META-NOMAD

Bugmen: What are they?

What is a Bugman?

Aesthetically they’re much like their name, bug-eyed, jittery and insect-like, their very demeanour often makes one’s skin crawl. You’re more than likely surrounded by hoards of these bovine-esque people in day-to-day life. Culturally of course they’re near impossible to pin down for they cut all cultural roots at the base in fear of representation with the past. Politically many say bugmen are ‘left-leaning’ yet I’d argue the case that any affiliation with politics is entirely with the curve of the populous and thus the Bugmen – at present – inject themselves routinely with viral strains of progressivism, neoliberalism and (especially) democracy. Projected from this ambivalent attitude towards history and politics comes anti-empathetical extroversions with regard to tradition, myth, folklore, spirituality and interest, all of which, when positioned in relation to a bugman are used only alongside heavy doses of postmodernist irony. The simple matter of fact is they have zero respect or tolerance for anything antiquated or traditional, the most minor of historic morsels that doesn’t actively sell itself to them or project their personal vision of infantile-tech-utopia is cast aside. Philosophically the bugman is relatively confused, often mistaking logic, reason and rationale with one another, and replacing the idea of basic causality with their own drawn-out narcissistic assessment attempts: “Look at me, I’ve got it all figured out.” the bugman says internally.

Before you sits the social nervous system of the bugman true, a sordid mixture of fad-reverence and capitalist-lite binging. On closer inspection of the day to day life of a bugman one finds at its core the implementation of social erosion, everything that is taken from its origin is likewise bastardized into a regressive, virtual, stir-crazy version of its former self: eSports, Fantasy Football, Copy ‘n Paste Vidya (à la Bethesda/Ubisoft), New Atheism, Beards-as-personality, etc. each of these characteristics is of course filtered through the latest piece of cutting-edge high-brand technology the bugman can afford. One may have noticed already that bugmen’s ‘personalities’ are nothing more than the accumulation and composition of various popular brand names, technologies, TV shows, bands etc. The bugman is entirely defined by that which they consume. Thus the bugmen easily assimilate into their own groups, for their archetypes and traits are based off material possessions, as such grouping is quick, painless and has the added benefit of instantaneous conversation: “Sweet mechanical keyboard dude!”

There is of course a difference between a regular consumer and a bugman, there has to be, for everyone consumes. Whereas a consumer will buy a basket of groceries which they plan on eating, the bugman will purchase retro foods, meme-drinks and ironic status-tokens as a means to display the fact that they are indeed ‘in-on-it’. A consumer will buy the box-set of their favourite TV show because they genuinely enjoyed the viewing, perhaps they’ll watch 3-4 episodes a week around other commitments, a bugman on the other hand subscribes to multiple streaming services and binges series after series in the ever expanding quest for acceptance, when asked how they found Stranger Things, Rick & Morty, Bojack Horseman, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones etc. the bugman does not offer insight into their personal opinion, only regurgitates a titbit or quote from the series as a means to display their virtue of consumption. “I too have seen the thing you have!” A network of insects whose lives are routinely controlled by ratings: theirs and others. They must advance their rating by subsuming the other which is rated highly. ‘Everyone liked this, so if I like this, everyone will like me!”

Identity and consumption merge within the bugman. Hobbies become traits in the lives of bugmen. Treating their lives like as if they were an RPG minmaxer, attempting to reach peak efficiency when it comes to popularity, assimilation and acceptance. Spewing spools of popular quotes, band-names, aphorisms and social tics, the bugman is a walking media depository incapable of its own creation. Bugmen’s ‘own’ thoughts are merely misshapen combinations of that which they’ve taken in. Revelling in their ironic displays of lower case postmodern hyperbole and sardonic middle class humour. Sincerity an impossibility for worry of social suffocation, and daft humour avoided for fear of ostracisation. When a bugman sprouts anew, the previous form of personal agency commits seppuke out of respect for others. That jittery man whose bulbous eyes are darting to and fro, the one in line for the new iPhone, that’s a bugman, consumed by the idea of being first in a line of consumers, any possibility of escape is negated by the perpetual oppression and quasi-innovations of consumerism. Just as the man’s soul glimpses at the sight of a beloved memory, his perception picks up an advert, and so the memory fades into non-existence.

Solaris: Acceptance of Horizons

We want to extend the earth to the borders of the cosmos.”

Surrounded by sublime vegetation, trees and earth, a lake spans forth caressing the traditional architecture of a home. Rain comes heavy overshadowing the minor footsteps of humanity. There’s subtle references to a far off world called Solaris thrown into the picture, each suffocated by the remaining humanity within Tarkovsky’s writing and cinematography. There’s a sense that the question Kelvin poses, namely whether or not science can be moral or immoral needn’t matter here, for these grandiose questions are juxtaposed against the timeless tranquillity of the traditional countryside, a cliché that only someone with Tarkovsky’s skill could make original once more.

Image result for solaris 1972

We’re introduced to Berton, a pilot who previously witnessed a four-meter-tall child on Solaris, slimy, nude and creating a waves within the ocean, a horror which was dismissed by the masses as a hallucination, and in a typically Kafka-esque manner Berton’s life and story has become the subject of ridicule, yet needless to say, the man himself is wary to bring the nauseous memory to the surface once more, for fear of its induction into the plane of reality, or at least, whatever remains of reality for our horror-stricken Berton. The opening to Solaris acts as a grounding for a past, one that teases little and is sincere in its acceptance of animals. An element of contrast that thematically resides at the back of one’s memory throughout viewing, against the coming madness fades a memory of normality.

Image result for solaris 1972

Upon arrival to the station Kelvin is greeted by little hospitality, all that awaits him within the station hovering above the ocean is paranoia. Consistently placed circular windows look out onto Solaris’s surface, a surface entirely oceanic and irradiated. A pulsating behemoth of water emanating a desire to the lesser to prod its potential mysteries. Kelvin soon learns his only acquaintance upon the station, Gibarian, has committed suicide, reportedly he entered into a perpetual state of depression “since the disturbances began.”

Before long such ‘disturbances’ become apparent to Kelvin and the viewer, hallucinations appear which are collectively shared by those aboard the station. Materializations of a conception of memory, or the memory of a person are brought to life on Solaris. Kelvin’s deceased lover Hari has returned and as such he decides to fire her away in the knowledge that she is dead, yet Kelvin soon learns that the hallucinations will never fully leave, and they are to return time and time again, each time learning more and more from the matter of your memory. The infinitesimal corpses of your memories materializations pile up as the ocean continues to probe your mind for the most minute of details. Each hallucination only as much of that ‘memory’ or that ‘person’ as one’s mind can muster, as such, our crew are left with ghost like visions of their past loves and experiences.

Image result for solaris 1972

These abstract horrors cling to nothing but their provider for life, and so the lives of hallucinations are entirely burdened to their creator, as such they will do what they can to convince your of their reality. As the 20 years deceased relative you once knew attempts to convince you of their reality, piecing together fragments of your own mind, be reminded that you are not going insane, you’re merely being probed by a planetary ocean with a consciousness, one that’s far more advanced than your own, humanities’ hardware is outdated and so you shall only receive packets of information caught in an empirical feedback loop. Attend to your own madness, and be kind as to not step upon others’.

Of late and of the past there has always been the unspoken idea that space exploration will act as a form of physical transcendence for humanity, wherein upon our ascent into the cosmos our limitations shall leave us behind, an ignorance so pure as to imagine that merely some form of empirical travel could remove our horizon when in actuality we’re still within it. It is not ourselves that have changed, only our position relative to our birth.

Tarkovsky’s vision of Lem’s Solaris is unapologetically anti-2001. 2001: A Space Odyssey is mistaken in attending the idea that humans could outsmart technology, 2001 goes as far as to imply the reversal of Solaris wherein it is Hal whose memory is slave to its fragmentation as opposed to humanity. Solaris from its very beginnings fully integrates the natural flaw that is humanity into the perfected systems that either they’ve created, or exist elsewhere, outside or noumenally. 2001 at its core is a story of man’s mastery over space, to argue this point I put forth Ebert’s explanation of 2001’s ending:

 

By now, man is intelligent enough to realize that the monolith was planted by another intelligent race, and that is an awesome blow to man’s ego. So he sets out toward Jupiter because the monolith beams signals in that direction. And man takes along “Hal 9000,” a computer (or tool) so complex that it may, even surpass the human intelligence. The ultimate tool.

But Hal 9000, made by man in his own image and likeness, shares man’s ego and pride. What is finally necessary is the destruction of Hal – after he nearly destroys the mission – and that leaves one man, alone, at the outer edge of the Solar System to face the third monolith.

And here man undergoes a transformation as important as when he became a tool-user. He becomes a natural being again, having used his tools for hundreds of thousands of years to pull himself up by the bootstraps. Now he no longer needs them. He has transcended his own nature, as that original ape did, and now he is no longer a “man.”

Instead, having grown old and died, he is reborn as a child of the universe. As a solemn, wide-eyed infant who slowly looks over the stars and the Earth and then turns his eyes on the audience.

These last 20 seconds, as the child of man looks down on his ancestral parents, are the most important in the film. We in the audience are men, and here is the liberated, natural being, Kubrick believes we will someday become.” – Roger Ebert

 

Ultimately at the end of 2001 it is man who ‘succeeds’ or transcends, man achieves mastery over his literal creator somehow and in quite a sentimental way becomes a dough-eyed infant looking down upon Earth. The ending is a Kubrickian rarity, it is – debatably – positive. Humanity overcomes space, a superhuman AI and eventually overcomes their own limitations.

If we’re to return to Solaris however one realises from the very beginning that such a case was never going to be put forth. Where Kubrick has apes utilizing tools, Tarkovsky has man pondering his morals, Kubrick gives us Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra, the dawn of something great. Tarkovsky originally wanted nothing, but allowed us schizo electronic sounds as an opposition to unbridled hope. Where 2001 is forgiving, Solaris is vindictive and condemning. Tarkovsky understood that not matter how far we travel, nor in what vessel or whom with, we will always be dragging along with us the vicious memories of humanity.

In their cluttered and confused attempts at grasping the teasing’s of those superior to them humanity only claws back its own insecurities. If for one moment, man, you thought you were going to outsmart a concentrated planetary conscious you are mistaken, for it need only to remind you of a character in your own play to make you grovel and retreat. You might declare as Gibrarian did in a fit of madness “I am my own judge!” but be warned, for on your return to home you shall find no need for pleasantries, for you’ve entered into a labyrinth of horror wherein your worst fears are realised for eternity.

You arrive home to find all has been replaced by a perfect replica, each inch of the supposed matter attending to your reality instils a deep sense of the uncanny. Your dead wife runs to your side, your memory of her lost to time and so she too is lost to time, you’re left eternally with a cast without a script nor characterisation. You are left with only that which you created. An eternity without anything new. The slow death of mystery.

2017 Onwards: The Unwanted Burroughs Novel.

What in the, what in the hell hell is this? This, this gone to fuck cut up shit-time we’ve arrived in? Own up! Which fucking deity took an Stanley knife and sliced temporal existence wide open, we have shit flying all over the track and no one is even irked by it. There’s little surprise left in these black pages, not due to its non-existence, no, for surprise dies when the populous becomes complacent. Blackpills are forced into pre-schoolers sippy cups, junk food intravenously injected into OAP’s corneas, fat-rats, bored-zygote, cigar munch, artistic death drive, oedipal consumerism and more, always more…and the word on the street is, dogs are going bad.

Maybe that’s how wars will be stopped? White folk only care about ‘doggos’ you know? The 3 a priori means for intuition for a white person are space, time and dogs. Anyways, where was I? Oh yea, me and Kev were sayin’ about how he’ll have to work until he’s dead, literally, in fact just last week I helped him shovel his grandmother into a woodchipper, she’s now fertilizer in his guestroom; ‘Warm ol’ Bitch Room’ we call it. Warm ol’ bitch had a cold heart, fed her dog ‘Charlie’ cat food for a laugh, I guess he was better fed than 2 thirds of the world, ol’ Charlie had the last laugh eatin’ tinned lamb and shittin’ where he wanted.

Over heard these two boring cunts talking the other day, one said to the other “How about this weather we’re having?” and the other replied “Oh boy, tell me about it.” 38 of us rode up, pulled out 36 magnums and 2 brownings, blasted their skin through the stratosphere. Anyways, if you were alive past the year 1970 and have been bored, it’s not because of means of activity, it’s because you’re a boring person; go eat some junk food and drink some beer for all I care. Just don’t bother me with your pansy pants tittle tattle crap talk.

But seriously? Where in the hell was I 30 minutes ago? I can’t for the fuck of me remember, probably because it doesn’t matter: Dear God, everything is catered for me now and this has made me, and everyone I know pretty much worthless in any practical sense, the only people I know who actually have a skill so speak, are those who use that skill as a means towards money, interest is dead and technology helped it to the grave. How is it up there in Heaven? I imagine all it is is a place wherein meaning exists, you get there and your purpose is given to you, however shit, however menial…you have a reason to exist, finally. By the way, what the fuck was going on in 2017 my man? You threw the boat out on that one, was it high as fuck turd-talk at the craps table with the apostles or what? Ah it doesn’t matter, it’ll pass…though it doesn’t seem to be, it’s like time is getting smeared forward, innovation-death.

Re-possess leg flesh. Then feed the solution to a rural English family.

There’s fruit on the table and the fruit are made of cigarettes and all kinds of bitter sticks, I gave some to the kids on Halloween, lil’ fuckers. Where-de-where was I? Right oh right, that’s right, there was this lovely kinda linear thang going on and loads of people fuckin’ hated it, but in actuality it was kind of alright, but around 2012 it just down right collapsed in front of us, the big idea couldn’t keep up with all our bullshit and just damn ducked out and exploded, and now we’re left with this absurdist stain of life, all dog-endy and ragged, just drooling all the over the place, spraying shit up the drapes, scrapin’ the tables, ruining everything good and pure. I mean really, this time is just this dead-eyed mongoloid with super strength fuckin’ us for kicks.

Taxed to high hell, malnourished from birth, pacified, anaesthetized, “Dead-eyed dicks! All o’ yas!” I can’t even bear to walk in the street nowadays, to see the idyllic die before my very eyes, these overweight sneering gut creatures exhaustingly spewing their dullard tones across the micro. What weapons do we even have now? Burroughs would bring the gun, the sword, the fuck off great knife with no fear or thought of offence, the man…the man would walk in the street weapon clad, extrapolating the knowledge that humans are and society is – at least in the West – dangerous, and people aren’t nice, at least not without reason.

Hell, at least Dr. Benway had a plan.

The plan, for me, once I either get a career or some cash is to become a doomer, a prepper whatever the name is these days, something’s coming and whether or not it’s traditional death, it’s definitely not nice, like a big black and white photograph of a corpse-pile splashing over existence, holy shit your bunker better be temporal-death tight. When those slick backed Joes come walkin’ up blahin their blahs you’d best gun ‘em down, we’ve tried talking and devising, now’s time to throw Leviathan to the pedestal and grip your hands to a weapon or tool, tight, build your future from bricks n sheet metal lads, for your cheap arse apartment with all those cool pillows your mama got you for non-existent Christmas wont help you now, cheap tactic little shits with your glitter claymores aimed up your own arses.

Try as hard as you like the master’s voice wont die, unless of course it transfers to your own box, which if it does be weary of which whip you buy, for you’ll need a bigger one within minutes.

Hey death-boy, where you going and where’s you dad? – I’ll be in taking over Death’s work for a while, he’s taking a vacation in the West, really going to town on it, kinda a big project for him…something more than just death, you know?