There are silly and, well, crazy notions afoot about parallel universes, time travel (same thing) and in general the idea that in some other – I’m telling you it’s fictional – place there is a chance for propositional reality. But in fact, I mean in actual fact as the definition goes, there is only ever one reality, and if you don’t live it as if it were fictional, then you waste it.
We wasted the gift of oil, largely because it came at the same time as the still as yet unresolved struggles we will now never finish to come to terms with the Jesus literality, and its corollary which became the inevitability of scientifically technological advance.
Like Time’s Arrow, we supposed, there was only ever one way toward advance, and the other way toward the cave of the Hemlock drinker’s apologist.That led to a kind of confusion among technology as comfort, technology as health, technology as improvements toward insight as through a glass to find things not available apart from it. Through but not in. Through but not by means of. Through but not finished, ever.
So, this, naturally becomes Chapter 1 of a story which could go any number of different ways, but which happened to go this way. This particular way and no possible other.Lubricious as the oil was, it at least and inevitably led to a kind of clarity upon awakening from the hangover. That there had in actual fact been other ways to use the gift. That we could have first set up the sustainable camp, with latrine far from water draw, acceptable over infinite time, before we took to the water slide and screaming fun. But, in plain fact the greed of the easy fuck took over from the slow and sidling making out from blush to actual love even if the far side was still a disappointment almost every time.
In the "big" cities, there was a new magic, not anticipated by anyone except the unsung artists, who'd previously been paretoized by the Big Apple (no longer so called, even way back when), and said lubricosity, non-sexual, but with something of the same effect, Dr. Ruth. Because virtual was never going to be facetoface, and because these city centers were so well populated, artists, as they say, came out of the woodwork. And because the downloads, so called commoditized virtuosity, there came again some reality and realization of the power of live. As in LIVE!
Performance art of all sorts took over almost completely from technically mediated virtuosity, laying down of tracks, pixilating, pixaring, Andy Warholing, and Motherwellian distortions of what you could do faced with media, or faced or listened to directly. (Well, Motherwell was always immune) The time travellers were still obsessed with unmedicated pullout from the crowd, so called, not ever about to admit that the pain of the starving artists was just simply real pain, from being misread, misunderstood, mislead, and, well, starving.
Performance necessarily favored the mind and a kind of post blue jeans authenticity, which had to understand the power of prayer, not so much to Jesus anymore but to the collective whatever that absolutely prevents time travel from all but the bozons, muons, bozos, mutants, and other subparticles not worthy of mention once catalogued. The rest of us are eternally subject to the literatti, our friends, and whomever, ahem, Whomever, it is that the rest of us pray to.
These literatti, in the new big cities, were expansive and never limited or limiting to those serious contractions of reality: religion, ethnic identity, nation-statehood, but were rather defined by same in such a way that the beauty from other - from outside the particular what would be vanity toward narcissism from inside - becomes almost excruciating.
Toward the end of the oil glut, there were two - three if you consider the various containers - so-called superpowers. Super Nation States, and each was as ignorant of their own history as the other. Of their own cosmopolitanizing traditions as mediation against ethnic strife which always in those days meant ethnic cleansing. Murderousness, rapacity, so very near the surface of unschooled hearts. Speaking of which, schooling too had become a time's arrow kind of idiocy, where even culture itself and certainly long-since Jesus had become a technocratic pursuit.
So Howie entered the city, famously with a hard-on (sorry Schuchat), as always, and plied the backalleys of unfamiliarity, wearing blue jeans for familiarity and a kind of free pass outsider indication - he only saw one other all day - which were actually safer than home, considering the bears, hyenas and really really big cats.