Not so fast Magnus baby, don’t measure your fellow primates with your bathroom mirror, that shows a grim-faced schizophrenic every time you happen accidentally to pass by. Also, don’t measure others with your history of disease- your traumas and allergies. Not everyone in life has squandered their brain cells by chasing shadows and catching wind. Some people, let me remind you, lead a perfectly happy life and have a relaxed existence without bothering much what future might hold for them in the cards. Not everyone you meet suffers under the same delusions and enjoys the same dreams as you do. In fact, no one carries exactly the same cocktail of vanity in their veins as you do.
About an hour ago, or to be more precise, exactly in this very moment, I developed a theory of human identity, the so-called cocktail theory of self. The funny English humorist John Locke and many others before and after him were certainly right to proclaim that humans are born as entirely blank slates without any mental content in their brains. In the beginning of our earthly existence we are nothing but a plain colorless and tasteless soup or a wiggling and quivering mass of jello. We have no flavor, that is to say, we have no experience. We haven’t done shit yet. We haven’t held the bull by the horns and we haven’t bellydanced with the snakes yet.
But very soon, our time will come and we too will have to prove ourselves – whether we are a worthy product of the natural selection or an unhappy accident of our father’s sex drive and our mother’s seductive trickery. Perhaps we are both, but in any case – here we are – what’s done is done, so what’s next?
As we grow up, our jello-like appearance becomes more fixed, more rigid and contoured. Our innocent primordial soup becomes more creamy and sticky. Slowly but surely as we further cruise through life, we assemble various ingredients – a few drops of bad education, a tablespoon of gullibility, a dash of prejudices and plenty of fantasies and dreams. And soon enough our soup has acquired a distinct flavor of its own – a specific (usually repugnant) aroma and taste. And only then after our soup has been blended and our cocktail has been shaken, the real contest begins – with our own brand of cocktail we enter the market of beverages and refreshments, where millions and billions of other cocktails are standing in line just to promote and to sell their own weird mix of juice.
Now, for the most part, most of the cocktails taste like urine – the ingredients have been collected straight from the public toilet, i.e., mass and pop culture of our times. Some cocktails are toxic and poisonous and are therefore quickly isolated from the public consumption, lest they infect and corrupt their fellow liquids. Other cocktails, alongside their salty smell of urine, have also developed peculiar psychotropic and hallucinogenic qualities. After you drink them, you become thirstier than you were before. You start believing the nonsense of your own making.
But the most agreeable cocktails are those who stand outside the market and pour their liquid on the ground for the birds and the lilies. They sell their souls to acquire something that is given for free. Their ingredients are so well known that they have become secret and entirely forgotten. They prefer to live as an empty cup and thus not as a cocktail. By denying their own true liquid nature they attempt to live without the smell of urine. But this is impossible – their cup is never empty and the urine is never dry. Their cocktail consists in their charming and appealing belief that they are not a cocktail but a cup. They preach their doctrines as poetry and as facts, and lead many into ecstasy by promising a life with the smell of lilies and the taste of milk and honey. They exclaim loudly : “What is a cocktail without a cup? Nothing. Only a cup has a lasting substance, a cocktail is nothing but air. Boil it and it will evaporate right in front of your eyes. Freeze it and your cocktail is gone.” Such is the nature of this brand of cocktail – to deny himself. He would rather crucify himself than live as a cocktail. Some cocktails find this “wisdom” attractive and thus become avid drinkers of the “cocktail who thinks he is a cup”.
We must remember, after all, that the goal of every cocktail is to acquire a pleasant and agreeable taste. And it doesn’t matter how one gets it or how one tricks other cocktails to drink, what might be, after all is said and done, one’s urine. Some cocktails use sweeteners, others might captivate you with their appearance or might spellbind you with their charm. But they all desire to be drunk by you. There are no rules, everything is permitted. What matters is to get it. It doesn’t matter how. Our purpose in life is to be delicious and tasty. We want to be consumed by others as we consume others ourselves.
And the funny thing is that my cocktail of vanity and hubris to some other types, whose inner cocktail contains different ingredients or at least different proportions of the same ingredients, might taste as a cocktail of wisdom, pure modesty and undiluted honesty. I may want to appear as an ignoramus, but hard as I may try, there will always be a person who will judge me a genius.
Truly, sometimes urine, if consumed in the right amounts at the right moment, tastes like champagne.
Oh well, but who am I kidding here? After all, I am the cocktail who thinks he is a cup. And my riddle to you is this – if the king has no clothes, then why am I naked?
Taste is subjective. For all I care, all cocktails might taste the same. But the great Megamind knew – the difference between cocktails lies in their presentation. Style provides more substance than content. And if silence speaks volumes, then one word says much more than one sentence. Like the doubting Thomas, see it, believe and be saved!