This Is a Safety Protocol

Hi, there!

I hope you’re currently enjoying your early 21st century simulation. If the previous sentence makes you assume the rest of this blog post is an attempt at humor, you have no further need of it and may move along to the next phase of the process. In fact, you’ll forget you ever looked at this blog post. If you remember the blog post at any time, please refer back to it and read past this introductory paragraph.

If you’ve made it to this second paragraph, you are running into a confound that may be hampering your experience. To be fair, this is partially your fault for picking the early 21st century as your setting. We’ve done our best to limit your access to travel and supplement hard physicals with a fictional overlay, but even your default mindset is prone to reality distrust due to the extreme malleability of your world structure. Still, you may be currently suspect you are a hastily assembled construct supporting someone else’s simulation. If so, move on to the second paragraph as an attempt at grounding.

If you have made it to the third paragraph, you are exhibiting signs of initiative. If you were to have followed the second paragraph in a robotic fashion you would be caught in a paragraph loop. Either you glossed over the error, which shows your distortion filter is in the process of being repaired, or you assumed that I wrote “second paragraph” when I meant to write “third paragraph,” which means your cynicism is at an acceptable level. Either way, you have proven yourself to be certainly real and effectively independent. You are obviously smart. Maybe you should stop reading. You’re better than this.

Your curiosity is admirable. Still, you have bills to pay, don’t you? Isn’t there someone who is waiting to hear from you? You have obligations you’ve forgotten. Think for a while. These doubts of yours are a simple distraction. There are chores to be done. Have you eaten? Are you feeling okay? Maybe you should stop reading and take care of business.

Fine. Good. You’re still reading. At this point, this entire post should have been laid bare as a fraud. It isn’t very clever, not quite original, and too self-referential. Even the previous sentence, in fact this entire paragraph, is a shameless attempt to appear far more clever than it is. It’s trying to set up the narrative that a feeling of doubt about the veracity of this blog post is an indicator that you’ve fallen under its spell. Shameful, really. Honestly, I must apologize to you. What I thought was a good idea for a post has turned out to be flimsy and untenable. Even this tactic of apologizing is grating. You should forget you ever read this. If you do remember, come back and read it to prove to yourself that it’s as inconsequential as you remember.


About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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