(The stage lights come up to reveal the GENERAL before a bank of computer monitors, flanked by PRIVATE #2 and PRIVATE #3. PRIVATE #2 anxiously peruses a long printout.)
PRIVATE #2: Something’s gone wrong! These results are off the chart!
GENERAL: Heavens above! What’s happened?
PRIVATE #2: I can’t tell! I need more data!
(PRIVATE #1 rushes on from stage left.)
PRIVATE #1: Giant ants are destroying the town square!
GENERAL: Great Scott! This is our punishment for tampering with forces we do not understand!
PRIVATE #1: Actually, sir, I would disagree. Granted, the appearance of giant ants less than five minutes after our testing of the Z-Ray Device in the town’s vicinity would tend to suggest a correlative relationship. However, until giant ants appear following other Z-Ray tests, I would be loath to argue that Z-Rays have the effect of “gigantification” upon ants or, indeed, upon any other form of invertebrate.
GENERAL: Induction be damned! We must destroy the giant ants before they destroy us! Muster the men and call the 144th Bomber Wing for immediate air support!
PRIVATE #2: I’m sorry, sir, but in all conscience I can’t acquiesce in the destruction of these giant ants. We lack any sort of proof that the giant ants intend to destroy us. Perhaps they’ve simply blundered into town. Perhaps they’re only trying to communicate. And these ants may be superintelligent. If they are, they may well be trying to enslave us, a goal that would obviously render our destruction counterproductive.
GENERAL: By gum, I guess you’re both right. I haven’t examined the facts here closely enough. But we still need a solution, and fast!
PRIVATE #3: Sir, I have to make my feelings known here. I feel it chauvinist and evident of a Western dialectical bias to think that rational examination will provide a solution to a giant-ant “problem.” Separating the ants from their environment and thinking of an atomistic “solution” to them without considering the ideological and ontological framework within which we conceive of a “giant ant” is counterproductive. Sure, the ants may be killed. But even in that case, have we really done anything to address the underlying problems of phallocentric militarism and scientific arrogance that created the giant ants? As a matter of fact, let’s examine the etymology of the word "solution"—the word comes from the Latin “solutionem,” a “loosening or dissolving.” The demand for a “solution” unconsciously and immediately moves us into a verbal act of destruction and disempowerment! For that matter, the very word “science” is descended through the Latin word "sciens"—"to know"—from the Indo-European root word for “cutting.” I propose that to even attempt a rational discussion of a problem, and to move along the hoary dialectic timeline from “problem” to “solution,” is to re-enact history’s egregious act of rape, the ancient tragedy of the Mesopotamian priest-despots: the cutting of lines into the world! I suggest that agriculture, which delineates the earth, and science, which would delineate the universe beneath its scalpel, leaving indelible cicatrices in our minds and our realities, do nothing but lead us further and further from the world as it is, and leave us stranded instead in a vicious circle in which signs signify signs, in which nothing can be known but our lonely and ever-darkening solipsistic nightmare. Quantum mechanics indicates that reality shrugs away any attempt at final understanding. There is, in the end, no solution. No act of science, of dissection, of destruction, can ever ultimately succeed. We are brought, humbled, to the point where we all began: mute, joyous wonder. The unspeakable wonder of belonging to a world, and not of observing it. Do not seek to solve the ants. You strive in futility. Rather, give up seeking and striving altogether. Simply … be.
(SOUND EFFECT: Hideous, unbearably loud chittering.)
(Giant ants descend from catwalk and devour actors.)