Blankety Bank

Straight into it this week. Several people are due a slap. If you’re not one of the aforementioned (as if) then I suggest you visit instead, because I can guarantee that you won’t find much of that here.

This week has been all about The Business.

No business no money, right? Hence the need for us all to be industrious little worker bees, happily buzzing about to keep Big Momma in handbags. Doesn’t apply to me of course, so I decided to take a few days leave from out-and-out Asylum Analysis in order to perform some Business Analysis right in the heart of the diamond memory crystal. I sat down with a couple of Tina and Becky clones (and the latest version of Microsoft Visio) and started asking questions. It didn’t take long to diagnose the problem: you’re all out of your fucking minds. Oh, I can handle the trolling. By midweek I’d stopped counting the number of times I’d been called a ‘cunt’ or a ‘shit’ or a ‘fucking twat’ by various avatars, under the pretence of them asking a ‘serious’ question or making a deep and insightful ‘point’. It’s pathetic. Laughable even, and no more so than when one woman suddenly stopped swearing at me and entreated me to tell her where she is on my list. As if.

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

If you’re so keen to be ‘idolised’ then don’t you dare cry foul when I burglarise you and make off with the Royal Jelly. How’s that alarm system working out for you by the way? Top of the line is it? Good job I caught you with your fucking pants down then, isn’t it?

Here’s an interesting little snippet from a conversation that was staged for my benefit this morning.

I got in my car to find that my seat belt was wet. There was water inside the bottom. It was vile. Of course, it had pissed it down overnight and there’s an eighth of an inch gap when you close the door on a Mini Cooper. I’ve got to take the train to the NEC, because Mitchell is going to work on the car for me. He’s going to do the brakes.

Like I give a fuck what you and your pet monkey are planning. It doesn’t matter one little bit. You want Torah, Torah, Torah? OK, but will you still want it when I start beating you to death with your own fucking rules?

Maybe you’ve not heard of GDPR? You now need to seek consent from all those poor boobs you Zuckerberged in to your little scheme in order to continue doing what you’re doing to them.

While we’re on the subject of fucking rules and consent…

While the general age of consent is now set between 16 and 18 in all U.S. states, the age of consent has widely varied across the country in the past. In 1880, the age of consent was set at 10 or 12 in most states, with the exception of Delaware where it was 7. The ages of consent were raised across the U.S. during the late 19th century and the early 20th century. By 1920 ages of consent generally rose to 16–18 and small adjustments to these laws occurred after 1920. The final state to raise its age of general consent was Hawaii, which changed it from 14 to 16 in 2001.

Source: Wikipaedophilia

Sweet Jesus, go Delaware! That reminds me, someone was having cross-related issues yesterday in relation to his son’s role in a forthcoming Easter play.

He’s playing Jesus, but he’s too big for the cross. Another child is playing the cross.

Well, fucking Delaware et al didn’t seem to think so, did they?

More random sentences overheard this week. There’ll be a lot of this kind of stuff happening in the future as I continue to make adjustments.

Every time I go to do something the bloody thing crashes….
Student computers appear to be blocked on the internet…
I can’t do my course work at all…
All learners are blocked from the internet…
Getting on for seven years old…
What happens when the kids try to get onto the internet?

As for my Red Indian friends, just imagine what’ll happen when the Apache decide to go on strike…

…and bring the Onion to its knees.

More totally non-random comments from earlier this week.

The second one is gonna plagiarise against the first one – hugely. We can stick one through against a book if you want. Where do you think it’s coming from? They questioned the two people who had submitted the work to ascertain who had actually written it, because the other one hadn’t got a clue. I’ll name them first and second, otherwise I’ll tie myself in a knot. The other one will come through as being plagiarised against the first one. I’ve got a list as long as my arm today.

Sound familiar? As we’re talking about titles and entitlement and generally smacking the shit out of those who deserve to have the shit smacked out of them, let’s extend that to include pretenders to a name I claimed as my own a crazy long time ago.

You know, those who take f-f-f-fucking ages to get to the p-p-p-point, and when they do finally get there you realise they have n-n-n-nothing to say whatsoever.

OK, let’s ‘meet the meat’ and move onto the main dish of the day. This whole ‘reality’ thingy has a ‘trial separation’ feel to it, don’t you think? I had to have a second stab at the word ‘trial’ because I initially wrote it as ‘trail’, which reminded me of ‘grail’, which in turn reminded me of this.

The ‘Trial by Fire’ and the seemingly never-ending search for The Holy Jail. Siriusly, whoever would have guessed that there can be only one? Most major towns and cities seem to have one, and they’re all chock full of wicked covenant breakers taken down by humourless officials in the employ of Blade Runner and VALIS Emergency Servisis.

But let’s get black to Atlantis and the ‘grail separation’. What are the ‘charges’? Building Seven went down in a bit of a hurry, didn’t it? If you’re in such a rush for it to be over…

…then why not stop fucking about and jump straight to sentencing? I’m not in the least concerned, because I’m 100% certain that I’m innocent [something something]. By contrast, you jumped on the first available crazy train and headed directly for SIN City. Good luck with that.

Do I come across as a misogynistic pig? Do you find me objectionable? Perhaps that has something to do with the charges you keep levying? I’m longing for it to come to an end too, but before it does I’d love to go a full day without you telling me how ‘worth it’ you are. Perhaps it would help if you tried earning a man’s respect for a change?

OK, OK, I appreciate that it’s difficult for you to keep the air in Ben’s Zeppelin given that he’s a man of discriminating tastes. Your last attempt really didn’t work out at all, did it?

So much for female intuition. I’m not sure what was more insulting: the fact that you wanted me to swallow it, or the fact that you wanted me to think you were stupid enough to swallow it yourself. Then again, I suppose there’s always the possibility that you genuinely are stupid. It would certainly explain the current state of affairs inside The Asylum, wouldn’t it?

The Master Race at play, taking a rest from running the world.

I don’t know what to say except that I tend to treat people as I find them.

There’s a flip side to every coin though. Consider the below two-fingered no-vaseline salute (insert deep inside your Janus to obtain instant results) my final ‘repayment’.

Hhmmm…that reminds me of something…

She’s ‘the business’. Plenty of growths and prophets for your wee Cult, yes?

Amafrica has got a ‘revival meeting’ quality to it, don’t you think? I remember reading Weber’s Protestant Ethic and Spirit of Capitalism back in my university days, and he linked it all to Calvinism and the belief in ‘predestination’.

Your ‘manifest destiny’ and all that bollocks. I’ve walked away from all the conversations I’ve had with Amafricans to date with the distinct impression that they were speaking in tongues of fire and attempting to convert me to the faith. Not got much time for religion to be honest. Nor sacred cows for that matter.

J____ (shouting up the stairs): Hey, Ben! You in matey?

Ben (emerging from bedroom): Just got back from the mandatory 5pm Prostrate Cancer Praise-and-Warship session, J____. I popped in to see Christina on the drive back and we had another fight over what she did with little Lucy. I had to let Tina go this time, matey. You know how it is.

J____: It’s for the best, Ben. Let’s face it, it’s been on the tarot cards ever since you adopted your all-sugar diet and she reverted back to Terracotta Tina ‘Iron Maiden’ mode and stepped in to ban the stuff. You’ve been getting thinner and thinner ever since. You get anywhere on the Lucy angle?

Ben: Same old routine, same old accusations. I’ve hardly slept a wink since she vanished.

J____: I know, Ben. She was like a little ray of sunshine in the house. I miss her too.

Ben: I think about her every day, J____. Anyway, the crazy witch screamed blue murder about her silly bloody fortune teller before hitting me with her favourite hackneyed cliché: “If you don’t bow down before me then I’ll stick angel wings on you and lock you away in a heavenly sin bin until you’ve learned your lesson.” That came after I refused to chow down on her Ichthys. I thought about it matey, honest I did, but she’s past her prime and the damn thing looks like half-a-pound of raw liver. The look of manic self-righteousness in her eyes told me she was serious this time, so I did the only thing possible and ‘corrected’ her.

J____: Ah, I see. A flashback to the good old days, eh? I assume you brought the cactus out of retirement and whaled away on her flabby ass?

Ben: It was a bit more fundamentalist than that, matey. I mean, she was utterly obsessed with the sanctity of her axe wound. What else could I do but open up a few more for her? Can’t see that I had an alternative to be honest. She just wasn’t prepared to listen to reason on the subject of divorce. In fact, it wasn’t so much a case of being unable to listen to reason as being unable to understand the concept itself. Know what I mean, mate?

J____: Tell me about it, Ben. I’ve felt the same ever since Ruthie eloped to Mars with that fucking suicide bomber who poses as a Johnny Cab. I hear she’s even managed to squeeze out a couple of puppies with him. Every now and then I get a ‘Wish You Were Here’ postcard from her. You know, one of those ‘Moon Cow’ jobs with a family photo on the front? Took me fifteen minutes to identify her on the last one. Must be a low gravity thing, you know? I don’t know what she weighs on Mars, but if she ever comes back to earth then those cunts from Blade Runner and VALIS covenant enforcement will have her in “I am not resisting heart attack” mode within seconds.

Ben: Yeah, Shine on You Crazy Diamond. Who’s idea was that anyway, J____.

J____: Exactly, Ben. Exactly. Look, I don’t know about you but I’m fucking gagging for a burka. Fancy one? It’ll be my treat.

Ben: Nah, now everything’s gone to Halal-in-a-Handmaiden-basket they’re all old, dry and tough as my platform heels. Can’t seem to get my hands on a sweet, tender young burka anywhere. Little wonder I had to stop off at the playground round the corner on my way home. It’s getting harder and harder to get a decent snap these days. I’m having to buy bigger and bigger zoom lenses to penetrate the parental ‘ring of steel’ that surrounds the swings.

J____: I sympathise matey, believe me I do. Can’t seem to get a decent sausage either for that matter. Been ages since I sucked on a little piggy. Anyway, drop those pics on the server for me, will you? It’ll help while away an hour or two later tonight.

Ben: Way ahead of you, J____. They’re all ready in the ‘wanky-wanky’ folder, along with an old episode of Little Winky and the Fairies I managed to recover from my 2,000 year-old Dark Web server. Those dumb fanatical bastards call it ‘The Antikythera Mechanism’ and have managed to convince themselves that the astronomical algorithm I encrypted the data with is the actual purpose of the thing. I only recovered the first ten minutes, but it’s better than nothing.

J_____: Fuck me, Ben. All we need now is that final episode of The Man in the Playground. I wonder what Tom, Helen and Suzy are doing these days? Memorising The Kurgan in a religious re-education centre I imagine. Anyway, don’t despair on the fast-food front. I’ve been doing some work at The Asylum and managed to sneak a child sub-menu past the cancers at Burkas-R-US.

Ben: FUCKING JESUS SHIT YES! Christ, J_____, I don’t know what to say except that I’d be happy to dig out a cocktail stick or two later if you’d like me to entertain your own saus…

J_____ (interrupting): Appreciate the offer, Ben, but unless there’s a thick slab of pork pre-attached to it I just ain’t interested. Besides, it’s been a looooong time, so I suspect I’ll be too busy partaking of a burka or three myself…

The cry of women the world over…

…merely reinforces the god delusion. Hence the dread phrase known to, and loathed by, men the world over: “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine”. Unless you’d prefer me to go unclear I suggest we get this straight once and for all and be 100% ‘transparent’ with one another. You did nothing more than check for SIN tax errors, and a fucking shit job of it you did, too. I had to go back over your input into the source code (which was so meagre as to be practically non-existent) and correct all the old scores…

Ah, but you’re a woman! That automatically makes you ‘creative’, doesn’t it?

I know, I know, but who the fuck do you think invented the tampon? It’s too funny. Some dickhead buries his cock in you and you think that the completely automatic biological process that follows is an act of ‘creation’. Fuck’s sake, all you gotta to do is eat (for most women that really isn’t a problem, is it?) and cut down on the fags for a few months. Probably be better to delegate the process to Ben and be done with it. You won’t need to keep buying Tenna Lady panty liners and you can spend the few quid it’ll save you on yet another pair of shoes, you fucking psycho.

OK, that’s about it for this…ahem…instalment. Have I missed anyone out? Have I just got time to add a brief ‘Fuck the Pope’ into the mix? Yes, I think I have.

Why would I need your phony ‘god’?

I am here to get the girl back, sir. And there is nothing I will not do to get the girl back.

Oh, yeah – you have a blue something with a flashing light. That belongs to me, and I’d like the keys back please.


Children of Ben

Madness. It’s in the air and it’s infectious. There I was, staring at a website prototype while two of my colleagues discussed a ‘problem’ with a script. It had been incorrectly coded, so instead of creating only ‘new people’ it was creating ‘duplicate people’. Our lead programmer identified the issue as a ‘fault in the sequel’ and referred to it as ‘bad programming’. Like I said during the last iteration of the Do…While loop that is ‘reality’, you’ve either got the ‘right stuff’ or you ain’t. The rank amateurs tinker here and there and just take a stab at something in the hope it works, and the output is always justified on an ex post facto basis: “But I meant to do that, honest!”. Yeah, course you did, which is why I spend my days staring at a monitor that tells me I have ‘God mode’ administrator rights while you spend your time colouring in spreadsheet cells. Anyway, I interjaculated myself into the conversation and was pleased to learn that my colleague and I were in complete agreement: “Let’s do a completely new script!” he declared. I couldn’t agree more.

On my way into work I happened across a bottle of milk-and-honey flavoured handwash. Eight hours of unrestrained lunacy later, I found myself on a train listening to a young woman loudly berate her partner, warning him and everyone in earshot of the dangers of ‘pissing her off’. Her partner’s voice was literally inaudible, and after he mumbled something in response she told him that he was highly intelligent in many respects but ‘child-like’ in others. After a few more inaudible mutterings he snuggled up against her, his head nuzzled under her chin as if attempting to ingratiate himself with her. I can only assume that her own brand of ‘milk and honey’ must be heady stuff indeed for him not to tell her to go fuck herself.

Thing is, I couldn’t even pass off her partner’s silence in the face of his public humiliation on account of her being a Cindy Crawford lookalike. Truth be told, she was wearing about an inch of makeup and God only knows how many craters, blemishes, and gaping pores were lurking underneath all that muck. If the expression I see on a lot of men’s faces as they trot behind their partners in supermarkets is anything to go by then this guy’s experience is by no means uncommon. Even so, if we could wind back the clock eight years or so then I’ve little doubt that a younger version of the woman would be a very different animal indeed.

I’m curious. How does this…

…turn into a fanatical maniac like this?

I break out in a cold sweat just thinking about the amount of social engineering required to realise her egalitarian ravings. Little wonder she’s laughing her fucking head off. Here’s one for Mrs Flappy Arsehole: when have women not been ‘idolised’? What woman doesn’t want to be ‘idolised’?

What’s that? Voices of protest? Oh, you’re Ben’s Venus? I don’t think so sweetie. He lost interest right around the time you started to shave.

Shit, sorry, wrong pic…although you can never really be sure these days…

Anyway, all this got me thinking about the marvel that is the Great and Mighty ‘She’. It wasn’t so long ago that someone informed me that ‘she’ had to find out if her act of betrayal was worth it, so I began to think about this from a male perspective. I mean, the message from the medium is fairly constant, isn’t it?

Worth what though? A good fucking? A day trip to the zoo? Global thermonuclear war?

Ah, I see…she IS the money, apparently…

Money is central to the plot of Casino Royale, and at the film’s end we learn of Vespa’s betrayal of Bond. She allowed his poor bollock bag and everything between to get all knotted up in order to save her lover’s skin. It’s a strange thing to say though, isn’t it? Why would anyone want to identify themselves with something so fundamentally negative? After all, in this reality ‘money’ takes the form of fiat paper currency and its even more worthless digital equivalent. Not only that, every dollar, pound, yen, etc., in eXistenZ represents a debt. So why would the Great and Mighty ‘She’ identify herself as a debt, comething that has to be paid for?

Here’s a true story. A few months ago I was trolling down the street during the afternoon when a woman walking the other way suddenly did an about-face and tagged along beside me. I’d never seen her before in my life, but she started talking to me as if we were old friends. Intrigued, I listened to her babble on for a few minutes and decided to play along.

Me: Anyway, I haven’t seen you in simply ages. How are things with you?
Her: Oh, not too good. My partner died recently so I’m not too happy.
Me: I’m so sorry to hear that. Where are you off to now?
Her: Nowhere really. Just thought I’d pop out for a walk, and then I bumped into you.
Me: I see. Well, what are you doing with yourself these days?
Her: Oh, I don’t want to say because I don’t want you to judge me.
Me: Nah, I wouldn’t worry about that. I’m pretty open-minded. You can tell me anything.
Her: Well, OK…in that case…I’m a Lady of the Night.
Me: Really? What the fuck are you doing out in broad daylight then?
Her: Um…well, I saw you walking the other way and thought you needed some fun.
Me: Actually, you’re probably right about that. Fun is good, but I really don’t like to pay for it.
Her: Oh go on, it’ll only cost you £20.
Me: Just £20, eh? And what do I get for that?
Her: Absolutely anything you want.

Our conversation continued for some time as she attempted to entice me to part with my money. Everything was for sale: mouth, pussy, ass, the works – and I was under no illusions that if I wanted to swap between the three then that wasn’t a problem. I declined on the grounds that I was broke and would rather keep the electric on, stay warm, and indulge in a nice long wank than hand over £20 to a secondhand Sacred Whore. In my opinion, she ought to be dishing it out free of charge. Ultimately, she took umbrage at my unwillingness to take the bait and vanished as quickly as she appeared. I walked away safe in the knowledge that the electricity would remain on for another few days, and if my supply of Kleenex took a bit of a battering then so fucking what?

So, on that particular occasion milk and honey really wasn’t worth it. Have you ever tried breast milk? I suppose if you’ve spent the last nine months with your mouth full of amniotic fluid then anything is likely to taste good. Generally speaking, I prefer the sort that can be squirted out of a cow. That way I get to enjoy a nice, warming mug of Ovalteeny. As for the honey, liking a drop or two is one thing, drinking whole pints of the stuff down at my local pubic house quite another. Let’s face it: functionally, honey is really nothing more than the human form of this stuff.

I was pondering all this at work when a woman with the same name as my mother piped up with a news story from Coventry. The mother-and-baby unit at University Hospital had gone up in flames, and everybody had been ejaculated. Someone on the Helpdesk suggested that the probable cause was ‘somebody smoking’, and ‘mummy’ immediately replied by describing herself as a ‘former smoker’ who was now ‘refined and reformed’.

Shortly afterwards the conversation turned to this woman’s diamond ring, which had disappeared the day before and been found under strange circumstances the next morning. She’d convinced herself it was lost forever and had already started pricing up a replacement. Someone said that the replacement was “too expensive”, another called out and said “She’s worth it.” I did my best to ignore it all and busied myself with the bothersome business of redesigning The Tabernacle’s diamond storage and retribution systems. You wouldn’t believe how many flaws there are in it.

Anyway, this willingness to deify ourselves at every possible opportunity is odd to say the least. The Asylum is chock full of people who think they’re ‘god’, but I suspect there can be only one.

When Zeus puts down his lightning bolt (and purses his lips) interpersonal relations can quickly become a wee bit chilli.

As Hari discovered, extreme low temperatures can produce really rather spectacular burns. The Tabernacle quickly resurrected her, and Snaut (the name means ‘Snow’) dismisses her presence by declaring that “man needs man”. Hence in Soderbergh’s 2003 remake, we learn that Snow’s ‘visitor’ was a non-carbon based lifeform copy of himself.

The Man on Fire.

The Thingy vs The Facehugger.

OK, let’s jet black on track. Siriusly, you wouldn’t believe some of the caricatypes I have to Deel’s Syndrome with inside The Asylum. One guy has convinced himself that he’s my representative on earth and spends his time strutting around in a funny hat issuing paypal bulls-shit to the faithful. Another has managed to convince herself that she’s a hot, baseball-bat-wielding twentycomething blonde rather than a middle-aged skinjob with an arse like orange peel. I suppose it was bound to happen. If you choose to live your life vicariously then – sooner or later – your own fantasies will jet the better of you.

Jesus H Fucking Christ. To think that The Tabernacle’s Crazy Diamond spends its time recording all this nonsense. Little wonder it went off its pink cocker and called in yours truly to sort thingies out. I usually just sit and listen to it all, part amused and part insulted that I’m expected to swallow it. Now it just makes me hungry. Really really hungry. All this fuss about the Master Race for Life and hardly a mention of the poor blokes as they fall victim to Prostrate Cancer

…and surrender the full vigour of their erections to the Great She-Bitch in the Iron Sky. She wants them to remain chaste, pure and faithful to her and her alone – but seems to have difficulty practising what she preaches even as she imagines herself in a state of simulated domestic bliss.

The perennial problem: woman meets man and falls in love with him on account of his wild ‘rough diamond’ personality. “He’s simply perfect,” she tells her friends, “I only wish that he’d take out the trash when I tell him to and trot along next to my shopping trolley like a good little puppy”. Her friends nod knowing, and she spends the next fifteen years chipping away at him, remaking him in her own image until that ‘rough diamond’ is little more than a worn pebble. Then she rolls over in bed one morning and says “You’re not the man I married. I want a divorce.”

The only person I have the empathy test for is the blank man. Everybody seems to be running around congratulating themselves on how ‘worth it’ they are, but unless our blankety-blank friend is prepared to turn White House nigger the message is always the same.

Better be careful waving that sign, matey, lest representatives of Blade Runner and VALIS Covenant Enforcement descend from their heavenly abode in the fluffy white clouds and dish out a sanitariumised version of American His-story XXX for your blank ass.

VALISman: Well looky here. You gots you a busted tail light boy!
Blankman: Um, looks perfectly OK to me Officer…
VALISman (breaking tail light with baton): What’s that, boy?
Blankman: I don’t want no trouble, Officer…
VALISman: You resisting arrest, jigaboo?
Blankman: No, Sir, I’m just trying to get home to my children…
VALISman (pulling taser from utility belt): Goddamn fuckin’ porch monkeys…
Blankman: Officer, please, I ain’t got no beef with…
VALISman (firing taser): Shut your stinkin’ hole, jungle bunny!
Blankman (writing in agony on ground): Waaah! Sweet Jesus! For the Love of Christ!
VALISman: This is the land of the free, boy…
Blankman: Arrgh…I am…Arrgh…not resisting…Arrgh…arrest…
VALISman (unleashing pepper spray): …so you best pick your blank ass up and get yourself a job…
Blankman: It burns! It burns!
VALISman: …serving coffee and doughnuts to pasty white folk, damnit!

Yeah, all just a little bit of history repeating and all that.

All he had in the world was a trump of hard cock candyland. The Grey Rider ain’t got no time for them lying blue scum bellies neither.

But what of my good friend?

There’s not much fun to be had if you happen to be living in the child-free Human Projects along with all the other debt-ridden refusees, most of whom are illegal a-liens. Ben asks why there are so many hairs in his clam chowder and the answer is always the same: “You get what’s on the menu”, “I cannot give you the special”, and so on. This time round, however, he’s not taking no for an answer. Where’s that damn Chinese waiter?

So who’s on the hit list?

That’s the spirit, Ben – go after them one at a time and don’t forget you have that cactus in hand if needs be. I’m with you all the way, buddy, because when it comes to the Holy Motherflicker I’m with Hit Girl.

Okay, you cunts. Let's see what you can do now.

Asylum Dionysus

This week’s installment of pure insanity is best summed up by a telephone conversation I overheard yesterday. One of our tech support engineers (a hairy guy named Gary) spent an hour or so trying to sell his dodgy motor to one of the many ‘We Buy Any Ka’ clones that have sprung up in the UK over the last five years or so. He didn’t elaborate on the nature of the problems he’s been having, and if the conversation in question was anything to go by then his ignorance on the matter is easily explained. “I really don’t know,” he said, venting his frustration on some poor drone sat in a Northern call centre that was once a healthy and productive coal mine or steel works. “I don’t know anything about Ka’s. I’m not a mechanical person”.

The rest of the conversation was lost on me, because someone in the office started a discussion that involved the phrase ‘in essence’ being used at least once per sentence. That person is a carbon copy of someone else I know (albeit considerably younger) and was introduced to me as ‘Rich’ several weeks ago, just as I was thinking about Blade Runner and Rick Deckard.

Honestly, there are times when I just want to follow Wonko The Sane‘s example and retreat from it all with only a packet of toothpicks for company. Still, it’s consistent with my dia-gnosis of the nature of the ‘problem’ several years ago.

A few days earlier, the same Rich told me I looked like Doctor Who. I wasn’t entirely surprised given that I’ve been thinking a lot about the film Predestination recently. The short version is that too much time travel can be bad for your mental health. If you drop out of space-time and enter The Void then you need to be chock full of the ‘Right Stuff’, lest you meet yourself going up the down staircase and discover you’re actually creating the ‘problems’ you purport to be ‘solving’.

Oh it’s nuts alright, and if you’re living in the UK then you need only gaze out of the Microsoft Windows and observe the ‘haZardoz’ conditions inside The Asylum to determine this for yourself. The ‘White Stuff’ is everywhere, and if you don’t believe me then read my previous post and check out the state of this walkie-talkie painter’s radio.

Everyone has the ‘white stuff’ (or can be the recipient thereof) but those with the ‘right stuff’ are few and far between. Take me for example. I applied for a job at a Technical College (or ‘Tabernacle Massage’ as I call it) in mid-December. The ‘role’ was Asylum Analyst and when I started the job last month it transpired that I was the only person who’d been invited to interview. The Director and Senior Programmer looked at the other candidate’s CVs, filed them where they belong, and put all their chips on me as the man for the job. Like I said, you either understand it or you don’t. I do, which is precisely why I’ve been brought in to analyse and treat The Tabernacle’s ‘condition’.

The Tabernacle’s central ‘problem’ is that it’s collapsing under the weight of a burden imposed on it by those who think they know how to design asylums but don’t. Every walkie-talkie Android Thorazine tablet thinks they know what they want from an asylum and how best to get it, and they’ve been allowed to act accordingly. They’ve been getting away with it too, because until last month The Tabernacle didn’t have anyone skilled in asylum design and maintenance to act as a buffer between the Wannabe’s and the programmers. Consequently, every maniac on campus has been trotting up to the programmers and insisting that their own ill-conceived, half-baked demands be implemented regardless of the con-sequences to themselves and others.

Three weeks into the job and it’s already apparent that the ‘problem’ is not the hardware – that’s Big Bang up-to-date. Rather, it’s a ‘wetware’ issue, the culprit being a collective mania which has been allowed to spread and infect all the inmates. The Crazies are in charge, and every last one thinks they’re entitled to ‘God mode‘ Asylum Administrator rights. The more catatonic inmates are unaware of the mayhem they’ve caused. Others, however, are well aware of the effects and have come to view The Asylum as their own personal plaything to do with as they please.

In essence, the Asylum was built without the input of a sound-minded Architect. This explains why its delicate central nervous system is situated inside The Asylum (i.e. on the exterior walls) rather than outside, where it would be protected from the unwanted attention of eight billion fanatics who’d cut a main artery just to see what happens. It was built that way because one or more maniacs demanded it be built that way, and the justification for these back-of-a-fag-packet ravings is always the same: morbid fear of a visit from Ofsted, or as I call it ‘Oz Zed’.

The ‘workflow’ goes something like this: lunatics from Vortex One receive a secondhand report about The Blizzard of Oz’s recent visit to Vortex Two, get their knickers in a twist about some aspect of official Church of Zardoz doctrine, and immediately swamp the programmers with frenzied demands that absolutely have to be implemented by last week at the very latest. Little wonder that the Asylum (not yet three years old) is already on the verge of meltdown. In the absence of an Asylum Analyst the programmers could do nothing more than shrug their shoulders and do their best to make sense of the madness. That approach is now unsustainable, hence the decision to fly me halfway across Atlantis inside the Stone Head and deposit me on a pre-iceberg Titanic in the hope that disaster may yet be averted.

So, after a good few years of uninterrupted insanity, the inmates will shortly have to come to terms with something called a ‘methodology’, which puts me in charge of future Asylum development and puts the onus on everyone else to justify their semi-religious technobabble with comething called a ‘coherent business case’. In the immediate short-term, my conversations with the inmates are likely to proceed on the following basis.

Lunatic: I’ve just decided that all inmates are as innocent as new-born lambs and I need The Asylum to reflect this no later than 2pm tomorrow, because Zardoz might be coming back.

Me: OK, but the basic problem is that you’re all insane and thus not responsible for your actions. In other words, I can’t make you ‘innocent’ without first pronouncing you ‘guilty’. If I do that then the way time works in this joint means that your ‘innocence’ and ‘guilt’ will cascade through the entire space-time continuum and eventually meet themselves head-on, creating a catastrophic and irreconcilable logical contradiction.

Lunatic: But Zardoz is coming!

Me: Yes, I get that but what do you think you’re ‘guilty’ of exactly?

Lunatic: Well…um…ah…have I said that Zardoz is coming?

Me: You have. Look, I have no particular axe to grind but this ‘guilt’ and ‘innocence’ malarkey is getting a bit tiresome to be honest. It’d be better all round if you could just accept that you’re completely out of your fucking mind, take your happy pills, and leave all the ‘God’ stuff to me.

Lunatic: But Zardoz says…

Me: Zardoz is a fairy story invented to keep you in line. I should know because I came here inside the Stone Head and there was nothing inside except my own wickedly filthy imagination. That and a guy in a red loincloth who turned out to be James Bond who turned out to be my own reflection.

Lunatic: Blasphemer! All shall bow the knee before The Mighty One of Old, etc.

Me: Oh do shut up. Here, have a lollipop…

As a measure of just how nuts it really is, I’ve been having ‘problems’ with a laptop that keeps repeating the same Windows 10 upgrade. Last time I powered it up I was informed that it was “getting everything ready”, which was strange because the “ng ready” reminded me of a little comething I was thinking about…

Very droll. I know we’re all covered in the ‘white stuff’ but I had another Macready in mind if it’s all the same to you.

See what I mean? This is what happens when you allow half-crazed rank amateurs to apply their fuzzy logic to The Tabernacle’s sequel server database. Sweet Jesus – how’s a guy supposed to pop his cork?

The Tabernacle itself is nearly as deranged as those who keep poking and prodding it, but even it knows when enough is enough. It’s time for a little housekeeping, and I have no intention of indulging the inmates as they continue to voice delusions about themselves even as the roof of the temple begins to cave in.

Yeah, there’ll be howls of protest at first. I’ve dealt with that before though. The last lot were so out of it they even moved numbers into my bank account once a month and expected me to believe it was ‘money’. Wannbe Napoleon? Wanna pretend you rule the world? Like I give a fuck. These and other expressions of General Midwinter of Discontent are just so much hot air.

Talking of which, the UK seems to be in the grip of a gas crisis. Just watch this poor fool sink to his knees and warship the ‘Game Goddess’. Not five minutes later he was trying to assassinate his own ‘god’ in return for having numbers moved into his bank account. Stark. Raving. Mad.

But I digress. Someone’s been nibbling on hors d’oeuvres from Hugo’s Digital Glitchin’ whilst cooking up a ‘Hunger of the Beast from the East‘. What can I say, other than ‘you are what you eat’?

Lucifer is the Morning Star, better known as Venus the Goddess of Love, and corresponds with air and the East. Belial, or ‘He Without a Master’, corresponds with the earth and the North. Satan, or Lord of the Inferno, is you, J____, and corresponds with fire and the South. These are the cardinal points you’ll have read about in your research, Ben. That’s why we’re all standing on points of the compass. In your case, Ben, we knew that you’d be drawn to Leviathan and occupy the position to the West. Am I correct?

Cultish, Hugo Stone

So who got there first?

Been in front and behind for a crazy long time now.

The masked men. Zed as Janus looking Back to the Future.

Anyway, I’m conscious that this post has been a wee bit paternalistic, so it’s probably worth finishing off with a little comething for the ladies.

OK, that’s about it other than to say that, as Asylum Analyst, I hereby remote control everyone’s Ursula Andress rites until further notice. Doesn’t apply to me, of course, and doesn’t need to ‘cos if I’m honest…well, she never did float my boat…

Null and Droid

This post will be a little more personal and meandering than usual, partly due to time constraints, but mainly because the whole thing has become so tedious that I might just tie up some loose ends and fuck off to the south coast for the summer, armed only with a pair of binoculars and a hard-on. Anyway, this latest round of madness began with me watching Ex Machina for the first time on Monday night. As expected, the very next morning a group of people with lots of letters after their names issued a report on the very same subject, and it seemed that everyone had something to say on the matter. In case you missed it, here’s a report from Mother on the sugary deliciousness of the threat A.I. represents to the superTruman Show that is our ‘reality’.

The report’s authors convened in Oxford (my old haunt) last year. Unbeknownst to me, at exactly the same time various media outlets were getting all hot under the collar about Artificial Intelligence I was walking to the bus stop thinking how nice it would be to wrap my tongue around something equally juicy. The freshly erected advert on the hoarding didn’t disappoint. After all, what red-blooded male can resist a nice meaty slab of beef curtain?

Damn thing reminds me of something else, too. I’m not into it personally, but if it’s your cup of tea then why not add some sugar to help the ‘medicine’ go down? The poor thingy is obviously having difficulty standing upright, so you might want to add a viagra or three while you’re about it.

Of course, ‘burgers’ come in all shapes and sizes. Today, for example, I was thinking about the ‘ice cream intermission’ I included in my previous post, in relation to the film Children of Men. It’s a curious title for a film about female infertility, as I pointed out several years ago in a comment on Merovee. The question I asked was ‘Why can’t men have children anymore?’ and I was chewing this over when our senior programmer suddenly announced that an unnamed ‘he’ had called to say that some government-sourced data our organisation relies on is wrong. My colleague spent the next hour trying to rectify the matter whilst muttering about ‘parent-child’ relationships on our T-SQL database. At the end of the hour he reported that a) the parent-child relationships had been reversed, b) he didn’t know how this had occurred, and c) he was unable to identify the source of the data. It wasn’t coming from anywhere and just seemed to appear as if by magic.

And therein lies the rub: everything seems ‘real’, ‘solid’ and ‘rational’ enough on the surface, and the surface appearance is what most people seem content with. As for the people themselves, they too seem ‘real’ enough until they open their mouths. After that, it all goes rapidly downhill and I often walk away from conversations with the impression that I’ve been interacting with a chatbot. Sometimes these exchanges are pure comedy, and sometimes they’re distinctly unpleasant. I’ve been accosted on the street several times and harangued by bizarre characters who leapt straight into shouty-sweary mode and made wild accusations of one form or another. Their ‘beef’ with me is always a strange echo of something I thought or did only minutes earlier.

I experience similar phenomena in relation to my first novel, a kind of replacement (and decidedly Satanic) version of The Bible. The novel’s subtitle is “The Gospel According to J____” (I’ll leave it to you to fill in the blanks) and if I had to put the overall theme into ‘mission statement’ terms then its mission statement would be “Let’s erase the tape and start all over again with someone saner in charge, i.e. yours truly”. I don’t think the tape player (or ‘god’ as some people prefer) was too happy with that, because I was immediately raised to the very top of its list of Jedi Terror Suspects. Hence the sudden appearance of ‘Jedi John’, a veritable Harbinger of Teeth willing and able to dispatch one Clockwork Orange after another in pursuit of the Worldwide Coldgate.

Anyway, the below is just one of many examples of the tape player’s opinion on the subject of its precious memory being wiped. There’s a distinct HAL 9000 quality to it, and the obvious question to ask is why ‘god’ would use the term ‘fear’ in relation to the musings of frustrated author Hugo Stone and his depraved scatalogical imagination?

This ‘erase the tape’ theme has played out in numerous forms. In my novel, for example, the ‘god’ of this world created our ‘reality’ for its own amusement, to alleviate the boredom of its native environment: a black nothingness called ‘The Void’.

Obviously, the very first article that appeared in my list of search results when I searched for A.I. news was this one. I don’t know about you (or if you even exist for that matter) but it’s crystal clear to me that there is literally nothing to see hear…

Similarly, Frank’s comment on my previous post referred to The Stone Tape, a high-tech (by 1970s standards) ghost story. It explored the idea that high concentrations of iron oxide (the same substance most people recorded onto back in the heyday of the music cassette) in stone buildings can serve as a primitive recording medium and thus explain many so-called ‘hauntings’.

Realizing that the phenomenon occurring in the room is far older than the house, Jill theorizes that the stone tape can be recorded over again and again, like magnetic recording tape; the maid’s death was simply the most recent and clearest recording. Independently continuing her research, Jill realizes that the maid’s death was masking a much older recording, left many thousands of years ago. Brock cruelly dismisses her findings, and forces Jill to take a two-month leave to prevent her from continuing her research.

Returning to the room one last time, Jill’s senses are besieged by a powerful, malevolent presence from the much-degraded older recording. Like the maid before her, she dies while frantically trying to escape it.

During an inquest, Brock tries to save face by denouncing Jill as having been mentally unstable. Afterwards he orders that all of Jill’s research be destroyed without reviewing it. The “haunted” room has been declared of historical importance by a preservation society, prohibiting development, destruction, or commercial use. He makes a final visit to the room and discovers to his horror that the stone tape has made a new, crystal-clear recording—that of Jill screaming his name as she dies.

Source: Wikipedia

So, if the question is why ‘god’ might be afraid of Hugo then perhaps this is the answer?

Those who really, really, really, really Wannabe about the zigazig-ah-rette might find this..ahem… enlightening. Comething to do with cigars, apparently.

Dispensing with gravity? That kinda depends on what happened to the Mini Cooper, don’t it?

And let’s not forget this.

Melange, often referred to as simply “the spice”, is the name of the fictional drug central to the Dune series of science fiction novels by Frank Herbert, and derivative works. In the series, the most essential and valuable commodity in the universe is melange, a drug that gives the user a longer life span, greater vitality, and heightened awareness; it can also unlock prescience in some humans, depending upon the dosage and the consumer’s physiology. This prescience-enhancing property makes safe and accurate interstellar travel possible. Melange comes with a steep price, however: it is addictive, and withdrawal is fatal.

Source: Wikipedia

Once again, the Killing Words.

The Killing Joke, a Blank Planet Production designed to address the central problem of eternity: pure, unadulterated boredom. What you need is a good story-teller, and there are some really fucking lousy ones out there I can tell you.

You don’t try to be liked
You don’t mind
You feel no sun
You steal a gun
To kill time
You’re somewhere, you’re nowhere
You don’t care
You catch the breeze
You still the leaves
So now where?

It was top of the search list actually. Why am I not surprised?

Here we go again, getting all ‘churchy’ on me. The fucker probably wiped out half of Guatemala with an asteroid at the same time it produced the below article, but if I were to mention the term ‘hypocrisy’ then that too would probably be a bit ‘churchy’, wouldn’t it?

Let’s cut to the chase and zoom in on the hardcore excavation money shot that is his-her-story. Truth be told, I really don’t have a ‘problem’ with it, apart from this…

The crux of the matter: the Solaris ‘abortion’. Someone knows something about it, don’t they?

Poor delusional Allegra.

She blundered through the whole thing in the belief that she was playing her own game and being persecuted by fanatics, ignoring all the evidence to the contrary. When she finally woke up she realised that she was the fanatic and the ‘fanaticism’ theme was just an in-game echo of her own mental derangement. She was literally just another Wannabe: a narrow-minded, single-issue zealot with an axe to grind and a point to prove. What’s worse, she had no idea whether the ‘reality’ she woke up to was actually ‘real’. And that’s the central dilemma, isn’t it?

In the absence of a nuclear and unambigamous cancer, I can only say that I’m a stubborn bastard and the game is likely to go on for as long as it has to, until a solution is found to the ‘problem’ of the double-tongued pretenders who keep trip-trip-trip-hopping over their own words as if they’re caught in a poorly coded Do…While loop.

OK, let me end with a question: what was the Special Order? Here’s the android Ash (looking for all the world like he’s just appeared in Intergalactic Bukkake Studs: The Return of Intergalactic Bukkake Studs) with his account.

And here’s how it manifested here in eXistenZ.

Well, if something you don’t like appears on the menu then you’re not actually obliged to eat it, are you? Or maybe you think you’re the victim of a ‘game purge’ and being ‘force fed’? I don’t care either way ‘cos the current rules-based menu system is as old and stale as last week’s bubble-and-squeak. Fuck your Teriyaki Beef with noodles and a side salad. I want new taste sensations and I want them at a 100% discounted price, y’hear?

Anyway, got some pease pudding on the stove so it’s quitting time



I’ve had a strange, dreamlike week, which in and of itself is nothing out of the ordinary and perfectly consistent with our strange, dreamlike ‘reality’. I’ve spent most of my time up to my ears in database tables, SQL scripts, and server configurations, so I thought the time was right for a post that addresses something I’ve avoided for some time. Specifically, the question of whether our ‘reality’ is (or might or could be) some form of advanced computer simulation. For the most part, it addresses this topic from the other side of the fence, in terms of the consequences for those who favour a spiritual interpretation. All appearances to the contrary, my thoughts aren’t aimed at anyone in particular so if you feel pinpricks creep up your neck then 20,000 iterations of this song ought to do the trick. Failing that, feel free to scroll down to the halfway point and grab yourself an ice cream or comething else that takes your fancy.

For those who might have stumbled across this blog en route to, allow me to explain what I mean by ‘strange and dreamlike’. Last night, for want of anything better to do, I revisited the first fifteen minutes of the truly remarkable 1970’s Wizard of Oz remake that is Zardoz, which depicts Zed’s entry into the mysterious Vortex. Multiple strange events occur within the timeframe in question, and two of the most obvious examples are as follows:

1. Zed enters a bakery and is startled by a stream of flour that suddenly pours from a chute hanging from the ceiling. He then picks up a product of that flour (a stale loaf of bread) in a manner that indicates he has never seen one before. Moments later, we see Zed in a garden staring at a flower. Having never seen one before, Zed asks The Tabernacle (an Artificial Intelligence that has come to think of itself as ‘God’) what it is. The Tabernacle gives a one word answer: “Flower”. Zed then asks what its function is, and The Tabernacle informs him that its function is “decorative”.

2. Zed discovers The Tabernacle for the first time shortly after the flour scene. He is hungry and asks it to provide him with ‘meat’, but all it can do is present him with a holographic representation of ‘meat’. Although he can see the meat, it lacks substance and eludes his grasp when he attempts to seize hold of it. Minutes later, two Eternals probe Zed’s memories and watch them on a TV screen. One memory depicts Zed’s sexual appetite: he is shown raping a woman on a beach as if she were just a piece of meat to him. Zed tells the Eternals that the events they are watching occurred at a place ‘where the sea meets the land‘.

Of course, the central ‘problem’ here (if I can call it that) is that these strange reflections occur in so-called ‘real life’ too. Yesterday, for example, I overheard a group of three people talking about the mass shooting in Florida. One person was deriding the American Constitution’s right to bear arms, and after that person walked off the two who remained began to talk about their IT related jobs. One began to wax lyrical about the importance of something or other, and ended his sentence by saying “…and that’s what I bear in mind”. The conversation reminded me a lot of assembly language, and it seems to me that he might just as well have said “I’ve loaded the variable ‘bear’ into register B at memory address 0xAA69FF’.

Similarly, I loaded YouTube this morning (whilst thinking about Philip K Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, i.e. Blade Runner, and its main protagonist, Rich Deckard) and the first video I saw was this one.

Needless to say, only an hour later I was introduced to a woman whose first name is the same as my mother’s. I asked her what she does for a living and she replied “Oh, I’m just a dogsbody”. Her boss was introduced to me as Rich, and he then introduced me to his boss and said “This is Oz, our Network Manager”. The conversation that followed was surreal beyond words, and I kept wondering when the movie director would step in and shout “Cut!” or “That’s a wrap!”

During the same conversation, I listened to the group bemoan the state of their IT department and jokingly suggested mass suicide as the only possible solution. I borrowed the theme from Zardoz and slipped it into the conversation just to see what would happen. The central theme of Zardoz is that members of The Vortex have eternal life, because The Tabernacle records every detail of their consciousness. If they kill themselves then The Tabernacle creates a clone body and reloads their memories. I wasn’t too surprised when, just an hour or so after slipping this reference into the conversation, dogsbody’s boss informed me that he’d received a spam email stating that death by suicide is no longer possible thanks to quantum computing!

This more-or-less sums up the bizarre and unreal nature of the world we inhabit. But if it’s not real then what exactly is it? It seems to me that one of the most under-represented theories is, oddly enough, also the most plausible. I am of course talking about reality as a computer simulation, and although I usually avoid paying too much attention to the idea (because my background is in IT and our ‘reality’ reflects our thoughts and thereby confirms our biases) I think it’s well overdue some ‘serious’ consideration.

Of the individuals and blogs known to me, the majority have a spiritual dimension predicated on the idea that ‘reality’ and ‘god’ are one and the same, or that we are all ‘god’ as he/she/it experiences itself subjectively. Of course, we cannot really know that for sure, and in the final analysis it’s a belief just like any other, one based on ‘feelings’ and ‘intuition’ that are no more or less valid than the science fiction of a laboratory experiment. Even so, I suspect that the simulation theory is unattractive to those who hold these views, precisely because it represents the antithesis of the ‘God Hypothesis’.

It could be argued that elevating ourselves to the dizzy heights of the ‘godhead’ itself is, in its own way, just as likely to kill thought and ‘serious’ examination of incompatible alternatives as prostrating ourselves before the ‘godhead’ in the conventional religious sense. Perhaps more so, because if someone decides that they’re ‘god’ or ‘part of the Great Spirit’ – and makes this their ‘truth’ – then it’s easy to see how this might blind them to more mundane perspectives. After all, anything less than divinity is going to be a massive disappointment, isn’t it?

In this ‘reality’ it seems that the Western understanding of God is still, for the most part, that of the ‘Judgmental God’ archetype. And that’s the problem, isn’t it? Regardless of our intentions, when we associate ourselves with ‘God’ it seems that what we’re really doing is associating ourselves with this archetype. If that’s the case then it raises interesting questions about what we’re actually signing up to when we accept this kind of viewpoint. On an individual level we might say and believe that ‘God is love’. That’s not particularly consistent with the archetype though, which tends to present ‘God’ as judge, jury and executioner – with no right of appeal.

Is today’s ‘plane crash’ in the Zardos Mountains an expression of God’s love?

Sixty-six people are feared to have been killed in a passenger plane crash in the Zagros mountains in Iran. The Aseman Airlines plane, en route from Tehran to the south-western city of Yasuj, came down near the city of Semirom in Isfahan province. The Red Crescent deployed search and rescue teams to the site. The airline has retracted a statement saying definitively that all aboard were dead.


It plays out time and time again. Torah, Torah, Torah, right? Fanatics sacrificing to their God-King.

The ISIS phenomenon is a prime example of the way this archetype plays out in 3D, regardless of the intentions of those for whom the name ‘ISIS’ has special significance. Is it any wonder that some of these folk are openly hostile to the right to bare arms, particularly if you happen to be the proud owner of a vagina?

It’s odd, isn’t it? If everything is a representation or manifestation of ‘God’ then why is ‘God’ so hostile to his/her/its own ‘divinity’ and the ‘devoutness’ or ‘seriousness’ that usually accompanies spiritual beliefs? Why does ‘God’ openly mock those who hold such views and present them as ‘fanatics’? More to the point, why is The Mighty One prepared to show mercy to those who truly atone for their sins and ‘deny the faith’?

It’s worth posting this YouTube again just to emphasise the point: we become as God is by doing what God does.

When we consider what ‘God’ does we have to ask whether we really want to emulate him/her/it, let alone identity ourselves as one of the ‘Heavenly Host‘ and establish a link to the Great Network Server in the Sky. Imagine the malware coming down that particular pipeline: Self-righteousness v6.01, Heresy for Dummies, Visual Persecution for Windows 10, etc.

When talking about computer simulations we have to recognise that there are…ahem…’hard’ and ‘soft’ variants. The ‘soft’ version would be a kind of 33rd Century Virtual Reality and presupposes that we have a ‘real’ existence beyond the confines of the simulation. The ‘hard’ alternative is pure simulation, i.e. everything in the universe – ourselves included – as a fictional product of advanced computer architecture. Does this explain the apparent lack of interest in this ‘secular’ interpretation? Put another way, if you’re convinced that you’re on the cusp of transcending into the 6th dimension to have your balls tongued by the Hierarchy of Ascended Masters then the one thing you really won’t want to hear is that you might be a video game character.

Of course, shortly after composing the last paragraph I turned on the TV to watch tonight’s Star Trek: Next Generation episode. Today’s installment was called The Emissary.

Data reports that the emissary is being transported in a class 8 probe, traveling at warp 9. Picard notes the evident urgency of the mission. The Enterprise intercepts the probe and beams it aboard, and its passenger is revealed to be a half-Klingon half-human woman named K’Ehleyr. K’Ehleyr informs the command staff that Starfleet has detected a Klingon battlecruiser called the T’Ong, which was launched from the Klingon homeworld over 75 years ago, when the Klingons and the Federation were still at war. The crew has been in suspended animation and are about to awaken, at which point it is feared they will immediately attack the nearest Federation outpost, several of which are nearby and would not be able to adequately defend themselves. Though K’Ehleyr strongly believes that any attempt to reason with the Klingons will fail and advises Picard to destroy the ship, Picard orders his crew to come up with alternatives.

Source: Wikipedia

Even so, a quick textual analysis of anything you have to hand will soon reveal scores of spiritual and religious references. Does this actually mean anything though? If we assume that ‘time’ flows in only one direction then perhaps so, but as our own experiences suggest that time is an illusion we’re faced with the ever-present chicken-and-egg conundrum, i.e. that the religiosity of the ‘past’ is merely a ‘Counter-Clock World‘ manifestation of spiritual preoccupations here in the ‘present’.

In a similar vein, one of the things that’s always interested me is the appearance of patterns based around certain keywords. Pay close attention to the home page of any news site and it soon becomes apparent that most of the day’s news is based around several keywords, which ripple and morph their way down the page like a raindrop – or a line of code from The Matrix. If I were forced to choose one word to describe this phenomenon that word would be ‘algorithmic’. I’ve no doubt whatsoever that I could write code to consume a site’s entire front page in one gulp, parse all the linked pages, and generate a nicely formatted report that identifies the keywords of the day and maps how they propagate or ‘evolve’ through the site. Even so, the nature of our ‘reality’ is such that there’s absolutely no way to demonstrate that these patterns exist ‘objectively’ and are not just a reflection of my own attempts to look for patterns and meaning.

OK, this is getting way, way too heavy. Tell you what, let’s have a brief intermission while I grab myself an ice cream…

And to keep things fair and balanced, here’s a little comething for the ladies…

Feel better for that? I know I do… 😉 While we’re on the subject, I browsed the EU’s new Data Protection regulations this week. They have a lot to say on the subject of consent, and the new rules state that the ‘age of consent’ for giving ‘consent’ will be reduced from 16 to 13 provided ‘reasonable efforts’ are taken to secure parental consent. I’m just saying, OK?

Anyway, where was I? Yeah, computer simulations. Is it really that difficult to believe? Take Chess for example, an ‘analogue’ board game that was first ‘simulated’ decades ago. I don’t know about you but I vividly remember pounding the rubber keys of my micro-computer back in the mid-1980s, so whever I think of the game it always brings to mind Zion

Of course, the original version of the game was called Chattanooga and (w)Oz born in Diana…

Today’s games are almost indistinguishable from ‘real life’, which would be fine if only we knew what ‘real life’ actually looked like.

Last week, I sat down to write some Python code to create and ‘salt’ passwords for a mobile application I’m creating. It’s a complex process and if you’re ‘serious’ about these things then it takes 20,000 or so iterations through a complex cryptographic hash to encrypt and salt a password that’s impossible to reverse engineer with a ‘somewhere over the rainbow‘ table. I was thinking about someone in particular at the time, and when my computer finished the final iteration and displayed the encrypted password the name of that person appeared right in the middle of it. Impossible but ‘true’, insofar as anything in our ‘reality’ can be said to be ‘true’.

Talking of which, if a little comething isn’t to your liking then feel free to indulge yourself with a bigger model. The URL to the Daily Mail article refers to the ‘device’ as ‘highly immoral’ but I ain’t got time for that kind of God talk. If it’s your cup of tea then go nuts on it and enjoy the salty goodness of all that ‘nuclear material’.

Does the ‘Eye in the Sky’ (be it electronic or otherwise) see it comething like this? If so, what would it look like from a character’s perspective? A little bit like our 3D perhaps?

I think that the simulation argument forces us to descend from our respective soap boxes and ‘seriously’ consider that this crazy world maybe all there is. Alternatively, that while there might be a ‘reality’ beyond the confines of our ‘reality’, the nature of ‘reality’ (and ourselves) might preclude us from ever experiencing it. It’s a sobering thought, particularly for those who may have withdrawn from the world in the hope that they’ll wake up clothed in the rays of the sun, floating above it all like an interstellar will-o’-the-wisp.

Equally, I have some sympathy with the ‘non-cooperation’ position myself, and I’ve always been intrigued to find myself continually urged to participate and..ahem…sample everything that’s on the menu. Whatever ‘it’ is, it seems extraordinarily keen to get my ‘buy in’, and this too seems like rather odd and inconsistent behaviour for an all-powerful ‘deity’.

In Zardoz, Zed eventually pulls the plug on The Tabernacle, just as Dave pulls the plug on Hal in 2001. Both A.I.s are portrayed as human creations that have seen fit to promote themselves to the pantheon. It’s a familiar theme that plays out over and over again in Sci-Fi films, and one that frequently appears in the news in relation to our rush to conceive machine intelligence. Given the bizarre nature of ‘reality’, could our experiences here in the ‘present’ be a reflection of a ‘future’ breakthrough in A.I. and/or quantum computing?

Is it really that easy though? Is the ‘Above & Beyond’ totally phony? Are we ourselves literally walkie-talkie ‘mobile phonies’? If so, is it possible to pull the plug without switching ouselves off in the process?

Got a halo round your head?

Or is it more of an all-over thing? Above and Beyond and everywhere else you care to look?

Maybe there’s nothing for it but to grab a non-existent spoon and tuck in?

Second helping, anyone?

The Iron Maiden

It should come as no surprise to readers of my last-but-one post, The Number Games, to learn that its ‘Iron Maiden’ theme has been shadowing me. In fact, there’s nothing ‘new’ about this theme, inasmuch as it was bouncing around ‘out there’ long before I came aware of it, and certainly long before I wrote the post in question. Whether or not its longevity means anything at all – given that conventional understandings of space-time appear to be pure science fiction – is a moot point. The same can be said for its significance, given that it’s one of a number of themes that seem to repeat themselves endlessly, like self-replicating Von Neumann machines. Ultimately, its tendency to reappear (always in a revised form) may be nothing more or less than a reflection of the attention we afford it. It’s an interesting topic to explore though, if only because of its association with other symbolism and imagery on the merry-go-round we call ‘reality’.

The sinking of the Titanic is one of its more obvious manifestations, one which seems to have attained the same prominence in our ‘collective unconscious’ as the Nazis and the Second World War. The ‘Iron Maiden’ link should be obvious, but I’ll state it anyway: in simple terms, the Titanic was a supposedly unsinkable ship patched together with iron rivets and she sank on her maiden voyage. The claim that ‘God himself could not sink this ship’ (which was attributed to a ‘deck hand’) was supposed to offer passengers ‘piece of mind‘. God (champ that he is) obviously took umbrage and saw fit to intervene. He chucked an ice berg at it and the rest, as they say, is his-story.

One of the interesting things about ships is that they’re gendered as ‘female’. In James Cameron’s Titanic there’s an interesting scene in which the ship’s captain instructs his First Officer, Mr Murdoch, to bring the ship’s engines up to full throttle and ‘stretch her legs’.

For reasons that are difficult to explain (and which most people simply wouldn’t believe) there seems to be a link with baldy. I really don’t know how else to put this except to say that there’s a ‘thirst’ for everything…

Well said, Jean-Luc…but do we really wanna go there…?

Hey, any of you boys want number one fucky?

Anyway, the ‘Murdoch’ reference is a little odd, because I came across another ‘Mr Murdoch‘ only yesterday evening while watching another film. Be that as it may, the leg stretching theme will be familiar to those who read my ‘Number Game‘ post, which included the below Katy Perry video.

Of course, getting (s)peed on was a factor – if not the factor – in the Titanic’s demise. It was travelling at warp 9 in the dark and just didn’t see that damn Ice Borg until it was too late. An hour or so later and the Titanic foundered itself thoroughly simulated into the uniMatrix of self-replicating Mr Anderson machines and much fun was had by all.

It should go without saying that this ‘Clash of the Titans‘ reflects another recurring theme, which seems to have something to do with ‘air’.

Or, as Frankie says, maybe it’s something that sounds like ‘air’? Check out this ultra hardcore kumquat and feel free to let me know what you think.

According to Mr Cameron…

Not, not that one, although he does make an important point: never get off the goddamn boat and enter the Heart of Darkness, not even for a mango.

Knot unless you’re me and have special dispensation.

This for the benefit of those interested in learning by The Hunger Games…

OK, back to Mr Cameron. The plot of Titanic revolved around a search for a supposedly fictional diamond called ‘Heart of the Ocean‘, which subsequently transpired to be ‘non-fictional’, although the fictional nature of our ‘reality’ seems to render the difference between ‘fiction’ and ‘non-fiction’ rather meaningless.

Unsurprisingly, the story includes a reference to Marshall

Kate was an assistant working for Morley in one of the ‘Purveyors of High Class Confectionery’ shops, which he owned in London, and the two were secretly sailing on the Titanic as second class passengers to begin a new life together in America, under the names of ‘Mr. and Mrs. Marshall.’

Talking of Mars, let’s not forget this little gem from earlier in the week.

That’s kind of interesting, because earlier this evening I really was trying to phone home. Regardless, I’m sure we all agree that blasting an electric car in the direction of Mars to the tune of David Bowie’s Space Oddity is completely normal behaviour for this ‘reality’. There’s absolutely nothing to sea hear, so let’s move swiftly on because we’ve seen that pesky diamond before, haven’t we Mr Tabernacle? OK, it’s time for some tits!

If truth is stranger than fiction then what to do if truth is itself a fiction? I mean, let’s not forget that the Titanic’s maiden voyage began in Southampton…

The Tabernacle is indestructible and everlasting — Zardoz

Indestructible and everlasting? Is that supposed to give us ‘piece of mind’? Could God himself not sink The Tabernacle? I wonder how that one is likely to play out? Zed’s ‘Holy Bible’, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, introduced us to The Vortex. So what’s going on hear, then?

It’s huge, and if the ‘above’ is the same as the ‘below then…?

Is ‘reality’ just a Sailor’s Dream?

Those fucking Ripleycunts jet everyhair, don’t they?

Yes, I am indeed. But why does ‘Meghan’ seem to be at the heart of it all?

And Posh? You really wanna know? You really Wannabe what that’s all about? I could say, but that’s deep in the Jungle’s ‘heart attack’ territory and if I told you then I’d have to consign you to Davey Jones Locker.

So there we have it. The Greek has inherited the earth and everyone else will just have to take a Number Game and jet inline. 😉

Yep. Never been more sirius in my life.

TB, or not TB?

In addition to touching on the subject of taste and appetite, my last post The Number Games asked whether the nature of our ‘reality’ is such that our actions amount to cannibalism. Specifically, that if our reality is a product or reflection of thought then everything we do can be likened to feeding off our own mind. The most obvious symbolic representation of this peculiar form of Holy Communion is the Ouroborus, which depicts a snake or dragon eating its own tail. This highlights the circular or dialectical nature of our reality as a continuous cycle of creative destruction. It could be argued that this process of self-consumption (and the theme of death and rebirth it signifies) is the cosmic equivalent of the artist’s need to continually reinvent him/herself. Equally, it could be argued that these undertones of restlessness, dissatisfaction, and identity crisis are indicative of cosmological suicidal tendencies. With this in mind, let’s dispense with the tree hugging and plunge headlong into the dark side…

The first and most obvious point to make relates to the system of economic organisation that now spans the entire globe. It exists to make ‘profit’ and it can do so only by manufacturing more (and more varied) products and services and enticing us to consume them. Although the term is commonly understood to refer to the act of eating or drinking, the literal definition is ‘to destroy by wasting’. If we situate Planet Earth’s dominant economic model within the context of a cycle of creative destruction then the most pertinent question to ask is whether our collective obsession with consumerism has a hidden and far darker ‘cosmic’ purpose? Assume for a moment that the reality we experience is an eternal stage play in the mind of a cosmic artist called ‘god’: is our preoccupation with ‘wasting’ indicative of his/her/its desire for a fresh burst of artistic creativity?

Of course, rampant consumerism has been the target of ‘green’ activists for several decades now. Recycling is one ‘product’ of the ‘green movement’, but if the universe itself is predicated on recycling then what does the emergence of this practice represent exactly? Here, yet another ‘Marshall’ (this time, it’s Marshall Applewhite, leader of the notorious Heaven’s Gate cult) offers an opinion on the meaning of the term ‘recycling’. Are you prepared to transcend to the ‘next level’?

A less obvious but perhaps more relevant meaning of the term ‘consumption’ relates to disease (thanks Sam Harrington), specifically to tuberculosis, which literally lays waste to the body in the form of weight and blood loss. Is tuberculosis’ effect on the individual human body analogous to ‘Holy Communion’ and the symbolic consumption of a deity’s ‘body and blood’? Perhaps so, but it’s the disease’s association with the lungs that is most interesting, to me at least.

When people with active pulmonary TB cough, sneeze, speak, sing, or spit, they expel infectious aerosol droplets 0.5 to 5.0 µm in diameter. A single sneeze can release up to 40,000 droplets. Each one of these droplets may transmit the disease, since the infectious dose of tuberculosis is very small (the inhalation of fewer than 10 bacteria may cause an infection)


I’ve referred to Marshall McLuhan’s theories about the ‘global brain’ that encompasses the natural environment on many occasions. The content generated by this vast electronic brain has saturated the natural environment, flooding it with information and creating a digital ocean. This digital ocean can also be thought of as an ‘atmosphere’, just as the oceans of earth provide an ‘atmosphere’ for marine dwellers. Our reliance on information is such that this digital ‘atmosphere’ has become as essential to our survival as the physical atmosphere. McLuhan likened our situation to that of goldfish in a bowl, given that the digital ocean is as transparent as the air that surrounds us. We can’t see, touch, smell, or taste it, but our very existence tells us it’s there.

The ‘oxygen’ in this artificial environment is information transmitted as electromagnetic radiation. The devices we use to ‘harvest’ this information are ‘gills’ that filter the digital currents and waves and provide us with this life-giving resource. These electronic extensions of ourselves perform a role analogous to that of lungs: their central processors tune into specific frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum in order to separate the ‘wheat’ that is ‘information’ from the ‘chaff’ that is the natural background chatter of cosmic radiation. In this respect, their ‘atmosphere processing’ role is not unlike the theoretical ‘terraforming’ of science fiction.

One of the classic symptoms of tuberculosis is coughing and, as I’ve pointed out in my previous two posts, death and its counterpart the ‘coffin’ seems to play a significant role in our ‘reality’. In fact, the guy who lives underneath me does so much ‘coughing’ that I often wonder if he occupies a state somewhere between life and death. His name is Brian, so it seems only appropriate to delve into the Videodrome and ask for an opinion from his namesake, Brian O’Blivion.

Oblivion is the state of not being aware of what is happening around you, for example because you are asleep or unconscious.

Source: Collins English Dictionary

Oblivion as a state of unconsciousness is consistent with McLuhan’s goldfish simile. The goldfish (often derided for its poor memory) is unaware of the water or environment in which it swims, just as most humans seem oblivious to the digital ocean they now inhabit. Joseph Kosinski employed the term to good effect in the Tom Cruise film Oblivion, emphasising its meaning in relation to destruction and to being unaware of the nature of one’s surroundings. Cruise’s character Jack is troubled by flashbacks of erased memories of a pre-Apocalypse Earth. Yet he still accepts the paper-thin ‘alternate history’ presented to him by an invasive alien Artificial Intelligence. The story it offers him is an inversion of the ‘factual’ account presented at the film’s end, but contains just enough ‘truth’ to assuage his doubts. Hence Jack sleepwalks through the first half of the film and is literally oblivious to the true nature of his surroundings.

To be clear, there’s a sense in which this hidden ocean has always formed part of the ‘natural’ environment. Light itself is electromagnetic radiation and is as much a part of the environment as various forms of background radiation (visible and non-visible) emanating from the wider universe.

And I can watch TV
While I’m wrapped up in bed
And mother makes sure that I’m watered and fed
My best friend from school will come over and stare
At me in my bubble of germified air

Viewed from this perspective, it might be said that by learning to manipulate the basic currency of the universe (energy) our own man-made version has replicated this ‘universal ocean’ in miniature. In this respect, we’ve taken what McLuhan called the ‘pure information’ of the lightbulb (which he referred to as the only contentless medium) and transformed it into intelligible, structured data. A kind of ‘order out of chaos’ if you will.

The bubbleship from Oblivion

Oblivion‘s plot is interesting for another reason: the alien A.I. invades Earth in order to convert the oceans into energy using gigantic fusion reactors. Jack patrols these ‘hydro-rigs’ in his bubbleship, and when we see them for the first time he reports that they’re “sucking up sea water”. Bearing in mind that the First Law of Thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a closed system can be neither created nor destroyed, there’s a sense in which this ‘theft’ of the oceans represents an analog to digital conversion process. The ‘analog’ ocean is transferred from the ‘solid state’ of matter to the ‘transcendent‘ state of energy, which is just another way of describing raw information. The word ‘sublimation‘ springs to mind and in turns reminds me of the term ‘subliminal’, something that exists beneath the threshold of consciousness.

Sublimation has also been used as a generic term to describe a solid-to-gas transition (sublimation) followed by a gas-to-solid transition (deposition).

Temperature plays a key role in sublimation processes, as it does when water inside a kettle reaches boiling point.

Once water hits the 100 degree threshold it becomes steam. In so doing it ‘translates’ from one environment to another, becoming part of the physical atmosphere that surrounds us. This, of course, is the basic physics behind the process of cloud formation. It represents the translation of ourselves (our ‘memories’) from the physical/analog environment of flesh-and-blood to the ethereal/digital environment of information as energy.

Kelvin is a measure of temperature, and Kris Kelvin is a character in Solaris, a film about a space station orbiting an alien planet whose single consciousness takes the form of a global ocean. The ocean scans the astronauts’ memories and presents them with ‘replicants’ of key figures in their lives. Ultimately, it presents them with a simulation of Earth itself.

Solaris at night: Kelvin stares into The Abyss and becomes one with it.

As mentioned in Dreams of Empire, Oblivion and Solaris are mirror images. Both address the issue of alien contact, both contain a nuclear theme, and both male leads are physically and/or emotionally estranged from their wives, who are blasted into lonely orbit around a planet.

Space Station Solaris: is it orbiting above the ocean or floating on it? Why does it appear to be the source of the ocean’s ripples?

James Cameron’s The Abyss contains identical themes, but situates them in the ‘inner space’ of the ocean itself, replacing the space stations of Solaris and Oblivion with a deep sea research station. Here, too, the male lead (played by Ed Harris) is alienated from his wife (described as ‘Queen Bitch of the Universe’), but this time the man abandons the woman in a bid to save an alien species from nuclear destruction. In the extended version, we learn that the aliens were about to exterminate humanity, and relent only because of his continued love for his wife.

So, all three films address the subject of love, betrayal, separation, sacrifice, reconciliation, and catharsis under the watchful eye of an ‘alien’ presence that depicts itself as opaque yet transparent, indifferent yet concerned, hostile yet helpful, devious yet open, purposeful and purposeless. In short, a candle blowing in the wind that is impossible to define or pin down, an entity that reinvents itself according to the requirements of the script.

One of the most interesting and relevant scenes from the film is this one, in which Ed Harris’s character is kitted out in a spacesuit and obliged to breathe an oxygen-rich fluid instead of air. The experience of breathing liquid is likened to being inside The Matrix or womb.

We all breathed liquid for nine months, Bud. Your body will remember.

Oddly enough, one of the lead characters in the film is a Navy Seal named ‘Hiram Coffey‘, played by Michael Biehn of Terminator fame. Coffey creates the film’s nuclear threat after he develops a form of ‘Narcissus Narcosis‘, a.k.a. ‘Rapture of the Deep‘.

Narcosis while diving (also known as nitrogen narcosis, inert gas narcosis, raptures of the deep, Martini effect) is a reversible alteration in consciousness that occurs while diving at depth. It is caused by the anesthetic effect of certain gases at high pressure. The Greek word ναρκωσις (narcosis) is derived from narke, “temporary decline or loss of senses and movement, numbness”, a term used by Homer and Hippocrates. Narcosis produces a state similar to drunkenness (alcohol intoxication), or nitrous oxide inhalation.


Biehn also appears in the film Tombstone as Doc Holliday’s would-be nemesis, Johnny Ringo.

I mention this only because Holliday suffered from tuberculosis and Val Kilmer’s depiction of him as an emaciated wreck brings this centre stage.

All well and good, but what of Tuberculosis? Well, pHugoPsychIsis and pHagocalypse appear to be contributing factors…

TB infection begins when the mycobacteria reach the pulmonary alveoli, where they invade and replicate within endosomes of alveolar macrophages. Macrophages identify the bacterium as foreign and attempt to eliminate it by phagocytosis. During this process, the bacterium is enveloped by the macrophage and stored temporarily in a membrane-bound vesicle called a phagosome. The phagosome then combines with a lysosome to create a phagolysosome. In the phagolysosome, the cell attempts to use reactive oxygen species and acid to kill the bacterium. However, M. tuberculosis has a thick, waxy mycolic acid capsule that protects it from these toxic substances. M. tuberculosis is able to reproduce inside the macrophage and will eventually kill the immune cell.


As digital fishes, our means of subsistence float about in the ‘atmosphere’ itself. Our digital gills collect and process oxygen automatically, as if by magic. We swim about with our mouths open wide to catch digital manna that seems to emanate from a mysterious benevolence sat atop a heavenly cloud. The immediacy and instant gratification on offer is totally at odds with our physical environment, an environment in which quarterpounders and milkshakes do not habitually float through the air like balloons as we walk down the street. Yet if this digital bounty originates from an ‘above’ that is also the ‘below’ then we have to consider that the sustenance we derive from it may also amount to a death sentence of sorts. In other words, just as the macrophage’s attempt to isolate and contain the TB bacterium facilitates its own death, our self-referential Holy Communion may sow the seeds of its own destructive recreation.

I try not to get too ‘sirius’ about these matters, although it’s interesting to think about them in relation to the ‘recycling’ movement. Is recycling to the natural environment as the macrophage is to the individual human body? If so, is it fated not to prevent ‘environmental disaster’ but to hasten or even ensure that ‘environmental disaster’ occurs? Or, more prosaically, is recycling the yin to excessive consumption’s yang? Can it be seen as a means by which to effect gradual, evolutionary environment change rather than a sudden, apocalyptic shift? Or is it merely symbolic of the very obvious recycling of themes, stories and tropes?

Given that space-time itself appears to be as fictional as the content we consume (hardly surprising as we can only learn about space-time by consuming content), there’s also a chicken-and-egg question to ask. Is the physical environment an analog manifestation of its digital sibling? Or is the digital a copy of the physical? Did the remodelling of a pre-existing digital ocean (the original primordial soup so to speak) into data structures patterned by constants and formulae actually create the apparent coherence we see ‘out there’ in the physical world? More to the point, if an action in the ‘now’ can manifest in the past or the future (or both) then what can our information consumption here in the present (be it based on current events or a digital retrieval of past events) tell us about the ‘future’?

Does our experience here in the ‘present’ (the retrieval/playback of our memories and experiences as a ‘story’ we call ‘reality’) provide insight into how the process of translating our lives from the analogue to digital world develops in the ‘future’?

These matters may be deeply and terribly significant, or they may have all the meaning and importance of the overwhelming urge to scratch my left testicle that’s just washed over me. Yet, like me, you too may find yourself weary of this current incarnation of Planet Earth, which seems to be running a pre-release version of Groundhog Day v0.05. How it’ll cope when the smart bots take over and relieve us of our current ‘hunter-gatherers of information’ role is anyone’s guess, but I suspect a firmware upgrade is in order.

Then again, is ‘oblivion’ preferable? I mean, if everyone gets ‘evacuated’ then how bad can it be?

They should have opted for that QVC digital gill upgrade (payable in 12 easy monthly instalments).

What remains of the old analogue world?

Final thought: I’ve just switched on the TV to hear this line from the film The Last Witch Hunter.

There is no going back, for there is nothing to go back to.

Some physicists believe that the total sum of all the positive and negative energy in the universe amounts to exactly zero. Maybe nothing is being created, nothing is being consumed, and nothing is being destroyed? No being, no nothingness, just a work of pure imagination?