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Monday, March 13, 2017

Malformation Token

 Episode Fifty-Five: Malformation Token.
In which Squidman asks not for whom.  


1 comment:

  1. Some years ago, I think, I heard a podcast discussion about the effects of long-term space travel on the development of the human species. One of the participants in the discussion made a statement that experiments on mammals in space have shown that normal Earth gravity was essential for normal embryonic development. Teeth, as an example (it was cited), do not form as expected under zero-gravity conditions. His point was that we do not know what biological growth will be like on a rotating space-ark, or under the lower-gravity conditions of Mars.

    That line about the tooth wormed its way in, and months later I had a dream that I was on Mars, and uncovered a malformed, bulbous tooth under the dirt. It was not clear if this was evidence of native species, or evidence that humans had settled here earlier, and had discarded remains under these rocks. It was evidence of a presence of some sort, however, and it indicated the need for further investigation.

    Teeth are a frontispiece: they are judged to gauge the underlying health of an organism. In a dreamworld, If I find a malformed tooth, what disfigurement does that indicate behind the scenes?

    "Malformation Token" addresses the feeling that, after ten years, I have escaped detection as a fraud in my current position, and now I move on to a new employer, and a new spotlight of scrutiny. Surely, my halcyon days (of being poorly paid to not to complain about my awful working conditions) are up. I am shortly to be found out, and the additional money I will be earning (which is not excessive), may be seen as evidence that I will be deemed undeserving of my place.

    The second panel is from National Treasure, a BBC mini series, available in the US on Hulu. It is from the closing scene of the first episode, in which Robbie Coltrane stands in the shower, lit from above, and the water slowly flows upward. It is a bold shot for such a large man in his mid sixties. The character in the scene has just returned from jail, after having been arrested for rape, and, being a celebrity, is facing a media firestorm.

    Being found out.

    So, there's a couple things happening here. The simple dread that I will be uncovered as a fraud, that I will not be able to succeed in a new position. And the (seemingly true) sentiment that pushing upward against downward pressure is healthy, necessary for normal growth. Eustress.

    And then there is the dream secret of the bulbous tooth. Is this a token of myself? Am I malformed, having developed without a healthy amount of pressure? Is that what makes me weird?

    Guy holds a malformed Martian tooth.

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