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I am almost scientifically illiterate, so all the research I’ve done on this has probably yielded many a wrong conception, but I have been tossing around the idea for this essay for a few decades, a good while before I learned of the 2019 calcium-rich supernova event, so at this point, now that the event has happened, and I’ve learned about it, in my small way, my hand has been forced. I had to write this now. It is the culmination of, basically, the literary work of my late-middle adulthood.

Jeff explores how it would feel to be something really successful, like calcium.


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

In the old days, around 1966, in the decade of rebellions and police riots around the world, a boy and I were talking to each other in nursery school. Conversations are quite primitive among four- year-olds. And yet, complex ideas and emotions are communicated, as multivalent as any thoughts and feelings shared by drunk college students or bitter philosophers with mortgages, marriages, and secret shames weighing on them. Humans are timebombs of distress and joy at any age. No passions or fears shared over glasses of whiskey or in smokey dens are any more momentous than those hashed over across Dixie cups of grape juice while wooden building blocks are being stacked.

And this boy, Mark was his name, said to me, “I can dream whatever I want. I decide what I want to dream before I fall asleep, and then I dream it.”

I didn’t disbelieve him. I didn’t believe him unreservedly, either. I withheld judgment. His sleep process could easily be unlike mine. It wasn’t beyond imagining. It wasn’t like he told me he could levitate objects with his mind.

I had no control over my dreams. I tried different tricks to escape from nightmares. One trick was to close my eyes in the dream, and then open them, whereupon I would be awake. But that trick only worked a few times. Jumping from a great height could work, but getting into position to do so in a dream wasn’t always possible, and in any case, it wasn’t a pleasant option. Often in my dreams I would see friends of mine accompanied by smaller doppelgangers of themselves, mini-thems, which was disturbing, though not insignificant, as you’ll see. If my dream life and my attempts to guide it taught me anything back then, it’s that I was helpless.

Neuroscience has come to the general conclusion that conscious awareness plays little to no part in human activity. Our unconscious, or “subconscious” as people who adhere to misquotes of Freud like to call it, decides things before our conscious mind initiates an action. They’ve tested this. It’s not controversial. The same you that breathes without thinking too much about it also decides to put your finger in your nose before you are even aware there’s a dry, prickly booger up in there. And don’t try pulling any surprises, like wiggling your fingers for no reason; the you beneath is... read more

Apr 21 2021
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

I’m always looking for the magic bullet, people. I’m always looking for the easy answer, the panacea, the talismanic formula, the miracle cure. For you, my people. For you. To ease the burdens with which the Pharaohs of capital have saddled you. To end their herding of poor people into prisons and their control of the powerless and dissident with violence. To end their destruction of community institutions which they replace with franchises to channel what community resources might remain into the transnational pockets of the ruling class. To rescue the planet from being sucked dry of what it needs to sustain life by the vampires of endless economic growth.

All of the societal remedies being floated these days miss the mark. Getting rid of the filibuster is a band aid, as are term limits, and any of the other tweaks to so-called democracy. Getting rid of the Electoral College would be great, and not just because they don’t have a football team, but it would still not be nearly enough to stop those who weaponize capitalism from bending elections to their desires. An intelligence test for public service might prevent a Donald Trump from rising to control, but there are plenty of people who could pass such a test and still be terrible leaders.

Getting rid of capitalism sounds great, but the power vacuum risks being filled by some other type of cruel opportunist, and where it isn’t so filled, the general global environment of cruel opportunism often forces otherwise beneficent leadership to adopt malignant policies in reaction to malignant pressures. Replacing all leadership with women is no answer, because Margaret Thatcher. Replacing all leadership with the gender, ethnicity, or physically-shaped people of your choice will not work because Margaret Thatcher. Margaret Thatcher ruined it for everyone, basically.

We need a dictatorship of the fair, honest, wise, and kind. They are the only demographic guaranteed to rule with fairness, honesty, wisdom, and kindness. And dictatorship is the only way they’d have the power they’d need to enforce their fair, honest, wise, kind policies. I can already envision them abolishing the police and the prison system and replacing them with trained cadres of peacemakers, conflict resolvers, and restorative justice practitioners. They could curtail private property rights that allow... read more

Apr 13 2021
Apr 8 2021