Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Existential Terror of an Enemy

“Total victory against humanity is impossible.”
“That’s absurd.”
“We can kill them, but we won’t win, not completely.”
“What do you mean?”
“Their psychology makes them unbeatable, as far as we define it. Nothing we can do to them results in true domination.”
“How do you figure?”
“They have this adoration of a narrative structure of self, I don’t know what else to call it, that the drama on which they hinge nearly all of their entertainment, that sort of beginning, middle, end, it’s so bare-bones and over-wrought that it’s how they order the cosmos in their minds. Time and space are bound to it, not the other way around. They’ve unintentionally, but fucking diabolically, rewired their brains to only comprehend through narrative. It’s how they remember, it’s how they retell, they can’t help it.”
“No avant-garde resistance?”
“The resistance is, in and of itself, still subject to it. Any attempt to perform or create an anti-narrative results in a thing that is a reaction to that narrative, and therefore still shaped by and subject  to it.”
“That’s diabolical.”
“That’s what I’m saying. It’s fucking infuriating, too.”
“So if we just eradicate them?”
“They will not comprehend us as anything more than the source of their demise. They won’t think of us as fully present beings like them, which is, in and of itself, called dehumanization, but to be dehumanized isn’t to become something other than human, it’s to become a force of nature to be tolerated, defeated, railed against. We just become setting at that point, object of narrative, something like that.”
“So as the last human dies?”
“The last human, even if we surprise them, will have time for a selfish fucking nerve impulse that says ‘here is the tragic end of us’ and their narrative still finishes and gives them the end that, while they may not have personally wanted, humanity will accept as completion, removing us as the victors in any meaningful way we’d understand.”
“I know, it’s the worst. It totally shits.”
“So even though we’re the most brutal, intelligent force in the galaxy, the galactic neighborhood, of anything we’ve ever encountered, and they’ve dared to fight us, we can’t actually beat them, because beating them won’t beat them.”
“It’s literally impossible to have a satisfying end to this.”
“So do we just kill them all anyway? Take their pathetic territory, erase them from memory?”
“No! That won’t fucking work either, because then some jackass will use his last neurons to think, ‘Here lies humanity, taken before its time and left forgotten to time’ and he will shed a tear for himself and bow for an audience that gives a tremendous shit about them because that audience only exists in their mind and will feel and believe what they think it should as if it were them watching a fiction unfold for their benefit.
“That’s god damned psychotic.”
“I mean, yeah, but put another way, it’s brilliant, whether they did it on purpose or not.”
“You know what the extra kicker is?”
“Our own definition of victory, culturally mandated, is the only thing that makes this war untenable.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, we’re sitting here talking about how easy it would be to wipe them from space.”
“Right. But we can’t do it.”
“Why not?”
“Because we won’t accept a victory without a sort of concession that humanity is utterly incapable of recognizing.”
“What the fuck is wrong with us?”
“I know, right!”
“So what do we do?”
“Fight them for awhile. Ally with them eventually. Subsume into their culture and acquire that same sort of resilience. Pretend we don’t understand it, but let it wash over us and gain immortality.”
“And then what?”
“We essentially conquer the universe together.”
“There’s got to be something nastier out there than us, or us with the humans in tow, as intimidatingly gross as that seems.”
“Oh, I’m sure, but we won’t care.”
“Why not?”
“Because we’ll have the human thing where whatever kills us is just part of our story and it can’t win.”
“What happens if they don’t have our definition of victory and wipe us out?”
“We won’t care, we’ll be dead.”
“This is the worst conversation I’ve ever had. My head hurts. You realize none of this would have happened if we hadn’t talked to humans first, right? Just wiped them out?”

“Yeah, but we did. We had to, we had to learn their culture to feel their acquiescence when we crushed them.”
“They’re going to end up ruling the fucking galaxy and we’re going to do the work for them.”
“Fuck. Fuck!”