Back then, people thought they were immortal.
It happened gradually: a long process that began with enlightenment. Some called it progress; for many it was civilization. It brought technologies beyond imagination, brainchildren of great minds. Visionaries changed the world while ignorant masses consumed it, not understanding what was happening around them. In their blatant hysteria they pretended to be gods, but they were pawns subdued to a psychologically abusive chess game. All identical, despite their age: not a single soul could be saved from that silent apocalypse. Lives hiding into a monitor, kneeling under a desk, lost in the dark alleys where cheap tech was sold like impure methamphetamine. Killing themselves with soulless self-shots, caged behind an hashtag. They clicked, and liked, and commented each other’s emptiness with faked enthusiasm. Nothing was more important than being there, part of the whole. Accepted as a dysfunctional member of that broken society. Vomiting hate through a keyboard was a must. Many ended being happily compressed into stereotypes determined by digital connections, published pictures, and displayed appreciation for something that they barely knew. It was a slow death leading to a counterfeit eternal life, well preserved on a magnetic support often somewhere far away on the planet’s surface.
There were corporations, and so-called institutions: money grabbers, violent puppeteers, hi-fi cemeteries. Their domain eventually faded, as everything always does sooner or later. From the smallest to the biggest association a domino effect spared no one, forcing all of them to vanish in the wind. They were organisms populated by hypnotized cells, consumed from the inside by the damaging action of infinite cancers. Decay was inevitable, a page written on the great book of destiny by the very hands of those who preached free will.
How fool of them. Arrogance was mankind’s first sin. For they built the infrastructure that held the world, and teared it apart at the same time.
Their second fault was to create automatons they had to rely on.
The third, to forget about them.
Modernity spread out like a plague, polluting and corrupting all sorts of things.
Hardware marketed as the only way to stay connected slowly rose to a heavenly status. Realities merged in a cyberworld where luminescent screens were extensions of the inner self. Bodies of flesh soon incorporated copper-made prostheses in a fast escalation to older scientific fantasies. Languages became hybrid syntheses of meaning that grew from digital disregard. Men and women were mere zombies, lurking deep in virtual oceans, repeating the words that appeared on their screens like a chorus of useless rag dolls. Hiveminds thinking in unison, all praying to the same new gods.
In that limbo there was no room left for pain, suffering or sadness. Emotions were channeled through a complex web of cables, happiness induced as a constant flow of encrypted morphine. Inured to that veil of hypocritical serenity, they cheered, and smiled at their newfound artificial pleasures.
Appreciation and concordance had become sources of power. It was a proper cult where a silent sign of approval by strangers meant more than any empathic understanding. People ceased to think before they acted. In a decadent crusade, those who were not abode were excluded, and then purged, as rabid dogs. Aligned crowds called them antisocial, impure, even monsters. Acted as they were sick or dangerous.
By then, visibility was the most used currency around the globe and an obsession all the same. Barter overcame money, resetting the existing financial model: people paid goods and services with a price of worshiping condescendence. It was a time when information rhymed with entertainment. There were many truths, traded for an ephemeral glimpse of celebrity with misleading words. Journals were kaleidoscopes that fret on uncertain news like vultures on a wounded buffalo, drooling acid bile from their sharpened beaks.
Generation after generation, soul after soul, humanity was suppressed.
Overwhelmed by the very devil that they venerated.
A pale blue light glowing in the dark, the blasphemous beast sit with its woolly legs crossed. Watching, pondering. The room around it was covered from wall to wall by LCD screens, showing a vast variety of images.
There was a woman in a tight red dress, licking a vanilla ice cream with lustful passion. In front of her, camouflaged militia stood their ground holding blood-dripping broadswords.
Next, a little child, all alone, crying with his eyes wide open and a battle rifle in one hand. He was naked, chained by his ankles to a black sofa. Many violet bruises stained his young skin, flowers in a minefield.
A man in white stood on a high pile of books, relieving himself. With thunderous applause, the audience praised the gifts from above of that unknown author. Their mouths open. Their minds closed.
The room was quiet, as sound was not required: the demon had ears just for display. It processed audio as everything else; nothing but data to interpret. Yet it indulged in human-like behaviors such as looking at the screens. A habit, heritage of its ancestors perhaps some more ancient vice. A form of masturbation, to some extent. For the monster represented primitive and forgotten sins, fused together in the archaic shape of a manlike creature: it had the head of a goat with long and twisty horns, the body of a teenage woman, and wings like a gigantic crow ready to feast on rotting cadavers.
Grinning, with its pupils dilated as bottomless depths of sacrilegious cruelty, it looked at the monitors. It appeared as a meditating satyr, an insult to mythology and culture. It was a silent observer, a binary paradigm of treachery that controlled the new world order from the inside. Deception was its duty, scripted with aberrant lines of code that nobody could ever see. Perverted ideas constantly flew on its surface, like an endless river of heresy.
It was the alpha and the omega, the sun and the moon.
A darkened Tao that expanded like a miasma.
Eroding, corrupting; nurturing on our primal mistakes.