By: Wyatt H Knott [2005-10-31]

Free my Mind

a walking flake factory

I can’t get over the fact that I have a body. It breaks, it aches, and that’s just the beginning: drips, oozes, sniffles, sneezes and of course, there’s the whole excretion thing. Why do I find the act of stepping in my own shit so disgusting? Yeah, yeah, I know, "... evolutionary adaptation as a result of waste-borne disease ..." but why so bad it makes me want to vomit until my intestines are hanging down my chest?

My body totally grosses me out. Really, my whole digestive tract is disgusting, from my bleeding gums and squirting salivary glands on through my gurgling acid bag of a stomach and my fecal coliform intestinal farm. Disgusting, my hemorrhoid-prone, impossible-to-keep-clean-longer-than-the-first-fart anal sphincter.  "Demonstrates typical revulsion at ordinary body function ... " let me tell you that doesn’t begin to cover it, I don’t care what the Psychiatry Survival Manual says. My revulsion is totally justified: among disgusting genetic disorders, I have the rash joy of psoriasis. The very code of my being has determined that I’m to spend my life as a walking flake factory.  I peel, chafe, and crack. Worse than that, I itch. I’ve spent hours in restaurant bathrooms trying to stem the bleeding from over-enthusiastic exfoliations.

There are so many things about me that make me shudder. Do you know that I’m host to a wide array of both parasites and symbiotes? I’ve been reading up: hundreds of varieties of bacteria make their writhing homes in me, crawling on and in me. They live by eating me or the things I eat. There are a few, like the lactobacilli, I wouldn’t be happy without but many more of the creatures that live in me are downright dangerous: barely contained beasts, waiting for the right stressed-out moment to begin their destructive feeding and explosive reproduction. I’ve been colonized by streptococcus for most of my life. It lives it my throat and sinuses, lurking under my tongue, engaged in a constant insurgency with my immune system, waiting for me to have a weak moment so it can reach out and blow my throat to shreds.

Don’t get me started on the diseases and infections. My hands are a little chapped but I know the water has to be hot or it won’t kill them all. I can’t get them all. I can’t stop the fungus in my scalp, no matter how hard I try. It’s really not that big a deal, I can handle it, I’ve been treating it with chlorine on the wound pad and I haven’t been picking at it, no I haven’t. You don’t have a sterile suture kit I could borrow, do you?

So that’s it, I can’t stand it, I’ve decided to give it up. My body has just got to go. I’m not going to let it sag around the house any more, too tired and afflicted to carry me off to the intellectual life I deserve to lead. I’ve had it. I’m cutting off my head and surgically attaching it to my computer. Then I’ll be free to surf away into the digital ether, true networking, alive forever without the sticky encumbrance of a corporeal form. I have the OS all set up. The key is getting  power and signal into one cable. I’m going to need a whole stack of USB connectors and some really fine wire, but I think I have it all worked out. I’ve got a new pair of needle-nosed pliers and a soldering iron for a cauterizing tool and I know I’ll need to act quick before my hand-eye coordination fails but it’s worth the risk: I’ve just got to get out of this disgusting body.

Oils [2005-10-31 14:17:53] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
I enjoy a lot of the pleasures of the flesh. I won't list them, as I have also thought that there are a lot of needless parts that are subject to malfunction. How compact could the essence be? There was some about a carbon atom shell having a memory, a quantum bounce that has a memory and could be used to store an infinitely long number string. I'd thought of being abreviated for space travel. But now I don't feel the need to go anywhere. The three stars in Orion's Belt are only 10 million years old, much younger than Earth, I'd sort of like to look around there. I think that I'd like to take along a peanut butter sandwich, although it wouldn't be necessary.
Sorry Mr. Knott... [2005-10-31 15:35:08] pithymood
but you obviously seem to have mistaken this place for an online dating establishment. Kindly place your advertising elsewhere before TIH becomes overwhelmed with marriage proposals, love letters, responses in kind...
pity [2005-10-31 18:40:46] WHK
You mean we're not going to swap spit and take long showers together? And here I was ready to let you wash my back.
Yeah, but... [2005-10-31 20:22:04] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
At least it's not another one of those, "Help! I'm a lesbian trapped inside the body of a truck-driver!"
I hear you, man. [2005-10-31 20:23:05] Hatless Jack
Awesome things are possible when you deny the existence of the soul. It's like this: You say there is no soul and that your entire being is just a network of neurons in several pounds of Jell-O-like flesh. Now you can start adding too and swapping out parts of that flesh. Hypothalamus? Replaced. Brainstem? Replaced. Cerebellum? Replaced. Corpus callosum? Replaced. Then your left with the Gray meat: information processing and memories. You could only replace this if you mapped every neuron in the network without error. Damn near impossible. But what you can do is start supplementing it with artificial parts. Your brain starts using those parts more and more for the information processing and storage. Over the years it builds in redundancy. Effectively you start to migrate from wetware to hardware. Then you just drop that crappy ass amoeba descendent in your skull completely.

You go all hardware. At that point you're immortal. You think faster because electronic circuits are exponentially faster than chemical transmitters. Direct input and output to and from the senses is possible. You get to choose your model of body from brainless clone husk to glossy durable killborg to matrix-like simulation. That's the ticket, Chief. And all of it may be possible within my lifetime. And possibly yours. Look at technological development from 1900 to 1970: Wright brothers to Men on the moon.
Seafood [2005-10-31 20:31:04] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Somehow, this is disgusting, like Sean trying to eat moules and crabs.
Zirealism [2005-10-31 20:51:40] Antwan
I ask for Lance of Longinus and I get THAT? Zirealism was so bad that I can't even enjoy this article.
Lance of Longinus [2005-10-31 21:15:49] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
I would enjoy spearing crabs with the Lance of Longinus.
halloweeny [2005-10-31 21:24:14] posthumous
this has got to be one of the scariest creepiest halloweens ever at TIH, and not just because Antwan is obsessed with Longinus' lance.
let's all listen to the Misfits on Halloween! [2005-10-31 22:10:20] Vicarious
I'm pretty scared. There's a storm and everything! No one has come to Old Man Vicarious' house for candy yet though, which is just as well, seeing as wearing nought but an extremely expensive wristwatch.
blushing vicariously [2005-11-01 03:14:09] posthumous
I hope the watch is around your strategic area. And for your sake I hope it's a leather band!
a yogi in our midst [2005-11-01 03:37:52] J.C. Martinez
Some might be horrified, but others might say that this essay is nothing short of Buddhist mysticism.

Here's an excerpt from the "Mahasatipatthana Sutta," a fundamental scriptural source of Buddhism. This happens to be one of the practices a follower should engage in:

"Furthermore...just as if a sack with openings at both ends were full of various kinds of grain -- wheat, rice, mung beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, husked rice -- and a man with good eyesight, pouring it out, were to reflect, 'This is wheat. This is rice. These are mung beans. These are kidney beans. These are sesame seeds. This is husked rice,' in the same way, monks, a monk reflects on this very body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things: 'In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or focused externally...unsustained by anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself."

Anyway, Knott's story has inspired me to use his reflections in my sitting mediation. Thanks.
Texas Zen [2005-11-01 03:49:09] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Ten pounds of shit in a five-pound bag.
Steampunk [2005-11-01 03:54:21] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
But too, reminds me of William Gibson. And the goatee reminds me of the noted Chinese sage, Twat Chin.
lance of longinus [2005-11-01 05:41:00] Antwan
The Lance of Longinus is so powerful, you could throw it at and it would wipe out Ireland.
Frogs [2005-11-01 06:11:04] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
I bet it would make a great frog-sticker!
foppp! [2005-11-01 09:35:37] Vicarious
Is the man in the drawing wearing some kind of periwig? Am I to believe he is a Person of Quality?
Codpiece [2005-11-01 10:06:54] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Hey! Check out the Sausage o' Steel codpiece down the page!
linkmaster [2005-11-01 13:47:07] posthumous
dang, only the King could find an SCA link that is actually funny (on purpose)...
Great! [2005-11-01 21:55:26] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Now all we need is those pissed-off sorority girls calling eachother "ho-bags!"
I can't believe [2005-11-01 22:32:47] WHK
no one said anything about the Mac.
Apple [2005-11-01 22:52:06] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Yeah, I noticed; but a Mac is sort of a 'given' these days. Also, it's a neat drawing. I can't remember which of Gibson's books it brings to mind, maybe Mona Lisa Overdrive, maybe not. Pay no attention to me, I'm not wired-up right, anyway.
So wait... [2005-11-01 23:20:54] Sean
The story didn't explain why you're wearing that 18th century powdered wig. Do you work in the House of Lords?
It's OK [2005-11-01 23:43:41] WHK
I like Gibson. Or rather, I liked everything but his latest, which is retread retarded crap.

Some Gibson and Bethke [2005-11-02 14:02:36] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Some Gibson and Bethke
God bless you, Konig. [2005-11-02 14:20:47] Hatless Jack
And God bless those thieving Russians, too.
Burning Chrome [2005-11-02 15:45:36] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Yeah, I remember that Burning Chrome was one of Gibson's that I liked, so I'm going to read it again. That was a long time ago!
Holy shit [2005-11-02 19:40:58] WHK
Great link! Thanks. Burning Chrome is a solid collection, Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, Count Zero, all good, the only one I didn't like was Pattern Recognition - stupid premise and ultimately it's nothing but the same idea as MLO but not done as well.

Sean, ads are bad enough, but does your side bar message have to cover up half of the Comment form window???

Ads in-a-box [2005-11-02 19:52:59] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Kisses have germs
It's been stated
So kiss me, baby!
I'm vacinated
--Burma Shave
For those with time to waste: [2005-11-02 20:05:15] WHK
Pattern Recognition

Sorry, I meant to say a retread of Count Zero vice MLO.
Cayce? [2005-11-03 01:01:22] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
The protagonist's named Cayce? Hmmm.
See!?!? [2005-11-03 01:15:45] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
When I read your piece at the top, I knew that you had read some Gibson. I just intuitively knew that!
Chez Froggie [2005-11-03 04:39:34] Knig Pre, GfbAEV
Wow, Sean! I went back to read Wimereux, and there are hotel ads! Could you get some German hotel and Gasthaus ads, and some bier ads? I got some Warsteiner kegs that say they are the König unter den bieren; what a slogan! Like unter den linden! You can't beat that with a stiick. Also, try to test drive the Veyron on the autobahn, I'd like to hear what the stereo sounds like at 300kph. Thanx in advance. Grüß
this article i guess [2005-11-03 10:29:32] If you can - do.If you can't - critique
Well, I read it and I didn't get a great feeling from it. It was well-written in its way but frankly, repetitive.
Sure we all have bodies and they are prone to failure, disease, bowel conditions and what-have-you. There's little novel in that.

It was singluar in scope and ambition, and it achieved that ambition, within 2-3 paragraphs. I want more.

I think you can write and describe well. The minute detail. There was some french bloke who did that really well too. But expand your horizons. You have quite an active imagination.

It's raining here, the wet season may have come early.
Crap [2005-11-03 10:59:08] Sean
Hadn't realized the news box (and potentially ads) were covering up the comment entry box.

Will fix that when I get home tonight.
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