"Multiple Use" (2015)

(Vocal Script Version)

Written and Performed by: Monty Cantsin
The Western Front, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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In 1977, roughly 100 residents of Freston Road, Notting Hill, declared independence from the British state. Facing eviction by the Greater London Council (GLC), they collectively figured that the best way to evade the constraints imposed on them was to just free themselves of those constraints altogether. So they lobbied the UN and established a 1.8-acre microstate - "The Free and Independent Republic of Frestonia" - complete with its own postage stamps, visas and passports.

In October of that year, 1977, the GLC made plans to raze the derelict buildings of Freston Road, but the bailiffs and hired thugs were met with widespread rioting.

In those days (as it is today, on paper), when a family in London is evicted, renovicted, or regenerated, if they have papers and pass any number of filters, they must be rehoused. These days, it’s usually a free ticket out of town, a crumbly random flat in Manchester, Hastings (UK), Birmingham, or Burnaby, or Williams Lake: anywhere that isn’t home, cause the home is now for people with different names. The name loses its cred, or even cred-score.

However, if you pass all the tests, you must be rehoused as a family.

A type of apple: the Bramley Apple, the apple of knowledge. The knowledge that without names, we are free.

After all the residents of The Free and Independent Republic of Frestonia changed their names to “Bramley,” the media described them as a sort of team, a sort of family. History though, when looking closer, might see the ‘use’ in multiple-use. Not “team” but more “multiple-single.” Yet history struggles to find a word for a multiple-single, the multiple-non-use, the desire live together at all costs, in any geography.

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“Loota” is a female chimpanzee whose paintings are going to be exhibited at the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Arts. Formerly a victim of sadistic experiments in a pharmaceutical lab, Loota was saved by the Animal Liberation Front, and then became a talented artist. Some newspapers announced the event. Unfortunately, Loota doesn't exist. No problem, disappointed visitors of the Biennale may turn their attention to a lot of garbage created by humans.

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The Telegraph, March 16th 2015

Headline: ‘Changing my name was only way to escape debt hell'

One man spent years trying to fix his credit score - and even changed his name - after being wrongly chased for another person's debts.

He changed his surname from Gareth Jones to Gareth Pierce-Jones in August 2012 to try to solve the problem, but the other individual’s debts remained recorded on his credit file.

“I was horrified that something like this could happen,” he said, “It is embarrassing.”

He said: “I didn’t want to change my name, but I thought I needed to do something proactive. I wanted to make it as clear as I possibly could that I was not the 'Gareth Jones’ they were looking for.”

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The “Streisand Effect” is where you hide something and, by doing so, make it more visible. It’s called what it is because of what happened when Barbara tried to block people from seeing how big her house was, on google earth.

The Streisand effect has been observed in relation to the right to be forgotten, as a litigant attempting to remove information from search engines risks the litigation itself being reported as valid, current news.

But what if the Streisand Effect (the effect that, we might add, causes the Streisand Effect on the very name Streisand, every time it is said) were to apply to other names? What if the name were to be the last stop, and then that stop wasn’t labeled, or rather that it was labeled differently, not cut into quantified bits, but more like so many quantified bits that it becomes smooth again. It would be sort of like the situation if there were so many national independence movements wherein borders became so close together that they disappeared from our microscopes, we might achieve certain freedoms.

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Last Friday, a thirteen-year-old boy was sent home from a public school computer camp on account of his unusual demeanour and his failure to follow the dress code. After the school padlocked the boy’s pants (because he was “sagging”), they asked for his name.

“Luther Blissett,” he said.

He was then asked for his mother’s name.

“Luther Blissett.” [Pause] “And of behalf of all Luther Blissetts around the world, I believe you should also padlock their pants as well, if you are inclined to do so.”

[From “The Gulf Coast Daily,” July 27, 1997]

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What about those Cartesian credos — “I am Charlie, therefore I am” —

That big-time desire, the almost mathematical erasure of difference isn’t the point, is it?

Doesn’t it make sense that in social media, the channels designed to quantify emotions and communication, have produced tidbits that somehow thrive on Descartes’ metrics and identities?

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What if there is nothing to measure? Or, that measuring has become a sort of usury of measurement where people are making measure off of measure itself?

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Nicolas Bourbaki
Janez Janša
Simon Jester
Spartacus
Claus Oldenburg
Karen Elliott
Joe Bloggs
George P. Burdell
Monty Cantsin
Geoffrey Cohen
Dada Jesus Christ
Offshore bankers
Poor Konrad
Ned Ludd
Netochka Nezvanova
Dale Nixon
Robert Paulson
Omar Ravenhurst
David Fucking Graeber
Rrose Sélavy
Alan Smithee
Cops
Spartacus
Stalin (Just Kidding)
Georg Paul Thomann
Wally
Captain Swing
Santa, the figure that is both everywhere and nowhere, is suddenly protecting innundated people from learning that shopping is fucking boring compared to magic? They say Santa is a commercial rouse. But is it that the magic of the floating cred is a sort of surrogate magic in and of itself?

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Say there’s a game: Everyone tries to be as anonymous as possible. The people who could be controlled can’t be controlled because they are anonymous so much and the people who stand out are those want to be anonymous mostly because they want to control so much.

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And of course, the most simple one:

“We are all ________,” or “I am not _________.”
But we don’t have to be ________ to know when certain things are absolutely, decidedly wrong
or when other things are completely brilliant, together.

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PDF available here.