Naked and spectacular
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Thank you,
Quinoa Blessed
2017

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2011-03-26

Advice For Geraldine On Her Miscellaneous Birthday: Poem by Bob Dylan

Stay in line.  Stay in step.  People
are afraid of someone who is not
in step with them.  It makes them
look foolish t' themselves for
being in step.  It might even
cross their minds that they themselves
are in the wrong step.


Do not run

nor cross the red line.  If you go
too far out in any direction, they
will lose sight of you.  They'll feel
threatened.  Thinking that they are
not part of something they
saw go past them, they'll feel
something's going on that
they don't know about.  Revenge
will set in.  They will start thinking
of how t' get rid of you.  Act
mannerly toward them.  If you don't,
they will take it personal.  As you
come directly in contact face t' face
do not make it a secret of how
much you need them.  If they sense
that you have no need for them,
the first thing they will do is
try t' make you need them.  If
this doesn't work, they will tell
you of how much they don't need
you.  If you do not show any sadness
at a remark such as this, they
will immediately tell other people
of how much they don't need you.
Your name will begin t' come up
in circles where people gather
to tell about all the people they
don't need.  You will begin t' get
famous this way.  This, though, will
only get the people who you don't need
in the first place
all the more madder.
You will become
a whole topic of conversation.
Needless t' say, these people
who don't need you will start
hating themselves for needing t' talk
about you.  Then you yourself will
start hating yourself for causing so
much hate.  As you can see, it will
all end in one great gunburst.

Never trust a cop in a raincoat.
When asked t' define yourself exactly,
say you are an exact mathematician.
Do not say or do anything that
he who is standing in front of you
watching cannot understand, he will
feel you know something he
doesn't.  He will react with blinding
speed and write your name down.
Talk on his terms.  If his terms
are old-fashioned an' you've
passed that stage all the more easier
t' get back there.  Say what he
can understand clearly.  Say it simple
t' keep your tongue out of your
cheek.  After he hears you, he can
label you good or bad.  Anyone will
do.  T' some people, there is only
good an' bad.  In any case, it will
make him feel somewhat important.
It is better t' stay away from
these people.  Be careful of
enthusiasm, it is all temporary
an' don't let it sway you.  When asked
if you go t' church, always answer
yes, never look at your shoes.  When
asked what you think of Gene Autrey
singing of hard rain's gonna fall say
that nobody can sing it as good as
Peter, Paul and Mary.  At the mention
of the president's name, eat a pint of
yogurt an' go t' sleep early.  When
asked if you're a communist, sing
America the beautiful in an
Italian accent.  Beat up nearest
street cleaner.  If by any
chance you're caught naked in a
parked car, quick turn the radio on
full blast an' pretend
that you're driving.  Never leave
the house without a jar of peanut
butter.  Do not wear
matched socks.  When asked to do 100
pushups always smoke a pound
of deodorant beforehand.
When asked if you're a capitalist, rip
open your shirt, sing buddy can 
you spare a dime with your
right foot forward an' proceed t'
chew up a dollar bill.

Do not sign any dotted line.  Do not
fall in trap of criticizing people
who do nothing else but criticize.
Do NOT create anything.  It will be
misinterpreted.  It will not change.
It will follow you the
rest of your life.  When asked what you
do for a living say you laugh for
a living.  Be suspicious of people
who say that if you are not nice
t' them, they will commit suicide.
When asked if you care about
the world's problems, look deeply
into the eyes of he that asks
you, he will not ask you again.  When
asked if you've spent time in jail,
announce proudly that some of your
best friends've asked you that.

Beware of bathroom walls that've not
been written on.  When told t' look at
yourself...never look.  When asked
t' give your real name...never give it. 

Fake fake people

I saw a real person on the beach this morning.  I go running there every morning, have done for weeks, and finally today I met another real person.  He was barefoot, he had joy in his eyes and he acknowledged me.  He ran on by and I was surprised at my surprise.  It made me realise how fake all these other people are with their designer running gear and their vacant expressions.

How is it possible that they are so fake? I continued to wonder.  Even if they are some sort of technology, such as robots, they will be made by human intelligence and human intelligence is surely of this world and therefore natural.  If they are truly fake as they appear to be they must be from elsewhere; some other planet or some other dimension.  This seems to me exceedingly unlikely.  I continued to speculate as I ran along the concrete paths under the gray clouds and decided they must be fake fake people.

How is it that a race of fake fake people come into being?  What strange evolutionary mutation causes this to happen?  I suppose it can't happen without the abstraction of language, at least to define the word "fake"; also required is an observing entity with sufficient intelligence, education, alienation and leisure to make such an observation.  This is all I really know, the rest is speculation.

I am in a relationship of some sort with a man who is randomly violent.  We were sitting in a restaurant and he asked me to place my hands on the table.  I did so and he proceeded to stab me with a pen knife.  When I tried to leave he stabbed me twice in the thigh.  Actually we're not exactly in a relationship, though we do have a degree of affection for one another.  I refer to him as my boyfriend when he's not around to those who are unlikely to come in contact with him but really he would never call himself my boyfriend.  He told me he loves me and usually we sleep together but we never hold each other through the night.  He likes to be fucked and I'm happy to oblige.  When we meet someone new he blushes and doesn't know how to behave; usually he is obnoxious with occasional violence, but once someone is committed he is very loyal.  I love him very much and accept his attacks because he likes to be fucked and cut.  I think he's a genius but I don't yet know how this is going to manifest.  He is 19 years old.

2011-03-24

The internet is the teleological object at the end of time

The internet is the teleological object at the end of time that casts a shadow back over history.  The task of all humans throughout history has been to create this object.  This object influences us across time and space and itself exists in a kind of singularity where all information is condensed to a single point and simultaneously sends information waves that we perceive and are inspired to manifest.
We have been preparing for the creation of this object since at least the beginning of agriculture, agriculture being necessary to create the conditions from which this object could emerge.  We have been developing the information to comprise it and the technology to contain it for thousands of years and finally in the last few decades we have manifested it as a tangible reality.  We have seen over the last century an acceleration in the condensation of information from paper to film to tape to digital technologies of exponentially increasing density.  Having created the appropriate conditions, developed the necessary technology and spread access to the technology around the planet we are now in a mad rush to upload all information into an ever-smaller space.  The goal seems to be to upload all information into a technology that is non-local and takes up no space.

There is also the possibility of uploading information into an organic technology that reproduces and decays.  It has been suggested that the presence of certain anomalous life-forms on this planet is the technology itself.  Unusual life-forms that also contain high densities of information, such as human beings and psilocybin mushrooms, have been striving, and working symbiotically, to manifest their true forms; pure information.  There have been many experiential verifications of existing in environments of pure information in various dream states or in collaboration with specific plants or fungi such as the aforementioned psilocybin mushroom.  In these states it is possible to achieve a high level of consciousness that reveals our ability to access, assess and manifest realities from a far wider range of information than we usually perceive.

Through the use of these plants and fungi of high information density or through a simple honest observation of contemporary 21st century culture, it is possible to notice the apparent extraterrestrial influence on human civilisation, especially the chaotic anomaly of pop culture and its increasing obsession with aesthetics of the artificial such as plastic surgery and electronic music.  The strangest of these 21st century cultural forms are of course artificial environments created on the internet.

Imaginations limited by a physical time-bound four-dimensional paradigm may conceive of aliens from space influencing our behaviour towards the goal of creating this object.  It has also been proposed that the internet is indeed the teleological object that has been influencing us towards its own creation.  Why are we creating this object that is simultaneously encompassing more and refining and reducing itself on a seemingly unstoppable trajectory to some sort of singularity?  Who are we creating this object for?  Terence McKenna describes this process as the interiorisation of the human body and the exteriorisation of the human soul.

My idea of a more pertinent question as I look around at my fellow humans and our civilisation is, Why are we pretending nothing is happening?  Why are we politely ignoring the fact that we are in the presence of the teleological object?  We are all consciously observing the beginning of the end, but not the beginning of the end of everything, rather the beginning of the end of the beginning.  The future beyond the completion of the internet being inconceivable.  Or can we conceive of the perpetuity of the world wide web, the perpetuity of exponential growth, in a world where nothing is permanent?

Will the skills we have developed as employees and consumers be sufficient for survival in a world none of us can imagine, or even in a world closer to the non-physical, non-local, non-linear world of the internet than anything else we can see?  It is likely that skills involving the ability to perceive and process as much information from our environment as possible and the ability to respond with responsibility and respect to our environment will be more valuable.

Will the increasing strangeness of our environment be sufficient impetus to instigate more sustainable behaviour or do we require some sort of cathartic catastrophe?  I am sure the ocean can provide more tsunamis if we continue to pray for them with our denial.

2011-03-19

Nature is the centre of the mandala

In the city, I feel guilty for not being productive.  I feel guilty for turning off my cellphone and neglecting my urban responsibilities.

2011-03-17

The information cloud

The child sank to the floor.  There was nothing to do and nothing to feel, only the burdens of traumatised adults.  The child thinks he never wants to be an adult.  On the floor there is no emotioning going on and this is comforting.  When feeling overwhelmed, merely shut down emotionally, the child learns.

2011-03-08

Chris Kirk is a hypocrite who writes beautifully

I realise that nothing I say has any truth.  I realise that whenever I state a fact I am proving myself a hypocrite.  But this does not bother me, I never claimed to be objective or correct and I never claimed to have any morals.  Morality is for the weak.  Morality is for those who are not connected to the natural intelligence of their own body.  There is no need to believe in abstract linguistic constructs when there is a truth made of flesh that is the entirety of our experience in this strange universe.  My body is my beacon, I have everything I need.  It leads me to green pastures where there is food and rushing water and where the people are waiting for me with kind welcoming eyes.

Recently it has brought me to the city where I am forced to develop extra-sensory skills of a very strange nature.  The ability to wear a mask, to cover my body and my voice with shame and inhumanity.  The ability to not only write a CV, but to believe I am that CV and I am nothing more than the banal life-denying skills which I weakly have to offer for a job that does not utilise any of the natural and powerful talents that would really make this company come alive.  Because in the city we deny life like we deny death.  We cover the earth in concrete and we cover our flesh in clothes and make-up; we spray to kill insects and opportunistic plants; we cook our food to make sure it's dead and we criminalise any public displays of the loving act that brings life into the world.  We are indeed a strange species and if you haven't noticed then you're not looking, you must be looking down your own pants to make sure your genitals haven't been bitten off yet (by your boss or your girlfriend or your landlord or your prime minister).

Who's going to bail you out when you slavish parents finally grow old and die and leave you weak and unable to cope into the world they co-created while you were growing up and presented you with on your 18th birthday?  Is it too late to develop the skills that will provide you autonomy in a world that apparently will not protect you unless you can afford to pay for it?  Are you too old at the age of 19 to change your belief systems?  You know, the belief system that says that the world is dangerous and does not like me and I have to speak in the same language as the job descriptions I am sent in the mail every time I sleep in past 09.00.

So I stepped out into the world and I keep walking and so far I have not died though I assume I will one day.  I am told that everyone dies eventually but the amazing thing is I've been going for 26 years now and still no death.  I walk along the side of the road and I am told this is highly dangerous but no car has hit me yet, in fact sometimes they stop to offer me a ride.  I get in and turn to my right and there sits another human being, in the driving seat of their huge metallic machine.  They have invited me not only into their most expensive and precious toy, they have invited me into their lives and I do not underestimate the trust involved.

I stare straight ahead at where the road is taking us and they do the same, guiding our metal monster safely through this high-speed high-danger environment.  Through the exploration of the power of eyeless conversation we find our connection point in the world, we both there is one, for no other purpose than pleasure and curiosity.  We have no desire to own each other once a connection has been made because we both know that as soon as the most superficial division comes into our lives my new friend will stop the car and let me out and I will wave goodbye and thank their kindness and again I am exposed to the weather and the concrete and the dangers of being alone in a world that may or may not want to kill me.

If there was any truth in the warnings heaped onto my back by those evil people who think they are good because they have dry vaginas and circumcised penises I would be cowering in the corner of some room I knew I could afford to pay for and I would be low on some drug and wearing my winter clothes and hiding from the light in a cardboard box that will conveniently warp to the shape of the twitches in my anxiety-ridden body.  I must be unique in this response because everyone else seems to function relatively well under such pressure, merely developing one of myriad new cancers when it's really time to have a break from work longer than four weeks per annum.

I bathe under waterfalls sometimes and other times I am not even allowed to walk barefoot even if I am doing exactly what everybody else is doing and just watching without the sin of participation.  Sometimes I feel an opening in the social haze and I'm not the only one, my friends feel it too, and we can get naked and dance as if we are happy to be alive because we are happy to be alive, rather than in denial about being dead.  I would love to see you without clothes.  I would love to see you enjoying your body in the sun and the glistening rushing water of the stream.  I would love to look into your eyes and see joy shining out like a light and the skin of your entire body radiating divine solar light.  I would love for us to roll around on the earth as if we loved her and cover ourselves in her pure damp flesh, and smear it all over our bodies.  I would love to take a handful of her drippy brown mud-flesh and cover the area of your back that your arms can't reach and make sure, like me, you are covered for a little while in something that enriches your organism, rather than something which stops perspiration or strips your natural oils.

I love to touch and be touched because I have been incarnated into a physical body in this lifetime and weather or not I am some sort of spiritual entity who will survive this life and go on to better things that I can believe in but not conceive of it makes no difference to the fact that I am here with my body and the feelings it produces and there is a beautiful intensity when we move close to one another and when we exist in love this intense proximity effect is empowering and when we exist in hate we have nothing but muscles and pain and that gets us nowhere and when we deny ourselves with drugs like alcohol and religion we feel nothing and like it (but hate ourselves).

I don't hate God enough to deny the reality he dropped me into for the sake of something which may indeed be as true as the authority-figure tells me it is.  It may indeed me true that abstraction is a better way to live than experience, but I choose to experience experience and merely take abstractions into consideration.  They have no physical reality I can place in relation to my body, so how can I live my life by these principles?

God told me once that it's okay to be gay, cos this was a concern of mine at the time.  I didn't hear his voice, I wasn't lead to some authoritative text or person, it was just obvious to my otherwise confused and horny teenage body.  I was just 17 years old when I realised that I couldn't conceive of God denying me, I couldn't conceive of a world without God's love and despite the paranoid anxiety of my mind and the instructive mind of the institutions I allowed to shape me, nothing could change the self-evident reality that I was okay.  It later became obvious that the world itself is also okay, despite all propaganda to the contrary.

I casually chose sixth-form classical studies as another one of the subjects that was supposed to brainwash me into being a productive and uncomplaining member of free-market capitalism but this subject and the beautiful teacher who shared it with me introduced us all to another society that was different from ours but one of the primary influences for what we now call Western Civilisation.  We were introduced, specifically, to Socrates, who not only loved and appreciated the beauty of young men, but questioned the society into which he was born.  He naively questioned the holiest man in Athens about what this holiness abstraction really is and they couldn't figure it out.  Some oracle said he was the wisest man around and he said, "Maybe because I realise I'm ignorant," and I said "Ah!"

I think maybe if I don't feel unsafe walking down the street then maybe I am not unsafe and so I can stick out my thumb.  And if I don't feel unsafe hitchhiking then maybe hitchhiking isn't dangerous.  And if I hitchhike for ten years and meet only wonderful people then maybe people aren't out to get me and maybe the world is not a dangerous place and maybe I can go anywhere and do anything I want, or at least try.  I have no desire now or any other time to live in a box so I don't get wet when it rains.  I don't need to save for my retirement because I am not planning to spend forty years working and building up a lifestyle in which I need to spend hundreds of dollars a week to maintain the status quo.  When I run I scare myself at how fast I can go and how far away I can find myself; it seems when you run you're just keeping yourself stocked with coffee and underwear.

Maybe I'm just a hypocrite, but at least I am free.  I don't want to judge you cos I know you're free too and it's okay if you don't want to travel with me, I'll just be a bit lonely without you.  I tried living with you in your concrete world and found it profoundly lonely.  Your presence was the only light in a dark and confusing world and I would merely bump into things uselessly waiting for you to get home from work at the end of the day.  I have no purpose in a place where my instinct is to take off my clothes and there is no context in which I can do this without causing banal conflict and police confrontation.  I tried searching the gutter for coins to buy me a ticket to some aspect of this society that I tried to belong to but all I found were half-empty plastic drink bottles and I wasn't sure whether anyone had spat in them before throwing them away or whether the sun had already fermented the fruit juice.

When I am older and my gifts are legitimised I will return and hold your hand for another little while and speak to the people you share your world with, but now I am here, on the beach, breathing in as much of a balance of salty sea-breeze and exhaust fumes I can handle.  I am a hypocrite, I don't believe any of this, but I will say it with as much conviction as my moment and my body can personify.  I will stand up in front of as many people as want to hear, three or a billion, and speak with all the utter truth I can muster.  I will change my mind the next day, but again I am willing to stand up and speak for those willing to listen.  I live the best of my abstractions and otherwise rely on the food, water, air and love the planet provide me with.  I don't know anything, but I write beautifully.

2011-03-06

Sexual tension

In a wonderful coincidence yesterday evening at 18.00 I went for a walk and listened to the Alan Watts lecture called, at the Psychedelic Salon, "Why is Christianity afraid of sex?" and elsewhere, "Religion and sexuality."  I got home just after 19.00 and we all went to the Sydney Mardi Gras Pride Parade.

I did not anticipate what this Alan Watts lecture would be about.  He suggests that religion, specifically Christianity, is obsessed with sex.  This is clear to us all.  Sex is the primary taboo.  And of course the primary effect of thousands of years of repression by this most powerful of institutions has not been to reduce or eliminate the sin of sex from our society, quite the contrary.  

Our society, which has been so shaped by Christianity, is extremely sexually diverse with much variation in types of sexual relationships, fetishes, media with a sexual nature or sexual content.  We are a society obsessed with sex and though we are trying in some ways to liberate ourselves from our anxieties around sex, they are very deep-seated and culturally ingrained and I would suggest that our civilisation requires sexual tension and anxiety to maintain the status quo.

This is not a bad thing though because, as Alan Watts suggests, sex as a sin is much more exciting.  When sex is is illicit, naughty, the naughtier the better, it is tremendously exciting.  Where would we be now as a species if we did not maintain the excitement of sex?  Procreation would slow down and stop, we would not take over the world with our billions.  So perhaps it's a biological necessity.

The last thing we would want would be for the libertines to win and sex to become open and acceptable everywhere.  If it was taught at school alongside budgeting and cooking, with practice and role-playing then it would suddenly lose all its significance, it would be boring and common.  We would no longer yearn for it with the passion and desperation we currently do, with the overwhelming delight of our pleasures being fulfilled.

The experience is then of the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade.  Ten years ago, as a teenager, with my secret and shameful sexuality, this spectacle may have been incredibly liberating for me.  Sadly, I grew up in Wanganui, New Zealand, where there was no Pride Parade; and even the Auckland one was cancelled before I made it up there at the age of 17.  Yesterday, however, after listening to that lecture, I had a different experience of the Parade.

Hours and hours of hundreds and hundreds of joyful exuberant people in all their weird and wonderful costumes declaring their sexual and religious and political peculiarities with pride and confidence and delight.  There was certainly a lot of happiness on display and diversity of many kinds.  It was, however, a very unsexy event.  There were men and women of all ages in skimpy or elaborate costumes, dancing with crotch-thrusts and sin in their eyes but no sex.  I am a very horny man and I can't sit at the beach without being overwhelmed by all these stunning young men half-naked with their bodies and their homophobia.  However, this display of pride was emotionally moving and profoundly unsexy.

The Alan Watts lecture:

2011-03-05

As Lady and I look out tonight from Desolation Row

Hamish and Veronica leave their apartment only with the bare essentials; their iPods, their Blackberrys, their credit cards and their medication.  Veronica considers bringing a bottle of water from the fridge but noone can be bothered carrying it so they each have a hydration shake before their leave the apartment.

They take a taxi down the road to the city park because the circus is in town.  All the freaks are out tonight.  Luckily Hamish and Veronica are normal; they are heterosexual, living in a legally recognised de facto relationship; their parents are Christians and they are nothing in particular, they believe in God, but not in religion; they earn average incomes, well slightly above-average, for this part of town; they are well-educated so they don't spend more than three or four hours a day watching TV, they both prefer to spend their evenings on the internet; they have no children but Veronica wants three; life is good.

It's still early, only 23.00, and yet there is a gang of drunken men roaming down the middle of the street, blocking traffic, looking for somewhere to go.  Hamish and Veronica veer off the road and into the park.  They browse the stands in the park, each only paying $300 for inclusion in the carnival.  There is one stand for optometrists, one for making jewellery out of plastic beads, which occupies Veronica for three minutes while Hamish stares enviously at the automatic rifle stand, one stand for joining the police force, another for joining the Green Party, another for joining the army, another for joining the surf lifesavers, another that sells piano keys that are also MP3 players and Parker pens that are also lensless cameras.

Hamish and Veronica browse holding hands for thirty minutes before heading to the food stands to eat some candyfloss and hotdogs.  When Veronica sees Hamish eating a hotdog she has a flash of her old fear that he is homosexual and decides to stab herself in the thigh before bed.  While Hamish buys pretzels Veronica bumps into that crazy man from work who spends too much time on the internet and believes that newspapers are propaganda and the government is trying to control us.  She smiles beautifully, never indicating her underlying hatred, while he talks about atheism and smokes what appear to be cigarettes but what smell to Veronica like marijuana.  The worst part is that Hamish talks to this lunatic and even offers him pretzels, which Veronica subsequently refuses to eat.

Hamish is too friendly to be truly heterosexual, Veronica thinks, as she watches him agree with the lunatic that we are living in a police state when she knows perfectly well that Hamish makes monthly automatic payment donations to the police force, which are now a private company and need all the money they can get if they are going to keep our streets safe and our screens clean.  Veronica's digging her fingernails into her flesh through the fabric in her pockets waiting for this polite conversation to end; Hamish is not even listening anymore, just nodding and grinning and agreeing while he thinks about visiting the lingerie stall or the automatic rifle stall while Veronica is busy; the lunatic keeps talking to Hamish, despite having lost interest minutes ago, because he doesn't know how to end a conversation with someone who clearly still thinks that free-market politics is a sign of a healthy freedom-loving civilisation.

They are interrupted by the sponsored idiots coming through with microphones and amplification following them around on an electric trailer.  They be funny by talking about defecating in the water cooler at work and embarrassing people on how many times a day they take a shower.  Veronica is desperate for the lunatic to be humiliated but she is surprised when he makes some left-wing comment that sends roars of laughter in every direction and is loaded onto YouTube by the time she buys another sugar-free energy drink.

Everyone is overwhelmed with sexual delight when the sailors come past, all in their uniforms, all drunk and merry and holding each other around the shoulders, all in town just for the weekend.  Each of them has been to the beauty parlor and clearly spent a lot of money getting their hair done and their make-up done for the big night at the carnival.  Veronica's heart is a-flutter as they pass, desire and confusion intermingling at their prettyness and gender-confusion.  She smiles at Hamish and wonders about his desires around these sailors.  "Pretty aren't they?" she asks him with a jovial smile.  "Pretty gay."  His derision is a great relief to her.

The excitement is building and in another session of great humour they have the police commissioner, who has been hypnotised, standing on the gallows as a makeshift stage.  He has his pants around his ankles and is eating an onion like an apple when Hamish and Veronica turn up.  Hamish understands irony and chuckles about the fact that if the commissioner wasn't hypnotised he would be the one charging the hypnotist with the dangerous and illegal act of serving raw food, which could be swimming in bacteria and putting a strain on the already over-burdened health industry, which is no longer receiving any public funding and relies entirely on the donations and health-insurance of everyday people.  Hamish wonders at how he can be so subversive sometimes.

After the hypnotist has been arrested for making reference to the police commissioner's genitals the real show begins.  Since the UN claimed that public hangings are barbaric and inhumane and the state policy became torture-to-apology there have been annual public hangings, just one a year, as celebrations of the success of good behaviour in society in general.  And since the new society for the protection of child sex offenders it has been tradition for the hanging to present gimmick criminals such as drugaddicts and filmmakers.  This year the hangee seems to have dressed in some sort of retro '60s hippie costume and is throwing slogans like "free love" and "make love not war" around though most people can't hear him cos only the MC has a microphone.

All the cameras and phones are raised as the big moment of the hanging takes place and the list of charges is read aloud.  Most of his charges involve crimes against language, impoliteness and loitering in national parks but noone's really listening because they know the charges will be listed on the postcards being sold for $5.00 each or $2.50 if you wait until the trucks come in the morning to scrub the streets and spray soap everywhere.

As Hamish and Veronica wander off, casually texting for a taxi, there is loud music and they turn to see the riot squad beating the crowd and trying to disperse the lingerers who have stayed after the hanging is complete and the blood and semen has been cleaned up.  Veronica holds her man close, in loving awe of his sense of timing and his extremely quick text messaging.

When they get home they watch the news together, not wanting to miss the up-to-the-minute report on the carnival on the local news channel.  Then Hamish uploads the night's photos onto Facebook, they watch some YouTube, have a coffee and go to bed.

Early in the morning Hamish wakes up and sees light shining through the window.  He stumbles in his satin pajamas to the window and sees the quiet clean streets caught in the bright rays of the rising sun.  It's all already been cleaned as if nothing happened out there last night.  This is an ungodly hour to look out onto Desolation Row he thinks to himself as he closes the curtains and stumbles back to bed.

2011-03-04

Money buys everything

Walking home with his friend Tyler one evening they stop at the ATM right outside his house, cos Tyler needs some cash.  They both notice at the same time a couple of small notes left by the last person and they both reach for them.  Tyler hesitates however and he gets to them first.  There is another abandoned note and Tyler takes that one.

All night at this party the two of them had been speaking to this beautiful Indian woman called Lakshmi.  Tyler was clearly into her, but he was very much into Tyler.  But Tyler kept playing the heterosexual game, as he saw it.  They left the party together though, but of course Tyler will not be sleeping in his bed, but prefers the floor or the couch.

But, as it turns out, this is not just a couple of small notes.  The ATM sits in front of them with a huge wad of $100 notes, as if it is the most casual thing possible.  Tyler sees the notes, sees him grab the notes, and runs away without saying a word.  He takes the handful of $100 notes and another wad comes straight out.  He takes that wad and there is another one.  He stuffs the money up his shirt, more and more, as much as he can carry.  With each additional handful of $100 notes his excitement and panic increase until he can't take any more money, he is in a state of paranoia, there is still money sitting calmly in the ATM and he is in his bedroom with a tall pile of money covered in a blanket and he can hear his flatmates coming home and he doesn't want them to see it.  He wonders whether he will get caught; he can't put the money in the bank, they'll recognise the serial numbers, ATMs have cameras, will he get caught, will he get away with it.  He could go to the Police and give all the money back (he knows he won't do that) but he has to act quickly.

2011-03-01

Going home

In the back of a moving van.  Two people converse.

"Where are we going?"
"I don't know.  But we've got everything we need."
"Are you sure?  How do you know what we're going to find?"
"If you're referring to all this stuff, this vehicle, I guess we'll probably lose even what we already have.  Then things will get interesting."
"What do you mean?  What will we eat?  Where will we sleep?"
"Everything will be there when we arrive.  Our friends are waiting for us, they are preparing a place for us, all that stuff will be provided.  That's the easy part."
"What's the hard part then?  I've spent my whole life so far first being educated and then working just to provide myself and my family the basics we need to survive."
"Is that really why you've worked?  Were you not told, during your education, that we live in the most materially abundant civilisation in history, despite the human population expanding so rapidly?"
"I've never gone without."
"I've never starved to death either."
"I've made the allusion though, that I'm starving to death, when some people really do starve to death."
"Because you work so hard, they starve, so you can have your 'basics to survive'."

Laughter.

"I'm not even hungry at the moment."

More laughter.

"Or horny or lonely or sad.  I don't need anything."
"You're in luck then, because you're not going to go without anymore, like you have been.  You can have the sex, love and satisfaction now, and leave all the stuff for someone else."
"What about all this stuff?"
"Don't worry about it."
"Why are there no windows?"
"You'll see."

In the back of a moving van.  Two people make love and occasionally look to see where they're going.

A small group of people move without any idea of where they are going.  They know their destination will be their home and that they will be warm and safe and fulfilled when they arrive.  They know they can light a fire, they know they can fast if they need to and they know they will have each other and so with enough water to get them deep into the following day they are content, satisfied.  Tomorrow they will have the strength and the love to gather what they need, and hunt if need-be.

But this world coughs up the strangest realities and our friends find themselves in a home they weren't expecting, a home they don't understand.  Food, water and even love are not relevant in this home because they are inherently alone, barely physical beings.  There are no social spaces, there are not even any spaces to rest, only the constant movement of tunnels and hallways and corridors.  There are ups and downs in these tunnels, who knows how many storeys to this home.  There are seemingly endless twists and turns, each unfamiliar but strikingly similar to the others. 

Every corridor is a different primary colour, some with a small round hazy window set into it.  When our friends look out they see nothing but bright light, surely too bright for the human body to handle.  They see rows of large metallic creatures moving fast and speculate that these dangerous-looking creatures make the angry droning sound that is the main soundtrack in their new home.  The images out these tiny windows are unsettling, disturbing, and they don't look for long.  Rather, they keep crawling through the tunnels of their lives, sometimes seeing each other moving past through the corridor ahead.  When visual contact is made briefly they merely mark the moment with a playful-aggressive roar that is quickly forgotten as they return to the normality of individuality.

There is a bubble built out from one of the tunnels.  It is a cockpit and our friends have crawled past it many times, stopping no longer than to glance briefly.  The cockpit is always empty; an empty seat, two unused steering wheels and the largest and clearest window into that outside world that our friends consider may or may not exist.  There is, of course, no time to tentatively test whether that abandoned seat would comfortably hold a human body, or whether the steering wheel or controls by that terrifying window would have any effect over anybody's life.  They had to keep moving, keep crawling through those tunnels and hope that by chance they wouldn't come past this way again and have to see that abandoned cockpit.

But our hero, Donald, thought about that abandoned cockpit and wondered, because he had used the word "abandoned" to describe it, whether someone had sat there in the past and what they possibly could have hoped to achieve by not crawling incessantly.  These thoughts preoccupy him for many years while he crawls until he comes upon the cockpit again.  He has crawled down that same scary tunnel and there it is.  This time he crawls into the cockpit and sits at the seat and places his hands on the steering wheel and tentatively looks up out the window.

He is surprised that he does not see the angry metallic creatures that provide the soundtrack to his life and inspired him to name their world Hell.  He sees another window, a large flat one, and inside that window is another world altogether.  Inside that strange and confusing world are creatures that could almost be human.  These humanoid creatures sit in small groups around raised surfaces and put things in their mouths.  Every group of these creatures is doing the same thing, stuffing soft objects in their mouths, chewing and swallowing and Donald is transfixed for longer than he anticipates.  He suddenly realises that if he can see them so well perhaps they can see him just as easily, if the eyes on their humanoid faces work as well as his do.  It is true that their bodies are covered up in all sorts of strange ways and so they don't seem to be able to see him.  He can't help, however, fearing that they will drag him out into their world with their language, or leave him to suffocate in the wasteland of Hell with those faceless metallic beasts.

Donald turns the steering wheel and sees the more familiar sight of the metallic creatures moving so fast in such straight lines.  Donald turns the steering wheel again, amazed at his own power of perception in a world he thought he had no control over.  He stops when he sees an immense vision that can only be described as a tree.  Donald knows about trees, but only from stories, and everyone knows that stories don't really exist.  But this vision is precisely how he had imagined the mythical trees he had dreamed about so many times.  He stares at this powerful calm vision for the longest time, not growing tired through lack of movement as usual but seemingly empowered in a way he never experienced before.  The vision of the tree inspires him and he decides to press the button next to the steering wheel.

He knows he can never go back to a life of incessantly crawling knowing that the tree really exists.  He knows that if there is a tree and it looks so close although obviously it is in another world and therefore in accessible there must be someway of getting to it and he is willing to try anything.  The button doesn't seem to do anything.  It is clogged with dust as if it hasn't been pressed in a long time.  He presses the button again and decides to go to sleep because it has been a long day, the longest day of his life.

Our friends all woke up from their sleep as if they had been sleeping for 100 years.  They didn't wake up at the same time, but each one opened their eyes and took much longer than usual to take in their surroundings and remember where they are.  To wake up here is so surprising, as if they have never been here before, but of course the memories soon come flooding back and they know that they have always been here.  Of did they just arrive late the night before?  They look around at each other for reassurance.  Each pair of eyes they look at is as searching and confused as they feel; each pair of eyes is as familiar and beautiful as anything they could possibly hope to see.

They are home, they all silently know and smile.  "Welcome home," someone announces noncommittally and it sounds stupid when spoken out loud but they all repeat it anyway.