Monday, August 3, 2009

Creeps Time

Many years ago I wrote the earliest version of the Creeps Manifesto, which sought to codify a certain zeit exemplified by a certain breed of ne'er-do-wells, louts, and manchildren. The name "The Creeps" was chosen because of a parallel, real or imagined, with that of "The Blues", which was oft stated to be more of a feeling than just a music genre, something visceral, nebulous, ineffably impossible to fully convey in mere words.

It's interesting to note, then, that a key tenet I wrote in said manifesto was that "to have the Creeps" one must have an acute awareness that time is passing. Time is indeed the monkeywrench in the works for all humans. Most humans are wary of its mysterious interactions with space that mess with our perceptions, and virtually all humans are well aware of its conveyor-belt pathway to the cemetery for each of us. Even scientists are secretly bewildered by time, and have constructed entire fields of mathematics and physics around a phony and faulty theory that time is the fourth dimension.

It is not.

All dimensions have time or something like it, and spacetime is one big amalgamated lump of stuff - not a lump of mere space with a weird half-ghostly appendage called time hanging off of it. Time can behave like a dimension, just as light is capable of behaving like a wave, but what we call time itself is just a partial aspect of something much, much larger and unfathomably higher-dimensional. What scientists think Time is all about is so far off from the real thing, it's like the difference between the hologram on your VISA card, and the shadow that the card itself casts. And don't even get me started on Gravity.

How we perceive quantum spacetime via microtubules is also related to The Big Bang and events that happened prior to its occurence, prior to this Universe's existence. As the Universe expands and as certain events take place within it, so does our perception of time. This is why everyone says that Time seems to pass faster as one gets older - it's not an illusion, our relation to Time IS changing and dilating, and so are we. As the Universe is expanding, we too are expanding - you, me, Andy Griffith, your mailbox, your car, the Baseball Hall of Fame, everything is expanding. We just can't see it because everything else is expanding at mostly the same rate so it all looks the same and feels mostly the same. Mostly.

But Relativity is still what it is, and over the course of our short lives, we gradually start to get an inkling that spacetime is not the same now as it was in our youths. There's something else going on here. There's a ghost in the machine. There's a fairy on the clock.

Not being a mathematician, I can't work it all out into numbers. Not that this ever really proved anything anyway. My truths are experiential-philosophical in nature rather than mathematical, but they are no less scientific. But how do I know? I just do.

These fundamental truths about the real nature of spacetime, and more, are easily grasped by children, and consequently, manchildren. That's why sometimes it takes a comic book geek to tell Einstein what's what. And that's where the Creeps comes in. And that's where "Creeps Time" comes in.

The concept of "Creeps Time" originally began as an in-joke between my friends and I, intended to refer to profound laziness on the part of one of us (usually me):

"Hey, where's that charity Burrito-eating contest that JSH said he was going to stage on the roof of his studio to benefit toenail-fungus sufferers?"

"Well, you know, we do things a little differently around here - we live on Creeps Time, and two weeks in Creeps Time could mean twenty years to the common man."

Funny thing is, I've come to realize that there really is a sort of time-dilation discrepancy between certain types of people who observe the observable Universe in one way, and those who view it another way. In a very real quantum sense, the act of looking at something does indeed change it. And what I am looking at informs my peculiar order with which I go about things.

The real punchline about "Creeps Time" is that sooner or later, I really do get around to doing all the things I say I'm going to do at one point or another. But because my impression of spacetime tends to be more all-inclusive and treat each point as a discrete unit (in other words, March 13, 1453 is just as important to me as May 13, 1966 or September 16, 2051), I tend to move in mysterious ways that don't make sense to most outside observers, who think of life as flowcharting in one direction: Past > Present > Future.

And so, friends and countrymen, next time you're accused of being lackadaisical, just pull the big straw hat over your eyes and tell them you're currently in Creeps Time, mentally plotting multiple actions on several timelines spanning across infinite dimensions, and that on some portions of the continuum you've actually mowed the yard already, and to just be patient. But don't blame me if your wife throws a frying pan at you.

- - JSH

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