I am sitting in my armchair, sipping a frappe I made myself through a yellow straw. Meantime, I am cruising through the world wide web with my tablet, and boy, I feel like a tycoon, except for having worked 10 hours at the factory, living in a 430 square foot hovel with rickety furniture, my fridge almost empty, two cigarettes left, a heap of bills to pay, suffering from cold in the winter and gasping for air in the summer, and, no need to say, not enough money for going on vacation. Yet, all in all, how could I afford to spend some time on vacations, those taskmasters are always there to remind one that business and the lives of the laborers run over parallel lines, odds are they will never meet. You can hear them say, «Come, on, come on, output at the factory is increasing! Thanks to y’all!! We have always said that you the workers are our most precious capital»Yeah, their loved capital.
Nonetheless, as for the rest, I am going gangbusters. Huh, ma…
Said the way you move, gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove. Ah, ah, child, way you shake that thing…
Thank goodness I still can listen to some good old rock and roll; thus, Robert Plant’s voice leading off into Black Dog makes me really groove.
A noise of scratching papers draws my attention. I cast a look at the outside to see the outline of a guy through the curtains on the French door. I can’t make out his features yet I notice a huge rucksack hanging off his shoulders. Next, I hear my mailbox clattering. Gee, more paper for the waste. The poor guy is just making his living strolling over the drive and delivering flyers with the latest offers from supermarkets, computer stores, or whatever the hell they had loaded his shoulders with.
Despite the Internet, leaflets are still a great means for marketing, and they inundate our streets and homes with offers from the best price to grapes up to the cheapest service for hair-removal. To sell is a must, you can’t do without, and the time when everything becomes real is the most magic moment, an unmistakable pleasure for all the docile subjects of the Creature.
I get up to stretch my legs a bit, go out and cover the one step distance that separates my home entrance from the front gate, gaze up the rusty railings, whoa, who the hell feels like giving it a coat of antirust paint, I’m shattered as I got back home. My mailbox is full to the brim, spurting out flyers of all colors and size. Time to disgorge it, and, as always, shove those mortal remains of what once was a tree to the dustbin reserved for paper. Then my eyes roll down on a silhouette making my mouth open with a reminiscent smile at seeing how Mother Nature creates such wonderful women whom I can only dream of. I don’t even know what’s left of the once good-looking male features I was dealt, my lover’s fortunes have long gone, swigged off by the toiling that bid my youth farewell as I entered the age of being responsible. Huh, responsibility, what a pompous bourgeois notion. One of those bourgeois beliefs you should remember to wash away when you flush the toilet. Oh, damn! For a woman like this I could even agree to stand an entire evening arguing about the best solution for making the GDP grow, increasing salaries, strengthening our currency, improving exports, having everybody enjoy health care and retirement plans, spreading wellbeing on all sides and, of course, without killing laborers, nor getting the tycoons pissed off. Yet, certainly those are not the type of women I can take to Jake’s dive for a drink and a slice of his rancid meat, not the right place to go out on a date, and that’s the only one I can come up with the money for.
Time for me to turn on my radio. Did I mention I love to listen to radio shows? Huh, who the hell cares what I like?! The voice of the radio speaker mingles with the sound from my stereo and an advertising video that ran off of a website on my tablet. Okay, let’s arrange my ideas a little.
The man at the radio crackles out that «… He reorganized his finances by a very strict system of taxation», yet, I lost who this guy was. Ah, what a social patriot this guy must’ve been, what a bourgeois class hero… To and fro, we’re always in captivity, kept at bay with a stud chain.
Well, don’t feel like swelling my head—not to mention some less noble part of my body—with politics and the likes. Shift frequency. Oh my… This is actually funny, still people are taking for granted all they see on TV; even my late grandmother could have recognized a docufiction from a real documentary. Science fiction, history fiction, politics fiction, and so they think the government hides this and that and they go searching for secrets and mysteries when reality is far more hallucinating, and, it’s real, and, on top of that, it’s free, although you must put up with commercials now and again!
Everything is in front of you, just open up your eyes!! Huh, how tremendously idiotic are conspiracy theorists, and how terrifically foolhardy are their painstaking works. All continually changes, but they can’t realize. Huh, yeah, yeah, there are lots of conspiracies hither and thither, lot of people who struggle to worm their way to the top, not a mystery, it’s but a way among many others the game knows to valorize wealth. Hell, there must be someone to take care of his or her dirty work; if you don’t consider this monster we feed to be dirty enough. Yeah, yeah, you look up at the sky at night and see the light from the stars, they blink and they are real, but you are not supposed to use astrology as to know what they are made of, and the way they interact with one another and dash through the space. Thus, look at the social reality, and you will see the very whip that slashes the backs of individuals, and makes them be hungry like wolves.
Turn off radio, turn on TV. Start zapping, news leak on each and every channel flowing like a streak of pain: —Almost two hundred thousand jobs vanish —Economy on the mend —Nightmares of default —Recession is over —Financial confidence slopes down —Markets are recovering —Chin up on the down swing.
It’s just the usual frantic schizoid roundabout of the news from the global networks. Then a blonde good-looking woman appears she has a powerful screen presence, and a hot soft voice. She points out that we lack true leaders, we lack plans, we lack business vision, we lack politics for job, we are entrapped by profit, but we need more social spirit, we follow wealth, but we should raise the moral standards of our society. She maintains that we take too much pleasure into producing products that serve our fellows, and into developing markets that make more people enjoy wealth and wellbeing, we only need to make it sustainable and more ethical, that’s all!??
Whoa, I can’t stand such a level of nausea, my bones ache and won’t stay where they are supposed to be. My chest is about to explode, smokes coming out of my ears, in fact, smoke is pouring out of me everywhere, oh le crud, I think my hair just started on fire! my hands break into a nervous clapping so violently that I feel my palms burning. Oh, Lord of the proletarian masses set me free, set me free. I fall on my couch, I am in trance, my cosmic rave sends me on a trip across the universe where the universal law of profit, which rules and reigns undisputed, creates supermassive black holes that engulf all the forms of life and spit out shreds of deformed men and women jammed in the huge sewer of development and progress. I then brandish the magic cost cutting sword of light and make my way through the massacre and the debris of what once were humans and powers of nature. I can see my body reflecting on the surface of the ocean, it has no face, it is tremendously watery, it’s whirled by the tide and continually storms to fit each and every circumstance. I then find myself in chains tied to two huge columns in an ancient Roman amphitheater. I am in a blue toga (nice color!) and a crowd of elegant Roman’s and their beautiful ladies in the bleachers are shouting at me. The salted ethereal substance I spurt out everyday along with more and more parts of my vital breath reinforces them, but it’s never enough, until my blood stains my temples and floods my eyes, that’s when they rise up and scream for victory. This is my last chance; this is my last harangue of my yet lost cause. This is the stage I was given to play my part, the role of one who succumbs. Yet, not before I yell my rage at their blue scornful, red acquiescent, white seraphic, pink fair, rainbow peaceful looks. I perceive like the stinging sound of a guitar coming from the bottom of nowhere, till the music breaks on its irreverent din and it’s as if I were rolling wrapped in barbed wire through the social spaces dominated and yet legitimate, despoiled and yet established, so helpless and only armed with my short life, short yes, yet sharp enough to pierce through the ages and see those who came before wrapped by the same barbed wire, chained by the same chains. My sight plunges into black, I’m floating in the dark, still I have my say, I delude myself aware of being unheard, I burst out, «It is not for the pleasure the humans take into swapping useful goods, it is instead for valorizing articles of trade. Thus, money, is nothing but the expression of a social connection of dominion, it is the most powerful social power. How can you be so blind? Aside from being naïve minds, you who believe money to be a medium of trade are also stupid, because far from being a technology serving the market, money couldn’t be possible without the value of trade rooted into the living labor. There is a secret in money, and this secret is the living labor, it can only be valorized through exploitation. As for the rest, wealth is free to circulate and cause bubbles, making some happy and dooming some others to hell. The evilest dimension of today is subjugated labor, which is but another name to call His Majesty, the personification of Power itself. Hell, hell, hell! No cultural hegemony will ever liberate the world. No bourgeois bullshit will save us! We, the workers, can set Mankind free!! But our function must be supported by the underclass, whose task is to refuse to enter the labor market as soon as we the workers leave our posts to make it collapse!!»
But the rushing wave of my thoughts is soon interrupted, and the raving ire of my class-consciousness has to leave room for more practical and direct happenings. The neighbor on the upper floor is coming down heavy on her son, shouting at him, he is just a dumb kid, and an imbecile like his father. I can imagine her mouth opening in a yelling grimace surrounded by her blushing cheeks, with her teeth protruding as if they were about to fall out, her breast pushing out of her low neckline, «You won’t find anybody to be friends with if you keep behaving like a badass. You know that I will always be there for you, you are my son, but then you have to become a man, and women want men not scrubs!»
She’s one of those parents I call “floor parent”, yeah, you know, it’s like, “if you fall, I’ll be there”.
Whoa, a lightning. Gee, this trip is still on air, because I see myself in the shady glow fingering a booklet made of black pages that feel like rawhide. It smells just like genuine pigskin!
Reality is hallucinating reality is hallucinated. There are those for whom the abyss is never enough!!
I walk through the alleys, I enter the boulevard, I run down the drive, I cross the threshold to Jake’s dive, no girl with me, no woman by my side, none who is bitch enough to step this floor. I take a seat, a crumpled newspaper on the bench, reporting an interview with a politician who says «We have a lot of illegal economy to get rid of», yeah, yeah, come to the factory Mr. Nice, and we’ll make you see lot of ethic real economy getting rid of many of my coworkers, people reduced to a mere shell of a non-man, a destiny ready to gulp me as well, as soon as the years unfurl, yet not too much for having a respectable retirement. My proctologist warned me not to use heavy paper scraping off that body area is not advisable.
I rake the entire room from end to end, and I see my fellow sufferers cheering up one pint after another. One of them bawls, «I’d rather be amazed than want…” and I wonder what does he really want? Then I distinguish Ben’s voice corroded by the sea wind and tobacco warning some friends at a table, «Hey, beware of this guy, or he will stick you with the bill for all the evenings drinks», and they laugh out loud. Kenny the sponger watches him with the very inexpressive eyes of a shark, perhaps he doesn’t know or he is not reminiscent of what a tough cookie old Ben is, his face cut like an excavated rock and his wooly beard with spines and hair pricklier than all the bones of all the many fish he has taken from the ocean. Years go by, but old Ben keeps being hard to be outplayed.
No time and no place for me to stay here. I walk out, I go back home. The few cars that dash the road seem like liquid darts scurrying away, leaving a frozen impression behind. I turn on my right to find my image reflecting on the lapping window of a shop. Can’t help but play a joke, «Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the coolest of us all? You my liege, it seems to me there’s none cooler than thee!»
Soon I see two guys walking opposite are drawing near, they are both tightened into their coats and split to avoid me as if I were a pole on the sidewalk. There’s a bag hanging on the waistband of one of them which depicts a colorful logo with the abbreviation for an NGO, he shakes his head to free his mouth from the scarf and utters, «Seems never to be no enough time to right what is wrong», and the other reacts, «Yes, let’s right what’s wrong», sure, I think, let’s right what’s wrong, let’s build another world. The ruling classes and their goddamn ethics, their NGOS that are part of the soft power, which empower the engine of the current imperialism, they are but the continuation of the social status quo. Be moral, be ethical, and kill by the letter.
Only the street long and lone in front of me, with the lights that look like they’re entrapped by an icy grasp from which they burst forth like crystal shafts. A very few steps from my shack a guy challenges the dark and the cold by handing out flyers with prayers of mercy to the Lord, for Him to be patient and not be vindictive and love us with all our faults. He says that we are wicked but the Lord has a plan to make us meek. Ah, He is the Lord, He can do anything.
Those who pray to the Lord for this and that, who invoke the Lord for this and that, who say there is an eternal life, but are stuck to this life quite a lot, and defending their privileges and position with tooth and nail. I hear them speak of justice and peace, completely forgetful of what decides the destiny of people. Ethicize this, moralize that, put some God into this, let some divinity enter into that. A spray of sacraments hither and thither, a rail of prayers at night, and you feel good and new, and you are reminiscent of congratulating yourself on being such a good Christian as you step over the homeless on your way into Best Buy for Christmas savings.
I ransack my electronic correspondence before going to bed; you are not supposed to be left alone in the privacy of your e-mailbox. Ads, commercials, and announcements galore. One of those looks to invite you to fight, it reads, “Hunt or be hunted”, which many have reproached for being too rude and coarse. It’s not more dreadful than “Commit yourself and work hard, or else you will be left in the rear”; all in all, what difference does it really make? Either way you are forced to eat or be eaten up. Both are meant to caution, “Untie the monster in you, or the monster will tear you apart”, it is not the world I want to live in.
At the end of the day, the heads bent over the newspaper, the ears stuck to the radio, the eyes staring at TV, the body liquefied into a smartphone, what’s changed? Definitely nothing. The social drama repeats itself. The force with which the Leviathan alienates us all, or, if you prefer, the way it buys us and sells us over and over again, is still incoercible, the light of awareness belongs to the star that is born when man finally is born. Don’t moan over good old times, they have never been actually good, His Majesty has always known how to drown class-consciousness in the sea of dominion.
I finally get up, make my way to the fridge, and, yeah, tomorrow is payday, I can afford a beer!! Swash.
Man is still an idea whose substance still lacks to be a full part of this Earth.