For several years George Mortimer has run a website called Media Underground which has been a safety valve for the impending dystopian collapse; sort of a catch all for the fringe element of society’s global mind. His new book Bothy Culture is a seriously funny antidote to a world gone mad. In a cesspool of technological trinkets, mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook, the electric toothbrush and global surveillance Mortimer rips out the parking break and makes a complete u-turn. He drops everything and wanders off to a bothy.

For the “uninitiated” American a bothy is like a small shack out in the middle of nowhere in the Scottish outback free for anyone to use. The description on the book reads, “Bothy Culture focuses on exploring the rich subculture that can be found at some of the remotest locations throughout the Scottish wilderness”. In Scotland I guess they use the word “wilderness” but when Americans hear it we think of an actual jungle. I envisioned it more like a greener version of the Houses of the Holy album cover with creepy albino kids crawling on their hands and knees. It must be somewhere beyond civilization with no map to point the way and Aleister Crowley poking his head out every now and then.

Mortimer’s keen observation is a vast uncharted middle ground that no one actually explores because your average Scotsman A) only walks two blocks to the pub or B) is compelled to climb a sheer cliff up K2 with his bare hands. Mortimer creates his own category in the between world of fact, fiction, history, occult initiation and humor. His first bothy trip sends him on the path to record the history and impressions of every single bothy in the Scottish high country kind of like trainspotting for remote shacks. Or more of an off-grid bothyspotter with a backpack filled with beer, coal, roast duck, a pipe and “Blue Cheese” weed.

And don’t forget to bring coal to stay warm. Not charcoal or a Duralflame log. Actual coal like the kind demons shovel in hell or Santa Claus leaves in your stocking if you suck. It has to be enough coal to make the trip significantly hard as fuck. The whole deal with the coal was interesting because he never divulged the secret where he actually acquired it. As an American I can’t imagine they still sell it at the convenience store. I can only assume you might find it behind an electric plant or on display at a Charles Dickens museum. He keeps his cards close to his chest on the coal or maybe it just falls out of the sky in Scotland. The point is this is not a Fodor’s Travel Guide. This is more like a trail of bread crumbs to an unknown world.

Mortimer is not completely alone. Just as Don Quixote had Sancho Panza, Mortimer rides with an equally amusing Dazbo to share the pipe and beer. He speaks in an almost unintelligible Scottish accent as they ruminate on the arcane. There’s also The Matron who’s more of a professor type everyone looks up to. A more experienced veteran. Gacked out of their mind in a haze of “blue cheese” in a goddam shack out in the middle of nowhere they come up with an electronic gadget to detect poser wannabe hikers they call Outdoor Knobbers. By chapter two it all seems to make complete sense.

Lao Tzu should have got a copyright for the Tao te Ching because it seems George Mortimer in Bothy Culture has unwittingly stumbled upon its 2500 year old plot line. The basic Taoist back story goes something like this, “Lao Tzu (George Mortimer) was a record keeper (ran a subculture website) for the Chou dynasty (Scotland) who saw his country in decline so he departed for the woods (the bothy)”. It’s been said if you’re going to plagiarize you might as well steal from the classics but knowing Mortimer’s extreme distaste for religion we can only assume the more flattering theory that great minds think alike.

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Project MKULTRA was the code name for a covert CIA mind-control research program that began in the early 1950s and continued through the late 1960s. Experiments included administering LSD to CIA employees. Coincidentally around that same time the Joint Chiefs of Staff were working on Operation Northwoods. In 1962 there was a plan by the U.S. Department of Defense to stage acts of terrorism on U.S. soil and against U.S. interests abroad. The goal was to generate U.S. public support for military action against Cuba. Does this frighten anyone? The fact that the CIA dosed its own agents with LSD while also being the principal advisor on covert and military issues?

Here’s the scene: Inside a log cabin. Somewhere in upstate New York. It’s 1961. Two CIA agents are high on acid. One agent is occasionally looking out the window. The other agent is pacing back and forth around the room.

“First we put something in Castro’s beard so his beard will fall out and he’ll look like a lizard. Then we shoot Kennedy with a triangulated crossfire because he’s a lizard person too. We take a road trip to Guatemala, set up a banana farm, fly over to Southeast Asia like a huge swarm of bats, bring back heroin, sell that in the projects to get money to buy guns to protect our banana farm.”

“Yeah that kind of makes sense… But how are we going to get everyone in on this? WHAT THE FUCK IS ON ME? IS THAT A SPIDER?”

“Whould you chill?”

“Ok, I’m… fine… my head still feels like there’s a bumblebee in it though. Or some kind of hive… a beehive thing… but… What was I saying?”

“This is what we do. Check it out. We highjack our own commercial airliner and blow it the fuck out of the air over Cuba.”

“Oh man your head looks like a rat face. Wait… what? Highjack a plane? I’m looking at your rat head but I hear these words coming out like streamers. Are we on a plane right now?”

“Just listen to me. Lemnitzer is going to love this one. Say we paint an empty plane to look like a commercial jetliner. We get a few operatives to climb on the real plane. Then we take our bullshit plane and rendezvous in the air so no one knows what the fuck is going on. The real plane lands somewhere in a banana field and our boys climb off and act like they’re picking bananas or some shit. Then we blow the fake empty plane out of the air over Cuba and blame it on Castro.”

“What if his beard is made of bees?”

“Right. It could be a disinformation beard.”

“Oh dude I’m seeing… your head looks like an anteater now.”

“Stay with me. We have to keep this on the down low. We’ll paint the same numbers, same airline, they’ll fly in the air right next to each other and it’ll look like the same blip on radar. We tell the New York Times the other blip was a goddam UFO or Cuban MiG. No one will know or give a shit because the FAA is seeing weird blips all the time. Remember Mac Brazel? We’ll scare the fuck out of anyone who gets too close to the real story.”

“Hey that reminds me. You said I was supposed to get my TS clearance so I can see that thing. Are you a goddam mole? Your face is turning green and I can see my dead father.”

“Look you fuck nut, you’re tripping balls. You have a head full of acid and we’re brain- storming war games right now. I’m not a lizard. You know me. Your father and my father have been friends for fifty years. They went to Yale together. They’re on the square. Fuck we were in the Order of DeMolay together in grade school! Don’t start that paranoid crap.”

“I don’t know dude. I can see weird horns popping out of your anteater head right now. When you get angry I see fire coming out of your mouth and you’re growing a forked tail. Why do you have that bandage on your head?”

“I told you I have to keep my head safe. This is for my Trepanation scar. I need to keep the pressure off my brain.”

“Well I’m seeing two red horns pointing out of that fucked up thing… Oh God! Are you a Shriner?”

“For the last time, you paranoid freak. I’m not a Shriner. You know me. It’s not a turban. It’s for my Trepanation scar. It’s that surgery I got for the hole in my skull”.

“You are out of your fucking mind.”

“Trepanation is a mystical experience. Evidence has been found in prehistoric human remains. The Andean people used to bore holes in their skull. There’s a goddam cave painting that proves it. Hippocrates talked about this shit. Look it up yourself.”

“Why do you have to do this every time? I’m seeing pyramids and dog horns, you’re talking about some fucked up hole in your head, I’m tripping balls out and now some crap about a plane that looks just like another plane? I think I’m going to take my clothes off.”

(Allen Dulles calls)

“Oh God! What is that sound? I’m hearing it in my neck. Something’s wrong here. Is there a fire? I’m hearing a… THE PHONE IS ON FIRE!”

“Would you mellow out? It’s Dulles. He said he’d call us right when we started to peak. I think he wants another ten grams of this shit.”

(CIA agent picks up the phone)

“Yeah… Uh huh… Right! I know dude. It’s fantastic! I’m seeing all kinds of things. Olsen is about ready to jump out the window. This batch is amazing. I can get you another 10 grams. We can dose the whole Revolutionary Armed Forces with half that amount. Put it in a crop duster and fly it over Havana… Uh huh… Right… We’ll pile naked Cubans up in a pyramid, have them jack off and take pictures of it… (laughs) I know. Plans within plans. Yeah… Ok… Working on it… I’ll give you a report in five days after I come down. See ya.”

“Who was that?”

“It was Dulles. We need a notebook. I’ve got to keep track of this. It’s so clear to me now. Lizards, guns, heroin, bananas, pyramids. It’s all coming together.”

“I feel like I have bat wings.”

“Would you get the hell away from that window!”

(Twelve hours later)

“Time has no meaning. There is only the absolute present. There is no past. No future. No history. Everything is occurring in one infinite moment.”

“Time has meaning because I have shit to do today. You’ve been on that fire escape for 12 hours.”

“I told you I’m on this fire escape because you are still on fire.”

“I’m not on fire. There is no fire. I don’t have a cat head. Your arms are not made of rubber. We’ve been over this a million times.”

“Then what is that ball of fire doing in the sky? Doesn’t it seem hot to you? I feel hot.”

“It’s the sun. The sun is a giant fireball. It’s the middle of July and its two in the afternoon. Just hop down onto that dumpster it’s only about five feet.”

“I’m on the side of a mountain. It looks to be about a fifteen thousand foot drop.”

“That’s the acid. The LSD is tricking your brain. It’s not real. It’s all in your mind.”

“If it’s all in my mind then everything is in the mind, along with the fireball in the sky and this mountain. You cannot tell me it’s not real because I’m experiencing it right now.”

“I’m going to beat you in the head with a fucking shovel if you don’t come down.”

“There is only my subjective reality. Therefore fuck off. I’m telling you to fuck off so you are fucking off right now.”

“Look. I have to work today. I’ve got to type out that Northwoods Document.”

“And what is that? That’s not real. You were telling me you were going to do all this fake crap and blame it on Castro. You’re wasting your time because you’re on fire. You need to stop drop and roll. You flaming fucking cat midget with your fucked up cat head. Fuck off.”

“Ok so if I’ve been on fire for this long how come I haven’t burned up completely?”

“Good question. I’ll tell you why. It’s because your cat head is made entirely of asbestos and you’re wearing a non-flammable gay sweater. You have a wooden leg. And I think you’re in the CIA.”

“We’re both in the C.I.A.”

“So you admit it. You’re a goddamn intelligence officer!”

“That’s our job. That’s what we do. You just took some acid and you’re freaking out.”

“Let me get this straight. I’m in the CIA. I’m high on acid and there really is a giant fireball in the sky. You admit you’re also in the CIA but you have a cat head. You say it’s all in my mind but some of this is real. If this is some kind of mind control operation you’re not very good at it.”

I’m chatting with a friend about Implantable Transponder Chips, it’s just another Sunday afternoon and I stopped in mid sentence thinking of the word transponder. “Hey that sounds familiar. I seem to remember reading something about the transponders being turned off somewhere. It was that switch those sneaky terrorists found on 9-11. NORAD was up shit creek as George W. Bush read a book on feral goats.”

But what is the purpose of an Implantable Transponder Chip for humans? Why do they tell us we’ll need one in the bright future? Oh for fuck sake maybe grandpa is lost in the woods again. He’s got distemper. We don’t know what he might do. We’ll have to put a chip on his forehead just to keep track.

Do you think grandpa will have that secret on/off switch too? Just in case all hell breaks loose and he needs the switch for some reason when he’s lost in the woods? Let’s say he’s not really lost he just wants to turn the switch off for a goof. Maybe he wants to play a prank on the front desk girl at the Sunnydale Rest Home. Maybe the doctor who implanted it on his skull told him about the switch, “Remember Frank. If things get really crazy you can always shut the transponder off. If you’re ever lost and you don’t want to be found just flip this switch right here on the taint. It’s in a secret place between the scrotum and butthole. Taint balls, taint ass. Get it? Well anyway no one should ever find it.”

Here’s a possible scenario. Frank is lost in the woods unprotected. He’s rolling around smacking into trees. Sunnydale Rest Home needs to keep track. It’s total chaos. Anything can happen. Let’s say a group of Boy Scouts find Frank naked and screaming in a patch of poison ivy. Let’s say hypothetically the Scout Master is a pedophile. Let’s also say, just for the sake of argument that the Scout Master tells the troop to beat and fuck Frank until he’s dead and they’ll all get a Gang Rape Merit Badge. The PowerReachTM5G transponder module in Frank’s forehead is capable of transmitting data up to distances of 320 kilometers. The front desk at Sunnydale has an array of tracking equipment. They know the exact location of every patient. But the Scout Master knows where Frank’s secret switch is. An hour and fifty minutes creep by and Frank is raped repeatedly by a troop of adolescent Boy Scouts.

How did the Scout Master know about the secret switch? Why would the doctor implant a Transponder Chip in Frank’s forehead with an on/off control on his taint? We know the Transponder is there for a reason. It’s for emergencies. Anything can happen in the woods. Sunnydale needs to know where Frank is at all times. Somehow he gets lost on the radar screen. Do they send out a nurse? Call the police? Form a search party? Fuck no. It just so happens, Frank was raped during a routine exercise. The staff at Sunnydale were coincidentally herding everyone out the door for the rape crisis awareness drill Virginal Guardian. No one saw what was happening until it was too late.

The Scout Master gives a long patriotic speech about honor and silence during a time of tragedy. Frank’s corpse is buried by the troop in a shallow grave and later dug up by wolves and torn to pieces. This is just a hypothetical situation. The important point I want to make is that the PowerReachTM5G transponder module is designed for total security but also includes a simple on/off mode option.

Or here’s another scenario. Sunnydale might want to keep track of Frank’s family. Let’s say there are all kinds of people coming and going through the Sunnydale Rest Home security perimeter. Things can get crazy. People drop off presents and flowers. They visit at all hours of the day. You never know how long to stay. Old people can die at any time. Maybe the family might want to know of Frank’s impending death while they’re out buying flowers. Or Sunnydale might want to know where Frank’s family is just in case they forgot the copay.

How can Sunnydale convince all the families to come on board with the PowerReachTM5G transponder module? This may sound crazy, but what if Sunnydale could stage an event somehow, say another Virginal Guardian test. Frank may or may not be in on it. The doctor may have told him about it or it was stuck somewhere in the appendix on page 378 of the PowerReachTM5G transponder instruction manual. PowerReach will clearly inform all customers of article 66934vs2r17.

“In the event of (0) / 2 + (k=1..) (a(k) cos kx + b(k) the customer will agree to 1/PI f(x) kx dx 9838453 any test Sunnydale Rest Home may decide to exercise during a routine Dn(t) dt Sn(x) = 1/PI ? f(x+t) Dn(t) dt Dn(x) = Dirichlet kernel = to advance said customer support relations 1/2 + cos x + cos 2x + cos nx = [ sin(n + 1/2)x ] / [ 2sin(x/2) ] under article 66934vs2r17 of the PowerReachTM5G transponder instruction manual limf(t) cos kt dt = lim(k->)f(t) sin kt dt = 0 A(0) a Scout Master may fuck your ass [ A(k) cos (k(PI)x / m) + B(k) (sin k(PI)x / m) so we can test our radar system or start a war with ] a(k) = 1/m f(x) any other Rest Home we want which may or may not have supplies we need (k(PI)x / m) dx xk+1 = (xk + y / (xk)n-1) if you agree to these terms and conditions it really doesn’t matter 21/3 = 1.259921049894 B = 0.61357421875 We’ll do what we want whenever we want anyway 29 = 0.7098625 * 23 exp = 9 – 3 = 6 yi+1 = yi + (xn/2)(a – yi2) ax2 + 2bx + c = 0 x2/r2 = 1+ 2/r2 = -130 = 0”

Basically what this means is Frank’s part of the Sunnydale Rest Home “test” or what we could describe as the PowerReachTM5G transponder Venereal Grandfather exercise. Since PowerReach virtually owns Sunnydale and can shut the electricity off with one key stroke we’ll just call it the PowerReach Frank is Fucked Guardian Test Thing Whatever. We can call it what we want. The point is Sunnydale needs to keep track. So they stage a spectacular event. They hire a few Scout Masters to beat and fuck Frank in the woods until he’s unconscious. The family was told all about the significance of the Transponder Chip. But somehow the on/off switch got activated and the family wants to know why. That’s where PowerReach comes in. They sing a few Sunnydale songs, print up some bumper stickers so we never forget and the CEO reminds people of what can happen in the woods. The family gets a heartfelt apology from the PowerReach PR firm on the mistakes that were made and the shareholders have agreed that the PowerReach TM5G transponder module will now support a new failproof re-designed on/off mode option.

I downloaded Zero Dark Thirty off BitTorrent because I thought I’d review the film exclusively for Media Underground. I’m not going to pay one dime for a Lockheed Martin commercial and I knew how it ends so here’s my take. The film should be called Zero Fucks Movie. It begins with a ginger anorexic pale Carrot Juice Maya bitch standing in the background during a torture scene but you’re supposed to feel sorry for her because she can’t stand to watch torture. First thoughts: Any CIA agent in that room is going to be a West Point graduate and a professional sadist and is not going to give a fuck about torture. When they keep cutting back to her with that Florence Nightingale compassion cunt face it’s utterly laughable.

Carrot Juice has a good guy sidekick. He’s the bearded hipster CIA Torture Bro who looks like a Christian Singles extra from the Left Behind series and Wolf Blitzer’s pothead stepson had an anal baby. He’s also a grown up version of the kid in MASK or Cher after her facial surgery. I guess they want the film to have that artsy glassy eyed North Korean indoctrination feel to it. Or maybe the Pentagon’s casting director spotted him at an industrial Screen Actors Guild party for the Kansas National Guard. I’m not sure which but he has to be the most annoying actor I’ve seen on film ever. And that means worse than Jar Jar Binks and Steven Segal in Above the Law combined.

Everyone thinks this film is hard to watch because of the torture scenes. The torture scenes are only difficult to watch because the movie sucks tail pipes. It has nothing to do with torture itself. The point is it feels like torture because you’re thirty minutes into this film and you know you have another two and a half hours of this stick figure Carrot Top creature who has the acting skills of a corpse. Worst acting I’ve seen since I watched NORAD explain the timelines to the 9-11 Commission. I wouldn’t even call it acting. I would call it a three hour snuff film. They repeat their lines like someone just asked them to repeat their lines. Two Girls and a Cup could walk into the room and begin to eat fresh shit off the floor, no reaction.

Come to think of it there is an actual Two Girls and a Cup scene in this movie and you don’t even notice. Torture Bro is eating a chocolate ice cream cone right next to a monkey cage. These are those little squirrel monkeys with AIDS. I’m not sure why they have monkeys at a CIA Black Site, but AIDS monkeys are always cute. And you can always get ice cream at a rendition site. Anyway, so he’s eating ice cream right next to the monkey cage and the monkey is grabbing at the cone like it’s a Two Girls and a Cup monkey documentary. He lets the monkey grab a handful of chocolate ice cream with his little monkey hands because after you’ve been torturing guys all day long who doesn’t want to feed a monkey with shit on its hands? The monkey has his hands right in the ice cream and Torture Bro puts the rest of the ice cream cone in his mouth. Again, no reaction. After he just ate AIDS infected monkey shit ice cream. Anytime you see a character in a film feed animals you know he’s the good guy even if he just punched the monkey in the face after he fed it. A guard walks by and says, “You Agency guys are twisted”. Yeah and don’t fuck with me because we’re trained to eat monkey shit.

Every five minutes watching this film I heard a voice in my head say, “I just don’t fucking care” but strangely it was the voice of Norman Mineta. It’s almost as if Norman Mineta the Secretary of Transportation was actually in my head sitting there, at a desk, behind a microphone, at the 9-11 Commission saying, “The movie is 50 miles out. The movie is 30 miles out. The movie is 10 miles out. Does the movie still suck?” At this point I see Dick Cheney turn and whip his neck around, “Of course the movie still sucks have you heard anything to the contrary?” Then back to Mineta’s head and his disembodied voice.

I’ll have to admit there are subtle clues to how evil these terrorists are. Carrot Crotch asks a prisoner named Faraj about one of his associates, “What does this guy look like?” Faraj says, “Tall, long white beard, thin, he uses a cane” and Fire Crotch says, “Kind of like Gandolf?” The camera pulls back to Faraj and he says, “Who?” There’s a long pause. Big Red looks back and you know shit is going to get real. Now it’s not catchin’ Bin Laden Dead or Alive. This crazy motherfucker didn’t get my joke and knows nothing of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. So they begin to beat and fuck him again unmercifully. He might as well have said, “I spit upon this Gandolf. Fuck you and fuck your Peter Jackson Infidel”.

Ok middle part of the movie. More shit blows up, people scream at each other, computers, cell phones, Ali Akbar, someone kills all the squirrel monkeys, Torture Bro shaves his beard off, years go by, Big Red is the only one working on the case, dusty shit, more ass kicking and naked men in plywood rooms, more dust, sunglasses, Pakistan, motorcycles, serious people, a guy pounds on a table and gets really pissed like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. The plot is hard to follow but then again it’s the Fog of War and Bin Laden is sneaky. The whole middle part of the film could have been edited out and a cartoon inserted with Tom and Jerry pounding each other on the head with a wooden mallet.

Oh and I forgot. That voice in my head saying, “I don’t fucking care”? That’s actually in the movie. One of the main CIA boss characters looks Carrot Juice right in her ginger retard face and says, “I don’t fucking care about Bin Laden”. So it’s not just me. Even a character in the film itself is saying what I’m thinking. And that my friend is a frightening epiphany. When you have the voice in your head authenticated by a Defense Department Domination porn video, when “objective” reality is synched to confirmatory factor analysis there’s a moment when the hair on the back of your neck stands up. It all becomes crystal clear. YES my Intelligence Officer actor friend! I don’t care either because since 9-11 we have killed, maimed, tortured, starved, raped, pillaged, smart bombed, blasphemed, marginalized, humiliated, pissed on, piled up, imprisoned, carpet bombed and droned fucked over one million of our fellow human beings for an attack that killed only three thousand Americans. That’s not eye for an eye. That is 333.3 eyes for one fucking eye. Get over it. This war has gone on too long. Kill fucking Bin Laden or let it go or shit or get off the pot I don’t care anymore. And we don’t need another fucking movie about this. Even the goddam CIA and Navy Seals don’t want you to glorify it anymore they just want to come home and drink a goddam beer. Please for the love of God shut the fuck up this movie was a waste of time.

I steal eBooks off bittorrent. Get over it. The internet is the new printing press and library all wrapped up into one little machine inside your own home. If you want to “check books out of the library” learn how to use bittorrent, Calibre and file shares. Wrap your mind around it. What do you think a library is? It’s a place to find and read free books. Plain and simple. I’m sure when the first library was built there were authors who pissed and moaned about how no one would be paying for their books but where the fuck are those authors now? They’re dead. And if you’re only writing to make money then you shouldn’t be writing in the first place.

“Of all writings I love only that which is written with blood. Write with blood: and you will discover that blood is spirit.” — Nietzsche

The most frightening thing to people in power is a more powerful printing press and a gigantic library where anyone can read anything they want. Think about it. The publishing industry and our government would absolutely love to control this but the genie is already out of the bottle. Those in power will never out hack the hackers and this internet you are using right now was literally built by hackers and the free flow of information.

“Isn’t it still stealing?” You should also tell that to Jeff Bezos. I make .89 cents per book from my $10.00 book. A book that I wrote myself, made my own cover, formatted it, published it, promoted it and uploaded it. How does that work exactly? When the Kindle version is just a simple download? How does Amazon make 90% off my book and every other small author’s book? Fuck me if that’s not stealing too.

And what about the publishing industry? Why didn’t they accept my book so I could sell it legitimately like a real author? Or my movie? Oh let me see, I think they said something like they were both too controversial or not mainstream enough. (You’ll probably say, “Because they probably suck” but whatever, to each his own). But what is my option for a distribution platform? How do I get my book or movie out to my audience since the Today Show isn’t knocking on my door?

When the printing press was invented it was a giant leap forward. Here’s a quote I stole outright, copied and pasted straight from Wikipedia, “The invention and spread of the printing press is widely regarded as the most influential event in the second millennium AD, revolutionizing the way people conceive and describe the world they live in, and ushering in the period of modernity.” When the people in power realized anyone could build a printing press and distribute whatever information they wanted they knew full well they were losing their grip. So what was the next step? Control the printing press.

Imagine a world where every individual has in their own home their own printing press. When you right click on a file (no matter how large it is) and copy and paste it you can make an exact copy of that file. What do you think you’re doing? It’s the same thing as the printing press only multiplied by millions. Not only is it possible to copy and paste millions of bits of information but millions of average people have this technology in their own home.

Now imagine an author who writes the next modern day version of The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine. What if Amazon won’t allow it on their site? What if the government doesn’t want it distributed? What if all the mainstream media outlets are dead set against it and the church is preaching at the pulpit on how dangerous it is? How would anyone ever hear those ideas if everything is under control and no one could share information? Not just in the US but think of fascist dictatorships and fundamentalist theocracies. This technology would be a revolution and that is exactly what is happening right under your nose but you’re too fucking stupid or unwilling to face it.

What’s amazing to me is that the average person has had the ability to do this since 1997 (when even my parents bought a computer) and somehow I’m the freak? Maybe it’s because I use this uncontrolled flow of information and you are still living in a goddam cave. I am using a giant library that you couldn’t even begin to imagine and you are only reading what you are told you can read or what you can find on Amazon. Half of the books on my Kindle right now you couldn’t find at a physical library if you tried.

“Oh but James with a real library you don’t pay for books, but you do have to return them within a set period. With file-sharing the book is not being returned, it is being kept indefinitely.” That just makes this kind of “library” that much more amazing, hard to comprehend, revolutionary and giant a paradigm shift.

The whole concept of the internet was first envisioned by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). During the cold war they were worried that during a nuclear attack, if they had all their intelligence in one place, how would they protect it? You couldn’t build a bunker deep enough and the Soviets would find the location. So they came up with the idea to distribute that information everywhere. With a giant web of information any place attacked wouldn’t be a problem because it would also exist somewhere else.

Now we the People have that same technology in our hands. The Puppet Masters don’t mind. Trust me they wouldn’t let us have this power if it were really that dangerous. Plus they probably realized it would be a great leap forward and help topple dictatorships and tyranny all over the world. Look at P2P and bittorrent as the same thing. It’s a giant library that exists on millions of hard drives all over the world. I know on one hand you can look at it like it’s a way to “steal” music, movies and software. But what if something happened? Like all the media outlets came under control of a small group of people (which is actually happening as I write this), or a giant war broke out or a natural disaster. All of that information, music, film and software would still be out there somewhere on all the millions of hard drives and computers. That is a giant indestructible library. And even if the internet is shut down or it becomes so chaotic we don’t have electricity that data is still on those hard drives. When we rebuild an infrastructure we’ll be able to access it and share it again. Think about that asshole who torched the Library at Alexandria. There will be no way some religious nut could burn it all down.

“Oh James but if everyone just pirates books off the Internet all the writers would just quit because they would have to get real jobs to support themselves.” That sounds like the Fundamentalist Christian argument against homosexuality. They argue, “What if everyone becomes gay? No one anywhere on the planet will reproduce and eventually we will all die off as a species!” Give me a break. There will always be people who buy books, music, film and software. People still buy my book and there is no way I can control what they do with it after they have it in their hands. This is just a fact of life and I can either accept it or whine and complain about it. Or I can actually look at it from a different perspective.

Every system has its problems and attributes. I used to work at a Public Library and if you only knew what kind of controls and red tape that went in to what books ended up on the shelf your head would explode. Also I have always asked myself why certain books weren’t even available at Border’s or Barnes & Nobel. It has to do with distribution and who controls what goes on the shelf. Now I’ll agree the downside to this new “library” is the problem with compensation to the creator. But you cannot deny the fact that with this new kind of distribution platform there is way, way more variety, selection, freedom and access. Ever go to a grocery store and wonder why they have the worst books by the checkout lane? It’s because someone controls that shelf space. It’s as simple as that. I used to wonder if everyone was just too stupid to read good literature or was it the marketing? Were these books actually brilliant and I’m just the fucking idiot? Was it the manager of the store who had no taste? Go to another store from the same corporate chain on the other side of town and you’ll see the same books right there on the shelf. There’s a conspiracy to dumb down America and if you don’t see it I don’t how to explain it to you. Something is under control. Sometimes I feel like Winston Smith from 1984 when I discus this problem and I am amazed at how people just repeat the same slogans they hear off the Telescreen. And anyone who thinks differently is committing Thoughtcrime. If you’re too stupid to steal books or think it’s morally wrong then don’t. I don’t really give a fuck.

“I hate the reading idlers.” – Fredrick Nietzsche

Down in the third sub-basement below Mortimer’s castle here at Media Underground, I  just finished a three week investigation into Halo 3 Live. I had some suspicion that the gamer PinkUnicorn12 had hacked into my X-Box game controller and installed a remote program to make me lose every game I played against her and all of her online friends. I also found I lost to random players and even a five year old boy with a broken arm who said he was eating a sandwich at the time. I remember hearing his exact words, “I just pawned your bitch-ass down”. I knew there must have been some security breach with either the game controller or my X-Box console. Statistically I had been able to win one or two games out of 1000 games played. I switched controllers and nothing seemed to add up. Then the phone rang…

“Inman, this is Mortimer.”

“Ah… (long pause)… Yeah?”

“Get off the X-Box for Christ sake while I’m talking to you on the phone.”

“Ok, what?”

“I’m sending you to West Africa for an initiation into the Bwiti ceremony. You are to meet up with the head of the tribe. The Shaman’s name is N’ganga. You’ll take massive amounts of a drug called ibogaine. During the ritual the visions will come on pretty strong for about eight to ten hours during which time I want you to look for machine elves, the Terrence McKenna kind. Grab one as your spirit guide and find out everything you can on Simulated Reality.”

“Yeah ok… just a second… Oh no, you took my Plasma Rifle bitch!”

“Inman this is important. Put down the controller.”

“Ok I got it. Machine elves and SimCity, I used to play that game. I’ll get on it.”

“Not SimCity you retard. Simulated Reality. It’s the proposition that…”

“NO! NO! NO! You whore! Goddamit!” (explosions in the background)

“Put it away for the last fucking time Inman or I’m coming down there. It’s not the video game SimCity. Look, just get a pen and write this down… Simulated Reality.”

“S-I-M-S…?”

“Simulated. S-I-M-U-L-A-T-E-D as in fake reality. Jesus I can’t believe I have to deal with this. Did you go to public school? Look, you have your mission. The plane leaves for Gabon tomorrow. I know it’s a weird way to go about this and it may be a shot in the dark. N’ganga has been a buddy of mine for years and he’ll talk you down if you go nutters. I had Klein on this one at first but he says he’s allergic to Tabernanthe bark or some crap. Anyway keep a diary because I might be able to find clues from your notes. Write everything down. Don’t freak out and remember, look for anything out of place or ask a machine elf spirit guide. I need to know if the universe itself could be a computer simulation indistinguishable from “true” reality. And if it’s possible that someone could actually hack reality.”

I put the phone down. I stare at the wall for a few seconds. Did I just hear what I think I heard? This is the ultimate paranoid conspiracy and he’s lost his goddam mind. He’s gone Syd Barrett batshit-crazy and he’s trying to take me with him. I’ll have a psychotic breakdown from some bad reaction to ibogaine, wake up barefoot and penniless wandering around West Africa, collapse from malnutrition and dysentery and finally end up being torn to pieces by wild hyenas in a dried up river bed. There’s no way I can go on this trip. I’ll have to fake the simulated reality study.

At first I thought it would be easy. I’d just type simulated reality into Wikipedia and make a few notes. Scribble weird crap in a diary with mathematical symbols and rub dust all over the cover so it looks like I’ve been in the desert for three days. No problem. That’s when I remembered N’ganga would be waiting for me in Gabon. If I don’t show up he’ll ask Mortimer what happened. I’ll have to hire a guy to fly down to Gabon, have him meet up with N’ganga posing as me, he’ll take the ibogaine and write a few things down about elves, send me his notes and I’ll mix that with the Wiki simulated reality material in a dusted up diary.

Sounds like the perfect plan right? Turns out the guy I send down there used to hang out with N’ganga in Glastonbury in the late 80s. And N’ganga isn’t N’ganga. His real name is Niles Octavious Hall the twin brother of the Governor General of Jamaica Kenneth O. Hall. Niles O. Hall was the Black Rebel Jamaican Freedom Fighter who later migrated to Gabon and became a Bwiti initiate. Kenneth O. Hall was the Dean of the State University of New York who later became the Governor General of Jamaica.

Just a side note, the Bwiti ceremonies are led by a (male or female) spiritual leader who has extensive knowledge of traditional healing practices, hexes and spells. Their spiritual leader is called an N’ganga. So N’ganga is not only not Niles O. Hall’s real name, it’s not even his fake name because it’s a title. If Niles or the “N’ganga” meets my fake Bwiti initiate dupe posing as me and recognizes him from Glastonbury I’m fucked.

Luckily the guy who was supposed to be me, Ian, didn’t blow my cover and I called Mortimer to tell him I missed the plane. Thinking quickly I also told him I was supposed to meet my “assistant” Ian in Gabon who has a satellite phone and laptop so I can be initiated into the Bwiti ceremony over Skype in the comfort of my office in the third sub-basement. All I really had to do was dose myself with a placebo here, look for the machine elves in my own imagination and tell Mortimer it was all being done according to the Bwiti ritual over remote live video. Sound simple?

Ian doesn’t have a laptop or satellite phone or even a video camera. So I had to write and direct a ten hour fake Bwiti ibogaine ritual on film. First off I couldn’t find a guy who looked like Ian or N’ganga. We tried some kind of computer graphics thing with a friend who said he worked for Pixar. That looked completely retarded. Then we figured the shaman and Ian would probably have tribal paint all over their faces and beards with crap in their hair. No one would notice if they were dancing around with dirt all over everything. We hired two actors who looked the part, painted their faces and recorded the whole thing with an iPhone. I thought the acting was weak at first. I tried to motivate them about machine elves while looking for weird shots with the iPhone. One guy started waving his arms in the air like a Shaman and the other wrote stupid shit in a diary.

So summing up, I don’t know if the machine elves are real. I don’t know if reality is fake or not. I don’t know if I’m sitting in a comfortable chair right now in another part of the universe with a brain-computer interface. I don’t know if I interact with a simulated world and if it receives feedback from me. I don’t know if virtual people exist or if they’re just other poor schlubs strapped in a chair interacting with their brain-computer. I don’t know much of anything. And even if this world is simulated and let’s just say for the sake of argument it is. I found a few clues…

TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD – “Male, female, father, mother, the thunderstorm, the hurricane, the thunder, all phenomena are naturally like magical illusions. However they arise they are truthless. All things are untrue and false.”

LAO TZU – “The world is formed from the void, like utensils from a block of wood. The Master knows the utensils but keeps to the block. Thus he can use all things.”

FREDRICK NIETZSCHE – “Why couldn’t the world that concerns us be a fiction? And if somebody asked, ‘but to be a fiction there surely needs to be an author?’ couldn’t one ask simply why? Doesn’t this longing perhaps belong to the fiction too?”

It’s been a while since I wrote anything because I’ve been on a clandestine mission. I was sent to North Carolina as an embedded reporter. The plan was to infiltrate Blackwater and establish a beach head for information on corporate mercenaries. For six months I trained in a secluded wetland preserve outside Suffolk, NC, sleeping inside a cave. I immersed myself in weapons training, survival, first aid, crowd control, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and commercial country radio. I also practiced the fine art of firing my weapon randomly at any object within a three hundred yard perimeter. Unsystematic weapons discharge and Total Eradication Arbitrary of Moving or Fixed Angle Geography, also known as TEAMFAG, is compulsory at Blackwater. The black bandana is key. Normally worn around the forehead, a skilled security contractor in any situation will pull the bandana over his eyes and uncontrollably utilize any weapon in his arsenal. This is called Blind Firing. After six months of self training, I was ready to apply.

As I approached the Headquarters at Blackwater USA, I found the parking lot filled with Sport Utility Vehicles modified with what is called the True Quad PowerTrain. Not available to the general public as of 2011, these transport units come with a separate engine for each wheel making it a true Quad 4WD. The gas mileage is still classified but experts agree the 400 gallon tank can last a quarter of a mile before refueling. Not surprisingly for the past 50 miles outside Blackwater I drove past thousands of gas stations. Each refueling station was connected directly to a petrochemical plant owned and operated by Blackwater. Half of the refueling stations were on fire or exploding. I navigated a series of security checkpoints where Blackwater contractors were basically running around killing each other, so I had no problem slipping past undetected.

Most people think of mercenaries as dirty, camo-clad ex-Navy Seals with painted faces creeping out of some pond filled with slimy moss and poisonous snakes. Not the security contractor of today. Blackwater is a private contracting firm. They protect private enterprise and global corporations. The new look resembles a black NASCAR uniform. The Medal of Honor is the corporate logo. Gulf Oil, British Petroleum, Texaco, Sprint, Snickers, Tide, Vaseline and Kentucky Fried Chicken are displayed proudly for brave dedication of service. Dishonor at Burger King can open up a can of whoop ass. These men give their lives for the freedom to have the burger cooked anyway they like it. And if you don’t like it? Then it’s lock and load and Taste the Rainbow. That’s just Ford Tough. I’ll Shout it Out that I protect the smooth creamy rich filling inside a Milky Way Bar. Can you hear me now?

Inside the waiting room at Personnel I saw a sea of psychotic men screaming out their favorite commercial jingles. It was like a food court gone mad. To the right was a Pizza Hut and on the left was a shooting range. I’m not sure if anyone was in charge. I asked around for some kind of secretary or employment application. After I ordered a Supreme Personal Pan Pizza I dodged more bullets from the Blind Firing and made my way back to the table. I finally found that on the back of the Pizza Hut paper tray liner was some kind of game or test you had to pass before you were considered a full time employee. I connected the dots with Crayons to form what looked like a dragon with seven heads and ten horns. Or it could have been a seahorse I’m not sure. There didn’t seem to be anyone checking for errors, so I just left it on the table. I was now a full time employee of Blackwater USA, making more than twenty times that of an average US soldier in Iraq.

Most people think of Blackwater as those wannabe soldiers protecting chicken shit diplomats inside the green zone in Baghdad. Nothing could be further from the truth. My first assignment was something they call “Chaos Flying.” This is pretty much the same as Blind Firing but the difference is you climb aboard a C-17 Globemaster and the pilot dons his black bandana and you fly randomly to any place in the world. Secrecy is paramount. Blackwater contractors are not told where they are or what they are doing. Not even headquarters knows the full details of any mission. We were told to climb off the plane and start discharging our weapons anywhere. This is the Fog of War. No one knows what went on in those few seconds. It all happened in a blur of gunfire. Before I knew it we were back on the plane to another destination.

Civilian causalities are non-existent to Blackwater troops because technically everyone is an enemy or potential enemy. Corporations are also at war with there own subsidiaries so there could be Blackwater contractors firing on themselves. You never want to point a gun at an individual unless you’re prepared to use it and it is Blackwater’s policy to always have guns drawn so it’s inevitable that anyone can be shot at anytime. However, Blackwater is always on guard due to extensive “bandana training.” There could be rogue Blackwater security forces working for OPEC, Pepsi and Nextel planning an attack on Mitsubishi, Ikea and Bud Light. Rogain could join forces with Kellogg’s Fruity Pebbles to take control of Hershey’s new ad campaign. We fight in a new paradigm. It’s a dangerous world but it’s our professionalism that seeks order through blind chaos.

This is the new Corporate Elite Soldier. Blackwater is committed to supporting national and international security policies that protect defenseless corporations whatever side they’re on. They dedicate themselves to providing an efficient and effective stream of disorder that may or may not randomly impact the lives of those still caught in a secure world. They are further committed to a ten horned hydra-headed seahorse-like beast. Those who believe in a peaceful future for their communities and nations will be caught in the cross fire too. Whether they serve in uniform or out, civilian or terrorist, non-combatant, animal, vegetable or mineral, Blackwater will be there.

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