NOTE: This essay was originally titled "No, buddy, after you." This title was changed because it made no sense.
“The colonial world is a world divided into compartments. It is probably unnecessary to recall the existence of native quarters and European quarters, of schools for natives and schools for Europeans; in the same way we need not recall Apartheid in South Africa. Yet, if we examine closely the system of compartments, we will at least be able to reveal the lines of force it implies. This approach to the colonial world, its ordering and its geographical lay-out will allow us to mark out the lines on which a decolonized society will be reorganized.”
“The sociopolitical implications of space travel , the cultural implications, are "science fiction." They aren't worth thinking about supposedly because we have no control of the future. Because we couldn't possibly know anything about what will happen. Which is all bullshit, of course. We know pretty much exactly what it's gonna be, and the specifics are the main point of blurriness. We know we'll be canned. “
- The End of This Very Article
Canlife is the stackable, replaceable life. It is consumer culture, in the sense that it is the culture of the consumed. Living in a can: van, bus, car, trailer, prison, boat or space craft, implies some level of alienation from the environment.
To resist the environment, we hardened our shells. But the new danger is the shells themselves. A clam that gets trapped shut dies, dont it? The shells of crab and crawfish still have their openings: mouth, asshole, whatever those things fuck with. The shells we built close tight and don't always open.
We see the trouble coming, we take cover in our can, or else maybe we get snatched up and shoved into a can not of our own choosing. And then the hands of trouble begin to shift us around, categorizing and sorting according to shape and weight. trailers there, vans there, RVs there, and so on. The prison sits off to one side, and they'll stick you in it if you try to escape.
Big hands crunching the sides of the trailer and they stack you in the correct area. And then they stack someone on top of you. And on every side. And now you're stuck, alone in your little can, among many.
Somebody in here has an ax, a sawzall or something. We start tunneling. One room leads to another, and becomes an endless rat maze of personal spaces, a labyrinth of tense interactions; of bedrooms and crowded kitchens, and over heard conversations.
Rats, when forced to live in crowded conditions, fight more, and kill each other less. They also seem to invent their own language to deal with the constant harassment, different and more complex than rural rat speak.
People too. Thus the gun control debate.
The people who tunnel through cans to find each other
The people who praise the stacking hand
The people who consume the can product
the cans that roll away
THE CAN in the back of your cupboard, sits there for years. Did it come from some food pantry, possibly the same one you'll take it to when you are finally evicted? Canned green beans, sliced long ways, or tiny hot dogs in broth. The label isn't what you'd expect. There's something pasty and poisonous about the images that label these objects. 'In case of emergencies', i think to my self, in case of some extremely fucked up day.
But the day comes and goes, and there was always a better option. Hungry? Yes. Starving? Not usually.
The cans at the back of the cupboard will survive forever. Thats what they think. That's the strategy: to maintain just enough repulsiveness that you remain unused without being useless.
To be so commonplace that no one wants to eat you, but it would feel like a waste to put you in the trash can.
Have you ever wondered if aliens exist?
Have you ever wondered why, if they exist, haven't they contacted us?
Because the cans in the back of the cupboard live forever.
Where, might you ask, is the back of the cabinet? You might be tempted to pickle yourself and gaze upon an endlessly dissassociative universe as all things evict each other ever further into the nothingness. Maybe. You might want that. It's not my bag, and you're not my type, so who am I to say what you should look for in this life?
You might say, MAAAAAAN you dont know where its AT brother, whats this jive you are talking about cans and stuff MAAAN you just be stoned, where's the weed at BRO?
To which i respond: ACAB. You aint foolin shit.
And we have good reason to be paranoid. Cans dont always provide a view, and some where out there above the stack, those giants hands are still working. Sometimes they stack us higher. Sometimes they crack us open. SOMETIMES THEY EAT US!
The sociopolitical implications of space travel , the cultural implications, are "science fiction." They aren't worth thinking about supposedly because we have no control of the future. Because we couldn't possibly know anything about what will happen. WHich is all bullshit, of course. We know pretty much exactly what it's gonna be, and the specifics are the main point of blurriness.
We know we'll be canned.
We know it's gonna suck.
We know that the Bezos Musk Thiel parade is on the same team as the Kim Jong Xi Putin Party and they want to fuck the world in the ass til long after we're dead.
We know we dont want that.
See? We already know the future. The devil's in the details, but we're right on course