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In the Land where Everything is True and Nothing is Lost

Updated on April 14, 2016

Until one day,

a man — at least we think it was a man — claimed to have found something. Everything would have been fine if he had kept this ‘secret’ — because that’s what it was at first — to himself. But as bad luck would have it, he decided after some time to share it with the people who lived in the Land where Everything is True and Nothing is Lost.

Once upon a time

there existed a land where “everything was true and nothing was lost,” at least that was what the people who lived there called it. And here they lived happily with their children and grandchildren, their animals, their music and dances and their favourite drinks and smokes.

Well, you can image

what a shock this was to everyone who heard it, dear reader; Because if something could be found, then that means that it was lost before that. And if something had been lost without the people knowing about it, then something could have been untrue, without the people knowing about it.

I know what you’re thinking dear reader. How does it follow from something that is lost, that something is untrue? All in good time, dear reader…

The finder in question claimed to have found a skull in a ditch near the main town of this Land where Everything is True and… And not just any skull, it was a skull without a body! Nevertheless, everything was fine at first because the skull could not be identified, so — in a way — nothing was found. But this did start a discussion among the townsfolk who started theorizing about a skull without a body and to what kind of species it could belong to that would mobilise itself by rolling down a hill like a stone.

From the film "Act of Killing"
From the film "Act of Killing" | Source

Then, this man also found

an arm in the same ditch further down the pathway leading but not reaching the town cemetery. Again everything was fine because the arm could not be identified, so — in a way — nothing was found again. But now the discussion was upgraded from theory to gossip about the relation between the skull and the arm and whether they belonged to different species or the same species. Most townsfolk opted for the former over the latter option since it was improbable that any species could either roll, or slither (like a snake) around if it had an arm attached to its head or vice versa.

But then this man also found a leg with a foot on it in the same ditch even further down the pathway leading but not reaching the town cemetery. Now the gossip was upgraded to a kind of nauseous reasoning because it was impossible to conceive of a species with only a leg hopping around by itself. The gossip spread and spread until the entire town showed up one day at the Coroner’s office demanding an investigation into this strange species that had one head, one arm and one leg with a foot on it. Because now, instead of having found fossils that belonged to extinct species, it sounded like they had found the remains of half-a-man, which brought it a lot closer to home, dear reader.

So the town Coroner summoned

his Lost and Found team and started a full-scale search in the ditch along the pathway leading but not reaching the town cemetery. Then as bad luck would have it dear reader, yes! You guessed it, the Lost and Found team found a rib! Then a sternum! Then a column of vertebrae! So indeed this added up to half a man…

And not the bones of some extinct or extraterrestrial species that moves by rolling, slithering or flying (after lunging in the air)…

And this had the very unfortunate consequence of dislodging the memories of townsfolk who started seeing images of grandparents in profile in their dreams and visions of children who had disappeared in their teens. And not too long after that, the townsfolk started identifying these missing persons as their own long forgotten loved ones, and then, if you’ll pardon my language, dear reader, the shit really hit the fan! — The townspeople congregated outside the Mayor’s office and started shouting for action.

From the film "Act of Killing"
From the film "Act of Killing" | Source

So the Mayor

summoned the town Crier to explain in no uncertain terms with a loud voice that everyone, even those with hearing problems, could hear ever so clearly… And this is what he said:

Because, now,

their world had been turned upside down, from a world where “Everything was true and nothing was lost” to a world where more and more it seemed that “Everything was lost and nothing was true”… And the townsfolk wanted an explanation!

“My dear citizens. Let me assure you, the loved ones you now recollect in your dreams and visions are not what you think. No one could have forgotten their loved ones in one lifetime only. This pathology has only been discovered among a rare and distant tribe made up entirely of the descendants of a family called Alzheimer. And only because of a rare genetic mutation among this tribe.

“So do not be haunted by these sudden memories! These are not your relatives. They are the dreams and visions of previous long extinct tribes and very distant extra-terrestrials who are attempting to communicate with us. The former because they died suddenly in the hunt for wild animals and left a ghost and the latter because, by virtue of their very advanced science, are seeking extra-galactic life to commune with.

“So go back to your rooms, your part-time jobs and your one-parent families and relax and rest assured that no evil or miscarriage of justice has befallen you. Nobody has extracted the be-Jesus out of you. Nobody has be-Deviled you and nobody has stolen or killed your imaginary relatives. Your life is as w-hole as it has always been.”

And, at this juncture,

something very unusual happened, dear reader. After a thousand years of living in the Land where Everything is True and Nothing is Lost, minus the last 48 days where the world was turned upside down and it became crystal clear to everyone that Everything was now Lost and Nothing was True, the townsfolk grabbed the town Crier by the neck, first placed his neck squarely on a block of wood the butcher brought to the town square from his shop while the lumberjack raised his axe and chopped him into three pieces. Then the cook for the church picnics stuffed the thorax with the meat of the Crier’s wife and children and other relatives who also went through the same ceremony, tossed these pieces into a large crucible, added some potatoes, onions, garlic, endives, maldives and pistachio oil along with bananas, plantains and chicken livers for seasoning and everybody had a great time feasting on their new found delicacy which was topped off with a christening ceremony changing the name of the land to Where True Things were Found and These Things were Tasty.

From film Act of Killing
From film Act of Killing | Source


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