|Cybernetic culture research unit|
The Excruciation of Hummpa-Taddum
According to AOE magical metahistory millennia come in pairs, ruled by dyadic divinities entitled the Powers that Be. This doctrine corresponds to the astrological observation that every two-thousand years the equinoxes precess - or slide backwards - and a new zodiacal aeon begins. AOE-magi interpret each Aeon as an astro-chthonic marriage. In the Gregorian year zero - which never took place - Hummpa, the Great Babylonian Worm was coupled with the Celestial Logos Taddum, initiating the age of Pisces which is now rushing towards its unbirth.
The mathematician and occultist Charles Lutwidge Dodgson - whose precise relation to the AOE remains cryptic and ambivalent - dedicated his life's work to understanding the final degenerative phase of the Epoch of Hummpa-Taddum. Writing under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll he introduces his heroine Alice to the mad despot and pomo fuzz-technician, thinly disguised by the folk-name Humpty-Dumpty.
We find Hummpa-Taddum - the Squirming Word, whose name means the shape it is - perched precariously on the supposedly impenetrable wall of signification. Something shattering is about to hatch, and the aeonic fragility of Hummpa-Taddum is soon comfirmed by a calendric calculation of unbirthdays - counted to the n -1, through which meaning subsides into the sub-literal machinic efficiency of numbers ...
'...- and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents - ' 'Certainly,' said Alice. 'And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'
'I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't - till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.
When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, which is to be master - that's all.' (p.185) ...
The Gregorian Oecumenon is about to receive an unbirthday present, and it knows exactly when. Y2K - a knock-down argument without an argument - arrives as a gift-wrapped time-bomb whose operational semiotic triggers the crash of arbitrary signs ... It's a different thing.
... There's glory for you!
AD 2000 commemorates nothing but fuzz. As Y2K impacts on the capitalist infosphere, what hides as the anniversary of Christ's birth emerges as the excruciation of Hummpa-Taddum. For two millennia the earth has been under the dominion of the dyadic Squirming-Word: the logos of John's Gospel, but recycled, and thus far older.
... Impenetrability! That's what I say!
He or they strategically occupy both-sides at once, according to a criterion of impenetrability, positioned to choose either in every case, but never apprehending what lies in-between. Hummpa-Taddum - whilst definitely not a Dogon egg - is a scrambled version of the demon Pabbakis, poached from Lemurian time-sorcery. Master of words, but not of numbers.
... Must a name mean something? asked Alice doubtfully ...
Although Y2K is sheer semiotic event it is not textual, ideological, representational, intentional, or phenomenological - Y2K, Teotwawki, C -1, OK+100 - mix dates and acronyms in criterial semiotic clusters that are not signifiers or arbitrary signs because what they say is no different from the way they are built. They can mean whatever Hummpa-Taddum chooses, but none of that matters. Beyond the domain of the fuzz-god lies the nonsignifying-chatter of unconscious-numeric Pandemonium, where names are cryptomodules, meaningless packets of effective information, immanently productive machine-jargons.
'Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall:
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses and all the King's men
Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty in his place again.
It all comes unstuck at the end.
Y2K closes-down the age of the fuzz-god, however the Gregorian Oecumenon responds.
Not even martial law can stop that.
The AOE focuses upon a single problem - acknowledging no other - how to reproduce magical power across discontinuity. As Hummpa-Taddum gets smashed on New Year's eve, substitute powers await their chance and their destiny, sober, patient, totally ruthless ...
The question is, said Humpty Dumpty, which is to be master - that's all.