What you are about to read is a science fiction story in reverse order, in which you'll be introduced to the Time Artists and my contact with them, Arthur, before you know who or what they are.
"Come with me," said Arthur, and before I could give
informed consent I had already come with him to a vast hall that can best be described as "somewhere." When I say
the hall was vast I mean it was big beyond my power to measure. The
walls looked like those of a gothic cathedral, columns streaming upwards and
arching across the ceiling, but they looked miles high, the ceiling at cloud
level. The distance between where I stood and the walls was maybe ten,
twenty miles in any direction. There were crowds of people, worshippers
perhaps, moving over the ornate marble floor, miles away, looking like ants.
A circular table in the apparent center of this floor space was occupied
by fifteen Time Artists, appearing like a council of wizards. Again I
wondered, as I had with Arthur's appearance, if this was a show for me, based perhaps on
their detecting my secret wish to be a wizard rather than a superannuated nightclub performer.
One of the Time Artists had obvious authority, judging by his
bigger build, higher chair and taller pointed hat. He gestured to me to
sit in an empty chair next to him, which I did.
"Greetings, Harry the Human," said the imposing figure,
"I am Fred, Director of the Time Artists in District 32."
"Fred?" I asked stupidly; "District 32?," I
Fred cracked a brief smile. Great bunches of gray hair flowed out
below the brim of his hat. His face, seeming both old and young, looked like it was peering through several dimensions.
"Our names are for you convenience," he explained,
"and as for District 32, that encompasses your galaxy and several others
"'Fred' is an informal name form in our culture, connoting little
authority," I offered, emboldened at this point to speak to the Time
Artists as, potentially, an equal.
"Maybe we have a sense of humor, too, Harry the Human."
At this all the Time Artists at the table chuckled. I stared at
"Harry, we've had a chance to review your revelations about
major political figures of Earth, and we feel, tentatively, that if you show
some cognizance of the constraints that weigh on us, you might be able to
assist us in running the time/history continuum in your sector of District
"Gee, thanks!" I gambled and was much relieved to see
the Time Artist's guffaw and nod approvingly.
"We have decided to give you an assignment requiring your
telepathic powers, but you will need to discuss the relevant issues with us
first. Are you interested?"
"Yes, I'm very interested!" That's what you say
when expressing lack of interest might be the last thing you ever express.
"It's about the Chinese and the Russians," continued
Fred, "America's two great rivals."
"We are tracking the interplay between the three powers and
we see something distinctive arising."
Fred looked at me for a while before asking, "What comes to
mind, Harry, when you think about the most important difference between
American society versus Russia's and China's?"
"Race," I responded. The Time Artists nodded and I
realized they had already perused my head on this subject.
"Indeed," Fred resumed, "The Russians and
Chinese can roughly identify their respective nations with a relatively uniform race: Slavic
people comprise most of Russia, and people identifying as Chinese comprise most of China. Though the terms
"Slavic" and "Chinese" include a variety of sub-groups,
the unifying racial identity of each population with its country is strong, compared to the racial identity
of the United States, which is too weak to be a unifying force, as you might
expect in an empire of many races. Confusion arises here, since the
states making up America are, technically, voluntary members of a republic, not
conquered peoples. American blacks are the exception, since many of their
ancestors were captured, empire style. They do not see their race as the national
race, but in this they are like the many types of "white,"
"brown" and "yellow" people who also have no image of a
national race to identify with. America would need a few hundred years of
intermarriage to produce a national race, but don't expect that process to begin
promptly in a culture formed by the British, who were fussy about their mates.
Harry, in your view what does this portend for relations between the
three 'super-powers'? We know you've thought about this."
"I have," I responded. "The United
States' lack of a central racial identity makes it vulnerable. Humankind's races formed over thousands of years with specific purposes,
if UCLA anthropologist Jared Diamond is right. Diamond maintains that
racial awareness is essentially sexual. To contain and promote distinctive mixes of strengths, both inherited and learned, along with a culture designed to
be closely compatible and supportive of its lifestyle and dovetailing with the local environment, races developed and
promoted sexual attraction between their members, discouraging mixed-race mating
as a threat to competitive status.
"Modern nation-states were created mostly to reflect and
serve the primary races that founded them. So Sweden has racially identifiable Scandinavians.
Bulgaria has many of Bulgar descent, etc. But America was designed to contain many
races, even though most of its founders were from one race. While
America was growing and becoming dramatically more powerful, the ability to
draw on the disparate talents of many racial groups was a major advantage. But
as America approaches the depletion of its windfall, it is turning inward and questioning itself."
"We have doubts, Harry," interjected He of the High Pointed Hat, "about the ability of American culture to survive without its surplus, as that culture was fashioned with consumption in mind."
I looked at the Time Artists for a moment, then ventured,
"America's attempt to improve race-relations has serious
limitations." I paused, not wanting to end up lecturing this high council,
but Fred nodded and said, "Please continue, Harry."
"Thank you," I said, aiming to stay polite in
consideration of the vat of molten lead Arthur had, the day before, threatened
to drop me in. "Liberals can be faulted for overlooking the sexual aspects
of what we call 'integration,' the legally mandated placement of racial
groups with a tense history in close proximity to each other, often in residential, recreational, educational and work settings. Diamond's
evolutionary model is corroborated by the American experience with mandated integration, which frequently produces sexual tensions resulting in behaviors ranging from violence and alienation on one side to the dissolving of racial boundaries, both emotional and sexual, on the other. The latter leads to mixed-race children and ultimately the creation of new races, not historically a bad thing, since such integration processes have contributed to the formation of everyone. Contemporary people, however, as the outlines of past cultures are worn away by modernity, often experience intense anxieties about fundamental change, and it's not enough to throw them together and say, "Figure this out." Our government, which forms the pressure cooker of integration, is silent on its dynamics, offering only centuries old Enlightenment generalizations as guidance. Liberalism is essentially an economic theory, not a psychological one. Economics can accurately describe certain aspects of life, but its description of race relations is incomplete and has produced a liberal mindset that is almost Puritanical in its refusal to acknowledge the role of sexuality in race relations and
evolutionary history. Humans tend to have
half-theories like this, because much of the time they can’t handle talking and
thinking about the true nature of things.”
"What about the role of conservatives in America's race
relations?" Fred asked.
"Conservatives," I answered, "have avoided discussion of the same sexual dynamics that liberals have.
Basically no one anywhere is discussing race in a rational way because
sexual psychology is not considered."
"Ok," said Fred, "Let's proceed to the dramatic and
abrupt future that awaits your species and indeed all of earth's
Fred paused and looked at me, waiting for me to intuit his
"You mean the bio-engineering and artificial intelligence revolutions?"
"I do indeed," said Fred.
"Well," I began, "those revolutions, which are in
their preliminary stages, spell the end of traditional races and cultures, as
they involve re-engineering humans from the chromosomal level, and
re-engineering human cultures too. In a couple of years there won't be
much point in agitating for your own race or culture in competition with other races and cultures. More likely, traditional races will need to
band together to resist the planned obsolescence of the species as we've known
"You also have a theory," Fred interjected, "which
we've read on your blog, that the 'managers' of humanity, as you call them, are
manipulating people of all nations and races into a global war, the purpose of
which is to wreak devastation and chaos, to serve as cover for the introduction of a synthetic human
genotype as well as new software-based human cultures. Inserting a new humanity under cover of war would avoid the appearance
of a hostile purge of the old order, as the new order could be presented as the
savior of the old, offering for instance cures for diseases introduced in biowarfare, robots to work in poisoned wastelands that were cities,
"Yes," I responded, "I do have such a theory."
"Well," said Fred, "I see why Arthur finds you a
possible candidate for an adjunct position with us. You have an intuitive
streak, but, as a...(looking at Arthur) what's the term....?"
"Mortal?," Arthur suggested.
"Yes, as a mortal," Fred continued, "there is no
way you can see the big picture that we see. You would need to take
direction from us most of the time."
I felt the first stirring of resentment since overcoming my fear
of molten lead.
"Fred," I argued, "maybe I can comprehend more than you think, if you would just
There followed a silence. Fred looked at Arthur, who
returned his gaze. Then all the Time Artists looked at each other,
conducting a telepathic discussion to which I was not privy.
Finally Fred looked back and said, "You be the judge, Harry.
Open your mind now, please. I'm sending you a vision."
I relaxed my defenses and suddenly felt a draft of fear- something unknown was approaching. It entered my mind, causing
immediate disruptions at many levels. On the conscious level, I saw
humanity, indeed all of earth's "life" as a sort of burn-off of
escaped planetary gas, like those flaming exhaust pipes you see on the beach
by the offshore oil rigs around Santa Barbara. Fred's vision
was of random chemical reactions, in place of the accustomed grand pageantry of
our species. I saw that our definition of life is pinched
into a biased and fearful little space. We are just one kind of life, a very
fleeting kind, byproducts of a planet whose surface is fracturing as internal
chemical imbalances climax. All
human history and culture- from the rise of the agriculture/architecture based
death-cults to the enlightened making of money- is basically a kind of
oil spill on fire. The Time Artists were dispatched here to clean it up.
"I see what you mean," I said, "this is like
Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy when Zaphod
Beeblebrox enters the Total Perspective Vortex to see if he can handle how tiny
and peripheral humanity is, only worse."
At the name of Douglas Adams the whole table lit up in animated discussion. Fred and Arthur looked at me kindly.
"Let's give this puppy a try!," said He of the High Pointy Hat.
And in a flash I was back in my Pearblossom shack, sitting in the kitchen looking at the small TV on the linoleum table. It suddenly turned itself on and
there were President Obama and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping at the end of the G-20 Summit, live on CNN taking
turns at a mike and looking strained, as if the irrelevance of their official words
were a source of exhaustion. Making use of my techniques for telepathic
intercept via broadcast waves, as well as new directional brainware that Fred, I suspected, had downloaded into my head, I picked up the following non-verbal conversation streaming from Obama's and Xi's "subconscious" minds:
Xi: The Americans
have no central racial cohesion, no race-based culture to pull them together,
Obama: The Chinese have no national
ideology like we do, ever since their communism morphed into state-capitalism.
But with their central racial consciousness to provide cohesion, they
don't need an ideology as much as we do.
Xi: America's ideology is weakening as trust in its institutions
weakens, not good in a country that lacks racial solidarity. Americans
think they need better weapons. What they really need is an updated
ideology, one that anyone believes in, to make up for the racial solidarity they
Obama: The Chinese ideology is that the Chinese must succeed in
whatever direction they can via whatever ideology is available. How do we
compete with that?
It goes on like this. As noted, the Time Artists directed me to post my findings as an experiment, to see if the effects I have
on my readership support the Time Artists' far-reaching plans. "My
readership" means you. In other words, I have made you part of an
experiment to see if self-awareness in humans leads in a good direction
according to extra-terrestrials who secretly control our history. I hope you don't mind.