Friday, April 08, 2011

Unfocused Rambling for Friday

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
— St. Paul


I am getting old and cynical. I've seen too many things to believe in anything anymore. The endless days, sunrises and sunsets I've never seen, but the day between, sunny or cloudy, getting and spending, watching television and driving here and there.

This life, whatever it is, this biological spasm that is a human being, with thoughts and memories and ideas about "who" it is and what it is supposed to do is nothing. This machine made of meat, eating and breathing and sleeping ... what is it for? What is this creature, what is this result of biology? Why does it exist? I am simply a mammal on a planet hurtling through the void of space under a thin layer of atmosphere, guided and commanded by my stomach, to get along in a world full of funny monkeys who make funny monkey rules.

Speed Buggy and Grape Ape

Lonely dirt roads lie in monochrome between black silhouettes of winter trees under slate gray skies. There wait silent afternoon rooms with shafts of sunlight illuminating motes of dust, the dry aging grandparent, waiting for a phone that will not ring, waiting for a visitor who will never arrive. There stands the homeless man in the future, thinking back on comforts lost, shivering on an autumn evening sidewalk. A television babbles names and events I no longer recognize. The news seems to have happened a thousand times before. There are men and women much younger than I in places of power doing cruel funny monkey things. They are mouthing slogans and writing funny laws. They doing foolish things, they are demonizing their brothers and sisters, as if all of the history books in the world have been ignored, cast aside, and held in contempt. As if their Christ wasn't watching from above. How will we treat the poor? Will we throw them to the wolves? Will we make their poverty a crime?

Are the troubles of this world any different than they have ever been? Are the solutions so unique that we can't figure them out? For every hungry child, somewhere in a bank vault, or on the hard drives of a bank computer is a hundred thousand dollars. For every homeless child there is a million pounds of gold in an underground vault.

What sad song could sooth this digitized heart? What synapse could ease this addled mind? What angelic spirit will descend on these well-heeled monkeys with their fascist madness and remind them that whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers and camels and needles and whatnot? Can the Beatitudes be made into a vaccine against heartless greed and wholesale corruption?

Gomer, Genie, and Dr. Smith.

We are head down at our keyboards, adding to the Internet hive-mind while a child goes hungry. Our comments are witty avatars of the deeper meaning of ourselves. Our neighbors are strangers and our countrymen are enemies. We bomb and kill and scheme while in Africa, our little brothers and sisters are starving and freaking out with guns and machetes, yet we do nothing, because although the world has gotten very small, we cannot hear their cries over the sound of our big screen televisions and our shiny new phones.

But we can hear that sweet crude, the ghosts of dinosaurs and ancient trees crying out to us to save it from its underground tomb, to free it so that it can breath itself through our cars and jets and boats into the atmosphere, so that someday it can burn the atmosphere away, and all the monkeys will fry in the sun and freeze in the winter when the fossil exhale has burned away the insulation.

Lawrence Welk and Jerry Mathers.

I lost the thing in my brain that allows things to be filed in the credulous column. My credulous column is gone. All of our heroes are frauds. Anyone who would change this system is swallowed up, compromised, fed talking points and their lofty ideas are reasoned down by the system. The system in place transcends leaders and revolutionaries. A corporation is a person, but it cannot go to jail. It has no sympathy for the weak. It is the perfect sociopath. A government is a living entity with no soul, but a survival instinct as real as that of a viper. If God is real he has forsaken us. He has turned his head and moved on to a different planet. We are on our own, forgotten. No one is driving the bus.

John Wayne and Paul Lynde.

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I am the author of 8 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, Brain Giblets, The Cubicles of Madness, Booze and News, Get Your Zen On, Zen Happens, and most recently, Robot Stories. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com

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