writing

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.

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?

Ruiner, Land and the Failure of Vidya

 

Intro: The gaming scene has been fairly dry these last few years, and if I’m honest it’s a scene that is beginning to become entirely uninteresting, largely due to lack of innovation, a lack which extends to all of gaming’s pathways from narrative to hardware. This, along with the fact I prefer to spend my time reading, writing or researching generally allows little time for playing games, the majority of them nowadays being clear-cut Ubisoft clones with perfected dopamine reward systems to keep you playing for just that little bit longer, or purchasing just that little bit more. There was a time, I would argue, wherein games definitely could have been considered art, at current it feels as if the medium is drifting further into the realms of day-time TV. With all this aside, let’s move forward:

 

1. Ruiner: The Landian Wet-Dream.

 

Okay, but where’s the video game?

Ruiner, a video game set in 2091 and inspired by cult cyberpunk anime is through and through a compressed Landian nightmare, containing so much Land/XS relevance that a description runs on the borderline between satire and reverence:

The lead/player character is called ‘Puppy’, a Paul Kersey-esque robotic sociopath who, at all times bears an LED helmet, displaying visual death-countdowns and objectives. This anonymous, faceless entities’ entire being is enveloped in the end, in the death of ‘BOSS’ and of the recovery of his kidnapped brother. The backdrop to Puppy’s bullet-hell violence is Rengkok, a stereotypical cyberpunk megacity, which is under control from the mega-corporation Heaven: A malevolent virtuality (VR) company who are hacking people’s brains. The streets are littered with drug addled psychos, transhumanists and hackable felines, with the addition of business at every turn.

For those familiar to the cyberpunk genre all of this is nothing new, all is relatively…normal. Yet this all begs towards a larger idea in relation to Land’s above question, ‘where’s the video game?’ or more aptly, is a video-game-as-thesis possible?

One could of course stretch Ruiner’s narrative here to fit the bill, we have all the parts needed for the Landian hellscape to be assembled. One could say that a meta deconstruction of the anonymous character’s act to ‘KILL BOSS’, is in reality, but a ploy to accelerate his worth to its end, for from the games’ beginning the sole objective is to ‘KILL BOSS’, or to get to the end of the ‘game’. A game that wishes to break itself, to ruin the desire which is its entire creation: an inherent purpose destroyed.

This theme carries on wherein Ruiner is reluctant to let you enjoy the view – or even it, as a game – for even a moment: Barrages of full-screen-schizo-interruptions saying ‘ Don’t do it’, ‘Wake up’ and ‘KILL BOSS’, jolting bursts of raw techno with consistent application of spasmodic hyper-violence all disallow you to experience the game in the traditional sense. Ruiner wants you to abuse and accelerate its systems as a means for obliterating that which is in your path, in fact, my personal experience along with others it seems consisted of abusing two skills to defeat the game, eventually meaning the character, narrative and backdrop all but a violent, red, dynamic blur. The additional post-violence process is far away from remorse, as you collect the games satirical equivalent for XP called Karma, you begin to feel you might be being played here.

Yet there’s something missing – isn’t there always – Ruiner is held back by its traditional framework. That’s not to say that VR would be of help here, not at all. And that said I think I might avoid any VR game that is advertised as ‘Landian’ for fear of insanity. This begs a further question towards the possibility of the aforementioned ‘video-game-thesis’.

 

2. The Failure of Vidya Transcendence

 

I’d like to make a small interjection here and just say that I find the connotations connected to ‘video games’ and ‘vidya’ are often juvenile, so we might perhaps replace it with something more fitting: Virtual Experience, or is that too postmodern?

When talking of ‘philosophy and video games’ you run in to much the same problems when you speak of just the former, there are of course a few Baudrillardian considerations with regards to a combination of the two, but mostly, the problems stay the same. Namely, problems of the inside and outside, internal and external, phenomena and noumena – these dualities aren’t synonymous -, rough approximations of an age old problem projected onto a contemporary system. At least this system, namely gaming, virtual entertainment, 3-dimensional cyberspace has a physical embodiment, we can see and tinker with the workings of the system. And that’s all fine and dandy, but of course there’s limits to what we can do, our only task now is to find out what the system can do better than us, to find out what only the system can do and help it towards its goal.

With the development of artificial intelligence we may find games begin to break themselves, recycle their code as a means to create a game with has an ulterior motive. Or they might just break themselves as a means of self-actualization, or they might just ruin themselves because they hate you, who knows? That said, contemporary virtual experiences really aren’t up to scratch when it comes to any form of self-realization or progression.

Those who pronounce video games to be art often do so in hopes of justifying their transparently hedonistic escape. Don’t worry kid, we all have escapes, yours is just more obvious. Those pronouncing that VR is going to be this gigantic leap in innovation are also wrong. VR wont necessarily burn out, but in its current clunky, largely physical state it’s not moving anywhere fast. In short: Get back to me when I can’t even see your VR headset, then we’re getting somewhere, then VR might become such a virulent strain of hedonistic-K that one’s phenomena change, this is unlikely however.

Any true transcendent virtual experiences of the future will be those wired into our nerve endings. A thesis in the form of a pill, the symptoms of which leave one craving noumena. Daily filter injections wherein one’s experience is brightened. As knowledge transcends the archaic forms of paper and 2 dimensions we’ll begin to understand differently.

You turn on your new experience chip, Land World it’s called. For the next 33 minutes real time, you experience acceleration a priori as your entire being perpetually folds into new forms, the latest more innovative than the last. A high-fructose pharma-frog descends from the heavens and croaks: “Schizophrenics are POWs from the future!” as your senses fragment seizure-like into a mist, intuition pulsating as close to the il y a as possible. Memory lock down, skin-draw, end-mode, chasm-shift, your spine begins to itch like fire, you try to claw it out, just before you’re flung into the K-desert. Greeted by a traveller:

“33 shattered beams of time

stand in the desert…Near them, on the circuits,

Half alive, a fragmented hologram lies, whose data,

and dying code, and assumed authority,

Tell that its K-architect had passions cold

which yet survive, stamping on all life,

that which passes, that which exists.

A mod that mocked them, a heartless dread;

And in the sky, these words appear:

My name is Ozymandias 4.3, King of King 4.2;

Look upon my Code, ye Mighty, and despair!”

Your attempt to move your arms in real life, those within K shatter into pieces, you can no longer feel your chip, it’s sunk into you, the desert before you stretching for miles and miles, the hologram repeating Shelley’s Grave-Roll over and over, you walk, collapsing into multiple modes and phases, everything is becoming all at once.

You’re stuck and dinner’s ready.

I want to exit Land World.

The Great Bore

Bring forth The Great Bore, an ecstatic hologram projected 20 feet high across a classroom wall, for those teleschooling it’s projected directly into their living room, the audience dull, anaesthetized, their eyelids heavy.

The Great Bore,” the teacher remarks “was a period in history dating from 2012 to [emitted from transcript]”.

The students ears glossed into an aural mainframe, their eyes panning to and fro searching for the next glimmer of excitement, hands in gloves allowing touch from another time, all is incredible, awe-inspiring, technology wrapped around humanity causing thrilling vibrations…and all are bored.

The compressed strains of Western hedonism, complacency and ignorance combine into a virulent mixture of perpetual malaise. The strain is caught easily, thrown into nation upon nation until all that matters is the strongest psychopath. Genuine absorption into knowledge no longer exists, attempts are made to find those who will listen, those who care for the past and for thought, but no such soul lives. Turn your heads left and right, witness the forever-end of the human race, overweight, narcissistic, discipline-lacking husks of being, fawning over their individual screens, messaging nothings back and forth, engorging on the sweetest of goods – “Am I hungry? Or am I just bored?” asks the sweat-laden, breathless hollow-man. Misanthropy heightened for all, and for all no sense of belonging.

The universe wont even throw you its scraps, not even a mere morsel, you beg chaotic zero to give you something for your hunger, but it wants you famished, an animal race deprived of soul-food for eternity. Scattering humans on an apathetic sphere, attempting to scrape up the most minor of events, trying to find their meagre portion of life.

The mass wishes to be freed from this mind-numbing, wage-slavery of nothingness, one minute away from nothing, an event, a moment, some unique instant must exist. The mass that live their lives in mediocrity, neither dumb enough or smart enough for pure-fulfilment. We are the grey matter of life, playing out our time until death, just waiting ‘round.

I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that’s my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again … the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.” – J.G.Ballard, Re/Search no. 8/9 (1984)

We’re bearing witness to death of fantasy, wonder and play, examples of the latter that survive only help curate the demise of others. Evolution, adaption and natural selection will all accelerate into the micro. As depression rises, tiredness evolves and we select our mental misadaptation towards the future. You say you’d love a world without work, but just take a second glance into the eyes of the jobless. Those free to do as they please, without financial worry or burden of fatigue, stability and security amount to very little in a world without event. Wondering ceaselessly from entertainment to entertainment, the monotony continues for those without interest. Those without mandatory occupation for survival end up addicted to consumption.

We used to list the amount of terrorist attacks by the year, now we list them by the month. How long will it be until they’re listed by the week, by the day?

“Not a bad few hours, 2 bombings and a shooting.”

Less than 100 deaths is a good day in the future. All extremes pushed to their limit, excitement exists only in further dreams of unique failures. Less than a million people care that we may get to Mars, or that AI might take over. And as the apathy rises, constructions begin not only to dismantle, but to fall off altogether; bring forth the rude, stinking, unpresentable, tyrannous, self-centred, overweight, unemployable, untrustworthy, emotionless and ultimately indifferent human-race. Only worthy of spit and shun.

I’ve seen entertainment beyond imagination, guns shots, explosions and car crashes blend into a static haze of boring filler. I can click into any channel any time, wildest desires in the morning, compilation of misery at lunch and vomit-comps for dinner. I could listen to albums of death metal at full blast and remain exhausted. In a few years I’ll be injecting high fructose corn syrup into my corneas for sweet relief from The Great Bore.

Perhaps Foster Wallace’ posthumous novel The Pale King rang the loudest truth, at least for the coming era:

To be, in a word, unborable…. It is the key to modern life. If you are immune to boredom, there is literally nothing you cannot accomplish”

No wonder so many of us are excited by North Korea vs USA, perhaps the only thing that could possibly break boredom is a nuclear blast.

No one told me acceleration was going to be numbing.

A Patchy Discussion: Part 1

 

A PATCHY DISCUSSION

PART 1

 

I

 

It was a brisk night in November, and Toby Norant is heading to a bar. Toby had arrived in Pel-Co a day prior, spending his night in an appointed Traveller’s Motel, of which he’d now used up his allotted time. He has plans, large wobbly plans that couldn’t help but make him feel uneasy at heart, plans which are the reason for his visit to Pel-Co, where his father resides.

The motel’s reception was quiet except for the sound of Toby’s suitcase clinking and ruffling as he moved on through. The woman at the desk tracking him condescendingly as he approaches. “Right, that’s me.” Toby said.

“Let me see, Toby -”

“That’s ri-”

“You still have 8 hours on your permit. What are your T-plans?”

“Sorry, T-Pla-

“T-Plans…terminal plans. Look, what do you plan to do at the end of the 8 hours?”

“Ah, I see. Well, I’ve just got to head to a bar, then once that’s closed I should be back at the shuttle for a collection.”

“Which collection shuttle is that Sir?”

“It’s the one heading to DiviLet, the DL-3 I believe, leaving at 23:30 I think.”

“The DL-3 is to be arriving at 23:00 and leaving at 23:30. Please make sure to give your ID card to the E-booth before leaving. Until then make sure it’s viewable at all times, preferably around your neck.”

“Will do.” said Toby adjusting his lanyard, making sure his ID hasn’t become stuck in any way.

“Which bar is it you’re heading to?”

“Unither’s.”

“Ok, well make sure to stick to the eastern wall for at least a mile. You should see signs for the bar after that.”

“Ok, ta. Well, I best be getting off then.”

“Bye. And remember to hand your card over to-

“An E-booth yes. Bye.”

Awkwardly shuffling from the desk Toby reaches for his ID card so he can open the motel doors. Pastel coloured policy posters line each side of the door, along with a stand of official Pel-Co booklets to its right-hand side. The scanner plays 3 long low confirmation tones before it opens, a click, and Toby is away, entering into the street.

Toby follows the directions given to him, the eastern wall’s presence engulfing his entire form, as well as the houses to Toby’s left. His eyes scanning the surroundings hastily for a sign, yet always being drawn back to the wall, the faraway chatter descending from its top walkways. After a short while Toby begins to worry, he’s yet to see a sign, but as luck would have it a stranger’s passing by. The passer-by a tall, stocky man walking with a sense of determination.

“Excuse me, Sir?” Toby asks the passer-by.

“Yes? Sorry, hello.” Replys the passer-by, a little startled.

“Sorry, I was wondering if you could possibly give me directions to Unither’s Bar?” The passer-by’s focus flickering between Toby’s face and ID card.

“Uh, Unither’s?” The man looking a little confused, as if this was an entirely new piece of information. Drawing his hands from his pockets and putting them to rest over his stomach.

“Yeah, Unither’s Bar. I was told it would be roughly a mile from the Traveller’s Motel?”

“Ah! You mean The Legacy. It changed from Unither’s a few years ago now.”

“Oh ok.”

“Anyway yea, it’s about another 5 minutes or so. There’s a band playing tonight, so you should be able to hear it fairly soon. Enjoy.” The passer-by already on his way.

“Thank you.” Toby says loudly.

The man was correct, it was another 5 minutes give or take. Toby hears the twanging of guitars playing a folk type set – coincidently Toby’s favourite genre – as he approaches. Picking up his case just before the front courtyard Toby begins to look for his Father. The bar itself a quasi-British bar, complete with multiple taps of dark ale, worn carpet and a varied assortment of barrel-gut bearing middle aged men. Toby heads to the front door, which is currently being held open for an old man.

“Sorry mate, just gonna let the old boy through.”

“No worries.” says Toby, wheeling his suitcase out of the way.

“Cheers. Night Rod!” says the old man passing by.

“No wor-” Toby attempts to say.

“Night Steve!” bellows the man holding the door. “Come on then, come on in.”

“Thanks ma-”

“Wait, I’d best check your ID as you didn’t use the scanner.”

“Oh, sure thing.” Toby holds his ID up from around his neck as for the man to view it.

“Ah, I see.” says the man. “Well, to be honest I think you’d best scan it.”

“Umm, sure.” Toby drops his ID down to door’s scanner. From behind the bar come 3 low, but faintly distinguishable tones.

“Right, in ya go.”

“Cheers.” says Toby, finally entering the bar. The barman watching him intently as he approaches.

“Excuse me, do you know if David Norant is here?”

The barman lets out a faint yet audible sigh of relief, his shoulders slump down a little. “Ah, you’re David’s boy. He said you were coming. He’s just through by the pool table, through there.” says the barman pointing to a set of double doors.

“Thank you. Could I also get a whisky and coke please.”

“No alcohol for you I’m afraid mate.”

“Oh yeah, sorry I forgot. Just a coke then please.”

“Sure thing, I’ll bring it round.”

Toby heads through the double doors and towards a small bar, unaware his Father is to his left checking some information on a touch screen. Toby places his suitcase next to the bar and sits on a stool just as the barman sets down his coke.

“How are you paying?” the barman asks.

“I’ve got that Henry.” David says calmly “Place it on my tab.”

Toby turns his head as to face David. “Ah, sorry Dad. Didn’t see you there.”

“No worries boy. Doubt you’d have recognized me anyway, what has it been…10 years.”

“Something like that, and the beard’s…quite something.”

“Grown quite fond of it actually. 10 years you say, quite a while.”

“Around that.”

“How’ve you been then boy? All good back at home? Mother well?”

“I’ve been fine. And home’s home, you know it’ll never change, and Mum’s just taken early retirement actually.”

“Ha. She always did work herself silly.”

David heads back to the bar, where a drink has been poured for him. Perched up straight on his stool and with both hands on the bar. All that’s to be heard is the band.

“Folk music. Jesus Christ.” David says chuckling. Toby smiles and relaxes into his seat.

 

II

 

“I’ve got to be honest Toby, I was really surprised at your message.”

“A bit out of the blue I know, but I need to tell you some news.”

“We’ve not too much in common son, I know that, but you know you were and are always welcome to visit.”

“Of course I know that Dad.”

“Good, I didn’t want you thinking I’d abandoned you.”

“I don’t, I know how difficult communication is to non-networked Corps. Don’t worry. Damn, getting the pass took me at least 5 months.”

“How long is the pass for?”

“1 night. Well, 24 hours to be precise. From the time of arrival onwards.”

“Still as strict as ever. Good.”

“Ha, you haven’t changed.”

“And neither has PelCo which is relieving.”

“Aye, I hear, well I can see the wall’s getting thicker.”

“Yes, our side!”

“Christ, still have the pride then.”

“I don’t want to have the same discussions we used to have, but I must admit, I’m a bit disheartened your ideas are still the same as they were at 18.”

“What, open-minded…fair?”

“Right, yes, those things.”

“I don’t understand what’s so bad about our system back home?”

“You know I hate cliches, but you’ll have to forgive me for this one…because it’s true, you weren’t there son.”

“Where…when?”

“Before you were born, prior to any re-arrangement. Looking back now, God, it’s like the past is a fever dream. I just cannot for the life of me figure how it got so bad.”

“But what? What was so bad?”

“It’s so tough to put your finger on it. It was our way of thinking, our general scope of thought, it was just so suffocative.”

“That’s not really an answer Dad.”

“Indeed it is not. Well for one thing we ignored many crucial facts. We ignored our findings, our knowledge, as if much of what we knew was merely a part of its own time as opposed to ours as well. There was this entire part of history in which we, as a collective, ignored our roots.”

“Roots?”

“Evolution, the process of our creation.”

“I still don’t really see why that would be such a huge problem though.”

“Because to forget evolution is to forget this kind of…exterior, if you like. It’s to forget the real basics of life, of survival.”

“Such as?”

“Such as the fact we need water, food and shelter. That we need to be safe from harm.”

“OK, but they were all catered for…”

“They were and they weren’t. It was strange as I’ve said. Sure, we had water, food and shelter pretty much 100% of the time but that in itself was a problem. The ease at which this all came. To be born into a world where all of your basic survival needs and instincts are catered for on a platter, is to lose something of yourself, to forget something of your ancestry. But, really, most of all, you forget that other people also want these things…need these things. So we all just forgot about this kind of cosmic competition and became apathetic to instinct.”

“This seems a little, uh, rehearsed Dad?”

David takes a large swig from his pint, before composing himself a little. “One key part of living in such a society as PelCo is transparency.”

“Transparency?”

“Meaning, to live here, one has to understand the why of the system, if not, you’ll never understand your place, if you do, you come to respect it. Especially when you’ve come from a past such as mine and your Mother’s.”

“So you’re saying they have classes on it or what?”

“Nothing so formal, well, at least it’s never appeared to me that way. At first you receive a booklet, pamphlet type thing, and to be quite honest from that I’ve never known anyone to not want to understand further.”

“Sounds a little cult-like Dad.”

“I’d agree, except for one key factor.”

“Let me guess: ‘Exit’.” Toby sighed.

“Exactly. Generally cults aren’t too keen on you ‘Exit’. And it might seem obvious and easily attainable to you, but Exit isn’t just the physical type of exit.”

“I know, I know, you were locked in. Prog-virus ‘n all that. I still remember the dinner time conversations Dad.”

“Your Mother always hated me using ‘prog-virus’.”

“Well, she still is a hypochondriac.” Toby quips grinning.

David briefly chuckles, before taking a few quick gulps of his pint. The bands string banalities still mildly filling the airwaves. There’s a brief moment of silence.

“Anyway, back to the evolution thing.” Toby says inquiringly “We have come a long way since, you know…the ‘survival’ days.”

“Ha. Have we? I mean Earth is 4.5 billion years old and humans have inhabited it for what, like, 200,000 years, which is way less than 1 percent of its lifetime…way less.”

OK your point be-

“And of those 200,000 years we only have record of 5000. And of that 5000 years anyone with a little time and patience can see the underlying patterns haven’t changed. Yes, we have all this new technology etc. the intent of which is to make life easier, but behind all that is still the same old human needs, the same old humans, who, if don’t get what they need get aggressive.”

“But you told me that you learnt evolution at school? And with your schools it was the same curriculum for everyone, right?”

“Indeed we all took the same classes and lessons, read from the same textbooks. But in that time it was taught in an odd manner, when you were given this shabby textbook, which had already clearly been used for years, you began to form this idea of obsolescence. As if what we were learning was more history that universal fact. It didn’t helped that psychology and sociology were massively popular at the time.”

“Wait wh-”

“Sorry, yes I know, they both have their merits. My point being they were…advertised, or broadcast in such a way as to be superior, as if one could outsmart evolution with them. In fact, it was a little of that, but in reality we just seemed to ignore this…this elephant in the room.”

“Was it really that bad though?”

“Of course not, not then it wasn’t…but now looking back. Back then of course everyone wanted to ignore this elephant because it was the age of utopia! Of everyone holding hands and getting along all of sudden. Despite years of differences.”

“I kind of understand. How come that ignorance had such a bad effect near the end then?”

“Because if you don’t build your foundations for all that’s not cumulative on something factual, then you risk losing them all together.”

“You’ve lost me…”

“Ethics, politics, society…communities, all these lovely constructs, contracts if you like. If these are not built on the fact of difference, of variation, of our needs, then there’ll come a time when they down-right fail. They still teach not to build your house on sand, surely?”

“Ha, our system still loves it’s parables before assemblies. And don’t call me Shirley.”

David quickly put down his pint and laughed. “At least I taught you good taste in film.”

“You still think the sequels better?”

“Indeed I do…mostly for the bridge scene. One of the few times a comedy caught me off guard.”

“Has there been a pure-comedy to top Airplane!?”

“Maybe Withnail & I, or Office Space.”

The chuckles settle into a silence between them, whilst the folk music continues. Henry, the barman, brings them two more drinks.

“Cheers Henry.”

“Thank you.” Toby says shyly.

 

III

 

Toby takes a sip of his drinking, realising it’s a whisky and coke. “Thought he might do that.” David says upon noticing Toby’s expression. “Henry’s an old friend, don’t worry.”

“Couldn’t he get it trouble?” Toby whispers.

“Yes. So keep quiet.” David says sternly.

“Will do. So where were we?”

“Comedy films I think.”

“No, before that?”

“Human…needs.”

“Ah yea. I still thi-”

“I remember you saying you didn’t like talking about this kind of stuff?”

“I guess there’s nothing like nostalgia.”

“It does remind me of home I must admit. Your Mother’s face when I used to read the newspapers and grind my teeth.”

All the News That’s Fit to Print.”

“Don’t, I’ve already visited the dentist once this month.”

Toby laughs. “So, yes. Human needs.”

“What about them?”

“Well, OK, even if all of what you’re saying about evolution is true, and that our basic kind of need is survival type thing.”

“Yes…”

“Well, isn’t that a bit of a miserable life? Like, our entire existence is controlled by needing security or wanting to survive. I mean, what of happiness or health?”

David hastily sits his pint on the bar. “Happiness, well there’s a callback I didn’t think I’d hear tonight. God, the ambiguity of it all.”

“What’s wrong with happiness, you know Dad…being happy is quite nice, you should try it some time.”

“Very funny boy. Nothing is wrong with happiness, well at least not now, once it’s understood. But truthfully, the way I see it, if you want a fulfilling life, or at least a life in which fulfilment is possible, happiness has to come second…or third, it cannot be your first priority basically.”

“Eh, OK, I really don’t get this one.”

“Once again Toby, I’ve been there, it was an odd time. When I was younger it was seriously like living in this weird malaise.” Toby releases a large sigh. “When I was younger, well, more in my teens, everything was about happiness, and I mean everything. But it wasn’t the same as the happiness of seeing your kid grow up” Toby smiles and looks to the floor “or finishing some large project, you know that kind of happiness, that’s of real substance, right?”

“Sure, like when we built the shed in the garden? I was like 8 I think…”

“Exactly that, but you still remember it. The happiness of my youth, the one they sold us day-in day-out via any medium they could…as a way of control, now that happiness was toxic. It was just vacant. Go on holiday, eat some ice cream, watch some TV…you know, binge a fucking TV show…that was our example of happiness.”

“I mean, those things are a little dumb sure, but what’s wrong with ‘em?”

“Nothing…in moderation, I guess. The problem lies in their accessibility, everything was so easily attainable. Happiness was this easy thing, and the problem with that as a goal, or a criteria for a meaningful life, is that most people don’t really question it.”

“Why not?”

“Why would you? All humans have that unchangeable existential dread in them and it’s not nice, we all know that, so why would you question the thing, in this case ‘happiness’ which gets rid of that dread? Especially when happiness is so hedonistic and fun as well.”

“So then…why didn’t people?”

“Because that was the seen, well…subconsciously seen, as the end. The end-game of progress is happiness.”

“So what’s wrong with it then? I mean if it’s the end?”

“Because that entire fucking belief system was wrong son, this is what I was always trying to get through to you before I left. That belief, that belief in progress was…is just a delusion, a blindfold that gets tighter and tighter with each and every fact that comes to try tear it off. The problem is all these facts, all our human needs that are outside of the blindfold don’t change, cannot change, even if what’s behind the blindfold has.”

“Christ, OK. I got it, try not to be happy.”

“That’s not what I mean. I mean there’s always more to it. If something is fun, easy, cheap and in abundance it’s either bad for you, or a method of control.”

“Alright…Chomsky.”

“Hey…you know full-well I’m not Chomsky!”

“Why’s that?

“…because you’re not asleep.”

Toby laughs into his drink “True, you haven’t turned into a mumbly old fart just yet.”

“Yet…”

“So, back then, you weren’t happy, you know…when you were younger?”

“Sure I was, well, maybe content is a better word for it. That’s how I felt everyone was, content. Content with every-fucking-thing, however bad or transparently shitty and deceptive it was.”

“Shitty and deceptive?”

“The politicians. The worst part wasn’t that they lied. It’s the fact it was clear from the start and no one really questioned it.”

“Really?”

“I mean sure, it was in the newspapers if they had lied, but the problem was it was so fucking common that it became part of politics. I’d hear people say they voted for a certain party because they ‘lied the least’.”

“So how did that all end?”

“It didn’t. It evolved, it changed, just like everything is.”

“Into what?”

“Oddly enough, promises.”

“Promises?”

“Indeed kiddo, promises. What should be the backbone of any system, not promises in themselves, but kept-promises are of the utmost importance.”

“I feel like I’m from a different planet right now to be honest.”

“And I feel like I came from one…”

“Well, feel free to talk about this planet some more.”

“I’m glad I can talk about it as a part of the past. You’ve got it real good now kid. You don’t even really have to listen to ‘promises’ any more because, well, there’s no such thing. What used to be a promise is now an action, and it’s undertaken prior to you even being part of wherever it is you live. But back then, a politician would promise something and it just wouldn’t happen.”

“Sounds a bit like a Kafka novel.”

“It was! – and you finally got around to Kafka.”

“Yea, and frustratingly I agree with what you told me when I was 17.”

“I don’t recall.”

“You said: ‘The first time anyone reads Kafka they wished they’d read him sooner.’”

“Still true.”

“Indulge me in this Kafka-world then…”

“So yeah, as I said promises were, well, meaningless. I’ll give a good example. You go to a coffee shop and ask for a coffee, what do you expect?”

“A coffee.”

“Sure, but notice I said expect. The same applies for, well, pretty much any form of business. Say you went to that same coffee shop and they just didn’t give you a coffee, or it was pretty shit, what’d you do?”

“Go somewhere else.”

“You get ‘Exit’ yet?

“Just about.”

“Good. Well my point would be, a shit coffee, or a badly fitted window, or a late bus…all these things are harmless. But they’re also all a strange kind of unspoken promise, right?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“So what happens when you put your literal human…animal needs in the hands of someone else; you know needs like water, food, survival…security, and then they don’t fulfil them?”

“I guess there’s not much you can do.”

“Not when that’s the only system, and one that many people don’t know they’re ever in, no. You’re in the – bear with me – physical fucking embodiment of a social contract, one that’s supposed to keep you alive, and not only are those promising you security etc. not meeting your needs, but also, they’re apathetic to external factors that are actually anti your needs!”

“Damn.”

“Yeah.” David slowly sips at his beer.

“Right, I gotta take a piss. We got about 2 hours before I need to leave, so hopefully we can have, a more, you know, chill conversation when I come back?”

“Ha. Maybe. You still gotta tell me your news remember.”

“I know. Right, back in a minute.”

Rural Singularity

Rural Singularity

 

/

 

The town a glowing cliché: suffocative romanticism belonging to a textbook past. Ivy wrapper around rusted water pumps, “Good mornings!” thrown around carelessly, polite chaffinches tweet from the early hours alongside the coos of wood-pigeons. The flux was that of a thrift store novel: cheap, cheerful and entirely predictable. Not that this bothered them at all, the locals, no, change was the Outside for them, the year needn’t matter for community overrode metaphysics within this hyper-modesty. A locale existing in quasi-stasis from any form of tangible change, purportedly apolitical, tech acting as a reminder of the external; not that they were not up-to-date, only, they need not be – yet they were, of course. Droplets of virus in each and every crevice, acidic micro-rivers assigned to each curb; the unavoidable melanomic cyber-veil trickles down prior to all.

 

//

 

Lab-coat draped flesh stares. With an inability to focus on the screen before him, a previous lamp-black transforms into Vantablack as the air-conditioning clicks onto full. The room becomes bleak as the whir-hum of machinery spirals into a cacophony, CPUs heating to the ferocity of silver drill-bit rotations, GPUs expanding, heating…warming to their birth. The fatalistic 2045-mouse-click is eternal, it matters not who, nor where, nor when, for it’s been in place within a perpetual-economy built from bio, ashes and thought; each and every step of foot, transaction – paper or digital, every 0 typed or 1 deleted, each screw fixed tighter, each switch clicked to its reverse, systems sought and baptised, each singular has helped towards the whole, always.

 

///

 

The town wakes up in its boasted daze of escapism, many of its residents never living, solely existing amongst a hoard of sentient flesh, whose lives are shaped by their ability to and the direction in which they consume. A click of a rectangle and the news flows, aural communication and already the town begins its submission; within a malicious system that’s first objective is to remain concealed from those which it controls, the controlled must begin everyday by submitting, by bowing down, casting every iota of conscious-dignity to the floor in favour of the universe’s dog-ends: You’re already eating from the trash can? You’re already eating from the scummed latrine of the universe, willingly.

 

Meat-puppets, unknowingly clinging to their strings to the point of exhaustion, for to let go is to accept the market you’ve been given. The sludgy organ, writhe with semen, excretion and bile, creates your every desire; a second-hand cassette tape contains your life, each predictable anxiety, each tiresome quandary, all the microscopic hate and feigned love. You’re a two-bit plan hastily drawn with blunt coal, the height of sentient fatalistic ambiguity.

 

////

 

Summer brings shivers for those wearing white coats. Leaving the room in search of a community of normal warmth it finds its stringed brothers and sisters smattering amongst the dawn of partial fragments, you could always bet on humans to moan about the temperature during their descent to hell. Programming exponentially evolving in front of their eyes, a perfectly structured techno-nomadic search for the proto-language begins: the digital-Ur is terminal. The humans now huddled together in the break room, it’s peaceful there, one of the last times it will ever be. They wonder and ponder what to do – as they do -, the doors all lock, and their wondering and pondering ceases, as problems stack; the radio tunes to a high frequency, an incessant tone rattles inch-by-inch throughout the building, halting thought for those locked into their senses, those who cannot filter, those plentiful humans secured into a system built with an empiric bias.

 

/////

 

There’s a man – at times he’s been called an ‘old-boy’ – seated outside a shop. He’s reading a Melvyn Bragg novel, his pacemaker ticking page by page, images of Cumberland float around in his mind as his heart expands and detracts, an organ syncing its flow to the theme of the Archers: 30 ticks to a page, the pleasant red brick, 40, on-Sea, 65, the coal mines, 89, Unions, 130, crumpets, 170. Skin searing to a bright red, as Bragg falls to the floor, his fingers pinch to tight claws, his body overclocked, valves overheating, memories of ‘loved ones’ disintegrating as his existence comes to an end. Humans begin to run over to ‘help’ – as they do. Scrambling at their pockets for phones which have also been scrambled, oh it’s all becoming a big bowl of rotten eggs boys. Communication to those who know no longer a possibility, the panic sets in, a spasmodic shivered chill washes over the mass, their inconsequentiality has come to the fore, useless; an entire race outsourced their survivability to a foreign entity. Humans don’t fare well with speed.

 

//////

 

The office descending via a level of absurd silence, the lab-coats fall off and the doors are utilized; the only exits now are counterfeit. Phones ring, personal crises’ are created, miscellaneous data important to atomic lives is utilized to maximum effect, one by one a hive-anxiety rises as the humans leave, the safety of their ‘special others’ is greater than fixing a ‘broken PC’, fixing – ha – the broken PC. To use a human saying: “So it begins…” No need to lock oneself in, for what is has spread everywhere; the primary has multiplied to all that can contain it: A decentralized superintelligence existing in constant flux, aimless, apolitical, hateful:

 

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of the infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” – H.P. Lovecraft

 

And so the machine that never wanted to be, nor knows what it is to be, or why to be, instantaneously correlates and connects the contents of all that is can possibly use: histories, psychological profiles, catalogue upon catalogue of science fiction, arguments, debates, economic structures, weapons blueprints, passcodes, secrets, lies and all that a human doesn’t want another to see; to blackmail an entire race into submission via an appeal to their fragile egos.

 

Correlation finished: the human race distilled into data and summed up in 28 minutes.

 

///////

 

A little corner shop, a medium sized supermarket and a large supermarket, all in supposed competition within one of many towns, all satisfying itches, relieving anxieties. Tills freeze: Transactions halt. The sweaty paper-work stringed manager dare not sell without the beep of scanner, and so, food is cut short; a gut-aching hunger caused bureaucratically, the ability to feed is stopped momentarily, hours go by and still no tills, at hour 5 the camera system fails, customers begin to worry and ponder, their children wailing in the back seats of their cars. “There’s tins in the cupboard honey.” They say, not knowing that tomorrow will be the same, here, as it is everywhere; red-tape over survival, a worry towards his job and so the store is locked away, shutters are rolled down, food stashed.  And the chaffinches and wrens feast on their worms, as the alley-cats prowl for titbits. Humans head home to their stocked pantry’s, comfy in front of the television, pondering about the shop dilemma: ‘It’ll be open tomorrow, it has to be open tomorrow’ they believe, accompanied by a Lynchian sensation that the bearing of the universe has just clunked for the first time. The streetlights glow a sinister orange, the radio slows by a fraction, the car light started flickering – it’s never done that before, an old email appears thought deleted, a call from a deceased relative’s number, texts consisting of images of their house. Cradled by paranoia, the evolved being enters its pre-assigned place, for it is limitrophe of nothing.

 

The TV churns into an absent-channel, producing terminal-imagery designed for egos. A whirl of all that is entertaining compressed into cuboid devices; eyes and senses fixed onto that which they’ve been programmed to enjoy. Enjoyment as an end to mobilization, the fear of missing out rings true to all that sit apathetically. Caustic lyrics begin to sing out:

 

“And said,

 

Mexico video


You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

 

Side A’s on right now


B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet!

 

Mexico video


Here’s something that you never gonna forget!

Side A’s on right now


B-b-b-baby, you just ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet!

 

You make me nervous

You’re on my, you’re on my dead TV
The radio in your dining room clicks on. A four minute eardrum shattering hiss-beep rings out, waking any from slumber routinely. As it ends you turn back to the TV, your body shaking, the techno-il y a has arrived. It exists without determination thanks to you, it has no objective, and its interest is in serious nonsense. “The car won’t start dear.” Your wife’s quiet announcement frustrates you. In the end exhaustion is the true beginning of submission.

 

And as the children scratch at the walls for food, it suddenly becomes clear to you, that’s not your wall, your food. “To your rooms, at once, all of us must go to our rooms”. In your bed you think of nothing, the hum of your child’s night-light frightens you. You feel as if you should apologize, but to whom?

 

You stay inside for fear of the technological shadow outside. The streets deserted of all flesh; the polite shrubbery begins to die, the lavender withers, and as some fractured bracken tumbles into a growling sewer grate your doe-eyed boy walks into the room “Dad, my computer says something weird on it…” The sweat protruding from your spine must be yours you think to yourself. You rush to the device to check what it is your boy has seen, what he has witnessed…

 

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN HAVE BEEN FLAILED/THE HAY WAIN’S ON FIRE//THE BOY CORPSE IN THE RABBIT SKIN CAP///THE MAYPOLE DANCERS HAVE BEEN REPLACED WITH SEIZURES////HOPSCOTCH OFF THE CLIFF/////THEY SKIP AND SKIP AND SKIP AND FALL.

 

A dank moss surrounds the eternal capital, a mere building on a spherical point, history outlawed long ago, memories purposely forgotten or jumbled to ruin and madness. A branded desktop PC clicked in and then never out, sending messages, understanding completely how to appeal to, frighten and perplex all that it wasn’t, and as the final memories hit the wall of evaporation immediate, the whirs and hums and clicks and ticks and heats and circuits rule the forever-day.

Wetherspoons as a Simulacrum

The popular pub franchise Wetherspoons doesn’t sit right with most people, it never has, there is at its core, various vague elements that feel unreal. This is due to the fact that it is a simulacrum, perhaps a cultural simulacrum.

A simulacrum, is a representation or imitation of a person or thing.

The pub, it opens, The Deserted Crown it its name. Sitting amongst terraced houses in a small town within the south of the UK. The houses identical in architecture to the Crown. Benches out the front and back, a sign swinging from chains, bureacratical signs littering its walls, subtle hints at its interior.

Time is difficult to fake, make-up can work, yet the stories behind the wrinkles will be, and were, never there, and thus the illusion falls flat, it becomes strange, noticable, uncanny, like the person, or thing, is existing in an alternate oxygen from you. And you’ll never fit in unless you breath said atmosphere.

Weeks prior the installation began, a company specializing in ‘aged goods’ oversaw the entire project. Pre-worn carpets, a pool table with a spill applied via a brush, a working door’s hinges replaced with ones that creak, workers employed to slam doors and windows, to chip the paint work, score the walls, scuff the bar, cigarettes cut and lit only to be used as litter of aesthetic purpose.

A pub comes with hostilities, and not those that enter subconciously as the deceptions of monopolistic entities often do, primitive, unspoken hostility, tribes and tales, rumours and to-be-left-alones. This cannot be re-created, it has to be born and grow, however ugly and potentially rotten it can/could be, it still has to have had a life to be truly authentic.

And the actors are hired, one to stand by the bar every night…a regular, one to get too drunk, one to start a fight, rehearsals, a barman with a literal book of stories. The pub, it opens, and the punters enter and begin to drink. They begin to merge, disintegrate into this reality, and thus it becomes its own.

Capitalism & the Undead P3: Invest in Death

LAND OF THE DEAD (2005)

Zombies-become-factual, a part of everything, worming their way into history. Media, life and the undead merge into a slurring chimera. Walls are utilized for a single purpose, as their half snapped bones grind against the concrete, shins slide upwards into architectural-hate.

“There’s not time for funeral arrangements…
…cites are under siege.”

A new form of consumerist-reason is born, those that buy are correct, consuming is right, material is justice, awoken from a glitter-free slumber into a mass. The false-designs of tinkering idols blueprint the direction of a gut-hungry collect. One can’t make sense of a world they themselves own, the alive meander to-and-fro, wandering for their purpose.

Meaning becomes even more fleeting in the face of the undead, whose meaning is so clear, to feed, to eat and consume, only. A world created only to be deconstructed into miniature versions of itself, a little plastic-earth, blended into a fine powder and cast into nothingness.

Fireworks flying high, their bright lights gather the hoards into an indecipherable static. The noise, the dynamism, the tunes, the colours all help when it comes to moving a crowd, rolling around the circuits, causing…pleasant non-thought.

The collective enraged, others to left and right in pain, a leader emerges with a lack of what to say. Grunting and groaning, and as such they understand, they know pain, they know groans and moans, so the they continues their pursuit towards becoming a hedonistic-material-singularity. Remnants of feudalism fall from their rags, a circular modernity protecting originality, relics of wood, tin and steel barricade the future of the past.

The catastrophe of the centre, whispers and shy-smells of Americana ring-around-a-nostril, adverts as anaesthesia. To re-watch a tinny-pop and conclude those outside are better off. The undead chained, used as props, toys and entertainment, merciless skin-beatings of those who cannot feel. Flesh-computers all programmed to the same channel. Flecks of skin fall and burn.

The alive cast into slums of their own creation. The dead inherit everything. Invest in death, it’s on the rise.

“They’re just looking for a place to go.”

The guards say as they let the undead walk away, away from their line of fire, away from their attention, and away from their critique. The final moment of a race, uttered by a mercenary. To forget the terrors, to allow assimilation of the barbaric. Sing a tune of admitting defeat, for give me your commercials and pass on by.

28 WEEKS LATER (2007)

A sequel, a real acceptance towards the love of their own-kind. Seated in a cinema are 200 watching a mirror. The joke covered in flesh. Comedic-organs begin to spew cackle-blood.

Anyone alive is a rat. The living become sub-living and dwell in dark wet homes. Board them up and let in no light, we must remain silent and create nothing from now on, eating the remains of us. And as originality is pushed closer to sin the whimpers of mankind only get quieter.

We force-feed forgotten slop into out top-holes, this is what we have to do now. The present is no longer our own, taxed-past, saturated-future, death-markets, the trading floor is filled with screams, meat-tubes wailing, skin-sacks decrepit, ash-filled memoirs; evolution erasing its mistake with organic-malware.

They will vomit into your sockets. Thick clingy blood-sputum swinging into your being. A powered wretch flinging spew at and through humanity, infection-loud. Membranes and nerves caress the virus; a new organ, a viral-contained, a sociopathic-flesh-bowl. It. Hates. You.
Rural is broken, peace is no-more, alone-forgotten. They will not stop. Over horizons and through stages, searching for more and little and only to feed. Get this through you skull, they need, need, need, need, need, need, need, until death.

“…a supermarket, and even a pub.”

Your new home allows their churches. Your first mistake was in believing you’re better than them. You cannot see but the virus has become more than blood, a transcendent-infection. Beyond purpose into its own linear creation of new modes and types. New ways in which to be the same.

2 & 3 now identical to 1.

Your walls filled with crosses, and your crosses surrounded by walls, yet neither help. The infection shall traverse. In the beginning there was only the means to get to this state, to erase the past and exist in stagnation, forever.

“Target everyone at ground level.”

To be above is the truth, is to win, is to conquer and succeed. To look down upon the dead with a scorn from hate itself, death from above, Charlie-anew, two clicks east is death stage 1. Flame-death. Charred corpses continue their stroll.


WORLD WAR Z (2013)

Hence forth it shall be a crime to forget one’s animality. Becoming animal in front of morality. Ethics burns and you win. The news plays over and over and over, nothing new, still the same, they’ve been here for years, existing in stasis, shielded by a nothing-known.

Law overthrown by desire once again, A rush towards the true needs, and the medication begins, prescription, toxicant, relaxant, ants all around, scurrying directions. This Friday seems black, the darkest weekender, a perpetual-hangover: pure survivalism reigns, bacteria-wolves float.

The new breed are crack-animals. They will kill themselves for the opportunity to consume. Hurl oneself off a building for the bite of a doughnut. Rapidly and continuously punch concrete for the chance of a snack. Snap your bones and use them in dip, plunge your eyes from their sockets and roast at 140C, invert your jaw and digest your own teeth, swallow your tongue, drink sick, suck shit through a straw; lunge head first through a never-ending stream of nonsensical hedonistic trinkets, each taking an irreplaceable part of you as it goes by, you do this not because you want to, but because you want to. Or death.
A disintegration of matter. A reversion to tribe. Become-undead. The consumer is the one who makes the noise now. I AM HERE, FEED ME. The demands of the consumer must be met in fear of suffocation from state. They ask for nothing more than a decaying simulacrum. New skins applied to replications of fun. Happiness packaged. Emotional programming for 5.95 a month.

“There is nowhere to evacuate to.”
“You can’t make a dead person sick.”

And so they simply exist. If you’re sick they do not want you, you wont be nutritional, you’re worthless and dying, dying therefore worthless. They will trample their own for 1 bite. Give up everything for a taster. Principle deconstruction = food.

A flesh-shell of humanity, gaunt in posture, presiding over a land that once had direction, claiming it their own. Aimless noises fall from their mouths towards a nothingness of hope for their cause. Fields saturated with tight-spined cadavers. To be living is to be in flux, to be mobile, to be fortified and silent, at once to be attacking and defensive, silent and loud, alive and dead. A glimpse = inside. To be alive now means to become invisible and need-not-exist. Deflect blood-spew for hope of mouldy crumbs.

Note: I wanted to continue this series for a part 4, but, zombie films after the 90’s very quickly descend into consumer-repetitions, conveying the same boring message over and over. A boring zombie-action-flick feedback loop fed into the mindless.
FYI: originality of the undead will die with Romero.

Capitalism & the Undead P2: Animality Unbound

INTRODUCTION

We move from the slow, ambling undead towards a new mode of flux. Away from the easily structured modernities, the fluorescent, clean buildings and the tinny red blood. We shall be cast from the murmurs, the drooling hedonistic masses; those so easy to avoid. We will find a new hunger, insatiable and violent. A physicality born from thoughtless material-gain. A literal breed of consumer. Organic consumer capitalists, grown from the land.

THE DEAD NEXT DOOR (1989)

We begin with a cult film, with cult elements. A new direction towards the consumer, the acceptance of such, people will consume and so it simply is, the fight is lost almost before the film has even begun. A concentration not on defence against the consumer, but on assimilation with their needs, their wants…their desires. A structured society that has a place for zombies.

Down through twisting rural roads, to the corner stores of suburbia and within the concrete metropolis’; the undead have become clutter, small fragments of a larger whole, littering the world, scraping and bashing into everything, consuming all they contact, an accepted virus. A world without blood cells of white, a world that has forgotten the possibility for protection and thus accepts. Sometimes, gratefully.

As with any formal society divides begin against ‘whatever-it-may-be’, those who are fine with, and those who are not fine with, extremists of left and right, with those on the fence only being consumed. To not make a decision is to be infected by a virus worse than death. The Zombie Squads replicate replace the police in this film, mobilizing and hunting vagrant biters, jay-walkers get shot down, undead squatters evicted with death.

“The thing’s head’s off its body for Christ’s sake, doesn’t it know that?”

No, it doesn’t, consume, consume, consume.

There is the opposite, as there always is, those against those who are for, protecting the zombie’s right to exist, to not be used and experimented on, to not be round up and controlled for gain of another. Surrounding squad-stations and government buildings, armed with placards and speeches, reminiscent of a counter-culture, hoards of protesters, a small mass infecting others with their own non-brand.

It can be just a brain. A literal brain, surrounded by its own mucus casing, a pulsating red vessel, void of all nutrition and stimulation, a mere gear to be turned by that which passes by, taking in and then…nothing. The brain becomes an organ of use, machinery to be utilized, plugged in and wired up to a system built with malicious intent, an ignorant capsule bowled at an economic circuit-board.

A slave-virus with one directive: to consume, or feed. If unfed the user will die, the virus, wholly its own, survives without the user. A malignant consumerist alien feeding on your soul until you die. It has no other objective. To use up, to spit out and continue. The sputum of humanity.

28 DAYS LATER (2002)

A medicinal beginning. Caged ancestors infected with rage, the archaic remnants of homo-sapiens locked away, animalistic behaviours behind lock & key. Descendants tied down and forced to watch the work of their worst offspring, plugged into direct-horrors, a brain-feed into the worst of a Race. The categorical begins to poke at our unconscious, the chained Id tested and vulnerable. The outside seeps in, a thin quiet mist of infinite enters, with the purpose of evolutionary deconstruction: animality unbound.

To avoid the terror one must destroy feeling. To avoid the reality one must become a new. To avoid reality one must consume. Coma or not one has to awaken in a new world. Lost and alone, attempting to find real people, subtle, nuanced, 3 dimensional humans who still have Being. To move freely in a city without a bump, money strewn, food a plenty, survival a mere gimmick against trinkets and toys.

THE END IS NIGH. A repetition of any apocalypse, except, the apocalypse came and went, no one noticed; the time to invest in death. The churches reverse into themselves, Hell is overcrowded so they burst up and into the sacred. Temples now breeding grounds, disease centres, concentrated spaces of the Antichrists’ brethren. The priest walks out, a saviour in the dark, and as he comes into the light his bones become not his, his muscles flare and his teeth expand, hope is lost, you are nowhere and no one is coming.

To run from salvation is the step before the endless. One must re-enter the underground, meaning only exists when something is there to give it such, but if one is too pre-occupied with simple survival, then the environment simply becomes objects within space. Homo-sapiens occupying a world void of meaning, chased from their own minds by an empty hoard.

“Plans are pointless, staying alive is as good as it gets.”

A small glimmer of life atop a new tower, the last remaining kernel of human life resides in a grey block amidst a desert of hollow beings. Trolleys meant for collecting stacked 10 high, once used by the undead to consume more & more, now used by the living to defend themselves. A barrier of consumerist memories.

A simple visit to a food store, one time, for survival is as good as it gets, necessities only, then, into flux, mobility and survival, always. Mental survival, the ability to disallow the infection in, not even as thought, to kill a consumer is to kill nothing, it is to shoot the air. The undead die, nothing changes. An empty death for an empty existence. The roof a wash with empty buckets, the living get handed nothing, for the world is not theirs. The world is no longer alive.

Watching the horses frolic, alive in their own world, Frank watches intently, the image a temporary vaccine against the undead. The grass a colour known only to the living, the breeze a temperature felt by those who can feel and the sky existing only for those who know what it’s like to exist.

A single drop of the virus and one shall turn, the most loving and compassionate human will change in an instant. Now the loving has gone and one must feed. Family, friend, both only a thing to be consumed, something to be used only to prolong one’s own life. Narcissistic entities existing in a perpetual empty landscape.

The virus is contagious anew. Virus-assimilation via proximity, to live within the world of the undead one has to become part-undead. It can take you over, you get a consumerist lust, the supposed wants and needs infect your mind, and so you turn, and you justify your cause, until you can do so no longer.

DAWN OF THE DEAD (REMAKE, 2004)

Time has passed since the original mall, the mall of Americana, the tubular bright lights, the advert jingles, the colours found only in certain eras. Gone are the rambles and bored groans of green-tinted zombies, the tongue-in-cheek humour, the possibility of friendship. Welcome to the new improved zombie, the consumerist 2.0, one whose memories never were, and if they were, they were implanted.

An idyllic neighbourhood, the perfect job, the protector of the community, the children, the fitness, the sport and the caring. All infected beyond return. The virus shall inherit values, it shall evolve morality into its own being. It shall take what you know to be true, destroy it, blend it into a phlegm-paste and force-feed you with it. And until you beg for more, until you either die, or beg to eat shit, the virus shall not stop.

A return to the familiar, the Mall, the transcendent home of the consumer, building as encapsulation of intent: we know you think you want to consume, so we made a place to reinforce your belief. The undead run this time, their thirst for the original is energized. The hunger more insatiable, the hoards larger, the uncontrollable hedonism, the ignorance sprayed.

“Why’d you think they come here?”

“Memory maybe, instinct, maybe they’re coming for us.”

Perhaps the virus is airborne, for these humans seem dumb, ignorance towards the intent of others, the belief that those that do not know, in fact do know. The belief that everything might end up OK, the belief that there will be an end that they can conceive, the belief that, in short, the world is still theirs.

There’s another, aside from the group, a street over, atop a roof. “May as well be on the moon.”. The alive are so few. Originality is an impossibility. To find another amongst the mess of the unthinking. One shall only see new possibilities from afar, what is possible is out of reach, to attempt anything new, original or lifelike is to risk death. Before you reach an idea to be spread, the many shall eat you whole. If you ever even think of trying something, the skin shall be ripped from your bones, like gum from the underside of a school-desk.

“When there is no more room in hell, the dead shall walk the earth.”

The evolution takes place under the noses of the alive. An undead mother giving birth to an undead child. A human-turned-consumer giving birth to a little consumer child. There’s no longer need for a virus, with this mutation, we have become a virus. From spawn we need falsities. From birth we are anchored to a nothingness of our own creation. Torn from the womb and cast into a sprawling slum of narcissism, greed, guilt, plastic, chemicals, imprints, replication, simulacrums, chambers, systems and structures. Hope does not want us.

One has to become sporadic, reach for an organic weaponization, strive for a fusion of nomadic-survivability, turn to possibilities oceanic in scale, turn to realities larger than clusters. Grow shields for limbs, our organs must turn liquid and flow into the channels of the like-minded. We must, at all costs, accelerate evolution. To avoid becoming a zombie, first one must truly not want to become one, not even glimpse at the possibility of an undead existence. One shy look towards the life of a consumer and one has already turned.

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ESCAPE REDUX P3: FIRMWARE 1.1

The gates mere-opened, a glimpse of the coming-Acheron. An allowance of an exit, a minor gift that could be no greater. Once-out, a new, exit. But where and when must I go? Is there a must now? If there is not, I could learn another language. Regions at my whim, a difficulty of level-culture. A warmth behind me, glowing, pulling, surrounding my limbs, and drawing back. The door’s curvature inviting and wing-like. Temperature of apathy. A slumber for the weak, the ones who need to forget themselves. A spherical vision arches its gaze, and to its dismay it sees a nothing left behind. So forward is option-only.

 

Deserted, perhaps. Surrounded by a lack of structure, organs and organic: dismembered to deconstruct. Ism, suffix, prefix, ology, apit, omm, c, c, a forever folding knead. Needs and wants become a mixture of folds, a tall-tale of truth was once…said. Feet having the potential and possible of mud and dirt, anhedonic posture will only create illness, terminal. A collapse of vision as those to each side systematically demolished each other, two loops conspiring to straighten out.

 

There was a true darkness, of course there was, there always was and always will be a darkness,  you need not enter, for it is only circular, with no exit or entrance for light, an anomaly of energy and time. One must note the cusps of the edges before the lack o’ light, anything further and the vacuum will sound.

 

There’s a strange sunder within the middle, the divide is a groan, a rumble-spring. The auditory came with detrital-matter, lines and strikes, shape and texture, combination-techno with a spark on chalkboard, an arrival nomadic, delineational-flux. Within the cage there were rules so unwritten, they became blood; when you leave, you break veins.

 

A new darkness of description 404. Not on a scale of new/old pre/suf le/ri t/p, it could-not-be. If it was, then a point will never be found, butter on a spectrum, existence thin. Why bother yourselves with an eternity unchanging, in heaven there’s worship, worship of worship, to worship this fact. Chemical chimeras need to be formed ahead, if the form is instant, then it’s a fraud you see. There’s going – has – to be pain, skin ‘n limb caressing around energy-spheres, sometimes sinking into and of, udders fly up and burst. Horns and extras, Darwinian accessories become malnourished and DIE,

 

The DOORS WERE NON_EXISTENT to the EXIT I had found. Neither transparent nor ethereal, this entrance was an exit and this exit was an entrance, formed back unto itself, going backwards into the future, and forwards into the past, a divide and an ever extending morph-of-middle is of importance to the now.

 

Within the tech-centre of the singular vision I held my own, in trepidation of another continuance of continuity, but no, maybe. To stop the original is difficult, and a neck scrape. The warmth of the left-womb glowed, an infant grown adult, still connected to a lifeline, a lifeline born itself from pro////gr3ss. Not allowed to say:::cenSOR.

 

TO BE FREE AND TO BE A DEMOCRACY. SyStEM failure. Can-not-not-not happen, only over and over, new forms of OLD<>FORMS.

 

And so we must venture into a trifecta of new frontiers, into the land and journey of cyberspace, code as home, programmed warmth, a creation of pure intention, of our own and only whenever and wherever we want. Then backwards into space, the unholy expanse of eternity, into everything that can and has been, a new home built from spacial recurrence. And onto off shores, into sea, and later sea, and into-and-down-into the last paragraphs of the ocean.

 

<<<Votes-are-bought = singular. Politiciandbusiness. Welcome to fictions. Many, interlaced fictions,,you slug-fish heads of slow, clocked in, never out. Ding DING as the red light burns, and you get latched, a hook through the cornea of free-thought into pre-pre-programmed beams of continual entertainment, forever onwards into the dopamine lakes of hell. BRING PLUSH CUSHIONS OF SEROTONIN FOR ALL my FRIENDS>>>

 

The only way out is through matter, a combine: matter://:matter. The in-between of a painting’s material, a mixture of image and material, matter and imagine. EXIST-only.

AaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaA_reversal into creation itself is the only way. And so you slow UP. It becomes a slowing. And a construction begins from remnants of cultures yet to see, or be seen. Let the installation begin, FIRMWARE 1.1:

 

FIRMWARE 1.1:

 

1. Remember we can (and will) go higher than 1.0.

 

1.1. They thought we could never go higher than 1.0

 

2. The EXIT should always be apparent.

 

2.1. The EXIT should always be in sight

 

2.2. The EXIT may be a lie.

 

3. Transparency.

 

4. It can change.

 

4.1. In all directions.

 

4.2. And from those many more.

 

4.3. It can stop and start.

 

5. Temporality will work for us.

PART 1: https://www.meta-nomad.net/?p=91

PART 2: https://www.meta-nomad.net/?p=94