Compendium | Hank’s Giving

Human exceptionalism gone real

The door was at the end of an alley. The street lights only partially illuminated the shadows. Hank had business to attend to behind this door. Walking, shivering, he tensed his shoulders, elevating the collar of his coat to protect a couple more inches of skin. He knocked, and the door opened quickly. Hank stood in front of two tall birds, slim and storky, and draped in trench coats.

Bird 1: So you consider yourself an activist, but do you think that you are ready to get serious about human exceptionalism?

Hank: Yes.

Bird 2: So choose the red pill or the blue pill. Red we go forward, blue you go back.

Hank took the red pill. His palms were sweating. The birds had by now closed the door and hung their coats by the door. Hank found himself drawn to the table. He lay down on top of the table cloth, and his palpitating legs and torso ballooned until his limbs disappeared.

Looking up, he saw the birds, now furiously slavering and clutching utensils. They loomed monstrously. Hank had reason to believe that besides the transmutative effects of the pill, it was making him hallucinate, although it seems fairly reasonable that that significant of a “shift” could not help but affect the internal state of his brain.

Bird 1: We live in an epoch where people can enjoy their own death as an aesthetic spectacle, a decaying phantasmagoria, emphasized with gore.

Bird 2: You are being an obscurantist. What do you mean?

Bird 1: I am not being an obscurantist. I’m saying we enjoy picturing our own demise.

Bird 2: What are you basing that on? I am not sure that I agree with you.

Bird 1: There are alternative porn collectives in Barcelona that illustrate themes of the purgatory of the flesh. There is a proliferation of mystical sects based around the consumption of bodies.

Bird 2: Well, even if I did believe that to be true, this proliferation is just a manifestation of the fact that people are massively and precipitously losing faith in “traditional” value systems, so they are taking part in ritualistic cabals.

Bird 1: You would like Barcelona better if you just got over your distaste for their accents.

Bird 2: Ermmmm…

Bird 1: No, I know it sounds like they are always whining, but really you are just being kind of petty about it.

Bird 2: How do they do it.

Bird 1: Who?

Bird 2: Those people from Barcelona…

Bird 1: How do they do it? Well I think they often model their porn around 1930s slasher horror movies and corn syrup dyed red with those little bugs that are also used to dye grape fruit juice.

Hank precipitously lost consciousness as the storks ate him; his desiccated and roast body gave little delight to the birds who poured corn syrup over him to satisfy their taste for gore.

Euan Van Eyck spends his weekends painting his toenails. 


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