Saturday, July 27, 2013


UK science fiction poetry will give you tremendous nightmares of real hope


This is an anthology. So you do not need to follow the pages and you can skip twenty pages forward then twenty-five backward and then thirty-seven forward again. You can just use the table of contents and read the poems that contain one particular word in their titles, or those of names you know or think you recognize. You like or you don’t like this or that and if a poem is not pleasant you wan zap over it. Sipping is the rule in such reading and such a genre: sip here and sip there and try to get the divine sap on which you can sup and even if you really like it you can have your last supper of the day and then go digest it in your be-dreamed mind during the night. I must say the little monkey who is constantly sitting on my left shoulder, the heart shoulder mind you, is constantly telling me what to feel, what to think, what to do, and I must admit he was really active while I was reading this book. I must admit he told me a couple of times I was an assh*** to read such stuff while the world was needing so much action. Since he is my little monkey I have the right to tell him what I told him, that action is fine and dandy but action without feelings and inspiration is like a day without sunshine, and since the sun will collapse only in four hundred billion years, or so, I told him I wanted as much sunshine in my action as I could get for free.

That should make you understand at what a loss I am in front of this book. I did not lose my mind or my virginity. I lost something else that is quite different. I lost the tight feeling of things, mental or material, I generally have. It loosened my grounding in my intellectual firm lands and it sent me aloof and aghast in a sea of formless and soundless ghosts I had managed to keep at a distance for long enough to have nearly forgotten their existence. In no time, in a few pages, I was haunted by shape-shifters, body-shifters, body-thieves and soul-catchers that had decided I was a derelict thinker on legs and that I had to get off my legs to start thinking more freely. And it got me off my legs indeed.

It took me beyond genetics and the ranting and raving of H.G. Wells and his Morlocks and Eloi and his idea that the human species was going to evolved into two different antagonistic species setting the bourgeois capitalistic world upside down ass over teakettle, ass over head or head over heels. In the same way we are beyond the white supremacist scientific world H.G. Wells advocated in his film “Things to come.” That was only the first step of modern apocalyptic science-fiction and that was a long time before Ron L. Hubbard and his shift of science fiction from machines to human beings. Ron Hubbard has always had the tendency to believe he was the great changer of the world. H.G. Wells was a catastrophic science-fiction writer for sure but he was quite in phase with Jules Verne who was a lot less catastrophic or apocalyptic. But both men were centered on man, human psychology, human potential future and inhuman potential dangers.

But we are beyond these writers and these at times dystopian utopias.

We have also stepped a long way beyond the easy explanations of evil as being the result of social organization, be it capitalism or market economy or whatever the fad of today, yesterday and tomorrow will bring back from the 19th century or even the 18th century if we consider Rousseau. We are beyond the vision that evil is an integral part of the human individual because we know today that this human individual is phylogenetically and psychogenetically produced and thus that what may be seen inside is necessarily the result of at least some influences from outside elements like education. It is obvious that this science fiction has understood that our education system is cultivating evil in every single one of our children for them to be normal adults, hence ready to fight our wars and fight against aliens and foreigners to the death, to the finish, to the bloody gladiator-like gritty fatal, lethal, deadly rape. And I say rape because rape is part of the education we provide our children with. This science fiction is beyond that and considers what this will produce in one or two generations. Tastily sickening, but sickeningly salvational. Thanks God we are saved, though God . . . And the wheel of Sarah Westcott’s “O” is that wheel of salvation so often referred to and described in the Old Testament. But being a turning wheel the human being has become a machine or the macine has become a human being or both at once.

15 I then noticed that on the ground beside each of the four living creatures was a wheel,16 shining like chrysolite. Each wheel was exactly the same and had a second wheel that cut through the middle of it, 17 so that they could move in any direction without turning.18 The rims of the wheels were large and had eyes all the way around them.[k] 19-21 The creatures controlled when and where the wheels moved—the wheels went wherever the four creatures went and stopped whenever they stopped. Even when the creatures flew in the air, the wheels were beside them.” (Ezekiel, 1:15-21)

We are definitely beyond Hubbard but Hubbard is one of the mind-bogglers that have left a deep voyeuristic furrow in our consciousness.

“Then he went down alone in the dark vault.
When he was sitting on his chair in the shade,
And that was on his forehead closed underground
The eye was in the grave and looked at Cain.”
(Victor Hugo, The Legend of the Centuries, “Consciousness,” 1859)

This unconscious scientologist eye in our own consciousness is like Big Brother made anew and afar and totalitarian as if this Big Brother was not a spying eye in a TV screen but a self-denouncing confessing urge in our own head impressed there by manipulating and pressurizing in the name of the engrams we have to bring out and reveal to the clear people who govern our healing.

This collection of poems is vastly beyond Extraterrestrials and other cosmic beings though when they are envisaged as such the colonial spirit comes back but such Extraterrestrials are passé today and the future cosmic beings are our descendants. Descendants you say? Hence in Darwin’s line? Not really as we are going to see. The descent is beyond pure genes. The chromosomes are eternal but mutate constantly and at any stage the descending survivors continue those they left behind extinct

“. . . Those who won were left
The standing stones, the seed, the memories
Of people before the people they
Left dead.”
(Ken MacLeod, “Succession”)

This collection seems to have integrated the post-Singularity thinking of people like Ray Kurzweil. In fact it is seriously exploring what would happen if Kurzweil’s dream and desire were to become real. If all our “minds” meaning brains were to be invaded by all kinds or nanobots able to communicate together we would no longer be independent beings since our nanobots would be in constant communication with all the nanobots of the world and we would be each one of us one little transistor on and in a giant motherboard. Then the computing concept of master-slave would become a reality, a reality in our flesh, in our brains. Big Brother would really be Super-Big All-powerful Almighty Super-Brother this time. No confession necessary; No clears necessary; Just a giant cosmic computer to serve as the server of all these nanobots and we would be nothing but the flesh-dressed dendrites of this giant cosmic server. This collection of poems is seriously considering what may happen beyond this point. And this time the eye of consciousness in Cain tomb has become the constant leash, lashes and dashboard that command us from morning to morning and through the whole day and night. The Extraterrestrials then are the electric pulses, the digital commands and the viruses that come from the central cosmic server into every single one of our integrated circuit via our motherboards.

“All the fearless orphans you incubate
In the heat of the humming motherboard.
Our guillotining legs and slicing through
Your interactive future towards you:
We are coming, we are coming for you.”
(Brian Mvcabe, “They Are Coming”)

Speaking of dystopia, I am afraid, in fact frightened s***less, Ray Kurzweil is probably the best and most dangerous peddler of such a man-made apocalypse, of such a satanic nightmare straight out of the worst prophetic moments of the Old Testament, of the Torah even. The Leviticus transformed into an integrated nano-circuit multiplied in millions of varied types and modules and controlling our own material and mental life. Speaking of fundamentalism, I am amazed that such an MIT thinker may produce something that is billions of times more potent than the most stringent version of Islamic shari’ah law since then no individual at all would be able to have any individual initiative at all in anyway possible. I wonder what this other MIT mad scientist, Noam Chomsky who stated the innateness of universal grammar, think of this pushing his black box into becoming the black server of the cosmos.

When I have said that, and my little monkey helped me a lot yesterday while I was climbing a few hundred yards in the mountain in the sunshine (he is like me, he is not afraid of the sunshine since I retrieved him on his way back from South-East Asia some years ago), I could maybe enter the anthology and look at each poem in great detail. I could write hundred of pages, and each poem deserves such a full treatment. But that would be out of proportion here. So I am going to do what all monkey do: jump around from one tree to the next and scavenge what I can get here and there, a few blossoms, a few fruit, or a flea from the back of some fellow monkey, and share them with you.

Chris McCabe in his “The White Star Hotel” gives us the most complete version of the post-Kurzweilian apocalyptic dystopia. The “you” he is speaking of opposed to his “we” is clearly that master that controls us all via our nanobots.

“You are the conscience
You are the blueprint
You are the mind
You are the stars
You are the mass
You are the zeitgeist
You are the mute
You are the script”

What is left then to “us”? Not much after the great technical revolution:

“We devised our first strategies for waiting men to be born by machines.”

But now that has happened “we” can go back to the closet of obsolete objects, and machines are bearing and delivering the new generation of what exactly?

“I knew the Fall was coming that night I woke, cardiac throated:
The gulls went lit by modern lights.
Our hearts were splattered with poverty.
We could smell smoke in the library.
Our newspapers turned to papier mache.
White ferries taxied us homewards.
Panic made kiosks of our possessions.”

The reference to the Fall is of course a reference to Adam and Eve and the Fall from the Garden of Eden after eating the apple (ah! ah! a fig, man, or boy or whatever) when Eve played the fruit and Adam tried to play the writhing snake of a penile reptile child-maker. But after this second contact with the Tree of knowledge, the human species was out of the picture:

“All our new babies looking up with eyes of glazed chrisms. . .
The Fall happened in a vacuum. . .
The fact to remember about the Fall
Is that we were prepared for the atomic.
What happened was not atomic. . .”

Is there any hope in all that? Boy, man or whatever you prefer, girl or b***h even if that’s your sex, gender or taste, not much if we keep the dystopian tone in that tale. But The author is a genius who discovers that we are governed in such a perspective by a Priest, in this case let’s say Kurzweil or some other Hubbard, or a Steve Andreas, a Pete Bissonette, a Jamie Smart resolving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in you on a public stage for everyone to see the miracle, initiating you to fast reading or whatever personality change you may dream of, or even some American Monk jumping quanta in his old age, and what (certainly not who) Chris McCabe calls the Shadow which is this bodiless, fleshless, mindless entity deprived of any humanity and that controls all things without being in any way material, hence being entirely virtual. And the end of the poem following my last quotation is:

“And we could have pulled through somehow
We could have pulled through
Until we knew
The Priest was spending nights with the Shadow.”

You cannot stop the hormonal impulses, even of a priest. He has to spend his night with something, if he can’t spend them with someone, and you can imagine Kurzweil cajoling his Singularity, or Burt Goldman caressing his quanta, between the silk sheets of his/their night, gamboling and prancing in-between the Shadow legs or rather under the Shadow’s spear (the Roman soldier), spike (for crucifixion or a hypodermic injection), carpenter’s nail (also for crucifixion), or whatever a shadow can have as for a Jack-out-of-the-box-hammer.

And yet the poem is not finished. There is third section that pushes the theme even further and describes what happened when we got off the white ferries on our last trip across the cosmic ocean. I should quote the whole page but I can’t. It is too powerful, too cruel. I feel like raped in my deepest and most intimate being and beliefs by this page and I kind of feel I have to thank the author for his foresight The author is raping us with a pneumatic drill of his own boring a Chunnel through our brains. So let me give you the second half of this page, only:

“The future pulling the souls from our bodies
Like the flesh of razorclams sucked from their shells
We knew
As we looked back for the final time
-- our emptiness fluted by the wind of the beach --
-- our first memories expiring into the blue –
-- a cot, a curtain, a rail of stars –
We knew by the lights in the mouths of our lovers
That everything had changed forever.”

If we are dumb enough suckers to believe this priest or these priests of the singularity or whatever it is they peddle telling us the stars – if it is the stars – will eat our souls like we eat oysters, discard our bodies as useless casings, and we will have been transformed into fodder for the cosmos. A beautiful ending in a way but somewhere it must leave you un-satiated as for the sexual pleasure this intercourse should have brought you. You have become a virtual and totally enslaved mucroprocessor in the motherboard of the singularity’s cosmos.

And that is Saint Kurzweil’s gospel beaming his rays of supernatural virtual light onto the world in the name of MIT, the last laboratory of mad scientists incorporated in Massachusetts no longer bridging anything, but for sure being the CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) camshaft or connecting rods of some devilish cosmic engine.

And to conclude this ranting raving of a critique I will quote Steve Sneyd’s “Morning in June” that materializes the virtual predator that the cosmos had turned into in the previous poem:

“No one sees what is done
The planet’s jaws gnash once
And swallow the whole scene.”

I have to apologizes to all the authors I have not quoted but I think the readers of this critique should be titillated enough where they have an itch, I hope not too high between their knees, to get to the volume and read some more pages. It is worth even more than a very short while and in a way it is sickeningly funny (strange not ah! Ah!) and instructive. Particularly Sue Guiney’s “What Can Be Taught” in which she explains all that apocalyptic fantasy is only possible because the teachers of our dear schools and universities are implementing the first of the ten most unpredictable questions Harvard Business School asks in the interviews to select their MBA students:

“Explain to me something you’re working on as if I were an eight-year-old?”

turning themselves into grown-up children and thus locking up the children in their childish identity and personality.

And then we are surprised if the grown-ups that come out of these children are big children who can fall for the first priest available and speaking in the name of the unnamed first shadow imaginable. All that because we did not listen to what the children had to say and we did not care for it, we did not take care of it and answer their questions. The education system of this planet produces the apocalyptic vision at first and later the reality that will bring our civilization down like a secular temple built with newspaper scraps and fragments (page 27, the well numbered, 3x9, 999, the beast, Edwin Morgan’s “a piece of newspaper caught in the traffic”, and page 67, a prime number of its own 6+7=13, Edwin Morgan again and “a paper . . . caiught on some swirling freeway”)


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