The Image is Exact in my Mind but the Frame Keeps Moving Around

by stephen hastings-king

That morning in the driving rain a sequence of automobiles appeared on the streets in the region with headlights in the form of television monitors on which were broadcast segments in black and white of news from another time.  They caused pedestrians whose previous orientation had been to move as rapidly as possible to stop and watch as if each had a compulsion to assemble puzzles. Televisions in public spaces are like that.



Later, a press release was released to announce a new database of revolutionary possibilities. The new media strategy the group had developed drew national attention.  But they did not anticipate that the press release would overshadow the database.   


The project director was named Jorge Luis Borges. From a child, the name had been like a balloon with the face of another drawn on it that was attached to a belt loop on every outfit he wore.  It followed him around.  When stopped, the balloon with the face of another drawn on it would bounce off the back of his head.  When he interacted with other people they would not know where to look.  At times, he was dominated by the name.  But mostly it gave him a peculiar sense of freedom.  He felt more anonymous than others, like even when he was present situationally he wasn't.  


He didn't write the release, of course.  Being named Jorge Luis Borges had instilled in him a dread of writing.  He hired ghost writers to pretend to be him, Jorge Luis Borges but a different one. 


At a hastily called news conference streamed later that day, Jorge Luis Borges read from notes he did not write.  He explained that he was Jorge Luis Borges but a different one.  He then took up from a personal perspective the reasons he had not at least temporarily adopted an alias.  He said that being Jorge Luis Borges but a different one was like having an alias all the time.  So he hadn't seen the point.  


He said: But enough about Borges and I.  Let's look at the new database of revolutionary possibilities. You'll find it simple to use.  Queries can be constructed like you are still able to ask Jeeves. 

Then the feed cut to the interface as he typed:

What strategic options are available when a peaceful social movement is met with violence?