Issue 5 Master Online .pdf
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Title: Issue 5 Master copy
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Okay. Put your
clothes back on.
I think we have
Don’t Get Bored
The apartment I live in has thin walls. I can
hear someone using some minutes to watch
porn. Probably a man. A woman wouldn’t
waste her online minutes jerking off. The
building is in the city. In a government
regenerated part of it - not in the private
drylands. I can look out of my window and see
the high water mark on the building opposite.
The green algae and inedible oysters clinging
to the concrete fill and rocks pushed into the
window frames up to the 6th floor. The jetsam
drift floats by 6 stories below me and the smell
climbs the walls and fills my mouth with the
taste of dead. A whole dead ocean.
Uncountable billions of dead microbes and
fish. Baked rot. Bodies. I shut the window and
reach into my pants searching for my for my
cock and close my eyes. I can hear the porn
playing and I’m not going to waste a minute of
it. No one wastes minutes any more.
From the 1000 hours I was given when I was
released I have 100 hours and 22 minutes left
and I need that to last me years maybe
decades. Some of the guys I did time with
have run out of their online hours already and
are no longer ‘productive’ so have been picked
up and taken out to work the desalination rigs.
We all know that there are no rigs. They are
long clogged with plastic beads and salt so
thick they would knock it off the filters with
crowbars but it would come back fast enough
to see grow. Like those fast forward films of
fruit rotting. Fur collars on the filters.Thick
white white salt. So now they are just platforms
crumbling into the thick soupy brine 100 miles
from the buildings. Over the curve of the Earth
out of our site by spherical geometry. They
force the unproductive ones up the rungs of
the ladders. it’s slow because they have a
towel around their heads and faces. They can’t
see anything. They stand them on the edge
and cut them open with a hooked-knife and
bleed them out. Then they strap some dead
engine part to the neck and push them into the
water for the salt to dissolve them and the
crabs at the bottom of the deep to tear them
apart. Everyone knows that. Everyone online,
that is. Everyone who has the minutes to go
online knows that. Why would Population keep
someone like Abel alive? As a cell mate he
was a waste of air and water. As a producer?
Forget it. He was too impatient to pilot truck
drones and never was going to make it to the
floating cities and drylands? No way. No way.
Not Abel. He got curious and bored. Bored too
easily. “Born bored” he would say. And that’s
what killed him. The boredom. When nothing
happens and nothing matters and nothing
changes people use their minutes to escape.
To tell the world that they are HERE. To make
it feel like something matters. Like something
is happening. They are on the boards with the
celebrities posting their faces. Pretending to
have unlimited minutes. To have black
diamond status. Abel in the light. Abel on the
When you come out of corrections you have
nothing. 1000 online hours is the standard
ration and you’re set up to fail. You have to
check in to Central Population every week and
that takes an hour of your minutes at least.
they make you wait and your time disappears.
Without online hours how can you work? How
can you produce? If you can’t find a way of
getting LIKES or earning minutes you’re gone
in a year. Some people try for both but you
can’t make a profile that will get you minutes
for LIKEs and find a piloting or marketing job
with 1000 hours. But coming from the
corrections you don;t suffer from over
confidence. You can;t be both. You can barely
be either. So I went for piloting. Learning to
pilot the drylands drone trucks will cost you at
least 100 hours. The drone ships to the outerislands - 150 hours. The tests 10 hours a piece
and no one is hiring a pilot who isn’t licensed
for both trucks and boats. And you need a
console. I got mine from a deadman’s
apartment. Traded to a scavenger for 100
hours. It came on a platform boat in the dark
pushed by oars through the Jetsam drifts and
winched up the 16 floors by the service
winches controlled online by the building
officer - 5 minutes for 6 hours.
The porn finishes before I do and I try to keep
going but I go soft in my hand and put my cock
back into my pants and lick the few beads of
sweat off my top lips and take 3 deep breaths.
Pushing air to the atrophied pointless parts of
me. I take my watch off and put it next to my
console. I need to check the land truck and
make sure the course is still steady the speed
is still maxed out and one-by-one the cameras
for any pirates. Killing is still a human domain.
If there are limpets on the truck trying for the
water I VOLT the truck and they come off. The
bounce and skid and by the third bounce their
bodies are twisted and mangled by the
unmoving earth and the speed of their
cartwheeling corpses. The job should take 5
minutes and I’ll be paid around 10 minutes.
5 minutes today. I could splurge and go online
and go to Facebook where the content is and
the people get minutes for LIKES, I could
watch the videos of the talking cats and the
men who remove their own fingers and thumbs
with saws. Where the women write the names
of their audiences into their skin with
screwdrivers. Where the man who wears the
skin of a poodle sings the theme songs from
nearly forgotten sit-coms… for LIKEs. For
minutes. I could LIKE things and give people
more time before they are considered
unproductive and taken to the dredging barges
to make land from crab shot and the bones of
the rusted cars and plastic toys. It’s been 16
days since I have seen or spoke to anyone
and I can feel the walls of my apartment
breathe and I see the boredom climbing out of
my head to sit across from me near my
console. But I have only 100 hours and 22
minutes left and so I say to myself. “Don’t get
bored” and walk to the east wall of my
apartment and press my ear against it and I
hear a man crying. The two sirens blast and
the power ration begins and my floor is
plunged into darkness. I see the lights in the
windows from the odd numbered floors - but
no one opens them. The jetsam stench is
enough to make some people throw-up in their
own mouths. I hear the splash of a body hitting
the water as I close my window and I hope he
cut his own guts first - Japanese shame
suicide style - so he sinks to the crabs and the
mud and rust under the oily surface of the
I left my apartment 23 months ago. I went to a
meeting on the roof. All the residents were
there and the Population Agent for the
building made a speech about “Being and
Island” and unveiled the new rain catcher.
Then we all stayed on the roof and the
Population Agent handed out wine syrup that
we could use now or later. It was our choice. I
don’t think anyone used their syrup then - but
we all stayed on the roof until the second siren
sounded and the low dragging sound of
barges pushed through the jetsam many many
floors down and finally the smell was too much
for anyone to handle. I stood as still as I could
and breathed as shallow as I dared and waited
until I felt like I was the last one on the roof.
But the thick dead stench opened my eyes like
pliers and I looked out in the coming darkness
and there was a woman standing there looking
Hi. She said with just her mouth but no voice.
Hi I mouthed back. She walked over to me
with an uneven stride. Sometimes long steps
like a child avoiding stepping on a crack in the
pavement sometimes short halted chops like
child avoiding stepping on a snail on the
“I am from the 44th. 44011. I’m Annabelle.” “Hi
Annabelle" I said.
“Don’t get bored.” she said. “Don’t get bored” I
And Annabelle become edgeless as she
walked into the murk of the dark towards the
edge of the building and climbed over the
waist high brick wall and disappeared.
I have 100 hours and 22 minutes left.
I’m bored. Drilled full of gaping black holes, cartwheeling through space leaking engine fluid like
an Empire fighter, or whatever the fuck they’re called. I forget the postmodern references. I know
too much. Who can fit it all in their fucking head anyway? Who needs to? I read somewhere they
were talking about the end of knowing. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? An algorithmic
soup of desires met before you even know you have them. The whole world turned into an oﬃce
cubicle, patrolled by middle management, ranging up and down the aisles like wolves.
Professionals. Fucking professionals. Took a two week course or purchased some shitty online
degree and now they’re telling me what to do. "This is the way it’s supposed to be, I have been
hired to make sure it is that way, I will be punished if I don’t make you do it…." By who? Another
professional. When they go to a meeting it must be like when you stand in a mirrored elevator and
can see reflections of yourself repeating endlessly. I wonder if they find it comforting? Maybe
they’re threatened, find it hard to identify their ‘USP’ amidst all that sameness. Who cares? I must
be a conspiracy theorist. Yeah, I must have dreamed all this shit up, read the wrong history books,
not been paying the ‘right kind of attention’. I know, Obama is a great guy because he isn’t
ultimately responsible for liquefying your mother while she was helping your daughter do her
maths homework in your dirt floored hut. I should be careful. When the supercomputer runs this
text to check for threat I want the algorithm to form the right impression of me, to know what kind
of threat I am. Maybe I should hand write this and send it in by mail, that’ll scare the shit out of
them. Oﬀ the grid. What fucking grid? Some little boxes that talk to each other and never stop.
Incessant chatter. Like living on top of a primary school that never shuts. Until you cut the power
and leave everybody staring at their piece of empty glass like more of a moron. Maybe I should
cut the power. There’s probably a ‘don’t let the power get cut’ squad somewhere right now, all
wearing Zuckerberg tee-shirts, conspiring to make sure everyone in Africa has power that never
goes, has a computer, has access to a device, has access to the opportunity to be ‘educated’.
Bridge Academies. Look it up. Maybe if I do something dangerous they’ll oﬀer me a job? I can
develop an app or something. Become an experiential designer. I can mainline that organized
religion message straight down the public’s gaping maw. Elizabethan homilies updated brand
spanking for the new world order. New world order? Give me a fucking break, the same withered
apes have been sitting on top of this steaming pile since before we crawled out of the caves. The
real issue is how do I get close to them? Maybe then I wouldn’t be bored? We’d laugh at the shiny
little people striving to organize everything, to make it gleam for us. For the masters. Then we’d
drop our pants and soil it. All the while laughing at the top of our voices. Rubbing feces on
ourselves, screaming and drooling. Crying and air punching. Picking on the fools who had to pay
for their ticket to the fundraiser. Look at my yacht, look at my fucking yacht! I think they’re just as
bored as me. I think we’d get along like a world on fucking fire. Once we learned each other’s
secret handshakes and got past all that ‘political belief’ bullshit. Yeah, “I support Donald Trump”.
Yeah, “I support Hilary Clinton”. Yeah, “I support Bernie ‘if he ever got anywhere near the White
House he’d get found dead in a DC hotel room’ Sanders”. Give me a break. They support what
they want. Not even that. They had an experience which they codified and stored according to
their mood, remembered it and formed an opinion of it according to their needs and then turned it
into actions that roughly correlated with their desires. They have no idea what they want. Just like
us. That’s why we’re of use. We’re master race putty. We can be formed and molded and moved
around the board precisely because we don’t know how bored we are. We’re just doing our best.
It’s why we have children, give them to strangers and reduce ourselves to corporate finger
puppets so that we can have company cars, a sense of place, a third bedroom. Why? Because
maybe there is a chance that through hard work and application we can rise through the ranks
until we get a seat at their table. Until we get to disappear hookers oﬀ the back of our yachts in
fishing accidents. Or just not pay our tax. Or just not pay our fucking tax! Why waste all that time?
Don’t pay it now. When the skinny people in bad suits eventually sit you down for a ‘chat’ about it,
you can say ‘I was working on a project in the Cayman Islands and so, even though I live in ……. I
don’t have to pay my tax because they don’t pay any tax there’. If you believe anything enough it
becomes the truth. Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me I’m fucking wrong.
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