You know those people?
The types of people who are always going at the same speed, charging through life at 100 mph? or other people that are constantly down in the dumps, perpetually morose, with the vitality of a wet sock? You encounter them at work, freaking out day after day about nothing. Or old friends that are constantly moaning about the same things, unable to get their emotional cart out of the wallowing mud.
Makes you wonder whether we’re actually people with free will, or something else.
Why is it that we’re seemingly programmed to behave and act the same way, day after day, like robots that don’t know anything other than their design? Like we’re machines created for specificity?
Demeanor. Energy. Attitude. Aura. Whatever. Call it what you want.
There’s a dial inside of us placed on a fixed setting. It may go up and down but it never really leaves that setting. A depressed, lethargic person may get riled up and explode, but it’s a comatose sort of explosion, an implosion. A person who is always frantically running around may lie down and rest, but their mind is still racing, they wake up at the same ferret speed.
People can change their outfits, their haircuts, even their religion, but they can’t change their battery.
You can see it in photographs. Robots always make the same face.
Question of the day: What kind of robot am I?
A dreamy, wandering bard, nonchalant and somewhat lackadaisical? A drive-by philosopher? A preserved star-gazer, staring at the celestial vastness, wondering if that’s a star or satellite in the sky? At least, that’s what’s been implanted in my hard drive.
There are no sanctioned borders between dreams and deceptions. Isn’t this the great struggle within?
I am programmed to explore life but never to engage it, to ask these simple questions, but never answer them.
Doesn’t it get redundant?
Well, why yes; but it’s the only setting I have. It’s the only programmed response my circuitry knows. It’s how I cope with the twists and turns of life. I bemusedly turn upturns and downturns into riddles — what goes up must come down — that help placate the wounded animal inside. I don’t get upset or angry easily, or sad or depressed. When someone does something that harms or hurts me, I often just repeat, there’s a wounded animal inside them too.
My spiritual animal is a raccoon. Most people choose the wolf, or mountain lion, but most people aren’t that lucky. Like the raccoon, I’m a spiritual scavenger. Most of us are scavengers. Raccoons deserve love, robots are people too. The Earth stays afloat on the buoyancy of your kindness.
That’s me and my robot.
My setting is somewhere in the middle, a flat-line. Some might say emotionless, but I say even-keeled. I scavenge what I need and move on. I don’t dwell. I don’t cry to the heavens about a stain on the carpet. I don’t burn incense smoke for no reason.
There are those with a switch permanently on fight mode. Those that throw stones at the wind, toss tree branches into the ocean; I am not one of those. Nor do I light fireworks every night or dance in the trenches.
As we witness in bi-polar patients, extreme happiness and sadness is just a question of chemicals and the direction they sway.
Emotions directed by tide.
Which brings us to Of Montreal…
What kind of robot are you? What’s your setting?
What makes your heart beep… beep?