Ain’t None of You MuthaFuckas Ever Gonna Take My Humanity
Copyright © 2006 by Thomas Logan, Cultural Warrior. All rights reserved.
“The less human beings think of reality in qualitative terms, the more susceptible reality becomes to manipulation. Its objects are neither understood nor respected.”— Horkheimer, “The End of Reason”
“Blasphemy has always seemed to require taking things very seriously.”— Donna J. Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto”
“What does it matter what I say?”— Jerry Springer during a show on transvestite lovers
The following is addressed to all members of church, media, state, and all you other aliens out there fucking with us humans:
I, Thomas Logan, as myself who can be no other, as neither my self nor another, here now address all you brave citizens of this daily world, Take heed: Life itself is at stake! Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Star Trek: First Contact, They Live! with Rowdy Roddy Piper — the invasion has begun. People are being replaced by aliens, and it’s Us versus Them. Spiting impossible odds — somehow — through the fairy tale magic of Hollywood, Them are defeated — at least for the time being…
Leaving the cinema while every slackjaw muthafucker backslappingly cheers his sublunary humanity as though Shakespearean prose issued from their chaw-chewin’ beer-guzzling maws, I am left with a certain raw, putrid taste floating around my jaw reminiscent of age fifteen when I was jumped by five gangsta-types and spent the next two days pulling shredded-wheat mouthflesh from out my braces. These invasion movies always leave me in a stupor: Who are we exactly, and why not cash this in? Hell, resistance is futile, and, after all, the possessed do promise that it’s much better on the other side. If we’re dead set against alien invaders and their alien definitions of life, what are we for?1
A believer in educated decisions (just as I believe a literate Christian is a contradiction in terms), I cannot reject our ET overlords’ offer out of hand. Like the dead cat or Doc Faustus, I too am curious, and must ask: What is it we fear? Collectivism, interspecial relationships, the loss of identity — or something much worse?
Employing the Western detached subject/object rational analysis of worth, let us remove ourselves from ourselves and ask: What’s so great about individuality, about lying and dying on one’s own island? I’m alive and alone, just like the reader and all others among the still-breathing-eating-shitting-calling-oneself-me crowd; and only I can live my life. Between even the closest of loves an insuperable self; if I could just let the reader inside my head for a moment to finally understand what I’m trying to say, my head might hurt with the extra bulk but you’d soon burst forth from my skull with a perfect conception and like-minded — but I can’t, you won’t, and that’s the point.
Nor can I ever deny myself: I love being alive — it’s the best experience I’ve ever had — but its package contains certain irretractable terms (take ’em or leave ’em): limited perception, material necessities, illness, unspeakable fears, unreasonable desires, death. The Borg have solved these hindrances of individual isolation just as the Pod People resolved poverty, crime, war, and other results of material disparities. The Borg will last forever (or at least for as long as the material universe exists) and those Pod People seem well-organized and perpetually content, so why not assimilate?
Perhaps the rejection is outside rational analysis.2 Mind you, I am not humanity; I am not class; I am not race; I cannot universalize from my limited experience. I can only speak for those who accede to my views, half-blind as they are. Still, speaking for myself, self is an illusion.3 I think, therefore I am — sure, René, but this “I” is by no means static or fixed or eternal. I think before I am. We are given our thoughts by culture; there are no sui generis thoughts.4 The idea is in control, greater than the thinker for it comprises and composes the latter’s thoughts.
So we’re not really alive — well, not in the way you’ve been brought up to understand. From out the womb we’re in the social and never leave but for the grave. Our definitions of life are propagated in every talk show, advice column, advertisement, act of Congress, grammar school lesson, architectural design: nothing outside of culture (and nothing outside of life). Our identities are us, and we’re assimilated.
We take our self and its many lives as normal, givens, but how do you know if you’re the same person before you went to sleep, leaving of all aliens the Lord your soul to keep? Our identities change with every situation and new experience. If you could wake up tomorrow and be someone completely different, not just in body (Big; Freaky Friday; Vice Versa) but also in temperament and desires (Memento; Lost Highway), would you still be you?
One late night on the road stopped at Denny’s, I asked this question to a schizophrenic lady whose acquaintance I had quickly made, and while her response was interesting, I’m still not sure it was she who responded. Later I asked my grandfather in his hospital bed rotting from the last stages of Alzheimer’s, but whatever remained behind his jelly-glazed eyes produced a gurgling I could not understand. So perhaps change isn’t the real issue here, for the self is in constant change, constantly dying. If I have a stroke and my IQ is cut in half or start regularly watching television with similar results or was ever, say, assimilated into the Borg collective, I would still end up calling myself “me” — or, at worst, “Tommy 2361G.”
We’re robbed of nothing, only the illusion of permanence. Our daily deaths are a continual alien invasion — thank god that eternity doesn’t exist. There is only the slenderest space separating eternal paradise and perdition: both are forever, forever unchanging either in pleasure or pain: the Christian Heaven is a stagnant swamp of souls fermenting fundamentalist mosquitoes for the life below, and Hell can’t be much worse.
And that cry I hear from the peanut gallery in that sing-song pitch of spoiled-child protest: But we’re not robots, Mr. Logan! We’re not animals! No, children, we’re an infinitely worse lot. Not only are we infected with that harsh biological impulse to avoid destruction, individually we possess foreknowledge of all futility. Works of art, of literature, of religion, of philosophy — these distractions from death, these impractical garnishes of existence are our demise. The Borg, the Pod People, machine marching Martians, chest-ripping larvae, and dread-locked intergalactic poachers, carnivorous plant things from outta space — these species will last forever for that is their sole purpose, their one desire. The human race is run by clubfooted retards in comparison.
To hypostatize: It’s not erasure of emotions or communism or even the loss of identity that’s the real threat; it’s purpose.5 This is my humble thesis. We fear defining life for we will find no purpose, that our ET invaders present a grotesque of purpose. The question of invasion is not what we’re losing (which isn’t much or anything new), but what we’re gaining. These alien ideologies rape us of something of no value (life under death, sensuality, fear, deviance, suicide) by forcing upon it an exchangeable absolute.
But life is meaningless! What greater statement of freedom could there be? What, you wanted meaning in life, life to be a function, to say, this is it and now assimilate? Martyrs are a dying breed, bro; best better get yo’self some life. For life to possess meaning means it can be exchanged, a chip to be cashed in at the end of the night for items of real value: labor or power or offspring or orgasms or even longer life or the pleasure of “good” works; life is not allowed its inherent ambiguity but is seduced and converted into a means to an end in a desperate attempt to avoid its own end (you know, ‘death’). It’s the same gamut as selling your soul: Don’t. No matter what the bid, Don’t.6
They will win of course: Sparta over Athens, Americans over Native Americans, Mr. Ant over the Mr. Grasshopper, Paulian Christians over Gnostics, they have the sole, soulless, belligerent drive of material survival. The Borg, the Pod People, their geneticultural programming is fitter than ours. History will be written by the winners, but until then I stand with the losers, I stand with the wife-beaters and consanguineous (con-sang-gwi-ne-us) lovers, the diabetic alcoholics and blankstare drooling mental invalids, the could-of-beens and the misunderstoods, I stand and bellicosely declare, “Ain’t none of you muthafuckas ever gonna take my humanity.” And the Jerry Springer crowd cheers.
1I’ve for whatever reasons in recent years come to take an active interest in life, to take life personally. So this is important, as important things go. While I might, like Swift, misanthropically dislike humanity the more I learn about and meet its representatives, boy howdy, take my life? Over my dead body. return to where you left off
2It’s becoming harder and harder to rationally defend rationality. return to where you left off
3On consciousness: You’re not in charge. “Who said that?” I demand, and a third answers, Not me. return to where you left off
4I’m a prisoner to words; life is a sentence I cannot escape.return to where you left off
5It is doubtful that any organism experiences life as a time for procreation and survival, though perhaps these are its purposes, its design. return to where you left off
6Trust no one in possession of the meaning of life, especially if it’s for sale. There is only one cure for life: death. If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. return to where you left off