Prologue – Pyramid Scheme
I don’t know anything about the world riding on the back of a turtle, but I do know that the world isn’t round. It’s a pyramid where hope and strength overflow from the bottom up the pyramid and fear, terror, and hate are brought step-by-step down the pyramid. This is the story of our world, our reality.
Chapter 1 – The Burning Man Becomes a Dragon, and Rises
Its ambition is immense. Perhaps this is self-delusion, no one can truly say. The human’s raging ambition caused infernal fires to rise in its bowels, bloating it, crusting its skin with scales, and transforming it into a dragon.
It could not hold the fire in. Too hot, too much. First it tried to fly away from the fire, from itself. But the fire moved with it, and soon the dragon’s sleek form fattened as the dragon resigned itself to the flame.
The humans and their limitations are to blame for the dragon’s ambition. So the dragon says. Their villages are burned. Their crops destroyed, their women raped, their men tortured, their children transformed into slaves. All for the greater good.
The bottom of the pyramid is what the dragon hates most. That’s where the people live as one, together in happiness. So now it burns with eternal fire, roasting unborn babies alive in their womb now a tomb.
And the dragon rises. Away from the pathetic humans emaciated by poverty, riddled with disease, bloody with the wars the dragon causes. The dragon dreams of a world filled with peaceful humans who have no fire in their bellies. It believes, truly believes, that it will be the one to create such a world, while the humans with their love, tenderness, and compassion are only standing in the way.
So the dragon rises. It takes its place among the stars, high up on the pyramid, looking down at the terror and chaos far below, thinking that it will be the one to fix all of that, all the while creating it. The dragon sits on its piles of gold and waits for its fires to roar up again.
Chapter 2 – Meet Bob, a Dragon’s Minion
Meet Bob. Hi Bob! Bob dresses casually, is very relaxed and friendly and well-liked, does what he’s told, has a wife and kids, and is one key cog in the dragon’s empire. Bob lives high up on the pyramid, far above the burning plains where the land is green and plush, if fraying a bit at the edges. He’s of course far below the dragon’s lair, and knows his place.
Bob is a terrible beast. He has a knack for remaining ignorant. He surrounds himself with other Bobs, who nod and smile and laugh at his jokes. They feast on dragon scraps, a far better diet than most get. Bob is a “family man”, which is code for not wanting to know too much, do too much, think too much. He succeeds, collects his sizeable paycheck, and calls it a life. The other Bobs nod and smile, and anyone who objects to Bob is written off as being envious. Bob defines success as “nearness to the dragon”, or he would if he were even that astute. He calls it “making money”, and given how little Bob understands the economic conditions of his life he thinks his awesomeness is the reason for his income.
The dragons need managers to run their operations, and Bob is one such. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing and is careful to remain ignorant of the outcomes of his actions, but he’s quite good at running the numbers and getting them to rise. That’s all that really matters to the dragon and Bob sees no reason to disagree with the creature he aspires towards.
That’s all there is to say about Bob. That’s his life story. I wish I were joking. In order to have a narrative for this story I’ll have to follow a far more interesting character, on whose shoulders we can ride the rest of the way.
Chapter 3 – The Healer
There was a boy, sad and broken. Of joy he was dead but of tragedy keen. Two sides were fighting, their fists and words hateful and he embraced them, loved them, and they dissolved.
Chapter 4 – The Explorer
Hobolicious was never in the same place twice. His plastic face moved under his skin as across the ground he skimmed. Everyone looks different to him each day, except for Bob, who always looks the same.
Hobolicious loves the woods and other dark places, where the sun has not whitewashed and burned away. He joins the Healer on his special journey.
Chapter 5 – The Lonely Man becomes a Zombie, and joins the Team
There was a boy who could not see the souls of people, and frantically wondered if he was blind. He tested his vision however many times and it was fine. Then he ate his own skin, hoping it would knit inside him into something worthwhile. He just threw it up, and started to eat the flesh of others.
Hobolicious, who had served as a meal to so many people before, was scared of the Zombie, but the Healer insisted he join. Hobolicious might be a little too sweet.
Chapter 6 – We Do Magic
Our group watched tons of industrial weapons being dropped on Vietnam by the West, a precursor to economic domination that only was partially realized but still well worthwhile given the benefit to the arms merchants and associated forces. The zombie cried the most as he gnawed on a limb.
Supposedly this was all very horrifying. I mean that with no disrespect to the people, now the corpses and partial bodies, of Vietnam. I mean that the West pretended it was horrifying to themselves in order to pretend to have a conscience. One of the results of this pretense was the formation of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which sought to escape the horrifying 20th century into a vaguely re-defined Middle Ages.
Deriving from this resignation, this fleeing from the latest supposed terror (following the terror of the industrial revolution, the terror of the masses, the terror of totalitarianism, and the terror of nuclear holocaust) led to the insular removed position of Timothy Leary, of “turn on, tune in, drop out”. The idea was to refashion a dead world into a digital world, of removing humans and their fatal limitations and replacing them with spectres inside a digital ether. Politely termed “cyberspace” now the even less informative “internet”.
This new magical realm was said to be the real world, leaving behind the old, corrupted world where nothing but people grabbing for power exists.
The wizards of this new world, certain in themselves and their destiny, are called “computer programmers” among other related titles. They do magic, bringing new worlds to life while shunning “traditional reality”.
It is perhaps excessively logical and boring for me to point out that abandoning a problematic real world does not help solve the problems of the real world, and whatever magical grandeur resides in the dreams of wizards does not amount to much.
Our group of three is not so lacking in tact as I am, and their compassion overflowed as they called out to the wizards sitting in front of their monitors with their sickly yellow glow. The wizards ignored them, far too busy saving the world by reinventing it.
Chapter 7 – Kawaii Sensation
The androgenous male shined with belt buckle and lips glistening no matter the light source. He was the sun, all others fed off his energy. Wielding a wicked hat his brow smiled straight at you.
Walt Disney, that sad lonely man granted cultural fame by the equally sad Great Depression, creating his maternal Kawaii, the great Mickey Mouse. After so much terror, so much capitalism, so much death and wars, little of which we feel but much of which we cause, we need a return to innocence and life.
Enter the Kawaii Sensation, whose desperation for goodness is so deep that he becomes what we need – a superstar of joy but of course not the real thing, as The Mouse is just an image on the screen.
The Healer is taken aback by such a monster as this, the Zombie cannot eat such artificial flesh, while Hobolicious politely nods and records the Kawaii Sensation in his notebook, perhaps for later entry into a story.
Chapter 8 – We Take our Medicine
It is said that alcohol is a poison, by me no less, but it truly is a medicine.
What better way to cure the need for a lot than by drinking a little? We all need oblivion but what would our family say? So we drink our medicine and dream of drinking so much more.
Chapter 9 – Something More
One plus one used to equal two. Back when that was all we needed. But now we need the whole to be more than the sum of the parts. So one plus one equals three.
Chapter 10 – Seduced by Art
Oscar Wilde and David Bowie have the right idea, to wage a war between art and life to see which wins. The feeble strivings of art are nothing compared to life, which nurtures and sustains us all.
Chapter 11 – Enter the Dollhouse
She sat there terrified and motionless, her hair carefully structured to calm her nerves and her face a stone mask. She had become just what the world wants which has objectified women, a toy to be played with and pitied. She dares us to wallow in our misery and celebrates when we treat her well despite her challenge.
Chapter 12 – Reprogrammed for Hate
If you’re going to kill someone, or rob them, or rape them, it’s best to hate them first. That way there’s no guilt to stand in the way. Hate is therefore quite temporary. Once the crime has been committed and there’s no desire for future crimes, hate goes away.
So now the West is being reprogrammed to hate Arabs. The basic idea is that there’s a lot of our oil under their soil. We want to steal it, so we should hate them in order to lubricate the act since the violated passage will provide little lubrication of it’s own. Once we have our oil, we won’t hate them anymore, and the world can be at peace. Doesn’t everyone want peace?
Chapter 13 – Stretching the Legs
Our group got out of the car, complaining of inactivity and stretching their legs. The Zombie lunged for me but I dodged, having some idea of what he would do beforehand. I felt guilty, thinking that I should at least give him a toe. The Healer and Hobolicious glared murderously at me. I felt terrible pain and looked at my new arm, now missing a chunk which was being introduced to the Zombie’s intestines. I don’t have the heart to tell them that they and I don’t matter, so I pretend to be angry to make them happy.
Chapter 14 – Love Still Lost
“I am not mine to give.” So says – well, just about everyone. We are no longer ourselves. Bodies still fuck bodies of course – that will only stop when we are in our separate pods. The love is gone, which is what happens when the self is gone. There is a bit of honesty in modern linguistics when we no longer call it a “love life” but rather a “sex life”. True dat.
Chapter 15 – NGO Insertion
The idea is nobility and assistance, the reality is soft domination. NGOs (non-governmental organizations) are the man who offers you help with one hand and puts on the shackles with the other.
NGOs are perfect for countries desperate for help but lacking the resources necessary to bother with receiving a military invasion.
Chapter 16 – Quarantine
One of the possible methods of direct population control on behalf of the ruling structure of banks and corporations is to say the people are terribly diseased and must be divided in order to be protected. “Divide and conquer”, literally. The people will either furiously rage and attack in which case they can be called crazed madmen by the media to further justify the quarantine or they will non-violently resist, which begs the question of the quality of the resistance.
Chapter 17 – The Lives of Others
So fascinating – putting hope in other people when we feel hope in ourselves is gone. We call it “voyeurism” or “people watching”. I call it – well, I call it reality.
Chapter 18 – Life and Death
My slowly rotting flesh has been rotting faster than usual, thanks to The Zombie. I’d like to say it was a good life, but who am I kidding – I’m a modern American. Zombies don’t need to worry about things like the quality of their life.
Chapter 19 – The Laughing Man
Chuckles McJoe laughed like a broken record. He danced to his own tune and laughed at the “humans, all too humans” living here on earth. He called laughter super-awesome just in case there were any lingering doubts.
Chapter 20 – Nyan Cat Undead Emperor
ALL BOW BEFORE NYAN CAT!
The Healer, Hobolicious, The Zombie, myself, and everyone else did so. The pop-tart engine, the rainbow of immature joy while it lasts, the insipid metallic catchy pop music, and the feline Kawaii have forced us to put a crown on it’s adorable head, and like any good Lich it never dies. Or lives.
Chapter 21 – Gazing upon the Burning Plains
The Healer cried as he saw me be transformed from a state of non-life into a zombie. His journey had been so pathetic, so he tuned into internet news and gazed upon the burning plains, that place far down on the pyramid where the people have the misfortune of having our material resources under their soil and thus get to receive lots of American made military hardware fired from planes and guns. They say that lemonade can be made from lemons, but lemonade cannot be made from cluster bombs.
So he gazed, and gazed, and then tuned out. Hobolicious became another meal for another lover of sweets while the Zombie continued feasting on we humans.