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…
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?
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.
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?
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.
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...
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?
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?
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.
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)
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)
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