A Very Public Life

‘You have a life millions would be envious of’, the app on my phone told me. The digital face on the screen winked conspiratorially – we were sharing a joke. We were sharing a joke but I didn’t know what it was. I laughed anyway. I was out of my depth. I was living in a hologram of course. I was living in a hologram and nothing I did made any sense. ‘That’s the way now boys, that’s the way now’ the voice-over told me. The voice-over was my mind. The voice-over is always my mind. I was a slave to this mind of course – we all are. The generic mind thinks our thoughts for us in unison; it sings them out to us and we dance to its tune. We dance like maniacs. It’s techno and I hate techno. It’s like someone digging up the road. It’s like having a Kango stuck in your ear. ‘You have a life millions would be envious of’, the news presenter on the TV told me. He quickly moved onto the next important newsflash, still finding time to give me that conspiratorial wink that is his trademark. He was the Newsclown and I was in the audience clapping feverishly, clapping so hard I thought my hands would drop off. I couldn’t stop clapping. Every time he told a joke I thought that I’d never heard anything so funny in my life. Tears were running down my face and I had a pain in my sides. We were living in a hologram and none of it made any sense. The reality supply had been corrupted, the news flash told us. It had been infiltrated by terrorists working for the government. No one knew who to fear the most, the terrorists or the government. I tried to look as if I was having a good time – plenty of people had it worse than me of course. Lots of people these days are stuck in a Counterfeit Reality, struggling to make sense of their lives. I saw a documentary about it once. Their thoughts don’t belong to them anymore – corporate data is extracted from their unconscious minds on an industrial scale. Privacy is a thing of the past of course. There is no privacy in a hologram. That’s something you just have to get used to – the fact that everyone knows your business when you’re living in a hologram. There’s a little bit of you in everyone after all. You’re public property. The TV news announcer reveals your most intimate thoughts to an audience of billions every single night. I clapped and I clapped until I thought my hands would drop off. I cheered myself hoarse. People walking by on the street laugh because they know what I am thinking. It doesn’t bother me though. It doesn’t bother me because I know that they are not my thoughts anyway…





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