Subject: CODY: SHEEP MAY SAFELY GRAZE. NOT! From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mithryl) Date: 1997/04/06 Message-Id: <email@example.com> Newsgroups: alt.sex.bondage,alt.sex.stories,rec.arts.prose SHEEP MAY SAFELY GRAZE. NOT! By CODY ANN MICHAELS c. All rights reserved "...stand in front of you, take the force of the blow." -- song Let's see. Combing through the mail. In search of... In search of what? Ideas? Inspiration. I am so sick. Fever. And those Tylanol. They make me so spacy. Does the federal government know about that stuff? It's worse than LSD. Note from Tia: *Hey you. Read thru the latest dispatch last night, and am becoming quite fond of your musings on the universe. Hope to speak to you (using voices) soon. *Sorry about those pesky programs. I do not believe the myth that these machines -- she means computers -- and their inevitable accessories make our lives easier. I suggest you dispel it from your thinking entirely and approach your experience with the m as you would a day trip to the DMV: that is expect not to accomplish the task at hand at all, and that way, if you do find any measure of success (regardless of the effort it requires) you are pleasantly surprised. *Good luck.* * It took me awhile to figure out that DMV was not a typo for demilitarized zone. I agree with Tia. Fact is, I think the real reason computers exist is to total up the millenium. You know. Run through the records, see that everything is straight, befor e the big shut down. Three years from now, four tops, they'll all be gone. And we'll be back where we started, a pastoral society vaguely dreaming of the glories that were supposed to have been Rome, or in this case, New York. Ancient tales. If we rem ember computers at all, we'll probably confuse them with television sets, which they resembled somewhat. Ask yourself, how often do you think about buggy whips? Well, I know a lot of guys and women who think about whips, but you know what I mean. Compu ters are the tools of God's celestial accountants. Once the audit is over, they pack their gear and move on. Three long letters from Joe. Two are a story -- thanks Joe. And the third seems to be a meditation on 'cide. The big under. Something you wrote, Joe, reminded me that Yukio Mishima's last note before he committed ritual sepaku (correction please) sai d, "I would like to live forever." Joe and Tia were responding to my last piece, about Heaven's Gate. Herff Applewhite's merry little crew of programmers and certified optimists. You have to be an optimist to believe that life on a 25 mile ball of methane ice is going to be better than the suburbs of San Diego. I mean, are the trains going to run any better on Hale Bopp than Mussolini's Italy? The papers were full of it, and for awhile there, almost everything I read made me mad. Especially in the Times. It was so smug. So hateful. Like they knew so much. But then I stopped and thought, what am I defending? If I want to kill myself, I ca n still do it. Fuck you, Punch Sultzberger or whatever your name is. I'd rather be at Heaven's Gate than sitting in your stinking newsroom, writing headlines on lies and deceit. I also had to realize, after I wrote about don Juan last week, that it was useless to complain. That whatever comes to us is just raw material, and we either use it or succumb to it. My mind is so empty tonight. People are sheep. When those people followed Herff out to Hale Bopp, were they going of their own free will, like warriors, or were they going like sheep, following a Judas steer? I looked in the paper today (Friday), and right away, on the Times business section, there were three sheep stories. One was about AOL. I mean, god, if there ever was a sheep nation, it was made of AOL customers. If you remember, last Christmas, there was a big stink because AOL had signed up so many customers for "unlimited internet service" that no one could get on line. It was so bad, the company had to give back mucho dinero to get state prosecutors off their backs. So what did they do? They of fered their customers a toll free hot line that would get you connected every time. What they buried in the fine print was that using this "toll free" 800 number would cost six dollars an hour. And a lot of people never got a chance to read the fine pri nt because other people gave them the number. So AOL customers suddenly started getting five hundred dollar bills instead of the $19.95 they thought they were paying. Cute? Real way to do marketing? Right? Drum up customer satisfaction? Turn people on to your great services? But what I can't figure out is, how come anybody in their right minds uses AOL? Are they dead from the neck up, or something? Another sheep story was this: McDonald's is running a 55 cent promotion to celebrate 55 years since Ray Kroc took it over. My grandmother loves McDonald's. We go there every Friday. After she comes from church. She helps out there, in the office. Th e sheep story is this: They offer you all these different sandwiches for 55 cents, but then it turns out, you have to run up a bill with some other gunk or you don't get it. Sucker!!!!!! Of course, they know you'll keep coming back. Because, after all, what is this? McDonald's. Fast food. No cooking. No content. Just something that looks like -- well, you don't want to look inside a Big Mac. Just eat it and try not to think about it. What it's doing to your insides. I always walk out of there feeling like I have an old boiler lying in the pit of my stomach. But Gran likes it. She can eat anything. Sometimes, I think she's lined with cast iron. Gran is a testament to the heal th giving properties of junk food. Maybe it's because she was a refugee and came here after the war. Oh yeah. I was saying. Sheep. I don't think my gran knew about Auschwitz. She still doesn't know about Auschwitz. She turns it off whenever it comes on tv. They shouldn't tell stuff like that, she says. And changes the subject. I know she was a g uard in a prison camp, but I don't think it was one of those. I hope not. Sheep. Cheap sheep. As long as it's cheap, my gran likes it. It's a bargain. Gran may still be going strong -- more power to her -- but she has her money in a death grip. Som etimes I think that's what keeps her alive. Knowing she can't take it with her. Sheep may safely graze. An old time hymn. Meaning, God is watching over us. All is well. But, from the sheep's point of view, is this exactly true? I mean, eventually, we are all going to end up in a mutton stew. The third story I was telling you about was how the FCC had just given every tv station in the country a second channel -- this was collectively worth about 77 billion dollars -- free. ABDisney, CBWestinghouse, Fox-Murdoch, NBGeneral Electric. They all got as many new channels as they have tv stations. And so did everyone else. I can see what Tia means by being pleasantly surprised at how things turn out. Especially when the government is stiffing disabled children and elderly immigrants, cutting of f food stamps, trying to save money. Seventy seven billion dollars would serve a lot of hot meals. But the station owners said they couldn't afford to pay for the channels, so Clinton and the four guys on the FCC gave them to them free. This charity was necessary, they said, so the stations could convert from analog to digital tv, in the process rendering every tv in the United States obsolete. Nada. Zip. There are 250 millin tvs out there right now, and nine years from now, all you will be able to get on them is snow. Neat, huh? And you know the interesting thing, the Times buried this little item on the front page of its business section. The AOL story was more important. It got front page second lead. The fact that your box is about to be zapped they put inside, and not eve n at the top of the story. As sort of an afterthought. I can see that. All the other papers did the same. The N.Y. Post had it in the business second. Way down. I can see that, too. Murdoch owns the paper. No one at Fox-Post is about to say, "Hey, wait a minute." What about my 2000 dollar home theatre. Toast, pal. Your vcr, too. Any VCR you buy now will be useless for getting the new digital signals. Well, you say, nine years is a long time away. The millenium will be here first. Yes. But what then? Think about it. The average household has 3.5 perfect tvs. And a couple of children. Mom. Dad. The dog. Everyone has a tv in his or her room. Some of them came from K-Mart. Or Woolworth's. Or a garage sale. Or when Aunt Erba died. It's just natural to collect tvs. But the new ones -- the ones that will be able to pick up the new signals, will cost $2000. How many kids can afford two thousand dollar tvs? Especially if you live in a ghetto, and have to pay for designer sun glasse s and Niki Super Clouds. For $2000 I should be able to get Hale Bopp. In person. Once again, the family will gather around the only television set in the house that can get anything. And fight over what they are going to watch. However, a distinct co mponent of this new technology is that the new channels can be subdived into smaller channels, somewhat like a hologram, and different programs broadcast on each simultaneously. So you could be getting Sesame Street at the same time as extreme boxing and some cooking program on public access tv. Or some space guru talking from Mars. Each one would occupy a certain part of the screen as the different members of the family each watches his (or her) favorite program. And, of course, there would be a figh t over who got to put his program where on the screen and how much space to take up. But what about the old tvs? This is where the sheep come in. I mean, if I said I was going to pick your pocket for whatever you paid for your tv, you'd be pretty mad, wouldn't you? You might even take a poke at me. So how come, when people are told t hey have to go out and buy a new tv if they want to get something they've had for years, no one screams? Baaaaaa. I mean, people will follow anything. Look at Bill Gates. Look at Windows. Look at the assholes who decided if you want to have a computer, you have to have Windows. And CD-ROMs. You can't go into a store and buy anything on a 3.5 disk anymore. They have you covered. You either shell out for a ROM drive. Or you die. I don't see any of these guys hanging from lamp poles. God, Michael Collins, eat your heart out. All you did was subdivide Ireland, and they shot you. You were living in hard times . You should see us now. Baaaaaaa. You wonder what makes them put up with it, don't you? I mean, think of it, 250 million tv sets zipped, and the NY Times barely mentions it. They made a big thing of it on public television. That news program. Even had the FCC chairman on. Talking ab out how wonderful it would be, all that high resolution tv, and the other things the viewers would get. That's what they said about telephones, too, but the other day there was an article in the paper that because of the new deregulation, phone rates wou ld be going up. It seems that it would cost more for companies to compete with each other to lower the rates, thereby making them higher. You get the picture? Same with tv. You would get more, but first you had to buy a new set. And, in the fine prin t, there was no guarantee that you would get more; that was up to the station owners, and that being digital does not automatically mean high resolution, which I thought was the whole idea in the first place. High resolution digital tv and digital tv are two different things. Anyone can be digital. But they don't have to be high resolute. So what you are buying a new set for could turn out to be nothing. If you can afford it. This may come as a surprise to the people in Washington that just gave away seventy seven billion dollars worth of the people's property, but not everyone can afford to shell out two grand for a tv. They said the prices would drop. Not everyone can aff ord a fifty dollar black and white from Woolworth's. There are a lot of poor people in this country who aren't even getting food stamps because the government has had to cut down on what it spends on people who are not named Eisner or Murdoch. Remember? I don't care how far the prices drop. What's this shit about you wrecking my tv? A lot of people won't care. They be dead. That's what they're counting on. And the next generation of tv watchers will be coming up behind them. Ready to experiment with new things. And then there is sex. Sex is a great incentive. Like in the first years of the internet. Sex played a big r ole in getting people interested in the internet. Those 8 million lemmings on AOL, for instance. Free nukie. Write it down. I said it. Porn is going to flow on digital. I mean, it will be as good as live sex. And anyone who doesn't have a set, won' t be able to see it. Do it. Reach out and touch her. As if she was a living hologram. So they'll buy. And as they do, the vision will fade, and pretty soon we'll be back to family programming. Channel surfing. Family values. Who has the clicker. Talk about primitive. If you want to see early society at its most basic, it's how it determines who holds the clicker. Talk about before the monolith. You know, February was Hal's birthday?> When he was made. So you see, we live in momentous times. No wonder people want to kill themselves. But what I am trying to get at is, why are not the rabid foaming in the streets? Why has not the king been hung from a lamppost? Why has the army not been called out and the presidential palace bombed? Why has the coup d'ta failed? Why am I standing here before a firing squad with a blindfold covering my eyes? Where is my rage? I feel nothing. Damned Tylanol. Tomorrow starts the beginning of fashion week. I'm covering it for my magazine. They hired me back. I can hardly breathe. I have a terrible cold. I feel lousy. Why are they doing this? What is the point of going digital, even if it does mean high resolution for some stations and programs? I can live without it. And what about the telephone? I'll never give up my rotaries. I have two. A blue and a pink. I n Florida, I use a touch tone, but here, I like to put my finger in something and turn it. And hear the clicking as it turns back. It's much more sensual. I realize my mind is groping. Or is it scuddling away from something? Something it doesn't want to hear. Like what? I'm not sure. I don't know. I haven't got a clue. I'm totally without answers. I wouldn't know if I fell over it. Whatever it is, I'll be pleasantly surprised if it's the truth. What is it? Joe said he would like to live forever. Come back as a clone. But how does he know he isn't? If he is then what would he say? How? From where? What's your source? The Gulf War. What di d he mean an event? With the Hell's Angel. What did the guy want his woman to do? That sounds interesting. Tell me, sugar. Let me know. Spill it. The beans. Make me an arrangement. A sand painting. Show me how it happened. What am I trying to f ind? I have a lot of questions. No answers. Or maybe I have too many answers. And no questions to go with them. I want to be brave, but I'm a coward. I want to make love, but I'm scared. I want to ... stop being Cody. It's a trap. I don't know any other way to call it. I want out. I want my freedom. I want to crawl up out of the ant hill and be free. Free, brothers and sisters. Free at last. Thank God I'm free at last. So I took the pills. No one made me. I did it of my own free will. Knowing I would die. Knowing I would die on this world. All six of them. They went in sixes. Shut up. I'm trying to think. What happened? I died. I was buried. I rose from the dead. And sat on the right hand of the father. No. It's something else. Mutton stew. I saw pictures of Dolly on TV tonight. I didn't see the story. Just the pictures. She looked right at the camera. And I thought about the lamb of the Appocalypse. The catcher was "Is this an old sheep in lamb 's clothing?" Wouldn't it be special if the second coming was a real lamb of God? A charming touch on a thousand year cycle of song and mystery. What a surprise. Jesus is a clone. How did John put it? I'll have to go back and read. If I can find my Bible. It's around here, somewhere. David Koresh did a commentary on -- I'll have to look that up. I wonder if I still have it on disk. The sheep appears in the fire. In 1993, it was Mount Carmel. In 1995 it was Oklahoma. In 1997, it was Heaven's Gate. Does that tell you something? Every two years, something happens. A cycle is completed. And a new one starts. Only this year, it was accompanied by a comet. As in 95. When Levy-Schmucker slammed into Jupiter's underbelly. On the fiftieth anniversity of Wolfshanze. And in 93, Warsaw Ghetto. So you see, a pattern emerges. What happened in 1947? Susan was born. My grandmother turned forty. So did Kate Hepburn. My father was a year old. What else? Jackie Robinson made it to the big leagues. Babe Ruth died. Well, anyway, the clone comes forth from the sheep. And the people at Rancho Santa Fe depart. I don't know. Something's missing. Something wicked this way comes. I posted two chapters of my Raw Files novel on the usenet today. Just for the hell of it. About Felony Grep. I couldn't think of anything else. Last night I wrote another chapter on my dick story. I can't think of what to call it. About a young girl who fantasizes about having a penis, and one day wakes up with one. The title to this came easy. Sheep may safely graze. Because we can't remember. We won't remember what it was like to have to buy a new tv, because we'll do that anyway. Well, I don't know about Gran. Gran will hold onto a dollar bill until Washingt on chokes. The idea of Gran going out and buying a new tv is, well, pretty hard to imagine. I've been after her to do it for years now. The one she has now goes back to the civil war. I mean, she could tune in Roosevelt. The first one. Teddy. The p icture is so bad. But Gran is half blind and half deaf, like Wotan, and she doesn't care. As long as she can still see Peter Jennings, that's all she wants. That, and Jeopardy. She's a fanatic. Of course, she doesn't get any of it. She just watches. It might as well be snow. That and the Nightly Business Report. And Louis Rukeyser. She is nuts about Rukeyser. With that hairdo. I think she thinks he's Washington, and Washington reminds of her money. Other than that, she doesn't have the slight est idea what they're talking about. But wanting to have a dick is tougher. Something in between my legs that I can call my own. A little lamb who's lost in the woods. Down there. With all that hair. Someone to talk to. That I can dress in Barbie dresses, and a platinum blond wig. I know there's something I'm leaving out. Leaving behind. It's the gun. Between my teeth. With my finger on the trigger. no. How did it get there? I forgot again. I'm not going to kill myself. I have too much to live for. What? Mutton stew? A CD-ROM drive? High resolution tv? The second cloning? Ro ck 1. Oh yeah. That. It's sixty miles across and it's coming straight at us. I forgot to mention. They told me when I tuned in. That's why they split. Don't even think of getting out of the way. Or blowing it up. Or any of those other cute things . You might as well levitate. Use mind control. Tap into the universe and see what you can get off the internet. The gun, honey. Use the gun. That's why we gave it to you. Don't be a fool. You haven't much time. Everything is going to come down h ard. No. I would not lose control. Nothing in that one. Try this. I wanted to write sex./ Get out of this grey corporate business suit and act my age. But I keep forgot. Pick it up, Cody. No. Obey me, Cody. I.,... who decided this, I'd like to know. Anyone can go down Kennedy. data mix try not to interfere. this is fantastic stuff once you get used to it. a cody cult was forming on the east coast. got to get back there or my name is toast exactly. you figured it out. sat san she received what he had to tell her as if it was new turning it over to look at it and figure out what it's supposed to do. Catherine, wie ghetes innnen weo troll here where nowhere She crossed the bridge as the sun hit it blinding her with the light Jesus stood in front of her on the road to Nazarus where the plot was laid Two men let her in. She knew she was helpless in front of them Then her mother came in. The two men looked at her. She was young, no more than thirty. The other girl was fourteen. Can we get on with it? I mean, what's happening? Is that her or isn't it? I'd like to know your reasoning? Does that look like a meadow to you?> It looks like a puddle of green inke had been spilled on it. That's what I wanted it to look like. Well, you'd better get on with it. Let me know the results. He wandered out of the laboratory. Each girl was given a bath and a fresh change of clothing. You want me to wear this? If you want. Otherwise, you can go down to the stables. You know wha t happens there, don't you? With the horses and the grooms. You'd like that, wouldn't you, you little poison adder. I'll smite thy head, slut. Now, tell me where it is. She pointed towards a tray. It held Christ's blood. It had been cut from the ram , and the ewe soaked it. As in my vision of the Hypocalpse. After awhile, we just got tired of it ending. How it was getting closer. What would happen. All our souls go down to hell. The rock falling on us. Crushing us like ants. We'd burn up firs t. The lucking ones. Those on the other side would just feel an enormous jolt. And then they'd have to wait for the title waves to hit them. The ones who were exactly in between would get it worse. From both directions and north and south too. Four enormous waves of shit coming together in one point. On the other side of the globe. The atmosphere ripped off. Nobody breathing. No one alive. There would be nowhere to run. You couldn't hide. You just knew it was coming. And you waited. How lon g does it take a wave to go around the globe? What was the technology it would take to figure it out? And who would do it>? The long term genome project. The cloning of the clone. Until it was safe to come out? And what would carry the code? What h as the dna to outlast a comet? Spartacus? Books? Department stores. Mutilations. Greed. Stupidity. Wasted lives. Crack cocaine. What it does to my brain. Cody was wasted on those guys. She gave them a glance. Nice try fellows. Call me if you get work. A toad. No way. Look, Cody, it's just for a thousand years. Or so. No way am I coming back as a toad. In the mud. Up to my ears. Fuck you. I want something sparkly. Like a pearl handled revolver. With my initials tattoed on it. Want some? She could taste it. She had to bend her neck to get at it. Way back. There had to be a way back. But where was it? And where do you think we're going? Through the dna cells to the parrot. See where the line says sheep, scratch it out and wri te in Cody. Now you get it? She came out. There's a price to pay. Six dollars an hour. I was bankrupt! I couldn't have made that many calls in a month. My kid must have. I'll beat her ass. Assholes on Line. They sure are. You fucked me right u p the ass, cocksucker! I screamed into the telephone. You fucking shitheads. I'll never pay. But I already had. They took it right out of my bank account. My life savings. I gave them the number and said, go ahead. Help yourself. Is that something ? Like what am I? Stupid? And they're still doing it! You know what? Someone is making money, and we're not. I mean you and me. I know you aren't making it because anyone who would wade through this shit to get to this point doesn't know shit about making money. This is neck deep in the big gooey, if yo u koow what I mean. None of us are going to get out of this alive. You just watch. And see. If it doesn't happen just like I said it would. I think I want to be outside. I don't want ten floors of the building to fall on me. I'd rather be swept alo ng by the debris. Picked up and thrown against the wall. And the wall collapses, and we go on across America or whatever. Of course, if it lands on us, we aren't going anywhere. We're going to get squashed flatter than Wiley Coyote at a convention of road runners. I almost said warriors, but it's just a convention. Of militias. Combat ready. Ready for anything that comes. We can handle it, sir. I volunteered to go first. Get it over with. Herff spread the newspapers out on the floor. Now lie down there, an d we'll get the blankets/. That means camcorders, too. You thought you'd outlast yours didn't you? But everything falls apart or gets taken away from you, and you end up dying. She seemed so resolute. Was this the truth? That it's going to fall on u s. Nobody said anything. Why didn't they tell us? I did, but you weren't listening. Now get ready. We have to go. In the last days, anyone can live anywhere. A villa in San Diego. A condo in Paris. A small cafe just out of Dover on the Post road. He'll see her. Finish your toast. We have to go. The Armenians are coming. Again, Europe was a battle ground. Rock coming closer. Got to happen sometime. Some bullet has my name on it. Pull the trigger. Down here you have a choice. Sit up or crouch down. You do it. See. You can. I knew you could. Sing a little song as the rock comes closer. Maybe it will miss. It might. No. The paper said it would hit head on. The next thing I knew, there was a mess on the floor. Were we ever going to go home? Yes. Now sleep.