AM: The Man-made God: A study of Godhood and Artificial Intelligence in Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

A study of Godhood and Artificial Intelligence in Harlan Ellison’s I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream





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Grey Spaces

Shopping centres, the human beehive full of capital honey. Drones weaving in and out of shops and cafes. Money exchanging hands every second and bags that almost drag along the floor as you walk out. Shopaholics and shop haters alike dragged along by their friends and partners. They’re all here. Clothes made in another country overseas, unknown to the consumer, paying triple the price of its labour value set by corporations. Yet we do not see it. Why do we see past the poverty, the sweat, the tears of everyday life? We refuse to acknowledge others, overseas and at home. Like drones, we present ourselves coldly to others. Our business is our business.

A Pigeon dangling lifelessly from a bird spike tucked away in the corner of a six-storey car park. Maggots hollowing its corpse from the inside out. It cannot resist.

Car parks. As a child, the greatest fear was that I would be lost in this cold and hollow concrete labyrinth. Identical grey floors, just like mirrors. Rows and rows of cars, but we do not care for cars apart from our own.

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Matthew Ahern


The Fool



John lost his job, he couldn’t help it. When he arrived at work his computer, stationery, and framed pictures were already boxed up and ready to be shipped back home. He thought about this for two whole hours after he got into bed that night at 11 p.m. He didn’t tell his wife- he couldn’t tell Sasha. He did nothing but lay there with his eyes wide open and stared at the clock the bedside cabinet next to him. He was in a permanent state of a cold sweat and couldn’t face his wife. He had avoided her all day, of course, and only came back home at eleven. He remembered that he sat in the car for an hour bawling his eyes out over the steering wheel. Everything went so well that morning until he got into work, ‘what went wrong’ he thought, and probably blamed it on some divine deity that had no say in the matter whatsoever. Lying in bed on that cold December night, his anxiety and paranoia started to take over to a point where he flinched at every bump in the night. He didn’t know if it was the creaking pipes from the boiler or the clown that traumatised him as a child, or just the couple that were having sex in the flat next door.

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Camera Lucida: The memory and insanity of James Carter, A H.P Lovecraft imitation

And here I sit on the edge of the world; between village and country; between village and the sea of the unfathomable unknown; between men and gods; between life and death; between stagnation and decay; between consumption of digestion; between me and man; between man and me; between non-man and non-me; between non-me and non-man; non-woman; non-animal; between me and the viewer; between the viewer and me; the camera and me; the god and me; the camera as god; me and my pint.

       And I sit before me and my pint, the one thing keeping me sane, as I watched hordes of fishing trawlers drift out into the fog that crawled in. My eyes fixed to the condensated glass like a camcorder, playing this scene over and over in my head as it happened right before my eyes.

The fishermen go out to sea…

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University ‘Freshers’ week Anti-survival guide

For the quiet types.

If you’re like me and perhaps you’re sick of hearing about ‘freshers’ as the start of the University year approaches, that’s probably the natural reaction. I have never been much of a party-person or a person-person, and if you’re like me, every time you hear the word ‘freshers’ being brought up in a conversation, it sounds like hell-on-earth. That would be an accurate way to describe it. As I am now going into my third year and I have to hear the general spiel about how exciting and life-changing freshers will be again, and it usually rowels up the students entering their first year. Unless you’re like me who hated it from the very beginning. So this will be five points that contribute to the anti-survival guide for people who hate people, and will hopefully disillusion some freshers who can’t wait to spend the whole week drunk and being buddy-buddy with their newly acquired ‘housemates’.

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The Portrait of Père Tanguy at the Musée Rodin

10 am, lights on, I am displayed.

The quiet morning sun exposes my time-worn face, as I rest easily upon the wall, waiting patiently in this quiet and empty hall.

I am not Père Tanguy. He is dead, and I am nothing more than a copy. A product of a long affectionate relationship with the artist that loved me. Like every other day, I am exposed, lost to the wandering morning crowd and adored by the mid-afternoon.

Only romantics see me in the evening.

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Preferring Artificiality

Sometimes when I go outside I feel alien to the world. Things are not what they seem. Cardboard cut-outs, perhaps. Being born in a suburb it offers me nowhere to feel comfortable, neither city or country, and you’re left with a bit of both, unconnected to either. You may live near a field or a farm but they’re all man-made in the suburbs of England. You turn around and you see rows and rows of houses next to these fields that are put there to give the illusion of having the peaceful life of the country next to the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the city. It is simply the unnatural pretending to be natural, and in the end, we prefer the unnatural. I was thinking that it was not always this way, but in the last forty years, we have been conditioned so. There are many factors to consider, but first I will start with education.

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