Noble X - Episode 11: Internet Famous
JOHN AND HIS FRIENDS DISCUSS WHO IS CONFIRMED TO PERFORM at The Noble Experiment, what time it will start, how long sets will be, what furniture they will move, how much booze they’ll get, on and on while John double checks that his voice memo is still rolling.
He introduces the notion of having mind games available for attendees, abstractly, which garners strange looks from his buddies. So he shares some concrete examples: “Like little non-verbal tasks. Maybe like little art projects. Post-its. Documentation. Quotation. Shit like that.” He demonstrates grabbing a nearby stack of yellow Post-its and a pen, writing down "documentation and quotation" and slapping it to the wall, smiling.
Anthony loves this. He grabs a stack for himself and a pen from the cup. Their conversation bounces around wildly with this broad suggestion and their own twists until they free-associate far from the topic of planning. Post-its begin to spot the walls of John’s apartment. His friends, as if by osmosis, vibrate with the same energy, their minds firing wildly, inspired with a burning desire to create. Talks of making podcasts, projects, pieces of art, performances, then veering into philosophy, metaphysics, and beyond, in a realm where scientists even say, "We don’t fucking know” with a shrug. "Pata-physics," Colin explains. John records all of their discussions, a collective rant and rave with a healthy dose of laughter and genuine interaction. Rich evidence of his study at play.
Hours later, the spell wears off. Having thoroughly enjoyed themselves, John’s friends go home, leaving him wired all by his lonesome, craving further stimulation. After recording as much of his interaction from this evening in his log as he can recall, he decides to plug in hard, bombarding his senses with videos on his phone screen and his computer screen with books open before him and a pad at the ready to write and draw on a whim. Connecting unrelated dots until the wee hours of the morning. Revisiting media that has stuck with him throughout his life. The early comedic works of Steve Martin and Bill Murray. Certain texts he has felt affected by. Favorite films. Digging up screenplays on the internet to read along, various exercises testing the limits of his multi tasking abilities. Explosions of color, sound, and thought, John's system redlining dangerously. High on his own mind. Higher than he has ever been. And still he crawls deeper into his mind, connecting unrelated dots, free associating, detaching from reality, entering semi-consciousness, protected in his private little cave from everyone but himself as the rest of the world sleeps around him.
JOHN IS INTERNET FAMOUS NOW. He is sure of it. His podcast is a national success. The episode with the Bill Murray and Steve Martin group interview has been the most listened to episode. His show has been on the cutting-edge from its inception, group interviewing legendary artists like no one else. Conversations with Stephen King and Kurt Vonnegut, two of his favorite writers, at the same time! John feels very fortunate to be able to communicate so openly and honestly with so many of his heroes, alive and dead.
He finds nothing peculiar about these disturbed thoughts noting them as part of the study. “Increasing delusional thinking and grandiose ideas that are not based in reality and should, therefore, be kept to myself to maintain the schedule of the study.” Noting further paranoia and concern about "People finding out before the week is up and the big finale.” John has become so fixed in his delusion yet possesses a conscious awareness that he is hallucinating, interacting willfully with it in a whimsical way, feeling more enlightened than he ever has. He's really quite excited that his mind is creating such vivid imagination, right before his waking eyes, as if he is lucid dreaming. He’s getting used to the feeling and enjoying it more and more despite the health risk.
His brain feels like it’s thrumming with electricity, vibrating inside of his skull, blasting more powerfully than he’s ever experienced, perceiving his senses to be super human. A photographic memory and the ability to connect seemingly any topic to another. He believes that whole days are passing as he is speaking to famous people around his big table for his world-renowned, widely-celebrated podcast when he gasps back to the surface of reality, staring into a marker-covered frame.
A piece of artwork in his home, taken from a Vonnegut sketch, emblazoned with a quote from John’s literary hero: “How embarrassing to be human,” and adorned with newly added symbols and arrows, stared back at him, his face reflecting in the blackness of the illustrated Earth. John looks down finding himself surrounded by books at his feet. Several titles from Stephen King’s catalog and psychology books. Two by Steve Martin — one fiction, one auto-biographical. He’s out of his mind. His hallucinations are getting more intense and more real. Fear and concern evaporate immediately and he sits to record it diligently, looking less and less like a scientist each entry, growing more twitchy and erratic as he pushes forwards towards pure id.
Stay tuned for Episode 12.
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