Monday, July 30, 2007

The Puppeteer

Let's say you are a Puppeteer.

And you work with those marionettes, y'know, the puppets with the strings and the little wooden paddle thing you hold and wiggle around to make 'em do stuff on the Stage?

When you first got into the Puppeteer Business, you weren't any good at being a Puppeteer, compared to the Master Puppeteers.

Everything you did was clumsy and awkward and frustrating for you.

And it took you a while to get the hang of it, it took you a while to figure out all the stuff you had to do to make the puppet walk around and wiggle its arms and do stuff.

But as time went on, bit by bit, the control system for the puppet and the way you had to move your hand around to make the puppet move around and do stuff became completely transparent to you.

It began to seem like the puppet just did whatever you willed the puppet to do, when you really got good at it.

And at some point, you got so good at it that you didn't even have to think about all the individual movements of the puppet, you didn't have to think about moving each of its legs when you wanted to make it run around and laugh and slap its buddies down there on the back.

And you weren't the only puppeteer, there were many other puppeteers all around you, each of them with their own puppet.

And when you got in the groove of putting on the Show, you'd completely forget about everybody around you, and you'd focus and concentrate your attention down on to the Stage, and it'd be very hard to distract you.

And your puppet would be interacting with the other puppets on the Stage, and there would be nothing else going on in your brain except for that Puppet Show in the Spotlight, you'd completely forget all about yourself and the other puppeteers and the audience, because none of that stuff mattered to the Reality of the Show, everything else was a Distraction to the Show, paying any attention to it would be Detrimental to the Show.

At least until the Show was over and the Stage went dark and the lights came on in the Theatre and it was time to go home.

And suddenly you'd reel your concentration and attention back from Puppet World to the Real World, and you'd return to your own body, and you'd think about how funny it was, that you had to consciously steer your body around and make it do stuff and act a certain way, just like you do with the puppets, except your control over your own body wasn't anything like the smooth and effortless way you could make a puppet move on the Stage, the control system for your own body wasn't completely transparent to you at all.

And you'd pat your fellow Puppeteers on the Back, and congratulate each other on a Good Show, and it'd be a little clumsy and awkward and uncomfortable, but that was okay, 'cause that's how the Real World is, imperfect, things never happen exactly the way you want them to in the Real World, life isn't a Puppet Show.

And you'd go home from the Puppet Theatre, and you'd kick back on the couch and turn on your TV on Science Night, and you'd watch Carl Sagan talk about Cosmic Rays.

And you'd think, "what if Cosmic Rays were sorta like the puppet strings that a bunch of puppeteers were using to control a bunch of puppets here on the Stage of Planet Earth?"

Like some kinda projection system that made all the stuff in our minds dance around to the will of a bunch of puppeteer guys behind Cosmic Ray Projectors somewhere out there beyond time and space.

And what if they were so into it, what if they were focusing their attention and concentrating so hard on the Show, that they had forgotten all about themselves, and that they wouldn't snap out of it until the Stage went dark and the lights in the Theatre came back on, and it was time for them to go home.

What if that's really what we were?

And you'd wonder what those guys behind the Cosmic Ray Projectors would go home and watch on their TVs on Science Night.

Probably something better than this Carl Sagan Puppetshow shit.

But then again, it'd probably be a little more clumsy and awkward and uncomfortable and hardly as perfect and simple and colorful as everything that happens here in this Puppetshow.

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