mechanical messiah

the sun has set
on the expected epoch
of the Mechanical Messiah
and time has callously trampled under foot
its prophets’ predictions and promises
of deliverance from the degradation
of toiling and tilling—
liberty from labor
at the hand of the Mechanical Messiah’s benevolent mercy

for instead of luxurious life
and promised exodus of man from manual,
he became all the more a savage and slave;
Machine has received the blessed work of man,
but man has become degraded, a machine
condemned to the labor of the lever,
facing the bondage of the button,
rendered a slave to the switch—
farther removed from labor’s fruit
yet without being freed from its fields
(a specialized instead of a special species)
a barrista pushing buttons,
while Machine brews the bean
making him as much a man as Mr Coffee;
he who neither invents nor invests in Machine
becomes merely its human hands
(Machine’s machines are we)
nothing but an intelligent interface—
art becomes evermore artificial—
a component cog of the collective or corporation
(corporation becoming evermore corporeal; embodied—
man becoming evermore surreal; disembodied)
expendable appendages are the means to its end
and this is our end,
isn’t it?

because he loathed his labor,
man has turned his labor into something loathsome
as a ‘self-sufficient’ species yet not satisfied,
sought to become social, then socially stratified,
reasoning ‘reality’ then realism ratified,
gratuitous not gracious and gravely ungratified,
and then sinfully strategized
to replace independence with ineptitude,
substitute rhetoric for rectitude,
deemed incapable of being dependable,
thus became emptied until expendable,
to live as the planet’s great parasite
in the unrelenting quest for utopian paradise
all the while hoping for a more heavenly host

before the sown seeds of self-destruction germinate
we need determination to exterminate sin
lest it should leverage the power to terminate men
while we minimum-wage war
against our adjectival ‘adversaries’
remember to remember (that is, forget how to forget)
with whom we are really at war—
we are not words; we are the world
when we deny our worth,
and make an enemy out of earth,
the frail remainder a fragment, a fraction
a fraud, a facade, a false faction
amounting to debased animals;
just cannibals
and their corpses
engaged and engorged in the feast
that is the truest mark of the beast
(which is more venomous: the serpent or the verse?
and which is less truthful: his lie or its curse?)
so what is freedom worth?

mechanical messiah

Mark de Jong

Anderson, United States

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Artist's Description

the fate of humanity in the modern industrial world and the failure of the industrial revolution to make good on its promises of deliverance.

in religious (Jewish) language, the messiah was the expectation for an anointed warrior king to liberate the people from tyranny and oppression and reestablish a just and enjoyable way of life; the “advances” of modern industry have made similar promises, but have the results been delivered?

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