“If money be the food of love, trade on.” — Trade On, The Racket, The Racket
The media psychotherapists sold voyeurism as catharsis, captive and readily available (bloodshot) eyes, wet lips, tongues and strong thighs.
The anti-narrative negated non-fiction by poetic delirium, at once contemplative and explosive. Violence ideations were burned into the fabric of the novel. Right or wrong were never declared, only the violence of beauty.
Anikulapo-Kuti took the last turning off the dirt road and drove straight into Idolator. After checking in at the Idolator Commercial Motel he unpacked the emblems he’d swiped from Nepenthe. Observing the unobserved, he absorbed the received impressions transmitted from where the emblems began, both at root cause and surface, and once they were decoded he found they attached to whichever vessel was fitting.
[Anent their significance, the attributes of the emblems would be addressed some minutes later in this appraisal, albeit using another terminology.]
Cloned celebrities reproduced in computer generated hyper-environments and represented oppressive social hierarchies as if they were the natural moral order, as if a place within them was desirable.
What was driving the media psychotherapists? In one interview, it became all too apparent that the session was being conducted solely for the entertrainment of the attention seekers. The content was superfluous. Focus groups were given attention deficient enough to satisfy those at the top of the food chain, and probing questions YOU was bound to answer. The channels that profited from the boom in prime-time psychotherapy sessions with cloned celebs and Joe Public alike, were passed off as societal improvement. The Entertainment Consultancy had seen to that. Everywhere YOU was deconstructing in public. The craze reached such new heights of absurdity as YOU prided itself on the tendency to navigate and buy into the dominant narrative that presented psychology as scientific fact.
[That is, by resisting the end of life and opposing it with an image of life—as if it was apart from destruction and contained by arbiters of morality—meaning was fixed for profit while theory was manipulated and remodelled as practice.]
A-K finished a historical glass of claret. Entering the courtyard outside the town hall on tiptoe, his cloak thrashed against the gate as the wind blew the leaves across the marble floor. A wolf listened carefully, upright in its tomb, and spat its venom.
The hypothetical substance that pervaded the media’s routines made full use of the availability heuristic. The Social Bureaucrat Party made it look like state departments could govern and direct abstract forces. Politicians in tailor-made suits cruised the public square with subtle pomp and circumstance while Poverty Inc obeyed their orders and postponed dry knowledge indefinitely.
Nobadaddy, father of jealousy, said the world was built in a laboratory, not by the word alone, that accomplishments lay in self-satisfaction, getting rewarded for reason and knowledge, and in gathering precious objects.
Yet this was pure fiction from where love’s effects were nurtured, from where the circuit fired and enclosed its features in the place of the unborn from where it went out by the violence of beauty alone.
The fetishisation of the psychological construct of the ego was replaced with the fetishisation of the sociological concept of the mind aka machinery: justice over judgment. The cruel god had turned into the just god. But the just god was no more fair or kind than the cruel god because the former was the progeny of the latter.
Philosophy was a set of pre-conditioned subjects of a political and economic character that continually removed the category of poetical nature. But the fusing of the ancient and modern was a primal force that was uprising free of the impediments of philosophical rumination, free to traverse the domain of spectral light.
The carriage pulled the seamstress over cold acres of farmland charmed by beef, ham, pork and salad, and a crime novel.
Death was placed into a cauldron, its irregular involutions murmuring prosodic hymns from behind a flag.
The past had rendered the present dispensable. All references to the present were ephemera. The legend of the miracle began to unravel itself as the drive to become software began. The ancient future arrived.
The demonic forces latent in the environment over-layed a pattern atop the pattern of crop failures, extreme heatwaves, famine and war, loss of coastal cities: a pattern of omnipresent simulation.
As the construct came to light all signs of intellectual cohesion dissolved. As it became more sentient and spatially aware it became evident that the construct had been created out of the essence of the spectral hues. Prompted by these ominous tones and shades, the Professor wept. He was portrayed in the daily rags as an abomination: a goat with the body of a monkey and the claws of a pigeon.
The Kill-Freak Syndicate stood on a hillside praying against their phoney Satan and His barking bloodhounds. They were outcast, terrified of the Prince of Darkness and his graven images, in awe of the beauty of his violence.
After dinner, there were some walks around the ruins, the tombs, the rice fields, the bazaar, in and out the temples and between the animal statues. When Night fell there were invitations to the bordello, poker games, midnight feasts and more. The jinns were giving flow to the fluid anti-genealogy of these artificial events as newly discovered species emerged from the body of the construct.
Whenever I wrote a sentence, in the midst of writing, I felt like I did not have the capacity to complete the task. It was torturous. I was afraid every sentence would be my last and I would be incapable of ever writing again. I felt that my choice of words and syntax would be insufficient to communicate whatever I was trying to say. If I did complete a paragraph I couldn’t tell if—.
Perhaps I should have put it another way? Everything I wrote was subject to self-doubt and the questioning of my intentions. I was desperate. Why was I even writing in the first place?
The local TV news bulletin reported that Dr Slater had formed what he claimed was a revolutionary brand of life coaching that was 100% effective. The “Yes&Know self-improvement course” he claimed “gives you the wisdom and clarity to become who you want to be”. It was cheesy stuff but suspicious. All trails of evidence of his past activities lead to numerous similar start up businesses that had been abandoned until he got the job at the Institution from where he had launched Yes&Know. Clients at the Borderlands Hotel found themselves fixated on a variety of pre-modelled and repeated thematic psychological episodes that seemed to arise from their own emotional states as they phased in and out for no apparent reason other than the triggers set in motion by Slater’s stock bromides.
It was Monday the 19th. The Quinta Essentia sailed into the port at Panacea. Madison conveyed the required jumpsuit tech and invisible billionaire Jane Lismore was sent to Overkill to contemplate her fate.
Speaking of the utmost, the beacon was sewing a badge onto its navel. It made a still image of every moment occurring all at once altogether. The beacon was in shadow or sun or rain, laughing or talking or crying, and as long as it was glowing there was nothing to add or subtract, for as long as love was in awe, from atop the beacon the dataflow would surrender to the movement and go with the flow. The traffic was stopped, slowed or sped up. Units were translated by the material flux of the construct of binary code high above the streets, the transmission related in mutable aerial pictures.
Yes, the IDI department. We investigate ID assassination and virtual murder, that is ID elimination.
I just want my ID back.
That’s not going to be possible, Sir. The NOIN is permanent. Your ID’s been eliminated. It’s been confirmed. Luckily, it’s not an assassination but virtual murder.
(PORTER looks at DS VAHID disbelievingly. There is a tense silence for a few seconds.)
“Murder”? Who’s responsible?
Murder is unauthorised ID elimination. It is an error in the system but someone is to blame.
This is insane.
In the meantime, we will provide you with a new ID. Let me assure you, consumers like you who get a NOIN through no fault of their own are glad of a new ID.
What the fuck?
Let me show you some examples.
NOIN? What’s a NOIN?
Non-Operable Identification Notice. NOINs are issued after it has been formally established that the original ID has been eliminated and not simply mislaid or corrupted. Now, let me show you some available IDs.
What the fuck? I want my own ID back.
I’m afraid that’s not going to be possible… Have a look: “Assistant Robot Analyser at Leophonine. He’s 47, just a year older than you. Residing at Sector B43877. That’s a pretty good match, isn’t it?
That’s where I live!
Not any more, Sir. Your ID is non-operable. That includes residence, job, social credits. All data was wiped from the memory banks of everyone in your social network. This guy, Mr Reynolds is only two years older than you, went to a similar school and university, has no children but a steady girlfriend for the past eight years who lives with her fourteen year old adopted daughter. A close match, I’d say.
Right. Sounds… familiar.
And she works at Equipole! It’s an improvement, I’d say, wouldn’t you? Now, would you like this one? It’s free of charge, Sir. If you’d like to sign this document.
(CU of document: “Mutual Non-Disclosure and Copyright Agreement… The ID owner shall have no claim over said ID before or after the terms of agreement are met. In the event that IDI goes bust all IDs will be destroyed automatically. IDI hopes that you will cherish and value the opportunity to use the IDI Owner trade mark responsibly.”)
This is insane.
I assure you, the programme has already proven to be very popular and well received. You will soon be hearing about it in the news.
Wait. You’re telling me to impersonate some other guy?
No, no, no. You misunderstand.
That guy. What happened to him? This is crazy. I can’t just replace him.
You’re not going to replace anyone. He is part of a database of virtual constructs that represent individuals specially designed to help people such as yourself. We’re offering you an original and unique identity, that is yours and yours alone. I selected this one earlier because I found it happens to resemble your old ID, but we can select a background, job and lifestyle that are, within reason, slightly different…. If you prefer.
What? He’s some kind of fictional character?
No, Sir. These are legitimate IDs. Everyone is assigned an ID.
All IDs, regardless, are pre-designed when issued by the Party at the birth of each individual. In recent times, however, there has been an increase in virtual murder. But we are confident that a new ID with IDI will serve you even better than your old one.
What if I refuse?
The difference between alternate reality and artificial reality was that the former was exterior to the pre-existing dimensional order whereas the latter was constructed within the established formulae of space-time. The alternate could not be reached without a disconnection module, and although the artificial was inauthentic it appeared otherwise to those engineers who had not been given clearance, but A-K and his comrades were authorised and affected the trans-dimensional order with a range of electromagnetic cylinders and funnels leading out from Idolator and back.
The prism collected at the archaeological dig conducted by the Professor was found to contain a material foreign to Earth but with the heroics of race written all over it. All these hominoids and petroglyphs: safe in serfdom and whoredom and the indignity of labour. It was a normal situation in the Father Complex where the patriarchs whittled on all day about the work ethic at the factory.
A-K stepped aside. All it seemed he could do in Idolator was marvel at the obvious.
The simulation had brought with it over-simulation. Billions of bots sent out attention-seekers to stir up the muck of sleaze and corruption. The consensus that took the simulation for a non-simulation was divided, diverted or subverted. At the root cause emerged the counterparts of sunrise and the passing clouds.
There were strict rules of etiquette amongst the Kill-Freak Syndicate. Six o’clock on the Night of the Sabbath signalled “the Devils’ Hour” and re-dedication of those souls who had spent the earlier part of the day engrossed in the Syndicate’s work: feeding off the non-entities whose IDs they’d destroyed. But as soon as the church bells ceased chiming, the streets began to glitter and glow. The boys from the youth club could be heard laughing wildly, frightening some of the youngers who’d been lurking and enticing others, notably one glamour-scene extra with the dangerous inclination to embark upon forbidden and clandestine romances with outsiders.
A low, broad, liminal entrance to the great unknown was emblematic of the order.
“The delusion is endlessly mesmeric. Cause and effect are the result of doubt. So, reject what you suppose and entertain nothing, and as you continue the focus then when you enter the Reality Tank it will show you how and why the prime delusion is that one believes a point of view can show that you can do things to make them different.”
BlackDev Strangelove reported future artefacts uncovered at Daytona Glad 578, alternately the Blue Ditch out South, and an able engine at the edge of the beacon’s flare, a red monsoon, an avalanche of angels, a sugar blizzard, a thunderbolt or a firefly.
A-K fell in and out of trance, drugged by one of the Nepenthe reps earlier at the conference. In his capacity as social anthropologist A-K had indeed been hired under false pretences, but was careless enough to get drugged then left in a locked room. He had no choice but to re-enact the sephirothal process. He remembered taking notes earlier at the conference. There had been a break for coffee and profiteroles. It must have been during his conversation with the Professor, the blonde one with the shifty eyes. He must’ve slipped something into A-K’s cappuccino. Trapped in the room, the only source of light an electric bulb, before he could compose himself he was drawn further into trance. He would strive remain as conscious as possible so that he could start the process as best he could, albeit in a weakened state. Then the Professor returned, looking the worse for wear after he’d been out the previous night at the Boys’ Club.
Quivering with burning desire, aflame for longing and with a wholesome and profound beatitude, a warmly lit fireside chat had the smiling presence of every day loveliness. Coinciding with the arrival of the miracle, in anticipation, all those in proximity radiated and expanded, drawing each other to the moment in which they acknowledged their shared collective union. The ceremony was enchanting. Decency and fairness were brought to the consideration, wonderfully awake to and aware of that thing without which no being on earth would thrive: fiction.
Music was coming from behind a screen and all the boys were drawn to it to see if this was a gathering they could crash.
“Fuck your narrative!”
This plate upon which these characters appeared drew its invader to recognise the integral co-operative agency of countless elves who joined in praise of the fortunate happenstance.
“The disciple would do well to allow the emblems to make themselves known of their own accord. Discouragement is a common experience amongst those who sincerely seek confirmation that they are linking to their animal nature but it is a misconception that the effort will bring reward or result. Those who transgress the codes and customs of consensus are as ‘the pilgrim who treads a path out of the circle and enters the grip of that hand which formed the circle’.” [Source N/A due to the re-cataloguing of knowledge circa 1945.]
Reasonable facts and rational measurements determined any seemingly material thing that was described as “is or is not”, but in pure fiction, no “is or is not” could never be.
A-K had entombed the kill-freak wraith in a starlit mound where the verminous suckling was to be tortured and executed, and it was offered no mercy, much less were requests for levity heeded. The buzzing golden flies swarming around the corpses lying flat in the drained river were as heroic as Hollywood villains. They rid the promised land of the Complexes. Living with repetition, the great industrial concern of those average bastards, those kill-freak parasites, was in seeing to comply by following routine, but the routine was disintegrating. They picked up their outboard motors, their bouncy castles, Rottweilers, petticoats and trilbies, and ran straight into the mouths of the sepia cockroaches, never to be seen to comply again.
[In my striving to create disposable literature I dealt with crude and unpleasant subject matter. I had no moral or ethical standards and no rational or social purpose.]
The fictional facilitator for the free flow of projected imaginative phenomena utilised fleshly and mechanical technology to produce and project structural forms through which the transmission of imaginative impulses could be promulgated and propagated. The imagination stood in opposition to technology. It was at once irrational, creative and destructive. Therefore, the liberating message of the fiction was its medium, yet the medium had no technical specification. In other words, pure fiction was devoid of narrative. To incarnate the inhuman meant to propel the imagination forward into the future ancient world as an impersonal force of nature which could not be identified or described by any recourse to linearity.
A-K crossed the threshold of the bio-surveillance office from where it was apparent that although the simulation had brought with it over-simulation, the consensus that took it for a non-simulation had been successfully divided and diverted, hence Idolator was overthrown by idolatry.
The imagination was not produced by an entity and was not representative of one. It only had whichever characteristics it conveyed in whatever form it appeared. One of the primary tools necessary to carry out this task was light in all its gradations from the very darkest to the very brightest. This involved an alert response and the initiative to surrender Eros to the movement via outlets such as nature.
“The next god will be beyond good or evil.”
Expecting to unfold the stolen artefact, A-K chanced upon a paper with a watermark that referenced the target at Boilerhouse Drive, which also happened to be the address of Nepenthe. Rather than risk counter-assassination, he hid the item in a cleavage. Preparing to destroy the Apparatus, having breached the ramparts, he stood atop a turret with his binoculars and spied down below the dim lights of the bookkeepers.
Introspectively modulating chance exits and entrances, void of matter.
[Words were just words. Their impact could easily be reproduced in other forms of communication. They were not in themselves events with any practical meaning. They were not things which could immediately be applied to action. Or were they?]
Due to some undetectable audio-visual phenomenon that came and went in waves, the bird of Paradise singing outside the library went silent. In the domain of spectral light where half-ghosts and echoes of the future were mantic vessels, salvation was forthcoming. There was redemption and ascent, regeneration and order without invention. The seamstress’s fair hands organised the embroidery of new probabilities enhanced by the multiverse as it lengthened its scope.
“It’s like living in a glitch in the matrix.”
The process complete, A-K had just enough time to get the message out so that I could relay it here today.
The Conversations | Idolator, Where the Moral Is | text & image © A. A. Walker