Ian Phillips

With buckets in hand we ran through the gallery, splashing with no prejudice the portraits created by guardians and practitioners of inequality. Naked and without judging the flat faces of women, men or children, we wiped our asses on those whose privileged lives of pride and bought-virtue had embodied the notion of superiority upon which rested the mistaken foundation of our society. Skill is unjust to the unskilled, and technique looms unfairly above the heads of those without training; our world was required by love and fairness to accommodate those who fell below the standards of acceptability. To do so, we dismantled the standards that created exclusion and the demonstrations that flaunted unfair superiority.

The spirit of dismantlement bellowed from the flaming bookshelves in the libraries, was tasted as we licked our own blood from rusted razor blades, and moaned from the speakers in every filthy car stranded on every potholed highway in America. The same spirit was found in the bottom of every mass-produced sack of fried cheese flavor or mingled with the cold potatoes wet with grease that lay in the bottoms of our dinner bags. And we paid for it gladly with our souls, expressing our gratitude every night in stupefied trance before the altar of television, our prayers spake to God the Dollar.


When at last the mountains were leveled into parking lots, the rivers made our sewers, the virgins extinct, the books written backwards and the yellow painted canvases hung upside down, I found myself weeping. But not out of joy. The liberation that we had sought from inequality, our revolution against the injustice of skill had led us into a pit of lye, our skin peeling, saturated with piss and malaise, just as far from freedom as ever. Consonance had been established by leveling all heights and filling all holes with garbage, our victorious banners flew without contest, but our dissatisfaction was as strong as ever. I then understood that inequality was, in all actuality, a symptom of a far greater evil.


Suddenly I saw the mistake we had made; life was, by its very nature, the manifestation of inequality: some people were heavier than others, some trees were bigger while others weren’t even trees at all; they were bushes or weeds or flowers or worms. Even inorganic life ran counter to the spirit of equality: some rocks were sandstone, others were marble; some dirt was brown and other dirt was red; some water was undrinkable while other water was bottled and sold by our Governing Corporations. The destruction of virtue was a victory of equality only on a superficial level. I realized then that equality is only a social convention as real as those depicted in the paintings whose skill and value had symbolized the disparity that quality created when held beside the unqualified. I realized that our fight laid actually in the very nature of the universe: that some arrangements of molecules were paint and other arrangements were bookshelves was unfair; that the tendency for certain molecules to associate with others and exclude others was segregation; that a cow is not a chicken and a rock is not a sandwich is prejudice; that all of this was inequality; against the cause of thus was our new battle waged.


A solution fell into my lap like plaster from my ceiling. I created a machine that would dismantle any collection of molecules, breaking them into their component atoms and send them off to opposite ends of the universe to exist freely without the enslavement of configuration. When all chemical bonds were broken and all atoms free to move as they will, the universe would settle into a state of equilibrium, a single unit of equality. For this cause I rallied our society behind the banner of self-sacrifice and destruction of all ordered systems. War and peace would be eliminated, disease and wellness eradicated, hunger and gluttony brought to their timely end, and I would be the human, the single entity of life in the universe to give all that I had to bring to completion eternal peace!


I dismantled my friends and family and our town, the trees and the birds. The entire earth had to be freed of inequality. While traveling the earth I especially relished the dismantling of great monuments built to men and ideas that were said to have brought us closer to ultimate peace. How these monuments were only the receipts of conscience-mitigating lies the “world-changers” had bought. I freed their ideas from the prison of inequality, the bondage of molecular structure that had been erected in their names for the price of humility. I dismantled their corpses too, and all corpses, and the before too long, the entire earth. I took my mission throughout the universe, dismantling everything. I was the true bringer of peace, and now, the tension of the impending equilibrium calls for resolution.


In a moment I will dismantle my machine and myself so that I may bring the universe into a state of universal peace, free of exploitation or disadvantage. But before I do, I leave behind a single token of my greatness, a reflection of the strength of humanity and that which it represented and bore. We were the race to end all strife for all eternity, and I was the woman to bring it, so I leave behind a token of my strength and the glory; my humble monument: a single toenail plucked from my left toe.



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