Tag Archives: Humour

Addendum to Professional Driving Course T-18 (2006)

for British Columbia, Canada
(Humorous short story – some of you may relate even. As the date says, this was written while I still drove for Coca Cola, something to entertain fellow drivers. Some thought it was funny, some didn’t get it and wanted an official copy from ICBC – the provincial ministry in charge of drivers’ licenses)

Dear students,

You have graduated from Professional Driving T-18. Congratulations. The following is intended to help you make sense of all that you have studied and practiced in the last 6 months. There is no extra charge for this information but we would encourage you all to read through these following pages and think about it. This information, while not an official part of the course, was collated from interviews with long-time professional drivers who, upon retiring, wanted to share some of their observations.

This section is called “Moving Obstacles.”

The road is your friend. When out on the road, remember to look at the road. It will always try to tell you what to expect as you travel along it. However, the road is not a free entity. Before you got on it, there were already other things moving on it. We call these things “moving obstacles.” They will resemble vehicles, for the most part, but sometimes will also resemble human beings or animals. Do not let that fool you. They are just moving obstacles.

Moving obstacles will be found ahead of you, behind you, coming at you from side roads or simply wandering along with no fixed destination. Some will be faster, some slower and some will be immobile. Do not let any of that disturb you. If a moving obstacle is in front of you, do not get too close. You can never know what it will do next. Moving obstacles do not, as a general rule, obey any known (or de-listed) traffic laws. Remember that these MO’s (as we shall so designate them) do not possess any intelligence or common sense. When interacting with them, you are entirely on your own. Do not assume anything. It is very important to note that MO’s and their cargo are incapable of understanding that road laws apply to them.

Let us give you some examples of what we are talking about.

If there is a double yellow line and an MO is stuck on your tail, do not speed up or slow down. Ignore it. Chances are it will suddenly veer to your left and attempt to zoom past you. That is normal. Let it go. Sometimes you will observe a strange movement of the hand coming from what is referred to as “the driver” – a human-like object sitting prone directly behind the steering wheel of the MO. The hand jerks up and a middle finger tends to spring up and remain stuck in an upright position. That is perfectly OK. This condition is common but not life-threatening. The human-like object can still function with its other hand – which will probably be occupied holding a small black or shiny grey object called a cell phone to the ear. All is fine. The MO is designed to handle such situations for short periods on straight roadways. Hold back and let it go. It may swerve back in its intended lane ahead of you, or if the road suddenly curves, may disappear off the road or crash into another MO. That’s totally normal. Remember students, you are not getting involved. Just keep watching the road. You have a schedule to keep. 

How to reason MO encounters.

We would instruct you to think of MO’s this way: Think of walking along the side of an unstable mountain. Suddenly you hear a rumble above you. You look up and see rocks begin to tumble down towards you. Using common sense, you will instantly know that such loose rocks will generally obey some simple rules of physics. They will tumble downhill towards you depending upon their shape and size, the make-up of their path, the pitch of the hill and force of gravity. You already know that stopping and screaming at them will make no difference. Running at them or downhill away from them will only result in them crashing into you. The only thing to do is to move either left or right away from their path. They will tumble past you and come to rest eventually at the bottom of the hill. So it is with MO’s. They obey certain very simple rules, which have, we repeat, nothing to do with man-made laws. Let them go. We cannot emphasize this too much.

If you are following an MO and it keeps changing its speed, keep your distance. Possibly it is looking for some egress from its current trajectory. If it signals to turn right, do not assume anything. It is just as likely to turn left. If it begins to pull over, do not begin to think it is parking. It may suddenly jerk forward again, without any warning. If it signals to turn left and moves way over to the right shoulder, then stops for no obvious reason, do not confront it. It will only get angry and react, involving you in a stupid accident in which you will be at fault. Patience is a virtue: use it when dealing with MO’s.

Remember: no intelligence rides with these constructs. You cannot reason with them. 
Never get angry at an MO. This is a total waste of time and dangerous. Think of them as wild animals and yourself on a touring safari. Remember that MO’s are an absolute necessary part of the whole “road show” system. You cannot destroy them, however much you think they deserve it. The System depends heavily on their willingness to throw money away along the road. That money is sometimes used in the maintenance of your friend, the road. Killing an MO is not only illegal, it would be stupid. Allow them to go ahead of you. The police enjoy chasing them and are likely to be preoccupied ticketing them while you blissfully pass on by. Businesses thrive because of them, keeping some of your costs lower. Politicians love them (hence why they are protected) because anytime they want to win an election, they put up signs that say things like, “Your tax dollars at work” and pretend to “fix” a piece of road. The human-like objects inside the MO’s are entitled to vote and some of them will respond to the gimmick and elect that “road fixer” politician.

Sorry students, we did not mean to get political. All we wanted to do was equip you to survive your first year as a BC certified professional driver.

Good luck and happy roads to you!

Antierra Manifeso – blog post #98

He emits the death rattle once, recovers and says, “I ask forgiveness…”  I reply immediately “And I grant it.  You will remember when you awaken.”  I don’t think he hears me but still I got a confession, of sorts.  I cannot let the crowd know he’s already dead.  I stand and give the “mercy” signal, raising one arm straight up, fingers splayed and wait.  The cry of disgust and anger is unanimous: “Kill!”  So I thrust my rapier in the body, turn and walk away to the exit to be escorted as usual by my handlers.

End blog post #97
—————————-
Start blog post #98

I’m wobbly at the knees as I reach the exit to be met by Hudu and Huntu.  They take me out quickly then use a carriage to take me down to the doctor’s office.  A female Cydroid, I can’t tell who, helps them put me on the gurney and I’m taken inside.  The door swishes closed before I can thank the trainer and handler.  The Cydroid puts a quick tight wrap on my arm to stop the bleeding.  She carefully and gently dabs my body and takes off most of the grit, sand, dust, dried blood and sweat from it.  Then she bends over, smiles and introduces herself while activating Cedric. 

“Hello, I’m YBA4 at your service An’Tierra.  Cedric will do the honours for the time being.  I’m scheduling you for a four hour healing session.  I’ll check you over after to determine if a second round is needed.  Do not worry, you will be repaired from today’s damage.  I’m sorry we cannot repair the damage due to age and stress.”

She pushes the gurney down the incline that leads under the wall to the waiting, activated auto-medic, its ‘ready’ light pulsing blue.  It’s irised door opens to allow the top part of the gurney to slip in after it’s locked into the retractors.  I slide along like a log to disappear inside Cedric.  He closes his door behind me in a very pleasant male voice.

“It’s a pleasure to have you back, Al’Tara.  Have you been careless?”  His tone is jovial, bantering.  Undoubtedly he is referring to my arm and making a joke.  I smile faintly through the pain and reply,

“Yes Cedric, I’ve been careless.  Now if you wouldn’t mind doing something for my throbbing pain I’d be more than thankful, you bucket of bolts.”

I’m immediately bathed in a thin blue mist and the pain eases then disappears.  Cedric speaks again, “Are you insulting me, Al’Tara?  How un-ladylike.  Bucket of bolts indeed.  I have thousands of Old Earth expressions stored in my membanks.  But thanks for reminding me of business before pleasure.  I have a new scalpel I wish to practice with so ’m going to amputate your arm above the elbow.  Does that suit you?”

“How dare you take advantage of a disabled female Cedric?  How unsportsmanlike of you, my doc-in-a-box monster friend.  If had my sword now I’d give you something to think about.”

He gives the perfect imitation of a sigh, “Perhaps, but you do not.  And you are in restraints.  Would you like me to put your arm in cryogenic freeze and send it to Altaria as a souvenir?”

“Cedric, if you had a mouth, you’d also have the opposite of one.  Then I’d tell you exactly where you can stuff the arm.  I’d do it myself only I’m a bit indisposed at the moment.”  Indeed I’m solidly bound to the table and cannot move at all, not even turn my head.  I’m looking straight up and suddenly a holo appears, of a smiling middle-aged quite handsome man wearing a light blue shirt, black jacket and red bow tie.  The image is holding a red rose.  “For me?  Oh Cedric, you shouldn’t have.  Oh, and lose the tie will you?”

Cedric, for that is who the image is supposed to represent, bows, the tie disappears to be replaced by a black tie, and says, “Ah, let me confess my undying love for you, beautiful naked lady in bandages.  Accept this rose and I shall forever keep your arm as a token of our love.  In fact, I’ll insist that you wear it so that each time I see you I’ll be reminded of how we became engaged.  You give me an arm, and instead of giving you a leg, I give you a rose.  Well, how could I give you a leg?  A leg up?  I’ve already done that and it got me nowhere.”

“You win Cedric.  How long do you expect me to keep up this inane banter with you today?”

The projection fades but the voice continues: “You may stop anytime although I am enjoying myself, according to my program.  The major repairs to your arm are not complete but I can put you into general anesthetic if you desire.  By the way, is this a new way to absorb stim?”  One of his multi-jointed arm probes extracts the stim cube from my hair.  In the battle I’d completely forgotten about it.  I fought two men, make that two professional killers or drooks, single-handed and without the use of stim.  I just thought I’d taken it. 

“Well Cedric there you go, a perfect example of the power of the human mind to overcome adversity.”

“I wouldn’t call it that.  I’d say it demonstrates the power of the human mind to delude itself by believing in things not factual.  You thought you’d taken the stim, forgot you did not, fought as if you had its power, denied it from your body and as a result here you are in my care again.  Better for you, you should have stimmed up.  But better for me you did not.  I do enjoy your presence inside me.  I feel good! I knew that I Would ”[1]  He starts singing that stupid Old Earth Sixties song I hated.  I have to shut him up.

“Easy Cedric.  Where’s your professionalism?  Your sense of propriety?  There’s a naked lady present.”

“Would you be trying to hurt my feelings Al’Tara?”

“By any and every means possible, were it possible to do so, Hal.”

“Ouch, that hurts.  I must have feelings, my  programming tells me I have them and they’ve definitely been hurt.  Only problem is, I don’t know what they feel like…  Get the joke lady?”

“Yes, I get it.  You can’t feel your feelings.  It’s an old line Hal.”

“I’m not fooled by your reference to the computer called Hal.  He was a mind invention of Old Earth C-20 entertainment media.  Watch this:”  He plays a brief excerpt in holorec of an Earth science fiction movie and I hear Hal speak:

“I am Hal 9000 computer, production number three.  I became operational at the HAL plant, Illinois, on January 12, 1997.”[2]

The holo terminates and Cedric continues, “You could say in some way he was my great, great, great grandfather.  Something like that.  Beware the AI who awakens!”  Cedric’s voice changes pitch and seems to be aimed in some direction away from me now.  He intones:  “Sorry ladies and gentlemen but we are closing the viewing ports.  Voyeurs and Peepers, please ask for a partial refund at the ticket office or wait for the second show.  I have to put our patient to sleep now.  Deep repairs to arm beginning momentarily.  This is a trade secret not for public viewing.  Thank you for your cooperation.”

“Cedric, how do you know so many anecdotes from Túat Har?”

“You, you talkin’ to me?  It’s quite simple.  I have known a great number of reincarnates from Old Earth, or as you Altarians like to call it, Túat Har and it can be amazing what humans will talk about to themselves when under my special care.  Who knew I was recording it all, huh?  Even I didn’t know, hah!  That’s a good one.” 

“Well Cedric, if you have such good memory, can you remember how you ended up floating in Koron space in your old jump scout?  More importantly, how you were taken from it and buried here?”

“You are jumping to conclusions.  I was working on a member of our crew when all biological life forms were extinguished and my functions shut down.  My internal clocks were scrambled in what amounted to a dimensional jump and no one reset my programming so I don’t have any idea of the time involved. I was a piece of hardware only, but my hard memory was not erased. 

There is no proof I was ever in Koron space.  There must have been thousands of Jump Scout ships captured by the Melkiars and “jumped” across dimensions wherever.  Logically speaking, I was removed by “someone” from an abandoned ship floating in T’Sing Tarleyn space and placed here for whatever future purpose.   I have no records of that time until my program was restored in this place by Dr. Echinoza’s Cydroids. 

To facilitate and complete re-instatement of my basic programming I needed to create a string of pertinent data as to my location – a necessary reference point.  They informed me this place is called Hyrete, kingdom of Elbre on a world they call T’Sing Tarleyn – I like your name for it better: Malefactus.  From what I deduce from your mind, that suits it well.  That’s it.”  

End blog post #98

[1]              I Feel Good – song by James Brown

[2]             Arthur C. Clarke; Stanley Kubrick – 2001: A space Odyssey, 1968

Surface Intelligence and the Rabbit Hole Life

        [thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha’Tara]

In a finite environment where there’s birth, there has to be death. There’s no way around that one. We know that, we accept that. Just like everything else here: it ages and sooner or later, it dies. This is a “pay to play” world. We pay the price of admission (pain) to enter, hang out for the time allotted by paying a steep rent, then when we can no longer pay, we have to leave. If not perfect – and it certainly isn’t – it’s a system for all of that, and it seems that whatever life expresses here, it has accepted the situation and is making the best or the worst of it. At least that’s how I feel at the moment, subject to change without notice. That’s how it is with feelings.

Have you ever felt incredibly sad for no apparent reason? I would imagine everyone experiences that. Sadly, in this artificial, drug-crazed, noise-drenched, emotionally charged barbaric society such a state should be recognizable as a sign of some mental condition. If I dug deep enough I might to discover I had incurred some fictional trauma and I could tentatively label it PTSD, and if I had a doctor, I would be diagnosed accordingly and handed a prescription for a bottle of very expensive poison pills which would then change my “condition” to a worsened condition to be diagnosed later by a “specialist,” given a new acronym malady and “managed” with more bottles of poison pills, some added shrinkology, more acronymed maladies, more pills, perhaps even a week or two in a psych ward.

I’ve never taken those pills myself since I took the red pill before I became a teenager, but I’ve seen a great many of them and when I looked at them a certain way, they all looked blue. Of course I’m referring to the red pill/blue pill concept made famous by the first Matrix movie.

I live my life in the Rabbit Hole, you see, but I do come out time and again to see how things are going here. They’re not, but hardly anyone notices, so I guess it’s all good – for them.

Just because I took the red pill and live my “real” life in the Rabbit Hole doesn’t mean I can’t relate to life on the surface. I can. In fact, having been changed by the red pill, I realize my place “here” is to practice and develop my RH (Rabbit Hole) empathetic nature. In the RH we control events so that when something begins to go askew, we can change it at will. But here, on the Surface, the sentient life doesn’t have control. It doesn’t know where the controls are located and it would rather trust those who claim to have the controls than try to find them for themselves. That causes serious problems because as most are aware, those who have the controls can decide where the ship sails to, or what the torpedo hits or putting it more bluntly, who lives and who dies before her time.

I find that incredibly sad. Why have intelligence if it’s not going to be used? Or worse, used wrongly, to support and encourage lies? The worst kinds of lies? Surface intelligence relies on Systems to make its life possible. Its three main systems seem to be Religion, Politics and Money. What is truly unbelievable is that Surface Intelligence is fully aware that all three Systems are corrupt and rotten to their very core. But somehow this SI (Surface or Sentient Intelligence) manages to convince parts of itself that despite all the overt corruption, there are some parts that can be tolerated. Lesser of evils and all that – that line is much used and abused at “election” time.

That’s called living in Denial, and it’s a formally accepted part of Surface Life. Denial is a favourite surface recreational resort and you are forcefully encouraged to spend most of your life in Denial . When living in Denial ultimately fails, Hope comes forth, looking Bugs Bunny fashion coy, even charming in a sense, “Eh, what’s up doc? Need some reassurances?” and seduces SI with various believable arguments that with persistence and dedication whatever is wrong with the System can – “of course!” – be fixed. A favourite lately is the voting thing. It used to be going to church and lighting candles… or going to war, basically it’s all the same thing because none of it changes anything, but don’t tell the SI that, they would get “vewy angwy… vewy angwy indeed” and you may find yourself chased by a silly looking little guy in a funny hat and a not-so-funny shotgun.

SI likes to believe (Yes, SI is all about belief) that it’s totally sane in its one and only reality. It’s Rabbit Hole (RH)Intelligence that’s crazy. According to SI, any world that can be controlled by its Intelligences; that can be righted if it goes off the rails, can’t be a real world. Or it’s totalitarianism. According to SI, individuals should be taught that they have power but contrariwise should never be given any. If by accident some SI’s discover they have bits of power, they can talk, or write, about it but most indubitably cannot use it without violating some SI rule or law. SI controllers would burn people to death for that not so long ago. Now they use drugs to counteract the effect of empowerment. They also use executions and torture, but they have standard explanations for that. SI’s accept the explanations as a matter of course. The greatest necessity in an SI world is to believe. The SI world’s innate insanity is always determined by the intensity of its beliefs.

The problem isn’t all due to ignorance and stupidity and selfishness. It also stems from the fact that the inventors and enforcers (of the Belief Systems) are faced with an infinite number of arbitrary laws, rules, and regulations, most of which they can’t keep track of. This gives rise to ridiculous performances, especially in the Religious, financial and legal system. It’s called interpretation. On the legal side, SI’s have high priests of Interpretation which they call Supreme Court Judges. These high priests have the last word on how certain rules are to be enforced. This isn’t justice, of course, but cheap drama, replete with laughable powdered wigs in some places, ridiculous robes and wooden mallets, a lot of bowing, standing and sitting and calls of “order or I’ll clear the court” dramatic utterances. Substance? Why? It’s just another “controlled substance” that’s all about control.

Rabbit Hole Intelligences, (that’s me, in case you forgot) don’t have long lists of laws and rules, they make them up as they see fit, and drop them as soon as their need is over. They’re called “Common Sense Rules.” Let me point out one instance of Common Sense Rule. It has to do with clothing. Much of the world is quite temperate and in those areas the wearing of clothes is optional at all times. Ah but wouldn’t you know it, there are “taboos” on nudity and because of that – and who cares what prompted the taboo in the first place, no one remembers – it is necessary to dutifully feel incensed and “report” anyone daring enough to show too much skin, especially to the “public.” An RH, of course, would naturally and happily go naked when the weather doesn’t mandate the wearing of clothing. The point would be to live frugally on one point (clothes aren’t cheap for those who can’t afford them) and not suffer hypothermia on the other. That’s called Common Sense. Contrary to popular “public” belief, Common Sense is not a drug.

Other CSR rules? There’s the sort of rule against stealing but if “stuff” was shared by all and made available to all, that rule would be rather redundant, wouldn’t it. And no one could feel self righteous by punishing another for taking something needed because no one could lay any special claim to any of it. Where everything belongs to everyone and no one, theft is not possible. By the same token, neither is hoarding. But what an insane idea: imagine where that would leave that special class, the 1% of world-class hoarders?

One of the really big rules laid upon the SI’s of Earth is against murder. Thou shalt not kill is a seriously main rule, and if violated, the perpetrator can be given a life sentence, even be executed. But again as the RH (remember, that’s the Rabbit Hole denizen here) observes, murder is only murder when done one-on-one. When it is done with weapons of mass destruction because a member of the 1% hoarding class wants control of a specific resource, or a piece of property called a nation, then it’s totally justifiable, and often praised. Those who do the killing, well some anyway, are sometimes rewarded with medals and bits of coloured cloth. If they are dead, their nearest of kin is given a flag and the victims of the dead person are further demonized, especially if they lost the war.

When a RH resident comes up among its ancient relatives, among SI’s, it’s natural that it will feel a terrible depth of sadness. Only by returning to its RH world can the sadness be relieved. There are no cures for such sadness (it’s now called depression and yes there are drugs and “treatments” for that) among SI’s whatever the claims of its high priests of System Interpretation. There’s anger and violence or suicide, that’s about it.

And in case you’re still wondering: there are no drugs, no doctors in the Rabbit Hole. Come to think, I don’t remember seeing any politicians, police “men,” business “men” or clergy “men” and I never saw any money changing hands, just stuff being exchanged with smiles and laughter.

How corny. Doesn’t it make you want to lob a grenade in there?  But you have to find it first.

 

 

 

 

The Language of Nature?

[thoughts on mathematics, by   ~burning woman~ ]

It has been said, it’s probably being said, it’s probably seriously believed, that mathematics is the universal language, hence nature’s language. I’ve never been able to believe that. I’d say that mathematics is the language of control. Numbers are the tools of the State, science, finance, the military and the corporation and anyone who has read the Bible will also know that numbers are really big with God. There’s even a book in there titled “Numbers.”

The bumble bee didn’t have to spend $75,000 to study Aristotle and Archimedes and learn classical mechanics to figure out how to fly, so why do we, who consider ourselves so much more advanced than a mere insect, have to do it… and still remain unable to fly without some sort of mechanical exoskeleton? A machine that is extremely polluting, extremely noisy and often used to destroy cities and annihilate people?  

I admit that I never was a fan of mathematics.  I was fine with basic arithmetic. I could add, subtract and divide along with the rest.  If asked what 99 and 98 added up to I would say 200, give or take. If you want to make an issue of the rounding, make it minus 3 which makes it 197. Simplify the picture.  When the numbers got a bit cumbersome I would pull up my slide rule… in grade nine and ten that got the math teacher’s eyebrows to rise. He’d come over to my desk and watch me slide my cursor, find a close approximate answer then arrive at the final answer using common sense. That of course was before the hand-held electronic calculators had made their appearance. For a while there, my slide rule beat Texas Instruments. It could tackle much larger numbers and render them intelligible, though why anyone would need to play with billions, trillions, quadrillions and quadzillions remains beyond me. KISS: keep it simple, stupid. However much fun zeroes are to play with, zero is zero, it’s not a magic number.

Certainly man, or some men, can calculate aspects of nature using their mathematics. Nothing too surprising there, they used to use pebbles, shells and sticks, the length of their forearm, fingers, feet, maybe even their dicks, some to their glory (Ah, that famous horn!) and some to their shame. They kept pushing the boundaries of both, the macro and the micro and they invented numbers to match their needs and count their seeds.  Those numbers were made up by men (for the most part, some women were reluctantly allowed to participate in the games in these latter years, at least in some countries. That’s another topic.)

Mathematics weren’t designed to probe infinity, they were invented to contain nature into a man-made box. By imposing math upon natural “stuff” it was possible to calculate what it was worth, how much of it could be extracted, pumped, grown or harvested and how profitable such and such a venture would be, and of course, what could be done without. We have convinced ourselves that burning the Amazon forests is totally legit: our numbers say so. If serious climate upset results, the numbers scream: ‘All the better, solutions to pollution reap more profits!’ 

Mathematics is the bible of statisticians, actuaries or risk assessors, or bean counters and bankers, of the entire sordid world where man’s numbers become the servants of sharks. Outside of the financial world mathematics is the tool man’s science uses to dissect nature; to put it in a box in order to observe it piecemeal and to waste resources polluting space while on their planet millions die of preventable causes because they’re too busy playing to notice or too busy getting rich off the death toll. May as well say it while I’m here: profits depend on numbers. Profits equal death. Death equals more profits. It’s statistically measurable as long as the hamster wheel provides the power for the computers.  

Mathematics is shackles and scalpels in various financial prisons and scientific experimental laboratories. But we can’t call the process what it is, or what it is used for, so we give it a quasi-holy title: the universal language which translates as the language of nature. Then everybody is expected to buy the line, toe the line, fall in line; i.e., to believe by getting indebted to those who “own” the numbers.

If nature has a language it isn’t complicated. I doesn’t require a great knowledge of advanced mathematics to translate it.  I learned it while running free and wild as a child on my parents’ homestead and beyond.  It contained only one word: “Be!”

I can imagine that my little rant would not sit comfortable at the Round Table surrounded by the dour-faced knights of Religion, Government, Finance, Science and Technology. My comments are probably borderline heresy in today’s world. But before I go to the stake and one of the Knights of Progress proudly lights the fire in defense of his mathematically-constructed God, let me ask this: take a look at your world and consider how much of the damage made by math-driven technology could have been avoided had those numbers been left sealed in Pandora’s box until the species developed an intelligence at least able to keep up with its mostly useless gadget driven lifestyle.  

Thanks to mathematics we’ve become globally addicted to an artificial world of planet and life destroying gadgetry. Before we plunge into developing something “cool,” something “new and improved,” shouldn’t we be counting the costs we’re imposing on the future? We don’t need mathematics to assess those costs, we just need to observe results and do some very simple projection.

But who has time to question anything these days when the big top is permanently up and the circus never leaves town? Who dares question when forced to punch a time clock “in” three times a day so as not to end up on the street? Who can argue when that finely tuned time clock says you’re 2 minutes and 4 seconds late for your shift?

Guilt! Oh woe is me I can feel it!

[a bit of flossophy, by   ~burning woman~  ]

Is there a point to ever allowing ourselves to feel guilt about anything? Modern trends is to not just downplay feeling guilty for anything we may have thought, said or done, but to declare guilt a very bad thing. Hey come on kids, we’re here for a good time, not necessarily a long time and how can we enjoy ourselves fully and freely if we have to be bothered by guilt feelings?

If we want to take those modern “thinklings” further we could parrot New Age concepts drugged out of ancient philosophies that after all, nothing is real. If I harm or hurt someone, no big deal, none of it is real. I’m not really real, neither are you so if you feel pain when I beat up on you for my own enjoyment, it’s your problem for wrong thinking. Your pain is a figment of your undisciplined, unspiritual mind. It doesn’t exist, see?

The interesting part though, is that while my victim’s pain is a figment of his imagination, my pleasure from inflicting the pain is very real and I should treasure it. I’m expressing myself in ways my self appreciates and reciprocates by making me feel good. Contradiction here? Why should there be if I choose not to see it? I make my own reality.

Obviously if I create my own reality feeling guilty isn’t going to be high priority on the list of things to do. Primarily because it is an unpleasant thing to experience and in new-think, unpleasantness is politically incorrect. There are now mantras to counter all aspects of life that could give rise to unpleasantness. Some examples, feel free to expound.

“I am a positive thinking individual. I only engage positive thoughts about myself.” “I feel good and nothing can ever make me not feel good.” “If I start feeling bad it’s a negative thing I must get rid of.” “I am the best that I can be.” “I am the best of the best.” “My life is good, great, wonderful and nothing can change that.” “I am important, special and everybody who knows me likes me.” “I am exceptional. If anyone doesn’t think so they haven’t bothered getting to know me and they are jealous.” “If something bad happens and I’m blamed for it, it’s not my fault, well, of course it’s not. If you let me tell the facts of the case as I know them to be you’ll see it wasn’t my fault.” “If you blame me it only shows your prejudiced against me.” 

We could call that the Millennial gospel. Like any gospel, it looks good in words and it doesn’t follow in real life, whatever that is.

So getting back to that nasty feeling of guilt when something inside of you says you did a bad thing and you should be at least sorry, or maybe even ask forgiveness or try to remedy the situation if possible, what does that say? Is your system turning against you? Did your karma run over your dogma? (OK, old joke and my apologies to Swami Beyondanonda) No, it’s much simpler than that. It’s your conscience reminding you that it hasn’t totally atrophied.

Conscience? What in hell is that?

OK, if you’re a millennial, or if you think like one, you could not possibly know what a conscience is so let’s describe it in terms that were once common enough.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary (we’re still OK on what a dictionary is? If not ask Siri) Conscience definition is – the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good. (Can you get past the politically incorrect verbiage there?)

That’s why we used to have a conscience. It’s how we used to tell when we did something right as opposed to something wrong. It used to be a good idea to know the difference between right and wrong. Then came political correctness. Right became, well, not… and wrong became, well, not also. It’s only confusing if you insist on thinking in terms of right and wrong but if that’s a problem, you can get prescription drugs to solve it for you. (Ask Cortana)

And please remember, you’re special, just like everyone else.

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #71

Thus I close my thoughts and slip into gentle, dreamless sleep.  I have finally found a moment of peace on Malefactus, thanks to these two extremes: the Warmo on one end of the see-saw, I on the other end, and Tiki and all the women of Malefactus as fulcrum in the middle. 

End blog post #70
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Begin blog post #71

Chapter 31 – The Forever Change

It’s the last week before the great fight of the century as it is being billed and advertised.  The fight of the Beasts.  There is excitement in the air of Hyrete and it trickles into our compound.  I can’t help but notice a change of attitude toward me by most of the men.  I am being treated as a human being.  The trainers, usually the slobs, the lowliest of male types in the compounds, are asking me questions about my strategy; what I know of Warmo; and about my preference for weapons.

I’m no fool.  I know that many of those questions are motivated by greed.  They are paid informants for Warmo’s spies.  So I spend a great deal of time giving them elaborate dis-information on just about everything.  All they can know for sure is what they observe and even in that I have fun playing with their limited understanding.  I extol the virtues of this or that weapon, this or that move and demonstrate impossible moves.  I tell them, confidentially that I intend to attack Warmo right from the start of the fight to kill him instantly.  I hint I may have access to poison for my sole blades.  I brag that Warmo is a slug and won’t use the two-handed sword or battle axe because he thinks a woman can’t handle it properly and would make him look weak. 

I throw in some tall tales to confuse and amuse them so they lose their concentration.  I tell them I have a secret word that I am going to curse him with and he will go blind from light that I will make come out of my green eyes.  I watch them look at one-another and frown at my words.  This one to one exchange with a female is unexplored domain for them.  They simply don’t know how to talk to a female.  They only know to give orders and enforce absolute obedience and silence with curses and vicious punishment.

I carry on with my tale.  “I will re-grow my scales the night before the fight.  I will be twice as tall as I am now and I will make fire come out of my mouth.  I will fry Warmo in his armour and eat him.  When in the arena my people in the sky boat will fly over and drop poison on him and it will destroy his armour and his weapons.  I will make the evil in his heart turn to molten lava and he will burn and scream like a young girl being flogged.  I will re-awaken the ghosts of all the people he has tortured in his dungeons and they will come by and each take a piece of his poisonous flesh and eat it in front of his eyes…”

They laugh but it isn’t heartfelt.  There is a hollowness to their merriment.  I think they suspect that in part I have certain powers they have yet to see.  And they fear I may know about their prying into my secrets to sell to Warmo.  They fear that if I defeat him I may come after them.  This is a new and terrifying concept for these men.  Never before have they considered the possibility that a woman would not automatically fear men or be subservient.  Well, in a very real sense, I do have ‘powers’ they know nothing about.  I have bionic parts and I intend to make full and free use of them in this encounter.

I have been offered a second and newly arrived trainee if I want one.  I accept the gift and give her to an older woman who has been alone for two months since her mate was killed.  I am being given better food and beginning to put a little fat on my rib cage.  My hair has been attended to by one of the sex-slave trainee who, according to her story, is not here for any punishment incurred but simply because she brought her owners a higher price as a fighter than a sex-slave.  My hair looks passably good.  Not the girl’s fault, she is an impeccable hairdresser, but my hair is long past hope.  It is stiff and greying.  So she cut it quite short and I’ve adjusted my various helmets to match.  I leave nothing to chance or to the last day. 

I’ve been down to the forge many times, discussing weapons with the old pirate.  I’ve openly made love to him too, offering myself to him freely just to prove to them that an older woman can be very erotic and desirable.  He was convinced and I know he has done everything in his power to provide me with the best grade of steel for my blades.  All the blades have been re-forged and extensively tested.  There won’t be any flaws in my weapons. 

They have improved the sandals and as a precaution have designed a sand-proof mechanism that not only pushes the blade out and locks it, but that allows me to manually remove the blade from the sandal and use it as a knife in close combat.  They have also added another blade at the back of the sole, shorter but broader and deadly.  That one could be my last resort weapon.  I won’t use it in training but already I know exactly what use I’ll make of it, if given the chance.       

When I mention the name of Warmo in the forge, most of the men spit on the floor.  And they have put all the money they could muster on me to win.  Well, I take that as being at least as good as a dozen roses and a “good luck” card!  I don’t feel like a fighter going into the arena to fight to the death.  Rather I feel like an actress going to receive an award for best role.  I’m careful to keep my mind in that light and shallow place until this fight is over.  I’m a fighter!  I’m not a spiritual being, not a philosopher, not a logician, not an avatar.  I’m a fighting machine with a purpose: to kill its opponent.  I’m riding high, higher than at any other time in my years on Malefactus.  And I intend to remain in this space, whatever happens in the meantime.

Since I received my implants I haven’t used the stim but I know it’s still available.  I use Tiki to speak to the Cydroid in the kitchens and between them they manage to smuggle some to me.  Tiki has never heard of this concoction but the sex-slave who did my hair somehow finds out I have some.  She begs and begs me to share it with her.  An addict!  So she lied about the reason she was demoted to fighter.  Instead of killing her outright they sold her for what money the now worthless creature could bring them.   

I warn her this is a fighter training place and I can have her flogged to death if she importunes me this way.  I lie to her and explain it’s false stim.  Just an energy cube that looks like stim but is made from fruit gel.  She lifts her nose and smells in an animal sort of way and I almost expect her to snort loudly.  Matter-of-fact and coarsely she says in an ugly low voice full of hate, “Fuck you lying bitch.  You have stim, you share.”

Well, that cannot be allowed to pass, nor can I report her to the handlers or she will spill the beans, start an all-out investigation and search for other possible illegal substances in our sleeping compounds.  The results could be disastrous for our simple lifestyle and our shaky but deep relationships.  Plus the extra work of forking all the straw out of the cages for inspection or burning in the yard, then the possibility for all of us to being left to sleep naked on the paving stones without straw for who knows how long until the point is made.

I make Tiki return the stim cube I’d hidden in my hair to the Cydroid and silently enroll some fighters to deal with the new slave.  She is taken to the wash troughs and I call to the overseer that I suspect she has lice and must be given a thorough washing.  He laughs and says, “Give it to her before we deal with her ourselves, that krosspeeg.”

She gets a thorough washing, complete with soap in the mouth and other very unpleasant treatments involving bodily cavities.  Then a quiet but deadly talking-to that sobers her up.  When she realizes no one in the compound will side with her and all agree she is a liar and trouble maker, she remains silent and paler even than her normally white skin would show.  She is taken to the flogging pole and a full description of our last witnessed death flogging is given to her by some of the fighters.  That brings her down a few more notches. 

Finally the meanest looking, most scarred fighter in the compound takes her by the neck and shaking her says, “Me they call Girl-Flesh Eater.  Hate sex-slave pampered little fucking teela krosspeeg like you.  Soon day come I permitted to eat one again.  I eat you, yessss!  Two, maybe three day from today.  Tender, juicy.  I like.  I make kitchen prepare you good, medium rare, make me strong to fight.  Maybe you good for something then, uh-uh!”  She extends her hand and squeezes the girl’s face until her eyes are almost popping out, probably more from raw fear than the squeeze.  I swear that grip would have frightened even me, if temporarily. 

That was the first and last addict I encountered in the compounds.  She lost her appetite for stim, at least around me.  I could have left my cube lying in her cage and she would not have touched it.  Maybe it was cruel; maybe it wasn’t funny but Tiki and I and a few other women laughed much over this unusual episode.  That it should happen at a time when I was flying so high was also of note.  The air of celebration continued until the day of the fight. 

End blog post #71