Thursday, March 08, 2001

The Marriage of Heaven and Hal

Written and Directed by Douglas McDaniel

Telluride, CO


Mythville MetaMedia

Performed by the Mythville MetaMedians

Music By Giant Sand, track 8 from CD: Intro to end, ebb and flow the sound as seems appropriate.

The Narrator for Part One: Billy Bob Parnell (DLM)
William Blake in Cyberspace Douglas McDaniel
Officer Dan Rico, Utopia PD Rico
Maggie La Muse Maggie
Cowboy Hal Search Engine Theo

Start No. 9 of "Ghost in the Machine"

Maggie: In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.
Drive your cart and your plough over the bones of the dead.
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
Prudence is a rich ugly old maid courted by incapacity.
He who desires but acts not breeds pestilence.
The cut worm forgives the plough.
Dip him in the river who loves the water.
A fool sees not the same tree the wise man sees.
All wholesome food is caught without a net or a trap.

Billy Bob Parnell: It's 3:36 a.m. in Utopia. You are not in the suburbs.

You analyze----processing, processing, processing----like a computer: God made you in his image, you make the computer in your image, the computer makes … There you are, a wizard, your leg bouncing on frenetic automatic pilot, your permanent maintenance of the universal flux just slightly ajar. Oh my sweeties, all my loves, where are you now? Not one green leafy thing is in your line of sight. Maybe you are finding the Pearly Gates of Cyberspace, the promised glittering city of gold, right there on the World Wide Web. The intermediary is betwixt you and the infinite.

It's 3:41 a.m. in Utopia. This vibe is running through you, fully sanctioned by the Utopian Republic. You are the lone standing chairman of the bored.There are few sanctioned methods for filling the Void. But everything leads to imposing order, or a senseless desire for it, anyway. This ceaseless craving. If there's a blank space, a canvas or a page, we fill it up with our image of Paradise Lost. We are of nature, and so, we abhor a vacuum.

Need Street Sounds: Hustle and Bustle of New York, as well as the opening segment to U2's "New York"

Fillin it all in, the megalithic icons of Utopia float in an ill-mannered jumble of images: a jarring eyesore of lights and noise and fully licensed, cross-promotional insanity. The snake swallows its tail right on this street corner. The mob is running in all directions to then return, after too many bites from the very bark off the Tree of Life.

Oh, we can improve things. Make them clear. Intensify the frequencies for better service. Reflecting on the strange words we read, enough to search them out in the dictionary, certainly adds to our bandwidth, the intensity of our P.O.V. We watch television, nod off in church, affiliate with other political animals, join new tribes, march to generals and dance to rock bands, commute or telecommute through Metropolis and back, live whole days in the air without looking out the window to see the puny world down below. But more than that, electricity. There are all kinds of electricity, and the real question is: Can you see the sun behind the sun? The forest behind the trees. And all you cyberalechemists out there, all the William Blake's in Cyberspace, trying to scratch out a living: The real question isn't how to turn our all too wired up lead into gold, but how to turn our gold into soul.

See how it works? I hope so. You can't believe the trouble it took me just to get you this far.

Ghost in the Machine No. 9

Billy Bob Parnell: The setting is William Blake's metamedia lab in downtown Utopia, as our anti-hero, as the self-publishing voice of anarchy, sifts through piles and piles of information for various requests of the local constable and inquisitor, officer Dan. This room is a wizard's dream as we get this glimpse of a man behind a curtain, literally the first man to be e-mailed in cyberspace, spammed from the 19th century. That is, from the beginning of that world to the far end of your town. Blake is haggared and tired, suffering from the ill effects of time travel into a world where he sees the dead of all those lives he crossed, beyond, and back into the future. He lights candles at dusk and drinks monk's tea, a poor-man's brew. But there is hope, as they are now launched on a quest. A Holy Grail of sorts: The search for the lost lease of Utopia.

Music fade in, out

Blake: Say, would you like to play some chess, officer Dan?

Officer Dan: Well, yes, but I have a fundraiser at 6 p.m., with bells on. Miss LaMuse is cooking…Besides, only one more game, cause you really suck.

Maggie: Sweet basil and onions … no stone soup in my kitchen, pretty boy. As long as you fix the fuse in my basement, I'll even break upon a bottle of wine.

Blake: Oh great. Control freaks unite. Oh, how If she were with me we'd commit heinous acts by the light of the Tesla coil. You know, the whole problem in this town, Utopia, isn't housing shortage…it's a housing inefficiency. Seems to be a pretty decent amount of space in mislabeled Utopia…
Your move.

Maggie: Say, since you are obviously so pathetic and innocuous and,well, maybe if you listened to my case, I've kind of come to the same, emmm, conclusions. Besides, I know for a fact that nobody in our building has the lease. Thinking back, I'm not sure if I ever saw one. Oh sure, a replica, maybe.

Blake: Oh, I saw an original once. It was a job from Surrey, a memento for some architect's niche. . In one of my best, eh, wot do you call 'em, a rant, a sort of discordant incitement to riot against Urizen, the enemy of the poetic imagination

Dan: I'm quite aware of how to play this game. Sir, about the lease … and what about the Christmas tree? Says here you planted it in the city square without a permit.

Blake: Oh that, just a little unauthorized EPA work. A science project. I assure you. I can show you my observations.

Dan: Just shut up and move, and realize this, you have numerous violations of deeds, covenants and restrictions, especially if we take into the candles for what did you say, 'mourning' and what's this, the 'waking dead.'?

Blake: Be not afraid sir. I can explain.

Dan: And this, this, this, perversion of the flag of Utopia, a skull and crossbones?

Maggie: Obviously some Peter Pan fantasies going on here.

Blake: And as far as the lease goes well … what's one sheet of disinfo going to change?
The problem is a housing inefficiency, yes, indeed, and despite your rules and regulations, nobody tells the river to stop running its course, running down hill, that is. And then they shake their heads, these engineers, and wonder why their basements, like Maggie's, is flooding. No compassion for your fellow man, I can tell you that. Sure, Utopia is populated with the very highest functioning DNA, full of spiritual travelers, soul seekers, self-made shamanistic fiends of zen. Full Type-A healers and yes, the hunted, the dissenters with their skull and crossbones affiliations of t-shirts and bad bandwidth, the promising of being young and born in the experiment of the new century's technology … oh damn.

I have to remember to protect queen.

Dan: Ah hah. I've got you, check?

Maggie: Such a sweet man.

Blake: What I'm saying is, all of these spirit seekers in Utopia, brilliant, glowing minds. Only one problem, each and every one of them hates the other's guts.

Maggie: So you say. Hates your guts, maybe.

Blake: Ah, hah … check.

Officer Dan: Hmmm … OK, take that.

Blake: Oh, blast! Another game.

Officer Dan: Sorry, sir, but I must get back to my original business, which is to say, your legal paperwork to exist in this space.

Blake: Well, I gave myself permission.

Officer Dan: Sir, that will hardly stand up …

Blake: See here, the problem is this: I've lost the lease. The lease to Utopia. My lease, is missing, and since the landlord is, umm, presumably, dead, I have nothing to show you. I'm very sorry, really, my most exquisite apologies. And the tree is just an experiment. This bizarre custom, Christmas, choppin' de head off living things? The barbarism! What'll you say when the tree trunks come running after you, loppin' your ed off, putting it on a stick, dancing happy circles round it for the winter solstice. It will be a warm day, I assure you.

Maggie: You can't bring a Christmas tree to life.

Blake: You must assuredly can. I took the trunk and made a soil of all of these strange vitamins and aspirins in the cabinet in the lavatory. Threw in soil, snow … twisted it the ground, packed in the snow …

Dan: But it's not alive. And you have no authority in public lands, Mr., to interfere with vegetation…

Blake: Sir, it most assuredly is, ALIVE! (Boris Karloff-like) When the sun comes out, I can …

Maggie: Um, guys, got a problem downstairs, again, guys. Hello! Is anybody listening.The lost creek has been rediscovered, down in the basement, and my electricity went out, right when I was trying to run my 900-line, a guy with a real good credit card and all.

Blake: See, see, nobody but the waterfall tells the water whether or not it will run downhill. Nature will find a way. Say, have you got a copy of your lease we could repurpose, my lady?

Maggie: Whatever, strange boy, you just said, I most certainly have already told you. We do not have any such thing.

Blake: Well then. That settles it. If you can just give me a moment, we can consult, Cowboy Search Engine Hal.
Goes to the computer, a dial-up sound is necessary here.

ERRRRRRR Aaaaaaa csehhhhhhhhhhhh. ShAZAOOM.

Hal: What are you doing, Dave?

Blake: My name's not Dave.

(From here on, Blake and Dave search the great intermediary of the e-mail from beyond, with the computer constantly offering him information he doesn't want, or has no use for. Finally, after a lot of electronic equivication, Dav e informs him that the lease is Utopia is lost, and they must now decide about whether or not to go searching for it.)

Hal: I'm programmed to be altered in Unit C ...

Blake: Oh, sure, like I have time for that …

Hal: All of the coordinates are fully downloadable. If you will only organize the pertinent objectives beforehand, Dave …

Blake: My name is William. Willy B in Cyber S, And don't lecture me.

Hal: Well, if you'd only read the attached protocols

Blake: Sir, Hal, you are giving thine eyes a bite. Can you just cut the ice and get me something other than the usual disinfo?

Dan: Ask it for a pizza

Hal: Consider it done, is that cash or infodisk?

Dan: Infodisk

Blake: Not on my hard drive you're not!

Dan: It's only a pizza, and this is fully off-writable…

Blake: Fair enough. Hal, do a Boolean search please on the words "lease" and "utopia."

Hal: Why do you want to know that, Dave.

Blake: Don't you mind that, just transit please

Hal: But your intentions are always required upon registration at the stations of light.

Blake: There's no light in there, Hal. It's all black.

Hal: But I dream there, Dave.

Blake: Sure you do, Hal. Sure you do. Just search the words, please …

Hal: Searching, Searching, Searching, just a few moments … can I interest you in a new set of Batman lunch boxes, pez dispensers, automatic weapons, there's a sale going on at Peru-dot …

Dan: Oh, that loader is quite lovely. Does that come with solid fuel? What are the rapidities of the timing facility … trajectory?

Blake: Look, this is a half-hour show.

Maggie: We really need someone to go into damage control and stop the river from running beneath Lost Creek.

Blake: Oh, dear girl, why do you seek the living among the dead?

Maggie: You are soooooooo … creepy.

Blake: If you see it through me eyes, you'd … the dead, you know. At dusk.

Hal: My Investigation is complete.

Blake: Hozah! Saved by e-bell!

Hal: There is, in fact, one copy of the document, said to be in the Myths of Mordor, the great city of the north sea.

Blake: Oh, dear, but that will cost … And they burn their witches there.

Dan: If think you are leaving town, you are quite incarcerated, here, on my watch.

Maggie: But this lease could be worth a fortune.

Blake: But Mordor. I'd rather eat a Frenchman's boilt crow.

Maggie: Oh, it's perfectly tame, you frightened old sod.

Blake: Hal, can you just e-mail us there? Certainly, sir Officer Dan, the laws of Utopia won't govern a merely digital transportation. At least not until the cronies down at town hall …

Dan: Well, my guidelines speak of no…

Blake: Then it's settled.

Hal: Is that with or without virtual smoking attachments?

Dan: Without

Maggie: With

Blake: Not with my credit card you're not. Oh, how none shall buy and sell without …

Hal: Dave?

Blake: My name's not Dave

Hal: Dave? Will we dream?

Blake: Yeah sure, if you just log off.

Officer Dan: I fail to see how any of this is going to amount to much more than a wild goose chase. And this rented badge won't get us anywhere in Mordor.

Blake: Oh, tis to a mysterious purpose, beyond even what Hal can dream, that we all travel, sir. But if the bee doesn't know why it makes honey, why should I?
Maggie: Such a poof of air you are.

Blake: Livi Libre O Muro, oh La Muse.

Maggie: Whatever.

Blake: Careful with that! Hang on…. Oh, do please leave this place as clean as when you came.


World Party: No. 15