Regarding space travel and mind travel I want to say that life as I understand it affixes itself tightly to the rocks at the bottom of the ocean and remains there unaltered for millions of years while possessing the quality also to free itself from the surface of the earth and travel great distances through the oceanic void AND BEYOND, perhaps never to see the same place twice in the natural course of its existence. On the surface of the boundary between earth and water, a new vein in evolution connected increasing brain size with capacity for free movement and environmental manipulation, which one might naturally add is no less cool than the advent of the human being itself. I feel it would be a false comparison to say that whales and octopuses are the humans of the ocean floors (humans being the humans of the sky floors) because humans are, more or less, chained to the earth. It seems to me we’re in the absurd position of coveting the skies when we very much resemble the sort of life that spends its day affixed tightly to the rocks, preoccupying itself with food-gathering and, when not strengthening preexisting bonds, affixing itself tightly to something new.
I suppose that for every threshold stable enough for the formation of life there will eventually come a peak-seer: a kind of entity that exists on a dimensional maximum, yet is rendered immobile due to its roots in some other dimension. Seeing flying insects cut through space itself with the effortless precision and speed I might employ on a mouse-click or in writing the letter “L” on a piece of paper has me cursing my own practices; they are all designed and with seemingly infinite variety, yet here is this little mother fucker in a state of true and perfect earthly mobility. I hope he’s pleased with himself. Here we are capable of colonising the highest peak available or the deepest trench, and further still into other realms of sense-experience yet our intuition is to raise minds endlessly to what lies beyond. I guess I don’t know about space travel, though most people seem to be content with looking up. The object of this thought need not even be space travel. When we tire, I believe we will yearn to merge with what lies beyond. Maybe it will take the form of our robot children going forth like insects into infinity so we can spend more time at home dying and forgetting all this backflip infinity bullshit. Until that moment, I SEE YOU, INFINITY.
(When I say “dimensional maximum” what I’m talking about is how I feel we’re faced with what’s beyond in every waking moment. To look up from the highest peak, for example, is to see the stars and what lies beyond. The same must be true when looking anywhere at all. I must be looking at a screen and what lies beyond.)
There are four legends concerning Prometheus:
According to the first he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.
According to the second, Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.
According to the third his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.
According to the fourth everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wounds closed wearily.
There remained the inexplicable mass of rock. The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.
i know a lot of fancy dancers
people who can glide you on a floor
they move so smooth
but have no answers
twice in the past 12 hours ive been playing the last track i tumbld and simon has diatribed about dubstep and its reoccurring themes etc. he asks rhetorically ‘can you tell this is dubstep’ as it begins—his assertion is no, not until the wubwub. but both times its come up i’m reminded of something that happened at work the other day.
these two dudes are hunched over the dimebag book, one is vibing to my music and asks ‘yo is this dubstep’ and im like yup and he tells his friend ‘i could tell. this that new stoner shit.’ and they vibe
simon says ‘i think that there is no dubstep. there is one dubstep song, that producers dip into: its fifteen minutes long, and they all sample from this one song’
In other words, I offer this:
Today’s market is saturated with the electric tooth brush, something Oral-B in their wisdom have decided to rename the “power brush.” Fine. I remember when I saw my first power brush. I was young; a child. Despite its enormous size in my mouth it was a refined tool and something beyond my own abilities. Now, nobody tells you to press the head of an power brush into your forehead until the battery drains and the thing wurrs down. Nobody tells you not to do it, either. This is why the secret of dub step has been held quietly for decades.
If they had put it on the box: “DO NOT PRESS TO FOREHEAD: YOU WILL FORGET SELF QUICKLY” this dub step, when invoked, would offer a free-access, non-dual holiday for any individual. You come out of it, but you don’t forget what it feels like when you find a way to access yourself through yourself like that. No, they do not mention this.
My experience with this dub step goes much deeper than the question of my familiarity with those others who have harnessed the supreme via pressure and electronic sensory amplification. Dub step at most is the invocation of an intense holiday within the confines of music, AND NOT MUSIC ITSELF.
Pascal: He’s a great investment, you know, your brother. You too, of course.
Secondo: You will never have my brother. He lives in a world above you. What he has, and what he is, is real. You are nothing.
Pascal: I am a business-man. I am anything I need to be at any time. Tell me, what are you?
Secondo: What’s the matter with you, are you sick?
Primo: People should come just for the food.
Secondo: I know. Primo, I need your help here, okay? Louis Prima is coming! He’s not just some guy, he’s famous!
Primo: Famous? Is he good?
Secondo: He’s great.
Primo: People should come just for the food.
Secondo: I know that.
Primo: People should come just for the food!
Secondo: I know that, I know. But they don’t.
Secondo: Primo, do you know why this night is happening?
Secondo: Because it has to happen.
we’ve been watching footage of old flyovers. the reel is in colour, and started with a narrated segment i dont follow mismatched to text in a different language scrolling over miles and miles of postcollapse canopy cover. the narration describes the then-red island’s last then-not dictator’s democratic process before the marches were actually underway. we gathered reminisce if we can about how hard it was to get permits from his administration, how you couldn’t help loving to hate him, 17 years ago. how funny he had always been on the news, how animated. this was before the temperature changed, and the neurotoxic plague spread, and before the corpse king had walked his remaining people through lushening jungle to settlements they never reached, which might not have been there. the flyover footage pauses: there is a child, on the ground—bloated skin stretches over her ghastly, enlarged belly, her hands, her arms, as she scoops something from a foul, human shaped smear of a body on the ground. she looks up into the grainy camera and her eyes are so sunken they are invisible in their dark hollows, and she has no lips or teeth, just a deep black opening. she seems to scream into the sky but the footage is soundless and there was no sound to record. the footage moves on, past this still-fallow patch of land cleared for agriculture when people grew things here, over the reassuring greenery that has by now sealed over this and every bald spot. this is the landscape we’re surveying for wildlife. i only have a hammock.
There was a decision made to name our house “The Jungle,” though some of us still call this place the “House of Operation”. I have called this house many things. For a day I called it “FREEDOM! House,” but it was roundly refused. For a day I called it “HAUS VON KATZE UND MAUS,” but it didn’t please others and ultimately it didn’t please me either. Past house names have utilized great geological metaphors in their titles (I suppose ‘The Jungle’, then, must be close enough for most). “BERINGIA” and “CALDERA” come to mind. I thought for a while that “House of the Ants” might be a deserving name, though I quickly saw it as the equivalent of nailing a crucifix to the mantle.
Ants, ya’ see, are the dominant life-form of the house, lording over white flecks of paint, black mold and legions of hungry pill bugs, which aren’t bugs at all but crustaceans that spilled out of the sea looking for food. The living room floor on the day we moved in was a desert of carcasses. The search for food in this case was a self-fulfilling prophecy. The first brave idiots to trek that insane expanse of wood and dust I call our living room represented the first true oasis for those who followed. More than anything, the living room is a scent-way for the ants (so I speculate).
Though I have no direct observations to back up my claim, I speculate the property itself is the seat of a super-colony. That, or a colony occupies the house itself. These ants? They are everywhere. Some of us have decided to deal with the ants by laying traps. Everyone in this house identifies as vegan. Is it vegan to kill ants?
I can’t claim to know all threads of vegan behaviour or justification. By my mind there are a few primary schools of thought:
- Economic Vegan. Characterized by a rebellious refusal to integrate with animal-produced items, chiefly food, though as we’re all aware these vegans also boycott things like drywall and shoes. Some times you hear these folk calling themselves ethical vegans, though to follow economic veganism to its ultimate conclusion, you can’t be buying any food from anywhere that also offers an animal product. Society itself consents to steaks. Ethics of this economic nature are a thought experiment when practiced within society. Ethics of this nature also permits ant genocide.
- Ethical Vegan. Characterized by the quest for a Buddha-like respect for life resulting from careful consideration of what constitutes a species-ist action. An ethical vegan tackles questions like, “what can be fucking done with these ants if I’m not going to kill them?” by answering their own question, “Oh, right. Live and let live. I don’t get to decide what happens to ants if we’re equally entitled to this space.” Ethical veganism comes down to personal responsibility, but does not avoid the depraved self-flagellation we’re all so good at implementing in all areas of our lives, drawn in by discomfort as we are.
- Peter Singer. Characterized by nihilistic rule-breaking.
With that said, the desert of our living room has absorbed the silent screams of countless ants. Far from the emergent desert oasis of corpses, it has become a plague land. I don’t know if you know what happens to ants when they are affected by the neurotoxin in raid. They seem to lose their sense of direction. They begin to pull their own antennae off. When it becomes too taxing to attempt compensation over a failed nervous system (so it seems to me), the struggle continues beneath the exoskeleton until the damn thing gets carted off by some other ant in the early stages of the toxin. The raid dance is hard to watch, even for those of us who poison them by choice.
I cannot calculate the impact of these decisions, except for how they affect me as a vegan. I strive to co-exist with the life I have around me now, while refusing to partake in the shared ritualistic consumption of food products derived by way of animal husbandry. I fall prey to Singer-esque nihilism every now and then. I also feel strongly about the production of leather goods, fur and other things, though it comes into conflict with my desire to use what goods we have already produced. The question of the ants certainly has me questioning where my personal responsibilities are taking me. I choose to let them live with me, though as a member of this house I don’t know what function that decision has. The ants are dying. Also, I do not mourn a corpse. I think that wearing leather and fur makes sense. I don’t think we need to kill in order to wear something’s body-parts. Animal husks reuse animal husks. Look at the little hermit crab.
Death, I think, is an altruistic action within the system of life. It comes as no surprise to me that the action is not born from an ethical choice, but instead from the entropy of our world. Our bodies were made from consumption and they will be consumed. Perhaps to that extent, “The jungle” is an appropriate name for this house. Then again, when the desire for the comfort of an ant-free house (when there are ants in the house) causes you to set traps, your actions reflect the ultimatum of a cat-and-mouse conflict: vanish from sight, or I will destroy you.
I am looking over the assignment of one of my students; what amounts to a fictional war diary for the first world war with lots of place names and dates in it and I’m sort-of tripping out and believing it to be a historical document. Anyway it’s captivating.