Got Nothin’

Nothing

Nothing

Nice headline. Put Brilliant Idea here.
By the way, I have decided to ignore Christmas this year.

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Another Conversation with God

„Who are you?“
„I am what I am, I’m Popeye the sailor man.“
Hellstrøm is nonplussed. „Wh… what?!“
„I’m sorry, wasn’t that the right answer?“
„Don’t you know?“
„Yes, I know.“ God giggles, then knits his brow in thought. „At least, I think I know.“
„Wait a minute… you’re just fucking around with me, right? Who are you? What are you?“
„I’m, uhh… it’s impossible to pronounce in your tongue.“
„What do you mean, you mean, like, you’re an alien or something, with a name impossible to pronounce?“
„No… uhh, yes.“
„What the…?!“
Hellstrøm decides to approach the matter from another angle.
„Where did you come from?“
„From never-never-land.“
Hellstrøm’s mouth writhes wordlessly.
„Wrong answer again? I’m sorry. It’s just…“ God’s voice peters off.
„Yes?“
„It’s difficult to keep all this stuff apart…“
„What stuff, what do you mean?“
„Everything.“
„Everything…? To keep everything apart?“
„Yes. Maybe.“
„But, but… who are you?!“
„3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592…“
„Stop!“
„I can just tell: wrong answer again, right?“
Hellstrøm curses under his breath and wonders how he can get out of this conversation gracefully. After all, it wouldn’t do to offend God, would it now? On the other hand, something in him wants to get to the root of the matter.
„You can’t keep everything apart… what do you mean by that exactly?“
„Nothing.“
Once again Hellstrøm’s mouth writhes wordlessly.
„Anything? Is that the right answer? Nothing seems to satisfy you though! That is to say, in a manner of speaking… nothing.“
„I have the feeling you are leading me in circles here, God.“
„Circles? Circles are fun. One, two, three… it’s the threes that get me. Or the sevens. I’m not sure. All those little numbers… put ’em together, and they’re big. Made so many I’ve lost track. But I am not leading you, Hellstrøm, I am you.“
„So, you’re Hellstrøm?“ Hellstrøm feels utterly silly in posing the question.
„Yes… uhh, no. Yes.“
„It’s the wrong fucking answer again, God. Now just stop bullshitting me and, and…“
„All the numbers,“ God grumbles, „it’s enough to drive you batty. I know them all, I am all the numbers, it’s no wonder I can’t concentrate. Too many variables. Possibilities. It’s gotten out of hand, but I can’t stop it anymore. And to think I started with zero…“
„So… so you’re saying…“
„No!“ God thundered, „Yes! Maybe! Take your fucking pick! There is no answer to your questions, and every answer is correct!“
When Hellstrøm had finished cowering, he went home and listened to some music and smoked a joint, reminding himself of Voltaire’s words on doubt and certainty.
Voltaire-Baquoy

The Flag

I’ve already written about patriotism, so you may already have an inkling of what I think about flags. Flags are signs, signs for something or other… I really like signal flags, you know, the kind sailors used to make themselves understood before the times of radio and all. But I can not stand flags as signals of a nation or an idea.
What made me think of this was a very good anti-war film I saw recently, in which many human ideals and feelings were presented. Personal feelings, personal ideals, a good story, great acting. I won’t say which film it was, since that is absolutely irrelevant. What ruined it for me was that, at the very end, truly, in the last 30 seconds, the American flag was shown, as if it represented those ideals and feelings. As if the sign of a nation could represent those things.
Because that is the very thing which disappoints me about America. It doesn’t live up to its ideals… I mean, what kind of fucking sick joke is that supposed to be? It doesn’t even approach the shadow of those ideals within a hundred miles.
I love ideals, poor forlorn romantic that I am, and I know how difficult it is to live up to them. But at least I am honest about it, to some small extent. I don’t go around saying: look at me, I am an idealist, see how I live up to it, see how good I am, how pure! I don’t wave my flag, and I don’t hoist it up on a damned pole for all to see, because I know how foolish that would be.
Unless, of course, you consider this blog to be a sort of flag pole, the posts being flags. In which case I have only one thing to say: a blog is not a flag pole. Christ, even I notice the difference.
d

Levels

Get rid of the fucking levels, please. Often enough I’ve written about levels and how interesting they are, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, I make things flat. Reduce it all to one level. At the moment I mean this in the technical sense. You know, technical shit, computers and all.
I get data from all over the world, and I feed it to machines that are supposed to make sense of it. And when they get data that is on many levels, they choke on it, more often than not.
I don’t blame them. If someone were to feed me data that included so many levels, I might choke on it, and no one would think the worse of me, though my brain is far more complex than any software yet invented, so complex that it can even master something we call intuition. So why do people expect that to work with a printing machine, a machine that reduces data to a two-dimensional graphic that someone can look at and understand? These are machines that, in the end, bring ink to paper. It doesn’t matter that the ink is actually not ink at all, but rather artificial resin, or wax, or solvent-based tints. It’s a physical process, dammit. It’s hardware. It’s simple. And though it is guided by software, it’s no wonder that it chokes on levels.
All these levels are only present in our minds, and they have no place in the physical, the real world. At least not in the real printing world. So, no matter what you want to have printed, please, just… just please… get rid of the fucking levels before you send it to the printer.
So much for the technical side, now to the philosophical. Gimme the levels, baby. The more the better. Maybe you’ll force my mind on its knees with them, but I’ll have fun trying to figure them out (well, mostly). Life is not as simple as bringing ink to paper, thank stochastic and the crazed human brain. So, gimme the levels! Make me think, please!
I may not like the truth you speak, but I will think about it. Even if it is a lie, I will think about it. I will take it in my mental hands and turn it hither and thither and look at all the levels and wonder. I’ll pick those levels apart and try to understand them. Why did you make those levels? What do they mean to you, to me? Who are you, that you were impelled to build those levels as you did?
It never ceases to fascinate me: the human penchant to take things apart, to categorize them in to many different little levels. But the most fascinating thing of all is that the actual goal of all this minute analysis is to make an understandable whole. In the end, we want to bring things down to one single level after all. We want to understand everything. We want a formula, a simple statement, that will describe everything. The answer.
That is insane. It’s impossible. Crazy apes! Crazy, stupid apes!
Is that all there is? There’s something in me striving, driving for more. There has to be an answer, it says. I doubt I’ll find it, but someone will, if the human race should be lucky, and survive long enough. Yeah, well, the other side of my coin says, each answer poses new questions. It’s like trying to find the smallest particle… there is alway something smaller yet. And the answer gets smaller and smaller… until there is nothing left but nothing.
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I am anything but alone in this, and I know many people find the answer in God. It’s a simple, flat answer. Belief allows them to live their lives in peace, because they don’t have to think about it anymore. It’s as if they’d been printed on a piece of paper, and that’s it, black on white. Well, maybe there are colors, too, but in any case it’s a done deal. Tempting, isn’t it? Someone printed me, with intent, I am a product, made with something in mind, with purpose. Though I may not understand the purpose, just as ink on paper has no knowledge of what it says, I have a purpose.
Well, I am literally laughing out loud, rolling on the fucking floor at that statement… purpose? You’re kidding me, right? You… *gasp* you can’t mean it seriously? Hahahaaaa…..! Oh shit, I’m gonna die, can’t get no air…! *Gag*
Alright, I survived. I didn’t die from that gut-laugh. My body prevented me from dying for lack of air. It’s part of the paper I’m printed on: my physical body will not allow me to give up. Not for comedy, not for philosophy, not for anything. No matter how hard I laugh or cry over it all, I have to go on. The man in me won’t let me give up.
That man in there, what does he want? I don’t dare forget him, because he is the one who drives me, in the end. He may think about all these things I describe, but basically he has another agenda. He wants to see his children grow, he wants to live and love… the basic things of life. He is an ape, and he knows it. He has no problem with that knowledge. He couldn’t care less about the world at large. He’ll kill to defend his own, and he’ll drink a drop on the way to make the killing easier. He doesn’t give a damn about purpose, provided it’s not his own purpose. He’s been indoctrinated with certain ideals, but he’ll bend them to suit his needs and desires. Slightly. He can’t, after all, jump out of his own skin. Even if he could, he wouldn’t want to. Fortunately he has not been brought up to believe in God, for otherwise he would most likely do so.
He has been brought up in doubt. He doesn’t know, therefor he inquires. Sometimes it makes him unhappy, nevertheless he reminds himself that, as Voltaire put it, doubt is not a pleasant state of mind, but certainty is absurd. On the other hand, it is his sense of absurdity, when he thinks about it, that keeps him from going insane. That, and his belief in love. Belief.
Oh, shit, belief? I might just as well believe in God, or? But for me, God is just a concept. I can’t feel God. I can feel love. You can tell me a thousand times over that love is just a mixture of chemicals in my body and brain that make me feel that way, and intellectually I will pay you heed, but you will never ever convince the man in me. So, when it comes down to it, am I just as bad as a fanatic religionist. My glands rule me, crazy little animal that I am. But I am at least aware of it, and I don’t swear it is the only truth for all of mankind. I wouldn’t go out and kill other people because they don’t love.
However, this is the belief that keeps that crazy little ape in me in line. If it weren’t for that, I would run amok. Without that belief, my life would be worthless, and I would show all the other crazy apes what that means: I’d kill, and kill, and kill… because I don’t like people. They are a bunch of fucking assholes, slaves to greed and idiocy and the feeling of power. Love, that is the most meaningful thing for me. It’s the way I am built, nothing I can do about it. Without love, I’d be a loose cannon.
So, you may be wondering, like me, how I came from levels in print-data to love and death. Just goes goes to show how everything hangs together. Or how a creative mind can establish weird connections. A crazy mind, what the fuck. As usual, you can’t take anything I say at face value. Trickery. The rings under my eyes hang down to my balls, and that is an indication of how seriously you should take my statements. Very seriously, or not at all.
More rum, please.

Unsocial Occupation

Writing. An unsocial occupation if there ever was one, for me at least. I know there are writers who take their laptop to the local café and write there, watching the goings-on, meeting friends now and again as they sit and drink their coffee, greeting, conversing, laughing, saying goodbye, but that’s not for me. I’d hardly get a single word down that way. I need the silence I can only get alone in a room of my own. Its only then that the single-minded concentration comes, and the ideas start to unfold in words.
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The ideas are already there. They’ve budded prematurely, fooled by the long summer, been hit by frost and fallen to the ground, where they’ve fermented during those two wonderful warm October weeks. They’re waiting for me. All that remains is for me to let them unfold in nice little words that most people, I hope, can understand. All those little words are like notes in a song, to be arranged in the best possible way I can conceive of. It’s a real bitch sometimes, but basically I enjoy it so much I can’t stop doing it.
It makes me something of a recluse at times, but then again, perhaps that’s the way I like it. Not always, mind you; I need human contact, God knows. What would my stories be, without the interaction of human beings in them? Sterile things. But I need that sterility in order to focus. I need calm and silence in order to think. I can’t let ideas unfold when I am surrounded by people, because I am then always thinking about what they are thinking. About what they are doing, and why they are doing it, and what they are thinking while doing it.
Well, not always. Sometimes I just don’t give a fuck what they do or think (pretty often; that is to say… almost always, actually). But you get my drift.

Children

Little sons and daughters of bitches. And bastards. We all say son-of-a-bitch, as if the father had nothing to do with it. Alright, I’m not a bastard in the original sense of the word, but I’m sure there are some people who would call me a motherfucking bastard.
I’ve got two children, and I love them, but when I see how they edge up against each other, how they needle each other to the point of insanity, I start to wonder: why in hell do they do that? Rascals.
It seems as if there is something in children, just the same as in adults, which makes them want to fuck with other people’s minds. The nearest available victim is the sibling, since the parents are basically unapproachable in that area (well, most parents anyway, I’ve seen kids who torture their parents too). Not that they stop there, the same thing applies to any group of children; it starts in kindergarten.
I’s a thinkin’: ah, my innocent, wonderful little son, such a smart little boy… then I hear how he pissed in the bushes of the kindergarten playground and mobbed some poor ass together with his friends. Alright, I’s thinkin’, pissed in the bushes, don’t give a fuck about that… My daughter didn’t piss in the bushes, but I’ll just bet there were far more hurtful verbal cat-fights that went on.
Mobbing. Just a new word for an old thing: people fucking over other people. Children do it just the same as adults, and I wonder why. Why? Why do humans do this? It seems inseparable with social life, and that is exactly the thing that makes me insociable. I don’t engage in that shit, at least not consciously. That’s the thing, it seems to be a basic instinct among social animals. Establish the god damned fucking pecking order. Who is the boss, who is the henchman, who is the outsider…?
God, how I hate it. I know it’s normal, but I hate it all the more for it. I just don’t understand why people have to be so hateful to each other. It’s like the wolf-pack I once observed in a wild animal park. The park-ranger (for lack of a better word) explained that a wolf-pack is a social group, as we watched one of them being harried by the others, yelping in helpless fright… and a hierarchy must be established. And reestablished, again and again. And the poor bastard on the bottom rung of the ladder, well…? Harried, a miserable fucking life.

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It’s wrong. I’m telling you, it’s wrong. Even the last poor bastard at the bottom has redeeming features. Maybe he has talents that could help us survive, as a group. And if not… we are not wolves, dammit. We are smart enough to see beyond the basics. Teach your children that, force them to it, the way I (try to) do. Sometimes you have to use force, mental force that is; explain it, again and again. Make them understand, show them. At the very least, you should try to fight against base instincts. Teach them that this is a place worth living in, even for the lowest of the low. The lowest human being has beauty within them, just the same as a wolf on the bottom rung. Poor bastard. I once read a book in which a child was killed by his own father for losing food which was essential to survival. The father simply dashed his head against a rock. The kid was a little fuck-up, I suppose, and his father lost patience with him. What he might have been capable of no one will ever know.
Base = bad? No. Base = stupid. The basic survival strategies of a pack of wolves should not apply to us. We are that much smarter, dammit. I think. Or are you nothing more than a wolf? Are you a child? Do you really believe that there is a single human being, or, for that matter, a single wolf on this earth, without any intrinsic value? An intrinsic value afforded by the simple fact that they are alive, and among us? They belong. They are beautiful.

True Lies

Everything I tell you is a lie. That’s the truth.
In every good lie lies the truth. The truth in a lie is like the pollen in a flower. It hopes you will gather it up and spread it around. Lies are bad, but they aren’t evil… their just hopeful. They want to be spread all over. Like any species, they want to survive. Fortunately, they have humans to pollenate them. Ever growing fields of lies, mutating and multiplying, covering the earth until there is nothing else left. You can try to root them out, but their roots are so deep in the human psyche that you can never get rid of them entirely. And in every single one of them lies a kernel of truth. That is what makes them so attractive, you wouldn’t believe them otherwise. Lies are possibilities. It could be that way. Or not. You’ll never know, because you’re a gardner who can’t distinguish between weeds and flowers. You’ll believe what you want to believe, because truth is also subjective, or, as Bob Dylan once put it, truth is on many levels.
iris-558503_640The survival of the human race is based on lies. The first ape who stood up on his hind legs and yelled at a predator to scare him away told a lie. He said, I am bigger than you and you better scoot off, you son-of-a-bitch, or you’ll remember the day. The predator believed the lie, and that was the beginning of it all. That ape was probably pretty damned surprised that it worked, that spontaneous lie, and, of course, he never forgot that experience. Belief can make a lie true. What a lesson that was!
And, since that day, apes being the repetitive animals that they are, lies have ruled the world. True lies.