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This word does not exist anymore or "Thank you Florida"

10 Mar 2015

 

(And thank you Ivo and Lauren for correcting me)

 

It was a normal day. A beautiful day. A shiny, sunny day. Maybe it's because of that... because of this so called wish of a warm day... Wanting have something good and something bad happens. Retribution I think.

 

I was on my way to my office, at the Florida Science Consultations, when my phone began to ring. No worry, don't worry, even about the people around looking at me with their big shocked eyes, it's just the music. Why, answer me, why does my music upset you? You don't like Marilyn Manson and you want me to respect your choice, but why are your choices more important than mine? No. Sorry madam with your young and smiling blond child, you will not tell me to turn off my ring tone, nor dictate my ideas about what music is. You think you're right and Right is on your side, but even if Right has a side, my conception of justice is different from yours, and because of this, I will not cut off my music and speak with you about how my liberty and freedom do not end where yours begins.

 

So... I was letting my phone ring, one time, two times, three times. Hum... maybe it is important, I said to myself. Maybe I should pick up my phone and communicate with this human who is trying to speak with me, but this day is so nice, so beautiful, and this insistence does not presupose anything good. Baaah, I thought to myself, no way I'm doing that, I am at three minutes from my station, I will know what's happening for the next four minutes.

 

I closed my eyes, feeling the warm sunny rays of our beautiful star on my skin and I was not me, I was not here. I was just somewhere else, perhaps not even on Earth, in a place where schedules and administration didn't even exist. Why I am thinking about administration? For one second, I thought about premonition, or telepathy, or something like that, or maybe memories of my past...

 

The bell rang and I made my way out of the streetcar, right in front of that magnificent building, gift of science, completely greenhouse free, the highest standard for this kind of permanent advertising, that Science and knowledge can easily melt with beauty, design and environment. It's not heresy, it's reality, normality, logic.

 

At the main door, the guardian nodded his head to say hello to me. I answered with my own, inspired by my passion for Star Trek and Vulcan philosophy. Even this time, the guardian smiled at me. Good guy. Smart guy. Even with a limited wage, he stayed at his place, just because he loved science, just because he never succeeded at being a scientist. In a way he was : I worked in a science building.

 

But that day, something different was in the air; something... electric. Everyone seemed to feel it. I saw a guy running instead of walking, nobody spoke. What it is? Why did I have this particular feeling, that a meteor was about to fall right on my head? Why did everything here seemed to be apocalyptic? Why was my colleague, my so impatient colleague, my always-on-the-edge-of-my-nerves-colleague was running at me with a bunch of paper in her hand and a frown on her face, yelling at me? Oh my Gob at this time I was pretty sure about my feeling : move forward and return into my bed because something stupid was on its way to my reality.

 

"Luke! Luke why didn't you answer to your phone?"

"hm... good question. What is the problem?"

"We received a note from the top of the administration first hour of thing this morning."

"Yeah, like always", I said. I wanted to add something more, like an adjective or something like that, but I caught my word just before it came out of my mouth..

"Not like always. Today it's a pretty big deal!"

"Another cut in the finances?"

"Worse!"

"We'll have to pay for the oxygen."

"Be serious! It's something incredible!"

"Ok, so stop hinting at it and say it!"

"We are not allow to use the word « blue » in any of our papers or communications!"

 

At this time I think I began to laugh loudly. Not like after a good joke but something louder, incredible, out of any common sense, out of humanity. I can feel my tears, even now, rolling on my cheeks. It was so unexpected, so natural for her. Oh my... It was incredible, but not for her actually; she stayed in front of me, her face like a stone, rigid and serious, waiting for me to calm down.

 

« Wait... you're serious? I asked »

"Oh yeah I am serious. Look."

 

She gave me the infamous paper, official, with the stamps and everything, signatures, everything. I read it, trying to find anything that could change this into a stupid, very stupid joke. But no, I tried and I failed. I so failed on it. It was serious.

 

To every scientists of the Florida Science Consultations building

 

After a review from the government of Florida, the decision had been made to prohibit the use of the word « blue » or any of its occurrences in any paper, conferences, or communications. This decision occurs after a very serious exam of the governor sight. This exam revealed the governor is unable to see this color. A bill was voted and accepted about the use of this term, which is now declared banished from any dictionary and books on the fact that « this color is not a true fact ». This decision will come into effect on this day, at 9 am.

 

I took a look at my watch. It was exactly 8:57. The time was close. The decision was irrevocable. This word would stop being real. Without any reflection I ran outside, to see with my own eyes the collapse of the ancient world and the beginning of a new world. My colleague followed me and together we were at the doorstep, our noses pointing at the sky, shaking about what has about tp happen. It was the longest three minutes of my life. I thought about all those times I was pointing at the clouds, trying to see which animal was drawn in the sky, what color would follow the true blue sky, those subtle shades of purple... I turned my face to my colleague.

 

« And the purple and the green? »

"What is the problem?"

"He cannot see those colours right?"

"I don't know? Why the hell would you ask me that?!"

"Imagine, I said, my hands pressing on her shoulders, imagine if it's the same thing with purple and green!?"

"Stop saying that! Don't think about that!"

 

She was right, but my brain was filled by this idea. Impossible to let it go. And seconds continued to flow out of the present into the past. It was so stressful, so hard!

 

And 9am rang out from the church. Each ring from the bell was like firing a shotgun right into the heart of reality. One and you will not even feel it. Two and you start bleeding, just a scratch. Three and you turn your eyes on us. Four and you began to yell. Five and you beg for our mercy. Six and you put a knee on the ground. Seven and your agony begins. Eight and the world ceases to exist. Nine and everything disappears.

 

Everything disappeared. All the blue things lost their beauty, changed to a pale grey, a sad grey, a hideous grey. She and I, us two, we looked at each other, begging for a wake up, for a dream, for a guy to popout out of some hiding place and laugh and push a button, letting the blue sky returned into the heavens. But no... nothing. Nothing at all. It was finished.

 

« F... Fuuuuuuuck!! I screamed. Why?! Why did we have to follow that!? »

"Because it's the law I suppose.

"You know what?" I asked, and I continued without letting her answer, "fuck the law! Fuck this decision! I will not let this stupid, fucking stupid bill decided if I can say the word « blue » or seeing it or acting according to its existence! I know that blue exists! I know it exists because I saw it, because I can see it in all the things around me, in this world and in all the hints around me!

"But nobody will let you do it, she said."

"No you hear me! No! It's not enough! I don't want people to transform the real just because they are not able to see something. We are not in Flatland! We are not in a world where the sight of one is the sight of all. We have different perceptions, different capacities, and if I can see things others can't see and I can prove it, if I can prove it, I am right!"

"But how do you want to prove the existence of the color blue color if nobody can see it anymore?"

"Just because people can't perceive it, doesn't mean it's not real. Eppur Si Muove!"

 

And just when I said that, when I said these words, the sky stopped being grey and became blue like it was before. 

 

"Do you see that!?"

"See what, asked my colleague."

"The sky! It's blue!"

"Don't say that! You will be arrested."

"Stop joking, it stopped, it's normal!"

"Shhhhht, stop it!"

 

I looked at her, questioning her seriousness. And she was. She was serious. She didn't see the blue color of the sky, nor the sea. Was I a fool, alone in my perception, alone in my feelings? I returned to my home, took some stuff with me, jumped onto the first train and went to Washington. I was at the window when we crossed the border between Florida and South Carolina, and I asked other passengers about the color of the sky. Everyone of them told me 'grey' as I was, unfortunately, expecting. Even out of the state, their sight stayed the same. And I began to fear : will it be contagious?

 

In the capitol, I asked for an interview with the governor, trying to make him feel sorry for what he said and cancel his decision, but he was pretty damn stupid, and nothing changed. So I asked at the parliament, and every one of them told me the exact same thing : « not in my state, can't do a thing ». Even the President refused to help me.

 

Now, I travel across the country with my case and my pens, showing to every person I can that the blue color exists. A lot of them laugh at me, saying I am stupid, because yes, blue is a true color, of course. But some of them, and more and more of them yell at me, saying that blue doesn't exist, that it's an illusion, an invention from people trying to make the world different, to speak about something false, to have money for nothing and destroy industries, trying to destroy the modern world, to make life different, « more beautiful ». But it's false they say. It's false! Because, if it were true, why would some people, some scientists, say « blue doesn't exist »?

 

And I continue to travel all around the country with my case and my pens, to see, to prove that blue really exists, and we have to live with it if we want to live properly in our world.

 

(For more information, please take a look at this : http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/08/florida-banned-terms-climate-change-global-warming)

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