INSECTS - 2001

It is an indisputable fact that the most technologically advanced species in the world today are insects. The word "insect" has become a generic term. It is now applied to many creatures some of which include crustaceans, gastropods, arachnids, molluscs, centipedes and millipedes as well as the six legged and winged varieties of life originally covered by this category.

It is true to say that the only real technology that involves science and, in particular, mechanical engineering has been developed by those species of insect that have constructed the great civilisations of the Earth. Some species of insect still live a largely instinctive existence and these are mostly farmed for food and chitin. Most species of insect are, of course, involved in the reflective and pre-cognitive behaviour that forms the basis for the post-industrial society that we live in.

Some believe that this is due to the fact that mammals became mysteriously extinct millions of years ago. Dinosaurs had become extinct millions of years before that and insect archaeologists were in constant debate over what could have possibly caused the downfall of these two great genetic houses. It was popularly believed that the great lizards had developed an advanced civilisation that destroyed itself through warfare and environmental degradation. Mammals, on the other hand, were thought to have died out prematurely. Such conjecture has led scholars to believe that a giant meteor shower crashed into the Earth and so changed its climate that mammals were wiped out millions of years before they could have developed civilisations of any real consequence.

The longevity of dinosaurs as a dominant species and the relatively short run that mammals experienced has led to all sorts of derogatory phrases that involve mammalian metaphors. "Out of date" rock bands, for example, are often described as a bunch of old mammals. Outmoded thought processes are said to be the result of a "mammal mentality". This does seem a little unfair as their extinction is considered to be accidental.

Humans are seen as the most stupid of all the mammals. This is probably due to the fact that human fossils are the most commonly found. So common are they that nearly every hive has its ornamental collection of human skulls, rib cages, fibia, tibular, femur, radius and ulna. Human teeth are one of the most common components in the construction of necklaces amongst many subcultural groups.

A popular insult amongst the more proletarian ants has often been "you've got a brain the size of a mammal!" and teachers still use the phrase "hurry along there…. You're as slow as a bunch of old humans!"

Some of the more religious insects argue that mammals never existed. They claim that mammalian fossils have been laid by God as a test of faith. No one, however, disputes the existence of dinosaurs because of the growing body of evidence that suggests that they achieved advanced forms of centrifugal flight and even domestic space travel. It seems that the very same meteor shower that wiped the mammals out churned up evidence of saurian civilisation that not even the mammals were aware of in their short life as the dominant species on the planet.

Of course all the other species had held onto their loose grip on evolution during the catastrophes that toppled the dinosaurs and the mammals. Single cell life-forms, flagellates, invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, cold-blooded lizards and birds all kept a tenacious hold on their respective evolutionary branches. Some species still provided a modicum of threat towards the insect nations. There was never a summer without the shocking news that a young tse tse fly or a wandering ladybird had been gobbled up by one of the great frogs that hid in the diminishing marshlands. Many organisations have grown up over the past few decades that are committed to the prevention of the extinction of the great amphibians. Most have been wiped out and there is a very real threat that no frogs will be left within the next fifty years. Blockbuster films like "Tongue" and "Tongue 2 The Return of Tongue" haven't helped the plight of the great frogs. Hunting is at an all time high and the thoughtless, unnecessary slaughter of other species has led some insects to the conclusion that if the insect nations didn't put a lid on it we could all end up like the dinosaurs.

Concerns about the environment are certainly part of the reasoning that has led to the main topic of this essay that you are reading. Revolution. A revolution unlike any other that has gone before. It has swept through most of the nations of the world and hasn't finished yet. As I sit in this prison cell and type this analysis I am counting the hours I have left before I am marched to the guillotine.

I now realise that this revolution was inevitable. I do not blame the masses that would see my head separated from my thorax. I can only blame my peer group for their unrestrained egos and the subsequent greed that brought the starving hoards to the doors of our hives with their demand for blood and justice.

I tried to caution those within my decadent social circles but the chattering of my mandibles went unheeded. I know not the number of those like myself who have already been decapitated but I no longer care. They all deserve it for they had let their desire for notoriety enslave the whole planet.

The story I am about to relate is for the generations that will follow on from the sickness of this modern society I see tumbling around me. Hopefully It will help prevent the revival of the social disease that has led to my own incarceration. By social disease I do not mean the fever of revolution. Revolution is merely the amputation of a hopelessly infected limb. When I talk of social disease I refer to the desire for fame and fortune. Excessive wealth and notoriety always rely on the existence of poverty and starvation. Without the one there cannot be the other. For someone to be at the top of a ladder someone else has to be on the bottom. I now know that this is politically, spiritually and morally wrong. It is ironic that it has taken my own imprisonment and death sentence for me to see it.

Who are we that have been singled out for the guillotine by the masses that toil in this advanced civilisation? Well I'll tell you. We are commonly described as famous media personalities. We infested film and television from the first days of its invention. We ran roughshod over the need for education and quality. We gorged ourselves on the wealth created by mediocrity, melodrama and senseless sensationalism. We monopolised culture and turned depth into despair with endless waves of self-congratulation.

I am not surprised that the public turned on us. I am surprised that it didn't happen sooner.

The first to go was Nester Ransom the bloated mantis. Her chat shows had become so costly and banal that even her producers warned her that she was becoming an object of abject hatred.

She tried to appear nonchalant just before the executioner lowered her onto the block. She looked at the hoards and said "Oh well that's life." A grasshopper known for his wit shouted "Not any more!" as the blade swept down. A swarm of insects cheered as her head left her body. It is said that her mandibles carried on clacking a full minute after her head hit the basket.

The second media personality to be shackled and dragged to the guillotine was a particularly talentless musician who had reinvented himself as a member of the court of Queen Buzzabeth the Second. Buzzabeth was a sadistic monarch who ruled a particularly backward beehive that insisted that aristocracy was the most efficient form of government. She completely overlooked the fact that all the other beehives had long since dispensed with the concept of inherited power. The arrogance of this last example of monarchic bumblers blinded those involved so much that they ignored the fact that all the other hives were laughing at them. The media, on the other hand, supported Buzzabeth because of the extreme wealth that she had inherited from centuries of royal despotism. Many media icons licked her arse so regularly that street jokes concerning the deterioration of her rectum were more common than her appearances on TV.

When Queen Buzzabeth had her daughter-in-law assassinated for having an affair with the son of a powerful investor in another hive many media arse-lickers jumped on the band-wagon and joined in memorial celebrations honouring the dead princess. Even Buzzabeth got involved to add weight to her claims that "Lady Fly" had died in an accidental car crash.

Sir Welton Jon wrote an incredibly bland ballad called "Buzzing in the Wind" and Buzzabeth's hive hailed him as their official laureate. The Queen's hypocrisy and Sir Welton's shameless money-grabbing egotism so inflamed hard working drones everywhere that it was only a matter of time before he got his come-uppance. When Buzzabeth's hive inevitably fell and she herself exploded in a grotesque bout of over-eating at a notorious honey party Welton was imprisoned for embezzling funds from the "Lady Fly" charity.

As soon as revolution broke out he was hauled from his prison cell and was led buzzing and flapping to the place of his execution. Since he was a bee the role of executioner was given to a drone whose parents had been chased and killed by one of Buzzabeth's infamous hunting parties.

" Why why why why!?" demanded Sir Welton as his head was placed on the block.

" Don't feign ignorance!" screamed the drone.

" I'm innocent!" pleaded the bulbous singer as he squirmed beneath the over-hanging blade.

" Bollocks!" shouted the drone as he pulled the lever that sent the hard sliver of steel slicing its way through Sir Welton's furry neck.

The audience roared.

Next up was a good friend of Sir Weltons.

Jimmy "The Cricket" Saveel had been one of the arbiters of musical taste on the most powerful radio station in the oldest industrial city in the world. The city of Lundoon, as we all know now, was also the first city to erect a celebrity guillotine. Saveel was its most appropriate victim. For decades he had frustrated insects who had decent musical taste and worked his way right up the social and political ladder by supporting those artists that sold out to the corrupt music business hierarchy. When it was found that many of the top promoters had been sexually abusing pupae a media smoke-screen meant that Saveel was one of those who beat the rap and got off scot free.

He could not be seen to be a pupaephile because he was a close friend of the greedy slug and ex-prime minister Lady Snatcher. She had been the most destructive leader that her country had seen for over a hundred years and was hated with a venom that was impossible to over-estimate.

When she was covered in salt and urinated on by members of The Republican Army of Flyland {the RAF} the resultant explosion became the most popular piece of televisual reporting since the fall of the twin termite towers in the city of New Stalk.

When she was assassinated the male slugs who had managed her affairs were rounded up one by one and made to "walk the salt" when it was found that they had plans to organise a coup. If the coup had been successful it would have led to the rise of a despotic empire of slugs that planned to eat their way into the history books and cause genocide through gluttony.

Although Jimmy "The Cricket" Saveel was not a slug the task of leading him to the guillotine was given to a member of the "SWP" {The Slug Worker's Party} who had been among those groups trying to bring Snatcher's empire down.

Without the protection of Snatcher's former cabal of big businessmen he was fare game as a result of his greed, arrogance and pupaephilia. Everyone knew he was guilty and their anger had been exacerbated by the fact that out of all those in his pupaephile ring only one had ever been brought to trial. Johnathan "King" Beetle had recently committed suicide in prison as a result of the despair he felt because of the way his fellow pupaephiles had "stabbed him in the back". He too had been a middle of the road DJ who had concentrated on trying to monopolise the youth market.

Trotsky the slug slammed Saveel's boney head down on the chopping block.

" It's all lies!" screamed Saveel.

" Where's my son!?" screamed an irate butterfly.

" And mine you murdering pervert!?" shouted an incensed moth as she rose from the ground and hovered over the prostrate body of the cricket.

" Death's too good for him!" shouted the butterfly.

" It must be death." Shouted Trotsky, "If we torture him that would make us as bad as him."

" But I invented the disco!" pleaded Saveel.

" No you didn't! You cashed in on the idea and sold it out. You merely helped in its assimilation into capitalist culture you lying fraud!" said Trotsky as he pulled the lever. The crowd roared their approval.

Next to suffer the punishment of the mob was the richest master of ceremonies to come out of Lundoon since Kathy "The Gnat" Magowan. His name was Spools Holland the fat tarantula. The eight-legged community started calling him "Toad of Toad Hall" owing to his control over musical exposure. He reminded them of the greedy aristocratic toad in the arachno-epic "Wind in the Webbing".

Admittedly he was a sharp boogie woogie pianist and his legs worked like wildfire over the ivories. Many complained of his continued use of rare giant ant tusks in the construction of his huge keyboard collection. As you all know synthetic ivory has long been used by the more "turned on" musicians so Spools was seen as having no excuse. His marriage into a family of tarantulas with business connections in Queen Buzzabeth's hive-hold further angered radical performers whose views were dumbed down by the media that Spools represented.

Just before the blade came down the boogie woogie tarantula shouted a plea to the mob asking that although he didn't mind losing his head could his legs be preserved in The Museum of Lundoon. An older and wilder boogie woogie tarantula called Jerry Lee Fang jumped up on the platform and asked the crowd if he could eat Spools alive. The mob said yes and Spools groaned in dismay as Jerry Lee stuck his fangs into "The Toad's" back.

It must be noted here that all these executions were transmitted live on TV and it was popularly agreed that this was the best telly that anybody had ever seen. Even some of the victims had to admit that it was a bit of a triumph in terms of boosting the ratings.

Next up were the Bumblebee Brothers. They'd been conning the public into thinking that they were objective political analysts for years. One supported the Gory Party and the other supported New Slaver. It wasn't a secret that they had strong political interests. Most thought that they were taking the piss with their righteous attitude when they were ridiculing any ideas that drew away from the two-party system. When the Gories sank after the debacle of Lady Snatcher and New Slaver were given a vote of "no confidence" by the electorate the Bumblebee Brothers were for the chop.

They said nothing as they were led to the guillotine. They had long believed that any insects that didn't go to private schools were a sub-species so they were in silent shock when the mob took control. They had been so smug with their confidence in their ability to influence the public will that they hadn't noticed any building resentment at all. The only sound that was heard from them at their execution was the "shlerping" noise that was made as the blade cut through the moist tissue of their furry necks.

Hot on the wings of the Bumblebee Brothers was the most corrupt and bigoted game-show host of all Chris Tarantula. One time editor of The Sol newspaper he then became extraordinarily wealthy with his simplistic game show "Who Wants to be a Zillionaire?" His condescending attitude towards minority species and his known support for the Snatcher regime came out in a moment of recklessness whilst he was being interviewed on a live telethon trying to raise money to help orphaned black widow spiders. When he said, "I don't see why they can't be shipped off to their country of ancestral origin" the interviewer pointed out that tarantulas were not indigenous to cities like Lundoon either. Chris Tarantula, who had been drinking centipede blood all afternoon, replied with a stout "Fuck Off!" His career was finished. The blade soon followed.

The next to go was Ant Robinson. She hosted a game show too. Hers was called "The Weakest Exoskeleton" and involved insects voting each other off after questioning until only a winner was left. Although she was an ant she was hailed as "the scorpion of game shows" and was sold as a cruel disciplinarian. She even dressed as a scorpion and when participants were voted off she would murder them by impaling them on her prosthetic robot tail. Scorpions everywhere were outraged. Not only was her show a defamation of scorpion character but she didn't even have a tail! The fact that she had demonised scorpions led to a wave of specism that drove scorpions into the margins of society. Ant Robinson was specist towards scorpions herself and her parody of scorpion behaviour always came with derogatory comments about real scorpions. She even ended up with the catch-phrase "Scorpions hurt but my sting is deadly!" Some say that her specism was as a result of her envy of scorpions but whatever the reason the job of her execution was given to a gang of Boo Yakka stingers from the lower east side of New Stalk.

Four spikes drove through her abdomen and thorax as the blade separated her head from her body. The crowd shouted "You are the weakest exoskeleton!…. Goodbye."

Next up was Rue Beeswax. She was a shameless wasp in bee's clothing. Wasps hated her because she presented a caricature of their worst stereotypical behaviour. She gave the impression that all wasps were greedy, avaricious shopaholics with no moral fibre. This was grossly unfair seeing as wasps had been one of the species persecuted by Histler's locusts in the Second World War. To use Histler's stereotypes as a parody of her very own species caused absolute resentment amongst her community. The fact that she acted as if bees were superior and the fact that she had somehow bought her way into bumble society angered radical bees and wasps alike. She was hailed as a principle wit in Holeywood "the home of insect media stars" but holeywood {as you all know} is now a smoking pile of rubble and Rue became stranded in Lundoon. Her arrest followed shortly after. In the days leading up to her execution she was made to watch reruns of her puerile chat shows and every time she made derogatory comments about wasps the jailer honked a car horn and lit a cigar. He was lighting so many cigars that they were passed to the waiting hoards outside who gobbled them up with glee. The jailer {Groucho Wax} was, himself, a known wit among wasps and it was his task to eventually lead Rue to her doom.

Like the Bumblebee Brothers she too was silent as the blade was prepared and let loose. She had believed that the viewing public were inferior to media personalities and she had forgotten rule number one in the world of wasps: "The Customer is always right."

Next up was a bucket of worms. The worms in question were the remnants of the Grade Dynasty. They had controlled the media in and around Lundoon for decades.

They had favoured game shows and soap operas over cutting edge drama and had been the main reason why so much shite had been viewed on TV by so many people for so long. Owing to the regenerative powers of the worm's metabolism a load of petrol was poured into the bucket and an enthusiastic centipede threw in a match. The Grade Brothers screamed as their viscous bodies went up like a roman candle.

I must take a break now as my gnat's wing quill is dry and I must prepare for sleep. I know not if my number's up on the morrow. I sincerely hope not for I have much more to write on the subject of the fall of the media empire. I suspect that my own execution is being delayed because word has got out that I am recording the mob's motives. I pray that they have found more victims for me to catalogue because when they have rounded up every last icon my very own head will then be on the block. I have decided not to write about myself because that would indicate that I still suffer from that bloated vanity that has sounded the death knell of my peers.

The list for tomorrow looks impressive. David Thrust…. another chat show host. Buzzbera Windsor the soap star. Jeremy Waxman the newsreader and Jerry Stinger the pupaephile "agony ant". Boy were Jerry's shows a ritual humiliation of ordinary insects!

I know not why my jailers are allowing me to continue with my writing. They could just as well publish their list of prisoners. I suspect that some revolutionary academic has suggested that if I comment on the accused then the public will be getting a closer look at the mode of thinking that inspired the media empire in the first place. As with all revolutions there is an initial upsurge of intellectual depth just after the chains of power have been cut. I can see why it seems politically expedient to allow the very same class that is being eradicated to pen the conclusions as to why it fell.

Yours in anticipation, Richard Briar Ant-Son

ex director of the Hymen business empire.

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