I came across an article which asserted the following:
I have no idea whether the claim is true or not. Looking around, it seems plausible.
It is sad to see people wasting their entire lives on digital devices pushed on them by urban bugmen who are enriched in the process. And, the cherry on top – the digital facial, so to speak – is that the Bug Wranglers who push this crap on the masses also censor the users and push the most toxic transgressive woke content on them. It really is sickening to watch.
Anyhow, the article reminded me of my 2018 novel, Jerry Haywire. In turn, I remembered that I should take the time to post more excerpts on here from time to time.
While I am on here (an all too rare occurrence, I will try to do more poasting [sic]), I wanted to say thank you for the positive reviews (to the extent it was from anyone who visits this site).
I don’t put much stock in reviews – that is to say, I would write what I write regardless of anyone’s opinion and I could give a fuck less about the occasional bad ‘review’ (which is usually just a hatred for White male authorship) – but I will say that I appreciate it when someone enjoys one of my novels. Since I don’t do corporate media and reject all association with the NY publishing regimes it is nice when people find my work and invest time in it (and are better off for it).
Now, on to the excerpt, this is a section of the chapter called Digital Facial from my 2018 novel, Jerry Haywire:
Five hundred miles away from Kalli and her horse and music thought-fest, Maddox was walking into a tech marketing summit. He had been invited by Kiowa Wilmenton. Kiowa was a consultant who worked for himself, but was also an alumnus of a big microchip corporation. Maddox and Kiowa had worked out a large sponsorship deal several years before for one of Maddox’s clients. It was a win-win where the microchip company had received some nice publicity and Maddox and his clients had received a nice amount of cash. Everyone had enjoyed the deal and Maddox and Kiowa had become friends. This morning, Maddox had made the early flight from New York to Los Angeles. After he arrived, he jumped in a waiting car which he rode out to the convention center.
He walked into the convention center and he was amazed by the environment. Thousands and thousands of people moving around, checking out devices, smart phones, computers, checking out technology. Something was off! He walked into the main room and there was a man, a Bug Wrangler, who took the stage and started into his presentation. He was showing how the newest model smart phone, which Endless Content was calling the Super Duper Terminal 6 Double G, would unlock by scanning its user’s face. The phone was being released to the mass market that day – and it was being introduced to the world at this conference! Facial recognition!
This particular Bug Wrangler was named Tim, and he was on the stage to push a new smart phone, to push it hard to a very receptive audience. In fact, he was the chief executive officer of Endless Content, the largest smart phone company in the world. Just before he went out on the stage, he checked his professional networking account, where he had twenty-seven thousand, five hundred and sixty-two connections. He was so proud of his network! He hoped they all shared his views. He didn’t want anyone who disagreed with him to be on his network. Endless Content users should all agree with him, and with each other – that was his mantra! Anything else was wrong, and constituted hate – maybe even a crime. He quickly sent personal messages to fifty of his connections with pithy platitudes about tolerance and avoiding all –phobias and -isms. Then, Tim posted a picture of his breakfast to his digital media feed. He was short and dumpy. He was stout, with stubby legs that looked like small barrels. He had a unreadable, almost blank face that surrounded two beady, small little eyes that darted around a lot. His eyes, besides the motion, were empty.
The Bug Wrangler spoke loudly into his microphone, standing in his large-waisted, short-legged, heavily-branded jeans, a button-down shirt and two thousand dollar brown loafers. He hollered, “We love you! We love you!”
The crowd exploded with cheering and applause. The patchy-bearded weirdos were making noise in support of the bug wrangler’s pending announcement. Outside the conference hall, a few hetero-normative birds chirped and sang. Inside, the techno-corporate hive buzzed and buzzed!
The Bug Wrangler continued, “We’ve got a lot of very savvy, very forward-thinking people here in this conference. In the next week and the next month and the next year, you guys are going to be doing something that is incredible. You guys are taking things seriously. World peace! Ending poverty! Changing the climate! Sexual freedom! Equality for Furries!”
Everyone laughed and roared with applause. The Bug Wrangler continued.
“Also, you guys are devoted to your technology. Your technology is everything to you, it’s everything. Everything! It’s what puts the butter on the bread. It puts the motor in the boat! It makes you so efficient. You key off each other. You take cues from each other. It helps you progress! No-phobias, my friends! None of those! We love the pixels, don’t we? We love ‘em! And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, we’re evolving. EVOLVING, I SAY!”
The crowd went wild again. Applause! Cheering! Screaming!
After pausing for a few seconds to swig some water out of his plastic bottle the Bug Wrangler kept driving his speech forward, “That’s how we’re going to do better in the long run. We’re gonna evolve. And someday soon we’re going to evolve so much – we will find world peace, full tolerance, eliminate hatred, we will all agree – and everything you do will be done with one thing. Your face. YOUR FACE! We’re going to build the best facial recognition system in the history of the world and nobody can stop where we are going! Endless Content is going to scan your face. Let’s leverage the data. Let’s leverage the technology! Let’s re-formulate!”
The crowd was cheering and buzzing, in a frenzy, so the Bug Wrangler became even more excited and elevated his energy level and his volume. The Bug Wrangler was yelling into the microphone.
“Nobody can stop the growth of Endless Content thanks to you, our customers! Post your content! Work those jobs! Consume! I love you so much! Show me your face! Let it scan all over your face! We’re going to do it to your faaaaa-aaaaace! Thank you, love you!”
Roaaaarrrrrr. Roaaaarrrrrr. Roaaaarrrrrr!
The crowd had gone from frenzy to pure madness, unfiltered excitement and maximum enthusiasm. The buzz had turned into a roar, and it just kept growing louder. Everyone’s faces lit up with excitement. Almost everyone screamed and exclaimed their enthusiasm for having their face blasted, over and over, with the new scanning technology. They wanted the Super Duper 6G to scan every nook and cranny of their face. Every curve, every imperfection.
“Facial!” yelled a little ant. “We’re gonna get a digital facial!”
“Facial fucking recognition! We got facial recognition! I can just feel it hitting my face!” bellowed a stocky beetle.
“We’re going to the next level! Scan my fuckin’ face! Say it again mother fucker!” hollered a little roach.
“I’m gonna do everything with muh face! Muh face!” yelled a yellow-bellied spittlebug. His face suggested that this, this Endless Content Super Duper smart phone, was even more exciting to him than his masturbation session the night before. That session was the one where he had jerked off into a white sock with red stripes while looking at a picture of a little goth chick that he almost hooked up with at a party six or seven months back.
“Track me. Track my motions! Track my face! Digitize me!” screamed a funny little rhinoceros beetle.
Every single bug in the audience exploded with applause. The ants, the beetles, the roaches. They all loved the announcement from Endless Content! They roared. They pumped their fists! Their little bug feet shuffled and their antennae waved wildly. Their smart phone cameras snapped pictures of the new smart phone that their leader, the Bug Wrangler from Endless Content, was holding up above his head. Smart phones snapped pictures of smart phones snapping pictures of the new smart phone – the Super Duper 6G. They couldn’t imagine a day where the world’s final phone was created. Perhaps one day the smart phone could be built inside their bodies? They hoped! They couldn’t contain their excitement.
It occurred to Maddox at the time, as he was holding his own smart phone, that facial recognition was unnecessary to unlock a stupid-fucking-smart-phone. It occurred to him that, over the riotous din of the Bug-men, he couldn’t hear himself think. Scan my face to unlock my phone?
“Wait, what?” said Maddox, under his breath. Then, one second later, he said, in a low voice, “fuck that, I would never do that. What a clown world.”
Maddox’s distaste for his smart phone and its petty little stash of efficient and expedient technology grew exponentially in that split second. Fuck smart phones. Fuck that Bug Wrangler. Fuck Endless Content. Fuck ‘em all. Maddox was tired of Endless Content and their Bug Phones.
In fact, it occurred to Maddox that most of the features of the smart phone, even the one he had, were wildly over the top. Maddox used it as a communication tool, for calling and sending text messages, and for personal navigation. It was very useful for those things. The navigation, to be fair, really helped when he was traveling for the Malone Agency in an area he was not familiar with. But when he found himself overdoing it on digital media — which, if he was honest, was quite often, sometimes a few hours at a time — he questioned himself. He hated it, but did it anyway. Wouldn’t his time be better spent reading or in a conversation with someone interesting? Or lifting weights? Camping? Hiking? Hunting? Fighting practice? Shooting practice? Working? Making something? Doing something? Writing? Also, why did the Bug Wrangler want an impression of all of his users’ faces? What was the Bug Wrangler really up to?
Maddox walked out of the conference hall. He just stood there, waiting for Kiowa. Maddox had decided that he would take off after he chatted with Kiowa a little longer. He didn’t want or need any new tech and, suddenly, didn’t feel like networking.
His smart phone buzzed. It had received a text message from Pepe Soliz, the rapey and horny Poobah.
“Hey Papi, can you meet me tomorrow in Phoenix? Wee are playing dee Snakes.”
“Sure Pepe. What time is good?” responded Maddox.
“Around one. Dinner after dee game please.”
“Okay, man I’ll see you then.”
Maddox was fine with meeting up with the Poobah. He had the hush money ready to give to Pepe so that Pepe could pass it along to April Tilney. Maddox would just write the Poobah a check for a million dollars. Maddox breathed out, thinking how nice it would be to have that over and done with.
Just then, Maddox’s friend Kiowa walked out.
“Madd-man, you gave up on the speech early!”
“Yeah, I started feeling weird about the speaker and some thoughts started piling up on me. I guess I’m not as enthusiastic about technology as maybe I thought I was. I used to get all the new gadgets and now I don’t care when new tech comes out. I’m not trying to be a downer. I’m sure it’s a neat smart phone — the one I have is the Super and now the new model is the Super Duper. So there it is. Fuckin’ facial recognition, man.”
“Wow! All I do is shop for, buy and use my tech. I love tech. God, I love tech!” said Kiowa.
“I was like that. I haven’t been as much lately. I’m not feeling it. Too many screens. Too much digital. It’s all Pozz-ed,” said Maddox.
Maddox said the last two sentences with an intentional, choppy cadence and a playful smirk. He couldn’t articulate all his thoughts, but he really was thinking that tech and his smart phone were a negative force in his life. That specific thought had been popping into Maddox’s head, here and there, for the last few months. But today, after the scene with the Bug Wrangler pushing his Super Duper Bug Phone on the crowd of bug-like consumers, the thought rushed in, fully, and took residence in Maddox’s mind.
“That thought hits me sometimes. But I power through it and it never seems like the thought fully takes hold. Then, before you know it, I’m on to a new gadget,” Kiowa said with a funny look on his face.
“Yeah, man. I was like that. I don’t like it anymore. Too much digital. That facial recognition shit made me want to ditch my smart phone entirely. The Super. The Duper. The Super Duper. Fuck all of that shit. Maybe I’ll just get a flip phone, old school. I wish.”
“I sort of agree but I feel trapped by my screens. I have so much time and efficiency invested in them. They have all my shit stored in them. My whole life. All my pictures. All my accounts. All my content. All my passwords. All my apps, I check them all the time. All my social media. How can I be social without social media?”
“I don’t know man,” said Maddox. “I don’t know. You can’t get rid of tech, that’s for sure. It keeps pressing forward, gaining more ground. Who’s gonna roll this stuff back?”
“The solution is clearly not to condemn all technology because then you just become a wack-job. But what is the solution, though?” asked Kiowa.
Maddox was surprised that Kiowa was engaging this much. He was a techy! There was a pause and both men thought.
“Well, we have to identify the problem clearly so we know what we are solving. That’s the issue, right now it’s a chaotic discussion. A free for all. We can’t solve a problem when we don’t know what it is.”
“Okay,” said Maddox. “Let me take a stab at expressing what I’m thinking. First, technology is useful and can advance the quality of human life. There are many examples of that.”
“I’m with you so far.”
“Second, because it is so useful in a lot of ways, it is possible that we are enslaved by the same tech that we are trying to use for our benefit. Just look at all these people staring at their screens. They look like they haven’t been outside in weeks.”
“Still with you,” said Kiowa.
“Third, with useful, helpful technology comes other technology that is not helpful and is really just a delivery system for the Pozz. I learned that from my friend Benjamin.”
“What is the Pozz?”
“Well, think of it as propaganda that pushes outright degeneracy. Shitty stuff, shitty behavior, shitty products, shitty lifestyles. Consumerism. Pure consumerism. It’s just a riff on the word poison. It gets unleashed into society in a bunch of ways like through corporate media and entertainment. Tech gets the assist. A computer constantly in your hand pushing products and media and other stuff, whatever else they want to push? That’s why the Bug Wrangler was so happy. That’s why Endless Content is the richest company in the world.”
“Okay, okay. Pozz. I have to remember that one. So, for the tech stuff, I think I see. Basically all we are talking about here is limits. How do we use and limit our use of technology at the same time?”
“Yeah, that’s it. It’s a really hard question. Look around this conference, everyone might as well have a smart phone strapped to their fucking face.”
They both looked around the room, scanning bug after bug. There was a beetle. An ant. A spittle-bug. A fly. Another beetle. And so on. They all had Endless Content branded smart phones less than one arm’s length from their face.
“It’s true, man.”
Holy shit, they both thought, judging by their faces. Faces, antennae, little feet. Scurry. Buzz. Scan your screen.
“I was thinking about it this way. We often are so enamored with the tech itself that we forget to think about its significance. What about its meaning for us?”
“It’s a hard question because even while we think about it we’re inundated with tech. It’s hard to carve out some time to just think. You can’t think with your fuckin’ smart phone buzzin’ and beepin’ all the time. Messages, phone calls, e-mails, apps, games, digital media, sexy chicks postin’ semi-nudes, thirsty dudes blowing up their mentions.”
“Yeah, I’m trying to work through my thoughts on this. People have been thinking about this issue for a long time, but lately I don’t feel like people really are thinking about it. I feel like the smart phone changed that. People love their smart phone so much they don’t want to consider the possibility that they are living badly. If the thought crosses their mind they get angry because their smart phone is more important to them than their life. If a friend or a loved one tries to come between them and their smart phone they lash out.”
When he overheard the conference attendees conversing amongst themselves, he thought the conversations were hilarious, and sad, at the same time. One attendee would excitedly cite a feature of the new bug-phone and another attendee would instantly exclaim his or her enthusiasm for some other feature on the device. The other bug would nod and agree and the conversation would go on. They would cover feature after feature in a state of suppressed sexual frenzy. The devices were superior to the bugs themselves. In many ways, the devices controlled the bugs. The devices subsumed the bugs.
“I had a thought. Technology makes people so captivated, so dazzled by the tech itself that it takes away the ability to think more deeply about things. Why think about purpose or meaning when I have some flashy distraction going on this screen or whatever? Also, for some the question is how, not why, can you even think about purpose or meaning when you’ve never thought deeply about anything? People become thoughtless and that’s bad. I say this because I know it happens to me sometimes,” said Kiowa.
“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Thoughtless! You know what is already thoughtless? Insects. Bugs. That’s what’s been worrying me,” said Maddox.
“Ha-ha, what?” Kiowa was shocked at Maddox’s comparison.
“Well, if you take away deep thought, if you take away thought and meaning, are we even really human anymore?”
Maddox’s mind raced. He thought about his own Endless Content phone – the Super 6G – and also Football Sunday. He realized that the pro-technocracy propaganda was too powerful and too pervasive to be modified. He was certain it would just keep growing until everything was digital. “Humanity will soon be eclipsed by the technology created by humans,” thought Maddox. He kept thinking, staring forward. When the technocracy is fully realized, the enslavement to technology will not even be felt any more. It will be so ingrained that it will be impossible to notice. People will take all their cues from their tech, all behavior will be derived and controlled by it. Men and women will finally be uniform. The problem of free will, achievement, and individuality will have been solved once and for all. Maddox concluded his thoughts by confirming, in his own mind, that tech is going to destroy humanity, the only question is when the light of humanity will be extinguished once and for all. Maddox felt defeated. Maddox snapped back into the conversation with Kiowa.
“I heard one little guy holler that he wanted a digital facial.”
“Yeah, he said he wanted a digital facial. And the Bug Wrangler was standing right there, over him, ready to splash his face,” said Maddox.
As he said this, Maddox felt hopeless, again.
Old society, traditional society, was dead, he thought. But, in a strange way, this gave Maddox comfort. Once Maddox realized that and accepted it, he stopped feeling unsettled about the rise of the bug-men. He felt less burdened. The hopelessness Maddox Malone had felt was replaced by a feeling of freedom and determination. The end game wasn’t necessarily to roll back technology or defeat the bugs — there was too much, there were too many.
But the point was to fight, to resist — when possible, when it made sense. Just do what you can, he thought — even if it’s only a little bit. Be yourself! Subvert! Go down fighting against them!