16 4 / 2012
The riots started at 2 a.m.
Jorgensen’s media threw out statements such as “temporary insanity caused by perceived economic imbalances” headlined with the standard, bold “MONEY MADNESS” in an attempt to placate those still on their couches, questioning whether they should take to the streets, too.
But it wasn’t madness that sparked the riots. It was sanity.
It was the collective realization that the imaginary, intangible numbers by which we’ve been measuring the worth of our land, achievements and neighbors are entirely baseless in physical reality and philanthropy. The sudden, statewide mental clarity as we remembered leprechauns weren’t real and money hasn’t and won’t ever exist outside of our own shared fantasy. That money is worthless.
No, even worse – that money is worth only what we attribute it, and we gave it everything. The snap of epiphany: We created this system, these numbers scrolling across our screens and determining our every action and pause, this pretentious value. We looked into our friends’ eyes and said they couldn’t eat that day. We denied medicine to sick children and we let our elderly perish in a pool of their own undignified excrement because that wasn’t our job, because helping wouldn’t increase the decimal places on those scrolling numbers.
We are angry at ourselves. We are psychotic with rage like a repenting serial killer is as he looks back at his life, and finds only a trail of blood and empty rooms. We are pissed at Jorgensen, but he didn’t force us to come here, to live like this. He promised the sun and gave us a burnt match, and still we believed him. He’s a dick, but he is not to blame for our own blind fealty. We are.
We are rioting. And as Jorgensen says, WE DESERVE THIS.
27 3 / 2012
We don’t have a title for this project yet, but for now we’ve come to call it by the main character’s name: Soraya.
Soraya is based on a short story I half-finished for a creative-science-fiction-writing class in my final semester of college, which was in turn based on a novella I spontaneously began writing in my final year of high school between penning chunks of my first novel. It’s transformed with each iteration, and by the time it got to the sci-fi class last year, I felt strongly that it should be a graphic novel, although the parameters of the class prevented me from presenting it in that form.
I’ve never written a comic, but I’m a rabid fan, and it turns out the cousin who has always been more of my (fraternal twin) sister is an astounding artist and writer herself, currently finishing her own degree in sequential art, or “mother-fucking comic books” as they are sometimes called. By me. And other people, probably. Fine, it’s just me.
We’ve done things like this before — we’ve written together, we’ve discussed the beauty of semi-colons and breathlessly dissected reams of digital, copyright-infringing text. I know that her art belongs in a gallery and she believes unfailingly that I will become a published author while “books” still exist.
But on to our mother-fucking comic book:
Soraya lives in a futuristic society on Venus — just go with it — that has rid itself of one crucial, integral aspect of our own modern lives (that for now I’ll leave up to the perverted annals of your own twisted minds). From this one omission the psychologies, desires and reasons to live are altered from our current understanding for every single person on the planet, including Soraya. But some people try to change this. Some people, who have never lived on Earth or experienced the pitfalls of our societal structures, try to implement the very system that made Earth crumble and whose omission makes Venus work. Soraya, a passionate and dedicated journalist, joins these people out of curiosity and a desire to live an absolutely complete life, and shit gets real.
Shit. Gets. Real.
Rum and watermelon,