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Tale of Tiny Man with Scissors: How Abstract Thinking Became Concrete Prison
"And don’t you dare touch any topics that our #free TV doesn’t want you to touch."
This is a philosophical story about free expression that I wrote in 2018 (note the mention of transhumanists, who I thought were going to get dangerous waaaay after my lifetime). This morning, I remembered this story and thought, it’s only been four years, and look at how surreal the world has become! Ironically, I am more optimistic today than I was back then.
Preamble. Meet the Great Castrator.
I am looking at a staircase. It is going very high up, and somewhere in the middle, stands a tiny man with scissors. His role is to make sure that on the way up, nobody makes it through with their balls intact and their souls uncracked.
Want to make it big time? Snip-snip, congrats, you are good to go.
Want to be a huuuuge influencer on TV? Well, you’ve worked hard and you’ve made it so far… snip-snip. Up you go, tiger.
The corporate gatekeeper is smiling. Continuity of tradition is his job.
You can say whatever you want as long as it’s just titillating soundbites in people’s ears.
You can say whatever you want as long as your breath has never traveled to the unspeakable place of raw freedom—or, if you are familiar with that place, you have forgotten even the smell of it.
Yes, please go ahead and say whatever you want as long as it changes nothing but your social status, the visibility of your brand, and the thickness of your wallet.
The machine is vibrating and dancing and humming a tune it likes. You can go as high as you can — but you can’t change the tune… Go go go, tiger.
Part One. A War of Words
Once upon a time, people weren’t isolated from nature by the walls of concrete and the walls of empty speeches.
Once upon a time, isolation from nature would mean imminent death — and nobody in their right mind would go there.
Once upon a time, language was used as magic. Direct expression or poetry, it was head-on, not round-about.
And if somebody used words to create fog in another person’s head, it was done to an adversary.
Today, we call those times primitive.
Today, volumes have been written on the language of confusion, ehm, persuasion. Neurolinguistic programming, emotional grids, bubbly affirmations, blah blah blah. Marketers, politicians, writers, and social influencers are doing to everybody what historically has only been done to the enemy.
We are the yin and the yang of this conundrum. We are the abused and the abuser. Every day on the train, we are bombarded with enemy ads that try to change our neuronal pathways and turn us into obedient zombies—and then we get a paycheck for doing just that to others. We are all being used to sacrifice each other at the altar of the Machine.
We are the hasty puppets with big anime eyes. We are the lab rats under a perpetual linguistic attack—a sweet and steady attack of words on our bellies and on our sacred souls.
Part Two. Broken Interfaces
I, Tessa, am in the middle of an experiment. I try to use normal, unadulterated language and see if I can financially compete with the charlatans. I’ve been doing it for a while — and I don’t like what I see. Normal, unadulterated language does not work on abnormal and broken interfaces! Unadulterated language creates unspeakable happiness for me but it drives the gatekeepers and their minions crazy. It’s that little man and his scissors. He wants me to stop resisting, to leave my original soul and my original words at the gate, and to talk like a hungry mouth without anything sacred in my belly.
But that’s unacceptable, I am a tactile woman, a peasant, a real person! I like to use my language the way it was intended. Do you know the feeling that comes over you when you use the language as intended? The absolute happiness?
Am I a cheap booth girl who has to dance to the tune of the machine?
A cheering con artist whose function is to distract the crowds with poisoned platitudes in order to guard SELF from poverty and obscurity?
It is that bad out there?
And what happened to the original purpose of words?
Maybe when we humans discovered a long time ago that we could step away from the physical reality and create fiction — and thus co-create the world — we got very excited, and then our creativity became extreme and morphed into hubris? And then like drug dealer-addicts, we started taking bigger and bigger steps away from reality, until we lost the sight of home? And then, in order to feel special in our lonely separation, we deified it and put a halo around our ambition to be God without God?
Part Three. Ehm, Excuse Me, Who Has the Mic?
Today, in a world that glorifies abstraction and sings praise to the ability to create fictitious narratives and artificial structures, there is a general distrust of the natural peasant. Disdain even.
Just think about the academic field of anthropology: A discipline in which outsider theoreticians get to speak for the uncultured and the indigenous, as if the internal (and quite functional) language of the observed needs a fix or even a nod from the observer.
And don’t get me started on transhumanists.
Curiosity, fine, I get it, learning new things is pleasant — but when did the framework of exploration become sadistic, unloving, and totally dismissive of the physical experience—and why do the sensory limitations of the observer trump the actual physical truth? And why is it that the proud analyst whose commentary is based on books and imagination, gets the mic over the peasant who is in possession of direct experience and who has lived the very thing that the analyst is analyzing?
You see the analyst on prime time TV all day! He gets the mic and the byline — while the peasant remains a forever faceless representative of a select demographic. A data point. An illustration of the analyst’s puffy-cheeked presentation…
It is no wonder that it is more prestigious to be an analyst, if the heart lets you.
But the heart….?
Part Four: The Heart
I wonder if in his sleep, the naked analyst is crying helplessly as his hands are trying to find the parts that are missing…
I wonder if my mighty masters are afraid to find themselves alone, between the earth and the infinite sky, face to face with their humanity.
Is it why my masters—and yours—want us to keep talking like parrots?
#Freedom, anybody? Anybody seen #freedom recently?
And don’t you dare touch any topics that our #free TV doesn’t want you to touch. That raw place is very dangerous.
You have no balls, tiger. You knew what the price would be.
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