Future Views Magazine
University Fees and Debt
Who is the main beneficiary of university education, the student, the employer or the nation?
Units of measurement and the end of space.
Six Point Pollution Solution
Part One: “Flowers In The City”
brighten our cities with many tiny garden?
Six Point Pollution Solution
Part Two: “The Transformation of Waste”
Instead of landfill, waste could be a valuable resource.
Hidden blueprints for the new cities of the sea.
Arabian Mights & Maybes
Plans for the future carefully copied by Brenda.
Arabian Might May Raise The Sea
Desalinated reverse rivers powered by nature
The Unpublished Manuscript
A hint as to what may lie in the future.
A curious twist to the laws of perception.
The Slop House
an alternative to the traditional public house
You Are A Winner
A willing victim is the best victim.
Maybe our prisons are not as wonderful as all that.
The Bright New Pants Manifesto
The hilarious solution to invevitable change
A raging argument is discovered
The Unpublished Manuscript
Arri has an uncle who's manuscript contains remarkable ideas.
We sat in a hotel overlooking Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh passing the time until the Production Meeting where we would be told what we would be doing in the morning.
There were four of us, Arri the second camera assistant, renowned for his passion for a certain make of camera; Igvarts the set designer / floor manager from the Kingdom of Aladanium (a small country somewhere around Poland or Russia or some such place, I never quite worked it out, Lotte tried to explain) built like a tank but with the personality of an angel; Euan the assistant sound recordist, and me, Rick the sound man.
Igvarts drew a coffee table book from a plastic bag and began leafing through it, “Mysteries Of The Ancient World,” it was a comprehensive, richly illustrated compendium of long lost civilisations. As he turned the pages his smile widened.
Euan brought drinks.
“I'm reading an amazing book at the moment,” said Arri as the drinks were handed round.
“If it's that good, Acey will have it,” Euan chirped confidently, “what's it called?” He took his seat, grinning mischievously.
Arri was defensive, “he can't have it, it's not been published yet. It's call-”
“You're reading a manuscript?” I cut him short, “probably never will be published. I've got a friend who's a publisher, he's got a pile of manuscripts reaching the ceiling, says most of them will never see the light of day even if they're any good.”
“Acey has read the Mayan Oracle' five times and listened to the tape eight times,” Euan continued, “he's got all the guff that goes with it, does the seminars too. Says it's amazing.”
“Well," said Arri, “this one's pretty amazing, it pulls together information from Genetics, Quantum physics, ancient Egypt, Mythology, Palaeontology, Spiritualism and modern Anthropology to show that old age and death are wrong, the products of a mistake or an accident.”
Lotte and Eta burst through the doors clutching bags of shoes and designer clothes.
“Hi everybody!” said Eta, “we've been looking for you. How the devil are you all? We've been having a great time round the shops.”
“Guess what she got,” said Lotte opening a huge carrier bag, “look, isn't it brilliant?”
Lotte held up a denim bomber jacket with an embroidered picture on the back depicting a machete shattering a head in two.
“Yeah, it's - fine, er, yeah,” said Euan with some dubiety. “Can I get you two a drink?” Euan rose.
“The usual, ta,” said Eta, almost singing.
“What's it about, this book?” I asked, “did you write it yourself? Only kidding,” I smirked.
“Look at the slash mark on the back of this jacket,” said Lotte, “I think that that is a brilliant statement on male violence.”
“I've always been fascinated by male violence,” Eta added, “men slashing men, men attacking and destroying other human beings. I don't know what it is about them. Football matches, religion - anything can trigger it.”
“The Neanderthal gene,” Lotte laughed.
“Sorry, I hope we're not interrupting anything,” said Eta looking around.
Igvarts glanced up briefly and returned to his new treasure.
“No no we were just talking,” I answered, helpfully, I thought. “Arri was telling us about a manuscript he's reading.”
“A manuscript?” said Lotte, her eyes lighting up, “oh how interesting. My mother was a writer, she had three books published and do you know they sold quite well. You wouldn't think it to look at her but she was clever with words - and ideas and the, you know, the whole business of getting the book to market.”
“Ssh,” Eta hissed with some consternation, “will you let him speak, what was it we interrupted?”
“I was just saying how the author has collated information from a range of sources to propose that old age and death are a great mistake, a kind of, well, a natural or man made disaster which...”
“You mean human' disaster,” Lotte interrupted, “Man made, that's sexist isn't it? I thought we'd stopped using language like that, it belongs to the - ”
“Drinks!” Euan returned with a tray. There you go, me Ladies.” He placed the drinks on the table with a flourish.
“Oh, great,” Eta said, “thanks, you got it right, too, by the look of it.”
“As always,” Euan smiled and sat down.
“Anyway,” continued Lotte, “you were saying, this publisher chap - I mean this writer friend of yours, he's trying to get his book published? Maybe I should introduce you to my mother.”
“He already has a publisher, thanks,” said Arri, “I was just talking about what he was suggesting in his book because it's quite revolutionary.”
“There are so many interesting and amazing theories these days,” I was onto one of my favourite subjects, “I love hearing about them. The more bizarre and off the wall the better, that's what I say.”
“D'you think it will become a best seller?” Euan asked, adding, “pretty hard to beat the Mayan -”
“Oh shut up about the blasted Oracle,'” I interrupted, “I tried reading it and thought it was concocted, contrived hyped up nonsense with no bearing on reality. Go on, Arri - tell -us -about - this - book. Shush everyone.” I held out my hands to emphasise the point.
Igvarts looked up, smiled, and returned to his illustrations.
“It's a bit long and detailed,” Arri continued, “I don't know if I can explain his line of reasoning in just a few words.”
“Try us,” said Lotte, “we're all ears.”
“Fire away - and sorry if we made you lose your place like that,” Eta smiled apologetically.
Arri took a breath and leaned forward, “scientists say that the smallest particles that make up the human body and all matter in our solar system originally came from the sun and are as old as the universe. This manuscript says -”
“Which scientists?” Acey had arrived.
“Shush!” we all said in unison.
Acey sat down. Arri continued, “they're named in the book.” He glared at Acey, “if we are alive, and we, and the earth, are made of particles from the sun, then these particles, the sun, and the earth must also be alive.”
“A fully conscious universe?” Eta exclaimed, “isn't there a name for that - animalism or something?”
“Animatism,” Euan said.
Arri continued, “anyway, my uncle's manuscript -”
“Oh it's your uncle,” Lotte put her hand to her mouth, “I never realised.”
Arri took a breath, “- proposes that the earth grew from the sun, we grew from the earth and we are, or rather, were, supposed to be destined to evolve into planets, suns and stars too.”
Igvarts was watching him, eyebrows raised.
There was silence.
“Transcending natural death,” said Eta with a hint of awe.
Arri nodded, “we were not meant to grow old and die as we do today.”
“And that's it?” exclaimed Euan.
“In a nutshell, sort of,” said Arri, hiding his annoyance at having had such a hard time saying his piece. “I mean, there's lots more, it's pretty detailed like I sai - ”
“Nonsense,” said Lotte, “that's like one of those Erich von Däniken books and he's been ridiculed around the world and back.”
“Maybe,” I said, but he sold well.”
“Crying all the way to the bank,” Euan slapped his thigh and took a drink.
“Sounds interesting though,” Lotte continued, “do you think it will sell, this book of his?”
“It's still in draft mode,” said Arri, “but I suppose it could, it could become a best seller.” He was frowning, I guessed he was annoyed that no one seemed interested in the remarkable statement he had just made.
“There's loads of stuff out there that really makes you wonder,” I added, “and most of it's in obscure little books by unknown publishers, I mean, you wouldn't believe it. The number of times I've stumbled across some publishing house, unknown author, obscure subject and it's been just absolutely fantastic.” Immediately I wished I had kept my mouth shut.
“That's a bit of an exaggeration,” said Euan, “anyway, it was you who was slagging him off just a minute ago.”
“Only because I thought it hadn't been accepted,” I said.
“Oh so you think that what people write isn't worth anything unless it's been given the stamp of approval by some businessman who couldn't write if his life depended on it?” Lotte said.
“Shut up,” Eta intervened, “I thought we were going to hear all about this, Amazing Theory' - we never let Arri get a word in. Arri, continue. We're all ears.”
“We're all late,” Acey stood up fingering his watch, “the meeting starts in three minutes. Better get a move on or tomorrow we'll be running around like headless chickens.”
“Later, I'll tell you later,” said Arri emptying his glass, “there's lots more.”
“Sperre-ma-toza.” Euan said as he stood up, emptied his glass and pulled on his jacket. “That's what we are.”
We hurried for the briefing.
Euan turned to me, “star seeds,” he said.
The bell rang, the doors opened and we squeezed into the lift.