Scene from a pornographic film in 8 millimeter, silent:
A title card read: “Oh, Eros! God of Love! Forgive me!”
There are street scenes of people of all ages walking alone in the city. At the park. Eating alone in a restaurant, an act Rain considered the impetus for the creation of drive-through windows, and then, as she thought this, a shot of cars lined up at a drive through window, each car with one passenger. A shot of exhaust spilling out of the tail of an idle car, ready to go but confined in line, waiting for full satisfaction, only to be thwarted by industrialized processed food from which most nutrients were removed, prompting a drive to continue consumption in order to fill the resulting void which was bottomless. Top off. Always.
“It’s amazing the director can relay that through image alone,” Frankie said.
“Hush,” Rain said. She was not ordinarily a shusher but she hated when people talked through a movie.
In a living room people are gathered to strike a blow against the system. People of all stripes, united in passion. There is a table of shared food. Comforts. The people are ready for change. To cast off the old ways. To bring about full satisfaction, the dream of the ancients never realized. Do people want what they desire or do they desire what they want? The idea of what they want. The shadow looming larger than the object of desire. The desirability of desire. Something to dream. Something to hope. Something to strive. But if one never arrives at their destination will they not grow tired? Depressed? Alienated? Will they not grab at anything with desperate grasping hands reaching out for the hope of relief for a sublimation? Latch onto half measures? Regression. Create a new problem to replace the old? Become a warning to others not to stray from the path of unsatisfactory convention? The best of a bad deal? But they are a room of revolutionaries and they are intent on smashing the oppressive system. And it evolves into a scene of group love as Rain, Richard, Frankie, Theodore, and Sunny watch.
“Gosh how I love cinema,” said the clown.
“When there are so many characters acting at once I find it difficult to follow the story,” Rain said.
“It’s an action film,” the clown said. “It’s about action.”
“Action doesn’t exist in the void,” said Rain.
“Hardly ever,” Richard added.
“He’s a scientist,” Rain whispered loud.
This is the type of film,” said Frankie, “You have to watch more than once to see all the nuances of. That’s art, baby. When the screen approaches the nuances of the page, each transitioning from the oral tradition.”
“Ooo,” said Sunny. “I’m a new traditionalist.”
“Damn right you are, baby.”
There is a shot of a nightstand with a copy of My Disillusionment with Russia, by Emma Goldman on a side table. Then a shot which is referred to by its proximity to capitalist payday where workers save up for rushed leisure while lower paid workers serve them in the pursuit, each exploiting the other and in turn being exploited by other actors. The Money Shot.
But in an alternate universe would there be a world where things are not bought and sold but given and received freely and without coercion? It was the talk only revolutionaries at the far edge speak of. They to whom anything may be possible can dream of a world where anything is possible and they are the requirement to spark radical change in a system stagnated by automatic respect for authority.
“Now, I respect the man,” Frankie said. “There were problems on the set but that’s the way things are in a group effort. But he is a genius of subtle manipulation. The way the Communist writers in the 1950s moved into the writing of children’s books to further their end goals. To sell the children. On the values of sharing and protecting the environment. Being inclusive. Fair. Non-Judgmental. That good stuff we all learned growing up.”
“Not everybody learnt it,” said Rain.
Scene from William’s Epistle to Screw:
I considered my place in society. Yes, I was lonely and alienated. But is this not the fate of people under capitalism; under the yoke of which we are splintered into class though society denies the existence of this. Yet why then are there haves and have nots? Why are we alone? Modern society is a treadmill, relentless, the purpose of which is to keep people too busy to challenge, or even analyze, the system closely. Prizes are yearned for. If one gets them there are then further prizes. And pitfalls. If they do not earn rewards they are forced to live without, as they struggle, toil endlessly, but are told it is no life to live. And the fault is clear. It is the fault of those who do not have. Salvation is but a purchase away. It will solve loneliness. They yearn. They are undervalued as a product. People become the product, the true product, within the system. Each one designated a value. A worth. A place. A spectrum of desirability. We dispose of the past. Things are made to break, people are broken, for they are meant to be broken, for the health of the system, for the system is not designed to benefit anyone, and successfully does not. We will drown in our own garbage. If the consumer wasteland does not get us, the ideological wasteland will. We fight for our own downfall. We cling to illusions. As we praise the greatness of the age. We are amused to death. Circus sans bread.
How lucky I am! Though I feel often I am without. This is the plight of modernity. Alienation. But no one thinks it applies to them. They think their own sadness is an aberration. A chemical imbalance. Not something resulting from the social system. Not the fault of the system, the fault of the player. We will default to the fault of the player, always. For the system this is the safest choice. Everyone thinks they’re special. No one thinks the rules apply to them. The rules of society. They think the rules of society apply to everyone else, to the other players. The losers. Who cannot play the game as well. For each person is mired within their own experiences. They believe they have earned their place in the hierarchy. No matter where they come from or what they have, or have not, accomplished on the road to becoming as they are. For they are simultaneously special and yet their accomplishments are of note because they could be the accomplishments of anyone who did not have the advantages afforded to those special people who are just like everyone else. It is the Protestant Work Ethic to which Society will not accept protest. It is usually only the victims who decry the blaming of the victims. Or the bleeding hearts who cannot accept the system as it is though it surely, according to the system, is the best possible system.
But I admit I am a lucky man. Luck. Superior luck is the key to social advancement. The place to which you were born. The advantages which come naturally to you. These are the things by which people truly get ahead. And they are the things one never hears about. Luck. I did not earn my place. I was born to my place. Through luck. Kismet. Through happenstance. It is in this way I am special. Because I admit to my luck. It is the sociable way to share luck with the luckless. But the lucky and the luckless do not live in the same neighborhood. This is by systemic design. Good systemic design is rarely questioned for it eliminates, by design, the conditions under which questioning may occur.
I lust for full satisfaction for all. They say I am a dreamer. And a dreamer is always lonely. Shunned. For the dreamer does not play by the rules of society.
“Yuck,” said RainyDay Tranquility. “History is always tainted by the perspective of the losers.”
— Excerpts From SEX ROBOT CUDDLE PARTY by David Raffin, out now at fine and less fine retailers.
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