Photograph by James Braund
Someone has stolen all the brains.
Or, at the very least, half of them have been scooped from the skulls of their former owners and replaced with a frightened clockwork mouse who does not squeak but merely scurries about doing exactly as he ought. Which is, of course, to dart into the darkness and remain there trembling and benighted until he is claimed by death.
This is the kind of paranoid delusion I endure when forced to visit a location full of humans. I know I am wrong and frightened in the company of people. And I also am reasonably suspicious that the medical technology to scoop out a brain and still have its zombie owner appear to function is well beyond the evil genius of our time. Also, I spend far too much time on my own. But, in this world, who wouldn’t? It’s FULL of people ruled by clockwork mice. Look at them. Look at how they run to their holes.
At another location full of human people, I had a slightly more rational although no less frightening thought than that of little tin toys supplanting the brains of the world. Ahem. At no point in history has there been such large membership in so many cults. And, no, I’m not talking about the obviously terrifying ones that prompt people to behead other people or believe in clockwork mice ruling the Earth from a distant spaceship (a spiritual trend I believe is popular with Hollywood celebrities).
Religion, or business masked as religion, has sufficient critics and I do not intend to join their number. But I am very happy to spread the bad news about all the cults to which apparently rational Australians are devoting their time, money and clockwork mice brains.
There’s the Paleo diet. There are the anti-vax mums. There are the climate-science ‘sceptics’ who are not so much sceptics as people who hold their fingers in their ears screaming “la la la la la” while evidence that the planet is doomed to a slow and ugly end mounts in the hard and tedious work of non-clockwork mice people in lab coats.
There are those who are suspicious of ‘Western’ medicine and would prefer a draught of something labelled ‘ancient wisdom’ than a prescription proven through inquiry to work with minimal side effects. There are people who think that pasteurised milk is poison. There are people who buy grains that cost more per kilo than my last pair of shoes and there are clockwork bores who won’t stop telling me how marijuana cures EVERYTHING except, demonstrably, their inability to get off the couch and clean the bong.
There are people who believe in the power of crystals yet have no interest whatsoever in the power of logic. There are people who believe they have all the qualifications needed to prescribe you a chia seed burger boiled in bone broth with a side of biodynamic pig cheek to cure your cold or your cancer or your impatience with their flagrant idiocy.
Honestly. Half of the people I meet believe in one or several of these obvious falsehoods. They believe it without wavering and when they share their ‘knowledge’, which they inevitably do in any meeting exceeding 30 seconds, they always accuse me of Being in the Pocket of Big Something, when I involuntarily screw up my nose and listen for the sound of the clockwork mouse in their head.
They will say “enjoy killing your children and poisoning yourself with wheat flour” as though I had just declared toxic war on all vegetables and suggested that everyone take compulsory intravenous antibiotic burgers from a fast-food chain that grinds marijuana smokers (and their crystals) up for meat.
In any case. I am thinking of having my brain replaced with a clockwork mouse to avoid such interactions. If you know of a good faith healer, be sure to let me know.
Helen Razer (@HelenRazer) is a writer, gardener and professional nitwit-picker. While she doesn’t suffer fools, she does suffer from them. Considerably.
This article first appeared in Ed#483.