Saturday, June 24, 2017

Martian Spice

I wrote this far-out comment on Reddit on a whim and was pleased with the result. Pretty cool premise for a sci-fi book or film, I think:

I've lived abroad for most of my adult life and this is something that I often think about. Sometimes it feels like the majority of my childhood memories are riding in cars listening to classic rock. In the '90s that meant Skynyrd, Allmans, Floyd, Stones, Queen, etc... So what do you call that kind of music now? And where are the Buddy Holly, Chubby Checker, Chuck Berry oldies? Are they still played or are they slowly being forgotten? It makes me think how interesting living in the distant future will be from a digital archive perspective. So much to discover. I guess that's what people were thinking when books first came out, but dialects and languages are huge barriers of entry compared to rhythm and melody. I can imagine some future dude finding dope rhymes in the dead language called English and sharing them with his friends. Then there's this small clique of friends on Mars (so they're Martians, I guess) and they're jamming out to Run DMC and rebirthing the English language. They use late 80s urban slang as code so they can talk about Martian Spice, the rad new psychedelic drug that's flooding the Martian streets. Then they discover this song and it really blows their minds. And all the while they're about thirty years into the biggest breakthrough of the history of the solar system's civilization: the same Martian Spice that the kids dig takes people to a place that proves the existence of an afterlife, immersing them in a world full of their ancestors, although they don't know the people are their ancestors while they're there, they only realize it once they've returned from their trip. The trip itself lasts a millisecond in Martian time, but feels like anywhere from a day to 125 years of Earth time. And their parents don't want them to take it, not due to the religious implications, and definitely not because they think drugs are bad, mmkay, but rather because it hurts them tremendously to see their precious Martian children return from these trips full of guilt and shame for how they've treated their ancestors and the beautiful planet that they destroyed once upon a time. Therefore, the Martian Spice becomes addictive, not physically, but mentally, for the takers of the Spice are compelled to return to the place of their ancestors to try to live a life of compassion and generosity, but they fail nearly every time, compounding their depression and malaise.

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