The orc in Miami.

Sunday, 15 December, Year 11 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

When he thinks of his native orcland, the orc in Miami feels somewhat uneasy. He thinks he's made the wise move of getting the shit out of a sinking Dodge, but at the same time feels he disappointed the people closest to him. Instead of sticking with them, instead of helping out with fixing their Dodge, he ran off. Whenever his gaze meets a mirror he can see the disappointed orc inside him looking back. He gingerly rationalizes it though -- "Wasn't that boat sinking anyway ? Should I sink with it ? Does that help anything ?". Yet it bothers him, like a splinter that won't come out. He starts following affairs at home even more carefully than he used to do before leaving.

Then the vote lobby finds him. Much like salesmen find the stupid and convert them into consumers, much like pantsuits find the hopelessly impotent and convert them into the various degrees of "ourdemocracy" zek, exactly as cults turn defectives into believers just so the vote lobby finds the orc in Miami and converts him into "diaspora" : the group of orcs in Miami who "want to do their duty" to their orcland but without much effort. In any case without significant risk. From a safe distance. The vote lobby is in the business of selling the cheapest possible pixie dust for converting that felt shame into paraded pride. A purely symbolic gesture that eats mostly nothing all year long, and for that nothing provides the warm feelies of active citizenship round the clock. The almost-nothing traded out for the infinite-nothing, in a few simple steps anyone could follow.

The simple mind, the sort of mind capable of these division-by-zero magics readily adopts the methodology, and before long the orc is out there, voting every election. He sits in line, he eats all sorts of modest inconveniences : they're almost nothing. He reads up pantsuit media dossiers on the candidates. He does all the almost-nothings whose almost-ness didn't seem justified by their vacuous content back when he lived there. He does it all for the infinite-nothing whose alleged infinity'd never have managed to hide the interior nothing from him back when he lived there. Distance might make the heart grow fonder, but if it does very much of that or little indeedi, it surely dims out his vision in geometric proportion. So he's there at the booth every chance he gets.

It's done, he's nothing like a fugitive now. Not anymore. He's a responsible orc now, if from a distance. More responsible than the many who live back home but don't bother to vote. Probably more responsible than you, sucker. So stop mean muggin', as if he ran away. He helps from a distance, okay ? And it's a whole heap o' helpin', aite ? Because voting is super-super-super important.

To be perfectly clear, voting is important. Sometimes. When your lord calls for your voice, when it's your turn to speak, in the context of the WoT and the forum, within and with the Republic. Not otherwise. Not outside. Not in the empire, not among the herd, not anonymously, not pointlessly, equally, performatively, in a word : not dumbly. Not ourdemocracy-like, not in the slightest bit, not at all.

Even when voting actually is important, it is still the absolute, bare minimum. It's the least you can do to squeak by. You can't be lauded for doing the bare minimum. You can't take pride in doing the bare minimum. You can't look down your nose around you, standing atop a bundle of bare minimum. Yet a diaspora often will ; because the notion that voting's a grandiose gesture, some kind of self-sacrificial act of patriotism pleases them. It scratches where the puss itches, around that splinter. It balms about that sentiment of betrayal, it papers over the burning feeling of thorough inferiority, of complete and absolute inadequacy. If it's true that when a man swears he holds himself in his own hands, like water, and should he open his palms then, he needn't hope to ever meet himself again -- if that is inescapably the case then what of the runaway ? If he ran away once, just once, who should trust him again, and what for, and how far ? Why should he trust himself, to any degree, ever again ? Why should he even want to sleep in the same bed as himself, anymore ? The only out still available, the only lie remaining is systematic inflation of the imagined importance of an inconsequential, minuscule act. Snowballing it back and forth like crackwhores, patting each other on the back. They, the voters in diaspora, they're truly much more orc than the orcs back in the originating orcland ; at the very least much better than whatever thick margin there that never care to vote. It's not possible this isn't so, because it feels good to believe it.

This is how the orc manages to sleep in Miami. He needs it. The orc's life in Miami isn't easy, in no small part because actual Miami isn't much like the orc's notion of Miami at all. "Adaptation", but crucially without piercing the fantasy bubble ; switching from one lie to another, from one lie to an entirely unrelated lie. A different lie that's confusingly similar in most surface structures yet entirely unrelated in its substance -- now that's a challenge. Any man can wake up, as from a dream ; jumping from dream to dream without waking up, now that's the feat of orcish adaptation.

But he goes on, day by day ; and he tries to "convince" others of whatever hallucinated nonsense he momentarily depends upon, in the precarious act of ropewalking his inner life's become. So he yells at people who don't vote. He insistently insists upon the importance of voting. He takes his picture voting, it's as much part of his lifestyleii as any other accessory. He barters applause with other diaspora voters and circlejerks over the importance of voting. Living the fuck over there, in the orcistan ? A marginal concern at best. Voting's the burning core. And he does it, he does it maximaly. The maximal gesture maximally performed. He's the essential orc, his remarkably symmetrical anti-existentialism perhaps amusing to anyone outside his self-secreted reality distortion bubble -- but firmly invisible to him. Distant. Like his country.

The years go by ; the orc in Miami zealously stamps paper each orcistan election, from a distance, while lying to himself all the while : he's not doing the minimum, but the maximum. He does everything in his power for the betterment of his original orcistan. He is voting, after all, isn't he ? He's even considering, ever more vaguely but nevertheless considering, returning. If things change. What do you want more of him, people ? He is adamant on one point above all : involving you in the perpetuation of the illusion he needs for the continuation of his uneasy, toxic marriage with himself. God knows he doesn't enjoy sleeping in the same bed as himself ; you'd better help, you'd better do what he needs you to do and especially say what he needs you to say so he can bear himself. Do you hear ? You'd better, or else [he might have to do it for you]. He'll do it, too. If need be he'll do it, for you, and in your name. There's no stopping a desperate orc in Miami -- it's all in his mind anyway.

But time marches on, and he forgets more and more. He remembers less and less. There's children, of course, the orc in Miami procreates as a necessary if ultimately hostile act, directed entirely at himself. He did it for the children. He did it to give them a better chance. Hay mas futuro. They don't understand any of it, of course, but that's not his problem. They're not as good as real orc children -- those would understand, like he understands. He warned them, didn't he ? He warned them : either they do what he needs them to do and especially say what he needs them to say, or else he's going to do it for them, and in their name. Right ? So there you go, for them and in their name : they're not as good as real orc children. Bam. Done. Learn not to mess with the orc in Miami, because it's all in his own mind. You just don't live there. And besides -- he's voting. What have you done ?

He grows tired. The distances grow longer, time intervals stretch on forever. He gives, and gives and gives -- all that he can give, indeed all that can be given. He's been giving for decades, every few years twenty minutes he's given, and those assholes... they're still not changing ? What, they don't want him to return ? Why aren't they changing ?

Well fuck them then! What for, all this bother ? All this time he struggled for them, and they... nothing !? The orc in Miami finally feels enough's enough. Up to here. He's given his portion of orcland duty, ten, fifteen votings, it has to be enough. If they want more -- they could earn some, no ? Instead they keep coming around begging for votes. He continues sporadically, maybe, for a while, and then croaks, leaving behind a Miami family "with orc origins".

"That's a strange family name."
"Yeah, my parents were from Orcistan."
"Cool. Have you ever been there?"
"Nah, it's a shithole."

  1. "Rather like a stench, if I remember." []
  2. Lifestyle's what imaginary life's called within the imaginarium. []
Comments feed : RSS 2.0. Leave your own comment below, or send a trackback.
Add your cents! »
    If this is your first comment, it will wait to be approved. This usually takes a few hours. Subsequent comments are not delayed.