I was trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs. ‘No, no, no,’ I cried out in exasperation, ‘that’s not it at all’! I wasn’t getting anywhere with this and that was a fact. ‘Fuck this for a game of soldiers,’ I said to myself under my breath and I resolved then and there to sign up for a course in neurolinguistic programming. I resolved on the spot to set up my own online business to sell people enlightenment. ‘Hey you unenlightened assholes,’ I’d say, ‘why don’t you do yourself a big fat favour and sign up for my course?’
Everywhere I looked I could see glossy images of good-looking, happy people consuming the product. None of them were mutants, none of them were freaks. I realised that I was living in a perfect dystopia and that there was no escape. There were no maladjusted people any more – everyone had plenty of well-adjusted friends who were happy just like they were. Everyone had good self-esteem. No one had trust issues; no one was passive-aggressive. Everyone had to consume the product; everyone had micromanaging nanobots in their brains forcing them to consume the product and say how good it was. This was the world of the future and everything was working perfectly.
Nanobots inside us were managing our emotions, regulating our stress levels. ‘Ask your doctor about Effexolax©’ say all the ads – ‘the mood regulator that also gives you gentle, predictable relief’. Ask your doctor about. Ask your doctor about. Ask your doctor about. Ask your doctor about. Experts have proven, experts have proven. In the future millions of highly trained experts work against the clock proving everything in sight. They never need to sleep – smart drugs keep them awake, smart drugs give them the edge. Never in the history of the human race have so many things been proven; never in the history of the human race has there been so much evidence-based practice. At some critical point in the future the population of experts will reach pandemic proportions – it will be the last great plague of mankind.
I don’t know anything about the future. I don’t even know anything about the present! I don’t know what’s going on. It hurts me when I tried to think about what’s going on – it causes me actual pain. I resent and miss trust my colleagues – everything seems to be part of a plot to undermine me. They’re talking behind my back. They say I’m guilty of malpractice. People in the street stare coldly at me as I go by – I know that they suspect me of being paranoid. No one will say anything to my face however; they always pretend everything is okay. They smile and talk about the weather.
The story-telling machine relates various versions of the future to us. It exists simultaneously across the length and breadth of the Multiverse – the storytelling machine is the one constant. I was a member of the super elite – I freely admit it. Genetically engineered immunity to disease and the ageing process, quantum microprocessors implanted into my brain, cyborg enhancements of my body, psychic powers, the lot. I freely admit it. All of that stuff, all of that stuff. I took it all for granted, I took it all as my right. Only of course what I just said isn’t true. It is my story but it isn’t true.
On one future Earth Dark Apocalypse has blotted out all hope and armies of neurolinguistic programmers stalk the streets looking for fresh meat to programme. They vie for the flesh with roving guerilla gangs of handsome young CBT therapists who strike quickly and without forewarning. They rely on the element of surprise. They say it was caused by a virus from outer space. The CBT therapists have tans and good teeth. They smile like sharks. They smile a lot but don’t mean it. The neurolinguistic programmers – on the other hand – have gaunt, tortured faces and eyes that are sunk deep into their heads. They say it is the result of a virus from outer space. The NLP therapists giggle humorously as they walk the streets – this behaviour is the result of primitive reflexes arising from residual electrical activity in the brainstem. They are always hungry for fresh meat.