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Friday, December 20, 2019

Ideas and Wares

Approximately 15 years ago, I embarked on one of the greatest quests ever. I began work on my magnum opus, Ideas and Wares, a revolutionary new history of the world. It was to be the greatest 7th grade social studies text book in the history of the world. I never completed the work. Perhaps I should recommence my sacred quest?

Below are the completed sections, a Forward and two chapters.

History is not a story. It is not a pageant. And it is certainly not a description of past events. History, rather, is an idea. The idea of history binds us to an unspeakable passion: a passion for desire, a passion for wantonness.

Kaiser Soze, leader of the barbarian hordes in upper Nordic, once wrote: "Oh ye history, rising up from the misty pond like the vapors of freedom and lust. Oh how I like thee." Indeed.

Therefore, we will not approach history as scientists, searching for empirical fact. Rather we will cautiously tiptoe around history, searching for textures and emotions ... for feelings. We don't want to know history, we want to experience its lushness and lusty qualities.

And where else to go on a quest of such emotion than the marketplaces of yore? Here, merchants peddled their wares and ideas, spices and concepts. Great systems of thought traveled through the ether as perfumed oils permeated the air. In the end, a vast system of complex social relationships were formed.

The following is the story of these sensualities.

CHAPTER 1: The Primordialness
Many times ago, before man walked the Earth and also did other things, the emotions came. Recent discoveries (discovered by myself) have confirmed that around 12 billion years ago, there was nothing but a primordial soup. The Creator of the Universe formed this soup into what we now call the "Universe," which is a misnomer, considering the fact that there are an infinite number of "verses."

For instance, there is a verse in which I typed this book using a purple font, and also a verse in which I typed this book using a yellow font but then changed it to blue because yellow is hard to see. There is a verse in which I wrote the book using a white font against a black background, on a Mac instead of a PC, and Steve Jobs is not the founder of Apple Computer but actually the first man to hold his breath under water for more than 6 minutes. There is a verse in which there are no such things as human beings. I could go on.

Recent archeological findings (found by myself) have recovered the journals left by the Creator of the Universe. He seems to have enjoyed brick oven pizzas, and his favorite topping was onions.

Imagine the foggy mists when the Creator first fashioned Earth. Walking through the thorns of yesteryear, marveling at the infinite soft sea where the everythings are coming to be yesterday they are not.

The Creator fashioned a cell, from which all life sprang. But only when man appeared did the world truly come into existence. For without an intelligence that could apprehend the verse, there is nothing. Not even the Creator was aware. Self-consciousness is only in the mind of man, and in a sense man has created the world.

And when I speak of the Creator, of course I am using figurative, anthropomorphic language. For how else do humans comprehend the world, but by bestowing upon it an order that is only perceived by the likes of man? The Creator gets angry, he loves, he thinks. These are all anthropomorphisms, and have no place in the existence of God, or whatever you would like to call it. The Creator really does like brick oven pizza, though. That's not anthropomorphism.

The mind of man is a thing we must understand in order to understand the world -- in order to understand history, whatever that is. Someone once said (that someone being myself) that history is a trick. There is no such thing as history. There were no humans a thousand years ago or a hundred years ago or 10 days ago.


CHAPTER 2: Neanderthals

Before man came into being there were numerous man-like creatures. Most have heard of Neanderthals. These funny little friends wandered around the forest, looking for berries and things of that nature. They made tools and even performed burial rites. Many graves of pre-historic man have been found with tools. It seems that our distant ancestors believed that men would need their material objects in whatever followed death. And it should also be noted that only men were buried with things like spears and toothpicks. There were many flounderings.

Imagine what ancient Neanderthals thought about death. Perhaps one day they are sitting around eating berries and all of a sudden one of the elders closes his eyes. He doesn't move. The group probably would have thought he was sleeping. No doubt every Neanderthal had knowledge of sleeping and its impermanence. They could remember being awake while others slept. They could remember that the companion would eventually get up and move and collect berries. If extremely hungry, one might nudge his friend, who would open his eyes and help hunt for berries. But now, for some reason it's different. The old Neanderthal does not wake up when nudged. Think how startling this would have been.

Perhaps the group of Neanderthals would have picked up their friend and carried him, expecting him to wake up eventually. But it could hardly be avoided that soon a foul stench emanated from the sleeping one's body, a smell nothing like berries. Also, the body would begin to decompose. This would have bothered the group of Neanderthals, but they might still have expected him to wake up. They would continue to carry him. Perhaps they would carry him until all that was left was bones. At some point it would be realized that he would not be waking up to collect berries anymore.

Try to imagine this. Try to think of death as if for the first time, as if no one ever told you what death is. Try to imagine the shock, the fear, the mystery. And most of all, try to imagine not collecting berries anymore.