Monday, January 18, 2010

Tetsuo's Speech

"Woah, woah, woah!" I cut in. "What's all this 'good news of your impending death' stuff?"

The ghost army responded, "You've never heard the 'Impending Death' speech?"

"No," I replied, "no I have not."

Alistair scoffed. "Seriously? You've never heard the "Impending Death' speech? One of the three most famous speeches in the history of the universe?"

"No," I repeated, "I certainly have not."

"Jeez, man," said the ghost army, "do you live in a cave or something? They play that speech on tv and the radio all the time. You'd have to live in some god-forsaken backwater in order not to have heard that. Where you from again?"


"Which one?"

Alistair cut in before I could question this. "Iowa 4871-j3."

The eyes of the ghost army widened. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhh," they said in that way that says 'I just found out something embarrassing about you but I don't want to make a big deal out of it' way. "So, then...yeah...You really haven't heard it. That's, um, that's too bad. It's quite interesting."

"Would you like to hear it?" Alistair asked me.

"I dunno," I responded, "you think I should?"

"Sounds to me like maybe you should," he said. "And we've got a copy of it on the ship. We could probably broadcast it easily."

And with that, he scampered into the ship, made some things click and pop and I heard the whole speech. Here's how it goes:

I am Tetsuo Hatayama, destroyer of the Planet Eaters, and I bring you the good news of your impending death.

For many years, I have investigated this universe, and all I see is weakness and failure. You, the living beings of this universe, are unable to see past your own small concerns. You are too weak or too lazy to think past your own lifetime. Even more, most of you can barely see beyond your own family groups or tribes. Thus you take from others, murder them, destroy their happiness and that of their descendants.

I, myself, have been guilty of this. When I was young, I erased an entire species from the universe. The planet eaters were slow, dumb creatures, who knew not what havoc they wrought on lives and families. They devoured my own family, and I revenged myself on them. It took me many years, but I hunted each and every one down and killed them. But in their deaths, I found no peace.

Perhaps I expected the family shaped hole in my heart would be filled by the death of a species, but it wasn't. The only thing I gained for my revenge was guilt. I could not understand why I had to have so much pain and suffering. So I went into seclusion and meditated. I learned to stretch my mind and consciousness throughout the universe. I learned to inhabit other minds. I sat in the minds of millions of creatures, watching them live their lives from birth to procreation to death. And I saw the same things over and over again. Now, I am ready to share the truth with you.

Each and every one of you thinks you are special. More than likely, you have elevated your feelings that you are privileged into a religion that tells you that you or your tribe or your species was created by some super being in order to live out his, her or their will. But you are not special. You are just another in a line of beings that stretches back to the beginning of the universe. There were millions of lives before you and there will be millions of lives after you. You, personally, are meaningless.

I can feel the reaction beginning already. You are shouting "That's not true!" You are becoming angry, or sad and that is inevitable. That is the fundamental nature of live in this universe. You believe that you are special, but the universe disagrees, and this causes conflict. You constantly think of the world as you would like to be, as it should be, as you were told it would be. But still, you live in the world as it is. And this gap, the deadly space between ought and is, is where you suffer.

You do not get the things you want. You get the things you don't want. Those you love die. Those you hate prosper. Your whole family is devoured by a giant fish, or disease or war. You are subject to conflicts you didn't start. You are forced into modes of life you hate by people you will never meet and have no power over. And this, all of this, just isn't fair.

And you are right. It is not fair. But it is true. All of this causes pain in each life. It causes us sleepless nights of anguish. This situation allows us to build dreams of what things will be like if we can just get this or that. But then the universe crushes us by not allowing to have this or that which we desire. All of this points to one, inescapable fact: the universe doesn't care about you.

In the cosmic perspective, you do not matter. You have no importance. You are a mote of dust that survives for an eye blink on a summer afternoon. You are nothing more than a drop of dew that will evaporate in the morning sun, unloved, unknown, unheralded. If you do something amazing, maybe your name will last a thousand years or so. But, in the end, it all disappears and the universe keeps going.

This is how we suffer.

There is only one remedy to this situation, and I am he. The universe will never be anything other than what it is. It will never become what it ought to be. The only way to eliminate the gap between is and ought is to eliminate all those who wish for ought. Sadly, every sentient being does this. Therefore, I, Tetsuo Hatayama, have made it my goal, my mission and my vow, to kill every sentient being in this universe.

Only then will there be no more suffering. Only then will the gap between is and ought be eliminated. Only then can the universe rest, at peace with itself.

I am coming."

When the speech finished playing, I couldn't say anything for a bit. I think I peed myself a little, but I wasn't totally sure.

"," I stammered, "is he coming to kill me?"

"No," the ghost army replied. "His plan didn't work out quite as well as he'd hoped. It's theorized that the turning point is when he hooked up with Clan Platypus."

No comments: