Matt Groening, My Betrayer…
So I guess this is my own fault… as usual, my damn big mouth getting me into all sorts of trouble. One wife and god knows how many friends down, and do I learn? No, I do not… And now here I am, central attraction to a slowly growing army of weekend crusties, gathering around. I just know that a field nearby somewhere is filling up with fucking hybrid fuel people carriers, VW vans and old, badly reconditioned Land Rovers – good grazing land being torn up by their tires.
What’s that, then? High pitched whine that can only be the sound of a thousand cables of Christmas lights being switched on. Can only be that, because that is what I see lighting up around me… that, and a few dozen chords of that heavy duty stuff, the ropes of clear rubber tubing that has beads of brilliance tripping throughout… I’m inside it, and I can’t really see the mustering crowd outside any more… but I can see the glass tubes coiling through this large, conical structure that they put me in, while I was still too drugged to fight them.
Fucking hell… I was right when I said what I said on my website… although I never really expected anyone to listen. The site is designed to try and attract attention, but not this beanburger eating homicidal kind… I’ve always kind of hoped that some publisher or celeb would stumble across my half-assed blog ravings and tossed off stories, and suddenly recognise the writing talent that my mum and a few mates always talk about…
Oh, what? The lights are now, I shit you not, flashing in sequence. Slowly, at first, but the tempo is increasing. I thought I was using poetic license when I referred to them as Christmas decor, but I think that might actually be what these hapless twats are using, by way of ritualistic illumination. I keep seeing the silhouettes of more and more people as the flashing leaves an area of this structure unlit… briefly like looking out of a dark room onto a lamplit street. If I didn’t know much better, I might think that it was a joke, using those lights, but knowing the type of person at work here, it was probably all that they could find in their loft.
And this is all over a cartoon, that’s what gets me. There is this massive chap drawn on a hillside, near a little place called Cerne Abbas: A huge old fella with his cock out, of uncertain origin (the drawing, not the member), although most theories tend to indicate that it was a jape come up with by a few pissed locals, to have a go at the local authorities.
So, anyway, the company doing the PR for that massive Simpsons movie… they put up some money, pay off the National Trust, and paint themselves a massive semi-naked Homer Simpson opposite the old fella with his old fella, with Mr Simpson about to play “hoops” on the old man’s erection with a donut.
And of course, this puts the middle class in England in a state of outrage the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the last time a Simpson fucked with a prominent English figure.
And I could have ranted on my blog about that, but I couldn’t possibly take on as complex an issue as the average Englishman’s dwindling concept of identity in a changing world and how he deals with it.
Oh no, not I!
Not when that nebulous and even more earnest and self-righteous group, the pagans, had representatives in the wind, decrying this “attack” on a site apparently important to their religion, claiming it as a vandal act that was a clear assault on them personally… a large, y-fronted, six fingered hate-crime.
Reader, I mauled them. Utterly mercilessly tore into their response to Homer… totally ridiculed their adherance to a religion that seemed to make hypocrites of them daily… called bullshit on their claims of consensus for a group in which no two members agree, and on a subject on which there is none.
Bullied them on the subject of their seriousness…. I believe my exact words were “Humourless retards.” I may also have accused them of a lack of imagination when coming up with beliefs… a few gags were made about the assimilation and compositing of earthly or spiritual themes from other areas.
Oh, perfect. Guess the glass tubes have warmed up, or whatever it is they do… because they have lit up. Neon blinds me, and now I can’t see a fucking thing.
Somewhere nearby, someone is cooking a barbecue, and I can hear someone else doing a soundcheck on a cut-rate tannoy system. Strangely, despite the straps stretching me out, despite the strain on my wrists, and despite any modesty I might have had being displayed balls-out naked in front of what I can hear is a mixed crowd of men, women and children, it is the soreness on my chest that is giving me the most grief. I seem to be having some sort of allergic reaction to the sticky pads that they used to attach the electrodes to me.
This would all be blackly funny if it wasn’t so scary… like the humour one knows should be possible to find in an examination of the thought processes of the Pro-Lifer that murders the abortion doctor… Too close to it, and it starts to say too many not funny things about the species.
In my defence, I didn’t honestly think anybody important would really read the post… I don’t get that many hits ordinarily.
So I was at first pleasantly surprised, then quite unnerved as the comments left on it started to rise fast, first into the tens, then the hundreds. Within a week, I suddenly had in excess of four thousand comments… many from returning guests, most of them angry.
I tried to maintain my aggressive stance when responding… my surprise was tempered with a curious and almost relentless amusement at this phenomena, and I assumed that I was mostly dealing with a very hardcore and perhaps clinically insane, but largely harmless, group. After all, pagans were a very loosely affilliated and generally passive bunch, with very few consistent beliefs to unify them, as far as I was concerned.
When the comments trickled down, I just assumed that was that. I didn’t realise that that disparate group of crusties, hippy aspirant yuppies, ex-goth-ex-cute bipolar housewives and the rest, had finally found something to bring them together: Me.
I always have had a knack for bringing out the best in people.
The other thing I hadn’t done was really researched them well enough before beating up on them. For example, did you know that they had these huge gatherings, at which they tortured or executed their enemies? It is like a particularly modern Wicker Man, with camper vans spewing out whole families of well turned-out young professional pagans and their kids. Like Glastonbury without the fun. Before I went blind, I swear I saw portable ramps and walkways being set up, for wheelchair access. Everywhere is equal opportunities and diversity aware these days.
I’m guessing that it is nearly time for the end, now, here in my pyramid of light. The man on the tannoy is explaining who I am, while some people with bongos play to an African sounding beat. He is telling the assembled crowd that Gaia demands that I die, and the audience cheers.
(He is explaining, as an aside, where the assembly points are in the event of an unscheduled fire during the event)
And now he is explaining that they have dropped the traditional “death by fire”, because of concerns that the resultant smoke pollution and flames might be bad for the environment. Therefore I am going to be put to death using the voltage from eight portable electricity generators, which were being topped up with oil as he spoke. I have been lit up like this, because ritual requires the cleansing light of flame.
It is when the flat and dull voice of the compere suggests that guests wanting a better look should move their cars into the field and, running their engines, pick out the victim in the midst of all that light with their own headlamps, that the horridly ironic humour of the situation hits me.
And now I explode with laughter… and if they are comfortable with the idea of powering my execution with the combined electricity of a busy night in a small town, because that way is better for the environment – Well then I guess it doesn’t matter if they are humourless retards, because someone somewhere can certainly tell a joke, and I don’t mind dying so much if I’m laughing.
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