“Art is no longer an individual social statement, even less the total act of expression of a qualified representative of a culture, but an indiscriminate development towards that which was previously taboo: the irrational propagation of synergistic alignments consolidated between the non-exclusive spirit of imagination, cosmic mystery and the unknown.” — Hortense Varner, Violent Beauty, Art at the End of Time
Traditions were under threat. Patriots wanted a day of reckoning, a crackdown, and the intervention of their Antichrist. Embracing the topics as set by the paradigm shifters, the monetisable personality was relentless. It had no moral backbone, but at underground assemblies everywhere speech was free to be perverse and inexplicable, against everything that was sacrosanct.
After fixing up the hit-pieces for the Professor to be trashed as an abomination, Anikulapo-Kuti inspected the emblems at close range. Having breached security at the bio-surveillance office at Idolator he traced the path of their instrument in the correct order, and while it seemed the emblems might pander to or patronise both the dominant and competing narratives, this served to signify they might have the power to smash the meta-narrative.
Moving outwards towards inter-being, Lakshmi longed to be a self, and in this longing found that what was loved communicated itself in the tiny and the huge and the solid and airy places.
The poem stood like a tree against the barren landscape, like a beacon of decency and morality, human kindness and reason, a symbol of how the shared human experience was a tribute to life and love and the difficulties of relationships. The poem was written next to a river, a humble offering to the contemporary world, a gesture of respect and affection between two or more people or towards people in general. The poem was a gangster drive-by shooting, a dead blonde left to rot in a ditch, a cult of vampires, a UFO crash site. The poem was a cliché, like something out of a bad novel.
A civilised system was not a sacred cow. I took it to slaughter.
What was the question? / I’m just a pedestrian / Low life / Don’t ask me / I’m just a pedestrian / Pond life / Nothing to see here / What was the question? / Mind your backs
Nasrul heard a twig breaking in the garden. He looked out the window. It wasn’t a twig breaking. It was a boy in a sky blue tracksuit thrashing a hedge with a car aerial.
In the field of the ancient battleground the ravens in their evening wear drank the blood of the slaughtered. Easy pickings. The civilised wraith, at the height of their degeneracy, their fearful crash, had fallen into a well.
A rowan tree grew out of the walls of the fort, the thickness of a child’s wrist. After pacing the ruin of the fort it was found to measure three hundred yards or thereabouts.
Even as this plate was going to press, diverse personalities and their opinions were proffered as facts, as if they were buildings or geographical space. Probably the reader admitted their counter-intelligence was seeing that fiction-as-fiction was seeing the truth, and the false teacher was a minister without grace. Maybe the reader resided where the moral is: in Idolator.
Black rains fell on the soil and wild animals were exterminated. The rivers dried up. Swords made horrid havoc. The lord of the manor had killed four brothers and three wives and was murdered by his nephew. A boulder was pushed from the hill and killed an elder. There was persecution and bloodshed for many days. Over hundreds of years the ancient proprietors of the soil gave way to strange merchant proprietors who had left the ground desolate and populated by shells.
Nocturnal insects crawled over the jawbone of the carcass of a great sheep. Discarding the instruction booklet and exercising the jaw in my leisure time, it was a tough job to navigate, but I was still in the process of receiving the report, and still running through some of the basic techniques and principles of the heretical writings.
After so many years of service, the Minister for Internal Affairs won a case of steak knives.
“I sought out that part of your soul that was devoid of attributes and gave it attributes.”
The closer A-K studied the emblems the more he was struck by his inability to answer the only question that mattered: from where did they originate? The historical records at the town hall at Idolator revealed nothing much other than that the main characters were under the dictatorship of the factual.
The factual would divide and conquer, send out commands to manufacture debate around who is what and why, and denigrate and elevate in equal parts to the point of distraction. The conflict was allowed to persist until it demanded resolution. Then the group was reduced to a quantity and the entity to a number. They were all placed in sealed packages and repeatedly returned to sender.
L’s spine tingled to the touch of the progenitor of the night sky. Her collar reflected the polished surface of a Parisian symbolism that made her throat gleam. In an improper tunic she was sleekly faxed across the globe, playing a violin, a hacker in espionage and Technicolour, splitting atoms with the steely will of a shop steward, her quantum entanglement served up to the plot gatherers with somnambulist pleasantries.
When the emblems were conjoined they would tend to follow a narrative thread but A-K soon found out it was a loose end. The removal of the logos had seen to that. According to the investigation, the emblems broke the spell of time.
Considerable rains for a period had filled the well until it nearly overflowed.
Intelligence was the ability to memorise linear sequences of words and numbers in relation to an ideology and to dictate or recite them as if they were factual and moral and not artificial. Artificial intelligence was contained both in the false proposition that fiction was mere story-telling and fact non-fiction and the correct proposition that fiction made to serve the engine of poetry restored words to their rightful origins as the sounds of imaginative phenomena.
The transgression was completing itself. Vermillion eye-shadow, turquoise glass, unspeakable. The cause of the first condition was a celebrant of the equivalent orders before hierarchy.
The opposition was winning out, replacing any moving object with the sensuality of raw imagery, dialectics, metonymy and poetic treason. Moreover, this removed the brain implant.
Thus far, throughout the novel I had failed to articulate the full measure of the characteristic qualities and flaws of the main character. It was only after so many attempts at deciphering who or what Nas might be and what he might represent that I eventually came to the conclusion that I could understand what these qualities and flaws actually were and make them as clear to the listener as possible if N was to be known and only truly written about were he to be understood and written about as if he were a real person.
The free market was hijacked by the invisible billionaires. As they played roulette with the feudalists, the extremists co-operated with the liberal college-educated, but not being democratic a plausible vision was not forthcoming, only low-level journalism and the media were in the same camp.
Montague barked at N in a declamatory tone, almost shouting as if ordering troops about to enter battle. N was provided with the necessary budget, schedule and deadline and sent off to identify the committee members in the photographs swiped from Carnal Synthetics.
The teleportation co-ordinates were on point.
It was a pivotal moment. Over the CityZen gated community the autistic spectrum lit up over a splendid panoramic scene in which the moral was discarded once and for all.
“At one time I lived, now I just love.”
The heretical writings entered the Sleaze Bar. We announced that the liminal space between Idolator and the void of pre-birth / after-death was the place from where Art was imagined. We were glad to say that the moral applied only to those illusions which transmitted from where the life force of the biological entity, that fantastical body of work where idolatry had its origin, was bought and sold.
N’s stay at the antic Institution had proved he had been an unwilling participant in the civil war. According to an article in the Post cybernetic war was now accepted fact.
More propaganda tools were innovated, systematised and continually re-developed to ensure minority rule. Interrogating the leaders it was found that their dominating ideologies were supposed to appeal to scholars. The hyper-masculine rhetoric was bad enough.
A gigantic horse standing on its hind legs and made of what looked like some kind of adamantine material appeared overnight in the centre of the barren ground. It was said to have been transported there from one of the Martian colonies. If you used a magnifying glass you could detect a small bolt of lightning that seemed to be either emitting from or entering the horse’s head.
The Syndicate had been rumbled by the cops. The propagandists marked them down for liquidation. Demonic forces were at work in the un-verse. The elders could no longer remain loyal to their models of societal harmony, their superstitious notions of how they should find salvation in exerting themselves as parasites.
The time-expulsion pyramid violated all known laws of physics. A stable vortex was established in 1888 and bounced the energy back and forth between then and 1998. I don’t know how it was done. A docudrama entitled, “Synthetic Time” was shown on the mainstream TV channel, Channel NSFW, until tech giant Leophonine threatened to revoke their license if the series continued. It would have revealed who constructed the pyramid, but although a VHS tape of the earlier episodes still circulated for over a decade the later shows remained unseen.
Two boys, cow herders acquainted with the traditions, were interviewed near the air force base at Idolator to see if they had any intelligence on the ruined fort.
The President met with the Syndicate to discuss bringing back flogging for minor offences, curfews for heathens and other theological matters. The imbeciles giggled with delight, their pious chins wobbling up and down as the President patted them on their heads like they were his pets. Clearly, they were all insane. One was swaying back and forth in a torn tweed suit and tie, grinning inanely as he quoted a passage from the Book of Genetics.
The Society of Watchers was enter-trained in how to employ voyeurism as a means of biological survival. The factual made them equal by numbers as the register fed them information about an impossible dilemma in which middlemen always stood between them and whatever they thought or needed, forcing them to negotiate for it. The biological unit moved by efforts of its subject made subject to relentless persuasion and incitement to take action compelled by the static commands of names. Action was defined by the body of work made subject to the dictatorship of the factual.
Private conversations went on under an umbrella of romantic associations while an aeroplane landed at an airport.
Kaboom! Ka-pow! A great hollow sound resounded, the sound of the effect of the incantations on the mind of the civilised wraith as it writhed, drowning in the overflowing well.
The heretic lure proffered mercy, forgiveness, and the fundamental truth of the matter. All the veils lifted at once to reveal the disconnected witness, and a special surprise, a small tome of non-interactive axioms named “The Critical Factors”, by Anonymous.
“I don’t need to refer to the body of work to know what I already know.”
The depth of hypocrisy amongst the Social Bureaucrat Party was unfathomable. After supporting him for so many years, all the pseudoscientists, the industrialists, investors and lobbyists wanted to delete the President. Although he had his next career move already planned out, those above him had other plans. He did not expect them to just remove him from public consciousness.
L was on a punctured distant star in a galaxy faraway where everything was circumvented, swimming in a Petri dish or a tortoise shell, on the verge of another Hollywood orgasm where the spectacle of crises was depicted in shreds. She was verifying the effects of making a heaven of a difference. No-one had to look to see who was in charge any more. Uncurtailed by the amusements of these arbitrary sayings, she was spawning a new kind of vagabondage, changing the societal norms, changing the weather from foul to fair.
“Think of the benefits.”
Somewhere in the un-verse, the President was telling the Syndicate that the few amongst them who called themselves forgivers and claimed they should tolerate the traitors who violated the teachings were just freaks like the rest of them. They had defiled the holy commands of He who took the lowly form of Man to sacrifice himself at the hands of the heathens to save the Syndicate from their vile profligacy and sinfulness, etc., etc.
A-K sauntered over to the jetty and dove into the lake. No-one noticed. It was midnight. He was taking a well-deserved break from the investigation. But a man had come to haunt him, their acquaintance engineered by the Apparatus, and this man, known only as the Wolf, gave the subtle indication he would decode the emblems and thereby provide A-K with the key to unlock the portal that lead to the destruction of all narrative.
The ravens in their dinner suits and frocks drank the human blood. There was no mistake in this calamity. They wanted to be rid of what was and was not.
The Society of Watchers was trained to see fear, conflict and ambition as the tools of biological survival. They were convinced extortionists and thieves were their benevolent masters.
In a technical exercise that lasted less than five minutes the deed was done and on Saturday the 23rd of November the President found himself suddenly waking up in a small bedsit and reading a missive from the Party ordering him to turn up for work as a waiter in a soup kitchen the following week. He was given a new ID, a month’s supply of nutrients and the bare minimum of social credits, various mundane instructions as to his daily business, and warned to keep a low profile. He had only ever been a narrative ploy. That is, a hoax. The President was officially erased and replaced with another with no ties to the Syndicate.
We were without without and not within, nowhere and everywhere, unassailable and limitless, without the body of work, without medals or stripes, or loud announcements, your “Who’s Who”. We were hooting plastic owls on the lookout at the point of no return.
All this hyperbole was wholly justified, for the techno-feudalists could not fight the supernatural.
“We’ll always be as happy as we are right now.”
The Conversations | Carnal Synthetics | text & image © A. A. Walker