Magic Box

CHAPTER 27 (1970-1975) – I

Evan Tim was a real piece of work. He had always been secretive about his childhood so it was unclear to those who dealt with him if it was the drug use that generated his psychotic episodes or if it was the mental illness that originally drove him to hallucinogenic escape. Either way, he seemed to be at constant war with himself. One day he was the epitome of control: stable, authoritative, inspiring in his command of an objective. The next day he played the revolutionary: mystical, incendiary, equally inspiring in his command of an audience. Through charisma, persuasion – and yes, fear and violence – he built his elite empire, splitting the difference between his extremes to find the harmonic mean. His network of psychedelic customers consumed and spread the message of change through subversion, but did so at the highest levels of artistic taste-making and gate-keeping, thus directly influencing the culture more than a movement amongst the plebs would have produced on its own. His homemade brand of synthetic psychedelia was a helluva drug.

Evan Tim’s network was now being used as a cudgel, at Stievo’s direction, against the artistic message and reach of Aricame. Publishers, producers, critics, and fellow artists were all turning their backs on the artist known as Ohrmazd. When he attempted to change their minds through mental manipulation, he found that they were either too far gone in the haze of Evan Tim’s narcotic, or had been preemptively mentally fortified by Stievo. In either case, Aricame’s powers did little to further his cause. He knew he had to confront Evan Tim, but this too proved difficult as the man’s bipolar mind was impossible to pin down.

Aricame knew he had to bring as many people to his side, to his view of the world, as he could. He and Stievo were dividing the world into two camps, and whosever camp was bigger would gain the advantage, and ultimately victory. His attempts to inspire the masses through act and art had gotten him far, but he realized that he had gone as far as he could with that approach. Aricame’s artistic dealings had awoken him to the unrelenting power of business, while his psilocybin sojourn had opened his eyes (indeed, his Eye) to the power of transcendence apart from religion. Both insights yielded a further insight: to make the best use of the present, one must fully embrace the future!

Giant, complex monstrosities, known as “computers”, had been slowly developing over decades, but it would be Aricame who would first master them. He purchased one such machine, took it apart, studied it, and then built several more. Using the kaleidoscopic visions he could now conjure at will, an entire universe of mathematical cause-and-effect was revealed to him and he used it as a guide to both build psychotropic computer programs, and then sell them in the marketplace. His conceptual videos as an artist had always hinted at this type of expression, but now as a scientist and businessman, he would be able to expand even further.

At this point, Aricame could have just left Evan Tim be. Ohrmazd had moved on to bigger and better things, and Evan Tim’s smothering of his book/album/art sales would have no real impact on his efforts going forward, but that just wouldn’t sit right with the Champion. No amount of mushroom-induced oneness would pacify him. Evan Tim had launched a personal attack, and vengeance would be dealt.

All ingredients available to us
Come from the same source
Separate; congregate; debate and discuss
Time will take its course