2011-04-24

The Little Ant with the Criminal Mind (11/18)


(11/18@11/18) The little ant wondered to himself, “Did he know any of the names of the ants around him?”  “Did they even have names?”  “Come to think of it, did he himself have a name?”  If he did, then who or what could have given it to him?  Names?  What’s in a name?  How did one use a name?  A name is really only useful in terms of referring to somebody or something when speaking to a third person.  Ants were not big on speech, for one.  They were into touching antennae and they were also very partial to smells, and a big part of that was pheromones.  When touching antennae, there was the obviousness of gestures directed towards the other ant and then gestures for which oneself was the object and then perhaps those directed towards the great elsewhere.  Was it possible to have stories in which there was only the main character and then simply, “everybody else”?  The dramatic tensions were mainly only between the main character and the rest of society.  The rest of society being this uniform, homogeneous whole, one member interchangeable with any other.  Was this possible?  The little ant knew of himself, himself separate from everybody else.  Did this alone make him crazy in ant terms?  The fact that he didn’t perceive himself as dissolved into some gigantic collective ego-mass – was that a symptom or indeed _the_ symptom of his deviancy, his madness.  If you have to ask whether you are crazy, then you are.  Something like that.  What about the other ants?  Were they all immersed, immerged and in perfect and total uninterrupted communion with the collective hive mind consciousness that was the colony?  How was it possible to tell such a thing?  The fact that he ever thought of himself as “I” or as an independent agent – was that madness?  Was he the first of a kind?  Was he the first product of the next stage of ant evolution?  The free-thinking ant.  Formico sapiens, ant, the wise?  He contented himself with this thought.  Were there no other ants like him?  Were there others who not only went about their daily lives in the colony, shifting ruble, foraging for food, carrying out the corpses of the dead, but also thought about what they were doing while they were doing it, wondering with more or less a degree of worried concern and nagging self-doubt whether they might ought to or might rather be doing something else or perhaps even something else altogether and was it all worth it and what if it really wasn’t and how could one decide definitively the answer to questions such as these?  Was he the only ant given to such reveries?  And if he wasn’t, was it in any way possible for him to make contact with other ants like himself and if so would it be possible for them in any way to discuss their thoughts and feelings, to air them out, and would these feelings still retain the drama and significance that they seemed to hold for him now?

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