Sunday, January 25, 2015

JENNY GOES TO MARS!


'And how the Hell are they going to get you to Mars honey?' asked Jenny's mom who sounded like an angry American but wasn't angry or American.
'Gee Mom, I don't know, a rocket or something,' was Jenny's weak and equally Americanised reply.

'They don't use rockets anymore. They use shuttles,' snapped Jenny's mom.

'Well a shuttle then. I just want to go to Mars. What's the big deal?'

Jenny's mom's eyes flared.

'The big deal is that my seventeen year old daughter wants to go to a distant planet, has little chance of getting there, none of getting back, doesn't even know if she's going in a rocket or a shuttle and wants me to give her three thousand dollars to pay the Goddamn fare.'

'Rocket, shuttle, what's the difference? It's a spaceship. A spaceship is a spaceship. And I won't be leaving for ten years or something. I'll be like twenty seven. I'll have to train and stuff first and I'll pay you back the money and anyways, you spend thousands of dollars on stuff all the time.'

'What do I spend thousands of dollars on all the time?' demanded Jenny's mom. (Euros were not mentioned but were probably the currency under discussion.)

'I don't know. You got a fancy car and go to the stores in it. I want to go to Mars. Going to Mars is better than going to stores.'

Jenny had a good point and her mom knew it.

'Well if you want to die in outer space you can earn the frikkin fare yourself. The whole thing is a scam anyway. You won't be going anywhere. These guys are just going to vanish. It's the modelling school all over again.'

'I didn't want to go to that modelling school, you wanted me to go to that.'

Knowing that this point was also a good one, Jenny's mom said nothing. After a pause, Jenny stood up and spoke with the best approximation of steely determination she could muster. She declared that she would earn the Mars money herself and that she would leave the planet. She told her mom that there was nothing for her here. She said that no one friended her on Facebook or would even notice she was gone. Tears welled in Jenny's eyes as she declared, 'I'm not staying in this place!' and then she stormed out of the room.

****

Ten years later, Jenny found herself recalling that conversation. She'd since found fame as one of two females on a seven member crew, the first to leave Earth as part of a Kickstarter funded exploration of Mars. They wouldn't be doing much exploring though. They'd just be trying to stay alive, keeping the refrigerators working and staying underground to avoid the radiation and the dust. Jenny wondered if they'd brought enough toilet paper.

Despite a couple of hundred trolls plaguing her Twitter account, Jenny had enjoyed the fame of the last few years. She liked the attention and the compliments, the interviews and the photo shoots. Modelling school wouldn't have got her into so many magazines. And she actually had fans. Jenny never thought she would have fans. She still didn't have any real friends but she did have fans and they were crazy for her, waving her off and wishing her the best. They threw so many flowers as she boarded the Vanguard – that was the name of the shuttle. Jenny thought her mom would be pleased too but she wasn't. Jenny's mom was just quiet. She didn't speak a word in the weeks leading to Jenny's departure except to ask Jenny if she would be able to Skype. 'There's no internet in space mom,' Jenny answered. Her mom nodded.

So here was Jenny, looking at a blue ball getting smaller and smaller and smaller and smaller and then vanishing, forever. She panicked momentarily or could feel herself beginning to panic but then she did the breathing exercise thing they showed her. She did it hard. She looked at the rest of the crew and no one was saying anything. Jenny didn't wonder what anyone else was thinking. She rarely wondered what other people thought. She didn't even wonder why she never wondered, she just never wondered. She lacked a sense of wonder. Even here, in outer space, she was not struck by wonder. She was just wondering about herself, the only thing she ever wondered about. She wondered if she'd be happy now that she'd finally gotten away from that blue ball and its confusing inhabitants. The rest of the crew didn't bother her. They had their own stuff going on. If anything, they were just like her. People who wanted off the Earth and away from humanity. The crew rarely made eye contact with each other and their conversation was utilitarian – 'pass me this,' 'activate that,' 'engaging thrusters,' that sort of thing.

Remembering the rest of the crew, Jenny decided to take a conversational plunge. She was more tense about it than she was about leaving her home planet. She raised her voice, kind of half looked at another of the astronauts and asked – 'do you think we're going to die?'
A murmured 'dunno,' and a shrug was the response.
'It would really suck to come all this way and just, like, die,' said Jenny.
Then Jenny looked out at space again. She didn't even see any stars as the Vanguard shot on through the darkness, oblivious to the cosmos and escaping life.

'I'm going to Mars,' Jenny muttered to herself.
'I'm going to Mars and I'm in outer space.'
Jenny clenched her fists and her nails sank into her palms like vicious teeth.
'I'm in outer space.'
'I'm in outer space.'
'I'm in outer space.'
'I'm in outer fucking space.'

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THE GOOD GAME


It's a good game despite the fact that we're positioned somewhere near the bottom. We're not at the very bottom though, so we can take heart in that. We're doing OK compared to those at the bottom. The game must be pretty good if people positioned near the bottom are having an OK time of it. It makes sense to keep playing, right?

Positioned at the top are people in costumes, robes and crowns and all that kind of thing. These people tell our minds what to do. Then there's the people who are positioned second from the top. These people wear suits and tell our arms and legs what to do. If our arms and legs don't do as they are told, people who wear uniforms (those positioned third from the top) take our bodies away and lock them in cells. When you are in a cell you are at the bottom and you have lost the game because you have broken the rules.

Now, if you haven't lost the game yet and you want to get to a higher position you can. You can't get to the top because God decides who is at the top but you can get second from the top. It's very difficult though. Most of the people who are second from the top are the offspring of people who are second from the top, but it's not unheard of for others to arrive at that position. All you have to do is pretend to do what you are told but don't. It's a good game but it's a funny game. You can only win by breaking the rules and not getting caught. If you get caught breaking the rules you lose but if you don't get caught breaking the rules you win. Those are the real rules of the game, but you don't get told that. You have to figure that out for yourself or be the heir of someone who already has.

This game doesn't come in a box. The pieces needed to play this game are all around you, you're wearing them, they are in your bank account, you live in them, they are on your resume, in the colour of your skin, the language you speak and the accent you speak it with, in your likes, in your dislikes, in your abilities and disabilities, in your chromosomes and hormones. Some of us may have more of the pieces required to play the game than others but, whatever the case, we all have to play. There is no alternative to playing. Well, there might be one alternative. You could upend the board and send the pieces flying everywhere and demand that everyone play a new game, but where would you be if you did that? No one knows. It's a scary thought. That's probably why everyone who plays the game is so frightened.

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I've misunderstood the game all along. Maybe everyone playing the game is in the same position. We all start in the same position and none of us progresses from that position. That position is fear. Fear. When you think about it that way, maybe it's not such a good game after all.
Hmm.
Oh well, at least we only have to play it once.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

SO GO WE WENT


Terminish was the last ever language. It had no future tense. There didn't seem to be a point. It was spoken by one man. The last man left on Earth. He spoke it to himself. He was the only member of the human race left after the Antinatalist policies were implemented. The world's population had been sterilised. The argument went that the world would tick over fine without us and that it was only being damaged by us.

The ecosystem suffers if a species of animal or plant is removed. To make something extinct is to remove a link in the chain. However, there was one link on the chain that had no place on that chain. That link was us. The world would thrive without us. Popular thought was that we must have been left here by aliens and that we really belonged somewhere else. It was argued that this might be the reason we're a discontented lot. It was decided that we had to go. So go we went. Everyone knew that there would come a time when only one would remain and that time had come and that one was Martin.

Martin wasn't sure if he was the last person left on the planet. How could he be sure? Who was keeping count? Knowing the dreadful reality of his predicament would have driven Martin over the edge, but there was hope in his ignorance. 'You never know, someone might come down the street one day', said Martin's mind to Martin. So he carried on with his routine of foraging and looking at stuff and watching films and listening to music and reading things by people who were dead about people who were dead.

Power generation was automated so Martin did not have to go without the comforts he was used to when the planet was populated. For such a self-hating species, the human race could at least have credited itself with the quality of consideration. They did not leave their last member wanting. The only thing Martin wanted was company and even that desire was waning. He'd forgotten what it was like to have company and was only reminded when he watched a drama or read a book where people were together. These manmade remnants of entertainment and so on were not the greatest of Martin's consolations as he lived out his years and reached old age. It was the ordinary little things that he'd never noticed when others were around that brought him the most solace. The way sunlight fell upon the Earth. The songs of birds. The sound of wind gliding from one place to another. These things once meant nothing to Martin but as he grew old, infirm and terminally ill, these things meant the world to him because these things were his world. They were the sights and sounds of his home. A place that had always provided. A place that had never failed him.

As Martin passed away, crumpled and alone, he whispered four final words to himself. These were not the last words of a solitary man but the last words of an entire species. Martin was speaking for the whole of the human race because Martin was the whole of the human race. His last words were in Terminish. 'Felbus belbunt unf seft', he croaked, which meant 'we've changed our minds'.

The birds, whose songs Martin had so enjoyed, descended upon his cadaver and picked his bones clean. The wind and the sun wore down the rest. The last ever human blew away as dust, dispersed over sea and over earth.

So go we went.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

DIE OF LAUGHTER


After the deranged stable boy murdered the teasing jester, everyone from the court took their swords and cut the jester's body into pieces. Each took a portion of the corpse and wore it around their necks to honour the jester. In life, the jester had irritated, outraged and insulted each of them and he had done so in a way that had all the others laughing when the respective targets were singled out. The king laughed when the courtier was mocked and the courtier laughed when the king was mocked and they both laughed when the usher was mocked and so on and so on in myriad permutations. When the sullen stable boy was mocked everyone laughed but the boy could not see the humour because he had been driven mad by a life of toil, marginalisation and disregard. The boy lashed out and killed the jester. The jester died in the middle of the court with incomprehension in his eyes. A sticky pool of dark blood poured out from the jester's convulsing body and everyone slowly lifted their feet as it flowed toward their toes.

The stable boy was beheaded a short time after and the people of the court cheered. No one made any jokes about anyone else ever again and nothing ever improved for the lives of stable boys. In fact, stable boys were treated worse than ever before, with suspicion added to their toil, marginalisation and disregard.

The ghost of the jester watched and wept because he couldn't make jokes when deceased and knew that no one really appreciated the leveller that laughter was in life. He saw that everyone was now wearing a piece of him around their necks and realised that he didn't own himself in death. There was still laughter in the court but it was the false kind. People would laugh at each other's jokes, not because they were funny but because they didn't want to make each other angry. This pretence often became too much to bear and members of the court would sometimes lose their reason and take the life of another. The king, who had read the eulogy at the jester's commemoration, killed the most. 

Members of the court still died but they didn't die of laughter.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

FUGGER'S I'M OFFENDED APP


(Pictured: You wouldn't wipe your arse with it!
Courtesy of Doctor Dracula of the JPRBDF)

If tweeting and Facebooking your outrage isn't providing enough catharsis, why not download Fugger's I'm Offended App? You just give it a click and the fact that you've taken offence about something (anything at all, knock yourself out) will be forwarded to the offenders in question as well as rigorous thinkers that write blogs and op-ed pieces, tyrants, elected representatives, tyrannical elected representatives and advocacy groups and organisations of various secular/religious/left/right leanings. You'll be surprised at the new friends you can make when you're offended. Leftist secularists will find themselves alongside right leaning religious types and death cult extremists when they join forces to fight those who've done something offensive. 

It is through the taking of offence that we will eventually find unity. The only demographic to be left out of the loop will be those that offended us and it doesn't matter about them anyway because they'll probably all be murdered by that stage. It should be pointed out that such murders should not be condoned. Not at all. Not at all at all at all. Fugger Apps does not condone murder and does not want to facilitate the condoning of murder. We'd prefer it if you just downloaded the app and used that to register the permanent sense of outrage that defines us as rational and considerate human beings. That way you can avoid condoning murder and just insinuate that perhaps some murders are worse than others. 

Download Fugger's 'I'm Offended App' today and be 'App'-alled!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

DRAWN BLOOD


Terrible thing that happened. Awful. Appalling. I really think it was appalling. But I feel it would be correct to point out that they did draw some very racist things. They did. Very racist. But it is appalling what happened to the racists. What happened to the racists is an undoubted tragedy and a crime and all that, sure, but the racists drew racist things so, ...you know. What do you mean you don't know? I just think it should be pointed out at this juncture that the dead racists did racist drawings. This is the ideal juncture to point this out because surely this is the matter at stake here or at least should be. I'm simply saying that it's terrible that the racists were murdered but she was out all by herself in a very short skirt they did do drawings that were racist. In fact, they were so racist that they even did racist drawings of other racists. These people had no limits. They even insulted their own. That's how racist they were. 

It is my duty, it's all our duty, to be offended by the racist drawings these racists drew and to keep expressing how offended we are by the racist drawings these racists drew until all anyone remembers is how racist these drawers were and not that they were murdered at all.

In summary: RACISM!

Monday, January 5, 2015

ALWAYS HOME


The world is a great big beautiful organic ball. It breathes with its trees and has seas that teem with plants and creatures, spawning and flowing and darting about. Birds glide above in great wispy rain makers. The whole thing as an indefatigable system of indestructible life. Pure life. Even when something ceases to be it breaks down and feeds the future and gets born again in a new form. There's no end to the élan vital. It is unstoppable. Get over yourself and show me death. Where is there death? Point me to a single place where death resides outside of human perception. There is even radiotrophic fungi growing inside the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Life is everywhere. Death is nowhere to be found. Death does not exist. There is no death. There is only change. Change is sometimes scary and change is sometimes sad but it is never the end and you are always home.

...and those were the words I used to comfort my terrified Uncle Stan just before I pushed him down the elevator shaft and set about gaining possession of his estate.