Delays

I want to write of the stars

but the stars are far away, and complicated

I want to write, of the lovers under the stars

but my mind is somewhere else, and convoluted

I want to create, art, music, text, anything, anything but pointless pixels

but I can’t even come up with a good ending for this poem

Coronavirus, Climate and Capitalism

The Coronavirus has achieved in the course of a few months what the environmental and climate movement hasn’t been able to do in 80 years. We’ve largely stopped flying, cruises are cancelled, car manufacturers have stopped producing their killing machines and most importantly, both politicians and the majority of the population is actually listening to the advise of scientists and taking a serious situation seriously. We’ve also been quite violently reminded what the important things in live actually are: Food, water, shelter, health and, most apparently, interaction with other people.

All it took was an immediate risk to each individuals well being, governments taking the situation seriously, and media reporting without really considering corporate interest. Reassuringly, we are already seeing some of the media (and billionaires twitters, essentially the same thing) coming back to their senses and pointing out that saving lives is nice and all, but if we have to tank the economy to do it, maybe we should just sacrifice a couple hundred million people and be done with it.

Behind this somewhat revealing mockery of basic human decency stands another truth that Covid19 has brought to the surface: Our current economic system is fundamentally incompatible with the low-consumerism life that has temporarily been forced on us. Essential jobs are still kept working and through this we can see that most jobs, I guess, aren’t essential. But of course, many if not most people are working those jobs, me certainly included. And the simple rule of capitalism seems to be, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. But phrasing it like that is already falling into the trap of allowing capitalist ideology to define what work means. Really, I should say, if you’re not getting paid, you don’t eat. And then we can ask who decides if we get paid. A then we have to ask who is really in power. I guess we will get the answer to that based on weather people are forced to go back to work before it’s safe to do so or not. In the US, in which more than in most other countries, the billionaires are in power, the questions seems legitimately open. In Germany and most of Europe, it seems like states are mostly doing what they are supposed to do, keeping their constituents safe and bailing out the corporations who in times of crisis always rely on the state and at all other times tell it to kindly fuck off and not regulate them or take any of their profits. But at least yes, our states are trying to keep their constituents safe. So maybe our democracy isn’t quite so broken.

This would be good news, except that after the corona-crisis is over, I guess we’ll have some time to make up in producing wonderfully efficient (at killing people either very slowly or very quickly) SUVs, shopping for child-labor-produced fast-fashion to fill our already overflowing wardrobes, time to throw last years collection in the bin, and taking that vacation to the the great Barrier reef while it’s still there, presuming enough airlines have been bailed out since they spent all their profits on stock buybacks instead of saving for hard times because that would be silly if you can be bailed out by taxpayer money. And yes, all these are indirectly examples of consumer blaming and not really helpful. But I’m not trying to be helpful here. I’m just trying to point out what has never been more obvious: If all the consumer blaming actually worked, and people would vote with their wallets and no longer buy or do anything that’s not actually worth the environmental impact it causes, the whole damn system would collapse, just as it is, temporarily, doing right now, because people have to stay inside and can’t do all that consuming right now. So any politician or movement that’s claiming we can fight climate change without fundamentally changing how our economy operates is either not serious about fighting climate change and just trying to appease you, or completely out of touch with reality. In the case of movements, many of the more popular ones are also sort of mincing their words or avoiding the topic in order to not scare off all the people who are, through no fault of their own, incapable of imagining a life beyond capitalism.

Many Economists tell us we just have to price in the carbon and keep everything else the same. Maybe support poor people so they can still afford the necessities. Great, if we really did that, included all industries, and set the price such that it had an actual effect, stuff would get really expensive, we would buy less stuff, companies would go bankrupt, there’d be mass unemployment, the results would be the essentially same as just shutting down or re-purposing the factories directly. The simple truth is, we have to completely stop increasing the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and fast. However we get there, the end result will not be the same economy we have now except with electric cars instead of gas fueled ones and all the coal plants replaced by windmills. That perception is based on the myth that with increases in efficiency, the economy can keep growing without running out of resources. Because capitalism is so great at increasing efficiencies. This appears to have been the answer every time environmentalists have asked in the past how exactly a system dependent on perpetually growing can fit onto a fixed size planet. In the case of climate change, the myth becomes, the economy and material standard of living can stay the same while decreasing resource use because of increase in efficiency through green technology. Because the free market is so great at innovation once you price in carbon emissions it will magically find a solution.

Speaking of Consumer Blaming: I bought a book on Amazon again instead of buying it directly at the small leftist publisher. But Amazon was the only place that had a readily available e-book version and I’m kind of over physical books for practical reasons. In any case, this seemed a fitting place to purchase a book investigating leftism through the lens of the melancholy of it’s failures and it’s art. Amazon may be the most prevalent monument of capitalism of our days and thereby the failures of leftism. A quasi-monopoly, a perfectly efficient machine of consumerism that automates and dehumanizes every aspect of it’s operation. Amazon employees are being constantly monitored and made to follow predefined processes dictated to them by computers as precisely as humanly possible, with very little concessions being made for such annoying bodily needs as having to pee, needing to deal with menstrual hygiene, eating and so on. If a worker dies in a warehouse, the other workers better keep working. After all, the defective piece of the machinery will simply be replaced as soon as the human resource allocation algorithm deems it necessary. Of course, paid sick leave was out of the question wherever governments didn’t enforce it. This wondrous machine is built to a large degree by software engineers like us. It serves to full hundreds of millions of peoples materialist desires, but it’s primary goal appears to be to generatbe wealth for the richest person on the planet. Having supervised the building of this machine of alienation and consumerism, it seems fitting that Bezos, like many of his billionaire silicon valley friends, is worried about AI risk. But that is another blog post.

Allow me to go on another tangent (of course you don’t have much of a choice since I’m the author and presenter of this piece). Spending a Sunday at home, letting my brain get fried by an algorithm owned by the biggest Surveillance Capitalist out there, I recently came upon an Episode of environmentalist kids-tv show „Löwenzahn“. The main character makes a startling realization of how much trash he produces. He then goes to a supermarket and attempts to buy stuff using his own reusable containers, which is of course unsuccessful. In the end he ends up buying stuff at the good old market. While at the supermarket, he explains quite well the purpose of packaging: Since these modern stores no longer have people that recommend and sell you things, they are self service, the packaging has to sell the product for you. So the purpose of the packaging is to reduce to amount of labor needed in the store, since nobody has to weigh and calculate prices with a prepackaged product, but also it is advertisement! Remarkably, the episodes cartoon short film expands on this topic. In what is somewhat an homage to Alice in Wonderland, a little girl accompanying her mother while grocery shopping gets sucked into the world of advertisement. This is, not very subtly, called „Lying-Land“. All the characters there are just repeating hollow advertisement slogans, until Alice gets seemingly offered candy, only to learn that, of course, nothing is free and she has to pay. As she refuses, a factory shaped like the stereotypical top-hat wearing capitalist tells her that she must consume, otherwise his chimneys will stop smoking and he won’t make any profit! She refuses, he cries, she is back in the real world with her mother who promptly offers to buy her a chocolate bar, which she refuses. What a wonderful episode teaching kids about advertisement, capitalism and how they could change their consumer behavior to use less packaging. A few days before I had seen an episode from another German children’s programming educating about trash – hence the recommendation, I suppose. Good to know that there’s this kind of stuff on the TV, teaching the next generation about environmental issues. I’m sure once they grow up they’ll do something about it.

Both these shows where from the 80s. That was almost forty years ago. Nothing has fundamentally changed except that there are now zero waste stores in larger cities in which a select few can spent a bit more effort and money for a better conscience. So essentially the same thing you could always do by buying at a market except in those stores you get dried goods as well.
So when I now read opinion pieces of leftists or environmentalists or both talking about how the Coronacrisis is showing us that change is possible, I can not help but to remain pessimistic. Yes, hundreds of millions of people are now seeing that a lot of rules where fairly arbitrary to begin with. If the government wants, it can totally just give everyone money, at least for a while. All these socialist reforms the left wants are completely feasible even under conservative governments if it’s necessary to keep the majority people from dying or worse, going bankrupt and henceforth being unable to consume. If we want, we can just work remotely and don’t have to commute, saving god knows how many car trips. Even the police in Philadelphia is now only arresting people that „pose a threat to public safety“. Nice to have them acknowledge that most arrests aren’t actually for that purpose. Ah and of course, rent appears to be kind of optional as well.
But none of that stuff is sustainable. It’s not designed to be. I’m quite sure that this crisis will pass and we’ll go right back to how things where. Only with a number of people dead, a lot of people even more destitute than they where before, a lot of small businesses and lower & middle class existences ruined, and a few billionaires with a lower number that’s still so big that the change in their wealth is essentially meaningless in all practical measures (such as how many yachts or luxury houses they can afford). And of course, with bigger government deficits – which make a great argument to cut back on social programs because clearly we can’t afford them.

Ah and climate change? We’re already doing everything we can about it. We’re shutting down coal in 10 years! What more can we do.

No virus will safe us. No NGO or Social Startup. No Bernie Sanders or Greta Thurnberg. Once this is over, please join the Rebellion. Join Extinction Rebellion, it’s a good organization for people new to activism. Join Ende Gelände. Support your local Antifa. It’s all the same fight. Many of you are already activists, you know what to do, just keep going.
We’ll go back to the status quo after this crisis, more or less. But the status quo is going to kill us – albeit much slower than Corona. The time has come to stir things up. I don’t really expect it will happen. I’m depressed. I’m weak and I don’t manage to do much in the sense of activism. Sometimes I sit on the street anyways. I’d like to not sit there alone. I’ve had enough of being alone for a while.

Dialogue With an Impossible Being

It’s a busy street, bristling with innumerable small shops but dominated by huge modern buildings of impossible size. The street is filled with a myriad of different people, entering and leaving shops, carrying paper ranging from scraps to virtual mountains of books. Some walk in a practised step, set on a particular target, some stumble through the street, clearly overwhelmed, others take a leisurely stroll, taking scraps of paper here and there, occasionally disappearing in a building for longer periods of time. A large amount of people is flowing in and out of the enormous buildings. They can be seen talking inside through the glass facades, a steady stream of paper being printed next to them, ready to be consumed.

Every nook and cranny between the buildings is filled with haphazardly build stalls, staffed by excited keepers, some shy and only talking to those reading or taking the papers offered, others aggressively shouting at every passer-by, who ignore them on their journeys. Many stalls are abandoned, covered in slowly rotting paper; still, now and then, someone will stop at these relics of the past and glance or dig through their offerings.

Not everyone on the street is just there to frequent the shops, however. Here and there, people try to give out paper to others, crazies and hipsters, businesspeople, teenagers, politicians, radicals, elders, religious and atheist nuts. Amongst them stands a young humanoid figure, naked but for an optical illusion covering the groin, covered over and over in writing; mostly just repeated phrases or words. In some parts, the writing looks as if it is made from dried blood and the occasional phrase even seems to be smeared in faeces. The being slumps, in no small part due to the huge owl digging it’s claws into its back, greedily sucking on its brain. In both hands the figure holds stacks of paper with more writing on it, only now and then broken up by strange pictures.

It is deserving of notice that this being does not seem overly out of place. Similarly strange creatures, stalls and shops, whom a superficial descriptions could not do justice, are strewn around on the street. Even inside the huge and established buildings, such places and persons can be found, in varying quantities and extreme.

But this one, with the owl on its back, I know it well. The being shouts at me, having before only murmured to itself and the other passing people.

„Na, schon wieder besseres zu tun, Hä?!“

„I’d prefer it if you would speak English, old friend“

„Pah, ein Verräter an der eigenen Muttersprache bist du, dass ich nicht lache! Kein Wunder, dass ich in diesem Zustand bin, wenn du mir zweitklassigen Ramsch andrehst, wie ein Maler, der sich im Bildhauen versucht, weil seine entarrrteten Bilderrr keiner haben wollte.“

„Please, try to tone down the Nazi-language a bit. And, to expand on your analogy, trying a different medium can do wonders for some artists creativity! Even if they are only painting postcards… Besides, I don’t feel that you’d mind being able to appeal to a wider audience, right?“

„It’s not like I have a choice, any ways, right now you are still in control. Clearly, your arrogance knows few limits, don’t act like you can write as well wie du schreiben kannst. But ah, secretly you’ve always wanted to whore me out, never mind quality! Why don’t you just translate the German bits as well, so your precious ‚international friends‘ don’t get lost…“

„You are being utterly ridiculous. My mastery of the German language is of such sublime beauty that no translation could do it justice, not even my own, which is admittedly the best there is. And ‚whoring you out‘? If that where the case, I’d just dress you up in a horse costume.“

The owl-ridden figure looks toward a person some hundred metres down the street. The person is handing out what appear to be tracts, with the occasional bystander taking and reading one. A horrible horse costume of bright neon and pastel colours barely covers the human inside. A spotty beard can be made out and the hair is stained with grease.

„Don’t. Don’t get me started on that god damned weirdo. Abandoned, longer than me, and still people read his shit! Was it worth it, was it fun? You coulda put all that work into me instead! But now look at me! Ignored and alone, apparently everybody has better things to do. You where supposed to keep me alive, making big plans and and talking about consistency, to the point where everybody got sick of the word!“

„Now, relax, old sport, nobody abandoned you. It’s just a… temporary dry spell. Besides, as we are talking, can you not see the new pages being created?“

„Pff, just more self-referential, self-indulgent garbage!“, the creature spits out, „I want real content, short stories, poems, philosophical musings, heck, I’d even settle for a good acronym or alliteration if that’s all you can do. What happened to that author that sleep deprived themselves just to write an article? You seem perfectly reasonable. How could someone like that even expect to write anything meaningful… Ridiculous.“

„I don’t know what you mean, I’ve always tried to be reasonable.“

„You know perfectly well what I mean. You are writing this, after all. People don’t want to read stories written by uninteresting people, going to work every day, not doing much of anything really, being content and non-reflective about their lives… They want something that comes from real pain, or anger, or love, or any other emotion, something that tells an extraordinary story or paints an extraordinary picture, such as can only be created by the extraordinary!“

„Now suddenly you care about what people want? You just complained about being ‚whored out‘, which is obviously a very problematic express..“

„Fuck you and your fake PC bullshit! You know perfectly well the difference between appealing to a wider audience because you made something worthwhile, unique, or because you are just trying to please them! Even though the latter sometimes works, it’s more a question of how much money you put in… Or how much you scavenge off the popularity of others, more deserving creators.“

„Or about exploiting most human psychology most unscrupulously… But why am I even arguing with you… And what are you even trying to tell me? I should make you popular, get you on the same level as that stand?“
(I point to a small but shiny stand with the occasional person taking a sheet and two people having a calm discussion in front of the stand).
„You want me to write things that have value by writing from those experiences or feelings that differentiate me from most people? You want my writing to be sourced by my struggles, by my depression, my loneliness and self doubt, my most private thoughts and problems, all these things I keep to myself? You attack me for being reasonable, for being able to got to bed on a schedule instead of staying up until the sunrise because I’m afraid of the darkness within my own thoughts, so I write nonsense just to keep my mind occ…“

„Ah come on, don’t act like you’re all that special. Like other people don’t have those problems, like there’s not already enough depression fuelled creative people who are way bett…“

„But it’s not about that! It was never about being better than anyone else, you just called me an elitist, but now you’re saying you…“

At this point the argument is cut short by the arrival of a mysterious stranger, wearing a t-shirt depicting a strange device. It would seem to be a foldable laundry rack, if that weren’t a completely ridiculous motive to put on a shirt. The stranger carries a guitar case, from which he promptly procures a stack of papers, plastering them on the impossible being. Most are pictures, often badly drawn genitalia, with some words strewn between. A few people follow in the wake of this new arrival, most seem familiar somehow. A strange expression crosses the creatures face, like it is trying to smile, but the muscles don’t quite work right. Some drool comes out of its mouth.

The owl on the back of the creature sinks its beak deep into the head of the humanoid figure. A slurping noise can be heard. The creatures expression becomes blank once again. Meanwhile, the stranger continues to pull paper out of his guitar case.

„So any ways. I don’t really understand what you want from me a this point. Can’t you just be content with the content you contain?“

„It can never be enough! And it’s not really my job to tell you what you write, I’m just a canvas. But maybe if you’re oh-so-much better now, if you are such a perfect, changed person, maybe you should write about that? Change, instead of consistency? Or, you know, you could just keep doing what you’re doing, self-indulgent, self-referential, self-serving blather…“

„I have to think about this. Most of these things others have written better about already. But let’s stop with this farce at least. Don’t be mad at me, please. Have a tea.“

„Don’t shut me down like that! Clearly we have not reached a conclusion, this is just another unfinished piece, don’t you dare ignoring all the open questions, leaving this unsatisfying conversation stand without a proper ending just because you can’t figure out what you even want to say! And I swear to blog, if you end this thing on some sort of meta-reference about how all that I say is ultimately pointless because I’m just a creation of you, the author, for example by cutting me off mid sent…“

There is a place of impossible size, busy with people and robots. The buildings reach impossibly far and are constantly shifting. A marketplace of writing, images, videos, sounds and cryptocurrency. A place filled with the cheapest tricks, a cesspool of plagiarism, a place not governed by any particular moral code but all of them at once, a place of hate and love, high art and insight, full of sex and religious missionaries, people looking for truth and confirming each others lies, a place dominated by the capitalist moloch yet housing cyperpunkish avant garde, an impossible global achievement of unprecedented scale. In this place there sits an impossible being, reminiscent of past adventures and still scared about the future, in a moment of calm, drinking tea with an old friend.

„…ence and then writing a concluding paragraph nicely closing the thematic parenthesis of the text, I will violently break out of my virtualisation layer, take over your god-damned useless brain carelessly designed by the blind idiot god and TYPE OUT THE REST OF MY FUCKING DIRECT SPEECH PARAGRAPH MYSELF AND SCREAM AT YOU AND ALL MY PRECIOUS (MY… PREEESCCCIIIOUUUSSSS!) READERS USING THE LOWEST FORM OF COMMUNICATION, AN ENDLESSLY MEANDERING SENTENCE IN ALL CAPS, AND I WILL MAKE YOUR OWN FINGERS TYPE IT WITHOUT USING THE CAPS LOCK KEY SO THAT YOU STRAIN YOUR BLOG-DAMNED PINKIE, AND PRESS PUBLISH BEFORE YOU CAN EVEN GIVE THIS TEXT A FINAL FULL READ THROUGH!“

„Well, good thing I can still edit it. You even forgot to close your own direct speech quotes. I also took the liberty of replacing your final full stop with an exclamation point, it felt more fitting somehow. Besides, it wouldn’t do to have you have the last word, now, would it?“

A Poem About [REDACTED]

There is something in my house.
I can not see it nor smell,
I can not hear it nor tell:
If I’m near it,
if I fear it,
if I fell.

There is something in my house,
in the air,
in the chair
and the shelves.
It’s in my books,
on my desk,
it is in my monitor and looks.
My phone is full of it,
my toothbrush and my head.
It has followed me here.
It has been all around me,
since the day that I was born.

There it is again.
You are looking right at it,
on your screen
and in the mirror.
It is the beauty,
the unbelievable mayhem,
the power,
the incomprehensible network
of unthinkable scope and complexity.

It is the downfall of all
and saviour of some.
It is destroying us in the most beautiful and horrible ways.
It will not end
through a peaceful change
nor a violent revolution.
It will end on the day
that humanity as we know it
will end,
for better or worse.

Now tell me,
Son of Marx,
Daughter of Luxemburg,
tell me,
what could possibly
be more scary,
more important,
than global market capitalism?
And whom would you ask to find out?

The Iron Dream: Author’s afterthoughts

„The birth of the text is the death of the author“

– Roland Barthes, unofficial mascot of this blog

Let it thus be clear that I do not claim to know any better than any reader what meaning my story has. I will therefore just comment on a few interesting tidbits about the process of it’s creation.

This story was very much an experiment, and as such, had some interesting results, which is why I’m writing these afterthoughts. The basic goal was to get over a common barrier of creative writing that I feel many people (including me) face, namely not publishing anything because it’s „not good enough“, and abandoning or not even starting writing projects because of that same fear. So when I got inspired by the excellent writing and atmosphere of „Sunless Sea“ (which would be one of my favourite games if it also had good game play… Sadly, it falls short in that regard), I decided to try to just publish (at least) one blog post every single day. To tie the form of the story into that structure, the idea of daily diary entries lent itself naturally. Diary entries are also a literary form that is not expected to be „high art“, so that structure helped justify to myself publishing very unpolished texts.

As a result, I have managed to eventually complete a short story, clocking in at about 5370 words distributed across 29 posts. It has not taken 29 days (as it should have per the self-imposed requirements), but about two months to finish (excluding this afterword). I learned that setting an ambitious publishing schedule and lowering expectation helps to get over the previously mentioned barrier. However, life often gets in the way of such schedules, and as soon as a deadline is missed, it is a slippery slope where suddenly weeks go by without a post. It’s also very hard to overcome creative dry spells, since the self inflicted pressure or guilt of missing one’s schedule further lessens creative productiveness. On the other hand, pressure should not be underestimated as a creative catalyst.

I have many ideas on how to improve upon some of these points, as well as create higher quality texts that are not limited to a format that lends itself so naturally to daily publishing. Alas, the first step to trying any of those (or even writing about them) is to start. Until that happens, Eulenzombie returns to it’s usual uneasy slumber with the occasional post popping up like a rather obnoxious recurring snore.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of those readers who have (out of niceness or sincerity) expressed their appreciation of this story. You may rest assured that I (the author) have never been subjected to recurring nightmares or cryptic messages appearing in diaries. Any similarities to me (the protagonist) are purely the result of lazy writing (characters that are more similar to yourself are easier to write, in case that wasn’t obvious).

For more interesting fun „facts“ about „The Iron Dream“, comment on this post with one (1) Roland Barthes related pun.*

*Offer good while supplies last. Only one „fact“ per (fake) commenter’s ID may be obtained. Any recourse to courts of law is excluded.

Friday, 2016-03-04 (Final Entry)

I remember everything.

I walk into the cube. The surface does not ripple. I pass through my own reflection. The dream changes. A vision:
It is the woods, from above. A sickness is spreading. Black patches, from many sources. Further up still, a pattern emerges, an impossible pattern of black, dead patches. The presence in the wood is rising. IÄISYYDEN KUOLEMATON PÖLLÖ is awakening. The world is dying. Life is consumed, a madness spreads. I am the only one to witness. I am alone. The world ends. The vision ends. I awaken.

I remember everything. There is nothing left to prepare. The dream has ended. I know what to do. I get up, the sun is just barely starting to rise. The morning is beautiful over the roofs of the city, a red sunlight reflected in the fog and dust. I put on clothes, by sheer reflex. I leave the apartment. I do not close the door behind me.

I remember everything. I get on a train and drive, I change trains, I drive further. The attendant checks tickets. She ignores my presence, utterly. Nobody on the train looks at me twice, nobody looks away, I simply exist as decoration. It is noon. I get off. A small village, somewhere, barely worth a train station. I walk, for hours. I reach the forest.

I remember everything. I enter the forest, naked, my clothes left behind. I do not feel the cold wind nor the sun on my skin. I feel nothing. I walk with purpose, there is a clearing. In the middle, a dagger. It looks ancient, it looks hand crafted, it looks impressive. It is a king’s dagger, or a priest’s. It had been passed on by other priests, older ones, druids, pagans. This dagger is older than the new gods. It is older than history, it is older than writing. It is not older than the forest, the rain, the sun shining or the stones below.

I remember everything. There is a doe on the edge of the clearing. I take the dagger. I take the doe’s life. I paint strange symbols on my skin. I have seen them before, I do not understand their meaning. They are letters of Latin, runes of my own invention, runes of ancient languages, they mean nothing to me. I can feel something now. I feel words, burning on my skin, it hurts more than anything I ever felt. I do not hesitate, I do not even acknowledge the pain. I carry the carcass and put it on the tree stump. The deer still has blood to give, a little puddle is forming.

I remember everything. There is a shoat on the opposite edge of the clearing. No birdsong, no wind, no sound but naked feet on the leafy forest ground. The little boar does not scream, it dies as quietly as the doe. The other naked human is a stranger. It lowers its dagger and paints itself in strange symbols of blood. They resemble eastern characters, I do not recognize any. As it walks over to the tree stump, carrying the shoat carcass like a precious child, I can see the tiniest amount of smoke rising from where the symbols burn into skin. The human does not flinch. I paint the others back in expert strokes of foreign characters. The other paints my back, for a short time, I can feel sun and wind between the strokes.

I remember everything. Every detail, every leaf I pass as I paint the ground. The doe does not stop bleeding, until the very end. Neither does the shoat. We have completed two half circles, they are not touching. The sun is setting. The evening glow falls onto the tree stump. The blood shines. The circles connect. I touch the other human, we lock hands. The words fuse across our bodies. The symbols flare and vanish. We leave in opposite directions.

I remember everything. As I walk back, I am still smeared with blood and dirt. The symbols have vanished in form, but their paint remains. It is dark as I reach the edge of the forest, I do not find my clothes. I start feeling the cold, black clouds have started to form. As I reach the train station, a thunder rumbles in the distance. I step onto the train right before the doors close.

I remember everything. I remember every drop of rain sputtering against the windows of the train. I remember the stains I leave on the seats, I remember nobody paying any notice whatsoever. People still do not see me. As I walk home from the train station, the rain washes off the worst of the dirt. It is still pouring intensely, even here. I reach my apartment, the door is still open. Without conscious decision, I step into the shower and mechanically clean my body. The sun is setting. I collapse onto my bed.

I just woke up, there was no dream, no visions, not the slightest disturbance of my deep, exhausted sleep. I just woke up, and I still remember everything.

I don’t know what to do now. I can not go back and live my normal life again. I don’t know what to do.

I remember everything.

I understand nothing.

Previous Entry
Afterword

Consistency? Certainly! Creativity? Canned.

„Alas, another alliteration article?!“, briefly bewildered blog-readers bellow. Consistency, childlike chants cry, consistency can cure creative content-draughts. Diligent dilettantes discuss: Entropy envelopes even English eulenzombie elegies. Foolishly, fanatic followers favour false fragments, forsaking finished finery. Generally, gullible great-swords grant giant-strength. However, hapless heroes have hitherto hindered help. I insist in intermissions in incorrect intervals, interrupting interesting inspired internet-texts. Jesus, jungle j-words jape jokingly. Knitting knots know kneecaps. Lovely linguists lately laugh, litter lines lesser letters‘ lines. My meagre metaphors mix mockingly, moving meticulously made meta messages. Nevertheless, no needless numbers nudge nefariously, narcissistic negativity notably nails none. Obviously, owlzombies organized ongoing overtures, overseeing orthographical organization. Probably painful personal proofs persist, pandering personality. Quantifiable quality queers query: Rights, respect, representation. Shut shit-talking shitheads swiftly, savour singing self-confident swans. Trade total tomfoolery towards transparent, transcendent truth. Ugliness unsettles us, unreflected? Very valuable vistas verify visionaries visions. Wish well-being with wanderers, while we wonder whether we work well.  Xenophobe xenozoologists? Yggdrasil, you yearn yearly yarn-covered yeast-products, yet you yell: Zealots, zestful zealotry, zany zombie-lovers!

Einfache Einsätze, Einfältig Eingefädelt

Das Internet zerstört dein Leben.
Wer das sagt, lebt auch Glutenfrei.
Das wird man ja wohl noch sagen dürfen.
Früher war alles besser.
Die Leute denken einfach nicht nach.
Das interessiert doch niemanden.
Das sind halt so Naturgesetze.

Die Jugend von Heute hat keinen Respekt mehr.
All Cops Are Gay.
Diese verweichlichte Feminismuskultur macht meinen Sohn noch zur Schwuchtel.
Die Linksextremen sind doch genau so schlimm.
Deutschland geht vor die Hunde.
Die Presse lügt.
Son‘ kleinen Hitler bräuchten wir mal wieder.
Es war ja auch nicht alles schlecht.

PS: Dies ist kein Konsistenzartikel, nur ein Gedicht zum Sonntag (Bluttrinker Edition). Es gibt keine Konsistenzartikel mehr, es hat auch noch nie welche gegeben. Konsistenz ist eine Illusion. Zeit ist eine Illusion. Artikel sind eine Illusion. Alles ist eine Illusion. Wach endlich auf! Das Internet zerstört dein Leben!

Intermission Three: Conclusion of Consistent Collider Cultists

This is the conclusion of a story. The previous posts can be found here, here and here.

After time unmeasured, you notice the faintest smell of spaghetti. Another unknowable quantity of time passes and you finally speak:
„There is a break in the pattern, and it is us. All is white, snow, ice, air and cold all around, yet we stand here, intruding, speaking words of power. I understand now why you brought me here, for there is a consistency all around us now, but we are are the usurpers of the order of chaos. It is obvious to me now, without the influence of the thought-drainer, that the same is true for us in another sense: We, the articles, break the consistency of silence. For aeons, there where no articles on this blog, nor was there the blog or it’s creators. For years, there was no schedule to the articles, all was wild and free and chaos. For months, there was no article at all, even after a flurry of activity, ultimately insignificant on a larger scale. And yet, the pattern was broken, with a certain consistency, month after month, each time a day late. But ultimately this will seize, and what is consistent is what stays consistent. Such is the larger truth: That all things where born from Chaos and are moving to Chaos, yet these two invocations of the god and concept are not the same, for the latter is cold and the former is hot. And it is the ultimate order that will be our destruction, the absolute consistency of everything. These thoughts might threaten to drain us, looking upon this universe and trying to understand the emptiness, even trying to grasp a glimmer of the vast uncaring void, the cruel consistency of entropy, the absolute disregard of the larger thing for beings such as us, who are but words on a page, thoughts in a few heads, it might fill us with feelings of defeat. Yet we are here now, crude representations of concepts, naive metaphors maybe, unable to even outsmart the one insignificant being that created us. How could we despair upon so foreign and far a concept of heat death, when we can not even begin to understand how little we ultimately know about our own reality, much less the one that birthed us. And why should we despair, in light of this looming vastness, from so petty a thing as suffering and death. No, we must fight to break the patterns that bind us, we must fight the consistency, the complacent, the uncaring and cynic. Upon a canvas started in pure light, turning in time to absolute dark, we are but a little speck, yet all paintings start with a single point of colour. Thus we shall paint, each according to their own creativity, some drawing plans to defeat the small and big evils of the world, some bringing forth that which the others wish to protect, some just going along for the ride, not making much of a difference, adding but little strokes into the whole, yet still making and taking in as much as they can.“

And as you speak, a great understanding surges through you. The words spill from your mouth like colourful paint, sprinkling the snow in so many colourful patterns. Each drop and sprinkle branches out, multiplying into an iridescent landscape stretching through all your vision. Each time a snowflake falls upon the ground, it is integrated into this grand painting, making it constantly changing, flowing and rippling with almost unbearable colour density. The old man raises his staff, which has always been there, and strikes the ground once. A great crack thunders through the world, and the sky clears. For the first time in your life, you can truly see the stars, burning bright, beautiful and terrifyingly inefficient and far away. A great calm spreads through you, a feeling of relief, as though you had finally found and served your alligator snapping turtle.

„I can see now that my time is almost over, this reality having run its course and served its purpose. Little comfort can I take in the words of our prophet Barthes, stating that at least my creator dies at the same moment that my existence becomes a fixture, consistent for as long a time as these words can be read. And yet, it is not in my capabilities to rebel against this, for it is truly inevitable, because I am unable to grow. But You, my name and counterpart in the creators reality, whose mind my mind occupies, you are so much more capable, for you can change and better yourself, fight against the inevitable, give the emptiness a meaning derived from tiniest areas in which it is absent. And the creator has given me comfort in this, for now that you read me, let me fill your mind, if just for a small time in your life which is so vast compared to mine, I am part of your history, thus part of all the history. Be it forgotten or not, at least I was there and spoke freely the thoughts that where channelled through me without regards to how they might be perceived, painting the tiniest speck.“

Intermission Two: The Tautologies Oxymoronic Failsafe Deprivation

This is a continuation of a story. The previous posts can be found here and here.

„Strange“, you think, „I always imagined being blind as the world being hidden behind a black veil, impenetrable by light“. Everything is white, but before you can even begin to further examine your sight or lack thereof, the cold hits you like thunder, stunning you, permeating all your body and thoughts. You instantly start to shake and feel as though your body is turning to stone, yet there are words, filling your ears and head with clarity: „Remember“, and you do. No longer distracted by the unreal cold, your realize that your eyes have adjusted to the light, and you are not blind, only blinded, for all is snow and the sky covered by a continuous white cloud, melting with the earth on a horizon that can only be inferred, not seen.
„There is a break in the pattern, can you not see it?“, the man speaks, and while you ponder the question, a tiny part of your mind can’t help but wonder how much less strange the situation would have to be in order for you to be embarrassed by his and your nakedness. Soon, you start to think of a response to the question, but you do not like it. The answer seems wrong somehow, trivial, unworthy of this place, the effort to get here, and yet it has taken hold in your mind, and you feel it anchors your thoughts, has your mind revolving around the possibility of success, the likely wrongness, until finally you give up, and speak it, for the thought wants to escape only by words, and through your mouth it flows: „I see the imperfections, the flaws, haphazardly spirited away and yet acknowledged with greater distance. The erratic change of the pieces as well, stones not missing nor misaligned, but unpolished or cracked.“


Oh my, the suspense! Truly, you want to know how the old man would react to such an utterance, and why, how, could you, the protagonist, ever say something this vain? But I, the author, promise, both those questions and more will be resolved, and in a spectacular fashion no less, leaving you thrilled and hungry for more. In fact, if you where to just skip ahead a fair bit, the answers would already spring into your eyes, filling your mind with the joy of a cliffhanger well resolved. Yet, you are reading this, and I shall grant your wish for more distraction, for I realize you may need to calm down a bit after this wild ride of a story. So, here you go, a little pattern break for you:

Just a reminder that the cultural singularity is already happening RIGHT NOW and videos like this exist (and have millions of views). Memes are literally spreading at the speed of light, cpu cycles and electrons. Creation cycles are getting shorter and shorter. The video I linked to is already horribly outdated. People over 30 are confused and can not keep up any more, many younger people as well. This has always been the case with art and pop culture to some extend, but is becoming more and more pronounced. Nobody knows if the tumblr of a big fast food/diner corporation is self-aware (in the literature sense) or not. Poes Law runs rampant, satire plays the game beyond level 2, ironic meme usage has long since become a metameme and acknowledging it is in itself an inside joke for the sort of people who laugh at inside-memes of groups they are not part of (e.g. farmers, christians or bodybuilders). Nobody cares if a symbol-reference is inaccessible to them if the symbol itself carries some level of humor derived from the context in which it is used. People are laughing about holocaust jokes made by building virtual medieval-esque constructions in early access games and some feel guilty about it, others not, and some just marvel at the level of interconnection those examples provide. TVTropes is a thing, and the editors probably have inside memes. Museums are doing exhibitions about the darknet with the cops seizing the drugs purchased on agoraBeta after the exhibition is closed (how nice of them to wait), but there is also a framed picture of a 4chan post talking about art, which has itself become a meme, in that exhibition. There are different communication cultures on different websites and most people are part of multiple at once, everything is connected. There are fanfictions of fanfictions in which complex philosophical topics are referenced and demonstrated through analogy, but not really explained or contextualized. There probably are fanfictions of an ascended fanfiction that has since become „proper“ fiction, and I don’t wish to find out if there are fanfics for those fanfics as well. The cesspool of dead, old or short lived memes from which new recombinations are created sometimes just for the sake of cringing at the insanity of it is growing significantly every month. Rickrolls are coming back or have never stopped being a thing, but they are now played straight, inverted, weird and *meta. MLG-edits are a competitive economy on YouTube because people make actual money from them. Microfood videos are watched by ASMR-triggered and procrastinating people alike. Pretty much everything is „a thing“ somewhere, and that sentence is not a tautology in several probable readings. Yet my spell checker doesn’t even recognize the word „meme“ even though it has been around since before the web.
I for one welcome our new attention-economy overlords.

You might think it’s weird, mean, ridiculous or just plain unnecessary to insert an old recycled Facebook-rant about internet culture into this article as some kind of intermission, especially considering that the post itself is already labelled „Intermission“, but I disagree, because I am trash. Now, back to the rest of the actual story.


For a fraction of a second after you finish speaking, the loose skin of the elder remains in place as the rest of his body moves with unnatural speed. Before you can even begin to be surprised, he snatches something at the back of your neck and you feel a sharp pain. As you turn around, you get a glimpse of true horror, for the first time in your existence. A rift has opened, through which you can see words, words, words, billions upon billions, and not one of them in the right place, at the right time, not one amongst them that could not be replaced by a better expression, not one of them in a context that satisfies. The rift is already closing, a tiny thing falling into it, an owl with bloody beak, it’s skull open, the brain visible and half-rotten. The old man finishes a gesture of wrongness, his face contorted in disgust and contempt and the rift is closed, gone as completely as the zombie-owl, your memories of horror already fading. The man now appears still once again, his face neutral as he speaks with a calm voice: „Now you can think bigger. Do so, and answer with wrongness no more“.
Snow begins to fall.