|Back From The Hospital
||[Aug. 4th, 2012|03:09 pm]
It seems like every time I go back to visit Second Life, something bad happens. Last time I went back, the power went out for a week. This time, I ended up in the hospital for 8 days.
Apparently I had an infection in the leg that got broken and twisted in the car crash 15 years ago. I was not aware of this infection. The leg is always discolored. And with my gout troubles and such it would be difficult to notice an infection.
Anyway, I wanted to go back on SL that night because RECoyote was having an especially bad day. But I'd hardly gotten logged on and settled before I noticed I was shivering, which is weird by itself in the summertime.
By the time I'd been on an hour and a half my teeth were chattering compulsively, and I was running a high fever. Doctor said to go to the hospital to make sure it was not another stroke coming on. Didn't take the doctors long to spot the infection in the leg, and they seemed to think it was quite serious.
8 days of intravenous antibiotics later, I'm back home. Though the leg still looks quite burned up, and I've still another week of antibiotics to take.
What's even more odd is that the father got sick with a leg problem the very same day, and he was in the hospital about the same amount of time for treatment of blood clots in his leg. And though all the professional people dismiss it, the fact that we both landed in the hospital with leg problems on the same day after sitting in the same ancient wheelchair (previously owned by an uncle who had both of his legs cut off) is a bit too much for me to pass off. So the first thing I did when I got back was retire that chair.
It's also a bit too much of a coincidence that something bad seems to happen every time I go on Second Life. Would avoiding SL have prevented the blackout or the infection? No. But did cosmic forces conspire to arrange these incidents on days when I'd be on SL to send me a message?
The message, of course, is nothing I don't already know. I'm not supposed to be on SL until I at least finish my mapping out of the rest of "The Planet Of Genetic Misadventure," which I've done quite well with since I've only been going on SL once in a blue moon.
I think it's reasonable to assume the cosmic forces which gave me this story to write in the first place don't want me falling back into my bad habits. And since I'm feeling really pumped up about the progress I'm making, I see no benefit to myself in fighting the cosmic forces, whatever they may be. So I'm probably going to stay off SL until the day I'm finally ready to deliver the outline to my artist and start publishing episodes again.
The outline is currently over 320 pages. That should give you an idea of how much more there is to the story.
I didn't try to do any writing in the hospital, though. Rather, I read a whole book, which is something I haven't done for decades. And I watched a lot of TV.
The book was Felix Salten's "Perri," which I took my pen name from, though I had never had access to a copy before and had thus never known anything about the character I named myself after.
It's a story that takes place in what I suppose could be called "The Bambiverse." Bambi has one walk on scene and is mentioned at least 3 times by other characters. And, though this story is about a squirrel, the forest is still the forest, and the things that go on there don't change much from animal type to animal type.
The biggest difference here is that there is a human child that can talk to animals, at least up to the point where she passes a certain age - at which point the author explains that she has learned reason, and reason is what exiles humans from communication with animals.
The person who did the forward seemed to be confused by the book. Surely it was written for children, he speculated, yet the material had obvious appeal for adults, who would surely read it in a different context.
He also speculated about whether the book was meant as allegory or not, suggesting that only adult readers would take it that way. And, indeed, I can never read Salten's descriptions of a certain animal's behavior without asking myself, "Who does that remind me of?"
Particularly here where Salten is getting a little up close and personal with the human characters, he is trying to show how they don't see themselves as villains. He shows them as trying to accomplish something good, by doing something bad, and trying to cleanse their souls by being as merciful as possible as they go about their horrific destruction of life.
For an interesting comparison, I had just seen a story on TV about how Charles Lindbergh had been sold on the idea of eugenics, and had vigorously promoted the idea, up until the end of WW2 when he saw what the Nazis had done with it. Being as Salten wrote this book in 1938, it becomes pretty obvious what he was getting at with these human characters.
I find it fascinating that Salten manages to portray talking animals without reason. It is known that animal brains are capable of strong emotion, but lack the logic network that human brains have. Thus this book dwells on the emotional, the spontaneous. To the animals, what is just is. They do not say it should be any other way, even if they don't like the way it is. They do not organize revolts, nor do they beg their enemies for their lives.
This was Salten's strength as a Furry writer. His talking animals were based on his own ideas of what went on in the heads of animals. And he stuck to that concept uncompromisingly.
But, while I've always admired this about the author, it was something I quickly learned I didn't want to imitate. Salten was close to real animals. I've always been closer to humans and the study of their condition, though I prefer the company of cartoon humans, whose condition may be a more pleasant experience to share. Hence I write cartoon soap operas. And I wouldn't be able to write a Salten type story if I tried.
But I'm still glad that he left so many stories in his style, enabling us to enjoy the perennial Furry writer as he was. And who knows, maybe someday somebody will say something similar about me.
TV watching in the hospital was rather sparse. I found myself bouncing back and forth between The History Channel, The Science Network and Cartoon Network.
Of the 3 I watched Cartoon Network the least. It has kind of gotten to be the Scooby-Doo channel for me – the only thing they show in a style that still pushes my buttons. It’s also interesting to see how they’ve made the characters grow up without physically aging them.
The History Channel I watch mainly for what I call “Stuff Shows,” like Pawn Stars and American Pickers. Having once been in the stuff business, these are quite the most entertaining shows TV has thrown at me for a long time.
The Science Channel has a show called “Dark Matters” about real mad scientists, which I’m using as research for the mad scientists in my story. But mainly I’ve been observing the “End Times” mentality that pervades science TV programming. They seem intent on seeing that we are all too aware of the 80 gabillion ways the world could end.
This, of course, is exactly the same thing that drives me away from religion – this obsession that things could end, and therefore all effort to accomplish anything is beyond the bounds of reason, because everything you make is just going to disappear down the black hole in the center of the galaxy.
Well, actually, I’ve formed my own theory about that. Since all galaxies seem to be formed around the gravitational pull of black holes, a black hole must be part of the digestive system of a larger being, in which our universe is but a single cell. Therefore, the good stuff you work to create improves what the larger creature has to digest. And since digest can also mean to read or study, it doesn’t necessarily follow that what disappears down a black hole is lost.
The fact is, science is just like religion. They’d like you to believe they’ve got a handle on how the universe works, but in the end they’re just as clueless as anybody else. They just guess and sensationalize. They can not tell with any certainty if there is a reason to get all depressed and give up on your creativity, but they would sure like to encourage you to believe there is a reason to do so.
Then you could join the ranks of the so called enlightened, who use their extreme power of reason to write themselves out of existence.
I was particularly fascinated by the “Dark Matters” story about a mathematician who created an equation that definitively proved that all altruism was a product of selfish genetics. He then destroyed himself in his attempts to prove that unselfish altruism could exist.
First of all, you just gotta love how scientists slingshot to religion. It’s like they must belong to one extreme or the other. So the mathematician who didn’t like his own findings automatically had to sell his good sense to Jesus. Which, in turn, insured that he would never figure out that altruism comes neither from genetics nor God.
If altruism came from either, people would be born with it. They’re not. I certainly wasn’t. Altruism is a concept that I learned and adopted. It comes from environment, and it can’t be passed on genetically.
Yet, here was a supposedly very intelligent person who destroyed himself because he was so obsessed with the extremes of some tug of war between science and religion that he couldn’t see the obvious middle ground.
Thus I conclude that both science and religion distort reason and promote madness. They are simultaneously the two scariest things in human conception – and we’d have no horror movies without them.