The Lies Get Harder To Swallow Every Day


I was trying to fool the system, as usual. I’m always trying to fool the system. I was trying to get by without drawing any attention to myself; trying to be inconspicuous. I was trying to approximate myself to the image realm, as usual. The image of what people should look like. What else is there to do, after all? What else do people ever do? I’m also trying to hang on to my sense of humour, as you can see. You need a sense of humour when you’re trying to approximate yourself to the image-realm. You need one but the chances are – unfortunately – that you won’t have one. Somehow, it’s always the sense of humour that’s the first to go…


I was trying to approximate myself to the image-realm but failing to do so, also as usual. I had been reported to security and a couple of men in dark suits and ear-pieces were heading in my direction, listening to the voices in their heads. When they reached me they explained to me that my consumer status had been revoked because I hadn’t been keeping my payments up. My credit rating didn’t check out and so now I was to be thrown out of the mall. Electronic sensors in the floor had shown me up as not having the correct consumer status to be allowed within the shopping complex. Actually, one of the security men said, I had no consumer status at all at this point. I had zero status which meant that the security clones had to escort me to the main gate and make sure that I left. Naturally it was pointless arguing with them – it always is.


This used to be called being made into an ‘unperson’, once upon a time. In a certain sort of literature. Hey, guess what – you’re now an unperson. So can you now leave before we have to get physical with you. Who knows, you might get hurt. Injured in some way. With the best will in the world, it still does happen, from time to time. Two men in dark suits and earpieces will now show you the quickest way to the main gate and make sure you understand that you’re not welcome here. Any more. Your consumer status now being non-existent. And if you aren’t a consumer – of any class – then what are you? Where exactly does that leave you?


I used to dream of one day having a platinum class consumer status. Everyone dreams of being a platinum class consumer. That’s not an original dream – it’s a generic one. It’s a dream they give you. The system gives it to you; they imprint you with it when you are at junior school. They put it in your brain. Along with lots of other shit. Shit they call ‘education’. Which closely follows the curriculum laid down by the corporations. Educating us how to be good workers and good consumers. How to get better at believing the official lies. That can be a tricky one – the lies get harder to swallow every day.


That would make a pretty good song title, I think. ‘The lies get harder to swallow every day’. A trifle long-winded, perhaps. Not quite snappy enough, but I like it all the same. Not exactly what you’d call a popular kind of title, but still. It had something. We reach the gate and the two security clones, one standing on either side of me, propel me none-too-gently out, their impassive faces not betraying the pleasure I’m sure they were feeling at fulfilling their role. Grunting with job satisfaction. A job well done. Although I was getting the distinct impression that they would have preferred it if I had resisted a bit. Or maybe started getting lippy with them, to give them an opportunity to try out the pacification techniques that they had been rigorously trained in.


As they shoved me none-too-gently through the gate and out onto the filth-covered street I took my opportunity. Spinning around, I whipped out a small hand-held weapon from where I had it concealed and fired a blast of short-acting face-eating nanobots at them. Letting off a good solid blast. “Pacify that you fucks!” I yelled as they clutched their faces, the terror starting to show in their eyes as they realized what I had just done. Only that never happened, and there’s no such thing as ‘short-acting face-eating nanobots’. That was just a scenario I ran in my head to help me feel a bit better about myself. I have to do something to help me keep my self-esteem up, after all…





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