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Shenzhen Safari Ⅴ

Are you Toxic, Phalli? #

Mushrooms…A wonder of nature; neither animal, nor plant?
Or a unified alien life-form, angelic and demonic?
With one mis-identification leading to internal organ failure.
Permanent cancellation. Id est: Death.

Mercifully, real-life doesn’t always tend to such terminal extremities, all the time. (Contrary to a modicum of exposure to any online media.) It is the pollution of our being through attending to the worries and voices of sensational others that has brought us here.

Ending Bell Curve #

The phenotypical bell-curve is a knife-edge, and the middle is no smooth ride. It is a micron-wide, teflon-coated cliff. Claws and skin-friction cannot save us. Kneaded and painted into ugly balls of starry dust, we fall onto the edge. Void of agency, flayed of free will, pooling at the bottom of a freezing psychological cesspit.

What is the cure for being cooked alive in the bile of a billion vitriolic bots? #

Fashion is mutation. An ongoing experiment, combining, testing, and playing with prior knowledge, in the hope of finding some pleasing novelty. A short-lived means of expression of self. We wear masks and costumes with varying degrees of conscious effort. Sometimes thoughtlessly applying other's sensibilities. Sometimes taking ownership of how we project and impress ourselves into the hierarchy of friends and enemies, and indeterminable others.

Textual Tension #

Much like the clothes we wear, and the constructed personality we share (with others), the technology enabling global human consciousness is subject to the whims of fashion.

My own interest and knowledge of this dominating matrix casts back to 1993. With a magical spell, and binary screeching banshee modem, you could explore text-based communication with strangers.

Loosely topic-based chat-rooms, like bars, populated with regulars and curious visitors. Forming new cultures with new etiquette and manners, or the absence thereof.

Ethereal, and anonymous play #

Users coined there own "handles" (names hinting at their assumed identity). One could fathom multiple names and identities, so when another asked "A/S/L?", we could respond with whatever age, sex, and location we were actively inhabiting.

For me this form of play was gradually phased out by my emerging adolescence and a desire for the sensory and egoic experiences only available in the highest plane: basic received reality.

Earth(l)ing: Basic Received Reality #

My eyes disconnected from the internet, and fixated on the fairer sex and fellowships. At times, a hybrid existence through late-night MSN Messenger sessions with multiple peers: 1-to-1 exchanges. Building bonds in the first open window, marinating an attraction in another, and clumsily groping in a third.

Having the good fortune, perhaps, to have grown-up in a time where human mycelium networks were hyper-local, with occasional voyages of far-flung discovery. Teenage years transitioned from landline telephones, to 160 character green matrix mobile phone text messages and private calls. From ethereal chat-rooms to a hotmail.com anchored MSN-identity.

Humanity can cooperate at a massive scale. But it is yet early days of mutating mindsets and toolsets for the scale we are experiencing now, let alone the exponential acceleration of technology away from human identity and capability.

The Dimmest and Darkest Net Age #

Some may find it hard to compartmentalise the extreme, spiky feelings of nihilism and Epicureanism at play here. The possibility that I and my generation—a plague of locusts—have eaten up the crop of the Golden Wonder Age, leaving barren fields. I do not.

The dawning Dark Technological Age is barely resistible. How many barbs and leeches cut and suckle at you now? Short bursts of hormones, expertly realised by human-constructed algorithms, solely-aimed at harvesting eyeballs, to accumulate and reinforce imaginary values and fashionable ethics, serving faceless imagined monsters. Not humankind. Not human progress. Not any human individual. Not any noble goal. But another matrix we meekly allow to drain our imagination and creativity in exchange for a pittance of easy pleasure, drip-fed.

Sleeper Awaken #

I ask again.
How much do you attend to the voices of others?
And what is the cure for being cooked alive in the bile of a billion robot slaves?

Throw away your sword. It has as much power as the tiniest mote of dust against the weakest summer breeze or curdled instant coffee breath admonishment. Salvation is through a multi-layered shield that only you can smith, in time.

A Prototype Mycelic/Onion Shield, aka Self-help Halitosis #

1. Agency, Vision, Purposeful Movement (Batteries not Included) #

If we accept that meaning is not included in life, then we must make our own.
Motivate us to do anything. External force? Internal fire.
Minute to month to millennia, success can snowball, break, and snowball again.

2. Information Need and Load #

How much new data do you actually need to move now?
Can you organise and manage tiny personal goals among the miasma of societal pressure, without succumbing to victim-hood in the bile bathtub?

Not always. You're human, not perfect.

Recognising that you've put yourself in the bathtub, and you might need to exercise mental and physical muscles to get back out is the first step.

3. Critical Reflection, Now #

Okay, you're out the tub and making progress.
Here's a gold star.
Get back in the tub.
No. You gullible fool. Get on with it. Be useful to yourself, and if you've built the capacity and have it to spare, be useful to others.

Stay away from the wallowing tub, and make it to the mirror. Look your now-self in the eye and course-correct the path your past-self earnestly made for your future-self. Now get moving again.

4. Get the Fake Offline & Get the Hello Outside #

You must see your brain is jacked-in and amped-up to experience the micro-fluctuations in the thousand flattening shades of online beige? You must.

Yes, you must. Achieve a healthy balance of nature and neture. That is almost entirely nature, with breath-holding sojourns into the cloying, murky filth that is our sad, current human matrix.

Being outside. Jostling your crystallised, jellified carcass into locomotion should recharge your shield and the lume in your subtly handsome quartz analogue wristwatch (if you have one).

Shenzhen Safari Ⅴ: Personalised Headphone Stand #

When I'm outside, I'm outside.
But when I'm inside, I'm inside my inside my inside my inside.

I lift high my trusty old, cushioned Logitech G Pro X Gaming-headset, stretch wide the supple cups to straddle my massive cranium, and immerse myself in a symphonic choir of strutting saw waves, and synthetic in utero basal…warmth.

What better resting temple for this embracing band of pacification, and safe reflection, a halo in metaphor, than a beacon, emblazoned with my brand, heralding my name?

My Halo Slips #

Thus my halo slumbers upon this imperfect shrine.
The font was not of my choosing.
The plastic monolith flares at the base, yet the base stone's not width-matched.
Looking more like a rocket, or Christmas tree, I'll retroactively claim this to be playful sprezzatura.

USB, see? #

Micro-USB inserted, touching the power base (avoiding fingerprints to the clear plastic) brings the totem to life, cycling slowly between rainbow colours, or tapping to fix on a particular red, green, strong blue, white, yellow, pale blue, or pink.

Want one? #

You can email me before 31 December 2023 for the chance to win my spare iainplays heaphone rest , or order your own custom one from here: 3D Neon Sign Lamp Headphone Stand With Wood Base

Iain Plays Headphone Rest

Now…Play safe, play happy, and GTFO.

Thanks for reading Shenzhen Safari of .

Every second month throughout 2023, I reviewed a choice piece of AliExpress’ gaming hardware, carefully appraising each gift horse’s mouth, teeth, mane, and muscles.

  1. Shenzhen Safari : Pocket Multi Game (PMG) 99 in 1
  2. Shenzhen Safari : NES 143 in 1 Cart
  3. Shenzhen Safari : Data Frog SF2000
  4. Shenzhen Safari : Wireless PS2 Controller (2.4Ghz | Translucent)
  5. Shenzhen Safari : 3D Neon Sign Lamp Headphone Stand
  6. Shenzhen Safari : Non-tendo 168-in-1 iPhone 12 mini Phone Case