Some texts end up too long and have to be cut. What follows, from an early draft of ‘Club House Hope’, my first work of fiction, falls into that category.

One inspiration is J.G.Ballard who, in the introduction to the 1995 reissue of his 1973 masterpiece Crash, writes:

‘We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind – mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the pre-empting of any original response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel. It is now less and less necessary for the writer to invent the fictional content of his novel. The fiction is already there. The writer’s task is to invent the reality.’

Likewise, Tom McCarthy in an 18 December 2014 piece – Writing Machines – for LRB continues:

‘Reality isn’t there. It has to be brought forth or produced. This is the duty and stake of writing.’

Our consultant hero, Charlie d’Isle, along with his wunderkind aide Two-Riski, is about to present to his client, Sir-Sir Wilikusumomaatmaja Motorkijangaribu IV, Top-Head Leisure at Asia Domination Corporation Centrax.

Charlie felt the red spot of a sniper’s laser on his forehead. He felt dozens of them running like ants all over his body. He was staring at a fragmentation grenade rolling towards him, tip-toeing though a field of bounding anti-personnel mines, smiling insincerely at a mob of city cops armed with tasers and night-sticks.
‘Well, Wili,’ he said, inhaling and leaning back, ‘I see it like this.’
The busy room went silent. Wili unsmilingly flicked a dry tongue over his dry lips.
‘First, there’s the landscape mapping. You know, macro-tracking the evolving topography of the need-gap fluidities. This means we can flex our competitive stresses by leveraging the context and redefining the territory in sync with the emergent entertainment spaces. Let’s keep it simple for now and just think of clusters, segments, genres, what we might call prism-channels.’ Charlie paused for effect. ‘Fundamentally we’re looking for those magic “ten tribes” in order to proactively tap into innovative upstream, downstream and peer-to-peer slide offerings that will define the change process. Sleuth paradigms would serve us well here, I reckon, and I’d probably want to start with Gabble and Runne’s tunnelling protocols.’
Yes! He could still do it. Talk the talk. Wili’s eyes were fixed on his, and his aides were all excitedly nodding. A couple were busily taking notes on their Intellipads.
‘Of course, it’s not just the multi-dimensional segment differentiators that we’ll need to determine, but also the context of the perceived and potential topographical space. Identifying core needs, values and beliefs will allow us to make an emotional connect between the sub-strata relationships and the segmented fundamentals. Mix this with anticipated broad-area desire closures and we’ll have the first cut of road map – yep, still a bit a muddy – but something we can bootstrap the transcendence categories onto with a view to actualizing the consideration set taking into account psychographic differentiators, key propensity hooks, and the modularity factors that we have to anticipate in the case of a rolling genre property.’
As plain as day, and as sweet and intellectually calorific as those pancakes that had just arrived. Shark was right – the more they pay, the better they listen. Wili was leaning forwards, eyes gleaming.
‘There are scripted and non-scripted elements to consider but if we derive the linearity and periodicity of the temporal dynamics from actual and perceived consumption patterns for Upper SECs, V1s, V2s and Lower SECs focusing on remote owners, persuaders, first movers, loose followers and deep players – this will have to be at a strato- rather than meso- or demi-glace level – we can determine the key classification matrices – reality versus drama, safety versus exploration, the individual versus the crowd, say. Thus we define the locations and the rough dimensions of the key unmet need-state drivers, and the practical and emotional elements that are shaping the domain space. So far, so simple.’
His mind was a mile ahead of his mouth. He could do this all day.
‘Looking towards implementation and effectiveness, the major considerations have to be the SWERVE coefficients of the garner channels, and the PLOD status of the secondary TGs. Fix these and you de-stress and future-proof every resilience dynamic, and optimise an environmentally ameliorated status premised on concrete preference orientations, fluid vivacity semiotics and differentiated BS scales. We can’t lose. There are no real-world sub-optimalities. Spontaneous and unaided awareness properties will all close down and then lock any effectiveness skews by gender, seniority segment and SEC. Key associations that substantiate generic and branded stature scenarios…’
‘If I may Sir-Madam d’Isle…’
Christ! It was Two-Riski. What was the boy trying to do? This was sabotage!
‘Very, very sorry to interrupt, Sir-Madam, but we must accept that the brand image prism needs to be mapped onto parameters that exploit triangulation within the competitive sphere, rather than depend on it, with a focus on sync between insight, sizzle, mix, and the consumer tomorrow. If we look at the back end of an aetiolated Hogg curve, we can also factor in insight, life truth, resonance and engagement. I reckon we’re missing the point if we don’t consider interdisciplinary micro-targetting keyed on the confluence and congruity of equity in the context of awareness levels, reach and frequency of key point registrations, message commitment failures and…’
‘Yes, yes, Riski. Of course.’ Damn, the boy was good. How had he missed the micro-target keys? Now, back on that horse. Show them who owns the room.
‘Of course the brand prism, and cross-banding, across all the major GECs and sub-territories is a hot zone, and micro-targeting entails dismantling and then reconstructing core perceptions, narrative imagery, cordiality carry, and above all affinity in the context of differentiated market fragment socio-culturality. This’ll be part knee-jerk, part reflexive – Mann, Ure and O’Durr are good on this – but the criticality of a dynamically evolving needs-map cannot be understated. Not leveraging overlapping convergences, congruities and synchronicities would be highly detrimental…’
‘This is all music to my ears, gentlemen’ interrupted Wili, ‘and I am more than convinced that we’re on the right track, but I’ve got an eleven a.m. prompt coming up. Will you excuse me? Olga here will help carry a few pancakes back to your tower, and you might get acquainted en route.’

The story continues…