Fighting evil is important, isn’t it? It’s very important indeed – fighting evil is the name of the game. Fighting evil is how we create evil after all, and where would we be without evil? Where indeed, you repeat dutifully, where indeed. It’s very important to further the Cause, to extend the Empire of Evil. Who knows where we would be otherwise. It doesn’t bear thinking about does it?
The system was supplying me with my identity. ‘Praise be to the system,’ I cried out, ‘the system is providing me with my identity.’ I carried on mumbling praises to the munificent system, to the All-Wise and All-Seeing System. ‘Oh great system,’ I mumbled, ‘thank you for this wonderful identity. We praise you for your most magnificent generosity. We are unworthy of your benevolence and we are eternally indebted to you for this most incredible gift…’ And so on and so forth.
As always, I involuntarily turned my mind to wondering what would happen if the system decided for some reason not to provide me with an identity, if the system decided to suddenly take it away from me again, and – as always – I was filled with a great and unspeakable terror. This made me mumble praises all the more of course, just in case the system was contemplated withdrawing its gift. ‘Oh Great System,’ I intoned drearily, ‘you are so great and I’m so unworthy. Thank you for bothering yourself to give me an identity even though I don’t really deserve it. Words cannot say how grateful I am for your splendidly magnificent munificence.’
Needless to say I didn’t actually like my identity very much – very often I found myself hating and despising it. Always I found myself bored to tears by it. It’s a pretty dismal, crappy old identity really, like something you’d find in a pound shop on a bargain self. Cheap and nasty it was, and mass-produced into the bargain. Every idiot has one, and they are all the bloody same – despite whatever attempts one might make to personalise it in some small way and make it special. On the other hand, I thought to myself dutifully, how terrible it would be if we didn’t have one. That’s why doesn’t do to complain too much – any crappy old piece-of-shit identity is better than nothing at all!
The system runs us as extensions of itself, of course. That’s important to know. That’s very important to know. We are it, really. The system has created each and every one of us in its own image, which is an honour that we definitely do not deserve! What a supreme honour that is, to be sure. It also means that the system itself must be crappy and third-rate of course, like some cheap piece of plastic junk that you – for some obscure reason – bought in a pound shop. That is an obvious extrapolation but it’s probably best to well stay away from it all the same. It’s probably best to stay away from it because it leads us down the path of blasphemy against the system.
We won’t go down that road, therefore. Anyone who knows what side their bread is buttered on knows not to go down that road. They all know it, we all know it. That’s basic intelligence – don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Or rather don’t bite the hand that defines you. Don’t bite the hand that defines you because if you do then it’s going to ball itself up into the most enormous fist you ever saw, a fist like a mountain or a giant moon-sized meteorite and it’s going to come hurtling in your direction and – at the risk of stating the obvious – when that enormous stony fist smashes into you at God-alone knows what velocity you are going to know about it. You’re going to know everything about it. Everything you need to know anyway. Everything you need to know for the purposes of this particular exercise at any rate – maybe not all the philosophy behind it. Maybe not all the metaphysical implications.
There’s no time for philosophy when that giant fist is coming at you, obviously. Philosophy just isn’t part of the equation my friend. The equation which can be conveniently written down in the form ‘Giant stone-like fist’ plus ‘Your head’ equals ‘X’. Please establish a value for the variable X, correct to within four decimal points. The first ten correct answers will be entered into our monthly draw and who knows what you might win? You’ll definitely win something great. Maybe a sling to put your head in…
Angry Sumerians with superb hair-styles and frighteningly white teeth are running full pelt down the street towards me, brandishing crudely fashioned weapons. The end of the world is approaching rapidly but no one is interested. It has happened too many times before – the details may change but the end result is always the same. The nanobots are in a feeding frenzy – they are devouring the very fabric of space and time. In its place, they excrete modern society. Everything is being degraded, and – very shortly – everything is to be degraded all over again. The more things change the more they stay the same, isn’t that what they say? I must confess that I don’t really know what they mean when they say this, but I come out with this line quite a lot myself. It has a sort of resonance, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
Whingeing, whining, and self-cherishing. Whingeing, whining, and self-cherishing. Isn’t that how it goes? That’s how it goes with me anyway. What a joke, huh? What a bloody joke! Only it’s not the sort of joke you’re supposed to laugh at. Jokes you’re supposed to laugh at are different. They can be quite funny – if you’re in the right frame of mind to be laughing that is, which generally I’m not. I’d like to be feeling humorous of course, we’d all like to be feeling humorous but what can you do? In the sour, bitter world which I unfortunately inhabit humour is something which doesn’t exist. It’s an alien concept. It’s not something I can relate to.
People approach me on the street and tell the complicated jokes. They look sideways at me with the eyes of eels as they pass by. I can’t understand the significance of their words however. They look at me with tortured faces, expecting the impossible, waiting for the ‘special thing’ to happen even though it never will. Even though it never can do. The special thing that everyone is waiting for is a hallucination it’s true but it is not the usual kind of hallucination. It’s not something that has any relationship with reality, which is something that normal hallucinations actually do have, contrary to what you might think. That’s the difference and it’s a big one. When we are relating to normal hallucinations then we are – at least to some degree – in touch with reality, which is a redemptive factor. The type of hallucination of which I speak here is not like that – it comes with no redemptive factor, none at all.
I am firing off an arrow from the sacred Bow of Intention. I am visualising myself releasing the arrow into the blue sky – ‘Fly, arrow fly,’ I cry out loudly, ‘fly away and never come back…’ The arrow is stuck fast to my fingers however and I can’t release it. ‘Release the arrow, release the arrow!’ I tell myself, but I can’t. People approach me on the street with complicated explanations of the fundamental enigma of existence but I stumble past them heedlessly – I can see their lips moving as if in slow motion but I can’t make any sense of their words. Their expressions are lugubrious, mournful – imploring even – but I ignore them. I have hardened my heart.
They too are waiting for the impossible, they too are hoping for a resolution that can never happen. They search for a salvation which will never be theirs, a salvation that will never be anyone’s. Instead of pity I feel only anger. I want to shout at them, rage at them, shake them violently by their collars until they see sense. I don’t, though. I repress this urge and push roughly past them, refusing to be touched by the pleading look they all have in their eyes. I can’t allow myself to take on their suffering…
I was worried that my enemies might be trying to poison me. No just with their toxic thoughts, their vile judgements, their evil intent, but actually with genuine chemical poisons. Their resources are considerable after all – their resources are very considerable indeed. They might be using traces of the transuranic elements for example, traces too small to show up on any instruments but nevertheless cumulative in their effect. After four or five years of this I would be done for – I would just collapse one day and that would be the end of me.
‘That’s just a defence mechanism of the ego’, my brain tells me coldly. ‘It’s a gimmick, a hoax, a red herring’. My brain is scathing. ‘All this nonsense about your enemies going to extraordinary lengths to do away with you – pure horse-shit from beginning to end. It’s absolute balderdash, how could you believe such drivel?’ My brain is tearing strips off me, as you can see. ‘You understand nothing,’ it told me. ‘Haven’t I explained all this to you a thousand times before?’
My brain had explained this to me before – it had carefully explained to me how the ego tries on stuff like this as a way of proving that it exists. It shouts loudly that someone is trying to murder it and then hides behind the drama. It roars out that someone is trying to kill it, thereby putting everyone – including itself – off the scent. Oh no, someone is trying to bump you off! That’s real bad news for you isn’t it? Particularly as you don’t exist even exist in the first place!
My brain points this out to me every time but somehow I never seem to remember it. That old ego of mine catches me out every single time, no matter how many times I’ve been told, and that is why my brain is so very exasperated with me. I can’t blame it, really. It’s not really my brain of course, I just call it that. It’s an implant, an implanted bit of alien hardware, salvaged from a crashed alien spaceship. No one could work out what the function of this bit of alien technology was so and as a last resort the team implanted it into my head and spliced it into my corpus callosum, just to see what happened. I’m an experiment, in other words. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say and so I volunteered to be the guinea pig. I stepped forward and agreed to undergo the procedure… That’s all lies of course, I only come out with stuff like that to get people going. It’s incredible how gullible folk are when you put them to the text, it really is. You can tell them anything.
The alien implant isn’t really an alien implant, it’s actually a licensed piece of equipment from the Enlightenment Corporation designed to help users find their way out of the murky twilight world of Samsara and return to the light of the One True Consciousness. That’s what it says on the quick start-up guide, anyway. Of course there is a bit of alien technology included in the unit – that goes without saying really. We always need a bit of it. Human technology is so crap, as we all know. It’s basically unreliable. We even design it to go wrong after a while, so you have to upgrade it. Alien technology, on the other hand, never goes wrong. It can behave mysteriously but it never malfunctions. ‘Wrong’ doesn’t exist for alien technology – it’s non-polar, it is beyond all explicit or implicit dichotomies such as right and wrong, error and ‘correct functioning’. Who’s to say what this thing called ‘correct functioning’ is, anyway?
I often worry about my ego. Is my ego really me, I wonder, or is it only pretending that it is? Am I a spiritual being, underneath it all? Or am I only a dishonest ego pretending not to be an ego? Am I pretending to be more spiritual than I really am, when really I’m just a bog-standard gobshyte like everyone else? Should I pretend to be my ego, like most other people do, or should I pretend that I’m not? What is the socially responsible thing to do? The most important rules in society are the implicit ones and – as every sociology student knows – no one will ever admit to the existence of an implicit rule. That’s how they work, after all. The explicit rules are a decoy – we make a lot of fuss about them but the truth is that it doesn’t really matter in the least if you break them. If we don’t obey the implicit laws however then that is totally unforgivable and on some level we all know that. We’re all scandalized. We’re not allowed to admit to ourselves that we know it (that’s an example of an implicit rule right there) but we do all the same. We all implicitly know that we mustn’t own up to knowing that there are these things called ‘implicit rules’ but we nevertheless pretend that we don’t know. We’ll laugh at anyone says that they are such things; more than this, we’ll be totally indignant at the suggestion. We’ll be poisonously judgemental. How dare you suggest that society is made up of implicit rules, we’ll say. That isn’t true at all and you are showing yourself up to be a heinous transgressor by trying to say that there is. Although we won’t say the second part of that sentence out loud of course; and not only that but we won’t allow ourselves to admit to having thought it in the first place. Not in a million years will we admit to that. How dareyou suggest that I have had that thought, I will say. You’ve just transgressed a second time by suggesting that I am covertly judging you for transgressing an implicit rule. So you see how tricky all this is! That’s society for you – is it any wonder that no good ever comes out of it? You can’t pin anyone down because no one’s ever going to be honest about what they’re doing. No one’s ever going come clean because there’s an implicit rule saying that we’re not allowed to. The first rule of the implicit rule club is that there is no implicit rule club, etc. We’re all in it together, although we will protest most strenuously that we are not. We’ll be shocked and surprised that anyone who says we are because that means that they have transgressed the implicit rule which says we mustn’t ever own up to partaking in a secret collusion, even though if we obey this rule then that proves that we absolutely ARE colluding. Anyway, that’s society for you – we’re a bunch of insincere egos pretending to genuine honest-to-goodness individuals. Is my ego pretending to be me or am I pretending to be my ego? That’s the question we started off with, isn’t it. We all like to pretend that we not a bunch of gobshyte crappy ass-sucking egos of course because that’s profoundly demeaning. It’s a mockery, it makes us all ridiculous. Repeat after me: ‘I am not my ego’. Of course you’re not buddy, of course you’re not. You’re bona fide, you’re the real deal. Just keep on repeating that. Repetition is the key after all – keep throwing that old shit against the wall and eventually it will stick, right? The act itself is an exercise in laughable insincerity, but that’s the very reason that we have to keep on trying so hard to say that we’re not insincere, and then this feverish, pointless, laughable insistence goes on to be the bedrock of our existence. That’s our baseline – striving heroically to be sincere when we aren’t and never can be. Going to extraordinary lengths, really going out on a limb over it. A rotten limb, too… You might even go out on a spiritual limb, which is another way the ego can try to prove that it’s being sincere and that it’s not just an ego. There’s no end to our trickery, there really isn’t. That’s why spiritual people are often so very annoying, as I’m sure you have noticed. You are in the presence of a very great insincerity there, a very great insincerity which is stretching itself practically to breaking point in the heroic but doomed attempt to prove, by hook or by crook, that it is not insincere at all. Get out of that one if you can, my friend! Untie yourself from that knot! Am I pretending to be my ego or am I an ego pretending not to be an ego? Am I pretending to be a spiritually enlightened ego or is this a true fact? Am I pretending to be an ego that is in turn pretending that it is doing its very best to transcend itself or am I pretending to be an ego which spends all its time pretending that it isn’t pretending? I’m not really my ego (or so I say) and so does that mean that I am only pretending to be pretending, or is it the other way around and I am pretending to be not pretending when actually of course I’m pretending just as hard as ever I can?
Ask not for whom the bell toads for it toads for you! It toads for you for sure. Where to hide, where to hide? Where to hide when reality itself has turned against you? The bloody old bell; that bloody, bloody old bell…
It’s toading for you old buddy so you had better watch your step. You’d better mind yourself because that’s bad news for sure. Lay low if you can. Lay very low and maybe your doom will miss you. Probably it won’t miss you though. Probably it won’t miss you because one’s doom isn’t usually the sort of thing one can avoid.
Ask not for whom the bell toads for. It toads for it toads for. Ask not, ask not. Where to hide when reality itself turned against you, right? That’s a tricky one as we all know very well – they don’t come any trickier than that and I don’t think anyone here is going to disagree with that, do you? That’s a tricky old one and no mistake – where to hide when that old bell starts toading for you…
It toads for us all in the end however so perhaps you can take some comfort in that? I hope you can take some comfort in that – I don’t know what else to suggest if you can’t. There’s not really much else I can say on the subject if that doesn’t help you. You see, reality will generally play ball with you for a while – that’s my experience at least. Reality will generally play along with you for a while but don’t let that fool you! No sir – you don’t want to let that fool you.
It’s only biding its time you see; reality is lulling you into a false sense of security. Or a sense of false security. We are all very easy to lull when it comes to the false sense of security department and that’s a rather strange thing, wouldn’t you say? I’d say it is anyway – I’d definitely say that. We so damn easy to lull that it’s actually quite incredible – what’s wrong with us, after all? It takes no length of time and – bang! – it’s as if we been hypnotised. We’re under the anaesthetic. We love that old sense of false security business so very much – it’s all we know, after all. It’s a way of life, it’s our only way of life…
The days are long and they contain many horrors – horrors that could pop up anywhere at any moment. Like slices of toast being ejected by high-speed toaster, startling the life out of you. Frightening the bejesus right out of you. Your heart is beating like the clappers, your breath is coming in short painful bursts and your skin is cold and clammy. You’ve seen more than you bargained for and you’re lurching out of control into a world of blind panic.
Lurching, lurching, lurching, and the whole time that old bell is toading and you know it’s toading for you. You’re hoping it’s toading for someone else but it isn’t of course. How could it be? The universe is your enemy, you see. It hates you. Reality itself is your enemy and you’re hoping you can give it the slip. Give it the slip, give it the slip, give it the slip, and the whole time that bloody old bell is toading…
I am afraid of the dead. The dead live inside me and I am afraid of them. The dead have an awful power over the living even though they themselves are dead. Did you ever hear of the awful power of the dead? The dead have a momentum that is immense, a momentum that you cannot imagine, and they are locked on to their doom. They are locked onto their doom and they want to bring us with them. They want company you see, they act from a deep dark well of malice that we cannot even begin to imagine. They act out of their unspeakable despair.
The dead call out to me. Who can hear them? Who can hear the cries of the dead? They call out to me in voices that are silent, silent as the tomb is silent, silent as the abyss is silent. The dead cry out for company but not with their own voices, for they have none. They cry out with the voice of the Great Malignancy that has overtaken them, and pulled them to their doom. Unable to save themselves, they make sure to bring us with them and this is the awful momentum of the dead.
The dead have already reached their destination – They have been hypnotized by their doom. Even when they were alive they had already reached their destination. They could not resist its pull. Even when they were alive they were dead and this is the dark force of predestination, the dark force of predetermination. No despair on earth can be greater than the awareness of this dark force of predetermination, which is the path that must be walked, the path that leads to the abyss. No despair on earth can equal this awareness and it expresses itself through unspeakable malignancy. This awareness expresses itself through unimaginable malignancy. That malignancy is reaching out to me.
I am afraid of the dead because the dead overtake the living. The dead always overtake the living. The dead always overtake the living and so the living are already dead. The dead cannot live and so they resent the living, they cannot tolerate the living to live. That is the one power they have left them – the power to reach out and overtake the living. This is their only recourse, the only way they have of expressing the terrible despair that has destroyed them. They channel the Great Malignancy. They helplessly channel the Great Malignancy as if it were their own will, but it is not. It is the will of the ancient malignancy that has overtaken them, the unspeakable malignancy that wants nothing else but to overtake all who live, all who have the temerity to live.
The temerity to dare to live is the ultimate crime. We have not the right, they tell us. What gives you the right to live, the silent voices of the dead cry out accusingly. How dare you assume the right. The dead overshadow the living – the dead have always overshadowed the living. We try to outrun the shadow that grows, the shadow that gains on us day by day, but that shadow will eventually fall over us. The calls of the dead have stopped us in our tracks, they pull us back to where we belong. This is our loyalty to our fathers and our father’s fathers. How dare we live when they could not.
Life itself is the crime. Life itself is that which cannot be forgiven. There is no resentment on earth that can compare with the resentment that the dead bear towards the living – or towards those who would live, were that permitted, were that allowed. Life itself is the crime, an unbearable insult in the eyes of the dead. They cannot abide it; this is the one thing they cannot bear to see – that their children should live when they cannot. Life is a terrible, terrible reminder of where they went wrong. There can be no greater torment than to be reminded of what they have failed to do, of where they went wrong…
No hatred on earth can compare with the hatred that the dead have for the living! They watch on with their baleful eyes, they watch over us with unspeakable malice. They call out to us, they call us back from life. They remind us of our loyalty, the loyalty to our fathers and our father’s fathers. How dare they live when they may not! The dead live within us and direct our lives. They live within us even though they themselves are dead – they seek the solace of drawing us with them. This is the only solace that is left to them, the solace that is no solace, that solace that will prove to be the great despair of all.
The solace that the dead involuntarily seek is the solace that is the inversion of all that was good within them, or all that would have been good within them. They seek solace for the despair that they have given themselves over to, and yet this solace turns out to be the greatest despair of all – it turns out to be a horror beyond all reckoning. The dead call out to us and we cannot resist them. They call out to us from beyond the grave, just as their forefathers called out to them.
It’s a funny old universe we live in. Viciously funny, and entirely at our expense of course. It’s funny all the same, if we can find it within ourselves to appreciate the joke, which on the whole we can’t. I would actually go so far as to say that this is the defining characteristic of us funny old human beings – that we live in what is essentially a humorous universe whilst being the same time quite lacking ourselves in a sense of humour! What a predicament, huh? You’ve got to admit that’s a good one…
My ego was trying to have a happy time. ‘Have a happy time, have a happy time, have a happy time, have a happy time…’ it told itself dolefully. But it didn’t do any good. It never does. What a terrible situation, huh? That’s got to be the saddest situation there ever could be, without any doubt. Without any doubt whatsoever. It wins hands down. Should we be sorrow for the hell-spawned ego though or should we rejoice in its misfortunes? That’s the big question, isn’t it? What our attitude in these matters should be.
‘Have yourselves a happy time now!’ – isn’t that the message of our filthy capitalist world? Because I’m worth it, and all of that old bollocks. Because I’m so bloody worth it. Is that a lie you’reprepared to swallow? I’d say it is, really. I’d say it definitely is! Of all the lies in the world (and there are many) that is the sweetest. So wonderfully sweet, so delectably sweet. ‘Have a happy time for yourself now,’ the advertising robot tells us, with a wink. The advertising robots are us of course – no self-respecting automaton would ever have anything to do with this kind of shyte. The socially-conditioned ego, right? Have yourself a lovely happy time now. Because your ego is worth it. Does your ego deserve the very best? Of course it does, of course it does. Let’s roll out the red carpet for it and get ready with the hair-care products. Let the farce begin.
Let no one say that the universe doesn’t have a sense of humour! Wouldn’t you agree? It’s a wicked sense of humour in one way perhaps but – on the other hand – if you happen to be stupid enough to walk into a trap like that then you kind of deserve everything you get. That’s the other way of looking at it. If you’re enough of a dumb-ass to fall for that line then you kind of have it coming to you, wouldn’t you say? If a bunch of smarmy smooth-talking advertising jackasses (sorry I mean executives) walk up to you as if they care and tell you that you ought to buy the product because you’re worth it, because your sweet-natured fluffy little ego deserves to have a nice time, and this works on you then I’m afraid you’re just going to have to put up with whatever happens next. By Jingo you are!
‘Don’t feed the egos,’ right? ‘Don’t feed the bloody old egos’. That sign’s there for a reason you know. You’re supposed to take notice of it. Because if you don’t then you know what’s going to happen next! By God you do and don’t try to tell me otherwise. ‘Oh look here’s a cute little ego let’s feed it…’ Let’s feed the little bastard. Maybe it’ll do some tricks for us; maybe it’ll do something cute. Like shit all over your expensive new outfit. Maybe a whole bunch of them will jump on top of your car and poop all over it and then everything will go brown. Maybe they will smash the windows and pull you out and eat you alive? You can’t say you didn’t have it coming, after all…
I was reading the writing on the wall: ‘Illegal parking is illegal,’ it said. Illegal people will be punished, I repeated dutifully in my mind. That’s the rules. A grim smile slowly spread across my face – I knew all about punishing illegal people. I thought I did, anyway. ‘What does it take to make a hoo-min bean?’ I wondered idly. What are the essential qualities that are needed?’ Some questions can’t be answered of course, but that isn’t one of them. ‘All the products are good, but some are worthy of special mention,’ I told myself with a vigorous nod of my head. I was agreeing with myself, you see. No one else does. ‘Yes, yes, yes’ I said, ‘that’s just the way it is.’ I was a visitor from the Lesser Mandibular Cluster, a transient on this planet. ‘What is it that makes up a hoo-min bean?’ I found myself wondering for what must have been the hundredth time that evening. ‘Is it their slyness? Is it their ability to lie convincingly? Or is it perhaps the fact that they have no interest in anything else apart from continuously distracting themselves with their own bullshit?’ The police had been asking me about my documentation but I didn’t know what to say to them. ‘I’m a transient,’ I told them. ‘I’m not here for very long…’ When I explained that I was from the Lesser Mandibular Cluster that finally seemed to satisfy them and they left me alone. But not without giving me a good few whacks with their trusty truncheons, I might add. ‘I have been praying for death,’ I shouted at them as they walked away, ‘have you been sent to kill me?’ They ignored me and drove off in their vehicle, probably realising that they were dealing with a superior intellect and that there was nothing they could do. They had to walk away in order to save face, but not without giving me a good kicking, I might add. Not without giving me a good kicking. I’m not really from the Lesser Mandibular Cluster though – that was just a ruse on my part. I’m full of ruses. I’m actually from Algol-9, the Devil Star, only it doesn’t generally help the situation much to say this. Though it’s not really Algol-9, it’s just plain old Algol – it’s only Algol-9 in my mind. Our lives just happened, didn’t they? They just happened and there’s no other way to put it. No way that I know of, anyway. What are we supposed to do about it? What can we do about it? Our lives just happened and so here we are. Here we are, picking up the pieces as best we can. Not that we can ‘pick up the pieces’ of course, not really. It’s kind of bewildering, isn’t it? I often wonder why people don’t look more obviously bewildered as they go about their daily business. They should look more bewildered than they do, by rights. They don’t look bewildered at all come to think of it and that’s a weird thing. A very weird thing. They look as if there actually know what they’re doing – can you believe that? How incredible is that? Why do we feel that it’s so important – essential even – to look as if we know what we are doing? And not only look as if we know what we doing but to actually believe it ourselves! How incredible is that? Just what the hell is all that about? ‘Eat fresh food fast,’ says the sign in front of me. Or maybe it says ‘Eat fresh food quickly’ – I can’t tell what is reality and what is my own hasty interpretation of reality. Always so hasty, always so hasty. Why so hasty my friend? Why always so hasty? It’s because we are afraid, isn’t it? We’re refugees from the Terror World. Only the border guards wouldn’t let us in. The border guards are brutal and coarse and they delight in giving pain. They delight so very much in giving pain that it’s positively uncanny! When you go for the job that is the first thing they ask you – ‘Do you delight in giving pain?’ If you answer ‘yes’ then you will get the job. Simple as that. Just say ‘yes’ loudly and clearly, and sound like you mean it!
The bigger and more powerful the lie the greater the advantage it will confer on us, were we to accommodate ourselves to it. Were we to be astute enough to accommodate ourselves to it, should I say.
So that’s good news. It’s good news if you happen to be smart enough to know what side of your bread has the butter on it, which in all fairness most people do. It’s fashionable to say that people are stupid I know, but I don’t think they are that stupid myself – we’re all smart enough to know what side our bread is buttered on when it comes to the question of what the biggest and most powerful lie in currency happens to be. We work that one out quickly enough, so it seems. We work out what the most powerful lie in town is and then we latch onto it. Boy do we latch onto it! You couldn’t prise us off it with a crowbar.
Saying that human beings are dumb is to let them off far too lightly, in my view. Lacking moral compass perhaps – yes, you could say that. Devoid of even the slightest trace of integrity? Yes – I’d go along with that. I’d have to concede that point against the human race. Abysmally fickle and completely fake? Fair point guvnor, I can’t deny that. And so on and so forth. You might possibly think that I’m just having a bad day (or a bad week, or a bad year, or a bad life) and that I’m merely projecting all that unprocessed negativity onto the human race as a whole, which naturally doesn’t seem like a very fair thing to do. I beg to differ, however. I’m being more thoughtful than you give me credit for, if that’s what you think.
‘He’s not a very positive guy’, you might say. ‘He isn’t saying any positive stuff and positive stuff is good,’ you might say. That’s it really isn’t it – it’s all about being positive, it’s all about coming up with that good old positive stuff. That’s the ultimate virtue isn’t it – painting a nauseatingly sentimental and completely untrue picture of the world out of some strange sense of duty. Please forgive me for not grasping the importance of this mighty principle, the supreme principle of positive thinking. Yes, yes, yes – the wonderful positive thinking! But don’t forget this principle either: the greatest confidence is generated by the mightiest lie, and so let us cast about for that lie and no other – the strongest lie, the most powerful lie, the most kick-ass lie. Let us find that lie and pledge allegiance to it.
Bring us word of this Uber-Lie, speak to us of the Master Lie that we might learn of it and follow it. The politician in his pulpit, the teacher standing by their blackboard, the officer of the law with his trusty truncheon, the taxidermist and the trombone player, the barrister and the barman, the ventriloquist and the veterinary surgeon, all joined together in solemn adoration of the most sacred porky! The fish in the sea may not know the nature of the medium within which they travel so freely, so it is written, and neither may we humans have insight into the Ocean of Lies within which we conduct our affairs. We cannot know the nature of this ocean. We cannot know the illusion for what it is. If you were to wonder why folk are always so damn busy, going here and going there, doing this and doing that, then this is why – we are busy chasing illusions. Or as we could also say, it’s because we can’t tell the difference between lies and the truth! No sir, we can’t…
‘Excuse me, dear sir,’ I say my poshest voice, ‘can you explain to me what the key difference is between lies and the truth?’ ‘Of course I can,’ replied the Liar, ‘I’d be delighted to explain that crucial point to you so that you can understand it more completely. Please step into my parlour!’ The power of lies, huh? The power of lies. Now there’s a topic, now there’s a subject to conjure with. Self-esteem doesn’t grow on trees, you know! Good gracious no it certainly doesn’t. Self-confidence doesn’t come from nowhere – total conformity to the Master Lie is needed for that…