August 21, 2023

a sketch of an idea: "The Post Plasticene"

binomial #032_

or "a girl can dream"

I find myself tring to understand something that felt like the end but kept going. Maybe there was some threshold that was passed or some new era has begun, but all of that is decided at a much further remove than is available to me, with less context and more hubris. All I know is that I am being stretched - not stuck in the past, just elongated by my uncertainty. Decay is not heroic - the creeping end has no solutions, too many villains, no climax.
"PLEASE SHARE - Fundraiser to replace my sister's leg after it melt."

"Reports coming in that factories across nine provinces are experiencing disruptions."

"Voluntary Recall: Unidentified organism parasitizes Simu-Flesh X.8.1 at alarming rate. Please contact an authorized medical installer imediately."

"Winsom Electric is currently experiencing an service disruption due to cable insulation malfunction."

"Plastics Make It Possible"

My family was not religious growing up. I first noticed it consciously in my parents' prayers when my mother's hip was eaten away and my father's stent dissolved, but faith had organically wriggled its way into them years before.

It started in a compost pile in American Maine. It was created in a lab on Argentinian Antarctica. It spread from slushy Siberian permafrost. It was seeded across the globe by a rogue comet. Nobody really knew. In two years plastic went from lasting centuries to lasting hours. Melamine dishes and contact lenses, sex toys and PVC plumbing, sterile packaging and polyester suits, it was all polyworm food.

My sister and her family had upgraded to simu-flesh five years before – her husband joked "What's a little more plastic in our blood?" Mother and father were upset by the idea of her family converting to the self-healing, self-replicating organs. It was then that I suppose they started seeing Viriditas.

Ridiculed at first as a hobby for conscience-sick tech workers, spread by recruiting white vegans and ecofascists from southern California, luring them into the fold with ecological gnosticism, a financial safety net, distorted indigenous knowledge, and astrology. It operated a group of organic farms, textile mills, and glass workshops. To put it simply, plastic was sin concreted by the demiurge. Glass, metal, wood - they were sanctioned, sacred materials. And the sin would be eaten.

Two years after my sister's family upgraded, the simu-flesh population started getting sick. It started out as mild skin infections. Then factories everywhere experiened delays in making the most basic materials of consumerism - plastic bags, polyfilm, synthetic fabric, toys. Polyworms were found in the middle of the desert and at the bottom of every ocean trench. As though checking off plastics, they started with ♳, then started nibbling on ♴, making their way through the chains. Then they really broadened their palate.

When the polyworms arrived, Viriditas didn't resist.

"O Green with whom all plants speak,
Verbs of your song are painted on the leaves.
They transpire and change, act upon the souls.
Your song decays into attributeless verdure:
Virid and lurid dying into this world,
Erasing artificialized order,
Burning off tomorrow's fires.
The souls wake in your brightness, the light made of things,
Covered in eyes, for seeing your song."


- ccsey