Monday, May 28, 2007

i'm really 'sposed to be working, but

you should check out the What Is Enlightenment? magazine's website, as this issue is on finding Utopia

Friday, May 25, 2007

like bombs thrown on a nest of demons

for a month, Werebrock remained stoic. tough as a rock, head twice as hard. but at last, after a month of extra frequent stomach pain, bouts of nausea and unforgettable trips to the outhouse, he mentioned it to Master Yoda. "Hmmmmmm. That's too bad. You could try looking in this book, the Green Pharmacy. It's got good general ideas." The book, like Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a valuable resource for keeping healthy and rescuing the sickly from an eclectic variety of ailments, (high blood pressure, cholesterol) but not the unholy shits.

It got worse and worse. Werebrock's quality of life began ebbing away with each meal. Werebrock went back to Yoda. "Hmmmm. Let's put together some tinctures." Werebrock starting sipping herb extract at every meal, with no noticable effect. "Hmmmmm. You might find a useful Chinese formula in the Materia Medica." Due to the wide variety of possible sources for a stomach complication, the best he could find was some tea for a flu. "Aight, I'm goin' to the Western doc. No hard feelings, 'ey?"

On the phone, the receptionist told Werebrock to arrive half an hour before the appointment. So they arrived right on time. The US of L's sick-care bureaucracy always asks for more than it needs.

Sarong-clad Werebrock strode into the "waiting room". "Hmmmm." Said the receptionist, purposefully not glancing below his waist. "Fill out this form." Werebrock left the phone number and social security spaces blank. "You left the social security space blank." "I can't remember it." "Okay. Make sure you call us with it, because we need it to bill you." He did not understand the purpose of the medical privacy waiver, and rather than fielding his questions, the receptionist asked him if he wanted to just leave it blank. "Sure!" Claire Wolf says you should always leave forms, especially social security spaces, blank, if you can get away with it.

Being told to come half an hour early and arriving on time, of course Werebrock and Crazy Steve had to wait another half hour. Otherwise the clinic central planners would lose face, right? But eventually they called him back to triage for more waiting. The nurse waived another form in front of his face, with a social security blank on it. "Well, I could try. But I'd probly give it wrong." The nurse scowled. "Aw, better not risk it." Shazam! Two down, one to go. Finally, the Occidental Doc finally showed their face.

"Diarrhea, huh? We'll need to send off some samples to the lab. I'll give you a container. What's your social security number?" Werebrock was caught off card. "Errr. I'm not sure..." The Doc looked at him. He caved, but bounced right back. "Listen, I live on less than $1,000 a year. You think you can cut me a little slack?" "Sure, the receptionist can give you a form to fill in. Return it, and we'll think about it."

Right, Werebrock thought. I'll put myself at their mercy. HA HA HA.

"Here, take these two varieties of antibiotic for a week and a half. Don't drink milk. And do a Gatorade fast for a day." They gave him a scrawled little piece of paper. "Also, don't drink any alcohol while you're on this (they pointed to a patch of the scrawl), as it will make you puke up your toenails." "Impossible. I already shit them out." The doctor, unflappably and without showing any sign of having heard, left.

"What can you do? Money talks and bullshit walks" Crazy Steve said reasuringly. "We gotta get you some blackberry wine." "I'd say this was bull shit, too, 'cept I'm a Taurus and so in a way that would be putting myself down. I'll call it demon shit."

Werebrock fasted and cut out the dairy for the time being, but decided to wait on the antibiotitcs; his confidence in their poisening power was bolstered by likening to Zombans' shared suspicion of the pills. He thought "Fuck that", and reflected upon his real options. While morosely moping around the kitchen during his fast, his eyes passed over the cinnamon, the cumin, the shredded coconut, the carob powder.... hey! "Intuition has it!" And indeed, many olde-timey kitchen condiments and spices, when understood and used properly, can kick the shit out of Tecumseh's Revenge. For a week and ever after, Werebrock ate hightly spiced foods and drink that. He analogized that the boluses he'd been sending down the alimentary canal were like bombs thrown on a nest of demons. Only it were plants being thrown, so Banksy's iconic "Love is in the Air" be a more appropriate graphic.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

living with an egalitarian tribe?

i was thinking, after reading David Graebner's "Fragments of an Anarchist Antrhopology", that I should go kick it with the Yoruba or some other egalitarian tribe. just to see how their heads are screwed on, and experience life amongst folks who don't use McDonaldization as a point of reference.

i was thinking, "Maybe Fiji, or Hawaii, since I'm already gonna go there." now Fiji's out of the picture, because the government would grab me by the blog and gnosh me into little pieces.

my compatriot Dan Bartlett is working on a series of zines called "Tribeless", which may talk back to these thoughts. i'll read the first one here:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

plants in our urban homestead

Happy Discordian chaos holiday! 5-23!

These are plants cataloged by Shaykha Sharqi as found in our yard. Some are overwintered in the house. Some of them were planted this season, and many are volunteers aka wild aka weeds.

Amaranth, aloe vera,
Bell peppers, broccoli, burdock, buckeye trees,
Creeping Charlie, chicory, coffee, clover (white and red), cherry trees (2 kinds), catnip, Christmas cactus, croton, Chinese evergreen,
Dandelion, daylily, dayflowers, deadly nightshade, datura, devil’s ivy,
Elm trees, English ivy, evergreen tree (kind??),
Fleabane, fern
Garlic chives, garlic, grass (3 kinds-short and tall fescue, cool-season), grapevine, garlic mustard, gladiolus, ghetto palm,
Indian strawberries, iris,
Jerusalem artichokes, Japanese ivy,
Lambs quarters, lemon balm,
Mulberry trees, milkweed (vining), morning glory, mint
Onions, oregano, Oak tree (red oak),
Potatoes, peas, peonies, plaintain, poison ivy, plum tree, pokeweed, pole beans,
Raspberries, rose of Sharon, redbud tree, rosemary, roses,
Spinach, sunflowers, sunberries (garden huckleberries), sweet William, spirea, stinging nettle, strawberries, shepherd’s purse, smartweed, spider plant, sweet potatoes,
Tomatoes, tansy,
Violas, violets,
Wood sorrel, wild four-o’clock,

and a few as-yet unidentified plants. and a few waiting to be put in the ground. unjobbing and unschooling RULZ!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

animals in our urban homestead

My dad, who has taken an interest in permaculture, attended a one-day introductory seminar and picked up Introduction to Permaculture by Mollison & Slay. He commented to us,

> systems usually include animals like chickens, which probably isn't possible for y'all where you live now, is it?

I don't think we could officially have chickens, but on the other hand, besides cats, we have seen squirrels, bats, earthworms, robins, cardinals, mourning doves, grackles, little brown birds, pigeons, some kinda red-headed woodpecker, ants, snails, slugs, pill bugs, bees, flies, flies that look like bees, wasps, mosquitos, various spiders, centipedes, a few kinds of butterflies, bumble bees, lady bugs, various other bugs I don't quite know what they are ... there's still animal life in the yard, each doing its things. I guess they're getting something good here. Even with the cats hanging around there are a lot of birds. Robins have been pecking in the compost lately. When I turn over a log to cut it up, sometimes I find a centipede scurrying away. I don't like them, but they're third-tier decomposers, a good sign of healthy soil microorganisms. (If I recall correctly, from Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway, a must-read!)

In the basement, we still have the worm composting bin, and there are still a lot of worms in there, finishing up everything we gave them over the winter. Actually, we just decided to start feeding them more compost so they don't die off. I guess that's a more intentional or domestic way to keep permaculture animals in the city. When I open the lid on the worm bin, I can hear the quiet mass squishy noise that a whole buncha earthworms in a box make!

Oh, though two of us will be earning our permaculture design certificates later this summer, we're not yet officially entitled to use the p-word to describe whatever it is we're doing or want to do. But then there's the problem of how to say permaculture without saying permaculture--sustainacultcha? Autonomist maximal diversification? The one-earthworm revolution? (After The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka--a must-read!)

Now that I've posted the animals list, I want to post the plants list later. And after the what-is lists, I want to post the paradise-garden list made by a bunch of us freex in the chaos house.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Bet you didn't know badgers were arboreal!" Werebrock crowed. He was up in a hemlock tree, spraying soapy water on the aul-shaped needles. If he didn't, these tea-leaved shade trees would be adelidged out of their lives.

"Wane you fal, aim gonnna laif." Bjorn Bloodhand wasn't serious, and that's not the way he always talks. (And that's not what he's usually called, but in private he recently anti-Christened himself that.) Growing up around a hilly Southern drawl but not hearing it at home gives you the option of speaking two ways. Bidialectual, you might say.

Bjorn Bloodhand was promptly doused with the solution. "Hey!" He picked up and opened a large umbrella. "Say, what are you gonna do if you get the desparate diahreas when you're all the way up there?" "I'm gonna say "Hey, Jeffrey, come 'ere! I've got something to tell you.'" Bjorn proceeded to tell him how 'orribly he would die should his head be showered with feces. Considering they had recently schemed to kill and cook an annoying visitor's cat and feed it to him, perhaps it didn't seem far-fetched. But it was, and when Werebrock came down, they merrily went to the neighbors field to hunt grasshoppers, to put in the evening's Hoppin' Juan (blackeyed peas and brown rice with peppers). The heavilly mulched field was a dissapointment. O well.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

tearin' it down

Werebrock found Crazy Steve. “you ready to go, man?” Werebrock questioned. “I called ‘em, and it’s cool that we’re coming over.” It was a good evening, ‘specially since it had come to be so before the clock struck 5. “Well, yeah. I got some trout,” he gestured to the pot he was carrying. “I can smoke ‘em and be ready in 15 minutes.” Werebrock considered the merits of eating a fish, just pulled up outta the stream. “I already ate a sandwich, so you can keep it all for yourself.” Of course, Crazy Steve would not hear it, and so the two plus another student at the Joe Hollis School of Mad Wizardry enjoyed their first course. Wild trout is tastier than just about everything when you’re hungry in the holler.

They rolled out on four wheels, riding in high style. Perhaps there’d be a time when such luxuries would be beyond the grasp of the two staunch comrades, but for the time being they lay back and reveled, in their sweet ride. Werebrock appreciated the sunroof because, as an ogre, he had to hunch over in many of the motorized transports he’d ridden in. “I’m interested in this hydrogen fusion thingie our engineer friend is building.” So was Steve, who would maybe resent his car less if it ran on water.

The view of the clouds, above the mountains and veiling the sunset over the cow pasture, was a teacher that kept up with the mercurial auto. The vaporous structures extended lovingly opaque tendrils of nothingness down to the Taoist-flavored cloud ponderer in the passenger seat, shielding his reptile brain from a familiar chatter whose origin, he speculated, emanated from a spectral form who lived and guided him, somewhat, from somewhere beneath his face.

They arrived as the Bears were finishing their meal. “So what’s up, y’all?!” Back and forth banter is not tedious when you’re with friends. The engineering Bear expounded upon his hydrogen idea. “Basically, you expose water to a certain frequency of sound, and one of the hydrogen atoms breaks apart. This releases energy, which you can use for powering anything. It can use salt water, which ends up desalinated after the “H” two “O” molecules re-form at the end of the process. So we can solve our energy wants, desalinate water for drinking or irrigating deserts. And it’s really…” His daughter cut in. “But Da-a-a-d,” she moaned, “didn’t the guy who invented this get killed?” “Yes. He died over a plate of (suspect?) lasagna, and then the Defense Department bought up the patent from his widow.” He did some theater with shaking his head and blinking his eyes. “I just wanna get my car running on water, ‘sall.” His son had been foisting on Werebrock an illustrated encyclopedia of Vertebrates, enthusiastically pointing out the bats. “Theoretically,” Werebrock raised, “could you have a flying machine that skims the surface of the ocean to refuel? It would be like a bat that skims the lake to drink.” “Yes, that sounds plausible.”

The intrepid duo were much impressed by the simplicity of the machine’s design, when Engineer Bear show and telled. It was getting late, and being intoxicated, they decided to stay over. There was good bullshitting for hours into the night.

The next day was spent communally, the whole Bear family and their friends deconstructing a barn. It was strenuous. Electric screwdrivers whizzed the lumber back into component pieces, which were cleaned and sorted for reuse. Huge chunks of concrete were heaved, fiberglass insulation removal was endured; upon taking down the last ceiling panel, a large blacksnake fell on and past Werebrock, who was somewhat embarrassed to have called out to Jesus in a room full of pagans. Upon being re-pharmakoed, he decided it had been an omen, the Universe’s way of indicating that he was either a.) thinking too much, or b.) missing the point. He knew both were happening, and decided to ease off pushing his search for meaning up the hill.

Dirty jokes were smutted across the room, the uselessness of the president of the United States of Leviathan was speculated upon, and the denizens of the Bear Den autonomous zone struggled to get their minds around the vacant space their efforts were spreading across the lawn. The energy, the counterpower, the sweat and the sledgehammers. What a fine day. Cash did not change hands- company was shared, food was lovingly prepared, and Werebrock arranged to come back the next weekend and work some more, this time as a part-time employee. The bonds of friendship would subsidize the wages, to everyone's glee. Werebrock hearts the Bears!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


This is part of a letter I wrote to my dad, to help him figure out composting basics. I've had to learn as I teach.
Let's open up with a quote from Journey to Forever's ( guide to making good compost:

"Garden guides often describe composting as "nature's way" of recycling. Not so -- you just don't ever find large amounts of organic matter with the correct carbon-nitrogen ratio, water content and aeration carefully piled up by bears or gorillas working away in the forests with a compost fork and a watering-can, leaving it cooking away at high temperatures and emitting jets of steam. Nature doesn't make compost. Nature mulches."

By composting, we humans can catalyze the creation of humus, which makes the clayey soil of the Cincinnati area more fluffy and workable. Adding good compost to your garden prevents a lot of problems that growers who rely on industrially produced fertilizers are always wrestling with, like plants that poop out after their liquid fertilizers leach from the soil.

All kinds of groovy organisms live in good compost. New York City seems like an inbred backwater compared to the thousands upon thousands of micro and macro organism species fighting the good fight in a good compost. GOOD COMPOST kills human pathogens and weed seeds, because it gets really really hot.

So how do we get this alchemy going? Well, for the compost to be a healthy community of diverse individuals, we need to create a balanced environment for them to exist in. Here's what I know.

There needs to be an approximately 25:1 ratio, by weight, of Carbon-rich to Nitrogen-rich materials. The Carbon-rich materials are typically BROWN looking, examples being dried leaves, wood chips and straw. You’ve raked a lot of leaves and put them in piles, as I recall. Those piles come to my mind as a possibly plentiful BROWN source, which you’ll need to add to your compost as you add the GREENS, which include kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and basically anything that’s fresh and therefore rich in Nitrogen. It may sound counterintuitive, but manure is counted as a green, because it’s high in Nitrogen.

Too much Green, and your compost will smell like stale piss. Too much Brown, and your compost pile will just sit there, like yokels who think their weather is “too cold” to compost. (It very rarely is, if you are managing it well.)

Got it? You need more old brown stuff than grass clippings.

To start this process, I want you to get at least 6 bales of straw, and stack them two high in a “U” shape. Situate this sculpture somewhere that’s shady, so the compost doesn’t dry out and need watering much, and somewhere that’s convenient to your kitchen. Scrape the grass from the site, and expose the soil to where the bottom of the pile will be to allow the earth worms in. This straw bale U will keep your pile insulated and tidy.

You’ll take your kitchen scraps out to the pile, put ‘em out and say “O damn, I need to put some browns into this” and mix leaves in with the greens using a pitchfork.

To start this ball rolling, start setting greens and browns in separate piles and get a couple cublic feet together. The browns are dryer than the greens, so by volume, the ratio is like 3:2 browns to greens. Mix these little piles together, and give a good sprinkle of kelp powder into the mix. This, or some other natural source of micronutrients, will be a beneficial addition once in a while.

I want you to turn this tile once a week, if you can. With no turning or management but proper ratios, the compost will finish after a year, or 2 at max. This winter, put a tarp over the compost, and continue to turn it once a week.

Here’s a partial list of what goes in the brown and green categories, copy and pasted. I’m eager to hear a report back. Love you,

Badger Johnson

Type of Material
Use it?
Carbon/ Nitrogen

Algae, seaweed and lake moss
Good nutrient source.

Ashes from coal or charcoal
May contain materials bad for plants.

Ashes from untreated, unpainted wood
Fine amounts at most. Can make the pile too alkaline and suppress composting.

Beverages, kitchen rinse water
Good to moisten the middle of the pile. Don't over-moisten the pile.

Bird droppings
May contain weed seeds or disease organisms.

Shred into small pieces if you use it. Wetting it makes it easier to tear. If you have a lot, consider recycling instead.

Cat droppings or cat litter
May contain disease organisms. Avoid.

Coffee ground and filters
Worms love coffee grounds and coffee filters.

Compost activator
Not required, but ok.
You don't really need it, but it doesn't hurt.

Cornstalks, corn cobs
Best if shredded and mixed well with nitrogen rich materials.

Diseased plants
If your pile doesn't get hot enough, it might not kill the organisms, so be careful. Let it cure several months, and don't use resulting compost near the type of plant that was diseased.

Dog droppings

Dryer lint
Compost away! Moistening helps.

Break down slowly. Crushing shells helps.

Fish scraps
Can attract rodents and cause a stinky pile.

Scatter so it isn't in clumps.

Can kill composting action. Avoid.

Manure (horse, cow, pig, sheep, goat, chicken, rabbit)
Great source of nitrogen. Mix with carbon rich materials so it breaks down better.

Meat, fat, grease, oils, bones

Milk, cheese, yogurt
Put it deep in the pile to avoid attracting animals.

Shred it so it breaks down easier. It is easy to add too much newspaper, so recycle instead if you have a lot. Don't add slick colored pages.

Oak leaves
Shredding leaves helps them break down faster. They decompose slowly. Acidic.

Sawdust and wood shavings (untreated wood)
You'll need a lot of nitrogen materials to make up for the high carbon content. Don't use too much, and don't use treated woods.

Pine needles and cones
Don't overload the pile. Also acidic and decomposes slowly.

Dry them out on the pavement, then add later.

Make sure the pile is hot enough, so grass doesn't continue growing.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I Left My Car Behind Today

When petrol prices rose above $2 to stay there, Rich left his car behind. Having quit his gruntjob earlier that year, he wasn't about to spend money when he didn't have to. He stuffed a backpack with a book, qahve, bread, hummus, fruit. And the all-important water bottle. Stepping out onto the porch, he paused to smile. Eastside life certainly had its charms. Rich's unjobbers haven, the Chaos House, enjoyed a large yard lush with beautiful and useful weeds, and giant shady trees. His little neighborhood even had its own family grocery store. Traffic on the side streets was slow enough that he could mosey down the street like the school kids getting off the bus. Backwards through the bab he went, striding into the city.

Avoiding the tons of zooming metal and invisible odorless clouds of carbon monoxide on 11th Street, Rich instead went up the alley that would be 11 1/2th Street, or 11.111111111th Street, or something. Eventually his kidneys had filtered enough water and nitrogen out of his blood that he had to pee. It was too bad there were no public restrooms around, but it was OK because he was in an alley, where good Stanizens rarely go. Although he had left the Chaos House, he took his Semi-Permanent Autonomous Zone with him pretty much everywhere. So he took a leak in the SPAZ there in the alley. Hearing about this later, Rich's brother thought it could be cool for Alley Rats to maintain open-communal humanure stations scattered around the alleys on the Eastside, piles of sawdust and dumpstered 5-gallon buckets to pee in. These could be maintained at least near Vagabond squats, so some people with more attachment to the location can monitor and maintain the humanure system. This would, of course, properly composted, provide tons of fertility for the Eastside gardens and jungly permaculture weedlots and rooftops that are slowly overgrowing the unused stretches of pavement. The Maya weren't the last ones to abandon their pyramids for wildness.

SuperHiWay 5.6 arcs futuristically over the city, demarcating the Eastside piles of rubble from the sprawling star-shaped bubble city to the west (StanCity). SuperHiWay 5.6 funnels cars from the Fringes to Olde Main Street and its Olde Stan Capitol Experience. It also funnels lots of food and other products from the few remaining productive outlying regions, into the city. Rich has turned west from the 11th Street alley, and he gallivants along in the shadow of the tons of concrete and steel, the whizzing cars and consumers kept in their place by the sail-like silvery wisps of Screen, flashing giant ads to the cars, constantly changing ads selected according to the consumer profiles coming up the road, as read and processed by The Infinite Domain. Rich crosses beneath the SuperHiWay in a drainage ditch. He keeps an eye out for scraps of cloth, chalked or painted graffiti tags, and other subtle signs of the Vagabond underground, which might warn of new Peace Officer activity, or flooding in the drainage ditches, or might lead congregants to a gathering such as the weekly Burgoo Not Bombs.

A funny thing about diy technology is that it's much less susceptible to the surveillance measures put upon us, through our products, by the capitalist state. Rich is not carrying much that would be tagged with those wireless data grains, and he's not going near anything else so tagged, so he doesn't generate a signal in The Infinite Domain. He is effectively invisible to the machine. A random factor.

Later he arrives at the MaD House, a sprawling and layered old house on a busy corner. It attracts no attention from those in the pods in the street who simply wait, staring at the traffic lights, listening to UniCorp spewage, thinking nothing, drinking CleerTM, and maybe chatting with a disembodied voice. Living in the MaD House are various artists, poets, geeks, and freex. They subsist on marginal work, foraging, gardening, and dumpstering, enjoying the tribal wealth of everyone sharing and looking out for each other.

Some believe the MaD House people would be less emotionally stable if it weren't for the water. The city water supply, virtually a closed system, has concentrated the traces of everyone's medications found in everyone's pee, and now, low continual doses of every major medication are found in the drinking water. Everyone is finally perfectly medicated. The MaD people are still too passionate and irritable to be as stable as, say, a good Qb cog, but they do manage to hang together and ferment chaos. The paint fumes probably add to the zaniness. And, thanks to various Vagabonds on the Barrens, and the dervishes who carry the sacraments with them on their pilgrimages, the MaD House has a fairly reliable supply of highly reliable qahve.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What the Hell Happened

Dervishy Daoud wonders what the hell happened. He sits and his back hurts. He remembers sort of how it happened. The Ludd Party started promoting "Bringing the Commons Together, Thru Technology." The Liberal Party joined with the Green Libertarian Party, and the Liberation Theology party joined with the Libertarian Green Party, and then they all joined each other into the United Party, and then any marginalized minority that wanted input into the system had to deal its way into the big machine. Somehow they figured out how to turn landfills back into something like crude oil, from which they could then extract "recycled energy" and fertilizers and pesticides. And the Bubble ballooned out of nowhere at the dawn of The MillenniumTM when The Great MallTM was re‑grand‑opened and everyone's screens were already always on and always connected, even when they were turned off. It wasn't long for the swarming chaos of information to surprisingly cohere into a higher order. But they still wouldn't allow prayer in the primordial ultra‑traditional soma‑sacrament manner. Not only not pray in schools, but especially not in schools. Kids who self‑initiated upon adolescence were quickly sniffed out by the tendrils and gently escorted to Kamp Kommunity. Many were rapidly reformed through the powerful entertaining mind‑sensitive The Infinite Domain. TID interfaces through screens and data grains and the Bubble which is a big screen of screens of screens. But some of those kids are wyrd and have the esoteric power to imagine themselves out of the Matrix. Then you find yourselves out on the Barrens. Be it the urbarrens of abandoned parking lots outside StanCity, or the Barrens way out there where a rich continent was plowed to desert and filled with trash. Patches of urbarrens litter the whole planet, oases of crumbling pavement among the sandy bedrock badlands deserts of Stanistan, all the way out to the Fringes. When you find yourself out on the Barrens you either run for your life back to the Bubble, or you begin to see reality and notice the cracks in the pavement and edible weeds and strange people half‑hidden smiling and prepared to welcome you if you greet them with peace.

Meanwhile, everyone inside is working along, powering the machine, believing what they're doing is somehow potentially hypothetically sustainable and just and they don't quite think about beauty very much. The screens everywhere always are projecting to each person a slightly appealing reality interlaced through and through with logos, jingles, and other advertising meant to perpetually attract consumers to the same old identical or nearly identical products, which are now all produced, distributed, and sold by subsidiaries of UniCorp, the corporation that finally bought all the other corporations, and then the government outsourced all its functions, so the Chamber of Commerce of StanCity really is the most powerful group of men in the world. But where does their power come from if not the Bubble‑screen‑fnords that surround them at all times, feeding them the information they want to know, or that TID thinks it should feed them based on its perception of what they think they want to know ....

And for many the only way out or way to cope is with qahve. The soma substitutes. Ranging from UniCorp.'s CLEERtm in its many guises, to independently produced and reciprocally gifted coffee, chai, chocolate, poppy milk, delicious homebrewed alcohol in many forms, Maricle (as ganja, charas, bhang & more), shrooms, isfand and so forth. A few people have the innate spiritual fortitude to focus themselves into transcendence and liberation through hole(s) in the Screen, but many find that soma‑sacraments not only help them along but may also instigate the tiny initial changes in condition that alter one's fate. Wyrd (the ability to alter fate). The forbidden wine‑qahve‑soma is what brings people together and brings the divine to people. Real religion. Real rebirth, revival, resurrection, insurrection, liberation. Your debts are forgotten. Shirk your duties to the unholy incompetent uninspired bungling burdensome Beast, and find yourself and your god all at once in your community of your friends, in your garden, you find yourself in the Garden. At least for a while, once in a while.

Dervishy Daoud feels he has taken one step in the right direction, and then one step off course, and he's disoriented and his face is still stuck to the screen a lot. He knows it won't make him enlightened. But the information .... so seductive .....