Contortions of Change

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Контент 18+ Having altered my geographical location for about the 100th time in my life (Moscow was the best among all ports of call), I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about the nature of "change" itself. Some of it is inevitable of course: the trumpets of spring when all the king's men ride out upon their warhorses, the rich and multi-various orchestra of summer among shadows of gold, the plaintive violins of autumn when one searches for lost love, and the soulful pipe-organ reverberating in winter's spare little chapel., Music full of so much promise, keeping us company until death.

I have almost completed the cycle.
But in this day and age, Change does not much occur in terms of the panoramic vision I have painted above. In fact, in reviewing what a burst of expression caused me to blurt out above, I might mutter out-loud, "Anyone who reads this will wonder what in the hell I am talking about. All the king's men???? WTF !""
We, imagining ourselves to have defeated Nature -- only an illusion of course -- furrow our brows instead and focus on the narrower vision offered by a plethora of cyber screens. Many people, especially young ones, pass through those screens into a different dimension, finding their reality, not among the horses and cattle of the fields or the sundials spread over them, but among the futuristic galaxy-rippers that need slaying as much as the dragons of old. Cyber dragons.

It too is a world that pushes outward, but first it is necessary to plunge into the screen and then dive out the other side. To an old gaffer like me, coming with my dogs from the mountainside and watching some ''gamer'' at his pastime, I might think it a pity for one to have reduced his horizons into such a cramped oblong space. But only his body remains in this world; all the rest of him, including his very essence, is now in another place. He is the Tarzan of a Virtual Cosmos.

You know, there are two ways to deal with the Earth if you are to maximize your experience. And that is either to embrace it fully or reject it absolutely. The entrepreneur, the extrovert dancing on the tabletop, the snake-oil salesman, even the shrieking evangelist-- reaches into his bag of tricks and flings them outward (at a price), shouting "Take it and get happy!"" ...while the penitent monk, the hermit in the forest, the neurotic who withdraws behind a curtain, the brain-paralyzed psychotic -- become statue-like in their hooded silence.

As I have grown older, I find that I have lost a lot of my idealism. I no longer believe that the world is ever going to get much better, at least not in terms of human character. I remember as far back as 1954 (I was five years old then), and I can tell you that the people haven't changed a bit in essence. In other words, even among the splendid people one sometimes encountered back then, one also had to confront the legions of assholes that were strewed from corner to corner, office to office, alley to alley -- then as now. Trust me when I say that not a bit of that has changed one iota. Techniques differ but what it usually involves is the bottling and selling of the same old shit.

But sometimes, now as then, I still meet people who surpass all the falsehood, malice, and evil, and they are the ones who create the sunny days even when, as in Moscow, there is nary a sun to be seen. So human character remains the same in both its best and worst manifestations.
Where we stand on (1) the verge of Cyber-Heaven or (2) the brink of Cyber-Nightmare, depends on how well one can adapt to the nano speed of change which often seems to be highlighted by the notion of change just for the sake of change rather than for any identifiable 'good''. I mean, I go into public toilets and put my hands under the tap waiting for the 'sensors'' to kick in and allow me to clean the residue of piss off my hands. But often they simply don't kick in. And I wonder, why can't there just be a handle to turn as in the past? Same when I go to dry my hands. Again the sensors fail me, and I end up wiping my paws across my ass, assuming that I managed to get them wet in the first place. And I wonder, why aren't there paper towels anymore?

It is because someone, relying on god knows what impulse, decided to change it. Just because he could. Or just for the hell of it. Or maybe because, like those infernal telephone menus that nobody loves and everybody hates, they are somehow 'cost-effective', meaning that they put some human being out of work to save a few bob.

Well, here in the village, just yesterday morning I was walking with the dogs and felt an acute need to take a dump. It was a long way home and so I just did it behind some bushes and wiped my exposed derriere with the thick, broom-like autumnal grass. Not far away was a natural fountain spilling out of the rocks, and there is where I washed my hands. Just like Jesus or Attila the Hun might have done it. It actually felt kind of nice. I clapped and shook my hands afterwards and the cold wind dried them in no time.
Grass from the field and water out of stone. A pretty good combination if you ask me. And if you don't believe me, just ask the dogs. They'll tell you.
Anyway, the three of us then climbed the mountainside on such a bright December morning where autumn, even as I speak, still hangs on, resisting winter, and -- the gash of stars from late last night having receded -- the pale, naked torso of the moon still hangs in the sky at one o'clock in the afternoon. Into the forest we walked, and the only ring-tone we heard was that of the wind. Under our feet rumbled a now almost-hibernating computer with a million wires. And when night comes again I know the forest dogs will howl such as to put fear into you like an Escape Room in Quest, and the darkness of the woods will seem like the kingdoms of cyberspace, but in earnest.

===Eric Richard Leroy===

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