Archive for attack

No Need to Worry

Posted in Global Travel, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2012 by javedbabar

Adam had heard that professional jobs were available in Lucerne. Things were pretty slow in the city so it seemed like a good idea to try his luck elsewhere.

In days gone by he would have just taken off abroad. Living in developing countries was cheaper than staying in Arcadia. When he wasn’t working here, living in India or Ethiopia or Peru was a way to save money, provided he went for at least a month to amortize the airfare.

A month in the city was about three thousand bucks all in, a hundred a day. A month in Varanasi, Lalibela or Cuzco was two thousand, flights included, and the longer he stayed there, the better the notional day-rate – going from sixty dollars to half that. But now that he had a wife and three step-children, he had to handle the situation carefully.

He did some day trips initially. Lucerne was a pretty village with a white mountain standing guard above it, and surrounded by forests, rivers and lakes. It was filled with old families of farmers, loggers and hunters, but also a new crowd of artists, musicians and yoga teachers. He checked with Village Hall, and yes, they said, they needed professional people desperately. If he moved here, he could have his pick of jobs.

“When can I have an interview?” he asked the receptionist.

“This is it,” she said. “You’ve got the job, or more than one if you like.”

“More than one?”

“Yes, we have numerous positions available, and funds from the Authority gathering dust. We want to use them for the benefit of Lucerne’s citizens.” She explained the strange situation here. There was mass unemployment of unskilled people, but a shortage of skilled ones. They desperately needed his expertise.

Adam was assigned the job of CPM: Chief Project Manager, and asked to start as soon as possible. He was also given a house to live in with a nocturnal security guard.

“Is that necessary?” he asked. “It seems like a peaceful place.”

“Just in case,” said the receptionist. “You never know.”

Adam’s wife agreed that he should follow the work, and they moved immediately. On the first evening, they dined outdoors, and were so moved by beauty that they could hardly speak. Adam had seen such beauty before, in the Himalayas, Lasta Mountains, and the Andes, but always alone. He was now seeing it with his family, through the eyes of his beloved, and her children.

As the sun set, the security guard, David, suggested they go indoors.

“What’s the hurry?” said Adam. “Let’s enjoy the stars appearing and tonight’s full moon.” He knew it would be impossible to get the kids early to bed tonight. They may as well stay out.

“You don’t know this place well, do you. Have you stayed here overnight before? No? Okay, trust me. You’re better off indoors. That’s what I’m here for, to stay outdoors to ensure your safety. There’s no need to worry though. I am a professional too. I will keep you safe.”

“Safe from what?”

“You’ll see.”

“Do you have a gun?” Adam recoiled when he realized what he’d said. Had he brought his family to a place where you need a gun to survive?

“No, I won’t need a gun. Just go inside and take it easy. No need to worry.”

That night they heard glass smashing somewhere, screeching tires, and flashes like firecrackers, followed by a chorus of sirens – ambulances, fire trucks, and cops. They slept eventually but were disturbed from their slumber by smashing and shouting. Adam went to the window to see. There was David, covered in blood, either grimacing or grinning.

“What happened?” he called. “Are you okay?”

“I told you not to worry. I have taken care of it.” He wiped his machete, swigged some beer and sat down. He looked at the horrified children and said, “Nothing to see. Now go to bed.”

He wanted them to leave before there was another assault on the house. More of the poor would come.


Art Attacks

Posted in Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown with tags , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by javedbabar

Naomi and her Uncle Bobby had begun by sketching a jungle, to which they’d added roads, railways, and power lines, then factories, media, and telecoms. They discussed developing it into a city but decided to stay with quality over quantity, and avoid the congestion, pollution, noise, crime, expense and stress of urban centres. Modern development can’t be stopped though. Transformation of rural landscape to urban jungle is inexorable.

The hub of the city remained the original village, but it became increasingly commercial, and residents could no longer afford the inflated rents. Houses became shops, and shops became factories, and factories became distribution centres. Lucerne village was essentially a CBD: Central Business District. New suburbs developed on what were once farms, and beyond them were exburbs – separate municipalities within easy commute. These rapid changes horrified Bobby, but Naomi was more relaxed about them. New parks and playgrounds, shops and salons, galleries and museums were all open to her, mostly within walking distance, and because she was in her own drawing she didn’t have to attend school. There wasn’t one.

As the city acquired administrative, legal, and historic status its attraction grew, and many more people came for trade, sometimes travelling great distances. Whether they acquired the resources they needed, and how much, and at what price, and how soon, was affected by the skills they offered, the goods they brought with them, and sometimes their physical size, used to threaten shopkeepers. Most transactions were performed in an orderly manner, but a group of public-minded citizens formed an association called Lookout Lucerne to keep an eye on things, just in case. Their navy blue jackets sporting LL were a reassuring presence in this fast-paced new world.

The new city thrived. People poured in for jobs and entertainment. So many of them in close proximity ignited creative sparks. “I feel itchy fingers,” said Bobby. “I don’t know what it means though.”

“What kind of itching is it?” said Naomi.

“It’s on the inside of my skin, like insects wanting to burst out.” Bobby itched and rubbed his fingers. “I wish I could scrub it from within.”

“Why don’t you just keep drawing till it goes away?” said Naomi. “That’s what I do. When my feet itch I dance, when my ears itch I play music, and when my tummy rumbles I eat.”

Bobby picked some of her fat coloured pencils and got busy. He filled the pages of his hardback notebook with flowing music, dancing, painting, drama, film storyboards and sculptures, all merging together and pulling apart. The galleries, theatres, and concerts halls of their new city were busy, and most performances were sold out, but Naomi always comp’d tickets for herself and Uncle Bobby.

This place had a fierce creativity. The Authority recognized artistic hotspots as “growth points” and used them to fuel local economic activity. As people became more productive and creative, they began to seek answers to questions they had never asked. They debated metaphysics and moral philosophy, studied logic, explored aesthetics, and sought guidance from spiritual teachers, the most prominent of whom were Guru Baba and Ozwald Malchizedek (OM).

Guru Baba was a traditionalist who urged them to focus on meditation and prayer, and slowly develop their souls. He said, “One day you will reach yourselves.”

OM was a modern master pursuing a sensualist approach, who said the natural way was for humans to follow the Principle of Pleasure (POP). He instructed them to see, smell, taste, hear, and touch whatever gave them immediate joy. “Enjoy every day,” he said, “and tomorrow will take care of itself.”

OM’s teachings inspired a popular street art movement. Huge, red-lipped flowers filled civic buildings, golden rockets blasted off office blocks, blue sweating monkeys swung about poles, and black babies floated along factory walls. There were pickled whales in swimming pools, and corpses having sex suspended from street signs. Someone made a life size OM out of garbage. It was a deep comment on the cyclic nature of existence.

This Muse Infuse movement said that there should be unfettered art everywhere. There were occasional disputes about the quality and quantity of works, and who’d created them, but these were quickly resolved by Lookout Lucerne members. They meted out harsh punishments – a white man accused of tagging a black man’s work had his hands cut off. Similarly a black man drawing a white woman was castrated. The Authority agreed that multi-cultural harmony must be preserved at all costs. Soon art was seen as too dangerous to be left to the public. One of OM’s followers, known as Strong Man, rebelled and formed a splinter movement which took control of the streets and banned art entirely. Lookout Lucerne units were instructed to perform Art Attacks.

“What do we do now, Uncle Bobby?”

He said, “I guess we’d better stop drawing.”