“The outcome of the confrontation to come depends on the offensive and defensive power of the revolutionary wing of the proletariat, on those who have not only consciousness but also the power of intervention: the workers at the point of production and distribution. They have in their hands the roots of a reversed world; they can destroy the economy…
We are experiencing the last days of culture. There is no more anti-culture, no counterculture, no parallel or underground culture. Operating under these sociological distinctions or the progressive reduction of culture to the spectacle, a spectacle which reduces the sum of the categories of real life to survival in a space-time when the commodity is not only produced, distributed and consumed but also generalized as necessity, chance, freedom, duration, and representation.”
The full text is at http://blackpigliberationfront.com/?p=876
*This was originally submitted to Round 7 of the NPR Three Minute Fiction contest* It didn’t win.
They came in on a mid-afternoon train from Boston to Mystic, stowed away in the dark folds of Ginny’s unmentionables deep within her suitcase. She was excited to see her boyfriend after a month in Europe, but not nearly as excited as the guests she was unwittingly transporting from the bay-side hotel she stayed in after her long flight from Paris. The hunger-bubbles in the bellies of her stowaways were growing, and there was only one thing that would appease their appetite, and that was blood, tasty human blood.
It’s not that this multi-generational, extended family wasn’t happy living in Ginny’s dirty laundry, but they all were looking forward to a new place to stay and a hot meal. Even bedbugs enjoy a little travel and some foreign food once in a while. Luckily for them, since Ginny’s boyfriend, John, lived in the house in the middle of the train station parking lot, both was only a short walk away.
Ginny and John were in the middle of a whirlwind spring-fling turned summer-romance when Ginny’s job sent her off to Paris to cover the goings-on surrounding fashion week. For a month she bounced around from party to party, hotel to hotel, hobnobbing with the fashion elite, updating her renowned fashion column with candid pictures, and all the racy behind the scenes details she encountered along the way. Naturally jealous, John could barely handle her going away so soon after they met, but the numerous pictures she posted every day of herself and all those chiseled male models really wound his guts into tight, sickening knots.
John was excited to see Ginny, and by the time she’d unloaded her suitcase onto his bed, sorting the dirty clothes from the clean, his urge to lustfully pounce upon her won out over the jealousy that was simmering inside him, but just barely. The bedbugs, now more terrified than hungry, quickly scattered to the safety of their new-found home in John’s bed. As the late afternoon sky dimmed to a pale blue, the two of them indulged in each other passionately, a mix of animalistic rawness and pristine, young love. By the time the sun had fully set, the two of them laid spent, a tangle of limbs and twisted sheets, each reliving the afternoon in quick flashes and silly grins.
Soon, however, John’s jealous mind got the best of him, and his blissful bedroom cooing was replaced with a litany of questions, each more pointed than the last. Ginny bristled and pulled herself away from John, and the hungry bedbugs took a chance and began to make their way to a much needed supper. As Ginny angrily packed her suitcase, John’s jealousy became remorse, and John’s legs became a banquet for his still undiscovered guests.
By the time Ginny and John were done screaming at each other, the bedbugs were plump with blood and quite content with their new home. By the time Ginny was on the next northbound train, John began to realize that his jealous demeanor and short fuse made him a bachelor once again. At the same time, a bite from one of his new bedbug buddies began to burn and itch. Weeks later, John figured out why his sheets were covered in little dots of blood, and it was longer, still, before he made the connection that each fresh bite may be a tasty bit of karma for the way he treated Ginny. Sometimes life’s lessons are lost, sometimes they linger in the dark and bite you when you least expect it.
from Mason’s Stoup 7, May 1992 -
and here we are, nearly 20 years later – how were the predictions?
As time passes, the human condition evolves to a more abstract dimension. Applying this concept of time to an historical perspective, we see that society is gradually moving towards a hyper-realization of its older order, towards an abstract integration of the past to formulate a new and abstracted order.
This acceleration of the abstracted reality into the present is an obvious process with an obvious end. Throughout history, the human species has evolved to higher and higher integrations of the abstract consciousness. Consider the development of algebra, the subsequent development of calculus, and the eventual conception of General Relativity. The movement of communication technology to a hyper-realistic state has allowed the human mind to transgress the limitations of the physical, such as the concrete boundaries of distance, and gain an effectual transcendence of time and space. Your telephone can access any other telephone on the planet. In Europe in the Middle Ages, well over ninety percent of the populace did not leave a ten mile radius in their lifetimes. To predict the next destination of communication, this function of the movement of technology may be extrapolated, whereby the arrival destination manifests itself in an ethereal state.
Likewise, the movement of artistic intent and composition has followed the routes of abstraction. The communication of art has gradually progressed into a highly abstract epoch. This movement is visible when one considers the discovery of the vanishing point and perspective, then the flirtations with time and individual perception known as impressionism, and penultimately, the immersion of art into the realms of abstract expressionism, minimalism, and the modernisms.
Musical efforts have also rapidly approached the abstract hyper-reality of post-modernistic development in the twentieth century. The electrification of primitive expressional instruments further moved the arts of 1ogical expression, inherently an abstract form, towards the ultimate heights of abstract reality. Electricity could universalize the expression, whereby more of the population could become part of the thought, and whereby the thought could pervade the reality to an unprecedented extent. The acquirement of electronic fluency brought about the advent of recording technology, whereby, like the invention of the written language, and later the printing press, the art form could usurp time.