There is a planet called MKRXXZ [pron. 'make rocks'] in a part of space known as The Corridor. The Corridor is a result of an astronomical anomaly which causes MKRXXZ to orbit its sun erratically. (Physical properties in the quadrant are prone to irregularities caused by energy spikes and gravitational interference. MKRXXZ is the most effected of all, owing to proximity.)
One half of the planet is controlled by corporations that rule with an iron fist, albeit by subtle techniques that amount to psychological control. The people don't know that they are essentially playing pieces to another extra-dimensional species which has mechanisms to somewhat control the corridor's effects. The system is gamed, ie., time and its effects can be manipulated to the degree that, if one were to speak about the hand of fate, one would not be very wrong.
The majority of people are not thriving. In the corporate sector, engineers and programmers make products that are bound to degrade and fail. Most of the technicians work understanding that their work will be shoddy in the end. It is crucial to the powers-that-be that this escapes notice, as the societal structure is dependent on a base of avid consumerism.
There is, however, the exception of Enward Jymm. Jymm has come to understand the effect that the Corridor has upon his programs. He has gone further than overcoming the effects of the corridor, he is on his way to uncovering The Game.
Unwilling to bow to the time constraints made by his employers at BigEnd Software, Jymm is harassed and threatened. Now he lives his own real life game understanding that in any case the corporation still considers him to be an asset of great value. Jymm has also gained the attention of the extra-dimensionals, who sense that he may be the one person who can uncover their influence. An unforeseen outcome of his work is that, in his efforts to overcome the limitations placed upon him and his work, Jymm has influenced other programmers to do the same.
Jymm begins to make journals about what he found. With the prodding of his girlfriend Alpha, some of it is published. The slogan “the right to quality” spread and caught the eye of a visionary called Marv Ng. Marv is to most observers only a deranged poet. However his brand of derangement leads to a wise choice: to eschew consumption of the packaged foodstuffs that are in fact laced with drugs, producing such a delusional state that people are literally living in a dream, unaware of their actual conditions. When you're Starving like Marv Ng, the facades fed to you will gradually fade away. Armed with these truths, enough consumers are coalescing into a nascent social movement that, should it come to fruition, could alter the entire societal structure.
He doesn't know it, but Enward Jymm is not only at the center of all this action, he will also be the catalyst for a wave of change unprecedented on any of the planets within the Corridor.
The portrait spews characters that all look alike to me
with their delicate electronics and last year's faded monkey hat
Some break away to form their own herd, however,
the power of the portrait directs them back to their corners
The air inside the portrait is polluted
though nowhere near good enough to huff or to heave
Intangible hands chisel the dead lips of each character
faces nailed to phones talking to someone outside the frame
Nobody exists outside the frame. The lines are dead.
Track Name: The Art of Starv Ng
Holiday riots fill up suicide trains
Loved ones lie in death boxes
waiting for corporate trucks to pick them up
and then dump them at recycle centers
No ceremony except the "heave-ho"
Next week's specials will be served in diners
at affordable market prices.
Bring the kids.
What I leave is a ghost of data, undeleted,
never to be fully accessed...
Whiz kids will skip right over me;
searching for games of sex and war, they will play
until broken thumbs hang from their hands like soft penises
I am a joystick lacking giddy joy - pull my stick.
I don't want to be hungry anymore,
but the times I was most warmly full,
are the times when I felt most dead.
Every stage seemed like a stadium,
audiences hung upon my every word -
until ulcers deprived me of my meals
and awakened my sickened senses.
I see corpses everywhere.
You don't want to stare at your fork -
the thing on the end is covered in rot.
The odors on this block
come from urine covered sidewalks outside
and, inside, hangs the fine odor of sweat,
of stale urine and badly aimed excrement.
Being hungry makes me sick, but, I like it;
when I take a walk, I know where to step