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“zipless” in 2022

January 1, 2022

I met Erica Jong in 1980. She had no wallet, no purse, but a necklace with a silver sleeve dangling off of it, holding but an Amex Gold Card. She seemed delighted and casual, and conveyed the breezy cool ambiance of those who are in control. In her 1973 novel “Fear of Flying” she coined the adjective “zipless” to define the new era of birth-controlled sex – pre-AIDS, morality-free, and, well, incidentally ecstatic. Constricting zippers, the fasteners between protection and freedom, can be left with your purse. If you are good with, by, and for yourself, consequences are to be avoided.

Consequences are not good for the convicted.

We want to “3D Print” our lives. Desire = Outcome – no process need apply. But making anything is a process. “3D Printing” is just a machine carving away or applying stuff that has been made elsewhere, by another process, as was the “Printer” itself made and powered. Every building “3D Printed” has a unique foundation, because every building has a site, and every site is unique. Every “Printed” everything is in this world, used, assembled, processed, or it is just an art piece.

Consequences are not good for art pieces.

“zipless” consequence-free outcomes are what every fat person like me magically thinks the joy of the fifth cookie has. Amazon purchases are “zipless” until the bank statement reveals the consequences. “zipless” political or sports commentary by paid and certain talking heads ends where it starts: at complete certainty. “zipless” living is feasible, in some ways, until the inevitable failures of every body go beyond consequence into essential reality.

“zipless” is what we all want, and cannot ultimately have, because humanity has made the zipper, unlike the lilies of the field, or your pet, or the weather. There are no zippers without humans, and no human without zippers. No “3D Printers” either. Humans want what they can envision without the facility to have: we know what we do not know. And often want it.

We want to know “zipless”. We project “3D Printed” outcomes bypass the mess and smell and pain of making. “Alexa” is simply us, talking back to us, using all we have known, and what we can collect, focus and regurgitate – and until it fails, it is enough.

2021 was nothing but zipper. The huge consequence of a lurking death spawned a zillion other zippers to pull tightly shut over any number of acts, meetings, just relaxation. We attempted a ‘zipless” end of terror with any number of zippers we created, controlled and imposed – masks, 2 meter spacing, some endless washing, legal lockdowns, prohibitions, inoculations, boosters and ZOOMing. Now endless testing, cancelling, and sequestration, again. And last week more of us are sick than ever before.

Zippers are the reality of Printing. We cannot “3D Print’ safety – bathe in technology, mechanisms, protocols and our power to seamlessly create solutions with no knowledge of their cause and infinite clarity to outcomes we are entitled to.

Spoiler alert: we control nothing, because even getting dressed relies on our being alive: and millions of us simply died despite all our attempts at zippers. Humility was dying in the steroids of completely meaningless social media (like this) before the Plague, then resurgent in condemnation of anyone not following your orthodox fundamentalism of either protocols or rejection of protocols.

It may be that this pandemic is ending itself, that we have precisely nothing to do with its end. Weaker disease does not kill the host and die with it, and the virus is allowed to transmit and survives. Inoculations do not prevent infection. And all those other zippers fail.

But some did not die when the disease was more deadly, others are dying when it is less. But in the end, we are not killing COVID, it is like the Radical Puritans morphing into benign Congressionalsts. Either the disease changes or it kills itself. A little like religion in the 21st century.

In any eventuality, the humans could not zipper away threats, or make a plague zipless, or even “3D Print” away something that demonstrates humanity’s complete subservience to the creation they were given.

When a store did not accept Amex, what did Erica Jong do?

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 1, 2022 8:42 pm

    Well done, sir!

    I don’t think there is anything that is truly zipless. It isn’t very hard to find zippers all around us, if you really look for them.

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