Please wait. Loading.
Login
Password
Your browser is obsolete - it does not support HTML5 Canvas.

[audio version available; please click on the speaker icon on the left to start listening]

The Great Race

At the dawn of our days, at the cusp of the Age of Stuff, as The Great Western Reckoning was about to take effect, two races briefly coexisted in this universe, one about to pass the torch to the other. The first, older one, was a race almost chimerical in its fantastical appearance and improbable faculties. Its members were made up of vibrations and clouds: forms of spiritual energy. They not only wore their intentions on their sleeves – they were their intentions. Desiring to do something good, they glowed green, blue or purple; harboring slightly less noble goals, they pulsed orange, yellow or red. Today, only those thought of as extremely eccentric know – or believe in the very existence – of this race, but, indeed, it had lived for millions of years before present-day humans took control of the Earth and set up the current model and party line.

Before the trajectory of the Universe installed the Epoch of Flesh on this planet (starting with the brief but influential age of Flash, and progressing through the ages of Clash, Bash, Mash, Dash, Cash and Stash) people were not in the flesh at all. They were instead quite transparent and necessarily very open, shining forth in utter candor and honesty. Without material bodies to inhabit, protect or fear for, they enjoyed true freedom of the heart from the mind, as well as other superhuman powers, which they used mostly to help each other. Having no concept of private property or personal time (not to mention, sibling-specific bathrooms) they were limitlessly generous with their time and effort. Whereas today’s people are often parsimonious with positive intentions, good will or even a kind word, the magnanimity and good vibes of the ancient race we speak of knew no bounds.

They lived on The Mid-Atlantic Accent – a continent in the form of an accent, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean – known to some people today as the long-lost Atlantis. Around the time of the switchover from the ethereal era to the material age, The Mid-Atlantic Accent started slowly drowning in the ocean that surrounded it. The old race never took seriously the global warming that was to blame for this until it was too late. What’s worse, these ancients greatly aggravated the effect by the extreme warmth – and even outright heat – with which they treated each other. Yet, apart from global warming and the plans of the universe, there was another enemy they failed to take seriously – MATO, The Mid-Atlantic Taciturn Organization.

And the tragedy was not that the ancient race was irresolute in its intentions to topple MATO; on the contrary, they were determined in their drive toward victory. The source of their troubles would not have been a timorous refusal to fight the Organization, as the ancients were very brave, and feared no one. Neither did the root of their downfall lie in a submissive outlook or willingness to submit to fate. While they believed in a larger plan for their civilization and the world, they were not a race you could debase and get away with it.

The truth is that the members of MATO were less a mighty enemy with which to do honorable battle, and more a strange instrument of the Great Law that bids the ages switch, the seasons change, and water to swirl in a certain direction, depending on which hemisphere you happen to be brushing your teeth in on any given Sunday.

The people who were part of MATO (they called themselves matodors) were actually nothing but a bunch of servile, abject toadies (or SATs, as the ancients referred to them). These pathetic praisers, very much in the flesh, constantly complimented each other and everyone else in the most subservient and self-degrading manner. The only goal in the lives of these sorry flatterers seemed to be to adulate people to death, although first remaining outwardly taciturn (as we’ve mentioned). It would seem that the only impression this new race could create would be that of unctuous yes-men, dripping with buttery blandishments. It would seem that all they ever did was say things meant to persuade, to convince, to form, mold, shape and change opinion, so that they could have their way. And if that’s how it seems to you, reader, then it seems correctly.

Not long ago, hydro-archaeologists working beneath the ocean floor discovered a short note that a young matodor had written to his maternal uncle. Just get a load of the heights of hypocrisy that these low lackeys were apparently used to scaling on a daily basis:

Dearest Father Figure!!!

As I write these lines, the shifting sands of time are changing today into tomorrow, and tomorrow (meaning today) it is no longer your birthday. Oh, woe is me, Uncle!

As I write these lines – as I pen these words – tears stream uncontrollably from the reddened orbs that are my eyes, running down my smoothly undeserving cheeks, proceeding along the fine curve of my neck (inherited from my mother’s side of the family, and therefore very much like yours, Uncle) and disappearing in the gentle folds of my expensive clothing, which still fails to cover up a coarse and – again! – undeserving soul.

These are tears of sorrow; they are tears of woe. The weight of the world is riding on my shoulders, and that weight – oh, Uncle – is guilt.

Uncle, dearest, I will never – ever! – be able to forgive myself for not congratulating you on the fine occasion of your birthday. I mean, how could I fail at a task at once so simple, natural and noble as pausing for but a few minutes in order to show a measure of grave respect to the man who inhabited the same womb as my dear mother (although through the efforts of a different father and at a different time)? How could this pathetic note, this abortive attempt at honoring you, ever express what I truly feel for you, Uncle?!

Compared to you – one of the finest, funniest, most knowledgeable, noble and handsome men our kind has ever produced – I am an aberration deserving of hatred, contempt, scornfulness and disgust. I have no choice but to relinquish and shamefacedly return to you ‘Bootlick’ – the heartfelt sobriquet you once gave me. I am not worthy of it.

If I had to do it all over again – please believe me, Uncle – I would do it in the same exact way. But, a little differently, of course. Although not by much.

Your Nephew (to the Death!)

In disgrace,

This piece of work was signed by a certain fellow who went by the last name of Sskisser and there was an extra-long, multi-part postscript that followed, but we’ll spare you the nauseating details and commute this masterpiece to the bit you’ve just read.

In any case, we could go on making many acerbic comments about these taciturn toadies, yet the question begs itself: why is it that they were outwardly taciturn and why exactly were they always working so hard to first lull everyone in sight into a false sense of security by silence and then flattery, and then cajole them into seeing things their way?