Our Disease 3

    Modern Men

An old friend called Harry around 2 in the morning. Harry only made a sound when he picked up the phone, he was too tired to anything resembling a word.
”It’s me, the enemy of the people.”
”Ah fuck, is that you Stone?”
”Meet me in the Interzone. We have lots to talk about.
”I was living a different live in my dreams. I prefer it than the one I’m actually living. Could we have lunch there at twelve?”
”I’m all wired. There’s no sleep for me and I’m in town. See ya soon old buddy.”
He hung up. At first Harry just closed his eyes again. Soon enough he realized that he would never return to his dream anyway.
”Goddammit. Fine,” mumbled Harry, ”I’ll go.”

It’s hard, maybe impossible, to describe to what kind of clientèle The Interzone markets itself too. At first glance it’s your typical American diner with a nostalgia for the fifties. There’s even a jukebox filled with American songs. But if you would take a closer look you see it is a place in search of an identity. There’s African, Chinese, English, even Russian art on the walls. A Catholic cross hangs on the walls as well as a Jewish star. A confederate flag but it’s painted in the colors of the rainbow. A Gadsen Flag but it’s rattlesnake seems to have a pleading smile and the words below say: ‘Tread on me, but don’t squash me please!’
Sometimes you catch people looking absently minded at the architecture. They stare at a piece of foreign art. Most of the time nobody is paying attention. They are wearing their glasses and the glasses take them to different worlds.
There’s a hint that its fractured dressing is intentional, maybe ironic. But then again, there are more places like this. This place used to mean something, now it doesn’t know what it wants to mean. Maybe it doesn’t mean anything now and maybe that’s the point.
Miguel Stone loves it here. Harry doesn’t.

”You find yourself in the weirdest places and discover that you’re finally home,” said Miguel Stone, smiling, gazing through window to the night illuminated by pink-lights. ”I met so many people that rejected the weirdness of life. Everything has to be plain. By the books. The life they know. The life their parents lived. People like me, however wicked in the eyes of the unimaginative, we accept ourselves and are rewarded by God himself.”
It wasn’t the first time they would meet like this. Stone is all over the world sometimes. You have to make time for him, he won’t make time for you. They haven’t seen each other in almost a year now. Stone always drifts in and out of Harry’s life
Harry doesn’t really understand why he wants to meet him and why Harry always agrees too. They are both completely the opposites. Stone doesn’t have any morals and therefore became a very wealthy man. Harry does alright, there’s still enough money coming in from book sales that Harry can live the rest of his life, doing his podcast. Stone, a lobbyist who runs his own firm, goes all around the world, working for mostly Kremlin backed candidates and doing a helluva job- they don’t even have to falsify the election as much because of his help.
From outward appearance, you could already digest that these two come from very different worlds. Stone was twenty years older, with pearly white hair and teeth and immaculately tailored and colorful suites. Stone doesn’t give a fuck what you think. He knows that most people hate him. Perhaps this even gives him strength. Maybe he even thrives on soft-hearted liberals or morally righteous republicans.
Harry doesn’t care about his appearance. It’s a crummy T-shirt, some faded logo with a checkered shirt to cover it. Stone’s face is bald from his thorough shave in the morning with the straight razor. Harry hasn’t shaved in months. Stone, even at his ripe old age of fifty-five still works out and is in great muscular shape. Harry is sagging all over the place. Harry tries to do the right thing, Stone prides himself of being the villain.
Perhaps it’s Harry’s genuine nature that Stone respects so much. Perhaps it keeps Stone in touch with the common man. Perhaps it’s just Harry’s humanity.

”You look like hammered shit,” smiled Stone smugly, not a hint of concern.
”I was having this beautiful dream when you woke me up,” Harry said, rubbing his eyes.
”Maybe you should thank me for it. That’s the problem with America. People dream too much.”
”You don’t need to dream.”
”I don’t need to dream. I am the dream,” Stone smiled, grabbing cigar paper from his pocket and a cigarette case. ”That’s why I love Russia. People stopped dreaming there long ago. They know themselves. They know the limit of the freedom they can handle. Give them too much freedom and they’ll give it back. Americans are the same. Slowly they’ve been giving away freedoms. Yet they still act as if they are free.”
”And you represent what dream exactly?”
”I am the true face of America. I’m filthy rich and I act like it was due to my god-given talents. I don’t admit that I’m wrong to anybody even if its very obvious. I look beautiful and I sleep with beautiful women. Sometimes even men. I’m a perfectly contended Patrick Bateman but without the bodies in the closet- though who knows,” Stone winks and opens his cigarette case: showing thick green leaves of marijuana.
”It sounds like a nightmare to me.”
”That’s because you’re human.”
”And you’re not?”
”I’m enlightened. I’m a special case.”
”And what am I?”
”You’re a dinosaur. A beautiful dinosaur.”
”Schadenfreude. That’s why you are here.”
”Maybe it’s general affection.”
”Are you even capable of having genuine affection for anyone other than yourself?”
”I don’t know. I like to think so. Maybe I hang around you for nostalgia. Back when people knew who the fuck they were.”
”Before men like you took control of the world.”
”Men like me always did. We just want more this time. Your freedoms aren’t enough. We want your reality.”
Harry sighs and sips his coffee. A part of him enjoys this conversation, no matter how it infuriates him. Stone’s presence validated Harry’s view of the world. In a world where every view seems valid, this was a comforting thing.
”Answer me this, why do I agree to meet you?” Harry asked.
”You don’t have many friends. You lost most of them. You stopped appreciating them. You cling onto the asshole that’s left.”
Harry looks out the window, a man in a torn t-shirt, with faded letters stating ‘make America great again,’ walks by the window, mumbling to himself, waving his hands around. Stone sees him too, he smiles as he reads the rambling bum’s T-shirt.
”I remember Trump when I was a teenager. That’s when the fun started.”
”I just got born then. But I’ve read enough about him.”
”One day we will manage to clone him. Hope I’ll be alive to see that.”
”So how’s the world stage? How is managing democracies?”
Stone laughs and licks his joint shut.
”It’s beautiful chaos. Especially with Oblivion around. They can’t control them. Even the most powerful men are afraid of them. Many of their firewalls have been breached already. It’s great when powerful men are scared. It means they need people like me.”
”I heard you were targeted. You tweeted about it anyway.”
”Yes I was. Some asshole threatened to expose my sexual activities if I didn’t stop lobbying for those Ukrainians. I responded by just admitting it on Twitter. I don’t care if the world knows about it or not. There’s nothing they can blackmail me on. And if they find something, I’ve got enough of them in my employ to spin the story. I can spin everything. We make dictators look like bleeding heart liberals. There is nothing they can do to rattle me.”
”I talked about them on my podcast some time back.”
”I know, I never miss a show. I thought it was hilarious.”
”I wasn’t trying to be funny.”
”I know you weren’t baby. It’s still hilarious to me.”
Stone lights up the fat joint, inhales smoothly, passes it.
”I probably shouldn’t.”
”True, you probably shouldn’t.”
Harry takes the joint and inhales.
”Has the president been targeted to?” said Harry blowing smoke, ”he denies it but that doesn’t mean shit.”
”Tell you the truth I don’t know. I might be friends with him but he doesn’t divulge everything to me. I don’t have that kind of clearance. But I think he is. The way he’s cozying up to the Eastern bloc makes it seem that way.”
”Are you proud for having made him president?”
”It’s not just me. The people voted for him.”
”Did they?”
”Maybe. Does it really matter Harry? He’s president and he will be for another four years if the constitution doesn’t gets changed again.”
Harry passes the joint. Stone looks at the joint proudly.
”I made this shit legal again. I changed the presidents mind on the issue. My finest hour. Don’t ever say I never did anything good in my life.”
”You are a regular fucking saint.”
”How are you Harry?”
Harry sighs, looks out the window. The bum with the ‘Make America Great T-shirt’ is sitting on a bench, laughing heartily about something.
”I’m fine.”
”No you’re not. You’re still sulking.”
”I’m not sure I would call it that.”
”There are probably better words. But the word you should be looking at is ‘moving on.’ She is gone. She left you for someone more hansom and successful. The healthy thing to do is find someone more hansom and successful too. Even if its just to piss her off.”
”I don’t mind being alone.”
”We all mind being alone. Even people like me. Even people who don’t even like people mind being alone. You’re the kind of person that thrives in a relationship. Without one you’re lost. Like you are now.”
”Maybe it’s the world. Maybe it’s just getting to me.”
”That’s why you need a woman in your life. A woman that keeps you grounded. You need a deep connection. I don’t. I just need power. I don’t need to be connected with anyone. I just want to have a good time being around them. That’s enough for me.”
”I don’t know. I don’t feel like I could really connect with someone again. I’ve played the game long enough. Every time I think about it makes me tired.”
”You need to get out of your soundstage and into the world my friend. Write again. I know some connections. You could write some shitty horror movie. You will meet people, fuck around.”
”I don’t want to leave my soundstage. It’s all I have.”
”You know you lost nearly half your listeners after you vehemently opposed the president.”
”I know.”
”Those people don’t care about you. They will stop listening to you the moment you break their reality. Information is a vast market but you care too much. Most people don’t. Either start caring less or do something else. The work will otherwise destroy you.”
Stone passes the joint. Harry takes a deep puff.
”You don’t like my answers Harry,” smiles Stone, ”because you know I’m right.”
Harry doesn’t say anything, he just keeps puffing. He feels his mind going to weird and mysterious places.
”I don’t think I will be able to sleep anytime soon.”
”That’s okay, I’m here.”
Outside, the drunk man with the Trump T-shirt began to cry.
”But I was having a beautiful dream…” Harry came close to the beautiful dream but it kept slipping away.
”It’s better not to dream. Especially in this world…
In my dream I was almost there…


Art by Ralph Steadman

***

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Our Disease 2

     Podcast 333

”I’m scared just like the rest of you,” said Harry, gulping from his highly caffeinated energy can, ”that one day nothing will make sense anymore…”
He was sitting comfortably in his soundstage. It was his most favorite place of the world. In here he would release everything. His daily agonizing dose of melancholy would simper away a bit. He would often nap after he was done.
If he would talk enough in this place things made more sense. A sense of purpose would return. In the world of information warfare, with billions of voices trying to reach a large audience, this soundstage filtered them all, leaving on his voice. The sane voice. To him, talking to the microphone was like talking to God.
Today’s topic was the mystery about the hacking organization known as Oblivion…
”We all fear being their target. Nobody knows whether they are good or bad. Like Wikileaks, its members are all over the world. Some have ideological reasons. Some are being paid. Some just like to raise some shit. We don’t know if the majority of their members are being paid by the government to propagate some perception, to dim the rising tide of leaks from the presidents office. It could very well be that the latter is the case. Over the years they’ve finally taking heed to Russia. Former president Vladimir Putin knew the kind of world we were heading towards. A true visionary, even if his vision was monstrous…” Harry crushed his empty energy can and threw it succesfully into a trashbin in the corner of the room.
”I guess for all my critiques about the president, it’s fair to say that he’s aware of this too. That doesn’t mean I like it though…”
Harry lights up a cigarette, takes a calm puff. In front of him, behind the soundproof glass, sits his sound-assistant Dale. Dale, with his long greasy hair and glazed eyes, had been puffing from vape-pen. He gives Harry the thumbs up. Harry nods back.
”…But it could also be ideological, perhaps even religious reasons of why Oblivion are doing what they are doing. It might be one of the many data-cults we’ve been getting over the years. Perhaps they want to really help people. There have been examples, such as the case of Jerry Greenwald, a drunk who was hounded by a Oblivion hacker who found himself in the end being reunited with his long lost daughter. There’s also the case of a rape victim, Jay from Pennsylvania, being led into the scenario of a Oblivion hacker and it ended with him avenging and eventually forgiving his abuser. There’s even a case of a abusive father targeted by an Oblivion hacker, just to oust him and save his daughter from his grip. One case involves an Oblivion hacker playing cupid. Two lonely people even thank Oblivion for meeting each other. There’s naturally been countless cases of secret files of government and corporate corruption and many of them involve our current president. Sadly, none of them seem to reach mainstream audiences…”
”But there have been plenty of examples of malice too. Such as the dentist from Alaska, an avid hunter of wild-life, who was found in the woods after having shot himself with his rifle. The police found examples of Oblivion bullying all over his apartment. His computer had been assaulted with a virus that would continually show him images of an animated dead deer screaming at him,” Harry paused to inhale his cigarette, ”and nobody will forget congressman Pence doing a chickendance in front of reporters after a Oblivion hacker threatened to release his humiliating choice of pornography into the public- which was released anyway. He would kill himself too…”
”There’s been support groups for men and women who have been the target of Oblivion. People would find themselves ostracized from their community. Social media conversations, filled with scathing details would be given to friends and family. Footage of people jacking off would be filmed on webcams and they would be pressured to pay to make sure it wouldn’t leak out- this is why I always tape my webcam. But it goes further than just the computer. Some of these people would find messages, in their house, in their car. The FBI has reported that they are not sure whether this is a definitive sign of a cult or whether these people have also been targeted by the Gonzo organization. We can’t be sure. Some people would say that the world they knew was gone after being targeted. They would find messages that would destroy everything they’ve believed in. Scientologists would find sources of information about who the real L. Ron Hubbard was. Mormons about Joseph Smith. Aspiring writers would find their work rewritten, its message being: ‘you don’t have it. Quit while you still can.’ Historians would find alternative history sources. One Muslims would constantly run into pictures of beheaded infidels. Sometimes the members of Oblivion want to expose the truth, other times they just want to destroy what’s left of it.
”Some find themselves hallucinating. Psychotropic substances would be found in their coke bottles. Some violent cases have been attributed to people being targeted by Oblivion. In some instances, some people think they are using this organization to orchestrate political assassinations….”
Harry presses his cigarette into his already crowded ashtray.
”So what does Oblivion want? The original founder, or what is apparantly the original founder cos even this is mired by contradictory stories, Max O’Blivion is missing. A son of a wealthy technocrat, he apparantly emobodied a living troll. Nobody knows where he is or why he disappeared. He just vanished. Some say he’s in hiding. Other say he’s long been murdered by a disgruntled target of Oblivion.
So if it was up to Max, Oblivion would be just be continously fucking with people. It all depends whose doing the targeting. They can be angels or demons. It’s a scary we live in people. The generation before the dawn of the Internet is dying off, but some can still remember how it was. All that privacy, all that freedom, gone forever…”
Harry lights up another cigarette and continues: ”we might have been supervised by an Oblivion hacker or two, to see if we are desirable candidates. I’m even taking a risk talking about them. I could surely give them a motivation to hack into my life and alter it in exciting or disturbing ways. But I don’t like to live in a world where we live in fear. America, for all the freedom its lost over the decades, still has this freedom. I refuse to give in people. I refuse to give up the truth…”
A deep puff, a sigh and then: ”everyone could be a target. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. You’re just a project to them. And the only thing you can hope for is that they want what’s best for you.
Cos if they don’t, it’s a long way down the rabbit hole. It’s the darkest place you will ever be. And there is no escape. There is no escape…”

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania ralph steadman 1984
Art by Ralph Steadman

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You are Free to Leave Anytime

This poem of mine was published on: https://thenaga.org/2017/06/14/you-are-free-to-leave-anytime/

I know everything they say on the news is a lie. I know that everything I’m reading in the paper has been approved by the government, even the things that are critical about our leader. I know he watches us. I know it’s better to have stability than absolute liberty. You only have to look at our neighbors to see what happens if people can just do whatever the hell they want. Morality must be unconditional. Any deviation, however small, to the common good brings you closer to evil. Soon enough they will do all sorts of unnatural things they think is harmless. Our leader knows what’s right for us. He studied history. He knows the sciences. He knows the human spirit and how it must be contained.  Freedom is overrated. If you are free to explore yourself without limits, you will lose yourself into the abyss. The only recourse will be all kinds of deviancy. You could have avoided this, if only you listened.

This regime purifies us. All of these restrictions is for our own good. If we have a real election we will just vote for the wrong person. If we let people question our leader too much it will infect simple minds, the parasitic meme of dissent, and there will be chaos. Believe what they tell you. Even if you know it’s bullshit. Believe it all. Bow down when they tell you. He is our king. Our Tsar. Our prime-minister. Our president. He is your God. Obey. We must wake up before we allow ourselves to sleep.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania putin youth

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Our Disease 1

Plot: in a dystopian world which nothing is true and everything is permitted, a lonely Podcaster doesn’t know whether there’s a conspiracy against him- or if he’s just losing his mind, along with the rest of the world. 

***

History is a symptom of our disease.
-Mao Tse-Zedong

The Answer to Everything

One day you don’t want anymore help. One day you’re done. You’ve done everything you are supposed to do in a moment of crisis. If you’re sick you go to a doctor. The doctor sends you a psychiatrist and the psychiatrist prescribes you medication. When this doesn’t work, he prescribes you another medication and another. Some of them make you sleepy, others make you fatter or thinner. When medication doesn’t help, you commit yourself to a place full of crazy people like you. You begin to love them but you know you can’t stay. Psychotherapy always boils down to two essential questions: do you get enough sleep? Are you exercising? The end result is always the same: you have to deal with yourself and move on with your life.
This did not satisfy Harry. It did not satisfy him at all. He had always imagined coming across a mystical answer to the suffering of being. In his 37 years of life, he had dabbled in various forms of religious worship and spiritual realignments. Things seemed to change for the better, but quickly turned back to normal. He never managed to reach the ultimate transformation, though he seemed to get close, so close.
”There’s a truth out there guys,” he would tell his loyal listeners of Truthbombs, his mildly infamous if not always for the right reasons, podcast, ”but in order to find it we must look deep within us. Be open to all the scary facts about ourselves, the dark side of our soul. We must never run from ourselves, we must confront ourselves, be beaten near to death by ourselves. If gazing into the abyss means certain death, then leap onto death instead of running forever. It’s better to die in peace than to live in war. One day we will look deep enough within ourselves and the war will be over. I’m working on it, sometimes there seems to be no end. But there’s an end, my brothers and sisters. There is an end.”
Being a purveyor of contrarian political views (with its healthy dose of paranoid conspiracy theories) was not easy, especially in the world he lived in, where the market is flooded with loners entailing their darkly vision of the world. For most of them, it was a mere act and in truth, that’s how he had started his career: he knew about his knack of political philosophizing and spinning the truth to his advantage and with his reasonable knowledge of history (some it pertaining from a failed attempt at getting a political science degree in UCLLA) met that this was a market, he could potential succeed in.
It was all an act. Just another Howard Beale in the air. Mad as hell, can’t take it anymore. But in time, it became something different. Something more important, personal, life-supporting, considering all that happened. He had a lost of a lot of things in the past few years, a great part of this was his will to live. This podcast and his small but dedicated following of listeners was all he had.
Besides, more and more, the world seems to crumble and the voices that used to be sane, are starting to sound a lot like the current president. It seems like he was convincing everybody, despite his obvious odiousness. Sometimes it felt like he was the last man standing. In his own way, he was just doing this to save himself.
He was doing this to save the world.Podobny obraz
(Art by David Lynch: Google Keresés)
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Lasting Impression

A group of people were holding a huge sign that, what they believed, was an aborted fetus draped in his own gore. In truth this picture comes from pro-life propaganda sources, a fetus doesn’t like that.

There was a man and a woman standing by a rack full of Jehovah pamphlets. A sign next to it asked: ”do you want to know the truth?” They have no truth, the only truth they offer is self-delusion.

There a rally, people screaming ”Allah Ackbar”, with a picture of a noted politician who now has a Hitler-mustache. In truth, he’s nothing like Hitler, false equivocation. They should mention that his party is bankrolled by Russia.

A girl on the street is wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Johnny Depp as Raoul Duke and Benicio Dell Torro as Dr. Gonzo. The words: FUCK REALITY stands above this picture of these two madman looking back at us.

There’s talk about people being white but feeling black and thus they can be black. There’s talk of exotic genders. Media can’t be trusted. There’s cultural appropriation. There are men’s rights activists. Politicians are supposed to be shocking now, not insightful. Someone on the TV says something disturbing: ”there is no truth, the truth is relative.” A native Russia tells me that our system collapsed, just like them. ”So give up and give in to the New World order.”

There’s a superhero and its comforting, the clear cut distinction between right and wrong, hero and foe. It used be like this. It makes me breath and I wish I didn’t have to leave the cinema. I wish I could stay here.

There’s nowhere to hide. The bum with the dog shares the dog with other bums to elicit sympathy from passersby.

There’s music on the street and its awful.

There’s a sign that says NO EXIT.

I don’t want to go home. I want to stay right here.

Sometimes, if I really look, I can see a glimpse of myself. It never lasts.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania polish surreal

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