Have you heard about Planet Mad? Have you taken time out to swirl in its orbit, tracing out the continents and the weird light? Have you spent a sleepless night on the Net, wandering down ever more remote and tortured corners? Have you tuned into late night talk radio?
What Planet Mad needs, what Planet Mad pines and has boners for, is someone to listen, someone to tune into the endless noise, the discreteness of thought, the addled mutterings, all those souls who feel themselves interrupted.
Planet Mad has rules just as intricate as the world of money, but its denizens are after airspace, not capital. It’s a capitalism of soul time, all energies expended on a frantic dash for the accumulation of hearings, of attention.
What’s curious is how many of them really have nothing to say, but want to consume your whole day saying it. I used to have to listen to quite a few.
There was a guy who spent weeks bombarding us with plans for shopping malls composed entirely of plants. Just stick the thing in the ground, apparently, and in no time at all you’d have a leafy commerce cavern, boutiques divided by real waterfalls, sunny alcoves where kids could dash and scream at each other from in between all the reeds and fronds.
I spent a ball mangling six hours listening to theories of the Organic Universe, of how it was an indisputable fact that life had been seeded here by comets, about how these comets were in fact the seed store for the entire Cosmos, how organic cities had existed in very early history, before Babylon, but knowledge of them had been suppressed by the Romans, and later, of course, by the Church.
When I finally got around to asking him how you’d build one, he unfurled a mind bending array of yin and yang diagrams, segmented circles showing graphic representations of the Cosmos, and something which purported to be a photograph of a human soul.
Ok, so how would you actually build one? I asked, and he replied that general details were available on his website. I thanked him for his time at eleven or twelve points along the next two or three hours.
All that night my brain goo twitched at me, making clicking noises like a computer you’ve just been rude to. For a wheeze, and because I couldn’t sleep, I checked out his website. It contained more of the spectral pie-charts and pictures of Babylonians in prehistoric shopping malls, as well as his personal spiritual testament, a document running to over eight thousand pages.
He was, to be honest, one of the more exotic cases I dealt with. Most of the rest were banal, banal in their repetitive incoherence, their sad longing to be taken seriously by someone in a suit.
Above all, they were boring. They made time itself go putty like from boredom.
There must be a freedom in being mad, in not giving a shit about anything but the contortions and eruptions of your own brain goo.
But then, surely the mad suffer too. How can there be any justice if they don’t?
It’s not about connections between things. It’s not about binding one moment to another with chains that seem to make some kind of sense. It’s about writing your pain large across the world.