Arthur and Marilouise Kroker
May 8, 1996
At the end of the evening, R.U. Sirius tells the story of his last
trip to LA to visit Timothy Leary. Dying of cancer, Leary has already done death
one better, passing over at hyper-speed to the beatific state as the guest of
honor at a virtual wake for a virtual death. A kind of New Orleans auto-da-fe in
advance for the wake Leary will never get to attend, his house is the daily
scene of the greatest congregation of American writers and musicians and merry
pranksters and spies and AI recombinants and hallucinogenic eyes and friends and
foes and hangers-on and stars and unknowns and networkers and TV anchors and
just-released-from-San-Quentin outlaws that this country has ever witnessed.
Everybody has come to pay their virtual respects to one of California's most
courageous, and certainly most creative, thinkers - to a spirit that passed over
long ago to the side of the digital angels.
But not so fast! Gurgling away in the corner of Leary's bedroom is a
state of the art 21st century full-body cryogenic unit, a beautiful bubbling vat
of liquid nitrogen, accompanied by uniformed deep-freeze attendants ready on
quick-time to snatch Leary's fading flesh away at the moment of death for the
big cryo-heaven in the sky. Like Walt Disney before him, Leary is contemplating
perpetual life on permanent reserve as a cryogenized icon, deep frozen, staring
out with ice-blue nitrogen tinted eyes, liquid cooled for life in the 3d
millennium. The twin cryo-heads of Disney and Leary: a perfect metaphor of
America, united at last in virtual death.
Just before R.U. Sirius took his virtual leave from the virtual wake
for the virtual death, Leary motioned to the cryo-unit in the corner, winked,
and said: "Hey R.U. - want to be my roommate?"
June 4, 1996
In the end, Leary didn't have to bother with the cryo unit. And why?
Because his image has already been frozen in time, preceding his virtual death
with a precession of virtual memories. And if he could mutter "Why not?" at that
fateful moment, that's because he was a real mystic, American style.
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