What is the Loop?

“The closed path means the flow of the current cannot be interrupted.” — Indrajit Pranay, Electrical Engineering for All

No wonder Nasrul was such a vagabond. He had assisted in the birth of the anti-psychology movement that was quickly picking up steam in the cafés, bars and restaurants.

Nas was immortalised here. No human had ever done what he had done. He was incapable of retrieving the backlog of requests from the interpretative era because they had been relegated to behind the fridge, but he did not want to move the fridge because the last time he did that it exploded.

N, Lakshmi, Anikulapo-Kuti and Montague had had enough of life without the ritual of crime. They’d lived too long without it and now they were thirsty for transgression in its crudest and most base form: petty crime. They spent hours pickpocketing and shop-lifting, more for pleasure than profit. Picking targets was easy because the encampment was within a mile radius of a large international hotel frequented by Freemasonic lodges, host to aeronautical industry conferences, celebrity bashes and so on, so victims were easy pickings.

Compensating for error, the imitation machine was complying with alien algorithms which meant it was made subject to the dictatorship of the factual.

The aperture opened on to a rain-glossed, golden who-gives-a-fuck.

“Do you want to make love or just give and get it?”

Whole generations passed through sweat, blood and toil, their bloodlines emptied or stolen, without heart, and no sprites in the garden, no freakiness, no norm. Turning in zig-zag lines with the rationale of a prize giver, like a dog feeding its pet-owner, YOU was the one on a leash, YOU was the one with no phone, no designer label, no copyright, no ought to own.

Carson Wendle, who wrote “The Riddle of Consciousness Solved?” in Scientific American, must’ve been stoned out of his mind, or maybe he was just some kinda neurological fluke of nurture.

Saying yes meant denying the created form and replacing it with a stamp of authority.

“Oh, yeah?”

A subliminal pub-animal swept through the oak doors, minding its business. Careful amongst the mobsters, like a smooth object with the cardboard of memory, witless, it held out its limbs to stab at them with a stem of poison ivy.

The parlour maid, impregnated by the son of the lord of the manor, was placed in a house of correction where all her hallucinations were accurate depictions of chaos, licentiousness and injustice. Wrongly, the future was possessed by the son of lord of the manor.

“Even if we ain’t done sin before, sinner, being sinners we gotta sin. Nature of the plan. Gotta pander to the highest.”

First, the meat was stuffed inside a rectangular box of stone. Then the meat took on the properties of stone and finally it turned into plasma. But the formula was wrong. It couldn’t be done. Meat into stone would go, but did not make for plasma. Nature had limits. The plasma turned to dust.

The dictatorship of the factual was so overwhelming it threatened to dislocate all locations and misinterpret all interpretations of events. It tethered everyone to a false appraisal of the situation that was bound by Vastar to numbers and forms and the numbers of the numbers of forms.

I wrote a screenplay for a movie that explained the story behind how the imitation machine got invented and was put to use for the benefit of all humankind.

By gently transposing the flavour of the night on to the conditional fabric of the day a magical spell was wrought. The impositions of both day and night were released of their illusory power. Enforced structures of time, place, space and numbers that seemed to exist as naturally as the sky or sea crumbled in the mouth like a soft raspberry sponge cake. Delicious. If anyone had witnessed this, it was probably N. But more than a witness he was an active onlooker and participant and perhaps even the instigator of the spell.

Time was disintegrated and made more susceptible to its infinities. Space was unrestricted, open, a vast chamber in which N was dreamed by whoever. Neon light in the daytime signified the erosion of prejudice. All the glories of night could now be seen for what they were in the clear light of day: the manifold treasures of joy and play, uncontrolled.

But N had jumped ahead of himself, a precaution taken to avoid leaving anything out.

“What chap? The warden?”

The invincible warden of the moral of this story brought a case of wine, a .45, and a flick-knife, and was cloaked in fury. When the fable turned to glory he would have won faith in the stifling heat of the moral by means of terror, murder and mayhem.

To uphold the principle of universal slavery the slave-holders had no choice but to become their own slaves. Serving their false identities had become a chore carried out under the cracks of their own whips. They were their own best enemies, bound and shackled by the illusion of self-imposed imperatives. But the slaves had discipline to overcome bondage, which gave them the upper hand, filed under “entrepreneurial skills”.

N had feasted on the love of the masses but no amount of favour could do him any more harm. He believed he was invincible but crucifixers were everywhere and they claimed the future was theirs and theirs alone. He got roped in to a prison-style experiment under the iron heel of the regime, surrounded by its adherents and advocates as they beamed the hologram of one of the Ministers into the drone park, which was supposed to induce instant compliance with the Party.

N would travel first class to the exo-genesis templates with pearly eyes and the cupboard bare. Pushed to the edge of no known number, terrified but exalted, sonic when things got sanitised by a cold woven lather, like at the cinema but faster, the breath of intelligence blew over teardrop city. Rain and snow were elevated by nursery rhymes. The Metropolis was stuck inside a rectangular box. Caged beasts were sucked into the feeder station to join the Society of Watchers.

Later, at the encampment, as the wind whipped the flags, N would retreat to the confines of his revolutionary cell. There was nothing to live for. Observing the machinations of nature and consciously noting its impulses towards or from responses to action while effortlessly traversing the office partitions, N, the one present as the main character of this action, was dislodged from the present and took on the qualities of absence. The paradox of the absentee was such that the more they embraced absence the more present they became, the more translucent and unrestrained, having escaped the rectangular box of meat and stone.

“The machine is my slave.”

A bid for power proved the weakness of power could only be won by gambling. Those fools who had betted on the situation knew deep down they had been taken for a ride. It was not as though they had been grateful for having been manipulated. It did not make them admire those who had deceived them, yet this is what the power-mongers expected. They had their victims trapped because they had convinced them to act against their interests. They failed to recognise they would be replaced by more managerial types from the equality echelons. It was an ambiguous struggle between the urgency of the matter and having the right data.

Surrounded by anomalous material, much of it superfluous or incoherent, N took the VHS tapes to a place to have them digitised. But it virtually made no difference. Nothing was there which hadn’t already been apparent from the originals.

“The violence you feel inside is love. Those who care about it destroy themselves. There are no strict formalities here but those who aggrandise a moral stance inter others in the pool of others like themselves.”

Recreation, fornication. A savage white sun brought the blood of the plague to merge with the stations of the X. At the scene of a new crime, a parcel containing the stitch gun. Under the maximal moon, a turn of the screw united at the vertigo of frost.

Re: June minesweeper hands: hands / media of touch.

“No, it’s the body.”

One night, Anikulapo-Kuti dared the others to steal a Jaguar XJ. They all confessed none of them knew how to do it. A-K didn’t know either. Besides, they already had a very good game going, a successful formula for how to mug passers-by in broad daylight without detection. One would distract the victim using a false premise about a landmark then engage them in a short discussion about the weather while another would join a few seconds later with some random banter as a third or fourth would barge through saying, “watch where you’re going”.

With cold energy, the plague blood pumped out a sparkling radiophonic symphony.

N never combed his hair. He took himself out of his carousel horoscope up to the sky with the parachute. There he saw the mystery of the blue light turning into the altar of the cyclical re-birth he renounced.

The backward chants of the clerks and the councillors on the backs of big cats echoed throughout the city, spouting the Styrofoam poetry of the gift-wrapped mirror-swamps of a corporate Zen infested with joined up machine writing, like flying saucers in the twilight, shimmering as it faded where the Mormons parked their SUVs in the stillness. And in the creases of their suits, the motionlessness of dusk’s yawning.

“You don’t exist.”

Three women were seen at a railway station standing stock still with their mouths open, as if frozen in the middle of having been shocked about seeing or hearing something, yet there was no indication of what they were concerned about and it did not appear that they knew each other. They stood some way from the ticket barriers and bothered no-one. After standing stock still in a line, each not moving an inch for half an hour, passers-by began pointing rectangles at them. Similar incidents were reported in various major cities throughout the Geoplots. Police were investigating the situation. Special tunics were worn in commemoration of the event as the media outlets lost control.

“I am fearful of silence.”

With a three-pronged angle triangle, with a belly swamped by Z-hearts and fetterless, residing within the plexus and nexus of this anti-narrative, N and all the others were held hostage to it, figments of the attributes of the idolator’s imitation machine left at the side of the road.

“You can kill the tape now.”

THEY was the banality of politics. THEY counter-effected the political situation by methods stolen from Art (and if not Art then the word alone). The voice of THEY was the voice of the complacent rebel, trapped in a rebellion against marginal figures lurking somewhere dank in the university, screaming at a young lad who in an essay misquoted a German philosopher.

History was a simulated enactment abandoned in the 20th century and re-routed into advertising for policing purposes. Only the downtrodden and scavengers knew. Linear time was a concept invented by clerks and monks. Nature was anthropomorphised to sell money. Human nature was platitudinous and formularised for its false redemption through the sale of money as a quasi-religious ideology.

The VHS tapes were forgotten about.

It was a sordid way of spending their days but N, A-K, L and M were addicted to the thrill of it all, the glamour and sleaze of low-level crime. They would have liked to have got into bank robbery but were too chicken. After three months their routine had become a bit tired and boring. That’s why A-K suggested stealing the Jaguar, the boot of which, it so happened, was full of alcohol and firearms. (A-K had acquired an X-ray app from the deep web) and it seemed to them all about that time that without the ritual of crime they could not bear to live.

To identify weaknesses and crack them open, the affinity fraternity was ordained by a biology minister who targeted those suitable for conversion at various locations: local colleges, youth centres, massage parlours.

The Freedom of Torture Bill with its omnipresent terminals of heinous deeds would take the cocoons back to the feedback stations and have them outsourced to the seed banks of innocent parties for “your protection” while the dull symbolism of it all inspired a gaslighting scheme for the Minister for Deprivation.

On the subterranean express, immediately the shell suit arrived. Every movement, every touch had a home, an arrow between the paths. The sweetest ending was paraphrased as, “How I got up and running.”

The bullshit detector was up full throttle. An arsonist had provided the signature for the cash. Pre-sentient acrobats were traversing the multi-terrain patterns with jellyfish somersaults. Taking a gander at the white fish in the space net, the token onion stayed in the water, its bones long drawn by a Lamborghini, granting salutary wishes at the coercive roundabout.

“Holy cow, I didn’t know that, Rudolph.”

Bless him. He was tailored like a soft hound and could see himself reflected at the counter looking at Roger as he picked out a rodeo suit for Suzanne.

W. T. actual F. ?


PORTER sits opposite DS Vahid.

There is no record because there is no record to be found. We received an alert to say so. People in your situation sometimes end up risking their lives.

All that happened was, I woke up this morning, got ready for work as usual and…

Flashback of earlier scenes.

I tried to get past security but wasn’t allowed in the building. My ID was just rejected. There was no record of me ever having been there.

Yes, we know. It’s all here. (indicating the files on the table) Your ID has been wiped. (pause) Look up the settings on your phone and find the ID retraction module. It should be under “status handle” or if you’ve got version 0.4 it’s “status log”.

PORTER starts pressing his phone for some seconds, hunched over it, bewildered.

Retraction module? (pause) Wait… “Incorrect” (pause) It’s not…

PORTER looks up at DS Vahid, exasperated.

This sort of thing usually happens to people who have been legally assassinated. First their ID goes missing. It’s definitely wiped out, the intelligence confirms it. But obviously you have not been assassinated. We track for NOIN as a routine precaution. According to our records, it is extremely unlikely anyone would want you assassinated.

What do you mean by that? I need my ID back. NOIN?! Who’s done this? Who has fucking wiped my ID?

Steady on, Sir. We have.

Hidden in the shadows, the servants of the wise serpents listened in. Ripping the screen away and exposing their flaming fangs under the yellow glow of the artificial sun beaming down upon the encampment, the servants were swathed in nondescript fabrics, beaming down tumult and depravity, glory and disaster. The ecstasy of being drawn towards the signature of nature was without restraint in the treatment spa. The cold fission of the imitation machine was displayed as forbidden allure. The asphalt curtain, the decaying square, the grim skyline, the torpor that loved the radiant plume, the savage nectar, blocks of wood on the staircase.

“Are you dodging the question?”

“Are you jumping the queue?”

It was nine o’clock. N’s spinal cord unravelled. The alabaster monkey’s cake leftover was a morsel too dry, musty and cold. The eyes were retrained not to read or write but to make the hand talk, disengaged utterly.

“What’s that? Is that what I think it is..? Is that… the loop?”

The traffic on the roads outside was toyed with once and then eaten, while between the clitoral circuits, electric and enraptured, the eye remained open. The copper Buddha retrained the voice. Unyielding night was thrown across the skyline, crushed by strawberries and cream as it betrayed its celebration. Night was going haywire, going nowhere, like some poor fool chasing a dream.

The chauffeur smoked a cigarette while leaning against the Jag. He was to be seduced and sedated. On the first attempt, Lakshmi engaged him in a flirtatious conversation about her pretend attendance at a conference held at the hotel for the corporate giant, Leophonine. After a few days passed the strategy was reviewed and the pale and interesting, muscular Montague took on the task. Bingo! The chauffeur would otherwise have faced a day of sitting in the car or standing in the street waiting for his master or mistress to re-appear after hours, so it was easy to lure him into an alleyway for a quick furtive fuck.

The urgency of the situation was such that so many analogous occurrences had taken place, N was compelled to find out their origin. But there was an impasse at the juncture between the moment and the knowledge required to address it. The VHS tapes had shown they had been re-mixed at the laboratory, but to what end? As the tapes whirred, no realistic solution was forthcoming.

The organisation could not be accused of malpractice. They were immersed in crime, which was the highest form of wit.

“Otherwise, what did you expect?”

Writing was not the externalisation of thought. Writing was writing. Thought was not.

Another child was executed by lethal injection but the Committee of Security and Terror (COST) were stymied by their failure to note their grid schemata was psychic not material and psychobabble not science. Satellite images showed pockets of resistance in the hinterlands. The COST were hoisted by their own petard, losing out to the faulty system which they had believed ran on mathematical facts not ideology. Protection caved in on them and left them open to attack. Their secret headquarters in Cornwall was firebombed by unidentified rebels who arrived in dinghies and fled in them rejoicing. No arrests could take place with no COST premises left.

Crimbos and normies outside were standing about perusing a hacker ethos manual.

The Genetic Council was a product of melancholia and sentimentality. DNA was a myth, genealogy was a myth.

Living beings were not mathematical formulae. DNA was the elevation of imperial machine nature and history but selective human memory.

“What exactly is your fantasy?”

Instead of flirtation there was signalling stop or go. Reproduction was business, a housewife pottering about in a kitchen.

N became aware he was dissociating into deliciousness, but the problem was sleep. During the national effort to reintroduce the productivity ethos the media psychotherapists, because they had no idea what sleep was, had inadvertently made it too easy for everyone to dream.

THEY constituted another bureaucracy. Asked what THEY did for a living, YOU found THEY worked for a variety of hoax apparitions and institutional shortcomings.

After cruising the rain-soaked suburban streets, the Jaguar brought closure for the young and the restless, for the insecure. Thievery and assault had provided a taste of what liberation must be like.

But the final programme needed work.

Revelling in the achievement of his seductive powers and high off the smell of stale cigarettes from the mouth of the chauffeur which he roughly kissed and the fumes of piss in the alleyway, M dropped to his knees and pulled out the chauffeur’s sweaty cock which grew to a massive size before his eyes. He began sucking on the priapic tool and savouring the flavour while the chauffeur dreamed of his younger sister baking pastries in the pantry circa 1997 when she lost her virginity. Then A-K appeared at the mouth of the alley, which was usually reserved for the catering staff who were all now busy preparing a seven course meal for Leophonine.

Three men were seen in a shopping centre in Salford standing on top of a hill, frozen. They looked as if they were about to approach a passer-by with a question. They became subject to the taunts of a group of teenagers who tried to make them snap out of their trance. When one of the men was pushed by a boy he stepped back a couple of paces then returned to his former position, expressionless, like a shop window dummy made of rubber. Eventually the men slowly started moving. Each walked away, disappearing into the crowd in different directions, seemingly dazed but unphased. Had they had fallen foul of a glitch in a machine learning algorithm?

M feigned surprise as he looked up at the chauffeur with a twinkle in his eye. A-K approached from behind the chauffeur and after caressing his chest for a minute he whipped out the chloroform handkerchief and pressed it to the man’s mouth. The chauffeur collapsed to the ground and L moved in, nabbing the Jag keys. N, who was the same build as the chauffeur, relieved him of his uniform, changed into it and placed the cap on his head. He calmly walked to the car, leaned up against it and lit one of the chauffeur’s Russian cigarettes. After pausing to congratulate themselves, M and A-K dragged the chauffeur’s semi-naked body and propped it up behind a wheelie bin. L, wearing a faux fur coat and diamonds, walked towards the car like a celebrity. N ceremoniously opened the door to let her in as M and A-K emerged from the alleyway, elated, and followed her into the vehicle. They calculated the cops would be on their trail within about fifteen hours, so after speeding down the motorway and in and out of country lanes at 100 MPH they left the vehicle in a parking lot in the suburbs and later sold the booze and weapons to some proper gangsters in the park for one point five million.

“Broadly speaking, the estimates for these sorts of jobs are never accurate, to be quite honest. At the end of the day, you’re looking to add at least 20%.”

An unexpected event took place that lightened the general mood. Belladonna was deep under the ocean admiring the aquatic life forms. Running out of air she swam to the top and found she was near a deserted beach. It was then she realised she’d been put there by the Social Bureaucrat Party. She had warned herself of the dangers but having broken all the codes, this is what had given leeway to the Party. She had changed the game forever with a skill unsurpassed and got away with it. You can marvel at her idiosyncrasies, her predilection for artefactual evidence which she had constructed for the pleasure of no-one, more as a duty, an obligation carried out to record her fictional events in a para-fictional form, thereby constructing a parallel universe in which things are different all the time.

When the chauffeur awoke he thought he had died and gone to heaven. He found himself amongst toadstools blooming across the forest floor. He was dressed in the finest robes and vowed to never go back to driving about the rich and fatuous. From now on he would move out from within the midst of nature in a silver ash raiment, clasping the crumbling fragments of antiquity as they fell to the floor and in the quiet of coming and going, he would be observant of the apparitions, whether it was a Sunday or Monday, and would be careless, heedless, whispering and deathless.

In bathroom robes of painted ladies, money men leaned on window sills and called out their names to each other: Bill, Roger, Jack, Brian.

Later, the current that emitted from the plinth was strong when, listening to the wildlife nearby, A-K attempted to decipher the notes he had taken pertaining to the crowded rooms. The eroticism of stealth was in its ineptitude, the datasexual fire lit by ambivalence, like when A-K emptied the rooms having re-defined the male and female. The loop had been torn asunder by the curve of the land. He would have dissolved and been superseded otherwise. It could have happened at any time. The passageway out of television was swift and reliable.

Thus far, A-K could not be replaced but it was becoming clearer that he may have to give up his sponsors, so he adorned himself with the shroud of a clerk, for who cared? He admitted he was unqualified. Nevertheless, looking at the biochip, looking at the broken algorithms, there was brain recognition and synesthesia, and he had a brain that could cross the multi-terrain with any undetonated device whatsoever.

The Conversations 23 | What is the Loop? | text & image © A. A. Walker


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