"No man or woman can be too powerful or too beautiful without disaster befalling. They (the gods) laugh when you rise too high. And they crush everything you've built with a whim."- King Philip, Alexander the Great (2004)
"My bird friend flew long before your airplane did, Bert"- Ernie, Bert's Hall of Great Inventions
Both of these quotes illustrate the futility of human pride and innovation. Everything we accomplish is already eclipsed by some other innovation, or a simple byproduct of evolution in the animal kingdom. You built a plane? Birds have had that shit nailed down for millions of years. You designed a hose? Elephants have one attached to their head. Cows have a built in fly swatter, and goats, apparently, can bulldoze. This is the world according to Ernie, who veils his cynicism by guising himself as an optimistic ignoramus. But make no mistake, Ernie is a sadistic genius bent on destroying his friend Bert. Luckily, in watching Ernie’s quest, the audience gets to learn about the illusory nature of originality, reminding us that everything has already been done. Everything we could ever hope to accomplish is paltry in comparison to the natural world. We are a waste of space. As Wordsworth once observed, "The world is too much with us."
As this book illustrates, man's response to this harsh reality is to destroy everything that naturally exhibits power, and replace it with synthetic creations that do the same damned thing. Fill the waters with BP oil, kill all the lobsters, and then rely on steel pincers while patting ourselves on the back.
Invention, coupled with the destruction of our environment, is one of the harshest and most criminal acts of plagiarism ever known. As Bert points out, our creations are never as valuable as those in the natural world.
You know who had the right idea? The fucking Flintstones. They just swallowed their pride and used animals. Need a pair of pincers? Use a fucking lobster, Bert. Want a hose? Slap an elephant on the ass and make him do the work for you.See that! That's how it should be done!
This book never offers the reader any redemption. That’s why I love it. It is just one slap in the face after another. You suck. Your inventions suck. Mankind sucks . . . and the only person who can see it is either an idiot savant or a puppet so smart he hides his intelligence, knowing that man would try to replicate that intelligence and kill him if he exposed it.
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