Never has one man done so much for so cheap.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A McKenna thing for Casey.

Casey, my editor, had me whip up a little narration for his 16mm color Junior Project film. He's already had me done up in tighty-whities and an Indian headdress eating canned peas for this thing, so how much stranger can it get?

Plenty. Read the following.

I am waiting for December 21st, 2012. The work of the philosopher Terence McKenna suggested that Novelty, such that it is the property of something being “new”, can be expressed as a fractal waveform, corresponding both with the I Ching and the Mayan calendar. This waveform serves as something of a seismological record of human achievement, pulsating with each great advance, building towards Timewave Zero, the point wherein everything that can be new, suddenly and spontaneously will be, and all of human potential will be made incarnate. Artificial intelligence, transdimensional space travel beyond the speed of light, who knows what may come about. It may be the end of days. It may be the dawn of a new age. At any rate, it is scheduled to happen on December 21st, 2012.

The volume of what we leave behind speaks to the obsolescence of memory. I remember things that were once new but are no longer, and this serves no purpose.

I am still looking backward instead of forward, trying to cling to the comfort of the familiar, watching it decay…dry up and fade away like paint peeling off the fiberglass leprechaun at the miniature golf course I frequented as a child.

Perhaps there really is nothing new under the sun. Perhaps all the pieces are already in play, hiding just outside my mind until their ever-quickening orbit brings them back across the sky.

There is a machinery to this business, mysterious, full of energy and noise, working faster and faster. As it goes, the half-life of novelty is shrinking exponentially. The achievements of man are measured by the time it takes to complete them. A million years for fire. Ten thousand years for God. A thousand years for the scientific method, and since, the advances come by the decade, the year, the month, the day, the hour, the minute, the second. By the time the truly amazing things happen, we will be so advanced that the novelty of them shall last only for the moment of recognition before we lose interest and move on to the next thing.

At first glance it may seem like an indecipherable cacophony of light and sound and color…. But if I watch the spectacle for long enough, a pattern rises out of the chaos, although its purpose is still unclear.

This, perhaps, is progress. It is also an alarming indication that when or if we do in fact discover the true process and meaning of the universe, it will only mean something to me for a few moments before I run dry of wonder and greet the apocalypse with a casual shrug, and then change the channel.

Everything new is old again.


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