We’ve Got Him!
Ladies and Gentlemen: We’ve Got Him!
Table of Contents:
ACT I The Solution
Scene 1: The conference
Scene 2: The production
Scene 3: Shooting Radical Democracy
Scene 4: The search for Seal Husky
Scene 5: Seal Husky, stardom and the great escape
ACT II The War
Scene 1: Mobilization
Scene 2: Administrative organization of betrayals
Scene 3: The Betrayal
ACT III Ladies and Gentlemen, We’ve Got Him
Scene 1: What have we got?
Scene 2: We’ve got him
Scene 3: But, what have we got?
Characters in order of appearance:
Professor Calgate McFace
Audience & questioners
HSS agents & soldiers, army
Pet Rentals keeper
Various clients, clones, persons
Enormous Red Phone (played by an enormous red phone) with
voices of: Mag Glook, Ding Mong, C-Anders Binar
Before curtains rise, a computerized, child-robot-like voice announces:
The events of this play transpire outside our future, present and past. They have no time frame. Perhaps, this play relates the death of Time. It will tell you about love, money, power, betrayal, and everthing else. All depends on the path you choose for your experience. This play is about robot-like, chimerical humanoids who look, sound, and act like people but exist only in the figment of the newsreel. This play is about us. This play is about you.
Scene 1: The conference
A sterile and artificial 2035. Abstract paintings of “nature” in acrylic hang on four of the seven large screens. The other three partitions are set to be computer, TV, or slide-projection screens. Together, the 7 screens set a semi-circle around the stage with a podium centre-stage and an X-ray machine towards the side of the stage at the entrance. Through grey light, grey people trickle in wearing grey.
The uniform consists of skin colour body suit meant to make people look genderless, artificial, and flat. This effect can be achieved by wearing the suits over something flat that wraps the body. Over the suit, skimpy ribbons cover the chest and hips. Plasticized circles with buttons near the outer edge are set over the crotch and between the buttocks for the purpose of urinary and fecal excretions. Subtle gender cues: women have plasticized rectangles stretching out towards the front from under the right armpit and men have them stretching out towards the back from under the left armpit. Youngsters who have not yet donated to the Future Generations Factory Gene Pool, in other words the virgins, do not have those rectangles yet. Also, females wear lighter grey “suits” with pink plastics while males are dressed in darker grey shades with blue plastics.
People are mostly passive and phlegmatic. Yet, sporadically, as during the conference, they are capable of experiencing and projecting sudden spurts of voice and anger. When these outbursts subside, they quickly snap back into their grey selves.
In addition to people, there are clones who are “human print-outs”: they are human size hard-board photographs on wheels. It should be remembered throughout the play that these clones are always present, shuffled and wheeled around at the service of Humanity. They are the ones who mostly form the army and other “massive” social bodies. There are also robots, papier-maché humanoid machines.
One by one, people (with their multitude-cloned-human-sized photographs rolling beside) step in through the x-ray machine on the front/left side of the stage and get seated. A large sign says:
Welcome to the
XIMXC Congress on the Vertical World Economic Solidification.
26th April 2035
The Conference Organizer steps up the podium.
ORGANIZER: And now the Institute of Vertical World Economic Solidification Studies welcomes the distinguished professor whose contributions to society and the fields of sociology, robology, economics, international cybernautics, spacial ordainics are unsurpassed. Thanks to the regular media coverage, we are all familiar with his latest controversial mega-research-research at Studinton University of the state of Marilyn. Today, he will present his newly formulated conclusions in an exciting paper titled: Cultural Pornographics and the Politics of Regeneration of Instinctual Economy. Yes, as you must have guessed, we all welcome Mr. eeeeh … Professor Calgate McFace.
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE: Thank you ladies and gentlemen. You are all familiar with the practical side of my research and its results.
A slide projector flashes tables and digits.
|Data||Economic growth||Economic decline|
Estimated decline: 3.07 BRA coefficient
|Pgraphics||+35.71 MDB ~1.5xj|
|Solomonics||+17.82 MDB ~0.58xj|
|Driadics||-2.103 MDB ~NTY 1.00xj|
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE: Finally, after a notoriously long and unrelenting struggle, I succeeded to decipher these figures and to explain the paradox of the downfall of our Vertical World’s economy. The results of the study revealed the undeniable and interdependent relationship between our contemporaries’ high impotency rate and the absence of desire to consume. Our average Vertical World inhabitant has lost curiosity and appetite – appetite for clothes, for sex, for life. He still works hard and takes the necessary intravenal victuals, but what are we to do with the surplus of our material production? To clarify my thesis, let’s turn again to figures:
|1700s||5730 000 000 mdlr||137 000 mdlr||5729 823 000||37 000 000||?|
|1800s||4970 000 000 mdlr||123 000 mdlr||4969 877 000||35 000 000||?|
|1900s||4970 000 000 mdlr||121 000 mdlr||4969 879 000||31 000 000||?|
|2000s||4997 372 100 mdlr||109 000 mdlr||4997 263 100||29 000 000||?|
|2100s||prognosis not dared|
Yes, you’re right. I didn’t even dare calculate the negative results under the profit column. We clearly see that profit is non-existent – not even null; it’s way down below minus. Here, the historical aspect of commerce can give a clue.
Before, and only a few decades back, our predecessors were paradoxically desexed – yet sexed. For example, look at this commercial dating 45 years back.
He flashes a commercial portraying a happy male in front of his house with a dog wagging from one window and a cat from another. A happy female next door beams over a short shrubbery fence. A sign over the happy male states:
ALEVETICUS: increase your penis decrease your mortgage – boast a larger organ and lesser monthly payments than your neighbour!
CALGATE MCFACE reads the sign out loud: ALEVETICUS – increase your penis decrease your mortgage; boast a larger member and lesser monthly payments than your neighbour! And, ladies and gentlemen, yes, even if they didn’t have good use for the enlarged, ehem, tool, the commercial still worked. Now, look at this poster: projects another commercial of men and women with slightly longer bands around their bodies and larger, thicker tubes dangling. They held tubes and containers, some with food, some with other unidentifiable objects.
And these ads used to work. They did, but, alas! no longer do. In the old times, our ancestors, despite all, were prudish and squeamish. Yet they consumed and consumed and consumed. They shopped and dropped, devoured the planet and forced us to seek expansion vertically. Why? I asked myself. And the answer came after hard work on Cultural Pornographics. Please observe carefully these posters of old commercial ruse. Neither men nor women revealed anything intimate (slide of our days’ commercial portraying a woman with her hand on her crotch with the jeans unzipped and boobs bulging out almost to the nipples, behind her an unshaved man with a hard-on bulging through his jeans). Yet it worked. I also found a primitive survey in the archives dating approximately 50 years back that suggested that the historical male always reacted to images of good-looking historical women and grabbed. What he grabbed of course depended on his cultural background: it could have been the woman if the male in question was poor and primitive; the sophisticated, however, always grabbed for his wallet in order to spend while the sophisticated woman got the urge to be like those on the images or to be with those who looked like them. And it worked – economically, politically, and on many other levels. People not only toiled day and night like our comworldians do, but they also spent day and night, which our contemporaries have lost the gift for.
Professor Calgate McFace heats up.
The solution that worked for the last few centuries, namely of compelling Horizontal World citizens to work in our factories and to consume what we made them produce, has come to a tearful end with the massive poverty and death rate among those creatures. I am not going to dwell on the misfortunes of the Horizontal World and of whatever remains of the Circular, Cylindrical and Biodynamic worlds. We are not gathered here today to debate the degree of our guilt. We are assembled here to find solutions to our own problems. And the solution calls itself from the dead.
He screams the last sentence. Then, wipes his sweat, and suddenly returns to his “professorial” “emotionally switched-off” tone of voice.
Our humanity resurrects from these tables. Look at the evolutionary sexuality statistics. I have presented them chronologically dated Before Chastity and After Darkness.
He flashes more tables:
|dates||sexual orientation||family organization||production||consumption|
|mid 4 ths||bisexual||polygamous||112.gch/head||987 xdrz|
|mid 2ths-1ths||bisexual||quadrimous||53.gch/head||957 xdrz|
|mid 1000s||homosexual||monogamous||143.gch/head||989 xdrz|
|The great revolution|
|asexual||genetic banking||179.gch/head||753 xdrz|
|uni-sexual||genetic insurance||190.gch/head||601 xdrz|
|non-sexual||gentaic (genetic 181.gch/head 232 xdrz industrial reproduction)|
He comments the table by randomly pointing to the various figures reading them out loud, then continues: …and thus we arrive at gentaic reproduction in contemporary times with our own generethren.
What are these figures saying to us? They are screaming: Wake up and look at the precipice that gapes at you; halt before it’s too late! And what do I see in this precipice? I see that we have buried our desires, our potency, our joie-de-vivre. Of course the clap-down on our instincts at the time of the great upheavals was vital to our survival, for, who can doubt that without control we wouldn’t have perished in anarchy. However, the time has come to look these figures in the eye.
He points to more figures.
No, I am not here to condemn our civilization to death. For, despite the bleakness of prospects, despite the political scenarios that are being daily produced on our televised computer networks, I have brought you good news, ladies and gentlemen. Good news! The moment has come for rebirth. For, what has died has got to resurrect; for, what has been interred has got to rise. I am calling for Renaissance. We have dug a grave and buried our souls – our innermost desires, the ones that gave us our dreams, our nightmares, our drive – in death and barren plenitude we thrive … We buried our ability to touch and to want, to get and to give, to fornicate. In other words to love …
At this peak of Professor’s crescendo, the audience cuts off – some applaud, others (more of those) scream: down with the knave down with the con … Some rush towards the podium. Security officers fire guns, the anxious Conference Organizer begs the audience to be civil.
ORGANIZER: Silence, silence, please … Civility, please … Professor McFace is ready for questions. You can address your comments and concerns to Mr. Calgate McFace now …
QUESTION 1 coming from the loudest screamer: Professor McFace, when you talk about our loss of desire for consumption, sex and life, are you insinuating that had it been in our power to not be born or to discontinue our physiological and social functioning, we would have turned ourselves off and have become extinct? Do you imply that our innermost, our most sinister meaning is but a whim to purchase and to gratify some warped and extinct physiological fancy called sex? What you’re telling us is in fact nothing less than the dangerous heresy stumped down during the great revolution of After Darkness. Our civilization has reached the pinnacle of evolution: the most important instinct to reproduce ourselves and our meaning has become possible in the laboratory and is available in the factory. We have become pure since we’ve liberated ourselves from indulgence and labour in all its archaic senses … Pauses to catch breath.
MCFACE: … But precisely, we have not freed ourselves from labour in the contemporary sense and yet our economy has come to a dead end. In this blind alley we are stuck with the results of our industrial labour – and we have lost sight for we do not see its reason. The dead end brought with it our death. Only, we learnt to keep the tap switched on and, despite our death, to pretend a life. I ask you, why do we need to live, work and produce? In order for the lower worlds to enjoy the fruit of our inventions? Our greatest philosophers have not resolved the enigma of the purpose of life, even though our scientists claim to have solved its practical aspect. My attempt to come forth with a solution that will not take us back to pre-historic barbarism – like what the slides have just exposed – but to find elements of what worked for those barbarians and incorporate them for a new economic meaning …
More screaming, then QUESTION 2: We still have 80% of our practical industry produced by the lower worlders. So, I see your point. Yes, we have lost all capacity to produce and reproduce, whatever it may be – our texts, our goods, our selves. But my question concerns the feasibility of reversing to sexualized society … I mean havoc … peril …
PROFESSOR MCFACE: I see the essence of Revolution as the ability to incorporate and at once to disrupt which means to create the new without destroying the old …
QUESTION 3: But if the essence of the Revolution is to incorporate and disrupt, then that’s where it fails. The paradox is that in incorporating we turn back and in dismantling we uproot ourselves …
QUESTION 4: A young woman succeeds in out-screaming the hooting and stumping audience: … Somehow, all this feels wrong. Very, very wrong … I don’t discredit the principles of radical democracy; yet, it seems that the honourable Professor McFace and our constitution that bans sexuality both lead to a trap. Having confused sexuality with love, having reduced love to selfish gratification and possession, we annihilated our humanity. Please, don’t rush back into that swamp. For, going back to pornography will only make things worse. Don’t you see that pornography and the desire to possess, which you refer to as love, are faces of the same coin: of our extinction? Immigration and cloning have failed to solve the enigma of the ultimate meaning of our lives. Sex and reproduction have not turned out to be the naked facts taught in our Physical Spiritology classes. There’s something crucial at stake here. I beg you, please take great care with conclusions. Let’s re-evaluate the results …
The audience shows radically audible and visible signs of discontent. The presenter swiftly jumps on the podium and grabs the microphone.
ORGANIZER: Silence, please, silence … shhhhh … As always, Professor McFace has raised relevant connections and poignant historical points. We thank you very much, Professor. And now Ms. Arinda Gustav, the Minister of Cultural Economics shall clarify matters and will allow us to understand the subtlety of Professor McFace’s findings. All this and not without some announcements of vital importance at the end.
MS. ARINDA GUSTAV: Shhhhh… My cabinet has been long considering a daring move and this morning all our members voted unanimously in favour of the project. The condition has been met; namely that if the final paper in the Cultural Pornographics series kept up with the quality of former publications, we’d fund a multi-billion project to reintegrate Cultural Pornographics into the Politics of Instinctual Economics. The Ministry endeavours to sponsor a Blessed Timberland film production. We have also received a unanimous vote in favour of the distinguished film director who has created the most exciting, most important political and news scenarios of our century – Mr. Val Thickets! Mr. Thickets has already provided us with a preliminary film-script titled Hot Honey Bun Tubes and Tubes of Sweet Potato. I now invite Mr. Val Thickets to share with you his scheme … She vehemently applauds herself or Val Thickets.
ORGANIZER: Ehmmm. Just a few words, even though, of course our most beloved leader, the major, the main, the only script-writer for Radical Democracy does not need introduction. Nevertheless, let me seize this opportunity to reaffirm the total success of the live-televised, broadcast live scripts of our political and private lives. The genius who produced the single live-show of Vertical Civilization is right now here amongst us … Mr. Director Val THICKETSSSSS …
All applaud severely and radically.
MR. VAL THICKETS: Hmmm (a little cough). Thank you ladies and gentlemen, thank you. My gratitude goes to our system of Radical Democracy that allows us to enjoy the fruit of labour, civilization and individualism and that makes it possible for talented script-writers to create the wonderful scenarios of our political arena. Thank you for your trust and support. We shall not fail you. Our Studio has surveyed the film industry and has gotten hold of an exclusive historical footage and compared it with our underground porn production. Based on this in-depth study, we have been able to write a scenario that will restore through shocking images of sex, blood and pain our lost feeling of longing, of desire … He projects sketches of porn and hard-core S&M on the screens.
Convulsive AUDIENCE screams: Noooo, down with the tyrants…
THICKETS continues: Also, we have a suitable candidate. In fact the sole remaining option who is (he chuckles), has eh, eh he he he (giggles), the he hee hee, the , the equipment and is able to, oho ho ho ho, to, to, to perform … I mean perform the act, the the the sexual one.
Still shaking with laughter, he asks a robot to display footage from the archives: Oho, ho, ho … Visual aid, please …
Val Thickets rocks away as the robot back-plays a tape depicting Seal Husky with a big mustache and a big bulge on his crotch tying up someone in a sack and pulling out this someone’s tubes; we understand that he is performing a sexual act on this someone. The tape keeps rewinding to Husky’s childhood, and we learn that even then, as a young child, he had his thick mustache and the big hard-on with which little Husky ran around and which he poked into everything and everyone. Husky has always been and still is a charming, smily, energetic, happy, aroused man. The tape rewinds further to his birth, a moment filled with the promise of manhood and its two signs. We see his father, also with the Husky trademark of the bushy upper lip and the volumous bulge. He (the father not the bulge) gets smaller and smaller, his grandparents younger and younger. We realize from the footage that Husky’s grandfather too, proudly smiled under the bush and above the bulge. The film stops at the grandparents arriving in the Vertical world. We see that the sexual “theme” began with the grandfather who, with his bushy manhood, kept getting in trouble with underground sexuality. The robot switches to the next footage on another screen, this time forwarding on slow mode. We see “Gene collectors” refusing Husky’s gene, because – as they tick on the forms – the donor-element has “anomalia”. Thus, tragically, at Seal Husky the reproduction of this manly race comes to an end. From the fast-forward we learn that Husky’s fate has been sealed: he has been reduced to underground pornography and sexual aberrations.
ORGANIZER: Thank you very much for having attended this conference. Please proceed to the voting booth now. The voting process shall be broadcast live on this screen. He points to the screen.
All proceed to vote, the presenters, the doctors et al. Results flash with each vote, and the ORGANIZER announces and comments the update: 1 vote yes, 2 yes, 3 yes, so far 100% for the project, yes and the votes keep pouring in, 20 yes, 35 yes, 750, nation-wide, yes. Hurrah! Unanimously, the world-wide vote has received a 100% yes for the rebirth of Cultural Pornographics. Congratulations! Congratulations! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! Long live Radical Democracy! ALL applaud and congratulate one another and the shadows with great joy – for, this truly is the miraculous manifestation of Radical Democracy.
ACT 1, Scene 2: The Production
The film-production site is illuminated centre stage with the broadcaster preparing for the shooting. The seven screens are in place albeit submerged in darkness except for one of the TV or other screens that broadcasts the news footage.
BROADCASTER: Latest news from the realm of science. The living-species’ engineers at Nosea Research Institute have discovered a new gene for pets that resolved the problem of the painful reminder of our primitive past. Pets no longer need to be castrated; they are being produced in the laboratory with hardly any organs left. The engineers have also designed a new method of cutting down on pet-keeping expenses. Dr. McDolls first noticed that by eliminating one eye, the animal blinked less and therefore used up less calories and thus required less food. This already proved to be a leap in science and economy. But Dr. McDolls did not stop at that and developed a non-ambulatorial approach to petology. We no longer need to declaw and deteeth our beloved pets. Amputation of the four limbs and other members allows for easy maintenance and stabilization of the animal in the designated adornment position. Such a pet is such a pet: hardly needs any food or liquid and is a darling-love to anyone. The remaining extra-organs have been recycled in scientific experiments. Permanently shaved, non-ambulatory pets are available for rental and sale at Pet Rentals on Post Liberty Boulevard. Shows pictures of shaved, legless, one-eyed pets.
The screen now portrays images of flood and war that are being produced centre-stage.
Back to the economic and political overview. A natural catastrophe struck Naginick today at 5:35 am. The River Naganook flooded the town. Lifesonics Insurance Unlimited agents and workers have been on the scene, working hand in foot with other projects of International Alleviation since 5:47 in an attempt to alleviate economic damage and save lives. At 8:20, however, Biodynamic militias attacked the town. I’m presently at the site of the disaster. Stump Polls reporting. Naginick …
The broadcaster steps away and the screen broadcasts first attempts to help, then of turbaned, dressed in white individuals shooting and looting. Simultaneously, we witness the part of the production that takes place centre stage and which is left out of the news-broadcast frame: i.e. we see an engine blowing the water out of the river banks, people plunging in and Lifesonics Insurance agents wearing short white jackets with name and company emblem tags on their back and chest over their Vertical World grey bands. They constantly check and refer to some sheets of paper and point to the filming and the “filmees” crews who should drown and who to be pulled out. They efficiently fill out forms, mark tags and stick them on the dead “actors” or hand them out to the “saved” ones.
Some actors wear turbans around their heads and faces to disguise themselves and long brownish/beige ragged dresses. They grab weapons and attack the inhabitants and the workers. Again, the insurance agents indicate which ones should be killed and which ones wounded or taken hostage or left alone to be saved by the military-dressed individuals and Lifesonics Insurance workers.
Val Thickets works with assistants on news and scenarios. Different bright colours mark the covers of the various scripts. Periodically, they interfere with the filming of the flood and the war with “Action” and “Stop Action” clicks. Val and his assistants repeatedly consult with the “white-jacketed” insurance agents to position people accordingly. When Val Thickets “Stops Action”, workers in short white jackets carry away bodies, more people get into the places that Val or assistants assign. With “Action”, soldiers fire and shoot people. Some fall and don’t move, others, after the next “Stop Action”, walk or crawl towards the administrators who hand them tags, check their DNA and process paperwork.
VAL THICKETS: O.K., now repeat … (he turns to face a soldier limping towards him) what’s the scoop?
The limped up ACTOR: Sir, ‘scuse me sir, got a contractual mishap here.
VAL THICKETS: Now what?
LIMPED UP ACTOR: Sorry, sir. But in the contract with Lifesonics Insurance Unlimited, Max was supposed to be burnt from feet to thighs and I was to be killed. Sir, my neighbours are really counting on this insurance to fix our building. And now Max is dead and can’t get his insurance to fix his jaw, his operation is scheduled for …
VAL THICKETS: Damn, damn, shites, you macaroon. Kal, what’s going on? Messing up again? Why have you shot the wrong guy? He turns to his assistant Kal.
KAL: Val, you know we hadn’t had a chance to rehearse; the footage was to be broadcast at 8:30am and it was already 8:19. So, we just ordered a shooting – I mean live. Your script said we needed an update on the battle of Vernia and Naginick. It’s O.K. the admins haven’t checked him yet, we can still pull the #3. Stephania… He turns towards someone in a long white robe.
VAL THICKETS: Who’s Stephania? Condolence, here right this minute …
KAL: Stephania’s the new legal aid, the DNA certifier.
CONDOLENCE: runs up to him: Yes, what’s the matter?
VAL THICKETS: Will you take care of this mess?
CONDOLENCE to the “actor”: Name?
ACTOR TRIX: Trix. I’m Trix, M’am …
KAL: Yeah, Stephania, the usual #3 for Trix to Max switch, and don’t forget to fix up his jaw for the Max operation …
Stephania comes. Together with Condolence they walk off the obviously distressed Trix and pull away the now utterly indifferent Max.
ACT I, Scene 3: Shooting Radical Democracy
VAL THICKETS: Oufff. Kal, you know what sometimes gets to me on this job?
KAL: Yeah, I know, I know…
VAL THICKETS: Now, don’t get me wrong, Kal. I love my job, I honestly do. But the weary part is this only one chance to kill. You can’t rehearse it with soldiers. It’s either get it right or shoot more. With all our civilization’s achievements and we still haven’t found a way to rehearse death …
KAL: Funny ’bout that word “shoot”. I was thinking the other day, the duality or better say the finality of the word contains both, the act of mechanically putting someone to death with the aid of a gun and the shooting of a newsreel or a film. I mean, the term contains both meanings and I wonder if our primitive ancestors ever made the distinction between the two … Yeah, I know what you mean. And Lifeosonics or Filmso … darn, I always get it wrong, Filmosonics Insurance, bah, I had it right the first time … Anyway, the Unlimited has become real bitchy lately, with all those people insuring their lives and deaths …
VAL THICKETS: I tell you, Kal, this together with Gentaic reproduction is the singular most important accomplishment of our civilization. And I’ll confess to you, yeah, without any of that bashfulness or false modesty, I just love being THE director in the production of Radical Democracy. Did you enjoy the script I wrote for the Minister of Finance last week?
KAL: Val, that was great, man. I also loved the script for the Minister of Culture, real swell. Who’s written that one?
VAL THICKETS: Who? Ha, ha, ha! Take a guess … Ha, ha, ha! Of course me, moi, I and myself. But, I must admit, that McFace guy, he’s written most of his own stuff himself. I only had to approve. Boy did I try hard to get my hands on his speeches, and wow, man, did we scream with him on that script! The guy’s a wacko! Real nut! Can you imagine he swears he actually did that research! Ha, ha, ha …
KAL: Ha ha ha… But it turned out good, real good. They all voted ‘yes’! ha ha ha …
VAL THICKETS: Yeah, they did. Ha, ha, ha … You know the secret of our success? It’s ’cause we film only real-life or better say real-death images. We don’t lie. Not like that attempt to invent virtual images of fake death …
KAL: Good that venture was stifled promptly. Imagine where we’d be now with making up news, politics, life and all else through computer programmes …
VAL THICKETS: You’re absolutely right, Kal. Our scripts, they voice the mother truth herself. We film what really goes on.
KAL: Hee hee hee, even if we’re the perpetrators of the goings on …
VAL THICKETS: Hee, hee, hee – still, doesn’t erase the fact that what happens and what we film is (winks) same-same … Hee hee hee … And the result is right here. You saw it today.
KAL: Ha, ha, ha! Yeah I did, I did.
VAL THICKETS: And they don’t want anything else. Just give them that and they’ll vote yes your whole RD for you, regardless …
KAL: Yeah, like that McFace project …
VAL THICKETS roars in laughter: A 100% yes for a vote throughout the whole world.
KAL: Aha ha ha ha ha…
VAL THICKETS: Yes! That’s what I mean I love my job. But, I also must admit, it does get smelly and sticky with all that blood …
KAL: Yeah, I know, I know …
VAL THICKETS: I guess it’s just the way it is Kal – I mean, we’ve got to accept it as it is. After all, it’s mostly the last wave immigrant descendants from the lower spheres. They must be real dumb to want to come here so badly that they agree to those contracts …
KAL: Yeah, but I heard one of them mumble on a stretcher during a production that they have it even worse than this back there. And the cheek, mind you, she blamed our civilization for their mess … Like it had to do with our ethics and industrialization to breed war and havoc and perpetuate greed …
VAL THICKETS: Aha ha ha haha …
KAL: Well, don’t work for us and don’t come here, really, if that’s what you want, I said. And, the nerve, she, gasping there for her life, on that miserable stretcher, talked back to me. She turned towards me and talked back to me, Val. And you know what she said?
VAL THICKETS: What?
KAL: She said that that’s the revolutionary forces’ goal – stamp out the desire, ha ha ha. The sexual brats. Comm’on now. I slapped her, I slapped her real well, and told her that she could never be like us. And you know what she said?
VAL THICKETS: Yeah?
KAL: The insolent brat said that I had no idea what she meant because apparently WE, imagine, WE have only one, primitive and simplistic – she said – and those were her exact words, we have only one primitive and simplistic conception of desire which is to fuck and fuck over and that despite our, she dared call, impotence, we are obsessed perverts and never knew and will never know love, life … Really, Val, I strangled her right there on that darn stretcher with my bloody own hands, my own bloody hands …
VAL THICKETS roaring in his robust laughter: Ahahha ahahahaha, bloody indeed. What an expression! Oho ho ho ho ho. (Suddenly, calms down) Ah, never mind, Kal. Don’t take it to heart …
KAL: But seriously, Val, I mean what was that all about? If there’s one thing right in what she said, and that’s that I don’t get what she said. I mean, we have such a complex society with individual desires to create, to achieve, to possess. Isn’t that love? Life? I mean, what do you make of it?
VAL THICKETS: Really, Kal, don’t let her screw with your brains. Even historically, in those ole days bygone, there was a thinker, I believe a politician he was or could have been a theologian – anyway it’s all the same, philosophy type of stuff – his name was Freud, a smart guy …
KAL: Yeah, I’ve heard of him, he’s the one who said humanity, I mean primitive humanity of that era, is, was self destructive because it heeded the instinct of death … But we have created gentaic reproduction and have thus achieved total control and management over life and reproduction …
VAL THICKETS: Yeah, but there’s more, there’s also this other side to the human and that he, I mean Freud, identified as the desire to possess the object of fancy and naturally according to those fashions that desire ultimately culminated in sexual intercourse …
KAL: O’ Val stop there. You’re bringing us to the same deep shit that woman did … I mean, if the instinct of love and sex are the same and if we have lost one, it follows that we’ve lost the other too. So what have we got in our lives? What’s left in our lives?
VAL THICKETS: Kal, you’re such a naive romantic – like stepped down live from a history book, man. I swear. I can’t get enough of you! Really. (Pampers his cheek). Of course, this has all been part of the script that I and my predecessors, all those Directors of Radical Democracy have been developing, and mind you successfully over years. For, when you love to possess then you eat up, so to speak, what you possess and in simple terms, what you love you consume and destroy, or perhaps not destroy but rather have it come back to life in you as the energy to create, possess and eat more … ha ha ha ha ha! Love and devour, devour and love. And at a certain, elegant moment in history, you can gloriously white out the sexual drive. Gentaics will take over human engineering and what do you have?
KAL paling: What?
VAL THICKETS: Wake up man, slaps him lovingly on the cheek. You got the loving and the devouring. The loving of the devouring. The devouring of the loving. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA …
KAL pale, horrified, whispers: What do you mean?
VAL THICKETS: I mean simply this, that the zoologist or the botanist or whatever that Freud dude was, he got it right in as far as predicting or perhaps suggesting the script of how to better control the human heart and therefore the human mind. Make humans believe in their godly power of creativation, activation, and have them believe that to possess is to love and you’re set; you got the whole political and economic structure set. All you have to do is to timely reap your beans, so to speak … But never mind all that. Here’s something cheerful for both of us. Let’s work on this latest script. It promises a new turn, that I guarantee …
VAL THICKETS: Halllloeeeee … Kal … Something cheerful …
VAL THICKETS: What else, Kal, what else? Winks.
And all the while, shooting (i.e. killing and filming) went on around them. And the various screens flashed silent images of politicians, news, wars … Show must go oooon …..
ACT 1, Scene 4: The Search for Seal Husky.
Condolence joins Val Thickets and Kal and they turn towards the incoming reports on the whereabouts of Seal Husky brought by various HSS (High Security Service) agents.
HSS AGENT 1 with a blue report: Yes, sir! Mr. Director, Mr. Thickets! Top urgent – top secret latest report on Operation Storm Horrendous. SH last spotted at Pet Rentals on Post Liberty Boulevard 7 minutes ago.
VAL THICKETS bellows: To the pet store!
Two soldiers, Val with two assistants, Kal and Condolence, rush to screen #1 (the 1st on the right side of the stage) and move it away. Lights off from centre-stage and now on the pet shop with a sign above it saying: Pet Shop & Rentals. There are “computerized” images of various pets with rates per/hour, per/day, per/week, per/month/, annual, and other special deals. Various certificates of hygiene and guarantees of genetic substitution in case of dissatisfaction. The shopkeeper is busy at the counter extracting genes from the nose of a ratly-cat (a papier-maché puppet with mechanized mouth and eyes). He puts the genes in a combination gene mix in a bulb and a new, smaller size ratly-cat appears. He then puts the new cat away and speaks softly to the old one:
SHOPKEEPER: Sorry Tom. Three rafusals ta upgrade yur rental from hourly ta daily. Can’t keep ya. Yeah, what can I do? Taday’s genaration don’t wanta rent pets for more dan coupl’a hours. T’was yur job ta get dem ta like you … He goes about preparing an injection. Yeah, yeah, don’t start purring s’if ya don’t know. Na, I don’t know ’bout disposable generations, I only know dat t’is hard ta keep disposable pets. Nuone does, but I do, I do get dat heart-ache evary time I got ta throw one’f you in da trash – an’ all dose years, da pain just doesn’t go away… He kisses the cat. Connects it to a computer. That kills it. He throws it across the room into the black plastic bag and in the bucket across the room designated as: Mortual Trash. At this moment, Operation Storm Horrendous storms in.
SHOPKEEPER: Would ya like ta rent or ta purchase? Ya got special clippered plugs for 48 hour-rental – plug like dat and no piss no shit nonsense fur upta 78 hours. Easy ta use, shmuck-proof … He talks real fast and acts even faster: picks up the newly made cat and shows how to clipper and plug urinary and fecal tracts. Dare ya go …
SOLDIERS scream: HAAAALT! Hands up! Nobody move!
CONDOLENCE: Where is he?
CONDOLENCE: Seal Husky.
Kal shows a picture of Seal.
SHOPKEEPER: Ah, dat guy. Yeah, used ta cum here. Haven’t seen much of ‘im lately.
CONDOLENCE: He was spotted here at this shop 8 minutes ago. Where is he?
SHOPKEEPER: Got no clue, not da faintest inkling of what you’d be talking here … O’my, O’my, bettar ask Skoon …
HSS agent 2 rushes in with a yellow report and announces as he hands it to Val Thickets: 3 minutes ago, target spotted at Macadamia street, intersection with Historicals Avenue …
The SH Operators rush out to screen #2, push it away. Lights switch off from pet shop and turn on the second “shop” revealing a large sign over the stand saying: Gentaic Factory. On the left side of the factory, we see the production of humans on an assembly line; i.e. adult-sized, they pop out from transparent tubes standing on a shelf, they land on an assembly line that pulls them out of sight. On the left, we witness the production of robots and human print-outs The clones are the human-size cut out photographs on wheels and the robots are the papier-maché, sleek humanoids. As lights illuminate the factor and just before the SH Operation team rushes in, we see a man with a large mustache and pants full of manhood arranging the “new-born” photographoids and humanoids. He’s quickly done arranging them and vanishes off-stage. The team storms in. Looks around, does not find anyone but the “new-borns”.
VAL THICKETS: Huh? Hn? What the …
Condolence to a soldier: Quick, behind that door – a shadow …
The soldier comes back with a “new-born”: No-one there m’am …
HSS AGENT 3 rushes in with a purple report: Operation Storm Horrendous, Sam Kinks reporting, 2 minutes ago … Sovereign Democracy Street …
The team rushes out to screen 3; moves it away. Lights off the factory and on the large sign saying: Healthy Synthetics Outerdiner.
Underneath the sign, clients order from a menu and receive intravenal food packages. Among them “feeds” our man and he walks out the back door just before our courageous warriors are in through the front. Once again, they find no Seal Husky.
HSS agent 4 rushes in with a red report: Reporting on SH Operation. Underground activity spotted 57 seconds ago on Holyfilm Boulevard …
The team rushes out from the restaurant now sunk in darkness and unto the presently lit screen #4. They pull it away and reveal an abode. A dweller with his photographic marionette move about the grey room. They pet a hair-less, leggless, one-eyed creature that used to be a cat, pick her up from the window-sill and place her on the couch. Admire the effect. Pet the couch.
DWELLER TO ITS CLONE: Yes, this low-calorie pet really is a cheap deal. Eats nothing, doesn’t move and is a perfect match to our interior design. Hey, kitty-kitty-kit … Bravo, Delirio. Excellent bargain! He pats Delirio who follows him like a mirror image and they proceed to the toilet, which consists of a tiny, simple tubal construction in the wall. At first, they stand facing the tiny toilet-sink, they push the buttons on the crotch; a urinal tube emerges, the person urinates, the photographic shadow copies these gestures as much as possible. Then they turn their backs to the wall, press the back button, a tube emerges and some brown liquid flows out. When done defecating, they wash themselves and turn lights off leaving a blue light and go to bed. At this point the SH Operation invades the abode. The team looks around, pushes the dwellers and stuff. HSS Agent 5 runs in with a green report.
HSS AGENT 5: Operation Storm Horrendous, Allegoria Nabs reporting. Target spotted 30 seconds ago at Droolings intersection with Sham Avenue …
The “operators” gallop off to screen 5. Same procedure: lights on the new screen and off 4. Pulling the screen reveals a hospital with one side for humanoid engineers and the other with human mutant engineers. The team rushes through an operation, kicks everything around and proceeds to screen 6, leaving screen 5 in darkness and havoc. Removing screen 6 and drowning it in light reveals a morgue. The team stampedes through flasks and operations of genetic extractions and bottleifying, the cat from screen 1 is already here and after the necessary extractions, everyone, robots, cats, and mutants are thrown into a furnace. Some of these are alive, but the Lifesonics Insurance Unlimited agents are there to check and mark all those who should be exterminated according to their contracts. Some lie down, being either quiet or dead; others scream and attempt to run, but none succeed against the efficiency of social and biological organization in the Radically Democratic system. Among the discarded alive there are those who have been brought from Factories with default. They too attempt to run, but the reports stapled to them reveal their faults and malfunctions and they are also thrown into the furnace. The Storm Horrendous team proceeds through and to screen 7 with a street signs outside: Sham Avenue, Droolings #WX305. On the door a smaller sign says: Mr. Seal Husky; and the namee himself is finally seen, well and kicking, through the large window being busy gratifying Sweet Sack so loudly we hear him sing:
O’ my Sweet Sack, my Sweet, sweeeet, sweeeetest, aaahhhhh, Pinches and spanks the Sweet Sack, grabs the large toe of the left foot, ahhhggghhhhhh, then the large toe of the right foot, grrrhhhahaaahhh, bites it, Sweet Sack screams, he then ties both feet to a ribbon hanging from a wall. The Sweet Sack exerts noises of ultimate pleasure befitting no less than a cultural pornographics project.
SWEET SACK: Ah, my only standing up tree, ah ah ah (the “ah ah ahs” are the expression of pleasant pain and painful joys) … Ah, there are no more trees to stand up in Verticalia, ah ah ah (more expressions of painful pleasures and ultimate joy) … With the trees cut down, the men forgot how to be men … oh oh oh … O’ my manhood, O’ my joy; ah ah ah, out of envy they’ve castrated cats, dogs and rats … ah … ’cause … ah ah ah …
The Val Thickets team storms in and catches Seal Husky red handed.
SOLDIERS: Freeeeeze, hands up!
Seal Husky and Sweet Sack raise hands and freeze in their positions.
SEAL HUSKY: It’s not what you think, I swear, I swear by the RD itself, I’ve been framed, framed like a rabbit …
VAL THICKETS: Like a rabbit indeed … Shut up and cooperate … Both of you …
SEAL HUSKY: By the Radical Democracy itself, I swear, please, don’t kill me, I’ll tell you everything, by the RD itself, I promise …
CONDOLENCE hits him between the legs: Just shut-up, will ya? We’ve got work to do.
They drag them both away.
ACT 1, Scene 5: Seal Husky, Stardom and the Great Escape
Production begins. Work, rush, work … Seal Husky is one happy guy and even when it looks like the worst for him, he doesn’t stop to exhibit a set of white teeth beneath his manly mustache divulging his earthly goodness. The Pornographics team is excited, the specimens they bring for Seal Husky are all taken care of within minutes by the voracious Seal Husky himself, the last man on earth. They all stand “naked” in a row. Naked means that they have been disrobed of their ribbonly clothes. Nonetheless, the actors must wear skin coloured tight body suits that would make them flat and sexless. Sweet Sack still has her sack on and runs around trying to reach Seal Husky. However, any access to him is ultimately denied her.
As everything has been prepared and tested, including Seal Husky and prey, Val Thickets reads the script out loud:
VAL THICKETS: Ok, ok, listen now, everyone, quiet please, final reading of the script. Once more, the title is: Hot Honey Bun Tubes and Tubes of Sweet Potato. So, Seal Husky you’re the guy now. All you Pornographics’ prey, now dress up and when I say ACTION, the cameras should capture you walking around normally like you’re going ’bout your daily business doing your stuff. It so happens that you all get the same food bags for your intravenals that say Honey Bun Taste a l’Ancienne. The minute one of you gobbles that down, hn hn hn, so to speak, Seal Husky comes in, ravages, rapes and does all the necessary stuff that we’ve rehearsed. Professor McFaces’ research suggests that rape scenes and violence in general work the best, but we don’t want to limit ourselves and leave out anything spicy. Now, do we? Any questions? No? Everything’s clear? Perfect! Claps. And AAAACTION!!!
They enact what has been just read out loud. Sweet Sack exclaims something and runs away. After Seal Husky begins to do his first victim he suddenly freezes and everything goes still in his time-space. Electric havoc, darkness, lightning, thunder and he hears a voice of the above or the beyond:
Seeeeeeaaaal, O’ Seeeeeeeaaaaaalllll …
O’ man, O’ manliness of steeeeeeeelllll …
The time has come
and realize you must your meaning
You’ve been a bum
and have revealed yourself as such in screening
Where is your heart?
What does it seek?
You’ve been a fart
with humanness so meek
Emerge, submerge, shake off your chains
and all that holds you cheap and low
Relinquish scripts written by foe
and you shall grow and you shall glow
if ever you decide to go
t’is only so t’is only so t’is only so
you can espouse the once forsaken purity
in this world of naked chaos and lewd nudity …
only so only so only so
you shall go to outgrow and to glow
Everything returns to normal and Seal rubs his head in amazement and confusion as he realizes that no one but himself has heard the voice. He gently, unconfidently pats the bum of the victim he’s been grabbing, scratches behind his ear; beseeches with a wanderous look.
VAL THICKETS screams in rage: Moron, what in Verticality’s name are you doing? We can’t stop in the middle of the scene. Freak! Forgot our motto? Live! We film only L-I-V-E! Dumb-ass. Fornicating maggot. Now why on earth did you stop? We can’t edit, you creep. Condolence, Kal, do something to this fuckhead, will ya? I can’t deal with this.
Just as Condolence and Kal approach him, Seal Husky dashes out zipping up himself. And off he goes out of sight but not out mind nor out of the script. General confusion follows. They look around, but no Seal Husky returns.
Scene 1: Mobilization
This act tells the story of mobilization of film directors, the army, and the whole world to capture Seal Husky. The script proceeds even though at times we face difficulty in distinguishing between orchestrated events and incidents that merely got out of hands or ensued from chaos. VAL THICKETS, CONDOLENCE, KAL, and others, run about barking instructions. Occasionally, they modify their scripts incorporating “improvisations” and various mishaps.
The stage setting offers various “windows” to dwellings and lives arranged in several (two or three) rows in a semi-circle. Through some windows we see clones, through others people, sometimes robots going on about their daily chores. We thus see the “city” around the political arena centre-stage.
BROADCASTER: In Naganick, floods and wars have been contained to a large extent. However, consumption and sales are still in the low HB20s. This has a direct effect on the Wall Market Economy where the Wall and the Street play crucial roles in the so-called ping-pong and squash economic phenomena.
Latest update on Operation Storm Hilarious. I’ll remind you, this operation is the sequel to Operation Storm Horrendous. Today at 4:17 am, the Army General Brick Slick has successfully wiped out the entire population of suspects in the city of Rouweens. Shows images of the wiped out city. Our security reports indicate that the entire city was suspected in aiding and abetting the fugitive Seal Husky, who still remains at large. A prize of 30 millions awaits anyone whose information leads to this hideous criminal’s arrest. Anyone who helps capture the unknown Vertical citizen nicknamed Sweet Sack will be rewarded with 25 millions and another 25 million award is put aside for assistance to clam down the industry of underground pornography. Our hotlines are open free of charge 24 hours a day. Please dial 1-666-HILARIOUS, NOW.
The enormous red phone in the middle of the stage rings immediately: Rinnnnng, Rinnnnng, Rinnnnnng. As soon as it rings, the following appears on a screen nearby:
name: Mag Glook
address: 35633-8 Drags Corner
relevant information: native Verticalis, genetically modified in 2025, no
pets, no kin, no friends, greedy for bucks.
The broadcaster and the telephone operator significantly nod and beam at one another. The broadcaster points to the phone with a suave, mannered gesture; the operator picks up the receiver.
OPERATOR: Hello, Mag Glook. Operator Hilarious at your service …
VOICE through the phone: Yes, I’ve heard aberration noises and noticed a strange guy with hair on his face come out of the neighbour’s door a minute ago, so I called to see if I can be the winner…
An overhead red arrow blinks and beeps pointing to the building from which the phone call came immediately, the army runs there, bombs and shoots. In a moment, the caller’s surroundings are shaved to the ground.
Broadcaster on his news update: Eh, eh, eh, and that takes care of that. The agents are e-mailing the DNA collected at the premises to confirm identities. And yes, here’s the electronic confirmation, Mag Glook, Seal Husky, Sweet Sack, Terrance Troy and Mickey Maggot have successfully perished during this operation. For the doubting lot of you, the army is preparing wax statues of all those individuals in order to display them as evidence in our Evidence Exposition Hall on Sham Avenue. Journalists and anyone curious or concerned may visit the exhibit between 11:30 and 11:45 pm. He points in the direction of the Hall on the right side of the stage. Wax statues of various people, among whom the sack-covered Sweet Sack and presumably Seal Husky are brought out to the exhibit.
ENORMOUS HUGE RED PHONE: Rinnnnng, Rinnnnng, Rinnnnng. Information projected:
name: Ding Mong
address: 301 Stardocks Boulevard
height: 5′ 9″
relevant information: native Verticalis, genetically modified
in 2019 regular pet rental, no kin, no friends, greedy for
Again, they smile and clown at each other; Operator Hilarious answers the phone.
OPERATOR: Yes, Ding Mong …
DING MONG through the phone: I know him. But can I be sure to get the Catch the Husky prize? I mean, I need some guarantee, if you know what I mean …
OPERATOR while gesticulating to the Commentator who replies in gestures meaning “keep him talking, keep him talking”: Of course, of course. Certainly, Ding Mong. The guarantee has been signed by Mr. Val Thickets himself. I have it right here in my hand. She waves a huge certificate saying GUARANTEE signed VAL THICKETS.
Operator continues: Now, please give us the information, it’ll take a second to verify and the cheque that’s in my hand shall be in yours. She waves the huge cheque marked 30 MILLIONS, which is simultaneously broadcast on the news alternating on the screen with the Guarantee. At this point the Arrow that beeps and points to the building from which the phone-call came through is joined by another blinking and beeping projection saying: Verified certified Seal Husky dealings.
DING MONG with extreme lack of confidence in his voice and probably everywhere else as well: He’s been a client of mine. We usually have business appointments on Fridays at noon. So, he should be here any minute now. Just thought you might like to know …
OPERATOR: Indeed, indeed …
While this conversation was taking place, the army has been already mobilized on the caller’s scene. The fate of the previous caller befalls Ding Mong: his entire neighbourhood is shaved to the ground.
BROADCASTER on his news update: Eh, eh, eh, and once again, we have that taken care of. The enemy has been annihilated. The agents are e-mailing the DNA to confirm identities. And yes, here’s the electronic confirmation, Ding Mong, Seal Husky, Sweet Sack, Rich Tantrums and Forgy Beavis have all been successfully eradicated during this operation. For those of you who still harbour doubts, the army is preparing wax statues of all those individuals in order to display them as evidence in our Evidence Exposition Hall on Sham Avenue. He points in the direction of the Hall on the right side of the stage. More wax statues of various people, among whom again we see the sack-covered Sweet Sack and a doll with a huge mustache join the previous set of human-size wax dolls.
ENORMOUS HUGE RED PHONE: Rinnnnng, Rinnnnng, Rinnnnng. Information projected:
name: Clone 357-A-Anders Binar
address: A-57364-JX Brandishings Street
age: issued 35/245/2007
profession: Cloning repairs
height: 5′ 7″
relevant information: original gene pool from a native
Operator picks up the receiver.
OPERATOR: Yes, C-Binar, Operator Hilarious with you …
C-BINAR through the phone: I’m a sympathetic clone.
An overhead red arrow blinks, beeps and points to C-Binar’s location.
C-BINAR continues: Trying to help. I knew Seal Husky intimately. He helped me once when I had a Lifesonics mix-up.
The blinking arrow is joined by a flashing sign: Affirmed intense Seal Husky bond confirmed.
C-BINAR continues: He called 15 minutes ago and said he had nowhere to go and asked me if I could host him for a day. He’d leave tonight, he said. So, I thought I should let you know.
The army is already there.
OPERATOR: Ind … But at this moment we hear a blast through the receiver and then the phone tone.
BROADCASTER on his news update: As usual, our army is swift to handle any threat to Radical Democracy. Here’s the electronic confirmation of the enemy’s DNA: C-Anders Binar, Seal Husky, and Sweet Sack have been finally exterminated. The evidence wax statues are coming out in our Evidence Exposition Hall on Sham Avenue. He points in the direction of the Hall on the right side of the stage. More wax statues of sack-covered Sweet Sack, the mustachy, bulgy, doll and C-Binar join the previous set of wax “evidence”.
Enter Condolence with her script and Trix with a huge bandaged jaw and mad eyes.
CONDOLENCE: O.K. now, we need to show someone getting a prize to boost public morale …
BROADCASTER: Zoom – at your service, Ms …
CONDOLENCE to operator: Right. Roll that camera. Aaaaand AAAACTION …
She hands him a sheet from her script and they begin to shoot Trix with his eyes galloping orbits in their sockets. We hear the triumphant voice of the broadcaster.
BROADCASTER: This is the last hero of Radical Democracy – a champion who risked everything to help capture Seal Husky… Triumphant orchestra music that has some instruments (e.g. drums and sax) slightly out of beat and off tune. Walks in the triumphantly beaming Val Thickets. He moves with the music, but slightly off-beat as well, and solemnly hands Trix a cheque. A string is attached to the hand with which Trix accepts the cheque with the other end firmly grasped by Condolence, who pulls the string landing the hand on the table next to Trix. The camera follows the cheque and continues filming it on the table. We see all of the above footage on the screen. When the camera closes up on the cheque of 30 millions however, the following sequences are outside the frame: HSS agents dash in and grab Trix who looks even madder now. They pull him away, leaving the cheque on the table to continue to be filmed for another few seconds. The grabbing and arresting of Trix stays out of the footage. As soon as the camera turns towards the broadcaster, Condolence and Val Thickets grab the cheque and run off.
BROADCASTER: Thank you ladies and gentlemen. You have just witnessed the noble ceremony awarding the brave contributors to the persistence of Radical Democracy throughout the world. We shall now recede, a musical pause shall succeed, and we shall all proceed confidently through our lives and gloriously into our linear futures. Till our next rendez-vous on channel WOLF, I kiss you a sly good-bye … Winks with a twinkle, swiftly and happily exits. Operator Hilarious follows.
ACT II, Scene 2: Administrative organization of betrayals.
Enter Val Thickets, Condolence, and Kal.
CONDOLENCE shows her script to Kal and Val Thickets: O.K.. I see your point. But, we should not ignore the occasional impromptu. Yes, it happens rarely, yet …
KAL holds out his own script: I know what you mean. I’ve already entered the unforseeable – not all of his family members spilled the beans under torture …
VAL THICKETS: Eh, the methods …
KAL: We’ve spared none of the latest, most sophisticated methods: psychological, biological, physiological, oncological, pathological, name it … Results? A miserable 0.03% efficiency! My speel: we broadcast only those who confessed and omit the rest.
VAL THICKETS: Hmmm … That’s not what bothers me. After all, we’ve succeeded before at times of total inconsistency of scripts and still got the 100% yes vote. Remember? No … That’s not what troubles me at all. I mean, look, we’ve bombed so many suspects and each time we get the DNA confirmed. Yes, I know, it’s part of the script, I know, I know … But somewhere beyond the script, I have a spot in me, a voice – a tiny voice – yet a discomforting one, dissatisfied. I need to know. Kal, Condolence, I’ve got to know …
KAL: His brother, the one who confessed, said he saw him after the last confirmed bombing. His mother said he had plenty of doubles …
VAL THICKETS: But not 50 duplicate-freaks …
KAL: No, only 43 …
CONDOLENCE: But he couldn’t have! Gentaic administration banned his reproduction. I, personally, signed the Gene Pool Restraining Order and set the alarm on anomalia. I mean, where’s the leak?
VAL THICKETS shaking his head: Sure, sure, you signed and the administrators breathed life into your signing, and, and, and … But, in reality, we can never be certain that after the Great Anti-Immigrant Resolution there were no leaks, particularly of other horny bushy dudes from Horizontalia …
KAL: Of course, that makes perfect sense …
VAL THICKETS: I hope you’ve eradicated everyone who confessed …
CONDOLENCE: I wasn’t sure we didn’t need to broadcast them again. ‘Cause I added an upshot scene where family and supporters come out in a massive regret and renunciation party …
KAL: Great! We could film them on the Renunciation Square and then exterminate them …
VAL THICKETS: Bah! You don’t need the confessors for that. I reckon, we get rid of them right away. Anyway, of all the betrayals they make only 0.03%. The rest either fainted, comatosed, died, or resisted. We can delegate Lifesonics to arrange a renunciation script with the others. Kal, off you go and take swift care of that right this minute, while Condolence and I check our scripts against the latest events. Turns to Condolence: Right, so, what have we now?
CONDOLENCE: Check this out – it was aired 25 minutes ago …
She plays a tape of Seal Husky singing an improvised version of the poem he heard on his disappearance day:
Seeeeeeaaaal, O’ Seeeeeeeaaaaaalllll …
O’ man, O’ manliness of steeeeeeeelllll …
The time has come to have a meal of slimy stinky eeeeeeeel…
I now realize my meaning
You’ve been a bum
hee, hee, hee,
in life, on stage, in screening
Val Thickets, crickets, mites and all
I won’t succumb
I shall not fall
Where is your heart
You’ve been a fart
at fancy ball
with your own chain
with my own pain
my foe is slain
with script in vain
aha, ha, ha, ha …
purity, lewdity, nudity …
only so only so only so
you shall go to outgrow and to glow
He suddenly turns serious, a prophetic look crosses his face, and a revolutionary voice escapes his lungs: I address the people of any world, I address all who aspire to be Human.
Wake up, I insist,
vanish from controlling sight
desist to work for RD’s plight
persist to resist
assist to exist
exist, exist, exist …
Val Thickets and Condolence are in dismay.
CONDOLENCE: I wonder how he got his filthy hands on recording equipment. Only us and underground pornography have access to these things, and we know we’ve taken care of the pornographic lot …
VAL THICKETS: Plus, my script is full. I don’t have any more space to enter this crap. Damn, it’s already been aired. Who’s done it?
CONDOLENCE: I wonder. I mean, it can’t be the workings of the 5th column?
VAL THICKETS: I know, we’ve eradicated every single possible suspect …
CONDOLENCE: The only possibility is the previous #1 enemy of RD. We still have the prize quotation for his capture out. Should remind the public …
VAL THICKETS: Nah, that was never a big deal. We’ve got the dude exiled and neutralized in the mountains of Biodynamia. Plus, he’s got radical health problems. I sent him one of my personal doctors to help him live as we might still need him, in case this one gets totally out of hand. What I need to know …
CONDOLENCE: I know, it’s weird, but I can’t put my finger on it …
VAL THICKETS: That’s what pisses me off. Perhaps we should simply ignore it. But look at this other tape here.
He plays a tape of Seal Husky’s shadow running on dark streets in search of purity: Various sacked individuals attempt to fondle him, but he is indifferent and brushes them off. Once rejected, the offended sacks dash for the phone and we faintly hear them explain Husky’s whereabouts to HSS hotliners. Suddenly their noise switches off and we hear clearly Seal Husky’s sad and forlorn voice.
SEAL HUSKY: Purity, my forsaken purity, where are you? But, where are you? Makes gestures as if attempting to embrace someone. Let’s go, let’s glow, let’s grow…
Enters Sweet Sack and throws herself at the feet of Condolence and Val Thickets weeping, shaking, begging. She’s dirty, exhausted, her tubes are hanging loose, her square is flapping, her hair and her self show extreme evidence of mess and distress under the sack. She embraces Val Thickets’ ankles and sobs into his feet. The stupefied Condolence and Val put the tape on pause.
ACT II, Scene 3: The Betrayal.
Val Thickets and Condolence are baffled for a few seconds, then grab their scripts and precipitate to enter new information. Then they try to shake Sweet Sack away but she sticks stoically to her horizontal position. Next, they scream at each other: Wait, no, wait, I mean, perhaps, now, let’s, no not that…
Finally, Condolence takes over.
CONDOLENCE: Trust me, I’ll handle this …
VAL THICKETS: Just don’t blow it, Condi. This is a one chance in a life-time…
CONDOLENCE: I won’t let you down. Promise. Just watch …
Val Thickets watches as Condolence kneels next to Sweet Sack and softly beams into her eyes through the sack-holes.
SWEET SACK still sobbing: Forgive me, o’ forgive me, pleeeeease. Ooooooo, I didn’t know …
CONDOLENCE: It’s alright, it’s alright, sweetheart. Calm down. Calm down, now. Radical Democracy is here to take care of you and to protect …
Sweet Sack generates wails of torment and seems to be oblivious to her surroundings.
VAL THICKETS: Make her speak and quick, or else …
CONDOLENCE: This needs great tactic, Val. Rushing will ruin it. She’s the type to die out on you just before you get her to … By the way, where are we on that spanking law?
VAL THICKETS: Yeah, the spanking law was upheld by the Higher Court of Verticalia. Whenever discipline is threatened and other coercive methods have been exhausted, a figure of authority may resort to tactics of humiliation and violence against the weaker person. I only added, there should be no bruises … winks, what with that ancient recipe for bruiseless last resort correction …
He takes out a beef leg in the cold-trunk under the table next to him. Shows it to her. Winks. Wraps the upper beefy part in a piece of soft silk fabric lying on the table and waves it at Condolence.
It is blunt and it is thick
soft in silk like roses
It’ll lick you with a kick
in bruiseless painful doses … And he winks, winks, winks …
CONDOLENCE smiles at him: O.K.. we might need to resort to this lastly. How good to know one can count on it. To tell the truth, before this confirmation of the law, I always felt a bit of a criminal when I resorted to this corrective method. Sighs relief and turns to caress Sweet Sack’s back gently: Shhhh, my baby, shhhh. It’ll be alright, all alright….
SWEET SACK: I didn’t know, O’ my, O’ my, I didn’t know he’d be such a beast … I mean there was no money and I was young, little education, not enough spanking when I was a kid …
CONDOLENCE caressing her gently: It’s never too late, sweetie, never too late …
SWEET SACK: So, I got into this underground pornography, and he was such a darling, he called me “my little Sweet Sack”, that’s what he called me … Sobs convulsively.
VAL THICKETS: Seal Husky? Was it Seal Husky who ran underground pornography?
Sweet Sack resumes howingl. Condolence makes a nasty, angry face and gestures at Val Thickets that he’ll mess it up. She then turns her “soothing” self back to Sweet Sack.
CONDOLENCE: C’mon, sweetie, shhhhh, it’s O.K.., it’s all O.K.. now …
SWEET SACK through sobs: No, it’s not O.K.. It’s never been O.K.. – ever since the R.D. agents grabbed him for that cursed cultural pornographics project, it’s been a nightmare … I’ve descended to barbarian indecency. I’ve betrayed him and R.D and finally or probably before all else myself. Oooaaaaaaa ….. More sobbing and wailing … It was I who planted that virtual voice tape with the poem that made him flee … ooooaaaaaaaa …
Val Thickets makes a movement to hit her, but Condolence intersects him swiftly and gestures him to be quiet or else – signs with her hand across her throat. Val Thickets recedes and finally manages to set himself free from Sweet Sack’s embrace.
CONDOLENCE: But you have redeemed yourself. Yes, now, you have. You have come to us. We don’t want to know anything, we only want to help you redeem yourself. As a Vertical Worlder, this is your basic right …
Val Thickets once more makes impatient face and gestures, and once again, Condolence signals him to stay calm and let her do her job.
SWEET SACK: It’s all so confusing … Didn’t get enough spanking as a baby. That would have leveled me. That would have led me to the right decision. Look at me, even now, prostrated at your feet, I still don’t know what to do …
CONDOLENCE: O.K.. my dear. I really hate to do this, but I have to do what’s best for you. Let’s even say, I’m doing it out of love. Now, remember, this is last resort. Everything else failed mumbles whatever that all else was …
She lifts up Sweet Sack’s ribbon and spanks her. While spanking, she seams pleased, calm, in control and speaks in a low authoritative voice. She is a natural in the art of last-resort communication and has no ambiguous feelings about it. Sweet Sack, of course, gets more than what she had bargained for and screams and wails variably according to her inner variations in resistance, reception, production, et al.
CONDOLENCE: Tell Mr. Val Thickets where Seal Husky is. Tell. Say sorry. How sorry are you? Eh? You’ve been a bad, bad girl. Getting all the wrong spanking in underground pornography. Now, you’re getting the good spanking. You naughty girl, naughty girl. Val Thickets hands Condolence the blunt and bruiseless spanking object in silk. She takes the wrapped beef leg, turns really mean and proceeds to hit Sweet Sack all over with it. Tell us everything about Seal Husky, tell, you miserable freak, you stinky, rotten pus, you plucked, unplugged tube-screw … As soon as she stops her task, she instantly turns back on her “sweet” voice. So, sweetie, feel better now? Will you talk?
SWEET SACK sobbing: No, I can’t talk. Funny, even if I don’t know what love is, I got this tingling inside, this strange pain that sends off sweetness throughout my being. I understand nothing of it, yet it has always given me hope. I don’t know what for, but I hope.
Afraid to breathe, Val Thickets steps closer.
CONDOLENCE: Sweetie … yes …
SWEET SACK: When we first met, he melted at the sound of my voice. He got such a huge hard-on, I was sure he’d fallen in love with me. I mean, I’ve never seen THAT in Verticalia. But eventually, I got to doubt that I could really measure our love by the size and number of hard-ons …
CONDOLENCE: Of course sweetie, you’re absolutely right. This is precisely why R.D. banished sexual relations. See, you’re not a total loss case …
SWEET SACK suddenly stops sobbing and gets decisive: O.K., I feel better, now. I’ll take you to him …
Scene 1: What have we got?
The final act takes place in the city outskirts. The houses are scattered around the far edges. They are smaller than those in Act 2 – distant carton spectres with pale greenish and bluish lights shining through the far away windows. The stage is a deserted, apocalyptic, windy, dark, barren landscape. In the centre but closer to the front of the stage, an object resembling a shrub on a grave grows next to a sign saying: A spectre hovers over the World. In one of the edge buildings, Condolence and Kal summon Calgate McFace for consultation on the Catching Seal Husky episode. The professor attempts to respond to their questions but finds no space between them.
CONDOLENCE: We’re used to working under high pressure where things change, improvisations impose themselves, we enter them post factum in the script, and other nutty stuff. But this …
KAL: Frankly, I’m not sure I’m following any of it at this point, let alone …
CONDOLENCE: Yeah, professor. You’re the one who got us cooking this yukkie soup with pornographics …
KAL: So what’s your spin on this?
CONDOLENCE: O.K. I’m not a man, but I think … At least it seems feasible to get any of our guys here one of those ancient penis-enlargement treatments … I mean professor, you’ve dug some information on that, viagra and stuff, or what do you have there? Could we revive him perhaps?
KAL: Yeah, at least for the duration of the film? Would that give us a political or an economic platform?
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE finally squeezes in: I know, I know, what you’re getting at. But from the beginning, my idea wasn’t as radical as the production of an x-rated movie … There’s enough of that already on the Black Market. Why not legalize what’s already out there and perhaps use some aspects of it?
CONDOLENCE: Legalize that? That depravity? It’s outrageous …
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE: But people buy it, watch it, do it, need it …
KAL: You’re bunkers, right? And what about our film? Our funding?
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE: Ah, the film … My idea was something softer, along the lines of emotions, person to person contact … I mean in the absence of any human touch even sympathy captured on film becomes erotic, no, obscene, pornographic … So, if you want my word, I’d say forget Seal Husky, and let’s look for something along the lines of humanness …
KAL: Yeah, I see. But that’s the question: what is humanness? Having sex? Writing a political scenario? Selling things? Services? Buying? What differentiates us? What makes us special? Are we special? As a species? As individuals? And I mean, does being good enter into any of this or should we dismiss it as a figment of the concept of evil?
CONDOLENCE: Wow, Kal! Playing the philosopher? Quit. Doesn’t become you …
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE: Precisely, Kal. All of these aspects organize us into the society that we become and make us act the way we do as individuals and as social bodies. But, how to organize us so that we live in peace with the world and at the same time in harmony with our own selves and principles?
KAL: Harmony, peace, love, bla, bla, bla. Evidence man. Specific examples …
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE: Actually, I’ve seen some ancient zoological field notes.
KAL: O’ man! Not Freud again …
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE: No, no. Listen. Imagine, the wild sexual beasts of yore. We think of them as not capable of thought, selfish, in tune only with their own primitive needs, mad with desires … And guess what I found? I discovered that a wild animal could willfully, even consciously chose over its own self the advantage of someone else, be it another animal, species even alien species, the world, or the divine …
CONDOLENCE: Com’mon …
KAL: What do you mean “willfully” choose? One needs to have a will and the ability to think and choose …
PROFESSOR MCFACE: Precisely. For example, dolphins, knowing that man was the most dangerous creature on earth, still came to his rescue in time of trouble in open sea. Cats sacrificed for other cats, little or big. Lemurs killed themselves if they became too many, and only Man invented the self-centred doctrine that destroyed the world called Humanism and which paradoxically was also self-destructive … Kal and Condolence attempt to interrupt. Wait, wait. There’s more. Did you know that something crucial got passed from parent to child in the early days of childhood? Here’s another example: Felines. The mother spoilt her kits as much as we could never dream of. She nursed as often and as much as they needed. When those were ready to eat food, she wouldn’t eat her prey until the cubs and the male were satisfied.
CONDOLENCE: O’ junk! Not that sacrificial song again! Guys, we’re in the 21st century and you haven’t grown out of your bullshit about women sacrificing for you? Selfish bastards!
PROFESSOR MCFACE: That’s not my point at all. I want to stress something else. By our standards and logic, the kits should have grown into spoilt egotistical brats. I mean, that’s the mistrust we sowed to convince all those people to turn against their own children and finally to entirely give them up. But to my surprise, I read, that the female kits and cubs grew up into the same giving mothers and the males, well the males, they of course identified with their dads. And that’s not on a pure genetic or instinctual level, because felines born in human society lost this gift of giving and became psychopathic, alienated, hateful creatures … Gives us something to think about … no?
KAL: Yeah, it’s like if the human species had three choices: stay the way we were, or men learn women’s love, or turn women into men …
PROFESSOR MCFACE: There were other complex societal models as well that …
Val Thickets runs in, sees Calgate McFace and gapes. Then quickly checks himself.
VAL THICKETS to McFace: What the hell are you doing here? To his crew: We’ve got an emergency and here you are babbling away with this freaky blab. Bla bla bla bla bla. Screams and shakes hands at McFace: Dismissed! Calgate McFace backs up. Val Thickets to his crew: Quick! Sweet Sack is taking us there. Finally, a break on Operation S.H.. Get your scripts ready …
CONDOLENCE: Hey, hey, man. Calm down. This professor here has some ideas, perhaps we should hear them.
VAL THICKETS sarcastically: Of course, Condi, we’ll hear them. Authoritatively: We’ve got to get the staff and the army ready right now. Right this second. Enthusiastically: We’ve got him Kal, Condi, We’ve got him …
Condolence waves a give-up.
ACT III, Scene 2: We’ve Got Him
Condolence, Kal and Val Thickets begin to mobilize troops and organize their scripts while professor Calgate McFace watches and shakes his head in dismay, mumbling and following them quietly around. As the army and the news-people organize themselves through the howling wind and elliptic screams of commands, Sweet Sack enters and walks slowly and shakily towards the shrubby grave in the centre. She points to the grave which instantly begins to shimmer with ghostly light-like phenomenon. She then turns behind and sees the slowly and quietly emerging cameras, directors, army, people who by now surround her.
SWEET SACK screams: O’ my God! Forgive me. Forgive the fool. Is there no way out of civilization? O’ God, tell me, tell me please … Now I see. That’s why … That’s why they’ve done it all … We shall all … She drops and we don’t see her get up again.
Numerous cameras, assistant directors and the main film director roll on stage and begin the great operation. This consists of directing the actions of the army and the camera-people in congruence with the updates in intelligence reports. Val Thickets occasionally screams “Action”. When he does, the military begins to dig and the cameras begin to roll. The commentators and broadcasters scream that “now is the greatest moment in human history, Seal Husky is finally found and humanity shall never be the same …” When Val Thickets shouts “Stop Action”, everyone halts, rearranges, and proceeds to “Action”, and so forth. Val Thickets, Condolence, and Kal run about checking the make-up of the guys who are digging, of the military who are firing shots in celebration etc. People get shot with the fire of jubilance and those bodies get carried away. This takes some time of course, but finally they succeed and dig out the grave. The directors order a “Stop Action” and whisper among themselves. They seem to be debating something. Finally, Val Thickets gives an order to “Action” and to dig. They dig out a sleeping man – bushy, hairy, raggedy, haggardly; they shake him back to his senses. He looks lost and confused, keeps touching his beard and the long hair, turns around, finally, attempts to walk away. Initially, everyone looks at him in confusion. Suddenly, as Val Thickets raises his flag, all the humanoids begin to scream, applaud, and exhibit hysterical signs of mob-joy.
And as all mob-joys do, this one too, experiences much shooting, hooting, looting, killing and burning.
VAL THICKETS screams: Hold him. He could have rabies. Check his throat.
A doctor sticks his hand down the old man’s throat.
The broadcaster’s eyes wobble, he jumps up and down and screams on his show: We’ve got him, Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve got him! Here’s the DNA e-mail! This is Seal Husky as promised. As promised we are saved, we are saved!
The newly-dug-outer says: Ich bin es, ich bin Karl (1) , jawoll, jawoll, eeh? jawoll.
A doctor opens his mouth and checks his eyes, teeth, pulls out his tongue, pulls out a tooth, then asks him: do you have worms?
KARL: Was? Was is das? Was soll das?
MEDICAL WORKER: Do you have flees? Worms?
KARL: Was heisst das? Wie nennt man das? Ah? Was meinst Du? (2)
There is a pause the two stare at each other, then Karl begins to turn around again. With his eyes, he finds Val Thickets who’s trying to hide behind a smaller assistant. He asks Val: Warum hast du das denn gemacht?(3)Ach, Was macht das schon… (4) and makes a gesture with his hand (like, bah, forget it); turns away from Val.
MEDICAL WORKER: Let me check your ears and hair. He proceeds to check behind ears, hair, neck, pulls out some hair and various unrecognizable particles of Karl, then asks again: any parasites?
Karl beams in recognition: Ah, jaha, jawoll, jawoll, Parasiten, Schmarotzer, sicher, sicher.
He suddenly remembers something, scratches his head and frowns, then says, “Ahhh, ein Gespenst, oder möglicherweise ein Schreckgespenst. Hmmm, die Erscheinung einer Frau in Weiss … hmmmmmm, continues to shake head and scratch in confusion … Oder waren es diese verdammten Kapitalisten, ich sag’s euch, ein Gespenst breitet sich ueber Europa aus. Screams and throws himself on the ground: In die Schuetzengraeben …
A large spectre brandishing chains begins to appear, but apart from Karl, no-one notices him.
The doctor and his assistant pull up Karl and sniff his armpits, bum and crotch, then open his mouth and begin to count the teeth: one, two, three, four, five. Karl tries to count along in German: eins, zwei, drei, vier, fuenf at five they give up and try to get again the assistant’s hand into Karl’s throat. Karl bites the assistant through his glove. Blood gushes. The doctor & the assistant are horrified and while they take care of the wound, Karl slowly walks away and the huge ghost now hovers over the stage. The ghost has chains and utters deep sighs of pain. People closer to the spectre begin to flee in horror. Val Thickets orders to film the joyous capture of Seal Husky and directs people to act happy, as the operators continue to film, and the commentators to announce what Val scribbles on paper.
VAL THICKETS: And STOP AAAAAACTION.
The ghost drops, all relax and wander. Condolence and Kal look confused.
ACT III, Scene 3: But what have we got?
When they regain their senses, Condolence and Kal shout angrily at Val Thickets.
KAL: What? Now, what the hell was that?
CONDOLENCE: You mean this wasn’t an improvisation? An accident?
KAL: Not a true discovery?
CONDOLENCE: You mean THAT was your script?
VAL THICKETS: Yeah, what’s wrong with it? Didn’t you like it?
KAL: No, I agreed to bring some new breeze: pornographics, Seal Husky, whatever … But to disturb and degrade some old spectre, that’s really off … Man, I’m tired of all this black-balling …
VAL THICKETS: First of all, this was a joke. Hellllooooe! Lost your sense of humour? Second, and what exactly have you been doing all along? Not gaily exploiting and debasing the idiots who vote your stupid R.D. for you? He makes a somersault.
CONDOLENCE: O’ man. I can’t deal with such overt cynicism. I mean, I believed …
KAL: Just cut out your hypocrite tricks, you full of crap dominatrix …
VAL THICKETS makes another somersault: Third, that was the least dangerous prospect; the old spectre is well dead and I thought we could all have a harmless laugh. Runs a fast circle around them delivering spanks. It’s a joke on communism. Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, communism sprouted on the principles of capitalism – namely, on the exploitation for the sake of humans, only with capitalism leading radically in all regards … Somersaults off stage.
CONDOLENCE begins loudly and escalates into a crescendo: Alright, I’ll speak for myself. A few days ago, trying to put some humour into our script, I checked the virtual literary archives and stumbled upon a funny play by Nikolai Gogol, Revizor, where at the end, the narrator asks the public: “Nad kem smejotes’?” And replies: Nad soboj smeetes’ ” (She enacts the translation as she speaks) (5). So, if communism turns out to be the bastard child of capitalism, it is a part of us all and in this Kal’s right, we’re humiliating ourselves, laughing at ourselves.
Val Thickets laughs out loud from behind the scene:
VAL THICKETS’ voice singing: There’s a darn, darn communist next to Sam in the heart of every one – next to Sam in the heart of every Nam …
CONDOLENCE continues faster: Laugh as you wish, but here’s what you omit in your scripts: Many impoverished Verticalis are fleeing, leaving immense economic gaps. And where are they moving to? To those idiots in Biodynamic and other Horizontal spheres who believe that the less people want the better it is for all. Our voracious assholes are devouring those worlds and might grow stronger than us, and who knows what next, who knows? They might come back and take over. So, where will we be with our script-writing then? Hun? Where? She escalates to screaming. Calgate McFace runs around mumbling and shaking his head.
KAL: Calm down Condi. It’s not like we’ve got options here.
Val Thickets somersaults out of one end, across the stage and somersaults out of sight through the opposite end.
CONDOLENCE: Calm down? Calm down?! Look at what he’s got us into … Mark my words, Kal: this is the desperate mumbling of a dying nation. Instead of leading us to life, he’s taking us to a grave. Look at it. She points to Karl’s grave. This is our grave from which he just dug out and humiliated an old ghost – our ghost, Kal …
KAL: I hear you, Condi. I hear you. But we don’t have many options here. We can’t change our drive for material greed and so we can’t espouse Horizontal and Cylindrical ideals of not wanting much. We’re left with the organizational tactics of extreme capitalism and the less extreme capitalism – communism being their child. But I agree, with you Condi, this farce was over the top.
CONDOLENCE: Where did he get this from? Did we all do it?
KAL: I don’t know. I (stresses I) didn’t take part in writing THAT script. I actually thought it was an impromptu when I saw what I saw. My concern with all this script writing is that I don’t know anymore whether it makes us what we are or whether we make it what it is. In either case it’s not a flattering image of ourselves …
Professor Calgate McFace suddenly squeezes in to take part in the discussion.
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE: Good direction, folks. But I believe we do have other options. We could live with our civilization’s ideals, I mean, I love this science, technology, and all the paraphernalia. It’s my life. But we could organize ourselves differently. We should take our basic symptoms of life into our hands. Get the script writing politics, gentaic reproduction and Lifesonics Unlimited out of our lives and find the touch with this world, the touch we’ve been robbed of, the touch that will take us to God and the stars. That’s what I meant by my project. Perhaps I didn’t express it well …
Val Thickets somersaults back out in the middle of Professor’s speech smiling slyly but not interfering yet.
CONDOLENCE: Cultural pornographics, rape, advertising, economy, shit, shit, shit … No, you haven’t explained a damn thing …
KAL to the professor: Wait, I remember what you said at the conference. You said that pornography was our salvation, our path to love and eternal life …
CONDOLENCE: No offense, prof., but some really warped mind you’ve got there …
VAL THICKETS snaps: Bla bla bla, bla bla bla, bla la la la lala lalllaaaaa… That’s what you’ve been doing (points to the professor) and screech-screech-screech (scribbles intensely like a maniac) that’s what you two’ve been doing (points at Kal and Condolence). So that bla la la la and scribble dibble nibble add up to the sense of your world, your lives, your selves. Now, show me any other way and I’ll resign … The three instantly try to tell him something of the other way but he doesn’t give them the chance. Sex or no sex – the difference between the civilized and the primitive is the ability of the former to live in abstraction as abstraction and the inability of the latter to function outside its eco-system. We, the civilized people, have overcome the ecosystem …
PROFESSOR CALGATE MCFACE interrupts: … destroyed, done away with …
VAL THICKETS continues: … and inscribed existence into a script. Having killed God, the civilized Man created the Scriptwriter and now, justice, love, life, sex, hatred, death, matter no more. Actually, they never mattered even down there in those organic worlds. One still lived, suffered and died. So, what’s the point? The difference? Why shouldn’t the scriptwriter have it swell? Huh? You’ve had it all sugar and roses, so what’s the fuss? Want to move to Biodynamia? Screams: Go!
Kal bursts out into tears. Val Thickets continues in a different tone: Anyway, those same miserable ungrateful brats, our citizens who scream: it hurts, hurts, hurts, they just love, need, can’t live without knowing that somewhere someone’s got it all and that their suffering is not in vain – that there are princes, kings, queens, scriptwriters, damn it, poppies flourishing on grief … A soldier gladly goes to die in agony to whispers of the cherished lie that his people need his blood … In yesteryear, when soldiers had mothers, these women were soothed, not even with money – no – with a mere trinket, a knickknack that told them their son died a hero for their good, for the good of the parasites around, and that before he died he killed, killed, killed …
Condolence runs up to Val Thickets, hits him all over screaming: You cynic, you bastard cynic, gives up and joins Kal in the outburst of tears. Val Thickets gets totally mad. He makes somersaults, rolls on the ground, laughs, tickles, pulls their tubes. The spectre behind them begins to stir and sigh as if a breeze came back to life. Condi and Kal stand next to each other crying. The professor shudders and continues mumbling: leave or not leave, you can’t escape your history, call it genes, habitus, education, fate, what not … It’s your disease, disease, disease … Human contact is obscene, scene, mean … Look at them … points at Condi and Kal.
VAL THICKETS continues: I don’t kill. You don’t. They do. We only write about it, film it, produce it, direct it. And where would they all be without our show? They live for it, in it, with it, through it. For it, they let themselves and their world be castrated, exploited, murdered. Like superfluous adornments to our redundant furniture, they attired their miserable existence and our world with castration – which is their own death, the death of their future. Sterile. Odourless. Futile.
Condolence and Kal cry even more and fall weeping on the ground. The spectre begins to slowly rise. Val climbs on a hanging rope and swings as if on a liana screaming: Castration! Impotence! This is the logic of capitalism! Take their passive consumerism away from them and they’d either ultimately and utterly die or else they’d instantly reinvent the same … I’ll bet on the latter. And those obscure Biodynamicians are obsolete, irrelevant, non-existent in my script …
Val jumps down from his liana and puts a pair of donkey’s ears on his head.
I’ll reveal our ghastly truth: The scriptwriter is the Poet, is the conscience of the people who intuitively realizes their desires, dreams, drives, fears. And even if our history and whatever other books blabber about strong figures who brought change or about the importance of personality in history, it is all bullocks – as individuals, we, the poets, the scriptwriters, don’t matter, we don’t even exist. This is our terrible secret. What we produce on the newsreel is nothing more than the masses’ inner selves, their will. When they kill, die, destroy – it is they who make us produce their script. Dictators, kings, queens, presidents, leaders – the bloodiest or the most tender and sweet – we are no other than that fleeting, yet made of steel, whim of the masses.
CONDOLENCE wails: Now, blame it all on genetic nature … Val Thickets takes off his ears and puts them on Condolence.
KAL laments: No, it’s our fate … Condolence throws her pair of donkeys’ ears at Kal.
VAL THICKETS laughs devilishly: None of that. It’s a socially inscribed code that we cannot forget or discard. This is the affliction the civilized man’s developed himself as early as the dawn of humankind when people gathered into a social mass and mutated reproducing at the speed of a virus. This mob is the affliction; it is the pain, the sickness of the universe. And ever since, when the masses scream no, they scream at themselves. But regardless, they love these miserable, ugly selves and therefore always have – always will vote YES!!! What else can they do? He, the dark spirit that led us to civilization, is amidst us. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got him …
In the meantime, the growling and howling spectre has fully risen. Little by little it sweeps everything off. It grabs the professor, Kal, Condolence, then finally Val Thickets whose last words are: O’ my God! But what have we got?
A cold grey cloth of nothingness drops over the stage. Photos of our imaginary, our Mars are projected on it. In the sound of the wind through the sighs of the spectre’s pain, we hear silence. Soon, that stops too.