It causes a jolt of terror to run through him, this absence of official time. Nobody nowhere knows what time it is.
“Leave Daddy alone,” said his mother. “Daddy is thinking. That’s what they pay him for. He doesn’t have time for you.
From nowhere, a word appears: Mesozoic. He can see the word, he can hear the word, but he can’t reach the word…this is happening too much lately, this dissolution of meaning.
Strange to think of the endless labor, the digging, the hammering, the carving, the lifting, the drilling, day by day, year by year, century by century; and now the endless crumbling that must be going on everywhere. Sandcastles in the wind.
There’d been a lot of fooling around in those days: create-an-animal was so much fun, said the guys doing it. It made you feel like God.
“We give people Hope. Hope isn’t ripping off!”
“At Nooskins’ price it is. You hype your wares and take all their money, and then it's no more treatments for them…Don’t you remember the way you used to talk?...you had ideals, then.”
[…] “There’s nothing sacred about cells and tissue.”
“Homo Sapiens Sapiens was once so ingenious with language, and not only with language. Ingenious in every direction at once.”
But love was undependable, it came and then it went, so it was good to have a money value, because then at least those who wanted to make a profit from you would make sure you were fed enough and not damaged too much.
Crake thought he’d done away with all that…God is a cluster of neurons, he’d maintained…They’re up to something though. Something Crake didn’t anticipate. They’re conversing with the invisible. They’ve developed reverence.
Sex is no longer a mysterious rite, viewed with ambivalence or downright loathing, conducted in the dark and inspiring suicides or murders. Now it’s more like an athletic demonstration, a free-spirited romp.
How could I have missed it? Snowman thinks. What he was telling me? How could I have been so stupid?...
There had been something willed about it, though, his ignorance…he’d grown up in walled spaces, and then he’d become one. He had shut things out.
So a lot of what went on at Martha Graham was like studying book binding or Latin: pleasant to contemplate in its way, but no longer central to anything, though every once in a while the college president would subject them to some yawner about the vital arts and their irresistible reserved seat in the big red-velvet amphitheater of the beating human heart.
The striped-pyjamas guy upstairs must have been a word person, then: a RejoovenEsense speechwriter, an ideological plumber, a spin doctor, a hairsplitter for hire. Poor bugger, thinks Snowman.
Maybe the guards tried to get out of RejoovenEsense just like everyone else. Maybe they, too, hoped they could outrun contagion.
“People come here from all over the world—they shop around. Gender, sexual orientation, height, colour of skin and eyes—it’s all on order, it can all be done or redone.”
“If you take ‘mortality’ as being, not death, but the foreknowledge of it and the fear of it, then ‘immortality’ is the absence of such fear. Babies are immortal. Edit out the fear and you’ll be…”
“Sounds like Applied Rhetoric 101.”
Here are Crake and Oryx, what’s left of them. They’ve been vulturized, they’re scattered here and there, small and large bones mingled into disarray…He’s grinning with all the teeth in his head. As for Oryx, she’s face down, she’s turned her head away from him as if in mourning. The ribbon in her hair is as pink as ever.
Had he been a lunatic or an intellectually honourable man who’d thought things through to their logical conclusion? And was there any difference?
Homo Sapiens Sapiens joining the polar bear, the beluga whale, the onager, the burrowing owl, the long, long list.
Our arboreal ancestors, Crake used to say. Used to shit on their enemies from above while perched in trees. All planes and rockets are simply elaborations on that primate instinct.
“We made a picture of you, to help us send out our voices to you.”
Watch out for art, Crake used to say. As soon as they start doing art, we’re in trouble.