The Known World

The visual world is governed by inexorable law. Light and matter; behaves. A thing shot into the air here, will fall there, at precisely where the math says it will. Objects rise and fall at predictable rates. We have mastered the projectile. Our tiny forays into outer space have convinced us we are marvels. We have harnessed the piercing powers of metal. Atoms, unleashed, effectively destroy in seconds what, at surface, appear as magnificent structures, years in their making. Our masonary, our glass, our steel. Poof. Like the head of a match.

The wonderful fiction of money, the greatest story ever told, places us, every one, at the mercy of a decimal point. The number of places before the decimal point determines power. Bullets are made of copper and lead. The human body is as fragile as a sapling tree. Both are quite easy to kill. The body is made of mostly water. The life of any given human body is often confused with the spirit contained therin. As a general rule we must see, hear or touch a thing in order to believe that it exists; in a state we call reality. When perception ends, the thing, once perceived, no longer exists to us.

Other laws have since been discovered that contradict the behaviors of objects and light – things perceived by human senses. In the quantum realm beyond the reach of our intruments of perception, no such predictability, or logic, exists. Reality cannot be reconciled with this. The inventions of math and metal have created a mass hysteria in which a delusional order can co-exist alongside a chaos of hypocrisy. We live on island zoos governed by money and bullets. This world is binary, but it’s not a simple matter of zeroes and ones. The earth of men runs on victory. Whoever can put the most bullets into the most bodies wins. Whoever can buy the most bullets and buy the most bodies to fire and absorrb them, wins. T

he operating system of the world is the OS of eyes and teeth. Anger is its fossil fuel. The devil lives inside our heads. Everything we see is made of a sort of clay. Water binds particles of dust. Anything dependent on water for strength and substance is vulnerable to dessication and decay. Words are magic because they inspire action but so are perceptions. We believe what we think we see. The art of the illusionist is the art of distraction. And here we sit, transfixed. Ideas and images bounce around the world at the speed of light. Millions and millions of comments and texts. And we’re still fighting over imaginary lines on maps. And we tolerate the little wars of metal and flesh. Metal always beats flesh like scissors always beats paper. We crouch sheepishly behind whatever side of the decimal point we’re born on.

Where once there was an inland sea a desert valley ripples. Heat distorts the air above the playa so that it appears to be aflame. A map of the known world, whose jagged lines convey no boundary permanent or political. The seeds of it all in dormant dust from which a softer world might spring.


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