Mugwumps In Mukluks

2002

We sit on the fence, we blow with the wind...

At first there doesn't seem to be much, and there isn't: only the seductive allure of the pre-fabricated climax luring you to identify with the sleazy salesman's nonsensical pitch, while your conscience rants its crucial warnings fruitlessly. Too little, too late. The tension builds ominously, and what was once nothing now becomes the horrific consequences of the product (power?) you have purchased. Political and socio-economical control systems arise where this "power" concentrates, a power that ultimately dehumanizes everyone who comes in contact with it. Kennedy's Pax Americana, alive and in living color, complete with multiple mass bombings, millions of starving refugees, defoliated forests and jungles, experimental genetic manipulations and mutations, executions, genocides, plagues... Death. Death. Death. The President of the United States points his finger accusingly at you, threatening: "Secret evidence!"

You accept. You believe. You use your innate adaptability to conform to the ever-tightening restrictions on your personal liberty. Fear is a powerful motivator. You settle down to a comfortable, yet subtly unsettling routine, punctuated at regular intervals by the commanding voices lulling you, programming you, killing you. Do as you're told, we are in control now. We are here and there is nothing you can do to us now, and though we think you have the mind of a cow, we know you're going to love us so very much. You'll need no choice. You are here and there is nothing we would rather see less, and though you think you are humanity's best, we know you're going to hate us so very much. You'll have no choice. On and on, over and over, taken to its most logical absurd extreme, washing over the path of each human lifetime. Quite a Bore!

But still in the background, that tiny spectre of ugly beauty: the cornerstone that the builders rejected. Destiny cannot be denied for the truly self-aware individual. Out of madness and death and malevolent systems of control comes a steadily growing, accelerating, benevolently chaotic breath of fresh air: CHANGE. Whether perceptible or not, Change always comes to sweep away the old and herald the new. Neophytes gradually turn into neophiles, despite themselves. Information multiplies and becomes heedless of power structures designed to minimize it. But even this has a cost. The controllers, powerless to stop Change, use it to their own advantage by narrowing the range of how it is acceptably perceived. All becomes Foam: insubstantive, messy, taking up too much space. The awakened mind, initially entertained, eventually rebels: I Don't Like The Foam. Stress levels rise, imaginary problems become frighteningly real, enlightenment and environment are degraded beyond recognition. We are left with a sort of uneasy truce: control is not too controlling, change doesn't change too much. Pigs in their pens grunt for their feed, day after day.

With information comes perspective. Enough of the puzzle is left lying around for curious souls to work on, to wonder about, to fret over. A baffling First Contact Scenario takes shape: a higher consciousness, lacking the precise technology to temper its particular suffering, seeks solace in a mundane appliance created by a lower species. Our controllers dismiss such frippery, ignoring the obvious benefits of such interspecies exchange. It is agreed: "Fair enough." The blind lead the blind, who lead the lame. Unfortunately, not enough of this puzzle is available for many other shapes to take form.

And the questions remain: Why are we here? What is our purpose? Millions of years, groping, questing, studying - few answers forthcoming, and the future looks dim ahead. Looking outward and looking inward provide the much the same answer: the human mind, a product of violent natural selection, denies its own past and assumes it lives in its own future, while actively ignoring the necessity of accepting its own present. This is how systems of control work. This is how horror is catalyzed. This is how slaves are manufactured. Is That Mind Mine? You suddenly realize that this is a quality of mind, not a quality of environment. Each and every soul is equally capable of perpetuating the horror, and is equally responsible for its consequences.

The horror, like all intangibles, becomes personified. It's time to Meet The Beast: throbbing, pulsing surreality. The lowest layer, the darkest corner. Inside large, black, festering tumors. "666" is tattooed to your forehead by hysterically laughing demons, shedding blood and pus tears, and you scream in the agony of the realization of your own complicity in this downfall.

You've seen false peace, you've seen boredom, you've seen foam and dubious cosmologies. You've seen your own mind and the Beast within. Now you see our world as it is: Mugwumps In Mukluks. The state of our disunion. Political fence-sitters seeking the highest bidder. The rhythmic sounds of jackbooted thugs sporting opaque sunglasses to avoid showing the victims their soulless empty eyes. Fantastic fictions packaged, promoted and sold by salivating psychic vampires posing as friends and relatives - death, tyranny and the pursuit of ignorance. Is this what we seek? The silly melodrama plays out: "It's obscene," She said. "Not at all," said He. It was black. Lusterless leaves grew from it. Weasels masticated in it. Hippos masturbated to it. A sick human laughed at it. A confused human knelt before it. Other humans stared at it, and wondered. "It's obscene," He said. "Not at all," said She. "Black and ebon things so excite me." A dumb human smiled at it and then walked away. One dog urinated on it. Other dogs offered it bones and biscuits. A wino slept on it. Wind blew through its branches and twigs, rattling itself with a sharp sound of grinding tinkling metal and bone shards. Night fell. The Bestowed vanished into nothingness. Then cows began to crawl from the lower recesses of its darkest cavity and eat it from underneath themselves. It wept. Is this what we seek?

It sounds all too familiar: where we began, we end, and with little to show for our soul-shattering experiences. The present moment reveals itself clearly: something must be done, yet something cannot easily be done. Power wins out again: Do as you're told, we are in control now. I know you've noticed but haven't said anything and we appreciate that down here because we don't like to acknowledge it either. So Our Combined Denial creates a large atmosphere of... Etc., etc., etc. At last there doesn't seem to be much, and there isn't.

Is there?