Sunday, 25 May 2008

Entry 14: in which the boy asks a good question

I was staring into a mirror reflecting (little bit of humour there) when the boy appeared. Now I own up to having a soft spot for the boy. He may be a couple of choristers short of a choir, but he's basically a good lad.

After a little bit of this and a little bit of that he gets around to what is on his mind and it is along these lines:

"This universe business"

"Yeees" I respond cautiously

"Watching the big bang and so on ..."

"Yeees ..."

"The creation of space and time in a single tumultuous event ..."

My word, he is on a roll, "Yeees ... "

"Well, if we're watching and birth of the universe, and the creation of space and time and all that, then we can't be 'in' that universe can we? So what's the new universe 'in' that we're 'in', so we can be watching it, but not part of it, if you see what I mean ...?" His voice trails away.

Well naturally I see what he means. That's the curse of being a deity. But, bleeding heck, I wasn't expecting this.

"Well, there is an answer, and it's a jolly good one, but why don't we head for the milk and cookies right now while I think of an equally good way to divert your attention?"

Well, actually, I didn't say all of that, not the last bit anyway, but it did the trick. Now I have to find some simple way of dishing up the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Bugger.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Entry 13: in which Mrs G waxes curious

Mrs G surprised me somewhat by asking how life was going. At first I took this to be a pleasantry about my personal disposition, but no, it actually was a question about life.

Was I pleased that, on some planets, this had progressed beyond the bacterial form? Well, to be honest, the answer is mostly "no".

I never have any trouble with bacteria while complex forms almost invariably do cause me grief. Not for the obvious reasons - which is to say lending an ear to their winging and whining, saving them from this or that catastrophe or giving a toss about whether they are good or bad (I mean, try defining it). Those who have followed my journal so far will know that intervention in the affairs of entities is a Very Bad Idea. No, the grief comes from my bunch of layabout stakeholders who for some reason do seem to give a rat's arse. More on that later.

I had to tick Mrs G off for her use of "progressed". This smacks of what one can only charitably call "complexism", or an irrational admiration of complex organisms. To go from your standard molecule to self-replication molecules to a living bacterium is a hefty haul. To glue a couple of trillion of them together to make a "complex" organism is pretty simple.

To make clear what I mean, if getting to the bacterial stage is this difficult:
then getting to the gin and tonic stage only takes us to here:

Perplexed and somewhat aggrieved to find that by the time I had finished my explanation Mrs G had wandered off to dimensions unknown.

[Editor's note: it seems increasingly clear that the language of the journal is Earth-centric, suggesting that its publication here was not a spur of the moment decision. While I suppose it is possible, perhaps even likely, that rats have arses elsewhere in the universe, the reference to "gin and tonic" seems too specific to be a coincidence. On the other hand, the universe is a big place ...]

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Entry 12: in which I annoy Lucy

Lucifer collared me for what he called a “one on one”. He's a strange cove. He’s always respectful and if he had a forelock I would not be surprised if he tugged it. He seems to defer to me on everything, and while he displays an endearing humility in my presence, I have the strangest feeling that he knows more than he lets on and an even stronger feeling that he laughs at me behind my back. I can safely say that he is not on the short list of entities that I want to go on holiday with.

I have taken to calling him Lucy. Just slipped out the first time, but there was a definite twitch of the tail. Childish I know, to persist, but it does seem to be a small chink in his otherwise impenetrable urbanity.

Anyway, back to the one-on-one. He “shared” with me his firm belief that give or take a couple of hundred million years "Planet of the Reptiles" is going to turn religious and that we need some “contingency” in place. I quote. Why for goodness sake? I mean, what difference can it make? The best thing is to stay well away and let them run themselves ragged. They'll soon forget about it.

I asked Lucy if he has even visited the place, but as usual he was evasive. Well I have, and the main preoccupation of everything that walks, swims, flies, crawls or slithers is finding something to shag and something to eat (not necessarily, though often, in that order). Oh, and to do both while not being eaten. What a place! I reckon it's home to more teeth and claws than the rest of the universe put together.

Anyway, I told him that I have more chance of growing old than of that bunch finding religion and contingency was not an issue. Of course he agreed immediately while at the same time looking like he was doing his best not to smile. An absolute jackass. Thus far I see no reason to revise my already poor opinion of him.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Entry 11: in which we have a dull meeting

Had the meeting which, as usual, was as dull as ditchwater. I’m sure Mrs G is a stakeholder but she never puts in an appearance. Signs of intelligence after all.

The archangels are the vainest things in creation and spend most of the time whispering to each other behind their hands. About what? Does my bum look big in this? In my capacity as Chair I glower suitably and they look as guilty as poo, then they start at it again!

Only one item on the agenda (again) which is the interventionist vs non-interventionist one. I mean it’s a complete no-brainer. Set up your natural laws and let the universe rip is my advice to all and sundry. The moment you intervene you’re stuffed. You’ll be doing nothing else till the big collapse.

Of course you always get an archangel coming in with the “What if a wee sentient being was about to be crushed by a falling rock” argument. To which my answer is “Strawberry jam”. This has the whole bunch of them, cherubs too, looking like a wet Wednesday and more whispering behind hands ensues.

The point is I’ve been here before. The moment you intervene you set up a string of unintended consequences that require yet more intervention and before you know it you have a circle of quite untameable ferocity.

Surprised to find both Lucifer and the Ghost backing me on this one. The boy, who I can usually count on for support, was nowhere to be seen. And no apologies for absence either.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Entry 10: in which One is magnanimous

This “God God” thing has gone far enough. I’ve told Mrs G that from now on taking my name in vain is forbidden. She looked suitably contrite and said “yes dear”.

I could have sworn that she muttered “Jesus God” under her breath as she walked away, but I may have imagined it. Anyway it’s not in my nature to be vengeful so I’ll let it pass.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Entry 9: in which stakeholders are introduced

Mrs G tells me that there is to be a stakeholders meeting. Why am I always the last to find out about these things? Fortunately there are not too many stakeholders, though of course when you’re dealing with pan-dimensional entities number becomes a rather slippery concept.

I suppose I should introduce them, my cast of characters as it were. Well, there’s the boy, of course, though he shows even less interest than I do, various archangels including Kemuel, Nathanael, Gabriel, and Lucifer (more of him later), and the thing I call the Ghost because I’m absolutely buggered if I know what it is or what it does. Then you've got your minor players, cherubs and so on. And Mrs God of course, bless her.

In theory, but not, in my opinion, in practice, the stakeholders are all on the same side, which is to say the side of running the whole show smoothly, but if there aren’t factions then I’m a monkey’s uncle. Lucifer’s a complete arse – far too clever and smooth for my liking. Always showers Mrs G with complements, what a lovely blouse, that sort of thing. She simpers away, laps it all up completely uncritically.

She has no blouse, so how can it be lovely? She says that’s not the point and I could learn a thing or two about manners from him. Fat chance.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Entry 8: in which some reptiles appear

Slime popping up everywhere! Something to do with either the laws of chemistry or physics in this particular iteration. Probably both come to think of it.

You can’t say boo to a molecule before it starts self-replicating. Which is well and good. But, and here's the rub, also some complex forms bobbing up here and there. I never understand why this happens. Bacteria definitely rule the universe, at least in the domain of living things. And generally that's that.

Generally but not always. On one planet, which for the moment shall be nameless, there are some quite serious reptiles. Smart too. But not clever enough to start worshipping anything, for which I am deeply grateful.

[Editor's note: I suspect that this is a reference to prehistoric Earth, though I can't be sure. It could be that the author has in fact been selective in the episodes He has provided for publication; appropriate, perhaps, to each locale where publication is to take place.]

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Entry 7: in which Mrs God is annoying

Mrs God has developed a very annoying habit of saying “God God”. It started at some moment of exasperation on her part, caused by who knows what - probably some alleged untidiness on my part or failure to do some trivial task she set me. Anyway, I’m always prepared to put up with a bit of mild abuse. Now, however, it’s happening all the time and while it may have been amusing once, it’s really beginning to hack me off.

Needless to say, the humorous element persists for herself and she wanders off chuckling mindlessly after every repetition. I think dignified silence is my best defence.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Entry 6: in which One reflects on bacteria and intelligence

Many of the planets have cooled now. Several of them have bacteria developing nicely, and we're only, what, about 4 billion years into this cycle? Not bad.

Now I have to confess I have a weakness for bacteria. Or "slime" as Mrs God refers to them in the collective – a slime of bacteria. Does have a sort of ring to it I suppose; I think I’ll adopt it.

Slime does all sorts of interesting things to a planet - obviously lots more entertaining chemistry, atmosphere, temperature, even its colour. Trouble is, it doesn’t always stay that way. Every now and then the slime sort of gets together with itself and you get complex organisms developing. Worse, you occasionally have the evolution of what one might laughingly call intelligence.

Show me a planet with intelligence and I’ll show you a planet that’s about to disappear up its own sphincter. Oh, and they always end up inventing religion, often not long before "the end" as it were. Quelle surprise! Fortunately the universe is a big place. Seriously big. Definitely as big as - oh, I don't know - a very big thing. So you can pretty well ignore these minor anomalies and they disappear down the back of the sofa as it were.