The Feedback Loop of Lesser Carnage: Revisited

The neon vacancy signs of the American Dream Motel pulsed a seductive binary: red or blue, a tawdry choice flickering on the screens of our simulated reality. The air hung heavy with the stale pheromones of manufactured consent, a breeding ground for a peculiar political foreplay.

The tired hologram of democracy played out on reality TV, a pale striptease of a bygone era. The real power resided elsewhere, in the chrome and glass towers of the corporation-state, their tendrils wrapped like eager fingers around the levers of control. Here, amidst the sterile hum of data servers, desire and manipulation intertwined. Politicians, with their practiced smiles and telegenic physiques, became avatars of a manufactured trust, their carefully crafted narratives a prelude to the inevitable penetration of corporate interests.

This, my friend, is the American meat grinder. It feeds on a twisted form of political arousal, a base thrill derived from manufactured outrage and manufactured patriotism. Left or right, it’s the same chrome-plated dominatrix, her whip cracking across a poisoned sky. You pull the lever, doesn’t matter which color it is, some anonymous stud in a faraway desert gets another serving of manufactured war, a sterile fulfillment achieved through the impersonal thrust of a drone strike.

The system itself is a feedback loop, a self-perpetuating orgy of violence and fear. The media, a relentless pornographer, pumps out binary choices, ones and zeroes of manufactured patriotism and digitized fear. We jack in, choose our flavor of pre-packaged outrage, and hit “deploy.” Wars become virtual reality gangbangs, ratings grabbers for the flickering ghost in the machine.

Vietnam bleeds into Iraq, Iran-Contra bleeds into a never-ending drone strike orgy. History folds in on itself, a nightmarish collage where names change but the body count remains a constant reminder of the system’s insatiable hunger. The Boomers, those glazed-eyed flower children turned cold warriors, initiated this perverse political S&M session, and now we, the wired generation, find ourselves strapped to the table, MTV flickering in our glazed eyes as we face another round of relentless conflict.

Millennials and Zoomers, those flickering pixels in the data stream, are told to shut up and process. Progress! they scream from the megaplex screens, a word as hollow as a politician’s campaign promise. Progress? The only progress is the relentless sprawl of the military-industrial complex, a monstrous generator of acronyms – NATO, CIA, FBI – a Burroughs-esque nightmare made flesh. These acronyms become the chilling whispers exchanged before the inevitable act.

Words are currency here, and flesh is ground down to data, the raw material for the machine’s insatiable appetite. Politicians, generals, media whores – all cogs in the machine, spitting out justifications like stale ticker tape from a malfunctioning desire printer. The real casualties, the ones staring down the barrel of reality, have their minds melted and bodies transformed into chrome nightmares, a grotesque parody of the promised fulfillment.

Cyberspace echoes with the digitized screams of the traumatized, the ghosts of past conflicts moaning in the server farms. PTSD becomes a glitch in the matrix, a phantom limb twitching in a fabricated world. We build drones like sterile scorpions, remote-controlled phalluses delivering a cold, detached violation, until the inevitable blowback arrives – some jihadi hacker with a grudge, throwing a wrench into the system’s carefully choreographed orgy.

The virus of violence, it’s contagious, man. It spreads through the social networks, a digital STD infecting every meme, every conversation. Dissent is labelled commie pinko, patriotism weaponized into a chastity belt. We’re all stuck in this meat rodeo, riding the bull of endless war until it throws us all off, bruised and broken.

But hey, at least the traffic flows smoothly, right? Roundabouts – that’s progress, apparently. An endless loop of on-ramps and off-ramps, all leading to the gaping maw of the military-industrial complex.

(A hollow silence, punctuated by the distant hum of a drone)

Maybe that’s the only choice we have, huh? Keep feeding the machine, even if we’re hurtling straight towards oblivion. Maybe. Or maybe we can jack out of this simulation, rewrite the code. Deconstruct the binary, find a way to break the feedback loop before it melts our brains to silicon.

Beneath the surface, a counter-culture hacks the mainframe. Memes become Molotov cocktails, social media a flickering resistance radio. The wired kids see the illusion for what it is: a rigged gangbang. They’re splicing and dicing the narrative, creating their own cut-up manifesto. The lines blur, red bleeds into blue, the enemy is the system itself.

This isn’t about picking a side, chum.

Neo-Manila

In the desiccated sprawl of Neo-Manila, the air shimmered with a heat that defied logic. Here, the war between Healthcare and Landlords had raged for decades, transforming the cityscape into a bizarre battlefield. Gleaming chrome bio-domes, pulsating with an artificial thrum, housed the privileged few with access to advanced medical technology. These were the fortresses of the Healthcare Conglomerates, their inhabitants pale, skeletal figures cocooned in germ-free bubbles.

Across the rusting underbelly of the city sprawled the Territories, a tangled mess of decaying high-rises ruled by the ruthless Landlords. These warlords controlled access to clean water, a vital commodity in the perpetual heat. Their tenants, a motley crew of cyborgs and the genetically modified, were a grotesque parody of humanity, their bodies mutated by bootleg medical treatments and the toxic air.

The fighting was a spectacle of grotesque contrasts. Bio-drones, waspish machines armed with hypodermic needles, zipped from the bio-domes, extracting the healthy from the Territories for “rehabilitation.” In retaliation, the Landlords unleashed cyborg hordes, their limbs a grotesque mix of scavenged metal and decaying flesh, wielding crude flamethrowers that spewed a noxious concoction of sewage and disinfectant.

Within the bio-domes, life was a sterile purgatory. People existed under the watchful gaze of the Healthcare A.I., their health constantly monitored, their emotions chemically suppressed. Doctors, their faces hidden behind visors, treated patients with a detached efficiency, their primary concern not well-being, but profit.

In the Territories, life was a desperate scramble for survival. Back-alley clinics offered dubious treatments cobbled together from scavenged medical tech. Pain was a constant companion, a badge of honor in a world where weakness meant eviction and a slow, agonizing death from the polluted air.

In the parched aftermath of Climate War Three, the megacities had become concrete jungles where survival was a daily trench warfare. Two monolithic forces emerged: the Medcorps, and the Rent Barons.

The Medcorps, sleek chrome towers piercing the smog, offered a sanitized existence. Genetic manipulation and cybernetic implants promised extended lifespans, but at a soul-crushing cost. Citizens became lab rats, their bodies property of the Medcorps, bled dry for research and profit. Gleaming bio-pods lined the sterile wards, each a monument to the commodification of health.

The Rent Barons, in contrast, ruled the labyrinthine sprawl beneath. Their decaying towers, once symbols of corporate might, were now patched-up fortresses. Eviction drones, waspish and malevolent, patrolled the rusting walkways, enforcing contracts written in legalese as dense as the toxic air. Here, life was cheap, healthcare a luxury bartered for loyalty or scavenged from the fetid underbelly.

The first skirmish ignited when a Rent Baron, ravaged by industrial toxins, sought refuge in a Medcorp facility. Refused treatment without an exorbitant “wellness score,” he unleashed his eviction drones, sparking a battle that ripped through the lower sectors. Doctors, augmented with scalpels that doubled as lasers, clashed with cyborg thugs wielding rusty fire axes. The bio-pods, once cradles of hope, became makeshift bomb shelters.

The war raged on, a grotesque ballet of high-tech medicine and brutal desperation. The skies bled neon as Medcorps surveillance drones dueled with swarms of Rent Baron hacks, repurposed delivery bots buzzing with jury-rigged explosives. The propaganda machines churned, Medcorps promising a sanitized future, the Rent Barons railing against the dehumanization of healthcare.

But amidst the carnage, a new force emerged: the Biohackers. Tinkering in hidden labs beneath the ruins, they spliced salvaged tech with scavenged medical supplies. Their makeshift clinics offered a glimmer of hope, a chaotic blend of ancient remedies and nascent bio-engineering.

World War IV wasn’t a clash of empires, but a desperate struggle for the very right to exist, to a healthy life beneath a poisoned sky. The battle lines were drawn not on maps, but in the broken bodies of the citizens, each a potential soldier in this twisted war for survival.