“The philosophers’ inventive theories of time and money directed and guided the managerial class towards the ways by which they could change the world to suit themselves.” — Steven Simpson, Blinded by Science
In the old mansion house in the swamplands where the cops would never find him, the occupant paced the dining room. Anikulapo-Kuti was possessed of an unusual, chaotic intelligence. Dinner was at seven.
Psycho-gulls ate from the pre-conscious archives and, doubtless, they portrayed vast and brilliant scones and tea in the afternoon. Fearful they were not, yet with fear and terror were they deplored as they cut a finger slicing a side of beef or cracked a precious Arabian plate.
Description lost out to prescription. Pushed with haste that could only be resolved by informational products, marvellous new vices were engineered in leaps and bounds and spread abroad by the forces of evil.
Poverty Inc moved into new territories, solving problems with a new spin on an old dogma, promises of betterment, a way to bridge the gap. Condescending to point at a picture of a pauper in a cloth cap holding a noose round the neck of a woman accused of witchcraft, and pointing out the barbarism, the faulty metaphor was recycled against a backdrop of leisurely hours spent haranguing the natives about how lucky they were to till the soil.
“Turn the ghost up in here.”
The enormity of the police presence surrounding the former banks was staggering.
“We can get a better look at the numbers on the other side where we can admire them fondly as though they were objects of our affection.”
All the pain, hate and futility faded out of view as another oscillating Night of Brahma enveloped the camp ground.
At the Octagon the nano-computer was too slow.
Emerging from the criminal vats of the global slavocracy, the Kill-Freak Syndicate strutted about cloaked in fairy tales of secrecy and bribery as if they were of the finest fabrics.
“This is what you do not understand…”
Loose and disorderly persons, they choked on pretence, virtue and solemn vows, intellectual egoism, the longing for medieval torture, damnation and sin rooted deep in their blood as red as any Communist dictator’s. Their tool-box had a sign on it suggesting social miserabilism could pass for music.
An invisible soldier was found wrapped in a sackcloth outside the nunnery, put there at the bidding of the novel. The soldier marched into the university library where pieces of missing furniture had miraculously reappeared as if to say that as inanimate objects they had a right to freedom of movement and a life of their own. The novel brought shock and awe. Suddenly, the invisible soldier became Everyman in the street.
“Promise me you will break the algorithms, never submit to machine learning.”
The economy was pseudoscience. Coming out of doubt and simply being born, self-realisation was made equal to rational values, codes, principles, and calculations. Civilisation was sublimely refined because it had become purely commercial. The commodities it once championed in a bygone era, and all the farming and foraging, the trading and herding, the ploughs and bridges, roads or inns, were now immaterial abstractions under strict control of FreeDomination.
Where A-K would re-locate to next was anyone’s guess.
Father Complex had a little keepsake for man and woman, a little light that lit up to give permission to come or go at any time of the day or night. When Father Complex came upon the zombies, their eyes were sucked out as per the instructions, their bandages were eaten away, and the goodness in all their rotten flesh was gathered up and stored in a rectangular room where Father Complex’s key to the cabinet was kept in a ceramic dog’s jaw to keep it safe.
A book was found in a field. Down the mine, at the office, the plantation, at the quarry, the fishing port or the foundry, there was a good book of the people by the people.
“Keep looking at the rectangle. Tell me what you see.”
Speech and action were governed by the instructions of machines and made into expressions of the life of death. The flesh was 3D and plastic, the words information about dates, names, times and places. Passion and emotion were replaced with numbers. Location was permanently dislocated and where it would be found next was anyone’s guess.
The Social Bureaucrat Party wanted better metaphors for the mechanisms to apportion bread and meat to each classroom. They wanted to represent the contract between those with the upper hand and those who tried to handle it as if it were benign and warm to the touch, as though punishment and pain were naturally quite lovely, as though there was a unique privilege in knowing one’s place at the front or the back of the class.
With the same complexity of the gender form, with the intricacies of its hairstyles and gold chains, its toenails and pleated uniforms, the Factory Complex was beneath a reading of the classics, beneath the distinguishing marks of the good book.
Two words: Fridge. Magnet.
The invisible soldier’s fingers cracked as they pointed to the numbers that kept increasing. Flesh was wanting and the new flesh was forthcoming.
A ghastly laugh and then a moan, and the dogma turned to face itself. If there was nothing sacred there would be nothing gained and if nothing was gained then the dogma was false, and false dogma equalled eternal rewards for the unbelievers.
Not all the Society of Watchers were passive. With enough stimulus they would occasionally point at things they saw floating around in the panopticon and try to object to or sometimes even disprove their existence.
Industrial suicide brought forth evolutionary empiricism, the cod philosophy of education, ethical genocide and its tasteful furnishings, rewards of dignity in the face of unprofitable leisure.
A-K (M37, GSOH) opened up a vortex in the Netherlands away from self-surveillance, away from loss of dignity, away from the disorientation of power. To make it look like he was out of action he obtained the delights of a death-mask, purchased a knee bandage support and wore fake blood and crutches.
“Please do not say we are forgiven. That is not your place or purpose. Only our afterlife has the power to absolve us. We bring good news to the uncouth, spiritual sustenance to the simple minded. In the hereafter our brows will be mopped and our empirical thoughts proven true to our objective. There is no question of identity-murder because only the most merciful can bring death for good. Murder is what the lesser beasts do and we are already saved from any kind of death or killing.”
An incalculable number of pseudoscientific gimmicks designed to prescribe routines were released into the atmosphere daily. The fetishisation of the rational mind as a medium for FreeDomination’s routines had infected virtually all the knowledge banks. As it gathered up its skirts to greet the gloom with impolite gestures, like small rodents gnawing at flesh, all the rational mind could do was loop the loop, the circular reasoning of the prostitution of machine-learning algorithms.
From above the rotting roof of the mansion A-K’s periscope watched the kill-freaks circling the building, angling for his top secret invention, a circuit-hood attached to a Rover that fed micro-electric waves back to them a thousandfold, knocking them for six as they got sucked down into the marshes.
“Non-duellism” was founded on the idea that no-one ever need “enter a duel” because existence was perfectly all right as it was and no one ever need debate anything.
“Remove the plume. The customer never asked for that.”
The Factory Complex was born of the empirical and objective realm of this and that, of “…what is or is not, things you don’t understand or care to, and which only we, the controllers, have knowledge of…”, etc.
The days were ordered into a seven day rota. The first day was named sun-day as it was deemed to be a time to bask in the sun and be grateful for its life-giving force to give energy to begin the second day: mon-day, or the day of money, when the cycle of money “making” began. Yes, not love, but money. The third day was choose-day, a day in which one would “choose” to continue with the task begun the previous day. The fourth was called when’s day, which was “when” the mid-way point from sun to money had been reached. The fifth day was known as there’s day, meaning “there” was yet another day. The sixth was called free day when one was free to celebrate the promise of the seventh day, sitter or sat-there day, when one was supposed to sit about, unlike on mon-day, except as the days had run out there was no time to sit about because a) one had to greet the sun the next day and b) thankful for the life it bestowed to “make” money the following day. Although the day of sun was officially the first day of the “weak” (the name given to the seven day cycle, meaning the weakness we had for its routine) most people regarded the first weak day as the day of money.
In the pinkest shoes and cold as crystal, Madison was laughing under a frozen parasol. Her needles and claws sucked the limbless plague-workers into a wormhole from where they would probably never return. Along less trodden cycle routes a temperature was assigned to aerial displays. There had been much development in the past. With a night jar full of rotten metonymy, golden haired and tendrils akimbo, Madison’s prism spoon-fed milk and honey into the mouth of a crucible of winding staircases.
“Maybe, roughly. Why?”
Intimate videos were made in the apartment. Illegal business, jail sentence, travel ban, asset freeze. An incitement to suicide, they said.
“Look. It’s out of whack.”
It was the duty of Art to re-imagine nature and make it fashionable again. Art was of no importance. Art appeared when nature came to its fruition. But Art was infatuated with preconceived ideas about mundane social codes communicated as technological, philosophical or political sophistry. Art was devoid of the non-theoretical. The ancient visionary was now a contemporary, a functionary, serving pseudoscience, 9-5. Tragedy had exited the building. Art was beholden to the dictatorship of the factual.
Recycled culture held the past up to circus mirrors, held the reflection of allure for invention up to that which was found to be wanting, and data, well, data, was just what it was: information.
Like lovers conjoining, smiling, glass-like and charming its engine, the molten mind lauded itself over the matter at hand. Thankfully, the soft dragon of inspiring thoughts wheeled in some new creation myths on a chariot made of pixels.
A-K reappeared in purple robes and spread himself across the flat expanse of the stadium in the shape of a preying mantis. Gazing up at the stars in the same direction as a hot air balloon which had a slogan on the side: “Pure Liquid and Gas”, he told himself, “You do not want your machine slowed down by the loop.” He found his next big move lurching across the tenements and office blocks.
“Sure, hate is wrong but wot you gonna do bout it?”
“Stay sane. Private neuroses are secure neuroses. White hell. Savage amusement. White hell makes you dirty. White hell makes you clean.”
“Pray to the death ray life giver. If you are lucky you may be granted aesthetic domination.”
Poverty Inc inflicted the white hell on all the classrooms at once. No discrimination. Students were all sold the big white lie of the finite solution, all at the same price.
Art was decor and furnishings.
“Apart from the lesser concerns of lower life forms, consider the ignorant animals we breed to employ in the manufacture of more of their kind, to do our business for us in the streets, to clean our plinths and pedestals as we look down our noses, as we guide the ships that sail to fight our just wars against the alien hordes with our sacred weapons born of the monetary ammunition tanks, they are thankful they are guided to our glory.”
The parlour maid hired by the lord of the manor for his son was attributed with the chaotic quality of Satanic anarchy. Deemed wanton and unwanted, she was banished to the poor house. Then after many years in the wilderness she returned from, where? Nowhere in particular, but she’d won a sparkling doctorate in cypher-funky, electric anti-novels and returned with a few escapades to tell about, and a futuristic, bizarre and carnal knowledge, like this, The Conversations. The son of the Lord of the Manor just grinned inanely.
At repeated intervals the algorithmic flux reset and reset itself.
The proponents of “non-duellism” postulated from the podium on many abstract notions, all of which came down to one thing: there was no reason for anyone to enter a “duel” with anyone else because, if only everyone could see, the world and everyone in it were perfect as they were. The non-duellists proselytised and hypnotised with their spurious doctrine to extract wealth and acclaim by making it seem as if by listening to words the audience could improve their lot. By paying to listen to words they indulged in circular reasoning that dictated value came from value when all it brought was the debt of a price. Ironically, they entered a “duel” with themselves as individuals, as each tried to take on the impossible task of doing their best not to “duel” with anyone or anything else, including themselves. This was made to seem like it was for the audience’s own good and served the Party regime very well.
“Let it vibrate.”
A-K was assigned the job of transporting a junk shop idol back to source. It had languished in the back of the shop, drunk on hemlock, dazed and squinting at the blue or black sky, longing for a new home in the meta-Earth of its genesis but had been outshone by ceramic dogs and amateur landscapes. After plying it free from the rubble of worthless crap, A-K wrapped the idol in a garish pink plastic and boarded a carrier. He travelled to an ancient river in the West known by many names and running past many splendid gardens and domiciles. Its origin was its mouth at the farthest Western point.
“The scorners that derided us have no place forgiving us.”
In collaboration with A-K, BlackDev Strangelove was moved to build a bridge that would act as a measure of comedic justice. The medic meanwhile was concerned to care for the steel bindings. A big publisher issued pamphlets of the anti-manifesto in perpetuity. Teleported into a secret world by a magic wand, the editor rejoiced at release from theoretical fantasies they once believed were incontrovertible facts.
Membership of the Society of Watchers increased. Its passivity led to education in the finer things of life, like rationalism.
[From “Rationality and Immorality” by Terri Carruthers PhD] “The rational person who behaves immorally rationalises their behaviour with seemingly rational excuses. The rational person will tend to view immorality as inherently irrational, which is neither true nor false, but this is why they will believe that they are incapable of committing an immoral act. If they do something they recognise as immoral then it is blamed on external, “irrational” influences, which are viewed as merely incidental and with no hold over the person because of their essentially rational position. But then they will be straying into non-rational territory. They have admitted they have been prone to some degree of non-rationality if not outright irrationality. Their rationality is integral to their irrational belief that immorality is beyond them because they are rational. So, when the rational character who behaves in an immoral fashion is confronted with the reality of their immorality and is unable to avoid it because in rational terms it is an obvious fact with social consequences, then they are at the same time confronted with the irrationality of the rational itself.”
“Just the tulip, please.”
Marking out the nearby territory from France to Norway, A-K set up a few decoys and blinds then enclosed the whole space within a magnetic forcefield to attract any Syndicate intruders. Their intrusion would leave them with no recourse to a frame of reference. As A-K went about planning a future new empire of the senses away from it all, every move he made brought the information war towards its inevitable predestined orbit. His each and every thought and action drew the warmongers towards destruction at the hands of their own involuntary and automatic responses as they attempted to enter the field and got thrown back into the traps they’d laid for A-K and the others.
It was the natural order of things. But the Syndicate would not be fixed. After stalling, they would open the mouth wider from the delta until the graven image would fall into its abyss, shedding the names and curses it had accumulated in the shop. It had ended up there after it was stolen from the guardians of the natural order by out of control industrial forces that preyed upon the status quo to consume it and have it superseded by another. The elders joined to turn a blind eye, while the idol reconstructed itself in the image of a billion light years, for the god that created the idol was a god of units and measures.
“It is not for you to give forgiveness. Leave it to the betters and elders, fools though they are. They will make peace. You are not one of us. You are not our redeemers. You are the specimens of evidential error, outside of true concerns. You place is not to forgive but to forego what you know, to forego, to withdraw and give way to our imperialistic dignity which conquers the alien with the immovability of stone and meat, and contains its martyrs in rectangles and squares within and outwith, which you also must move quickly forthwith to dodge our superior fire.”
“Will the real fake Satan please stand up?”
Shallow emotion was the best or nearest to compassion but emotions generally were consigned to the same Hell where James Bond and other cultures went.
For the whole of eternity everything that occurred happened all at once and forever, except there was money to be made in the here and now.
“As their rational position has been undermined to such a degree the rational character can only resort to an irrational reaction. While this may indeed result in an expression of anger or frustration (at having been exposed as immoral and therefore irrational), the more extreme their immoral act, the more it creates a temporary if not permanent state of mental illness. The rational individual has transgressed their own self-imposed laws and thereby thrust themselves head-first into a foreign territory they do not understand or appreciate, a place in which the non-rational holds sway over and above the rational and is therefore by definition outside any question of morality, even though the person has only entered this territory on the basis of a rational concern, that being the question of their morality or immorality. They have admitted to their wrongdoing, at least to themselves, because the facts have shown it, yet at the same time they cannot account for it because in the realm of the non-rational there is no such thing and right and wrong are from the realm of the rational.”
Censoring love was easy. All it required was disdain for the unfortunate, the soft, hollow hypocrisy of compliance and compromise with those values that made a religion out of classroom politics. The essential nature of the situation was that it had none, except that electricalised thought equalled abstract numbers. To devise love out of nature was intrinsic to the anthropomorphic urge, to relate to it as if it were human.
“You must look harder and closer at the situation. It is not real.”
“The only means by which the rational character can navigate the strange territory of the non-rational is by irrational means because all attempts at formulating a rational rationale are bound to fail. Under such a circumstance, rational-sounding lies may be useful, but lies, being of a non-rational nature, only plunge the individual further into the amoral domain of non-rationality, exactly where they do not want to be. They are left open to anguish, confusion, self-deception and all manner of fears, paranoia, and schizoid, delusional thoughts. It is impossible for the rational character to recognise their immorality without losing the sense of themselves as a coherent identity or individual person. The data shows that in most cases the individual will try to escape the negative effects of being confronted with their own immorality by eventually returning to a semblance of a rational position and attempting to reverse the effects of their immoral behaviour, however painful this might be. This is why rationality is so heavily promoted in this society. It makes for obedient individuals who are likely to always do what they they are told in rational terms, because otherwise they would risk their own sanity. Therefore, as long as the rational character learns what to do in ways that are framed as rational, they will do so. Rationality is the perfect tool with which to cement the authoritarian social structure.”
In plain sight, with the handicraft of an engraver, in the cryptic light and dark, A-K unlocked the hidden circuitry. Hold tight / switchover. Economy was science. Triple accredited. Outwith. The broken panels revealed the open-plan flooring. Merchants and other priests were wound around the underclass beneath the museums and hotels. The deadly force of the alabaster monkey had been crushed. The doomsday award was won back.
With these methods and with the help of that remarkable invention, the imitation machine, the reader was able to ascertain the following. The piece of metal attached to the left wrist known as a watch acted as a magnet to haul the vessel and re-position it in a stunning reversal that defied the facts, something like the dictatorship of the virtual but without any virtue. The job had been achieved with the help of large trained birds. Sending the gulls to the other side of the island to do their job, A-K bit at the ropes of the vessel and released it from its state of emergency and into the magician’s intelligence where it gained sight of co-mobility in the words of specialisms. He found the divider was the separator, co-existent with one and the same connection to the identity of the mystery essential to the task as it contained the necessary jumpsuit tech for the next.
The Conversations | The Kill-Freak Syndicate! | text & image © A. A. Walker