[The Tower of Shit, 1,368 words, Genre: Experimental]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
It was on a fateful morning, brisk in weather, cold chills down your spine. A day in mid-April. I went to observe the truth of what I was living in. The grim truth, the unrelenting truth and the true horror of the world as it had been established. The true contraptions of the mechanism. The deep inner workings of the tower of terror. I only came to know it as the tower of terror as I visualized it’s working anatomy. Saw the beast in a mix of riddles and metaphors. And I was horrified at what I came to see.
I pieced it together while going to see the good man Mr. R. Mr. R was quite like myself. Living in similar circumstances except that he was of an advanced year. He belonged to that of the wounded men. These lingering ghosts of men whose souls had been ripped apart by being part of the tower. The wounded men had been torn apart by the ignorance of youth. Those individuals who had been brought up in the education system and had been hand fed a crock of shit over the years. I truly do not know if that crock of shit was for the betterment or determent of society. At parts, in my youth, that crock of shit had protected. I had felt safety and comfort with a shield of manure inhabiting my person. But over the years that field of manure was penetrated by white light. The light would cook and wash away the manure until I was blinded by a vision of the great tower. The hierarchy. The oligarchy. What academics had called a million different things, but I now call the tower. The tower of shit.
As a youth, surrounded by a shield of manure, I did not realize the part I played in the tower. But being thrown down to the confounds of the pit. For my hands reaching up and begging for me, eventually everything was revealed to me.
When I came to see the good man Mr. R. He was calling out injustice over the millions of injustices done in the world. But like all injustices, this one directly affected him, which was why he was raising complaint. “Damn it,” Mr. R called out into the sky as I took a seat in his circumference, “Damn it to hell. They are effecting the S policy on people like you and I. That god damn S policy.”
“What is the S policy, my good man Mr. R?”
“The S policy. Have you not heard of policy S? It is a restriction on people like you and I. They are saying that I cannot do what I do, unless it is in lines with corporate thought.”
“And what would corporate thought be?”
“Corporate thought seeks to ignore all of the problems of the world and so we would basically be ignoring everything that’s going on. We would have to say the world is beautiful, when truly the world is rotten.”
“Yes, I see, I see… So they wish to replace your voice with their own. Have you singing their merry tune.”
“Explain what you mean?”
“Well for people like you and I the world is rotten. But for people up above, their world must be filled with such wonders and splendours. We must be causing such a nuisance, groaning the way we do. Painting the world as we see it and not how they see it must be a terribly confusing thing.”
“Yes, yes… But they cannot control what we see. You and I, they cannot change it. They cannot contort it to their will.”
“Yes, the bastards will continue doing as they do and we will continue doing what we do. Either side calling each other bastards and liars. For the truth is so subjective that it shades what we do.”
“Hmmm…” Mr. R, through the use of the ‘t’ word, considered the possibility. “Let us see. We have statistics. What is the truth?”
“I do not know, I’ve never truly thought about the real statistics. Statistics are forever manipulated so that they win parliamentary members their seats and make the world appear bright and wonderful.”
“Yes, let’s consider this… How many people of your country are unemployed?”
“It says 5%…”
“Yes, 5%. Now how many people are underemployed?”
“Underemployed. How so?”
“Those who do not possess an income or wage. But still work and therefore cannot be considered unemployed… But still live below the poverty line?”
“20%! Be realistic, it’s more like 10%.”
“Okay, then that adds to 15% who live from hand to mouth.”
“That is not all… Think of the students. The full time students do not work full time and still collect the money they require so that they can continue living.”
“There’s about another 5% of them.”
“Yes, and then the criminals… The people that we force into labour under penitentiary. How many of them?”
“And those that actively live off the proceeds of crime, who do not collect money off the government for fear of being investigated. How many of them?”
“I do not understand Mr. R. How am I meant to calculate that?”
“Drug use statistics maybe… As an estimate.”
“There’s about one million people of the twenty-three million. That’s about another 5%, rounding up.”
“That’s about 25.5%… Incredible.”
“That’s not all. What about people like you and I?”
“People like you and I. You mean the underemployed?”
“No, as artisans, we fit into another category. We fit into the category of self-employed. Along with the tradesmen and business owners.”
“How many of them are there? Like us, who still require the assistance support?”
“Success is rare. So I would say most of the bloody country. Especially considering when work is so sparse. Let us just add another 10% of those unsuccessfully self-employed.” Mr. R smiled.
“35.5%… All existing at the bottom.”
“Yes, these are estimates, but still there is some truth in an educated guess.”
“Then the sick and disabled?”
“Add another 2%.”
“37.5%…” Mr. R smiled once again… “And these jobs, these jobs that they are always creating.”
“Yes, I’ve heard of it. Every time a job is created another job is being made redundant. And the same people stay employed, while the others remain in their state of indifference and inflexibility.”
And that was it. That was the tower. It was more of a pit than a tower. A massive construction of meglomaniac proportions. The employed existed on a board of wood that rested above a cylinder. The board of wood would constantly tip from one side to the other. And each time it did. Every time a new government got in and had to create the illusion of more jobs. Those same jobs would be made redundant somewhere else and relocated somewhere else. Then the race was on, to once again find the same job, under a different name. The confusion of the perpetual race that was involved so that they did not fall and become one of the 37.5% down below. They had the power of telling how the world really was. But the race that they were caught up in confused them so much that they did not know up from down. And every passing year, that wooden board and the space on it would become smaller and smaller. Allowing for less and less people under the guise of what was called ‘efficiency’.
Everything was chaos. A great tower or pit of absurdities, disguised to hide the truth and make us fight amongst one another in disagreement. Perpetual disagreement. Perpetual discord. The world was dependent on people doing the wrong thing and in that harmony was achieved. Harmony in discord.
And the people at a pinnacle of the tower. The teachers and politicians.Their job is to shovel bullshit and manure on the people below. The teachers for they teach the lies. The media distributes the lies. The politicians do it because they are well-liked for giving the people bullshit. The people confuse the manure for chocolate in its different flavours. It was a great big tower, and it’s purpose was to shovel shit on those below.