Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Growing Hope - Installment 6

“Now, a word from our sponsors, kiddies:

“'Are you sick of the horrible oppression and forced world view of the propagators of alien memeplexes? Does your reality tunnel seem foreign to you? Do you just not fit in, even on the Freelands? Then come to Island TAZ, one and all, where liberty is free and freedom flows like water.

“'Established only four years ago using a unique combination of Electrophoretic deposition and lightweight alloys, this Freeland remains completely intact and almost untouched by the mainland countries.

“'Founded by a group of Freelanders who felt their lifestyle was just too rigid, Island TAZ is the premier place to experience life as it was meant to be experienced. Planned to exist for only another another four years, see it now before it goes up in a fiery ball of destruction!

“'Grow your own food, or not. Make your own drugs, or not. Have insane, hazmat cleanup required sex with beautiful, undiscriminating women, men, or x-y chromers. Or not! Tell your friends about your vacation from reality, or keep it your own dirty secret! It's your choice. Because, at Island TAZ, that's the point!'

“Now, I'd like to offer up a word of praise to Island TAZ. That place really is all it says it is. I went on vacation there a year ago, and it was just beautiful. Sure, there's no trees, but, hell, up until 10 years ago there were barely any on the mainland!

“Yep, Island TAZ definitely gets the Kenchi seal of approval.”

Yeah, that was one of those places Telson and I dreamt about. Island TAZ. Almost rolls off my tongue, off my fingertips, collecting in a big sticky mess on my keyboard.

It was like one of those dreams within a dream, something ephemeral and lovely, just beyond your reach. Then, well, you woke up and realized it was a dream. Then you woke up again and you realized that that had just been a dream. And you were stuck here, doubly fucked, worrying about whether or not your best friend had been tagged and was spying on you by accident. And your bed was empty, and there was no alcohol in the warehouse, nor suitably fortified mind-altering chemical.

Now, I realize that as I relate this story to you, it seems really horrible. Which it is. The city I lived in, which I refuse to name for sake of Carol and her enclave, wasn't the model city. But there was worse. Believe me. I'd heard stories of them. Now, whether they really existed or not on these shores, and not in Africa, Europe, Asia, or South America, is really up to debate. Cut off from the net, at the whim of their governments or corporations. Living or dying, even eating at the whim of their overlords. Completely segregated from the world that existed a mere nanosecond of computation away, ten miles of nanonet separating them from a community. Absolutely hellish. Extreme feudalism that's taken a massive helping of PCP. Compared to that prospect, this city seemed like nirvana on earth.

Of course, then there's the argument of that being just a memeplex fed to me. It may not be real, or have any semblance of reality. This is, after all, a world at war for our minds. So how can I tell the difference? Gut instinct, I guess. Maybe this is the only place like this, maybe Kenchi was just a psi ops operation designed to throw us off.

But, when all things are said, sung, written, and done I have to choose my narrative, my story, my myth, and stick to it. And so do you.

Or do we?

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