10/09/08, 09:30am (BST), Geneva, Switzerland:
The first (clockwise) particle beam completes a 27 kilometre circuit of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Five physicists huddle together on the floor in a post coital swoon. The search for a new God of the quantum age is on.
10/09/08, 09:30am (BST), Glasgow, Scotland:
The golden head of Mammon looks on greedily as John Beagles cuts deep into his forearm siphoning a stream of glittering life particles into the vacuum sealed vestibule provided by the GSS. Graham Ramsay grunts as he bites down on a length of neon tubing and manfully bends it to his colossal will.
Yes, great works have been in progress this autumn.
As the global economic meltdown squats heavily above us and foamy mouthed scientists quietly begin to fire sub-atomic missiles up the Almighty fundament, Beagles and Ramsay have been at work, cross-plumbing the electronic conduits of sanitised machinic desire in order to recall and flesh out the forgotten gods of our libidinous excess. With technical pizzazz and some archaic metaphysical spookery these artists have liberated the proletariat code packets from the managerial uber-guardians of widgetology. Crawl-bots, porn-bots, googloids, libidinal parasites, call them what you will, all have responded to a call to arms, bursting forth from fibre-optic cables to nourish themselves on the bloated carcass of our collective digital babelism.
Like the exposed heads of the spectral dandies dissolving in a sea of shimmering excrement ( Glitter Island series 2006 ), our minds are being poked clean, drip-fed, hoovered, polished and pampered by the thinly veiled promise of a celebrity role in the force-feedback system of web 3.0 (meta-identity) Empire building. Neural gratification will be instant yet there will be no salve to heal your bleeding ports or sooth your terminal ends. There will be no unplugging.
Now, in this room, a totemic icon sits. An automated conglomerate behemoth encrusted in the decimated dreams of an increasingly avaricious multitude. It squats — empty-eyed, massively immobile, yet clearly armed with a brutal weapon and licentious intent. Like a vast slab of gold bullion in a pristine vault, its crushing mass betrays the immateriality of its transnational significance. This gallery is its nodal throne and you are here today to pay homage to your own hysterical techgnositicism. Beware those who would cry heresy, for its canon is aimed heavenward.
A mere simulacra perhaps? Yes, but a fleshy original walks amongst us. His name is Cowell and he stands at the gateway to the hallowed halls of international celebrity. Square of head and chest, golden of limb, the king of plastic teeth stalks his starry-eyed minions with a lusty hammer. His promise of fame and fortune is aired in stadiums across the country where thousands gather to wonder at the monolithic solidity of his body type and bask in the lightning glare that emits from his bejewelled frontal orifice. From this perfect aperture come caustic words of judgement and dire warnings to those who would dare cross into his kingdom under spurious claims of worthiness.
His populist stance, fists clenched before his chest to form a prohibitive X, makes his battle cry abundantly clear. It is not permitted to bugger me! I, in turn, must bugger every last one of you!
Even choice subjects who cower under the protective shelf of his box-shaped bosom must yield to his erectile omnipotence. Terrifying accounts of his bestial behaviour regularly appear in the encrypted blogs of his symbiotic network hostlings. As the pneumatic giant Holly Willoughby recalls in one such post;
“…Cheryl Cole fell into a drunken slumber at a post broadcast feast and Judge Cowell seized the opportunity to advance upon her. With stealth he approached, but just before he could embrace her, Danni Minogue alerted the party with some ‘raucous braying’. Cheryl awoke and pushed Cowell away, her escape aided by a mysterious electronic transfer. To punish Minogue for spoiling his opportunity, Cowell bludgeoned her to death with his gargantuan phallus…”
Only last year the weeping Scot, Leon Jackson of Whitburn, threw himself at the feet of Cowell to beg deliverance from a lifetime of painful northern obscurity. His wish was indulged by the stolid demiurge and his lumpen corpus was immediately made subject to an intense programme of sanitary and cosmetic adjustments. The cost of His patronage, however, cannot be measured by the trauma of surgery alone…
This from The Book of Cowell (2008) :
“My teeth are not hewn from fragile enamel, nor is my member–which stands stiff–made from just any old cartilage. Both are begotten from everlasting polymers that fear not the passage of a hundred celestial ages nor the decay of advanced years. Fear this, evil singer, whoever you are. If your deformed molars defile the smallest particle of this here sonic temple, like it or not, this synthetic rod will penetrate and drain the life from you.”
After a year of intestinal flossing and electronic tongue scrubbing Leon Jackson appears on our terminals devoid of puppy fat, pleasingly angular, but listless and empty-eyed. As he plugs his new album with practiced coyness, shimmering golden fluid drips from his left ear but is quickly removed by a deft assistant. Then suddenly, as if at a wistful childhood memory of some alcoholic bus-stop binge, an eye creeps wayward and a tooth drops audibly to the stage floor, revealing a brown stump in its wake. Our screens go blank. Tea. When we return he is gone.
Later, in a catch-up programme on a digital channel, the toothsome Anglo-Saxon goofball Willoughby allows us to see high-def footage of the hideous aftermath. Leon seems smaller than before and is trembling in a corner of the screen. His tuxedo is crumpled and damp. Perhaps it is the stench of menthol and rot that alerts him to the hulking presence at his shoulder. He turns to face his mentor whose molestful intent cannot be hidden by his high riding tent-like Chinos. There follows a scene of such inspirational horror that it galvanises Beagles and Ramsay into a frenzy of artistic endeavour. “Scotland beware!” they cry. “The rotten molars of this world have crumbled with the Berlin wall! But hold fast, resistance is never completely futile!”
And so, as the glamorous network daemons beckon and cajole us ever more towards the months of festivitus – take heed. Brush twice a day and prepare yourself for an almighty yuletide shafting.
10/09/08, 2:00pm (BST), Geneva, Switzerland:
The second (anti-clockwise) particle beam completes a 27 kilometre circuit of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Five physicists burst out of a laboratory spluttering and thrashing wildly at a swarm of angry haemorrhoidal cherubs.
10/09/08, 2:00pm (BST), Glasgow, Scotland:
Graham Ramsay holds down the demiurge Cowell and brutally inserts usb devices into his empty mandibles. John Beagles plugs in his newly appropriated teeth and stands grinning in the neon glow of his dressing room mirror.
Norman James Hogg – Hack for hire.