Y2K – God is an Error Message
by Jamie Kiffel
collages by Scott Hefflon
The second great punishment has arrived. It was thrust upon us by none other than our own, punishment-fearing selves.
Like Adam and Eve, we have run amok and desperately want a global spanking. For without it, we are left with much greater pain – the knowledge that there is no God to spank us. Why enjoy deadly sins if they are no different from divinity? What could be more punishing than to know that our “sins” are only fabricated rules to mask the fact that there is no good or bad, and that we are meaningless? A massive, millennial slap for all our evil gives us hope for absolution.
Even the most stiffly dressed, overfed, money-slick of us want to repent as every form of media holds our ears open and shouts into them, “BUY! SELL!” This is the age of having it all and claiming righteousness. If we put bigger labels on things, if we advertise them farther and wider, they become friendly. Even the strictest Bible belter would say McDonald’s, Hershey’s, Disney, and Coca-Cola are perfect family names, moralities machinated.
Thank our mechanized gods that we’ve built lords on Earth – real, huggable brand names you can trust – because in a touchless world, where sex is dangerous and even a direct glance is viewed as grounds for imprisonment, we cannot count on an emotional god of faith to come through for us when we need Him or Her. We must mass produce our God so that we can be certain we’ll have worldwide ruination when we most need it.
Our Garden of Eden is the Internet, an ageless, perfect parallel Earth where we never die and can become as beautiful or smart or powerful as we please. But, as with Eden, we desecrate it. We use it to indulge every vice without getting our hands dirty. We thought we could gamble, extort, sell, and sex ourselves without stepping outside our minds. And that was our greatest error, for now we’re learning that as much as we wire our brains beyond our bodies, we can’t escape our intact selves. Our thoughts have come back to whack us, as a great force from our computers.
Thoughts are only electrical impulses. Yet great and evil leaders have radiated sympathetic vibrations in millions of followers’ heads. See the New Testament for an example. And now in The Computer Testament, the entire Earth population bows to the massive, wired head, feeding in thoughts and feeding on them. And fed so chaotically, the wired megahead is blowing circuits, overloading, destroying itself and us.
Yet there is grace here.
Y2K has come to save us! There is a God, we realize! For the computer is NOT all-knowing, seeing, and indestructible. It’s foiled by a clock! And as the electronic gods shiver down, whacked in their surprising weak spots like a digital Achilles toppled, the dams break free and waters come loose… the bugs fly out and the diseases escape… the fires explode and Flight Data Emergency 57 US Secret Rescue Force doesn’t have enough memory to run. And suddenly, we find that we ARE important, after all. We come back into ourselves, rediscover reality, and wonder why there is no cash in our pockets.
But even now, like Noahs frantically building Arks in the showers we ourselves left running, we attempt to undo our own planned punishment, our own created godliness.
Or do we? Without us, without the computers, without January 1, 00… won’t the ground keep crumbling? Won’t our thoughts keep buzzing round and round and round like a whirlwind dust storm, wired up and full of ideas that chatter whether we’re here to receive them or not? We can never really know how much we do create and how much our thoughts are re-creating us, building us, batting us down like gods out of us – or us out of gods…