Wolfspiders and Whey

Dear Arachnid,

I’m glad you brought up the subject of control because um 1. you don’t have any and 2. I’m gonna tell you why but 3. don’t feel bad every living being is one way or another a victim of the illusion of control.

None of us even have control over how we’re named. Take yourself for instance. Your names vary from something as uninspiring as Daddy Long Legs spider to something as cool as Government Canyon Bat Cave Meshweaver  (god that’s cool sounds like the name of a government spy/vigilante badass who spends her time weaving brains togeth- okay sorry)

The only notch on your belt i can think of is your kind unwittingly creating an okayish superhero. But um, what did happen to this one bite wonder bro of yours?

See the thing is you give people the creepy crawlies for sure, but you still can’t stop me from doing the macarena in your cave and destroying your spidey-lair-cobwebs any more than I can stop you stealth attacking me in the dark.

Like all well read tarantulas, you’ve probably heard about the Schrodinger’s Cat connundrum; the experiment that has harmed more physicists than felines. We don’t actually know whether the little guy is alive or dead until we take control and open the damn box. But even this display of control exhibits our lack thereof.

I’m assuming you’re familiar with that unflattering nursery rhyme Little Miss Muffet in which you scared that little kid and (millions of other little kids) just by sitting next to her (obviously you shouldn’t have it was wednesday and you weren’t wearing pink)

Anywhey (heh) what baffles me is, why are people even scared of you? Apart from Ron Weasely and other victims having traumatic childhood memories involving your kin, you’re not that impressive, fear wise. So why do people greet you with shrieks and profanity? What about you makes a person convince their loved ones to go on a killing rampage I mean YOU ARE NOT EVEN POISONOUS I don’t understand and then it hit me.. of course..

Must google it.

I did and get this.. apparently, you, at some point in ancient history posed a serious threat to human survival. Theories have emerged that it is in our DNA to fear you (1) It’s in our actual genetic core, something over which we have no control over. This is what scared me more than your spindly legs ever could. This lack of control.

At the end of the day, you and I are not that different. You weave a web of silk and I weave a web of memories all for the sake of survival and sanity.

botching analogies since ’03,

P

Extreme TRIGGER WARNING!! At the end of this, you will feel melancholic and oddly tranquil

Dear placidity

We have been discussing a situation like you for quite from the first post; pondering over the power that humans have over other humans and the power that nature and systems have over humans.

But whoa – I also have the power to stand on a moving train and the only one stopping myself from jumping off is me. Even when that mosquito is sucking on a reachable part of my external skins and I decide to end its life SLAP. When I am flying over a cloud and I look down thinking “I wouldn’t mind if I plummeted right this instant. This is it. This is my happy moment” – like I could cross over the river styx, go to glory, cease to exist, poof vanish etc.

But I’m not talking about like that sick feeling of sadness that covers you up like when your throat burns when you are going to cry. This is the feeling of blisss.. AAAH. Not having the past plague you and/or the crushing remorse of not doing things I should have done and remembering poignant occasions of cognitive dissonance, and reliving peeing pants kind of embarrassments, thinking about the future deadlines to meet or choices to make, not thinking about dependents and those around.

 (can’t remember good things also)

In my epoch of being sensitively aware of what is happening around me and within me like I am going to cease to exist at that right moment. (HP&DH Ch 33) Because when I stop, the world around me stops and I just. Don’t. Need. To. Care. Anymore.

A very narrow, self-centred of looking at things, but nevertheless quite refreshing  when I have been too involved in the material pursuits of daily life and get overwhelmed by it all. Or when you feel like I have been moving forward too fast.

AAHA.

The purveyor wants movement and evolution and nachos being chewed and cows milked and exams written, trees being felled etc. But that little (uses unparliamentary adjective) also realises that choosing a path destroys the other which means that progress presupposes destruction. Movement creates the sad things in the world which also makes you feel bad and blame yourself for purportless details that aren’t under your control.

So just stop thinking.

STOP THE MOVEMENT. LIKE, WE NEED A REVOLUTION TO JUST STOP, but it shouldn’t be a revolution. It should just stop, get it?

To attain placidity is to enforce apathy. Realise the power you already have yo.

Ugh that made me feel very Marx-y. Do whatever you want dudes.

Apologising in advance if I made you read again and then stare blankly at the wall on understanding this

A

Ponders about Purpose and Placidity

Dear Aim in lyf,

You know the things I’m not particularly fond of: internet people who can’t differentiate between your and you’re, purpose, irony and you’re mom(i’m sure she’s lovely i was just being funny oh god) What irks me the most is this notion that everything exists for a reason; to fulfill some purpose.

Even the Joker, a self confessed psychopath with no rational conception of life craved purpose in the form of his one true love hate, Batman. He could have very well gone over to.. I dunno.. Springfield (Sideshow Bob and Joker woulda made an adorable pair) and got that easy victory. But instead he chose to remain in Gotham and get thwarted again and again because that gave him purpose; not just any ol’ purpose but something that can’t be easily achieved.

Because sometimes that’s what we need in our lives, don’t we? Drama and impossible odds.

But we can’t even give into these melodramatic tendencies and complain about something. Everything in life is kind of a miracle. They were all created for a specific purpose. As some deep person would say ‘the error lies not in these apparatuses but in the humans that make these apparatuses’.

You can’t say your phone sucks because what you hold in your hand, no matter how crappy, is the whole world albeit at snail speed 2 GB internet. If your computer sounds like it has indigestion and is pondering deep philosopical questions (that goddamn circle next to the cursor) then give it for service, cheapo.

For god’s sake, even Bing, the shittiest search engine of all time has a purpose i.e. used as an example for ‘the shittiest search engine of all time’.

The universe is beautiful and terrifying filled with gravitational anomalies and dust tailed orbs each with some purpose. Even in the wake of the death of the universe we would still be left with a singularity, the purpose of which is probably high concept and mysterious.

Why this bothers me is because… okay, so what if I just want to spend life eating nachos, stargazing and dreaming about ride-able dinosaurs. This will never happen cause there’s this stupid primal human instinct which wont allow me to live without making something of myself. 

I want to just accept that our existence is limited to us being hairy bags of flesh revolving around the incandescent glow of a dying sun which is likely to take us down with it in the future. Even if the purpose eludes me, the journey excites me.

smitten with this cosmic storm we call existence,

P

Dramatically running fingers through hair and squinting eyes as though haunted by the past

Dear Primum Mobile/ Ptolemy’s guiding force

As much as I wanted this post to be about Batman, Ezio Auditore, Altaiir, countless unacknowledged vigilantes and human beings in general, a very weird road trip steered me in the direction of discussing nature. To me, and I do not doubt – many of the people who are currently reading this post find you more fascinating than man-made objects. Maybe they don’t know that this is what they feel yet, but they respect you.

Nothing in the realistic sense is unnatural (because nature made people made things)

Oh dandy. Another clump of words delivering some profound thought that I can do without.

But really, I don’t know why all of a sudden I was fascinated by the unprocessed you. You’ve always been there… maybe I didn’t pay much attention to you. The buildings around me and all the light pollution diffracted my vision just like my fully charged ipod and phone.

At least vigilantes have a purpose in life and you can exactly guess what their next move is. I mean they are called vigil-antis for a reason. Protesting against the established system/situation is the one thing they do – going against what is currently happening. This going against can be rationalised as intended ‘for the greater good’. But I can’t quite rationalise you.

The technology under my fingers is something I am grateful for but we carved it for our own purpose. Why did you create us, guiding force? Why do we move? Why do I find that moment between sunset and full darkness where I don’t need to use artificial lights to make it bright or artificial curtains to dim it down – so exhilarating? How is it that you managed to make big clouds that a person could walk through and then give it the power to emit light and sound along with energy that can destroy more than it empowers…

YOU AREN’T EVEN ALIVE YOU CAN’T EVEN THINK FOR YOURSELF! Then why are you so…. ugh this so frustrating. It feels like if the Joker or any other villain asked himself – why did I choose to fight against an already established vigilante in this locality when there are so many other places I could have gone to. Why Gotham – WHY EARTH. ANSWER ME you stupid all pervading guiding force why is your literally magnetic force so magnetic that it is gravitationally binding me to you. Just get away ok?

No please don’t go just give me answers

Forever asking the wrong questions

A

Puny Humans

Dear Apple with a name,

The only constant is change and I agree that it is quite impossible to go back to the days of quaint little family businesses We would much rather go on the internet and engage with people halfway across the world than speak to our neighbours. Once we’ve got this thirst for universal connection, it’s hard to go back.

I find you fascinating, Apple with a name. Only we would ever go out of our way to name a trivial thing like apples and then proceed to write an article about it.

And this has got me thinking a lot about how awesome we are. I mean, we don’t appreciate us enough. We are the only species in the universe that observe Shark Week. Let this sink in: we dedicate an entire week to honour blood sniffing, flesh gnawing, death machines. We name inanimate objects and form intense soul binding attachments with them. We can make money out of anything, like even if monsters literally invade from hell we would sell their hide and blood and mark our bodies with their tattoos( Pacific Rim, come on bro)

All these charming examples have a common theme in that, we believe this world is ours. Through adoration or destruction we have firmly established our presence. In the grand scheme of things, buying properties and getting a high paying job doesn’t have the slightest impact on the universe. Stars will die and be reborn a million times over right above our heads and entire galaxies could be collapsing into a black hole right at this very moment and yet we remain here worrying about things like mortgage payments and losing those extra 10 pounds. But perhaps that really is what it means to be human. Living out the days trying to make the best out of what we have and doing things that don’t suck with people that don’t suck.

Even in high stakes science fiction/action/whatever media shows, what really sells the story is the human connections. No matter how cool the Gatling guns, or the CGI, that one moment of human nature is what makes it all real. Which is totally why vigilantes are more badass than alien superheroes that fall from the sky.

“I’m only human” is a terrible excuse. To our knowledge, we’re the only species capable of comprehending the cosmos albeit in a limited way. We owe it to the life forms that don’t exist to be dazzled every moment by the universe.

I think I’ve blown our trumpet enough.

I am Groot Human,

P

No one’s actually going to read it fully, so buttocks

Dear Pasta advertisement,

I totes agree, but let me pretend to have a divergent opinion because I can. Divergence in case of tangible things is not not-possible because of monopolies standardising everything. It is because the choices we made in the past were decided on the basis of even past-er (pasta, paster geddit?) failures. We are now at this juncture beyond which a non-super-genius person would not be able to innovate.

Perhaps we can perfect what we already know, like a 60-year-old new-grandparent teaching life lessons which are not valid anymore; unfortunately there is no other frame of reference (both the example and the meaning it conveys)

We’ve had wars based on ideological differences, to conquer territory, and ‘agreements’ to earn monopoly in trade.  After all probable errors…

… the question comes, is this path the right one? Did we ignore the left? (No, I am not speaking about communism) What if the idea of perfect competition had never emerged and there was no need for a single company/joint organisation of several companies to have their franchises in every 3rd street all over the world? What if we had oxygenated drinks instead of those that are carbonated?

It would be pleasurable to have the old couple handling that toytown antique shop in Mount road, or a family making abstract tapestry in another, but we have to remember that humanity was at that locale once but migrated from it because reasons. Reasons like the tapestry family and the old couple had too many kids that took up the same profession. Or maybe when they decided that there was no such thing as ‘enough money’.

Pasta advertisements such as yourself emerged at a point when pasta became so popular and everyone outside of Italy wanted to enjoy it. You began as a reason for a person to consume your product by showing off that you were different in a way. (Incidentally, there are apples named after families 1, 2)

But now, it’s collective consumption that is ‘in’, and we find it cabalistic consuming the same standardised product as a person with a different coloured skin in a different part of the world speaking a different language. We try to find some common thread that connects the world…

… which is not just the way we think about issues like peace, poverty etc. It is now in the handheld devices, virtual media and calorie saturated food substances; through the magic of the wireless – the telepathic tube that connects the minds of everyone who can read and have the resources to use the parallel universe of the internet.

Telepathically transferring feelings of AWE,

A

(P.S. Barring the heading and the sign off let’s agree to have the word limit at 450 or else punishment. DFTBA)

Welcome to The Machine

Dear Ant-eater,

I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said about us being well-meaning materialistic people and I couldn’t agree more. We are consumers. But this word is no longer benign. It almost fools us into thinking we’re special. Why wouldn’t we? Our daily lives are characterised by things that are designed to make us happy. Everything has been carefully tooled and marketed with surgical precision to get our loyalty; to get our trust. But what we fail to see is that they form a Trojan horse infiltrating into our subconscious and making us slaves to these vapid consumerist whims.

Okay, okay. Hear me out.

An argument can be made that consumption is the end game of the production process, yes? But we know that there’s another motive, don’t we? Information. Under the guise of ‘serving us with the right advertising tools to better satisfy our needs’, a patronising dictum if I ever heard one, we are being watched every day. The alarming thing is we’ve freely handed over the reins of our cerebral movements to the proverbial ‘Big Brother’. I have allowed myself to be segmented into certain groups based on a few internet searches I’ve made about cats eating lasagna or whether Breaking Bad is actually an elaborate front for an actual meth operation( don’t tut me it was just a thought okay) which possibly makes me an unwilling target for advertisements of pasta and BB fan merch.

The thing is Ant-eater, I don’t want anyone to limit my personality on what I do with the internet. The same way I don’t want companies to simplify us by creating certain decision packages and classifying consumers as preferring option A or B. I would rather see varieties and vibrancy. I would rather see home owned diners with red leather seats instead of the same stinking franchise on every highway.

What I’m trying to say is, if AI dominance doesn’t make us irrelevant, Perfect Competition certainly will.

Welcoming you to the machine,

P