The Mythology of More

City at Night

“In the beginning, Man was quite simple. Man liked the warmth and light of the day and he feared the cold and dark of the night. Thus, there was a friendly god of the day and an evil god of the night. Man had to eat and drink, thus there was a god of the hunt and a god of drink. Man saw children being born and other men dying, so there was a god of life and a god of death. And Man was spread out all over the world with little to no contact amongst himself, thus there were many duplicates of these simply gods. In fact, there was pretty much one set of each of these simple gods per tribe and kingdom.”

The speaker pauses to take a sip of his whiskey before continuing.

“But then Man learned how to farm. The surplus food gave Him more time to think and more time to talk. That and the permanent proximity to other men bred complexities in the ways Man thought about the world around him. Mathematics, medicine, agriculture, finance and other schools of knowledge and learning began to emerge. Cities formed, civilization was born and Man began to grow into what He is today,” the speaker takes another sip of his whiskey before moving on, “and so the gods of men also became more sophisticated. At first, civilized man needed gods of the harvest, medicine and money. But as cities grew larger and resources more dispute, men began to kill men, and thus needed gods of war and victory. But, eventually, men had too many gods and began to make Gods of the gods, just to simplify things. In fact, some of these god-derivatives are still being worshiped by the more primitive minds of society today.”

Completely spellbound by every word the speaker said, the audience absentmindedly sniggered at this quip. They knew better. They were more sophisticated than that. The Speaker allowed them time to absorb this while he sipped his whiskey thoughtfully, looking at his surroundings like a king surveying his kingdom.

They were on the top-floor bar in a fancy hotel of glass, steel and shine whose massive, endless windows opened out over the sparkling, neon nightscape of the City far below. The speaker wore an immaculate pinstripe suit with a brilliant blue tie gleaming from a perfectly white shirt. His features were straight, tanned and cut–almost like a model in a magazine–with dark hair slicked back on his head.

“The ability of men to improve their tools has been the inherent driver of progress since pre-civilisation hunters discovered that you could use a pointy stick to kill things to eat. But, only in recent times, have men’s tools evolved to such a degree that they have in fact changed the way that men think as well,” at this point the speaker takes a sip and surveys the mixed bunch in front of him, there more in the audience than when he began speaking, “The Internet, for example, is a basic version of a collective hive-mind where disparate information, views and channels of communication can–in theory–connect the entire human race in a way that would have made Alexander the Great quite jealous and the Internet reminds everyone of everyone else’s excesses and surplus that they do not have. No one is as happy as their friends seem on Facebook. No one is as witty as everyone else sounds on Twitter. Television, Internet, mobile phones and gaming… All these things and more disintermediate men from their fears of the Dark, suspicion of the Moon and reliance on the Hunt or the Harvest. But, more importantly, all these evolving tools remind men constantly of their wants and desires. And, deep, deep, deep down inside, men are now freer than ever before to pursue the only thing that they have ever, ever wanted: more.”

An unseen siren softly penetrates the chic interior of the bar as a distant plane flies over the outside scenery, its lights blinking like a modern shooting star. Soft rap music plays in the background. The rapper is rhyming about his car collection and how many gold chains he has while the waiter in the bar is busy handing out more drinks to the enthralled audience.

“All these things that Man has done since the dawn of time has been to get more. He hunted to eat, but wanted to eat more. So He figured out agriculture and began to eat more. But then Man wanted nicer things and bigger houses and the ability to travel faster, wait shorter and sleep later… And cities and technology and travel and communication all grew better and better,” the speaker smiles in a nearly-predatory way while holding his audience in his commanding gaze, “All because Man wanted more. And, today, as the old gods disappear and Man moves forward into the future without the hindrance of an archaic belief system weighing Him down, His pure focus on improving His tools will allow Him to keep achieving His purest ambition: more.”

The speaker takes a final sip of his whiskey, draining the glass. His flicks his hand out with the glass to the barkeeper, who quickly refills it. Then the speaker’s smile widens and he stands up from his seat.

“Who wants some more…?” he asks to soft murmurs of agreement from his audience, “Who wants more money?” the audience agrees, a little louder than before with a couple of them clapping, “Who wants faster cars and nicer toys and fancier phones?” a soft buzz of agreement lifts from them to this, “Who wants more sex with more beautiful people more often?” a roar erupts to this with some of the men jumping to their feet, “Who wants more love and more fame and more violence and more power! Who wants everything!

The audience goes wild with primal screams and excitement mingling like a chorus with the background noise of the City. The lights in the bar seem brighter and the glasses seem shinier.

The speaker’s smile keeps widening across his slightly-predatory white teeth.

“Welcome,” he whispers to his near-rioting audience, “to the Mythology of More. Now, let’s get some more drinks and then go burn some temples down…”

The roars are so loud that they drown out the City and its noises far below.

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