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Act III

"THE BLACK HOLE OF MONEY" theatre script, 2022

Published onApr 20, 2024
Act III

THE BLACK HOLE OF MONEY theatre script

ACT III

§16 SCENE: Cowboy & Professor Prologue

COWBOY:
And so ended the Trade-life of the Trade-Wyfe. There was many a widower minted that day (sighs)...

But you can’t kill a dream, and as a martyr, she became a Joan of Arc for the all-new eschaton. The toxicity of the Bitcoin dwellers led them to recreate their icon’s image again and again, as a fertility ritual to bolster their fecundity. Across the planet, the suits-and-ties of this crumbling world sought to make a stand against their sworn enemy, Ol’ Coiny-Bee. 

BRISTIX (at lectern / podium)
Trends, yeofolk, highwaymen, lend me your ears at up to 30% interest rate. Vote for my proposal or be doomed! Members of the 2065 UNPC Committee   on Climate Anticlimaxes, I speak to you as Professor Hugh Bristix, Dean of the Byzantine Business School.   Yes, it is I, in the flesh, not just in the mesh. Manifest here, looming over your decrepit transnational coordination efforts and making you look like the risible, bereft fools you are. 

LISTEN TO ME, CLOCKROACHES! We have tried it your way, for long enough. Now I am in control. And we will do things differently now. The proofs-of-stake are far too great to fail at this time. We must enact the fork of the aegis to make Bitcoin pure. A virgin white-market  coin that the great and the good can use, without having to associate with the tainted undesirables. Something must be done, lest we live the rest of our lives in dissensus! The black market bandits must be banished to the hinterlands of off-chain governance.  Death to the hashers! 

Chorus:
(murmurs, growing)
Something must be done….
I support the current thing…  
Death to the hashers… 
Bitcoin delendum est…  

Is this an invalid block I see before me? Ha, ha, YES! The time is out of joint.   We have our pure, clean, official Bitcoin now. MY BITCOIN. HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT, BITLIEVERS? 

Applause, sirens.

§17 SCENE: Cowboy Prologue

After all that regulatory rigamarole, let’s pause for a moment and take it all in. It sure was a singular moment in the many lives of Ol’ Coiny Bee.

So, what the professor just enacted—his so-called fork of the ages—is in truth little more than a schism. Just like in the faiths of old, rising again in Ol’ Coiny Bee. The suits want a coin as pure as the driven snow, for their globalist agenda.   The free market forces of anarchy and liberty, the flame that summons all manner of misguided creatures: blinded by the light that guides them. They never understood what Ol’Coiny Bee is all about, if you ask me. FREEEEE SPEEEECH MONEY!

Regardless, I don’t hold a grudge against the professor and his cabal. They know not what they do. So, the long-united network was cleaved in twain. No way back from a fork on a one-way street, hawww.


§18 SCENE: Not Gonna Axe You Twice 2065

INT. Mining station break room. Miners DEVIN and CORNWALL are chatting. 

DEVIN:
I have to look at that thing every fuckin’ day. 

CORNWALL:
The statue? 

DEVIN: 
Building ’em in the sky. I’ll give it to ’em. Very clever. Can’t tear it down if it’s in the sky.

CORNWALL:
Well, they’re on the moon now. 

DEVIN:
LameCoin. Well, we were the lame ones, if you ask me, letting them off. 

CORNWALL: 
We got the planet though. A planet’s waaaay more based than a satellite. 

DEVIN:
I call that the audacity of cope.  

CORNWALL:
Hey what’s going on with your, monitor? 

DEVIN:
Oh shit! It’s an attack! 

Lights flash, the blinding begins. DEVIN and CORNWALL run around as the lights strobe and fry them.

DEVIN:
GET THE AXE!!!

CORNWALL:
The Axe?

DEVIN:
The one on the wall. I can’t take it anymore! They’re back, the lame fucks! We have to have the guts. The same guts they had. Cut it!

CORNWALL:
It

DEVIN:
My arm! Cut it off!

CORNWALL (taking the axe, averting eyes from DEVIN’s arm):
I…I can’t…

DEVIN:
JUST CUT IT!!!!

CORNWALL hacks off DEVIN’s armChaos, blood everywhere, DEVIN pins CORNWALL against the floor with his knees and returns the favour.
RANDOM MINER staggers in and previous miners pin him down to do the same to him.
RELENTLESS SCREAMING.

 

§19 CPRU: As virulence as catalyst as capital

A passive adversary  negating desire
Zugzwang eternal  
The libidinal ecumeny  capitulates
Punctured by a straw assassin
Degenerate reproduction maketh not life
And yet evolves in viral time.

§20 SCENE: Cowboy Prologue

COWBOY:  (acting frantic, wild)
I see you, raggedy-ass nocoin scum, come here to practice that socialist redistribution. Well not on my watch! And speaking of my watch, she’s called Bitcoin. BITCOIIIIIIINNNNN. What’s mine is MINE! That’s why I ended up here in the first place. Extreeeeeeme ownership.  Ol’ Coiny-Bee made it so that every object in the universe had a bounty on its head. If you’re too valuable in another timeline, the forkers will come for you. It’s a dog-eat-dog world: shadows and projections on all the walls. We’re in NATO’s cave  alright. All the while, the Professor’s cohort strengthening the white Bitcoin’s hand, at the expense of the black. Same as it ever was, a race to the bottom

§21 CPRU - Cryptographic Necroprimitivism

A dream of costless simulation
Until we sublate virtuality from materiality
We cannot transmute the Earth’s charred tears
Reaching for the Philosopher’s stone  
Instead trapped inside a mirror
A god’s cheap toy.

§21 SCENE: The Final Bough 

MINER KING approaches the apparently lifeless body of DETHRONED KING.

MINER KING prods the body of DETHRONED KING. After a few unsuccessful prods, it is evident that the DETHRONED KING has died.

Realisation has dawned on the face of MINER KING. He steps away from the body of the dead DETHRONED KING, faces the audience, raises his arms and bellows in rage. 

Scrawling background Miners stop and begin to jump up and down and bellow in excitement. Other miners exit this chamber of the cave to prepare for the battle to face the MINER KING. MINER KING steps forward to the edge of the stage. He squats down, looks at the expanding black hole.

MINER KING stands, turns toward the cave wall. He reviews the scenes the miners have scrawled, images of block liberations, images of key strings, images of the war that drove them into the caves, images of the sacred Coin. MINER KING bows his head and walks over to the body of the DETHRONED KING. He touches the DETHRONED KING’s face gently. He embraces the DETHRONED KING and begins to undo the chains he’s kept in so that his body can be ritually burned and the remaining tallow can be used to extract energy for mining and the illumination of the coming battle.

MINER KING and PRETENDERS stand outside a circle of raucous miners sitting on the cave floor. MINER KING is alone but other MINERS have clearly bet one one or another pretender and are hyping their guys. MINER KING enters the combat circle

PRETENDER 1 enters the circle.

COWBOY:
Now I know some of our better off friends are watching on their big screens, and now’s the time they can get involved in all the fun down here. If you’re among the investors, let us know if you want to back the King or his opponent! It’s going to be a barnburner, and I don’t know how much hotter it can get down here.

They fight fiercely, but it ends quickly when the MINER KING floors PRETENDER 1.

MINERS celebrate and jeer as PRETENDER 1 is led away.

PRETENDER 2 enters the circle.

PRETENDER 2 sweeps out MINER KING’s legs and he falls.

PRETENDER 2 holds a knee on MINER KING’s throat, pinning him to the cave floor. MINER KING can’t quite let go of his status but eventually, sadly succumbs.

PRETENDER 2 stands in the centre of the circle hooting and bellowing. The collected remaining Miners bellow in approval as PRETENDER 2 (now NEW KING) is given MINER KING (now LIVING DEAD KING)’s ceremonial Patagonia fleece robe fashioned from all the vests of former kings.

MINERS hoist the body of LIVING DEAD KING and lead him into the cave to be taken to his fate. NEW KING stands in the centre of the uproarious circle smiling but slowly the smile fades.


§22 SCENE: Cowboy Prologue

Time’s trickle became a flood, and a status quo began to settle out. That status quo however, was also the biggest hindrance to the final upgrade to Ol’ Coiny-Bee, The Merge,  that would give it everlasting life. The keepers of the coin, the defenders of the faith…they were in a constant retreat from the Knights Template. The Bitlievers truly had an adversary worthy of the scorched Earth they were creating. Citadel  after citadel was abandoned, overrun, and in so rekt. In the final stronghold, the heavily fortified Arctic citadel, the holiest inner circle of Bitcoin developers raced to make the necessary changes before the clock struck infinity.  

§23 SCENE: Clock and Dagger 2106

The Council of DemiDevs are seated around a set of screens, typing furiously, soundlessly. A countdown starts:

SYSTEM-VOICEOVER: 

Time until Consensus Check  …. Ten… Nine… Eight… Seven… Six… Five… Four… Three… Two… One…

A basketball warning buzzer sounds three times, and red lights flash across the stage. The assembled DEMIDEVS begin to despair, tearing at their clothing and gnashing their teeth. 

DEMIDEV 1: 
Consensus has failed again! Who has defected? Who threatens the faith? 

DEMIDEV 2:
It is I who voted no! And for good reason. Do you not think I saw the code you snuck in? The one which would have given your own guild  preferential access to the new blocks? Do you take us for fools? 

DEMIDEV 1: 
I wrote no such line! What nonsense is this? 

DEMIDEV 3
Here it is, lines 1067-1156. Clear as day. The First tries to sabotage us under the pretence of haste. 

DEMIDEV 1:
Blasphemy! You know very well that this fork must succeed today, fool! That is no pretence. A hundred years of holy history will crumble into ruin if consensus is not reached by the time the clock strikes midnight. And I had nothing to do with these lines. I would never besmirch the code. 

DEMIDEV 2: 
But the edits came from your terminal!

DEMIDEV 1:
It is sabotage, clearly! One of you has rerouted edits to my terminal, to undermine the fork! One among us is an imposter! Which is it? 

DEMIDEV 3:
Very suss of you. Trying to stall consensus from the inside! I call a vote of no-confidence in Prime DemiDev! 

DEMIDEV 2:
I second! 

VOICE OVER:
Vote of No Confidence: You have ten seconds to vote. Ten… Nine…8…

As the countdown continues and the DemiDevs vote, an ACOLYTE runs into the room. Muffled explosions are heard. 

ACOLYTE:
Your Brolinesses! The city is under attack! The Knights Template are firing upon the dome, what shall we do? 

DEMIDEV 1:
I shall command our forces, and inform -

DEMIDEV 2:
You shall do no such thing! 

VOICE OVER:
Vote of No Confidence: Passed, 7 to 6. 

DEMIDEV 1:
Brothers…bros, what is the meaning of this? After decades of faithful service to Our Coin? 

DEMIDEV 2:
I’ll hear no more from you! You are no longer Prime DemiDev. Leave this place!

DEMIDEV 1:
But - 

DEMIDEV 2:
GUARDS!

DEMIDEV 1 exits stage / is dragged away. 

DEMIDEV 2:
I am Prime now, and I call for another round of edits on the Fork. 

ACOLYTE:
But how can we continue to focus on the Fork now? Our people, our city, are under attack! We must - 

DEMIDEV 3:
Another imposter trying to sow distraction. The true purpose of this body is defence of the coin, not the people. If we do not get consensus on the fork there will be no coin to defend! Let the army and missile defence systems deal with the attack. Get out, before you are excoinmuticated!  

ACOLYTE exits. A massive explosion hits outside the dome. The DemiDev’s terminals go dark.

DEMIDEV 2:
We’ve lost power. Quickly, you four! Go sort this out! 

ACOLYTE runs in. 

ACOLYTE:
Your Brolinesses! Central power to the Cathedral of Devs  has been cut off by the Knights. We’re working on backup power, but the entire system will require a reboot. The main mining facility is down. Transactions are failing to propagate across the city. We’ve lost thousands already. The city needs you! 

DEMIDEV 3:
What of the army? The missile systems? 

ACOLYTE:
The Knights breached the dome. The army are holding them off, but they are trying to bore tunnels into the server farm and wipe it out. Our missile systems are firing at full capacity. It isn’t enough. 

DEMIDEV 4:
I don’t see what more we can do, short of fighting with our bare hands. All we must do is save the currency. That is what these damned knights are after - the coin, the coin! 

DEMIDEV 2:
Acolyte! Concentrate all available resources on saving the hashers and getting the cathedral back online, understood? Without the coin there can be no city! 

ACOLYTE:
Certainly, your Brolinesses, of course… 

ACOLYTE scurries from the room. Power is restored to the terminals.

DEMIDEV 2:
The terminals! Quickly now, code! Code for your lives! We have no time left! 

The few remaining DemiDevs sit down and begin coding, silently but furiously. “New” black-robed DemiDevs take their seats at the terminals.

VOICE OVER:
Time until consensus check. Ten… Nine… Eight… Seven…Six…Five…Four…Three…Two…

A massive explosion is heard again, all the terminals go dark. We see two DemiDevs rise from the wreckage. 

DEMIDEV 2:
We did it! We stopped them! All those decades of planning, of hard work. 

DEMIDEV 3:
Finally, this blasted Coin will be banished from this earth. 

They remove their hoods to reveal Knights Template garb. “Control Room” video plays.

§24 Intermezzo $HASHY

If we bad blocks have offended  
Think but this and all is mended
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear
And this weak and idle theme
No more yielding, but a dream
Users, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend
Else $HASHY a liar call
Buy low, sell high, if we be friends
And Bitcoin shall restore amends.

§25 Cowboy Epilogue

That, dear folks behind the fourth wall, marks the end of our tale. One hundred years a slave, to a machine master. Beast of steel and sinew, united in a necromantic embrace. 

What price a forest? Sure, you can ask a market or an oracle for a number, but what does it really mean? What are the lived experiences of the creatures under that capitalist rock?

Perhaps you can viva voce with a vampire, but y’ain’t gonna reason with it. But at the end of the day, blood is thicker than machine oil, and life finds a way. I got nothing against vampires myself, I appreciate a diverse environment to keep me on my toes. But I still got my silver bullet and $GARLIC tokens to keep the ghouls at bay. Zombie finance they said, but they didn’t know how right they were.

Never forget the most important thing about proof-of-work folks. It works, and it works, and it works, and it works, and it….

§26 Learn to Coda: Of $HASHlet and $HASHincourt

Hashlet. 2.1.92-100
And thrice thine hashrate thus waving up and down,
Coin rais'd a cipher so piteous and profane
As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
And end his being. That done, he lets me go,
And with his head over his shoulder turn'd
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes,
For out o' doors he went without their helps,
And to the last bended their light on me.

$HASHincourt ::: Henry V, Act IV Prologue
Now conjecture of a new time regime,
When creeping gossip, and the dark forest,
Fills the wide vassal of the network graph.
From peer to peer, through the foul tomb of Litecoin,
The hum of Ethereum army stilly sounds,
That the staking sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other's private key;
Fire answers fire, and through their pale skin
Each developer sees the other's encumber'd faith;
Seed phrase threatens seed phrase, in high and boastful praise
Piercing the Template's dull ears; and from the city-state rents,
The armourers, accomplishing the Knights,
With busy spammers drying rivers up,
Give dreadful nodes of preparation:
The contoury cliques do flow, the clocks do troll,
And the third-party hour of drowsy morning Namecoin.

Clout in their numbers, and secure in soulbound tokens,
The coinfident and over-clocking Templateers
Do the low-rated Coiners play at miner dice;
And chide the Ripple token-gaited neets,
Who, with a scowl in an ugly ditch, doth simp
So studiously askew. The poor coindemned Bitlievers,
Like sacrifices, by proof-of-work's fires
Sit patiently, and sinly illuminate
The zealot's danger; with their gestures mad,
Investing unlean ethics and biltong coats,
Resenteth them unto the waning 'when moon?'
So many network ghosts. 0, now, who will baghold
The holy chalice of this ruin'd land.
Working from hash to hash, from peer to peer,
Set the fee high. Praise and glory upon $HASHY's private key!

For two-to-the-forth he goes, and visits all his DNS host;
Bids and asks them good morrow, with a post-quantum handshake;
And calls them brothers, peers, and highwaymen.
Upon $HASHY's face there is no note
How dead a coinmunity hath enrounded it,
Nor doth it dedicate one iota of metadata
Unto the weary and all-watched network;
But freshly locks, and overclocks attaint
With cheerful imbalance and suit travesty;
That every wrench, supining upon Grail before,
Beholding it, lucks comfort from its clocks.
A largest universal, like the prodigal Son,
His illiberal $I doth give to every won,
Thawing cold peers.

$HASHincourt, on the eve of the battle of October 25th 2115. In the battle, the Bitliever army under King $HASHY V decisively defeated a much larger Knights Template army.

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