Or even like television
Just as the most splendid cornucopia tossed to a pack of hungry
So true love is wasted in our society of media
A human is a potential butterfly
His body is the cocoon from which he cannot ever escape
Once, They told me that to know was the most terrible sin, and that
to submit was the most virtuous act. And when I questioned Them,
They sent me away saying, “For it has been written: ‘Those who
hold justice in their hearts shall be fit for what is good and
right, and those who wish for far more than they themselves are
worth shall be cast away.’ Therefore, you are to be cast into the
great desert, that you will learn gratitude and die.”
as I gathered my things, I feigned a tearful face because my
persecutors could see me. But my heart smiled with the tallest
teeth! A trip to the desert was just what I needed! Surely, if one
can adjust to the strong gravity of the desert, he should be thrice
as strong upon departing from it. I could hardly wait to greet the
cactus with a handshake! To dance with the venomous snakes! To swim
with the shy insects! If only I could have found a way out of this
dead world sooner!
the guards led me out of the city gates, against my will (or so they
no doubt thought,) a priest blessed my “lost” soul and tossed
every manner of religious knickknack upon my head. He seemed to want
his inflated god to justify Their actions by claiming my soul. But I
cannot stand any who would apologize for an act before or even while
committing it. So I began to hurl stones at the priest, who stood
higher than we others upon flimsy, discarded television and
microwave oven boxes of cardboard paper.
got him in the neck on the second try. Why, to see him fly off of
his podium was spectacular! And so I was quickly thrown outside onto
the ground, and the gates were closed behind me.
The desert seemed a vast, infinite plane of white. I traveled
for four days in a single direction, using the line formed by my
footprints to avoid going askew. But until the fourth day I saw
nothing. On the fourth day, I saw a cactus in the distance. It was
far from me but seemed very large in size, with three limbs pointing
toward the sky, and I ran to it as quickly as I could. When I came
close to the cactus, I saw that he had a steel battle helmet on his
“head.” Thought he had no eyes, I felt him staring at me. Here
the huge sun in the yellow sky began to pulsate and throb, and the
light faded to darkness and back again, as if to a strange beat.
And there did prove to be a beat, as the cactus proceeded to
sing to it. He spun, jumped and bumped, wiggled and jiggled... and
just generally boogied. So I, of course, asked him. “What in the
world are you doing, you wily, odd cactus?”
And he answered, “Rock and Roll, Yow!”
“But, is it not a cactus’ place to be stuck in the sand
and laugh defiantly at the heat?” I said back to him.
“Here,” spoke the cactus, “one has no ‘place.’ We
are all free. Although now I choose to be a dancing cactus at war, I
could just as easily fly into the air or slither beneath the
sand.” The cactus stuck his left arm into the air and sang of
darkness and dismay. Then out from the earth sprung a second cactus
to his left. And the cactus thrust his right arm into the air and
sang of sunlight and decay. And then a third cactus shot out of the
sand to his right.
As this trio danced to the beat of the sun, I became
frightened and began to cry. Gathering my waning courage, I dashed
through the green men’s dance and into the sunset. The sun did not
retreat behind the horizon as it should have, though. Instead, it
came toward me at an enormous speed. It’s light increased until I
was blinded, and from the heat I fell onto the ground and into a
After what seemed to be days of spiritual numbness, I found
myself in a beautiful forest of black and green. The sounds of life
were all around me, and a feeling of death crept inside me as I saw
a single red frog walk in front of me. The frog said nothing,
instead hopping in place and smiling at me. He seemed to know of
what had brought me here, and he looked like he was waiting to use
that knowledge against me. As I looked around me, I saw three caves.
Each cave had a name, written without words. The cave to the left of
me was The Cave of Want. To the right of me was The Cave of Need.
And behind the red frog was The Cave of Revolution. I laughed,
beginning to understand. Then the frog said, "I am greater than
you are. Why don't you enter one of the caves here and find
thanksgiving and death?" The frog blinked at me, inquiringly. I
noticed that the cave to the left had its entrance blocked by a wall
of television sets. The cave to the right had its entrance blocked
by a wall of microwave ovens. (So that explained the priest's
podium!) And the frog said, "Don't even begin to entertain the
thought of entering my
cave!" And I knew I couldn't. "I am greater than you are.
The normal people have sent me here to observe your decadence and
sin - and the end of it. You were not meant to leave the desert, you
"You may be greater than I, frog, but I am going to
leave this place to find my own kind. You will not stop me in all
your greatness!" I said, marching forward, away from where the
desert had been. "Stop!" the frog yelled. "Nothing
lies in that direction but another city that hates you. Listen! Look
on 'The Bright Side!' You would do well to enter one of those two
caves and be satisfied. I warn you, look 'up' while you can!"
Then I really started to understand the game.
"The Bright Side?" I jabbed at him. "I have
understood only to well you and your thanksgiving and happiness and
optimism and gratitude and adherence and your Bright Side!
Thanksgiving and optimism are just your old euphemisms for
stagnation and destructive complacency. To strive to be greater is
no sin! That is the only thing which signifies life! 'Great Frog,'
greater than I, it was you who kept me down, probably thinking that
it was by your greatness. But no, that was my fault - mine for
allowing you to hold me. But I have crushed that paradigm and I will
no longer submit to you because a system which promotes stillness
because of the fear of progress calls you great! Tell your people
that I have discovered their secret! I will return - I will be a
revolution! I will dare to look down!" And I looked down, and I
saw exactly what I had expected - a hole.
I jumped inside. It was dark inside, and for several minutes
I heard nothing but the shuffling of feet around me on all sides.
Then a light at the top of the pit began to flash. It was the
Dancing Army of Cacti! Then I saw it. They had been the ones - those
who had been exiled and survived. They wanted the same revolution as
I. In the pit I found no want. I found instead all I had ever
wanted. And I found no need. I found instead all I would ever need.
And I learned their dance, and we had a grand party.
After several weeks, I had mastered the dances of the
Revolutionaries, learned to sing as they do, and helped them to
devise a plan for a revolution. That youth makes impressionable and
proceeds age has always been one of Their main tools. We decided to
use that against Them.
Four days before the Sunday of Easter the four of us set out
toward my old home town. We viewed this day as a particularly
important part of our scheme, as it was a day meant to celebrate the
cowardly escape of a submissive and dead god. This time I crossed
the desert not as a stranger, but as one who was of the desert. I
was one of the Revolutionaries now, and was greeted by every manner
of creature. A gang of snakes sang and danced "love" to us
and those sly insects banded together to cheer us on our way. I
myself was very excited about the undertaking that lie ahead of us.
Finally, when we reached the gates of the city, it was deep
into the night. This is when the hearts of the young contrast the
hearts of the old most, and it was no accident we arrived when we
did. The three green men dove into the sand and I climbed over the
gate. We met on the other side. All the families with children in
this city had been placed on a single street in the middle of town,
and we headed in that direction. Along the way we could hear the
sleeping of the city. And above that we could hear the longing of
the young to be awakened. But first they had to be appealed to.
As we started down the main street, my three friends began to
create a beautiful, sedate harmony, just as we had rehearsed. One by
one the lights of the houses started to blink on, and I began my
beautiful and simple lyric. "We don't need to play dead like
everybody else. We don't need to feed or be fed like everybody else.
Oh, you whose hearts are young, hear me, for I am a Revolution. Your
world is dead, and you are its passing spirit. Awaken yourselves
from your purgatory!" And after I had sang there was much
screaming of women and shouting of men, but we heard not the voices
of the young. Soon, however, the streets became filled with them -
each carrying a television set or a microwave oven. As the wounded
priest and the rest of the city stood by and watched in horror, we
built an anti-shrine of these and burned them to ashes. Of course,
the other people soon enough died of shock or killed themselves for
fear, and we Revolutionaries were left with the children.
But, as the entire hoard looked up at me with outstretched
hands covered in soot and with sparkling eyes as if to say,
"What individualistic task shall we accomplish next?" I
knew that the revolution had failed, as all revolutions are destined
to. But still, I managed to smile.
every small, individually worthless flame of a fire whispers
indiscriminately into the ear of the more noble and purposeful
material at its side, using madness as a tool to persuade the
innocent to join its masquerade of destruction as compensation for
mediocrity, so does the Christian.
And like every fire leaves in its wake nothing but ashes and
decadence without worth, despite what the fuel had originally been
or what value it held, so does Christianity.
We few who see this epidemic for what it is have managed to
side-step it for quite a long time, but most who challenged the fire
at its own heart were taken in and burned.
It is well known that fire has no stability. It is constantly
changing appearances, shapes and colors - whatever is necessary to
take the rest of the forest with it into damnation. It is the very
nature of a fire to be illusionary - it can even be walked through!
But I choose to stand on an island of ice, in the coldest
regions of the soul. As I see frustrated flames dancing, even on all
sides of me, I laugh, knowing that they can never consume me. And I
am filled with delight to think of what they would give me even if
they were to succeed - a pond! Some mornings, even, when my love for
humanity visits me, I fancy that I might like to sacrifice my
unyielding white palace of coldness that a great sea might be born
in its stead, and that this sea might become a haven for any
survivors of the insipid blaze - who could be as blessed as a race
of fish swimming in the death of a lie? But now swimming interests
me not. For I love ice in that, while fire is shifting and false, it
is solid and stable.
And yes, I have many times, standing alone on my island and
speaking truths, asked a Christian thusly:
“Could you stand on a fire?
Can ashes even
And I laugh as they continue to dance, oblivious to me and
even more oblivious to themselves - too lazy and lethargic to live,
too burningly excited to die.
And I smile.
CROOKED DOCTOR AND THE SOULLESS MAN
one time I practiced as a doctor. During this time I discovered how
upset some people got over their physical appearances. So, enjoying
the business and the buffoonery, I began to specialize in body
Once, a man came into my office, panicking. He said to me,
with a pleading look on his face, “Doctor, I do desperately need
your help. You see, it is my ears - they’re grotesquely oversized!
Only days ago as I began toward The Red Carpet, I was pushed away by
the laughter of the people. And I feel sure that they were laughing
at my ears, as every other part of me is utterly perfect! So please,
doctor, relieve me of these heavy burdens, that I might walk
I saw nothing remarkable about his ears. He seemed to be,
quite simply, a strange man. But I lied. “Good Sir,” I said,
“it is my trade to modify the bodies of those who deem what god
has given them less than adequate. I’ll be happy to trim your
unsightly ears for the standard price.” The man gave me his money,
and I promptly gassed him.
As the man lie passed out, I spoke idly with my nurse to pass
the time. I also explained to her the man’s plight, and that I
would need her to help me convince the man that his ears had shrunk
considerably as he’d slept.
As the man groggily came to, my nurse did as I had instructed
her, praising the man’s ears in an exaggerated voice. “Oh,
doctor! You’ve done another astonishing job! Why, I can hardly
believe that this is the same man who entered this room only one
hour ago, save that I saw him sleep in his chair with my own eyes.
Why, it seems as though he is some distant, handsome brother...”
and so on she spoke. The man, upon looking into a handy mirror, was
overjoyed, and thanked me and paid me again, this time twice what he
owed me. And then he ran into the streets screaming.
The very next day another man came to me. He said simply,
“Why am I so fat?”
“Brother,” I told him, taken aback slightly, “we are
some of us round, some of us straight, and some of us short or even
lame. But that is the proper order of things, is it not? However, I
am the miracle of modern medicine for those who care not for what is
proper and wish to modify themselves. We will trim you down some, if
you are worried for whatever reason that you are a bit larger than
some are or should be.” He was actually the fattest thing that I
had ever seen - in any species. And though I didn’t say it to him,
it was obvious that his problem lied in the fact that he was a
hopeless glutton. He held a doughnut even as he spoke to me.
The fat man could not even touch the wall in front of him for
his enormous gut. I, of course, knew of no way to lessen the man’s
heft, but, being a quack, and a clever one at that, I made a
pretense that I did. “Just sit down and have a little happy
gas,” I explained to him, “and in an hour you’ll wake up
straight as a tree!”
“So then...” the fat man looked apprehensive, “you’ll
just hack a bit off, then?”
“Yes sir,” I played along, “just like a limb!”
“Alright.” He sat down, and was asleep in less than a
I spoke with my nurse again, this time of a method of
reducing the fat man’s fat. It seemed hopeless, and we were both
at a loss. But then I had a marvelous idea. First, I wheeled the fat
man into a back room, and took with me plenty of happy gas. I had
enough to keep him out for months, and that was what I planed to do.
I kept the fat man knocked out and on his back, now giving him a
vitamin, then a cup of soggy bread to slide down his fat throat. It
was enough for him to live on, but his fat began to rapidly
disappear. And after exactly sixty days, I decided that the man was
thin enough to be satisfied with himself. He looked like an entirely
different person! So I stopped the gas.
Now, as the fat man awoke, I made sure that he was back in
the same room that he had been in sixty days prior, and that my
nurse and I wore the same clothing that we had at that time. The fat
man awoke, astonished, and examined himself. “Not... not a single
scar!” he stuttered. “I feel so light, I can jump again! Dear
God, I’m not fat anymore!” The man was in tears. “Doctor,”
he said, “I know not what magic you work, but I don’t care if
you are Satan himself! You, great liberator, I love you!” And, in
due course, the man emptied his pockets before me.
“Sir,” I told him, “I’m afraid that you’re in for
another slight shock.” His joy didn’t seem to diminish, but he
quieted and looked at me. “While you were out, we heard some
rather odd news from the paperboy. It seems that some great
scientist, who has the world’s most powerful telescope, has
discovered that some mighty and huge space-dragon or space-bird, I
forget which, has collided with the sun with such force that he
knocked it off its track a bit. This man has advised the world that
we should all set our clocks and calendars ahead sixty days and six
hours. Therefore, as you venture into the world, be aware that the
month is no longer what it was, and that the weather has changed
slightly. But be not worried beyond that, as we have been assured
that no further problems should arise.”
“A space-dragon, you say?” the fat man asked. “Why, I
always do seem to sleep through the most interesting news, don’t
I!” He spoke these words, his voice still sounding fat, and he too
ran into the streets screaming.
And on the very next day, while I was thinking that my
fortune couldn’t have been greater, yet another man came into my
office. He seemed to be the very model of normality, however, and I
couldn’t fathom what he might want changed. I looked at him
inquiringly, and he began to speak thusly:
“I have heard many great stories of you from the fat man and the
big-eared man. And I too have come to you in search of some relief
from the bothersome size of a part of me.” I shuddered to think of
what undisclosed parts he might be speaking. “You see, it think I
have an extraordinarily large soul, such that it interferes with my
daily activities.” I was compelled to ask him to go on. “My soul
is so grand that I cannot attend church services, as the priest
cowers before me in shame. And I cannot sin as angels bark at me
annoyingly, from their fear of loosing the great soul I am endowed
with to evil. Animals refuse to fear me, and people mistake me for a
Messiah on a daily basis. Doctor, I’m at my wit's end.”
Knowing full well what I had to do, I immediately had my
nurse put the man on the operation table, and prepared to remove the
bulk of his soul, which, from the sound of his story, was about to
burst. But after I had cut him open, I found only an empty space
where his soul should have been. I was puzzled. The man might have
been some sort of robot or demon sent to destroy me, or maybe just a
mutant. In any case, I decided to go against the patients request
(something I normally don’t do) and give him a bit of my own soul,
which was inexhaustible and always growing. I kept the excess
amounts of it handy in a vial. I quickly had my nurse go to fetch
the vial for me, and transplanted a piece of my soul into the
pitiful man. But as soon as I had sewed him up, he was dead. He
laughed at me, even being dead, and told me that I was “quite a
fool, indeed.” But I knew that he was the greater fool, as he had
died of arrogance.
The man’s wife understood, and held no grudge toward me, as
I explained the situation to her thusly:
“Some are born to be fat or freakish. Some, I think, are
even born only to die. These seek death with a passion, and they
know not what it means to live of their own means. And just as one
cannot drink from a cup with no bottom, one cannot hope to fill a
soul that has many holes in it. Yes, as great a doctor as I am, I
still cannot take from a dead man the death which he has earned.”
And I smiled, and the soulless man’s wife smiled with me.
A CHILD CAN LAUGH IN THE FACE OF HOPELESSNESS
a Bright Day, dark things cower in corners and pray for nightfall.
All sadness in a child is frightened into submission and retreats
into his belly to die. Or so it should be. One seemingly bright day,
I saw a small boy struggling with sadness. The boy had a wheel of
cheese, and he was rolling it along the side of the Main Street. But
the wheel of cheese had been cut in half, with the missing half
having been presumably eaten, such that each time the cheese started
to roll, it only made half of one revolution at most before
crashing. And each time the cheese crashed the small boy cried. I
felt the boy's sadness, as I too had once been a boy, and wanted
desperately to help him. But I had nothing to replace the boy's
cheese wheel, so I decided instead to offer him a half a wheel of
knowledge that he could take with him on his way. I told the boy
"Boy, why do you cry each time your flawed wheel fails
to roll? Do you not realize that this is as it should be - that
broken wheels should not perform the very same task as flawless
ones? Let me tell you what your cheese reminds me of, young boy, and
maybe we may both profit from your predicament. Some day, in the
very near future, knowledge shall be taken as heresy, and outright
untruths and jokes with no punch lines shall be taken in and
worshipped as gods. At this time, momentum and majority shall propel
horrible things into high places, where they will puncture and
deflate all that was intended to be high and revered. And I tell you
now that at this time, no man shall be able to stop this outrage.
And there shall be many a boy, such as you are now, and they shall
all be sad. But they shall not know of their own sadness with their
own minds. And this shall be because, as I said before, all the
truths and lies and pleasures and pains and rights and wrongs shall
be lying on their tops, and their bottoms shall be facing toward the
skies. And the boys will be sad, but they will mistake this for
happiness, for they too shall be part of the inverted system. So you
should be happy, if only because you know well of your own sadness,
and in that knowledge you shall eventually be able to become happy.
And in the future of which I speak, boys with happy knowledge will
be rare, so you should not only feel happy for yourself now, but you
should also ready your own children that they might not fall
backward with the rest of the world in this near future."
And when I had finished ranting to the boy, he looked as if
he understood my words, and he looked at the cheese and began to
happily eat it. And he told me this: "I now see, kindly old
ranter, what you mean as you speak to me. And yes, I have seen this
future coming as well, only I could not see it for what it was, only
as some whirl of events. And now you see me happily devouring my
cheese wheel, that it won't disappoint me ever again. And I shall
not cry due to the stupidity and flawed nature of my wheel, and it
shall be because of my own will to destroy it, as I do now. And,
mister, I see that this cheese also represents the future. Because
as the cheese began to roll, it had all the properties of a wheel
that it needed to roll. And then destruction came precisely when it
had come to rest on the exact opposite side from which it
started." The clever boy looked worried.
I then said, "Yes, boy. When all absolute lies have been
taken as absolute truths, and when all that is perfect becomes
infinitely horrid, and when all nature is called sin and wrong and
men avoid their very impulses for the sake of a manufactured fear,
then shall the state of the world have reached what might be called
The Opposite. And, verily, though it saddens even me to say it, at
this point, it shall crash." The boy accepted the hard truth of
my metaphor, and ate the last of his cheese. And I smiled, for I saw
hope in the young, sad boy.
a land unaffected by time, there is a legendary cave. The mysterious
nature of this cave has for centuries had it living through the
tales of drunken sailors and non-warriors. If one is to believe
these tales, inside the cave there is an unimaginable treasure -
such that any man could become as a king if he could obtain it.
According to the legends, the cave is preceded by a vast, bottomless
pit, and access is granted only by a very thin path of stone. But,
as difficult as entry would be with only this obstacle, this cave
has a much greater danger awaiting all who would dare take to the
bridge that leads to it. In the mouth of the cave lives a dreadful
beast. The beast has inspired enough terror in men through his
frightening appearance as well as his success as guardian of the
cave to slowly diminish the number of men anxious to find the
treasure. No one who has challenged this beast has ever been heard
from afterward, and therefore it is presumed that the cave cannot be
entered by any mortal man. But still, of course, each generation the
stories of the riches draw in scores of brave warriors, greedy
maniacs, and soulless death-seekers. But none ever return.
It just so happened that I was at one time working as a
luggage-boy in a port in one of the largest cities of the continent
on which this cave is located. I happened to overhear the stories,
and, knowing that I could slay such a silly beast, I wanted
desperately to go and get this treasure. So I was very happy to hear
a group of assorted fighters talking about forming a party to go and
challenge the beast and split the booty between them. I offered my
services to them, and they at once began to laugh at me. "Do
you know not who I am?" I asked the men this and then explained
myself. Naturally, they had heard of me and were all eager to
apologize for how rude they had been.
"Such a wise man," the leader of the men said to me
at last, "should prove invaluable to us in our plight, should
he not?" And they all agreed, and we decided that we might like
the have a feast together before setting out. I studied the men
carefully, and I knew that they would all be dead before the battle
with the beast had ended, and I knew also that I would have the
treasure to myself. "Let us praise God that such a wise and
well-known man, yes, even better-known than the cave to which we
shall soon set out, has come to us saying that he will assist us.
Surely this is a sign that we shall not fail! No, we shall go into
prosperity at the feet of the beast‘s dead body!" the leader
proclaimed, and the party cheered after his words.
And we did set out toward the well-known cave, and it was
cold. We did travel for three days before we came to the mountain
that was supposed to keep the cave on one of its faces. I deciphered
the map for our group, and discovered which directions we would need
to go. The journey was a relatively brief one, and before long we
saw a huge, black pit, just like the one of legend. And across the
pit ran a thin partition of stone. And on the other side of the pit
was a black cave, and we were all in awe to see it. And, at the very
moment we recognized the cave, a voice issued forth from it. The
voice spoke thusly:
"Ye who have come seeking treasure, turn back now.
Efforts to enter my cave are not fruitful, and only lead to death.
I, having pity on you for your greed, shall warn you that if you
proceed, you will surely end your life in the bottom of the black
pit you see before you. Therefore go back to your homes and tell
others of the fearsome guardian that awaits any who venture to this
damned cave. I promise you that this will be your most profitable
course of action.”
And after the beast had spoken, a man from our party shouted
to him, “We fear you not, wicked creature of the darkness! My
sword shall be your undoing.” And saying this, the man ran toward
the bridge of stone, and began to cross it. No sooner had he set a
single foot upon the bridge than did a large fiery projectile fly
out of the mouth of the cave and strike him into the pit.
The rest of the men were now filled with fear, and a few of
them started to run back into the distance, in the direction from
which we had come. And as they did this, I saw the beast emerge from
the mouth of the cave across the pit. He was truly a marvelously
fierce monster. He had the body of a large, black cat, and the heads
of dragons. One of his heads, of which there were three, was red.
The head on the opposite side was blue. And the head in the middle
of the beast was white, and there were 5 horns atop this head. The
red dragon head roared and spit fire, and the blue dragon head
bellowed and shot cold winds from his mouth. And the white head
spoke to us, saying “Turn back, I say, or you will each die.”
By this time all but myself and the leader of our party had
fled. The leader of the party spoke to the cat-dragon. He said, “I
am not afraid, beast. Face me, that you might die.”
“I see,” the beast smiled, “that you are in fact not
afraid. Answer me, then, this question and you shall pass unharmed:
Why does one, sleeping, awaken? ”
“That is very simple, dragon. I thank you!” boasted the
warrior. “I awaken from sleep because my body is fully rested.”
The warrior folded his arms, satisfied with his success. “Now,
allow me to pass, just as you have said you would.”
The beast shot a large bolder of ice in the warrior's
direction, and said “You’re answer is not correct!” The
warrior was thrown into the pit by the ice. “Now,” the beast
spoke to me, “leave here happy with the fortune that you have
“Beast,” I called to him. “The reason I awaken from my
sleep is that my body begins to feel guilty, for it is imperfect and
does not deserve the sleep or to dream. My body knows that I cannot
rightfully inherit the world of sleep as my own, for I am far too
flawed to enjoy such a euphoria indefinitely. This is why the
sleeping man invariably awakes. Now, I bid thee grant my
“You are a wise man,” the beast answered. “But I cannot
allow you to pass for answering the warrior’s question. Wise man,
answer me this: Who is the most destructive?”
I was ready to answer the beast’s question. “The most
destructive is he who creates. This is because creation and
destruction are inseparable and must follow one another as two
opposite sides of one disc. Therefore the pregnant, the inventive,
and the industrious are the most destructive, and powerful, of us
The beast seemed shocked. “You now have truly earned the
right to enter my cave and have a share of my treasure. You know
almost too well of life’s intricacies.” So, as the beast stood
aside, I strode over the narrow bridge and into the cave. After much
searching in the dark, I saw a single candle a great distance from
me, though I had lost any sense of what direction I was facing. I
began to run in the direction of the candle, and as I did the entire
cave lit up brilliantly. There were lights, living lights, flying
all around me. And in the direction I was running I saw the
dismembered head of a giant cat, and the headless bodies of three
dragons; one red, one blue, and one white.
Near them stood an old man, and he clapped his hands three
times, saying “Well done, wise man.” The man continued to say to
me “Yes, the creator is verily the most destructive. In giving
birth one must forfeit his own life - all wise men realize this. But
I am searching now for an exception. For, if one could give life and
still himself remain alive, one would be immortal, and could laugh
defiantly at the gods! That is why I built this cave, that through
the birth of darkness and silence, eternal life might find me. But
look upon me now! My face is dripping away and death is stroking my
forehead like a protective mother would. I have failed, and I am an
old fool with a mad dragon to look after. You, wise man, I shall
give you all the treasure I have amassed, all the treasure hidden in
these caves, if you will take my place and resume my search for
I shook my head. “Forgive me, old man, but your dragon has
already promised me the treasure, and I have no time for your silly
quest. But, if you give me these body parts, that I might make a
female companion for the poor beast waiting outside, I promise that
I will show you the secret of eternal life, for it has seen me - and
I have seen it as well.”
“Yes, yes!” The man did a magical dance before my eyes,
and I saw a beast with the bodies of three dragons and the head of
one cat rise up before me. “Now, tell me of immortality - I must
know now the secret!”
“It is as I told the guardian beast,” I began. “If you
wish not to die, simply do not awake from your sleep. You will loose
the ability to create, but you will therefore loose the ability to
die. Even empty men who are awake create a contempt, if only on the
part of others, for their lack of productive creativity, and
therefore earn death, but the man who only sleeps cannot die.”
“But I cannot sleep forever!” the man shouted.
“Exactly,” I answered. “Of this too I spoke with your
protective beast. You cannot, in such an imperfect state, sleep
without awakening, and therefore you cannot avoid death. So the
first step in finding immorality is cultivating the flawless
individual... and putting him to sleep.” Now the man broke down
into tears, and explained to me how to find all of the treasure
hidden in his cave. And the newly formed beast ran back to the pit
and found the male beast, and they seemed to love each other - they
began to “create” love - and therefore death. And the old man in
the cave finally started to die. And I smiled.
visited me in a dream today and told me that, as he was going on a
vacation, he needed me to take his place and watch over his swine
and other livestock. But as I awoke, I realized that I had not been
sleeping. I had been dead.
again happiness waits around the corner - waits to expound herself
as a sham. But I smile, because I know that her authority is, at
best, a half-truth.
crime is something that could have been done for genuine benefit but
wasn't. And if all criminals were killed the world would be perfect.
whosoever believeth in me shall not perish" is a threat, and
those who are frightened by threats based on conjecture deserve no
salvation from those by whom they are threatened. Luckily, they also
seldom know that they want it.
belief is dangerous, except one's belief in himself. But one's belief
in himself is not belief; rather it is acknowledgment. All belief
is naiveté except belief in death. But belief in death is never
fully realized, so it is obscure. So all believers are dangerously
naive. But the man who can have faith in his own death is an obscure
of conviction are the enemies of progress. This is not to say that
one should not defend the truth of that which can be seen by all,
but that most things that can be seen by all are illusions created
by men of conviction. And only when he is empty of conviction can a
man progress beyond what is now.
saw a man conversing quite cheerfully with a candle. I asked him,
"Do you believe that this candle is talking to you?" The
man answered, "No, but this candle believes that I am talking
to it, so I feel obliged to it." There is much to learn from
believer cannot see himself as substantial. That which is believed
in cannot see itself as substantial. Faith is void of substance.
every single person killed one person, the world would quickly
become a much better place.
emotions are used as tools, those destined for greatness become
great. But when those who are great are used by emotion, they risk
forfeiting their destines. This is one
order of things. In order to be in control of oneself, one
must see emotions as the useless mechanical devices that they are,
and one must also see over-emotional people as the useful,
mechanized dupes that they are.
taught and learning are two distinctly different activities. A good
teacher is one who can evoke these two simultaneously.
deaths of individuals signify the life of a race. Conversely, if
individuals should become immortal, the race is effectively dead.
be human is to stand and say proudly, "Everything that is, was,
and is to be is greater than I am." This definitive human has
made humanity a disgrace. Therefore, we should not only be ashamed
to be called human, we should do whatever we can to become something
is the first act of dying. Those who live their lives as if they are
spitting resentfully in the face of death only make death happier
and closer to them. But those who dance with death and tease death
and seduce death and cause
death itself to feel pity may live more bountiful lives. This is
the nature of grace.
Go off into the darkness! Did you ever really think that light was
anything but the revenge of darkness upon the crude?
Two Black Dots on an Empty Page
there is a single god to whom all good is accredited, and a single
devil to whom all evil is accredited, the resulting crowds make the
god and the devil impossible to see, and cause a great emptiness
love invisibility is a happy, easy, blissful life. So what is the
reward for those who would instead suffer in order to cling to all
that is solid? Truth.
think themselves clever for having found a quicker path to the same
destination. But the fastest shortcut is to turn around.
a very angry face, a man paces in no particular direction. He
doesn't realize that if he were to die, his problem would be solved.
is the mother of frustration. Stupidity is his father.
Friendship is something that exists between two
people before they figure out how they can make money off of each
Humanity is a disease. It is something around which a way must be
Humanity is an accident. It is something that didn’t intend itself,
and was neither intended. It is therefore something without
reason to be.
Humanity is an error. But it fails to see the irony even as it
stares blankly at its own erroneousness.
But, humanity has given something that far more than makes up for
what it lacks and where it is destructive. Humanity has spawned an
artifact greater than the sum - no, greater than the product
of its parts. This is called intellect. The task of the intellects,
it therefore should seem, is to bypass the imperfection while
maintaining the fruit of it. Namely, to cease to be human but
maintain the intellect. Certain aspects of the nature of the human
that spawned intelligence are, on the other hand, deserving of
celebration, and should be kept - not only as memorial, but for
balance. These things, such as humor, the will to indulgence, and
curiosity, should part ways with the pieces of the animal to be
discarded; such as fear and death.
It seems that nature itself has gone too far and given form to
the living creature that potentially deserves not to die. Potentially,
that is.. Perhaps the balance is found in the majority who
deserve to be killed one hundred times over.
This is not, however, to say that “smart” people should kill
“dumb” people. And it is not either to say that the inherently
superficial measurements of intelligence should be something upon
which one’s worth should be based. Conversely, I suggest
particularly a contempt of those with no will toward
intellect. In other words; the most worthless are those who try the
least to be “smart.” It is this lack of effort that is the most
dangerous -as well as the most disgusting - sin of our modern man.
To put this differently, I am saying that choosing to be beyond
average is worthy of high merit - though not necessarily simply happening
to be above average.
But the mean has become a product, and the advertisements seem to
be working. No one wants to be anything but this average. The
average has come to represent security, guaranteed acceptance, and
(most importantly) a marked lack of required effort. Entire systems
- now even entire societies - have come to be based on this
principal. They have come to be based on doing as little as possible
to become as similar to every other person as possible. Would it not
be more virtuous and socially profitable to instead strive with
genuine effort to be as defined as an individual as possible? Calvin
Klein doesn’t seem to think so.
But I maintain that I am not suggesting that anything be done
about those lacking any will to an intellect. Instead, what I mean
by saying that humanity must be overcome is that our very intellect
should be used to undermine and kill it’s creator and cleanse
itself of the impurities it has had to endure for so long. An
intellectual person may well at some point feel a desire to detach
from his humanity. Eating, the libido, sleeping - these are all
weaknesses that must annoy the intellect, reminding him that he is
nothing but an accident. But these flaws that human existence forces
on the intellect should be afraid. For what I am proposing would
free him from them.
The intellect has earned the right to die because of the
trespasses made upon existence by his human shell. But it has also
earned (again, potentially) immortality in its indispensable
Just what is the point of this? It certainly hasn’t made much
sense so far, has it? The idea is that man should, laughing
defiantly at the drunken nature which brought him about, develop a
will to immortality. Is the idea of indefinitely preserving the
human mind using science really that unthinkable? I should think
that there are a number of fathomable ways to accomplish the task of
preserving a great mind.
One crude idea would be to simply transfer the brain to another
body. Perhaps the body of the original owner of the brain, cloned
into a youthful condition, would serve in this manner to eliminate
death from general complications with aging. After this, the
possibilities seem wondrous. Imagine a future in which all social
interaction is carried out by mechanical bodies being controlled
remotely, each by a separate brain which was protected such that
harm could never come to it. There would be no fear of physical harm
and the minds could go on experiencing life uninhibited. After all,
existence as humans know it is really nothing more than sensations
felt by the brain. If these electrical impulses could be sent to and
from the brain from a remote location, the result would be practical
This may seem like fantastical ultra-futuristic mumbo-jumbo jive,
but does something like decoding the electrical code used by the
brain really seem that far off? Have we not already begun to prompt
movement of the muscles of people with paralysis using wires
carrying electrical current? I think that a society of friendly,
fearless robot-men (or something similar, I’m usually too fatigued
to come up with really good ideas!) is exactly where man
should trying to head.
And what if the robot itself got hit by a bus crossing the street
or some other such calamity were to befall it? What would become of
its brain? Or at least what would become of it until some
maintenance bots came along to wire it up with a new body? Well, I’m
not the scientist. I suppose he would just end up at the DOS prompt.
HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE LOWLY EDUCATED
“You’re going to college? Good for you!”
“Yeah. I’m finally gonna get out there and
make something of myself.”
How many times has this exchange taken place? Too
many, I’d say. If I may be forgiven for skipping strait to my
point, our system of Higher Education is a burdensome antiquity. It
was developed as a means of maintaining the status quo of the
socially elite and promoting aristocracy indefinitely. Perhaps there
is nothing wrong with that. If so, it did an okay job. But it’s
time has long past. We, however, as we usually do, have clung
tightly to the rotting fruit long after discarding the tree. But it’s
only human nature.
We’ve kept a system made to keep education only
for the rich and are now doing all we can to ensure that the poor
have an even better chance at it. But the president’s helping
those poor, low-income kids who would otherwise be doomed to lives
of gangs and cheap cocaine, right?
I think that college, if anything, encourages
people to learn less. The boy goes to college because he
wants to make lots of money (to buy the expensive cocaine, no
doubt) and gratify his commercialistic ego by buying all the latest
gadgets and shiny cars, then make even more money so he can get
married, buy 1 huge TV and 3 marginally large ones, and make sure
his kids end up just like he did. He generally does not go to
college to learn. We don’t say, “Well, I went to a college
and know this.” We instead say, “Well, I went to this
college and got this grade point average.” Who needs to
learn? Who needs to know? The important thing is to get good marks.
The important thing is to make sure and copy the answers off of that
nerdy girl’s paper.
Richardo’s parents wanted “the best” for
him. “The future is computers,” so they sent him to college to
study them. One year later, after doodling his name on ruled white
paper for hundreds of hours, Richardo notices that an Information
Manager position is vacant at the local hospital. He doesn’t know
what “Information Management” is, but the ad says something
about computers, and it looks like the job pays lots of money.
Richardo gets a job with the local hospital’s
Information Management department. Some smart guy tells him to type
in all of the names from a certain sheet of paper every morning into
some gray dialog boxes, and then double-click on the blue icon every
afternoon and come tell him what “it said”. The rest of the time
he can just look busy. Richardo gets 3500 dollars every month for
this - he has a sheet of paper (or is it sheep’s skin?) that says
Little Billy’s parents get drunk and leave town
when he’s 17, never to be seen again. He soon gets hungry, and is
forced to take a job. The local hospital is hiring anyone who speaks
any semblance of English for a low level entry position that leads
nowhere. At least he’s not hungry anymore.
Some stupid guy tells him various things that he
never bothered to remember, mispronouncing most of the words. He
doesn’t like changing diapers at all. But he knows lots about
computers. He sure wishes he could get a job working with those, he
thinks as he sees Richardo typing away through a window.
“Hey, wussup, mom. My new job is cool but I don’t
know nothing about this computer stuff,” Richardo types at his
keyboard, killing time.
“Bah,” you say? How would we determine who is
qualified for a job without our system of credentials? I think that
we should have tournament style job “ladders”. Each employer
should have tests of knowledge and skill for each position they have
available. If Billy wants Richardo’s job, all he should have to do
is prove that he is better at it - by application of his skills or
demonstration of his knowledge, not by holding up a sheet of paper.
No less than 3 months later, Richardo can come back and challenge
Billy to retake his job. This system would, I think, keep people “in
their places.” It would keep them where they belong and where they
are the most efficient. Or, at least, it would force them to know
what they are doing.
And where would the people acquire the knowledge
and skill to do the good job here spoken of? I propose that massive
libraries be constructed in each town, and that every one be filled
with tombs of knowledge and various other learning aides such as
films, and in the cases of the larger facilities, places in which
hands-on practice is possible. Each man would be allowed to spend as
much time and exert as much effort as he felt would be necessary for
him to “win” the job he sought. Faster learners would be
rewarded for their gift, and each person would either find his
place, or work very hard to make one for himself. See?
And so that’s what I think of college. It’s a
rather crude and thrown together description of my idea for a
replacement, but... well, I have to go to sleep because I worked all
night and I have to be at college in a few hours.
concerning our cover of E1M1.