FICTION – ΔΔΔ ALT-SPECTRE ΔΔΔ, POST 333: SMARTPHONE FROM HELL

Practical hacks from digital occult sophisticates
for the everyday Internet of Ectoplasmic Things,
with your hosts: Mozen and Crowzniak

(by Bobby Dixon and Matt Murphy)

 

Hey Weirdos,

 

My maybe-boyfriend (hereafter referred to as “Boynerdfriend”) literally made me a custom smartphone.  I think it might be from Hell or another parallel creeper dimension though.  It’s actually a pretty bitchin’ phone, but it scares me a little.

I met Boynerdfriend when he was working at the computer repair shop — between office IT jobs, I guess.  I brought my busted laptop in for repair after I’d spilled a bunch of yogurt-quinoa on my keyboard (okay, it was actually chocolate; leave me alone!).  He came at me from the side like a creeper while I was snap-chatting an ex.  He asked if I needed help in his deep-as-nightmare-fuck voice. I actually screamed a tiny bit, I was so startled.

He was a towering 6-foot-5 Abe Lincoln of a nerd with oddly excellent posture.  He had different colored eyes that were a teensy bit too far apart, which was oddly compelling rather than terrifying.  He also had adult braces, which is a huge turn-on for me; something I don’t claim to understand about myself.

His work uniform was a stupid hockey-jersey emblazoned with these sort of gameboy-things with pixelated faces.  It was baggy on the other guys, but almost fit him like a normal shirt.  I openly made fun of the jersey, and he equally openly made fun of my chocolate spillage.  He flirted a bit too, like a goober.

Sidenote: I’m pretty sure those techs are not supposed to tease customers already shy about breaking their tech toys, let alone flirt with them, but whatevs.

Additional context: this was a time when I was “between boyfriends.” I was also bored, and maybe even borderline desperate.  The playful attention was entertaining at that precise moment.  So, I let him buy me a coke from a nearby vending machine, right then and there, after he asked if I ever wanted to “go out for drinks.”

We’ve laughed at each other a lot in our year and half of on-and-off dating.  It’s nice, actually, though I sometimes need to sleep with other men.  I only occasionally need to borrow a different dude who doesn’t smell faintly like cilantro, and whose penis doesn’t arc a bit too aggressively to the right.  He sees other people too, I guess.  I suspect he’s not very good at it though.

TMI?

Anyway, I broke my phone a few months ago, while taking the back exit out of a client’s office building.  It was an unreasonably large and super-expensive android phablet, and was a gift I didn’t even buy in the first place.

I watched in mild horror (and a small bit of fascination) as it tumbled all the way down thirteen flights of stairs into a puddle of bio-hazardy corridor water.  It totally shattered the screen, bent the frame, and generally slimed it. I wouldn’t even scoop it up with condom-fingers; I like not having leprosy-herpes.

In short: I simply could not afford to fix or replace it.

As it turned out, Boynerdfriend is a hobbyist when it comes to customized smartphones and artisanal operating systems.  He doesn’t call them “artisanal”, but I do, because I think it’s cuter, and don’t want people to think I putter around in linux-y stuff all day.  No offense, guys? I like the penguin though!

He used 3D printing and industrial machinist gear to create a hybrid of many popular Android-based form factors.  He installed a rare open-source (artisanal!) operating system.  He put the hardware in a slick, cold, slim-case of onyx, which he said came from the faithful reproduction of some ancient monument or something.  Skymall purchase?

I guess some examples of creepy Hell-phone behaviors would help:

  • The touchscreen could anticipate where I was going to put my fingers; it seemed way more intuitive and powerful than anything on the market. It anticipated my desires.
  • we could change whatever annoying layout quirks we wanted on it, in a finger-painty kind of way.
  • It featured in-built access to all these really bizarre underground app stores, with apps that manipulated Google and Wolfram Alpha in odd ways with other invitation-only data streams.
  • It produced bizarre augmented reality overlays, using exotic and elaborate geometrical DataViz interfaces and arcane algorithms.
  • It organized data hierarchies (in search results and contact directories etc) into Kabbalistic diagrams.
  • It added a small collapsable “Midgard” and “Milky Way Galaxy” after each country in my address book.  It included collapsable “vibrational frequencies” values in Google Maps longitude/latitude values.
  • The keypad originally had these Egyptian (or Babylonian or something) number characters until I told Boynerdfriend that I didn’t think it was cute or funny.
  • It also had it’s own version of Siri, whose voice sounded like a chorus of people instead of one weirdly artificial voice; it would also occasionally end it’s answers with “Goddess” or “Human” or even “Ishtar” though my name is Isobel.

The weirdest quirk: one of the selfies I took in my well-lit bathroom turned out to be a nudie.  I was enshrouded in darkness all around, and my skin had an off-blue (off-red from some angles) hue to it.  I don’t often take naked selfies, but I do remember taking this photo… with clothes on.

Apparently the phone is also unbreakable. I’ve actively tried breaking it when I was mad at Boynerdfriend. Nothing happens.  I’ve gone swimming with it and all that happened was that it got intensely warm before becoming fully operational again in an hour.

One minor annoyance: it keeps downloading Dead Can Dance .wav files.  I haven’t listened to that crap since Middle School.

The phone is cool but it freaks me out.  Should I keep it?  At peril of my immortal soul?  Or should I get a cheap prepaid smartphone and be less mysterious and hip?

Boynerdfriend has been all shifty about it too.  He didn’t want me to write anything about this; especially not to you guys.  The only things keeping us together are mediocre sex and pokemon games for monied stakes.  Also, weirdly, since making me this phone, his dick has bent left instead of right.

I’m also wondering if I should end that relationship, especially if he somehow bartered my soul and/or ladybody to ancient evils or neighboring disembodied intelligences.

Did I also mention that my sex drive has skyrocketed wildly since getting this phone?  That my secret sex-fantasies are getting, like, embarrassingly dark and gross?  I’ll spare you the details but, briefly: Dungeons and Dragons-y.  Lots of bald dudes. Goatees.  Squid-minotaurs.

It is a problem, but I Netflix-plus-chocolate a lot, which helps.

 

MOZEN: Fucking gross — I prefer my Operating System monogamous and maybe a little prudish. Keep that open source shit on the streets where it belongs.

I bet we know this guy — did he write to us once about hearing God’s ringtone when he vaped DMT and milked his brain for those deathy chemicals? He was sure God’s ringtone was the XP startup sound.

Speaking of sour smells, I would not worry too much about the arc shift on that dick. Based on the background you shared about your meatfriend and his hobby shop — if he was really good at what he did, he would not be putting around with it, he would have a better job — he summoned an oscillating function for his ding, probably from some terminal command line to show off. The end result is galactically slow dick wag, not shifting the arc. You are just seeing a slow angle to the dangle.

Re: fantasies: how many mages or paladins are involved? How many di are involved? We are trying to determine if you are one knuckle deep into this, two knuckles, etc.. We can determine things from the knuckle depth because one of us has always wanted to RPG with a lady but they are often tired by the first chapter of instructions.

It could also determine how deep he has glammed you down. Are your hands clenched on a table, fidgeting with a phone? Are you touching your nose? We know you touched your nose twice since reading this paragraph.

Remember, fantasy and dice games are channels to Satan. Because Satan is a fucking nerd. Satan invented lipstick kiss tattoos.

CROWZNIAK: LARP’ing may actually be the next phase for you two.  It will either result in lifelong deviancy which we think is basically funny but okay, or some very permanently hurt feelings.  I suggest you make a safeword, like “NPC”, “NPR”, “Unitarian Universalist,” or “health insurance”.  Perhaps you could just fingerbang for a while, making vaguely magical hand-gestures.

MOZEN: You must be secreting an engram of glowing screens for those born between waypoints in our technohistory (lol): those born before wifi and then those endowed with it from time immemorial.

Those of us born on this side of the leap))) have a weird paranoia about technology — when someone says the word technology, do you picture a man pushing up his glasses and snorting?

A ten year old will snapchat his nipple to his napping grandmother, and — real talk — that family will see this as anodyne as cottage cheese.  Gam Gam is happy being shown how to use her phone. I get embarrassed when my mom tags me on facebook and shares pictures of runaway teens. But you were not born in the shadow or the light.

Easy way to purge his effect: treat yourself to a matinee of the new Magic Mike movie, afternoon showing (read: smaller audience).  Wear your favorite sweatpants with the loose waistband. After you leave the theater, wash your hands, meditate on how many times olive garden prom dinners led to unwanted pregnancies.

All of this is to point out that some of you just observe technology, others make use of it as a sixth sense, or even seventh sense. I am guessing you treat technology like a superfluous tail, possibly at times as a detachable lizard tail, when at the very least you could be using it like a prehensile tail. Walk into the light and know that value and worth are one thing, price is another.

CROWZNIAK: I’m not sure anyone deserves technology, but I am sure none of us deserve a prehensile tail.  Evolution selectively eliminated that shit right off of our entitled asses.  It’s chill though; GMO / Jurassic Park / Science-capitalism / emerging markets for designer vestigial phenotypes.  Selfie sticks.  Whatever.

MOZEN: We should take a look at some proper sonaric network mapping tools. Bond a trace to an ebay search for the arc of the new Franzen novel kicking around: make a base line by using the Internet Archive to see where the price hiccuped during key moments of your relationship: [first kiss / first spend the night party / hair play / meeting the parents / blood tests / visiting another town and raiding the stores for the first time / first retreat to sensory deprivation tanks for no less than sixty seven hours / first trip to mexico / {poot array}, etc., / X / Y / Z/ etc.].

Send Crowzniak an email with your confirmation number.  We can tag you in a our special temporal lane — my mom does proprietary licensing! Crowzniak still uses email 🙁

CROWZNIAK: I actually still have a Hotmail account, which is apparently a bit like owning a futon in mid-late adulthood.  True story.  I usually at least give out the GMail account though, especially to women.

MOZEN: None of this even matters.

CROWZNIAK: Re: nothing mattering: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law…” etc., but this does not constitute legal advice.

MOZEN: Once you obtain an arc of purity, you will need to read it. Send us the copy when you are done. Do not fucking underline or highlight anything you fucking troll. Find our address on ello.com. It is there in my profile — secured by the oblivion of a low traffic site.

Emotions are resource heavy and I prefer life without them.

He is cargo shorts but you are every episode of The Office on blu ray.

You are a tobacco songbird and he is leftover fireworks in the second week of july.

He is a medium sun but you are holding out for infinite stars.

Does a metronome on the sun tick faster or slower?

Crowzniak once got scared

when he thought a plane

in the night sky

was a firework.

CROWZNIAK: Also a true story.  I know fear.  I also know why the caged bird sings, and know the hour/minute/second of my birth.  Consciousness is a curse.

MOZEN: Dead can Dance randomly downloads to your phone? Whatever. This will either block the download or keep you from ever contacting us again — shout out to my first level resolution skillz.

  • Update your appstore password to something
  • Who gives a shit, music sucks anyways, just learn how to delete files. Nothing ever got better after The Vindictives first album
  • What does Dead Can Dance even sound like?  Is Dead Can Dance also Widespread Panic? Seems like some shit douchey smurfs with boundary issues would blast while making litter in the woods.
  • I just listened to my first dead can dance song. Who fucking did this. I am looking in your direction, white people.
  • Stand up a policy that — I cannot get over Dead Can Dance. It is like God spilled mayonnaise on the Yanni template while thinking about X-Files.
  • The music is like the soundtrack to a movie where Earth soldiers explore a new planet so they can find aliens to sex/lock tails/be avatars
  • Every member of this band looks like they molested a young Gargamel and all he could do to survive was imagine a world of small blue creatures who have adventures, so that the Smurfs are actually just a mental trauma salve

CROWZNIAK: Interestingly, I hallucinated this exact sequence of events at a Widespread Panic concert I was guilted into attending.  I was sober.

MOZEN: If these tracks keep impregging your phone, I suggest a Plan B equivalent:

[Perform the following searches in the youporn app:

girl that looks like drake

consensual

opposite of turtle

sex vape

pushing toothpaste back in the tube

skunking

poodle balling

pulling the shades

]

Re: the selfie situation — this came from one of your advisors, but their kidney wept through too much gluten this week and they were too panicky to actually peck this into their iPad: take a naked selfie and send it to us. If you are vex free, the picture will actually come through with clothes on. Give it a shot. This would have been the same advisor who thought you were talking about extra disk space when you mentioned sex drive.

CROWZNIAK: Note: don’t actually do this.

MOZEN: As Crowzniak would say, let us circle back to my attendant touch conditions, the vassal of access. I am touched. I am a Lee Atwater poo baby. There is no reason or value to lie about this relation. Poo daddy Lee Atwater always taught me that respect has more value than money, that time is worth more than cash, that ethics are easier to defend than morals unless you are a poor people. I understood that the math of love inverts the decision-making of those that spurned us.

Why would you spend another minute with a bunch of junk?

Shoutout to my ego.

CROWZNIAK: My own closing notes:

The phone sounds cool.  I don’t see a problem here.  Delete the music you don’t like?

Don’t worry about your soul or anyone else’s; that’s not a thing.  Yes, I’m an occultist, and there’s no hidden contradiction here.

Seriously though / BTW: don’t send me naked photos.  I don’t want to get served with any surprise subpoenas for revenge porn stings when off-angle banana-dick over there gets mean.

Don’t get me wrong; your polyamory is probs totes fine in this enlightened age, but your dude just sounds like a real milquetoasty mall-troll.  He’s likely the kind of guy I’ll meet on World of Warcraft when I hit rock bottom.  Like, a bottom low enough to indulge in the flavor of living suicide which is playing that garbage on the reg.

I mean, if you want, I’ll trade you for that sweet phone. I have an Amazon Kindle Fire phone (MOZEN: lol, ew) that I neither need nor know what to do with, but you might like it.  I only pity-traded for it with an older neighbor on social security (for teaching him how to use Skype, which took literally all day).  It’s up for an even swap.  I’ll even preload it with relationship how-to’s for dating smelly IT dickheads and/or ethical polyamory load-balancing for today’s busy professional.

Another tip, for the unwittingly initiated: don’t be so quick to talk openly about those invite-only data streams.  Sure hope they aren’t any of mine.

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Matt Murphy

I awoke one day, pointed to the heavens and the Earth and said "above and below, there is nothing quite like my simulacra's simulacra"... ...and I did some other stuff in between then (my birth) and writing this bio.

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