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'The electrified dreams of a trigger-happy channel-flicker'

Writing by Will Penkethman-Carr. Illustration by Phoebe McGowan.

Greg Wallace comes to me in a dream. Come to me, Greg, come to me. We come into his dream factory with Greg, and into the factory we come to the machines making all those things so thin. Greg Wallace is ecstatic; he will be in Nuremberg next week: Hitler’s favourite town, but they didn’t mention that in the advert. What was Greg talking about last week? Beer apparently. Next week it’s pencils. Oh. Leaps and bounds at the click of a button. Travel to Ibiza - but Chad will be there. We don’t like Chad. Cheated on Stephanie last time - didn’t you see? Flimidy-flamidy-flomidy-flim-I-want-to-date—him! Omg lol.

ONION! shouted loudly in a funny, wheezy way because they are talking about what they are having for lunch and have spoken of courgettes and sweet potatoes and the audience has laughed and laughed and laughed then there’s that 8 out of 10 cats does countdown episode where a guy whose name slips - camp, nasal voice, Alan somethingorother - shouts in a funny, wheezy way IN ONE! at someone who is playing darts, mimicking Bullseye, and the audience laughs and laughs and laughs; then the channel goes there re-looking at those old episodes and their strange prizes, and the host’s face - whose name also slips - which reminds us of that guy who used to do that American Family Feud programme (both hosts are essentially the same; all hosts are the same person) and how he used to kiss the girls on the lips with their husbands and brothers and nation watching him do it without a single jaw broken - reminds us of that Family Guy episode where they take the mick and Lois goes in all tongues firing, but of course over the age of twenty you’re not supposed to find Family Guy funny -

I fart in your general direction! The leftover lefties have retreated into their feelings since the revolutionaries have been bought out, (which, btw fyi has nothing to do with politics but is the private business of you and your trolly), and ratings lightly chortle over a faint line that goes, “we have failed to paint it black”. What black? We can’t remember. Did you see it, when was it, it’ll come back to me, but I won’t be able to not think about it now. The sixties were seventy years ago, maaan, get over it.

Ibiza Weekender ought to make powerful political statements of us. A voice says, These people are so thick they wouldn’t know to fall down if you lined all of them up and shot them, but we don’t know where the voice comes from. Knobjockies the lot of them. There is something obscene in this: plasticine breasts and plasticine words, a world script-less for they were no longer needed and went off to join the ranks of the unemployed. The next tanned specimens replace the old, in an endless genealogy of tattoos and porn star sex: Greetings. Let’s get pissed with your reps and sequences of rooms and bitches and inert suns. We do not know who these people are yet they are somehow better than us and will outlive us. Night beats its way into its own incestuous reverberation to the tune of dry humping. The flip side: stylish men in ties laughing, laughing and laughing in perfect order. We sit and do nothing because we are GoggleBox once removed. After all, there is no greater lesson in sociology than Ibiza Weekender: it proves nothing less that there’s always someone else out there who is more you than you.

I fucking hate you all then!, someone screams. Burn all the universities and put up massive screens to Channel 4 instead! (None of these statements are new, not even remotely: it’s a big fucking ode to not being imaginative enough to say new things). I stare at myself as I stare out of the tv, at one in the pure simulation. There’s no commentary here: we all know this. But Greg Wallace spurs us on. Greg Wallace holds our eyes. Be merciful, Greg! Lol. Neli. Not even laughing inwardly. And I have heard my friends asking me if you can call it depression when it’s completely rational? Don’t worry, when all our friends control the banks, the tv, and the voting booths we’ll be okay and we’ll know that we have been inevitable since 1968. The prophecy fulfilled, We live at the height of civilisation: never before was it possible to survive a disaster in front of the telly. Or order a takeaway at the same time. The historian will point to an ‘N’ as the sign that meant everything to us, the sign of the world where you can think what you like as long as it’s available to add to cart.

Greg Wallace doesn’t care what you think, he’ll take your hugs even though he knows you don’t want to give them and he’ll feel it’s heartfelt all the same. Greg Wallace coming out the factory doors to give you a nice hug. Greg Wallace coming out from behind the machine after he’s fucked the manager to come and fuck you. ‘Greg is love, Greg is life’ will replace that ‘freedom is slavery’ bullshit. What’s the point trying to get people to think about shit when it’s all out in the open anyway? There’s no question of deception here: it’s all transparency. Transparency, all the way down. Hitler was lame, and so fucking boring! But imagine Hitler and Greg Wallace having a lovechild: that lovechild is you.

Move into the higher numbers: the music nostalgia orgy; the dad wank bank with That’s 60’s TV. Oh my boys, my boys. Where have you taken me? Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Stones as they’re on the rise, putting on their shiny shiny colours and jiggling their bums. Hippy-trippy dance and swing, how our mouths water at the cassette moments painted with free love. Hippy flowers and patterns, beads, the camper. The Volkswagen Campervan, Der Volk.

Of course we’ve never really wanted democracy. Not really. Secretly, we all hate everyone who doesn’t share our opinions on things. We secretly hate everyone who enjoys Family Guy. Fucking pseudo leftist who thinks Seth has something to say. Fucking kill them the stupid wankers. Dancing their fucking mind wank so hard it looks painful, and no one will know when they’re dead because no one will have bothered to check up on the corpse a whole lifetime before it flicked its wet opinions around. We’ll be too busy watching Greg Wallace’s greasy body fuck the factory manager over the conveyer belt for that soft porn.

They’re breeding from frog DNA and life found a way and Jeff Goldblum naked and sweaty and Alex Jones roaring that something will turn the frogs gay: “it will have an impact” someone says with a blurred background, it’s been such a great season hasn’t it but it’s been a wee bit disappointing, she’s desperate says Ant to Dec, and were found to have swallowed 143 thousand dollars worth of heroin, then a McDonald’s ad - I need someone to talk to and you seem a reasonable young man, can I talk to you? - Let’s keep going, New: Harry and Megan Say Yes and I just want to see the dress! Really I was interested, and now I’ve got no one to tell, you know? Yeah, and now they’re gone except they’re not gone. Take us home - skip boring. “How does a fun trip to Gilead sound?” - by audible, Amazon.

All we’ve got left to write is Profanity and Contempt: the only reliable weapons, yet the last and irredeemably desperate ones, from Joyce to Thompson. Wank stains the both of them. Greg Wallace spunks on them. Why has everything good been spunked on? The internet was meant to be a good thing! Now there’s just a wank stain where Wikipedia used to be. Burn it all.

Knicker decoration. Vote via the app. You’ve built up walls around yourself, you’ve built walls with trash, and you’ve pushed your children out, with trash, and it’s ironic. What you are getting here today is some of the finest saturation, look at what we can do for you here today, that has gone to Greater London, of course it has. That man resembles a womble somewhat. With a phone number next to it, a diamond floats across the screen, fading in and out. The diamond around her neck, gone from a telephone bid to a woman in Gloucestershire: Go find me better than that. Greg Wallace comes to kiss you goodnight.

It’s the end. I shat on your doorstep, but is it okay? There’s nothing more to say, folks. So go back to your homes and wait there until you’re told to leave.

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