Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Chick-Lit Lite

First chapter in progress ...

She was a woman who knew her own mind – her wants; her needs; her desires – which, on refection, was perhaps not such a cognitive achievement, given its general paucity. Muff-Muff paused, momentarily, as the hover-cab pulled up outside of the sixty-ninth floor studio flat tastefully situated in the fashionable artisan quarter of Megalomaniaopolis. Her spine tingled momentary in the neurochemical thrill of anticipation as she reminded herself that she was a modern woman living in a modern world in these exciting post-post modern times where anything was possible - even the improbable - but not the impossible.

Quickly, she grabbed her copy of Premier Balls Magazine - eligible footballers in athletic poses revealing their sensitive sides together with extenuating parts - off the coffee table to shield her luxuriant locks against the evening downpour and worried how this would affect the overall feng shui of the moment.

Delicately levering herself over the balcony with an extensive panorama of the cityscape, she lowered herself into the rear seat of the open-roof cab, careful to reveal her tactfully sheer designer-label panties to the paparazzi below.

Or so she imagined *sigh* perhaps they had lost interest?

It was her big 3-0h!

“It must be fascinating being a cabby,” she mused amusingly, “I bet you've had all sorts in the back of your cab.”

“When you say 'had' I take it you're using that term in the consensual sense?”

“Oh, you're so funny; I do enjoy that salt-of-the-earth humour, though I've no idea what you're talking about. I too am from a humble background and my father has just recently died of a fatal terminal death virus illness fatality, tragically.”

The cabby's hand hovered tentatively over the vile of rohypnol, but then he reminded himself that even he had standards.

They whizzed past a clique of several exclusive landmarks, recognisable only to those 'in the know' and dedicated tabloid celeb-fantasists.

Finally, the journey terminated at the Restaurant Majestic, with royally appointed lavish interiors and matching brocade cushions over which her best and closest stereotypically gay friend was demonstrating his hypermobility, partially facilitated by the surgical removal of his lower ribs - that and the abdominoplasty.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Changing time

What foul embryonic discharge is this?

Sire, it is the repulsively constituted tide of change, wherein, it is said, we shall wave goodbye to the past and tentatively paddle into shallows of optimism and hope, only to be drown in the deeps of uncertainty and confusion. Thus it was prophesied and verily shall it come unto pass.

Then gather your mop and bucket and we shall speak of it not.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

It's grime up North

QT tuned the solar radio to the Friday Night Five Minute Play ...

No one's gonna take away ma baby and no one's gonna take away ma dream of becoming a ballerina. It don't matter that ma girlfriend beat me then left me and I was the first in ma family to get an “A” level – even though it was in General Studies – and ma parents hate me cos they think am a class traitor cos no one had a job in our family for four generations after the coal mines shut.

You've got the job Geordie. Here's your hair net; welcome to the Sausage Factory!

Why thank you Mister Factory Owner, this is ma first step on the ladder to ma dream!

And here's your slop bucket.


Six months later Geordie dies in a meat processing safety assessment excercise and his son, George, is taken away to a care home. Over the next two decades, George wins a place at a prestigious Oxford College where he secures a first-class degree in Modern and Ancient Languages, changes his name to Georgina - following private surgery paid for by a mysterious benefactor - and joins the de rigueur political party of the moment where she soon climbs the greasy Mandelson Pole to become PM and forgets all about her tawdry heritage with the soothing balm of several six-figure sums donated by multinational corporations in exchange for favourable consideration in the divvying-out of the public purse.

Post Epilogue

Hauled up in one of the many bedrooms in one of the many mansions in her substantial property portfolio, Georgina is moments away from succumbing to terminal old age. She eases herself from the black leather sheets and bends to reach for the bottom draw of her dresser where she pulls out a pristine pair of diamond sequinned ballerina shoes, slips them on with objectionable creaks from her ancient joints and performs a single pirouette before dying on the spot like a strangled swan.

Friday, 9 October 2009

A strategy of terror

"One of the main techniques for breaking morale through a 'strategy of terror' consists in exactly this tactic—keep the person hazy as to where he stands and just what he may expect. If, in addition, frequent vacillations between severe disciplinary measures and promises of good treatment, together with the spreading of contradictory news, make the cognitive structure of this situation utterly unclear, then the individual may cease to know when a particular plan would lead toward or away from his goal. Under these conditions, even those individuals who have definite goals and are ready to take risks will be paralyzed with severe inner conflicts in regard to what to do."

Kurt Lewin, "Time, Perspective and Morale" (1941)

But what does it mean Alpha-Alpha?

It means everything and nothing QT.


Good news: the company has had its best ever year which means next year you'll have to work even harder and I'll have to make increasingly drastic efficiency savings and strategic realignments.


Here's a cupcake and by-the-way you're fired.


I jest of course, or do I?


What's your goal in life QT?

Goal, Sir?

Excellent. Excellent.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

A new insentivisng scheme

Alpha-Alpha staple-gunned the poster to the notice board in the designated breakout area, while QT stood quiet in respectful observance. What disturbed QT more - other than what he could only describe as the word "REWARD" set in a gaudy "Wild West" typeface - was his own likeness rendered in a suspect style that contrived to portray its subject - himself - as, well, suspect. The clip-art noose around his neck and the phrase "DEAD OR ALIVE" writ large below, were also, no doubt, a factor in his growing trepidation.

What do you think?


Good, good: team building.

Whatever happened to Mike Mike?

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Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Flu in sector S7

Just as the full ravagings of sweat, nausea and dizziness had taken hold, those in charge of the information airwaves cranked it up a notch. The afternoon play, an institution setup to gently lull a cipher into a relaxing snooze struck up on the wireless box and began to spew its rank fictions into this sick, vulnerable mind.

Alarm bells started going when the introduction purported to offer the story of stuggling graduates in the midst of the Credit Crunch. Then it all began to hideously unravel. No jobs, no prospects, Tristram's position at the hedge fund, it turns out, no longer exists. 5 painfully fleshed out 22 year old cliches sit around in a flat in Primrose Hill fulfilling every ugly myth of our time.

They have 10,000 songs on their ipods, they quote Brett Easton Ellis, they have lots of casual intercourse, they have lots of expensive wine, mobile phone sound effects go off intermittently (how else would they), they twitter, and bemoan the fact they have nothing to put on their Facebook walls. As our narrator says, "we did everything right." They got ten A stars at GCSE, 10 A stars at A level, top degrees, they edited student newspapers and DJ'ed at the right bop sheds: how dare they be denied their right to jobs in the media, or in the banks, or in the fucking gutter where they belong.

But woah there, in case you aren't already on the edge of your seat at the prospect of where this is all going, a narrative hook has been introduced: our narrator has just taken things meta!!! She's going to write a novel called Zeitgeist Blues (at this point the safety bucket was doused in hot flowing vomit) and tell the story of how these fuck nuts kept themselves entertained during June 2009. Wowee!

At this point, this cipher passed out into a gruelling darkness. The play and the reaction could only mean two terrible things:

1. This cipher is very sick.

The public information wizards made a call when they commissioned this piece of work. They sat around a table and said, this really means something, this will resonate with people, it truly evokes our time. Young people will appreciate what we are doing, and more importantly, their parents will also be listening and they'll like it too because the characters are just young misguided sweet hearts.

Sadly, there was no hint that this "Generation X" fiction would ascend to the glorious defilement and revulsion hinted at in the quoting of American Psycho's author. Heaven knows the characters' deserved hacking to bits and boiling in their own blood without remorse. This cipher was reminded again that this place is not for him. A good cipher smiles and is grateful at the good information offered up by the broadcast authorities, he does not become sicker as a result. No, this cipher's sickness runs deep and this is a warning.

2. The narrator has a job.

The worst thing about this event is that while the anger boils and one sits wishing misery on these jobless cretins, the play, just by its very presence, represents, that the author, who is very likely the self-same person as our smug bitch narrator has been paid handsomely and gratefully with money from the public purse to trot out this torturous mess. No doubt, the final scene is her walking smugly out of some commissioning editor's office with a bag full of money and a familiar opaque albumen dripping from her cheek - but they couldn't put that bit on the radio. I yearned to be back at "work" if only so as not to be left vulnerable to such matter.

Here in 2050, they had us sussed alright.

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Sunday, 4 October 2009

It's only a game

The shimmer of sun-blast heat commingles with the foetid fumes of fertilizer - there's virtually no soil or vegetation to speak of - forming a discreet veil of miasma under which the pitch is now submerged and the players' legs redacted from the knee down.

The referee - black tie, top hat, carbon-weave shorts and short-sleeved shirt - drops the ball somewhere near the centre spot, where it will remain from view for the rest of the match.

Glancing around, the crowd: an amorphous confluence under which individuality is drowned in the irresistible rip-tide of legion.

There's a minute of respectful silence for "Machine Gun" Eddie - a former home favourite - and then the referee's siren screams start.

A player steps forward, feigns a last-second lunge and swerves to allow his partner to criss-cross over the spot where, one could only guess, the ball might have been. There's a deadening thud as one of the land mines is detonated. A crimson geyser erupts spraying seared human mince and charred gristle in every conceivable direction (and some not so readily conceivable). Indeed, such is the force of the blast, an almost fully intact arm is flung into the crowd were a millipedal mass of grappling, but otherwise intact arms, reach out to swallow it up. After some hustling and tussling, a track-suited, bling-bejewelled, close-shaven, menace finally lays claim to the bloody trophy and holds it aloft.

Thus Spake Zarathrustra trumpets tinnily, yet triumphantly, from the Tannoy system.

There's a sucking sound of group inhalation followed by an euphoric, self-sustaining, tsunamic roar. Only when the tracer fire sews the sky in multicoloured dashes is their attention drawn back to the game which, in the time of their own temporary distraction, has evolved into full-blown war. The action on the pitch is now far too occluded to observe with the naked eye and heads, instead, turn to the big screens where the live action unfolds in close-up, save for one corner entirely devoted to replaying rolling highlights: hot serrated chainsaws cutting through buttery pale flesh, severed arteries pumping like whale blows and the flash of machine-gun muzzles forming visible star points in the otherwise nebulous chaos.

By the end of the game there are two gored, gorged and not too gorgeous survivors left limping. The referee declares it a draw. However, since this is a cup match, it will have to go to sudden death. Each survivor is given twenty-five minutes to dress in the style of their favourite artist and then step up to the raised platform, where they will sing to the crowd as if their very lives depended upon it, because, in a very real sense, they did. At the culmination of the sing-off, the crowd will decide the winner by collectively voting with their zoom-scoped, high-powered rifles (the vetting process is rigorous and only responsible owners over the age of twelve are permitted to bring them to matches).

The day is finally crowned with the traditional beheading of the referee. The head is then taken away to be carefully embalmed and the skin flayed from the body to be cured, de-limed in a vat of acid and treated with enzymes to maintain its suppleness, before finally undergoing the tanning process. The resultant human leather is then stretched and stitched-to-fit over the preserved head ready for the next game.

Now that's entertainment.

We'll be right back after the ads.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Smell the coffee

I demand satisfaction QT.

I'd like to demand satisfaction myself Sir, though I doubt such an approach to its perusal, at least in my personal case, will be successful.

Good, you seemed to have grasped that you are not in such a commanding position, whereas I am. Now where's my coffee? Quick-sharp, it won't make itself. And QT ...

Yes Sir?.

Try not to scorch the granules this time and don't use the recycled water. And QT ...

Yes Sir?

That was not a request. Make it so.

Friday, 2 October 2009

A night at the opera

Pop-Pop stared down from the Gods through his binoculars at the latest operatic spectacle from the controversial comedian Bob-Bob.

Did they invent the Internet?

Or did the Internet invent them?

I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.

Paedo! Paedo! Paedo!

Notes from the underground

It was JT who started these records, JT who began the potentially fatal process of putting into writing what had happened. Writing, in general, was not popular; 2050 was a highly visual age. Indeed, while, during the early 21st century, everything with a pulse wanted to be a Writer for the sheer sexual allure attached to the title, 2050 was a very different time. JT had an operative role in an audio-visual distillery which dedicated its time to the preserve and perpetuation of contemporary history, but, the auto-bot that was JT had never had the audacity to write, until, it appears, early 2049. It seems that this node - designed to organise and sort "data" - developed an erroneous, and indeed, egregious, sense of self-consciousness. The earliest known excerpts show a surprising boldness, coupled with the lusty, acute political naivety of a young agitator. Furthermore, the language shows a slavish and unfortunate affiliation to the strategically philanthropic lexicon de jour. Below is an extract from one of the first folios:

"2050AD is a space dedicated to antagonising the past in order to anticipate the future, while cicumventing the present. We are proud to be rooting through the earth of the online community to gain insights into "what really matters." We are concerned with strategic possibilities and robust soundings; network interfacing and nodal interpretations; ovens the size of a man and think-tanks which provide vital support to the future of sustainable, integrated and resuscitated economies. We are "Linked in" to the people that matter; pointing at the opinions that count; digesting the comments that say what has never been said; tweeting G-Men; and commenting on the viral videos that thrill and motivate political action."

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Observations of the I

I came across this today: an article written by one of the greatest living strategic philanthropists. He took the helm of a communications consultancy in the early 21st century and made great strides, especially in the fields of "delivery of programmes of work" and "drafting of strategic papers." He attended a lot of barbeques. No one is sure where this man now roams or why this article has now surfaced, but the tone of the piece is deeply steeped in the tradition of the legendary Pop-Pop, whose soaring prose and oratory elucidation could bring an audience of the most hardened G-men to their knees. It is possible that this may be regurgitated from a fictional blog written in the early part of the century that was dedicated to the celebration of John's son, Johnson.

"Things look a little different here in 2050, with the flash floods, the red dust clouds, the moon colonies, the disappeared shore lines, to name but a few of the phenomena which have ravaged the day. Right now, I am thinking a lot about the first human child. I wonder where he is; what became of him; whether it even was a him or still is anymore. We were all so very proud. But I haven't seen him since 2020 when he sided with Kerr. I remember before Kerr. I remember before the day I first heard that maniacal laugh. I remember how clear things were, how everything pulled together and seemed to go in the same direction. I remember those days like the smell of mother's bakery where she grew up and the feel of fresh granary bread in the morning. Those days tasted like the sun."

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Thursday, 1 October 2009

An extract from WE

"I rushed to the house office, handed over to the controller on duty my pink ticket, and received a certificate permitting the use of the curtains. This right exists in our State only for the sexual days. Normally we live surrounded by transparent walls which seem to be knitted of sparkling air; we live beneath the eyes of everyone, always bathed in light. We have nothing to conceal from one another; besides, this mode of living makes the difficult and exalted task of the Guardians much easier. Without it many bad things might happen," Record 4, p. 19.

"She opened a heavy, squeaking, opaque door and we found ourselves in a somber disorderly space (they called it an 'apartment'). The same 'royal' musical instrument and a wild, unorganized, crazy loudness of colors and forms like their ancient.....

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Re: tardiness

One of the laws of time travel - “law” more in the sense of logical consistency than of physical possibility – is that one cannot travel back in time before time travel is, was, invented. I now want to suggest something that, on the face of it – the first blush – may seem preposterous.

Here goes.

We are all time travellers, at least those of "us" who could consider themselves as belonging to a "we".

Can you recall a time before your existence, that is a time that did not solely depend on the testimony of others?

Now ask yourself: how can you remember an event or circumstance that exists only as memory – even if it's an apparently shared memory?

What separates these, those, past and present “nows” and what do they have in common?

Was “now” in the past - in its presentness - any different from the present “now”?

Indeed, what do these past and present “nows” have in common with the future "nows" yet to come?

Isn't “now” always present in the past and future and, well, now?

This is all very well QT, but I'm not sure how this relates to the fact that you're late for work.

I'm always present. And presently hungover.