Tourists can visit many solemn war memorials and presidential shrines, but barely removed from the Pennsylvania Avenue freakshow in front of Donald Trump’s White House, fans weave through glass-encased Black Rock City artifacts in the cramped Renwick and find themselves in a plywood Burning Man Temple. The curator’s sign informs them this exhibit is sacred and partially funded by Anonymous, the hacker collective.
A reveler’s phone is blasting the voice of Hunter S. Thompson, reading Revelations “. . .and whosoever was not found written into the book of life was cast into the lake of fire…” the voice echoes from the many plywood surfaces.
Tourists from all nations write and paste small phrases onto the plywood, the glue fumes in the unventilated exhibit damaging their brains. The fumes are so strong the fear of a sudden ignition paralyzes me, my heart runs faster.
They’re taking pictures of all the messages, and a social media screen downstairs catalogues each photograph, analyzes the handrwriting, archives the message, identifies and resells this sacred personal prayer to someone much worse than Cambridge Analytica, more robotic and sinister than Mark Zuckerberg.
Just outside there are sharp cries of injustice, “We are petitioning Donald Trump to order an FBI investigation into the MURDER of PRINCE!” Ten purple umbrellas with Prince’s emblem shield the protesters from a sudden black squall descending onto the White House like the alien ship in Independence day. “Prince was murdered for music rights and corporate profits!”
Lieutenant Dangle has moved up in life. He is now working for the secret service, standing guard over the crowds of tourists milling in front of the White House for their photo opportunity. He has his hands rested tactically on the MP5 strapped to his belly, almost a match for an assault rifle maniac, but not quite.
The Capitol’s dome has a new paint job and glistens in the harsh sunlight after the rain with unnatural brightness. Protest kids are coming from that direction in the hundreds, all wearing bullseye hoodies and carrying anti-assault rifle signs. They’re making for the air and space museum, getting their more traditional field trip now that the protest’s over. Each student is greeted by two banned intermediate range ballistic missiles, a heartwarming display, the soviet missile a token of a disarmament treaty with Russia.
A group of monks split up at the entrance, stomping through the museum in a harried research. The particular Buddhist order is searching for something very important that might undo the terror of this moment in history, that much is clear. I want to help them, but their method of exhausting all the items on display by splitting up is something I have no time for.
The root of it all was the Wright Brothers so I start there, but quickly my instinct is that their frivolous good time fun machine is not quite what we’re after. Somewhere in World War One there is a quotation from an atom bomb maker blaming his work on the sinister baby bombings committed over London by Zeppelins. This sinister editorial is a good clue in finding exactly what the monks are after when they compare notes in their hotel rooms.
The biggest monk is carefully taking stock of the surface of the moon. It is not a deity or anything at all but another world like ours, a dead and lifeless world. There is no suffering there, but it is not in a state of nirvana. This is a perfect riddle to bring about a state of holy insanity but he hurries on after only a moment. It is not the kind of idle theological pondering appropriate for this urgent juncture in history.
The V3 rocket is placed between the more cost-effective V2 and a tremendous cylindrical section of a Saturn V rocket, all three designed by the very same team of guilty holocaust scientists. Their sordid chapter in it all has been erased, as best as possible, by the US military, but a lost fragment out of Wehrner von Braun’s autobiography, which is now confirmed by many historians, expressed great regret for acquisitioning Jewish boys as ‘dummy weights’ in rocket trials.
This is when I notice what the monks must be missing, in their harried reading of placards. From every corner of the museum there is a low, but audible mantra. Elon Musk’s name is babbled at everything. In front of a model of Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, “He couldn’t make it fly, but Elon Musk could. He made an electric car fly past Mars.” At a group of drones, “Elon Musk will have these things delivering pizzas instead of bombs.”
Those monks were agitated for damn good reasons that I see very clearly now that this whole town is too much to handle. It would be easier to relax at a loud freakshow like Black Rock City, because at least I’d be able to score something to take the edge off of all these landmarks of cosmic cruelty. And christ! There are giant crows standing in the parks, pretending to be statues but actually genetically engineered by DARPA, picking over this god damned city’s human refuse, beastly manifestations of natural law by an elite that now controls nature.
Any stupid tourist can get a legal marijuana high in Washington DC, or at least something close to it at any CBD bar. And in a town like this any decent person needs something to take th eedge off. A sign at the CBD bar counter reads, “What is CBD? CBD are the non-THC components of hemp and have an effect stronger than tylenol.” It’d better be stronger than tylenol. But staring all day at the sunlight glinting off of the mirror-polished cast iron capitol dome has me wanting a tylenol anyway, so to hell with it. When in Rome eat gummies, right?
Jerry Garcia walks in, sits down next to me, and starts shouting. “Hey man, I told you to stop fuckin’ with me like that!”
No, not a schizophrenic acid case, oh no, he’s picked up a phone call and he’s got a slick headpiece. Small, like something for secret service muscle. Now he’s laughing, probably to some artificial intelligence buddy construct, it’ll drive him to grab a bargain sale assault rifle from Wal Mart and go spree killing once his phone addiction, CBD, and last-ditch benzos can’t cut it anymore.
His agitated barking is very quickly nullified by a good double shot of CBD in decaf. It’s working on me too, soon enough, and I’m grooving on the music instead of deciphering this man’s schizophrenic growls. Hell it’s my first legal high.
Dr. Troubador, marijuana expert, arrived with a shipment of CBD oil. “Only I can dispense the rest of the shit, the good part, of course by prescription only.” He scrawled a dick onto a napkin and crushed it into my hand. “You’re good? You’re good? I’ll tell you when you’re good.” He rips the remaining gummy from my hand and crushes it with his shoe like a lit cigarette. “Throw that shit out.
The mad marijuana scientist is stroking a vial of reddish purple essential oil, “You’ve never had a high like this, the terror components are through the roof. Ten trillion on the Troubador scale. We’ve engineered a strain of weed that’s extreme and overpowering in its paranoia, and then we extracted all the CBD out of it to heighten agitation and attentive faculties even further. This shit you’ve just eaten is our waste product. You gotta try the pure shit.”
The doctor whipped out a tremendous syringe, filled it with the oils, and injected it into my eye. For a short time, perhaps an hour, I was able to see radio frequencies as visible light. The ionosphere arced upward like a new sky and crackled in perpetual green lightning from AM talk radio transmitters. People’s phones blinked red and white into the distant horizon, amber flaring up in data transmission. The network of sparkling jewels overlaid my vision almost totally, fading just as the harmony and rhythm of it all formed some vague pattern. I think I saw Donald Trump Tweet something hot, amber waves all flowing outward from the single point in DC. The monks need to see this, I thought, this is what the military has been working up to all this time.