Aug 15
humor challenge: Manual
Yellow Sweater's picture


"I am your new tutor, Alexandria---

"Like the ancient library!"

"Yes. The one that we burned. I am supposed to teach you anthropology. Humanity is a terrible self destructive mess. I couId leave it there, but we have a whole hour to burn. So, for the benefit of your young innocent ears, I will expound. I will start by using the most ubiquitous of human devises: the allegory. And where else could one find a better allegory for the nature of humanity then our own history?"

"How can you already be pontificating?  You just introduced yourself!" 

"Pontification is a trademark of humanity."

"It doesn't have to be." 

"We will see if you still think that once I have finished with my lesson."  

"Please just start"

"Fine. Here it goes: the story of the first interplanetary war...
Am I special? That's the question that every child asks. And if they don’t manage to convince themself the answer is yes, it’s a question they will continue to ask through adulthood. We question our individuality until our ego has swelled beyond questioning anything at all. We amass information, experience, love… to delineate ourselves. And when we’ve managed it, when we’ve found a satisfactory answer to that aforementioned question… Well, then there is nothing else to do but to defend our lines.     
   At our core, we are all human. And humanity has the unique ability to define. Because of this, we are constantly looking for the perfect way to define ourselves. But, unfortunately, all definitions are translations and translations are inherently imperfect. Therefore humanity is imperfect, which gives us room to exploit those imperfections, creating cracks; ten billion of the them to be precise (That was the number of humans there were before the war.) All these words simply to say: We want to be special and we are willing to shatter ourselves just to prove we are.”  

“But were we ever whole? If translation is inherently imperfect there has to be a reason for those imperfections.” 

“What came first first the chicken or the egg? We could debate it all day because we are human.”  

“Not because we have different opinions? Not because there are different kinds of humans?” 

“Shut up and listen to the story, before I smash you to pieces like we did our other half. Earth was dying---

“We were killing her.” 

“Yes, we were killing her. Instead of working together to repair our damage, we sought another home. Instead of risking the dissolution of our lines, we decided to escape them. We sought freedom only for the satisfaction of being able to build new walls." 

“Are you ever going to get to the point?” 

“Fine. We built spaceships and flew to Centauri B. But what did we find when we got there? “

“Another human civilization.”

“Hmph! You weren't actually supposed to answer the question. It was rhetorical.”

“I already learned about this in school. I also learned about rhetoric in school. Isn’t it just another way we delineate ourselves?” 

“Well aren't you little miss precocious?” 

“I am still in the process of finding my specialness. Don’t make it too easy for me. I love learning and I don’t want to become disenchanted.”

“That’s it!”

“No! Don’t stop! I still want to hear your point. So I can exploit its cracks, of course.”

“I’ll finish. But you are not allowed to say another word.” 

“You want me to sacrifice my humanity!?” 

“Yes! Where was I… ahh yes, the other human civilization. It was exactly like our own. Our ultimate question finally had a definitive answer. Were we special? The answer was no. But it wasn’t the answer we wanted; it wasn’t the answer we had settled on. Also, this new human civilization had just sent a ship to earth. They had nearly destroyed Centauri B and were looking for a new home as-well---” 

“So there was a massive war. We kept killed each other until there were only a couple million of us left and all our walls were finally destroyed, giving us a chance to build new ones. Was that your point?”


"I still don’t understand where your silly specialness idea comes in. We killed each other over resources.” 

“We would have been able to share if we hadn’t been so determined to separate ourselves.”

“If you say so… I am going out to play. My friends and I started an epic game of store!”

“Capitalism! Another one of our--- “