Screwheads, Geeks and the Doomed
The truth, I mean the unvarnished deal, does leak past the gatekeepers from time to time, usually in the form of screenplays that seldom ever go into production, written by over caffeinated hacks in LA. They grind out script after script, which never make it past the slush pile. Years pass and they give up all hope and switch to drinking counterfeit Chivas Regal bought from the back of an SUV in chinatown. Even real Chivas isn't fit for human consumption, or even screenwriters. It's all a bad cliche. But then that's why they're hacks, no imagination. The shards of fevered brilliance that make it into their work are little more than transcriptions of whispered conversations overheard in bars. The guy we're talking about just overheard the wrong conversation. The machinery was in place to ensure it ended in the right cliche, liver failure.
The scripts that do make into theaters are quickly discredited and banished to the back-aisle of video rental shops, browsed only by the stoned and journalists. The other day we ran across this. The tip off was that it was from 1980, the Year of the Metal Monkey:
"How's the family Harris?"
"Oh the family, well that's bad news. The screwheads finally came and took my daughter away. Let me ask you a question sir, what is this country doing for the doomed? There are two kinds of people in this country, the doomed and the screwheads. Savage tribal thugs who live off their legal incomes, brow deep out there; no respect for human dignity. They don't know what you and I understand, you know what I mean."
"You ever play football, Harris?"
"Yes sir, thank you sir. I played in college, and they're gonna get your daughter too sir. I've heard their rallies, they like Julie but Tricia... and they really hate you sir. You know that one and a half of the State Senate of Utah are screwheads. You know I was never really frightened by the bopheads and the potheads with their silliness never really frightened me either, but these goddam screwheads, they terrify me. And the poor doomed, the young, and the silly, the honest, the weak, the Italians... they're doomed, they're lost, they're helpless, they're somebody else's meal, they're like pigs in the wilderness."
"Come here Harris, come here. Fuck the doomed!"
But that was just a fragment of the full scene that was was edited out before being released on VHS. We have it on good authority that the original hinted at what they were desperate to hide. That along with the doomed and the screwheads there is a third group; the geeks. It's true, the geeks are the circus freaks who bite the heads off chickens. They're the smart ones, stuck between the land of the screwheads and the cavernous subterranean gloom of the doomed. They have no social skills or fashion sense. They stand out like a Playboy bunny at a USO show on an aircraft carrier. They were built to be conspicuous. They couldn't blend in even if they wanted to.
Nearly all of geeks end up working for the screwheads. And why not? Geeks need resources to feed their habit so they can rip stuff apart and put it back together in interesting ways. The doomed can't help them. They would only suck them down into the muck to be knawed to the bone, leaving their unbleached skeletons dripping tattered rags like barrow wights weilding laptops instead of swords. The doomed could never accept a geek as one of their own. And the geeks are miserable at faking it. So the ones who do get dragged in, live out a pitiful existence, reduced to building web sites for county bale bondsmen and chinese dry cleaners, going through the motions until even their bones are too dried out for the dogs to crack open for the marrow.
But at least they were given the choice up front. Take the blue pill or the red pill, they croon, not telling them that no one is given the choice until after they'd already chosen. The whole pill thing was theater done to complete the necessary paperwork. And the poor geek still had to dry swallow the thing that wasn't even a placebo but a homeopathic knockoff from a pharmacuetical company in Ho Chi Minh that was a front laundering money for meth labs dotted along the Irrawaddy. The labs send their cash along the ancient Tea-Horse road that snakes through mountain switchbacks linking the western kingdoms along the upper Mekong, with the southern kingdoms of Chang Mei, and Luang Prabang.
But today the mule trains are loaded high with bricks of dollars roped together so that if a mule fell off, the others could keep the animal from falling long enough to save the cash before cutting the beast loose to be swallowed by the mist hanging below like a creeping cotton carpet.
So the geeks end up working for the screwheads, though they have to fight off the rats even for the table scraps they're given. They never suspect that they are the ones that give the screwheads their real power. Without the geeks, the screwheads have nothing. And screwheads will stop at nothing to ensure they never find out. When a geek does make it big, century old clockwork is triggered that quickly closes the breech by dangling Lamborghini's and private 747's under the geek's unsuspecting noses. And just like that, bam, they're just another screwhead with a high IQ. What did you think happened to Zuckerberg. They got to him too young. The poor bastard never stood a chance. They sucked on his soul like a mentholated lozenge until there was nothing left but a hoodie and a couple billion in a bank account in the Channel Islands. Only the doomed think the screwheads are in it for the money.
But the thing we want to get out, the reason we're taking the risk of writing this, is to let the geeks know, that there is a third path open to them if they'd just stop listening to Y-Combinator long enough to let it sink in. They could band together, fly under the radar, communicate using junk frequencies chopped up and scattered using spread spectrum mesh networks between base stations on roof tops disguised as cell towers and cable dishes where the deathless watchers would never think of looking, and help make the world a little less shitty. It could never make the geeks happy, what could? That's the albatross they'll always have hanging around their necks for chosing the red pill. But at least they'd be free and have all of the toys they needed to reverse engineer the world and put it back together in interesting ways that just might make life a little more bearable.