Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Machine

So this is my machine. As you can see. It produces chocolate - at its peak, it produces the best chocolate you have ever tasted. Wonderful, rich, sweet chocolate - the best.

Of course, other machines do other things. Some of them produce cups of tea. Others flowers, grass, all sorts of stuff. They are great machines, which do wonderful jobs.

But they are broken. All of them.

I mean, not totally. The chocolate mine produces is still superb, but not quite as good as it should be. The tea should be always that hot cup of tea when you are dehydrated, that you down in one go. Occasionally, it produces that perfect cup of tea. Most of the time, the tea is not quite that good. Just occasionally, it is horrible.

We all know that the machines are broken. That is the way things are, but there are different ways of dealing with this.

Why don't we buy new machines? Well, that is the plan. We have asked for new machines, and there are plans for new ones to come at some point. The problem is, they take a long time, or something. We will have new machines, one day. But not now.

There are those who react to this by ignoring their existing machines. They stop producing, sit by their machines, and tell everyone that the new machines will be wonderful. Actually, they would be better if they did just that, but some of them do like to tell other people that they are wasting their time. One of them was even shouting at a chap that he would never get a new machine, because he had painted his old one in rainbow colours.

I thought it looked fabulous.

There are some who do seem to argue that the machines have had it, and there are probably no new ones coming, so we should just get everything we can out of them. They don't mend them, just work them until they finish. Their products are not that good, but they don't seem to care. Oddly, these two groups share a disregard for the current machines, and just differ on the possibility of new machines. And yet they seem to be completely at loggerheads with each other permanently.

I don't fully understand.

I should point out that we all work on each others machines - they are far too big to handle on our own. I have a number of those who help me with mine, and I help other with theirs. We all enjoy the fruits of the machines, which seems to work OK.

There are some who don't seem to want to mend their machines. When steam pipes break, they get someone to hold it closed. When levers snap, they get people to hold them. It is bad - people get hurt. That is how I lost my two fingers, but I don't work with that machine any more.

Of course, they keep people there by withholding their products from those who don't support them. For some, the risk is worth it.

So they think.

I don't take that position. Maybe I miss out, but maybe I will keep the rest of my fingers.

They argue that the people were made to serve the machines, that the important thing is the machines producing, so that everyone benefits.

Some of us take a different perspective. We argue that the machines were made for the people, to make good things for us. So when my machine breaks, I try to fix it. I have to scrape around for the pieces to mend mine, although those whose machines are broken are sometimes willing to let me have their cast-offs. The machine is, I suspect, mainly held together with chewing gum and string.

But we all work together on it, happily. And we still produce very good chocolate, for everyone. And nobody gets hurt. OK, well sometimes people do, naturally, but then, everything is broken, isn't it?


I don't have to explain this do I? I could have called it "Heaven and hell".

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