The Past Is Not What It Was

(An excerpt from my Steampunk Rock Opera, “Absinthe Heroes”. It begins with a dialogue between Dr. Chastity Purity Hope, a hypothetically non-evil mad scientist, and Dr. Antikythera Device, a hypothetically more evil mad scientist with a penchant for chocolate.)

CHASTITY: For every great truth we discover, we discover ten million falsehoods or lies or pieces of vision that we truly do not understand or use well. If I discover a thousand things, have I moved the world? Or have I simply been a few steps along the way to that ten-millionth fragment of inspiration?
ANTIKYTHERA: And your love of science?
CHASTITY: Is my longing for magic.
[What else is there for her to do but sing?]:

“The Past Is Not What It Was”

Once our ancestors made miracles–
They formed the sea and sky
With hands, with animals, or with gods

Now instead we believe
The world was made without us
Our ancestors were deluded –
and odd.

Now, I cannot see their gods
And I cannot taste their miracles
And by no outside force am I redeemed

And this new world is bold
Aye, this new world is brave
But you lose something in a world that’s
Steamed.

Oh, I have certain tools
And I have certain knowledge
Some things I know better than all the mystics

But I am bound by knowledge
And I envy my forefathers
For I have the disadvantage of
Statistics.

Every clan and tribe that thought
It knew how the world was born
Was, according to what we now know, wrong.

Yet we’re told to believe
Our knowledge is somehow purer
That we’ve got all the bits where they belong.

Our knowledge must be greater, yes
And we’re closer to some truth
But if there’s a final truth, then I am sure:

However much we know now
Will seem very foolish
A hundred years from now, when we know
More.

Once our ancestors made miracles–
They formed the sea and sky
Made magic out of word and breath and sweat.

Our vision’s said to be clearer
But to this, we are yet blind:
What things we think we understand
Will we someday
Regret?

[Pause.]

ANTIKYTHERA: Well, I’m depressed now.
THE MAYOR: Me, too.
CHAS: Right behind you.

~Jeff Mach


Here’s my novel, “There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN“.

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Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN", or, indeed, his increasingly large number of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.

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