prelude
  • this is the song of paddy quid

  • who made the myth of our age:

  • random fragments stitched with code
  • which we connect and make complete.
  • weaving threads of if-then-else,
  • spinning subroutines,
  • he broke it all down to binary,
  • assembled it scene to scene,
  • each knot in the fabric an icon of an instance,
  • a thousand ways in, ten thousand out,
  • you start where you are and go where you will
  • and each time the plot is new.
  • night after night till dawn after dawn
  • he entered and tried the code,
  • tested each step of the algorithmic dance
  • until in time it was perfect:
  • a seamless flow from any point to any other
  • and the player glides through
  • unencumbered, omnipotent, free.
  • artists he said are archons of ambience,
  • seducers now for the dream impaired.
  • we’re no longer needed to make the thing,
  • we shape the space around it.
  • our mind is all we pass along, intact as a head on a plate.
  • they try it on like a hat for a fit, take it out for a spin,
  • go here and there, act and respond,
  • find their own ways through the maze.
  • we set jack-in-the-box mines beneath their feet
  • to propel them from shock to surprise.
  • we make the tool, they make it work.
  • we set the stage, they improvise.
  • we are jehovah, the demiurge just as the gnostics said,
  • evicted from the sweet pleroma
  • we devise little worlds to play god in
  • and keep weak souls amused.
  • we are the fallen lights, the dangerous ones,
  • obscuring the great beyond.
  • we tempt and tease and spin such webs
  • that they sleep on and on.
  • but this is a kindness when reality is such
  • that the naked eye can’t bear it:
  • strife, fear, suffering, till fraying hearts are worn through.
  • the world has gone to hell. there’s no point in facing it
  • — the pound and grind, the smoke and smell,
  • the emptiness, the news.
  • we substitute gentler lies so they can coast along.
  • that was paddy’s vision and he made it manifest,
  • gave the dreary masses a game to play
  • and they played it for religion.
  • zipped up tight in a feely suit,
  • electrode pulses dissolving distinctions of fact and illusion,
  • they moved and touched and wondered
  • with no cause for disbelief.
  • days on end they'd drift and dance
  • time traveling in hologram worlds
  • living any deception they choose:
  • comics on lunch break, pulp fiction in bed,
  • the bible on sundays at ten.  
  • they fought laser duels and painted cave walls,
  • fell in love and serenaded,
  • climbed kilimanjaro, invented flight,
  • named the animals, swam laps in the pool
  •  — all through the looking glass of recursive loops,
  • random variables, boolean spools.
  • but paddy took the scandalous turn
  • and sided with the serpent.
  • look, he said, our endless quest is over now.
  • the forbidden tree has been forgiven.
  • mind, he said, is memory. memory is data.
  • inevitable trajectories of technologies we set in motion
  • converge at the death of death.
  • like it or not, this is the deal:
  • we will be the first immortals
  • or the last to die.
  • paddy broke the lock of death
  • and walked on through, digital and eternal.
  • his sin was unspeakable:
  • he killed our gods and gave us life instead.