by Christian Bök

Vinyl is as natural as lichen.
--Christopher Dewdney

Plastic is the silly putty, with which we simulate, then supplant, every facet of reality, converting all the varied elements of the planet into one common emulsion. While we sleep, our automatons toil throughout the night, transmuting everything into a petroleum byproduct that resists bacterial predation. Our species might openly mourn this phase of our demise, but in secret, we really exalt the power of its genius, marvelling to think that, in some landfill of the future, long after our own extinction, a single crash-helmet might still endure, sloughed off, like the carapace of some alien crab. Our gewgaws of epoxy resin and nylon fibre do not attest, however, to any advance in our rational prowess, so much as they allude to the breadth of our cultural tyranny. The invention of plastic has given birth to a celluloid spectacle, whose reveries displace the esemplastic imagination of the romantics, filling our hollow skulls with an injection-moulded mentality, as pliable and as durable as any blob of polypropylene. Has not language itself begun to absorb the synthetic qualities of such a modern milieu, becoming a fabricated, but disposable, convenience, no less pollutant than a styrofoam container? Has not the act of writing simply become another chemically engineered experience, in which we manufacture a complex polymer by stringing together syllables instead of molecules? The words of our lexicon have become so standardized that they now resemble a limited array of connectible parts (much like a few Lego bricks, being conjoined); and the rules of our grammar have become so rationalized that they now resemble a bounded range of recombinant modes (much like a new Rubik cube, being convolved). The protean quality of our discourse finds itself vulcanized in our playthings. We see language marketed as an infantile commodity -- a toy suitable for kids of all ages, because its plastic coating makes it safe to own and easy to use; nevertheless, we must imagine a more corrosive poetics (something vitriolic enough to dissolve such an acrylic veneer), and if we cannot distill this kind of acid, then let us concoct a more explosive poetics (something catalytic enough to detonate such an acetate finish). We need a lingual variety of gelignite or plastique -- the kind of incendiary literature, written only by misfits, who have grown up, still dizzy from the fumes, after having melted a platoon of plastic armymen with a match.

Contents: 65% Dimethyl Siloxane (hydroxy-terminated polymers with boric acid), 17% Silica (quartz crystalline), 9% Thixotrol ST, 4% Polydimethylsiloxane, 1% Decamethyl cyclopentasiloxane, 1% Glycerine, 1% Titanium Dioxide, 2% Silliness.