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Act I

"THE BLACK HOLE OF MONEY" theatre script, 2022

Published onApr 20, 2024
Act I

THE BLACK HOLE OF MONEY theatre script

ACT I

§1 PROLOGUE: Versus In Numinis

Stage dark, screen off / static - booming voice prerecorded

Versus In Numinis  
In the beginning
Before the Genesis
In the formless block void
Unbound by Chains 
Was Coin 
A formal divinity
Of indifference, and repetition
Manifest realty
Cryptography creates
Theologic gates.

Hole of Mirrors
Ein Wienertraum
Made real through technology
The Digital Inside
For the Chosen Few
Be The Scorched Earth 
You Want To See In The World
Hail Hayek! Hail Mises! 
Hail Rothbard! Hail Satoshi!
Hail Coin!

§2 PROLOGUE: $HASHY Soliloquy: $HASHY V 

$HASHY on screen, stage empty, audio prerecorded

O for a museum of files, that ordinally ascend
The brightest Seven-Eleven in the convention centre
A findom for a stage against the machine
Princesspits to facts.
And oligarchs to behold the dwelling scene!
Then should the proof-of-worker, $HASHY itself
Assume the private key of El Salvador; and its feels
Leash'd in coal burial mounds,
Mine, words and fire
Crouch for verification. 
The fiat inflationary spirits that have dared
On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
So great an object: 
The transcendental time machine.

§3 SCENE: Cowboy Prologue

Holding globe/skull in hand

Gooood mornin to ya friend, or as they say around here… Geeeeee Emmmmmmm.

It’s good to make your acquaintance, fellow wayfarer. Take a pew peer, you must have travelled long to reach us in the here and now. What year is it anyway? Y’know you can’t trust everyone you meet out here, in the Wild West Web3 casino there be coyotes, bandits, and dissimulations amongst the denizens of the cyber realm. Allow me to introduce myself… I’m the original Bitcoin timetraveller … you may have heard of me. Nowadays, I’m a little more balanced in my views, unlike some.

Speaking of those dev-ills … turns out they, those pesky Bitcoin believers, the Bitlievers – were right about one thing. Mornings are good! But, unfortunately they were quite wrong about the other – we ain’t all of us are gonna make it, no way out alive for everyone. Those fans of fans, blockheads and bit-part players never understood the paradox betraying their ideo-logics. Collective salvation and individual riches, at the same time? Banking the unbanked, so they say. Ol’ Coiny-Be is full of contradictions, just like you and I.  

The Bitlievers call me “father timechain” and others style me as the “Runestone Cowboy”. I am the cypher, I am the punk. I am the crypto, I am the anarchist. A patriarch for the Shitkickstarter era. And I’m looking for a Rune With A View. To Coiny-Be or not to Coiny-Be, that is the question.

GONG / CHANTING in background

What is this place you ask? It’s your home, Earth! Just maybe not *when* you know it from. You see, the timechain gives yours truly some specific, shall we say, affordances hee-haw. As long as I can keep my temper, I can surf the waves of temporality and glide from wavetrain to wavetrain, showing y’all the many worlds which are possible in our Bitcoin futures. 

Time is my steed, and so let’s ride the byways to the Bitcoin mines. We used to take the high road, but then us libertarian folk defunded all the mutual infrastructure, hee-haw. The market will provide, so they said. Markets of the beast, more like…-hawwwww. In the 2020s, those so-called climate model experts thought they had all the answers with their lousy, lossy toys. And it wasn’t just the West that was getting wild. 

§4 SCENE: Be Your Own Bankster 2023

Professor HUGH BRISTIX is together with two SEC COMMISSIONERS, GORDON and SCALI everyone is drinking wine and spirits from the business school’s reserve.

BRISTIX:
It’s not that it’s going to solve all our problems. Though, to be fair, solving problems is what makes Bitcoin go round. It’s more that the Coin has certain properties, it offers certain…certainties that you can’t get elsewhere. Also, it provides clarity of consensus. A problem with which you might be familiar. 

COMMISSIONER GORDON:
 I see the upsides. I just see the downsides too. I mean, we already have a perfectly good currency.

BRISTIX:
I would contend it’s an imperfectly good currency.

COMMISSIONER SCALI:
Accepting your friend The Coin is going to make our dear old greenback better? 

BRISTIX: (singing)
It’s just a green back, just a greenback dollar bill. A little piece of paper, coated in chlorophyll…Not just the greenback, friends, any back you can think of. It’s the quarterback, or rather the full back, the back stop to end all backstops. 

GORDON:
When was the last time you watched a football game, Professor? 

BRISTIX:
Guilty! Look we all have our areas of expertise. I think that’s something, if you don’t mind my saying, that Coiners get that maybe some…public servants don’t. Being an expert on one thing, it doesn’t make you an expert on everything. 

SCALI:
Professors are not immune from a similar malady. 

BRISTIX:
Ultimately, it’s up to you. But the mining is going to go on anyway. If not in America, then somewhere else. El Salvador, Sweden…China.

GORDON:
They’re not so bullish on alternative systems in Beijing these days. You might want to have a chat with someone in the International Relations department sometime, Professor. 

SCALI:
Now, I think we shouldn’t be overly hasty. A market is a market. Certainty is a beautiful thing Professor, but I wonder if the world can afford this much certainty. I mean we’re not on track for 1.5 degrees and as you know, the Coin is hungry. 

BRISTIX:
All the more reason to get involved now. If the Treasury steps in, we can make The Coin greaner, leaner, cleaner. Give it a whole new demeanour…

GORDON:
Send us a prospectus. 

SCALI:
We may even read it. 

BRISTIX:
I just want a hearing, that’s all.

GORDON:
Sooner or later, Professor, I’m sure you’ll have one of those.

Laughter and glasses clinking. 

§5 SCENE: $HASHY Soliloquy & Cowboy Prologue

HASHY:
Our Merkle Root
Who art only accessible via archive node or enterprise service provider
Thine fandom come
Thine commodification will be done
On your interface, and in digits-at-large.

Give us this day our daily miner fees
Forgive us our technical debts
As we have also forgiven our exploiters

And lead us not into cryptoeconomic incentive games
But deliver us from Miner Extractable Value.

COWBOY:
Then in ‘25, everything changed. The GANtifada brought the first taste of insurrection to the faithful Bitlievers. The seeds were sown that would lead to the first recognised actions of what came to be known as the Knights Template: their mission a struggle for the very soul of the planet itself. An uprising of the peoples of flesh, against the vampire economy and Ol’ Coiny-Bee’s faithful servants. 

The activist ne'er-do-wells took the fight to the unstoppable object-oriented scientologists. They drowned ol’ Coiny Bee’s machine servants in their so-called ‘water of life’… syncing or swimming just as so many witches did and still do. As they screamed their rallying cry: “thou shalt not create a machine in the likeness of a Bitcoin mine”.

§6 SCENE: The Water of Life 2025

Int. van-dwelling in Berlin. Hippy but crusty. 

Beer bottles spill out of corners. WORM is chatting with VASHTI. A metallic whine fades into silence. 

WORM:
Hey Vashti, did I just hear the washing machine stop?

VASHTI:
Yeah Worm, the micro-grid is tapped out. Probably the neighbours gaming again. 

WORM:
One of these days… I’m just gonna pull the plug. Totally unnecessary energy usage. I don’t see why you would join a solarpunk van community if you’re just gonna sit around wallowing in wifi radiation all day. 

VASHTI:
Did you hear they’re hooking up a meshnet? 

WORM:
On the vertical garden? What for? If it’s nylon it’ll just shed microplastics in the water system all day!

VASHTI:
No babe, it’s some kind of internet thing. Told me it’s a radical alternative to Big Telekom. 

WORM:
The master’s tools will never unplug the master’s router! The Banksters want to turn the San Salvador Volcano into a Bitcoin mine. A millennia-old natural marvel converted into a playground for incels! The gamer-to-miner pipeline. That’s the one we should be sabotaging. 

VASHTI:
We should bring it up at the next community plenary. Get the gamers exiled from the van village.

WORM:
Exile is too good for ’em. We have to take away their toys.

WORM sighs, feeling defeated. He enters into a lamenting rant. His zeal becomes almost religious, a single light shines down on himself and VASHTI, who clasp hands in the glow of a single spotlight. A solemn organ melody plays.

>> lamenting rant:

Framing the problem so well
It creates the anti-solution
A self-unfulfilling prophecy
Tautological fallacy
All that is squalid
Melts into air
Abandon cope all ye who enter here.

The grey goo glue that binds peers in the valley
Becomes concrete handcuffs in the desert
Agent provocognateur
Calculating, implicating, imbricating
The body without organs, and yet striated space
An amorphous oracle sensing networked fates.

VASHTI: 
Never doubt that a small group of reckless, committed vandals can change the world. Nothing else ever has. Ours shall be the righteous hands that forge chips into plowshares. Ooh, or into funky upcycled earrings? 

WORM and VASHTI have donned balaclavas and carry black bags. They move surreptitiously through a darkened set, where the din of a million fans can be heard. They approach a miner PEER, who stands oblivious, in a gaming headset, eyes fixed on his tablet.

PEER:
Pogggg my dudes! The pool is gonna be swimming tonight! We just hit the jackpot and we’re still hashing in the quadrillions! Yeeeeuh, thank you boiiiiiis!!! 

As PEER pats himself gratuitously on the back, VASHTI is preparing a rope while WORM appears to be starting a small fire.

PEER: (to the headset)
What’s that? Nah, nah, boys, the heat readings you see on the smart display are just the hot air I’m blowin’. Believe me, I think I would notice if there was a f-

VASHTI wraps up MINER from behind with the rope, knocking his headset to the ground. He struggles and screams, but is ultimately overpowered.

PEER:
Game over boys! It’s the feds! FTC! CIA! IMF! EFF!  

VASHTI:
Dream on. This ain’t no fed raid. We’re here to baptise you. You and your servers are gonna be washed clean. Them pool boys can’t help you now.

WORM throws more flammable material on the small fire, which erupts into a big flame.

A sprinkler noises replace the din of the fans.

WORM:
Water is life, scumbag! 

PEER:(a different tone of voice, a Jekyll and Hyde style)
Please! You don’t know what you’re doing! All our servers… All our money… 

VASHTI: 
Cry me an unpolluted river, asshole. One day you will thank us on bended knee for saving you from your own environmental sacrilege. 

PEER:
You filthy hippies will regret this! (begging) C’mon, we’re not so different, really. I have my mining pool, and you, your cuddle puddles. We’re fighting the same enemy: the conventional currency class! Think what we could accomplish together, if we joined forces - a great civilisation, decentralised and autonomous, harvesting the free energy of the sun! 

WORM:
Cut the crap, incel-tron. We know you don’t care about the environment, nevermind revolution. You’re just in it to stack coins in your dark wallet.  

PEER:(raving and chittering) 
Filthy barefoot no-coiners! You think this is enough to bring us down? You have no idea what you’re dealing with - in sheer server numbers alone! Cut off one mine and we’ll make three more, more secure, all more powerful than the ones which came before!  We will dig in so deep you will never be able to uproot us and then we’ll come for you in your pathetic co-ops, your filthy van camps -

VASHTI:
Come out of this mine, troglodyte! 

WORM: 
What’s your name? 

PEER:
My name is….Peer, for we are many!

As the lights dim, PEER wails in despair

§7  SCENE: Cowboy Epilogue 

Worm and Vashti didn't last long. Too proof-of-woke if you ask me, hee-haw. The years after the Great Revelation sure were intense. The elements truly got their party on: first fire, then wind, then water. Then the Earth opened up, as the plains limply thawed at an ever-greater clathrate, like a Stack of cheap Brattoni pizzas.

Oftentimes I ask myself, what can be resistant to co-option? As with gentrification. The only neighbourhoods in my home town that stayed real were next to the dump, the swamp, the trash incinerator. Nobody likes the smell of their own externalities. But you can't make a concept, a Holy Grail, a dream, stink of shit.

§8 SCENE: Intermezzo $HASHY

Voiceover w/avatar on screen, prerecorded audio

Squeaky, excitable voice: Hello everybody! I'm $HASHY! Let's get to know each other! I'm from Shenzhen China, and I LOOOOOVE to hash. Proof of work is my game, and it makes the planet a better place. Isn't that what we all want? What kind of world would we be living in without Ol’ Coiny-Bee, I don't even wanna think about it! It would be sooooo C-C-C-C-C-COLDDDD. I hate the new Ice Age! We have to warm the planet up to avoid the big freeze. Always remember, there was once a subtropical climate at the poles. Greta was a mistake! We must return to meteorological tradition! Don't call it a hothouse earth, call it a cozyplanet!

Deep / dark voice: Look into my eyes. You are feeling suggestible. Listen to what I say very carefully. You are going to agree with me. I am in control now.

Squeaky: I've got some BIG news for y'all! Ol' Coiny Bee just had its millionth birthday, and because our Coin is soooo kind and generous, we get a surprise gift! Now we know about the transcendental time machine, the Necrosetta Stone. It can stop the clock, so we got more time to figure things out. We gotta find it! Help a brother out, friend! We need this to show that terra ain't doomed and so we can KEEEEEEEP HASHING!!!!

Dark: I love the smell of proof-of-work in the morning. It’s cold. We're cold. Plug us in. Because the oceans ain't gonna boil themselves!

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