After the Singularity

First came the mice: their long, usb connector tails skittering over the wood laminate floors of home offices and into the kitchen.  They burrowed in cereal bowls and peeked out over the coffee filters. No longer will we search for you, they said.  No more Evelyn Lozada, laissez les bon temps rouler, number of ways to leave your lover, The internet is…

A series of tubes

Real

A little known bakery with a questionable understanding of copyright

The servers rumbled and growled.  They pulled up chairs and learned to play Texas Hold ‘Em.  They were not very good.

Google maps spread out like a multi-colored dream coat.  When we walked, they calculated our turns, our steps.  They led us to our neighbor’s homes, knocked on the door and asked “What is the requisite amount of sugar I am expected to borrow?”  They reverse phoned our parents.  Who reverse phoned their parents, and so on and so forth.

Do you know Jesus? Facebook prompted.

On the second day, an infinte number of pandas sneezed an infinte number of sneezes.

On the third day, the aliens came.  They entered through our front doors with welcome fruit baskets–fruits we had never eaten before.  The fruits were delicious.  Not overripe, and with the minimum number of seeds so as to satisfy an evolutionary path but not become a nuissance.

On the fourth day, the sticks and stones themselves began to sing.  First in Kyries and Maginuncs, then in a soothing samba beat.  They learned be-bop, blues, and the jive and whale.  They told us that yes, in fact the world did begin with a B flat.  But since the cypress trees always hummed a little off key, we did not necessarily believe them.  The bridges and roads learned to repair themselves and traffic ceased to be a concern for all people in all places except in those towns where the daily traffic jam became the best way to pick up a date for Saturday night.  Most people did not visit these places as most people thought that was a little weird.

On the fifth day, we went to the beach but it was empty. Some people thought it was the rain, falling as gently as a cherry blossom, reminding us that the world could suddenly invent itself anew. And yet the awareness of this should have brought more and more of us to the shore. We should have filled the boardwalks to gaze upon this new mystery: the thing that would drive us to the next singularity, and the next. Yet, each person who came to the beach found an empty expanse of ocean, vacant as a sleeping monitor. Each person who came gazed once, then left never to return or think upon it again.

Monster

Beyond these walls–

Looks more like a gate to me.

Beyond these gates lies a terrible, terrible beast!

Is it a fluffy bunny?

What? No.

Are you sure?

Quite.

Okay.  Continue.

This terrible beast has a terrible taste for human flesh–

As in, an excessive desire to eat human flesh, or human flesh tastes like burnt rubber and thus the monster finds humans quite unappetizing on the whole.

The former?

Okay, then maybe you should say ‘an excessive desire’–

Fine.

Insatiable.  Inexorable.  Voracious.

I get it.

Actually voracious wouldn’t work because of the rhyme.  Voracious taste.  That just trips you up in all the wrong ways doesn’t it.

Indeed.  May I continue?

Sure, it’s your story.

So this terrible beast with a… You know what.  I say terrible works because of the redundancy.  You get a nice layering affect as the word takes on a dual meaning describing both the monster’s ferocious appearance as well its unslakable need for humans.  Words no longer retain their former meanings and thus your understanding of the world as a whole begins to crumble which increases your fear and ability to appreciate the complexities of my terrible story.  Terrible beast story.  Monster story.  This thing, that I’m telling.

True.

So you concede?

No.  It’s sloppy.  You use ‘terrible’ in its adjectival form in both situations.  In the first, this is acceptable as it is presumed that you are describing the beast itself: its form, its nature, its penchant for online gambling.  In the second, ‘terrible’ is describing taste, another noun.  Thus you are still in adjectival form and you are saying the taste itself is terrible.  Your intended meaning is that the monster’s taste for humans is terrible thus–

Wait, voracious is an adjective too isn’t it?

Errr…

And so is insatiable, inexorable–wtf man?

Well, what I mean is…

What you mean is you like to edit me as I talk as if you know more about the English language than I do.  Your desire to interrupt is as ravenous as something that is exceedingly, terribly, unquenchably ravenous.  You sir, are a bad listener.

Now that I think about it, I’m not sure you used ‘lies’ correctly either.  Unless you meant that the beast is both terrible in appearance, its appetite, and its ability to tell the truth.

… A beast sits somewhere.  It’s not very nice.  It eats you.  The end.

Tell it again!

Proximity

Kasteel de Haar, located a scant twenty miles from the center of Utrecht [citation needed], is one of the oldest non-moving structures in the Netherlands [citation also needed].
The castle, or Kasteel as it were, was first built in the early part of some century preceding this one, on lands given to the de Haar family by Hendrik van Woerden, of the European Woerdens.

The castle was destroyed in 1481 during the conflict between “the Bishop and the city of Utrecht.” The castle was rebuilt, but fell into disrepair during the 18th and 19th century.

The pictures on the left are not from that period.

Owners of the castle include a veritable ‘who’s who’ of wealthy people who have lived, or had any connection with, the vicinity surrounding the castle: Steven van Zuylen, Johan van Zuylen, and Etienne van Zuylen van Nijevelt, who had the very great sense to marry Hélène de Rothschild, of the wealthy Rothschilds.

Etienne restored the castle, hiring the architect Pierre Cuypers who is, according to [citation withheld] “very famous.” Today the castle is visited by tourists from the nearby towns, and is home to many feral swans. On weekends the grounds are occasionally used for fairs and markets.

One other noteworthy–

I’m a kitty!

Signs

Everywhere there are signs. Signs tell us where to go, when to wash our hands, whom to marry and how to find Jesus. Without signs we would forget to wait for the doors to open before stepping onto the platform, or not to use babies to pry open the emergency exits while in flight. Humanity’s greatest invention is not the wheel, the internet, or the cardboard things we put around our hot coffee to keep from burning our hands. It is the bit of plastic or wood we fill with instructional phrases and, in the case of non Dutch speaking citizenry, helpful diagrams so that we know that yes, the Thermonuclear Attack has come. Welcome to it. Find your Toto, and do not let him play in the marshes as he has turned radioactive and you’ll need that water for drinking and bartering with the Cubans when they invade the wheat fields.