“Identikon has convinced its customers that their egos and bodies are the properties and agents of the brand. A synthetic identity may or may not have a use-value that coincides with its natural characteristics, but in any case ego and body can only take action within the stated framework for ‘owning identity’. That is, as the Identikon corporation develops and markets its products and identifies commercial territories and targets for its own profit.” — Lilian Lioski, The Identikon Files
Education was data, and bureaucracy hedonism. Information was knowledge, love was pornography, and philosophy software. The purpose of Art was to remove suffering by becoming an adjunct of pseudoscience. The blockhead office clerk was a religious icon, the snake oil salesman an intellectual genius.
All the characters in the fiction processed language to let imagination breathe within the confines of a novel strategy in which the arc of Nasrul was a trivial pursuit with no winners or losers. Nas had been invented by an unacknowledged legislator of the world for their own amusement.
Scholars whose chosen subject matter was the political ambience of the environment in which they lived, moved and had their being, were writing about politicians as if describing the structural preconditions which had produced such creatures would cause a revolution.
Knowledge of oppression was a salve upon the torn eyelids inflicted by the oppressors. The establishment was supposed to be a civilising and elevating superior force, but impressing upon its subjects its values and principles, the violence of its transactions neutralised everyone, making them equal the exchange rates, allowing for inflation.
Floggings brought torn rotator cuffs, extensive bruising. The James Bond psychogram was the construct of the matrix / consensual trauma of structural discrimination, a figment of the war game born of the children of sadomasochistic depravity, and smelling of rotting flesh.
“I’m suffering for all those whose art is devoid of suffering.”
The park was named Pan’s Park because in 1808 a total of twenty-three local residents were reported in The Smithswood Observer as having sighted the bestial figure of the Great God Pan playing his pipes and flitting about between the trees. Prior to 1808 the park had been known simply as “the grassland”. Pan’s Park was a hundred acres of flat grass with several pathways through ash and oak trees. A large café in the middle attracted many local residents and workers.
At a nearby pub two men were drinking Guinness and having a friendly chat. It was supposed they each had understood in more or less the same or a similar way what the people and objects around them actually were, therefore each man was able to comprehend the other’s interpretation of things.
(This was an act of terrorism against the warfare state, replete with glitch injuries. This was the dissenting voice of grace not power, the refusal of coercion, the denial of humiliation and defense against physical assault — the rejection of consent. This was non-compliance with all that was de rigueur for subordinates and lickspittles. Compliance or compromise were not on the agenda.)
Earwig and Shoreline Introduction comprised of a small number of authors originally associated with Dry Specter.
Simultaneously living in the past, present and future, Lakshmi committed herself to the task at hand and in the paradox of exile acquired a persistent and continuous grace and magnificence. The intertwining streets seemed endless, each leading to a fabulous new vista. Visions were noted and discarded as mere phenomena. All of life’s most salient moves went at a relaxed pace, and without a care in the world L skipped along happily while chatting to someone in the district now referred to as Sector 3. The thought of culinary aromas was intoxicating. She had arranged to meet N for dinner at a Mongolian restaurant in the S-Dorms, a huge hotel on the East Side of Sector 5. Sector 5 was full of people who regularly commuted hi-speed to the Eurozone as their economic situation dictated they live half their lives in Sector 5, half in the Eurozone.
Uprooted from the dominion of the wraith and smelling of tomato soup, Jeremy Bentham wielded the whip of pure-fact to push the envelope out to the furthest outreaches of the novum organum. Even the orphaned and the deranged were captivated by the pseudoscientific mystique of utility.
“While Identikon’s representation of identity as a theory and practice can be seen as pedantry, their assertion of the dogma is also an unfalsifiable proposition.” (Lioski, 2040)
Everyone obtained their furniture from PauperServe or Poverty Inc.
Under the illusion that their labour was for themselves and not their masters, that they were free and not slaves, the men clung to a twisted and depraved fantasy of sovereignty over the physical realm. Having been granted the dead image of manpower they were awarded the right to dominate.
According to the rarefied specifications of commodified reason, the way in which a specific character reproduced itself within the loop was determined by the assumed characteristics being consumed. As an authority it maintained the status quo. When it failed to conform it was because of the status quo.
Nothing occurred outside the purview of the Society of Watchers.
N had previously tried to conform to the idea that his mundane activities and social behaviour occurred as the results of thought, will or desire, but now he saw that all events, including his sensations, compulsions, ruminations or tendencies towards actions, happened automatically of their own accord, whether or not they were combined with intention. For N to interpret whatever he felt, thought or communicated as being determined by him, or to assume that they were a means by which he could orientate or develop his ideas towards a future goal, he would had to have been a discrete entity with self-volition, but this was proving itself to be not just absurd but impossible. Yet, if relative banal or extraordinary activities of daily life were indeed automated, and the body of work proceeded like a human beast machine, an animated corpse with a remotely operated mind, then what part of N’s understanding could be considered reliable, true or real? The answer was contained in the question. Sleep analysis confirmed it. Only that which was not the automatism of the body of work and state of mind, and not the conditions of the environment, and which was not contrary to them, but outside, beyond or before, could be considered trustworthy and realistic. Realistic, but not real, because only imagination could conceive of reality and transcend its limits.
“Over there. The table and chairs.”
Out of the morass of ratios, statistics, trends, and body counts, from the industrial synthetic breeding programmes, a bioengineered entity emerged to proffer its brain as ethereal data processor, and its disembodiment as a work-in-progress. But the algorithms that emanated from its artificial intelligence were sent back to source by the paranormal clairvoyants of supernature — smashed to smithereens.
N observed that, like the rules of physics or geometry, the codes and customs of the social world could easily be left to their own devices. If N was to assume he was N, and as such, subject to the novel strategy he had helped to devise, if he was supposed to be a living psycho-social and cultural form as it had developed throughout the course of his personal history, then he could disregard it as just one of many interpretations of the characters in the story. Besides, the story wasn’t really a story. It followed no particular pattern or logic that N could grasp, and so, whoever anyone thought he was, it was just as irrelevant as how he viewed himself. Everything that occurred to the cyber-hypertextual electro-punk was subject to the whims of the one writing the fictional code. There was no need to assume that anything N thought or experienced was either accurate or of any consequence whatsoever.
First Questioner: Who were THEY?
“I would be flexible during the riots.”
Second Questioner: How was the prison?
“I would just say no machines were allowed.”
The boiling cauldron of the seers was at the centre of the nucleus, the engine that powered the sun and moon. At length, the idols of sun and moon remade the world without fomenting competition, and with poison and praise, satire and splendour, the adoption of the model for the whole of beauty exhausted humanoid time to complement nature without gravity. Preferring things to words, the great galactic intelligences increased the flows of serendipity.
The Department of Facts pumped out its hyperbole, a crude exhibitionism that poured into the stream of un-consciousness. The Department of Facts conjured profit out of factionalism, out of the normative rhythms of arithmetic. The grotesque spawn of their calculations moved each fear-factor towards a mirage of progress, the summation of a sum.
It was assumed that being asleep or awake were two different states, one serving the other.
A rose-coloured orb hovered in the dream garden. A magnetic force field surrounded it, normalising everyone within a radius of seven metres, causing them to lose all distrust in the war machine. This was an edgy advertising campaign, the installation of a holographic portal through which the overspread of normalisation reached schoolchildren and esteemed scholars alike. Many international bodies recorded effects in Brazil, Canada, the UK, Holland, Thailand, and elsehwere. But there was no reason to think that the fantastical scheme presented by the media psychotherapists was towards any kind of freedom. There was no freedom in the freedom to torture and murder. It may well have drawn up a consensus amongst the ignorant, but FreeDomination had the wherewithal to make euphemisms out of anything spoken about. The promulgation of their cod philosophy dictated one should strive to achieve, to conquer and succeed at the game of acquisition, and to aspire to be something greater, even without the ability to generate status or possessions, one should turn a blind eye to the senseless killings. Cybernetic technicians and their servile attendants would have had it that the individual would be made responsible for their own actions and no-one else’s, which was irresponsible.
All that had been arrived at came full circle and returned to its point of arrival.
Without taking action of any kind, N read out the existential instructions. He carried them out without deliberately setting out to achieve anything. He proceeded without and achieved everything. Synchronisation was by virtue of simultaneity. Desire and will were at once immanent and irreversible. If he encountered interference, he removed himself from the situation. N accepted his emissaries’ orders without question. Whatever he was told was correct. The heretical interpreters of primordial matter had the requisite interdisciplinary skills. Yes, the question was the answer, but the question of how things happened was unanswered by prayer.
Admittedly, it was a strange environment N found himself in. It was built like the open sky. But N was no longer bound to any location, neither place, time, will or destiny, not his own, nor others’, and not the author’s.
The narrativising subject was minding its own business. As it was given back its offerings, the creatrix of predestination was unable to see the communion of the exchange in any other way. Great unknown complexes begat circumstances and events inexplicably, rising up out of the luxury of being, the understanding of and pleasure in it.
“Those who enforce the law are law breakers.”
L was on the top floor overlooking the park. Until the tenements were built in 1946, Pan’s Park had been a place of revelry and celebration, debauchery, ceremonies.
The media psychotherapists encouraged conformism with the very same behaviour they brought to the attention of the public to be criticised. The mind was viewed as a tool of the ego and the ego the tool of the therapists.
The orthodox graven image was under the weight of the immoral atmosphere and had the same attitude which had brought the orgasm to commodity.
The Political Information Agency thrived on statistical figments, quantitative psycho-graphics, polls and surveys pitted against each other to justify their disdain for the weak and the poor, their disregard for what a bus or a shop, a newspaper or a pen were as things, as objects, in their scorn for the infirm and the uneducated. On behalf of bosses and bullies, the orthodoxy invented buzzwords and jargon to re-make politics in the image of marketing and public relations, re-framing the hierarchy as equal.
N observed that the Institution expected him to view his state of mind and body of work as his responsibility, and that he should be duty-bound to interpret them in accordance with the common idea that they were individual machines of will that could meet or rise above external circumstances. His state of mind oversaw its body of work and garnered what it could by recording or observing: contrary to the edicts of the Institution, mind and body carried out their tasks automatically, independently of any will, intention, effort or application on their behalf. He was relieved of an enormous burden.
To make something different happen the algorithms were infested with datasexual supernature.
A culture flourished that permitted L to play a 78rpm gramophone record recorded in 1920 of Guernsey music hall singer, Alicia May-Sruthers. The music blasted out into the street but no-one minded. Many of the neighbours were just as loud, and beside the park there was a great cacophony of voices and instruments.
Although entirely familiar to each other, if N and L had seen through each other’s eyes they would have found they were in the body of a stranger. If there was a parallel it was just a trick.
The associations constituted and formally contracted by the secretary, the head of operations and the rank and file members of the committee flown in from the Society of Watchers brought forth a prosperity for the Institution well above the rate of inflation. With forthright impudence, N became more mischievous and audacious, a loquacious wind-up merchant. The higher-ups were fooled and N was awarded an increase in salary. Otherwise, if he had remained in Sector 5 he would have had to have joined the Entertrainment Consultancy as a Eurozone cultural engineer.
Granted time to incubate its super model, the reflection zone was afforded glimpses of an immaculate linearity with no addition of foreign matter. With wisdom and motion the tongues of the Kabbalists and Gnostics lashed out to rend the veil of evil. Their topographical manifesto was reproduced on the ancient monuments: like a sign of the ephemeral, another realm, the natural solution to misery.
If there was any concern about grace or imagination, tulips grew in its place in a silent, inexplicable ecstasy.
N was living exactly as he desired. Nothing stood in his way. He was free to explore all possibilities available or to restrict himself to only one or two narrow choices. He was glad to be able to sample or refuse any of the delicacies on display, knowing that he would not be judged.
N crossed the room. The point in time had turned back to its beginning again. Memories rolled past by like scenes from a TV show re-run. The dwelling was solid and split into sections, each with the fire of the pleasure of knowledge in a hidden receptacle. Either N was aware of something or something he did or did not do. The elements of the physical structures which consolidated their identities, e.g.: cup, chair, garden, hand, mouth, carpet, etc., through their identification as distinct objects, were formed and re-formed out of language to further confirm their objective or subjective individual identities. But descriptions were superfluous. However random or unexpected, nothing happened that was not automatic.
Like any self-respecting time traveller N was cognisant that stories were powered by reasons for beliefs. He had been kidding himself if he had ever thought otherwise. He had no stories to tell because he was not a redeemer and did not believe the author.
“I am not within. My identity is without that with which it would be impossible.”
To transcend the environment meant to surrender to its calling, to obey its commands, to renounce the presumption of a fatalistic world-view. If anyone wished to doubt the words on this page then they were free to utilise other historical, technological or rational techniques, but their atonement would only be achieved in the here and now.
CNVRSTNS | Do Not Mock the Debris | text & image © A. A. Walker