Time is the New Black

Victoria and Albert Museum, London; March, 2000

A passel of statues spread before us, a collection: Buddhas, Saints, variations on a theme of Pietà, knights on catafalques, the whole bit. Centuries of Fashion revised, redacted, re-positioned, from time-to-time, by expert members of Museum staff, in deference to the fashion du jour and its inevitable re-valuation of all values as defined in relation to (and in correlation with) levels of Manichean contempt and contrast between, former regime – Them, and its successor – Us.

Time is the new black.

Percocet clonazepam espresso.

Fresh-air promenades avec Gitaines, Hyde Park.

It cost a pound to piss at Harrod’s.

A kind of, whatever they call them “across the pond,” (from whose vantage?) oh yes, oh, yes, how right you are, mate, oh yes, yes of course, “Thrift-shop,” down the street sold me a used blazer for half of the price to piss at Harrod’s.

This was real London stuff, real England. I supposed. What did I know? It wasn’t New Jersey. It looked like it, but it wasn’t. The cars were too small and nobody tried to pick a fight in any of the bars we entered, or “pubs” as they’re quaintly called. Rightly so. Darts. Snooker — whatever the fuck that is. Jovial banter over pints of stout. Portly people drinking porter and being jovial and not trying to kick yer ass for messing up their dart game and economy and whatever the hell else us ‘Yanks’ brought to them like contagion from our somewhat slimier regions of “the pond.”

Well. Serve’s ‘em right after what they did to everybody else, not to mention all that slave-labor (wage and chattel) that kept them rich, fat and aristocratically perverse — freaks like only the elite can be. Never made amends. In acres or mules.

The Conquest of the West was way cheaper, cause neither the French, the Brits nor their rebellious American sons, who aged from Founders to Fathers with breath-taking rapididy, were gonna spend money capturing, beating, indoctrinating and training serf/slave/workers when all they had to do was kill all the buffalo and starve ‘em out; terminate the most stubborn and irrational of the surviving lay-a-bouts; hustle the rest off to concentration camps, barbed-wire and all, add water and a sprinkling of battle-ships, stir up, and voila:

Empire. The Founders become statues as the Founded-upon fall.

Eggs, sausages and blood-pudding among workers, white-collar and blue – and in the Union, Jack! – storing fat to burn through drudgery of Hours.

Beggars bore babes they’d birthed or sired, I assumed, while refugees or something poor-ish and Romantic. Not like boozers, to whom it is satisfying to say “Get lost, no!”

Hell, I was a boozer myself ‘in the day’ and wouldn’t have tossed my own two-cents-worth of bad ideas in my own extended hat. Nothing nada zilch. Nor would I have taken a dime or whatever one such as myself could possibly have offered. Maybe that’s just me.

Outside of Life and Time I’m restless.

Tomorrow we’ll avoid the eggs…

Adam Engel has traveled the farthest regions of cyberspace, where Dark-matter meets Doesn't-matter; and Anti-matter, despite its negative connotation and dour point-of-view, excercises rights of expression protected by Richard Stallman's GNU/Free Software Foundation and CopyLeft agreement, if nobody and nothing else. Having spent many years studying Boobus Americanus (Summum Ignoramus), allegedly the most intelligent mammal on earth -- after its distant relative, Homo Sapiens -- in various natural habitats (couch, cubicle, bar-stool, ball-game -- televised or 'real-time') -- Engel has thus far related his observations of and experiences with this most dangerous of predators in three books -- Topiary, Cella Fantastik, and I Hope My Corpse Gives You the Plague (the combined international sales of which have reached literally dozens, perhaps as many as seventy, with projected revenue to top three digits by decade's end! Truly a publishing phenomenon). Engel is Associate Editor of Time Capsule Books, a division of Oliver Arts & Open Press, published in limited editions for a tiny, highly specified, though eclectic, target-audience: people who actually read books. He can be reached at adam@dissidentvoice.org Read other articles by Adam, or visit Adam's website.