The Wrong Side of Heaven
Pchekla, lead singer of Fragged Future, is exploring the dark corners of the Sixth World
It’s no secret: Nuyen makes the world go round. Everyone knows this simple fact, but some of us know it deeper. We… feel it – in ways the corporate exec never could; Through the chill of thin paper clothes, and the static of generations-old AR viewers left as trash, found as treasure. Stolen sips of real coffee, brushing shoulders with ‘the elite’, and the backstage view of said elite shaking hands with AAA faces through gritted teeth. The haves and have nots; The Corps and us. Such dichotomy inherently breeds anger and resentment, but who listens to the street-drek shouting from their soapboxes? That message is lost in transmission, or not flashy enough to penetrate slick AR ads and smooth advertising campaigns laid over everyday life. After all- Stuffer Shack is having a 30% off sale.
We are the new message, repackaged and repurposed to move the modern era. We see the new reality: the world of the electron and the switch – grafted to flesh and blood. The cold, uncaring algorithms that promise a better , brighter future – in Horizon’s new upscale arcology, or Vashon’s new clothing line. We are the rebellion against the sins of our fathers, who sold our happiness to the highest bidder with a smile.
Touring is expensive. In the fifth world, they had “labels”. Bands would hop in their gas-guzzling autos and set off across the continent to play underground gigs, hoping some big-wig exec would be watching and sign them to some “label”. When the “internet” (think the matrix, but worse in almost every way) was born, a new method of distribution emerged: self sufficient and self reliant. Artists could reach huge numbers of fans from their bedrooms. It wasn’t long until they shut that down too. After all, how do you profit on an artist who’s in it for the art? You think they’ll sell adspace, or guzzle down the Award-winning Soy Turkey XXXL with Chocolate™ on camera, ensuring the logo always faces forward?
Frag that, we say. Nuyen makes the world go round, and the corps have it in droves. That doesn’t mean we won’t take it… we’ll just take it on our terms. We’ll keep our voice, unbeholden to the business interests and next-quarter analysis that says folk-techno-pop is the next big thing. We’ll record our videos and play our shows in whatever, and whoever we damn well please. Anyone who wants to stop us can get glitched. We are the voice of the future, and our our message is simple: “People of the sixth world: Rise up, and kill your masters. You’re the only ones who can.”
Our voice is our own, and we will remain unleashed. No Sarariman tells me what I can and can’t say. I remember my first time strutting into a Megacorps music office. Platinum on the walls, perfect smiles behind dead eyes, and the rotten stink of sold-out dreams. Sure, we were offered a lucrative contract with tons of scrip to boot, but alongside the promise of profit came the collar. Loose at first… but we knew that at the slightest pull it would become a noose. We lit that wage slave’s desk on fire and walked out to the siren song of alarms.