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Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
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Moment of Truth: April 29 2017

 Lungs

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

Don't cook if you can't cook without filling the apartment with choking smoke. What are you doing, burning oil with hot chili flakes in it? I'm gagging over here. I can't inhale without coughing.

It's your sausages. I don't think you know what you're doing with those. They're raw, you should steam them first. Then you wouldn't have to char them beyond recognition like a dog found after a house fire.

I think you punched a whole in our house's lung. Do you hear that whistling? No, that's not me. I don't know what it is. It started as you were cremating your dinner.

Lungs are so over. Lungs are finished, lungs are done. I sent mine on the road to perdition when I swept up some kind of cinderblock dust that had accumulated since the 1950s on a concrete floor in a toxic back room of the type connected to so many "garden" apartments in Wicker Park. "Garden Apartment" is the ghastly sardonic moniker, or "sardoniker," for a basement with little windows above head-height providing insufficient light or ventilation for terrestrial life forms to thrive. People who live in them go blind, all pigment drains from their skin, and they walk on the ceiling, having no reference for what is up and what is down.

The chamber filled with a fog of chalk particulate, and I inhaled it for an hour, hacking up cakey phlegm for another four hours afterward. I was also a pack-a-day smoker, back in the days when even a part-time ESL teacher could afford a pack a day.

Every time you cook, my lungs fill with fluid, and it takes days of hacking for me to breathe without a coughing fit. I'm underwater, here. I can't breathe underwater. I can't breathe water. My pipes are not adapted to it. I'm not a bearded fountain seamonster. But you are turning me into one with your mustard gas cuisine.

We're burning everything. Plastic, coal, mercury, all kinds of viscous syrups, French- toast-scented sickly-sweet wet garbage. One day soon the entire planet will be smoke. We'll be indistinguishable from the atmosphere. All will be languid formlessness. We'll hover without boundaries, black ghosts on black vapor strata.

We're burning glass, or just blowing glass dust into the air. We're burning water. We're burning chlorine. We have men strapped into harnesses, marching armies of men, roaring motors on their backs spewing clouds of carbon monoxide and half-combusted kerosene, blowing rubber powder and foot dirt and granulated animal excrement into our mouths and noses. Asbestos fibers and lint settle in the bottom of our lungs, cottony and damp and sopping up blood from our bleeding bronchia.

I'm a fish flopping on the dock. I'm trash as the compactor closes in, compressing me into a cube, and then I'm conveyed to the incinerator, incinerated, more smoke and powder. My destiny is not to live, but to die. But does it have to be so uncomfortable? Do I have to breathe in the smoke of crackling human flesh even as I die slowly over the next thirty years?

We're all burning. Whomever the market cannot bear: the farmers, the craftspeople, the non-mechanical unemployed sentient apes, the students hungry for useless knowledge advertized as social advantage, the old, the poor, the useless armies of overstock, stalking in the stockyards, the way-stations, packed into cattle cars, or just burn them where they stand, why bother shipping them, with all that paperwork?

Too many people useless to the owning class, those arbiters of resource usage. Where will the resources be disbursed? Not into the open, demanding mouths of our 6 billion prisoners, but to fleets of nanobots, flying in murmurations passing through one another on their way to dig a saltwater swimming pool for the Chief Operations Officer.

Clouds of microscopic robots will descend on starving populations, munching them up with mandibles of buckminster carbon, grinding them into pulp and slurry, and the river of their morbid tar will burn, smelling like roast meat. Smoking like your death sausages, choking the air, while the best and brightest move from biosphere two-twenty-three to biosphere two-twenty-four in their flying mini-biospheres.

Cushions of magnetism blanket the world in layers, for the blissfully meditating planners and schemers to float upon in the sweet silent solitude of their biospheres. Nothing ever bumps or jostles, the fields are softly, invisibly repellent. Contact is prevented to parabolic limits of the infinitesimal. They will never touch. Why should they? They bathe in psychological nutrition. They hang in amniotic sacs, nurturing their self-actualizing capability, contemplating their navels piped umbilically to and from the phallic mother and the breastfeeding father.

While outside their incubators of comfort, we burn. We burn our food, our homes, our waste, our decorations, our identification cards, our defecation cartons, our hair, our skin, our bones, and all reminders that there was once a wilderness from which we could scrape a dusty existence.

And in the black void of space, we, formless, will float as clouds upon clouds, dark matter, unseen by any being or any device or any poem or any god or any thought. And we'll drift, without the integrity of limits, without the coherence of things or ideas, without anyone knowing we were ever there, least of all ourselves.

There's not enough rain in this world to clean the smoke out of the air. In Delhi they had to shut the city down because of firecrackers. And now the entire subcontinent is drying to a crisp.

Sausages aren't good for you. You need to take better care of yourself. You're building up fat and carbon in your body, and you're making me choke. Thanks a lot for killing us both with your sausages.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

 

Moment of Truth

 

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