Ulterior Jukebox

“I try to inspire experiences for my audience but I don’t take credit for it. It’s not like I’m prescribing a medicine. I’m just the facilitator. If you are moved and encounter a new idea or feeling or experience then it is because something has spontaneously occurred for you that is personal to you. And that’s outside my sphere of influence.” — Jessie Fingers, Looping the Loop

The sense of continuity provided by the narrative device made the records complete. The literary gimmick gave the impression that the author was clever enough to be able to articulate a concept. Narrative made fiction sound like fact. Spontaneity, contradiction, the music of poetry were ignored and replaced with the concept of the concept, which was a cop-out.

The Y-shaped structure was covered in faded writing. The character named Nasrul found nearby a similar plastic structure creaking in the breeze as it stood up out of the ground like an arrow sign: ^. It was also marked with inscriptions as recorded — out here.

In contemplating the establishment’s anachronisms, its classical allusions and inherent immorality, the general public had been defrauded.

Celebrities were using up all available resources and polluting the air at an incredible rate, spoiling the atmosphere for anyone not on the guest list.

If the body could be perfected and made to function like a well-oiled machine it would produce itself. If the body was aesthetically clean, purified inside and out, then it would represent what was lacking in others and have dominion “over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”.

The markings on the metal sheets represented the number of pumpjacks dotted all over the territory. The abandoned dusty town was like a well-kept museum, well-attended by visiting travellers that came to immerse themselves in fading memories. An aircraft’s reimagined engine reverberated around the mermaids lying on the rocks. The turquoise water of the ocean and the air of the limitless sky merged into one.

“Take me away. I have no out here.”

Steep steps swarmed up to the huts raising a crystal glass of wine to the light of the setting sun. The gulls’ screeches had long faded out, revealing a part of the rocks that formed a sepulchral, sculptural egress.

“This is what comes of believing you are a biological unit that is supposed to produce and that your product is to serve technology.”

Nas met Lakshmi at a pornographic peep-show. They tapped the intelligence pipeline and got invited to an LSD buffet where top brass officials offered state secrets at a price.

“What makes you think that EverPresent will randomise?”

The purpose of humanoid time was to encourage the reproduction of the creations of the unseen deity and instate productivity as the ultimate moral value. Humanoid time pitted the past and future against each other in a competition. By programming time with factual information it was supposed that a more satisfactory present would be produced, comprising of either the future multiplication of moral evolution away from a degenerate past, or the past multiplication of moral evolution away from a degenerate future.

When words were presented as if they were informational facts they were neutralised, denuded of their natural flavour. When their sound was heard as part of our meaning, regardless of the facts, we began to take on other meanings. We dispensed with information and instruction and crossed all the abysses at once.

L checked the think tank and found it well-stocked with fuel. Glancing at the sky she took a cold Bourbon hammer to her sense of oppression. She was circuiting the field of bulls like a polytheist. A deafening erasure spread out from behind the sound barrier. With all wits about her she pursued the technologians past the neon-lit totems and monoliths, deep into their phony Shangri-La. No longer would she worry about the daily bread.

What was the Lord or Minister in charge of anyway? Everything about the technologians’ paradise was fake. Minister Albright had stolen Party funds to pay for a lavish, jet-setting lifestyle, but at the behest of the Lord Justice was left stranded somewhere in Croatia by the security services. Moral transgressions were commonplace, little sleights against fellow creatures, injuries that would heal over time or perhaps be imprinted forever. The interrogation lamp flickered and the Minister shuddered. Underhand practices, threats, naked ambition, backstabbing, bullying, bribery, inhumane torture methods, brutalisation at the hands of the extortionists was character building.

Literature was a vehicle for the author to project a personal fantasy of themselves as a rebel or conformist. Literature was must-have consumer items for sale to consume as information and prize as lifestyle accessories or ornaments. Literature was evidence of the body of work, an education, an extension of a business concern, junk mail.

N was sloped up against the wall with the leader of a hijacking ring, a cop killer. They remarked on how common it was to overlook the indisputable fact that the notion of the individual as a singular original identity was derived from Christianity. To think that the absolute died to save you from missing the mark was the same as believing that the most significant principle of action was that your actions could always be excused because they were your own.

“You really think you are to fulfil the body?”

All N had to do was wait until the tide turned and his journalistic and therapeutic investigations would naturally come to fruition of their own accord, reaping the benefits of many years’ study and toil. Time had been distorted to such an extent it was inevitable that the expulsion pyramid would return him back to nature, outside the technocracy.

(No-one ever really knew what to think, they just made it up.)

Contrary to popular belief, fiction was prior to fact. Fiction determined any factual circumstance or outcome.

There was a warm buzz in the air, an invitation to reply to another directive from the emissaries of this lineage which had hired N and co as assassins. At this stage no signal was sent out but three dead images in the corridor — one was covered in leaves, another face down in a swimming pool, and the third an emerald green landscape behind a pitch black butterfly. A seductive and unscrupulous private investigator was clamouring for favours. The stage curtains needed repairing.

We starved ourselves of knowledge by subjecting it to the un-knowledge we acquired from our hallucinations. We decided that when the siren call would go out of here the great unknown would arrive. Those who questioned our methods were subject to them.

“If the enemy can’t be your superior and doesn’t know how to be your equal then they may take the inferior role to try to inconvenience you. An inferior role is always unsatisfactory. It comes out of a desire for power gained through the appearance of refusing it. By taking the inferior role the enemy places you in the superior. It is a ploy to make you as superior behave accordingly and mistreat them as inferior.”

The book was ephemeral precious object.

Those who refused to believe the Apocalypse was real carried on as if nothing was happening. They proposed arguments to the effect that there was not enough hard evidence to prove that if there was an Apocalypse it could make any difference to the current state of affairs and could therefore be ignored. Even in the face of an abundance of signs and portents these deniers claimed random and unremarkable coincidences were nothing to get excited about.

Anti-narrative fiction discarded the pretence of the factual and provoked poetry’s re-appearance at the location and re-location of language, which was a fictional and imaginal, self-subsisting phenomenon formed of sound yet emanating from the domain of the supersonic.

The bomb site blonde was a haunting enigma with strange compulsions. The media tycoon suspected of a heinous crime was wrapped around their finger.

Humanoid time was controlled and operated by those who subscribed to the concept of politics. The proposed outcome of past or future was towards progress through productivity, but whether progress was defined by theories regarding the presumed success of past or future events was predetermined. Defined by the past it was essentially no different if defined by the future, as in any case productivity would be more or less as progressive. Politics were promoted as if progress and productivity were matters of fact and not ideological notions of power. The aim of productivity was to invite or delay Apocalypse with a war machine. The humanoids were bred to sort time into units, to kowtow to technique.

“When the enemy launches an attack they have to a) possess enough firepower to be able to lose what they spend and b) be capable of withstanding the response. If they have little or no knowledge of the nature of their target beyond the idea that they are a target then they are subject to the fear of what the real response might be. By launching an attack in the first place they have weakened their position. They have made themselves subject to the fear of a counter-attack which may or may not happen, and if it does happen they know they may already have wasted the requisite firepower to defend themselves.”

The antinomian Christian had no equivalent. But the doctrine of the vampire was undead. They would say we were Anti-Christ but the raspberry jet spouting from the neck of the prey of the vampire was the energy of God, Truth and the Devil.

(The music was Andromache. Present at the convention were the contrarian, Gilroy Orgreave, high-rise architect Delia Salzberg, the composer Martin Artillian, communist actor Ella-Louise Playfield, and Dan Heimmers. The man with the scar on his chin was fascinating. He was some kind of hotshot racketeer.)

Having spoken aloud at the meal, the mouth of the denizen of the heart made safe passage over the breaking waves and carried a torch over the faraway horizon. After acquiring the archives it swivelled neatly with sound advice. It was to speak of an extraordinary life.

The “narrative” would rationalise its assumed set of circumstances and append a start and end point to fix the anecdotal urge in the past tense, where it would point to a self-consciously constructed pattern of behaviour that served the purpose of proposing purpose as a sensory function, which was why, thank fuck, the “narrative” was irrelevant to this artefiction.

Those who believed the Apocalypse was real said it was a mistake and had to be stopped in its tracks. They concerned themselves with raising the alarm and doing whatever they could to draw attention to the oncoming onslaught. These deniers took it upon themselves to try to send the Apocalypse back to whence it came. They called the police and persuaded them to mobilise their forces and in turn convince the Social Bureaucrat Party to legislate. The Party, however, had another plan, which was to pander to and please both those deniers who believed the Apocalypse was real and those who believed it wasn’t.

“The enemy may try to fool you into acting like you are superior so that you make a fool of yourself and they as inferior can turn the tables and become superior. Take on the equal and you are no better. Refuse the superior, inferior and equal roles and the enemy is left to flounder. Their strategy has failed and they have no way of affecting the situation. They place themselves into an inferior role directly in relation to themselves. They are defeated without you doing anything at all except refusing to play their game. The enemy is now their own opponent. Whatever reasons they had for making themselves an enemy now cause them to contrive some other situation in which they continue to project superiority, equality or inferiority, but at themselves. Caught in a vicious circle they implode. They have no way out unless they stop trying to force their game of superior, equal or inferior on to themselves, which they cannot do because it is the only thing that defines their existence and they have no inkling of the ulterior.”

Everything was as N had left it the night before, but leafing through the selected memories he found he could not find himself present in any of them. Although he was able to describe various events he had witnessed he could not locate himself as a credible witness. It was as if he had shown himself some images that were somewhat familiar but belonged to someone else. Although he was supposed to be the main character he was unable to identify who he had been before. He examined the content of the events and time-spans and found that although he could recall almost every detail well enough to be able to say he could re-live the experiences he could not say he was the one whose experiences he recalled. N was no stranger to certain tendencies which were regarded by the Party as insane, dangerous or degenerate. He was exposed to it every day but had a controlled response which could bring on a renaissance effect without even any reference to the records.

“Signet” aka “the shoe-shine boy” found another dead cop in an alley. The ulterior of silence was silence.

Stereotyping ensured that language was commodified. The reproduction of information and its recording would remain faithful to impulse and intention in the moment and thereby reveal the motivations and concerns of entities seen only in mirrors.

N and L were becoming material out of nature, yet taking no form that was of the Earth, “For what is not spirit is afraid of the earthly word, and shall not hear it speak of joy or beauty or love at the call of the soul, shall not hear it sing of the wonder of love, or feel the warmth of the presence of mercy or grace. The songs that bring atonement with all that was and was not, all that is and is not, and all that will and will not be are in the harmony of earthly wisdom in its purest, most unsullied expression, with which spirit joins and resounds to form the perfect circuit which is the music of this silent prayer.”

N’s main concern was to escape. L and his other comrades had depleted the enemies’ morale. The pranks played upon the unwitting were tremendous. It was astonishing to discover that not only was N possibly one of the worst political failures in history but the expression on his face suggested he lived in an imaginary world.

Information was fetishised in any given circumstance as a magical property, object or mode of ritual that was believed to constantly regenerate itself in ever-renewing original forms which could be traced to tendencies towards purchase. Except stereotyped or spoken words were not information but language phenomena, distinct from the intentions or motivations of any presumed point of origin and emerging from the imaginal realm. The factual was a falsehood generated and replayed by the literary genre of non-fiction. The factual was a construct of mediocrity, a relative informational product which was a repetition of the consensual abbreviation of the obvious aka stagnation. Material expressed through language as a principle may have been classified as factual, but the material was a concept like any other and could easily be manipulated.

Ulterior Jukebox was originally part of a limited edition published by Listen Gallery and Sunshine Books at their live event in Glasgow, Aug 2022

CNVRSTNS | Ulterior Jukebox | text & image © A. A. Walker