“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever-increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be – wait, no, what am I saying? Nah, that could never happen. Forget I even brought it up. Say, how about them Kardashians, huh?”
Archive of articles classified as' "Fictoids"Back home
underlying art by Austin Biggs
joke stolen from Hudson Hawk
art by Lee Brown Coye
text © Buzz Dixon
“Okay, sir, we managed to put it out.”
“Oh, thank you! Thank you, so much!
I don’t know what we would do without
our gallant firefighters — “
“Yeah. Right. Look, sir, let me be frank:
This is the third time in as many weeks
that we’ve had to come out here to put out a fire.”
“Yes, and I appreciate that — “
“We came out five times in the previous month.
Six in the month before that. In fact, sir, we’ve
lost count of the number of times we’ve had to
come out here to put out a fire.”
“I’m sorry, gentlemen, but if
there was anything I could do — “
“But there is, sir. We’ve traced every single fire to
the same cause: Old, poorly installed, deteriorating
power lines that are not up to contemporary building codes.”
“I don’t see what that has to do with anything.”
“Sir, you are running higher currents through
them than they were designed to take. They were
not well thought out or properly installed in the
first place. The insulation, which was inadequate
to begin with, is fraying and falling off.”
“You can’t expect me to go without power!”
“That’s not what we’re saying at all. Yes, have
power in your house, but recognize the old system
needs to be replaced and upgrade.”
“There’s nothing wrong with the old system.
Why, it’s original to this house.”
“Precisely my point, sir. Times have changed.
Load demands have changed. You need to replace
it and upgrade it.”
“But my grandfather built this house by hand!
I would be insulting his memory if I yanked the old wires
out and replaced them with new wiring! And besides that,
look at the cost, look at the inconvenience!”
“Less costly and inconvenient than having fires break
out periodically when they could easily be prevented.”
“I understand what you’re saying, and I see the logic
behind it, but really, it’s not at all a practical solution
for me. Other home owners, yes, but not me.
“However, I am listening to what you’re saying, and I do
think I have a solution, one that will satisfy your concerns
while at the same time be easy and convenient for me.”
“And that would be…?”
“I’m going to punish the wood
in my house for catching fire.”
art by Irwin Smith
text © Buzz Dixon
You can only kill so many of Hitler’s mothers before you realize it’s pretty damn pointless: No matter how many pregnant women you shoot in the head, no matter how many fetuses you destroy by draping a thermite blanket over her womb and incinerating her midsection down to ashes, the God damned bastard keeps getting born. You pop back from the past with the blood of another mother on your hands figuratively and all over your time suit literally and you realize you haven’t really changed a damn thing, he still got born anyway.
So, you try another tack.
Go find Herr Schicklgruber
when he’s just a child and
incinerate him for a change.
No good: The bastard is born again. Does this mean Hitler had an illegitimate father? If so, go back and kill all the women you know to have given birth to Hitler. He still gets born. Kill all their parents as children; he gets born again in an entirely different bloodline, but still he gets born.
Kill more and more. Trace every contaminated family tree as far back as you can; kill those ancestors as children before they reproduce. Still he gets born, kill all the ancestors in that time line.
No good / all bad: He gets born again and again and again.
Finally, one old guy on the team gets an idea, asks the brass if he can try it: Travel back, set himself up in business using knowledge of history to place investments, gain power / influence, wait until Hitler is a starving artist, become his patron / his promoter, steer him towards success.
Did it work? We don’t know. He went back, we never heard from him again. We got a message passed to us over the years in the form of a document held for us by a Swiss bank; said he arrived safely, had set himself up, would relay further developments as they occurred.
After that, nothing. No reference to him in history books, no prearranged markers or clues left behind. Other than that single document, no evidence he had ever existed at all at that time.
Debate: Did he fail? Did he die? Or did he succeed, and in succeeding create a whole new time line?
It’s decided that whatever he did, whatever happened, we would not waste another time suit in hopes of succeeding. In this time line, Hitler remains born.
The frustration is palpable: Have we been wasting time and energy (literally and figuratively) trying to thwart that what must be? Have we spent resources that might better have been dedicated to the now cancelled Manhattan Project? Worse still, have we in all our futile murders only been creating hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of alternate time lines where Hitler ran amok? Worst of all, other time lines where he is victorious?
We do not know.
We will not know.
We cannot know.
In this time line,
in this place,
And perhaps instead of wishfully thinking we can go back and undo the evil by cracking the dragon’s egg, perhaps we should just acknowledge our fate is to fight the dragon.
© Buzz Dixon
the supernatural entity sat in the bar / nursing a drink / singing this song of woe:
It’s always the same, billions and billions of times. Doesn’t matter who, doesn’t matter where, doesn’t matter when; it’s always the same deal, and it’s always the same answer.
Here’s what I offer them:
I’ve got a job for you. It will be hard work, but it will never require more than forty hours a week from you. It may be difficult, at times distasteful, but it will never harm your body or soul.
It will be a meaningful job, a productive job. No one will be made to suffer in any way because of this job.
In return for forty hours a week of your best effort — and there are benchmarks to determine this — you may have anything and everything you want.
Let me repeat that:
Anything and everything. As many mansions as you like, as many yachts, private jets, food, drink, toys, whatever. Things that haven’t even been invented yet, things you can’t even imagine will all be yours.
The catch? Why, yes, there is a catch. What ever you earn, the rest of humanity will get for free. You may not tell anybody about your job, you may not take credit for their easy lives. You will work thanklessly, anonymously, and for the rest of your life to provide a golden age for everyone else.
There is my offer:
A lifetime of toil in return for a lifetime free of want, but you will be the only person who has to work for it.
Am I angel or devil? Your answer will reveal which you think I am.
And wouldn’t you know it?
They all have
art by Norman Rockwell
text © Buzz Dixon
…was too little.
And this mommy’s medication…
…was too much.
But this mommy’s medication…
…was jessssssssssst right!
art by Cory Whitmore, Edwin Georgi, and J. Frederick Smith