“The New Machine” / Memorable Fancies #1719

The government’s savants have designed a new kind of machine. It can do all the work the country needs: production, consumption, trade, finance, taxation, defense. Wondrously, as its parts wear out, they are constantly renewed. It is very large and we citizens are its parts. [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished] … [Read more...]

“The Mysterious Emails” / Memorable Fancies #1705

You begin to receive emails with long, seemingly meaningless, sequences of letters and numbers. A code, it seems, perhaps a message, but you can’t find anything in these sequences that have meaning – they seem to be random, just noise. But then, you’re no statistician or code-breaker, so maybe they do mean something. Why are you receiving them? You don’t know. After two weeks the emails stop coming. That afternoon, visitors arrive at your home, knock politely. Calmly, they apologize for … [Read more...]

“A Casting of Spells” / Memorable Fancies #1683

Spells spoken by Government officials work as documented, some of the time anyway, but ... there are always side-effects. The Administration is in the habit of claiming that these side-effects are additional features – as they hurriedly try to neutralize them. When we cast our own meager spells, however, there are never side-effects; never any effects, actually. [Click ‘Random Post’ above – be astonished] … [Read more...]

“Indecision” / Memorable Fancies #678

What should I do today as the leader of our people? It’s not always easy to tell, seeing five sides of every question as I do. One day, it’s peace; another day, war or wary alertness. Or a firm hand is needed one day, letting the people do as they please the next.       My ministers are of no help: whatever I say, they move their heads up and down, never a discouraging word. I had bobble-heads made of them, presented each to its minister. None of them understood what I was saying with these … [Read more...]

“The Names” / Memorable Fancies #527

     We were requested to sign up so that the authorities would have a list of those who have signed up. It seemed nonsensical at the time, but more innocuous than most of their initiatives. And so we complied.      We are hiding now as our names are called, one by one, over and over. My own name has been called so many times that it begins to sound strange, as if I were someone else. <END>      If you liked this post, please tell your friends and share a comment here or in … [Read more...]

“The Game of Babylon” / Memorable Fancies #507

     In the game our rulers require us to play, there is no apparent correlation between skill and results, or effort and results. No one has figured out the scoring system. Some say there is no scoring system, that success is only a matter of chance. But few believe this, because to believe would make our lives futile. Instead, there is training in what are believed to be the most effective techniques for winning, but it’s apparent to us that the trainers know no better than we what to do: … [Read more...]

“An Economy of Dreams – VI” / A Memorable Fancy #305

[Neuroscientists find a way to record dreams as the dreamer experienced them.]      “Most people, when awakened, haven’t remembered all their dreams; that gives us an advantage.      “‘We have a recording,’ we tell them. ‘We remember your dreams, even when you don’t. Just last week you dreamed you were disloyal. No, we won’t tell you how you were disloyal; that’s classified. But I’ll just say that it was an original kind of disloyalty, very threatening, using a deadly new kind of … [Read more...]

“Priorities” / A Memorable Fancy #272

There are many calls to 9-1-1. Reporters rush to the scene: there has been a catastrophe. People are injured, property destroyed. Pleas for government assistance are many. “We’re sorry, but there is no budget for minor catastrophes,” officials say. “And we know which catastrophes are minor; they’re the ones we have no budget for.” [– after Thomas Bernhard]     … [Read more...]

“Wait for Sleep” / A Memorable Fancy #186

A government agency is formed to spy on citizens’ unconscious minds. Its mission is to detect dangerous tendencies, radical thoughts that have not yet percolated into consciousness, thoughts that occur only in dreams. Of course, since the offense is unconscious, it wouldn’t be right to punish the guilty while they were conscious and unaware of their crime. We can, however, wait for sleep.   … [Read more...]

“At Night, A Sound – I” / Memorable Fancies #128

At night a sound, sirens. Get up, look out the window. Flashing lights. There are people on the sidewalk, in the street. They are staring up at your window. They are staring at you. Some are pointing, shaking their fists, taking your picture. Others are holding up their children to get a better view, to remember this occasion when they’re grown, to learn how to be an even better citizen of the Dutiful Republic, what can befall you if you do not follow each of the seventeen thousand laws and 3.2 … [Read more...]