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Sether Mahishasura, you enquire of the chthonic in relation to “Umwelt”. Yes, sether Albert, rather over mine, too. In fact straight over the top and into the nether distance, curving with the Earth’s curve behind that barren ridge above Sainsbury’s there, where the poor are regenerating themselves, disappearing without a sound. Not the poor. They will not disappear without a sound. Just removing them from the gut of the metropolitan tapeworm won’t do the trick. The notion, sethren, the notion of the chthonic and the “Umwelt” as it passed over our heads like an iridescent but somewhat shapeless angel.
I think, sethren, I need to state the obvious, sucked into emptiness as it may be by its own circularity. Everything that exists, exists.
We could add to that its opposite. Nothing that does not exist, exists. But you will see problems there that I needn’t point out. Nothing does exist, otherwise we couldn’t give it even a passing mention. Nothing exists just as much as a stone exists, a stone which is a mere a millimetre short of being a rock which I might drop on your foot. We may feel that that stone exists a little more assertively than nothing does. But there are no degrees of existence itself. It’s an either/or thing. That is why I had to assert that everything that exists, exists.
I think we need to talk about the real world. We are closer to it than most, standing in a layby on the Huddersfield ringroad, the temperature a uniform grey 1o Celsius, the tyres of the frenzied traffic, locked in that see-saw of desire, craving the back-pull of heavy braking as the brain atop accelerates, the surge of uncheckable acceleration as it brakes, pummel a miasma of exhausted hydrocarbons, grease, metal grime, benzene and cabin deodorants into a thousand woven vortices of oncogenic gas which we breathe in because we must, you do, you die, you don’t, you die quicker. That is part of what we think of as the real world, and that is why we say, one to another, Jesus fuck, there must be more to it than that. We are the mind in the cave and that is why, as sether Mahishasura says, we reach “into the reality behind the rock face”. Except that I would put it the other way round. We reach from our cloud of reality in a vain attempt to try to touch the rock face.
Which brings us back to the real world. I have news for you folks. It is the real world that is “the rock face”. It is the real world that we can hardly perceive.
It’s like this. The real world is what there would be if some clever virus were to overreach itself and wipe us out, every one. The real world is what existed before Culture. Culture has taken over the real world. What we perceive now is the metaverse. Not all of it, of course. Just as far as we can see.
I use Culture with a big C to refer to anything that has been through a brain and out again and into another brain. And then, to avoid the complications of fish, insects, and cows, I add a qualification to the word brain. The brain has to be in a skull, and that skull has to be, or in our history have been, atop a spinal cord which, in active life, is, or was, most of the time vertical. Brain on a stick. In, out, and into another one.
That’s it. That’s Culture.
Thus, anything you can think, know, dream, imagine, touch, taste, draw, is part of Culture. Okay, you can say bollocks, sether Albert. But I’m willing to go out on a limb here. If you win, I will buy you for the midday repast the choicest item on MadamMiMi’sMagicMeatyBits menu. She has no menu? I was not apprised. MagicMeatyBits is the menu. Those it shall be. Ah, undifferentiable? That it shall be. And if you lose, all you need do is bow down and touch the hem of my garment. Not fucking likely? A very right and proper response, given the state of the pavement. Okay, without the bet, introduce me to something you can think of that has not been into at least one brain, and out again, and into another brain. A tub of MadamMiMi’sMagicMeatyBits? Well, it clearly has. Your brain, my brain.
A diamond-studded tub of MadamMiMi’sMagicMeatyBits? Sether Albert, you are a genius. The tub is yours, though not diamond-studded. Clearly diamonds were not a part of the bet.
You have indeed shown a deep flaw in my argument. Sethren, we can say something, as sether Albert has just done, which has never, ever been said in the world before. And were you, sether Albert, to stand in the middle of the great Thar desert with no other human being nearer than a hundred miles, and enunciate most clearly “An emerald studded tub of MadamMiMi’sMagicMeatyBits” and then never in your life say it again, that unique utterance would not have been into one brain on a stick and out again and into another brain on a stick, I agree.
Am I therefore saying it is not a part of Culture?
No. Any fool can produce an infinite number of unique utterances. We could say “a tub of MadamMiMi’sMagicMeatyBits studded with one sapphire”. Then, after deep thought, we could say “ a tub of MadamMiMi’sMagicMeatyBits studded with two sapphires”. And so on, for ever. And then we could do the same with, I don’t know, garnets, lapis lazuli, coral, pearls. But before that time, a certain tedium might creep into the operation. So we probably won’t. Especially as my ill-advised mention of sustenance has brought on an epidemic, or what would be an epidemic were the multitude of my followers to be as Paul’s at Ephesus, of foot shuffling and gazing afar with an impatient gaze.
But, “a diamond studded tub” is an utterance, and is composed of demons and alliances of demons.
So now I can say again, anything you can think is part of culture, because anything you can think is composed of demons, and every demon has been into at least one brain, and out again, and into another brain.
Good question, sether Pritchard-Achebe-Wajda. What if I see a dirip, but haven’t had a chance to tell anybody about it yet. I take it that a dirip is something entirely novel, let us say a quantum toy entangled with its twin a billion lightyears away in a kids room on the planet Xerk, such planets have to have at least one X in their names; which for a few seconds materialised in front of your face, clearly such a thing as no human had ever seen before, and you thought it looked as though it should be a dirip. “Dirip,” you said aloud, but there was no-one but you to hear. The dirip briefly existed in your world, then it didn’t, then it was just a memory, a conjugation of properties, iridescence, you recalled, a certain intransigence of topology, reminiscent of a Klein bottle; and it winked at you, you thought; not literally, as it had no eyes, but nonetheless it contrived to wink.
This memory was a locus in the brain which if triggered would connect with other loci, those that dealt with vision for instance, and pop up thus in the workspace, a demon. The dirip demon. And if it’s a demon, it must already be part of culture, you suggest. What need of a second brain?
Okay, I sort of give you that. But it cannot survive. Culture has to survive. To survive it has to replicate. And it can only replicate by going into another brain. Maybe when the dirip appeared to you you were shipwrecked on a desert island. You were rescued in due course, and at some point, maybe in the middle of a conversation with your sister about birthday presents for kids, you suddenly, clear as anything, recalled the dirip, and told her about it, its strange topology, its iridescence, the undeniable wink. Well, she may look at you as if you were mad, or anyway prone to worthless fancy. In which case the dirip is going nowhere. But she may be intrigued, and tell a friend, and then that dirip has form, it is about in the metaverse and in the world. Somebody in time might write a whimsical sci-fi story about a dirip. In fact we could bin the whole bit about an actual dirip actually appearing. It could be entirely fictional. It wouldn’t matter if there was no such thing as a dirip. A dirip now exists in the metaverse. Not very substantially, not very durably. But it exists. There are no dirips in the real world (okay, as far as we know, sether Polly Agnostica) and never were. But the real world is composed now entirely of Culture. The real world as it would be if we no longer existed is very hard for us to perceive, and usually only in moments of confusion or disorientation when the workspace has become disengaged from the metaverse.
A stone was and will be a thing in the real world before we Homo sapiens were and after we are no more. But while we are in the world, a stone will exist beyond the real world, in the metaverse, distributed across it between all the demon stones in every ideoverse, and the discrete things in the world that we know stones to be.
Thus everything is now Culture. The real world still exists, just as it did in the days of dinosaurs, or indeed before our planet coalesced. But though we are continuous with it in a material continuum that goes from our bodies to the furthest reaches of the universe, we no longer have, never have had, much access to the real world. All we have access to is Culture. All that we have access to is demons that have already been through, usually, countless brains on sticks.
So just before you go to mill with the careless throng, let me tell you again what Culture is. Culture is the total sum of all, every and each demon; together with their alliances and alliances of alliances beyond number; but particularly Culture is the total sum of all, every and each demon. And everything in the real world was at one time not a demon, but now is, because it has been through a brain on a stick and then through another brain, at least once.
Okay, off you fuck.
Okay, off you fuck.