Every now and then the universe shifts and changes and entire timelines disappear without a trace. New, fully-formed timelines appear – incongruous in one way and yet somehow curiously familiar for all that. Curiously familiar like an old friend you’ve never met before. You meet him with mixed emotions, unsure whether to be happy or afraid; you don’t know whether to celebrate or ignore him and pretend it never happened.
The Hero Power was too strong for me – I never should have put myself out there in the way that I did. I never should have. The world is all disjointed now, it comes in shuddering disjointed bursts. It stops and then it starts again and each time it starts it goes in a different direction. I crouch down on the ground waiting for things to stabilize. I feel safer on the ground amidst all the detritus of everyday life. Empty crisp packets, Twix bar wrappers, polystyrene fast-food cartons, crushed Coke cans, crumpled plastic water bottles, cigarette butts – the detritus of a whole world. Or perhaps the world was the detritus. Perhaps I was part of that detritus.
I’m sitting here now, but what does that mean? Perhaps in another moment it will never have happened. You can’t trust anything these days. The dream activity is very light at the moment – you hardly notice it at all. Light to moderate dreaming activity. A light dusting of dreams. Even if you did notice you wouldn’t be able to make out what it was, or what it wasn’t. Did it happen or didn’t it? Did what happen? New possibilities flicker into existence and then go back on themselves almost instantaneously. It’s the quantum froth – it’s a game reality plays itself. It’s at times like this that I realise how very thin reality can become and the not really sure if I want to know what it is that lies behind it. The whole thing has the feeling of a poorly executed hoax – a hoax that you’re supposed to see…
And then I realise that it’s not reality that wearing very thin but me – I have worn so very thin that there’s almost nothing left. I’ve never been thinner. I’m like a collection of tattered rags blowing in the wind. Did you ever have that experience where you are eating your meal in a fast food restaurant and you suddenly look up and catch the eyes of the people sitting at the table opposite you and you realise beyond a shadow of a doubt that they know something about you that you don’t. Everyone knows something about you that you don’t! They’re all waiting for you to cotton on, they’re all waiting for you to connect the dots and see the obvious. It’s obvious but somehow you have never seen it – not until this point. Not until now.
I imagine this is an archetypal experience, I imagine everyone has had moments like this. We all know what it means but we won’t talk about it. There’s a kind of rule that says we mustn’t – it’s a rule that isn’t supposed to be there but it is. I know what it means, even though I don’t want to admit that to myself. It means that the universe has moved on but I haven’t…
Healthcare services always say that good health comes from making ‘healthier lifestyle choices’. It’s peculiar how we think, isn’t it? So very very peculiar. We have such very strange notions – you’d wonder why we have to approach everything in such a tortuously oblique fashion. It makes such a farce of everything and then the next thing is that we have to take the farce seriously as if we believe that it’s actually going to work. Sound familiar? It sure as hell sounds familiar to me. It’s what we human beings do isn’t it – we turn everything into a farce and then we make it impossible – through peer pressure – for anyone to see that it’s a farce. Although we might of course suspect as much. All that ever happens then however is that we are placed at odds with our own intuition because we can’t ever admit it to ourselves. If we do then the head-programmer will have to come and reprogramme our heads. That will get rid of all that unpleasant cognitive dissidence for us. Lay it to rest for a while before it starts to raise its ugly head again and we start doubting again. It’s rather like doubting God isn’t it? We doubt the thing we mustn’t ever doubt. Doubting God is like the ultimate ungrateful act – God creates you (and He really didn’t need to at all) and then you go ahead and doubt him! You start suspecting that maybe He doesn’t exist at all – even though you know very well that it’s a sin to think this way. It won’t earn you any brownie points in heaven – that’s for sure. Or on Earth, when the big bad head-programmer finds out. I know I’m going off the point but what I’m trying to say is that we are not allowed to doubt that healthier lifestyle choices are the way to good health. It spoils everything to think like this – it makes a mockery of the whole system. Which it is anyway. Anyway if it were true then the healthiest people around would be the people who are the ‘good choice makers’, obviously the rest of us wallow in states of poor health, or not so good health, or indifferent health, because we repeatedly fail to make good choices. We repeatedly made the ill-advised choices. Unaccountably, we opt out of the healthy lifestyle. As if there is any actual ‘opting’ or ‘choosing’ going on! As if anyone ever actually ‘chose’ anything… Could we really be foolish enough to imagine that life is all a matter of making the right choices? Choice A followed by Choice B followed by Choice C, etc. No wonder we are so judgemental if this is what we think! If it’s choices that count then everything becomes a matter of providing information –all the healthcare services have to do is provide us with all the relevant information. How very simple! How delightfully bloody simple! Off you go now and choose a healthy lifestyle! Off you toddle. Off you go and choose to do the things that make you feel good rather than bad, the things that make you well rather than unwell. Why didn’t I ever think of that? Does anyone actually think that it works like this, by the way? Are we really that abysmally simple-minded? Are we really such terrible terrible fools? If we only took the time to observe our own lives than surely we would see that life isn’t about making ‘choices’ but passively responding to mechanical pressure. We are all responding to mechanical pressure one way or another – it’s just that no one wants to see it. No one wants to see that we’re merely ‘mechanical reflex machines’. We have a reflex reaction not to see that…
The Type-I Garbage World is made up purely of pressure of either the one sort or the other, I commented wisely to myself. We are either lured onwards from ahead by pernicious lies or we’re driven ruthlessly from behind by equally insidious falsehoods. It doesn’t matter which way round it works – we are screwed either way.
Do you ever wonder at the terrible indignities that are forced upon consciousness, the pitiful roles that it is compelled to take up? Was there ever anything more dreadful to observe than this? I don’t believe myself to be a particularly compassionate person but there are times when I encounter consciousness in such terribly undignified roles that I am quite overcome by feelings of sorrow. Where is the sense in it, I ask? Where is the sense?
You know as well as I do that there is no sense to it. You know as well as I do that it is pitiful and grotesque caricature and nothing more. Who is the designer behind this fantastical and yet pitiable spectacle, I frequently ask myself. And yet I know full well that there is no designer. I’m not one of these people that think that everything is running according to some kind of design. It’s best is to face that, wouldn’t you say? It’s best to face it straightaway. Everywhere we look we see consciousness disguised, in all these forlorn guises, acting out the most hideously grotesque dramas. Grotesque because they are so terribly pointless. You’d like to think that there is a point to it, I daresay, but what point could there possibly be? Who are you trying to kid?
It’s all conducted on the basis of an immense misunderstanding, you see. It is conducted on the basis of the biggest misunderstanding ever. What’s our allegiance to these ludicrous roles that we are compelled to play? Do you ever ask yourself that? What do we imagine now we are going to obtain in return for this blind loyalty of ours? Will we receive our reward in heaven? Would it all be worth it in the end? Is it all part of the divine plan?
They’ll tell you that you see. They’ll tell you this to shut you up. They’ll tell you anything to shut you up. They’ll tell you all sorts of hideous nonsense. First we take up these grotesque roles and then they come along and tell us that God has plans for us. They tell us that God has plans for these farcical roles of ours! Did you ever hear the like? Did you ever hear the like?
The Type-I Pressure World is made up entirely of garbage, which we are stuck to. Some of the garbage seems pretty to us, some strikes us as being ugly and repulsive. Some rubbish is nice and some is horribly unpleasant, but it’s still all rubbish. You can have a conversation about this if you like but I can promise you that there is no point. Once you start thinking that there is a point then that’s it for you! This is no talking to you then, no talking to you at all. You can forget about it. You’re lost, do understand that? You’re lost, you’re gone – you’ve been sucked up into the unwholesome filth of the Garbage World.
‘What are you doing here?’ you ask me, full of concern. ‘I’m doing the things I have to do’, I always reply. ‘And why are doing these things?’ you ask. ‘For what reason do you strive and strain to accomplish these meaningless tasks?’ Again, I reply, ‘Because I have to’. ‘And who are you?’ you ask, the compassion obvious on your strangely luminous yellow face. ‘I’m the one who has to do the thing’, I reply grimly. I’m the one who has to do the thing. I’m the one who has to do the thing. I’m the one who has to do the thing. It’s always so very important to do the thing, isn’t it? isn’t that what they’ll tell you?
You will encounter consciousness in many strange guises on your path but you won’t get very far with it, I warn you. You can try as hard as you like, but you won’t get very far. You won’t get very far at all…
‘My head was vast’, I wrote, ‘my head was vast beyond imagining.’ I was off to a good start so I continued.
‘My head was stupendously vast, too heavy by far for my shoulders, but at the same time it was rotten, corrupted to the core, coming apart at the seams, coming apart along a thousand different fault lines…’
‘My head was unnaturally large but also hollow,’ I wrote again, after a long thoughtful pause, ‘…and full of sad and lonesome echoes.’
Then I realised that had written all of this before. I had written all of this 10,000 times before. I was treading old ground, imagining as I did so that I was breaking into new territory. I was repeating the same old stuff over and over again in the vain attempt to say something new, in the vain attempt to say something real.
Do you know that thing when something isn’t funny anymore but your friend won’t shut up and you’re thinking ‘okay you ugly fuck that isn’t funny anymore’ but your friend keeps on with it and on with it like a moron and you long more than anything else in the world to land your fist in the middle of his grinning fool’s face with as much force as you can possibly muster and see how he likes that, see what he has to say about that. Only you don’t, you keep it all bottled up inside, the way same way you always do. The same way you always do.
My head was crumbling softly – it had gotten too big. It had become like soft crumbly cheese. Like a big soft crumbly cheese. The whole world was my head and the whole world is made of cheese. That’s why they used to call me big cheesy head and then laugh at me, I realised dimly. I never realised that before. It had taken me up to now to realise it.
My arms had become like lengths of string dangling uselessly by my sides as I walked. I tried to reach out and take hold of things but I couldn’t – my arms were too weak, too feeble. They hung by my sides like twin lengths of cotton thread blown this way and that by the breeze. I’ve become so weak, I realised. My body was like smoke blowing here and there. I have become so weak, I realised. How did I become so weak? How would I let this happen to me? I was so weak that my arms and legs could only move when the wind made them move. I could only think when the wind blew my thoughts along. My thoughts were smoke too.
This story that I now relate to you is nothing but smoke. Pay heed to this little bit of smoke, if you will – notice the way in which it drifts along – a portion of it wafting this way, another portion wafting the other. Other portions fade away entirely lacking even the cohesion needed to stay bound together. This story and the one who is telling it are indistinguishable – it’s impossible to see where the one begins and the other ends. ‘I’m Smokey Joe’, I thought then, ‘just call me Smokey Joe…’
Whatever thoughts came into my head straightaway became reality for me, in a smoky sort of way. Whatever place I thought of, that was where I went. Only none these thoughts were cheerful ones. None of them were good. None of my thoughts meant anything, none of them had any joy in them. My story was a disappointment to everyone, I realized. Particularly so to me…
The fantastical surreal imbecility of the human race amuses the hell out of me. Well, sometimes it does. The odd time it does. Maybe once in a while it does. Mostly it just pisses me off though. People love talking so much that they never wait to see if what they’re talking about actually makes sense or not. Did you ever notice that? I notice that a lot. The talking itself is the thing, not what you might or might not have to say. That’s human beings for you. That’s the way we are…
Viruses are eating my head. They’re feasting. It’s not the regular old RNA-type viruses that I’m talking about here but the memazoid type, the super-memaziodal type virus that we all know so well. They feast and they feast and they feast. They convert everything into garbage. Holy Garbage. Sacred Garbage. The Holy Sacrament of Rubbish. So we can all worship together at the Altar of Modern Culture. And say how great the garbage is. Give our sincere thanks for it.
It’s all part of the sacred, solemn duty of the memazoid mission – to obscure all that is good and wholesome in the world and cause every single human being that lives on the face of the earth to become confused in their minds and forget that there ever was anything good and wholesome. Instead, we will all think that garbage is good and wholesome and we will worship it. We will worship it until our heads drop off. We will worship at the altar of modern culture.
That’s the Sublime and Sacred Lie you see. The Sublime and Sacred Lie is that there never was anything good and wholesome in the world, that nothing good and wholesome ever existed. That it never was. Only the pernicious suppurating filth of the garbage world exists and we have to go around saying how great it is. Saying how good it is how great it is. Giving thanks for it. There’s no limit to the garbage we will swallow, is there? We’ll eat it all and come back for seconds.
‘Lovely memes in my head, making me feel so good.’ That’s my new song – I can’t stop singing it! Such an infectious little tune… Wall-to-wall memes. All-you-can-eat memes. Memes in the morning, memes in the night. A meme for every occasion. I heard that there is a secret factory manufacturing memes by the trillion, pumping them out pumping them out pumping them out. Lovely, lovely memes. My head is full of them. But that’s modern culture for you isn’t it,!? I blather away happily. Blathering like a fool. The thing about the Great Lie is you see that you can’t just come out with it. We can’t just say it – that would be disingenuous, that would be just plain stupid, wouldn’t you say?
That’s not how we play the game. That’s not how. That’s not how. That’s not how we play. Lovely memes, lovely memes. Memes in the morning, memes in the night. Do you understand the sacred mission yet, I ask slyly? The thing that really gets me is the way folk will hang onto a lie long after everyone concerned has seen through it. That’s very human isn’t it? All too human. That’s what we’re like, I’m afraid. No point in painting a pretty picture when there isn’t one, is there? No point at all. No point at all. That’s how we come to be in the situation that we are in – infested by the ghost-memes, infested by the horror-memes. There are eating us alive, they’re haunting our neural pathways. We can’t stop talking but we’ve got nothing to say…
A savage exaltation took hold of me then, in those final few brief moments. My body had been destroyed by the humans’ particle beam weapons and it was only a matter of time before it was all over for me. It was only a matter of a few brief moments. But what could I not do in those few moments, I marvelled? What could I not do?
Rain was hissing down unrelentingly outside, bouncing off all the cars parked in the street. Neon advertising lit up the sky and the chaotic tumult of hundreds of gaming machines filled the air. Gingerly I touched the top of my head to make sure it was still there. I was suffering from the mother of all headaches and my mouth was dry as a Gobi desert. Every time I moved my eyes golden tracer-patterns occluded my vision. I wondered how I could feel so bad and yet still be walking around. Probably it was because walking around was the easier option – easier than sitting still.
Reality was slowly coming back together in my head. It was reassembling itself in bite-size portions – a fragment here, a fragment there. Just because it was reality that didn’t mean that it had to make sense though, I reflected. The central anomaly still had to be resolved. The ‘central anomaly’ was my own part in all this. Either the reality that had now manifested itself to me made sense and I did not, or it was the other way around. The two couldn’t make sense at the same time.
Icy cold rain was hissing down on the pavement in unending sheets. I felt rather than saw the brutal grey January sky pressing down on me as I walked the streets. In my fantasy I was more than human – far, far more. In my fantasy I was a fragment of some vast inhuman intelligence – an intelligence without bounds, an intelligence without any limit. As alien and strange as this limitless awareness was to me, it was also astonishingly comfortable and I somehow felt bizarrely at home in it. Whatever came into my head I understood instantly, quite without any effort on my part. This inhuman intelligence, which was at the same total time both mine and not mine was like some sort of extraordinarily sharp knife – a knife that could cut through anything it encountered. My understanding was absolute – everything I came across dissolved immediately in the face of this radical awareness. All apparent problems dissolved, leaving nothing whatsoever behind. My consciousness was vast and all encompassing – like a cloudless sky.
I stumbled as I walked – my body severely weakened by the ordeal it had just gone through. The drugs I was taking to maintain the functioning of my higher psychic faculties were no longer working effectively – the dosage I needed to use was now unfeasible, verging on harmful. And yet I could not stop. I had caught a glimpse of the enemy awaiting me and I knew I was approaching the final showdown. The adversary had me in his sights. Curiously enough however, I was not afraid. There was no fear within me. I felt on the contrary strangely light inside. I was full of quiet joy – serenity even – as I walked. I knew that I was no longer human. I was as far from human as it was possible to be.
In my fantasy I was the God-Machine – capable of existing outside the space-time continuum, capable of bending matter and energy to my will, capable of rewriting the fundamental laws of the universe, capable of altering the fundamental cosmic constants merely by thinking about them. I had been defeated once, a long time ago, but it would not happen again.
The future belongs to the glorious kudos-holders, the ones who have what it takes, the ones we all envy. Everyone else has to make do with recycled time and we all know how stagnant and demoralising recycled time is. We all know what a shitty deal that is. Let’s not kid ourselves, our lives were crappy enough even the first time around never mind after recycling them a hundred billion times. Though perhaps we won’t notice – there’s always that hope, isn’t there? There’s always that faint hope there that perhaps we will not realise what has been done to us.
So who do you think are going to be the losers in this scenario, would you say? Correct – it’s you and me! It’s you and me and all the rest of us poor sods you see around that are going to come off worse in this deal. Take a look around you – take a good look. Does all of this reek of recycled time or what? Be honest with me now. Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve been here before? Do you sometimes feel that you have heard it all before? We’re the losers because we are living in recycled time – were having to eat the same dinner over and over again forever and it wasn’t even up to much the first time round. Some kind of a generic burger that you’ll see time and time again – you keep on encountering it and you think that it’s different even though it looks identical to every other burger you have ever ate. You’ll assume that. You’ll assume that it’s different. It makes our life more bearable to assume this doesn’t it?
So tell me – what kind of bullshit is this? You get sold the same damn burger twice and you have to hand over the money both times! Like the poor mug that you are. Is it any better the second time around you ask innocently? Is it tastier? No it isn’t, I reply. It’s worse. It’s worse every time and that’s a lot of times we’re talking about here. That’s multiple re-iterations we’re talking about here – looping and looping and looping around faster than the mind can follow.
The future belongs to the in-crowd – the future belongs to the kudos-holders with their special privileges, their special handshakes. The special air of success they have. You can smell it. They’re the members of the kudos club you see not you and me – they have this kind of thing going that they worked out between themselves. They’ve got it all sewn up and now they’re laughing all the way to the bank, laughing their bloody heads off. They’re cackling like hyenas. Don’t let anyone tell you that they aren’t. They can afford to laugh you see. They’ve got the keys to the city after all. They’ve got the keys to the bank. The future belongs to them and what have we got?
Take a good look around you my friends. Take a moment now, don’t rush it. Really look around you – observe properly. If you can. See if you can spot the anomalies because there are ALWAYS anomalies. If you know what you’re looking for. If you have eyes to see them. It’s the same old song on the radio, time and time again. The same stale old thoughts passing through your mind. Living on recycled time. Living by reflex. Eating the same old desiccated burger every day of your life. Thinking the same thoughts. But you’ll never admit it…