pk Writing / Fiction /
In 1989 having sworn I was done writing my novels unless some related income showed up, I began a fourth novel, Primitive Access.
I had it taking place in space, then on an unrelated planet. The protagonist was a life form we are unaqainted with: a sentient creature, formed something like an octopus. Our space ships must keep us in air; this guy’s ship kept him in liquid, imitating his home ocean. His civilization had given him this outpost to get rid of him. He was always agitating for wilderness preserves: that civilization’s equivalent of Yellowstone shouldn’t be one big parking lot with three huge taco stands and a hot water fountain in the middle of it, plus a first aid and rescue station more bureaucratic than Hitler’s Third Reich. No, this octopus wanted the regulations to be no regulations: or: make visitors pledge non-interference. And no rescue: you can enter on your own tentacles, you can exit on those same tentacles. If you fall off a mountain and lose an appendage or two: fine: crawl out, if you can; fertilize the park with your corpse if you can’t.
I never got far with it. Of course the sentiments are my own: I have this octopus champion my own preferences for earth.
I’ll comment in parallel:
I recall my idea at the same time as I recall an experience in an ER on Long Island in the late 1970s: some doctor had prescribed a bunch of medicines, I’d had a bad reaction, I’d hyperventilated while begging for and not getting first aid. The doctor’s office my business manager, Stephanie, had dragged me to wouldn’t touch me, they called 911. The ambulance just took me to an ER, they weren’t helping me either. As I lay bound on a gurney some peon shoved me out of the way using my head as a handle: he didn’t shove the gurney, me going along with it; he yanked me, and the gurney followed, we being tethered together, me and gurney. Somebody else said, “Watch that guy, we think his neck is broken.” It was my neck the ER moron had just yanked me by! My neck is broken? How did that happen? I broke my neck in my sleep?
Nah, it was the medicines prescribed by some ear-nose-and-throat guy with his head up his ass: they conflicted, I was the victim, of blind medical science, Nazis all.
So: I’m hyperventilating, my neck is fighting with itself, and now they’re inducing a heart attack by frightening me to death.
In maraud some junkies, demanding drugs. They yelled, they threatened: finally the ER staff gave them a basket full of drugs, and we helpless victims of medical and political and cultural fraud could go back to being terrorized just by the hospital, not by the hospital and the junkies.
The junkies raided the hospital everyday, always got their way. Why weren’t there cops there to shoot the junkies? preserve the helpless patients to have their blood sucked by the expert staff, not by rival amateurs, the junkies?
People want to fuck themselves up with this or that dangerous substance? Let them. Let them overdose, let them die on the street, in the gutter, in the crack hovel. Let the convenience store clerk shoot them, let them bleed out in the 7-11 parking lot. Don’t tempt them to raid ERs!
If the doctor worships his Hippocratic oath, interprets it to mean that he must interfere with the fate of another, fine, let the doctor operate on the dying junkie: but at his own expense! He shouldn’t expect the society to bear one penny of his costs let alone reward the berserk doctor with a fee!
1989 I somehow limped my collapsing Dodge Aries K down to Florida just as winter hit New Jersey. I had to put in a new battery in St. Augustine, the alternator bad, and pray I would arrive at Griffin Road near Fort Lauderdale before the car died. Everglades Holiday Park helped save me, trading rent for service in their 24/7 store. I relaxed a bit, recovered a bit, started to enjoy the Everglades, even made a friend or two, one of who made her husband take me out bass fishing in his air boat.
A week, a month later some clown takes his bass boat out into the Glades, didn’t take his meds, his son panics, now all of Broward County is marauding the Everhglades to find this stupid old man and give him his pills. My friend’s husband is recruited by the cops: he and his air boat join the chase.
At some point the old fart is found, he’s fine, he was fishing: and if he wasn’t, whose business is it?
My friend’s hubby comes back, fuel tank empty. Do the cops wheel up a cop gas pump, retop his empty tank, fuel courtesy of Broward cops? No: he’s back home high and dry. How dare they draft him, entice him, then leave him empty?
Jan and I just watched Good. Viggo Mortensen plays a Nazi who inherits his best friend’s furniture while his friend is stripped of everything by the Nazis, starting with his profession: another Jew doctor shrink. No, no, only Nazis may live. The Jew can’t leave, can’t work, can’t have his nice furniture either, can’t even curse his no good friend out properly.
2014 11 07 Fridays the Straight Dope emails a question and Cecil’s answer. Today’s question deals with the above themes. This post reports something I wrote on the subject decades ago: 1989ish.
Cecil is quite right: without centralized-taxation authority and centralized Let-s-go-to-the-moon authority and centralized let’s-keep-the-muggers-alive authority we wouldn’t have gotten to the moon: and we wouldn’t have made the earth uninhabitable either. The earth can become uninhabitable all by itself, it doesn’t need Nazi supervision.
2015 05 18 A known base-jumper, age 40-something, well known, donned his flight suit but never came home. Fine by me. I saw a doc on base jumping and on flight suits a few months ago that was fabulous. In all cases I’m for the daredevil’s freedom to tempt fate: so long as no Nazi bureaucrats become involved. I had a friend in high school who used to buzz parked cars with his hot rod, tried to rub paint jobs. He was unbelievably good at it, could bring his rod within a mm of the parked car! He was mistake-free the last time I saw him: but: shouldn’t he have had to carry collision insurance incase he smashed the parked car? Leave him to bleed out at the scene, but compensate the guy who’d innocently parked.
So: the daredevil can skim the rock out-corpping in his flight suit, fine by me: but, if damage to others is possible then the daredevil should prove he’s covered with wilderness liability before he goes and spoil’s the bears’ picnic.
That’s what we need: wildlife pro bono litigation lawyers.