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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Chuck the Pandas Into Space

Chuck the Pandas Into Space

What follows is fiction, originally in issue 2 of Hobson’s Choice.

“Ayn Rand, you bitch, you fucked Greenspan and left me in the cold, begging for change.” The professor announced from the lectern. I had my cell-phone open, trading text-messages with a girl I had met over the weekend but this had caught my attention. He continued:

Sweet capitalism, your menagerie creates criminals out of all of us, scraping to get ahead. We try to remember the past, we try to see the future and all of it without feeling. You have killed art and your legacy is a disease laid upon the artist. From Russia with love, you may not ever know those words for what they truly are, a curse upon humanity after Mother Russia’s failings.

Hail and salute the death of art. The cancer is in the heart, the carcinogens are Capitalism and Utilitarianism. The cause is disposable cameras, ninety-nine cent whopper value meals, misinformation overload, hyper-connectivity all for a reasonable price. Life without real feeling, a lack of real amazement, beauty without franchise. Plato’s philosophy devoured and shit out by the machinations that would force it down our throats.

I had closed my phone by this point, wondering what I had missed that inspired such a rant. I couldn’t even remember what class I was supposed to be in, let alone whether or not this was it. I didn’t recall ever having seen this wild-eyed professor wearing a Thin Lizzy t-shirt before, but there was something to his train of thought.

I thought back to the first long word I had ever been introduced to: antidisestablishmentarianism. I had never before seen such a bizarre string of letters, and doubt I ever will again. It has a meaning of course, but I’ve pushed past that. It is more now, pushed to give meaning to an otherwise rigid language, showing that things can be manipulated, carved and chiseled to fit with what dire expressions are necessary.

The truth being that there is something incomplete with us, each and everyone of us, and all we do is to fulfill this missing piece. Money, drugs, religion, possessions, friendships, sex. Sadly, it seems the goal of man today has become the acquisition of baubles to justify his being. It goes, no pun intended, with all the sperm that flies from his necessitated masturbation. It comes from not being happy with what’s going down right now. The word that drives modern man is, simply put, ‘more.’

There is no place for those who wish for nothing more than to just be, to exist in the universe as a simple being of thought and fulfillment. Those who wish to create things that serve no purpose more than to inspire wonder, to question the foundations of what was put before us. Socrates was a madman. Those who do manage to do it these days, now more than ever, are doing it for no other reason than to justify a richer person’s belief structure. Or for money and their own personal greed. They spout deep thought and rhetoric in the pursuit of money.

Money is an abstraction of fat, which is both unhealthy and today seen as undesirable. The focus has changed for man and where his desires lay. Should not the goal, that which lies at the other end of the finish line, be love?

I was shaken by this line of thought by another student trying to slide past me, sitting in a daze. The thought of sunlight was beautiful. On my way out the door I noticed that I had been attending a class on Economics, a class I wasn’t enrolled in. How queer that the professor should go on such a tirade, although I felt he was completely right to do so. It was meaningful, provoking graffiti placed squarely on a portion of the student body.

I walked straight to my car, lit a joint and drove towards consumerism. I loved every minute of it: buying, eating and hungrily accepting mere pennies for my work and time. I felt justified in asking for more. I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I even loved the gas my car was burning.
Later that evening as I sat at my desk writing an essay, I recalled the events of the day and, finding that it rejuvenated both my sense of adventure and my fascination with politics I drove out to the campus and quickly wrote a message to the student body near the entrance to the Social Sciences building, in spray-paint.

It simply read: “Who is John Galt?”

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