LID: A DESERT SHANTY TOWN

Posted: November 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Definition of: 1lid

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hlid; akin to Old High German hlit cover, and probably to Old English hlinian to lean

  • 1: a movable cover for the opening of a hollow container (as a vessel or box)
  • 2 : something that confines, limits, or suppresses as in “keep a lid on it”
  • 3 : the operculum in mosses
  • 4 : a slang term for a hat
  • 5 : a 1970’s term for an ounce of marijuana
  • 6 : a layer of skin that protects the eye as in Eyelid
  • 7 : representing the top extent boundary of containment as in “when one reaches the lid of the container, you have reached the final point of existence of that containment”.

POINT IN TIME

Birth defines a very specific and important point in time.

At the moment of birth a larger, more encompassing time spectrum of a life is defined. Birth classifies the social context and content of a life. It characterizes a location, an era, astrological signs, nationality, birthrights, social class, an economic status between rich and poor. That moment of birth depicts the array of social tools and influences available during a lifetime.

The time span of personal duration is approximately 70 years ± 70 years. That means you can die at birth or live an exceptionally long life. Most people’s fate falls somewhere safely on the bell curve. Kids die on the streets, middle-aged men die of heart attacks, and the very old of natural causes. Still, the life span any given individual rarely exceeds 140 years. The personal time span is very flexible between points “A” and “Z”, yet very stringent on stage exits and curtain calls.

THE DESERT

The hot sun fried the tumbleweed’s pursuit over the desert sand. The lizard spiked its tongue in the air snapping the fly into its mouth. The nearby cactus stood frozen, landscaping the vicinity with serene, landlocked foliage. The desert terrain was endless. It skirted on the edge of civilization’s influence with the power of a deity.

The desert survived the wars. Stoically it stood outside the reverence of the world defiantly burning its own tattoos onto its guest’s arms. The desert was unafraid of uncertainty’s proliferation. Crispy death hung close to the hot sand. Human water-tanks empty rapidly onto the desert’s sandy brown floor. Breath is a gift striving to live in the desert.

NUCLEAR GRAMMAR

The nuclear explosion anticipated to hit America finally happened. It was a shock to everyone. Thousands died, but more importantly, the mindset of the American citizen fundamentally changed. American’s had finally become part of the destructive global terra firma occurring throughout the world.

Destruction had become a daily experience. People were numbed to the causality statistics: 300,000 dead, 5,000,000 wounded, dozens of cities burned, more reported dead, more undisclosed wounded. It never stopped. In fact, America had five nuclear explosions over a twelve-year period. All over the globe, from every faction, devastation had become a horrid fact.

LID

Lid was a shanty desert town that housed a peculiar sort of person. Most were intelligent, because in modern times most people were educated. They were from the gifted class of knowledge, secular, achievement oriented without the classic association of guilt. They abhorred mediocrity and lawlessness. They were confident of their capacities, and worked hard at their individual pursuits. Vast majorities of them were financially successful, but still feeling  a compulsion to work outside the constraints of classic society.

Middle class did not mean the center of the bell curve to the people of LID. It meant conscience, non-acquiescence to a bureaucratic life. LID had become a statement of its own. Living in LID was the living testament of detaching from an unaware and ever aging dogmatic society. It was a badge of honor to live LID, because it cared for its own sense of right and wrong.

MATEO JOVAN

The desert sun reaches its zenith as Mateo slowly lifted his canteen, filling his mouth with cold water. He scanned the desert-etched province, knowing that his humanity was in the beginning stages of redefining itself. Mateo Jovan was a sandy, weathered man. His tanned skin reflected his days in the desert, endlessly walking through the sand listening to the echoes of its surroundings. He was glad to be in LID. He could be isolated, yet still have a sense of belonging with a small but comfortable world. Mateo Jovan was an isolated man in his later years. He had come to distrust and shy away from the normal aspects of society. Parties, social gatherings and political events seemed shallow to Mateo.

His innate talents were abundant, but he pushed himself outside the envelope for his own cause. He was an autodidactic, a self-learner. He would start on a project and in a short time was able to speak about the contents like a college professor. He did not see it as strange. He just liked to learn in that way.

He understood that his irreverence to social norms kept him from becoming successful in the normal way, as a doctor, lawyer or Indian Chief. Still, what drove Mateo was not a sense of accomplishment, self-realization or even Wisdom. He was beginning to enjoy the simple sounds of a complex and chaotic world, the fact that one man can make a difference in a crowded noisy room.

BIG CITY PEACE

Midway through the wars, people cascaded to the big cities. It was safe in the big cities. The social rules re-sculpted a delicate balance among the clashing interests, finally finding peace from constant destruction.

The paradigm for calming social order came from an isolated, innovative group borrowed in LID. They started as a group of engineers working on a government subsidized nano-technology project. The initial group of people was highly successful, but culturally deprived in the desert. They convinced friends to come to LID and make it a home. In turn, the engineers promised to create technologies that optimized the Internet and communications transfer to make their inhabitance mimic life in a city.

They would be able to work, communicate with customers, buy on line and at the same time create a more intelligent, cross-ideologically based community. They would share impressions in the arts and sciences and simultaneously maintain good old fashion family values and community living. What started as a good real estate investment, a better way to live and a means of keeping each other sane became a way of life.

At first, the experiment was small but lovable. Then a friend told a friend, and that friend told a friend. As civilization began to arrive, the desert acquiesced by expanding to meet their needs as long the encroachers respected the desert’s hubris.

As time progressed, everyone at one time or another would get together at the Cactus Bristle, a small, make shift pub in the front of one of the original experiment buildings. People would bring a plant, picture or a skull they had found in the desert. They framed pictures and started decorating the walls. Soon it had the air of a true Western saloon. The Cactus Bristle never did have a bar tender, and it certainly did not make money. There was a monthly fee set up for the beer and whiskey runs, each member paid the fee and was allowed free access to the inventory. People served themselves and each other. Those who did not like to drink as much as the others could qualify as a “lightweight” and get a 10% deduction in fees. Only two people ever applied, and none took the offer.

The Cactus Bristle ended up as an excellent cultural center. It was not a rough and tumble bar. In fact, no one ever thought of fighting. They were out in the middle of nowhere. They took a lot of time and effort to get people into LID. Fighting seemed counterproductive to the effort. They were more interested in the exchange of ideas, talking, keeping their brains awake. They did not ignore the world, but they did not embrace it either. They talked of the wars in a broader sense: a study in humanity, cognition in crisis, principles of social interaction. From this group came the innovation that changed the social world.

CACTUS BRISTLE

The Cactus Bristle gang focused on the principles of conflict and combined axioms of human creativity, a dash of physics, chemistry, epistemology, some creative writing and a sense that humanity was worth saving. What they discovered is that people were not influenced by principles, such as the difference between democracy and communism, Judaism versus Islam, or even rich versus poor. They found people did not generally comprehend or like abstract principles. All people wanted was a place they called their own, a good job, and the ability to make life decisions with ample access to television.

Yes, give a person a studio apartment, a TV, allow them to work, add the freedom to pick a personal politic and you have peace at the personal level, the street level, the apartment building level. It was not the notion a democratic state democracy, or even an ideological construct that swayed their hearts. It was simply constructing a simple, safe, comforting neighborhood to live in.

The system started to work in high conflict crowed cities.

With governments all over the world running out of money, the policy stated to take affect. It worked in reality. There was no official policies enacted, people just naturally started adapting to a new lifestyle. Peace was better than war, since at a personal level, the most important level, there were more than enough problems to face and solve.

Global interests focusing on world hunger discovered means of farming the deserts of the world by applying advancements in reproductive biotechnology, robotic machinery and the innovations in civil engineering to move the fresh waters from the North and South Poles into arid agricultural regions with minimal costs. Capital investments where shared among the interests, and so were the profits.

THE CERTAINTY OF DEATH IN TIME

If you are reading this right now, you will be dead in 140 years. An old world will have given way to a new world. It has happened a billion times on earth, and a billion times a billion times a billion on the scale of the Universe. You are living in your personal life span, your sphere of influence in life. You are free to work with the world’s tools during your life span, some existent, others to be discovered in your future.

Yet, human nature is very myopic about its existence. It very much wants to think their current reality is the absolute reality. To a certain extent, they are right. The span of approximately 70 years ± 70 years, and the contextual reality of that individual is absolute. They do not conceive of anything different. They can understand the change occurring within their life span, yet fail to grasp the before and the after.

A POINT IN TIME

We have always seen birth as a moment of creation, a new beginning, something that sketches new palettes of understanding from a fresh stream of an unmarked mind. Learning knowledge from the past, innovatively applying it to a new set of circumstances is the differentiating hallmark of the human being.

At the moment of your birth, a fixed continuum of development occurs, some miraculous, revolutionary, others mundane. Yet, the aspects that influence your life unconditionally define the context and conditions in which you live.

A POINT IN TIME

A desert snake slowly chomps on its daily catch. Wind attempts its late afternoon wisp. The sun tires as it begins its descent. Mateo stands of the porch of the Cactus Bristle swirling a bottle of beer along an invisible axis.

There is a place for a good day.

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Comments
  1. Anonymous says:

    Pato says: mined your “nuclear grammar.”

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