Monday, October 20, 2014
© Ernest Hogan 2014
My reflexes approached the speed of light. Grabbing Vampiko and Lalaita, I has us on the floor a few nanoseconds before the bullets whizzed by. If it wasn't for the chip we'd all be dead.
Then the chip fed it to me: Krell. Brainboost. Monsters from the Id. They're from an old, cornball sci-fi movie that my parents always got a kick out of. Forbidden Planet. Oh no! Could my parents be in on it?
"Let's get out of here!" said Vampiko, who split her lip with a fang. Blood dribbled down her chin. Somehow, it looked right.
"Never turn your back on your brain," said my mother's voice, " -- you never know who or what's in there with you." It was years ago. I was in my underwear watching MTV. She was in protective gear that looked like a spacesuit. My father was in another room, howling like a wolf. Overhead, helicopters slashed the night sky with their searchlights.
"This way," said Lalaita, pulling on my wrist.
A saguaro waved an AK-47, said, "Remember, your mind isn't the only thing going on in your brain," then sprayed a pockmarked Sicilian and a scarified Nigerian who locked in hands-on-throats dance of death with bullets.
Suddenly, I was on my feet, Vampiko and Lalaita had me by the arms . . .
From the Undernet: Haiti-trained mind-control technician with CIA and Hollywood experience seeks high-paying translegal work. Can even make a famous televangelist masturbate on the air. Yes . . . it's still ticking . . .
"Mon dieu," said Vampiko, "what a mess."
"Yes," said Lalaita, "it is a good thing that these thugs paid up in advance, no?"
There was chaos all around, inside and out of my throbbing head: EMERGENCY! The tattooing around the wrist of a yakuza as he used his wakazashi to slash open the tailored suit of an effeminate, mestizo narcotraficante all the way down to the spleen. EMERGENCY! Several on-the-take LAPD officers mercilessly beat an unidentified black man. REENCRYPT ALL SYSTEMS! A cute, little Filipina with large plastic breasts reached over and cut the penis off blue-eyed All-American boy. CLOSE ALL COMEONS! A gang of homeboys mercilessly beat a man with long, blonde hair. RELEASE DEFENSIVE VIRUSES! Troops in strange, unmarked uniforms appeared out of the shadows, and randomly opened up with automatic weapons. EMERGENCY! The Undernet flashed me the logistics on an air battle between several brightly painted Cruise missiles, four antique Huey Cobra attack helicopters, and a huge cargo copter of some unknown make. EMERGENCY! It was taking place just right over my head.
NEXT: CIVILIZATION IS AN UNNATURAL ACT
Friday, October 17, 2014
Chicanonautica, over at La Bloga, is an announcement about the new speculative fiction anthology, Latino/a Rising, its Kickstarter campaign, and how it's going to feature a new Paco Cohen, Mariachi of Mars story.
What more do you need?
Okay, how about this:
Monday, October 13, 2014
© Ernest Hogan 2014
If only I could have seen my "X" scared face at that moment. Judging by the looks of horror on Vampiko and Lalaita's faces and the collective gasp from the audience, my expression must have been something else.
Something went C*L*I*C*K in my brain, in the Krell chip . . .
For a second, the lights, and all power in Global Delights went off.
For a second, the entire Undernet went offline.
For a second, I was in control. Wow!
CONGRATULATIONS, FLASH, YOU DID IT, said Califia.
I was aware of what was on all the computer monitors in the building, and could affect them. The cockroaches danced to my tune.
Broadcast TV feed: A popular right-wing talk show host is disturbed by digital insect images clogging his laptop screen, suspecting liberal sabotage, he turns it off, and changes into a giant cockroach. The studio audience is overcome with lust, scar-covered, erect penises spring out of the tailored pants, and from under modest dresses (all "female" audience members being transvestites due to the host's unfortunate allergy to estrogen) and soon break through the cockroach's carapace as he screams, "It pays to sodomize!"
I accessed the p.a. system, and sounded like an electronic god: "IT'S BETTER THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE. I MAY NEED A NEW HYPOTHALAMUS TO HANDLE IT. YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET! WATCH THIS . . ."
I took control of the lighting system, and dazzled them with flashing light and color.
Cable feed: A famous televangelist suddenly grows pale, breaks out in heavy sweat, and masturbates live, and on the air. Afterwards he wipes the semen off his pudgy face, cries, and says, "The Lord made me do that. Send money -- lots of it, or He'll make me do it again."
It was all getting too good to keep to myself. I patched my Undernet scans into the p.a. System.
"What are you doing?" Vampiko looked deeply disturbed.
"Giving them what they asked for," I said.
"Dios mio!" said Lalaita.
"MAYAN REVOLUTIONARIES HOLDING AN AUCTION FOR VIRUSES BASED ON NEWLY TRANSLATED HIEROGLYPHICS NEAR THE RUINS OF PALENQUE."
Weapons systems were fired up all over the building. I overrode them.
Then individuals drew their sidearms -- which I couldn't control.
Friday, October 10, 2014
In Taos, the Jesus Sale at El Camino Real Imports was still going on. They had the Crazy World of Arthur Brown's apocalyptic Fire playing on the radio, making all the dazzling colors seem to burn brighter. This place makes me wish I was opening a Mexican restaurant or making a psychedelic spaghetti western. Oh, for a day-glo sombreo among the Zapotec wool coasters, and albrijes (fantastic wooden, painted animals).
As we headed out of town, a restaurant advertised CHICHARRON BURRITOS.
Last year, a helluvalot of the cow signs on the highways had UFO stickers on them. I marveled at what a tremendous project putting them up must have been. This year they were gone – getting rid of them must have been quite a project, too. But I did spot a few UFOs stuck on signs far from the towns. You can't keep a good myth down.
The rain had water running in the Rio Grande. It would be sad if the Rio went dry. Would they have to be called drybacks?
Modern day conquistadors, brothers to the Quijotes! The casinos are your Seven Cities of Cibola! Gamblers, offerings to Estevanico are in order!
Electronic cigarettes have taken off in New Mexico. Vapor stores are all over, with colorful signs, more of them than last year, more plentiful than casinos. Even thrift stores sell vapor flavors.
A lot of New Mexico businesses don't accept credit cards. Like the way Pancho Villa didn't trust cash – shot people who came to him with piles of paper – he prefered gold.
At an Española intersection, a bearded, bandana'd vato in a pickup that spewed country music mistook me for somebody named Harvey. He was a Quijote. No doubt.
One of the many murals in Española, a new-looking one, had a young, brown migrant working in the fields, wearing an iPod. This is the 21st century. The future is everywhere.
We visited the birdman and the petroglyphs at Bandelier National Monument The datura was wilted by the cliff dwellings. Having seen the acid western Greaser's Palace again recently, I realized that the Frijoles Canyon ruins were where Toni Basil's topless Indian maid scene was filmed.
So long ago. A more innocent time.
Past Los Alamos, along N.M. 4, there are lots of fenced-off secret lab-type places – called technical or tech areas. There are signs saying, NO TRESPASSING and EXPLOSIVES --KEEP OUT. Some folks say that Area 51 in Nevada is all disinformation, and the real, weird secret government bases are in New Mexico.
The volcanic terrain here would be perfect for such things. Underground bases could be dug around the caldera where signs announce ELK VIEWING ONLY, AREA CLOSED TO HUNTING.
Near the Indian kiva and Spanish mission ruins of Jemez, hidden by the roadside, there's Soda Dam that looks like the head of giant reptile with a waterfall in its mouth.
We kept seeing the sign: MANAGED BURN – DO NOT REPORT.
And we visited the bison/buffalo in Truchas again. They put up with us as we looked at them across their waterhole. I think the big male recognised us.
On a tourist stroll through Truchas, a grasshopper crashed into my face and flew on.
The Catholic church on the High Road to Taos was built in 1955, which makes it as old as I am. Shotgun shells and mini liquor bottles littered the street in front of it, the art galleries and old cemeteries.
There's also an historic mission build in 1764. Two guys listening to Tejano accordion music on their boom box seemed to be working on it. Or were they just having a few beers?
We also kept seeing exotic birds with long plumage. The hurricane, monsoon, and rains bring in visitors.
Back in Santa Fe they did their end-of-summer burning of Zozobra, or Old Man Gloom. A variation on the post-Easter Judas figures in Mexico and other Catholic countries. Zozobra is stuffed with papers on which people have written their worries, and they all go up in smoke. Not a bad tradition.
On the way back to Arizona, we saw two young Indians standing by a truck draped with a spray-painted banner that said ROBOT HEAD. Quijote business of some kind, most probably.
As we made our way down the roadkill-spattered highways, through the casino-studded deserts, I saw a billboard announcing COOL STUFF! Illustrated with an ornate Mexican skull, and I misread a sign: NAVAJO TIME TRAVEL PLAZA.
Or I think I misread it, Quijote that I am.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Past Sunset Point on the I-17, sacred datura was blooming, late in the season. Must be all the monsoon rain and flooding. By Black Canyon City, houses and other structures – it was hard to tell, they were badly smashed – had been washed into the riverbed.
I saw a huge scarb beetle at a the Yavapai-Apache Nation gas station near Cliff Castle Casino. I was about to pick it up and show it to Em, when I noticed that it was still alive . . . and being eaten by ants. Très Salvador Dalí, amigos.
Y Quijote tambien.
In Grants, New Mexico, we stood at the Motel 6 across Route 66 from a giant dream catcher.
Also in Grants we saw a bar with a WELCOME BIKERS sign, abandoned motels, gas stations, movie theaters, a Catholic Church with a shrine made lava rock and a statue of St. Theresa, the Lavaland Motel (abandoned), the Surf Shack Pizza Family Fun Center and Roller Rink, buildings with lava rock facades, a FROZEN GREEN CHILE sign, a discarded satillite dish, a white pickup with black flames, a USED TIRES POORBOY sign, and a busted up, rusted out Fifties finmobile in tall weeds. It was hard to tell the open businesses from the abandoned ones.
The next day the news warned of a “scientific balloon” being launched, pre-empting any UFO reports. On our way to the El Malpais National Monument – the Badlands, with lots of fantastic lava – I saw a shiny object in the sky. It hovered over the futuristic buildings and casinos. After all, this is the 21st century.
A sign announced DRONE LOVE. Wonder what kind of business they were in?
That night, in Truchas, it was so clear that I saw the Milky Way for the first time. Science fiction writers should see their own galaxies. Strange it took me so long.
On the High Road to Taos, I saw a sign with Cistobal de la Sirena – Christopher of the Mermaid? I made a note to look it up. Could it be another clue to the desert mermaid image? Turns out it was a reference to the Cristobal de la Sierra land grant. My eyes are making a Quijote out of me. Again.
Or maybe there was something else in the air. Taos is rather . . . countercultural, in a très Aztlán way.
Note to the Mexica Movement: “Hispanic” applies in New Mexico. It was a Spanish colony without much connection to Mexico or the Aztec empire. The local tribes have their own languages and cultures. Like the works of modern folk artist Lloyd Rivera, who wrote a book: Grito de Aztlan.
Besides, we can't deny our connection to el Quijote. I feel it in my DNA.
On the road to Española, a datura bush flouished in a front yard. The flowers were extremely large.
I found a lot of books in the thriftstores. I'm at the age when my generation of readers are dying, and their books are ending up in thriftstores. For peanuts.
Rain from the latest hurricane blew in. No Milky Way that night. We woke up to a Shangri-La view of a cloud-filled valley, with more clouds brushing the tip of a distant peak.
Heading towards Santa Fe, we passed the Don Quixote Distillery and Winery. This is wine and Quixote country. I'm sure that modern day Quijotes patrol New Mexico's backroads in ancient pickups. I think I saw a few.
Not to mention all the windmills as you go from city to city through all the Indian reservations, pueblos, and nations.
The plaster brontosauri greeted us outside Santa Fe. They didn't seem to care that they weren't a real species.
At Book Mountain, I overheard, “The problem with books now in Santa Fe is that there is now no new bookstore that sells new books. We have to keep making trips to Albuquerque.”
Back in Truchas, I noticed the bar had a BIKERS WELCOME sign.
Back in Taos, at the Wired? Cafe, I gave a couple of bucks to a woman who had the look of a spirit or goddess manifestation. There was something about her smile.
There was also a mountain-man-looking, backpacking hitchhiker with a countercultural Wild West style. Mythologies hang out here, wander around, seeking new adventures.
To be continued . . .
Monday, October 6, 2014
© Ernest Hogan 2014
The oversized lizards close in on the Speaker of the House's microwave-safe bowl of pit-bull pituitary glands. His pale, pudgy hands suddenly grow into huge, razor-sharp claws, to go along with five-inch, outward-curving canine teeth that he uses to defend his precious brain-food.
There's a lot of static in these signals.
FLASH! It was Califia again, her signal was full of static, too -- was she still in Nigeria? DON'T WORRY. RELAX. SOMETIMES THAT STATIC IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE SIGNAL. SOMETIMES THE STATIC IS THE SIGNAL.
Just what I need, an in-your-face, online, blackwoman zen master.
I LOVE YOU TOO, FLASH, YOU CYBERGREASER, YOU! O-DA-LAY, O-DA-LAY!
The saguaros faded in and giggled in chorus.
More from Washington: Freshman congressmen get together to write a bill that would make masturbation a federal offense. They all claim never to have masturbated, except for once, who admits to trying it in college, but claims he stopped before reaching orgasm.
Back in Global Delights, in my body: My knees buckle. Vampiko and Lalaita hold me up. A question from the audience: "Does the Krell chip help in avoiding unfair, restrictive laws?"
I laugh. The saguaros laugh. The Undernet laughs. With static. Lots and lots of static. YES, FLASH, says Califia. IT IS FUNNY. VERY FUNNY. AND IT WILL GET FUNNIER. SOON.
Free! Self-replicating televoodoo software. Compatible with most operating systems. Extremely destructive. Get yours today! Fun! Fun! Fun!
"Do you feel that having more access to information has increased your control over your own life?"
I start to laugh, but something cuts me off, and I say, "Not yet -- but, it will soon."
Soon? But when?
DAMNEAR NOW, FLASH, said Califia. YOU HAVE THE POWER. YOU'VE HAD IT ALL ALONG.
What, all I gotta do is click my heels together three times and say, "There's no place like home?"
ALMOST. REMEMBER TECHNOLOGY IS JUST A TOOL. USE IT. TAKE CONTROL.
Our new, smaller rectal nuclear devices can get past state-of-the-art weapons detection systems, making nuclear terrorism possible for even low-budget, independent translegal organizations.
But how? Uh . . . Oh wow!
Friday, October 3, 2014
Actually, the full title is "Chicanonautica: Our Hijo de la Chingada Conquistador Heritage." You can read it over at La Bloga.
During the final days of the Vietnam/Nixon era, this was on the radio a lot:
I prefer conquistadors like Cabeza de Vaca:
And Estevanico (AKA Esteban), the black conquistador:
Though most conquistadors were more like this:
And the songs keep coming:
Monday, September 29, 2014
©Ernest Hogan 2014
A bug is a thing with sucking/penetrating mouth-parts.
The Kafka virus transforms the President a giant cockroach. Secret service agents go into mouth-frothing, tongue-biting convulsions, bleeding into their ear-pieces. The First Lady rushes in, seeing her chance to indulge in insect-style mating without violating her religious beliefs, her mouth waters in anticipation of a life-long supply of semen from one copulation, and the sweet taste of testosterone-soaked brain tissue. She envies her husband's sucking/penetrating mouth-parts.
A bug is an electronic listening device.
How does a computer virus change a human into a cockroach? I asked, from dusty corner of my brain into the Undernet.
"Simple," said a saguaro, "have the static blast from switching off the computer trigger a programmed chain-reaction DNA reconstruction."
A bug is a virus.
I didn't like being exiled to cyberspace like this. The good stuff was all happening in the real world. The street can be virtual reality for people who have lives.
"Don't bug me, man," my father often said.
A big advantage of Cope, our new, recombinate opiate/coca drug is that it depresses the will to resist while increasing energy and consciousness. Users become busy, productive zombies. Things go better with Cope.
Giant insects were once popular sci-fi monsters.
FLASH! THIS IS CALIFIA. DON'T WORRY. WE'RE TRACKING YOU. CAN'T REALLY SAY MUCH. NEVER KNOW WHO'S LISTENING ON UNDERNET.
Super-viruses are the boogiemen of the Information Age.
THOSE DAMN SAGUAROS OR WHATEVER -- THEY KEPT FADING IN AND OUT AROUND ME.
Finally I asked, "Just what are you?"
"Your brain is incapable of processing that information."
"But I've got this chip in it!"
"Sorry. Still not enough power."
"But I gotta know! It's killing me!"
"Very well. The fact is, we are the natives, and you are the aliens."
"Uh . . . uh . . ."
"See. We told you."
A message from my body: Vampiko sticks her tongue in my ear, then says, "It won't be long now, mon amour."
Another feed from Washington: The Speaker of the House scans the latest Wired as he eats his usual breakfast of pit-bull pituitary glands with milk and sugar when three doberman-sized lizards crash through a window.
Monday, September 22, 2014
©Ernest Hogan 2014
"THE ZONE HAS BEEN SECURED," said an amplified voice full of static and the accent of artificial intelligence. "ALL LEGAL AUTHORITIES HAVE BEEN ENCRYPTED OUT. TEMPORARY AUTONOMY HAS BEEN ACHIEVED – REPEAT: TEMPORARY AUTONOMY HAS BEEN ACHIEVED."
There was applause. Strange applause. Full of static and electronic distortion.
I squinted past the floodlights, and could barely make out the crowd that filled Global Delights past the legal capacity that night. It was not the usual tittie bar crowd. Mostly, men -- but some women -- all a little overdressed for the occasion. A lot of them were quite mechanical, looking like awkward robots. Robots?
"And now, we present, for your actual and virtual examination," said Vampiko, "Flash Gomez," more weird applause -- data blasted my brain: organized crime, virtual reality remotes . . . "human host and test vector for Project Brainboost's fantastic Krell chip!"
More applause. I suddenly knew that I was being examined by televoodooists, narcotraficantes, insect trusters, reptile conspirators, plutonium smugglers, black-market hypothalamus dealers, genetic drug engineers, border brujos, system scammers, hackers (and most were not the stereotypical white-nerd-from-a-moneyed-family), freelance info & bio virus farmers, mafia, yakuza, and triad representatives, some of which were attending the event in cyberspace.
"Isn't he cute?" said Lalaita, pinching my stubbled cheek.
"Are there any questions for Flash?" Vampiko asked.
The crowd erupted like a salivating, multi-headed monster; a wall of words came at me, more static than signal.
"Are there any harmful side effects?"
"Is it faster than the latest available computer systems?"
"Do you feel more than human?"
"Could it make the brain obsolete?"
The Krell chip latched onto my vocal apparatus and fired off high-speed answers that sounded as if I was speaking in tongues, shoving me aside into the nether reaches of my grey matter and the cyberplace called the Undernet, where I was suddenly aware of underworld stock market prices for hit men, genetically-engineered drugs, electronic money-laundering systems, government and corporate secrets . . . all kinds of stuff that people didn't dare talk about on Internet. I was also aware of things like:
A feed off a deencrypted White House monitor: The President, disturbed at the tiny insect images on his latest comeback strategy speech, flicks off his maximum-security laptop, then gasps . . .
NEXTWEEK: SUCKING/PENETRATING MOUTH-PARTS
Friday, September 19, 2014
Not to mention Marshall McLuhan:
And yerberia ads:
A sheriff in trouble!