Windmill Pulp: 1624, part 2
A splash screen with a 64-bit planet earth logo disintegrates into a pixelated jumble of white crystals over a blue ocean. The crystals twinkle and form into a chain of islands. “The Crystalline Archipelago”, some words declare in a matching crystallized font. They continue, “In the Crystalline Archipelago, all matter is made up of special pixels. Each of these pixels has a bit of crystal inside. This crystal is the pixel’s soul. These souls are all connected to one another and coordinate with each other to produce the pixelated reality. The nature of their coordination is determined by the inner needs of the user. They create the best formation of reality for the user to navigate through. It is not necessarily a good or bad reality for the user, just fitting, like real life… But in reality, there are no pixels, and real life never fits perfectly, always threatening to spill over the edge. As far as the human is concerned, reality is infinitely fluid and microscopic. Only through media formats can reality be reduced. Media formats are endless and even the mind itself is capable of acting as endless media.” The crystalline words dissolve into white crystal dust and the game on the glowing monitor begins.
It was the crash that did this to me. I’m here because of the crash. I’m reflecting because of the crash. I’m seismic because of the crash. I’m speaking in the pages because of the crash. I’m a fiery ball of electrons because of the crash. A spirit, a machine, a super human condemned to the mediaverse. I’m talking about the big crash. I’ve lived through many crashes. It was a crash that sent me to Batavia. It was a crash that sent the Chinese after me. And it will be a crash that sets me free from this island. I am free. And I can only get freer. But the struggles never end. So I blame all my problems on the crash and the crashes. I also blame art. It was art that did this to me. Art and the crash.
It was Berlin that did it to me. I should have never moved to that city and gotten my hopes up about art. It was New York that did it to me. I should have never moved to that city and gotten self confidence. It was my parents that did it to me, forcing me to read as a low reading comprehension child. I wanted to be out fishing but they made me stay inside with books and learning and thinking. I remember being forced to write a journal but I had absolutely nothing to write down, what could possibly be worth writing down. I was a prisoner in a small bedroom of an old creaky wooden building. Dust and bugs falling out of cracks in the wooden boarded cottage walls. I just looked out the window made extra luminous by the darkness of the interior. The sunlight projecting a bright shining world off the clear water and grass, dazzling my eyes through the window pane with its rustic imperfections creating small psychedelic swirls of light before me, but inaccessible to my joy.
It was Vienna that did it to me. It let my hopes down about art. It made the world not worthy of art and art not worthy of the world. It made me block out the world and keep working, divorced from the world, as a pilgrim who forgot about god, putting so much energy into something so pointless. Trading. I never should have ignored the world. Now my world is gone and I have to reinvent it. I should have never left the glacially carved outcropping of land where I was born and grew up. Ducks Island. I should never have gotten my feet wet. Stepped off the island. My feet on the smooth rocks and pebbles in the cool ancient glacial water. Lifting myself into a boat. Rubber, filled with air, bouncy and buoyant. Floating down Lake Ontario, past Wolfe Island and into the Saint Lawrence river. The boat skipping off the waves, refusing to sink, almost flying. And getting off at the port of Montreal. All for the purpose of studying philosophy. It was philosophy that did it to me. It was the decadence of thinking when I can’t even think good. Thinking becomes decadent when it takes you beyond your needs and interests. It took over my brain and led me to fixate on things I had no reason to fixate on. And it did so with logical tools that were not relevant for the way my brain works.
I never should have gone to any city except for the shortest of visits and a tourist's itinerary. I should have stayed in my rural homeland. I should have continued my journey as a fisherman. As I imagined my grandfather could have been. He was not a fisherman, but there were and had been enough older fisherman around that I could think of myself as a natural inheritor of the profession. I knew the waters well. I knew the seasonal migration patterns of the fish. I knew their appetites and habits. I knew the slime on their scales. I knew the scent of each species. I could feel them scurrying up and down the current in schools or big old solo one creeping around in the bay as I lay in my bed at night. I knew how to catch them with the ease and excitement of throwing pokemon balls at them. My life was an anime fishing video game, the none lame kind of anime. I was a samurai with a fishing rod weapon. The only struggle was within the game itself.
Reading was the first real struggle. After my parents forced me through that struggle I began to like the struggle. Not actually like it, but feel the compulsion to suffer through it. I still to this day only enjoy reading that is a struggle. And my reading comprehension is still low. I understand almost nothing from the struggle texts and gain almost nothing from them. A brief flash of warm colors from a setting sun and then it's gone. If I had been out on the river fishing during that sunset it would have been better for the entire soul. There, in that display of light, glistening off the ripples, the joy is not self conscious or forced, as it is with reading. It is pure, instinctual and dependent upon nothing other than itself. The joy of reading is expectation, fashion, taste, guilt.
The struggle of casual reading led me to the formalized struggle of philosophy program reading. Far, far worse. Philosophy was my worst high school grade. The various mathematics were my best, near perfect, not to mention biology which I could do in my sleep. I could have become a fish scientist and been saving the fish in the river everyday. No, I had to choose philosophy. I applied myself through this struggle with such diligence that even through drug and alcohol abuse I completed with satisfactory grades. Yet, of course I learned almost nothing and was terrible at it.
Somewhere in the midst of these reading and philosophy struggles I did end up discovering things about human culture and ideas. And with that, against my awareness or will, a certain sentience manifested itself as the desire to create and contribute. A sentience, removed from the predominant sentience within me that I would associate with myself, put on the loose, to rampage. This creative sentience has now become the predominant one within me, the only one, except for the aspect of myself to do with trading. The thing that brought me within the crash. The reason I’m here. I’m here. It was at the very moment my artistic sentience was set loose in Berlin (yes, cringe) that my trading sentience was awakened.
Ever since, these two forces, art and trading, having been waging war within me and leading my body through unendurable torture. Not like the tortured artist, more like the tortured dog walker, the person who bought a dog but doesn’t like walking it because they’d rather being walking alone with their own thoughts. Now my thoughts must constantly be diverted towards art and trading. There is no escape. Except in fishing. I would never think about either of these things while fishing. But that dream is over.
The trading began for me in a storm of lights. Visually, as I recall, just lots of persuasive lights blinking on the screen telling me I needed to buy. Articles, descriptions, charts and graphs. I barely needed to even read them or look at them. Like skimming over a text, I knew what I needed to know. A week or two later it was charts all day everyday, unless I was making art, but even then the charts were off to the side somewhere, mocking my art. I barely knew what the charts meant or how to interpret them.
This was when I became obsessed with them. This is when the force leading to my destruction became a force. And the art force danced around it. The two forces were like a double helix spinning away from me into space. At first they barely had contact with each other, just slight gravitational influences and protein exchanges, almost imperceptible. And then, with each successive crash they would become more and more bound up in each other in the formation of a complex organism.
Two forces, determining my existence, out of my control. I began making art with a certain amount of freedom regarding my content and approaches. I would apply my accumulated ideas I had learned from reading, philosophy and culture. I had a looseness to my expression and a buoyancy of adaptability, I would change mediums and styles, I would develop my body of work like a flowering tropical garden, full of uniqueness and discovery. Then it gradually narrowed down to crypto mechanics. In an abstract way, the structures of sculpture or the compositions of my paintings were all determined by the abstract structure of crypto and crypto trading. My more clear cultural references all became trading and crypto references, then just charts, depicted narrowly and straight on, capturing the essence of the chart. And then, finally, it has become full blown mental illness and fixation, a performative disembodiment, literally living the charts and dying somewhere beyond them, an entirely on-chain existence, on the blockchain.
It was the crashes that pushed it more and more in this direction, as this pain reinforced the struggle which reinforced my dedication in a vicious cycle, and it was the big crash that delivered the final shock and sealed my existence here in this world. I was forced to make crash art. My entire life is now about the crash. Everything is always crashing. Everything around me. I see a nut falling from a tree and it is crashing. Even the air is crashing. I can see the air and there are downwards striations in it, indicating, in a painterly manner, post impressionist crash painting, that even the air is crashing.
I’m always tired. I’m up all night worrying about charts. I have to paint them, trade them, sell them to the Chinese. To the good Chinese, not the evil ones who attacked me. If I wasn’t so tired right now I wouldn’t be so upset about my life. That’s it, no problem, just tired. Everything is fine. My wife and children are on a ship sailing back to Amsterdam. And I will join them as soon as I make it through this crash. In the meantime, I have Claranti here. She can help me trade my way out of my problems. She understands life in these lands. How the spices grow. How to scavenge in a drought. She thrives in the crash, where others would be defeated, she sees clearly. Somewhere in this mess there is a trade to be made. One to settle all the accounts, consolidate all my assets. Load up the ship and head for home. But it will take some time. And more difficulties will be encountered. I haven't seen the last of the Chinese wrath.
All of this unnecessary chaos could have been avoided if the crashes had been avoided, if trading had been avoided, if art had been avoided, if I had pursued a fishing career on my home waters. Obviously art and trading could not have been avoided entirely. If it wasn’t one path that took me there it would have been another. Once you see that the easiest way to make money is by shifting around capital you cannot unsee it. It was in my industrious nature to discover it. I likely would have funnelled my fishing income into the second best thing to invest in after crypto, real estate. Real estate in my home area. Living off my land, investing in my land, profiting off my land. And sooner or later I would have been inspired to create artworks. Even country people are drawn to whittle little things from their surroundings with a deep human instinct.
If I had stayed on Ducks Island I could have channeled the art and the trading into less dangerous formats. Without the excess of education I would not have been pushed into over-thinking, over-trading, over obsessing with art, thinking too much about things that did not require that much thinking and destroying myself as a result. If I had localized myself, instead of globalizing myself, perhaps I could have produced an art that truly matters. Trading does not require an aesthetical expression. The only aesthetics trading requires is better user interfaces. If I had become a fisherman I would not have ignored art. I would not be some kind of ancient fisherman netting up fish early in the morning to sell at the market for a few dollars. Those days are long over. The few fish netters with grandfathered licenses in the area sell their catch for thirty cents a pound to cat food manufacturers. And I would not have been a fishing guide, taking out rich american clients who wanted to experience the endless outdoors of Canada, those days ended 50 years ago. Rich Americans do not care about coming here for fishing anymore, they go south on some fancy boats to spear fish marlins with torpedoes and cool shit like that. And it does not suit my character to be a jerseyed, energy drink guzzling tournament fisherman either.
In the 21st century as a fisherman I would have become a filmmaker and content creator. I would have documented and dramatized my fishing life and experience for others to see. In other words, a fishing artist. I would have produced an art that other people could actually relate to and enjoy. The human experience and struggle on earth in a setting that makes sense. Not the human struggle and experience encoded in a candle stick chart of some stupid coins. I would have taken the beauty of my local life and environment and broadcast it to a global audience. Instead, I have been massacred by the globe, I am a slave to the globe, I have been liquidated by the globe. And all that's left is a nonsensical trail of crash art.
All that's left is left. Things are left and things go on. It is in the nature of things to capture an essence of being and carry it on. Art, rocks, ideas. They pass it on to other beings and life and meaning continues. I’ve got to get the thread of my brain back on the proper level. The level that will allow my being to continue. Beneath the tangled web of my brain cells and their connecting threads is the molten hot core of unanimated reality, life without life. But if I keep my energy above, keep it bouncing around that tangled neuronal web, then all can persist in harmony. I try but sometimes I fail. My energy falls below the web and into the black burning ash of the human abyss.
I fell down because I was thinking too fast without paying attention. I had to dig into my genesis, I had to dig into my upbringing and early frolicking days on Ducks Island, unmarred by the pessimism of my present struggles, unmarred by the crash. And that forced me to look down. Down at the ground beneath my running feet. And that ground is the real state of the world. Above ground, where I and any sane person run around, spinning, getting dizzy, such high states of seismic bliss can be reached. But the burnt ground below must be confronted, whether for reasons of personal therapy, or by chance, the inevitability of eventually falling down in your daily running, as you often can’t choose where your mind will wander. And as that confrontation with the real is not a natural connection, rather the interfacing of two opposing worlds only compatible with a tangled mixture of antiquated a/v cables, the confrontation is not clear and direct. It does not manifest itself in a complete image that can be analyzed. The mind, and my mind here, has a tendency to dance around the confrontation as to an opposed magnetic charge. There is the tendency to get as close as possible to the magnetic field, but not being able to touch it, the only thing to do is spin around it. And this spinning of course results in nonsensical thoughts and emotions.
What I want to say is there are things I can confront and things I can’t. I can deal with a market crash. I can deal with the liquidation of one account, even in the complete liquidation of all accounts there are possibilities for moving on and recovering. But in the case of the big crash, which is an event I tend to designate as being confined to the cryptocurrency and equities markets, I must acknowledge that it was not an event confined to the markets. In reality, the cold one below the feet, the market crash was only one fallout in the rumblings of a global event. Seismic rumblings. And when I confront my old life on Ducks Island with the water and fishing in this context I am forced to dance around an essential truth of dark reality about what happened to Ducks Island during the crash. This is what caused me to express hatred and blame for trading and art. They are struggles, for sure, but the real struggle…
“Joffrey, Joffrey! Quick, out of the tub. There’s a letter here for you!” Uhg, Claranti is calling me. Is there anything worse than having to leave a hot bath before you’ve soaked up all its pleasures. But to leave a bath at just the right moment, as an eternity of thoughts and stresses have been cleansed through the circulating blood and sweated out the pores. That is a perfection of moments. One that through the ancient roman bath house or the nordic sauna, man has been enjoying for millennia. But I think with just one more moment here I can achieve it.
Joffrey lays back in the tub, closes his eyes and slowly lets his head submerge under the water. With just his lips sticking out, he sucks some water into his mouth, purses his lips and lets out a spout of water straight up into the air like a cartoon whale. Finally he lets go and submerges himself completely with only the steam rising above the cloudy water.