The Epic Human Journey: Part 4, Autumn

The NoMo Manifesto

A spoof of Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto.

We had been up all night, my friends and I, trekking out past the city limits, past the point where the sallow glow of downtown’s artificial light can reach. Candles were lit, as enflamed as our souls. Like them we were alight with the ancient Promethean promise, but this time: 
redeemed. Beneath the flickering flames and pulsing stars, we filled limitless 
pages with our wild vision of the world to come ...

Our hearts were racing as the night grew cold and dark; the only sounds ... our breath and the rustling of the wind. The North Star glimmered above, its light began to travel toward us billions of years ago, at a time when life on Earth was unrecognizable to life as we now know it. Winking at us from above, as if to say, “there were eternities during which it did not exist—your intellect—the beasts were here alone—breathing, eating and decomposing. There were lifetimes during which you humans did not exist, you believers—just animals alone, they were godless, selfless and reposing.”

We were suddenly distracted by the undeniable roar of our civilization's most cherished pet—the automobile—speeding along the highway not far enough away ... oozing with raucous roars, spewing toxic fumes into our eyes and splattering us with oily mud. Choking on the chemical air as the cars receded into the distance, we remembered the cities we fled the day before, the poisoned salmon found dead in the river, bellies upturned, the polar bear—reduced to skin and bone—collapsed in the Arctic, now barren.

As I raised my body from the ground where I had cowered, mud-splattered and foul-smelling, I felt a red hot beam of defiance and purpose bursting through my chest, throat and out into these words:

“The time has come, my friends,” I said, “Lets begin. At long last, the cult of progress is giving its last heave. We are going to be the midwives at the birth of a baited promise whose time has finally come. We must break down the sacred idols of the old empire—the straight line, growth, rationality, profit, humanism, individualism—one by one. Come with me, friends! Let us tear open the floodgates of the horizon and dance! Welcome in the sunrise of the time to come! With every word we utter and with every step we take, we will banish the ghosts of modernism and its sick child. Nothing is as beautiful as the corpse of this cancerous non-religion that has strangled the world we know for far too long. No more!”

As soon as I spoke these words, a thunderclap cracked overhead and broke open the darkening skies to shower us with cleansing rain. Watching the tail lights fade into the distance—I thought of the skyscrapers, the cubicles, the rows and rows of houses. The grid-like cities. The nuclear reactors. The God-particle, the Hubble telescope. The drones, the iPhones and all the other proud appendages of man's cunning ... all the ways we seek to probe the mystery and colonize it.

For far too long were the glories of mankind's “modern” era celebrated as the ultimate pearls of millions of years of evolution. For far too long we patted ourselves on the back at every leap of progress and tried to bury and deny the surmounting externalities left in the wake of our esteemed projects and flashy achievements. We thought of ourselves as clever—flouting natural selection and planting mono-crops to feed hungry hordes only to discover we laid waste to the fields. We 
improved ourselves in tantalizing ways, but neglected our animal brothers and sisters. We became an extraordinarily successful species. But this period of success is but a blink in the span of time. And the destiny of every successful species so far ... is to wipe itself out. Nietzsche wondered: “Is it really impossible to believe that we wouldn't use those very talents and resources ... to draw back before the abyss?”

It is terrible to think that we have learned so much, “discovered” so much—that we have come to “know” so much—but have forgotten how to live. That we have the foresight to see our potential end, but not the will or imagination to forge another path. We sent a “Curiosity” rover to Mars, but have lost our sense of wonderment for the Earth.

Let us leave behind the god of Logic like an empty fossil, forsaken and foreign. Let us throw out all these rancid memes into the hungry, dungheap of history! Let us trash all the sacred cows that have monopolized our beliefs for eons. Let us demolish the ideals that have hemmed in our imaginations for far too long. And may we make compost of all the bullshit of this bygone paradigm ... and out of it, grow something unburdened, innocent, outrageous, raw and totally new.

But before this new seed can receive any light, the ruinous, high-reaching walls that have been built around it must fall. These are the walls of the corporate fortress … and therein, many a grave enemy lurk. First, we must wipe out the energy giants who have made their billions off the destruction of our planet, forbidding the knowledge of sustainable alternatives, making taboo and illegal the resistance against them. Then there are the advertising corporations who have corrupted our most basic instincts and honest desires, who have made us forget what love is and how it is to be expressed, who have filled our hearts with long lists of voracious “wants” that correspond to the length of the assembly lines where these putrid desires are manufactured. We will take on these archetypal mind polluters and beat them at their own game. We will bring their image-factory to a sudden, shuddering halt. And then, we must face the media corps, those once great storytellers who were regrettably bought out by the goons of commercialism. News, advertising—now indistinguishable, both feed us lies through shiny teeth. On the rubble of their rotting deceit, we will build a new, transparent 
culture with a non-commercial heart and soul. We will resurrect truth and integrity.

This is why we are declaring “No-Mo!” … 
because we must deliver the world from the gangrene of commercialism, shady corporate CEOs, otiose neoclassical economists and sneering media puppets!

But wait … there is still one last beast, a monstrous Goliath still looming over our humbled frames. After “Mo” did come “Po-Mo”—that bastard child, born of the rape of Creativity by Logic ... the most perverted abuse of the intellect that could be imagined.

I once met one of these avatars of Po-Mo. I wanted to know what he had to say about the rising sea levels ... of the 440ppm of carbon in the atmosphere, of the plight of the bees and of the demon, Monsanto. But the response I got was just a heinous performance of abstract-intellectual masturbation. This intellectual elite would prefer to use debate to address all matters. The fate of life on Earth? Let's pontificate about it! They hear us snickering at them, so they carefully craft an astute counter-argument. Ha! They would rather use their esteemed “logic”— their only weapon—to retaliate against our existential challenge. Jargon, no more!

Can you hear it? The ringing of a bell! A wake up call for the old guard intellectuals who hide in offices, protected by theory while in the real world species vanish, forests are turned to packaging, human lives are exploited, ruined and lost. How could you pursue knowledge for its own sake while the planet burns? We will no longer indulge your debates and critiques. The pioneers of the world-to-come are here and we will grab you by those perfectly crisp collars and toss you into the rubbish bin of the past!

Too long have we been blinded by pride. Too long have we been fighting dirt. Sin. Imperfection. Sex. Mortality. Too long have we been fighting animality, humanity, each other. Too long have we been denying difference. Too long have we been seeing our reflection and our reflection only, in pebbles near and galaxies far.

Then ... with our hands covered in good grimy dirt ... faces splattered with soil and celestial sweat ... in defiance of all the protestations coming from the logic freaks—all those suits and ties who guard the Cult of Reason and the Throned God of Growth—we rise at long last to dictate our will and testament to all the living of the Earth ...

Comments on the article “The NoMo Manifesto”

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Lotte

I love this (the whole issue, in fact!). Seems to gel nicely with Russell Brand's editorial debut: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/10/russell-brand-on-revolution.

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This future will not be denied.

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Wait a minute. Since when has being rational been bad. For that matter this cult of bad and good is pretty worthless too. This cult of diametrically opposed points. But only two. Only two. Nothing like one for each person. But I do have my own point. I don't need to follow anyone. Turned my TV off during the OJ Trial and never turned it back on. Eventually got rid of the thing.

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