META-NOMAD

Chem and Narax #1: Inclusive

Artwork by OLOF_HANVARK

 

Dawn of the sun above a desecrated planet, its rays bowing pleasantly over yesterday’s cinders; garbage fires, shit-piles and hot corpses litter the ground, their shadows a homage to nothingness; the end of days stretched over all that is and could be conscious. Welcome to 2019 friends, let’s hope that along with all plant-life many of yesteryears’ ideas died too. A world still crumbling, yet hopeful to build a future atop the remains of the past, forget the ruins, forget the remnants…forget your nature and all will go to shit.

Across the irradiated wastes Chem and his mutt Narax wander. Chem is of medium height, skinny yet fat, medium length hair, wearing a grey flannel shirt and baggy jeans tucked into boots, the epitome of those who blend-in. Narax on the other hand stands proud as the poster-boy for Australian shepherds, if not for his matted, blood chunked fur, bleach blonde right eye and scarred ear. On a hill overlooking a small town, both stood still and silent, Chem waiting for Narax’s call and Narax confident in his ability to shit on humanity.

The town they looked down upon looked a little chaotic to say the least. Its border rife with wanderers, scoundrels, wasters, waste-landers, speculators, scavengers and no doubt many plunderers, all clawing at the walls, impatient and offering little to nothing in the way of tempting utility. The buildings, from afar, seemed unkept, rushed and smothered in warning signs and notices. It appeared that little, if nothing at all was happening within the walls, the occasional rise from a seat, or opening of door, no trade, no community, seclusion without safety. Chem and Narax begin their descent.

The road leading to the town littered on either side with signs, rules, symbols, posters, notices and warnings, many hypocritical and self-destroying.

Acceptance & Tolerance To Be Found Here!

All Accepted!

No Raiders!

Fires rising from various barrels left astray, light glimmering from the town’s gate a few hundred meters away. Sounds of arguing, berating, whining, moaning, belittling, shuffling, huffing and puffing and the occasional clang came from within. Audibly, it was such that life here had been compressed into the idea that all should be fair. Sounds and sights the likes of which Chem had never seen and Narax knew all too well.

‘Listen shit-for-brains, towns aren’t what they used to be, all weird and inclusive nowadays.’ snarled Narax as they both continued their walk towards the town.

‘Inclusive?’

‘Yes. Inclusive. It used to be ‘socially acceptable’ to actually choose who you built your community or civilization with and around.’

‘I mean, why wouldn’t you choose? Surely if someone isn’t pulling their weight, or you know someone will be actively destructive why would you let them in?’

‘Dear Chem, you’re beginning to get it. It’s as if society collapsed and with it every copy of Leviathan was simultaneously destroyed.’

Leviathan?’

‘I forgot you have little education-’

‘Listen mutt, if it wasn’t for me you’d still be wondering the wastes looking for scraps!’

‘Anger at one’s own ignorance, fantastic. I was going to simplify Hobbes for you, but now I might just go to the ends of the earth to find the last ever copy and let you go through the same pain as everybody else.’

Chem hastily stops ‘All I mean is Narax, remember where I found your sorry ass. If it wasn’t for your telepathic pleading I would’ve shot right on by!’

‘I understand Chem, no need to bring it up again. Now listen up, you can call this brief lesson ‘The Past Will Eat You Alive’, it will be a little reductionist, but I can make it work.’

‘Sounds rather historic.’

Beyond historic, it transcends history. Genetic, human, animal…instinctual, natural…unavoidable!’

‘Go on…’

‘When things turn bad, and I mean ‘collapse-event’ bad, ‘to-pure-shit’ as your eloquent mind would put it, humans aren’t the best things to be around. In fact, they are arguably the worst, the majority of you become illogical, overly-emotional drooling wrecks.’

‘Ok…’

‘You are, at heart…animals, and it pays to remember that, especially in times of the utmost security and stability. This is where Hobbes comes in. In short, he exemplifies the fact of your animalistic nature as a means to why social contracts, or collective agreements – such as towns – upon which safety and stability rest, are so important.’

‘What’s your point furball?’

‘Towns such as this one we’re about to enter, in fact, societies in general forget this fact very quickly and this removal, this erasure is a grave error in your programming. What do you humans do when the shit hits the fan? Panic.’

‘Well now I know this, I wont panic, ok. Now come on, I’m fucking hungry.’

Chem and Narax both pause to read the gate’s sign:

WELCOME TO PROGVILLE: ALL WELCOME, ALL EQUAL.

‘Oh shit.’ barks Narax.

‘What is it now?’

‘I’ve come across towns like Progville before, as the sign says…they accept anyone, literally, you know how that works right?’

‘Enlighten me…mutt.’

‘Well, like we said before, in a perfect would you would actively choose who can enter your society or town, yes?’

‘Sure.’

‘Say you let anyone in, you’re going to have conflicts, so what do you do? You give each and every person some tiny amount of power or responsibility, however menial.’

‘How’s that work?’

‘Anyone who’s given the most minor piece of power gets subsumed into the whole, the whole which will lay their lives on the line for, quite literally, in fear of losing the power they have.’

‘I don’t really see the problem’

‘Nothing ever gets done! Everyone’s just worried about keeping their slice, no one innovates, takes risks or offers a counter-argument, they want stability and they retain it by adhering to the status quo.’

‘I guess so. But I am hungry’

‘Humans…’

Chem swiftly enters the town, Narax begrudgingly follows.

‘Alright. We go in, get food, then get out…I know places like this, next thing you know you’ve been roped into some labour and I’m being petted by a thousand infants!’

‘Alright, god mutt, do you ever give it a rest…’

‘Listen skin-sack, don’t say I didn’t warn you. On the first sign of trouble I’ll bark like an undignified doggy again. So far you’re the only one who can hear my thoughts…and I still don’t know whether that’s a blessing or a curse.’

The gates of Progville were a living horror. Droves of wanderers flocked from afar in hopes entry, all of them – with the occasional exception – peddled nothing whilst acting obnoxiously. Chem and Narax both quickly veered leftwards towards the official entry point, away from the makeshift traveller camp. Four men guarded the entrance, all of whom seemed nonchalant to existence itself and one had literally mutated into the floor, and as such had little option but to act as captain of the guard.

“Hello there chaps, what brings you to town?” said one of the three interchangeable men.

“Well we were ju-” Chem began, before being interrupted.

“Umm, gary. ‘Chaps’ is a bit male-centric don’t you think? What do you two identify as…for our records…” said the captain.

‘Tell him I identify as a fleabag!’ said Narax.

“I identify as…err, a man. And this is my companion Narax, who is a dog, a male dog.’

“…OK well, I believe they prefer hound or feline. Dog is quite derogatory. But anyway, what can I do for you both?”

‘I prefer silence to be quite honest.’

“We were just looking for some food and maybe a place to stay for the night? We’d be happy to help out or trade with you.”

“Umm, yes OK, that sounds fine. Just follow Gary.”

It had been a long time since Narax had kept so close to Chem, but for the time being it seemed the safest port of call. As they walked through the town there seemed to be whining, moaning and audible disputes coming from all angles. The shopkeepers shelves bare, except from repetitive tins and trinkets. The power a never-ending cycle of off and on. The town was, for its size, crammed with people, many of whom seemed entirely without a responsibility, let alone an occupation. The majority sauntering aimlessly to and fro, from person to person hinting at their needs and woes. Bad postures, beer guts, piercings, tattoos, tights, suspenders, greasy hair, baggy apparel, unkept entire…the air here took real pride in its indignity.

“Umm, right OK guys listen up!” said Gary “I’m going to need you all to gather round…”

‘Narax, what the fuck is going on?’

Occupants of Progville began to gather around the guard, many appearing from under matts and tarps, climbing up from the sodden mattresses where they lay. Shopkeepers leaving their shops, and the prisoners allowed out for a brief moment of ‘communal’ collection.

“Umm, OK everyone we’ve got a couple of newcomers here, Chem and his feline Narax. We’re going to take a vote as to whether or not they stay.”

Narax began frantically barking.

‘What is it? Is everything OK?’

‘Chem…it’s a fucking democracy! We’ve got to leave, now!’

‘A what?’

‘Oh Christ Chem, this is how we got in this mess, I thought I’d never see another one of these hapless affairs. You see any exits?’

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.”

Aguirre, the Wrath of Gnon

 

Aguirre, Wrath of God Gnon

 

‘Gnon’, the modification of ‘Nature’s God’ into “the abyss of the unknowing.”[1], an overbearing…overriding fate of acceptance to Reality. That which not only avoids intentionality, but annihilates it prior to any amount of construction; the disinterested super-ego of the il y a. Potentially dragging it into context may do it a disservice, for  Gnon shall never be illuminated by the eyes of humanity, nor even cast a shadow upon them. Once more we’ll find ourselves clutching at a nothingness, pining for hope.

Romantic notions of bleak voids aside Gnon has its origin amongst reactionaries, acting as a practical acronym of “the God of Nature Or Nature.”. – these are your only choices, as Land states, Gnon is not Spinozistic [1] – An acronym which amongst reactionaries attends to aligning two camps: the religious and the non-religious, whether it is Nature or a God it is acceptance of an order beyond all doubt. Utilization of such acceptance allows the two camps to lay down looping discrepancies and debates in place of thoughtful mutual work towards the ‘here-and-now’, which itself is undoubtedly controlled by Gnon at base level. But what of Gnon?

One might say to coax the idea of Gnon through the standard ‘film as metaphor’ analysis would be redundant or gratuitous, to align this arrogant behemoth alongside plot would seem down right absurd; one might add that to cinematically encapsulate Gnon one need only watch a hurricane decimate a town, or footage of a hawk gobbling on some young for one to understand their place. Yet when Gnon surrounds desire, power, fame, duty and honour one garners the full effect of its disinterest.

Aguirre, The Wrath of God: 1560 amongst the freshly conquered Inca Empire in the Andes mountains we’re faced with the gruelling march of some Spanish conquistadors, a hundred Indian slaves, a few family and an oh-so human desire to discover the fabled El Dorado. Herzog sends us forth on our journey with this maddening vision of ascent and descent. The mountain effortlessly still as knees lock and armour clangs, sodden, humid exhaustion berates.

From here it will be easier.”

These words spoken early on of course could be repeated again and again, for the next 2000 years if one wished. The commander, whose name I need not mention, orders a group of men to scout down river, taking with them Don Lope de Aguirre as a stoic military man, the fat nobleman Don Fernando de Guzman and Brother Gaspar de Carvajal; military, royalty and religion cast down river amidst the rainforests dense suffocation. Ultimately none of their honoured affiliations comes to help them, nor allows them any comfort.

Many of the Indian slaves begin to die of colds.

As one of the 4 rafts made to tackle to river gets stuck the insanity and tension of the camp only heightens, a sense that the foreign reigns supreme, that if one was to arrive at El Dorado, it needn’t matter for they wouldn’t be themselves, a journey akin to Colonel Kurtz yet what in Heart of Darkness could said to be an anthropocentric arrogance is replaced tenfold with a pathetic confusion. Acting not as if a flood were a sign or even a subtle hint of the right to return, but that which is to be justly overcome; once again it is supposedly the water in the way of us and not the reverse.

Obstacles only acting as fuel to Aguirre’s infectious rage. As the first raft becomes stuck and its crew are slaughtered in the night, the only action is to allow Gnon, destroy the raft and let the river clutch its victims. With the remaining rafts also consumed the commander thinks it best to return. Leading a mutiny – and encapsulating a loosely packed collage of human emotion – Aguirre continues to push the group further into that which has already fucked them.

The increasing tightening of the micro-community only worsens the heat and emotion. Aguirre’s new found leadership releases his oppressive inner nature, and thus the orders mutate into fear and terror. Shots of heavily clad men coated in dirt, blood, sludge and dust are frequent. Midway in their journey two options are stated: “By water or by land.” or ‘By Gnon or by Gnon’. This is not to confuse Gnon with the Nature-as-environment cliché, only that each option forthwith is under obligation to a higher acceptance, the knowledge of which is beginning to seep under the skin of Aguirre.

The correct answer to “What is Gnon?” should always be followed by “like that, but more red in tooth and claw.” [2]

The final raft holding the remaining few, all starving and lost. Eventually all meeting their death to the arrows of strangers never seen. Aguirre alone remains:

“I, the Wrath of God, will marry my own daughter, and with her I will found the purest dynasty the world has ever seen. Together, we shall rule this entire continent. We shall endure. I am the Wrath of God… who else is with me?”

A typical interpretation would see Aguirre’s loss as related to his desires, filled with passion and lust upon adventure to El Dorado, to become the one who found the myth. Yet there is none so blind as those who will not see. Aguirre need only look backwards mere days, hours even to see he’s lost, abandoned and defeated, it was always that way, he merely wanted to venture a step too far for proof of failure, a wish that maybe, just this one time man will win, in whatever minor way.

Aguirre approaches the inconsequentiality of humanity more sincerely every passing minute, until all the viewer is left with is a single human defeated by its own supposedly ‘unique’ nature, adrift and alone within a hellish terrain. A sweaty speck of humanity caught in the unstoppable fever of Gnon.

 


[1] http://www.xenosystems.net/the-cult-of-gnon/

[2] Taken from a Reddit comment

Origins of Gnon in Nick B. Steves’ links: https://nickbsteves.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/going-meta-on-meta/

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Escaping the Echo Part 3: A Nomadic Route

The doors had been opened and I could leave, I’d finally been allowed to head for the exit…to have knowledge of an exit, but where was I to go, where to now? I’d left the comfort and warmth of an apathetic cocoon that was heading towards a nothingness. Now, stranded I had become a nomad of political thought, without attachment, existing in flux between -isms and -ologies, and without need or want to be once again suffocated, but a direction was needed, to stand absolutely still would be almost worse than my previous dwelling. So what of those who I so scorned, the right-wing, the Tories, the Nationalists, the ‘Mails’? All this time I had known what they said simply could-not fit in with my world-view, but now?

Instead of venturing into the truly dark recesses of simply another ignorance, into an antithesis of the prior, I noted the recent. The reactionaries are here, they’re making some noise, some strange prefix-nationalist, techno-suffix noise that seems odd, new, honest? There was potential, and so I began my descent into a world I never thought I’d want to work out, or justify. Why there first of all? If you were to leave a cage of your own creation, would you not want to experience what you told yourself you shouldn’t?

I ventured to Google, which in turn directed to me to Wikipedia: The Dark Enlightenment and Neoreaction. I’d heard of the last one, but the others not so much, so I began, a new ignorance, however this time, I hoped, only containing a material ignorance of history and not that of substance and hypocrisy.

Neo-reactionaries head for the exit.” that’s how this thing starts, damn. An acknowledgement that they want out, that there’s an ‘in’, a widely accepted elusive ‘inside’ and it’s being questioned, good. The piece was illuminating…de-luminating? See for yourself.

I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” a quote within TDE referencing this article from ‘09: “Cyberspace, outer-space and seasteading”, possibilities of exit.

As my brain begins to tumble further towards an expanse of possibility, of reminiscence towards my previous control.

winning elections is overwhelmingly a matter of vote buying, and society’s informational organs (education and media) are no more resistant to bribery than the electorate, a thrifty politician is simply an incompetent politician, and the democratic variant of Darwinism quickly eliminates such misfits from the gene pool.” – TDE

I was ‘in’, bought, paid-for and housed…

Where the progressive enlightenment sees political ideals, the dark enlightenment sees appetites.” – TDE

As the democratic virus burns through society, painstakingly accumulated habits and attitudes of forward-thinking, prudential, human and industrial investment, are replaced by a sterile, orgiastic consumerism, financial incontinence, and a ‘reality television’ political circus. “- TDE

controlled and entertained, they say the ‘Alternative-facts’ boosted sales of Orwell’s 1984, yet Huxley’s Brave New World seems more appropriate.

By cropping out all high-frequency feedback mechanisms (such as market signals), and replacing them with sluggish, infra-red loops that pass through a centralized forum of ‘general will’, a radically democratized society insulates parasitism from what it does, transforming local, painfully dysfunctional, intolerable, and thus urgently corrected behavior patterns into global, numbed, and chronic socio-political pathologies. “- TDE

Once it is accepted universally, or, speaking more practically, by all social forces wielding significant cultural power, that intolerance is intolerable, political authority has legitimated anything and everything convenient to itself, without restraint. “- TDE

Firstly, the crime is augmented by a purely ideational, ideological, or even ‘spiritual’ element, attesting not only to a violation of civilized conduct, but also to a heretical intention. This facilitates the complete abstraction of hate from criminality, whereupon it takes the form of ‘hate-speech’ or simply ‘hate’ (which is always to be contrasted with the ‘passion’, ‘outrage’, or righteous ‘anger’ represented by critical, controversial, or merely abusive language directed against unprotected groups, social categories, or individuals). ‘Hate’ is an offense against the Cathedral itself, a refusal of its spiritual guidance, and a mental act of defiance against the manifest religious destiny of the world.”-TDE

“Secondly, and relatedly, ‘hate’ is deliberately and even strategically asymmetrical in respect to the equilibrium political polarity of advanced democratic societies. Between the relentless march of progress and the ineffective grouching of conservatism it does not vacillate. As we have seen, only the right can ‘hate’. As the doxological immunity system of ‘hate’ suppression is consolidated within elite educational and media systems, the highly selective distribution of protections ensures that ‘discourse’ – especially empowered discourse – is ratcheted consistently to the left, which is to say, in the direction of an ever more comprehensively radicalized Universalism. The morbidity of this trend is extreme.”-TDE

At its most abstract and all-encompassing, the liberal-progressive racial dialectic abolishes its outside, along with any possibility of principled consistency. It asserts — at one and the same time — that race does not exist, and that its socially-constructed pseudo-existence is an instrument of inter-racial violence.”-TDE

All of the above quotes are from Nick Land’s – The Dark Enlightenment, which can be found here.

I stopped a little short with the quotes, I was engrossed, that’s not to say I agreed with everything Land was saying – not by a long shot – namely that what he was saying was so completely free that the process of reading became rather epiphanic in itself. Filled to the brim with pop-culture analogies, complex political understanding, stats, tech-adoration and a general sense of being written whilst sat next to Deckard, at least, if anything, TDE is original, in an  ‘outside’ sense.

Within TDE I found there was often talk of a person called Mencius Moldbug, the pen name of Curtis Yarvin an American political theorist, computer scientist and ‘founding’ neoreactionary, he’s been called (by Land) the Sith Lord of the movement. It seems Moldbug stopped posting to his neoreactionary focused blog Unqualified Reservations in April 2014, with one update to confirm this in 2016, however since then fellow reactionaries have done a very good job of compiling Moldbug’s key writings into neat packages which can be found here and the ‘formalist manifesto (FM)’ I reference is here.

So, where are we now headed, well, it seems Moldbug is reiterating a lot of the points Land is making, well, actually, Moldbug was writing ‘directly’ about reactionary/DE thought before Land, publicly that is, however it was Land who coined the term Dark Enlightenment.

 

The other day I was tinkering around in my garage and I decided to build a new ideology.” – FM

Yeah, Land and Moldbug really know how to write an opener. The nonchalant creation of a new ideology is precisely how Moldbug’s manifesto begins.

Moldbug continues to discuss Progressivism and Conservatism. Slating both, of course. Note: My escape from both (strangely) was caused by the Post-Brexit dialogue, discussed in my previous post. So, two of the main factions of politics are out of the window, both of which have been discussed in serious depth throughout reactionary writing, where to now…neutral?

In my experience, most sensible people consider themselves “moderate,” “centrist,” “independent,” “unideological,” “pragmatic,” “apolitical,” etc. Considering the vast tragedies wrought by 20th-century politics, this attitude is quite understandable. It is also, in my opinion, responsible for most of the death and destruction in the world today…” – FM

…the problem with moderation is that the “center” is not fixed. It moves. And since it moves, and people being people, people will try to move it. This creates an incentive for violence – something we formalists try to avoid.”- FM

Shit. Moldbug briefly mentions libertarianism and the Mises Insititute, of course implementation of a libertarian society would be difficult, so what’s next: Formalism.

Replacing your own ideology is a lot like do-it-yourself brain surgery. It requires patience, tolerance, a high pain threshold, and very steady hands…”-FM

…There is no point in starting this messy experiment only to install some other ideology that’s the way it is just because someone said so. Formalism, as we’ll see, is an ideology designed by geeks for other geeks. It’s not a kit. It doesn’t come with batteries. You can’t just pop it in. At best, it’s a rough starting point to help you build your own DIY ideology. If you’re not comfortable working with a table saw, an oscilloscope and an autoclave, formalism is not for you.”-FM

And I shall also throw in some other gems from Moldbug’s Open Letter:

But you have not shared humanity’s experience. You have only read, heard and seen a corpus of text, audio and video compiled from it. And compiled by whom?” – Open Letter

Moldbug proceeds to mention (in his open letter) that just because you are or were a progressive doesn’t mean you now have to become a conservative, that maybe, just maybe, Fox News and NPR are both wrong, The Guardian and The Daily Mail are both wrong, Moldbug states that: “neither of them has any consistent relationship to reality.”- Open Letter (Note: He doesn’t mention the latter 2 examples). Millions of progressives believe conservatism is a mass delusion, and millions of conservatives believe…

Apologies for the mass copy-and-pasting going on here, but I’m attempting to describe a way, a journey, towards what Moldbug calls a ‘DIY ideology’, however, the point of this write-up is to articulate a point, a point that Moldbug also brings up:

…only to install some other ideology.” – FM

This post, I hope at least in some minor way will show prior to some strange ideology creation one must understand completely the current scope of their thought, if you’re still within the confines of Progressivism or Conservatism one would only be installing or creating some off-brand-ism the likes of which will of course fail. Moldbug’s formalism is aimed primarily at the U.S., in terms of the manifesto anyway, either than or I’m very short-sighted., thus I shall stop there in regards to its aims.

That said, here I am, I’ve gone through a couple of blenders and exited the other site a pulsing sludge, whose brain is reforming itself with larger exits and better entry-filtration systems. This isn’t to say I’ve found some new gospel in the Neoreaction movement, not at all, in fact I think to do so would be act the same as I was previously, except this time without years and years of prog indoctrination to help me. Moldbug’s idea of a DIY ideology fascinates me, and I believe it’s a great starting point out of the exit, the journey onwards I believe should be nomadic and tiresome, filled with exhausting readings of concealed books, criticism of critics who work within what they criticise, to not be so fucking blind.

 

POSTSCRIPT:

It sort of pains me to have to do this, even within mind.com’s anonymous being, however I want to state some things very clearly as certain people may wrongly read-between-the-lines here, so:

Firstly, I understand that The Dark Enlightenment and Neoreaction are seen as a pair of roots for the Alt-right, I do NOT support the alt-right, Richard Spencer is a horrific example of a person, and a great example of ignorance and moving from one ideology to another, without thought of an outside.

Secondly, even though I have quoted in depth TDE and NRx, I do not support them, I hope this will become clearer in Part 4, where I talk of the dangers of adhering to an ideology in a generalized sense.

Thirdly, you may be thinking “So why did you use them as examples?” because they were the ones who opened the doors for me, now, just because they opened the doors doesn’t mean I am then at their will, in their act of opening, I became aware of the possibility of an outside. Put simply, they helped me think far more freely than I ever have, and it was via their rather controversial opinions of values never questioned that I arrived at where am I.

Much of this will be extrapolated on in Part 4.

 

 

LINKS IN ORDER:

 

https://www.cato-unbound.org/2009/04/13/peter-thiel/education-libertarian

 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jan/24/george-orwell-1984-sales-surge-kellyanne-conway-alternative-facts

 

http://www.thedarkenlightenment.com/the-dark-enlightenment-by-nick-land/

 

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/

 

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/gentle-introduction-to-unqualified.html

 

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2007/04/formalist-manifesto-originally-posted.html

 

http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.co.uk/2008/04/open-letter-to-open-minded-progressives.html

 

ESCAPING THE ECHO PREVIOUS PARTS:

https://www.meta-nomad.net/?p=80 PART 1

https://www.meta-nomad.net/?p=82 PART 2