A Cut-up Life By Manton Aughtney [PREVIOUS PAGE] [NEXT PAGE] [Texts Index]

Part 7: The Bean Dip Mind

Colours are sucked from the faces and objects around me. The voices converge into a clutter of bland noises. I am drawn inwards and away from my surroundings into a removed distant sector of the mind: my analytic, objective self.

It is in these quiet moments, sitting on the couch, lost in reverie, that I begin to sense that my life in The Space serves a higher purpose. My ego expands to mythic proportions, and then things start falling into place: I feel like one of the last survivors of a dying race, somehow injected into foreign circumstances, in order that I may take notes, form reports that will be conveyed to my superiors at a later date.

I am an agent for the dying Print Literate culture, a throwback to previous generations who constructed their Selves from theories in books. Now the written word fades into the background, books deteriorating in musty libraries.

Video recorders capture and re-present reality with amazing accuracy whereas memories recorded in print are subject to blurring and subconscious embellishments. Besides, reading and writing takes too much effort, too much patience, and in this era of Convenience, effort, and patience are disappearing commodities.

The typewriter, a seemingly innocent toy, is actually my primary source of evidence. Each sentence typed out by a Test Subjects is an experimental sample, a frozen crystalization of MIND. And there are plenty of guinea pigs. Without a t.v. in the place, everyone just naturally gavitates towards the typewriter. Even visitors, noting the glaring absence of Television, are inevitably drawn to the typewriter. They shuffle through the pile up of pages scattered around the table and on the floor: pages stained with coffee and wine, stamped with dusty sneaker treads and sometimes growing translucent from grease and mayonnaise drippings... And reading these pages, they make casual remarks and ask questions. Eventually they load a fresh piece of paper and start typing, after only the tiniest amount of prodding from me.

As I read over the typewritten pages, I take note of the recurring themes: drug use, the paranormal, space travel, insanity. I evaluate the structure, the seeming lack of narrative flow. Storyline is conveyed by a quick succession of discrete images. Is this a consequence of the video revolution?

Does it confirm the popular theory that WE are moving towards a more holistic, image - based form of Information Processing? For the answer to these and other questions tune into the next episode of AS THE STOMACH TURNS...

Taste the Madness

With the demise of Arthur, Ti Li and Brime, Hank The Bank and The President became abstract notions of the ill informed. Never was there a voice to think and a mind to say anything. Therefore in a sworn statement the defendant became a ward of himself. "I do not know of any bean dip recipe to have any conscience, let alone any sort of mind altering substances."

With sorrow and regret the decision of the borrowing terms can not be released at this time, for known reasons only. The faceless suits in unison stand from their chairs and exit through the northeast wall. (An amazing feat, for they could have used the door instead.)

Our hero departed, and through the gaze of shattered eyes, not a pigeon was to be found. Under the protection of the umbrella no nitrate substance was going to stain our subject. From building to building, door to door, he was able to reverse the unknown decision. Failed attempt followed failed attempt.

"Just one more!" it said, over and over: "Just one more!"

"No! Enough! Stop!"

"Just one more!" No matter what the reason, it always had a better one. It's reason however, was always the same: "Because if you don't...." By it's tone, no one would question the consequences.

"Then why blame it on the bean dip?"

"That's where it lives. I change the carton, I don't buy it, but it always comes back."

"As bean Dip?"

"Usually, but not always."

"Then why blame the bean dip?"

"How can one question a voice without a mouth?"

"So the bean dip is the mouth?"

"That is correct."

Creative Writing with