Robert L. Lynch is a space-cowboy-ninja-billionaire-playboy who's on the run from the law and on a quest to find the one-eyed Hindu guru who can unlock the secret of his past. Can he escape the killer robots in time to save the woman he loves?
Current Residence: Ohio, the Magical Land of Corn and Beans
deviantWEAR sizing preference: X-Large for t-shirts, x-large for hoodies
Print preference: Buy mine; send me money
Favourite genre of music: Orchestral, Classic Rock, Alternative, DUBSTEP
Favourite photographer: Edward Weston, because if I say "myself" it makes me sound conceited.
Favourite style of art: If I'm making it, nature photography. If I'm looking at it, nude photography.
Operating System: **** Commodore 64 Basic V2 ****
MP3 player of choice: Winamp
Shell of choice: Conch
Wallpaper of choice: Not a fan of wallpaper. I prefer wainscoting.
Skin of choice: Pale and smooth, maybe with a few freckles
Favourite cartoon character: I want to referee the battle between Dr. Venture and Prof. Farnsworth
I’m on a game show, hosted by an anthropomorphic fox.
Q: "How did you get up, get kool-aid, get back to the couch, and switch videos in your state?"
A: "I traded all my points for a lucidity boost."
Fox: "Sorry, you’ve got nothing to carry over. Maybe you’ll reach the enlightenment round next time. Goodbye, and thanks for playing."
Announcer: "But wait! We’re not done!"
Fox: "This is it, this is the bonus round! You didn’t miss your chance for enlightenment after all! Spin the wheel for big points! Mark this as page 2! Lightning round! Time for your chance at enlightenment!"
Gabriel just walked by. I had to explain that I wasn’t going crazy. I’ll make a note that I said that.
Me: "The dialogue! That’s the key! That’s how you switch back and forth between the planes of reality!
Fox: "Are you ready?"
Oh shit, your handwriting changes between the different voices! That’s a great transfer to a later camera.
Executive Producer: "Mark the page by the number. 'X of Question Mark.' That’s the title. Got it? Groovy. Now play along."
Here’s the rules we do know: When you’re locked in one mode of communication, you can only…
Me: “Yes, I agreed to my entrapment between dimensions."
Announcer: "It’s the game show broadcast of his existential crisis!"
Here comes the segue.
Fox: “Nothing in reality can affect you so long as you’re on this game show.”
Executive Producer: “Yes. You’re on a game show.”
Me: “A game show?”
Executive Producer: “Yes. It’s how his mind interpreted the… ‘contest’ happening here. It’s not an entirely inaccurate metaphor, but for his primetime consumerist/materialist brain, that’s all we could do…”
Me: "Got it. I’m such a universal primitive that the only thing I could filter this as was a fucking CBS nightly game show?"
Executive Producer: “Yes, but not so much CBS as its predecessors on daytime game shows, and also Japanese game shows.”
(“Off The Air: Conflict” starts playing)
Fox: "So this is it, this is the show; welcome back and here are the rules: You’re stuck in one media until you break the code for that level."
Me: "So, like last level, I had to get so many points saved up to knock the blocks out like plinko… Like the price is right?"
Fox: “The price is wrong, Bobby boy! This is your trauma, this is your muse, this is your whatever you want it to be, from inspirational fodder to complete mental shutdown.”
I’m already on 11? Dang this is falling fast. Ok. Back to it. The rules require a code on each level. The last level’s code was “breaking through the ice in a ball…?”Oh, what, he’s testing me now? Judging where I would record? Where I would go? Is this a game for you, or for the people at home?
Teddy Bear Psychiatrist: “So tell me why you’re here?”
You think the shrink is a shrink, but he’s a bartender, selling mental crisis in a mug. It’s not natural, I tell ‘ya.
This is an album metaphor for my mother, but not in a greek tragedy way, just like “hey, this is her.” In this instance, yes she seems like a goof ball, but in other ways, she’s a bitch.
I float down to the next level through a Staples commercial.
(As if on cue, “OTA: Love” begins. )
Fox: "Because that’s the reason you’re here, right?"
Another fox comes out with a rose. With this many Foxes, you wouldn’t know this is public access.
Fox: "Anyway, as you all know, I brought you here to witness Robert’s Mental Meltdown! Ok, got it? Let’s meet our contestants! First up is Child Robert, age 8."
Child Robert: “I’m very disappointed in you.”
Fox: "Next up is Teen Robert! He’s a metaphor for your past and your regrets! Regret the choices you made? Still hung up on your ex? Maybe, maybe not! But he’s here to remind you of them!"
Teen Robert: “My 90’s aesthetic is also a reminder of your inability to process outside a lens of genre/niche!”
Fox: "I think 'Trope' is the word you’re looking for."
Chimp in a Beret holding a baguette: “Or 'Meme' as the French say.”
Yeah, meme, or a moment, or a feeling, or you know… A esoteric flavor crystal saved for use on…
Announcer: “Can you Survive a Mental Meltdown?!”
(Theme song plays)
Announcer: "We now return you to your regularly scheduled meltdown on page 20. "
So you’re a Metaphor… But for what? America’s Funniest Home Videos?
Fox: “So to recap, Robert won 750 points in the first round, but sacrificed it all at the end of round 2 to put insurance down on his sanity for afterwards.*”
*You know, all that “don’t try this at home” legalese.
Fox: “That’s all been wiped away to ensure no permanent damage, at the expense that you can’t remember anything after it’s done.”
Teen Robert: “What? We picked 'Enlightenment for Blackout?' We won’t remember any of this?”
Shadowy Robert: "See, I had bought this journal ahead of time, knowing at some point this would happen. I told sober Robert it was “so he could write poetry”. Have you seen his poetry? It’s… Not good. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely not publishable."
Child Robert: “What’s not publishable? This journal?”
Shadowy Robert: "No, not this book, his book. His mind. With his state of mind, he wished for enlightenment for blackout. It means he gets to hear the secrets of the universe, but he won’t remember them."
Teen Robert: “Oh shit! Then what’s the fucking point? He won’t be able to do shit about it!”
(An older figure creeps in from the shadows. )
It’s mature adult me! It’s khakis and button-down me!
Teen Robert: “What’s that business casual bullshitter have to be here for?”
Mature Robert: “No, I’m the practical side. I’m on your side guys. I’ve been shoving this turd up a hill for years and would be thrilled if he could get over some of his shit and start pulling his own creative weight rather than being a derivative little fuck all the time.”
Teddy Bear Psychiatrist: “So this is how you’re processing it now?”
Yes. No. Maybe, I don’t fucking know. I did think I wanted to write poetry, but maybe they planted that idea into my head just to get me to buy a journal.
Teddy Bear Psychiatrist: "Yeah, sure, keep telling yourself that. Point is, a journal was purchased, and now it’s being used."
Mulder and Scully, next to a UFO: “He didn’t need to do that, Mulder. He’s breaking through just fine.”
Who jumped where and why and when and why doesn’t matter at this point. All that matters is it’s happening and this is a part of it.
(Dissolve through US Flag and fireworks)
Fox: "You think this is a metaphor? Well, I don’t blame you, that’s how we think, that’s how we grow, but some of us just…"
“GET LUCKY!” (Graphic) (Applause)
Got it, game show is a metaphor, we already established that. He’s like a skin in a game, nothing mechanical changes…
Audience: “Just the Look!”
Anime cat girl in a Japanese schoolgirl uniform, but with a frighteningly realistic cat head: “Meow!”
(Hold for applause. They don’t know they’re also on the show.)
Like NPCs, right? This won’t affect them.
Executive Producer: "Of course, of course. Your species can’t connect telepathically, so we sometimes use your metaphors as a lens. A camera that can show you one angle of what’s really going on. Cut to Camera Two!"
(Closeup on prizes, a shelf of several action figures including Desiree, River, Gabriel, Jerry, and some other people Robert knows)
Executive Producer: "Yes, so the NPCs included in this DLC pack are just skins, freeform shapeshifters that can’t direct the action, but can look back at this journal."
(Mature Robert winks at camera)
Alright, I think we’re clear on that. This is just an empty book with no assigned meaning, so he can bring it in here and the system won’t recognize it as a memory device. Well, they do, to the extent that it’s writable data, nut the data is stored in the simulation’s instance of the book, not knowing that it’s real, so he can bring it back when the simulation is over!
Mature Robert: "Exactly."
So generally, I’ve heard that biological and emotional sequences can’t be transferred without the program update, but if you get the old version of the program to write itself on something from a layer above him, it will materialize in that next layer…
Fox: "Ding ding! That’s it! You’ve discovered the answer to biological data transfer across parallel dimensions! Fold this page down, it’s an important plot point!"
Executive Producer: "Yes, I’m afraid that’s the danger though, It’s unreliable data. It rises to the surface, but it’s just ones and zeroes, not thoughts and emotions."
Mature Robert: "Ok, look, all of you quit arguing about who’s taking credit. It’s not for your benefit, it’s for his."
Fat Sweaty Stoned Robert, looking down at his journal: “Aw, thanks you guys, you got me enlightenment.”
Scene – Outside lot: Burbank, CA
Executive Producer: “Yeah, you see, you can get these… let’s call them ‘insights’ or ‘visions’…”
Frumpy Professor Robert: “They’re not insights and they’re not visions. They’re short-circuited chemical stimuli in the brain and central nervous system, resulting in a highly susceptible state….”
Child Robert: “You drugged him? Cool, that’s like spy stuff!”
Teen Robert: “So your whole fucking plan was to get him stoned and hope he remembers this journal when his mind breaks?”
Mature Robert: “Yes. That was the trick. He had to bring in something that was already there. It had to be both a genius plan and a terrible plan so they cancel each other out.”
Child Robert: “Yeah, it’s like putting a big magnet up to the side of a computer: It pulls the data out, but it’s all encoded.”
Teen Robert: “Oh, ok. So what’s here can’t actually transfer?”
(Pan down to an old TV screen, something out of the 80s with knobs)
TV: “True, but not really.”
It’s the fox again, walking on screen:
Fox: “It’s me, and we’re back! Back on the show.”
Announcer: “What’s this? The contestant wants to see me? A signature? An autograph? Ok, this is me. ”
From the announcer’s box, another figure appears. He’s an anthropomorphic badger with the voice of Dennis Haysbert. He’s carrying a cup of coffee in one hand, and holding a cigarette in the other.
Badger: “Yep, it’s me, your guide. Yeah, so spirit guide, intuition, totem…”
The badger sucks a long drag from his cigarette.
So you’re my “spirit animal”? What am I supposed to do, summon you to cast spells?
Badger: “No, that’s a familiar, you dumbass, now look… If it looks like a game show, it’s because that was a metaphor you’d understand as much as we would, like pictures, themes, and content. Take a drink, it’s only getting hotter from here.”
(Cut to sunset)
(Title: “It’s Your Journey, Bro” – Feat. Robert L. Lynch)
Fox (VO): “Let’s head back to the locker room and catch up with our contestant.”
(Cut to locker room. Chyron displays Robert’s name)
Teen Robert: "Yeah, I think this is just a weird drug trip. It doesn’t have any greater meaning. Some people get drunk and fight. He smokes and writes.”
Fox: “Is that an unsolicited review of an off-brand product? I’m sorry, but that’s one penalty, which means you only have one more save to avoid sleep.”
Groovy. So as long as these “chaperones” come with us, we can go? You realize the chaperones’ world begins between the machines. That could be a film. Anyway, thanks for coming to my journey. Since he can’t provide accurate unbiased dictation, he’s hacked the sensors to map to a real-world object.
Child Robert: “So, he’s able to communicate?”
Yeah, it looks like it.
River [NPC]: “That’s a change from normal.”
(Sad trombone sound)
See, that’s a great example! Since he can’t explain 4th dimensional things like feelings and energy in the 3rd dimension, he forced himself to drop down and bring up his waste with us.
Teen Robert: “Bilge rat, my ass! This guy’s a genius! To bring the 4th dimensional info back to the third dimension, he has to get his source from a higher dimension to pierce the dimensional barrier, even if it’s literal shit. It’s a message from the subconscious; a first-of its kind multi-tier data transfer!”
Game show mascot (who looks vaguely like the Philadelphia Flyer’s Mascot, Gritty): “Oh ho ho! If there’s a data transfer, no you see it’s already started and you’re pretty far in.”
Ok, so this is all plot device.
Mascot: “Yes, to bring you back to the site of the game show.”
Alright. If that’s how it has to be, that’s how it has to be.
(Game show graphic , that audience shouts along with: “Filter it!” “Meme it!”)
Mature Robert: “Yes, we stop trying to write to the system data, so we write to an artificial data device that the program thinks is just a figment because he already had it. What he didn’t have was the ink.”
I can’t record the experience of a feeling, but I can describe it, and in describing it, it becomes any number of references and meta-action.
Fox: “And we’re back! ‘Man with kids makes fireballs appear’ won’t be a headline, got it?”
So, while not an accurate, objective experience record like video, the viewer and still get a good idea. Ok, cool. So… Long story short, it’s a reverse-biological videotape. It can translate between layers, if it knows the host.
Fox: “Anyway, what is news is you don’t have to walk very far for the cemetery. It’s manual deluxe dusk, keep it going.”
I couldn’t get you a real happy reaction, but these should do.
Editor: “I don’t know how much, if any of this I can get and use.”
Assistant: “Just keep rolling, and if it doesn’t work, fix it in post.”
Fox: “So let’s start with you, Robert. “
The translator on my piece is broken! Don’t worry, I’ll just guess. That’s the point. It lives in the translation, it dies in the translation.
Young Robert: “Hey! Are you leaving? Don’t leave, it’s just getting good.”
Ok, but let me drink the kool-aid first, before I drink the kool-aid metaphorically.
Fox: “So anyway, why are you here, Mr. Lynch? You’ve always been a practical person. Enlightenment means nothing to you.”
Enlightenment to you means a new-age bullshit toy line
Fox: “But as you can see, it works.”
Good point. Now that the introductions are over, I want you to resend the infogram transfers.
Mature Robert: “So basically anything he writes in his head moves his hand more and writes in the book.”
Fox: “Cool, cool. Now that we’ve got that settled, let’s go to the game. I’ll spin the wheel, and you have to get to it.”
Fox: “Ooh, and it’s landed on in-game grind, crafting so much here. So let’s just jump in, slap our dicks on the lathe, and make ourselves some table legs.”
That’s not how lathes work, Daniel.
Fox: “Who’s Daniel? It doesn’t matter now, just head over to the interview chair, I’ll be over in a bit.”
I have snakes for eyes. Damn. I think I’m slipping. At least for a minute. That’s how it feels.
Security: “Don’t worry, I’ve got him.”
Fox: “I’m sorry, you’ve lost your last save against sleep. Carry him away!”
So this is how we reached the end. With no enlightenment.
Fox: “But didn’t we have a good time folks? Just like that, the sleep bot derails the story right before the eyes of our fans.”
But it would have been nice…
Fox: “You didn’t even get to ask a question.”
Security: “Got it, boss.”
Fox: “You can’t ask if you can’t stay up. Anyway, yeah, he missed the point. Let him sleep.”
I get it. I think. Stop that. Stop trying to understand the how at the expense of the why.