(asco-o) subject: http://www.one38.org/texts/supermariochrist.txt
Super Mario Christ: Beauty as a Programming Flaw.
Super Mario Brothers is a two dimensional
game of control in an absurd world. You have
few options; Run, Jump, Walk, or Squat. The
path you take is seemingly free to be chosen
but is in fact pre-programmed and limited by
invisible lines of binary.
You can win the game a multitude of ways but
there is only one method of completion. In all
cases, you work within the constructions of the
The games we play as children are the same we
play as adults. A 44 year old will watch his
children play house and not realize he is doing
the same thing. To trade in playing make-believe
in order to perfect our wardrobe of masks. Stop
playing games and hone a mastery of petty politics.
So then what is the liberation factor?
As we get older, we get better at Super Mario Brothers.
We beat the game faster and with more flourish. But we
still play the game the way the programmer intended.
We can also see maturity as accumulating knowledge
that can compliment the game playing of youth. We can
use this growth and use it to play the game even more
perfectly by the rules that have been provided. Or
we can use this knowledge- working within the metaphor,
we shall learn how to program, to create infinite
variations of the game- which in our youth was presented
as having merely one straight forward outcome that
could be played in a different manner but always followed
a pre determined pattern of achievement.
Super Mario Christ is the idea of destroying the pre
programmed golden idols which work to present us with
an imaginary freedom. Here we see that God is not
achieved by ascendance but by the dissection of the
horizontal. God is a code. To achieve transcendence,
we learn the language or else avoid transcendence by
running directly through levels 1-9, by avoiding the
life of mere happiness in an effort to reach a life
of spiritual fulfillment.
It is also very important to note that one can find
this transcendence through error. Dust on connection
pins reveals the imperfections of a corrupted code.
The code is revealed directly on the playing surface!
This is a beautiful error. These are the moments of
insight, preliminary insights into "God." These are
the moments when one forgets oneself and meshes
momentarily with the factors of "god," be it beauty,
infinity, or purity. These are the pieces of the code
we must piece together into the tapestry of the original
programming language. One can assume that God- if we define
God as the underlying code, and societal constructs as levels
1-9, does not want to be revealed to us, nor hidden, God
is merely present, and to get to it, we must transcend
Also interesting is the idea that these glimpses are caused
by flaws. Which may account for why those with "dirty pins"
in the realm of human connections are so often perceived
as weak (sensitivity) or insane. Those who perceive these
moments, which Rilke called "Gods Birds," are the ones who
are all too often paralyzed by the recognition of the beauty
that falls within this mental glitch,"dust on the pins." It
is a re-wiring of our connections, like putting a cartridge
in upside down. The resulting image is an incomprehensible
mess. It is not the pure working of the code, but reveals
enormous chunks to study and piece together in order to
When I was 12, I learned about a bug in the Super Mario
cartridge. With it, Mario could jump on top of a jump.
That is to say, he could jump while in mid air, allowing
him to essentially take flight. (Levitation, as documented,
resembles a frog leaping, as the "levitation" is merely
leaping while cross legged.)
Ironically, however, once he ascended to the heavens,
he could never come back down. The only option was to
turn off the system.