GAME: Facebeak Life rEinVENT

When I create content, I affirm my right to share in the benefit from that content. I admit, ambition to leave Facebeak isn’t served by lighting my presence there:  Facebeak packs an internet-like experience into microcosm, trades you for livestock, and locks the door behind it. It won’t let you set your profile for a relationship with someone off-site,  it won’t let you change your gender, but it does let you change your date of birth. Twice, actually.

01 Facebook Game Born

This tickled, but it wasn’t readily apparent to me the size of scope of what I was doing. So it began as a time travel game.

My first attempt was to travel two days into the past of my “feed”, sometime in 2013.

08 Facebook DOB Game - Time Travel

I tried 2013 again, to 2013 two weeks prior. I linked in a friend, but didn’t tell him about it. With no thread, the entry got lost too. There are a several versions of the time travel variation and it’s great play and discovery. Anyway, back to my childhood. Duchamp’s “Fountain” debuted in 1917, carrying with it the assertion that “if it’s in a gallery, it must be art”.

04 Facebook DOB GameI don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers about my childhood and family.  Facebeak Life rEinVENT allows me to express this area.

05 Facebook DOB Game - World Warriors

Socio-political commentary there, without the thorns of modern embroilment!

So, in short, to play you need:facebeak date
Facebook account, spare time, imagination. Historical interest is optional.

1.  Re-set birthday (only 1-2 changes allowed)
2. Hit life event, and choose a category.
3. Choose type and add details (Pre-set event types may constrict in-game movement)

You can link your friends into the game, set them in any genre or time-frame, create one-off events, or arc stories, like I’ve shown here.

07 Facebook DOB Game - The Bloodsucker Gang

Ooh, add a photo!

I’d prefer you didn’t Facebeak friend me, but please comment, link to it and above all PLAY  and publish your game on the global free internet.

The Rejected

DeSpayer was a thin Count, mucky, but on the outside top line black waist-coat and bow tie. Only the nose (shaped like an arrow head), gave any indication of irregularity. This quiet statesman kept his poly amorous souls buried in the thickest soil. Deep beneath the villa, golden rays warmed the mountain top and at it’s bottom, Atlantic rapids blanked the rocks to ice the prison boundaries.

Chad and Martin III, the poor Easygate: so young and hard and lost, the richer sibling Grace, Waldo (of gardens), each withered away one by one. In turn, in that carved out hollow, they passed around their stories of who they were before. They passed on their skills. They held each other strongly. After the first month, the captor was only spoken of indirectly: Valiantisha wth the spike in her chest, and Harry, who called himself The Battered, were the last remaining. Raw worm and accidental fish were not enough to keep the scourges gone. Waldo would not last long.

She bound and grabbed Grace’s legs and dug days and nights. Likewise with Harry. Using Easygate’s shoulders, he knocked rocks from out of the way. Valiantisha barely knew Chad, the first architect of their space then and once again as his body held up the fortifications they had hard won. It was Autumn when their white forms emerged from one dangerous side of the cliff. Waldo was first, his lifeless head a shovel. As the way became clearer, Harry emerged but blocked the hole for a while before the situation dawned on Valiantisha. She tossed his body over to the unforgiving expanse below. As ordered she had stripped the shoes from his feet first and marched them towards DeSpayer’s bedroom were she put an elbow bone through the Count’s skull.

The Count’s living room was sofas built of clean sponge parts, baige loungers in an open planned suite, with minimalist features. The glass was open to the sun, wine red shag curtains remote controlled for days of torrential assault. Between the oriental rugs, in the centre a jewel was embedded. When the time suited DeSpayer, the subterranean victims appeared there in hologram. They screamed in dental anguish, dirt leaked from the curtains. Cut open, wounds appeared as the rejected scrabbled against wooden dividers. Over time as the show was uglier, ivy grew, and Valiantisha drew nearer. Her money was enough to buy new cameras and commission a new show, called The Rainbow of Damage Control. DeSpayer’s former business colleagues were murdered in a manner much like the great purges. Assets were seized: it’s okay to call it pest control if pests are culled.

The Rainbow of Damage Control Show featured planes in emergency evacuation missions. Thousands of people airlifted in a 24 hour challenge. Flat pack transformer fortress were dropped for those unable to leave. Valiantisha died an old woman in a happier world.

The Rat Files

Stormont was an iconic parliament building, three levels of ten windows along either side of six columns out front. After the War, the removable paint never really removed, and the building lost the ‘white house’ look. Despite that, the hill added to it’s stature and Stormont was visible from various parts around Belfast. No parliament could sit in the long low intensity conflict, so there was no heavy security installation. Instead the building had a heritage house feel, albeit closed, though the acres around were publicly open. Our family moved to the area in 83, and my brother and I would take the ball ten minutes for a kick about the grounds, which were green and wide.

One day while watching the Roland Rat Show, Roland announced he and Kevin would tour the UK. This was sort of big. Roland was the fore-runner to the grunge movement, a brash, outrageous knit. He didn’t care for pleasing the typical lot with demand for primary colours. He was grey and animatedly pushed boundaries. He was arrogant, translated as, self-confident for a reason. Kevin the Gerbil by contrast was so pink, so welcoming, that his straight-ness was bent, gay iconic with an unassuming air. And maybe, Kevin was Roland’s beard. Jokes were made of his subservience, but his agenda of conformity opened up not just the Marxist dialogue, but also that of social interactionism. For conformity had it’s reasons. The biggest news.

The biggest news in all this was that Northern Ireland was recognised as the fourth region of the UK. Roland Rat Superstar was to ignore the Irish sea, fuck a two fingers to the war of the Troubles, he was coming. Blue Peter didn’t bother, ITV’s many paranormal productions never filmed here, John Craven treated us with the same black-out mentality as Police Six, which was supposed to be local! So, Graeme and I made our plans. One Friday morning, after London, Roland announced they were coming. We got mum to make sandwiches, and packed an apple, and a biscuit from the biscuit barrel, into a green plastic (Tupperware) container. By mid-day we were at the gates of Stormont. We kicked the ball diagonally, broad strokes, hoping that it might be intercepted by a film crew.

By Sunday gate closing we were worried. It was the summer holidays and come half eight the next morning we set off for what we were sure would be a live show. Roland never came. We heard it in the air that yes, indeed, he was in Northern Ireland. So why hadn’t he come? On Tuesday with lunches, no Roland, no Kevin. Not even Errol the hamster. We ate everything we had and stayed on two hours after the show ended. I told Graeme we might see the crew set up for the next day, but it was probably desperation on my part, I could see he had given up. On Wednesday I left the ball behind and when it became clear he wasn’t showing up I ran home. Graeme confirmed Rat On The Road had reached Northern Ireland, in some place called Ballycastle. One of the Ballys, one of the Castles. It didn’t sound too impressive.

On Thursday I stayed in the living room and watched as the TV-AM cameras tried to show the hexagonal stepping stones known as Giants Causeway and the wild exposing ocean. The two slithers of sock puppets traversed these inter-locking columns, their missing feet skipping the playfulness. A sixty million year old rock formation, it was suggested comedy happened, as Roland and Kevin’s wires were blown across the wide open landscape. There was no rain and I was unconvinced. I can’t care what happened on Friday. By Monday, he and Kevin were in Wales. There were no people there. I didn’t care about that either, how he’d much rather follow an isolationist agenda. By Tuesday he met people, were he hoarded cheese, and lorded it over them. Wales was the birthplace of Errol the hamster, but The Rat made quite clear Errol was only in the band to suit his prerogatives. By Wednesday, Roland had the people of Wales by the balls. Errol was a lost figure, Kevin was a dithering sycophant, the puppet government was in place.

Belfast Writers Group at Tullycarnet YarnSpinners and Prose: The Littlest Internet

I’m just back from a very squee evening with the Belfast Writers Group at Tullycarnet Library, part-home of my teenage years, the christening font of my years in adult work. Bruce Logan, who set the gig up pictured below reading from his adrenalin pumping horror freak-out:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sweet Ellie Rose McKee, who has a whole lot of web presence:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Folk wizard Lynda Collins:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A member of the Tullycarnet Yarnspinners, Malcolm, who had us all in stitches with the best Paddy jokes I’ve ever heard (and of course the worst)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And myself. I got off a few pieces, including Tenement Tao, and new works Five Scenes, and this one:

The Littlest Internet

The East Rainy Courier and Advertiser was the most important publication, and it was free
too, weekly and probably funded by the NHS. Fourteen year old Alpen Jones knew this, because
manning the route broadened his mind. The job bought him the 1985 Kick! annual and there was
responsibility in it too. All of Old Upper Kingcastleroad Road would have been an island if not for
his diligence.
His parents were unaware that he left at 6 a.m. It was impossible to deliver in one day after
school. As per his calculations, three days were likelier. Rosemorrow Park and Templechurchmore
Road this morning. One side of the Parade marched into the Park while the other stood at a distance,
rolling its deep lanes off the hill, closer together as it got further away into the black mouth lipped
by trees.. It always started easy – three steps for climb-overs , back, then a two-house climb-down,
down the path for a bend of the calf and a copy for Danny Panana and his wife, Mrs. Brianna
Panana. A dog answered a door and he had to go all the way back up the stone path, unhook the
anchor, creak it round, gather it closed (minding his toes) and drop the hook. Leaflets were an extra
half-penny and he spread them on like filler, rolled like a wrap for dinner. Eight, he knew instantly,
down, and to go this side. He looked at his watch again. There was time to finish it before school.
Number Nine was Seventeen, the age of his brother Terry, born in September. This thought never
crossed his mind, though there were many. No. He was mostly concerned with the collection of
garden gnomes, rocking horses, pink windmills, weeping angel statues, cardboard cut-out black cats
on a black metal strip, the plastic sun in the window and the fat spotted three foot big mushroom of
the pensioner he never saw. The mythical pensioner of Templechurchmore. And while you and I
might be thinking of this, with it’s chequerboard path-way bordered at angles by pink plate tiles
fronting plastic weeds, the lad has already slotted the paper and gotten onto Nineteen. There, he’s
minding his fingers around the axe-wielding letterbox. Next door, a loud dog, and angry dog, a dog
that knows you’ve touched the gate-post and you will be caned for it. So Alpen rolled the paper and
rolled it into the rosetta frame of the gate to be found by the dog’s owners on their way to work.
Next door was the friendly house. A pull-back gate, garden path cut friendly for feet and steered just
out of Angry Dog’s X-ray radius. He wondered sometimes if the editor had run a political expose of
that mutt. The paper flapped quietly and the hatch was gently replaced. Next door was were Lydia
Smith lived. She was from school and he liked her, but he wasn’t sure why. They’d never talked. She
wasn’t one of the spide girls. She was even kind of pretty maybe. Their house reminded him of
Christmas (the sofa looked like a labrador), and Lydia’s mum was a jam maker. Twenty-Seven was
Kevin and Devlin, the twins aged eleven who seemed pre-occupied with bread leaven and
unleavened. Their father was a pastor, sometimes radio broadcaster and Terry’s friend Richard said
he was Grant Master. He went to a lodge, not the Wine Lodge were Auntie Phyllis worked but but
one involving owls and something to do with metalwork. Alpen didn’t know what a pastor was: he
could hear the milk-man coming though. In the future, the truth would be past your eyes Grant
Master, he thought. There was nothing special about the letter-box, it was even disappointing.
Aaron wondered if he knew Mr. Withers who had made them make shoe-horns last term. A gate was
closed like cement but if Alpen walked further on, he could do Thirty-One, Twenty-Nine and exit
Thirty-One without ever having to get stuck on the climb-over, and he did these. Across the road,
gates led to Scotland and the longest most gravelly driveway. When he’d been there, the house was
shaped like a castle, and a man who looked Scottish was there. He was Scottish because he had a
Tartan blanket and a large beard like Uncle Bulgaria. He never spoke. That’s all Alpen Jones could
remember, like trying to remember black and white Doctor Who from teevee. The dog he
remembered. It was not of Scotland – it was the smallest, so evil with mechanical butchering jaws,
so unspeakable in it’s ability to hurt – that it didn’t have a name. The lad like so many times before,
made there an exception in his conscience. I’m only telling you about it because the East Rainy
Courier and Advertiser was the most important publication in the world as Alpen Jones maintained,
but most notably the other side of Templechurchmore Road and Rosemorrow Park, every week.

Me at Tullycarnet

Tenement Tao

The cleverest things in the world are the toughest to speak of concisely. Our marriage had hit a rut and the only way for it not to die, to not slip through grass to a ravine, was to talk. It wasn’t about always telling the truth, sometimes I lies so she would follow, and sometimes I’d not talk, and she’d sing. Caught inside one another, watching each other smile. Electrack Street, Garbage City was behind us for Sublime, a small village were people emitted pink love hearts as they passed. I recall unpacking one box and wondering at what point we’d thrown out the stereo. The Flaming Lips, under a thick sheet of dust. Well, that couldn’t go in Jonas’ nursery.

Marry-Jane and I listened: every bawl, every wail, every boo-oo-aa. We were glad we’d traded Electrack Street for him; every moment, though, he was so tiny, like a little sausage cartoon clone of me, every moment was not not precious. There was noise, and noise and ringing scorching headache. When sleepy, he was a doorway to a world of New Age delivery, of de-cluttered living. We basked in him like he was the Tahiti sun, our perfectly put together boy. He walked and said, “Air”.

He stopped screaming and the night reminded me of my own parents. At the dock, after hours waiting for the boat to come in with Dad getting a sleep behind the wheel and Mum making us juice from the caravan behind. The other children, between the still cars, and the lorries. It was something deep black and spiritual, a promise of pioneering as harboured boats chimed in the wind. It was going to be okay.

There was no acid then, no wrong vinegar. Sure, he got into trouble, but nothing too off. Just like any other boy, except I got the feeling he was improving the curve. He had a paper round which he took some pride in. That Christmas his mum and I gave money for choice. That was the moment when we let One Direction into our home with their wonderful song-writing skills, their catchy tunes and refreshing perspectives teaching the three of us the way of the world.

Exactly a year later, Jonas burned tied to the basement table, while Mary-Jane and I wrapped wheels through LA streets, boiling petrol towards our new lives in Alaska.

Bloody Templates

Stick

I can see in the dark. It’s not deadly. There’s layers, and things we bring. Memories, grins, carrots and hummus, shades of sun, different colours. (I have a lot of white) Some memories are very strong, I’ve lived here for years. No music plays now, but I remember Blake Leyh’s closing credits to The Wire which sound like the marina car park, the Flaming Lips Yoshimi rock opera of holiness. When the electric increases it’s range I’ll feel comforted, but sometimes I like the risk. Crossing to the far end without knocking anything over is my own private talent show. Somewhere in those late hours I’ll let a mess grow. I’m going to step away from the screen now. I can see what’s at the other end, although it’s dark.

Flee Street

Do you wanna publish? Do you wanna publish? Let’s go. It’s periodicals. Drive the barons of the papers out of business. And you’ve got a team of writers ploughing through human rights periodicals. We’re communicating. Periodicals, easy cheap. Permanent type is so 18th century dear. Not 1,000 per vendor – five in every shop. Committee hyperfiction. And we’re in the exhibition about exhibitions now exhibiting our own exhibition journals and A4e bomb planes bastardise the flesh of forty year old language teachers who were once little children.

And that teachers a terrorist, and you’re a terrorist: Monica, Colin, Tracey, Hugh, Ha ha ha. Ha ha ha the headline. Christopher in Serial Naplaming Shock, Ha Ha Ha, and now we can all sleep, because it’s 11 a.m.

Aren’t they ready to learn? Rosaleen? Can’t we teach these painters of crap? Learn. It’s fun. Next person. Shh. Learn. Ha ha ha Headline.

But My Finger

There, the most floatiest macaroon lemur Todd rode midday. Cantaloupe no surprise raffles canyon feathers back back and give security. Wax scaffold fun ordered Molly Coddles’ barber flying, now I’m on line. Boaters’ Margarette was the cake – commercial yet co-operate, social animal.
“I know you meant Battenburg”, said Paul.
“It’s time you woke up and learned the truth”, spoke the megaphone, but my finger pointed up to improvised paradox dream laid manifesto to save the macaroon lemur.

Doodles Writer in September

Faith sketches, they might have been called. A long-backed rhomboise mounting a flap-bad owl spectra ship. The other had a butterfly’s look but also French Toast marked by black ink outlines repeated. The antennae might have been twigs, or cherries, and were accompanied by a commercial witch’s broomstick. Flow lines.

Cluedo

The laptop lay open, each segment of it over eight A0 poster prints in the shop window. Sitting at the bus stop opposite it each evening, Dawn remembered the detail. The code around the browser window burned into her retina like a favourite boy or a school time social formula. As Dawn walked the houses of the street, through windows laptops became mouths, banking websites the oysters within. She would wait until the postman’s van was in the area, and this was how the police arrested Kevin Tracey.

Chief O’ Hara was the recipient of the usual notes of gibberish. He nor D.I. Jaunty were not interested in any of that palaver. The criminal was smart, the criminal was stupid. He was not taking the laptops, merely transferring funds from them. The break-ins were all about 2-4pm: Royal Mail round time, Tracey’s arrest.

We can tell he’s not a cyber-hacker, however he wants us to believe he’s not smart. If he was he’d be out with everyone else during this time at the local Assco supermarket. Those are the hours when staff do the food and drink mark down, the reduced-to-clear. The criminal is smart see. John Clunes always signed his name to these letters and after a while O’Hara and Jaunty stopped sending him cautions. For in every investigation, the aul street cleaner was right.

It was with reluctance that O’Hara investigated, and it was with an icy reception that Clunes treated the conversation. Interest was peaked when Clunes revealed they were all Hyperion Bank robberies. They were spreading three miles over, but all on the bus route from the 24. It was at the 24 pick-up point in the city were Hyperion advertised. Dawn lived at the meeting point of four quiet back streets were the first robbery was committed.
‘Underclass’, as according to the man in the yellow jacket.
“This one was a prior suspect in a visa card scam from the plush shop tills. The money trail went cold and she was never prosecuted.”
She left to study a joint Masters in graphic design and psychology and came home to the recession: Vietnam for academics. Clunes found her on Google. The strand of red hair from one of the keyboards was long, and caught in the free newspapers she delivered around the area. The pay was £10 a week. Enough for the benefit office to double her workload, enough to fund two round bus fares, no wonder it was a secret.

“She couldn’t repay her student loan, what chances are there of repaying anything the court has to damn her with?” asked John, out in the yard, as Kevin Tracey walked off into the distance. Like Jaunty, he was but a few years from retirement, though his features were harder, a weighty face of jagged rock, stubble like sandpaper, a skin bitten by the elements. His hands were in his pockets by his tools: a brush, a picker, a shovel around the sides of the bin on the barrow he pushed. His eyes looked at the two officers and he raised his white ipod phones to his lugs and wheeled on past them.