The paranoid borer with OCD

Cameron said to me:

“When we finally move out of this place our landlord is going to think this place has borer.”

Borer who chomp holes in a precise line and/or grid fashion.

I think I must be a visual person, needing to see all my papers on my wall to make sense of them. Or perhaps I am a physical person needing to walk through my timeline ( I am so western, it runs left to right as well…)

I am constructing a time line for Kiwiana Charlatan to explain the new world order – my assignment from last week’s playwrights’ studio. I am gathering speeches from Parliament, photocopies of Acts, articles from newspapers and magazines and line them up along my wall.

The scary thing is how easily my mind has fallen into seeing patterns and correlations. How easily a conspiracy theory can be formed, and how if you base it in just enough fact it might well be believed.

I have held off doing this exercise for a good reason. I am a dystopia junkie. I am guessing it will come as no surprise to you that I was a strange youth. I became somewhat obsessed with the idea that there would be some sort of terrible calamity and we would have to fight to survive. Not surprising if you live on the shore of an active volcano (Lake Taupo and who was I kidding? If that thing blows up there ain’t no survivors baby) and consume dystopian fantasies. My favourite was is Brave New World, which I read every year. (Logan’s Run is also a favourite but also somewhat troubling. By the end of it Logan knows and we know that destroying the city is a good thing to do, but the poor people who live there and who emerge at the dam to see their first old man (Peter Ustinov) are probably going to feel a little hard done by. Where are they going to live? None of them know how to look after themselves…)

I was afraid I’d get a little carried away and so far I have gathered quite a bit of information, but so far (touch wood) I haven’t started to believe it…yet.

As part of my research I’m re-reading Broken October, a novel written in the 70’s about the distant future. 1985.

I love that. I first read 1984 at least ten years after the fact (so I am one of the young uns that know who Big Brother really is, not just some lame reality show). There is a certain feeling of triumph that you have made it past the date and the world is pretty much the same. (But is anyone else still waiting for their rocket pack and flying car?)

So I am somewhat hesitant to actually nail down a date that my play is set. I don’t want it to become an anachronism, but at the same time I think it need some sort of anchor in real time to make it believable. I know 2008 is when the “trouble” starts but how far away is the world of my play from that date; because you could always argue that any point in history was the catalyst for some terrible event. But for the German defeat in WW1 and their subsequent financial woes would Hitler have risen to power? Can you go further back? ( I can’t remember anything further back. The extent of my memory of fifth form history stops there. Feel free to dig further).

So I guess I’ll just start and see where it ends up. It would be good to have it my mind at least and I can make the call whether or not I reveal it to the audience later.

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3 Comments

Filed under Kiwiana Charlatan, Playwrights' studio

3 responses to “The paranoid borer with OCD

  1. Beware the lure of conspiracy theorizing! One minute your just playing, having a laugh, and the next you’re seeing duplicity and ulterior motives everywhere.

  2. Whiti

    What? Do you mean there isn’t a multi governmental plot to keep me buying vitamins which are really mind control drugs!?!

  3. littlegemsession

    Oh yes! I loved “end of the world” type books as a kid. Wasn’t there one called Z for Zachariah? I started this obsession young 😉

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