Author Topic: High Altitude Hell, part 5  (Read 909 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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High Altitude Hell, part 5
« on: June 13, 2016, 05:47:33 pm »
Lighting flashed nearby, startling me so badly that I almost fell off of the rock I was sitting on.  It was pouring rain but I had planned for that and was in a lean-to made with an old army poncho liner and some elastic tie-downs.  I shrugged, and woofed up the cactus I had eaten.

Now, it is important to understand that everything that follows was driven by that cactus.  Because when the lightning flashed again, the world went split-screen, and I was shown many things.

Behold America; a beast with 327 million heads, rolling over the landscape, absorbing everything it touches, and crapping out homogenous strip malls and casinos and LED billboards.  The beast sends its teenagers out with rifles when foreigners or malcontents object to being assimilated.  We are the Borg, except without the leather bondage gear.

 The lightning flashed again, and for a split second I could see posterity watching me:  A starveling crowd of Anne Franks, staring at me from across the lake.

Isaac wrote the calculus, giving us the language of the gods.  The operating code of the universe, which he set down on paper in between bouts of writing vicious religious tracks, and bashing on Hook, whom he hated as a rival.  Isaac was a very good hater.  Albert was not a hater, but he took Isaac’s work and told us all some very important things.  The most important was “matter tells space how to bend, and space tells matter how to move”.  Most people took Albert’s work as a collection of Thou Shall Nots, but that is stupid and wrong.   Uncle Albert just showed us a framework of how things couldn’t be done.  It was up to us to infer solutions by looking at the gaps in Albert’s framework.

Despite the temperature falling due to the unceasing rainstorm, I was sweating heavily.  I could no longer see the Anne Franks.  Were they walking around the lake toward me?  Was I to pay for America’s refusal to grant that brilliant child asylum?  They/she looked pretty damn hungry.

America thinks of itself as a republic, but it has always been an empire.  It was always intended to be an empire.  The doctrine of manifest destiny is as clear a statement of intent as anyone could ever ask for.  People were already living here, but The Beast knew how to deal with that.  Sicken them with alcohol and smallpox and kill all the buffalo.  Pretty soon the indigenous folk are formed into neat blocks of tofu, slowly decaying on the reservation.  I’Itoy watched all of this, I think, but his followers had all been told to worship another God, one that lived way the hell over in Rome.  He could do nothing; nobody had asked him to help.

Lightning flashed again, and the Anne Franks were all around my lean-to, staring at me.  They are the studio audience.  The laugh track was unbearable.  Please clap.  No, wait, please for the love of God, don’t clap.  Go away.  I wasn’t even born when they killed you.

Some astronomers and physicists now understand that the holes in Albert’s framework are loopholes in reality.  They know a Gordian Knot when they see one, and if they can’t do what they want because the universe won’t let them, they’ll just bugger off into some other universe to achieve their goals.  If reality won’t bend, get a new reality.  Others think that the above scientists are hunting snarks.  The universe is what it is, and is all that exists.   I tend to believe that the latter group are afraid of the idea, both because it sets everything we know on its ear, and also because where there are snarks, there might also be boojums.  Some of those boojums involve the fear of ridicule, and some might be a vague idea that these other universes might be really, really bad for us.

“The most wonderful thing I can think of,” the Anne Franks said, “Is that you never have to wait before doing good in the name of humanity.”  They continue staring, and it occurs to me that I haven’t actually done a lot of good.  No, I was for most of my life a perfect example of The Beast.  I would of course decry How Awful It All Was, but you can’t lie to Ann Frank…For when evil men proposed to do evil things, I stood by, having found no goodness inside me.  Instead there was only mischief and a terrible mirth.

Having consumed the North American tribes, The Beast looked outward.  A number of tiny wars followed, mostly in the name of Standard Oil and United Fruit.  Then a big war came along.  A different beast, which threatened our hegemony.  The world burned for a few years.  And then there was The Bomb.  The dangerous thing about the bomb wasn’t the destructive capacity of the devices themselves, or even the threat of extinction via nuclear warfare.  No, the bomb instead vaporized doubt.  Before the bomb, we felt that we could do anything.  After the bomb, we KNEW we could do anything.

Anne Frank looks at me.  “You are sick,” she says, “You have a ball of hatred and bitterness in your guts.  If you don’t get rid of it, it will poison you and you will die.”  Who knows?  She might even be right…But I am what I am.  I say so.
“Nonsense,” she continues, “Everyone can change.  Your reality tunnel is a storehouse of petty slights, betrayals both real and perceived, and old horrors from years gone by.”  She gave a shy smile.  “All you have to do is turn around and walk back out of that particular tunnel.”

The Beast began to drive the scientists, and the curve of knowledge increased and increased until it is now damn near vertical.  The Beast has realized, at an unconscious level, that it has fouled its own nest and had damn well better find another one.  But something strange is also happening.  The Beast remains a giant stupid pile of evil, but the people are changing, largely if not entirely due to the very same technology.  Jesus hasn’t saved us, so we’d better damn well do it ourselves.

“But not you,” Anne Frank says, “You refuse to change.”  I tried to explain.  I tried to tell her how I CAN’T just walk away from what I consider to be righteous gripes…But she was gone.  I felt a pang of regret as I felt the cactus losing its hold on me.  What if she was right?

Balls.  I get up and shamble toward the truck, laughing at the very idea.  I am the Good Reverend Roger.  Redemption is not on the table.. 

It occurred to me as I got in the truck that I’Itoy hadn’t made an appearance, despite loads of chemical assistance to make sure that I might at least think it would happen.  How very strange.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2016, 07:15:10 pm by The Good Reverend Roger »
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
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 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2016, 06:16:18 pm »
Sounds like something monumental is on the horizon.  For all of us.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2016, 06:25:46 pm »
Sounds like something monumental is on the horizon.  For all of us.

Or I was just royally fucked up.

Needless to say, I edited out the 4+ hours that was just basically the businessman's lunch.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2016, 06:40:26 pm »
Distilled Revelations. Best way I can describe it. :mittens:
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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2016, 07:11:43 pm »
Minor quibble: I believe it's Anne Frank.

Your shit is fucking me up right proper. Everything's fucked up today. These are the kinds of times you need old men in the desert.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2016, 07:14:19 pm »
Minor quibble: I believe it's Anne Frank.

Your shit is fucking me up right proper. Everything's fucked up today. These are the kinds of times you need old men in the desert.

Oh, right.  BRB.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2016, 08:49:04 pm »
Anne Frank as the Christmas yet to come has to be one of the most chilling images, Thats going to haunt you. If she said she would show me fear in a handful of ash I don't think my legs would stop running until I blacked out somewhere.

I think this is one of my favourites of yours Roger.

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 09:03:31 pm »
This is amazeballs.

:mittens:
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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 09:26:39 pm »
This caused a sense of physical wrongness to bloom somewhere behind my lungs. A very specific type of fear. It is excellent work.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2016, 01:47:19 am »
Anne Frank as the Christmas yet to come has to be one of the most chilling images, Thats going to haunt you. If she said she would show me fear in a handful of ash I don't think my legs would stop running until I blacked out somewhere.

I think this is one of my favourites of yours Roger.

Thanks. 

The thing about Anne Frank is that she wasn't just a tragic figure.  Based on her diary, she was also a very good person, who tried to see the best in everything right up until the bastards caught her.  She is an iconic figure for a reason; she is the perfect example of just how evil and destructive the Nazis were.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2016, 03:04:09 am »
Very much enjoyed this.  Rock-on!
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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 04:50:59 am »
That gave me shivers.

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 02:32:04 pm »
I would of course decry How Awful It All Was, but you can’t lie to Ann Frank…For when evil men proposed to do evil things, I stood by, having found no goodness inside me.  Instead there was only mischief and a terrible mirth.

So, yeah, this. This I still have trouble with. There is the question of how to solve the unsolvable riddle, tempered with the fact that, on some level, everything is a joke. Terrible mirth seems like the logical choice even if, long term, it makes me a horrible person :sad:
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Awful and Bent Behemothic Results of Last Night's Painful Squat.
High Altitude Haggis-Filled Sex Bucket From Beyond Time and Space.
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Octomom Auxillary Heat Exchanger Repairman
walking the fine line line between genius and batshit fucking crazy

"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and it’s not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesn’t matter." -- Max Tegmark

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Re: High Altitude Hell, part 5
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2016, 05:12:56 pm »
You are on fire, sir. I reckon the fire started somewhere inside you.