It’s hard to overstate how huge a transformation Star Wars The Last Jedi takes the whole Star Wars mythos. In the original trilogy, everything pivots around Leia. But now, the past is re-written, as is the future — critical, as these are the only two periods of time that ever matter. Everything has changed now in Star Wars. Luke is Jesus. Luke must die — for our salvation. Luke, now with everything changed, is the one that saved the Jedi order in the past, and now remakes it for the future.
We crave myths.
We believe superpowers exist — and they do — but not in us, though we dream they one day might.
Books, movies, these feed our need for myths. Rock music, less so.
I think of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida as maybe the closest we’ve come to mystical rock music mythos.
Heavy metal thunder.
Upon first listen: nothing before matters, everything from now will be different.
That’s a lot to stake upon the only hit song from Iron Butterfly. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is timeless, peerless, its psychedelic metal sound revelatory of a future which, we must accept, never came. Guitar, organ, bass, vocals, drums, often in concert, sometimes in solo, this 17-minute, 20-or-so word song proclaims humanity at the dawn of a new age, one completely unlike the past, one not at all previously envisioned, filled with dark magic, seductive waypoints, and forever youth — in all its glory and failings. The song quickly takes us from the before time to its big bang, and from there the possibilities are revealed as not quite limitless but still plentiful.
The future beckons. “In the garden of Eden, baby, don’t you know that I’ll always be true.”
I wonder, can we return to the garden? Will the garden come to us?
These are idyl thoughts, the most human of all the thoughts.
Humans are rational creatures, admittedly, and possessing an insatiable ability to benefit from knowledge and learning. But this is not the same as possessing an insatiable ability to want to know and learn. Even in the 21st century, too many fail to recognize the chasm between the process and the gain.
Humans are rational creatures, true, but mostly not. Mostly, we are emotional, feeling, sensing.
We are rational not by choice but by necessity.
Never forget this!
That necessity is now going away.
Always stay mindful of this!
Just as we have outsourced our physical labors to the machines — nobody mills their own grain anymore, for example — now, at long last, we possess the ability to outsource our rational to the machines. Our machines will do our calculus, our remembering, our data accumulation, our indexing, our choosing, our thinking.
Emotion is our future.
Feeling is our future.
Crazy is our future.
I am not sure if that is how we get back to the garden, but I am sure it is our way onward.
Experts in pedagogy — a horrible word — continue to profoundly misunderstand reality and human composition. They continue to insist that non-rational, non-verifiable, clearly emotional-based responses from people on such “knowable” ideas as, say, how AIDS developed, or why the twin towers collapsed, or the impact of the movement of the stars upon our mood, exist because there is too much “fake news” or bogus sources or children aren’t being taught “logic” or their parents, derided as “evangelical” or “hippie,” prevent “the truths” from reaching these children.
We have constructed a world where we have the freedom to believe in the non-rational, with each of us able to construct — like an artist — the worldview which best expresses our needs. Surprise! This is the zenith of a thinking, learning, progressive, tool-building human evolution.
The Pentagon, we have verified, and to nobody’s surprise, is spending millions of dollars to search for alien life and to uncover the truth behind various unexplained human – non-human encounters. This includes actual Air Force fighter jets chasing an unknown flying object.
Alien encounters? Maybe.
The Pentagon running psyops using our fear and fascination of aliens to set in motion something dastardly? Maybe.
Rational behavior? And?
Stop expecting humans to fully engage with the “facts” “logic” “evidence” “data” when our newest machines can do all of these better, faster, longer, bigger.
You’re being wrongly non-serious.
We can’t outpace our thinking machines, can’t recall more, certainly not faster, can’t absorb as many facts, can’t reach as many people with the data, and so the logical response is to accept that the rational — the “truth” — is the purview of computers, algorithms, AI, robots, and whatever comes next, while we increasingly embrace and feed those elements of our self which the machines can’t do better.
We are outsourcing the rational.
Fantastical is our future.
This is the dawning of the age of aquarius!
“Please take my hand.”
Here’s the Boney M version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, suffused with a disco beat and electronic sensibilities. It’s not the equal of the original, but still great.