Arranged in front of Marcus, horizontal in the proverbial doggy-style position with hands gripping headboard, the mid-to-late thirties blonde female thrust her well-kept, taut, gym tight, ersatz tanned body, graced with little hair, back and forth on to his Viagra-fuelled cock. She was naked, apart from the obligatory porn star style heels of course for added sexual effect. The heady mixture of wine and cocaine had pickled their brains enough to run through the perfunctory motions of coitus after being digitally matched and brought together by a dating app now simply used for nothing more than a seminal release.
With her loneliness raised high in the air for him to grip and slide into he tried hard to recall her name; Jane? Jenny? Carol? Zoe? Fuck what was it? The words shot through his head like a mental locomotive carelessly hurtling down the synapses, ready to off-rail at any moment into the recesses of his mind, sinking and swallowed up by his sub-conscious and later spat out in a dream or when he opened up on the therapist’s couch. All this paraded through his skull as he ploughed on through the motions. This wasn’t love, this was a dirty pastime. A way to get through another night. He could hear her moaning and talking dirty, but it didn’t turn him on, for he knew it was artificial and learned from videos easily accessible on Redtube, Pornhub, Xhamster and so on. Women, from his experience, felt compelled to act this way in the present day, it was learned behaviour; pretending to be porn stars, who ironically too had perfected the art of pretending. When did the masquerading end? Was there any way to get back to the real state? Did anyone even know what it was or care for it anymore? But he knew the pretence wasn’t for him. It was all in vain, hoping that the instant she finished she would receive more Facebook ‘likes’ or Twitter ‘tweets’ when he or anyone else commented to the eyes of the online world on how well she performed. Another symptom of the third turd from the sun he thought to himself. The Sham Palace, the phony proscenium arch above the pseudo stage on which we all now performed. Granted, Christine? Jo? Simone? Claire? Whatever her name was, actually looked like her photo, was within the two year parameter. He’d lost count of the amount of women he’d met and didn’t even recognise on the first date because they had placed so much importance on their avatar, descriptions and photographs online that they had forgotten offline how they actually existed and who they really were. Experience had taught him how to plaster a fake smile on his face when he was presented with, in person, a completely different woman to the one he had been matched with who couldn’t see the problem, still hypnotised by her own make believe online persona while stumbling through life wearing her identity crisis well, like her overpriced branded clothing. And yet almost on a nightly basis he went through the whole charade, stuck on a loop, like a sex and drug infused Escher cheap print. Thank God for Viagra. Praise the Lord for alcohol. After two failed marriages, one kid with the first, and two with the second, life had now unapologetically devolved and drowned into the depths of vice. Almost every night was an intoxication of keep-the-cock-hard pills, alcohol, usually wine, some other form of narcotic and the sweet smell of sweat and sexual fluids. It would be a two to three hour session where both would use the other to fulfil a selfish solipsistic sexual need or desire and then bolt for the door. How easily emotions had been cut and disposed of like a redundant appendix lying bloody in the corner unwanted or unneeded as the act of ‘me me me’ danced through part of the night. They really had no place in this world of narcissism, smartphones and sex… Bobbi? Katrina? Lucy? Sophie? Marcus really couldn’t recall her name and it bugged him intensely.
She now lay on her back. He held her legs wide apart, hands on each ankle, pulling her slightly upwards, still thrusting. Neither could look at one another. This was so far removed from lovemaking. Emotionally it was only a few degrees away from using sex toys and required no eye contact at all. In fact in this game looking one another in the eye was frowned upon. Some dates had barely required words. The unspoken contract and unwritten rules had become so commonplace that both sexes now knew what was wanted and made no attempt to hide it. Simply meet. Fuck. Leave. Tell the world instantly on social networks. Reap the rewards. Rewards being ‘likes’ and ‘retweets’. The social network phenomena had gripped society over the last 15 years, with people becoming online celebrities as they bared all and told everybody everything they were doing at every minute, because one minute ago on the social network clock was a millennium in the offline world. Andy Warhol had once stated that everybody wanted to be famous for 15 minutes, now people just settled for 15 ‘likes’. He hated it. But there was no way of removing oneself. Who was ready to commit social network suicide? Who was ready to disengage from their digital devotees and lose all those ‘likes’? It would be like taking a virtual hammer to the offline ego. Nobody’s constitution was that strong anymore. The mere un-friending was enough for one to go into hyper meltdown illustrated by the subsequent airing of their dirty cyber laundry thrown out of a Microsoft window to litter the superhighway. At times he had watched people slowly combust over a small period with each new post an attempt to illustrate to everyone how well they were doing, with chapters about the history of their lives and the arc it had taken, rooted in the idea of the hero’s journey and their destiny to fulfil it in everyone’s eyes, but in essence it was nothing more than just a pathetic cry for help. It barely required a psychology degree to see this. Life had become so intertwined with the world of social networks that it was impossible to unplug, to even think of removing oneself without the fear of going into complete isolation. And as the need grew to be more noticed than the next online celeb, to shout that bit louder, so up went the ante, and the dignity of humanity as a collective took another hit.
Finished, she got up, dressed and left with a mere exchange of words about ‘how we must do this again’ without removing her eyes from her phone. Marcus lay on the bed murmuring ‘yes’ without lifting his eyes from his digital pimp. He had already accrued seventeen more matches in the short period he had spent with… Clara! That was her name. No doubt now as she was ambling along with the precision of a blind person, eyes glued to her phone, feet feeling out the terrain beneath her shoes to guide her through the offline authentic world that was of no importance, she too was frenetically checking how many men she had matched with hungry like an addict. ‘To be in love’ he sighed with a self-deprecating manner admonishing himself for doing it again. ‘I’m a validiot, an absolute validiot’. ‘Validiot’ of course being a ‘valid idiot’. Over the course of the last 15 years he had noticed how portmanteaus had become embarrassingly fashionable. They were now found everywhere from describing famous celebrities who were married, to household words, to their homeland; marketing. He had a love/hate relationship with them, finding them somewhat amusing and intriguing yet fucking ridiculous. Only in jest would they leave his lips, to ridicule or for fun, but people who actually used them within their virtual or offline vernacular he regarded as ‘funts’. Funts of course being…
Seventeen more matches. Experience told him that he would get to meet at least eight of those. His evenings for the next eight or so days were taken care of. He lay back on the bed now soiled and damp from the excitement, excrement, vaginal mucus, pre-cum, after-cum, sweat and the cheap exotic celebrity titled perfume worn by Clara. There were definitely whole comedy routines to be written around the self-titled celebrity scents as he watched the faux famous figures dance about his TV screen seeking attention for absolutely nothing. ‘Pigcunt’, ‘iStink’, ‘Rimsucker’ sounded like much more apropos titles for their perfumes, seemingly more realistic, summing them up perfectly. ‘Who-mans’ he mused to himself, ‘the perfect portmanteau to describe the human race as we become increasingly lost, disappearing up our own arses and no longer knowing who we are anymore.’ He laughed to himself reaching over to remove the taste of Clara’s excreta with a few mouthfuls of cheap wine obtained from a nearby petrol station suffering from an identity complex as it posed also as a mini supermarket. After coughing and swallowing down the fermented grape, he questioned himself on whether the action should have been in reverse, almost preferring the taste of her arsehole to the sting of an acidic bargain bottle of now lukewarm Blossom Hill. Petrol stations didn’t stock women in the chilled cabinet… yet. Give it time. But the wine wasn’t for taste or to impress. It was to numb. To numb out the action of the night. The unsocial interaction. The simple swapping of genital fluids. The emotionless orgasm. The ‘me-gasm’.
The warm haze of blue light and faded imagery danced across his room in perfect sync with the temperate inoffensive hypnotic hum from his 80-inch TV screen promoting somnambulism with a low-IQ diet of visual junk food. This mainly consisted of back-to-back reality TV shows that were at one time highly unrealistic but over a five-year period had influenced the population so easily with the idea that everybody can be famous, that society had morphed into this non-reality, finally giving credence to the description of these shows. It was all so fake. ‘If one of these ‘zelebrities’, (obviously Z-list celebrities) stood in front of a mirror, would there even be a reflection?’ he chuckled to himself. Who watched this? Who really spent the short period they had on this planet watching TV shows about reality, when all you had to do was walk down the street, go into a shop or enter a bar to encounter reality? But no one cared for that reality. It was too depressing. No one cared if you worked in a supermarket, sold tickets on a train or cut hair for a living in the offline world, because online you could be an award-winning poet, novelist, artist, film director or musician. It didn’t matter that the award was given by an unknown someone, an ‘un-one’, without credentials who just hosted a blog and the work you produced was worthless, because online you could be a zelebrity with your 15 ‘likes’ and for many that was enough to remove oneself from the dullness of the offline world.
He was no stranger to the world of fame and celebritism. Many times over the last 20 years he had brushed shoulders and flirted with it, never quite ready to forgo his principles which he wore like a straitjacket restraining him for making the childish impetuous leap into the shallow end of the pool of stardom. Two guitars hung up on the wall like crucifixes as haunting reminders that he had put his work finally to rest. The metaphorical crosses he had to bear from the days when he walked from club to club armed with political and social songs to contest what was happening in the world according to a personal philosophy he thought all shared only to watch the numbers dwindle over the years as smartphones and the fascination with the digital self-viralled amok. The final nail in the guitar case came when he turned up to a gig in a student hall and saw how everybody just sat looking at their smartphones through the night not even acknowledging his or any other performer’s existence, preferring instead to spend the time reinforcing their own online persona because we are all our own ‘brand’ now. We had become ‘Brand-dead’. Big business and the government hands and feet down had won, there was truly no engagement unless it was about the self. But over the years there had been moments where someone had glimpsed something special, where someone realised what he was doing and it looked like something may just happen. There had been managers, agents, magazine interviews, small record deals, online interviews and not by just ‘one man and his blog’. At times it really looked like it could go off, but everything has to be perfectly in place, configured correctly with a good sprinkling of luck to turn you into a ‘star’. Talent stands for a lot, but luck plays a major role, and if you don’t mind bending over, well then there’s no doubt you’ve secured your spot on a reality TV show with the other zelebrities.
He wanted fame, but simply on his terms, to be famous for his work, work which he had bled to produce, but the likelihood of this was decreasing by the day and dying by the night. If he wanted fame he would have to succumb to the diluted values of the present and embrace the new world of ‘centertainment’; entertainment, that is all centred around the self and where nothing else exists. But somewhere deep inside, buried beneath the drink, drugs and wanton sex, a flame still burned for justice. It just needed someone or something to douse it with petrol and see it burn wildly across this barren dry plains of the current culture.
A familiar melody broke him from his momentary sleep. It was the beginning of a new reality TV show that had gripped the nation so tight bearing its white knuckles and teeth. Although he hated TV, he couldn’t help but feel compelled to tune in out of sheer disbelief that a programme like this was allowed to exist and that millions across the world nightly stopped everything they were doing, sat down and dropped out of humanity for an hour, leaving their dignity in an adjoining room and the streets empty. Aptly titled ‘Celebrity Rape – How badly do you need your 15 minutes of fame?’ contestants had to attempt to make it through a small dark labyrinthine maze of back alleys and badly lit streets to a destination representing freedom and safety from the horrors of the dark corners of a faux city without being raped by carefully positioned raptophiliacs poised and ready to hunt the victims. Anyone making it through would win the grand prize of £5,000, anyone who didn’t…
Rarely was the prize money won due to the general public’s disinterest in a winner. They wanted a rape. The schadenfreude eyes of the symphorophiliacs hungered now for more than a car crash. Their insatiable psyche’s thirst was unquenched with the beheadings of Saddam Hussein or children being killed in war zones or planes flying into buildings. It was no longer enough to satiate their paraphilic needs. In short they wanted blood and sex and this influenced the behaviour of the contestants into wanting to be caught, because the subsequent riches connected to an exciting rape were worth way more than the £5,000. An unscathed winner was easily forgotten and received few ‘likes’ whereupon the right rape victim, who made it look convincing like wrestlers of the yesteryear could go on to become a proper celebrity, not a zelebrity.
Reality TV had become so run of the mill that it now jogged and there had been nowhere to turn, apart from upping the ante. Every week it crept higher and higher in order to satiate the public. Jobs in TV production companies depended upon it. Journalists prayed for more to keep their employment alive and singing like the screams of a newborn hungry child. It was a return to the Roman era where the TV now stood replacing the coliseum. The gladiatorial amphitheatres with the paraphilic public watching, crying for action, with the thumbs down hand gesture to determine the end of a life now updated with the less offensive pressing of the opposable thumb upon the green button sandwiched between the yellow and blue choice-makers on the remote. With a stark resemblance to ancient Rome all was still controlled and created by the emperor, Caesar’s role now being played by the head of a TV production company. It seemed in effect over 2,000 years not much had really changed. We were still at heart, nothing more than animals.
But it hadn’t been born in the TV executives’ boardroom. It hadn’t been an idea originally from the workshops of scriptwriters. It had been stolen from an organic internet sensation and then turned into a show.
Three years prior a young lady by the name of Carol had been walking home from work late one night in London and had decided to chance a short cut across an old disused piece of land that was waiting to be bought and desecrated by estate agents. Unaware that her life was about to change, halfway across she was suddenly seized by two men, knocked to the ground with a simple punch and while one held her down with hand over her mouth to muffle any protestations, the other forced himself on her, prising open her legs and forcing himself inside. Carol, fighting and kicking, never relenting, until it was over, saw the rapists then run off into the emerging darkness of the night. Damaged, confused and torn she lay there staring at the night sky watching the stars brighten into existence as time scraped its way around the clock face. Feeling insecure, abused, frightened, numb, wondering what to do, a voice in the darkness asked if she was okay. Sitting bolt upright she was faced with a 14-year-old boy who had witnessed it all and had naturally of course filmed it on his ubiquitous smartphone. Praise the Lord for technology she thought to herself and immediately uploaded the film to every social network in hope to identify and then catch the rapists. What better way than to put them on trial by publicly showing the world who they were? The police and ambulance soon arrived and the next five hours were spent in hospital going through the usual procedures. As dawn coughed life into the next day she awoke that morning and her life had changed, an online star was born. Her phone couldn’t keep still. Constant buzzing from alerts. The alerts of adulation on social networks. ‘Likes’, ‘retweets’, ‘pins’, ‘shares’. No one had seen anything like it. Within weeks she was a social network celebrity. Shared everywhere. Time was short before she made the real leap into becoming a celebrity in the offline world too, with other celebs lining up to be photographed with her, appearances on TV chat shows and in print across newspapers et al with an agent, manager and journalists in tow. She was a new lifeline to be drained and finally cut like an umbilical cord when the host became bankrupt and could give no more. To be famous symbiotically like this was everyone’s dream. The offline celeb status fed the online status and vice versa, it just simply grew organically. And when she saw how much she benefited from it she dropped the charges. Yes, rape had been awful, sickening, disgusting! It had been a lot to swallow and move forward from. But it had taken her somewhere now only people dreamed of in reality and particularly virtually. To go to court, hours, days, months, possibly years could be sucked away, and so could her new celebrity status. No one could pinpoint exactly why she had become such a phenomenon. Media pundits declared that it was public sympathy and let their cynicism stain their journalism. After years of religious extremist violent acts and war atrocities easily obtainable from YouTube, pop culture philosophers pointed to the need for ‘more’, the need for everything to be even more extreme because the public hungered for it. But it was just one of those serendipitous moments in history that could never be recreated to such a maximum effect. As part of the course all over the world women and men started posting on social networks manufactured rape scenes they had starred in, filmed and produced in hope to follow the footsteps and capitalise on the works of the original rape cover girl Carol. ‘Rape selfies’ dominated the social networks. Where people, face to mirror, once posed generically over a sink, to provide to the world their own overinflated delusions of importance of who they were, this had become so yestersecond, that now instead, they held selfie sticks with one hand above their assailants, themselves and the scene. To be like ‘Carol’ was something to aim for. The sick seeds had been sewn and now clubs blossomed from every crack and broken paving slab in cities and small towns all over the globe where rapes were filmed and posted online, like some odd throwback to the world of snuff movies, but with people now starring in them and bragging openly online about it, praying, hoping for their 15 ‘likes’ to grow into something much bigger; a zelebrity status and all its by-products. The first rule of rape club was to tell EVERYBODY!!!! And as the online world hummed with excitement, people sharing to get in on the popularity contest, phones buzzing non-stop with alerts of it trending, famous philosopher/musician/celebrity/public figure quotes PhotoShopped on to pictures to express their views, it didn’t take long before the offline world needed to get a piece of the action ever hungry and intemperate like a pack of immoral wolves.
The incessant media storm that surrounded Carol punched the eye of one young TV entrepreneur by the name of Jackson Fire, whether that was his real name was still in question, but it was perfect for his sin’dustry. Quick to recognise an opportunity he immediately set about turning the show into reality, understanding the public’s need for blood, sex, violence, games and the individuals abject desire for fame and glory. Knowing there would be legal complications he hired the best entertainment law firm in London and took to finding a loophole that would allow his show to be aired. If two boxers were allowed to punch one other in a ring for entertainment, where was the problem if people consented to being raped on a TV show? Of course there was a paradox here. If one consents to rape, how could it be rape and Jackson had been questioned by journalists, talk show hosts and those that wanted to bring him down over the years. But Jackson was no fool and had repeatedly responded with the same answer;
“This is reality TV, since when was that ever really real? We are living in a hyper reality and I am giving the public exactly what they want to see. They want rape and I provide it. The minute they don’t want it, the show ends. But I don’t think that it will be over too soon. There’s a healthy lust for it and we have people round the block in every city auditioning. Celebrity Rape is going to be here yet for quite a while.”
It was all violence one way or another, it was just a question of how you chose to perceive it and how many years of conditioning the moral, immoral or amoral values of it all you had ingested. TV chat shows dominated by the untalented for the illiterati discussed their disgust probably because their ‘Likeshare’ was falling and how it must stop! Questions and opinions filled the air protesting if this happened on TV copycat rapes would follow everywhere, but there were already rapes happening en masse and if the same logic was applied to boxing, then the pugilists were responsible for every weekend night’s inebriated punch-up outside of a pub or club. Better to do it on TV in a supervised environment where there were the finest qualified doctors to hand to help after the rape had been performed in front of the eyes of the nation, Jackson argued to his recanters, using a simple re-hash of the pro boxing argument which his legal team had successfully used in a court of law.
And so the show began. It was an instant hit. No one had predicted how successful it was going to be. It reached deep into the hearts of the biastophiles, massaging the ventricles. To give kudos and authenticity to the show Carol was asked to narrate, giving her thoughts on how each contestant was raped and how well they performed. So successful was the first series that a real celebrity version, not a zelebrity version, was commissioned for the Christmas period as celebrities with autobiographical books, albums, Xmas singles, get fit DVDs, perfumes and new clothes lines needed the marketing and the only way to compete was to get in on the action. ‘If you can’t beat them, then get raped’ had become the phrase spat out by PR companies staining the landscape of London. Fuck morality. You want to be famous? You want to earn money? You want 200,000 ‘likes’? Then get on ‘Celebrity Rape’. Who cares if you could play like Jimi Hendrix? Were a poet like Bob Dylan? Could paint like Picasso? Not the public anymore. Their lips were wet for a rape. That would make you a star. Otherwise fuck off back to your dull nostalgic dreams of yestermillennium where talent was once a precursor to fame.
Around the country auditions began at the start of the year with four judges to determine who would go through to appear on the show. The judges were as follows: Carol, the rape cover girl; Tony, a priest who had tortured a Muslim to death winning a nationwide TV talent show, the crowd had loved his performance helping him to beat the singing dog and hundreds of syncopated dance routine acts moving to the drumbeat of the Neanderthal. He obviously knew what was at the heart of the nation dressed head to foot in a union jack suit over this black shirt and white collar. Sonia who had tortured her child-abusing husband for seven weeks on YouTube, treated the public to a new chapter on a daily basis and clocked 25 billion hits, was the third judge. And finally, the fourth was Danny, the foul-mouthed celebrity hairdresser known as Sweeney Gob, who celebrities visited for a haircut and abuse. The four judges were out to find the next 20 contestants for the show that now began in September every year perfectly timed to end on Christmas day at 9pm. From London to Manchester to Birmingham to every other city across the UK the four judges would sift through the wannabe zelebrities who lined up around the blocks of the megalopolitan streets in queues weaving and pulsating with excitement, hoping to be picked so they could be the next victim on Celebrity Rape and feel the digital buzz of social network fame.
As the melody of the opening credits came to a close with the title of the show hitting the screen in perfect syncopation with the music, the two Geordie cheeky chappies hosting the programme took to the stage in front of a full house of screaming biastophiles. Everybody loved Tom and Rich. The elder generation had seen them grow as presenters from starring in children’s TV shows when they too were kids, buying their pop fodder when they released a song because their celebrity status deemed it the perfect time and finally on to the hosting of reality TV shows, the pinnacle of ‘blow business’ (show business where if you suck enough cock you climbed the ladder). It gave the nation confidence. They were the nation’s friend. The two needed one another. Tom and Rich had had reservations at first to host such a show. There was a chance that it could be career suicide if the public hadn’t shown the true teeth of their raptophiliac needs, but with online evidence to prove there was a desire for it, megalomania made that decision for them. Tom and Rich walked and talked the public through the show. First we met who would be hunting down the victims. This week twelve diesel dykes who had been locked in solitary confinement for two weeks after being stripped naked with hands cuffed behind their backs, made to sit naked on iron stools with heads shaved, gay porn being pumped digitally into their skulls while being spoon fed by young starlets naked in just heels, who also fist fucked their anuses every morning, but never allowed them to ejaculate, were to be released into the labyrinth with three-foot steel dildos that had been wrapped in smallpox and anthrax cauterized just above their quim so they could pierce the rectal, oral and vaginal orifices of their contestants. The crowd roared as Tom and Rich introduced each one to the crowd. A cacophony filled the air with each mention of their names as they walked on to the stage with the three-foot faux phallic schlong swinging between their legs playing to the crowd. Huntress! Storm! Belter! The names rolled off the presenters’ tongues and the crowd lapped it up in anticipation of the upcoming sex and violence. Let the rapes begin! Marcus hung his head and just moved it from side to side astonished at how this could have ever happened. At forty-two years old he remembered a time when this could never have existed. Over the last year he had met women in their very late twenties and saw how different their outlooks on life were. How they accepted the status quo and never questioned it. How money was more important than anything else. How easily they just accepted everything without protest. How this was their favourite reality TV show. Was he now just simply out of touch? After the crowd, in their pack-like mentality, finished screaming for the rapists the presenters introduced the four contestants. On to the stage they walked. Again the crowd screamed with joy. Close-up shots of people in the crowd looking at one another with excitement filled the TV monitor for a second. As each contestant walked on to the stage a huge screen behind displayed images of their lives, their relatives, their misfortunes to coincide with the narrating of the presenters. The crowd commiserated with the loss of their mothers, grandmother’s battle against cancer, loss of their livelihoods to take care of their debilitated fathers and their own personal fights on their daily journey through life. Marcus held his head in his hands. How the public fell so easily for this pulling of the heart strings. Every week the same formula was paraded in front of them and each week it garnered the same response, like a pack of Pavlovian canines. The contestants stood in a line facing the crowd. Justin. Simone. Eddy. And finally coming on the stage… Erica Lynne! Tom and Rich screamed her name in unison. Marcus lifted his head. ‘I know that name’ he thought. On to the stage walked a slim, tall, waif-like creature with shoulder-length brown hair. Confidently and eagerly she ran to stand with the other three. As she completed the line-up the camera panned across all four contestants so the eyes of the world could see them before they entered the labyrinth of rape. With eyes looking forward the camera settled on Erica’s long enough for Marcus to look directly back as if they were in a room together. And in that split moment he saw the fear deep in her soul. With the sound of a horn signalling the start of the hunt, the contestants swung around, a huge curtain lifted and a single road led into the labyrinth. “Let the rapes begin!” the crowd screamed what had become the nation’s favourite catchphrase and the four victims to be, if they were lucky, disappeared into the darkness while huge screens came down electronically from the ceilings of the studio so the public could play their true role as the vile voyeurs that they are.