Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Thing - Imaginary Conversations

This is kind of a follow up to the last Imaginary Conversation  called "The Apocalypse."  It is a reaction to the horrific events in Orlando, but more broadly a response to all similar acts of violence.  

The Thing

“I’m so fucking pissed off right now”

“About the thing?”

“Fuck yeah about the thing.  I’m just so tired of these things happening.”

“I always cry when I see the faces.”

“So do I.  I am almost numb to perpetual violence, but I always cry when I see the faces. I broke down on my way to work.”

“So young”

“Always so young.  Even if they are 80, still young.  Everyone is too young to die like that.”

“I always wonder what I would do in that situation”

“So do I and that is fucked up.  We shouldn’t have to think about that”


“I’m so fucking pissed off”

“Pissed off and not sad?”

“Pissed off and sad.  A feeling that is both pissed off and sad.  I feel like the Germans would have a word for that.  Other languages always have better words.”

“Yeah the English language is kind of limited when it comes to expressing certain feelings.”


“That sounds like Passat. That was my first car”

“Ok fine, shit. I’m bad at portmanteaus.”

“I could Google it and see if there is an actual word”

“No, don’t bother.  Whatever.  I don’t need a word.  I feel it, I don’t need a fucking word.”


“People keep saying that they care, but what good is caring.  It just keeps happening again and again and we do nothing”

“I mean you can always do that whole Mr. Rogers thing and look for the helpers, the people helping.  There are people donating money and blood and all that”

“I know.  Shit, I know.  But the people helping aren’t really helping, are they?  They are helping maybe one person but not the system.”

“So one person doesn’t matter?  The world is made up of individuals”

“I’m not saying that one person doesn’t matter just… I dunno everything seems rigged.  The system.  The system is just so broken.  The system needs to come toppling down.”

“Are we talking about the apocalypse again?”

“No.. I mean, yeah… I dunno.  I’m mad at Star Trek.”


“Mad that it promised me a future that was hopeful”

“We aren’t at the hopeful part yet”

“What do you mean we aren’t at the hopeful part yet?”

“I mean we are like in the time before Zephram Cochran developed warp drive.  We are in the shitty times.”

“Zephram Cochran lived during World War III or whatever.”

“So there ya go”

“So now YOU are saying that the apocalypse is going to happen”

“Not necessarily”

“Not necessarily, just probably, right?  Not necessarily but that seems to be the direction this shit world is going in”

“Not everything in the world is shitty”

“I know that.  I know.  I’m not such a pessimist.  But ok, so you are saying we are in Star Trek right now.  Well then don’t we need to have World War III in order for us to come out the other side all shiny?  Are you saying that the apocalypse is a good thing?”

“No.  I mean.. I dunno.  You were the one who was complaining about Star Trek, and I’m just saying that even if we are living in the Star Trek universe the cool stuff hasn’t happened yet and won’t  happen for another hundred years.”  

“So a hundred years from now you think we are going to have interstellar travel?”

“No, I think the scientific limitations would be difficult to overcome. But I think a hundred years from now we will have a viable colonies on the Moon and Mars”

“Seriously?  You really think that is actually going to happen?”

“Sure.  I mean they are working on that stuff now.  Maybe 15-20 years from now we will get the first person on Mars and then once we have a few people there maybe 70 years after that we could have a small colony.  Seems reasonable”

“Unless World War III or the apocalypse happens”

“Well yeah, unless that happens.  In which case we are back to the other scenario of generally shittiness for about a hundred years and then we kind of reboot everything and start the whole society over or whatever in a better way”

“And you think that’s likely”

“Not really”

“So why did you say it?!”

“Because I think the Martian colonies are more likely”

“But our government hasn’t devoted enough resources to space exploration”

“Who said anything about our government?”

“So you’re riding Elon Musk’s dick now”

“No, I’m not riding Elon Musk’s dick.  I’m just saying that the private sector is probably more likely”

“So are we talking an Elysium scenario is that what you are saying?”

“I didn’t see that movie”

“Well neither did I but as I understand it all the rich people live in space and all the poor people live on Earth in shitsville”

“Oh well then yeah, yeah pretty much that is what I think will probably happen”


“Yeah I mean the whole thing we were talking about with everything kind of generally sucking and the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer.  Eventually the rich are just going to fuck off, aren’t they?  Leave the rest of us behind.”

“That’s depressing.  I thought you were the optimistic one.”

“I’m having a hard time being optimistic today, maybe”

“Dammit, you were supposed to cheer me up”

“Would you like more useless platitudes about togetherness and overcoming obstacles?”

“Point taken”

“So I finally watched The Purge

“Oh yeah? And?”

“It made no sense.  I mean some of it I got as social commentary, and I do definitely see your point about it having a finger on the pulse of the anger in our nation and whatnot.  But the whole idea that crime would go down because on one day people can do everything they want just makes no sense.  Most crimes are crimes of passion.  You can’t tell me if the same guy who was going to murder his wife after catching her in bed with another dude would wait a whole year just to off her when he could.”  

“Ah yeah I get your point”

“And I don’t think that you can really just say oh ok well we are all just going to stop right when the siren rings like oh ok all this adrenaline is all out of my system now, I can just turn it off.  Makes no sense”


“And of course, speaking of the elephant in the room.  It doesn’t take into consideration acts of terrorism.  I mean will the threat of public execution really deter people who plan on killing themselves after killing a bunch of people?  Suicide bombers or whatever. I just don’t get the whole only one one day thing.”  

“So is it worth seeing?”


“I’m thinking about The Thing again. All those people dead I just can’t even process it.  I am just sick”

“You aren’t meant to be able to process it.  This isn’t the kind of thing that people are supposed to be able to process.”

“I mean, they say stuff like car crashes kill so many more people a day than things like this.  Why is it that this hurts so much more?”

“Yeah so it’s sort of a false equivalency.  Yes, more than 100 people die each day in car accidents, but the 100 people aren’t all in the same place at the same time or hit by the same driver.  If some person like drove their car into a farmers market like that old dude a while back and just ran over 50 people that would be more equivalent, but even then the old dude was just kind of senile right?  I mean there are very few car accidents that are caused by genuine malice, like somebody intentionally running somebody over or causing them to crash.  More often than not they are, just that, accidents.  Some person is texting or not paying attention or tired or in a hurry or kind of a lousy driver but not a bad person.  You don’t really have anybody to blame.  Even if they were drunk it’s like you blame them but also you recognize that they are probably alcoholics so you sort of dismiss it somewhat?  It is different than just killing people.”

“Yeah, you are right.  It isn’t necessarily the fact that people died because people die every day.  I don’t cry about every person that dies, even every fatal car crash victim or young person who dies of cancer or whatever.”  

“No, of course not.  Something like 6000 people die a day I think?  Death waits for us all.  We are upset by the suddenness, by the reasons, the hatred, the loss all at once, murder…”

“It’s the being scared too.  The fear makes me sad.  I am sad that I feel fear.  In a car at least I know that there are airbags, seatbelts.  What am I supposed to do just walking into a bar or a school wear a bulletproof vest?  I know that people die in accidents even with seatbelts and airbags but at least… I dunno… at least when I am in a car I feel like ok I am observant of my environment, I am not texting, I’m being present, I am doing what I can.  But this shit is just so random.”

“That’s terrorism for you.  That is the purpose of terrorism, no matter who is committing it.”

“I know that just makes me more pissed off.  It could be no organization at all just some fucking loser asshole dude pissed off at his wife, or angry at something. It is just a symptom of our society being fucking broken.  It is homophobia and racism and religious fundamentalism, it is all these shitty things”

“Have you ever thought of buying a gun?”

“I mean I’ve gone shooting a few times, but no”

“Why not?”

“I don’t want to go into it.  Besides it wouldn’t matter.  What, we are just going to all start to walk around with guns now?  Everybody is going to have a gun wherever they go?  That’s going to make everyone safer?  Now we are talking about the fucking Wild West again.  We might as well be in Mad Max now if everybody is just walking around open carrying a gun. That isn’t fucking normal.”

“No, I guess you are right.  In Israel the Army people are always just walking around with their guns it is weird as hell”

“Yeah I don’t want to live like that.  I don’t want to live in a world like that.”

“But that’s kind of the world now isn’t it?”

“I know and that’s why I am pissad.  It shouldn’t be like that”

“It shouldn’t but it is”

“Have you seen Mr Robot?”

“No, is it good?”

“It’s kind of like Person of Interest, V for Vendetta, and Fight Club had a baby”

“That’s a weird baby”

“It’s a weird freaking show.  But yeah it’s like they are trying to bring about the revolution or whatever.  It sort of made sense in a weird way.  It reminded me of what we were talking about before”

“So are you saying you want to bring about the revolution”

“Don’t be shocked when your history book mentions me.  I will lay down my life if it sets us free.”

“Did you just fucking quote Hamilton at me right now?”

“Oh am I talking to loud? Sometimes I get over excited, shoot off at the mouth…”

“Fucking don’t”

“Hahaha. Ok ok I’m done.  But I dunno.  Maybe. I guess it is just the idea of revolution more than the reality. I just get this feeling...and I’ve been feeling it for a few years now… that something is going to happen.”


“I don’t know what.  I just feel like all this anger and this shittiness… I don’t know if it will be the apocalypse or just a political revolution or a civil war or I dunno… just something. It just doesn’t feel like we can continue to carry on this way for very much longer.  Eventually something is going to break, something is going to happen”

“I don’t”

“You don’t?”

“No, I think people are too comfortable.  They would rather just maintain their comfortability.  People are also preoccupied with their own work and lives.  There are so many people who are just moving along with their lives.  They aren’t going to do anything unless something really major happens to everybody, not just some people in a place they’ve never been.”

“So that’s what I was saying last time.  All it will take is one major thing and everything will come crumbling down”

“Define everything”

“I don’t know.  I don’t even know.  I just hate this fucking world sometimes.”

“I hear Mars is nice this time of year”

“It is looking better and better every damn day”

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