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Elenore couldn’t handle it anymore. Her spells just didn’t work out the way she wanted them to and she could scarcely come to terms with the fact that she was a failed ‘correspondence course’ witch. The Wimp had also been rather down in the dumps of late – probably, she thought, because he so looked forward to the change in their appearances and her promises to him that she would make them both gorgeous, never looked even remotely like manifesting. He still babbled meaningless platitudes occasionally without appearing to realize that he did, but his previous complacent ‘gung-ho, go for it’, attitude had subsided into a more ‘don’t really care anymore’ one, and there he was – seemingly in a whole different space. To make matters worse, some of his hangers-on had lost interest in his ‘guru-dom’ and his regular virtual court meetings were hardly the exciting, stimulating sessions they had experienced in the not too distant past. Edgar the Raven was also ailing, being still in its ‘backward recitation’ mode and this, along with the corrosive shit it would dump where it pleased, was also driving them both around the bend.
Steeped in this depressing atmosphere, it looked like doom and gloom had engulfed them forever when she got the call from her virtual ‘Witchcraft and Magick Spells’ instructor that dispelled the darkness and enabled the faint glow of light to brighten up their dismal lives. It was news of a ‘ready-made’ spell – one that she would have absolutely no chance of botching up, and her instructor would let her have it for the arm and a leg she couldn’t really afford. But the thought of what she could get into once everything went according to her previously carefully laid out plans, made her determined to come up with the required goods. And this she did – by hook and by crook.
The spell was cast and now they had to wait – the instructor had guaranteed that changes would start to take place within two or three days – gradually at first, but speeding up over the next few weeks as it started to activate the forces governing the two of them. And then they both noticed that Edgar was back to reciting the Nevermore poem perfectly in order and with an added mellifluous tone that was difficult to resist. In addition to that, its feathers had taken on a lovely sheen and they had never seen it look so beautifully glossy. But what was best of all, Edgar no longer dumped his shit all over the apartment – instead, it took to flying out of the open window and dropping its load outdoors.
Both Elenore and The Wimp were elated – for the first time in many weeks – and in anticipation of the developments to come, she set about making the best pope’s nose curried in garlic she had ever done for The Wimp. They gorged on it with wild rice and mushrooms in sauce and lightly steamed greens, and had a dessert of gooseberries in cream, topped off with chopped elfin nuts and a caramelled sauce. The Wimp, who loved his food, couldn’t remember having a better meal – as simple as it was, and thought perhaps it was all part of the spell. They knew that the mouth-watering recipes and photographs of all those scrumptious looking dishes and desserts they often drooled over were nothing in comparison to Elenore’s recent effort, so things were definitely looking up.
In the weeks that followed they noticed the changes that were taking place – almost imperceptible at first, and then faster, until after around six weeks from the day of the casting they had changed into two quite beautiful creatures. The Wimp had grown a bit taller, had filled out and the arms and legs that had had looked like sticks were now well defined and almost muscular. The nerdy features were also changed into a handsome visage and the stringy hair now had body and looked great. Elenore couldn’t believe her eyes – about them both. If The Wimp looked great, she thought, she looked stunning – a ravishing beauty, with the perfectly proportioned curves and bumps and mounds in all the right places. Her hair, formerly a bird’s nest at best, was now flowing down to her shoulders in raven-black tresses and her face had changed beyond recognition from that racoonish look to something that was so sensual it guaranteed to turn heads and ensure lustful thoughts.
They were both ecstatic – transported from the depths of their depression to some euphoric state that must have been close to the bliss that has been described in attempts to express the sensation of nirvana. She thought about being a model – one of those special ones who would have no problem whatsoever naming her price – and about being in the movies. She knew she could easily get herself one of the top agents and blow everybody away with her new-found sexuality and irresistible magnetism. And then she thought about all the hunks that she had lusted for in her earlier incarnation and all the futile attempts she made to get into their pants, only to be met with cruel rebuffs and insulting innuendo. She would get back at them – play them like fish at the end of a line. Oh, she thought, how she would get back at all those assholes that had spurned her.
The Wimp too had his ideas of how he would exploit his recent transformation. No more would he have to settle for chicken-shit and with his newly acquired overpowering energy and debonair good looks, he knew he could play the field at will. He also experienced a transformation in his head, and knew that he would be able to come up with all sorts of new innovations to his cyber-based antics. His little group of ass-lickers that had forsaken him would be taught a lesson of course, and he would band together a formidable team of geeks to play disciples and hang onto his every proclamation.
How sweet it was for them both. All their persistence and efforts that had borne no results had finally been rewarded and the sky was the limit.
It wasn’t until she heard Edgar recite the Nevermore poem the morning after – his raucous screech penetrating her beauty sleep – that she felt a tinge of apprehension. He was doing it backwards again.
And then she woke up – and they both lived happily ever after.
Got another one in the mail that’s from an American perspective, but that is so very true of our situation here as well. I don’t know the author, so have no way of giving credit to who wrote the funny, yet incisive piece.
What is a ‘billion’?
Now here’s a reality check!
This is too true to be very funny…
The next time you hear a politician use the word ‘billion’ in a casual manner, think about whether you want the ‘politicians’ spending YOUR tax money. A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, But one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its releases.
A. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
B. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
C. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
D. A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.
E. A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it.
While this thought is still fresh in our brain, let’s take a look at New Orleans…
It’s amazing what you can learn with some simple division. Louisiana Senator, Mary Landrieu (D), is presently asking the Congress for $250 BILLION to rebuild New Orleans. Interesting number, what does it mean?
A. Well, if you are one of 484,674 residents of New Orleans (every man, woman, child), you each get $516,528.
B. Or, if you have one of the 188,251 homes in New Orleans, your home gets $1,329,787.
C. Or, if you are a family of four, your family gets $2,066,012.
Washington, DC, HELLO!!! … Are all your calculators broken??
Tax his land,
Tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirts,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his booze,
Tax his beers,
If he cries,
Tax his tears.
Tax his bills,
Tax his gas,
Tax his notes,
Tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.
If he hollers, Tax him more,
Tax him until he’s good and sore..
Tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.
Put these words upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me to my doom!’
And when he’s gone,
We won’t relax,
We’ll still be after the inheritance TAX!!
Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax), IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Liquor Tax, Luxury Tax, Marriage License Tax, Medicare Tax, Property Tax Real Estate Tax, Service charge taxes, Social Security Tax, Road Usage Tax (Truckers), Sales Taxes, Recreational Vehicle Tax, School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA, Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Federal State and Local Surcharge Tax Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Tax Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Well Permit Tax Workers Compensation Tax.
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY?
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
Can you spell ‘politicians!’?
And I still have to ‘press 1′ for English.
“Whatever It Takes”
Karan was on his way to the Internet Café when he virtually bumped into Siva, who must have been on his way to see Karen. As their eyes met and they both excused themselves almost simultaneously, Karan could see that Siva was perplexed and quickly lowered his gaze, starting to walk away. He could see that Siva had stood his ground and didn’t want to look back for fear of being recognized when he felt a hand on his shoulder and heard the voice he loved so much call out ‘thambi’. He froze in his tracks while Siva faced him, looking hard at him, as if he couldn’t believe what he saw. The many people on the busy pavement passed them by, some of them annoyed at their path being hindered and others brushing by them in their hurry to get where they were going. The traffic seemed to move in slow-motion and Karan felt his ears buzzing as the flush spread through his body. They looked at each other as time congealed and nothing in his field of vision moved – like a scene from a movie he remembered from a long time past.
A week had gone by after that chance meeting and he had not seen Siva since then. His cousin, who heard what had happened, didn’t want to get involved. He’d heard rumours about Siva but never mentioned it to Karan, knowing how sensitive he was and how much he loved Siva. He was sad that Karan wasn’t interested in much of anything anymore – he had stopped going to the Internet Café and stayed in his room a lot. Karan hadn’t made himself up or cross-dressed recently and his mind wandered to places he never even dreamed existed. The only thing that he did a lot was listen to Bowie sing Changes – over and over and over again.
…. I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test…
Changes, and also his other Bowie favourite, The Bewlay Brothers
….Now the dress is hung, the ticket pawned
The Factor Max that proved the fact
Is melted down
And woven on the edging of my pillow
Now my brother lays upon the rocks
He could be dead he could be not
He could be you
He’s Camelion, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature…
His cousin was at home the afternoon they heard the blast that made the house reverberate, sending little flakes of plaster showering down like confetti over them. They weren’t sure what was going on, but knew immediately that there had to be destruction of major proportions not far from them. They summoned the courage to go outside and saw people running in all directions – another surrealistic scene he flashed on from another movie in his head – this time without sound. It was eerie to see the pandemonium happening in silent movie mode until, after what seemed likes ages, the screams and shouts and sirens and traffic sounds converged to overwhelm him. They walked slowly towards the carnage and saw the mangled remnants of some vehicles and bodies strewn around, with bits of flesh and pools of blood, severed limbs and well meaning people trying to help the injured. The probable target, he thought, was the army truck lying on its side, the ripped and jagged metal looking like some abstract sculpture, with uniformed bodies in unnatural positions scattered around it.
His cousin jerked him out of his daze and pulled him by the hand to head back to the house and he followed mechanically. He couldn’t come to terms with the devastation – even though he had seen it all in varying degrees ever since he could remember. Couldn’t he ever get away from it, he wondered. And as they pushed their way through the confused crowd, they heard a man shout out that there was a decapitated head that must be the suicide bomber’s.
Later that night his uncle returned home and after dinner they watched the news. The suicide bomb blast dominated the networks and he could see again the destruction caused by the blast as the camera panned over the scene, zooming in on the grisly details. The head, assumed to be the bomber’s, was lying some distance away from the center of the blast and as the camera zoomed in his heart pounded in his chest and he felt himself grow cold as he saw that beautiful face he loved so much.
And as he sat there with tears welling in his eyes and running down his face he felt a great sadness, but along with it, for some unknown reason, he felt an even greater sense of relief – as Bowie kept singing in his head…
I’m drawn between the light and dark
Where others see their targets
Should I kiss the viper’s fang
Or herald loud the death of Man
I’m sinking in the quicksand of my thought
And I ain’t got the power anymore
Don’t believe in yourself
Don’t deceive with belief
Knowledge comes with death’s release…
As the banging on the door continued Karan felt the chill in his body quietly abate – he didn’t feel the cold fear he had moments ago.
He lived in a crowded residential area and through the open window he could see over the thatched fences, some of his neighbours peering through their partially open windows, with one or two of them actually coming out of their homes to see what the soldiers were about. He knew he would have to answer the door soon and that he had no time to change back into his shorts and tee shirt – and then, suddenly, he felt a kind of calm sweep over the room – and felt as if nothing could really happen to him. He walked to the door and opened it, but instead of stepping back into the house, he stepped out and told the soldiers quite loudly that his mother was not at home. They were taken aback for a moment by the attractive young woman, then one of them, speaking in Tamil, asked who else lived there. After Karan told the soldier that it was only the two of them and that they were well known to their neighbours and local authorities, curiously enough they decided to leave and went next door for the next check. He was aware that his neighbours were staring at him – he wasn’t sure if it was that they didn’t know who it was, but deep down he knew that they would know it couldn’t be anyone else. And that was his ‘coming out’, as it were.
He told his mother what had taken place when she returned and she was more than a little bit surprised that the soldiers hadn’t entered the house and searched it, as they habitually did. But the next day, she heard from the neighbours what had really taken place and didn’t know what to think, as she had no idea of his fetish. When she asked him about it, he replied that he was trying out a costume for a part that he was to play at the Festival of Lights, and that seemed to settle it.
His interest in the English language had been encouraged by his English teacher at school and he had developed quite early, a voracious appetite for just about any book he could lay his hands on. His teacher possessed a substantial collection of novels, classics, books on art and philosophy, comparative religion and existentialism, and he had slowly but surely read many of them over the years, discussing content and ideas with the older lady and her retired surveyor husband. The Broken Palmyrah was one of his favourites, as it dealt with the life-situation that he was immersed in. He discussed the futility of war, the ethnic question, the brutality of the Tigers that equalled the brutality of the forces. He saw hardly any difference in their mindsets – all he knew was that both sides were equally responsible for the fear and misery felt everywhere the killing took place – whether in the north, south or elsewhere in the country. Never having left his home, he knew of no other existence and often wondered if what he read about and saw on television was really true, or if it was some drama enacted to distract him.
His other loves were music and movies – and these he learned of through some of his friends who had relatives abroad and who managed to get themselves CDs and DVDs. Together they would listen to all types of music ranging from Karnatic to rock and roll, with some top forty and hip hop thrown in. His forays in cyberspace brought him into contact with directors like Ingmar Bergman and Satyajit Ray and a writer friend of his mother just happened to have movies like Scenes From a Marriage and The Apu Trilogy. He was also increasingly interested in getting involved with action groups for human rights and gay rights, and would spend as much time as he could (whenever the power was on), at the computer he had his mother buy him on the pretext that he needed it for his ‘A’ level studies in English literature. Some of his writings had been picked up by both English and Tamil magazines and he sent one of these, along with his bio-data, to a Professor of English in answer to an advertisement in the newspaper for applications for scholarships to a university in East London – and was accepted. As he had relatives in London, his board and accommodation would be taken care of, so together, his mother and he made the trip to Colombo, so that he could work on his visa and get used to life in the city in order to adapt to life outside the constraints he had known since birth.
The trip to Colombo was an ‘other-world’ experience for him. And after he got over the culture shock and settled with his maternal uncle, he made contact with some of the writers of blogs that he had exchanged comments and views with, met some of them and soon grew comfortable in his new surroundings. The Internet Café around the corner from his uncle’s house enabled him to keep up with his e-mail and check out the sites he wanted to. And as he was interested in human rights and gay rights, he accessed many related sites and learned a lot. Soon he worked on a proposal to bring sexual awareness to Tamil speaking sexual minorities and sent it to an established Gay Rights organization.
After a few months with him in Colombo, his mother left him with her brother and returned to their home in Jaffna, where she would move in with her niece. His uncle, who worked with an NGO, would spend days at a time in the eastern province, but had arranged for another nephew to stay with him during his absence and, as they were good friends, the two of them had a lot of fun together. His cross-dressing continued when his uncle was away and he would sometimes go out in drag with his cousin to a movie or to the kovil, where invariably, he would attract the attention of young men. Some of them would strike up conversations, but he was careful to pretend that he was ‘with’ his cousin, so they wouldn’t get too interested.
It was during the New Year that he met Siva – and it was like love at first sight. He had never felt anything like this before. The few sexual encounters he experienced back home were more for sensual gratification than anything even remotely romantic, or what he considered to be ‘love’. But this, he knew was going to be different – the only problem was that Siva saw him as Karen and not Karan, and he feared that the attraction Siva felt for him would be seriously jeopardized if he revealed himself. They met – a few times at the start, when his uncle was away and in the company of his cousin, who kept up the pretense and would leave them alone with some excuse to be gone for an hour or more. The physical part of the relationship was limited to holding hands and sweet-talk – like in the early Tamil movies – and they even kissed a few times, but Karan was so afraid that Siva would either try to fondle his ‘breasts’ or, in the heat of the moment, find out what the restrained lump in his crotch really was, he never allowed anything to go too far. But he could see that Siva was deeply in love with him and it would be a matter of time before he would not be able to put him off anymore. He wondered how he could solve his dilemma, but couldn’t come up with any ideas. His cousin, who was stalwart in his support, couldn’t think of anything either.
And then it happened.
Java’s back with his incisive observation that this is dragging on – again. Besides, I’m running out of steam, so – stay tuned!
He was a pretty boy from the very start – a beautiful baby, a lovely toddler, a sweet child that grew to be a good-looking teen that transformed into an adult with his Ying and Yang battling for superiority. And all this took place on the edge of the war-zone, so for the most part he knew little else than a state of fear, the sound of gunfire and explosive blasts. The threat of being conscripted was always a fear for his mother and himself, but they survived the Tiger threat as well as the constant barrage from the security forces over the many years the war dragged on. Somehow, miraculously almost, he finished his studies in Jaffna, passing his ‘A’ levels and was selected to enter university.
Even prior to adolescence he discovered that he was somewhat attracted to ‘girly’ stuff and sometimes pretended to be someone else, draping his mother’s saree around him, wearing a pottu and making himself up by improvising with whatever was available. His cousins, all older girls, pampered him and encouraged his make-believe play acting, but as he grew older with peer-group pressure, he began to think that he must conform to what was considered ‘normal’ for boys. And so he tried to fit in, playing the games they did and acting out the role he knew deep down was not really where he was at. He was often the subject of openly insulting remarks due to his slightly effeminate qualities and was bullied by some of the boys, but always had a few friends who would ensure he was okay. He even had a girlfriend who he genuinely cared for, but never experienced the sexual attraction for her in the manner in which his friends talked about their relationships.
His first real sexual encounter was with an older boy in school that he was infatuated with but never expressed his feelings for in any way, so it came as a surprise when he was invited for a swim in the lagoon, where one thing led to another – and that was that. It was somewhat of a terrifying experience, as an army foot patrol found them soon after they finished their swim and very nearly took them in for further questioning. It was only the chance arrival of the bicycling school principal who persuaded the soldiers that they were innocent students of his school that saved them from what, he shuddered even to think about. And that was the beginning of his realization of where he was at – sexually speaking.
Then, quite by chance, he came across an old album by David Bowie – Hunky Dory – and when he listened to it on a friend’s player he was hooked – by the words, and the cover in which Bowie was looking like an ethereal sylph. After that he kept re-playing the album – particularly the numbers Changes, Queen Bitch, The Bewlay Brothers, Oh You Pretty Things, Quicksand and Life on Mars. He liked the philosophical twist that he could relate to, but most of all, he loved the allegories and saw himself right in the middle of it all. The cross-dressing followed – in private at the start, but as he grew more confident of his ability to impersonate a girl to the extent that even he had difficulty in believing the transformation, he ventured out with one of his trusted friends and a cousin. He couldn’t believe the freedom he felt and also the joy that no one seemed to recognize that he was anything other than a rather attractive young woman. He even had some lewd remarks and piercing looks aimed at him by some of the forces personnel doing their rounds. This made him happy, but also a little bit scared.
In the meantime, he just couldn’t get Bowie singing Changes out of his head..
I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test
(Turn and face the strain)
Don’t want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence and
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through
(Turn and face the strain)
Don’t tell t hem to grow up and out of it
(Turn and face the strain)
Where’s your shame
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time
Strange fascination, fascinating me
Changes are taking the pace I’m going through
(Turn and face the strain)
Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers
(Turn and face the strain)
Pretty soon you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time
He sure could relate to the words and loved the music.
And then one evening, as he was getting ready to go over to his friend’s house to watch a movie, he heard the unmistakable sound of a heavy vehicle pull up near his home. Looking out of the window he saw four armed soldiers get out and walk to the door. His mother had gone to her niece’s earlier and hadn’t returned so he was alone. He felt his heart pound and a cold sensation all over as he wondered what to do. The banging on the door made it even worse, as he stood there all dressed up in a long skirt and jacket, midriff revealed and all made up – looking very pretty. He thought they must have figured out there was someone home, as the windows were open and the banging on the door continued.
Java thinks this is getting to be rather on the long side and a bit boring to boot and suggested to leave it for now – so shall continue later. See http://javajones.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/androgyne-ii/
Got this mail yesterday that described an action as disturbing as it was revealing. Disturbing because it exhibited the slow killing of an animal over a period of several days in the name of ‘installation art’ and revealing, because it exposes the twisted mentalities of those that encourage and admire this sort of perversity.
The text of the mail is as follows:
This is a very serious matter… In the 2007, the ‘artist’ Guillermo Vargas Habacuc, took a dog from the street, he tied him to a rope in an art gallery, starving him to death.
For several days, the ‘artist’ and the visitors of the exhibition have watched emotionless the shameful ‘masterpiece’ based on the dog’s agony, until eventually it died.
Does it look like art to you?
But this is not all … the prestigious Visual Arts Biennial of the Central American (maybe a word is missing here – probably ‘Honduras’!) decided that the ‘installation’ was actually art, so that Guillermo Vargas Habacuc has been invited to repeat his cruel action for the biennial of 2008.
Let’s STOP HIM!!!!!
Click on the following http://www.petitiononline.com/ea6gk/petition-sign.html or just copy it in your browser to sign a petion to stop him to do it again, then digit the name Guillermo Vargas Habacuc to find the petition to sign.
Please do it .It’s free of charge and it will only take 1 minute to save the life of an innocent creature.
Both Java and I signed up and then we forwarded the mail to friends we know who care, so they could do it too and hopefully forward it in turn to folk they know who want to stop another wanton act of brutality. Apparently it is the Bienal Centroamerican Honduras 2008 that is featuring the so-called ‘artist’ and is encouraging this unbelievable display in the name of ‘art’.
Let’s all let them know what we think of them, shall we?
Some of the recent developments in the political sphere beg explanations that are either impossible to provide to sane individuals, or would provide grist for the mill of a theatre of the absurd.
Take the Weerawansa / JVP development. Okay, so the guy was fired for playing on both sides as it were – being the pawn of the Rajapakses, whilst hypocritically doing his double-speak on political platforms. Wowie-zowie! How come Somawansa and his bunch of wishy-washy pseudo-commies whose party thrives on instability didn’t twig on to what was happening for all this time? I mean it’s not like this was a recent development and it doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner not to see the forest for the trees, does it?
Then there’s that Cabral guy – Governor of the Central Bank, no less – who was up to his neck in that hokey pyramid scheme in his quest for gold and who reportedly halted the investigation that was on and had the CID guys who were unearthing embarrassing details, fired. He was on the BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ a few days back and from all accounts, lied through his teeth, as well as paved more of the path towards getting us isolated by nations that have had a history of supporting us – if you get where I’m coming from.
And who can ignore the Mihin debacle? Here’s a flaky airline, running on what we are told are EPF funds, illegally acquired by the powers that be, provided by a hastily set-up bank with its head honcho being the father of the CEO of Mihin, and headed by the coterie of leeches who are sucking us dry. They couldn’t come up with payments for leasing the third-rate aircraft, or for the salaries of staff, or for all sorts of other dues, and finally the main man has resigned and Mihin, we are told is bankrupt. So what happens to the EPF funds that belong to many of us folk? Isn’t there some sort of criminal action involved here? Doesn’t anyone get charged for misappropriation of taxpayers’ money? Is the legal system alive here or are we all a bunch of somnambulistic lotus eaters Waiting for Godot?
And here’s the killer – the brother of the guy that resigned as CEO of Mihin has been appointed CEO of the national carrier! How about that?!!!
I won’t even go down that ‘Helping Hambantota’ path, as we all know where that leads!
You know as well as I do that there’s more of this really crazy shit that’s going down and taking the country (and us all) with it, but there’s just too many to enumerate. Psychotic Vermin comes to mind – running around like the rabid thug he is and doing what he pleases – never mind the law (what law?) – protection is guaranteed, so what the hell!
And so, although we are all aware of the shit that’s piling up around us, we keep on keepin’ on – most folk being patient because they are told that ‘we’ are winning the war and after that will come peace and prosperity. Right! So that excuses all the other illegal and detrimental to the country shit that’s going down? And where are the so called ‘patriots’ hiding???
You tell me!
The Bitch was bent. The plan she had so carefully conspired to put in place had backfired and now she was desperately seeking to control the damage that could spiral to engulf her. Meanwhile, the Wimp was sulking in his corner thinking of lost opportunities and wondering why he was feeling so depressed. It wasn’t as if his endeavours to attain fulfillment were exactly unsuccessful, as he had achieved a whole lot with his inventions. The problem was, for him, the lack of appreciation and the downright dearth of admirers that he so dearly craved.
They made a seriously odd couple – she being squat, bulky and with no attractive physical features, and he being the personification of the nerdy wimp and looking the part as well. They had problems hooking up with most folk they found to be attractive mainly because of their looks for one thing, and also due to the major psychological problems they had with their lack of self-esteem, which penetrated their pretense to the contrary.
The Bitch, also known as Elenore to her circle, practiced witchcraft in her spare time after having followed a correspondence course she chanced upon whilst surfing the net for charms. She even bought herself a raven and called it Edgar, after her favourite author, and spent much time trying to teach it the ‘Nevermore’ poem – one his best known, and one of her favourites. Her experiments with casting spells had mixed results – for instance, the Weight-loss Spell she picked off some Internet ‘Witchcraft and Magick Spells’ site only seemed to work backwards, as she had a sudden increase in weight for no apparent reason. Then there were the Spells for Bad Dreams and the Job Spells that seemed to work fairly well, but the Lesbian Love Spell she was paid to cast for the friend of a friend had no effect whatsoever. Her virtual instructor, however, let her know in no uncertain terms that her rate of success depended on her entering the optimum state of mind as dictated by the instructions she had to follow, the degree of her immersion in the process, and on the accuracy of her actions whilst performing the motions described. But she would persevere until she could do what it took to turn her from what she looked like, to something she figured would make her irresistible.
The Wimp, on the other hand, was infatuated with his own prowess at assimilating information and dispensing it with his added twist to it so that it would be both attractive, as well as informative without being too obviously misleading. The few folk he knew that were attracted to his works and sought him out looked to him as a kind of Barnaby Rudge (“three-fifths of him genius and two-fifths sheer fudge“) type of ‘guru’, finding his sharp sense of humour and quick wit right up their alleys. The ones that questioned his logic were quickly dispensed of for being blasphemers and banished from the little band of followers he had. Known to them as The Wiz, he held virtual court frequently, summoning the members at regular intervals to display his latest observations on cybernetics and the opportunities it presented to further their cause.
They had moved in together recently, figuring it would kill many birds with just the one action, and it had seemed to work. He was particularly fond of that special dish she turned out for him – his favourite pope’s nose curried in garlic, but the only thing that was driving him round the bend was the raven, when it wasn’t caged and flew around the room leaving lumps of raven-shit where it pleased. That, and the raucous squawking it did trying to learn the ‘Nevermore’ poem Elenore was teaching it, made things a bit stressful for The Wiz, but he figured that once the raven did learn it, as Elenore predicted, half the battle would be won as far as the success of her spells were concerned. And then, she told him, they would both look as attractive as they wanted to. However, he thought to himself, if the pesky bird failed, he would banish it to the Plutonian Shore.
Elenore’s most recent effort had been, she thought to herself, a flash of genius. She had carefully planned a series of spells to act sequentially on a few of her chosen subjects so that their desirable qualities would be exchanged with her undesirable ones. Her virtual guru had warned her of the dangers of such spells, how results could reverse if the actions and ingredients were not absolutely perfect. However, she had enough faith in her abilities to follow instructions perfectly, so her confidence was not dented in the least. And so she went ahead with it. To make matters even more opportune, the raven had finally mastered the poem and could now squawk it at will – a definite plus. The Wiz was also pretty perked about this, and so she went ahead with the complicated process.
It wasn’t easy for her to get the bits and pieces that were very personal to the subjects – stuff like strands of their hair, nail clippings, clothing like hankies or underwear that would bear traces of secretions. But get them she did – with a little help from The Wiz. And so it began – the rather complex process that demanded meticulous attention to detail and proper procedure, until finally, it was done. The raven played its part as well, so she expected nothing less than total success – and now all she had to do was wait. Her virtual instructor told her that these sorts of spells took time to work and for the results to manifest, so she was patient.
The Wiz hadn’t paid much attention to the goings on, being busy with his creation, answering the irritating queries from his clients and coping with the splatters of raven shit that was slowly driving him bats.
It took a whole week for Elenore to figure out that something wasn’t quite right. She found that large clumps of her hair were falling off – and a bit later, The Wiz started answering questions that she never even asked. However, it was only when the raven started reciting the ‘Nevermore’ poem backwards that she knew something had gone horribly wrong. Her virtual instructor suggested a series of steps to neutralize what could have gone wrong and Elenore hurriedly put those into action.
The Wiz had taken to babbling incoherently in between periods of absolute lucidity and didn’t even realize there was anything amiss. Elenore checked out the wigs on the Net, as her hair was in very bad shape and showed no signs of regrowth. The steps she had taken to counter the effects of the previous ones would take time to work, her virtual instructor told her, and the signs would be unmistakable.
And as they waited for better times, the raven kept them occupied with her favourite poem – recited backwards.
The massive destruction caused by the effects of global warming had only allowed for select pockets of humanity that had survived mainly due to their specific locations and to the ingenuity they had in coping with the effects of the mega-disaster. And a few generations later, these pockets had developed to contain some of the ‘natural’ systems from what was left of their immediate environment, so that the few species of fauna and flora that survived were allowed to evolve by adapting to the changing conditions and letting the natural-selective process take its course. And so it grew – a kind of a rebirth, or regeneration of Homo sapiens and the other surviving species.
And then – very much later, it was the kind of futuristic society that we have read about in those science-fiction stories where cybernetics virtually reigned supreme. Automation and robotics were heavily advanced and the general population were almost somnambulistic in their makeup and behaviour. And for good reason too, as there was little left for them to do – their ‘smart’ homes, ‘smart’ vehicles and ‘smart’ entertainment certainly saw to that.
Governance was supremely democratic – in a manner of speaking, that is. Everyone could enter their views on any aspect of their lives and these would be automatically processed through the channels that sifted and compared and assessed as programmed by the elders, now long gone, who set the system up for the future generations. The ‘system’ was programmed to evolve along with the succeeding generations and whatever knowledge that was garnered by the ‘investigative authorities’ that consistently probed the outer and inner worlds for information. These ‘authorities’ were, of course, condensed virtual brains that were housed in android type beings and their numbers were restricted to five entities – each one in charge of their respective responsibilities: Natural Systems, Literature and Art, Law and Justice, Governance and finally, the one that processed all the information and made the decision that would be upheld for any particular purpose – known to all as ‘Almighty’.
War was a thing of the past, and all that was known of that aberration were the various records that somehow remained to be preserved for the future. Virtual footage allowed Robin to be right in the middle of a raid in Baghdad or a sortie from World War Two along with the fighter-pilot at the controls of a Hawker Hunter, so he knew all about that part of his ancestors’ history and couldn’t believe such things could ever have happened.
It was a pretty good existence, thought Robin, after watching some of the unbelievable actions that took place in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. There was no poverty, no disease, no war or aggression expressed in any way, food was readily available and what he had read of concepts of Utopia pretty much fitted where he was at. However, the constant niggling he had at the back of his mind that there was something amiss wouldn’t go away. And then, just after he had watched a movie from the past, something sparked in his mind and he figured that the only problem with this world was that there was no element of privacy. Everyone and nearly everything was monitored and could be viewed by the authorities – their guarantee of security to all. All, he figured, except what was thought.
And so he sat in his cell and was thankful, that at the very least, he had complete control and could bar access to his thoughts. They couldn’t control or monitor what he thought – and that, to him, was the ultimate freedom.
The Almighty, on his throne of precious metals, was gently reminded by the giant viewer that flashed the combination of signals indicating imperative viewing. And as it absorbed the message its compassionate nature determined that it would be for the benefit of the race to allow Robin’s period on earth to lapse.
The message remained on the viewer – it was from the thought-wave monitor from Robin’s cell and it read:
But they can’t control or monitor what I think – and that, is the ultimate freedom…
Those who know Java fairly well often wonder how we manage to sustain our relationship on such an even keel, without either of us trying to put the other one on a trip, or attempting to dominate the relationship. I discussed this earlier in a post about alternate realities and the part that consciousness plays in the individual’s identity process and ways of perceiving ‘reality’.
Just like Alice, who has access to Wonderland, whether it’s through the looking glass or down the rabbit hole, Java has this knack of getting to places that are decidedly apart from the reality that I know of. His forays into the Wonderland he visits with Alice (his friend, not the one from Lewis Caroll’s stories) and checks out the state of affairs with Big Brother and his Holding Company, The Queen of Hearts and the The King of Clubs, his astral trips, his friendship with Wanda the midget, all happen in some alternate reality – or so it seems to me. To Java, however, it’s all a part of the same thing – or so he says.
Anyway, as it turns out, our ‘separate’ realities seem to merge and then part at their own rhythm and I assume that it is during the overlapping bits that we actually come into contact with each other. How else to describe it?
For instance, just the other day when I was at Flowerbook getting into some work-related report I wanted to finish well before the deadline – that being the MO with work – instead of rushing things at the very last moment, there was absolutely no signs of Java. Then, the very next instant I hear the music get changed from something mellow by Tellemann to Otis Redding getting heavily into Sitting on the dock of the bay, and looking back I see Java, cool as ever, getting into fixing a smoke.
Heeey maaan, waas been happenin?
I’m not sure if the momentary irritation that was caused by distraction from the fairly important task at hand was apparent to him, but Java tends to shine these things on, so it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. And I have, by now, learned to cope with these kinds of intrusions, so there’s one of two ways to go – either get into his trip, or turn him off by not paying attention, which, although gets to him, seems to work. So I decided to finish the report and get into his trip when done.
Heey lissenup maan – dere’s dis faar out exhibishun dat I checked out in Mexico City by da Dancer’s ol acquaintance. Remember dat Colbert dude dat came over to da dance school lookin for some dancer dat could pose for a sequence of fotografs wit dem elefants? Gregory be his name. Shuurre, you remember dis cat.
I wasn’t going to be disturbed, so although I could hear his rap, I made no effort to respond. I did remember the time Gregory Colbert visited the dance school, but I wasn’t there at the time and we never had the opportunity to meet. The Dancer, however, did and also helped him with the model for the shoot. Later on she had also run into him whilst she was in Paris for a performance and had dinner with him and friends. But now that I was closing in on the final bit of the report I wanted to get it done with, as no telling where the discourse with Java would end.
I’m guessing that Java must have figured out how things were – either that, or he was pissed at being ignored – because when I finished and looked back to engage, he was gone. The music was back to Baroque and a Tellemann concerto – no sign of Otis either!
This phenomena – alternate realities – is what I was pondering on at the beginning of this post and so, as asked at the end of the earlier post, ‘alternate realities’ : “… then does it follow that it is the mind that makes up the matter to perceive it in the manner we do, or is it the matter that fashions the mind as part of the matter?”