Showing posts with label Quantum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quantum. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Infinite Improbability : The Quantum Heresy

Now Then, Madam - 
I'm going to show you three numbers, 
and I want you to tell me if you see any similarity between them. 

(holds up a card saying '3' three times)


They're all number three.


No. Try again.


They're all number three?


No, They're all number three. 

(he ticks his board again)

...number NIINE, number NINE, number NINE ...


Holly, what's going on?


What's happening?

Um, Hercule Poirot's just stepped off the steaming train.  
And if you want my opinion, I think they all did it.
Why did we have to have you as the ship's computer?  
We'd be better off with a bucket of sheep's slop running things.
If you've got a complaint, just come straight out with it.  
Don't hide behind innuendo and hyperbole.
Why is it raining fish in our sleeping quarters?!

I'd be lying if I said I knew.  
The only comparable incident on record is in 12th century Burgandy when it rained herring.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

If I'm Going to Have a Past, I Prefer it to be Multiple Choice

The Apprentice: 
Well, look. I read about something that's just happened; -

The next page says it didn't happen at all. 

Over the page says it DID happen, but many years ago. 

Teeth+Curls : 
Ah, yes. 

Well, I suppose it is a bit above your head. 

Mind you, they did say I had a very sophisticated prose style.

The Apprentice
As for your handwriting....

What about my handwriting?

The Apprentice: 
It's marvellous

[ And it says DIG HOLE HERE” ]

"So... I see you received the free ticket I sent you. 

I'm glad. I did so want you to be here. 

You see it doesn't matter if you catch me and send me back to the asylum... 

Gordon's been driven mad. I've proved my point. 

I've demonstrated there's no difference between me and everyone else! 

All it takes is one bad day to reduce The Sanest Man Alive to lunacy. 

That's how far The World is from where I am. 

Just one bad day. 

You had a bad day once, am I right? 

I know I am. I can tell. 

You had a bad day and everything changed. 

Why else would you dress up as a flying rat? 

You had a bad day, and it drove you as crazy as everybody else... 

Only you won't admit it! 

You have to keep pretending that life makes sense, that there's some point to all this struggling! 

God you make me want to puke. I mean, what is it with you? 

What made you what you are? 

Girlfriend killed by the mob, maybe? 

Brother carved up by some mugger? 

Something like that, I bet. Something like that... 

Something like that happened to me, you know. 

I... I'm not exactly sure what it was. 

Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... 

If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice! Ha ha ha! 

But my point is... My point is, I went crazy. 

When I saw what a black, awful joke The World was, I went crazy as a coot! 

I admit it! 

Why can't you? 

I mean, you're not unintelligent! 
You must see the reality of the situation. 

Do you know how many times we've come close to world war three over a flock of geese on a computer screen? 

Do you know what triggered the last world war? 

An argument over how many telegraph poles Germany owed its war debt creditors! 

Telegraph poles! 

Ha ha ha ha HA! It's all a joke! 

Everything anybody ever valued or struggled for... it's all a monstrous, demented gag! 

So why can't you see the funny side? 

Why aren't you laughing?"

Monday, 3 September 2018

The Quantum Last Jedi

" I'll always be with You.
Just like Our Father.

See you around, Han."

"He's doing this for a reason.
He's stalling so we can escape.
It is one man against an army.
We have to help him, we have to fight."

"No, no. We are The Spark 
That Will light The Fire 
That Will be kept burning all Year Round,
That sits in The Hearth
That is in The Centre of The House 
That Leia, The Princess Built
- Will Build -
That Leia, The Queen will fuel and tend,
That Rey, The Hidden Dark Princess will inherit,
That Occupies the Centre of The House That Luke Built,
To finish what His Father had started before Luke and Leia were even born
That will burn The First Order down  -

The Royal House of Skywalker.
Skywalker's doing this so we can survive.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

"Io Pan! Io Pan Pan!"

The magician wishing for a manifestation of Pan will not only invoke Pan directly and verbally, create Panlike conditions in his temple, reinforce Pan associations in every gesture and every article of furniture, use the colors and perfumes associated with Pan, etc.; he will also banish other gods verbally, banish them by removing their associated furnitures and colors and perfumes, and banish them in every other way. 

The Behavior Therapist calls this "negative reinforcement," and in treating a patient who is afraid of elevators he will not only reinforce (reward) every instance in which the patient rides an elevator without terror, but will also negatively reinforce (punish) each indication of terror shown by the patient. 

The Christian Scientist, of course, uses a mantra or spell which both reinforces health and negatively reinforces (banishes) illness.* Similarly, a commercial not only motivates the listener toward the sponsor's product but discourages interest in all "false gods"- by subsuming them under the rubric of the despised and contemptible Brand X. 

The basic Christian Science mantra, known as "The Scientific Statement of Being,"no less, is as follows: "There is no life, truth, intelligence nor substance in matter. All is infinite mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is all in all, Spirit is immortal truth: matter is mortal error. Spirit is the real and eternal; matter is the unreal and temporal. Spirit is God and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material, he is spiritual." The fact that these statements are, in terms of the scientific criteria, "meaningless," "non-operational," and "footless" is actually totally irrelevant. They work. Try them and see. As Aleister Crowley, no friend of Mrs. Eddy's, wrote, "Enough of Because! May he be damned for a dog!"


I don't want to seem like Randy Pan, the Goat Boy, but er that was the only reason I went to that piece of shit. If I had been in that test audience, the only one out front protesting that film would have been Michael Douglas demanding his part be put back in, alright? "I swear I was in that movie. I swear I was." "Gee Mike, the movie started. Sharon Stone was eating another woman for an hour and a half. Then the credits rolled. I err, I don't remember seeing your scrawny ass, Mike." "Was Bill Hicks in that test audience?" ha ha haw. Goat boy called it like he saw it Mikey. You made your 14 mill, now hit the fucking road. Goat boy has invited some people over to see the video premiere of the Goat-Boy Edited Version. Ha ha ha. I am Goat boy.

All its meant to do just like the Madonna sex book, is to titilate an ever increasing nude................ that Madonna book, almost a jaw-breaking fucking yawn did I have.Chohh Ohh. Is that it?. For 25 quid you can actually have sex, did you know that? Twice if you're in Stoke. No, the reason I know that, is ehh, they're having a big pottery recession there, and alot of the women y'know who used to make pots...Cool! it's an ashtray alright! Heres a fiver, thank you........ Cheers to you young lass."You have pleased Goatboy; Goatboy can now dance without a limp... do de di do..I am Goatboy, I am here for you." I need help. But what do people say about that movie Basic Instinct. 'It's great!' Why? 'You get to see Sharon Stone's pussy',oooh the hallmark of our......Yeah you get to see he pussy for one eight of a second, I timed it! Don't blink you might miss the plot. That's how bad that film is, 40 minutes into your going what a piece of shit, she goes... 'Did you just see her pussy? No I was drinking from my coke. Dude you missed it, we got to stay and watch this again. This could be the greatest film of the year; its so... deep.'That caused a rumpus, a raucos? Maybe you all don't know this, maybe that's the problem maybe, you have forgotten. Did you know there's movies you can rent with nothing but pussy, did you all know that? Yeah wohoo! One eight of a second of plot the rest of the film: pussy. The numbers are exactly reversed. One line of dialogue: "I'd like to see your pussy". "Goatboys personal favourite, the peach under pear imagery which Monet used to so such good affect in his blue ball period . C'mer my little fruit basket " "What do you want, Goat Boy? You big old smelly, shaggy thing?" Ho ho ho. Goat Boy is here to please you. "How?" Ha ha ha.

Tie me to your headboard, throw your legs over my shoulders and let me wear you like a feed-bag Pnaar wwww. "Aaargh!" Hold onto my horns. "Goat-Booooy!" Yes my love. "You're a big old smelly thing." Ha ha ha. I need professional help at this point I think I need a priest at this point. "Forgive me Father for I have sinned." "What have you done my son?" "Well, I said the word 'fuck' gratuitously." "Yes and what else, my son?" "Er... [giggles] I lied." "Yes and what else my son?" "That's about all, oh oh one thing I keep thinking I'm a randy goat, fucking everyone. Ha ha ha. baaaaaa" Unless of course it's a woman priest in which case it'll go like this: Forgive me Father for what I'm about to do. Dodoby doo. People ask me what I think about that woman priest thing, you know. What, a woman priest? Women priests. Great, great. Now there's priests of both sexes I don't listen to. Ha, fuck, I don't care. Have a hermaphrodite one. I don't fucking care. Have one with three dicks and eight titties, I don't , I don't... You know, have one with gills and a trunk.

That would be cool. I might go see that, you know, but... You know, I appreciate your quaint traditions and superstitions. I on the other hand am an evolved being who deals solely with the source of life, which exists in all of our hearts. Ha ha That middle man thing, it's wacky and I appreciate it... Gotta run, there's a voice a-callin' me. Ha ha ha. Now you guys are totally weird sexually. Here's why. Oh yeah, coming from Goat Boy, oh boy. "Yes Bill, and how is that? That we have human sex? Does that bother you Bill?" Goat Boy finds that disgusting. Where is the fun in that? Ha ha. Goat Boy loves young girls. 16 years old ooh Goat Boy, hello. "Hi Goat Boy you big old smelly thing. Ooh you smell like an old boot." Ha ha ha. I don't see you running away. "I'm not scared of you... Besides, your eyes are really kind and peaceful. Except for that fire that burns real far deep inside of 'em." Ha ha ha "Oh Goat Boy, what's that?" That is my purple wand, and my hairy sack of magic. "You do tricks?" Ha ha ha. "What can you do with that?" Goat Boy can make a bell ring in your stomach "What does that bell mean?" It calls Goat Boy to dinner Ha ha. Gnoor. "Goat Boy, aargh!" "Okay Bill, stop with the Goat boy thing, we get it alright. It's kinda amusing but... okay." You don't like Goat boy? Goat boy is hurt by your indifference. He wanted you to come dance with him in the pastures. Ding ding. Goat Boy wants to string flowers through your hair, and on your head. Do do do be do. "Why do you like young girls Goat Boy?" Because you are beautiful. There's nothing between your legs, it's like a wisp of cotton candy framing a paper cut. Ha ha ha. Gnor. And turn you around and open your cheeks, it's like a little pink quivering rabbit nostril. Oh how cute! I bet your asshole tastes better than most girls' pussies. Come here. Gnor. "Goat Boooy." Gnor. "Shaggy old thing. I'm not going to kiss you, I don't know where your mouth's been." Do you want me to tell you? "Okay, Bill seriously this Goat Boy thing, it's getting weird." Ha ha Except for some of my goat children. [laughs, points into the audience] "Mooore, Faaather, mooore, more Goat Boy, Faather. We are your goat children. We too lay in the forest waiting for young virgins to come." But you guys are weird, get this.


I'm walking down thought the West End one day right and this bus-load of tourists from Iowa gets off the bus. Big cow people, right? Bump into me and I go flying into this adult bookstore. And my hands were in my pockets and I took em out and money flew out of my hands and wafted down onto the cash register and this guy hands me a magazine. How embarrassing. I go home immediately to the hotel and throw it away. Toward the garbage, it breaks open, face up on the bed. Give me a break, Lord. But I'm looking at your British hard-core pornography which I just spent hard-core fucking dollars for. And I'm going, "something's wrong with this." Goat Boy will figure it out! I realise it's porno yeah just what we know and love, but there's blue dots covering all the good shit! Woah, whaaat's going on? There's a guy standing there like this. There's a woman kneeling, well... I believe she was like this. And there's this big blue dot right here. What the fuck! This comes off I hope. [mimes scratching] What you gotta buy the blue dot eraser separately. what the fuck? I'm an adult. Don' t protect me. Let's go! Goat Boy wants his money back. You know. And then I see a club in the West end that has this marquee sign, says Live Sex Show On Stage. I thought what a bummer actually have to be the guy that holds the blue dot. [Mimes moving a blue dot up and down] Alright but what's weird is, that's your hard core porno, then you go home, turn on Channel 4 late at night, there's people fucking yeah they're right there. No blue dot, just people fucking right there. Free, no money, people fucking. It's a foreign film, it's art all of a sudden. Hey. Put some subtitles in there. Here's your pussy, here, you got it. Everyone happy? There you go, it's art, godammit. Alright, I see. You pay, you get ripped off - free you get it all. Dig it, love it! I

I am available for children's parties by the way. "Mommy, I want Goat Boy to come play at our house." Ha ha ha . 'Dont touch him' hahhh. I appreciate ya'll coming out man. We're filming this for something. Probably my folks, who knows? "What does he do again? He wont let us in, he wont let us in to see him." I'm sure my parents will appreciate my little Goatboy act. John what is this Goat thing what is that? " "hahahaha. I am your son father I sprung from your loins, admit it!." [Laughter]


Whooh! It's weird not smoking, I'll tell you that. But I'm glad I quit y'know because I felt like to be honest with you I was on the wrong side of the war against drugs, because I smoked cigarettes and gave the tobacco lobbyists and the tobacco growers any more fuckin money for the poison they spread, and advertise all over our world thanks to: marketing! Hey [coughs] looks like that's 15 Luv. You know what I mean isn't that wild? y'know? The war on drugs to me is absolutely phoney, its so obviously phoney, ok? It's a war against our civil rights, that's all it is. They're using it to make us afraid to go out at night, afraid of each other, so that we lock ourselves in our homes and they get suspending our rights one by one. And the fight against the war against drugs . And we're so afraid "It all makes sense to us, it's good they're doing a good job" Because if the cared about us they'd get rid of the number one killer: cigarettes. Kills more people than all of the drugs times one hundred....legally. Marijuana, a drug that kills... no one.... and let's put in a timeframe... ever. Marijuana is against the law. Now you think Pot with those kinda statistics could walk into any debate on the legalisation of drugs with confidence don't you? "I am Pot I am going to meet nicotine and alcohol for a debate about legality hahaha" "Wait 'til they see my stats" "Frame up!" Why is pot against the law? It wouldn't be because anyone can grow it and therefore you can't make a profit off it would it? hahaha I'm spit balling but yeah ok yeah [clapping] alright yeah "Too fucking obvious Bill".

Cos I tell you what, if I wanted to have a war against drugs or I wanted a drug to be legal, it would not be alcohol sorry, the number two killer, or cigarettes the number one killer; it would be Marijuana. And you would have a better world instantly in front of your eyes.[clapping]..and I'll prove it to you. You're at a ball game, you're at a concert, someone's really violent, agressive and obnoxious, are they drunk [shout from audience] are they drunk or are they smoking pot? [silence] ...Exactly.[shout from audience] Yeah they're tripping dude, thanks. That was one of the choices. Have a fuckin cow man. We'll get to that, don't get ahead of me just cos you're tripping right now ok? "Hey I just read Bills mind, I saw him talking about acid while looking at the girls legs on the front row, it's weird" "Goatboy is caught". "Goatboy is embarrassed, he is blushing under his shaggy fur" [laughs to himself] "Goatboy whats that stuff caked around your mouth?" "Hahahaha, it's love flakes". "Dirty old thing, you smell like a sock filled with strawberries." "Hahaha" What was I talking about?


Oh yeah Pot. Y'know, you're at a ball game, you're at a concert someones is really violent agressive obnoxnious drunk or smoking pot? Drunk. Never have I seen people on pot get in a fight because, it's impossible. "Hey buddy? Hey what?" End of argument. Say you get in a car accident and you've been smoking pot ? You're only going 4 miles an hour. Crashhh "Shit we hit something." Forgot to open the garage door dude". Least no one was hurt. The garage door has to be replaced, boom!, a job is created! We could be a self perpetuating civilisation. Pay the garage fix it guy with pot. Boom, he walks out of your house through a plate glass window. Smassh. "Oh shit sorry". Thats ok, cos a job has been created. We'd just be a race of people walking around with tape and glue everywhere we go. "Hey howya doin?" "Cool, uh oh shit, sorry, here let me get that" "oh thanks" [mimics smoking] "ok see ya" "oh sorry let me get that'

Aaah, they lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Liiie. When you're high, you can do everything you normally do, just as well, you just realise, it's not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference. "(toke, toke, toke) Sure I can get up at dawn (toke, toke), go to a job I hate, that does not inspire me creatively whatsoever, for the rest of my fucking life. [toke, toke]Or I can wake up at noon and learn how to play the sitar!" Nging nging nging now. Pretty simple when it's spelled out in black and white isn't it? You know. Only thing I've ever heard about pot is that pot might lower sperm count. Good!


There's too many fucking people in the world. Someone needs to say that by the way. Tired of this, "Hey hey aren't we the coolest. Humans are so neat." Too many of yer. Quit rutting, just for a fucking day. Let's work out this food/air deal. Then go back to your rutting. Y'know, abortion completely diviided America, unbelievebly divisive, I've never seen anything like it. Even my friends, all very intelligent, totally divided on abortion. Some of my friends think these pro-life people are annoying idiots. Other of my friends think these pro-life people are evil fucks. [clapping] How are we gonna come to a consensus? I mean I'm torn. I think of them as evil annoying idiot fucks, but y'know I ehhhh I take the broad view y'know. 'The broad view' A pun we found a pun!. And we were'nt even looking for it. But even.... Y'know what bugs me? People waffling on the idea of abortion. Even, even pro-choice people, it bugs the shit outta me."We're not pro-abortion , we're pro-choice" " We just don't believe the government has a right to tell us what we can or cannot do with our own bodies" "We're not pro-abortion, we're pro-choice" Heyyy just say it. What the...... say it! Quit fuckin walking on eggs just say it! People suck, there's too many of em, and they're easier to kill when they're foetuses than when they're grown up. Oh sorry did the mask fall? Let me put that back on. "Hahahaaha" Arent people the keenest things you've ever seen? "They make Goatboy beam from ear to ear".

But I'll tell you this. Where's this idea that childbirth is a miracle came from. Ha, I missed that fucking meeting, okay? "It's a miracle, childbirth is a miracle." No it's not. No more than a miracle than eating food and a turd coming out of your ass. It's a chemical reaction, that's all it fucking is. If, you you wanna know what a miracle is. Raisin' a kid that doesn't talk in a movie theatre. Okay, there, there, there is a goddam miracle. It's not a miracle if every nine months any yin yang in the world can drop a litter of these mewling cabbages on our planet. And just in case you haven't seen the single mom statistics lately, the miracle is spreading like wild-fire. "Hallelujah!" Trailer parks and council flats all over the world just filling up with little miracles. Thunk, thunk, thunk, like frogs laying eggs. "Thunk, look at all my little miracles, thunk, filling up my trailer like a sardine can. Thunk. You know what would be a real miracle, if I could remember your daddy's name, aargh, thunk. I guess I'll have to call you Lorry Driver Junior. Thunk. That's all I remember about your daddy was his fuzzy little pot-belly riding on top of me shooting his caffeine ridden semen into my belly to produce my little water-headed miracle baby, urgh. There's your brother, Pizza Boy Delivery Junior." "Hallelujah!" Hold on for a minute, let's figure out this food/air deal okay? Okay. I'm just weird, you know? How about have a neat world for kids to come to? Ha haokay it's me, fuck it. Drop 'em like fucking flies, boom, just fill up the world with em. I just don't get it you know, I mean I'm sorry man, you know kids are fine, just keep em away from me. Alright there, alright.


Now get this, I've been travelling all over the country on British Air. No smoking on British Air. Now let me get this straight, no smoking, right, but they allow children. Little fairness, huh? "Well smoking bothers me." Well guess what? I was on this one flight right, I'm flying, I'm sleeping on the plane, I'm fucking "knackered". Very tired right and I feel this tapping on my head. And I look up and there's this little kid - loose! on the fucking plane, he's just loose. It's his playground in the sky. And he has decided that his job is to repetitively tap me on the top of the head. I look across the aisle at his mom. she's just smiling, you know. Guy next to the mom goes, "They're so cute when they're that small." Isn't that amazing, letting your kid run loose on a fucking plane. And then the kid runs over to the emergency exit and he starts flipping that handle to the door. And the guy next to the mom starts to get up, and I go, "Wait a minute... we're about to learn an important lesson right here." Kwoooshh. Boy you're right, the smaller he gets, the cuter he is. God, I wish I had a camera right now. With a telescopic lens. Love to get a picture of his face when his pudgy little legs hit that farmhouse down there. Aah, aah, kids. Ha hha. Stewardess, since we got a breeze in here can we smoke now? Fairly well circulated at this point. Woosh. True story. But, you know.


Pot, right. Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn't the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit... paranoid? You know what I mean? It's nature. How do you make nature against the fucking law? It grows everywhere. Serves a thousand different functions, all of them positive. To make marijuana against the law is like saying God made a mistake. You know what I mean, it's like God on the seventh day looked down on his creation: "There it is, my creation, perfect and holy in all ways. Now, I can rest." [Mimes God looking around - spotting pot] "Oh my me." "I left fucking pot everywhere." "I should never have smoked that joint on the third day ..shit." "That was the day I created possums. Haha. Still gives me a chuckle." "If I leave pot everywhere that's gonna to give humans the impression they're supposed to... 'use' it." "(sigh) Now I have to create Republicans." And God wept. I believe is the next verse. You know what I mean? I believe that God left certain drugs growing naturally upon our planet to help speed up and facilitate our evolution. Okay, not the most popular idea ever expressed. Either that or you're real high and agreeing with me in the only way you can right now. "I forgot the code, is it two blinks yes, one blink no?" Do you think magic mushrooms growing atop cow shit was an accident? Where do you think the phrase, 'that's good shit' came from? Why do you think Hindus think cows are holy? Holy shit! Why do I think MacDonalds is the Anti-Christ? That's God little accelerator pad for our evolution. Let's think about this, man.

For billions of years, sorry fundamentalists, we were nothing but apes. Hahahaha. Probably too stupid to catch a cow, you know. [Mimes ape chasing and losing a cow] [Ape spots shit] [Wipes it offf foot] [Eats mushroom - begins to giggle] [Laughs] [Laughs] [laughs hysterically before lying back spaced out] "I think we can go to the moon." ('Thus Spake Zarathustra' plays) [Applause] That is exactly how it fucking happened. Except for the marketing people whose belief is, "No, it was proven that er it might be a good market on the moon and eer and a lot of people went up there, good numbers, good space numbers..." Urgh. Save your story of creation please.

Not all drugs are good, now. Okay? Some of em are great. Just gotta know your way around em that's all. Yeah I've had good times on drugs. I've had bad times on drugs too. I mean shit, look at this haircut. There are dangers.One time me and three friends dropped acid drove around in my Dad's car, he's got one of those talking cars, we're tripping, the car goes "the door is ajar". We pulled over thought about that for 12 hours."How can a door be a jar?" "Shit I don't know but I see it, I see it. Why would they put a jar on a car man?" I'm proud of every moment in my life, alright? Think some of y'all have tripped here before perhaps yeah? I used to love tripping, man. There's always one guy when you're tripping who wants you to do something to enhance the trip. You know what I'm talking about. "You're tripping? Oh duuude, you gotta play miniature golf." [Bill hangs onto the table] Ha ha Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking, man. I'm just sitting over here watching the pyramids be built by UFOs right now, but get me to that fucking golf course. I'm watching Jesus flying around on a unicorn, but I bet that little miniature golf would be just the thing to make this trip... peak. So you guys can use your legs huh? No, it's just that I'm turning into a fish right now and er how 'bout I meet you there later? Thanks, I'm pretty fucking high right now. Thank you. You know.

You just gotta be careful, I don't know what you gotta be, fuck it. We got pulled over tripping on acid one night, pulled over by the cops. Don't recommend it. Cops don't appreciate fish driving around. They frown on that. Long night, man. Cops were tapping on this window. We're staring at him in this mirror. "How tall are you?" "A liddle cop, look at him!" "How does he drive that big fucking car?" "Urr, there could be thousands of them, shit!" "What are we gonna do?" "Let's put him in the jar." Made perfect sense at that moment. Put him in a jar, poke some holes in the lid, leave him by the road. "You'll never get us copper. Haha." "We'll send some little firemen to let you out." "Hey I bet they know where the miniature golf course is!" "Boo! Haha.. Fuck it, they scared us." "Son d'you wanna stand up please?" "I just found the driver." "We don't need a driver, we're playing miniature golf." True story. Now, later, when I was released [laughter] I mean spiritually... Oh God. "I need to see some ID." "I'm me, he's him, you're you." "Put your hands against the car please." "Which one. The UFO, the unicorn or your cruiser?" I

I mean why do we fear these things? I don't get it. I think an attitude of compassion might help us alot more than fear, personally. Y'know? And I figured out a way to perhaps make everyone happy about drugs, are ya ready? How about this? Here's a way we can do it, make everyone happy. For those people who believe drugs should be legalised, legalise them. And, for those people who believe they should'nt be, they're not, they never were, don't worry, we're cracking down. There! Now everyone is happy. I am the weaver.[Laughs to himself] Drugs have done good things for us! Ok, not the most popular idea ever expressed, or you're agreeing with me in the very special way that you have learned."Is it two blinks left eye one blink right eye?" "Fuck it this is too may rules" "Yeah Bill, just get to the dick jokes, we're with ya" "Just don't do that Goatboy thing, that was weird" "Hahahaha, you love Goatboy admit it! Come dance with goatboy under the moon light". Drugs have done good things for us, if you don't believe they have, do me a favour - take all your albums, tapes and CDs and burn em cos you know what, the musicians who made that great music that has enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrrrreal fucking high, ha ha ha ho ho. ok


The Beatles were so high they let Ringo sing a couple of tunes. Tell me they weren't paryting, 'We all live in a yellow submarine' We all live in a....yell ....I've never been that high. When I was having the pyramids build the UFO dream...trip... that fuckin yellow submarine trip was on the horizon. When I was having Jesus flying around on a unicorn I could barely make out the periscope of the yellow submarine. 'What's that way fuckin out there?' Past the UFOS, passed the Pyramids, passed Jesus on a unicorn, passed the fish: its a fuckin yellow submarine. I'm not that high yet. Who's that walking out to it with the big nose and the bad haircut? Thats fuckin Ringo! Can you imagine how high he is right now! Fuccck! I want that Ringo shit. And these other musicians today who don't do drugs and in fact speak out against them? Boy, do they suck! What a coincidence! Ball-less, souless, spiritless corporate little bitches, suckers of Satan's cock, each and every one of them. Gnorr. "We're rock stars against drugs cos that's what the President wants." Aw, suck Satan's cock. That's what we want isn't it, government approved rock n roll? Whooh, we're partying now! "We're rock stars who do Pepsi Cola commercials." Gnorr. Suck Satan's cock. Put that big scaly pecker down your gullet. Drink that black worm jism. Drink it! Fill your little bellies. Ha ha ha. Send in Vanilla Ice. Hello Vanilla. Says here on your application, you have no talent, and yet you want to be a star. I think something can be arranged. Whuh. Suck Satan's cock. Gnoor. I will lower the standards of the earth. I will put 56 channels of American Gladiators on every TV. I will put all the money in the hands of 14 year old girls. They will think you are charismatic, deep and edgy. GnnooOOooOor. Send in MC Hammer on your way out.

Hello Hammer. Back again, huh? Boy, that Hammer. There was another boat that left me on the island, man. "Bill, are you gonna get on the Hammer boat with us?" "No, I'd rather stay here and eat my own flesh." Beep, beep. Totally mystifying, I mean, you know you could sit and explain it to me from now until, well, the end of time, and I'll go, "Fucking don't get it, man." I, It.. it's geni.. it's con, genital? it's err genetic!. Maybe it is genital, Hay, wait a minute. Freud, come here! "Hammer's a great dancer." Whaaat? The guy's gotta a sand crab in his knickers. [Dances] He's not dancing, he's having a fit! That's Satan's sperm eating its way through the lining of his stomach. Gnoor. 15 minutes almost up, Hammer! Ooorgh argh. Ha ha ha. Send in Marky Mark. Its good for the voice. Hey dont fuck with me man. You know what I mean though, am I the only one that's fucking lost here?


You never see positive drugs stories on the news, do ya. Isn't that weird cos most of the experiences I've had on drugs, were rrreal fucking positive. Er. Who are these morons they're finding that's what I wanna know. I used to want to call the news, "Come over to our house! Watch Tommy, he's a pig, film him!" "Oink oink." "Hee hee, he's been doing that for hours. He's killing us. You getting all that?" You know what I mean. Always that same LSD story, you've all seen it. "Young man on acid, thought he could fly, jumped out of a building. What a tragedy." What a dick, fuck him! He's an idiot. If he thought he could fly, why didn't he take off from the ground first? Check it out. You don't see ducks lining up to catch elevators to fly South. They fly from the ground, you moron. Quit ruining it for everybody. He's a moron, he's dead, good. We lost a moron, fucking celebrate. Boy I just felt the world get lighter - we lost a moron. Put on the Hammer album, I'm ready to dance! [dances] "We lost a moron." I don't mean to sound cold or cruel or vicious, but I am so that's the way it comes out. Professional help is being sought.

How about a positive LSD story? Wouldn't that be news-worthy, just the once? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstitions and lies? I think it would be news-worthy. 

"Today, a young man on acid realised that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we're the imagination of ourselves." 

"Here's Tom with the weather." 

"Wow! Did you see the fuckin news!" By the way that thing I just did about matter is energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one conssciousness experiencing itself subjectively, and dadada, that thing I just did? Einstein proved that [laughs] It's called quantum physics. 

Anyway I was tripping one day with Al, which was really weird, cos he's dead. And I said Al do you notice the walls are fuckin breathing right now? "Bill I noticed the same thing, I've got to jot some numbers down real quick, I just had a fuckin idea" "I saw your head light up like a fuckin bulb Al, this is unbelievable. Its called quantum physics, its called the 20th century, we'll get there one day. [Mumbles] "Its against" Are there any questions folks? [Silence] Thank you! I'm glad I inspire such fuckin interest in ya.

[What bout your parents?] My parents, my parents love my ass man. 

"Bill honey do your Goatboy sketch for your Mama. Hahahaha Sean everyone at the Church wants to know when you're gonna do that Goatboy eat the pussy routine ehhh They all wanna come out and se my boy perform Goatboy and ehhhh "Ha thank you father bring out your Church-going friends, let them get close to my shaggy fur and my pungent odour. Let me see ladies drop their purses and take off their shoes and come dance with Goatboy in the forest. Do do di doo. I parents. [Belinda Carylsle she's beautiful] Belinda Carlysle? Fuck you guys are 5 years behind us. Shit, How weird.

I really do love it here man. I've had a great time here, it's been absolutely fantast....I love being over here in general. You're ehhh , everything is cool about it. The food....well y'know. And y'know. First of all you dont boil pizza.[laughter] nononono I'm not judging you. And these chips, these chips. theyre french fries to us, you call em chips......enough! I love french fries, don't get me wrong. If you leave here'll be wrong. But every fuckin time ya eat, that's too many fries, you're over your spud quoata. I saw hookers on London streets going "Head and chips" You may think you have gotten good head before but unless you have a big hot piping plate of fries..... very civilized, we could learn alot from you guys. You an ancient country steeped, and we a young upstart nation of morons - with all the nuclear bombs! [giggles] I don't know how it worked out that way, we were playing in the lab [laughs] and suddenly we ruled London.[giggles] I don't get it.


You've been fantastic and I hope you enjoyed it. There is a point, is there a point to all of this? Let's find a point. Is there a point to my act? I would say there is. I have to. The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. [Audience member shouts 'bollocks'] There is a lot denial in this ride, the ride, in fact, is made up of denial "All things work in Goatboys favour". The world is like a ride at an amusement park. It goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, "hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride..." And we... kill those people. Ha ha "Shut him up." "We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real." Just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. Jesus mudered; Martin Luther King mudered; Malcolm X murdered; Gandhi murdered; John Lennon murdered; Reagan.... wounded. But it doesn't matter because: It's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love.

The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defences each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace. Thank you very much, you've been great. [Applause] I hope you enjoyed it. London, you were fantastic, thank you, thank you very much. [bow] [bow] [three shots ring out - Bill crumples to the ground] 

CUT: Bill slams against the Monolith, and slides to the ground 

CUT: the riderless white horse walks along the road, away from the camera 

VO: It's Just A Ride... It's Just A Ride...

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Here is Wisdom

"Today, a young man on acid realised that :

  • All matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. 

  • That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. 

  • There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream and we're the imagination of ourselves." 

"Here's Tom with the weather." 

"Wow! Did you see the fuckin news!" By the way that thing I just did about matter is energy condensed to a slow vibration, we are all one conssciousness experiencing itself subjectively, and dadada, that thing I just did? 

Einstein proved that...! 
[Cosmic Manic Joker Laugh]

Not Complete, Even Though Correct.

 It's called Quantum Physics. 

Anyway I was tripping one day with Al, which was really weird, cos he's dead.

 And I said 'Al do you notice the walls are fuckin breathing right now?'

"Bill I noticed the same thing, I've got to jot some numbers down real quick, I just had a fuckin idea" 

"I saw your head light up like a fuckin bulb Al, this is unbelievable. 

Its called Quantum Physics
its called The 20th Century... 
We'll get there one day. "

You've been fantastic and I hope you enjoyed it.

 There is a point - is there a point to all of this...? 

Let's find a point. 

Is there a point to my act? 

I would say there is. I have to.

The world is like a Ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it's Real because that's how powerful our minds are. 

[Audience member shouts 'bollocks'

There is a lot denial in this ride, the ride, in fact, is made up of denial "All things work in Goatboys favour". 

The world is like a ride at an amusement park. It goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while

Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, "Is this Real, or is this Just a Ride? 

And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, 

"Hey - don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride..." 

And we... 
Kill those people. 

Ha ha !!

"Shut him up!" 

"We have a lot invested in this ride! 
Shut him up! 

Look at my furrows of worry. 

Look at my big bank account and my family. 

This just has to be real." 

Just a ride. 

But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok?

Jesus : 

Martin Luther King :

Malcolm X : 

Gandhi : 

John Lennon : 

Reagan : 

But it doesn't matter because: 

It's Just a Ride. 
And we can change it anytime we want. 

It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. 

A choice, right now, between fear and love.

The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. 

The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one

Here's what we can do to change The World, right now, to a better ride :

Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defences each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, Forever, in Peace. 

Thank you very much, you've been great. 

I hope you enjoyed it. 

London, you were fantastic, thank you, thank you very much. 

[bow] [bow] 

[three shots ring out - Bill crumples to the ground] 

Friday, 2 June 2017

Stephen King

"Harris & Klebold may be dead, but they're going to be mighty lively for awhile. 

Believe me on this. 

I know a good deal about spooks, and more than I want to about boys who play with guns."

Stephen King's Keynote Address
Vermont Library Conference
VEMA Annual Meeting
May 26, 1999
The Bogeyboys by Stephen King

When I speak in public, a thing I do as rarely as possible, I usually don't speak from a prepared text and I hardly ever try to say anything serious; to misquote Mark Twain, I feel that anyone looking for a moral should be hung and anyone looking for a plot should be shot. Today, though, I want to talk about something very serious indeed: adolescent violence in American schools. This outbreak has become so serious that a bus driver from Conyers, Georgia, interviewed last week on the CBS Evening News, suggested that the slang term "going postal" may soon be changed to "going pupil." I suggest that a great many parts of American society have contributed to creating this problem, and that we must all work together to alleviate it...and I use the word "alleviate" rather than "cure" because I don't think any cure, at least in the sense of a quick fix--that is what Americans usually mean by cure; fast-fast-fast relief, as the aspirin commercials used to say-I don't think that sort of cure is possible. This is a violent society. Law enforcement statistics suggest it may not be as violent now as it was fifteen years ago, but it's really too early to tell; we may only be witnessing a blip on the graph.

America was born in the violence of the Boston Massacre, indemnified in the violence of Bull Run, Gettysburg, and Shiloh Church, shamed by the violence of the Indian Wars, reaffirmed by the violence of two world wars, a police action in Korea, and the conflict in Vietnam. Most of the guns carried in those armed actions were carried by boys about the age of the Littleton killers and not much older than Thomas Solomon, the Conyers, Georgia, shooter. These wars-as well as the Star Wars of the future-can be fought at the local mall's video arcade for fifty cents a pop.

History aside, we suffer from road rage, fear home invasion, and enjoy watching Jerry Springer's guests mix it up on afternoon TV. Once the burglar alarm is set, that is. We like guns, and too many unstable folks have access to them. Some, we are learning, aren't even old enough to shave yet. It is these young killers-- these young guns, to use the title of a popular movie of about twelve years ago--who trouble us. And they trouble us a lot. Hundreds of kids kill themselves on America's highways each month, but even when a large number of them die together, it rarely makes national news. We understand the underlying causes, you see--usually these boil down to the same lethal mix: inexperience, alcohol, and that adolescent belief, both endearing and terrifying, that God put them on earth to live forever. When the deaths come as a result of gunfire and explosions, we either don't understand or tell ourselves we don't. Our fear spawns a creature with no face, one I know very well: it's the bogeyman. When kids die on the highway, it's sad but not nationwide news. When the bogeyman strikes, however...that's different. Then everyone, even the politicians, take notice.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were eighteen and seventeen respectively when they blew their dangerous, unhappy brains out, neither one old enough to buy a legal sixpack, or rent a car, or get more than simple liability coverage on an automobile of his own. Not old enough to be bogeymen, in other words, but they are genuine frighteners, all the same. They have closed schools in many states and caused massive absenteeism in others, where not even an outright threat of violence is now needed to unsettle children, teachers, and parents; vague rumors ("a guy I know heard about a guy who's got a gun...") or an anonymous e- mail is enough.

As the most recent incident in Georgia so clearly illustrates, Harris and Klebold will continue to participate in the American educational process between now and the end of the school year. Harris and Klebold, too young to be bogeymen; call them bogeyboys, if you like. I think that fits them very well.

That I feel pity for these bogeyboys should surprise no one; I have been drawn again and again to stories of the powerless and disenfranchised young, and have written three novels about teenagers driven to murder: Carrie (1974), Rage (published in 1977 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman), and Apt Pupil (1982). In Carrie, a girl who is ceaselessly tormented by her classmates murders most of them at the senior prom after one final, gruesome trick pushes her over the edge. In a sense she was the original riot girl. In Rage, a boy named Charlie Decker brings a gun to school, kills a teacher with it, then holds his algebra class hostage until the police end the siege by shooting him.

In Apt Pupil, a boy named Todd Bowden discovers a Nazi war criminal living on his block and brings the old man back to a dangerous vitality. On the surface, Todd is the perfect California high school kid. Beneath, he's fascinated by the Holocaust and the power wielded by the Nazis; a member of the Trenchcoat Mafia, in fact, without the trenchcoat. After a long (and increasingly psychotic) dance with his pet Nazi, Todd is found out. His response, not shown in the movie which played theaters briefly last year, is to take a high-powered rifle to a nearby freeway, where he shoots at anyone who moves until he is killed. His death is, in fact, what police now sometimes call "blue suicide."

I sympathize with the losers of the world and to some degree understand the blind hormonal rage and ratlike panic which sets in as one senses the corridor of choice growing ever narrower, until violence seems like the only possible response to the pain. And although I pity the Columbine shooters, had I been in a position to do so, I like to think I would have killed them myself, if that had been the only choice, put them down the way one puts down any savage animal that cannot stop biting. There comes a point at which the Harrises and the Klebolds become unsalvageable, when they pass through some phantom tollbooth and into a land where every violent impulse is let free. At this point, the societal issues cease to matter and there is only the job of saving as many people as possible from what seems to me to be actual evil, in the Old Testament sense of that word. Although the pundits, politicians, and psychologists hesitate at the word- -I hesitate at it myself--nothing else seems to fit the sweep of these acts and the wreckage left behind. And in the presence of evil, any pity or sympathy we feel must be put aside and saved for the victims.

This point of no return can almost always be avoided before the shooting and killing begins, and it usually is. Violence on the level of that committed at Columbine High School is still rare in American society, although it may well now become more common; there is a powerful reverb unit hooked up to the already- amplified teenage culture-politic. In that amp-cult, things like huffing, tattooing, and body-piercing spread almost at the speed of e-mail; the lure of the gun may spread in much the same way. And the guns are out there. As I said in The Stand, at some tiresome length, all that stuff is out there, just lying around and waiting for the wrong person to pick it up.

To some degree, what happened at Columbine happened because of what happened in Jonesboro, Arkansas (five murdered), Paducah, Kentucky (three murdered), and Springfield, Oregon (four murdered, two parents and two kids at a school dance). Similarly, the shootings and rumors of shootings in the weeks and months ahead will happen because of Harris and Klebold and Columbine High; because of T.J. Solomon and Heritage High. It's an amp-cult thing. Harris & Klebold may be dead, but they're going to be mighty lively for awhile. Believe me on this. I know a good deal about spooks, and more than I want to about boys who play with guns.

In the wake of the shootings, film and TV and book people have pointed the finger at the gun industry and at that ever-popular bogeyman, the NRA. The gun people point right back, saying that America's entertainment industry has created a culture of violence. And, behind it all, we are bombing the living hell out of Yugoslavia, because that's the way we traditionally solve our problems when those pesky foreign leaders won't do what we think is right. So who is really to blame? My answer is all of the above. And I speak from some personal experience and a lot of soul-searching.

I can't say for sure that Michael Carneal, the boy from Kentucky who shot three of his classmates dead as they prayed before school, had read my novel, Rage, but news stories following the incident reported that a copy of it had been found in his locker. It seems likely to me that he did. Rage had been mentioned in at least one other school shooting, and in the wake of that one an FBI agent asked if he could interview me on the subject, with an eye to setting up a computer profile that would help identify potentially dangerous adolescents. The Carneal incident was enough for me. I asked my publisher to take the damned thing out of print. They concurred. Are there still copies of Rage available? Yes, of course, some in libraries where you ladies and gentlemen ply your trade. Because, like the guns and the explosives and the Ninja throwing-stars you can buy over the Internet, all that stuff is just lying around and waiting for someone to pick it up.

Do I think that Rage may have provoked Carneal, or any other badly adjusted young person, to resort to the gun? It's an important question, because it goes to the very heart of the wrangle over who's to blame. You might as well ask if I believe that the mere presence of a gun makes some people want to use that gun. The answer is troubling, but it needs to be faced: in some cases, yes. Probably it does. Often? No, I don't believe so. How often is too often? That's not for me or any other single person to say. It's a question each part of our society must answer for itself, as each state, for instance, must answer the question of when a kid is old enough to have a driver's license or buy a drink.

There are factors in the Carneal case which make it doubtful that Rage was the defining factor, but I fully recognize that it is in my own self-interest to feel just that way; that I am prejudiced in my own behalf. I also recognize the fact that a novel such as Rage may act as an accelerant on a troubled mind; one cannot divorce the presence of my book in that kid's locker from what he did any more than one can divorce the gruesome sex-murders committed by Ted Bundy from his extensive collection of bondage-oriented porno magazines. To argue free speech in the face of such an obvious linkage (or to suggest that others may obtain a catharsis from such material which allows them to be atrocious only in their fantasies) seems to me immoral. That such stories, video games (Harris was fond of a violent computer-shootout game called Doom), or photographic scenarios will exist no matter what--that they will be obtainable under the counter if not over it--begs the question. The point is that I don't want to be a part of it. Once I knew what had happened, I pulled the ejection-seat lever on that particular piece of work. I withdrew Rage, and I did it with relief rather than regret.

If, on the other hand, you were to ask me if the presence of potentially unstable or homicidal persons makes it immoral to write a novel or make a movie in which violence plays a part, I would say absolutely not. In most cases, I have no patience with such reasoning. I reject it as both bad thinking and bad morals. Like it or not, violence is a part of life and a unique part of American life. If accused of being part of the problem, my response is the time-honored reporter's answer: "Hey, many, I don't make the news, I just report it."

I write fantasies, but draw from the world I see. If that sometimes hurts, it's because the truth usually does. John Steinbeck was accused of gratuitous ugliness when he wrote about the migration of the Okies to California in The Grapes of Wrath, even of trying to foment a domestic revolution, but most of his accusers--like those who made similar accusations against Upton Sinclair when he wrote about the corrupt putrescence of the meat-packing industry in The Jungle--were people who preferred fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. Sometimes the truth of how we live is just ugly, that's all. But to turn aside from these truths out of some perceived delicacy, or to give in to the idea that writing about violence causes violence, is to embrace hypocrisy. In Washington, hypocrisy breeds politicians. In the arts, it breeds pornography.

My stories of adolescent violence were all drawn, in some degree, from my own memories of high school. That particular truth, as I recalled it when writing as an adult, was unpleasant enough. I remember high school as a time of misery and resentment. In Iroquois trials of manhood, naked warriors were sent running down a gauntlet of braves swinging clubs and jabbing with the butt ends of spears. In high school the goal is Graduation Day instead of a manhood feather, and the weapons are replaced by insults, slights, and epithets, many of them racial, but I imagine the feelings are about the same. The victims aren't always naked, and yet a good deal of the rawest hazing does take place on playing fields and in locker rooms, where the marks are thinly dressed or not dressed at all. The locker room is where Carrie starts, with girls throwing sanitary napkins at a sexually ignorant girl who thinks she is bleeding to death.

I don't trust people who look back on high school with fondness; too many of them were part of the overclass, those who were taunters instead of tauntees. These are the ones least likely to understand the bogeyboys and to reject any sympathy for them (which is not the same as condoning their acts, a point which should not have to be made but which probably does). They are also the ones most likely to suggest that books such as Carrie and The Catcher in the Rye and A Separate Peace be removed from libraries. I submit to you that these people have less interest in reducing the atmosphere of violence in schools than they may have in forgetting how badly some people--they themselves, in some cases--may have behaved while there.

And still...for a' that and a' that, as Robert Burns says, the amp-cult atmosphere of make-believe violence in which so many children now live has to be considered part of the problem. We may like our Jackie Chan movies, Walker Texas Ranger on TV, and the ultra-violent survivalist paperback novels--not to mention the pseudo-religious novels in which the Tribulation Days promised in the Book of Revelations are depicted in gory detail--but we need to recognize that these things are hurting us, just as so many of us had to recognize that our cigarettes were hurting us, much as we enjoyed them.

Yet there are other touchstones of the bogeyboy environment, and many of them have little to do with books or films. Bogeyboys are profoundly out of touch with their parents, and their parents are likewise out of touch with them. They gravitate toward groups run by adults and along quasi-military lines: scouting groups, karate and martial arts clubs, military and paramilitary groups, collector-clubs. The biggest exception has to do with sports. Bogeyboys rarely win school letters...except of course, if the school they attend happens to have a rifle-shooting team.

Bogeyboys come from families where the other sibs have been singled out for recognition in sports activities, academics, performing arts, church, or community service programs. Parents or other close relatives are often career military personnel. Bogeyboys do not win foot-races, get kissed by the Homecoming Queen, or garner blue ribbons. They are profoundly inarticulate and don't date much (Eric Harris was turned down when he asked a girl to go to the prom with him). At home, they stay in their rooms. If pressed, the parents of bogeyboys will often admit that they were afraid of these children long before they broke out and committed their acts of violence. If they add that they can't say exactly why they were afraid, no one need be surprised; these parents, often bright, nonabusive, and community-active, are rarely skilled at communication within the family. One wishes such families would read together, let some writer who is reasonably articulate do their talking for them, but of course this rarely happens.

Bogeyboys make few friends, and those they do make are often as crazy and balefully confused as they are. Their mutual attraction, sometimes homoerotic, has its own amp-cult effect as the friends begin to harmonize their lives, duplicating each others' favorite clothes, records, movies, video games, and Internet chat-rooms. (Books, violent or otherwise, are rarely a bright color in the Bogeyboy entertainment spectrum.) These cultural touchstones, from Metallica ("Exit light/enter night," is how the chorus to one song begins) and Marilyn Manson to films such as Scream, create a language for those who cannot speak otherwise. For awhile it may suffice; it may suffice long enough, even, for something to change before terrible, irrevocable acts are committed. In some cases, however, the pressure becomes too great. Unable to internalize their feelings of anger and inadequacy, unable to externalize them by talking freely to anyone, the boiler finally ruptures and the steam shoots out sideways. Anyone in the way gets scalded. In Colorado, twelve of them were scalded to death.

Bogeyboys, it goes without saying, also always have access to guns. But in America, doesn't everyone, when you get right down to it? Isn't it fair to say that in America, one of the great religions is The Holy Church of the Nine-Millimeter? The gun people don't like to hear it, but I think it has to be said. And if we in the arts are willing to own up to the blood on our hands, I think they need to own up to the blood on theirs.

But I repeat that it is useless at this point to get into the whole bad-culture versus gun-availability argument; it has degenerated to the point where one almost expects to see bumper stickers reading GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, AC/DC CDS KILL PEOPLE. And in any case, both camps are operating not out of any real thought but out of two powerful fears. The first is that they will be blamed...and that they will deserve to be blamed. The second is more primal, and that is the fear of ghosts. Bogeyboys, drifting through the hallways of Everyhigh, U.S.A., whispering to the disenfranchised and the spat-upon that there is a way to even things up, that there is a lot of potent get-even medicine in a Tec-9 or a pipe bomb.

May I be blunt? This fear is that the violence isn't ending but only beginning. It isn't completely rational, but I think I also understand that irrational fears are often the most powerful of all. In this case, the unstated idea is that we have lived well while most of the world lives badly, eaten well while too much of the world goes hungry or actually starves, dressed our children in the best, much of it made by children in other countries who have little but their dreams, many of which are the violent American dreams they see on TV. We have had all this, some of us--maybe a lot of us--seem to think, and there must be a price. There must be a payment. Perhaps there must even be a judgment. Then into our uneasy minds come the images of the bogeyboys, who shot so well because they had trained on their home computers, and on the video games down at the mall.

President Clinton has made a few feeble swipes at addressing this issue, but one can only gape at the unintentionally comic spectacle of this man chastising the gun-lobby and America's love of violent movies while he rains bombs on Yugoslavia, where at least twenty noncombatants have already died for every innocent student at Columbine High. It is like listening to a man with a crack-pipe in his hand lecture children about the evils of drugs.

There are solutions, and there is also a calming sense of perspective that needs to be brought into play. The perspective begins with realizing that most kids in school are not bogeyboys but plain old good kids, interested in getting educations and having pleasant social lives, not necessarily in that order. The long-term solutions lie where they always have, in family lives which emphasize love, communication, and a knowledge of what the kids are up towho they're seeing, what they're saying, and what they may be using to get high on come the weekend.

One immediate solution, or a step toward it, lies in the guidance offices of American high schools, where a better, stronger effort has to be made to identify potential Eric Harrises, Dylan Klebolds, and Thomas Solomons; there needs to be a quantum shift of emphasis from job guidance to psychological guidance (although sometimes they are the same). When such guidance is rejected, there needs to be a process to remove potentially violent children from school environments. The ACLU won't like it, but I don't imagine such Columbine High students as John Tomlin and Rachel Scott much like being dead instead of at the Senior Prom. And if we are going to restrict the right of liberal Constitution-watchers to get innocent kids killed, we need to restrict the right of the gun lobby to get them killed, as well; this country needs to restrict the sale of handguns much more strictly than it has up to now been willing to do. Background checks at gunshows is only a first step.

And yes, there needs to be a re-examination of America's violent culture of the imagination. It needs to be done soberly and calmly; a witch-hunt won't help. Never mind burning Marilyn Manson's records in great fundamentalist bonfires or removing Anne Rice novels from the local library because they might give a few unempowered dweebs the idea of donning Goth clothing and powdering their faces white; let's go beyond the question of whether or not the next crop of natural born killers are currently honing their skills in Arcade 2000 at the local mall. It's time for an examination of why Americans of all ages are so drawn to armed conflict (Rambo), unarmed conflict (World Federation Wrestling), and images of violence. These things are not just speaking to potential teenage killers, but to a great many of us. Their hold on the national psyche has progressed to a point where the Columbine murders dominate our headlines and possess our thoughts to the exclusion of much else, including the mass exodus of a million Kosovars and the world's most dangerous armed conflict since Vietnam.

Harris and Klebold are dead and in their graves, but we are in terror of them all the same; they are the Red Death in our richly appointed castle (where, as the twenty-first century approaches and the stock market daily bops its way to new highs, the party has never been more feverishly gay). They are our bogeyboys, and perhaps the real first step in making them go away is to decide what it is about them that frightens us so much. It is a discussion which must begin in families, schools, libraries, and in public forums such as this. Which is why I have begged your attention and yourindulgence on such an unappetizing subject.

Thank you.

Copyright 1999 by Stephen King.

THE driver whose van struck and nearly killed the horror writer Stephen King last year has been found dead at his home after telling friends that he could not face another winter.

Bryan Smith, 43, had become increasingly isolated after the accident near North Lovell, Maine, in which King suffered multiple injuries and nearly lost a leg.

The author of Carrie and The Shining had pushed for Mr Smith to be charged with aggravated assault, which could have led to a jail sentence, and mocked him in a New Yorker article as "a character out of one of my own novels". Mr Smith, who had been left disabled by a building site accident, received a suspended sentence and lost his driving licence.

A post mortem examination found no signs of violence. King said yesterday that he was "very sorry to hear of the passing of Bryan Smith". He said: "The death of a 43-year-old man can only be termed untimely."

The author had been criticised for pursuing what some saw as a vendetta against Mr Smith, whose lawyers complained that he could not get a fair trial. Carl Magee, a friend of Mr Smith, said: "I could go out and run over a little kid; it could happen to any of us. All I'm saying is, with an average Joe, none of this would have happened. But Stephen King is on national television, he's moaning and whining."

Mr Smith, who had been taking painkillers for a back injury, was found dead in his caravan home at Freyburg, Maine, on Friday. John Thompson, another friend, said: "Bryan had nothing left. He said to me, 'I'd hate to go through another winter dragging my way up and down the highway in the snow'."