“Whatever goeth on the belly, and whatever goeth on all four, and all that have a great many feet, of every manner of crawling thing which crawleth on the earth these ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.”
I am the King of 0,0 and this is my ark, my ship, my home: the NaN.
Our food come from Ghana or Nigeria. We watch the political climate like the weather. On bad months we dig into the merchandise. On good months we have rum, papaya and new friends and stories to share.
Some months it almost seems worth it.
Almost like we did it on purpose.
This is a good month.
Most of the maps of this region show absolutely nothing. Many show a little hole in the ocean beneath us — that isn’t really there — it’s just sand — I know I checked. Just an artifact of where we happen to be.
Something else the maps don’t show is that just off port-side is a frothing mass; a baitball of crackling and clicking, screaming and groaning plastic and metal and synthetic polymer. Everything fighting to be where their programming says they should be. It smells awful.
But it’s why we are here — us the cynics, the thieves, the caustic casually critical practicing our ennui — measuring ourselves against you. We don’t carry two of everything, more like thousands of everything. And by everything I mean nothing. I mean all the crap that you make — all the detritus that comes swimming, paddling, with rockets and propellers, with wings and fins and webbed toes vectoring in on us at 0,0.
And the things that end up at 0,0 are starting to horrify me. What is going on with you? What the hell is going on there? You make the most unimaginable things. And most of you couldn’t program your way out of a cargo container frankly. You all are starting to scare the crap out of me.
We didn’t really need to know that somebody out there is replicating their dead family over and over; we didn’t need to know about you. More of those things still bump against the edge of the boat every few days, mewing for attention. The little blue puppettas are adorable really, but when you draw a net up of several thousand of them and they all scream ‘daddy’ in choreographed unison — let’s just say it is unsettling.
And the dogs with lights. They are giving me nightmares. They’re running around all over the deck between everybody’s legs, slobbering and repeating everything anybody says. They open their mouths and 10,000 cilia pour out; smelling sensing sampling before being slurped back up like vomit.
Thank god for friends. Today my comrades, my fighters are showing up; my bad ass super posse of righteous righteous brothers and sisters. They’ll show up in leather, in boots, inked and scarred. There will be war stories and we will drink, there will be tears and laughter. They’ll be back from Afghanistan and Somalia, Kiberia and Haiti, from the barrios, my brothers my sisters. There is so much to do — so many incredibly fucked up situations — so many foundations, non-profits and NGO’s to circumvent. Warlords to placate, communities to self-organize. Teach them how to speak for themselves; to police themselves to see themselves — because if you don’t then somebody offers to do it for them — and then things really suck. Kids have their lives swiped from them before they can really even phrase the question. All the wanna be cops, all the thugs, all the egoists, the sociopaths, the power-hungry, the liberals — the exact people who shouldn’t be given power — come in to saite their own insecurities their own need for power control and attention. We’ll talk about money, how to destroy it, how to make it so it cannot be raped and ripped and stolen from the land, from the people, from their eco-systems.
We’ll meet, talk, share tactics — and then they’ll go back out and fight the good fight.
I will stay here however — since, as I mentioned — I am the King of 0,0. And frankly I’m afraid of you all. You scare the crap out of me — did I mention that?
Anyway I’m too old for these battles — and I’m not putting on a butoh suit goddamit. Those wars are for you kids. Just let me die before things really go to hell.
Today we pulled up several thousand phones; they were wriggling through the sea — totally confused — their brute force geo-location strategy completely failed. I tied one on and it seemed pretty good — lots of cpu — really fast — pretty hard to hack — we had to swizzle their udid’s and then log in as ourselves — very new — I might even keep a few for a week or two. We did find a few choice morsels of real value as well; a very nice spatial reconstruction algorithm for registering an AR view against the real world. An improved micro advertising attack. We scavenged a very nice social network graph to try exploits against too. We’ll probably try sell the hardware on EBay — drop them off the side later on today with some better programming — but we’re really after the code. Did I mention most of you can’t program shit? Really what is wrong with you all? It’s a basic core literacy — honestly. What are they teaching you these days?
You know what you all need is some personal responsibility. It is like some kind of liberal plague — all criminals are innocent, all guilt is explained away by genetics or situation or social fabric. Where’s the sense of right and wrong? Where’s your compass? You can’t just program your way out of your own personal anxiety. You all need to take responsibility. When you fuck up you have to make things right. Don’t placate yourself with a fresh anxiety, a novelty, or some skufla some kitchy gift — actually make it right — dig down to the heart of the matter and fix it. It’s the one thing you can do that nobody else can do.
It’s really about knowing your triggers — you know we all have them. All this shit that shows up here — it’s like a raw stream of psychic sewage.
The houseboat you made — it’s here if you want it — complete with a glass bottom swimming pool so you can see the dead sea you created. The library of fake books with the sand floor, the indoor terrarium, the replica night sky. The giant squid with the penis tentacles (that thing is disgusting frankly). The world isn’t just an endless series of fetish objects; everything lensed and warped to service your animistic drives — it’s not just there to service you — it exists for it’s own reasons. Squid are supposed to be squid — not a homoerotic fantasy. Houses are supposed to be places to curl up briefly away from the world before re-engaging — they aren’t supposed to replace the world. Can’t you see that? What is wrong with you?
The prosthetics in general make me want to cry. Did I really need to know that you wanted to be taller with larger breasts and a narrower waist? Did I really need to know that you are hiding your faces behind neutral masks? I’ve locked them in one of the holds; they spend their time endlessly copulating — walking about hips swinging in perfect figure eights; some doing ecstatic dance and contact improv; beautiful, barren and completely devoid of any human imperfection, meaning and history — no stilted motion due to car accidents or arthritis, no stories of working through repressed memories or a struggle with mind/body duality — all of that human quality is lost — they are like looking at the stars at night — beautiful and completely empty. I might burn them all rather than let anybody have them. They frighten me. I don’t even want to know what you are becoming. And I’m tired of all the art looking at me.
The Maker Edict still holds apparently; at least these things are not self-replicating as far as I can tell.
The butoh prosthetics are even more troubling. Did I really need to know that so many of you aren’t even happy with yourselves let alone your planet? Wasn’t it good enough that you were alive, that you breathe, that the fragility and humanity reflected in your faces was the whole point? Look, butoh used to mean challenging assumptions. It is no longer grotesque or taboo; it wasn’t supposed to be the baseline — grotesque is not a baseline. You’re not supposed to constantly challenge your existence every day — totally loosed free of any anchor, morality or purpose. What is wrong with you all?
The Augmented Reality views that I keep pulling off the phones are the worst; scoring your reality by a baseline matrix of socially acceptable values — taking on the viewpoint of your boss or your peers — so that you don’t have to think for yourself — so that your choices, your decisions, your gestures animation and actions all reflect a body language of concordance. Ok, body dimorphism I can understand — you know we all play with gender and identity. But a flock of birds is not a bird. Our minds are the most radically divergent space between us — it is the brilliance of others that we cherish; the radical evaluation — the points of view that differ — that is almost the whole point. When you’re not somebody else — accept that — why do you want to take the same path as somebody else anyway? The whole point is to explore all possible options in parallel — that’s the point of diversity — the point is to keep exploring the question of why we even exist to ask questions. Don’t insult God.
Speaking of God — I am waiting for God.
He doesn’t exist… yet.
But I’m sure somebody will make him too… I’ve seen almost everything else.
He’ll come swimming up to the boat; the same victim of bad programming as everything else — some hapless creation of some mythologically misguided savant, a priest a rabbi a child. And he’ll be pissed, righteously indignant wielding freaking thunderbolts and laying waste to everything around him.
He’ll be pissed that you’re wasting all of this time squandering it on a personal angst about what you crave, need, miss, hunger for, want. That you are so simian. That your buttons are so naked and raw and that they are so very easy to push. I’m not saying go all buddhist on this shit — but try step back just a little bit from the wheel of life — you’ve got a grip so tight that it is spinning you around like a top.
Maybe God will pick a new plague, not fire, not water but something else, something amusing only to him. Maybe if he killed you all it might just be a good start.
Really that’s all I have to say.
Well. Also I will say there’s a big band of activists out there; people who are engaged, who are giving a shit, who are focused outwards not inwards.
I’m the king of 0,0 and I sit here in between those two places. I don’t even know anymore.
I just know that a lot of people are working hard to try make things better — to try save what is left — and you could be one of them. Put down your toys, volunteer, get out of the house, get out of your head. It’s the only thing moving as fast as the collapse of our ecosystems — our compassion, our power, our ability to see, build, participate and create.
I just hope you get your act together soon.
Until then we’ll keep fishing your vanities out of the sea and selling them back to you.
There’s nothing else moving down there anyway.
- anselm 2010