9th Post – Utopiaoid #8 – 6/11/2015
Bubble Burst: Richard Frosty
Clearly not ready to start his day—never ready to—Richard Frosty slips on his slightly-unkempt, navy blue uniform and starts his morning rounds of coffee and ritualistic consumption of greasy bacon—an egg or two for his guilt. Coffee and bacon get him up in the morning, and it is perhaps his sole reason for getting up. These brave steps mark the harrowing first events of “A Day in the Life of Richard Michael Frosty.” The television is blaring, preprogrammed to awaken alongside him at this time each morning. There are no surprises to be found this particular sunrise, as the politically slanted News show has maintained its slant, and all is yet stable in this world. He stumbles about, preparing for his morning transition from the sanctity of his house to the bee-hive world outside. “It all sounds right to me.” Frosty stares awhile, barely awake at the television screen. “Hmm…I must be a bit off this morning.” It was the political slant of opinion that Richard Frosty most preferred to be awakened by, however he had no actual stake with either side of the spectrum in his day’s political bi-partisan state of politick, when truly in his right mind. He was a self-described rhetorician, and what I mean by that is, he did not believe in truth–but rather in discussion. The ‘Question’ was his God. Pundits debate on the television and he can’t catch any mistakes in logic, no errors, no contradictions, by any of them, nor was he, at this moment, even trying to.
His bacon and coffee grew cold as he mulled about his kitchen tuning in to the streaming content of the television program. The debates have his attention, yet he feels that all his faculties are not yet awakened—the neglected bacon and coffee would have to agree. Frosty has a thought, a momentary glimpse of clarity: “I watch the T.V. every morning, before work, and every evening, after I’m done.” Letting their touted truths wash over him like fact. “Television watching is such a passive activity… I need to do less of it. I should start going to the gym in the mornings… I’ll do it tomorrow, first thing! … Tomorrow!” Richard Frosty looked at his belly as he lied to himself.
Television: The spin masters talk in pixilated floating heads. Spinning their yarns, decorating narratives in fixed patterns of bias, they do as their interests command—can you hardly blame them? He takes pride in his pursuit of a “lack of slant” position, noting, dubiously, that all men’s perspectives are flawed, and microscopic, in scope. Ulterior motives, perhaps mostly subconscious, he knew that humans perpetually seek one thing: Power—though in myriad forms. “Peacock feathers,” someone once put it. A quality or trait Freud might say would attract the best mate. All things can be reduced to this sad truth, he believed, but it was better not to think like this. In fact, he likes this fact of man, for in his line of work it makes them predictable; it makes people consistent. Mankind’s nature to desire for himself, amongst the head hunters and government profilers like Frosty, seems truth enough to bring some kind of fixed direction in which to pursue. Amongst seemingly hopeless scatterings for the truth, this pattern was enough for him to make a living. Some truth had to be expressed out here—Hell, any truth was welcome to a philosopher, but for a skeptic like Frosty it seemed that important truths about questions like “purpose” were a fool’s dream; rarer than ever before in his life did he ask them now. A wise man once said, when a pessimist accused him of holding himself to be ‘special,’ that “there is one thing that certainly is not special, and that is people who do not think that there’s room for things to be special in this world.” True, there is nothing special about something as commonly ordinary and mundane as that type of person.
He buckled his belt as the very last act of the morning ritual—seconds before any other human might have opportunity to witness him. “These people say the same things over and over. I love to listen to it, but today… My mind dips into the poetic.” He liked that thought of himself, dwelling upon it a moment. Then he went on like this: “Other people would think, if they knew my private thoughts, that I am so…interesting. If they only knew…” Dwelling upon this a moment longer, this moment of self-satisfyingly unique self-description, he continued on once again: “I have no interest in the market today, or even the wars… I need to get my thinking straight.” By remote control, the box turns off. Getting dressed Frosty accidently steps on the remote control. The T.V. turns on again. Or was it an accident? Seems the kind of accident which one secretly hopes might happen. “This is no accident–I am called into tuning!” The debate has moved on, the content and the patterns are becoming clearer to him now—logic formed by the master’s of the word; this is their sacred geometries, beautiful and enticing patterns of thought. His mind-stuff reverts back into a logical state, to critical reasoning, where his powers and long-term hold are quite strong. Nearly drawn in, he resists, though he leaves the volume high to continue preparing in the kitchen. “I need to rid myself of these morning battles with the box!” Frosty, at least, has a great sense of humor about it all.
Cold coffee, room-temperature bacon, both consumed shamelessly in the shower before a proper, secondary breakfast in the television-theatre’s attendance. Once again, Frosty takes in the suggestions of the box, after only minutes previously condemning the whole device, like a sort of propaganda brain wash. The cats he housed encircle him, upset by some vague dissatisfaction. Richard Frosty’s uniform might be a little too small for his pudgy frame. It was as if he were clinging, stubbornly, to past glory days. There’s a certain pride a man has in his uniform—and it seems it could be ANY uniform, so long as there’s a uniform! The wants and desires of the felines follow him around, encircling Frosty with verbal orders, and raised talks, of protest, and ass holes, of punishment, perhaps, for the neglect endured. The dog sits sedately in front of the warm exhaust vent at the bottom of the refrigerator, man’s best friend. A black and white kitchen-tile floor bespoke an ordinary sense of style reasonably fitting for an ordinary man. After all, Richard Frosty just wants to be normal, and to pay his rent with enough left over for his grocery bill. Frosty has a very large grocery bill.
The News reports drone on, about drone strikes and market crashes, until: “A recent breakthrough in wireless communication has lead to the first expedition team in space to land a crew of working robots onto a fast moving asteroid. This marks the first stages of a solution to the quickly depleting reserves of minerals on Earth such as: antimony, zinc, tin, silver, lead, indium, gold, copper, and even useable forms of clean oxygen and water. Other potential minerals to be gathered from these asteroids include: cobalt, manganese, iron, molybdenum, nickel, osmium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, rhodium, ruthenium, and tungsten, which are all essential to Earth’s economic and technological progress.” The news story is about the very flagship project that Frosty’s department is championing. He listens in. Due to this recent communications breakthrough, the government’s asteroid mining project had finally captured the public’s awareness. “If successful, this would mean that the people of Earth are one step closer to reaching out to the rebels in space–those brigands operating in the wild, isolated terrains of our solar system whom infamously seceded from the collective interests of the Earth—so many years ago.” The news anchor went on: “The ‘Utopiaoid’ program, as it has been called, has not once attempted to make contact with their mother planet since their departure. Our economy was crippled, but now it seems we are finally making that fateful return home, to the Golden Age, amongst the strength in unity of Earth’s government. Perhaps, one day, we will bring these colonists back to answer for their crimes.” Frosty laughs at the arrogant speculation. The Utopiaoids were long gone, and they didn’t gain anything by returning home.
The interesting topic had passed. The lobbyists perform their daily philosophies on television, and everything is exactly as it has been—for decades. Perpetually we ride the same plateaus. In each of these plateaus we remain, stubbornly, well past our allotted time, our endless insistence on community building. After the world governments had devoted fortunes to build a base upon the Moon, coming together in one, major ambition, it was famously the largest mutiny of an Empire since the Americans did it. This had earned the colonists the nick-name of ‘Utopiaoids.’ Their idealistic manifesto presented to the world before they left, to the stars, for good, was not unlike Jefferson’s. While plummeting steadily, for awhile, the Earth governments hitting rock-bottom had been an event much worse than anyone had actually anticipated. However, despite the many fears surrounding this, the concentration of power into a centralized force had created a short-term stabilizing mechanism for reasons of survival–but believe you me, readers—no pearl! It came with great loss, absolute corruption, bloated and faceless bureaucracy (to which he ironically owed his own job), BUT despite this, humanity on Earth would live on.
A few eye drops later, and Frosty inserts special contact lenses into his eyes. The talking heads float on while Frosty adds the finishing touches to his appearance. Before he goes out into the world, he provides on-lookers with his best performance, or so he likes to think…of course, within reason… As Frosty’s hair inevitable falls to the left side of his neatly-combed hair, the pudgy white flesh of his neck is thankfully pulled down, a bit, by his collar. Frosty throws over his uniform jacket, even having a confident little moment at: “Looking good.”
His vision begins to change. A thin line, red at first, which quickly cools into a light-blue, lines out his peripheral vision as a rectangular screen manifests into view. The opaque blue boarders around his vision are brought about by the technology of the contact lens in his eye. These contact lens devices are common amongst the sixteen tower’s work-force (as common as an ‘iPhone’ in the early twenty-first century). Within ‘Adobe Tower,’ Richard Frosty holds many duties and responsibilities. Chief among them, at this moment, is to arrive to work on-time.
“[Alarm expired: Feed the Animals]” A text bar appears. In Richard’s field of vision, daily duties and reminders are relayed throughout the day.
“I already fed the animals.” Frosty yells out, a small audio input device clipped to the ear recognized the command, and the reminder text fades away from view. Frosty then walks over to his refrigerator; thin-green lines trace the items. There are small texts of information:
“[Purchased Last Thursday.]” The lens sorts out pertinent information, informing him, but not overloading him, amongst a quick glance.” [est. expiration: end of the month.]” Frosty picks out his day’s lunch. Nutritious slop—a sandwich for reward. Frosty starts off his day on an optimistic diet. He drifts away from this mindset, also daily, at about noon, when he orders a cheeseburger and fries, or some such none-sense. Something to satiate his unconscious need for preservatives and genetically modified tastes. [“Daily reminder: Head to Work Soon.”], [“Daily reminder: take medication within 15 minutes.”].
“I’m taaaking ittt.”Frosty responded laboriously, like a child toward a nagging parent. The good thing about artificial intelligences is that they don’t take personal offense when you’re being short with them.
[“Inquiry: taking what?]
“My medication, I’m taking my medication!” Sometimes the simple computer needed clarification on abstract statements…and sometimes with simple ones. The message prompt floats away
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from his field of vision, as if understanding his frustration. He informs the central computer from which the lens communicates that he is currently stepping out of the door on his way to work. The device is located on a stylish ring upon his finger. “Honey, I’m leaving–walking out the door!” A cat looks over to him blankly. The message reminder about going to work fades away and his vision is now blank, except for time, a symbol representing unread messages, and the day’s date. Stiffly, he steps out of his apartment. His pudgy, cold, body is used to long spans on couches and computer chairs. Walking along a small hallway out to the platform where Adobe Tower’s transportation system will send him an automated vehicle, he exhales. “Thank God…”
Richard Frosty sits within the driverless vehicle, sorting out his calendar on the visual field manifested by his lens. Text-messages, reminders, other such basic systems to keep organized, are sorted through while Frosty patiently awaits transportation up the tower’s Helix transport system, to the higher levels of the Tower. He realizes something very important about his life, while the moment’s message-tending was disappointingly brief: that today’s to-do list is very, very, similar to yesterday’s to-do list…
Within the Towers of the “United Earth” government, family comes first, well, only once personal foundation has been established. Just read the instructions on any airline manual. Cooperation is necessarily a concern that will likely bring about great benefits to all persons, wouldn’t you agree? From there, Community is sprung, once again, out of Anarchy and Blood Red competition. Cooperation has qualities that are lacking in competition (and vice-versa). Families ally with other families, through marriages (a symbol of cooperation), and therefore create a stronger, more lasting network. This network has even more power to defend itself, and to endure the Earth’s hardships.
By the 2040’s Earth had experienced only temporary ruin. Frosty works in the Adobe Tower right after this calamitous event. Within a quick decade the UE had climbed up to the plateau that they are currently enjoying. The conditions of the divide between the people in the sixteen Towers, and the hundreds of shanty, war-torn village-towns, and hugely abandoned cities set up on the Tower’s periphery, only affects Frosty, and men like him, very little. He is one of the men who genuinely would like to see everyone in his State prosper, though, and believing that everything done within society is working toward that penultimate direction. This genuine trait is something perhaps rare among men in the world at this time.
Cities sprang up from these sixteen locations, they call the “Nation of the Sixteen Towers,” and all around citizenships exist together, surviving from the resource scraps of the monolithic towers. This pessimistic attitude is not without justification. The massive towers obscure the sky around the common people. The divide is growing more noticeably between the rich and poor each day, and keeping a lid on this perception poses a major concern for the State as well as the affluent. It has placed people like Richard Frosty into some very dangerous waters.