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|"Yes, this is an age of moral crisis. . . . Your moral code has reached its climax, the blind alley at the end of its course. And if you wish to go on living, what you now need is not to return to morality . . . but to discover it."|
I suppose it was then that the coquies decided to make their harmonious entrance.
At first a few adventurous souls dared to break through the gloomy silence with their experimental half-songs. Here and there I heard them start about: "Coh...Coh...Coh..." but almost as if spontaneously realizing that there was no point in holding back, they would suddenly let lose with a proudly resounding: "Coh, Co-KEE-KEE-KEE!"
Then another and another, and suddenly, what seemed like a hundred-million of them filled the night with their amazing acoustic resonance. All around me, wave upon wave of fabulous coquí harmonies crashing upon every conceivable surface in a relentless, continuous mélange of polychromatic sounds; the sonorous equivalent of ocean waves, breaking upon the shore.
It was, as always, an overwhelming, enrapturing experience. I allowed myself to be lifted above my worries, and carried upon their songs to a wondrous place where all that was not right was simply drowned in acoustic splendor. And the waves washed over me, cleansing and soothing...fear was gone, so was doubt, only beauty remained.
Yes, this! This, I would miss the most!
It was an exciting thing to do, but not as much as what came later. With the imminent birth of my daughter it became painfully clear to me that she would not know the coquí songs at night, every night, as I had known them. It was a peculiar miracle known only to those fortunate enough to have been born and lived their first few years in the island of Puerto Rico. Nowhere else was there a comparable experience. Indeed many are the outsiders who consider us acoustically damaged for thinking such "noise" to be pleasant or even beautiful. As an audiophile I can at least understand such thinking, but also as an audiophile I can appreciate the value of an acoustic identity that tied me to a certain land. I had the means to spare my daughter the horrid fate of not having that. I could play for her, every night, the recorded coquies of Naranjito, and someday, when she sees her father’s land, and hears the sound of it’s night, her heart will remember the warmth and love of her early years, the time to sleep, to rest, the time for peace, the night falls, the coquí sings, all is well, good night, daddy.
Did I say exciting? It was exhilarating! It took months of listening to every millisecond of that 90-minute plus recording and filter out every little flaw and imperfection, (This I was doing for my little girl!), until at last I had an acceptable, continuous, recording; as flawless as it was possible to make at the time and with the equipment on hand. I digitized and burned the first CD and played it for my daughter during the very first nights of her life.
Oh, man! What a rush!
Since then I have sold many copies of that CD to expatriated Puerto Ricans and their friends and loved ones literally all over the world, (Except Antarctica, hm...). Back then I was the first, and my recording was a novelty. Now I have a few imitators, but mine is the only “natural” recording of coquí songs, the only one that comes close to what it is really like to be in Puerto Rico. This is, after all, the reason I made that recording in the first place.
"Close," yes, but I have always felt it could be "Closer."
The thought was always in my mind: That I could do much better, much, much better. With the proper equipment and a carefully planned approach, I could make a recording of coquí songs that would place you acoustically right in their midst. Even if no one else cared for it, I wanted it! So I made my plans and bided my time, and then, on Saturday 31st, 2009, I carried about 30 pounds of lounge chairs and a hearty, home-made coffee supply, and about 8 ounces of battery-operated technology, (the tripod, extension cables and headphones all together weighed about three pounds.) And found an isolated spot in the middle of the forest, between the mountains of a remote region of Naranjito, (actually about a three minute walk from where I made the 1998 recording), and sat still in total darkness and listened, and let myself be intoxicated once more by the grandeur of it.
It was wonderful, but it was ruined. Somewhere in the distance, a party was going on, and the incessant rhythmic thumping was loud enough, even at this distance and even buffered by the surrounding forest, to be picked up by the sensitive microphones.
I am not too disappointed, though, eventually the horrid thumping stopped, and I was able to record almost an hour’s worth of the coquí songs I wanted. Not enough to make a new CD, but enough for me to make a sample to test my theory. Enough to know that it can be done! Two days later, I sat in front of my computer and plunged into the same spot I had acoustically occupied last Saturday.
It was wonderful!
I will go back, perhaps on a weekday, where the likelihood of ragaeton parties is minimal, and attempt to record the pure coquí songs I need. I will continue to do that until I succeed. Then anyone in the world can know what it is like, at least in one very special way, to be Puerto Rican.
By fellow IGTB fan, Magician, WebMaster, Artist, Dragonrider, and good friend, Robert I. Ortiz
Once again I am toppled down from my exalted perch of obvious superiority into the dark, damp and grimy depth of humility, by the simple gesture of a great artist.
Like so many of us, Bob is struggling in an unsympathetic world that is too busy serving and being served the daily fare of yellow morbidity and instant gratification, to take the time to search for truly unique and inspired artwork, hence, rarely coming across such sites as his. And yet, out of the infinite goodness of his fuzzy heart, he just pops up and sends me this, no strings attached. He could have used the time to promote his goods and perhaps rake up an extra sale or two, but instead, he invested his precious time and talent in a gratuitous and selfless act designed to cause the spontaneous and total meltdown of my cold and unforgiving heart.
Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case, the idea is quite staggering.
—[ Arthur C. Clarke ]—
I have been an enthusiastic member of the SETI@Home project from its beginning. Recently, however, I have begun to wonder: What is the point? If we should encounter signals from another cosmic civilization, it would be one, in all likelihood, very much like our own, at least in technological terms. The reason I believe this is because I believe that the evolutionary transcendence of our biological existence is very close at hand. Indeed, it is very hard to seriously contemplate any civilization significantly more advanced than our own AND that has not transcended into a post-biological reality.
I am talking about the Technological Singularity, of course. The more I think about it, the more I become convinced of its inevitability. To me, it now seems obvious that this is our destiny. In this frame of mind the only possible response to the idea of civilizations that are significantly beyond our own level of development, and which have NOT transcended into a post-biological existence is: "What's WRONG with them?"
Technological civilizations beyond our own level of development would not only, (in all likelihood), be beyond our capacity to comprehend, but the cost-to-benefit ratio, (for them), in establishing some form of exchange with us would be, well, ludicrous.
Such civilizations would have transcended into a post-biological reality. In which case the very nature of such an exalted state of existence means that they have no further need for radio transmissions of any kind, or any interest in sharing their thoughts with barbaric, unrealized entities such as ourselves.
So that's out. What is left is technological civilizations at or near our own level of development, which would, by definition, be constrained by the same physical limitations as we are, (i.e. The Speed of Light), making any meaningful exchange academic at best. Their discovery would only be of real value to our philosophical interests in as far as a redefinition of our concept of self and our relationship to the Universe is concerned. Theists, I suspect, will really have a hard time grappling with that, but they are, in my view, a rather insignificant and unimpressive branch of philosophy.
So, if transcendence into a post-biological evolutionary reality is the ultimate destiny of all Advanced Technological Civilizations (ATCs), and if, we ourselves are on the very threshold of such a transcendence, and given that the rate of accelerated evolution that is the LAW of such advancement, as we ourselves have experienced through our history, brings such civilizations to the threshold of transcendence in a relatively short while, then: The epoch of radio transmissions is a short-lived one.
The Universe is possibly teeming with transcended civilizations and their consequently expanding, paper-thin shells of radio broadcasts. Some of these expanding, paper-thin shells of radio broadcasts may or may not have had time to reach us, as no doubt there are others that have indeed reached us and passed beyond into the post-biological silence of the technological-phase of their evolution.
The likelihood that any SETI@Home-like effort would happen to capture the passing of such an expanding shell of radio broadcasts is about the same as that of the Earth crossing the path of an un-diffused Gamma-Ray Burst. Not impossible, to be sure, but such a discovery would tell us where they were, and perhaps even who they were, but Cosmic distances and the Speed of Light limitations mean that such a signal came from a civilization that has since passed-on to its own post-biological destiny. We would be listening to the echoes of its barbaric past. Any reply we send, (whenever it would reach them), would be ignored by its exalted present reality, no more than the buzzing of a passing insect, or perhaps, not even that.
To be fair, I should mention that there is another possibility for the SETI failure: That the reason we cannot find any signs of ATCs is because there are none; that we are alone, or that we are the first to achieve such technological prowess.
Perhaps non-incidence of ATCs is more in keeping with the rule of Occam's Razor, if only for the perfect simplicity of the argument. But I don't know, it just doesn't get my juices flowing, and in my experience that's a good reason, if not to dismiss a theory, at least to give it a lower placing in my totem pole. I trust my instincts.
I find the idea of post-biological evolution specially appealing, it seems to jive more with the macro-view of the Universe in as far as our expanding knowledge of it goes. (i.e. "Juices Flowing") A post-biological ATC would have the means of transmitting information without the wasteful bleeding of electrons (energy) that our current methods entail. In other words, no detectable transmissions, nothing for the SETI number-crunchers to chew on, negative results, The SETI Failure.
What a delicious irony! The best evidence we have that other, more advanced civilizations exist is precisely the lack of evidence!
So, why am I bleeding two 3GHz processors on a 24-hour basis to crunch through mountains of recorded radio noise from outer-space?
Because it would amuse me to no end to know for certain: Are we alone or not? Period!
Even if such a hit on the figurative "Fermi-Scale" originates from an ATC that is unremarkably much like we are, it would still hold profound implications for the human race. It would be the catalyst that would ignite a whole new, (albeit short-lived), era of intellectual enlightenment. (See? I can be "dangerously optimistic" too!)
I have no expectations of establishing a meaningful relationship with some betentacled beauty from Regulus-9 who can tweak my hypothalamic pleasure nodes with focused waves of neural pulse-packets. (Though I am not opposed to explore the possibilities, if such an opportunity presented itself.) What, however, I do look forward to is the stimulating debates that will ensue, and the realignment of our definitions, in almost every aspect of our perceptions, that will necessarily take place. My own ego hungers to know, how close to the truth my own theories and speculations have come. And I will personally enjoy, (Oh, my, yes!), the outrageous, existential discombobulations and consequently hallucinated justifications that the Theist branches will perform in a futile attempt to staunch the geometrically expanding exodus of their members into the secular population of humanity.
...and of course, being able to answer nonchalantly, "Oh, I'm looking for intelligent life in the Universe." every time someone asks me what my computer is doing, is always a righteous goosing of my hypothalamic pleasure nodes!
[ My Team: SetiMexicano ]
[ Join the SETI@Home project ]
Further Reading: The Technological Singularity
[ The Law of Accelerating Returns by Ray Kurzweil ]
[ SETI, the Fermi Paradox and The Singularity by John G. Faughnan ]
[ What If the Singularity Does NOT Happen? by Vernor Vinge ]
The object of my contemplation is HIP 56948, (What a cool name!), a star heretofore unknown in the constellation of Draco. A place whose history is no doubt as extensive and rich as our own, in spite of our ignorance of its existence; a condition that is now at last cured by the news of its curious and uncanny kinship to our own mother star, Sol.
In this case, I sent my thoughts through space and time to our brother star where I orbited, languidly bathing in its warmth at more or less the same distance that our own Earth transits from our sun, and admired it.
What wondrous planets orbit here, now for a thousand-million years more than our own Earth has accompanied our sun?
Has one of them harbored creatures, who at night look up at the stars and wonder if someone else exist, like themselves?
...and perhaps, just maybe, some scientist have announced the discovery of a twin star, with the same chemical and physical properties as their own home-star, only a thousand-million years younger, and that it can be seen there, but a mere 200 light-years away, in the constellation of...
...and whether some young being, having read the news, took a few moments to send his thoughts through space and time to this brother star, where he orbited, languidly bathing in its warmth at more or less at the same distance that his own planet transits from his star, and admired it.
...and perhaps, just maybe, he wondered...
“What wondrous planets orbit here, a thousand-million years younger than our own...?”
It never ceases to amaze me that this particularly fallacious piece of sophistry is still taken dead-seriously by most people on Earth. Scratch that. Most (non-kongaloid) humans.
The obvious, “no-brainer” answer is, “Why, the egg, of course!”
But for some reason, normal humans get all mentally discombobulated about that. Once they recover they attempt to declare their superiority by asking, “Oh yeah! Then who laid the egg, huh?”
The obvious, “no-brainer” answer is, “Yo mamma!”
But that only seems to upset them even more.
Of course, the proverbial egg was laid by a Gallus sonneratii, a proto-chicken kind of beastie that is “a chicken” only to the uncouth Americans. What emerged from that egg was a chicken and not a G. sonneratii by virtue of genetic adaptations. Hence a new species was born, Gallus domesticus, or simply chicken.
The problem arises from the use of the concept “egg”. While the concept “chicken” is a direct reference to a specific species of creature, the same cannot be said about the egg, which may or may not have been laid by a chicken. Eggs are employed by, (among others), amphibians, reptiles, fish, and even some mammals, as well as birds. Hence the semantic association of egg with chicken implies that the egg in question was indeed a chicken egg. If that were a condition then the issue is indeed unsolvable. Since the “first chicken”, although it did come from and egg, did not come from a “chicken egg”, (Again, this did not happen overnight.), insisting that it was a chicken egg makes the question fallacious, meaningless; and those who pursue it, fools.
Anyway, mentally perambulating through the nigh imperceptible process of change it struck me that even something as imposing and durable as a mountain may dissolve into the ocean before a cleverly-worded piece of misinformation is finally dismissed.
It was grand to be back!
Nature at its finest! A splendid cacophony of consonant chaos impinged the ears. Air filled with intensely intoxicating aromas of a trillion undefined and indefinable sources. The higher levels of atmospheric oxygen boosting the buzz…
I hid the Time Machine in a small indentation at the base of a limestone cliff and set off at once to engage the truth.
It wasn’t long before I encountered the many-colored denizens of this pristine epoch who through our common bond informed me that a similar preoccupation engaged the lesser minds of their own time. Only with them it took a form that could be loosely translated as “Which came first, the archaeopteryx or the placental yolk-sac?”
Now, of course, if you, my dear reader, happen to be a time-traveler as well, you are quite aware that pteranodon young are not comely by any stretch of the imagination. But I was told that this particular fledgling was of a most frightful semblance. While all of its siblings wore a smooth leather skin of light brown, this particular hatch was endowed with a coat of the palest and most unseemly wrinkled skin. Disgusted by his sickly appearance, and quite convinced he could not prosper. The pteranodon mom made quick to thrust the defective youth from her ledge.
Down he fell into the tangled jungle bellow.
The ugly pteranodon looked up from the sod mound on which he landed and saw that returning was hopeless. Terrified and dejected, he lunged forward, guided by instinct, in search of shelter and food. Somehow, he found both, if not well at least sufficient. A few hours in exile had already dried his pelt into a smooth, downy fuzz that warmed his body, if nothing else. Within a day he had made his way to a hollow boulder that would protect him from weather and foes.
In the coming days he encountered all manner of adventures and made a few friends. Time passed, and, against all odds, the ugly pteranodon matured and grew. In a few weeks the soft down was replaced by a strange growth of stiff, thick rods that flared into flattened rows of tough hairs. They glistened almost iridescently in vibrant greens, reds, and blues. “You don’t look like no pteranodon I know.”, a friendly young diplodocus had once told him. Which pretty much echoed the sentiments of all his friends as they saw him change with time into a strapping young fowl.
It was a little while after that when chance would bring him upon a placid pool to drink. And how great was his surprise to behold his wondrous reflection upon the water! For now in his full-glory it was indeed evident that he was no pteranodon as once and again the many denizens of the wild had told him. What he was they could not say, and neither could he guess—even now that he saw the flamboyant coloration of his magnificent plumage—for he had never seen the like, in all the creatures he has known.
“Hello!” said a voice from above.
The ugly pteranodon turned his head around and up to behold the intruder and was met with another much like himself, perched on a high branch of a towering conifer, casually preening her plumage with beak and talon.
His voice trembled in awe and wonder, he asked, “What are you?”
“I am archaeopteryx.” She said, “Like yourself, of course!”
At last I returned, forward to our time, and to tell you of this tale of the Ugly Pteranodon. As you see the faux-dilema was solved long before the humans thought themselves clever for coming up with it. Nor are the tales that spring from such lessons new. Every epoch has had its own wisdom inscribed in the layers of Earth's history. We have but to look in the pages of the life that surrounds us to see the truth. This you will not get from the mouths of men.
Now I bid thee farewell. Hoping that you have enjoyed this little romp and hoping also that now at last it is understood why it is so certain, why it cannot be any other way, than that the first to come was indeed, the egg.
This much-needed boost to our economy is long overdue. It does the only thing that can really help a capitalistic economy, and that is to put the money in the hands of the consumers. We all know that one dollar in a consumer’s hands can do much more than ten dollars in the governments’ hands. Not only do we not have the awesome operational overhead that swallows up much of what we have to spend, but also we can use better judgment, since our spending decisions are not bogged-down by the bureaucratic process. (I know, I know! “In theory”-yada yada ya... But that is another long-winded discussion and my point today is along another line of thought. So please bear with me.)
So, it seems all is well and done. But wait! That may be true of all fifty states and some dependencies and territories, except for one, single, solitary exception: Yep, you guessed it! Once again it’s Puerto Rico!
If it were not for the political tug-of-war that perpetually mires Puerto Rico into absolute immobility, (on absolutely everything), we too would have nothing to do but sit back and wait for the check to arrive, (sometime in May or June), just like the rest of our fellow citizens of the Union.
Puerto Rico has requested that it be treated differently. A special delegation, including the governor himself, (I wonder what he was wearing?), was rushed off to Washington in the very last minute to beg the Congress to please, Please, PRETTY PLEASE, WITH A CHERRY ON TOP! Don’t send the checks directly to the Puerto Rican people as they had planned to do, (naturally), but to give the money to the local government instead, who would then print out and send the checks to the people themselves, (of course, “expeditiously!”)
Well, ok. I suppose, but the Congress of the United States is not composed of lobotomized fools and idiots as is our own legislature here on the island. Although they agreed in principle that the moneys for Puerto Rico be distributed by the Puerto Rican Government, they have placed a very cool condition upon said agreement: The Puerto Rican Government must first present them with a detailed procedure that outlines EXACTLY how the moneys will be processed, including time-frames, to guarantee that the people of Puerto Rico will not be unfairly delayed in receiving this much needed economic stimulus.
Now, anyone who knows what the real relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States is knows that our economies are so intertwined that any economic stimulation package would have its intended result undermined if Puerto Rico is not included. Not only are we a part of the United States’ consumer base, we are a very important part of it indeed! Any economist would be hard-pressed to find just three other four-million-strong fanatically-consumeristic populations anywhere else in the country.
Which means that by receiving this money from the United States Government and spending it as we see fit, (which is, after all, exactly what the United States Government hopes that we will do with it), we will be doing our part as citizens of this great nation to help it get back on its feet in this time of crisis.
All along they have voiced a most fearsome and violent rejection of the United States and all things “United-Statish.” They want all the military bases on the island closed down and the lands returned to the people of Puerto Rico, (Yeah, I’m not going there either...), they want all ties to the United States severed so that “the people of Puerto Rico” can be free to chose who and how they do business with at their own, (ahem), “pleasure.”
Furthermore, they never spare a moment to decry how Puerto Rico's every single woe is due to our economic "dependence" on the United States, that our pride is being systematically squashed by the continuous handouts in dollars that we would not need had we the freedom to seek associations with other countries as we saw fit.
If the independentistas are truly sincere in their sentiments, and not just camera-whoring like their latest icon, (Yeah, I’m talking about that “kayak” idiot!), then they are also against helping the United States to recover from their, (as they see it), self-inflicted disease of decadence; the inevitable outcome of rampant Capitalism. (Actually they are right about that, only that the cause is not Capitalism, but “consumerism”, which is indeed a diseased aberration, but that is not where I’m going with this either...)
If we were to take their long-standing arguments as sincere, then they would be viscerally repelled at the prospect of getting yet another "demeaning" handout from the United States Government, especially one that, (to their way of thinking), amounts to nothing more than a public-relations bribe.
In other words, all TRUE independentistas would want to have absolutely nothing to do with helping the United States to recover from its own “decadence”, or be further insulted with yet another "token" handout and hence would not accept the Economic Stimulus check that they will soon receive.
It's really easy, guys. Just three simple steps:
If you are an independentista—a true, honest and sincere independentista—then that is what you will do. If you do so, then your opinion continues to be valid, within reason, and I will listen and evaluate, before I accept or reject it.
Otherwise, you are a hypocrite. Accept it and shut-up!
After this summer, when I am among you, that is how I will know who is a hypocrite and who is an independentista. First tell me if you sent back the check or if you spent it. Then I will know what I am speaking to and can defer to you appropriately.
Mike heard the voice echoing loud and clearly from deep within his head. What struck him to the core of his soul and froze him instantly to the spot was not the voice itself but the odd perception of it. For it came from nowhere and everywhere, and it most certainly rang out, in spite of the fact that it had never passed through his eardrums. The certainty of that origin made him hold his breath and look around at all the strangers who inhabited this particular street, at this particular hour, wondering if he had completely lost his marbles.
Everyone was doing the same as he. Everyone was frozen in mid-step and looking around at everyone else. Not only in this place but in every place. On the other side of the world, also, people were sitting-up suddenly in bed, and looking at those with them, or if alone, staring blindly into darkness.
The world had come to a sudden and absolute standstill. Children had stopped swinging in playgrounds, lovers had interrupted their passion, workers their labor, and leaders their talk. The entire population of the planet, excepting no one, stood and listened and waited and looked around at those who happened to be nearby.
After a pause the voice continued, startling many into screams or moans of assorted kinds, none of which served to drown out the voice, which rumbled on inside twenty-two billion minds, heedless of the terrible anguish it was inflicting. In time everyone quieted down and listened to the voice, as it delivered its message in a halting, pausing monotone, as if groping for the words within the very minds it impinged..
“YOU ARE...BEING...SCANNED...EACH OF YOU IS...EVALUATED FOR...MORAL...WORTHINESS...THIS...PROCESS WILL BE COMPLETED IN A...SHORT WHILE YOU WILL BE INFORMED WHEN THIS PROCESS HAS ENDED BY A SIMPLE TONE LIKE THIS...”
Twenty-two billion heads rang internally with a single, precise melodic tone.
“WHEN YOU HEAR THAT TONE YOU WILL KNOW THAT THOSE AMONG YOU WITH DISEASED MORALITY WILL CEASE TO EXIST IN EXACTLY...TWO MINUTES...”
Fear existed, but everyone was too shocked and dumbfounded to express it, the collective silence of the world was the loudest gasp of horror in the entire history of human civilization.
“WE ARE NOT CONCERNED WITH YOUR...DEFINITIONS...FOR...RIGHT AND...WRONG THESE THINGS WE HAVE ALREADY RESOLVED AMONG US SINCE BEFORE...YOUR KIND...HAD DEVELOPED...AN EFFICIENT FORM OF...LANGUAGE...NEITHER ARE WE...CONCERNED WITH YOUR...PRIMITIVE...CONCEPT OF...JUSTICE...WE ARE ONLY CONCERNED WITH RIGHT AND WRONG IN ITS PUREST FORM...THAT IS WHAT...COMPELS US TO...INTERFERE AS WE DO WITH YOUR SPECIES...THE PROCESS OF...PURIFICATION WILL BE...HUMANE...AND PAINLESS...THOSE OF YOU...SELECTED FOR...EXTERMINATION WILL HAVE YOUR...MINDS...SHUT-DOWN TO AVOID THE...PERCEPTION OF...DISCOMFORT...YOUR...BODIES WILL THEN BE...INSTANTANEOUSLY...DEHYDRATED...THE...REST OF YOU CAN THEN GO ON WITH EXISTENCE AS YOU SEE FIT...IT IS UNLIKELY THAT WE SHALL EVER MEET AGAIN...”
The tone rang again, and the voice did not speak.
Everyone stood about and looked at each other for a few seconds, unsure of their own sanity. Mike felt his heart beating inside his chest and found breathing had become an exhausting effort. Some people started running and screaming, others were quickly infected with the rapidly spreading hysteria. Mike stood his ground and waited as did many around him. He thought of looking at his watch and counting the seconds, but realized that some of the time had already elapsed, and there would be no point in it. Many people did look at their watches and clocks and computer screens and many of them actually carried on with their business, dismissing the voice as a ridiculous hallucination. The people of Earth reacted each according to their character.
Then the time was up.
It did not spread from a single point as a bomb would do, and as far as anyone could tell, it was truly simultaneous. What Mike saw around him was thousands of human beings suddenly freezing in mid stride and turning a sickly white-grey. Their shapes were preserved for an instant so that even their faces were recognizable, but then they crumbled to the floor, into a pile of ash. Their clothes shriveling about their forms and collapsing to the ground in heaps. The bodies that once inhabited the garments no longer substantial enough to support them.
In an instant, only Mike and some little girl who had been walking her dog two blocks away from where he was standing remained on the street, surrounded by thousands upon thousands of piles of ash and clothes.
A car, venting ashes through an open window, came banging out of an alleyway, crashing against the sides of the buildings and rolling over the sidewalk. It finally collided at about five miles per hour against a garbage dumpster and idled to itself. The noise it made was similar to other noises that sounded from near and far all over the city, all over the Earth. Unattended devices idling down to a final silence.
Mike’s hands began to shake with the realization of what had happened. It was beginning to sink in, but his mind could not yet quite grasp the magnitude of the extermination. His knees gave in and he dropped to the sidewalk, unable to believe it, or that he had been spared. He wanted to cry, but he could not bring the tears to his eyes. The smell of human ashes started to fill the air as the wind picked it up and scattered it everywhere. It would not last longer than the next good rainfall, to be washed away and down the sewers, onto the rivers and into the sea.
“YOUR WORLD HAS BEEN CLEANSED”
“Who ARE you?” Mike shouted suddenly. His voice bounced eerily down the street and against the sides of the empty buildings. The voice did not seem to hear.
“MANY CHILDREN ARE NOW WITHOUT...PARENTS...THOSE THAT DID NOT...EXIST LONG ENOUGH TO LEARN THE MORAL DISEASE FROM THEIR...FAMILIES...AND...PEERS...THEY WILL NEED...CARING UNTIL THEY ARE GROWN...YOU WOULD THINK OF THIS...YOURSELVES...BUT FOR THE...SHOCK YOU HAVE...ENDURED...YOU MAY TAKE A WHILE TO...REALIZE IT...AND IT IS NOT...FAIR THAT THEY SHOULD GO...UN-CARED-FOR...UNTIL YOU DO...SEE TO THEM...AND TO YOUR WORLD...IT IS YOURS...NOW...FOR YOU ARE GOOD”
The voice was gone.
Mike suddenly remembered the little girl he had seen some distance away, and looked up to find her. She was kneeling on the sidewalk in the same spot he had seen her before, hugging her little dog and obviously crying.
Slowly, he got back up on very shaky legs, and started walking towards her.
A series of ridiculously cheerful tones rang suddenly out across the dead city walls, startling the little girl who quickly looked up at Mike as he approached her. Mike froze in the same instant and took a long while to realize that his cellular phone was ringing at this side. His mind leapt up in startled amazement as he recognized the melody which he had programmed it to ring with for only one caller. His heart pounded mightily as he reached for it and flipped open the device and raised it to his ear to listen to the anguished sobs of a female.
He listened to her despair for a long time, unable to speak, dumbfounded by disbelief. Finally, the woman realized the phone had been answered and spoke a single word between sobs and sniffles: “Hello?”
Mike answered, dazed: “Karen?”
“Oh my God! Mikey! Ohh...honey! Oh my God! Mikchael! Oh Michael I love you! I’m so scared! I’m all alone! Everyone is dead and I thought....I thought....Oh! Oh, Michael, come home, PLEASE, please, PLEASE! Please, please....”
“Karen!” He sounded harsher than he wanted to, but he couldn’t stand hearing any more. He took a deep breath and hoped he sounded gentler, “Honey, shhhhh—shhhhhhh! Please, baby, listen to me, I’m ok! I’m ok! You hear me?”
“YES! Yes! Yes, oh Mikey! I’m so scared...”
“Me too baby, listen, I’m going home as fast as I can, ok?”
“Yes! Oh please, Mikey, come home! Come home NOW!”
“Yes, yes, honey, I’m going! Don’t worry about a thing, baby, I’ll be there in ten minutes, ok?”
He had managed to sooth her somewhat, and she sounded more coherent. Mike turned around and saw the little girl hugging her dog. “Honey, Karen?”
“There is a little girl here on the street and she has no one left. I’m bringing her with me, we will have to take care of her now.”
“Of course, honey! What’s her name?”
Mike pulled the phone away from his ear and spoke to the little girl. “What’s your name, honey?”
The little girl stared at him with sad but grateful eyes, her little dog wagged his tail at Mike. “Cindy,” she said at last, “and this is Cookie.”
Mike smiled and spoke to the phone. “She says her name is Cindy, and her little dog is Cookie.”
“Come home, baby! Bring them, and any others you might find on the way, of course.”
“Of course, or course, honey. Bye-now!”
“I love you, sweetheart.”
“I love you too.”
Mike closed the cellular phone and started to slide it back into its holster, then stopped and thought about it and pulled the holster off his belt and tossed it into a pile of ashes.
“Come” he said to the little girl, and offered his hand. The girl got up and took it, pulling her dog by the leash to follow them.
“Are you my daddy now?” She asked.
“I guess so, and we are going to go with mommy.”
“Did God do this?”
Mike thought about it for a while, then said to her, “No, Cindy. But they believed they were doing the right thing. We may not like it, but they are probably right.”
Cindy walked beside him for a while in contemplative silence, then suddenly offered, with remarkable conviction: “I know they are right.”
“Me too.” Mike said, “Me too.”
You know, if a particle enters off-center into a spinning-asymmetrically-generated-hyper-jointed-singularity-pair it may (or may not) emerge at the other side of the spinning-asymmetrically-generated-hyper-jointed-singularity-pair at a point in time prior to the one in which it entered the spinning-asymmetrically-generated-hyper-jointed-singularity-pair, not to mention that it's anti-particle may (or may not) have been left behind at any number of trillions of light-years in distance, then, if you adjust the spin of the anti-particle, the particle would have to reverse it's spin by a proportion exactly inverse of the given and corresponding anti-particle adjustment and simultaneously, but before you actually adjusted the spin. Sooooo....You could, in essence, not only violate the laws of causality but also bypass the speed-of-light-limit and generally mess-up entire eons of weekends for galactic civilizations just about everywhere in existence. (Or not.) Of course, this all gets blown to hell if you suddenly decide to scratch your quantum ego instead of adjusting the particle spin...
Timing is everything, man!
Through the years since the Kongaloid phenomenon, the enigmatic personage of Mafú has been ever present, though not always in the flesh, so to speak. His words always reflect the deeper logic and reasoning of the Kongaloid ideology, and sometimes offer surprising insights into the state of things.
Mafú's "works" are mostly a collage of thoughts and ideas, seemingly disassociated, (an unavoidable outcome of how polydimensional thinking is perceived by "normal" humans), yet often perceived as revelations, by some, or incomprehensible ramblings, by others.
By those who have glimpsed some of what the Kongaloid reality is all about, his words are always of profound and sometimes disturbing import. He may well be the first of what we can only hope will be a long history of Kongaloid philosophers.
Here then, are presented some selected quotations, from the ever expanding text of Mafú's collected expressions.
"A 'racist' is anyone who feels uncomfortable in the presence of certain adjectives."
"'Political Correctness' is the science of euphemisms."
Of course I want to save the world! Don´t you?
"There is only one way to stop people from burning the flag:
Posted by Steven Douglas Huddleston at 12:27 AM|
Edited on: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 7:57 PM
Categories: Kongaloid Archives
Launched 24 FEB 1997 - Last Updated