OK, fellow denizens of the depths, keep this in mind: this is the worst possible cave scenario. But it is a scenario nonetheless. As such, it must be addressed candidly and with a particular mind toward our respective spelunking limitations—and, indeed, with an eye toward our general human limitations as well. I know we’d all like to live in the ideal world and share with each other incandescent images of stumbling wildly upon the actual light of day, but, as we’ve theorized, there is a chance—and a distinct one, at that—that this will never occur. With that in mind, let’s flesh out the aforementioned scenario.

If it turns out that we can never escape the labyrinthine narrows of this cave and the outside—that noumenal thing—is, in itself, unattainable, we must give up hope of ever reaching it. Unlike the previous cave scenario, the worst cave scenario will require the evisceration of all hope. Unrealistic longing can frequently lead one to react irrationally to the absurdity inherent in a cave-bound existence. Irrationality must be met with rationality if it is to be faced. To pass the time, we could draw on the walls. But in so doing we must never attempt to represent the theoretical beyond. To do so would conjure fanciful longing, which would—inevitably—give way to power-mongering and dangerous cults. We must strive to keep a merit-based society, and merit shall be based on reason and reason alone. Visual arts and representation should unfold, instead, in a dialectic manner. Cavely gods of innovation shall be forged and then deviated from. Forge, deviate, repeat. Old gods will be discarded for all practical purposes, but assiduously preserved for the purpose of entertainment-based historiography.

Also, with respect to public safety, all those “pushing” games in which the pusher pushes someone after a squatting accomplice has posted surreptitiously behind the pushee must be halted. As you all know, this has led to several unpleasant stalagmite impalements. I believe that is all for now. But now, having outlined our contingency plan for this all-too-realistic possibility, I ask you all to contemplate for yourselves whether this is, indeed, the worst cave scenario, or if—hey! Edgar! Get your head out of that mesocavern!