The stars have come right at last. All worlds come to an end.
Remember the Y2K scare? How our civilization was going to come to a crashing end when all computers were caught in recursive loops? And how it didn’t, how I am sitting at the keyboard typing this, and you are reading it off a screen, and all is well, and all manner of all things are well?
The Mayans had science and mathematics far beyond the capabilities of their contemporaries. The calculated out a calendar that extended into the modern century, hundreds of years into the future from their perspective. But then it ended, in 2002.
And then there’s the “dark sci-fi” that has so captured the modern imagination, a bleak dystopia reducing us to food for the unmentionable Powers That Be. The Matrix, for example, where man feeds machine and never knows until he takes the red pill.
But none of that’s real.
But you are so wrong.
Can you not see? Can you not understand? First, there was the population explosion. Then, global warming. We started harvesting the ocean bottoms to feed all the people. The “lemming phenomenon” reported in the news, about people swimming out to sea and not coming back. Now, the hot new Japanese fast-food chain, Zulen Akai. With Zeph, their cute chubby octopus character toddling along in overalls, hawking compressed seaweed and soybean patties.
They’re bigger than McDonalds. You can’t not hear their jingle–I’ll bet it’s playing where you are now, in a pop-up window, or a radio, or a televison set . . . or in your head, just from me mentioning it.
That’s the most insidious part. Who needs telepathic control when you have mass media?
I’m telling you, it started with Grimace at McDonalds. Then the Starbucks twin-tailed mermaid. They taught us to associate food with monsters. Now we can’t recognize danger when it’s staring us in the face.
Here, I’ll spell it out for you. We have more people on the planet than ever before. We have warmed the oceans. Who knows what beings, slumbering since the great ice age, have stirred to life as the ice around them melted and drifts of warmer waters played like soft breezes?
Could you sleep through spring? Didn’t think so. And wouldn’t you be hungry when you woke up? And what would you do if you had to convince the food to wait for you . . . to come to you and be eaten? You can’t do anything scary; you need to present yourself as one of the herd. You need to be an enticing member of the herd, in fact.
And isn’t Zeph just the cutest? Couldn’t you just . . . eat him up?
I tried to warn you. I’m just one person, without the resources of the Great Old Ones. So I’ve sent this essay in to the one place one voice might have of making a difference, here on NPR. Five hundred words, and one person’s statement of personal belief.
I just hope it’s enough.