Light a candle. Draw the required sigils. Now, raise your arms above your head and slowly, gently, exhale your soul. You won’t need it here. This is Audioccult, and it’s time to get low. Illustration: SHALTMIRA
In my restless dreams I see that actor. Vin Diesel. Man of the people. He holds out a stack of films for me to see: “Ohhh, you’re gonna like these, Daniel. This is Diesel Eve. You think you know how to enjoy yourself? You don’t know a god damned thing. Car Fighter, the original Car Fight (Unrated Director’s Cut), and The Carnicles of Riddick: Angry About Cars. You’re going to have a really nice time.” Pop the DVD in straight away, Vin’s sitting next to me and making loud satisfied smacking noises with his lips, constantly dipping his hands into the popcorn without eating any and guffawing each time he appears on screen. “You don’t get it, Daniel. This car is an allegory.” There were over 53 cars in one scene, and when all of the subtext started to make my eyes water Vin pretended not to notice my tears. Instead he started excitedly bouncing on the couch and pointing at the screen where Teen Choice Award actress Jordana Brewster was jamming rebar under her flesh, Tetsuo: The Iron Man-style. “This is the best part.” The ten minute sequence shifts in a series of rapid cuts between her biomechanical transformation and space hero Riddick performing backflips, and as he finally landed in the car that was once a woman, Vin stood up. “The war’s not over,” he mouths along with his onscreen counterpart, and the tickle fight that followed was only ended because my automated playlist of rain sounds transitioned into the following tracks:
In dreams we’re often led to hidden truths about ourselves, and while it can prove to be an unreliable medium I’ve found that the dreams I actually remember (a rare enough phenomenon) tend to contain some grain of Truth. Lately I find my mind to be unreliable itself, overloaded with a self-glamorized slow-motion disease that I can only call extended heartbreak. As I poke a finger into the divination cup, my awful long fingernails brushing the rim, it’s the memory of that tickle fight that resurfaces. I’ve certainly attended Giggle University before via this method, but nobody can rock a light-to-heavy touch like the Dies’. Vin loves a good goof; that’s what makes him so relatable.
Francis Bacon (not the old one, the really old one) once said that a man, even with a mind weighed by grief, could still be driven to laughter. Though “false”, this forced ejaculation could potentially have healing effects. Is this what my mind was telling me, to exorcise my dementia with fresh tears of pleasure… or was I being channeled for some greater purpose? Turning to my computer, I begin to research papers on the curative effects of laughter. I’m halted, however, by the flow of chaotic neutral pouring from the screen. The cutthroat politics of humanity’s daily existence. The apathy of disconnection swirls around us in a chemical rain of smartphone suckjobs, and as the cities burn Macklemore posts a Vine revealing that he was Le1f all along. Surrounded by this unbearable whiteness of being, it’s then that I realize the true meaning behind my dream. It’s not laughter that is need: it’s a hero. I slip my goggles on and begin to make engine noises under my breath. Vin was right—the war is far from over…