NO HOME

[ about notions of home, real and imagined ]

this has been written for a christmas open mike session at crisis skylight, a place in london that offers ‘help’ for people without a ‘proper’ home. what’s happening there is basically courses, lots and lots and of them, which you’d think is a good thing. on one hand it is. but if you turn up as someone like oneself, who could basically teach at least five of those courses to a higher standard (drawing, art, writing, psychology, mindfulness, qigong, piano, etc.), then all they can do is turn around and persecute the persecuted. i’ve been thus put in a position of segregation within the ‘shelter’. i’m not killed, but ignored, which is the professional way to deal with ‘unwanted elements’ these days, to use a nazi lingo for illustration purposes …

anyway. i’ve managed to get on the list of acts after lots of hassle. and i’ve managed to get on stage after lots of hassle and clowns guffawing to whittle precious time away. then i read, saying, i don’t usually do readings anymore and i don’t usually write essays anymore. in this light, this is for you. appreciate or don’t, it doesn’t make a difference. we’ve long long passed this stage as a writer :)

obviously, exactly when the juicier bits started to happen “… then anyone could just walk into your local council, open a suitcase with banknotes and say, “listen, mate, here’s a deal for you. Look at what you could do around here with all of this. Our guys bring in state-of-the-art knowledge and technology //// !!! ///”, i got cut off by management on grounds that i take too much time. the clown in charge confirmed and ushered the next set of clowns in. and i said, “it’s alright to silence me. i’m very used to it. but it is your time that is running out, not mine.” and i left the farce behind. maybe some of the gathered audience understood what’s going on and that’s what my performance was all about.

over and out.


I

It used to be said that the home is where the hearth is. It was, for the most part of human history, the centre of living, the always welcoming source of food, warmth and communication. Entire Greek cities used to be centered around the original fireplace laid down by their respective founders. It had to be kept burning as the flickering symbol of a flourishing society for as long as the city that grew around it existed.
But things progressed, obviously, and after many decades of petty struggles and questionable achievements, as the new centre of home has now established itself a mighty piece of flashy machinery. The television. So much for the ‘evolution’ of mankind.
Yet how is it that increasingly less of us even have a home, let alone hearth or television? Why do we face being outcast and tumbling? Why are we increasingly lacking our most deep-rooted needs? Aren’t even dogs better off, these days?
Certainly, having no home is the main reason why we’re gathering here today, around this substitute hearth of an open mike session, which for the time being impresses on us the archaic warmth of group safety and belonging comfort. A communal social hearth such as this, including the catered neat choice between veggie and meat burgers, can at least temporarily give us the illusion that we’re still part of the human race. But be careful. Don’t think too much. Take your medication. Be happy. You’re all so great. Poor buggers. Thank god, I’ve still got my job. “It’s a jungle out there” (original quote from a food-serving Barclay bank volunteer). A business plan tailored for people ‘in need’ that is based on fashionable, board-room-savvy condescension. No one tells you the truth. The show must go on. Something to laugh about. Bread and games. Let them continue. A marvellous choice of learning opportunities. Reality is just too complex. Where to begin?

II

Well, reality is indeed complex. Why the fuck have we run out of homes, for Christ’s sake? There are many layers of answers, way too many to spell them all out here in a few passing words. But let’s just hint that Christ has indeed something to do with it. Or better, the Barabbas bunch of gangsters. And – the proverbial ‘fallen state’ of Woman. Buried in matter. Adam’s first wive. Zeus’ shunned wive. Hearth keeper. Life Giver. Coming Home. Womb. Bridal chamber. Holy of Holies. Alchemy. Helpmeet.
But of course, on the concrete asphalt level, ‘religion’ has nothing to do with it. So who’s to blame? Well, we’ve all come to know meanwhile about ‘new world order’ and a global imprisonment into the invisible framework of world government. Orchestrated from above the even topmost echelons of international governments – Masonic lodges and their executive bodies of secret services, banks and corporations – the fulfillment of ancient prophecies was a task that most kings and emperors readily subscribed to. Little did they seem to know (or at least didn’t want to) that whenever humans entertain certain plans, on another layer of reality there are always higher plans within plans at work, and deception always lies within deception, so that any human endeavour inevitably faces the same insight that Napoleon is said to have had after being shattered, “the best laid out plans of men and mice often tend to go awry.” Who knows who you are really sleeping with? Is there anybody you can truly trust? Can anybody trust their own selves even? Why bother carving “Know Thyself” into the frontispiece door-beam of Delphi’s oracle?
Invisible and for the most part unrecorded deceptions or seductions were actually far more significant for the writing of human history than otherwise visible and readily recorded wars or disasters. Sex, Concubines, bedspring whispers, clandestine promises and outright temptations. Back-stabbing, jealousy, malice? What about money? Britain was apparently far more successful in ‘colonising’ the world than the Dutch, French, Portuguese and Spanish together, because Henry VIII (when he wasn’t too busy with all his six wives), decided to simply set up shops, not only fortresses, wherever his Britain deforesting fleet ventured – ie, it is far more efficient (or ‘professional’ to use a modern term) to conquer with trade, not with armour. Whether friend or foe, it doesn’t make any difference. Powers’R’Us, either way.
So, historically, any king needed to be careful. Attachment to money has always been considered to be an enormous problem in spiritual-philosphical circles. Do you know, did any Camel ever make it through the needle-hole, in the end? In ancient Greek democracy, involvement with money was an insurmountable obstacle to being allowed any political voice. They even went so far as to use forced exile for anybody with ‘too much money’ or who leveraged their money in such a way that was antithetical to the commonly shared sense of human, dignified living.
A successful constitution of any country meant that money needed to be kept ‘in check’. It had to be issued, monitored and spent, whether at home or abroad, with respect, virtue and wisdom.

III

Thus, we’re returning to the asphaltic core of our present home problem. If money is the only bottom line within a chilly ‘evolutionary existence’ (the whole ‘survival of the fittest’ crap), then anyone could just walk into your local council, open a suitcase with banknotes and say, “listen, mate, here’s a deal for you. Look at what you could do around here with all of this. Our guys bring in state-of-the-art knowledge and technology, and you and your mates never have to worry about money again. Plus – all your people can be made happy overnight – you know what I mean? What more do you want? Employment opportunities and lots of changes everywhere. There’ll be massive changes even, transforming not only lives but entire communities. There’ll be a buzzing climate of progress everywhere. And when we’re through with this, you’re not at all the same poor, insignificant borough, county, nation or state anymore, but you’re happening. You’re truly leaving your mark. History will never forget you. You’re in the ‘book’, man.”
Naturally, you won’t tell them that once your infrastructure is set in place you’re running the whole bloody circus, monopoly style, controlling all shots and markets, and it is any integrity that might’ve been still there in your town or borrow, that’s now become history. Essentially, if you take the money, the majority of your people will be finished. Everyone with a brain and any halfway decent spiritual-philosphical education knows this. But here’s the catch: if you say no, you’ll be dead, either real or at least career-wise, and somebody else will be chosen instead. If Coca-Cola can’t swallow your new promising drinks brand, the same batch of money will stomp you into total invisibility. In other words, whatever your choice, whether you take the money or say no to it, it’ll always work for those ‘powers’. So the outcome is simply inevitable. Sounds inconceivable?
Yet this is exactly what has happened. It happened all around the globe, in fact, sometimes more openly, sometimes more covertly. More openly, economic hit men hired by the CIA and the World Bank have already blown their whistles, claiming what they did should certainly be illegal but, sadly, is not. Simply put, the world does not belong to the ‘people’ anymore, or, rather anything ‘human’. It belongs to something else, instead. There’s a machine in charge whose gears are continuously turning.

IV

Let’s wrap this up with a few exemplary words: If you still own a virginal farmland, while all your neighbours have already evolved their businesses through irreversible subscription to genetically sturdied crop, it is not the only thing discomforting that your closest neighbours’ soils can never be made pure again. If the wind blew one of their seeds onto your land, the company owning the rights for that dodgy crop can actually sue you. Thus disown you from your own land ‘just because’. Now that’s some catch-phrase of ‘disenfranchising’ for you.
But hang on, the comical farce goes on and on, though. Back in the Thatcher / Reagan days, they made-up the term ‘Neo-Liberalism’ which in fact meant taking all possessions from you, the ‘people’ – amenities like gas, electricity, transport and water – and deliver them into the hands of their greedy corporate mates. They thought anything with the word ‘liberal’ would go down well with a detested, liberty-craving populace.
And the catch phrase ‘emerging markets’ de-facto meant to rape all third-world countries by putting alien shit in place and suck them dry as quickly and phenomenally as possible. It’s just great. Lots and lots of investment opportunities for anybody who’s got the cash. Look, people, something emerging. Pop, Pop, and here, look, some more. And all so noble sounding. Pension and hedge funds. Progress everywhere. That’s what the old pensioner farts back home have been asking for, isn’t it? We’re just doing our job, what’s wrong with that? Just snort the coke, mate. Get a life, loser. Long-legged hookers soaking bean-counting digits at arm’s length.
Curtains up. Homelessness London, Christmas 2015: Now that the emergence-job’s finished and third-world nations are pretty much done for, of course, anything on this planet that might still be left emerging, is hitting home now. Homeless-littered America has already done that a while ago. So it’s now Europe’s turn to proffer some of the things left ‘emerging’. Groundwork has been laid most satisfactorily. Mega-cities and systematic centralisation are simply a great base for no-risk investments. After all, the more people who need them, the more promising are the profit-margins for all those so-called ‘homes’ or ‘offices’. Not to worry about old laws of supply and demand anymore, since no one needs to live there anyway. The capital has bypassed all purpose and reason. The capital is henceforth and forever-and-ever rated thousands of times higher than anyone who is merely human.

V

What else is there left to do other than laugh about the madness of man and their self-righteous and stiff-necked ways? “Do I take pleasure in the death of the wicked? Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?”, recites Ezekiel. So it’s not that we haven’t been warned, is it?
But let’s again not get into religion. It really doesn’t go down well, these days, and besides, we certainly feel that praying isn’t enough anymore. Let’s remain instead crystal-clear and aboveboard scientific. Free Masons, like most secret societies, all share a belief in what they call ‘the Tradition’. What they mean by that is lost knowledge that had existed before the flood. The treasuring, researching and passing on of such knowledge is called ‘Gnosticism’. In the past it was simply unthinkable to be an artist or writer if you weren’t initiated into the Gnosis. It should be clear by now, even without being religious, that this place is most definitely not run through big-bang-anarchic Chaos. Not only behind every religion, but also behind every major corporation, secret service and bank, there are always kind-of Gnostics at work. What is happening right here and now, as well as everything else that might be happening, including ‘emerging’ terrorist plots, is all being monitored and recorded. Washington computers are churning microchipped gears overtime. Since we ourselves are also ‘cultivating’, treading the path of Great Dao, Masons do of course at the very least respect us, if not openly acknowledge. What they detest are the ‘we are we’, or the Barabbas / Cain crowd.
Everyone knows that Buddhas don’t punish people. A Buddha’s starting points is always compassion. There might’ve been the odd occasion where Artemis / Diana shoots one of her arrows straight through the heart of one rotten-to-the-core mortal. Zeus smashed his flash only towards some fellow Gods on rare occasions. To most of us, it seems clear that the way of heaven to deal with ‘bad’ people works somewhat different:
“Oh my god, how great you are. Here, have some more credit.” It’s really hard to turn back once you’re dead-set on a road to ruin. This tells us that individuals are not destroyed but rather led down, further and further, towards the sinister path of complete self-destruction. For an entire populace, they might find themselves, due to continued denial and ignorance, boxed-in to the point of having no room left at all to navigate any further. They might find themselves, through their own choosing and doing, facing a black hole ‘at the end of it’. And that, also, is heavenly annihilation, rather than having anything to do with ‘evolution’.
In Daoist thought it’s really hard to free oneself, or rise up, from a cosmic tide that is sheer enormous. It’s already hard enough to even recognize that you’re trapped in a waning tide when everyone near you is also trapped in the same decaying tide. In the same Daoist view, sand running through an hourglass can be taken as a beautiful, non-digital example of what modern quantum physics refers to as a time-space or space-time. Karmic debts, deviations from the Dao, quite clearly accumulate. Pay back later, pay more – inn’it? It appears to be a clean-cut law and universal principle.

VI

Putting things back in perspective again. Home and cultivation. Reality and polite-ics. Cultivators aren’t afraid of hardships, of course. Yet if there’s anything left for a humanity to speak of, it there’s any remotely human argument, the pre-condition for any human living and its full scope of human expression within all our social engagements, it is of course, to have a home. Also Aristotle, 2300 years ago, felt that the core cell of any prosperous kingdom is a healthy household or family.
Standing here, rootless, lonesome and lost, holding on to the somewhat cold, not all-too welcoming hearth of a substitute group ‘family’, things have fallen apart beyond redemption, haven’t they? For truth and integrity, there is simply no Ersatz. Rather than gracing with talent and beauty her own kingdom and chosen King – why has Woman been working for somebody else instead all this time, metaphorically speaking? Well, here we go, another full circle. So what is it, really, that ultimately constitutes home? What is a womb? What is a cave? What does it all mean – castle, palace or mansion? What about bathroom? Living-room? Bedroom? For us homeless, all of these have become merely dreams and fancy bubbles. Yet are we not, by having faced rock-bottom, having seen the asphaltic core truth of it, the actual ‘real people’ in this crazy world?
Within the Unfathomable, it is certainly not too late for miracles to happen. Everyone is still taking their true stance right now, openly and sincerely, while not capable of seeing the actual fabric of the cosmos with their very own eyes. As long as this present realm is still under the ‘spell of delusion’, as Buddhist thought puts it, there is still time to wake up and perhaps glimpse our true homes, homes that surely are in other realms, better realms, more pure and holy. And who knows, in this way, by glimpsing them, we can successfully create a decent dwelling place, at least for the time being, in this, however transitory, dimension as well? ‘Own’ a lovely household-family? Reclaim our birth-right, a place of welcome to lay down our head with human dignity?
It is doubtful, though, whether we’ll ever see anything about any of this on telly.
Therefore – do not believe the hype. In fact, don’t even touch it.

Yours truly,
draft magazine

London, Christmas 2015

CITY OF GOLD

finally new work again. feels great. as i’ve been saying to my friends that ever since finishing the astrology book, i feel like starting my whole life anew. part of this is redefining my stance to art and illustration. somehow the ultimate test and opportunity came along through an inspiring ‘call for entry’ by STERZ, an austrian literature magazine …

we have my ‘old’ style handing over to my ‘new’ style here in this surreal double-spread clash of filmic imagery. colours are not longer needed, at least for the time being. the ink layer and tracing paper (which always reminded me of condoms for some mad reason) are now gone as well, freeing up more time and thus lessening my karmic burden, i guess. what’s left is a more thorough and sensual treatment of lines into the actual matter of paper.

as to the story, i originally had the idea of contrasting an unredeemably depraved babylon with a ‘golden city of jerusalem’ from scriptures. and then there was the association with a woman being like a city, in a way (again we have babylon there and also frank miller/ willl eisner’s ‘spirit’ which also references such gnostic metaphors). it all went from there. hope you like and feel inspired. there’s plenty to look at and to discover for those who are looking and able to see :)

london, autumn 2011

NANOBOY

the first draft of the script i’ve been working on for almost a year is now finished!

for any professional enquiries please contact the movie producer (and initiator of the project :), john richardson, on john.richardson@fsmail.net.

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Synopsis

This is the story of MARTIN, a disturbed and withdrawn thirteen-year-old boy, who in the midst of a severely malfunctioning environment is coming to use his prodigious skills at Nanotechnology to spread mayhem and disaster around him. As his increasingly destructive inventions grow in scale and power, government ploys of even vaster significance spring up almost simultaneously, putting his childish ventures in catastrophe into the broader context of anyway looming global deterioration of values and meaning. A world of lies and deceit falls entirely apart as the detrimental danger of Nanotechnology displays its true face to everyone.

Played out as a morally unbiased mixture between dark comedy and classical disaster movie we witness each character’s tragic trajectories towards failure. We’re being gripped by the increased urgency to bring to a halt complete world destruction – when in a surprising twist NANOBOY suddenly enlightens in a beatific paraphrase of Buddhahood. His final, most devilish concoct of a Nanovirus, meant to be rendering everyone into an identical copy of himself, turns out to be the literal and metaphorical ‘seed of salvation’. NANOBOY’s suffering and ultimately innocent journeying of Truth enables Mankind to be truly set free and ascend.

reinhard schleining
london, june 2009 – january 2010

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following are the beginning of the script until the end of the opening credits. enjoy!

1 EXT. WOODLANDS ON A HILL – NIGHT / FULL MOON

MARTIN, a cute but withdrawn boy – NANOBOY – sits crouched at a damp tree trunk in the woods, shivering from cold and fear. The MOON is full and tinting the SCENE in a SILVERY LIGHT.

A horde of WOLVES surrounds MARTIN, growling and howling. ONE of them approaches him fiercely, snout snapping, saliva dripping.

MARTIN tightly embraces his legs and bends his head down on his knees as the WOLF closes in on him with grinding, bared teeth.

CUT TO:

2 INT. NANOBOY’S ROOM – NIGHT

MARTIN wakes up from a nightmare, bathed in sweat. His hair is a mess and he is shaking uncontrollably.

His room is a stereotypical cliché of any nerd’s surroundings. Collectibles and merchandise are scattered everywhere.

MARTIN is still shivering as he almost sleepwalks towards his Pokemoney-branded laptop. He opens the lid.

With the ease of an accomplished pianist NANOBOY concocts something on an application. We cannot quite follow what kind of programme he uses but we see three-dimensional objects reminiscent of Origamis. He spins them about and alters them, while a window to the right of the screen keeps updating a picture, too quick for us to make out what it shows.

As soon as he finishes the screen renders the final image: it is a WOLF, not unlike those we saw in the dream earlier.

MARTIN presses the ‘print’ button.

2A INT. A4 SHEET OF FURMULAS – CLOSE UP

A page of indiscernible formulas is spewn out into a print tray.

2 (CONT’D) INT. MARTIN’S ROOM – NIGHT

MARTIN closes the laptop and goes back to sleep. He is visibly relieved of a great burden.

CUT TO:

3 INT. NANOBOY’S SCHOOL – CLASSROOM – DAY

We are in a class of about 15 – 20 people. MARTIN, the NANOBOY, sits amongst them, withdrawn in his own world and not paying attention to what their teacher, MS FABIAN, rattles on about.

Some of the PUPILS listen, others fool around cunningly.

MS FABIAN
… so when Napoleon took his army on Russian soil, he didn’t really know what he was doing. He just followed a call, an inner voice telling him “conquer”. And do you know what happened? Jason? Any ideas? What about you, Alice? No? Martin, have you been listening? Any ideas what happened to Napoleon in Russia?

MARTIN hardly shows any reaction when MS FABIAN calls him up. As to the question he has no any idea and in actuality could not care less. He just stares at her, vainly, with a hint of the detest he feels towards his teacher.

MS FABIAN
Don’t just stare at me. Would you mind sharing some of your insights with the class?

LAUGHTER ripples through the class about the idea that their strange, withdrawn colleague had any capacity for insight.

MARTIN’s expression does not change though. He is not at all intimidated by the obvious attempt of his teacher to push some of his buttons.

MS FABIAN
No? Very well, then? Anyone else?

A GIRL further back raises her hand.

MS FABIAN
Yes, Ellie?

ELLIE
They got defeated by nature …

MS FABIAN
Yes! Thanks, Ellie, that is a very good answer. “They got defeated by nature.” That would seem to apply also for our colleague here …

… aiming at MARTIN.

Again the class bursts out in LAUGHTER. They obviously scapegoat MARTIN for their own creeping insecurities. But again, NANOBOY, at least outwardly, remains his calm, unmoved by the ritual pecking.

When MARTIN’s eye catches ELLIE, the girl who just gave the right answer, he sees that she has also joined the collective ridicule. Only then does he flinch and we get to understand that he obviously likes the girl.

CUT TO:

4 EXT. FRONT GARDEN OF NANOBOY’S HOME – DAY

MARTIN arrives at his home from school. There is POLICE and AMBULANCE at his next door neighbour. Lots of PEOPLE gather around, flustered, gesticulating. SOMEONE in uniform lies on the grass, bleeding.

MARTIN walks past without acknowledging any of this – as if he knows all of it anyway. He enters the front door of his parent’s house.

The CAMERA continues to capture footage of the SCENE in a hand-held, multi-angled style. We dive through WITNESSES reporting to note-taking POLICE OFFICERS.

We can hear traces of what they say:

WITNESS 1 (male)
… there was a growl … bitten … the postman …

WITNESS 2 (female)
… such a nice dog … always stroked it …

WITNESS 3 (male)
… blood everywhere … still can’t believe it …

WITNESS 4 (female)
… never be the same … something changed forever …

A jigsaw puzzle of SHOTS paints a shaky pastiche of the SCENE:

MOUTHS gaping open, eager to see more …

RESCUE TEAMS trying to squeeze through with their stretchers …

PEOPLE shouting at each other, panicky gesticulating …

CLOSE UP of a POSTMAN lying on the grass, bleeding heavily …

SIGNAL LIGHTS of police and ambulance …

NANOBOY’s NEIGHBOUR crying on her doorstep and her HUSBAND consoling her with his arm wrapped around her …

Several CU’s of PEOPLE staring both at the scene and into introspective infinity, like news footage from a major collective catastrophe …

The RESCUE TEAM picking up the presumably dead POSTMAN, shoving the stretcher through the crowds back to the van …

… until we finally dive through a series of legs in a LOW CAMERA ANGLE to reach the dead neighbour’s DOG in a CLOSE UP. It has been transformed into one of the WOLVES from NANOBOY’s dream. Its fangs are dripping with bubbly saliva while its head bleeds from several gunshots into the vibrant green of a freshly-mown suburban front-yard.

CUT TO:

OPENING TITLES COMPOSED ON:

5 INT. NANOBOY’S HOME – LIVING ROOM – DAY

MARTIN has crashed on the couch watching daytime television. He nibbles on some crisps and a peanut butter sandwich with dried tomatoes. Every now and again he sips from a can of fizzy energy drink branded ‘Guaragantuan’.

During the TITLES we get to see what he is watching:

It is a PROGRAMME featuring mud-wrestling AMPUTEES. There are several SHOTS of them as they grapple and slide off each other.

They are INTER-CUT with the show’s host KEVIN, a somewhat tacky, jeans-clad nice-guy who explains with subtle tongue-in-cheek humour who is doing what to whom. Who is leading and who is about to lose.

6 INT. WRESTLING COMPETITION ON TV – DAY

The TV programme is CUT TO judges holding up numbers. The judges represent a variety of the populace – from serious guys in suits to teenage cheerleaders to Kurdish kebab shop owners to black female religious fanatics to Chinese Mafia.

CUT TO a prettyish woman, although perhaps not the brightest, sitting in a Disneyesque, pseudo-gothic golden throne near the wrestlers. The throne is covered with a plethora of company logos. She is identified via subcaptions as ‘Miss Nebraska’ and a date with her is the main trophy for the winner of the game.

CUT TO applauding STUDIO AUDIENCE. Like the jury the audience is made up of people from a huge variety of angles – even intellectuals, seen to be watching the event with a mixture of awe and reverence.

Every now and again: CUT TO SCENE 5 – NANOBOY eating and drinking but not necessarily following what is happening on the screen.

CUT TO the show host KEVIN again, excitedly announcing the winner of a round, before we see more SHOTS of the mud fight.

CLOSE UPS of JURY, AUDIENCE, FIGHTERS, TROPHY – as well as every so often SHOTS of a fizzy ENERGY DRINK, the same one MARTIN is drinking.

As soon as the TITLES are finished, the PHONE in the living room starts to ring.

….