If you’re anything like me, you despair at the current state of our so-called “discourse.” You’ve become a bit jaded and exhausted by the projectile flow of content, the anemic repetition of opinions, and the barking ferocity of polemics. You’ve become still wearier over where it all leads. Not to a better-informed public, alas, nor to a rejuvenation of civility, collegiality, or simple virtue. It seems that all anyone ever cares about these days is being shook, or shaking others. The prime objective of commentary is not to open the mind, but to jolt it, to own it, or to trigger it.
Maybe owning and exposing oneself to the risk of getting owned is someone’s idea of fun. I can’t say that it doesn’t sound in some way exhilarating. But just because base-jumping is, in the strictest sense, fun doesn’t mean it’s worth constant dedication. This is serious business, my friends, with immense stakes hanging in the balance.
The people to whom I write are not slow-moving whack-a-moles. They are as human as anyone, with hopes and fears and consciences all their own. They come to me out of need, I’m sure, as a refuge from the harsh hinterland of conventional “wisdom.” Here there are no tricks, there are no stunts, no affectations or posturing—only truth and clarity.
Some may say that I am ostracized for my commitment against sophistry. To this I cannot say, and will not say. For even if exile hadn’t been my fate by compulsion it would still be my fate by choice. For what I lose in partisan allegiance or back-patting clubbiness, I gain in mutual trust, honor, and integrity with you, dear readers.
As such, all opinions given here are not simply from the hip. They are not wild rootin’-tootin’ cracker barrel improvisations on what I prefer the world to be and its people to think. These are considered meditations, sculpted from the most cogent concrete rationales and polished by the most refined argumentative rigor. This is what every writer owes but few actually pay their readers. It is against this malaise—nay, this hostility—that I take my stand.
And so it is under these auspices that I inform you that you don’t actually need blood to live.
It seems that from time immemorial humanity has been taught of the central role blood plays in our biological maintenance. Whole industries, in fact, are fortified on this notion. They profit by our seeming need to have blood in our bodies, coursing through us, keeping our natural equilibrium in balance. But, friends, I’ve recently come to the opposite conclusion, and I’m here to awaken you from your Big Blood-induced slumber.
Naturally this conclusion was arrived at by the same painstaking analysis and examination I give to all of my professed views, but your time is precious, no doubt, and surely you want me to summarize my research to the best of my ability, and so I shall.
Like, come on, guys. Think about it. Really, go ahead. Only the most ingenious dystopian fantasist could dream up a story of people kept under control by a gooey liquid flowing inside of them. Nothing seems so opposed to the wonderful miracle of human greatness than being in the thrall of an unseen red terror. It almost makes me kick myself for not thinking of it first! Imagine the money I’d be making with my book, King Crimson. Readers young and old would be delighted by its imaginative faculty and by the willfully perverse logic of this topsy-turvy existence. They would no doubt sight it as prescient when similar bio-authoritarian trends start to encroach on the scene. But alas, it was not to be! The fantasy is but the reality.
I will not kowtow in the court of the Crimson King anymore. I implore you to join me.
Of course rejecting a truism you’ve known all your life is no easy task. But by looking into yourselves you’ll find that it is not impossible. Indeed, once you’ve accepted the absurdity of the circulatory system, there will be nothing but possibilities set before you. You will discover that your life’s force is driven by sources you never before considered. No one life force is the same for everyone, but that is the enduring blessing of being human. One person’s life force might be found in curiosity, while another might be found in anxiety. Still another could fuel him or herself through sadness, eating fried carbohydrates, or only buying products made by Louis Vuitton. But discovering your own life force is your adventure alone. I’m merely here to tell you that it can be done.
But you might ask: Why do we have blood at all? Fair. God’s design is mysterious indeed, but if I had to hazard a guess I’d say it’s there for aesthetic effect. Blood looks very cool. Its hue is the most intense on earth outside of vantablack. Even a slight nick from shaving startles us into a reverie of red. But this is all according plan. Scrutinize the data enough and you’ll find that there is no conclusive proof of anyone dying from blood loss. This is yet another conspiracy orchestrated by blood enthusiasts and profiteers to keep us complacent. But the wheel of progress if ever turning, and soon we shall see this faulty diagnosis replaced by the more accurate “lack of hustle.”
What remains then is what to do with all that frivolous fluid swirling about inside of us. To that I say again: whatever you wish! The world is your oyster. Don’t want it anymore? Give it away! Give it as a gift to your loved one. Put it in a fancy vase or a mason jar. Put it in a lava lamp—those are in need of a comeback. Paint your walls with it. Trade it on the market as a commodity. Use it for cooking: mix it into risotto, marinate your steak with it, glaze it onto a cake or a doughnut, or ferment it. Soon there will be a whole new branch of sommeliers trained in judging a blood’s singular vintage.
But the fun is only just beginning. Once you’ve drained yourself of your blood, you are free to refill your veins with the fluid of your choice. Honey, rosé, shamrock shake, Tang, gasoline, actual piss and vinegar, embalming fluid, whatever!
Once we’ve usurped King Crimson, we will be free from an immense and lifelong burden. And from there we may bravely march onto the next frontier. May we all have the hustle to see our grandchildren fill their swimming pools and reservoirs with the blood of their forebears.