“I see its eyes as they move in its head and on to me. I feel it looking at me. I feel that it apprehends the very nature of my being and at the same time transmits its own. I move, but I cannot move from its sight. Happily, I am transfixed.” — Jodi Stroman, Gimmicks
The new era had unleashed a new evil: the birth of the Big Homunculus. As the buzzword left the mouth of the Reality TV presenter it was quickly absorbed into the brains of the watchers. Some concern was shown for a rabbit hole. It lead to the tomb of established law and order. But later in the day, the buzzword was rediscovered on the floor of the interrogation room, scrawled on an ancient repeat prescription.
The cybernetic fantasy had become the template for a new kind of unreality. Pseudoscience had brought the human population into unerring compliance with the social body. All those under the rule of the economy were forgotten. Society’s gods were factual data that were fabricated, re-constructed and replicated by the available machines. Automation provided freedom of expression under the rule of the economy. There would be no need to compete for survival because the thing called society would be ruled over by the majority and finally reach TOTAL DEMOCRACY.
The databanks recorded banal and mundane behaviours to no end. Optimal living conditions were provided to those who could afford it. No-one ever complained, not even about the weather as it was modified to optimal seasonal patterns for those who could afford it.
As if he were a character at a significant point in the arc of his story, Nasrul found himself at a juncture. He asked himself if his desires would ever render themselves obsolete. He trudged through the empty cobbled streets, passing heroic fortresses surrounded by thick stone walls. Why did the regime exist in the first place? To prove that it could exist. The Big Homunculus was good for the public interface. It helped to relieve shame of conformity with the machines of brutality that automated the pseudoscientific world where reality was not made but discovered. An image of Ronald Reagan fucking Margaret Thatcher up the arse to the swish of windscreen wipers in the underpass was used as a backdrop. The TV presenter adored every moment and clapped like a little girl.
Nature was humming like a photocopier or an air conditioning unit. Demonstrations of human nature were the equivalent of business transactions.
You had to get used to it: If there was anything that should have been done to change the situation it was NOTHING.
The Ventriloquist was a killer. Gentle and mild, his skills lay with weapons: knives, guns, bombs, grenades, you name it. You always felt safe around him, but you would never cross him. The Ventriloquist did not like being known for his profession, which was selling weapons. He preferred to be recognised for his skills as an artiste. He had written a few sketches for a situation comedy set in a community centre run by a bearded Trotskyite. The Ventriloquist was called Ventriloquist because of his remarkable ability to have his voice “thrown” as he would “throw” knives in the direction of his assistant and they would miss by a hair’s breadth. He was sad because his love of weapons and violence and the money to be made off it meant he had little time or energy to get the situation comedy off the ground. Or so he thought. His comedy already dealt with themes like domestic violence, harassment, petty crime and bureaucratic red tape. He could have had his voice “thrown” in and out of all the various characters that frequented the community centre to bring them alive in all their comical ways. He could have incorporated all manner of gratuitous violence into the situation.
“Sorry to disturb your food but I noticed you left behind your scarf. I had taken it to the laundry and some blue dye got in it, so I went to a charity shop and hey presto! Brand new scarf.”
Units of trade were trapped by the tick-tock, tick-tock of the mechanical clock on the landing strip. They were trapped in the doily on the dressing table, in the cracked egg, in the finger of toast pointing to the office ceiling. The photocopier was not out of order yet, but the paper was crumpled.
The weaponised data were a vital force drawn from the luminous spire of trafficking that magnetised gloating over bar charts and vices of suits called “game changers”. The force stored in the milestone was sent to take root like a photo-bomb in the empty totem head of learning that saluted its vigilance behind unseen borders where worshippers of the insignia of corporealization forced the hand of the Minister for Deprivation.
The Minister was devoid of humour or sincerity, but as he fulfilled his function and dutifully followed the mores and customs of the social product, he embodied his presence in and as its member. He assumed the moral quantities. The Minister for Deprivation was a man of reason who would not ever admit to miracles unless to prove a point about his own status, which was often. He was impossible to take seriously. His kind could never tolerate non-existence, yet ironically that was what made them such non-entities. Their job was to fool the social product into providing charity for the last people on Earth who needed it.
It was a cliché to say that blame could be placed on “the political crisis” because the era of the political ended a very long time ago. An appearance of “the political” as an arena of endeavour or conflict was only retained for show. In place of “the political” were arcane technologies of simulation and dissimulation.
The Egoist stood in his splendour, in the glare of his own hologram. He screamed at the sun and spun around like a diva. Although his demeanour was immoral, the way he brandished his machine guns as a Scarface was at the same time endearing to the watchers. As they were lured into advertorial psychosis — a disease brought on by demonic proposals for the grand depictions of the products of numbers — the gangster was prepared in black lace and cherry blossom and would make a fine addition to the tech-masters’ trophy collection.
Justice was pronouncing sentience.
On the outskirts of the encampment the azure blue water lay still, responding only to the subtlest of breezes. The distant voices of the vagrants could be heard chanting a dirge. Their irrational dream demands gradually became more machine-like. They sounded like video game pirates about to raid a vessel. The vagrants peeked out from under the dials and tried to grab a look at Jesus who was placating His onlookers with proper axioms. By their fruits you knew that the regenerated results of language polarity technologies spawned mythical catchphrases instituted by none other than Belladonna herself, who was also a myth and an instigator and creator of myths far greater than our own.
“Greetings, individualists and collectivists. You have joined the ranks of the chosen ones.”
Seymour of Equipole was a decent chap but not always a good boy. When he was about forty-five, he escaped punishment and found asylum. When I said asylum, I meant that according to the historical records the place he lived in was a boarding house for sociopaths.
Saw-toothed rainbows slid up against the dirty mouths of bloodthirsty blanket terms. In the warm tent of incantation, the conformists tended to flatten as they became audibly civilised by the revolutionary principles. The body’s general qualitative concept as a “branch” or ebb-and-flow kept it to ecstasy from half past five in the afternoon or thereabouts onward. The image of bodily force was projected as the power to compel bodies to submit to an abstract image of bodily force.
The aspirational model had collapsed, leaving in its wake a slew of fake brands that bounced off the walls of the disgraced academies.
A small child at the local nursery made repeated attempts at eating a plastic triangle. They tried to put it in a music box, but it wouldn’t fit. They tried to set it on fire and got scolded. The VHS tapes were taken to a place to have them digitized but it made no difference. No detail could be uncovered which hadn’t already been apparent in the original. Angelic statues floated at Primrose Lake, and at Christchurch, the ghost-vampire, clothed in a moulting bird, came unstuck.
“I want to disappear and be swallowed up by a trick of the light, in an instant be transformed in your sight.”
The voice was a machine. IT communicated authentically and got things done. IT evolved out of industry to convey the myth of evolution. IT defied the creation myth and pulled a thread through the holes that tied the mantles of the two myths together, forming a third: the myth of mythology.
The Stanzas of Babel were thrown open like jaws or a drawbridge and a giant pineapple was hallucinated, solid and packed with juice.
The water outside the encampment remained still, blue, and stark in the sunlight.
Belladonna opened the matchbox containing the dead scarab beetle.
“I don’t see why there should have to be all these rules about what type of a relationship we’re having. It might sound cheesy, I know, but if you want to do this dating thing then there are better ways of going about it.”
Literature was in the dustbin of history, superseded by verbal sensation downloads, language stimulants in the form of imaginal word and image patterns designed in this instance to place love at the heart of things.
The choice between chemsex or datasex presented itself but neither would suffice without supernature.
The fashion of measuring the depth of sound when we talked was such that as we talked and drank, our esteem would betray the double symbol of no polarity and put the ritual to work. Eating out at Vagina’s was always a favourite. The restaurant got a nine out of ten afterwards.
“I’m joking, by the way. In fact, this evening, everything is a joke.”
The TV remained off.
“You gotta remember it’s a dream, though, it’s not real.”
The vagrants were the only ones with any feel for the significance of the pineapple. This was because they had given up many years ago attaching any importance to the unnecessary conclusions at which the general public had arrived. To the vagrants, the pineapple was, like an erect phallus, a reassuring reminder of life in all its succulent glory. To the vagrants the pineapple would symbolise a faithful intermingling of tribal codes, wombs and breath, eggs and sperm. But to the conformists it was just another food product.
Driving by the gasworks, N was carrying some kill-fresh invisible knowledge in the boot of the Alpha Romeo.
“The aesthetics of these objective opinions are modes of tectonics apart from pain or tickles. The ontological subject is experienced in the refurbished domain of truth-gathering. Investigate the neurology. It will tell you more about pain.”
A banal evil could be heard in the whirring of the human trafficking machines. Wrestling with the manager, the blowhard’s undignified poppycock was crowded out by insignificant droll sayings designed to appeal to the bourgeoisie. The machines kept running because there was nothing else for them to do, while the rest of us as usual were hypnotised by the productions of our minds.
[The raised heel, the portentous glance, harmonious chiffon, a bright aspidistra interview, etc.]
YOUR role was to serve and worship INDUSTRY. The body became a function in relation to a time when there was no beginning and no ending, and no present day, only the present material circumstance of INDUSTRIAL TIME. YOU were industry’s progeny and possession. YOU belonged to INDUSTRIAL TIME.
Taking part in the latest cybernetic drill, Belladonna found herself entering and re-entering enumerative space. There was no ratings card for it. It was highly abstract and anxiety-inducing. It was compulsory.
“Stop imagining you were born, you will die, etc., YOUR body does not belong to nature but to INDUSTRIAL TIME.”
Information was corroborated via access to provision of discontent and to the privilege of the luxury of being on the receiving end of punishments. No-one remembered what “undo the rate and prosper” meant although it seemed obvious enough.
Amid birdsong.1 and birdsong.2, sundown unfolded by the Spectrephone, circumscribed in the Petri dish. Threaded and bound by enumeration, with its little peccadilloes offset with enhancements of erotic music, in the last moments, emboldened by mellifluous portents, the ritual was repossessed by the hand of chance.
The Big Homunculus was a gimmick designed to mislead the public into thinking they had given birth to a symbol of their power, a saviour created in their own image. It was just another of the perverse phantasms spread abroad to do the bidding of the slaveholders.
The pain and anguish involved in writing this material was immense. Just to wrestle the words from their moorings and make them do what they were told took superhuman effort. I dreaded thinking where it might end up. It was terrifying. While better writers conveyed ideas and stories, I had no interest in such archaic nonsense. The pressure was tremendous. Some people could not sample the fruits of irony or imagination because to those who mythologised the fruits of the mind, they smelled like concrete thought.
Like that poet with an unabashed hatred of poetry in the Poetry Café said, words made to look or sound like genuine objects of concern were not poetic. Words were not meant to prescribe language as a mode of perception. This was the only way to get the word out. Nothing would be left to chance.
All creatures appearing on N’s plate gained a new awareness and beheld themselves as alive: the goats and swine, the cows, the prancing horses, the dog-gods. Hierarchies remained, yet from mineral to plant to animal to the being known as human, none were better or worse, none above or below the other.
Metaphor and similitude were to be desecrated and abused for unknown ends. This was essential to revealing the mystery which organised itself as a living breathing creature nearer to good than evil but savage in unreason and appealing only to the rational mind in so far as it would reveal the great unknown.
Dealers in humanistic communication who attempted to invoke the gods of belief or gods of power or money and pseudoscience were scorched by the fire of the green dragon’s breath. Hopefully, this would allow some nugget of wisdom to be supplied in the forthcoming dream.
“Only those with love in their hearts and the will to escape the false messiah will be saved.”
The Conversations 18 | The Big Homunculus | text & image © A. A. Walker