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Sociomics
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Sociomics

Gary Nisharg & Y Moon Gary Nisharg & Y Moon
Artist
Azer Babaev Azer Babaev
Description

Two superheroes are discussing subjects that are not usually popular in society. Each character wants to make the world a better place, but their methods are juxtaposed, just lie their ideas of a perfect world. They are not afraid of social condemnation, that’s why they speak bluntly and express their thoughts directly and sincerely.

Author's message

You may not ready for this yet, but your kids will definitely like it…

Part 1: Introduction


1

Vee: (speaking to himself) Welllll... (pause...) Seems like just yesterday you were a completely different person. And a person with very different values and views about the world. You were so young, you had no idea everything could suddenly change, become the complete reverse of what it always was... You believed in something, believed fiercely that it was the Truth. And then you realized that there is no Truth. There’s only a choice and what your heart seeks. Truths are fickle things. We create our own truths – and then we live with them. And if you want to change your life, first you have to change your truths. Everything around us is always changing, everything is perpetually in flux. If something doesn’t change, it dies. That goes for our human ideas about life, too. If an idea never changes, it done for. It dies. Life dies. The person may live for on a little while, but there’s no life in him. I used to think that changing your worldview was a sign of weakness, faithlessness. Turned out that was just a foolish prejudice foisted upon me by society. Society in generally is a pretty foolish thing.


2

There is a knock at the door, but Vee pays it no mind, proceeding with his monologue in lonely grandeur.

Vee: It eats you up, together with all your hopes and dreams, chews you up and spits you out. After that nothing much really matters much to you. But I found the strength inside to look at the world through a different lens. It wasn't easy, but I did it. Now I see things in a very different light, from a very different angle. Intriguing, right? (smiles to himself) We're looking at one and the same thing, but we see totally different things, sometimes polar opposites. So that was it, you won, or so it would seem. You’ve seen the light, it’s all good now. But it's never that simple, is it? (tilts his head to one side) Tough to be happy with all that pain and suffering all around. You could pretend you didn't see any of it, of course, but I for one couldn’t keep that up for long, that’s for sure. So my next alternative is to show other people that suffering isn’t inevitable, that there’s another way. There's another kind of life. For now, though, all those other people see in me is a freak, a crazy person.


3

The near silence is broken by a familiar voice, quiet...

Jay: Hello. How is our noble friend here getting along? Yoo-hoo!

Vee: (stops and peers into the darkness, in the direction from which the voice comes)

Jay: I just happened to be passing by... when it occurred to me that you’d probably like to see me. Wait! You don't have to answer. I know already... you really, really do want to see me! (smiles) Boring yourself again with philosophical exercises? Not sick of them yet?


4

Jay: I can help you... (pauses, smiling) Are you ready to tell me about it? Your ingenious plan? Maybe we can join forces. That would make things a whole lot more fun!

Vee: My God, it’s you, Jay! Haven't heard from you in ages! People are already saying you'd committed suicide or something. (chuckles, almost imperceptibly, approaches the fireplace on the wall opposite, tries to get a fire started) Actually, to be honest, there really isn't any plan. What do humanity's problems really mean to you, anyway?

Jay: Ha, ha, ha, ha! (the laugh is loud) Humanity’s problems mean everything to me, they always will. In fact, I’m standing here thanks to humanity's problems. You, too, for that matter. (winks at Vee and laughs again) What’s with you, Vee? Surely youdidn't believe the rumors of my untimely demise? (loud laugh)  Or did you? How could I ever leave you without at least saying goodbye? (pause) Shall we get down to business? So you’re out to solve the problems of all mankind, are you? My, my, my... Well, how's that working out for you? Made a lot of progress?


5

Vee: It’s up to humanity to solve humanity’s problems - every living person on the planet. When a single person sets out to solve humanity's problems for it, it usually ends in a tragedy of global proportions... (pause, turns his head towards Jay)... I’m thinking of Hitler, Napoleon, Genghis Khan and people like that. (turns to look at the fire in the fireplace as he continues) The problems of humanity are the problems of each and every member of humanity. But the problem is that most people can't be bothered. For them, the responsibility for taking care of their lawns is about all they can handle. Sometimes more than they can handle. Strange, isn't it? Human beings take no interest in humanity's problems (here his smile seems to take on a profound sadness). All I want to do is help people to change this world for the better. I want to show them what the problems are and suggest a means of resolving them. But they’re the ones who are going to have to go out and actually put the solution into effect.


6

Vee: ...each generation has its own challenges to face. Some have to deal with hunger, others discover new continents, and still others have slavery to contend with. The challenge before today’s younger generation is the greatest mankind has ever known. What’s on the agenda is whether mankind has the capacity to constitute a rational civilization. Mankind must either make a great leap forward in its evolution or vanish from the stage. A great leap forward in self-awareness, in its worldview... (pause) Why would you of all people get yourself involved in something like that? Don't tell me you've discovered a conscience, that you're looking to create something instead of destroying things?

Jay: (softly) Ooooooh, no, no! If I did that, I wouldn't be me! People, people like me – we create chaos. That’s our element, our calling... We are not meant to deprive ourselves of such a profound pleasure.  Today's world, the world of... well, people... it needs folks like me. They just couldn't muddle by without me! They need me, do you hear? Need. It was no fluke that led to my creation. Or yours!


7

Jay:  But you and I are at least as different as we are similar. You get that, yes? (with a nasty, fawning smile, gazing intently at Vee) They implanted their conscience into me, all that was “the very best” left in them... How could I take that away from them? That'd be a crime! (a long, sinister laugh) The irony is that you need me as much as they do. No creation without destroying something! Ruins! That's what you need. (laughs) A world of fire and destruction! Hahahahahaha!

Vee: You're probably right. You’re totally fiendishly right! I really can't manage without you. If you want to help people see the world anew, you’ve got to bring down all mankind's stereotypes and prejudices. They're what gets in the way of people making an evolutionary leap forward. They're what makes people lie to each other, and even to themselves.  Mostly to themselves! Yes... (pauses) I want to help open their eyes so they can see a different world. And then, Jay, I’m giving this world to you. To tear to shreds.


8

Jay: Are you really?! ... (flashes a wicked grin, rubbing his hands together) So where do we begin? The guillotine? Burning at the stake? (spreading his arms and speaking in an exalted voice) Or mass executions, complete with the fireworks of streets on fire, the wailing of sirens, and...

Vee: (interrupts Jay, raises one index finger) Let's agree to one thing: you’ll keep yourself under control, all right? Our goal isn't to have everything around us razed to the ground. Our goal is to destroy only what we don't want: stereotypes, prejudices, false morality and other pointless relics of bygone ages. This world is full of wonderful and amazing things; we should treat it with tender care so we don't send it all spinning off to hell in a handbasket. So things don't go the way they do in the phrase about the omelet and the eggs... Are you even listening, Jay?


9

Jay:  Whatever, bud – that’s your problem... so where was I? Ah, yes, yes... The wailing of sirens and people running around, crazed with fear... here and there, back and forth... well, isn't it a grand vision? (laughs)

Vee: Fine. Then let’s get underway.  Anything else you want to say?

Jay: If we’ve covered absolutely everything, then guess I’ll be going. (quickly gets up and walks out the door)

Vee: Wait a minute! Where are y...

Jay: What do you mean, “where are y...” (looks out from behind the door) To carry out your ingenious plan! (the door slams shut, and from behind it comes the sound of evil, cackling laughter)

Part 2: The primary threat: the common man


10

Vee: Where on earth do we begin, though, Jay? There’s so much to discuss! So much to be destroyed. Over the centuries of human history people have overloaded themselves with empty values and prejudices to the breaking point. It's no surprise they can't even see what's right under their noses. Their heads are already addled with this chaotic mass of moral points of view and convictions. Still, we've got to start somewhere. You know what I’m talking about? Tell me – out of the whole pile of problems out there, what irritates you most?

Jay: (lying on the couch, silent, gazes at Vee) Damn... didn't work!

Vee: (turns, looking a question at Jay)

Jay: Are you aware hypnosis doesn't work on you? It's probably... the mask has got to be the problem... You know, I sometimes wear a mask, too. And a very pretty mask it is! When I rob a bank, for instance. Things like that.

Vee: Yes, you're probably right! (sighs, turns to the window again, speaking to himself) And who am I asking, anyway…


11

Jay: Hold on, hold on! (leaping off the couch to stand on his knees) I... I... I was kidding! Okay, sure, what was your question, now? (snaps his fingers) ummm... ummm... ummm... oh, yeah! What pile irritates me more?

Vee: (paying no attention to Jay's clowning, speaks pensively, abstracted) Well, he almost got it right...

Jay: (sits on the floor by the couch, speaks in an ironic voice) I’ll tell you this. The world has been plunged into darkness by one thing, and one alone – middle-class narrow-mindedness. The common man destroys everything he comes close to, himself included. I don't do that! You don't, either! It’s only them. They see their own sins in us, and we're just their reflection... Their conscience, the voice of their hearts, muted by their brains – that's what we are. But the irony is that they'll never admit it.

Vee: (imperturbably calm) I am very glad you understand that. It’s true, the greatest enemy of mankind and all life on earth is the middle-class philistine. That’s who stands in the way of humanity taking a deep breath of fresh air and setting out on the evolutionary road to a new stage of being. They are the ones who prevent people from rising to new levels of self-consciousness, so that they can finally rid themselves of their “childhood illnesses” and move on towards creation and self-development. It is because of the middle-class philistine that we have world wars and genocide. And it is they who bear guilt for the destruction of nature. (turns his head toward Jay) Tell me, who would you call a middle-class philistine?


12

Jay: Ummm... errr... ya know, I’m just not as glib-tongued as you, pal. Maybe we can just google the question, okay? (smiles broadly) Okay, so... (concentrates, raising on index finger, watching Vee closely) I’m going to reveal a little secret to you. They – those common men, they're all around us, don't you see? (slides his hand, palm down, over the floor) They're everywhere, they gather together in little groups... and then you get a society, a city, a state. They make up ninety-five percent of the population of the planet. So how am I supposed to do what you ask? How can I tell you exactly what they are? (the rest is spoken in a loud, emotional voice; his hands grasp his head by the hair) There are all kinds of them, goddammit, but they all act the same way. (shakes an index finger towards Vee, glaring at him) Like that, just like that, what you described, that’s what they're like! (pensively, astonished, he looks off to one side, the index finger now pressed to his lips) Separately, individually, they’re good people. Normal, you know. 


13

Jay: (glares out at Vee from under his brows) ... but collectively they’re a fist of death, ready to deal a devastating blow to the whole world around them. And there's somebody guiding that fist...

Vee: I believe you're a bit too caught up in your emotions. You seem unable to concentrate your thoughts. But the general thrust is on target. Can I help you out a bit? The common man – it means people with a particular worldview. At the root of that worldview is petty meanness, along with a complete absence of firm convictions and any sense of responsibility to society, to nature, and even to themselves. There’s this very smart man from the past, he said that their salient characteristic is to blindly follow the majority. They need to lead a typical, average, moderate life, they stick to the middle ground between extremes, in a healthy, temperate zone, without the fury of storms and tempests. They don't like it when something rocks the boat. They want things to be peaceful.  Listen, Jay, what could be dangerous about that? At first glance, we’re talking about tranquil, peace-loving people, don't you think?


14

Jay: (sits, leans back, arms spread over the back of the couch, crosses his legs, and speaks in a loud voice) And that’s what they think, too. All calm and peace-loving, that’s what makes them dangerous! They can't see the big picture, just a tiny little piece of it they call “personal life.” To see it all, you’ve got to be different. You have to think differently. Don't forget we're living among the cave men! (chuckles) Their horizons are so narrow that they can't understand even the simplest things. They don't want to listen to you, let alone really hear what you’re saying. It’s a crazy time!!! That’s why we’re here. What can you expect of people with stone-age brains?

Vee: You’re absolutely right. The common man doesn't understand what he does. He is never responsible to society or nature for his actions, and so his interests tend to range no farther than his personal needs. They never venture out beyond the family circle.


15

Vee: Gray masses dragging on a pointless existence all over our planet. They rarely have any goals or dreams, they almost never desire anything for real. And since they make up the bulk of humanity, the phenomenon we call “the common man” becomes a serious danger to all the other denizens of our world – people, animals, nature, everything. The common man doesn't stop to consider his place in the world and the universe, what his mission might be. He almost always acts out of fear of something or other. He's afraid to wind up without a job, without money, without a roof over his head.

Jay: (sits on the couch, one thumb sticking up, smiling a wicked smile at Vee)

Vee: But the main thing is that the common man is completely unaware of what a human being is, of what he's here for. He doesn't understand that a man is not an animal. A person is a different category. He has to create, and (gestures at Jay) maybe also to destroy. That’s why he's been given the most powerful of instruments: reason and consciousness...


16

Vee: With possession of this instrument comes tremendous responsibility, as it confers power both to create and to destroy. And here it becomes crucial to be aware of who and what you are in the vast sweep of creation. That’s what the common man lacks. His potential is enormous, but he is hopelessly unaware of it. It’s like what they say about a monkey with a hand grenade, only instead of a hand grenade he holds a nuclear bomb. That’s the source of the danger. But they don’t see anything wrong with the way they live. They see themselves as paragons of virtue. (turns to Jay and points a finger at him, smiling) And you – to them you're a demon from hell! And yet you stand before them as you are, honest. Before them and, what’s most important, before yourself. Unlike them! You are who you are – a crazy killer and a villain. You know it and you don't try to pretend to be an angel in the flesh. You are aware of who you are. (there is irony in his voice as he admires the view from the window) I haven't offended you, have I?

 


17

Jay: (laughs, and his voice is merry) Oooooh, but of cooooourse not! Quite the opposite, really. I’m used to comments like that. You see, they actually inspire me to good deeds. (a raucous laugh) But you, of course – you know I don't do it out of spite. It's just... so much fun! (rolling his eyes) At moments like those, I feel I’m growing as a person. (cackles) Go on...

Vee: Hmmmm... (laughs softly, then pauses, then speaks) The common man, because of all the things he's not conscious of, is easy to manipulate. He becomes a wildly dangerous tool in the hands of bad people who can send the “gray masses” off to a bloody, fratricidal war, to start a revolution, or to commit genocide. Supported by the opinion of the majority, which consists of passive “common men,” they can do the most awful things - by comparison, your little pranks look like tame bible stories. What really amazes me, though, is that they likebeing “common men.” How do you consciously decide to live a dreary, “gray” life? They could choose to be different, couldn't they?


18

Jay: (with a dismissive wave of his hand he speaks, apathetically) It surely isn't any fun. While the Earth remains so inconceivably overpopulated, as long as that population keeps growing, “common” men will thrive and multiply. A gigantic population needs a gigantic variety of faces, figures, and lifestyles... and brains. (taps his temple with one finger)

Vee: Damn... (sits on a nearby chair, crosses his legs) Overpopulation is one of the reasons why the “common man” take on life and the environment is so popular. Overpopulation makes most people’s lives a rat race in which people lose any sense of the meaning of life and become the common man. As a result, we have seven and a half billion common human beings currently continuing their mindless efforts to destroy one another, nature, and themselves.

 


19

Jay: (incensed) Oh, sure... And what are we supposed to do with those monsters now? Who knows the answer? Yoo-hoo! Maybe Jay knows the answer? He uses rational methods to resolve global problems without beating around the bush... (smiles and looks over at Vee) Ka-boom! (spreads his hands in the air) All over!

Vee: Jay, your methods are inarguably effective, but...

Jay: You really should mention that they’re inarguably EXTREMELY effective... (wiggles an index finger, smiling wickedly)


20

Vee: ...but perhaps we’ll keep such radical options in reserve for extreme situations. Maybe there’s a way to change the common man's worldview. To... wake them up, shall we say? What do you think?

Jay: You're asking me? (looks around himself, as if confused, and then speaks as if astonished) No, no, no, I pass. That kind of thing's weak, not at all down my alley. (gestures dismissively, speaks with a sour face) You have to understand, I’m a human celebration, I want to give people the gift of joy. I love to organize surprises. (smiles) You really think you can wake them up? (with a cautious, serious expression) Nah-ah... (wiggles a finger to one side) It would be easier to wake my grandma up in her grave than those hunks of human meat. (cackles with glee)

Vee: You're right, it’s too late, they're beyond help. Well, then we need to make sure the next generation gets brought up right. We need to radically change the way young people are raised and educated. Okay. Young people make up about two and a half billion out of seven billion total. But what to do with the rest?

Jay: (leans in to Vee and speaks almost in a whisper) Arrange a celebration! (smiles evilly)

 

Part 3: Child slavery


21

Jay: (singing softly) I’m fantaaaastic, so wooonderful, a geeeenius, and veeeeery haaaandsome... I do whateeeever I liiiiiiike.... (directs imaginary music with one hand) Dum-dum, dee-dum...

Vee: Hmmm... Jay, I think you’re a self-centered ego-trip.

Jay: Ha, ha, ha, ha! (laughing) Like you're not. That’s everybody!

(raises his head, tips his hat, and looks slyly up at Vee, then speaks softly) I've been thinking about a new working method.

Vee: Go on. I’m intrigued.

Jay: I think I'd like to assemble a special ops team, like the Mayor or the President has. They’ll go on top secret missions for me.

Vee: Where do you plan to find so many villains?

Jay: I’m going to use... children. (smiles)

Vee: (gazes at Jay, disconcerted)


22

Jay: (covering his face with his hat) They're little murder machines, they can do things most cutthroats would never dream of! They can make their way into the most inaccessible places, they can remain unnoticed in a crowd, they don't evoke suspicion... and they can carry out instructions exactly. (pauses, then continues, ecstatic) It’s genius! Sheer genius!

Vee: (disconcerted) Jay, you’re outdone yourself this time. You’re seriously planning on recruiting children to do your dirty work? So now they’ll be adding child slavery to the charges, eh?

Jay: Ha, ha, ha, ha! You're a naive one, aren't you? (in a cynical and ironic tone) You think I’m a bad person, cruel? (tapping his chest with a finger, speaks assertively) I’m an honest man! I have nothing to hide! (continues, calmly) And the children, the little children... have been stuck wearing a familial and societal dunce cap for far too long.  They're servants in that madhouse they call the modern world.  Years of slavery under their belts already.


23

Vee: Ummm... errrr... (disconcerted again) That’s a rather bold statement. Most people wouldn't agree. They'd say you just have a sick mind and, in general, that you’re completely bonkers. But there is a grain of truth in what you say. Do me a favor, give me a bit more detail on your idea.

Jay: Of course theywouldn't agree. That’s like asking a thief whether his clothing was stolen. (smiles broadly, almost laughs, then pauses before beginning to speak as if to himself) Well, well... bonkers? Yes! Completely? Pretty much! (laughs) And as far as the kids are concerned, it's all clear as day. (waves to indicate a nearby playground) Grown-ups tell their property – kids, of course - what to do, command them to do it, explain why they have to do it and how to do it, all backed up by the power of fear.


24

Jay: Fear, you know, is a brilliant thing! A weapon the powers that be use to control people! Our so-called parents use more or less the same methods. (turns to Vee, tipping his hat again) Astounding, isn't it? (a pause, then turns away and continues his monologue) They command their property. They beat it, curse at it, forbid it to do all kinds of things. Before you create something, you have to go ask permission! So that's it! (Raises one index finger, pointing upwards.) Right? You’ll get yours yet, you young whippersnapper, you! (laughs)

Vee: (gets up and walks over to a tree, leans against it, and stands watching the children play) I don't even know what to say. (spreads his hands and turns again to Jay, then continues to watch, hands behind his back) On the one hand, you’re right, grown-ups treat their children as their property. They tell them what to do and how. Parents, as a rule, don't tend to ask their children what they think.  They just make them do what they think best.


25

Vee: They force them to go to school, to play sports, to do chores at home, like cleaning up or taking out the garbage. Most of it is done against the child’s will. And very often the parents have to resort to force and punitive measures. Worse, the parents often manipulate their children, taking advantage of their inexperience and naiveté. All this, of course, isn't really right or honest with respect to the children. (turns towards Jay, looks at him, and continues blandly) But there is another side of the question. Adults do need to raise their children, to make them familiar with the outside world, teach them to love work and knowledge. They have to help children adapt to the outside world and to society. The task of the adults is to teach their children how to behave in society, how to live in society. And it's clear enough that sometimes that means putting pressure on the children in order to focus their attention on the knowledge they need to acquire, so that they will be able, when all is said and done, to become fully functional members of society.


26

Vee: Correct me if I’m wrong about any of this.

Jay: You want me to agree with you? Is that it? (crosses his arms over his chest and mumbles) The big scumbags make little scumbags in their own image. (raises his head) It's wrong, you hear me? It’s wrong to foist a model of behavior they find convenient on their kids. And the kids are defenseless.  Everybody knows that. And why is it done? Because the kids are their own private property! If I want, I can shatter the individuality nature gave to a child, making him play the role I need in society. If I want, I can break any urges that motivate him to act if they don’t fit in with generally accepted norms of behavior or lifestyles or views or principles...


27

Jay: A society of idiots establishes rules and stereotypes, and these people (pressing his lips) ... they mould those little milksops to make them fit those rules and stereotypes... they say: (sits up on the edge of the bench, raises his arms, and calls out) Gray masses! Calling the gray masses! And the parents go: (cupping his hands around his mouth) “Yes, sir! Your command will be carried out to the letter. Gray masses coming up!” And after a second they even think to add: (hunches over, rubs his hands, and says, in a cunning voice) “They’ll be just like us. We won't let them be outcasts from society to bring shame upon us. No, we’ll have something to boast about to our friends and relatives.” That's the ticket! That’s how the “private property” loses its independent existence! That’s how the “apples of their eyes” lose their own sense of self. (pauses, leans back on the bench, makes himself comfortable) That’s way we have so few geniuses today, people whose spirits stand strong no matter what. That’s why the world is changing so slowly.  That’s why everything in the world is one-dimensional and standardized.


28

Jay: That’s the only way to see what's happening in our world! Whatever field you take, where are today's revolutionary discoveries? (sighs and looks apathetically at Vee, who paces slowly back and forth) People like you and me – we’re the rare exceptions! They're afraid of us, so they do everything they can to make sure there won't be bad seeds who disturb the usual order anymore.

Vee: Hmmm... I get it. It’s actually a very serious problem – when grown-ups impose worldviews and interests on children by force. That shatters a child’s psyche. It's the end of any impulse to keep living and growing. (stops, turns to Jay) And the most terrible thing is that the children are virtually helpless here, because their destruction as personalities is the work of those closest to them – their own parents. They trust the adults, and the adults lie to them. And in the end the children also begin to believe that what the parents do to them is really for their own good.


29

Vee: Over the first years of their child’s life, parents destroy his will, his drive to grow, imparting obedience to authority, fearfulness, and self-doubt. It isn't until they turn eighteen that children formally cease to be slaves. In point of fact, though, they remain slaves all their lives. By the time they’re twenty the destruction of their personalities is more or less complete, and one more brand new member of society is ready to embark upon a completely pointless existence.

Jay: Our wonderful world, where childhood is the smithy that forges slaves! Hee-hee-hee!

Vee: Sometimes the slaves rebel – what we call their teenage years.

Jay: Oh, that’s for sure. The one and only rebellion of their lives! (laughs loudly) Teenagers... I remember being a teenager.  Fun times! When you have it all over the surrounding world, when you pull no punches and call a spade a spade! (chuckles) Those grown-up creeps who are supposed to know better what a kid needs – they drive him so nuts that by the time he's a teenager he starts having opinions of his own and even tries to do what he himself thinks is right.


30

Jay: And when he's a bit more grown up and exhausted by all the rules and instructions, the teenager thinks he's big enough to fight back against his parents and the world around him. (raises his head to look at Vee) He wants them to take him into consideration – and he says so, declaring it loudly.  Him I understand. That's why I kill! (cackles, then screws his face in apparent indignation) “Naturally, that kind of disobedience, such insolence... simply can't be abided! How could this happen? We're not used to that! What the hell is going on around here?!” You can hear the words running through the so-called parents’ minds. (puts his index and middle fingers to his temple and speaks with loathing) The rest is the standard thing – fights, admonitions, the heavy artillery. Sanctions, like cutting off allowances, manipulating the teenager’s desires, things he's not yet able to do for himself.


31

Vee: (listens in silence)

Jay: (shrugs, looking off to one side, and speaks in a voice of childlike innocence) Ooops, I forgot one of the most important means of influencing a teenager. Trickiness! (resentful, his hand clenched into a fist) It’s guerilla warfare! A fiendish plan! You know what they do? Let me... let me tell you! (leans over towards Vee and whispers) They try to cater to the child.  But not for the child's sake (shakes his head), oh dear me no. There’s a key condition! (relaxing) They cater to him when it comes to all kinds of stuff that’s not really important, temporarily becoming the kid's friend, or beginning to be, to get into all the details of his personal life... blah, blah, blah. (raising his voice) well, of course, that kind of trickery helps, because the teenager still can't really defend himself against deviousness and deceit. (opens his palm and then smacks it with his other hand) He’s pure, like a clean sheet of paper, and more straightforward than he’ll ever be again. Truth is his sword and his shield.

 


32

Jay: He hasn't yet been infected by the desire for money, unhealthy vanity, lies... Does that remind you of anybody in particular?! (raises his brows with a repulsive smile, hinting at himself) A principled warrior standing on guard to protect... himself. And even despite the fact that they stuffed all that shit into him since childhood, his genuine self is alive, despite everything, and seeks to assert itself while it’s still not too late! So for my squad this is the perfect choice! (laughs)

Vee: Unfortunately, most children lose the battle for their freedom. Otherwise we’d see a very different world. (a long pause, as he now sits on the bench, legs crossed) The only thing that vindicates the adults is that they genuinely, from the bottom of their hearts, mean to do the best they can for the child. They think they're doing something good for him.

 


33

Jay: Dear lord! Do you seriously believe that? (with a penetrating gaze at Vee) You mean it? No, no, no, no! I don't believe what you’re saying.  Perhaps under that mask there’s an imposter and you're playing some kind of game at my expense? (peers under Vee's hood, trying to see what he looks like)

Vee: (smiling brightly) I’m only trying to be just. That is my credo. That’s why I examine every question, every problem, from all possible sides, so as not to miss anything of importance. You and I are talking about the kinds of things that can have a powerful impact on the future of mankind over the next millennium. Therefore I try to be objective, although I do realize that objectivity is an illusion.


34

Jay:  Oh, you’re just defending them, making excuses for them! (waving a hand dismissively at Vee) They’re not worth it. (There is anger in his voice and he points an accusing finger at Vee.) Those a-holes take their frustration out on the weak and inexperienced. Half of them are tyrants with an inflated sense of self-importance and a hunger for power over others. In reality, they're nobodies – just couple more slaves. All the hatred a failed nature has they spew out on their offspring, exerting what power they have over the only creatures obliged to obey them. There you have it. (leaps up onto the bench, speaking in a loud and threatening tone) There it is! That's the truth of a mother's love and a father's care.

Vee: Can it really be that bad?

Jay: Hah! Let me tell you a story.  My dad was an alcoholic. His wife and kid were such a pain in his fat ass that he was ready to do anything to get rid of us, but he couldn't do it. So he became corrupted, perverted, to the extent his sick fantasy was capable of it, anyway.


35

Jay: And now look at my Adonis-like appearance! (points to the scars on his face and laughs)

Vee: To be fair, there are people in today's society who understand that problem. You do know there’s a whole system of laws in place to protect children. It’s called the juvenile justice system. One thing they actually do is try to protect the interests and rights of children, protect them from the arbitrary power of their parents.

Jay: (sitting under the tree) I know, I know... but it just ain't enough. The gang tried the best they could, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot. (snickers) The attempt to help them didn't work out, but... it does prevent certain violent acts the little guys’ “owners” might have committed. But then taking kids and shoving them into exactly the same pressure cooker, only in foster families – what a brilliant solution! (laughs) it's the double whammy, psychological trauma squared. You get used to one state of affairs, resign yourself to it, and then suddenly – bang... (pause) and your whole map is redrawn. Everything’s different and now you have to adapt yourself to a new set of tyrants!


36

Jay: Umm... (looks at Vee with a broad smile) But... damn... it is the right approach! (settles into a more comfortable pose)

Vee: (putting his hand to his lips and speaking in a calm, level tone) All right, then. You have persuaded me. Again our conversation has touched upon a highly important topic. The topic of how best to raise our children in a way that lets human society move forward and progress. I’ve only now realized that the children are the key to the creation of a new society, the key to human evolution. Yes, that's it – you reap what you sow!

Jay: (in a soft voice, serene, smiling, hands spread, as if he were a priest) You have but to ask. Master Jay is here to show every lost soul the way! (falls about laughing)

Part 4: Having children today is an act of cruelty


37

Jay swings one leg as he sits in his chair by the table in the living room opposite Vee, who stands at the fireplace.

Vee: I rode the subway yesterday, Jay – can you believe that? When is the last time you were in the subway?

Jay: (sighs, then – quietly) The subway is a gathering place for losers willing to be who they're told to be.  The perfect place to free people en massefrom a trivial kind of life. I’m not like them. I’m the kind who speaks... (leans out over the table with a smile, staring up at Vee) And how long have you been into these experiments? (laughs)

Vee: Errr... I mean... no, no, no. I just wanted to be around people, so to speak. So I was down there, and it was like a museum of wax figures. It was morning and they were all going to work. They obviously weren't happy about it all. They looked exhausted and unhappy with life. A far cry from your happy-go-lucky mug! One look at that face and it’s obviously that here’s a man who's found himself and who is crazy about life! (gives a little chuckle)


38

Jay: Hah... (irony enters his voice) And what's surprising about that? Morning, the subway, going to work. And my face is a wonder!  Many people when they see it suddenly understand where to find the real problems in the world. (runs a thumb across his throat and laughs an artificial laugh)

Vee goes to the window and stands with his back to Jay. He speaks with passion.

Vee: You can't even imagine – there are billions of people all over the world riding to work every morning in that state! Billions of miserable people every day doing what they don't want to do. By and large they are that same “common man” we’ve been talking about this whole time. They plod on through a meaningless existence, living identical, interchangeable lives we can describe more or less like this: birth, school, university maybe, work, family, retirement, death. They live mindlessly, never thinking about anything but menial work-a-day problems and what they're told to do at their jobs.


39

Vee: They have no time to grow or to seek answers to those “silly” questions about the meaning of life or what their purpose is. And worst of all, ninety-five percent of them are unhappy with that life, but they're compelled to accept it anyway.

Jay: (hangs his head, silent)

Vee:  All that despite the fact that they have every opportunity to change it. They have children! They could raise them to be different, to choose another path. But society is built to prevent people from living differently. In childhood, everybody thinks they can move mountains, that they're free individuals, that ahead of them – them, specifically, personally – a bright and wondrous future lies waiting. But they grow up and are transformed into “common men.” Sometimes sooner, sometimes later. That condition eats away at their souls and spirits, turning them into mindless zombies. The system works like a factory assembly line Henry Ford would have been jealous of. Whole generations of human beings flushing their lives down the toilet. It’s cruel and very, very sad.


40

Vee: It’s painful to watch young people who were once full of joy, hopes and ideas turn slowly into dreary, senseless beings who live on only because they're so afraid of dying. And the most courageous of them end their lives by suicide.

Jay: (snores)

Vee: People still haven’t learned to live a consciously considered life, to use their abilities for a real purpose.  It's all like some kind of failed experiment that's spiraled out of control. They don't know how they ought to raise the new generation, and the current approach to the question amounts only to transferring to their offspring all their own failings, weaknesses and failures. And with each generation, the inventory of those failings and failures only grows. You would think people would have seen this long ago, and said “Stop! We're obviously doing something wrong. Let’s stop and use our heads to think this through. And well hold off on being fruitful and multiplying the planet’s population for a bit. What’s the use of breeding new hordes of zombies?”

Jay: (snoring louder and louder until finally Vee reacts)


41

Vee: Hmmm... (Vee sighs, then slowly turns his back on the sleeping Jay and continues his monologue as if nothing had happened) ...but they just go on giving birth to more and more riders on this senseless and horrible merry-go-round. They have children and from the moment they’re born they’re doomed to suffering and torment. Wars, diseases, social pressures, a meaningless existence, a struggle for survival – that’s just the beginning of the list of what lies in store for newborn earthlings. And another thing that lies in wait is the cruel disillusionment with the life imposed upon them by society and by their parents. That’s really the most awful thing of all. That’s why having children in our age is a terribly cruel thing to do.

Jay awakens, stretches his body and begins to listen intently.


42

Vee: ...but they just go on having more and more children and the assembly line never stops. The planet’s population is soon going to top ten billion. As the planet's resources shrink and shrink. What does that mean? It means that in the near future the struggle for survival and for a decent life is going to be a struggle of people against one another, and that struggle is going to get increasingly nasty. It’ll lead to all kinds of social catastrophes – that includes revolutions, wars and other forms of violence. So anyone born now has very little chance to life a full and happy life. They can expect only mindless consumption and a harsh struggle for that consumption. There is absolutely nothing more contemporary society is capable of offering the coming generation!

Jay: (with a sneer) What happened to faith in a bright future? That’s their favorite thing to do – feed the “gray masses” promises of that bright future in the name of which we're supposed to tolerate a bit of suffering today. A bright future that – of course! – never actually comes. Because there is no bright future. All there is is the present! You have to live today. Here and now, that’s all.


43

Vee: (shudders, turns about, sees that Jay has awoken and is sitting, sprawled over his chair)

Jay: You're taking a rather one-sided view of the issue... a bird's eye view. (leans towards Vee and speaks in a low, nasty tone) You need to look deeper and find the root of the problem! You need to see what people are like on the inside, with all their failings and foibles. You need to kill the parasite with truth (bangs the table with a fist), stamp out their illusions and lies, and yank everything they've so carefully hidden out of their lousy little excuses for souls into the light of day! (cackles with glee)

Vee: (sits at the table opposite Jay) I see you’ve been listening closely to what I was saying. (smiles a sarcastic smile) What do you mean, Jay?

Jay: Oooooh, my... Well, let me tell you, then.  I do have a few little thoughts on the topic! (grins his evil grin) First of all we have to figure out why they do it, from their own self-centered point of view, without trying to make things prettier than they really are. That's important here, right?


44

Vee: Agreed. I do want to understand why it is that they keep bringing forth more and more children if they have nothing to give them. Well, except for that “bright” future, of course. (the sarcastic smile returns for a moment)

Jay: (putting his feet up on the chair opposite him) Well, then... they’d blather on, all kinds of nonsense, like (in an affected voice): “I want to leave something behind when I’m gone,” or “I want to have an heir to all I have,” or “Somebody to bring me a cup of water when I’m old and gray,” although who the hell should give a damn (laughs), or “That was the way of our ancestors – they lived this way, and we must do the same”... blah, blah, blah. And in reality they're out to breed yet another monster that will continue, just like them, after they die (pauses, looks at Vee, and points a finger at him) - that is, instead of them, in their place – to mindlessly pollute and wear out our beloved little planetoid.


45

Jay: That a-hole spews out another ridiculous mountain of garbage, and he’ll go running around, here and there, no idea what to do with himself, sensing his own pointlessness, and then, just because that’s what he's supposed to do, that's the way it is, he gives birth to another lowlife jerk-off who will make his own “contribution” to the ecology of planet Earth...

Vee: You mean that, try as you may, giving birth will always be a way to resolve certain problems of one's own?

Jay: Yes, yes, that’s it exactly (in a hoarse, quiet voice) From “just to pass the time away” to “to preserve my marriage.” That’s about as far as their imagination takes them! (waves his hand in dismissal)

Vee: Let’s stop and look at that in a bit more detail (tapping the tabletop with his a fingertip) The matter requires a more detailed examination, since it arises in the minds of millions of young people facing a choice: to be themselves and seek their own path in life, or to give in to public opinion and traditions and have two or three kids to bring them comfort in the drudgery of their black-and-white lives.

 


46

Vee: We have to show the young people that society and its medieval traditions are deceiving them, putting thoughts in their heads about obligations to have a family in order to have kids and raise them. And they justify all that with phrases like “children are the light of your life!” Go ahead, tell us the whole truth, go on now! (with another casual wave of his hand)

Jay: (laughs) I’m grateful for your confidence! (pauses, smiling at Vee, then goes on speaking with that same, somewhat forced smile) These idiots never can seem to get that giving birth, comforting yourself with the hope that oh, it’s my kid, he’ll carry on my line – It’s not going to work. The answer to the question “who needs your “line” or somebody who’ll carry it on,” is a resounding: “Nobody.” They naively imagine that when they die they’ll sit around up in heaven and be all happy that their descendents are still thinking about them. Hahahaha! (laughs loudly, then suddenly leans over the table to speak to Vee in a bitter voice) Nobody actually gives a shit.

 


47

Jay: And when he dies, a person is gone forever! Boom! (spoken in a soft voice, wild eyes accompanied by fingers spread wide in the air) And the existence of the entire world comes to an end for him. (pauses) And perhaps they believe their children aren't like everyone else and will keep loving them forever, venerate them? (loudly, emotionally) Poppycock! Self-deception. The truth is hidden deep in the soul of every man. And everybody, everybody knows it! (swings an index finger at Vee)

Vee: Yes, they do love to to get all maudlin, especially the men. They usually say things like: “They're my own flesh and blood!” You have to wonder what they're feeling at a moment like that. Pride? In what, though? A thrill of awe and dread? But before what? And you know what’s the most tawdry part of it all? That for the majority of them, what’s important about children is whether they're oursor someone else's. This one is my child, my blood, I won't let anything hurt him. This one, though, is someone else's kid – he can go jump off a cliff for all I care. They’re all worried sick about their own children, but about other people’s they couldn’t care less.


48

Vee: They've been so conditioned to think that family tree and blood are supposed to be important to them that if they suddenly discovered that their child wasn't really their child by blood, they’d stop loving it. Or love it less. Their feelings for the child would undergo a serious change. A curious phenomenon, is it not?

Jay: You know (glancing around him as he speaks, biting his nails, and at the same time hardly able to contain his laughter) those morons, they... they even think they can make their offspring these wonderful, special, good people! (finally laughs, loud) Perfect little good people! (laughs even louder) And what would an oddball outcast like that do surrounded by all the other jerk-offs who are nothing like him? Maybe all by himself he’ll change them all, make it right? (another loud laugh) I'd worry about him being the one they change.

Vee: They believe that children are their property, like a bicycle or a cell phone. And that they have the right to do whatever they want with them. No, they don't believethat, they're certainthat children are their property! (nods)


49

Jay: Let’s play “good parent - bad parent.” Let’s go to a playground, you know, where parents (pronounces the word with disgust) sit with their little kids in the sandbox. We’ll take their interviews, the topic will be “Why Did You Decide to Have a Child?” If they lie, they die in agony. If they tell the truth – a quick, painless death. If they really tell the whole truth, we could just shoot them in the leg. (falls about laughing)

Vee: (thinks, silent)

Jay: For example (again, in the voices of his characters) “I had you so your father wouldn't leave me. But he left me anyway, for another woman, and now I don't know what to do with you – I never thought about that when I was having you.” Or “the two of us were a little bored, so we decided to add someone to the next thirty of so years of our lives, like buying a toy... beyond that, the world doesn't particularly need you. There are enough people on the planet as it is!” “Boom!” That’s a leg shot.


50

Jay: Or this: “Little one, you came into this world because we love children and we wanted one of our own,” or “you’re the child of a great love, we wanted you so badly!” ...”BAM!” That’s a bullet in the head. You’ll have to forgive me (shrugs) - just not sincere enough. (laughs)

Vee: Hold on, Jay – you’re not playing fair! They arebeing entirely sincere with you. They really believe what they say. What kind of reason do you want to hear from them?

Jay: The rules of the game say I’m supposed to get all possible truth, with all the sordid details. (smiles a bitter smile at Vee) They’re deceiving themselves if they think that, and they mean to deceive everyone around them – Including me. But they know the truth, even if they try to keep it hidden deep inside. And when their life is on the line, that truth can't help but come out. It's the first thing that slips to the surface, the first thought...


51

Jay: And only someone who never goes to playgrounds, because he’s got no reason to, knows the reason I want to hear the truth. (a cunning smile) People like that have nothing to hide, although they do have other sins. For them I have other games cooked up! More interesting and varied games...

Vee: And yet I still don't fully understand your point. Let’s try to look at it all from another point of view. The desire to continue one’s line – I mean here the human race – is encoded in to the human genome. The reproductive function is built into human physiology. What do you want from them? For them to tell you that they want children? It's a natural instinct.

 


52

Jay: Hahaha! No, no, noooo! A natural instinct – that’s just another excuse they pound into people’s heads when they're still kids, part of the required content they stick in there. A person has a brain, he has a rational, thinking mind, so that dumb argument doesn't work here.  A person isn't an animal, and it's those convolutions in his skull that make all the difference. (taps his temple with a finger and looks up at Vee, his head bent low) The fact that a function is built in doesn't require you to use it... (pause) You should only have kids for the sake of the kids, for the sake of the coming generation!But it's been a long, long time since I heard anything like that... You see, it's not just a reason, or words. It’s not a game. It’s extremely serious (speaks in a tense and intense voice, stroking his chin with the tips of his fingers)... extremely... today's “common man” will never know that for real, they’ll never be aware of it, feel it in their bones.


53

Vee: You mean that children should be had for the noblest of reasons, yes? And that people should take having children as seriously as they possibly can, because it's a demanding, creative process. It’s the co-creation of the next generation. It’s the creation of a new image of mankind, the humanity of the future. Having and raising children, people assume the role of the creator of the future of human society. Am I right? (pause) Mm-hm... Go on...

Jay: To the eternal question “What is there to live for”, the world of people – and it’s already millennia that the world is going, year, after year, to hell in a handbasket – always gives the same answer: “For the sake of your family. For the children.”... Makes me sick... (ponders) A cave man can never raise a civilized individual. His level consciousness doesn't allow him to even come close to that. And so what do we see? Yes! Just what you said back at the beginning of this whole thing!


54

Jay: Yes, yes, I was listening. (a cunning smile) And here come to a big, fat period on the page. A question: (pauses, then, in a tone of loud indignation) “What the hell do we need a person like that for when there are already seven billion lazy good-for-nothing people walking about the planet, and even they don't know what to do with their lives, and they in principle have no idea what they're even doing here?”

Vee: That's a question of upbringing and how conscious we are of what we do in our lives. They don't teach that in schools, or even in the university. Parents don't talk about it with their children. Instead, they force the kids to go to school and absorb a heap of useless, pointless information they’ll hardly ever use over the rest of their lives.  And today, responsible parents take it still farther. They think you need to start overloading a child with all that when he's only three! Chess, dancing, gymnastics, hockey, foreign languages, mathematics, singing, music and lots of other stuff. Modern society is completely certain that to bring up a good and happy citizen they have to start stuffing his head with all kinds of nonsense as early as possible.


55

Vee: Jay, they've stolen the children's childhood! They’ve chosen to take away their will and their freedom before the children even have a chance to realize how valuable those things are. How cruel is that?

Jay: (in a voice of disgust, making faces) This is a monstrous, malformed society... a monster... with all the parents and the surrounding world it's going to destroy and consume each and every young soul... it’ll make zombies of them, identical, it’ll force them to serve their “obligations” to everyone – other children, parents, old folks, but no one escapes it! Got to take this wretched institution of the family worldwide and wipe it to fucking kingdom come!

Vee: Destroying's easier than creating. Do you have thoughts on what to replace the family with? How children shouldbe raised? Who should decide how they get raised?

Jay: You really want the answer? (pause) This is a whole new can of worms here.

Vee: You're right, it is. But we should definitely come back to the question.

Part 5: Union instead a family


56

Jay: Do you know why I like coming to your place? (looks at Vee, nervously twitches his head and waves his index finger) You’re cool! My friend… that one… you know the one I mean, don’t you? I do love him in my own way. But he doesn’t get me! And you’re cool… Yeah, you are… (shows a thumbs up). I like talking to you. You’re not afraid of me, and you are fun!

Vee: Hmm… I’m flattered… but why don’t you get a girlfriend!

Jay: Yeah, I’ve got one. But it’s complicated between me and her, you know what I mean! (looks at Vee)

Vee: That rings a bell. I thought everything was over between you two a long time ago? (gives Jay a questioning look)

Jay: O-o-o-h… no. N-o-o-o! Only death will do us apart! (laughs)

Vee: Maybe you should start a family? You’d make an awesome family of mad villains!


57

Jay: A-ha-ha-ha… (lies back in his chair and laughs) You won’t get me anywhere near that shit! A-ha-ha-ha… (pauses, then talks with some tenderness) We’re two peas in a pod, that’s for sure! She and I have a perfect union, no redundant words, you know? There’s some invisible binding thread and flashes of passion between us. I know she’ll never betray me, and if she does, she’ll die… It’s love! (laughs again).

Vee: (chuckles) I like the fact that you called your relationship a union. That’s something new. A union… Hmm… Why don’t you like the word family? Both of these words essentially mean the same thing.

Jay: Nuh-uh… This is a big, major error (waves his hand from side to side with his index finger raised) A family is a plan that implies a joining of people to avoid loneliness, creation of artificial problems and the fuss of solving them, with the inevitable appearance of offspring to rid yourself of idleness. Well, another reason is to avoid kicking the bucket after a hungry and lonely old age (chuckles).


58

Jay: (turns his wrist from side to side) It’s a kind of a strained acceptance of the society’s only proposal to become its member, rather than an outcast. But a union… (speaks with a sly smile on his face) a union is different! It means joint development in every respect. It means reliable cooperation and a firm friendship (abruptly switches to another topic). Our friendship is different. We can kill each other at any moment. Even right now! (starts laughing loudly) A union means following a common goal, romance and adventure, mutual freedom, ability to live together or separately, following your life path without looking back. It’s unpredictability and creativity in their highest manifestation! (raises his hands, speaking loudly and emotionally) O-o-o-h, how I love a relationship like that! 

Vee: Hmm… You mean to say that a union and a family have entirely different goals, don’t you? (gazes at Jay intently) A family is established for procreation, to give birth to children and rear them, and to avoid loneliness… 


59

Vee: And the goal of a union is personal growth and development, including spiritual development, of all members of that union? Am I right?

Jay: (calms down and replies, slouching in his chair) O-o-h, yes! My sensei, you’re right… (smiles)

Vee: Aha… Also, as I understand, a union and a family are based on completely different principles. The basic principles of a family are loyalty and devotion to that family, serving the interests of the family and your kin, fulfilling family obligations, accepting and respecting the authority of the head of the family… Err… What else?

Jay: (abruptly leans in Vee’s direction, speaking hoarsely) And what about observing family and kin traditions, and the primacy of the family’s interests over its members’ personal interests?

Vee: Right. And, as I understand, a union is based on principles that include equality, freedom of will and choice, harmony of personal and common interests and striving for development. Did I leave anything out?


60

Jay: (spreads his arms and shrugs) I’ve got nothing to add, you are right on the mark, as always! (a short pause) A less boring mark than usual, but bang on the nose! (bares his teeth in a hideous smile)

Vee: But it’s all just a theory, and in practice? Mmm… In reality, their families quickly become a burden for most people, and family obligations turn their life into a monotonous routine. Constant limitations that the members of the family put on one another lead to more dejection and disappointment. Since family interests are always the first priority, you can forget about your individual interests and personal development. Most of the time will now have to be devoted to maintaining your family, rather than self-development. All these things lead to a severe internal conflict and various identity crises. People want to do what they want, but they have to do entirely different things.


61

Vee: For example, he wants to go to the mountains for the whole summer, but has to go to grandma’s place in the country with the whole family. She wants to write a book, but she can’t, since she must carry out her motherly duties and her household responsibilities to her husband: wash, clean, cook and create a warm cozy vibe. A constant disregard of their desires breaks people and turns them into weak-willed creatures dragging out their meaningless existence. And how do things like that work in a union?

Jay: (speaks loudly) Plain and simple! (puts his legs up on the table) When a union between a man and a woman is created, those two people’s personal interests double up and come to the fore. What could be more important for an individual than those principles you’ve mentioned when talking about the union. Remain true to yourself and do everything not to lose yourself. Be who you are and be free… Attention! (raises his index finger) Being free doesn’t necessarily mean being alone! 

 


62

Jay: A union gives you freedom, in which you learn to always be close to another person v-o-l-u-n-t-a-r-i-l-y, but at the same time not to drive yourself into a corner while also taking the other’s interests into account. (talks fast, swinging one arm in the air) You sort of study each other and maintain a comfortable coexistence… (abruptly focuses his gaze on Vee) A man’s role in a union is to set the direction in the life, and his partner’s is to support and follow him… Although… (pauses) He just needs to find a chick who won’t find his life stance entirely alien, who’ll understand it and want to live the way the man suggests. Such is the nature of these two principles. No, it’s not easy in our crazy world, but nothing’s impossible! (pauses) But there’s another problem...

Vee: What’s that?

Jay: (puts his hands on the table and chuckles sarcastically) Ha… Ha-ha-ha… The narrow-mindedness of most modern men! The only thing they can offer a woman is family and children.


63

Jay: Trivial, isn’t it?! (pauses, reasons) Of course, the girls in love gladly agree to it because they’ve never heard any other offers. And the society… The society knows its dirty business! (rolls his eyes and talks monotonously) It keeps putting pressure on the young girl until it crushes her like a cockroach (suddenly stamps his foot on the floor)! They are preparing her for this bleak fate since childhood… (pauses again, then argues affirmatively) In fact, most women are looking for romance and adventure. They are looking for someone who’ll be able to give them all of that, someone who’ll make their life unforgettable and unpredictable. Do you remember Bonnie and Clyde?! (looks at Vee inquiringly)

Vee: Ehh… Yes, of course, I do! But that didn’t end well, you know that...

Jay: (argues sadly) Yes… She knew how their story would end. She was ready to live an interesting life with him, even if it were a short one. But she was still by his side! She liked that life. It was tough and dangerous, but it was a life! 


64

Jay: She was really alive, although she could have been a regular wife and mother. I can call her a heroine. And she was just that for Clyde. (elatedly, assertively) She went against the establishment, against the society and lived how she saw fit! And Clyde was the man capable of lighting that fire inside her and preserving it until her death. Their life was brilliant and went down in history forever… (silent for a moment, then abruptly changes the conversation topic, leaning low over the table, and looks at Vee from below) Just think, by the time they’re 20, fucking 20, young women realize that it’s almost impossible to find a man like that, a man like Clyde (covers his eyes with his hand)! They rush because they’re sure they haven’t got much time. And even those slowpokes they’ve got in plain sight can be quickly taken by their rivals, and they will remain spinsters forever. (abruptly starts shouting with tears in his eyes) They stop searching! 


65

Vee: There are actually numerous other issues that are incompatible with the foundations of a union. Like inequality between sexes and stereotypes linked to the idea that a woman’s main purpose is to generate peace and comfort and rear children. Also there’s another stereotype that claims that the man should decide everything in the family because he’s the ‘stronger’ sex.

Jay: (blows his nose in the hem of his coat) Heh.. (pauses) I only see a union as the solution to all problems, rather than their endless number. Inequality of sexes and stereotypes connected with the purpose of men and women were contrived by religion. (wipes his nose with his sleeve and says sarcastically) O-o-h, yeah! Yet another human plague, to benefit men. But you and I understand how stupid the humanity still is! Heh… Heh-heh-heh!


66

Vee: Jay, you’re talking in my words! But do go on, I’m very interested!

Jay: (laughs loudly) You’re a bad influence on me! No, not totally similar – now… now… now I’ll make it completely the same… (starts twisting his face, adjusting his voice) During many years of living together people get older, they can’t and don’t know how to live differently, after so many years of living plagued by endless problems and worries. They don’t become closer to each other, although they think they’ve become closer. But it’s all a deception! On the contrary, they’re so far removed from each other, so alien, that without the binding thread called ‘children’ they don’t know what to do next and how to behave if they are perpetually alone with each other. They have to meet each other all over again, get to know each other. And that’s the best case scenario, because they don’t want anything in their old age, and it’s easier to communicate only when necessary. There is no attraction or spark or passion that used to be there.


67

Jay: People don’t know what to do with themselves, even when the most important person in their life is by their side. And why? Because that person stopped being the most important one a very long time ago… (starts laughing very loudly, falls from his chair and continues to laugh)

Vee: To be fair, Jay, unions can create severe problems for society. For example, who’s going to give birth to and rear children?

Jay: (a voice calming down from laughter sounds from under the table) Give birth?! (tries to get up from the floor) Why would that be a problem? (continues to copy Vee) You can always make people give birth to children through various programs. You can introduce the notion of duty to humanity if the couple has the required qualities and is entirely suited for procreation. You can provide the conditions  required for that purpose. (pauses, stands by the table and mocks Vee) For example, after giving birth to a bab,y the woman (or sometimes the man) won’t have to stay at home and suffer for years, 1 year will suffice.


68

Jay: Next, the society will take responsibility for the new person’s upbringing, not burdening the parents or crippling the children’s psyche.

Vee: Jay, there’s a very important point about children here. A union isn’t created for rearing children. Society has to rear children, as you’ve said correctly! It’s a crucial function. Two people can’t give a child a comprehensive worldview, while they’re still searching for it themselves. Thus, children can only harm a union and its primary goals.


69

Vee: That often happens in ordinary families, when a baby is born and the woman moves her man into the background, putting the children, financial issues and her parents first. She starts to give him less attention, fully focusing on the baby and domestic problems. Due to the shortage of attention, endearment, love and energy, the man often has to make up for that shortage on the side, and sex is hardly the first priority there. It often leads to the destruction of the family with all the consequences that come with it. Men take mistresses, trying to find that union that they desire so desperately - but they rarely find it there, too.  Because mistresses also want power over them. Some want to entice the man over to their side, so that he would support and provide for their family. And some just need him because of loneliness. Few see such a relationship as a source of development and self-actualization.

Jay: (sits down on the chair) Yes… It’s hard to disagree with you. (grins) And what about women? Why do they have affairs with other men?


70

Vee: Probably for the very same reasons. After assuming the role of a homemaker and a mother, women drown and rot in the monotony, the routine of  constants worries and domestic problems. But that’s only half the trouble. Somewhere in their subconscious, women expect their other halves to lead them to the stars! They want to conquer new summits, they want variety, adventure and new experiences in their lives. And men can usually offer them the mere role of the mother of their children and a homemaker. Nothing else. No personal or spiritual development. No variety. So in order to not go crazy before their time, they have affairs on the side. It’s a great chance for women to remember their youth, feel real freedom and forget about the intolerable domestic duties and daily routine, even if for a short time. (gets distracted from his speech and watches Jay play around)

Jay: Tra-la-la-la… (sings a song softly and plays with his knife)... (pauses, freezes and directs his look at Vee)


71

Jay: ...Err, are you done yet? (the knife falls on the floor) And I… Well… (bends to take the knife and talks from underneath the table) I’ve been thinking about the role of a mother and a cook. All in all, I can quickly send them off to the stars (giggles) Ta-dam! (shows the dropped knife to Vee)

Vee: (continues the reasoning) I also observed another important detail. Possessive relations dominate in a regular family. The wife and the husband consider each other their property, and both of them consider the children their property. Right? There’s nothing like that in a union, since it’s based on partnership and friendship. And, of course, love. And real love at that, not a fleeting passion. Families are very often started because of this fleeting passion. And it happens very often that they later understand they’re not fit for each other. Good thing if they don’t have kids by that time, and just go their separate ways. But what if they do have children? Then there’s that notorious duty to the family, to the child. And that breaks the lives of both adults and children.


72

Jay: Yeah… (speaks cynically, spinning the knife on the table) You can’t get away with that in a union! It’ll never be based on passion only, because when establishing a unionpeople must think not only with what’s between their legs, but with their heads as well (taps his index finger on his temple).

Vee: I’d say that the creation of a union requires a more sensible and conscious approach than the creation of a family. Before establishing a union, people should examine each other more closely, paying attention to the more important traits of their future partners, such as their inner world and character, their interests and worldview. In a union, money and beauty recede into the background.


73

Vee: Meanwhile, they often come first when starting a family, and it’s absolutely justified and logical in relation to the purposes of a family.  As a result, it turns out that a union is a more solid, lasting and deep connection between people, compared to a family. The future of mankind is with the union, which should become a unit of the new highly developed society. All we have to do now is to deal with the issue of rearing children.

Jay: And with the highly developed society! (winks at Vee)

Part 6: Freedom to Minors!


74

Vee: A nice villain’s office (smiles)

Jay: (laughs) I knew you’d like it!

Vee: You know, I gave a lot of thought to our conversation about children being slaves. The child-rearing system is the key to the development of society. It’s almost impossible to change adults. Only a few of them can change their world outlook and see the world in a new light. But children are a clean slate that you can use to write whatever you want!

Jay: (speaks out of breath and falls into the hammock) Oh… Oh, wait… Give me a break! I’m tired!

Vee: You got tired while walking from the door to the hammock? (you can hear sarcasm and a smile in his voice)

Jay: Tsk, tsk… (waves his index finger at Vee) Not very nice to poke fun at a sick old man… (looks at Vee , who’s settled on the sofa, from the hammock and smiles)... What? What were you saying? What’s our topic? (looks at the ceiling and rocks in the hammock)

Vee: We’re going to talk about alternative child-rearing...


75

Jay: A-a-a-ah… Yeah, yeah, yeah… So we’re going to make me a squad of little killers…? Pshaw… No, no, no… Not that. I’ll say it nicely. Do you want to create an army of helpers for me?

Vee: No, Jay. That’s precisely the point, we won’t write anything on that blank slate. Children will write on it themselves!

Jay: (sits up abruptly) What do you mean ‘themselves’?! A-a-and what about my squad? (speaks in a teary and upset voice) Do you want to take away my toy soldiers? And what about the fun and games? (then falls into the hammock abruptly, covers his face with his hands and cries out) You’re always using me! You feel sorry for them and keep trying to save them from inevitable death!

Vee: Stop it. You know we have to look into this matter.

Jay: (abruptly stops his show and gazes at Vee with a wide grin, speaking softly and quietly) Yes. I’m listening to you, and very carefully, too...


76

Vee: The new alternative child-rearing system will be drastically different from the current one. The essence of modern upbringing is in trying to stuffing the child with as much necessary and unnecessary information as possible from the outside. But the new system will try to let out as much information as possible from within. Children have to learn to express themselves and be who they want to be!

Jay: (just keeps silent)

Vee: Figuratively speaking, we shouldn’t write on that clean slate, but give the young generation the instruments and teach them, so they can write what they see fit on it.

Jay: And what if they all want to draw a smiling guy with dreads on that clean slate? (starts laughing)

Vee: Then so be it! It’s their choice and their life! 

Jay: My, my, my… An unexpected turn! I like that!!!

 


77

Vee: Yes, Jay, it’s an entirely different approach to upbringing. And it solves a lot of modern society’s problems at the same time. Children will finally gain freedom and stop being the slaves of the adult society. And the adults will also be freed along with them. After all, you and I have already said that the modern child-rearing system transforms them into slaves and weak-willed philistines leading a miserable existence. We’re about to put an end to this. But in order to fully understand how to organize this new system for bringing up new generations, we have to fully investigate all the flaws of the old one. We need to destroy it at the mental level.

Jay: (lies in the hammock and shakes his index finger in the air) You and I are walking on a razor’s edge right now. You’re talking about a revolution in humanity. The whole global society system in existence will go down the drain! Politics, economy and… (exclaims loudly) All of it! Goddamn, you’re as right as you’ve never been before!


78

Jay: Upbringing is a key, crucial point that’s going to wipe this entire medieval era with all its technical progress off the face of the earth! (exclaims joyfully with fire in his eyes)

Vee: Are you scared?

Jay: N-o-o-o-o, it’s the other way around! You have intrigued me (smiles). The fate of the world is in our hands. (speaks sternly and raises a clenched fist)!

Vee: The history of the world is in the hands of the new generation, Jay. We’ll just show them the way. But it’ll be for them to decide whether to change something or not. We need to show the people the fallacy and the backwardness of the modern child-rearing system and point them in the direction of change.

Jay: And?... (looks at Vee, baring his yellow teeth in a smile)

Vee: Let’s start with looking into what the upbringing of a new generation entails. What affects children the most?

Jay: Two things… two (looks at the ceiling and raises his hand up): the notorious family and our beloved society!


79

Vee: I agree. But we have to indicate that social upbringing comprises the education system (school, college, university) and the social informational environment. That is, we have three elements that influence the formation of a person’s worldview. By the way, what do you think, which of these elements affects the upbringing of children the most in this day and age?

Jay: (speaks loudly, with irony and insolence in his voice) Well, what could be worse than our ‘sacred’ family? Mom and dad won’t teach you anything bad, right???

Vee: Then let’s start with the family upbringing. You and I have spent a lot of time on the subject of family and children. Let’s come back to them in the light of upbringing. There’s nothing inherently bad or wrong in the idea of a child being brought up by parents. It’s logical, and the animal world provides perfect proof of that. It’s the parents that bring up their young there. Mom or dad hunts, runs, jumps, and their babies repeat after them. Some animals are gregarious, and their young are brought up by the whole pack.


80

Vee: It’s almost the same in the human world. But the problem is that animals aren’t people, and this simple upbringing model can be highly inefficient for mankind. Unlike animals, humans possess a well-developed consciousness, they can learn and progress very fast. The human brain allows us to analyze things and be creative. Lastly, animals and humans have different functions and purposes in the universe.

Jay: (pauses) What I hate in humanity is the constant comparison of man and animal! What kind of crap is that??? Do you have any idea? (turns his head inquiringly and perplexedly) This bunch of half-wits always checks themselves against animals, but still considers them undeveloped. What kind of idiotic logic is it? (speaks indignantly, drawing in his shoulders at the same time in utter incomprehension)

 


81

Vee: Okay, all right! I’ll try to express my thoughts without redundant philosophy, although it’s very useful for our society. Philosophy makes people think about the meaning of life, about the purpose that each one of us has...

Jay: O-o-o-h, n-o-o-o (abruptly plops a pillow on his face)! Shoot me!

Vee: Yes… Err… Basically, animal upbringing boils down to merely passing down the skills of surviving in the wild to the young generation. And every species has its purpose and its groups of instincts. Lions catch up with a sick zebra, kill it and eat it. A zebra eats grass and runs away from a lion. People are completely different creatures. The role of human instincts is limited. A human being has a mind and consciousness, which guide their behavior to a larger degree than instincts. Every person decides for themselves what to do and who to be in life. Unlike animals, humans are their own creators. That’s why family upbringing should be limited to basic survival skills.


82

Vee: Parents shouldn’t interfere with their child becoming who they want to be. They shouldn’t impose their opinions and worldviews on them – it leads to miserable fates and complete cessation of development and evolution of the human being and the whole humanity. It’s stagnation.

Jay: O-o-o-h… Another serving of tedious philosophy!  You’re an inhuman monster, you’re torturing me! (puts the pillow on his face again, then speaks through it) Hmm, stagnation. Here’s stagnation for you! Those children, 20, 30 or 40 years of age, what can they teach their offspring? A chimp’s worldview? That… That’s how it is! As a result, we’ve got 7 billion ‘somethings,’ who don’t know what they want from life, what they live for and how they should develop and grow. They tackle the most important and the most difficult tasks, which seem trivial to them. And even worse things are happening! They entrust children into old people’s care! And what do we get? (pauses) Right! The same thing. Consumerist, philistine creatures!


83

Jay: People should be nurturing the future of the planet, not monkeys!!! Dalai Lama, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Jay! They are the teachers of the monkey world, the sages of this life! (talks enthusiastically)

Vee: In their rearing of children, people should be led by inspiration, not by poor contraception!  It’s a very important process that requires devotion and deep life wisdom. Along with patience, knowledge of psychology and lots of other skills. And what do modern parents have? Tons of complexes, fears, uncertainty about the future, the worldview of a slave and a head full of stereotypes and prejudices. They’ll happily pass all these things on to their child. And if the child resists, they’ll do it by force.


84

Vee: As a rule, adults abuse their parental functions. And as you and I have already discussed on numerous occasions, they are treating their children as property. And so they think they’re free to do whatever they want to them. They decide who the child has to become in the future, what they will eat, when they will go out and with whom, at what age and with whom they will start having sex. Of course, there are people who understand that you shouldn’t do that, but there aren’t that many of them.

Jay: Yep… Traditions and religion are hammered into the brains of underage slaves with a big family sledgehammer. The dump of human stupidity and stereotypes called traditions precludes a person from being an individual, doesn’t allow for growth and development. (pauses) The outlook on life has to be passed on from generation to generation! One step to the side, and you’re executed (narrows one eye and aims at an imaginary target with his fingers)! I used to know idiots who were hoping to find virgin wives.


85

Jay: Ha-ha-ha (turns to Vee and laughs loudly and hysterically)! But they themselves… aren’t angels on earth, either! Puberty doesn’t just drive nuts those who’ve got balls between their legs, but who cares?! (speaks with malicious joy and a smile on his face) Hurry up and get married, baby! Before the hormones drive you completely mad!

Vee: Good thing you’ve mentioned this. Of course, parents impose their traditions and religion on their children, at times by force. Children have to make a conscious choice as to which gods to pray to and whether to pray at all. But modern parents teach their children since childhood to worship their deities and observe their traditions. By the way, having family and children is sort of a tradition, too. And there’s another very common tradition that the man is the head of the family, and he decides everything in the family. This tradition, in turn, originates in religion, which for some reason claims that women are inferior human beings, and therefore should be invariably subordinate to men.

 


86

Vee: Indeed, the majority of traditions stifle personality and general human development. Traditions often don’t let us do the right thing. But, on the other hand, traditions comprise the society’s culture. Traditions unite people in groups and allow them to differ from other groups.

Jay: (already sitting on the table) Is that the only benefit of traditions? I feel like these reflections on traditions have dragged you into their gutter. Heh-heh-heh...

Vee: Jay, people are social creatures. I understand that you and I don’t fit into any social group, to put it mildly: we're on the fringes of society. But we’re an exception rather than a rule. People will still unite into different social groups. They need their subculture, their specific behavior patterns. Let’s even take you for example. Villains also have their traditions.


87

Vee: For example, taking people hostage to demand something from a superhero who must save them. Isn’t that a tradition? Isn’t that a trademark of all villainous characters?

Jay: (comes up to Vee from behind, speaks softly and sweetly, like a maniac to his victim) My beautiful, most beautiful friend! Luckily, I have no traditions. I’m a person of a dynamic, not a static nature. (pauses, then makes his way to the hammock) Taking people hostage is certainly good! But you’re confusing tradition with method. And the method so efficient that it’s used much more often than others. As soon as a superior method emerges, everybody will forget about this one. (turns to Vee) And what about me?! I like negotiating! (laughs loudly) Tradition is a kind of thing that drags on since time immemorial, it’s observed by wretches who hand it down from generation to generation, making their descendants memorize and perform rituals to save and prolong its life. Life principles!


88

Jay: L-i-f-e principles (slowly and pensively moves around the warehouse)! Unlike traditions, they tend to change. Principles change, just like I do! Unpredictability is my forte! It’s a good sign. (speaks contentedly) Principles change in accordance with the worldview, which is defined by the level of personal development. And these dolts (waves his finger in the air) even manage to freeze up principles with their traditionalism. Fix them in place for their entire lives. Make their children observe them, making  a tradition out of their principles, or the principles of their ancestors who lived 150 million years ago… (pauses, continues to reason, without noticing Vee) N-o-o-o, well, if a person likes the tradition in medieval attire and they make a conscious choice, then, surely, no one is going to say a word against it. Today they’re wearing a traditional outfit, tomorrow they’ll put on a different one. What eradicates personality is that everybody is accustomed to some traditional things since childhood,  and often mechanically at that, just because mom and dad did so.


89

Jay: L-i-f-e principles (slowly and pensively moves around the warehouse)! Unlike traditions, they tend to change. Principles change, just like I do! Unpredictability is my forte! It’s a good sign. (speaks contentedly) Principles change in accordance with the worldview, which is defined by the level of personal development. And these dolts (waves his finger in the air) even manage to freeze up principles with their traditionalism. Fix them in place for their entire lives. Make their children observe them, making  a tradition out of their principles, or the principles of their ancestors who lived 150 million years ago… (pauses, continues to reason, without noticing Vee) N-o-o-o, well, if a person likes the tradition in medieval attire and they make a conscious choice, then, surely, no one is going to say a word against it. Today they’re wearing a traditional outfit, tomorrow they’ll put on a different one. What eradicates personality is that everybody is accustomed to some traditional things since childhood,  and often mechanically at that, just because mom and dad did so.


90

Jay: Yeah, yeah… The time has come to get rid of the tradition of ‘life and child-rearing in the family’.

Vee: Hmm… (remains silent for a long time, pondering the things that were said)... It appears that the whole issue is that traditions affect people too strongly, very often preventing suitable and crucial actions that contradict those traditions. People observe traditions, even in defiance of common sense. Traditions penetrate people’s consciousness so deeply that they dominate the decision-making process. And it’s all because they are instilled in people’s consciousness since childhood and become persistent truths for their whole lives. Only the strongest people can subsequently  eliminate or weaken the influence of traditions on their lives. And that frequently happens as a result of extreme events, which sort of reboot the person’s mind and remove blocks and restrictions imposed by traditions. The information embedded in a child’s mind has a powerful influence over their subsequent life and decisions.


91

Vee: And that, in turn, defines what the new generation of people and the future of human society will be like. It appears that children should make their choice to follow or not follow particular traditions only when they gain sufficient awareness. And the family shouldn’t instill its family values in the child, should it?

Jay: Right, precisely!

Vee: But it’s impossible!!! When the child learns to walk and talk, they start repeating after their parents. Even if they don’t forcefully condition their kids to their traditions and their religion, the children will condition themselves by watching them (a long pause)... Then there’s only one way out….

Jay: I’ve talked about this already. (laughs) The solution lies right in that thought that just now crossed your mind! Remove family with all of its vices from the children’s life! Free the human life from long years of domination and submission! (talks with his index finger raised)

 


92

Vee: It’s a very radical and progressive measure. But it can actually drastically change the whole child-rearing situation. It’s going to give mankind a chance to change and improve. And it will give every human an option to choose and be who they want to be. Young men and women will be able to live their own lives, not having to choose between their desires and interests on one hand, and the artificial well-being of their children on the other. But who’s going to take on the task of childrearing in that case? It’s the society, isn’t it? (nods) And that’s where education comes to the fore – schools, universities, colleges. What do you know about the modern education system?

Jay: He-he (smiles)! Believe me, my opinion on education isn’t much different from my opinion on family childrearing. One prison replaces another, only its effect is more noticeable for the young people. Hate and education system quickly become synonyms for the kids. 

 


93

Jay: Moral torture, problems on all levels of the hierarchy and sometimes even danger to their life turn cute kids into either bastards and wankers, or sniveling crybabies and milksops for life. In the best case scenario, a child becomes a law-abiding citizen with all the hidden resentments, complexes and flaws thoroughly hidden under the guise of a ‘normal person.’ (waves his hand towards the window and exclaims) There, look! Can you see how many of those dolts are walking around? And all this dirt comes straight from the family, from imitating adults, from the unconscious copying of the ‘heroes’ who surround these bloody children in real life! (starts getting angry)

Vee: For sure, school is just another sort of prison for the young generation. Another powerful tool that kills all life in children and forces them to transform into a shapeless grey mass. And you have correctly pointed out that children loathe school as they associate it with something very bad and wrong.


94

Vee: Of course, when mom’s friend asks the child whether they like school, they nod, because they know that if you tell the truth in human society, you may very well get a good smacking. And lots of children pretend they like studying at school because they want to please their parents. Otherwise, parents won’t give them a good gift for Christmas or even forbid them to go out or talk to their friends. Family instills craftiness and lies since childhood. But children speak frankly with one another. And it’s easy to observe, since we live in the age of information technology and social media. That’s where children very often write the truth, because it’s all anonymous. Have you seen what they write?

Jay: Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Yeah, kids just tear it up! The little demons quietly proclaim the truth! (laughs loudly, the laughter suddenly gives way to malicious irony) That’s so modern, so civilized! I’m just sick of all this deceitful idiocy...


95

Vee: Children consider school to be true hell. To them, teachers are demons who torment and hate them. They compare going to school to penal labor and prison. They see absolutely no point in what they study at school, they jus aren’t interested in all that. But who’s going to ask for their opinion? They have to go to school day after day for 10 years and act against their desires and inclinations. They’re sick of school. But they’re forced to go there, since that’s what their parents and society demand. That’s why they are already learning to disregard their desires since childhood. It breaks a child’s psyche. School teaches a child to always do what the others want and not what he or she wants. Children are taught to betray their own selves. This always leads to one and the same thing – the person becomes miserable for the rest of their life.

Jay: (chews something and adds) Besides… (pauses) Nobody needs the knowledge that’s being hammered into those suckers’ heads for decades on end.


96

Jay: This processor (taps his temple with a finger) works in vain for 20-plus years, cramming itself with rubbish, so that when you get a job, regardless of whether you’d majored in the subject, you’ll be told (with excessive drive and condescendingly), “Listen, you nitwit, forget everything you’ve been taught at your school and university. You’ll be learning your bloody profession all over again.” And your knowledge of higher math will be useful for doing your offspring’s homework (laughs loudly)! Or… (laughs, barely containing himself) Or… (laughs hysterically)... Or calculating your salary correctly. 

Vee: The problem is no longer what they study, although the totality of required knowledge also has to be revised. The problem is that all this knowledge is crammed into children by force. They don’t study voluntarily, they do it under the pressure from parents and teachers. And that’s where the root of all evil is. That’s exactly what crushes the psyche and doesn’t let a personality develop. Because of this, we’ve got billions of people who don’t know what the point of their life is.

 


97

Vee: However, we should admit, there are children, and quite a few at that, who basically study on their own, without any special coercion from their parents. They’re usually A-students. As a rule, their parents manage to instill into them the idea that they have to study, that they need to love studying in order to find a decent well-paid job in the future. They are deceiving their kids by instilling consumerist values in them. They don’t tell their child, “Life is a game. Be who you want to be in this game. Create what you want. Be in charge of your life!” Instead, parents burden them with fears and stereotypes. Like, if you want to live well, you have to get a higher education. They also instill into their children that to live well means to have a car, an apartment and a bank account.

Jay: You forgot the devil’s den – a family!!!! (speaks with a malicious smile)

Vee: Right. And have a family to be truly happy. There’s a consumerist society for you. So, those A-students convince themselves that studying is good under their parents’ influence. Even if they’re sick of school, they keep studying hard.


98

Vee: Very often they encounter psychological problems in the future since they bent over backwards going to school, did their homework diligently and read books. And what do most of them get from life in the end?

Jay: Joyful weekdays and 2 weeks of holiday a year (sarcastically)! If mom and dad haven’t got a seven figure bank account, consider that A-student a teenage loser! He’ll have to slave away for a long time (smiles and eats nuts)! First, at school to please your old folks, then at the university that they’ll choose for you. And then you go to work in  hopes of being immediately appreciated for your efforts and given a promotion. In reality it often turns out very differently – they’ll promote an cheeky bootlicker mediocrity and exploit you to the fullest. Hurts, doesn’t it?! Heh… (pauses) Maybe you’ll be lucky and manage to make your way out of that shithole, but you’ll have to work your ass off and then try to get it back, after getting a small capital together!


99

Vee: That’s right. Those are broken lives! It’s very scary! But adults aren’t afraid of that. Today there’s a very popular method of bringing up children among them when all the time free from school is allotted to extracurricular activities. Children study foreign languages, literature, play sports, chess and lots and lots of other things. A child has no free time whatsoever that they could manage independently without their parents’ opinion. All of the child’s internal desires, their true interests and talents drown in a stream of unnecessary and useless knowledge and skills. Children, of course, try as best they can to explain to their insane parents that they don’t like that, and would like to do other things now, but who’s interested in a minor’s opinion in our society... They’re told that when they grow up, they’ll decide what to do and how to do it. But the problem is that by the time they’ve grown up, it’s too late.


100

Vee: Society will get another brainless passive slave who won’t know why they are alive and what they want.

Jay: Nee-naw, nee-naw, nee-naw (imitates a siren and then speaks sternly with both his hands around his mouth like a megaphone) Attention! The final stage of creating a zombie will start at the universities and end 3-5 years later… (suddenly turns to Vee and speaks enthusiastically, his eye sparkling) It’s going to be like in that film where the lead character speaks about his father, remember? “He didn’t have a higher education, so he wanted me to get one. A familiar story. I graduated from the university, I call him and ask what’s next. And he tells me, ‘Get a job.’ I’m 25. I call him again and ask, ‘Father, what’s next?’ And he says, ‘I don’t know, get married…’ ”


101

Vee: And the school system of knowledge assessment? It sucks incredibly! One might wonder what’s wrong with it. But it actually has a very negative impact on the mind and worldview of a future member of human society. School instills the idea that the most important thing in life is to have good figures – the grades. If your grades are good – well done, you’re a good student and you’ll become a good person. And if you’ve got bad marks, that means you’re a bad student and a loser. You’re a social misfit, so to say. That’s why for children the purpose of studying at school comes down to getting grades and chasing figures, not acquiring knowledge. After all, nobody wants to be a loser. Then the children grow up. But the figure-chasing mindset remains with them for the rest of their lives. And in order not to be any worse than the rest, they set out on a new marathon for a different set of figures, which rules the adult world… For money!


102

Vee: The assessment system at schools kills all individuality and uniqueness in a child, makes them focus their attention not on their abilities and interests, but on the average academic progress rate. And we’ll leave it to psychologists and psychiatrists to assess the way that the stress of school grades affects children’s minds. They should write a dissertation on it.

Jay: (speaks contentedly, already lying in a hammock with one leg over the other) It looks like kids are under a lot of pressure. They’ve got almost no chance of becoming good people… Like me (laughs)! Lies and idiocy all around… (shows his right hand) Here they’re pressed by the family and here (shows his left hand) by the school. The child’s consciousness is squashed by this family-school press (slaps his hands together with a clap)... And then the social info-sphere makes a security shot to the immature young head (turns to Vee and puts two fingers to his temple)...


103

Jay: But that’s not all either (waves his finger in an affected manner, turning away from Vee)! Outside of school and family they’re also in for a surpri-i-i-se… Society! (spreads his hands to the sides and draws his shoulders in) It mercilessly machine-guns its beloved kids with meaninglessness and stupidity (breaks into a malicious smile).

Vee: For sure… (sighs)... adults bring up children in their own image. It’s an endless cycle. Don’t they understand that? Can’t they see all the depravity and deformity of contemporary human society?

Jay: Don’t say that!!! Hush… Why are you so loud (looks around warily)? If we’re overheard, we’ll be in serious trouble. (looks at Vee and nods his head)


104

Jay: You don’t want us to die a sudden death, do you? (starts biting his nails nervously) No?!... Yes?!... No?!... (throws himself at Vee’s feet and cries out in a pleading voice) No, Vee! Don’t leave us at their mercy! (loudly, in a crying voice) We’re still so young and so handsome! What did we do to deserve this punishme-e-e-ent (rolls on the floor hysterically)?!

Vee: (pays no attention to Jay’s grimacing, continues to reason seriously) But what are we supposed to do with all of this? We can protect children from the influence of their brainless parents, handing over all the childrearing functions to society. But as we’ve learned, society can’t endow a child with anything worthwhile either – besides a heap of unnecessary knowledge and an inferiority complex. (Thinks) Then we have to completely change the education system. And we have to start with school.

Jay: (suddenly calms down and asks keenly, lying on the floor and smiling ear to ear) Have you got any ideas?

Vee: Yes, seems like I know the way out.


105

Jay: Bravo, bravo (claps his hands)! You’re such a scoundrel! (lies on the floor, waves his index finger and looks at Vee slyly) He came up with a plan and is keeping silent! I’ve almost gone crazy here, and he’s keeping silent… What is the world coming to?!

Vee: No, Jay, actually, someone came up with a solution a long time ago and is waiting for humanity to use it. Humanity isn’t hopeless, my friend. You can always find real people in it, people who live beautiful and meaningful lives.

Jay: Yep, that’s how I am! (smiles)

Vee: (pauses) There’s a school in England called Summerhill. It was founded back in the first half of the 20thcentury by a truly remarkable man named Alexander Sutherland Neill. That man dedicated his whole life to studying child psychology and pedagogy. He’s a world-class pioneer who, for me, is on par with Einstein, Tesla, Henry Ford, Neale Donald Walsch and many other great people. However, humanity has yet to appreciate his contribution to the development of our civilization. That often happens... 

 


106

Jay: (starts speaking indignantly) That’s what I’m talking about! Ungrateful worms, don’t love their heroes at all. They don’t understand what happiness I bring into their dull lives! All chaos and no planning! Not just a life, but a full-on adventure! And what? What about Neill?

Vee: Neill, just like you and me, saw all the imperfections of society. He understood that the key to solving most problems is in the upbringing of the new generation. As far back as 100 years ago, he’d realized the inferiority of the traditional childrearing system. He believed that adults shouldn’t treat children as their property, shouldn’t ignore their rights and desires. Neill went down in history as a defender of children’s personal freedom. He believed that a child’s happiness should be a top priority in childrearing. And he considered personal freedom to be the source of a child’s happiness. It’s hard not to agree with this, isn’t it?

Jay: (lies on the floor motionless and looks at the ceiling)

 


107

Vee: Neill also understood that depriving a child of personal freedom makes them miserable, passive people and leads to various psychological traumas, which later on affect their adult life and behavior. And that, in its turn, inevitably affects all of society, all of human civilization. His ideas suggested giving children an opportunity to gain independence, refuse blind obedience to adults and develop critical thinking.

Jay: Hmm… I like this bloke!!!

Vee: Eventually, his ideas materialized when he established a school. An unusual school. That’s where he realized his innovative childrearing ideas. Neill was convinced that children study much better in the absence of coercion, they have a greater motivation and achieve better results. He had introduced the principles of democracy at his school. And interestingly, a child’s vote was equal to a teacher’s. All the more or less important decisions concerning school life were made in joint the meeting of students and teachers.


108

Vee: Children independently decided what they were going to do during the day: stroll around or study, write or read. At that school no one has ever made a child do their homework or make their bed. Children learned to be independent starting with their very first days at the school. They learned to be in possession of their own lives. He said that such approach allows a child to find their personal motivation for studying and other activities. Children developed internal discipline and did it voluntarily, not because of outside pressure.

Jay: Welcome to the madhouse! (laughs)

Vee: Yeah, it often sucked for educators there, but Neill always said that there’s a big difference between personal freedom and permissiveness. He taught his children to respect not only themselves and their freedom, but other people’s freedom, too. At Summerhill School kids arrived at that idea themselves and got accustomed to it.


109

Vee: As a result, a sort of a free children’s society emerged at that school, where children learnt, ate, slept and played, a society where they could freely express themselves and develop. They asked their adult mentors for help and explanations when they needed them. When they wanted, they studied and quickly mastered new knowledge and skills. Expressing themselves freely, every child could discover their talents and skills, and subsequently develop them. And no parents or teachers prevented them from doing it at that school. Because of that, all the children at the school were happy. Many of them came there from troubled families where their parents’ tyranny drove them to depression. But at school they had changed and blossomed.

Jay: (speaks in a provocative tone) Well? And where’s that line between permissiveness and freedom of expression? 


110

Vee: That line is very thin. Freedom of expression ends where another person’s freedom begins. Neill said that giving a child personal freedom and indulging their whims are completely different things. Nowadays, some adults try to use his principles when bringing up their kids. But the result is the opposite. They spoil their child so much that he or she takes advantage of them and becomes an uncontrollable egotist. And Neill also wrote about that. 

Jay: Children are not toys! (wags his index finger)

Vee: Childrearing is an extremely difficult and nuanced task that requires special skills, immense patience, wisdom and a particular frame of mind. This occupation isn’t for everybody, but every idiot takes on childrearing in our world, and the results are appropriate results. Neill was a great educator, although it often wasn’t easy for him. But, nevertheless, he had created a school that children loved. They loved it more than their own homes and their families.


111

Vee: The school was essentially their family. They only saw their parents on holidays and spent the rest of their time at Summerhill.

Jay: And… what? What was the situation with the academic performance and knowledge? (looks at Vee quizzically)

Vee: Of course, the school had passed state accreditations more than a few times in its history, and always successfully. Summerhill’s students easily absorbed knowledge, since they did it when they wanted it themselves. But that’s not the point. In this case knowledge is secondary, you see? The main thing was that school graduates knew what they wanted from life. And if they didn’t yet know it, they were willing to look for their own path until they found it. They would never become slaves living a miserable meaningless existence. Their lives would always be meaningful and happy. Since childhood, they got accustomed to doing what they saw fit regardless of the opinions of different authorities or the society’s stance. And even if they were going to clean floors in a supermarket, they would do it knowingly and purposefully.


112

Vee: That school gave the young generation a completely different worldview. Summerhill graduates chose very different paths in their lives. Some of them became artists, some – travelers, some – famous lawyers, and some – teachers at ordinary village schools. They didn’t chase after money or fame, since they understood the illusoriness of such blessings. Money and fame find them on their own. If all children studied at such schools, the world would be completely different. By the way, Summerhill School exists in England to this day.

Jay: All they need is magic wands (chuckles)! (abruptly changes the tone of voice) Wait! (freezes in his place) I (pauses)... think (pauses)... I caught what you were getting at… Just don’t tell me (pauses)... Just don’t tell me that you want to...

Vee: (interrupts Jay) I think that society has to create a new education system based on Neill’s works.

Jay: Errgh… Man, I think it’s time for us to get out of here (quickly stands up and leaves)

Vee: Where are you going?


113

Jay: I… I… I’ve got nothing to do with this! (darts out of the warehouse and loudly slams the door)

Vee: Ah-h-h-h… (sighs deeply and remains silent)

Jay: (a wary whisper through a crack from behind the closed door) The world’s big shots – transnational corporations and heads of states are going to pulverize us for this. Such an education system is very dangerous! Ve-e-ery dangerous for them. You want to deprive them of their power! (talks, laughing nervously) To replace the dumb manipulated cattle with independent individuals. It’s a catastrophe! The modern system as we know it will go up in smoke, burst like a bubble! 

Vee: Yes, you’re right! A new education system will require a new political and economic system. The society will have to adapt to a new way of life. 

Jay: (bursts into the warehouse and shouts angrily) A new way of life?! (points his finger at Vee) Do you even realize how inert this mass is? They frown in displeasure if the filling in their favorite chocolate bar changes, and you want to make them adapt to a new way of life?!

 


114

Vee: Well, what do you suggest?

Jay: Vee, Vee… (calms down and sits down on the table in front of Vee) You never fail to amaze me! I’m going to reveal a secret to you (beckons Vee with his finger, moving towards the edge of the table, leaning closer to his interlocutor)... Physics... It will help (winks at Vee)!

Vee: (motionless and silent)

Jay: Well?! Do you get the connection?? (pauses, looks at Vee perplexedly)

Vee: (remains silent)

Jay: (waves his hand at Vee, puts his feet up on the table, then raises himself on his elbows and speaks in a quiet muffled voice)  We need to decrease the mass, do you understand? (looks about) If you want to reduce the inertness of society, decrease the mass? Get it?!

Vee: Er… (a little puzzled)... I’m not sure I understand you.

Jay: (speaks slyly with a smile, lies down on the table) N-o-o-o, you’re not getting out of this… Your mask is winking at me… It’s saying, ‘Yes, Jay I understand everything!’ (guffaws loudly)

Part 7: The time of the Young


115

Vee: You know, Jay, I had an epiphany recently. I kept thinking about how we could change human society, make it evolve. It’s tremendously hard to move such a clumsy contraption. But then I understood that the renewal mechanism is laid down in the genes of the human life. The thing is, people tend to get old and die…

From behind the ajar door, Vee can hear dull thumping, loud rustling, water flushing in the toilet and Jay’s prolonged laughter. He comes out of the loo, still excited from the fun he was having a minute ago.

Jay: (wipes his tears from laughter and says) Ah-h-h-h… What?

Vee: I was saying people tend to get old and die.

Jay: Ah-h-h-h… Well yes, yes… Of course. Didn’t you know that?

Vee: Sit down, rest (points to the sofa, which Jay already took a liking to). Those few moments in the loo threw you off balance.

Jay: Oh, you’re so kind! (jumps into the armchair, throwing both his legs on the armrest) Ta-dam (with a smiling grimace and arms spread as if at on stage, looks at Vee sitting opposite him)


116

Jay: (slaps himself on the forehead and says) Damn it, I forgot to offer the honored sir a seat! (springs up from the armchair and points to the sofa with both hands while bowing down)

Vee: Thank you! (Vee makes a point of sitting down in the armchair Jay wanted to take)

Jay: (discontented, heads to the couch and says tersely) If somebody else were in your place, I would’ve already put a bullet through their head!!!

Vee: (laughs) Relax!

Jay: Your epiphany isn’t anything new! (discontentedly mutters under his breath)

Vee: (is silent and looks at Jay with a smile)

Jay: Why are you surprised? I heard everything.

Vee: Let’s continue then… (pauses, then continues to reason) In this regard, human society is akin to any living organism that consists of a multitude of cells. But here, in a society, people are similar to as cells. Old cells die off, new ones replace them. It’s so easy! Nature itself provides the answers to all the questions. Do you understand what I’m getting at?

Jay: They take a long time to die off and take up too much space. (smiles)


117

Vee: I want to say that young people have to understand that changing the world is actually very easy. And they are the ones who have the power to do that. The power over the future of humanity belongs to the young.

Jay: Sh-h-h-h… (puts his finger to his lips with a frightened look) That’s a big secret! Another closely guarded secret. If the young generation gets the wind of it, the old fogies are done for. The rotting old men’s rule is illusory. They’re like ashes in the wind, every minute may become their last (starts guffawing loudly, then sits up on the couch abruptly, changes countenance and speaks quietly and maliciously, slowly clenching his raised hand into a fist) They are greedy for everything, oh, so typical of them, and they only get greedier every year!

Vee: Right. But at some point they’ll die! And the young will replace them.

Jay: (suddenly bursts out laughing) Those wankers will survive both of us! They’re going to steamroll at least a couple more generations. (tries to lie down comfortably, writhing on his back) Those scumbags know where their interests lie… they know their dirty business.


118

Vee: That’s exactly where the point of power is situated. It’s the cradle of civilization’s future. If the youth don’t take their lead from the older generation. If they don’t accept their values or their rules of the game. If instead they establish their own rules and make their choices, then they have an excellent chance of building a new kind of society, of making it more progressive and better adapted to the challenges of the future.

Jay: (exclaims loudly) HA! Beautifully said!... But who is going to let them? The old rats quickly thwart any attempts at individualism. We’ve talked about child slavery, haven’t we? (looks at Vee inquiringly) They’ll be dipped into their own shit – so much for ‘changing society’ and ‘building the future.’ (laughs)

Vee: We just need to introduce young people all over the world to this information. In reality, youth is the time of romance and fearlessness. The time of hope and endless faith in your own powers and capabilities. The time of all-or-nothing attitude and desire to change the world for the better.

 


119

Vee: It’s the best humanity has got at the moment. By the age of 30-35, some earlier, some later, people turn into lifeless, joyless creatures. But before that time they are really alive and are ready to change the world!

Jay: You’re weird...

Vee: So are you!

Jay: (gives Vee a piercing look and a smile on his face) Utopia is your thing, Vee! (speaks with a sigh) A fighter for the better tomorrow  – boring! (pauses) Respect for the old farts as authorities, as more experienced and knowledgeable people – that’s the root of all evil in your lives, you kids! How could they let this happen? (shrugs) Listening to people with sawdust for brains!

Vee: Is this the tradition called ‘respect for elders’?

Jay: Respect for fucking who? (laughs loudly) Elders? What are we supposed to respect them for? For keeping up the attempts to start another world war? Or for having started two of those already? For destroying the planet?


120

Jay: For having cut down almost all the forests on the planet? For abusing children? For turning life into monotonous meaningless existence? For this? (spreads his arms and no longer laughs)

Vee: I agree with you. The young shouldn’t have to pay for their fathers’ and ancestors’ mistakes. We shouldn’t suffer because the older generation didn’t have enough brains and willpower to change a thing in the life of society.

Jay: (speaks seriously and pensively) It’s high time for the wankers to pay the bills. Let them tell fairy tales about duty, patriotism and other perversions to their grandmothers at bedtime. Now we’re going to send them to war to spill their blood, make them into cannon fodder – old folk have nothing to lose. And if they come back disabled, without arms and legs, we’ll kindly help them find peace in the other world. The money saved on supporting those useless human-like creatures will go to transform and change the human world, just like you wanted. (smiles broadly, looking at Vee)


121

Vee: One smart  science fiction writer suggested a way to end all the wars on Earth in his novel. To achieve this, we have to send people over 40 to war instead of young men. It’s a great idea to raise the conscription age to 45-50! Just brilliant! (spreads his arms) And you were right in noting that, first of all, the older generation deceives the youth. Secondly, it uses their energy and lives to achieve their goals. And the youth have to know and understand that.

Jay: Couldn’t be better! Let’s set them against each other! Boom! Let them waste one another and do our job for us! (laughs loudly and excitedly) Now that’s what I like! This is fun! Make your bets, gentlemen! Who’s going to win this race?! (laughs hysterically, gagging on saliva)

Vee: This conflict between fathers and sons has always existed and will always exist. Fathers used to always come out on top in the past, but it’s actually the sons who have to win. It’s logical. It’s a prerequisite for development and evolution.


122

Vee: And the point isn’t that the young generation must always oppose the older generation, their lifestyle and worldviews. It’s that they need to have their own opinions about it and shape the world according to their principles and their vision, instead of blindly believing everything their old folks offer them and tell them.

Jay: I’m betting a thousand bucks on the ‘old horses’! Their craftiness will come through for them! Old school! (chuckles maliciously, then turns his head to Vee) And you’re probably rooting for the ‘young stallions’?! It’s risky, keep that in mind… They’re young and coarse, and they’ll easily fall for intrigues and lies. You’ll lose… (speaks with indifference)

Vee: No, Jay, I don’t want to set them against each other! A conflict of this sort is extremely unproductive for society. It would only waste the energy that could be spent on creation.


123

Vee: I just want the youth to think with their own heads and not repeat their ancestors’ mistakes, to believe in themselves and know that the future belongs to them; I want them to never stop dreaming and trying to make this world better, no matter what adults and old people say to them; I want the youth to choose not what the older generation is offering them, but what they really want, disregarding traditions and social foundations. I want them to remain themselves and be loyal to themselves and their desires, even if they contradict their elders’ opinion.

Jay: Maybe you should just become their big mama?! (speaks and smiles maliciously) Settle them all in your castle, read them fairy tales at bedtime. If those little demons don’t drive you crazy ahead of your time, of course! (laughs, then a mobile phone rings) Oh-h-h-h, I’ve got to go! Business, business…  Full steam ahead, in search of adventures and towards a new world! (jumps off the couch and heads for the exit, laughing loudly) 

Part 8: Unnatural Natural Selection


124

Vee: (thinks to himself) Must the strong humiliate the weak? Do the fittest survive? Then where does the power lie?

He is at a cinema, looking at the screen. The film is about wildlife – a cheetah catches up with a little antelope and kills it. 

Jay quietly takes a seat next to Vee.

Jay: I see you’re having fun without me? (Jays nods towards the screen) 

Vee: You could say that. I like films and programs about wildlife. I’m always surprised at the harmony and perfection in the structure of the animal world and nature in general. Everything knows its place. Every insect, every leaf. But everything is so difficult and contradictory in the human world.

Jay: (speaks and smiles broadly at the same time) You think too much! And overthinking is bad for you! (sighs and speaks with irony) Humans, humans, humans… The whole world is drowning in shit because of them! Their brains create illusions that are a pain for everyone. (leans closely to Vee and speaks quietly, covering his mouth with his hand) They go bonkers because of the inconsistencies in their understanding of the world.


125

Jay: On the one hand, they think they’re animals, acting on instincts, on the other hand, they think they are different from bears or hares. (raises his eyebrows in surprise, looking at the floor, and thrusts out his lower lip, then pauses) Because they don’t think at all! (abruptly breaks into laughter) You know, they’re kind of like rats, but then their size isn’t quite right, but they are quite clever. (laughs loudly again) They’re like (speaks with tears in his eyes because of laughter) terrifying, jumbo city rats!

Vee: People really like comparing themselves to animals. And they end up behaving like animals, too. But while it’s normal for quadrupeds, it’s not at all right for the humans. All because they’re taught at school that humans have evolved from monkeys. Do you believe in that?

Jay: Haw-haw-haw! (speaks with an ironic smile) You and I certainly didn’t! (winks at Vee) We’re wolves. We cull the monkeys whenever we get the chance. And there aren’t many of us… (speaks resentfully), there’s really some kind of a shortage!


126

Vee: It’s strange. People are such contradictory creatures. They emphasize logic, but their conclusions are very often totally illogical. For example, people often say you can’t behave like an animal. We’re people, after all! And at the same time, almost every modern person believes in natural selection in human society –whereas natural selection is only relevant in the animal world. This law of evolution can’t be applied to humans.

Jay: I’m telling you, they’re jumbo rats! (smiles, then grows very serious, which is not typical for him) According to your reasoning, we’ve got a funny thing here. ‘The strongest survives’ doesn’t work for our ‘monkeys’?

Vee: Of course not! Or do you too think that it does?

Jay: (makes a pensive grimace, raises eyes to the ceiling and taps his index finger on his lips, quietly mutters to himself) I thought…. Thought… Thought… (suddenly says) I haven’t thought about that!...

 


127

Jay: For example, I didn’t think about how I was going to talk to the mayor of our beloved city. (shrugs, perplexed) And everything worked out spontaneously, intuitively… Bang-bang, and he was done! Such a sensitive person, just like myself, he lives through his heart and intuition. (a smile spreads on his face)

Vee: My God, Jay, you’re a potential Darwinist! (laughs) You automatically assume that people must fight to survive and tear each other apart for a chunk of bread!

Jay: Whoa!!! (raises his hands) But it’s always fun, though (laughs loudly)!

Vee: I think that the idea that the fittest survives, the struggle for survival and all that are pretty much the key reasons for all the troubles in society. These ideas make people see one another as rivals and enemies, rather than comrades. These ideas fill people up with cruelty and hate. In his struggle for a place under the sun, the human truly stops being human and turns into a wild animal.

 


128

Vee: Those ‘wild animals’ live in their ‘jungles’ that they call cities. There are very specific laws of survival there, which they teach to their offspring. These mad thoughts soon kill off the last bits of reason in a person, and he starts fighting for his life not only against other humans, but against animals and nature, as well. The human takes their habitat away from them, cuts down forests, pollutes the oceans. He declares war against all living things on the planet since all he thinks about is how to survive. That’s what all these ideas lead to.

Jay: Tsk-tsk-tsk… (waves his index finger from side to side) Tell me, you ‘city rat’ lover, how are they going to evolve if there is no competition? Eh?!

Vee: Competition and struggle for survival are different things. Competition is when you’re trying to do something better than another person. And struggle for survival is everybody’s war for a place in the sun. This struggle does take place in the animal world, but it’s required there in order to keep the entire ecosystem in balance...


129

Vee: ... and besides, animals don’t think about it. They just act in accordance with their instincts. But people do think about it, they ponder over it. And in people’s minds the idea of the survival of the fittest ends up assuming perverted, unhealthy and very dangerous forms. Isn’t the genocide of Jews during the Second World War a triumph of the law of survival of the fittest? Isn’t soldiers executing civilians by a firing squad perfect proof that this law works? And what do you think of the way this law manifests itself at fur factories, where the stronger keep the weaker in cages all their lives and then skin them alive?

Jay: Heh-heh-heh… (suddenly springs out of the armchair and stands opposite Vee) Excellent… Excellent… You got me! 1-0, you are up one. (smiles and holds out his hand to Vee for him to shake it)

A short pause after the fervent handshake.


130

Vee:  We have to understand that people aren’t animals. People are at a different stage of consciousness. Unlike animals, people are all very different. It’s very hard to compare them using a single characteristic. That’s why the idea that the strongest survive makes no sense for human society. So where does the power lie?

Jay: In the muscles! (raises his hand and tries to feel his biceps) Damn, I need to tie a weight to my gun to bulk up my arms! 

Vee: (grins) We can’t define the trait that allows humanity to survive. Everybody is very different. And people can’t be measured against a single standard.

Jay: They don’t know any different! I saw a clever meme - a fish in a fishbowl, a monkey, a hippo and some other animal are getting tested on an exam, and the examiner says that the one who’ll climb up the tree the fastest will win. Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha...

Vee: That’s a good joke. Right on the mark! People have to understand that the notions of ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ in the context of human society are extremely relative. One person is strong physically, another – mentally or emotionally. One person is a great dancer, another – a great painter...


131

Vee: Lack of understanding of these simple truths leads to a catastrophe and social injustice where the stronger always humiliate the weaker.

Jay: N-o-o-o-o! You don’t understand! It’s not a catastrophe! It’s a paradise for fun! (laughs loudly) Yes, yes, yes… Brute physical strength rules the world! And that suits me just fine! (continues laughing)

Vee: Real troubles await humanity, unless it modifies its values. You see, people got it into their heads that they’re stronger than nature. And they treat it just like they treat one another. They try to humiliate it. Nature puts up with it for now, since it has no such idiotic principles.  Although it can annihilate all of humanity as easily as you can kill a mosquito on your hand. And if people don’t come to their senses, nature will have to defend itself. That’s when a global disaster is bound to happen.

Jay: (shakes his fist in the air and speaks maliciously) Be afraid, you sons of bitches, your notions are about to be replaced! We’ll cut out your brains with all the shit they contain and pour some truth serum into your scull caps!


132

Vee: First, people have to learn to respect one another. Second, the idea that ‘the fittest survive’ can be replaced with ‘the wisest survives’. And its wisdom is that the strong won’t humiliate the weak, but help them get stronger. Instead of fighting one another, we should propose cooperation to people. It’s so simple and logical. If we replace fighting with cooperation, then everybody will be able to prosper and be happy. And there’s no need to humiliate and destroy one another for a place in the sun. There’ll be enough sun for everybody!

Jay: (talks, with his head slightly raised) Nope. There won’t be.  There’s a lot of sunlight, but there also are quite a few people! (puts one of his hands under his head and lifts a finger on the second one)  Way too many… Just an incredible number! Their proliferation has to be constantly suppressed! After all, they’re rats and follow rat instincts, not human ones! They’ll breed until they’re blue in the face! (laughs loudly) You and I, Vee, won’t be enough for everybody…  We’re very fucking special! (reclines in the armchair and chuckles) 


133

Jay: There are lots of herbivores. They consume all their food uncontrollably. More predators come about to balance out this process. But you can’t clone the two of us. But on the other hand, what a great chance to be creative – you’ve got your sphere, and I’ve got mine! Great! (starts laughing)

Vee: (is silent for a long time, pondering Jay’s words) You’re right, there are more and more people on the planet every year. And there are fewer and fewer resources. Now is the perfect time for people to combine their efforts to resolve the problems facing all of humanity and stop wasting energy on fighting one another. And it’s not just a plea, it’s wisdom that has to be entrenched in the childrearing system. Since childhood, kids are taught that people are essentially enemies and rivals. We have to eradicate those ideas of natural selection in human society, in the education and childrearing system. 


134

Jay: My wisdom would surely help! Then let’s introduce the idea of unnatural selection! Eh?!

Vee: No, my friend! These ideas have no place in human society (gets up from the armchair, but Jay stops him)

Jay: (lies in the armchair with a content look on his face) I like all the squabble around here! I don’t feel like a lonely psychopath among these brainless half-wits. On the contrary, I feel like a superhero! (chuckles) War, genocide… They’ve learned to control themselves, it’s just that they don’t even suspect… unconsciously, so to speak! (suddenly exclaims) How brilliant! It’s not very effective, but always fun, though! (guffaws loudly) 


135

Vee: Don’t you worry. Very soon the society will become smarter and wiser, and people will figure out that they have to control their population themselves, voluntarily.

Content, Vee stands up and leaves, ignoring the fact that Jay still has something to say.

Jay: (looks at departing Vee with confusion, left all alone) Er… (turns away from departing Vee and continues the conversation, but without him) Ha, what a fool! That sodding humanist doesn’t understand the entire tragedy of the situation. Why? Hmm… What the hell? It’s as clear as day! There are just too many of them! (waves his index finger to himself) Too many! It’s one thing to graze 10 sheep and entirely different – to graze 10 000! The difference is obvious! But, no… Of course not! You can’t leave out my unnatural selection method! You’ll have to accept the fact that I’m right! There’s no way around it!

Laying in the armchair, Jay jerks his leg. After a minute of silence, he breaks into long and hysterical laughter.

Part 9: Overpopulation - Clear and Present Danger


136

Jay sits in the armchair, reading a book and mumbling something inarticulate under his breath. Vee enters the room. Seeing Jay absorbed in the book, he silently sits down in the armchair across from him, crosses his legs and observes Jay. He tries to make out the name of the book he is reading, but can’t see the cover. This goes on for several minutes.

Vee: I see you’re here already?! As usual, you come suddenly, inconspicuously and sit somewhere! What are you reading?

Ignoring Vee and continuing to read, Jay turns the book to Vee so that the cover faces him. It’s ‘World history. Part 3’. Vee remains seated in silence, observing Jay, then he gets up and is about to leave, but suddenly...


137

Jay: (looking at him from under the book, abruptly stops Vee, putting the book down on his knees) Stop it, Vee! Let’s have fun, shall we?! This is case history of a schizophrenic psychopath. (shakes the book with a sly smile) Very educational. (nods) It says here in black and white that the illness is advancing. We won’t allow him to kick the bucket, will we?

Vee: What a precise comparison!!! It seems that everything should be the other way around! People should learn from their mistakes, instead of repeating them over and over again. But as I understand, people keep shooting themselves in the foot time after time.

Jay: (silently with a laugh, lightly hits himself on the forehead with the book)

Vee: This once again proves that the development of humanity has stalled since ancient times. All the problems and vices of the past are preserved in our society to this very day.

Jay: (waves his arms every which way) Poverty, destitution, hunger, diseases and epidemics, social injustice, wars, genocide, lawlessness of the authorities, disregard for human rights and freedoms, violence. The word is beautiful! (throws the book up to the side and laughs loudly)


138

Jay: Now we also have environmental disasters, terrorism, nuclear war and uncontrolled mass consumption!!! (suddenly calms down and sits on the edge of the armchair, asking Vee excitedly) And do you know what heartens me?! New problems keep emerging all the time! This list can go on forever...

Vee: Nevertheless, it’s all very strange. Technology did make a fairly large leap. They should’ve solved at least some of these problems. For example, the problem of poverty, destitution and social injustice. After all, the technical equipment today allows to produce a lot more goods than 200 years ago.

Jay: (rolls his eyes and falls heavily into the armchair, covering his eyes with his hand, then pauses) Pastures are overcrowded. There’s too much cattle! No technology can keep up with their rate of reproduction. The grey mass is swelling in volume with every passing day, crushing and consuming all who disagree with it!

 


139

Vee: Yes, that’s right. It appears that technology is one of the reasons behind the fast population growth. And it seems that the problem isn’t that technology can’t provide the level of consumption that people desire, but that the planet doesn’t have such capacities. Its resources are running out, there just aren’t enough for everyone at his point. There’s already a shortage of fertile land, drinking water and many mineral resources on Earth.

Jay: (looks at Vee through a crack between his fingers and breaks into a smile) Fight for the resources??? (half-rises and snaps his fingers) That’s it! I’m opening a new business – gladiator games! (roars with loud laughter) A fat man in a Snow White costume against a prostitute! Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! The grand prize is a vial of clean air!

Vee: (thinks a bit) Listen! Overpopulation of the planet is indeed the most important threat to humanity and its foremost problem today.

 


140

Jay: (lies in the armchair, pointing his thumb down) The planet’s population… (speaks with disgust) We have to substantially decrease the volume of this dull shit on Earth!

Vee: Yes… Humanity has become too inert and clumsy to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing conditions. 

Jay: Overpopulation is the root of all problems! Those who deny this fact are fools and half-wits! If you don’t want to live in destitution and poverty, if you want quality food, water, clothes and trinkets, kill thy neighbor! Grab their share! (starts laughing loudly)

Vee: Yes, even 100-150 years ago that was unattainable. And now, when robots can even pick olives from the trees, there’ll be little difficulty in providing a high living standard for people. BUT!!! Not for 7 billion people.

Jay: (throws his legs over the armrest of the armchair, sprawls out and speaks sarcastically) Haw-haw-haw-haw! You’re naïve, Vee! 7 billion isn’t the limit! (covers his mouth with his hand and whispers) They think it’s a conspiracy against them. Our conversation! (nods his head)


141

Jay: They will accuse us of lies and demonstrate that there’s enough space on Earth for at least 14 billion of these half-witted bastards. (smiles) That’s why the population will grow poorer with every year. And these beasts will keep on giving birth… Do they have nothing better to do with their lives? Give birth to idiots, breed poverty!!! (shrugs and makes a surprised face) And what’s their excuse: ‘No-o-o, I have to give birth for my sake! Start a family! A family isn’t a family without a child! The rest is nonsense!’ If half a billion will be left, it’ll be just perfect! (raises his thumb) That’s it! Do away with the 6.5 billion! Grill them! (starts laughing loudly and hysterically)

Vee: Hm-m-m… You definitely like radical measures. However, you’re mostly right. All of this works when a person is well off. They don’t need to think about howto feed themselves, and they have the time and desire to think about other things – something that they like, something more elevated. That’s freedom. And destitution is always bad. Destitution almost always leads to degradation, with few exceptions. 


142

Vee: You have to be very strong to make yourself think of something besides material goods when you are in dire need.

Jay: (talks to himself) Why? Why? What for? (speaks quietly with irony) You know, to endure poverty, but to still give birth to 5 children, and then complain… Complain… Blame somebody for your failures… That’s… That’s vile! My extravagance entirely pales in the shadow of all those psychos! (smiles, looking at the fire in the fireplace)

Vee: Uh-huh, and at such rate of population growth, the impact on nature grows incredibly!!! Everyone strives to live well. Everyone wants to consume more. And as a result, the planet is covered by rubbish and polluted with waste. People also shouldn’t forget that we’re not alone on the planet. Thousands of various animal species live alongside us on Earth. And it would be unfair to not take them into account.


143

Vee: You have to be very strong to make yourself think of something besides material goods when you are in dire need.

Jay: (talks to himself) Why? Why? What for? (speaks quietly with irony) You know, to endure poverty, but to still give birth to 5 children, and then complain… Complain… Blame somebody for your failures… That’s… That’s vile! My extravagance entirely pales in the shadow of all those psychos! (smiles, looking at the fire in the fireplace)

Vee: Uh-huh, and at such rate of population growth, the impact on nature grows incredibly!!! Everyone strives to live well. Everyone wants to consume more. And as a result, the planet is covered by rubbish and polluted with waste. People also shouldn’t forget that we’re not alone on the planet. Thousands of various animal species live alongside us on Earth. And it would be unfair to not take them into account.


144

Jay: (laughs) Whatever! Take all that life has to offer – that means TAKING and that’s it! And the pile of shit that’s going to be left after them… (waves his hand) That doesn’t matter! That’s unimportant, it’s not the main thing!

Vee: Yeah… And the most alarming thing is that there aren’t that many people who understand the essence and the threat posed by this problem.

Jay: And they’re screwed!

Vee: Will a sensible minority be able to convince the rest of the utmost importance of all those problems?

Jay: A minority? They don't call it a minority for nothing, their job is to lie in ambush and keep a low profile, otherwise the bloody majority is going to quickly destroy the undesirable elements, those viruses in their goddamn society! Cowards! (shouts loudly into the emptiness) Only the bravest madmen are ready to work 24/7 trying to resolve the problem of overpopulation of those sons of bitches! (exclaims loudly with his head resting on the back of the armchair, spreads his arms to the sides, enjoys his greatness) Me!... Me!... Me!...

Vee: Jay, you won’t solve this problem with violence. There’s tons of other methods!

Jay: (stops abruptly and looks at Vee inquiringly)


145

Vee: Enlightenment. We have to properly communicate the information to people. I’m sure they’ll be able to understand everything and will want to change the world for the better. I’m sure that everybody wants to live in affluence, happiness instead of leading a pathetic existence in destitution. I’m sure that everybody wants sensible abundance instead of a cruel fight for resources. I’m sure that everybody aspires to be free. Everybody wants to be healthy. These are simple truths which even the most ignorant philistine understands. We just need to present all this properly and tastefully!

Jay: (speaks loudly and pleadingly, loudly slaps his forehead with his palm and shakes his head) Oh-oh-oh, Holy God! Vee, you’re so stubborn! I’m tired of repeating the obvious and the inevitable! What are they going to think with? What consciousness? Those asses aren’t interested in anything in the world except their personal problems. They don’t give a damn about you or all the problems of humanity and the planet!!!


146

Jay: (sprawled out in the armchair, speaks, putting his hand to his ear) Ah?! What? The youth?! Perhaps… But not for long. After the first zombie bite, they’ll turn into zombies themselves! (guffaws) Education will do its thing! And we can’t change it, get it? And why is that? (answers maliciously and loudly, so that spit flies out of his mouth, staring at Vee with his penetrating gaze) Because the population is too huge!

Vee: What exactly do you propose?

Jay: That’s a stupid question...

Vee: Jay, this is too cruel, lots of innocent people will suffer! We can’t allow that! (hits the armrest of the armchair with his palm hard) I haven’t gone crazy yet, unlike you!!! (points his finger at his interlocutor)

Jay: Pf-f-f (calmly waves his hand at the irritated Vee)... 5 short years, and that’s it! And you?! You suggest babysitting those half-wits for decades or centuries until they finally destroy every goddamn bit of this world?!

Vee: I believe that people will be able to do what’s required (tries to conceal the anger in his voice). There are sensible people in the world, and they will lead humanity down the path of innovation!


147

Jay: Ah-ha-ha-ha… (laughs loudly and for a long time) I see you are craving to be nailed to a cross! (laughter sharply transforms into a malicious whisper, leaning closer to Vee) Do you think they’ll have mercy on you? (suddenly raises his voice) You’re deeply mistaken! They will destroy you in the most devious, cruelest and bloodiest way of all! Possessed by the insatiable thirst of consumption and reproduction, they’re highly intolerant of everybody who’s different from them, their system and their way of life. They will try with all their might to shove an individual into the gutter of their hellish life. They will stroke their sick egos, get immense pleasure from breaking a person’s will, torturing them and enjoying their death! That’s how they are, your beloved people! Diabolical humanity! This 21st-century virus has long ago consumed the Earth!

Vee: I think I’ve heard this somewhere! I’m sure it’s possible to find a peaceful way of resolving this issue!

Jay: Perhaps (speaks and looks at Vee inquiringly, a smile dawning on his face)?! Perhaps somebody just hasn’t got the guts!!! 

Vee: And maybe somebody’s just batshit crazy?!

Jay: (stretches his hand in front of himself, looks at his fingers and speaks calmly) Yes! It’s no secret! So I won’t surprise anybody if I go and turn it all into a ‘bloodbath’! Right here and now (pokes the armrest of his armchair with his index finger)


148

Jay: And you just keep on playing hero and blabbering about saving the world!

Jay suddenly stands up and heads for the door, whistling a song to himself. But Vee instantly stands in his way, with his dagger at Jay’s throat, but Jay manages to get his revolver out and push its muzzle against Vee’s stomach, laughing wildly.

Vee: I can’t let you do that. Of course, we’re friends, but you know what that guy from the book said, ‘Never let your conscience prevent you from doing the right thing.’ God is my witness, I don’t want to kill you… 

Jay: (bares his teeth in a hideous smile) Please, do!


149

It’s a stalemate. They are motionless, unable to find another solution except wait. And then they both notice that they’re not alone in the room. A man is sitting on the window sill. Judging from his appearance, he could pass for a superhero. He also notices that his presence in the room has been discovered.

Stranger:  Oops!... (sits down at the edge of the window sill, dangles his feet, speaks apologetically and shrugs his shoulders) Forgive me for imposing on your friendly conversation, but I think you are both nutjobs!

Jay: What kind of chupacabra is that? (Jay points at the Stranger with his eyes, without letting go of his gun)

Vee: (Vee examines the unexpected visitor) Who are you and what do you want?


150

Stranger: (he kicks his legs like a child) Who I am??? (points to himself with the fingers of both his hands and looks at Vee and Jay inquiringly) That actually doesn’t matter at all. I’m here solely by a fluke. It turned out that I witnessed your conversation a few weeks ago. And now I frequently come here to listen to this funny conversation. (he suddenly jumps off the window sill and heads over to Vee and Jay, who are standing still) Dudes, if you only knew how stimulating it is to listen to your chit chat!!! It’s better than that show on Channel 8, where obese people try to lose weight. And I have this idea – let me become your producer, and you guys and I will create our own show! Eh?! What do you say?

Vee and Jay stand still, entranced by the Stranger’s insolence. Meanwhile, he comes closer to them and stares at Vee’s dagger and Jay’s revolver.


151

Stranger: Ooh… Scary, scary, scary! Holy moly, this is not a good time. (speaks to the side) These two are ready to kill each other in the name of justice any minute now… Ooh-ha-ha-ha-ha! (laughs loudly)

Vee: (shifts his gaze to Jay and looks at him inquiringly)

Jay: (looks at Vee, pointing at the Stranger with his eyes, starts laughing loudly) Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! This one, in the leggings, he’s got a sense of humor!

Stranger: (comes close to Vee and Jay and speaks in the face of each of them) All jokes aside, fellows, I’ve got some very interesting info for you. (moves away from them, heading to the chair where Jay sat) So, come on, put your toys down, and I’m going to tell you everything.

Jay looks at Vee and suddenly, as if nothing was happening, moves his gun away, holding it in his hand, both arms up, and smiles broadly at the same time. Vee slowly puts away his dagger. Jay turns around and walks towards the Stranger unexpectedly and briskly, suddenly pointing the revolver at him. The muzzle is now directed right at his head.


152

Jay: You’re in my seat! (speaks, baring his teeth in a hideous smile) Is this still funny, you silicone doll?

Stranger: (continues fooling about) Oh… I should’ve stayed at home and watched the show about fat people! Although, you know what… To hell, to hell with all those shows!!! I’m ready to accept my death right now. Shoot, you circus clown… By the way, I like you more than your prim and proper friend!

Jay: Pray, ninja! BANG! (he pulls the trigger, but instead of a bullet, soap bubbles and a flag fly out of the muzzle)

Jay and Stranger: Ooh-ha-ha-ha-ha (laugh frantically)

Vee: (looks at them seriously)

This goes on for almost 2 minutes. When they calm down, Vee turns to the Stranger.

Vee: And now, when we’ve all had our fun, we should probably listen to what you have to say. You wanted to tell us something, didn’t you?


153

Stranger: Me? Oh yeah… I overheard your latest conversation. And I realized you won’t be able to find a compromise. This madman (nods towards Jay) simply wants to slaughter everybody. And you’ve got your head in the clouds. Your eagerness to solve the problems of all humanity is commendable, but I have to disappoint you guys a bit. You aren’t the only clever ones! There are others who’ve been trying to resolve these problems for a long time.

Vee: And you’re one of them?

Stranger: No! Not at all! I deal with more mundane things. Like getting a kitten out of the tree. Or kicking some bandits’ asses. There are other people. Have you heard anything about the world government? A secret society that decides humanity’s fate! A small bunch of wankers who think they can make decisions for all of the 7 billion people on the planet.

Jay: (shrugs perplexedly and smiles)

Vee: I’ve heard something about this. I’ve read something. But it’s all a fairytale, isn’t it?


154

Stranger: A fairytale? I even know where and when they hold their meetings! A fairytale… Pf-f-f-f! No, professor, it’s not a fairytale. This is the honest-to-God truth. They really do exist. And they really do possess great power! And they do understand and discuss all the things you’re talking about here. Moreover, they know how to solve all these problems. And they’ve got a plan!

Jay: (gets angry) Damn it, how I hate all those plans!!!!

Vee: (not paying attention to Jay’s howling looks at the Stranger) Maybe you can show us where they meet?

Stranger: Maybe...

The Stranger heads for the door. Vee and Jay follow him silently. The room grows empty.



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