Thursday, February 03, 2005

 

An Eye for an Eye

Prayer! That’s it. Prayer.

What are you on about now? What prayer?

That’s how Sanctiblogger escaped. He prayed. If we pray, Jesus or Allah will take us to the Ding an sich. Clasp us to their bosoms. Rescue us.

Oh, please. Like every poor imprisoned fucker in the world hasn’t prayed. Lot of good it did them. Better you should just write to Amnesty International.

This is different. I got an angle.

Yeah? Different how? What angle? You know some special prayer? Got some hot prayerline?

Oh, ye of little faith. Of course not. The prayer for opening the gate to the Ontic Bridge. Sort of an open sesame. And we got the third eye.

Ho, ho. This place is really getting to you, isn’t it? An open sesame for the Ontic Bridge. A third eye. If it wasn’t so dark in here, I’d find your face and punch it. Hey, what’s that? A flashlight?

No. I just opened my third eye.

Goddam, that’s bright. Shine it somewhere else.

Can’t. We have to both open our third eyes at the same time. Where the beams join, we’ll find the prayer for opening the Ontic Bridge.

I don’t have a third eye, dipshit.

Sure you do. Wait, just a minute. There’s some eye butter. It’s glued shut. A little spit, and there. Open. Oops, sorry about that shackle in the ear.

Hot damn. It is open. Where’d that come from?

It’s always been there, pal. You just don’t take very good care of it. How long since you’ve been to a Mysticoopometrist?

Never mind that. Let’s cross the beams and get the prayer. I’m cramped.

There—see it?

No. Oh, wait. Yeah. What’s that it says?

And, where the third eye high-beams crossed, they read aloud:

Raskolnikov, who crossed the bridge, hear us.
O holy denizen of Cinvat, thou who holdest the keys
To the perilous crossing from Defined to the Ding an sich
Open now the Ontic Bridge gate and take us to the
Bosom of Jesus and the lap of Allah.

That was a long, stupid-ass "open sesame." Whoa, hey. The shackles just fell off. And what’s that? The cell door’s opening. It’s a bridge!

The Ontic Bridge. The Bridge of Cinvat.

Let’s go.

Wait, not so fast. I remember something about this, now.

Forget it. Let’s just go.

And so they did.

We’re about halfway across, now.

Whoaaaaa, hell. What happened? We’re falling.

I just remembered.

What?

No sinner can cross the Ontic Bridge, the Bridge of Cinvat. We got dumped.

But those creeps that nabbed us, they got across.

They had Monadic Insurance, I imagine.

Something’s ahead. We’re gonna hit the ground!

But they didn’t. No, indeed.


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

 

Swing State

Shit, Bill, I'm not gonna last long in these short shackles. Hell, my muscles cramp up when I sit on the toilet too long, and this, well--this is way more uncomfortable than sitting on a toilet. And what's that dripping on my neck, battery acid?

Jesus Christ, Doug, would you quit whining for a second and look over here?

What?

Sanctiblogger's spot.

Yeah well he isn't in it, is he. They must be yanking out his thumbnails.

No, look. See this chain? It's hanging in the air.

So? That's what chains do when you suspend them from the ceiling. They hang.

Not at a thirty-degree angle to the floor, they don't. This is being pulled by something.

By what?

I don't know. And look at these ankle shackles. They're being held up too, somehow. You don't suppose--nah ...

What?

That's Sanctiblogger's here, but invisible, or something?

If he was invisible, he could hear us. "Dr. Sanctiblogger! Are you there?"

Nothing. Damn.

Maybe he can hear us, but can't answer back.

Maybe they ripped out his vocal chords.

Maybe you just can't use em when they're invisible.

Oh yeah.

Or maybe--

What?

Maybe his visible body's in some parallel universe, or something.

Or in the Ding-an-sich. His visible body escaped into the Grounds of the Groundlessness of Being, and left only his shape in the short shackles.

Maybe. But shit, Bill. My muscles are on fucking fire. I can't believe you let that Bush demon get reelected.

I let him!? What about you?

I live in Mississippi! What could I do? You were in a swing state! It's all your fault! If only you'd campaigned harder, gotten out the vote better ...

Shut up, Doug. You're delirious. Let me think.

What's there to think about, you vile fuck?

How Sanctiblogger escaped into the Ding-an-sich. If he can do it, so can we.

But we've got no insurance! We've got no digitally remastered pain! We're unprotected!

I know. But--


 

Across the Ontic Bridge

Lift your hands off the keyboard. NOW! Lift them slowly and place them on your head. Both of you. Good. Now stand.

W-what is this about?

Never mind that. You're both under arrest.

Arrest!? For what?

Sedition. Conspiracy to commit war crimes. Aiding the enemy. Would you like me to continue?

We never did any of those things.

Oh no? Then what do you call this?

That--that's the blog post I put up yesterday. What about it?

It's seditious. It's conspiratorial to commit war crimes. It aids the enemy. I can't believe you're even questioning this. I'd have thought you two would hide yourselves better than this. You weren't even expecting us!

What on earth is so seditious in that post?

You reveal information in an ongoing military operation to our enemies.

What, Guantanamo Bay is an ongoing military operation?

Everything's an ongoing military operation. Surely you should have figured that out by now. You're smart boys.

But Bill didn't even post that.

I'm coming to you, Robinson. You wanna confess to writing this?

No.

No?

Of course not.

But it's got your name at the bottom. Posted by Doug Robinson at 4:24 pm, January 30, 2005.

You believe everything you read?

You fuckin with me, Robinson?

Not at all. I just didn't post it. And Bill didn't post the one you clicked on first.

Don't give me that.

They were posted from the future by the Mullah Billdoug himself.

What the hell is this, from the future? You know about any future shit, Sheridan?

No sir.

What is this future shit? Sheridan and me don't know nothin about it.

We're not sure how it works, actually. Doug thinks it's the Mullah. I think it's a robot goat wearing a Wittgenstein mask and limping.

I've heard some cock-and-bull stories in my life ...

No cocks. No bulls. It's a goat-and-mullah story.

Shut up!

Ow! You hit me! I'm an American citizen!

Not no more you ain't. You're a fucking detainee. Shut up or I'll rearrange your DNA. I've got the syringe and I'm aching to use it.

B-but you can't just come in here and take us like this!

Why the fuck not? We're from Homeland Security.

Yeah, but Doug and I live in different states. We are never present at the same time-space coordinates. This is a flagrant violation of the laws of nature!

Lemme tellya something, you little twerps. George W. Bush knows everything and sees everything and he don't care about no laws of nature, got that? He'll do whatever he and God decide is right, and devil take the hindmost.

Bill's the hindmost.

The fuck I am! Doug's always been the hindmost! Just ask anybody!

I said shut up! You want me to use this syringe?

Uh--no.

No.

Okay then. Load em in the van, Sheridan.

Yes sir. Shall I take down the ontic bridge?

Nah. We may need it again.

Yes sir.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

 

He Knows Too Much

You were talking to him, weren’t you? Who was he?

Not really. I mean, he found me. That is, he talked to me. I didn’t talk to him exactly. I don’t know who he was, either. The room was dark. He had a deep voice, that’s all I can tell you.

But you know about the music?

He told me, yes. Suggested that I might use it to survive in the Ding an sich.

And of course he told you about the autofuckers and the devilshirts. So, you know too much.

Whoa, whoa. I didn’t hear anything about autofuckers and devilshirts. He never mentioned that.

Really? That seems unlikely. They’re in use at all of our facilities worldwide.

I really don’t want to know.

Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’ll have to put you in solitary confinement for the rest of your life, now, anyway. You’ll never be allowed to speak to anyone ever again.

B-but, I—

Look, Sanctiblogger, if that’s really your name, there’s really no question about it. You could compromise the entire operation. Now, hand me the mp3. Thank you. That’s good. Come along. Stop sighing. Really, you must learn to take these things like a man.

Well, at least tell me about the autofuckers and devilshirts, then.

Why do you need to know? You’ll never speak to anyone ever again. What’s the point?

I just want to know.

Very well, if you’ll just stop sniveling and buck up. Autofuckers are mechanical devices that we install in the chosen. They can only lie prone on a flat surface. As soon as they shift from that position, they get fucked.

Fucked?

In every possible orifice. Painfully.

My god!

And the devilshirt looks like a plain white undershirt. But it is used, also on the chosen, to keep them in a constant low-level state of painful itching. The more you scratch a devilshirt, the more it itches. And if you take it off, you stop breathing.

Holy Christ! You mean, you use this to torture people? Who are these “chosen”?

That, you don’t need to know. Now, into this cell.

It’s dark in there. And it stinks.

You really must be more manly about this. Stop whining, take off all of your clothes, and get inside.

Or?

Did I mention the autofucker and the devilshirt? Now, go.

Sanctiblogger stripped, went in, and sat on the floor. The door clanked shut. It was very hot inside the cell. Sanctiblogger began praying to Jesus and Allah to help him. He’d heard it said that they always answer prayers.


Sunday, January 30, 2005

 

The Born-Again Techno-Salvation Mix

Psst.

What now?

Over here?

What is with you people, anyway? Why do you keep popping up in dark corridors and whispering at me?

Come this way, my friend. I think you'll find this interesting.

I'm way beyond any possibility of interest. I'm saturated. I'm glutted.

In here, man. Park yourself.

Who are you?

Never mind that. Listen to this.

Ow! Turn that off! It's hurting my ears!

Sorry, shit, let me turn the sound down. I apologize for that. Now.

What is that? A tape of pigs being slaughtered? A bootlet AC/DC tape?

Close. Very good! You're gonna love this.

But--

It's an mp3 of an interrogation session.

Torture, you mean.

Yeah, sure. Interrogation.

Where'd you get that, off the Internet?

No. Here. In-house.

Oh. Of course. The detainees.

Yes. This one is, uh--let's see--David Hicks. One of the Australians.

What are they doing to him?

Never mind that. It isn't important. What's imp--

Not important? Inflicting pain like that isn't important?

Well. Only to the detainee. But it's perfectly legal. It's all on the up and up. We've got Alberto Gonzales's memo up on the wall. We had to laminate it, finally, so we could wipe the blood off. I'm tellin you, man. There was a shitload of blood. Spatter like you wouldn't believe.

So--why are you playing this for me? Does the sound of screaming turn you on, or something? Because if it's all the same to you, I'd rather not--

No, no. Nothing like that. That's just the "before." Now listen to the "after."

What--some sort of techno hit?

Techno is right! Hit is right! Blammo! We're hitting that fucker with all the techology we've got!

Hitting what fucker? Hicks?

Well, him too, of course. But he's only the material sound box. What I've done is edited the raw output of that box into a collection of repeatable riffs and stored it on the Internet. For a small licensing fee, composers can access the riffs and mix and match them into commercially viable pop songs, rock songs, country, rap, reggae, classical, anything.

So this is--

Oh, I just wanted to put a sample together, you know, the kind of thing a person could do with this material, were he so inclined.

That's all very interesting, I'm sure, to a composer. But I'm not--

Oh, I know, I know. Sorry, I've been boring you. This is all leading up to something.

Yes?

Word around the detention center is you're headed out into the Ding-an-sich to talk Jesus and Mohammed into playing a gig here at Gitmo.

Yes, well, maybe so. If I can get the metaphysical bugs ironed out.

You see, the thing is, these mp3s may be just the thing.

The thing?

Sure. The ticket.

Which ticket was that, exactly?

Your ticket out into the Ding-an-sich, of course.

Sorry, you lost me.

This is the music of salvation, man.

Is it really.

It is. I see you don't believe me. But this is straight-up, man. I ain't shitting you. You ever hear Jesus and Mohammed play? This is the stuff they do.

I see.

No shit, man. This is the music the angel was listening to on his Walkman when he ran Adam and Eve out of the Garden. This is the music they were blasting from huge speakers at the top of the Tower of Babel. This is the music God had playing on his stereo when he made the bet with Satan that Job would crack if they killed his kids and stole his money and his health. And this--this very music, my friend--is what Mel Gibson mixed into the baseline of his soundtrack on The Passion of the Christ. Straight-up.

These exact mp3s.

No, no, of course not. Digitally remastered pain, man. That's it. That's the Bush party line: the more pain, the more salvation. But of course you gotta mix it. Not just raw pain: electronically doctored pain.

Hm.

You still don't believe me, do you.

So I just play this music and walk out into the Ding-an-sich. I don't need monadic insurance or anything.

You got it. Load maybe twenty hours of it into your mp3-player and play it over your headset. Then start walking.

Why are you telling me this?

Cuz, man!

What do you hope to get out of this?

Nothing! I'm just--a lover of freedom like the next guy!