Because best things in life aren't things.
Short Story by Andy Weir
Maxxi & Zeus – The Struggle (Right Click to Download)
You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.
I recently watched Primer. If you haven’t, you are missing out one of the best indie/science-fiction films ever made. Its plot seems like a paradox, yet there are no contradictions. Here’s a more complex variation of the famous Grandfather Paradox.
From “All You Zombies” by Robert Heinlein.
A baby girl is mysteriously dropped off at an orphanage in Cleveland in 1945. “Jane” grows up lonely and dejected, not knowing who her parents are, until one day in 1963 she is strangely attracted to a drifter. She falls in love with him. But just when things are finally looking up for Jane, a series of disasters strike. First, she becomes pregnant by the drifter, who then disappears. Second, during the complicated delivery, doctors find that Jane has both sets of sex organs, and to save her life, they are forced to surgically convert “her” to a “him.” Finally, a mysterious stranger kidnaps her baby from the delivery room.
Reeling from these disasters, rejected by society, scorned by fate, “he” becomes a drunkard and drifter. Not only has Jane lost her parents and her lover, but he has lost his only child as well. Years later, in 1970, he stumbles into a lonely bar, called Pop’s Place, and spills out his pathetic story to an elderly bartender. The sympathetic bartender offers the drifter the chance to avenge the stranger who left her pregnant and abandoned, on the condition that he join the “time travelers corps.” Both of them enter a time machine, and the bartender drops off the drifter in 1963. The drifter is strangely attracted to a young orphan woman, who subsequently becomes pregnant.
The bartender then goes forward 9 months, kidnaps the baby girl from the hospital, and drops off the baby in an orphanage back in 1945. Then the bartender drops off the thoroughly confused drifter in 1985, to enlist in the time travelers corps. The drifter eventually gets his life together, becomes a respected and elderly member of the time travelers corps, and then disguises himself as a bartender and has his most difficult mission: a date with destiny, meeting a certain drifter at Pop’s Place in 1970.
The question is: Who is Jane’s mother, father, grandfather, grand mother, son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson? The girl, the drifter, and the bartender, of course, are all the same person. These paradoxes can made your head spin, especially if you try to untangle Jane’s twisted parentage. If we draw Jane’s family tree, we find that all the branches are curled inward back on themselves, as in a circle. We come to the astonishing conclusion that she is her own mother and father! She is an entire family tree unto herself.
Stay Ali – 97 (Right Click to Download)
Jane’s Paradox Timeline
APRICOT – Short Film by Ben Briand
Keith Loutit is a Sydney based photographer and filmmaker. His photographs and short films are made in ordinary places, probably not too unlike where you live. Combining a variety of techniques, Keith aims to help people take a second look at places that are familiar to them.
Two photographic techniques, tilt-shift and time-lapse photography are combined in his work to create the illusion of miniaturization. The technique can make large ships bob like toys in a bathtub, or crowds at the beach march like ants in a colony.
Brave New World Bonus:
Kings of Convenience – Brave New World (Right Click to Download)
Creative music video from heart of Paris.
Similar to Matt and Kim’s Lessons Learned.
Make the girl dance -Baby! Baby! Baby!
let yourself feel
by Esteban Diácono
It’s time to start sharing the love.
AboutRésistance à la Mode is a music blog dedicated to promote a wide variety of electronic art and artists and share inspiring techno, disco, house and electronica music. If you would like a track removed from our blog, contact us here. Also feel free to share your tracks, recommendations and requests.
- May 2013 (1)
- April 2013 (3)
- February 2013 (1)
- January 2013 (1)
- December 2012 (3)
- September 2012 (3)
- August 2012 (3)
- July 2012 (2)
- June 2012 (1)
- May 2012 (4)
- April 2012 (3)
- March 2012 (3)
- February 2012 (1)
- January 2012 (2)
- December 2011 (3)
- November 2011 (3)
- October 2011 (5)
- September 2011 (3)
- August 2011 (2)
- July 2011 (2)
- June 2011 (2)
- May 2011 (4)
- April 2011 (2)
- March 2011 (5)
- February 2011 (4)
- January 2011 (3)
- December 2010 (3)
- November 2010 (6)
- October 2010 (4)
- September 2010 (3)
- August 2010 (3)
- July 2010 (6)
- June 2010 (8)
- May 2010 (10)
- April 2010 (17)
- March 2010 (7)
- February 2010 (14)
- January 2010 (29)
Tagsali love animal collective Armand Van Helden a trak au revoir simone Barbra Streisand Boy 8-Bit boys noize Boyz Noize Butch chromeo Crookers CRYSTAL CASTLES crystalised cut copy Disco Dreijer Duck Sauce erol alkan felix da housecat fever ray Gui Boratto Henrik Schwarz Hercules and love affair Jamie Jones jori hulkkonen just a band karin kim kings of convenience Lemonade Lisztomania marco carola metronomy Mickey Moonlight moguai Moonbootica music video Nicolas Jaar Phoenix Tale of Us the knife the xx tiga trentemoller