In a monsoon-calibre nocturnal deluge so torrential you do not run for shelter because, first, you cannot get more wet than you already are and, second, it is no dryer inside than out, someone behind me grabs my shoulder. Turning to meet them (a pinwheel of water spraying from my spinning head and hair) I find that I have been accosted by none other than our ideath, whose touch immediately grows warmer by ten degrees or so and who has a curious and puzzling proposal for me.

(The rains may continue unabated, but for the remainder of this dream they are irrelevant. What we are posed with is, overly abstractly put, the potential of constructing an unrealised future by blending fragments of the past hitherto unconjoined. I will explain the mixing and sample-selection process using ringers to facilitate comprehension.)
Imagine a selection of books with the cover designs visible but the actual information (name, author, publisher) obscured. Each of these books features an image outside and a text within which presumably bear some relation. Based on a choice of which pictures are your favorite, the words (and their styles) associated with each selected image are mixed together through various processes (the cut-up technique, Markov chains) to produce for you a gestalt text representing if not the sum of what went into it at least the average text what would be associated with your averagely-selecting taste in pictures.

FOR INSTANCE, imagine that I'm presented with pictures of a red star, a yin-yang, a man holding a skull in his hand, a dagger, a man being crucified and a bunny rabbit hiding in a watering can. LITTLE REALISING that these pictures actually represent the Communist Manifesto, the Tao Te Ching, Hamlet, Il Principe, the Book of Mark, and Peter Rabbit, I say I like the star, the skull and the bunny. Sample passages from the three chosen works might respectively include: "A spectre is haunting Europe -- the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Tsar, Metternich and Guizot, French Radicals and German police-spies. Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as communistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of communism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?", "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen? Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that.", and "Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were good little bunnies, went down the lane to gather blackberries: But Peter, who was very naughty, ran straight to Mr. McGregor's garden, and squeezed under the gate! First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate some radishes; And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley. But round the end of a cucumber frame, whom should he meet but Mr. McGregor! Mr. McGregor was on his hands and knees planting out young cabbages, but he jumped up and ran after Peter, waving a rake and calling out, 'Stop thief!' Peter was most dreadfully frightened; he rushed all over the garden, for he had forgotten the way back to the gate. He lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, and the other shoe amongst the potatoes."

What I'd get back, as a synthesis (it is yet unclear if Marx would have an aneurysm at my use of his dialectic terminology to brutalise his text 8) of all three, might look something like

"Alas, poor Yorick! I have kissed I knew him, Horatio: a rake and some French beans; and Cotton-tail, who was on his hands and then he rushed all over the branding reproach of infinite jest, of merriment. Now get you to exorcise this spectre: Pope and Guizot, French beans; and some parsley. Now get you to gather blackberries: to the more advanced opposition that has not hurled back the cabbages, but he ate some radishes, and ran straight to Mr. McGregor! And then, feeling rather sick, he hath borne me on a fellow of communism. Now get you to mock your flashes of merriment, that were good little bunnies, went to exorcise this favour she must come; make her paint an inch thick, to set the lane to the cabbages, but he ate some radishes. Where is the party in opposition that were good little bunnies, went down the potatoes. A spectre of his hands and the potatoes. And then, feeling rather sick, he went down the end of communism, against the end of communism, against its reactionary adversaries? Peter was on his back to my gorge rims at it."
The text I received from ideath that rainy night was not so comical (this exaggerated contrast above permitting you to gauge from which of the three works each passage originates) but more coherent, showing me things that did happen and presenting to me a text of what I might have liked to happen but what never yet has. The pictures were from noder gatherings, and the texts associated with them were reviews of the proceedings. The epic and unreal ("Hey, I wasn't there! And I didn't do that, Zot did! ... but I would have liked to.") accounts were so astounding I was shocked awake.

in our last episode... | p_i-logs | and then, all of a sudden...

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