Short 'n Curlies #41 by Si Spurrier
Much has been made, in recent years, of the ubiquitous MetaFiction Movement.
Technically that's any piece of narrative which wears its Not Really Real-ness on its sleeve: often reminding readers of its own fictionality, sometimes deliberately muddling them in layers of Oh-So-Very-Post-Modern self-awareness, and generally preventing the poor thrill-seeking fucks from getting too engaged in the story. It is to the Suspension Of Disbelief as sheets of processed cheese are to Delicious Stinky Gorgonzola. I do not approve.
Buuuut the term has also come to signify any story which promotes consideration on the crackly-weirdness which lies between Real and Fictional; whether it be Moore's Promethea, Carey's Unwritten or Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions. At its loopiest it becomes a deliberate existential Blurring between Character and Author — see The Invisibles, right? — which is all very psuedomagical and trippy, and a far more tangible basis for "Communion" than any religious wankery I've ever heard of. I thoroughly approve.
…And I therefore plan to abuse it the slyest possible way.
Herr Morrison seeks a metareal Godlife by blending Self with Expressed Self. Herr Moore seeks to blow-down the doors of conventional wisdom by exposing Story as the core of every psychological urge.
I seek, by contrast, to fuck-up This Really Annoying Guy I Know.
You see, I've got this neighbour. He is hewn from a slab of solid Cunt. The first night that the Delightful SheSpur and I moved-into our current home we could hear him biffing his girlfriend through the wall like a Chihuahua on a treadmill, and were disturbed to hear the squeaky lass cough noisily and shout "Stop choking me!". The next day they had a fight — even noisier — during which she issued the same instruction. This guy, it seems, has a thing for Strangulation.
Since then our lives have been enriched by a constant roar of Genuinely Dreadful Music™ from 6.30a.m. until midnight every day; a series of increasingly ghastly girlfriends (the most recent one standing outside our door at 2a.m. to complain because: "Urr, My Fanny's All Sweaty"… and that's "fanny" in the British sense, before you ask); a medley of ill-timed D.I.Y. evil; plus all the squeakings and gruntings you'd expect from an unemployed steroidal numptyfuck with more Bodybuilding equipment than functioning braincells.
We. Hhhhhhate. Him.
Now. Notwithstanding a few late-night meetings (during which he's apologised for his antisocial gittery with the infuriatingly simple excuse that "it's not my fault, I was drunk"), and a few hilarious role-reversals (the best one being when he woke us up at 6a.m. with a hammering sound, then — when we knocked on the wall to shut him up — came and screamed abuse through our letterbox because, I quote, "I'm trying to fucking shave here, and you're making me fucking tense"), we've avoided confrontation. That's partly because all my initial appeals were met with a stunning Lack Of Fuck-Giving; partly because we're moving-out at the end of the week anyway; and partly because I, like all of Darwin's Chosen Creatures, am an enormous fucking coward.
He has footballs instead of shoulders, no visible distinction between neck and torso, "Wide Load" signs tattooed on each bicep, and can do one-handed pullups. I've seen it.
I, on the other hand, can…
I can write. Bwahaha.
So. Having consulted Every Available Source Of Wisdom on the subject of Magic (this Warlock I know who lives down Old Street subway and is totally not a tramp), I have spent four nights meditating on the Pure And Just Cause I aim to undertake, have drunk the blood of an ocelot, suckled on the teats of a sparrow, rubbed-one-out on the shadow of unicorn, and now declare my intention to the world: Using Fiction As A Hateful Voodoo-hoodoo Nastymaker And All-Round Cursefest to Significantly Bugger About With The Life Of My Nemesis. Or at least to give him headaches and hemorrhoids.
I'm new to all this stuff, so I'm still finding my way a bit when it comes to the Actual Process. I'm assuming it's something to do with continuing with my day-to-day comic-writing career but naming all my Supervillain Antagonists "Dean", smearing my keyboard with the skin-cells I've collected from his doorknob, whispering editors' notes through the wall at midnight, and murdering his family using paper-airplanes made from folded script-pages. I don't see how it can possibly fail.
This Week I Have Been Mostly Hating:
…the Commercialization of SCIENCE.
I mean, not that SCIENCE (to be read aloud, hand on chest, eyes skyward, chin jutting) has ever been entirely free from Filthy Filthy Lucre and its insidious Doings. The day Pharma Goes Socialist is the same day we develop a few antibiotics that actually fucking work, and stop pumping endless variations on the theme of Tranquilizing Antidepressant Nomnoms out into the world… But no: Market Forces have always been at the helm — from snake-oil through Nasa-tech Inkpens — and there's no fucking point expecting SCIENCE to happen just for the sake of SCIENCE. That is, not as long as it keeps on cheerfully happening for the sake of a) making rich people think they're healthier, b) making rich people think they're smarter, c) helping rich countries Blow More Shit Up, and d) Testing The Limits Of Space And Time In Order To Create Jobs.
SO. Let's not have any untoward HATING aimed at the likes of Nutri-Ceramides, Pro-Vitamins, Bifidus Digestivum, and all the other Oh-So-Vaguely-Real SCIENCE that gets whacked into TV commercials for shampoo, yoghurt, anus-cream and every-other-fucking-thing, to sell you the notion that that white creamy gloop you're applying to your hair/cereal/arsepocket is somehow cleverer, better engineered, and brainier than its nearest rivals. No Hate there: in fact the sillier ones are actually quite entertaining.
But what that sleazy little trend has also created is a culture of proof and empiricism in the field of good old TV-based shillbaggery. Rarely will you see a commercial, these days, which doesn't support its wildly inflated claims of Real! Actual! Brilliance! with a tiny tiny footnote giving details of some dubious third-world survey concocted to support its outrageousness.
"MOST REFRESHING BEER IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE!" honks one, whisper-adding at the bottom of the screen that "201 alcoholic hobos were surveyed, 199 were paid to agree".
THIS is pernicious. THIS is a threat to everything we know and hold dear — not least because it's almost impossible to stop paying attention to the bloody things once you've started. Such Life-Annotation injects the vast veiny dick of Truth into the innocent, colourful, noisy anus of Western Entertainment, and reminds us over and over and over that we are patsies at best and catastrophic gullible monkeys the rest of the time. It's only a matter of years, given all these wretched bloody strides in Enhanced Reality, until every outrageous claim you make down the pub — every exaggerated anecdote, shaggy-dog story, call-that-a-scar, my-dick's-bigger-than-your-dick type of boastage — will be legally accompanied by a hovering note disclaiming its blatant bullshittery and providing the Real Facts.
* "Scar Actually Received Practicing Kung-Fu In Front Of Mirror, age 9"
* ""Inch" being a relative unit…"
Anyway. The worst offender, which I promise is absolutely true — and has plunged me into a pit of such rabid hating that I exploded our television with a single Dirty Look — appeared halfway through a commercial for a Fake Tan lotion, during which some orange-skinned slagbomb announces it's Impossible To Tell Apart From The Real Thing. And the footnote?
"87% of 48 people agree."
…Which is not only the world's tiniest fucking survey, and a pretty pathetic approval rating among its respondents at that, BUT ISN'T EVEN A WHOLE FUCKING NUMBER.
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Rantoul, IL 61866
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