Thursday, September 1, 2016

Life at the Sentient Bean / Gaping Maw

I walked back through the Mediatrix ruined lobby of the building and beckoned the elevator and boarded upon its speedy arrival. As the elevator doors closed I reflected.
I had enjoyed my time away from this circus. But now I am back into promoting the hypnotization of millions via bouncy signals to our upper atmosphere and back. I now had a greater appreciation for the gaping maw of consumerism. I had originally been an unwitting part of the ploy but now I was firmly ensconced in it. I knew both backs of the beast these days.
I had stared into the eyes of the slobbering beast. Felt the allure. Allowed myself to be enveloped in the lushness of the tight and slippery sliding slope. I plunged in plumbing depths of debt so deep without realizing where I had prodded. Feeling secure while balance sheets still showed black, yet cognizant of many factors only marginally acknowledged, but still denied. As the siren song of “we need this” and “I want that” to fill my empty and miserable life, I only found that it was never enough. More was needed to continue to keep the beast happy. To feel it’s naked warmth beside me in the cold black night of trying to understand why, why, why I was doing what I was doing, doing, doing. My head was filled with the platitudes I thought I was foisting on others for a payout, but while foisting it on them those platitudes were wheedling there wormy wanton way into my monkey brain. Driving deep to that tiny reptile that lives within us all.
So I kept plunging in deeper and deeper. With every orifice splitting insertion while still not realizing that the slobbering full figured personification of rampant consumerism was only spreading her legs and lips to swallow me up whole with the designs to squeeze me out, cum and all onto the pavement of life. With the dribble of my essence being lapped up as collateral. The prime directive was:
I want more,
I need more,
I will not be happy until  I have more.
I will grind and swirl to drain everything last drip I can because without all these things I might feel as nothing and acknowledge that I am just an animal that has learned to stack things on top of other things and then tell others about that stack.
So my ultimate contribution was to breed more consumers in training. I was surprised but I made do. All under the slobbering consummate consuming cunt, the base fruits of my burning lust learned their lessons well. Wanting the constant distraction of being plugged into something as often as possible, just like I did, so that they would not miss a single bulletin of what they should be wanting today. Desires tailored to keep things just out of reach enough to create more minions that contribute to the wreckage of over consumption for the landed to feast upon. A whole society based on consumption and constant endeavors to get others to want more as well. The mountains of goods and services continued and we stopped making things of worth. Instead doing what we could to sell things to each other, pat ourselves on the back, and then buy more things we really didn’t want or need to fill our empty lives, to have more things to stack on top of other things.
So we partied, fucked, drank, ate, eliminated things that made us unhappy or gave us pain, and then fucked and ate some more until we start thinking there might be something  better to eat, fuck, or eliminated around the next bend. Besides this one is all spent and is just a twisted smoking heap of rubbish anyway. What was I thinking settling for this.
The elevator announced my floor number.

Time to start stacking.

Like the debts stacking before the Chinese cornered the market on our health insurance racket. They proudly had our country now and told us it was time to turn our heads and cough, The Right Wing Oligarch shutdown of our government was just what the new founded Chinese Oligarchs were waiting for. The Wingers, Baggers, and inadvertent Trumpsters opened the door and we all flowed into the dumpster of Empires. Just as I flowed out into the melee beyond.

When the doors of the elevator opened I could tell by the sounds coming from the suite that things have gone from bad to worse.
“The music is all wrong” Cyrus was squawking.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Life at the Sentient Bean / Randy

“ You took her to a casino?” Suki shrieked.
“Have you ever tried to stop Fang Fang from doing anything?” I stated flatly.

“You American men don’t know how to handle your women.” she sneered in her inscrutable way.
“First, she was no longer my woman. Second Suki, you were born in Buffalo so don’t try to pull that ruse on me.”
With that Cyrus came preening into the room and said “Cleveland?”
He was clueless as ever.
“Iksnay on the uffalobay,” I signaled to her.
With that Cyrus pressed his beak near Suki, and began to sniff. “Ah my dear Suki, for a moment I thought you were Fangy pooh.”
“I’ll Fangy pooh you, you, you bird brain!” I was just able to redirect her lunge with a well placed waist grasp and redirection while Bannister ushered Cyrus into the audio isomix room with a sense of urgency that was lost on Cyrus.
“Look, I know what you think about Cyrus, but I don’t think he has anything to do with Fang Fang’s disappearance. Come on lets go outside and tell me what you know.”
As we exited the elevator into the lobby, security eyed me suspiciously. After my entrance with Mediatrix and his cab earlier I could not blame them, but the carnage was well on the way to complete repair. This is not the first taxi cab to drive into this lobby. Probably not the last.
Out in the fresh air of the plaza Suki looked at me and asked, “How can you still work with that man after what happened to Randy?”
Randy had been one of my closest friends and colleagues for years, not to mention Suki and Fang Fang had grown very fond of him in the short time they knew him. It was he who introduced me to Cyrus back when they were producing sports specials years before the 2018 final meltdown. It was then that Cyrus had stiffed me on a project after working me to the brink of hallucination and personal meltdown. But I got off easy. It cost Randy his life.
Back then Cyrus had to focus his exploitation on those around him. However he was as ruthless then as he is today and he relied heavily on those around him. Randy was the one he relied on the most. Finally a few years ago after sleepless  weeks of holding Cyrus’s claw and dealing with his clueless epiphanies, Randy made the air date, drove back to his secluded home in Indiana, and fell asleep in his driveway with a lit cigarette. After the drive and weeks of abuse Randy went out in a blaze. Other factors were cited by the authorities due to Randy’s character specialities, but knowing intimately what a few weeks of working with Cyrus back in those days could do to a person, I have my suspicions.
This was in the days when Cyrus thought he needed to be involved intimately with his projects. Not that he was of any use then or now other than as a front man.  But now his far flung fracking and other dubious enterprises have paid off handsomely thus achieving a scope and lucrative nature that they now occupy most of his attentions. These days he only appears for the bows. So he drove his cart over the bones of the dead and now he does these projects for the joy he gets from fucking with the great unwashed masses collective head.
My quality time years before while working weeks on end for Cyrus with few if any hours of sleep, leaving Cyrus to pursue his global exploitation by day while nightly offering supervisory indecision as he cluelessly threw me into hallucinations, mini stroke, and years of voluntary removal from picking pockets via the airwaves.
All I know is I was hovering in a white haze in Cyrus’s loft space thirty feet above the floor while no matter how many grease pencil marks, open and close re-edits, or ubiquitous blue, yellow, or red arrows I pressed, left me feeling like I was pulling my nose off my face with stretching fibrous strands between the two parts of me still unable to accomplish a simple task I had performed millions of times. I was only brought back to my senses by the parakeet voice squeaking, “You have been blathering incoherently.”
The trim had been tromped out of me. I was through, as I was with my marriage a few weeks previous to this ordeal. I am sure some chalked it all up to my character specialities as well. Fuck-em.
The only reason I worked with the son of a bitch back then was because Randy was out of the country and asked me to do so. Randy was doing me a favor while he was working the International Sports extravaganza that was staged in those days to try and maintain goodwill amongst countries. But as the ratings fell and the animosity between the haves and have nots grew; not to mention the corporate under the table government funding of those events dried up, it was then that circuses of those sort  went as it is said, the way of the Greeks.

I never watched them anyway.
If nothing else, the Chinese intractability and severe punishments for working people endless hours has kept the likes of Cyrus Plush in their gilded freedom of contract cage. These are not the Chinese of Mao. But they have their own priorities, and get their pound of flesh in their own way. Humans will be humans.
So it is a new world with new realities which call for all sorts of alignments. We have sharpened our spears and limited our frontiers. Cyrus has to put cash down on each project so I know I will get paid. Now Fang Fang and Suki need my help.
“Look, let me go babysit the budgies up there and I’ll meet you at the Sentient Bean tonight around seven. We can talk. I’ll tell you what I know, you tell me what you know and we’ll go from there.” I smiled reassuringly at Suki and I thought I noticed a slight glimmer of hope in her eyes.
I went to hail a cab only to see that Mediatrix’s cab, somewhat worse for wear and tear, was the first in the line. His grey visage glowering at me through the windshield. Fortunately some self important suit pushed his way passed Suki and I and hopped into the Trixed out cab. I helpfully closed the door for the cheap suit and said “Enjoy the ride,” while I gave the Trixeter a wink.
“See, you don’t even fight for my cab you emasculated round eye.” Suki snapped.
‘Believe me, that was not the cab you wanted.” said I.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Life at the Sentient Bean / Fish on the Brain

Cyrus strutted in with those words. I swear he dressed and moved more and more like a parakeet every time I saw him. Which was rather disconcerting considering  he was a very large and a very rich man. But there he was in a powder blue suit, the whitest shirt I had seen in years, and a mottled grey bow tie. Perhaps his morphing into a bird had something to do with his fish fixation of late, but a clear theme had emerged with his work. At his side was Aurora Mora and it dawned on me where I had just seen that face and figure. The animators had used her to model our fishy temptress in the spot. Cyrus’s motivations and drives were generally as confused as the confused and obfuscated messages we were foisting on the public.

“You need to get Fang Fang back lads, she never would have let you stray as far from the fishy trail as you had in that last cut.” Cyrus whistled as he found the mirror in the room and he moved his head jerkily as he admired his beloved.

He was right of course. Having the Fangster shacked up with Cyrus was a great source of insider information. She would give us a heads up in the night after Cyrus had one of his brain storms. We would be well on the way before he even arrived at the suite. Fang Fang also would take great delight in describing Plush's mating rituals which often involved him brainstorming current campaign ideas while doing “unspeakable things to my person” as Fang would put it. She claimed to suffer through it, but the look in her eye belied the suffering point.

All I know is when she fled Cyrus and begged me to hide her she was not the same Fang Fang Wu from Buffalo that I had met in the alley behind the Sentient Bean. She had sharpened edges upon return. Sure she still portrayed the tough worldly smart aleck oriental female delight in public, but the softer private side of her had disappeared after Cyrus. The only glimpse was in her dreams and nightmares. Only then could I see the original little Wu’ster, But after waking up shivering she would collect herself and not ever let the inner little girl out to play anymore.

Bannister was talking budget with Aurora, because nobody talked dollars with Cyrus. Bannister had that producer middle man hat on now so I knew the rest of the day would be one of:  “How much will this cost?, What is taking so long? I’m not paying for that.”

But that’s OK. We would make our dough by marking up the lunch order. Bread and Circuses should have been Cyrus’s middle name.

Cyrus was done at the mirror, so he began to chirp about the ramifications of the research into the meme of fish. I knew my headache would get much worse as this little diatribe began.

“Fish lads. It goes back to the beginning, where we all began. We all are just chock full of former fish molecules. Damn it! The very core of our brain goes back to when we were all fish. Swimming and reproducing in that primordial soup. It is in our very core. We see these creatures fluttering around, and since we know they won’t eat us, or at least most of them won’t, all it does is engage our breeding instinct. Yes. Three responses. Either we want to eat them, fuck them, or if they stand in the way of our eating and fucking, eliminate them. In this film we are going for the big ol’ randy flounder response in us. Whether they know it or not, people watching this fish will feel invigorated, they will want energy. Energy provided by the caffeine in our illustrious beverage. The alcohol will tear down their inhibitions. Their public persona will become radiant, wide awake, and most the uninhibited little beasts we can be. Shivery and shimmering with moist viscous exteriors, rubbing membrane against membrane coating each other with our own special brand of sputum. Thats what we are selling. Selling the sizzle, not the steak. Any knucklehead can drink whiskey with a cola back. We are selling the ultimate combo platter. Heaped high with promise of immersion into that great ecstasy. Now get on with it! Aurora!! Deep conference.”

Banister in his best cover your own ass moment asked again, “Cyrus, are you sure we don’t need to add a disclaimer mentioning the other ingredients in our product?”

“Tut tut my dear boy. That is so 20th century of you.”

With that Cyrus toddled towards the conference room with Aurora Mora in tow and shut the door.

“Chop chop, wicky wicky,” announced Bannister. “You heard the man”

As we worked only once did a disheveled and wobbly kneed Aurora exit the room to provide the lunch order. “Are you sure you don’t need Cyrus out here yet,” she asked hopefully. I shook my head. Aurora sighed and resignedly returned to the conference room.

Before lunch arrived we had a surprise visitor. It was non other than Suki Su Wu.

“Have any of you heard from Fang Fang,” she asked in a highly disconcerted tone as she scanned the room.

“Last I saw she was busy humping a slot machine.” I said with trepidation.

Suki looked disgusted and then cast her eye’s down in the oriental shame ploy I recognized from her sister. I knew when she would look up from that feint I was in big trouble.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Life at the Sentient Bean / Night of the Living Drunks

So Banister blustered in and he unleashed his scroll of changes du jour. I was never quite sure why he printed these things out, they were in my e-mail, and especially why he printed them in scroll fashion. But it did give his entrances a certain flair, like returning from the mountain with the law. Thank goodness the stone printers were prohibitive on cost, otherwise these notes could become a serious weapon when the sessions went south. The first proclamation to come forth from the lips of Bannister Crawler were:

“First, the scene with the girl, white jumpsuit, parachute, and burro has to come right out. That time goes to more product shots.”

Some things never change.

“Who’s idea was that anyway” demanded Bannister.

Well the likely candidate was the original Art Director since she had been fired soon after this project began, though I miss her because I liked the way she thought, and Bannister was all over that suggestion.

“Good thinking” proclaimed Bannister. “let’s get cracking!”

And this is where we went:

Dingy room with a large circular bar that dominated the space leaving only a narrow path behind the patrons seated at the bar. Perched at one corner on top of the bar was a show platform upon which was a slowly undulating forty year old stripper dancing on the mock up stage. Pondering the cesarian scar on the stripper are two young men in their very early twenties with generic bottles of swill with “Beer” printed on the label. This is their first foray into the adult drinking world and it ain’t a pretty sight. The grizzled old men are either half asleep at the bar or arguing about some now meaningless point of political Kabuki theatre. That is except for the few with their tongues lolling out of toothless mouths while leering up at the performer. Our two initiates also seem focused on the tiny dancer but have been drinking all afternoon and are now moving into the heart of the night mostly befuddled while dealing with the conflicting emotions of MILF lust and Oedipus complexes long buried. Through the bar door swims a shimmering, undulating, and technicolour neon tropical fish with an extreme femine form. Bright red quivering lips encircling a seductively round mouth, slender neck leading to soft shoulders and willowy arms tipped with delicate hands gesturing smoothly around an absurdly tiny waist which expands to a superbly shaped behind before resulting in the archetypical mermaid tail. Yet the whole fishy package is topped with two heaving luminescent breasts. As she slides around and between the two young men softly brushing faces with slender fingers, breasts against their arms, and tail lightly flowing up their inner thighs the womafish has certainly drawn their attention away from the aging stripper who just moments ago had their undivided attention. Holding the large containers of caffeinated Pumps Beer in front of the heaving, glistening breasts the fish tart says to the lads, “Grab a hold of these and steer me like a cow.”

The lads are transported by the fish to a Eurotrash nightclub where there are hundreds of women their age, in the prime of their hard bodied youth, dancing with abandon. Huge Bacchanal on the order of the Matrix Reloaded rave. These two lads are happily pounding down the caffeine laced beer, and from the glowing faces of the women surrounding them you can tell it will be their night to remember. Fast montage into a frenzied and blur of images till we come abruptly to the the final scene with lads passed out on top of an aquarium with tropical fish lazily swimming about. One fish has a twinkle in it’s eye and winks at the two young men who look at each other and then at the camera and exclaim “Woof!”

Tag Line:                                          

          Pump Beer

Looks like a fish, swims like a fish, steers like a cow

I just looked at Bannister and he looked at me.

“Before you say it, yes we bought the rights to that tag line, and the client likes it.” was all Bannister had to say. We now had to make it happen.

With that Cyrus Plush rolled in with Auroa Mora on his arm followed but the rest of his entourage and announced “Yes ladies and gentlemen. The research shows it is all about the fish.”

My head hurt now.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Life at the Sentient Bean / Suite Fang Fang Wu

Suite Fang Fang Wu

As I arrived all was quiet in the suite. A large room with numerous work stations scattered about. One corner was for the graphic pukes with the 3D, 2D, and Holographic rendering power. We needed all of that now since so much footage was no longer shot live, but we still needed to create many options for the endless game of “what if” that we play while shilling for the advancement of our clients market share.

The Omnibus Suite was often like a three ring circus, or gladiator arena, depending on the mood of the project. Then you had the audio stations where the engineers hunkered down and finely stroked the many layers of audio in their virtual reality helmets that simulated the surround of a perfectly tuned room. Of course final mix was still done in an open air room so all concerned could make snarky comments to each other even though the helmets would give a truer rendering of real world conditions. Then there were the numerous uplink channels and their operators who knew the ins and “pouts” of each distribution channel Even the Chinese couldn’t bring about cohesive standardization. But that was good for all concerned because it kept more people busy trying to figure out how to deliver the message in an optimal stream.

Now there was just the whir of the fans and pumps for liquid cooled processors that were always working, even when idle on our projects, so every nanosecond of their adding machine power could be used somewhere, by somebody, for something; when they were not adding things up for me. A world in the ether of the “intervent” needed more power all the time, just like we all have learned to need. More, more, more. Ideally more of what we were about to tell you from this arena of desires. My clients were telling you what you want and not what their competitors were telling you that you wanted. What you wanted was immaterial. You probably don’t know anyway.

This suite also had the memories of the time Fang Fang was an apprentice here after I got her a job tossing this crap around rather than the crap she tossed around for the Labrador Retrieval Waste and Recycle.

It was an interesting, busy, and all around entertaining time for all. Clients loved the Fangster. After she worked with us for a while I really had to wonder what she was doing as a garbage gal, or shall we say waste removal specialist. Naw, the Chinese didn’t go in for that politically correct nanny state bullshit we were regurgitating at the end of the last and the beginning of the new century. We were back to smoking, swearing, and being much more honest with each other. The ancient culture of China with it’s traditional roles actually helped all of us to stop sweating the small stuff. Of course even the enlightened can’t escape a primates natural distrust of the other. It is wired into our DNA. Only the millennium of stacked ideas and civilized cooperation, layer upon layer of “you shoulds and should nots” through the ages masked it now. First to protect ourselves from the other, then to sell the other what we were selling, made it worth our while to get along with each other and thrive as a species.

Fang Fang thrived in the post hell holes of shilling for international concerns like it was a long lost vocation. After all multi national corporations were people too. But the first time Cyrus Plush moon walked into the room and perched in his usual place next to the mirror that changed. Fang Fang could smell money and immediately she began combining the efficiency of her role in the post suite with the oriental feminine charm no Xirong can ever completely ignore. The Wu’ster utilized skills from previous employment and stuck out her can. Cyrus nearly fell from his perch when his beak hawked out her form and for the first time completely ignored his own reflection. Well, for a moment or two.

I don’t even remember what project we were working on. They all blend into one another. Some sort of useless product that in essence made the buyer feel better than the monkey next door till the monkey down the street bought the newer better more expensive model. But as usual the message we were delivering had to be delivered in the most hypnotic, convoluted, and cleverly obfuscated package meant to worm it’s way into the psyche of even the most thick skulled consumer. No need to discriminate if the viewer could ever afford the doodad, we were motivating them to be productive enough to at least keep the landed gentry in the style to which they felt themselves entitled, never mind if the poor bastard chasing our floozied up carrot ever reached the promised reward. As long as they believed they had a chance we could soak up their hard earned shekels like a Sham Wow. Well on the day Cyrus and Fang Fang met I remember wondering which one of these two was the floozied up carrot on a stick  and which was the donkey in hot pursuit.

On that day in the suite we finished up the project quickly with Cyrus’s object of distraction keeping his bird brain occupied elsewhere. Now what shinny object can I use to distract him with today while we deal with “The Night of the Walking Drunks” campaign.

Just then Bannister burst in to the suite with the obligatory two questions.

“Are we done yet?” and “Whats for lunch?”

Let the games begin.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Life at the Sentient Bean / Braking Ugly

Braking Ugly

Now knowing what was facing me I began to absent mindedly wiggle my teeth. They had all seemed to be  loosening up these days. I know I should be tracking down a dentist. But since the insurance companies have lost their strangle hold, all dentists and doctors now had to operate in the market place. No longer having their prices propped up artificially by the insurance racket, finding good dental and medical service was a real bidding war. There were a few years between the demise of insurance swindlers where the resources were pooled by the citizens of the U.S. which meant shareholders and CEO’s no longer got the excessive skim they once enjoyed. But when the Chinese took over they had no sense of humor about past digressions and enjoyed shoving our free market hyperbole quite literally down out throats. You now really got what you paid for. No ticky no washy as the darling Fang Fang Wu would say.

It was then that Mediatrix turned around as if remembering just where he had seen me. Last time I rode with Mediatrix I had him take Cyrus and me out to the airport. That was when Mediatrix had recognized Cyrus from his pictures. Cyrus Plush made his initial money by selling bottled water in Mediatrix’s country after their entire water table was ruined by fracking for natural gas. To make matters worse Cyrus’s company bottled the water just far enough away where the health effects on the population were minimized, but close enough where the shipping costs were not prohibitive to making a tidy profit.  Mediatrix’s countrymen paid the freight with the double whammy of washing down the genetically grown schmeat with flammable bottled water. The results weren’t pretty. As he turned his full grey eyes on me which blended perfectly with his grey pallor and hair it had the overall effect of a twilight shadow. He said,“So what sort of defective product are you and your associates foisting on consumers today?”

“No no no, ya got it all wrong sport” I exclaimed, “We're just helping a befuddled multitude believe they need these products so as to keep everyone gainfully employed. I get people to buy what my clients sell so’s they can afford to hire your services. We're all in to this together pal.”

“Right,” was all Mediatrix said as he turned to look back at the road. I know the collision avoidance system usually kept two items from occupying the same space, but I am old fashioned and feel better when the driver is looking at the road ahead so I was relieved doubly by his renewed attention to navigation.

Well we were pulling up on my destination and this building had a huge plaza all around it. Good way to avoid drive by bombing, but Mediatrix was always one for delivering the optimum of 21st century fashionable customer service so he drove across the huge plaza at an excessive rate of speed usually screeching to a halt millimeters in front of the hatches to the building. Hatches worked better to deter the compression from explosions. But today he missed so I was delivered directly into the lobby of my building.

As Mediatrix was nabbed by security I wandered to the lifts and went to work. I’ll catch him with the fare next time. It was time to run the footage through the concept corrector.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Life at the Sentient Bean / Mediatrix


My favorite quality Mediatrx had was the fact that no matter how many times I rode with him, he always acted like it was our first time meeting. I was never sure if it was an act, or if it was from his early childhood diet of schmeat. Yep, the old beaker bacon. That was back when we first started growing our animal products, and we had to try them on someone. His country drew the short straw of that global lottery. It was a great idea. Eating flesh that had never, sweated, shat, or peed seemed like a good idea at the time. But when the side effects became apparent the Archetypes had to administer a forgetfulness pharmaceutical to spare the survivors the recollections of the disaster. Good things we cleared that up before that little snafu got to much publicity. So with the blessings of the Marquis De Bob, it was swept under the public rug, which was only shaken occasionally by a few of the politically embarrassed crackpots and conspiracy theorists which were quickly discredited by the ever present media. The poison will never out if if we refuse to know about it.

Even so Mediatrix was always plugged in and as a victim of exploitive experimentation he knew better than to believe most of the fear driving drivel. HIs cab was a rolling hot spot. Sure the world was covered by the ubiquitous G-10 network, but with the ludicrous encryption and sub networks Mediatrix’s cab was plugged into places even the Chinese couldn’t track you on the infernal net. So I used the time to check e-mail for any heads up that Bannister might have about the coming assignment. The world of commerce never slept. Only I did. When I wasn’t awake that is. But being awake was never the easy row to hoe. There was peace from time to time mostly when I pushed myself away from the treadmill and stopped thinking of more and bigger things to take care of the things I thought I had. That was no longer for me.

   But eating was always a pressing problem and since most these days did their tricks for food having long given up the illusion of carrot and stick. No longer were we fooled by the promise of a fine retirement funded from the life time of labor, The reality that those assets were quickly drained away by the privatize entitlement scams that sank in even to your the densest of the masses. We are all dumb money now.

   The e-mail came from Bannister and the news was not good. Cyrus Plush was coming to the session. Although I knew that turn of events would pad the hours considerably for my billing, it would be painful spending that much time in the room with Cyrus perched like a Budgie behind me fretting and a pacing only to stop occasionally to admire himself in the mirror and perhaps ordering in for more cuttlebones to sharpen his beak on. So will my next hours be.

But I do not enjoy it as much as I once had.