It was shortly after those two meteor-impact
movies that came out in... 2000? Whenever, I didn't see either of them, but it must have been weighing on my mind a bit because I had this dream (included in italics
is my analysis of the sociological and psychological implications of certain aspects of the dream. I don't know why.):
A meteor was going to crash into the Earth!
That's all. Aside from the plan that your puny American Government came up with to avoid the end of humanity. They decided to build a gigantic space station, in which the majority of people then living on the face of the Earth would then emigrate to, in order to exist in a completely self-contained eco-system in which, doubtless, they would be forced to live in such harmony with their environment that they would develop all the most awesome qualities of humanity to a fine point, an exquisite experience of enlightenment an joy in which they would persist until Earth was once more habitable, all our sins wiped from its face and replaced by a new world, verdant and marvellous. Then, they would descend from the station, secure in the knowledge that now they would be able to treat any environment in which they lived with the respect necessary to ensure its continued (relative) stability. Hmmm. Now that I think about it that way, I'm not quite so happy about the way the dream turned out...
There was only enough space on the station, however, for about 4 billion people; this was the largest the station could be constructed (man, puny dream technology!). There would be about 1.5 billion people who would have to be left behind to be crushed and roasted and boiled and snapped and ground and boiled. Of course, these would be people from undeveloped countries, because of the egocentricity of western culture. Well, a couple of us felt kinda bad about that, and several millions of people from advanced nations across the globe decided to give up our space on the station so that they would be allowed to survive. What were we planning to be? The propitiatory sacrifices to all the gods we've ever invented to transgress against? When the stationers returned, it would be to a world in which we had been vaporised and blown across the history of all they saw. We would be in rock, in water and in wood. So anyway, when this society of Humanity Matured returned to the garden that spawned them, they would venerate us (in a completely secular and compassionate way) as their ancestors who had lived in the time of the world's troubles and atoned for our hand in those troubles by being annihilated in the death of the world itself. Man, they'd feel guilty as hell.
And what of the people we traded our places to? In their cultures it would be technological gods and prophets bringing word of impending destruction, of an Ark that would preserve them by taking them into the sky. Trippy stuff, that. When they got on board, of course, they'd preserve the element of primitive wonder at the things we have done in metal and wood (well, it's plastic now, but it used to be wood). Either that or die of incomprehension and shock.
So, there we are in the last week before El Rock hits. One of the most beautiful times of my life, I remember a warm autumn with a family who would all be leaving me in a few days to watch my immolation from orbit. When people think you're going to die, and die for something they can't feel as passionate about... well, maybe I'll find out what it's really like someday, but in the dream it was fantastic. Stoopid family not staying to share my death wish. Man, anyone who's not going to go to the wire with me on a million to one survival chance can forget about being my friend.
The eve of destruction. There's sufficient chardonnay socialists and white-collar hippies in my town for staying to be as much a fashion statement as anything else, so the end of our world was a dance party in the botanic gardens. No expense spared, no holds barred, no overcrowding. The most intense communion of dance, desperation, and desire I have ever experienced. Living on the edge of the future. The silver glint of the station, brighter than Venus, hangs overhead. Sometimes we look up from the wonders here below to return its cold gaze.
I have the impression the world's going to end at 2 am, but nobody seems to be sure. One guy says 1, another 3 (here's my idea of science being mispresented by the media in a nutshell. As well as my ideas of what the US government might do when presented with a catastrophe like this: not fire nukes at it (dunno why I overlooked that. Must've been asleep or something), not carefully investigate its trajectory, just reactionary into dumping all the human 'dross' and preserving the sorry white hides of their own culture. All good science fiction is about today). We go around asking everyone when the world will end but nobody can tell us (I'm not even going to begin to analyse that one). The latest time anyone gives us is 3am and suddenly I look at my watch and it's 3:30am already. Everyone seems to realise the deadline for destruction has passed simultaneously and starts to rejoice (like, more than before), (and here all I'm going to say is - 2000 has passed and I eagerly await 2012) and then, suddenly...
The sky lightens. A brief geography lesson would be in order here. I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. There are hills as the horizon immediately to the south, there are plains to the north and east, and west is where the Pacific Ocean is. West is where America is in my mind.
West is where the blood-red cloud with swallowing the rainbow appeared. This looked very cool so we all looked over there (analysis: I fucking hate what America has become, even more so now that it's uncaring and foolish approach to life has spread even to my idyllic hometown). Then, someone shouts out to look to the south. The horizon brightens, the meteor appears (A comet? I think maybe it was) and streaks across the sky. The monkey-brain of the planet braces us all for impact.
Then BAM! (well, maybe not precisely BAM! No spaceship rumbles here but the shock must have been a little more unbelievable than BAM!) it hits the space station and ricochets off to somewhere else.
After that we set up a more or less utopian anarchy, moving into houses wherever we wanted and living off the contents of derelict supermarkets. (A little about Christchurch. We're known as 'the garden city', or at least we were before advertising executives were paid to change the motto the 'the city that shines'. Personally, I prefer bough-dappled sunlight to glare.) All the houses rapidly became overgrown with vines and trees, the roads with grasses and so on, but we kept the place in the botanic gardens where we had all been dancing that night when everyone who refused to feel everything about life acutely and unselfishly (Or didn't have a fucking death-wish) died, as a meeting place where all the autonomous groups that were springing up oculd meet to share their plans for the future of our stewardship of the planet. Need I analyse for you? Welcome to my dreams.
One of the greatest dreams I've ever had. It was months ago but today I found myself walking through the Christmas shopping swarms, imagining uses for the presents I was considering buying for my New Year's celebration with my friends (see Christmas shopping (after New Year's; there's people who'll be reading this who are getting gifts from me) for details on why this is so). The stickers, saying "Imagine it covered in vines" . Everywhere.
This doesn't work anymore. Let's make something else work instead.