An Unexpected Ode to Shilpa Ray

Erik Jespersen
6 min readMay 9, 2022

On the occasion of coming across Portrait of the Artist as a Young Lady.

Lawsuits and suicide
Then it was lawsuits and no suicide?
You think I’m gonna run and hide?
When I’ve been living’ this same old nightmare on repeat, on repeat, on repeat, on repeat
Shilpa Ray, Lawsuits and Suicide

We’ll step out of this soon enough. Together. We’re paving our way to a better place, it’s all hope and celebration whenever you’re ready. And not a moment before, because this consent train begins now, days — ahem — too late, to be sure.

Cry for the Cameras.

We were kids playing make-up for the camera, wearing mommy’s high heels and feather boas, like every mommy has, right? What self-respecting mommy would be caught dead without her stageplay boa, little darling? Nopey-dopey, she wouldn’t. Now go back to playing, and don’t forget the sunglasses! Does it hide a welt? A bruise? A hideous monster-visage? Or the most beautiful Arabic Onassis in the world? She could be the one whom everyone loves. The Helen of Troy, The She Put the She back in the Bang-She-Bang with her double-D six-guns and her Let Mommy Kiss It and make it all better, and make it all better, and… and… on the count of three we’ll begin.





I just came here for the drinks. I just came in from the hunt, and I had to extinguish another candle today with the grace of the wind. But you made one, right?

After what you said to me under the covers, I’m sure I am! But do you really think that will be enough meat for the three of us? Can’t you convert some more energy into energy, for the children

And it’s true that the children are the future. No value judgment attached or expected. Well until now.

Bring the cameras around and fire up the meme engine, cuz Momma got somethin’ to say!

From here on out, it’s going to be different. This woke thing is just the beginning for a revolution of idea and intent. We’re waking to the saying yes to everything. That everything that exists here is worth saving. That we see what we did, and of course we’re ashamed of it! What kind of men would we be if we weren’t?! I’m not going to pretend any of it was necessary. Some of it might have been or at least it was an illustration of a convenient conversion of information. But we were asleep most of the time. We’re not sure how we were woken up, but it was surely due to you. I was supposed to be the sentinel, but I wanted instead to be the provider, and you were always the first to awaken in the middle of the night to the noise of an intruder, of someone or something that was going to take our baby away from us. That under the cover of night, they would steal her for dead, just like we would sing her in lullabies. You were the vigilant one, and for that we all all thank you, gender assignations aside. I am the one who thought about equity, and systems, and art, and idle time, and a lot of me time, that would drive me to loneliness, to reach out to the universe and pray to the gods to be an artist. A good one. A sacrificial one, maybe, the scapegoat thing always clung to me like fur. I wanted to be loved to figure out what love meant, because I just didn’t know. It meant caring for something so much you didn’t want to let it go, like the allure of a good idea, a big idea, the right idea that could transform a culture of zombies to a culture of wide-eyed children, pimped up for the camera, caught wearing their mothers’ clothes in front of the mirror, posing for the newsy media.

And… scene. I see how you brought it back at the end there. Like you were going to figure something more interesting out.

Bootlicker. Mistaken for a boot liquor in which all sort of mash was cooked and scented. From up the stench comes whatever we throw in. Do we believe in rose unicorns? Thence so does it waft our way. Do we believe in pesticidal cooking click-baits of fishermen and hatcherywomen, then we smell injustice and paraphrase our wisdom in song. But I’m here to tell you we stand compatriotic in a shifting polarity scheme where one day we fall into another’s arms, and another another’s. But you keep reminding me that I’m a mistake. Because together, somehow, we might make magic. We might convert Christians to Mohammad and back through Buddha’s belt of influence, we might truly learn how to love together instead of parking our industry and identity into these thick packages in order to hold one another at night when the shrubs come alive and start knocking Nazi on door after door trying to find and slaughter the King of Kings to the Kingdom in a future that finally actually changes something important about the course of human existence. Does that really sound passive aggressive to you?

— I’m more of a farmicist, radical Indie; we called the dog, Indie.

Next verse like the first:

And then he comes on in talking of unseparations and reparations and consciousness-connection that leads to global harmony and a species-wide evolution

and I’m like hold it man, I’ve seen your bullshit before.

And you’re like “Where? What?! This is just inclusivity and consent, why you picking on me, I get it! Right?

You’re just the same sociopath you’ve always been.”

“I thought you wanted me to protect you from death!”

“Shit no, man, you’re not listening. You’ve never listened.”

“I want to be saved from death, anyone that’s ever written something for someone else to read wants that,

“Nope, that’s the lens you choose to see it through, and they’re rose-colored as my forked tongue.”

Ooh, I’d definitely like to see that.

But did we know? What was brewing inside us, this sadistic love of cruelty, or at least the acting out of whippings and public burnings? Of course. It starts as rebellion and the myth of the self-made man. Of realizing you need to be different to make a difference. Because in this world of men, you are not like those men, okay, you are, but ideologically. I know that mimics write the scrolls and teach the Gospels. I know that free thinkers have a tough time, and being white and male alone hasn’t ever guaranteed anyone a lectern or a gavel.

You have to bite a bullet, and that bullet is filled with cyanide to the aspirational dreams of idealism they seem to keep seeming to teach us and let us get away with just enough to feel like we’re doing something meaningful or important.

And yes, you know that there’s no cabalistic they behind these machinations, that they are all the work of lies and liars mimicking what they thought they heard from people of will at washing lines and front lines. Why anyone would raise a fist to curse another man no less kill him is beyond me, and it is only civility that keeps that mantra from becoming the bleat of slaughtered lambs.

You know, the cute ones, out in the forest, you asked us to kill.

Fine, but you ate it. Transubstantiation ftw, blam!

— And they thought Granny Smith tasted sour!


In truth, that’s the sort of shit that we learn in the Charm School for Damaged Boys, or C.C.D. for short. You probably know what it’s like to rip on hormonal urges.

[ Did you just call me, or is that the mirror talking again? Oooh, she does know how I like it! ]

{ Ewww… gross. }

Do you relish adopting the same brusqueness we so perfected these many civilized centuries? Punch down because it feels good after years of knowing you’re not the one on the receiving end any more?

I’m not implying we ever were, I don’t know and I don’t care. We shouldn’t have done it. We knew it. And we did it anyway like rebellious jerks.

I just hope that your final wave brings tears to your eyes because you know that we’ll connect together again, and it won’t be like last time. This time, the simulation is different.

If it weren’t, what would be the point? Regardless of who dreamed this up, you or I. Every good-natured story needs conflict in order to have truth and retribution for untruth. Until now. There is a new type of story we are all writing together.

Come help us get it right.



Erik Jespersen

MyLife Founder, humanist, futurist, posthumanist philosopher, software engineer, novelist, composer