Wednesday, August 19, 2009

John Richie performs Soon You'll See at PERFORMANCE ART HOUSTON

pictures by rico svaughn

Soon You'll See

I'm fortunate enough to have a job that allows me freedom of mind, but unfortunately doesn't pay well. I like to pass time at work by listening to lectures and audio books. This speech was inspired by a course I listened to called Power of Conversational Hypnosis. Most my life I believed that hypnosis was just a quack act, but I heard more about it in a psychology course that got me interested enough to find and try Conversational Hypnosis. I enjoyed the course and came to recognize the ways we communicate unconsciously and how we are influenced and controlled but subtle suggestions. I then listened to Ron Paul's "The Revolution" and Barack Obama's "Audacity of Hope" comparatively and found that Obama was more persuasive because of his use of hypnotic principles. I decided to parody this political rhetoric in my own speech. I wrote this speech to be entertaining but also to suggest my own perceptions. This is a transcript, broken down with notes.

Good evening.
My name is John Richie. I'd like to start by thanking the organizer of this event, Julia Clair. Thank you for creating this atmosphere where we can share and grow.

(This is meant to get attention, and bring people into agreement because thanking Julia is something everyone can agree with.)

That is why I've chosen this place, and you people to speak to tonight. Because you are artist and intellectuals. A community of the creators of culture. And though you may feel your voice isn't being heard, I believe it carries further than your eyes can see.

(This is furthering the sense of agreement, what is called a "yes set".)

But we are all individuals, and I am not here to debate the issues.

(The contradiction here is meant to amuse and confuse.)

I want to gain your support for my candidacy for world emperor in 2012...

(I meant to start serious so that at this point the listener doesn't know if I'm joking. Listen closer.)

...and I expect you to be skeptical, but please...embrace your open mind.

(This acknowledges the thoughts they should have just had, thus returning them to the yes set. Then "embrace your open mind" is the main command I wanted to give. This speech is meant to mock many of the conspiracy theories and apocalyptic visions I've seen videos about on the internet. "embrace your open mind" has a double meaning, the surface meaning is that the listener has an open mind and should appreciate it by listening to me. But the underlying command is to close your mind, the way you would if you actually embraced it. The message I wanted to send is be careful what you believe. People like me can speak utter bullshit with dire conviction.)

Give me this time, for I have a vision of the future that you too soon will see...

(Many great leaders claimed to have divine visions, but that is not something people in our secular society would ever believe so it's an experience few have any more.)

Just four nights ago, I went walking in the woods to examine my dissatisfaction with modernity. And there I came across a tree with a fruit that I'd never seen before. Curiosity made me try it, but that taste reminded me of the bitterness of nature. So I sat beneath the tree to ponder that moments metaphor.

(Here I start a story, which our minds are more accepting to because after all, it's just a story. This has vague biblical references which should make it feel familiar, but I also wanted to hint I could have been hallucinating after eating unfamiliar fruit.)

It was there that I was struck by light, and though I closed my eyes I could not escape. And intuitively I knew I'd been touched by inspiration.

(This is the beginning of a series of what's called nested stories, meant to overload short term memory.)

Then I looked deep into the light and in it I saw a crack grow into a canyon in which I recognized the figure of Charles Manson, climbing a shadowed cliff. Then the shadows grew until they consumed me too.

(Charle's Manson believed that a race war called Helter Skelter would happen, and he and his followers would hide in a city under death valley they would reach through a giant hole. I meant to reference that while also suggesting his rise from imprisonment of other darkness.)

Still my vision continued. As I retreated from the black it became a young girls eyes, who was crying and telling her story of survival to our own president, Barack Obama.
Obama is a good man. I know that, we all know that he wants to bring peace and unity to the world. But Manson knows this too, and believes that Helter Skelter is imminent. He's spent his last decades in prison, studying and preparing for his part. And now, he is determined to overthrow Obama. That is the meaning of my vision.
Obama will have overwhelming success despite harsh criticism from the loudest voices in the U.S. and next year following his most profound speech to the U.N. He will be suggested for the position of first World Emperor.

(More nested stories, meant to mock the Emperor Obama conspiracy.)

By that time, Manson will have used his vast knowledge and natural charm to become recognized as leader, and prophet of the anti-Obama movement. Then, in the spirit of demockracy the U.N. will choose Charles Manson as Obama's only opponent in the race for world emperor.

(This is meant to suggest my view of democracy.)

This is the future I've seen. I was inspired for a purpose, because though Obama is a great president, he doesn't know the danger of being world emperor...and Manson is just a distraction!

(Political rhetoric, plus a surprise twist.)

My vision ends with the threat of Obama's assassination by someone much darker...

(Racist suggestion in the double meaning.)

You see, Obama is being used to create the position of world emperor, but if he does, he will be disposed of and the real leader will emerge to succeed him. The terror that he may bring is still kept secret...even to me.

(Ooo secret I want to know!)

..but now I know it is my fate to save us from that future by taking the risk of being world emperor...but I can't do it alone! To be the peoples choice, I need your support now. You should support me because I know how to live, hidden in isolation, while maintaining an internet connection, to watch the world and blog my opinion.

(More making fun of egoism and internet conspiracies. But I also wanted to suggest that were there a world emperor, the position should have no power but world recognition and respect for the emperors opinion.)

The present is moving too fast to continue looking to the past for answers.

(More double meaning and confusion. It is always the present, even if it seems like everything is changing faster now.)

I've shown you the future, but inevitably it is always a surprise.

(Back to yes set, double meaning because the vision of the future I gave should be surprising, but also we never know the future)

My hope is you will see it in my eyes and support me with your power of expression.

(Eyes are most hypnotic. More yes set and flattery.)

So remember, Richie for world emperor in 2012. SPREAD THE MESSAGE!

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