The pop superstars GS5 partnered with MoreCorp on a virtual world tour and it was reportedly amazing. That’s not surprising considering GS5 is the fifth Gem Shwift, a band made of five upgraded iterations of the great prototype, who is still alive and controlling her brand, overseeing operations from a preservation pod.
MoreCorp and the Gems have been in business together since both became universal institutions. They are perfect partners and embody the spirt of the age — futuristic, ownership-oriented, and fun. Neither intimidates with sophistication. They just dominate and have a great time. That's surely why the sentiment they expressed on Gem’s first virtual world tour was Everything Is Awesome.
The theme for the latest tour was Shwifty Does It. Unfortunately, not even five upgraded Shwifts could do it, that is, overhaul the infrastructure in indigent Single System System lands. So in places where the wifi is weak and SSS interests minimal, GS5 fans, about a billion of them, were disappointed by the tour. Tickets were hard to get, and during the show, overloads caused blackouts. As soon as the power returned, fans flocked to MUTTS — the MoreCorp Universal Ticket Transport System — demanding refunds.
Now the SKI Team, responsible for keeping company secrets, is managing the deluge. We’re putting complaints in categories on a spreadsheet that will basically read, “Shit went fux.” Whether MoreCorp will respond to the substantive issues is unclear. Silicon is always supplied with sweet juice, so anyone who could do something about infrastructure won't get why the indigent are negative and may say they don’t manifest the best because they lack positude.
It’s super fun reviewing the concert complaints — I’m listening to GS5 tunes while doing it, nearly forgetting that I’m in the Clubhouse doge-house and probably out of the Lovesport. Almost unaware, but not quite, that soon I too will be compost, like everything, like the MUTTS tickets of irrelevant citizens upset that they were deprived of a live feed of clones of a pop star who was the first working machine-human hybrid.
In fact, the Gem Shwift hybrid worked so well that when she stopped performing personally she partnered with MoreCorp on cloning, and thus was repeated and improved upon. Now there are five, the ladies of GS5 to be precise. Old models, excepting the prototype, are destroyed when a new Gem is revealed, which some say is a human rights violation and most consider a non-issue because these are pop bots.
While Disco Ninjas review complaints, the corporate partnership is managing spin. Notes, MoreCorp’s musical arm, and Shwiftology, Gem's PR unit, have issued statements promising to replay the show for frustrated fans. But that’s hardly the same thing as knowing GS5 was actually performing live on tour!!! This logic holds even when the band is programmed clones and the tour a single studio show so not live in the classic sense and not a tour either. We're getting more angry MUTTS tickets at work.
If the frustrated fans sound illogical to you then you, like me, must not be implanted. To us it's funny when folks with tek in their heads, experiencing existence mostly electronically, distinguish between real and fake, genuine and inauthentic. But we all only know what we know. The implanted don’t understand what was once thought of as real life because real life in the SSS is a hybrid, just like Gem Shwift, electronic and organic overlapping. To distinguish between real and fake, physical and virtual, is complicated and unnecessary as the mind doesn’t mind either way.
Meanwhile, I now know that though I’m not intellectually hampered by my lack of a tek implant, I'm culturally uninformed and have missed the most important lessons of fitting in. That’s why I’m in the doge-house. I've learned many tongues but not the cryptic code of Siliconian semi-machines living a rich inner life onscreen.
Beings are idiosyncratic, full of feels. Organic intelligence is great and unpredictable, a mystery. The engineering is incredible but we can’t take any credit — we’re just beings breathed by animating wind. Mastering self and the game of life takes a lifetime if it is even possible at all. That's why people started implanting to upgrade their knowledge bases. It’s more efficient and less risky than experience.
I’ve never been tempted because practically speaking implants demand reliance on wifi, staying in connected territories, and although the SSS can feel like the whole world, there's still land where billionaire Big Daddy Cane’s drones do not deliver or kill. In other words, attachment is a state of mind that organics can deprogram while hybrids rely on power, a current connecting them to the source of their intelligence.
The samurai doesn't need wifi, so I find the outrage over the virtual tour gone awry absurd. But I’m also caught up in the culture and have wondered what it’s like be a pop star. Obviously I’m caught up. I came X-Country to the main campus of the world’s friendliest company to play a game. Now I know that not everyone can win, just like Daisy said in Metropolis when we first met.
Confirmation comes late on 5-day, before the weekend, conveniently, in the form of a ping from Cake Big, also a figure from the past. Cast back in your memory to that day on the Point when a mean recruiter shouted as I walked Hound and vid-chatted, warning me not to count my chix before they hatch. She is back on behalf of the MidCorp at MoreCorp People Operations Lovesport Committee, her avatar changed from a shark to a hyena, her message consistent with the visual representation.
CB: U lose told u not 2 count chix
El: You did. Thx.
Sure, it’s no problem for her but what about me? How can this be? Even though I knew, somehow I still can’t believe I’m out of the Lovesport. So that’s it. The game is over as soon as it started unless we were actually playing all along. All that scrambling and stressing was for nothing. Shit.
Here comes Wolf now, signaling it’s time for a cig. We take the toxic backstairs in silence, exit the Clubhouse and walk to the back of the parking lot under a blazing sun, squinting. Haiti is already outside smoking with Amir, who greets us cheerily. He was fired and rehired randomly so is very much in touch with his disdain for MoreCorp. I thought he lacked positude but now he seems smart for not believing in the Lovesport while I’m a sorry fux who just lost.
“Shheeeeiiit.” Wolf lights a smoke and hands it to me, asking, “You ok?”
“No. I’m not. I’m out.” This comes as a surprise to no one apparently. I relent, stating the obvious. “Sure we knew when Goddess put me in the doge-house but fux. This sux. You?”
“Out,” Wolf confirms. He kicks the concrete with his scuffed boot, head bent against the sun, exhales smoke as he speaks, sounding tired. “That’s how it goes.”
Haiti tries to hug me. I shrug her off. She says, “I’m so sorry, Ellipsis.” But she’s pleased it seems.
“What,” I ask, not angry but not gracious when she tells us she got an interview and is still in the game. “Great. Congratulations,” I say. “Gotta get out of here.”
On the ride home, I feel bad but good too, lighthearted, liberated. Wolf and I play GS5 tunes all the way up the mountain. It may not be what we wanted — we’re not sure really — but it’s done. As we wind up to UnCorp, our connection fades and the catchy pop crackles and splatters, coming in and out. The last thing Gem Shwift clones sing as we enter the green cathedral of the redwood forest is a rousing chorus, “Shwifty does It! Shwifty loves it.”