Copyright Steve Merrick 2012
The Pixelated Child.
I guess I should start this story at the end, sadly it’s a very embittered ending for me. All I had wanted to do was increase the boundaries between still photo’s and reality, everything I had achieved was intended to benefit humanity. I am sat in my prison cell awaiting sentencing as I write these words and I know in advance the judge is not amused. Yes Mr Stevesevilempire is being sued by the United Nations and a number of corporations, the worst part is that I never stood a chance from start to finish. I mean how was I supposed to know what number of pixels would make a photograph self aware, if only I hadn’t been online when it happened then I would not have incapacitated the internet globally. Its frustrating because the experiment worked but now I know how many pixels it takes. One point two billion is enough to do it. So call me Frankenstien, awe hell call me anything you want.
It all started so innocently, I had this idea about folding pixels to increase their resolutions, it just got a bit out of hand, Imagine a computerised version of Origami and you more or less understand the process. The problem is that if you apply quantum foam to it then the amount of folding you can do is, well, semi infinite. Of course I hadn’t anticipated the role that micro worm holes within the folding sub atomic structure would play, nor could I have foreseen a variation on particle entrapment occurring within the pixels themselves. It all happened very quickly, and I repeat there was no way on Earth that I could have seen this coming. Its just like the Judge said. “Photography’s equivalent of the big bang!” I even have my ex wife on my back about this because it was a photo of my son that I was playing with at the time. On the plus side I now have the very fastest computer on the planet, but since nobody can connect to the internet its not as good as it sounds. Why?
Why I didn’t stop at a half a crummy billion pixels is beyond me, believe it or not it takes fourteen hours to upload that one photo to your computer and generally the screen can’t cope with that much information. In my defence I had become more obsessed than Oppenheimer had with his atomic bomb. I can’t really explain it now because I just had to keep going. It was important. It was at the one billion mark that things took off, I was celebrating with music and a bottle of Jack Daniels whilst chatting with a friend on NASA’s web-site, that was when it happened. It looked at me and blinked, I was so drunk by then that I blinked back at it. The court has read our chat boxes out loud so I guess my response cant hurt this story much. I wrote, “my computer is dancing in my itunes……..” It’s true, Sheryl Crows Gasoline and there was my son bee bopping to it. My unnamed friend replied. “that’s a really cool animation dude. ” Neither of us knew that that image was being witnessed on every computer on the planet as we typed, nor did we know that the very last internet communication for the foreseeable future would be mine. “That ain’t no animation and stop calling me dude dude. ”
It was then that a Stephen Hawking voice asked me, “Where am I.” My real son stopped in his tracks and stared at his reflection on my computer and said.
“Dad what have you done.”
Our initial conversations were quite difficult and interrupted by a call from the local police station. The cops were warning everybody in our village about a very virulent global computer virus, involving a small blonde boy and a Sheryl Crow song. It was originating from the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. I was sober in no time at all and grabbing my laptop ran with my son to his mothers house. You see it was my email. It was my son. and nobody on planet Earth could get connected, instead they were all having very confusing conversations with the world first accidentally created Ai. The combined forces of the whole UN were involved in a manhunt for the evilempire guy so having a yellow streak one point two billion miles long, I ran.
I managed to evade capture for twenty seven and a half minutes, I was reduced to hiding in a hole just like Saddam had, in the glare of the camera’s I was pulled from it and dragged publicly to Downing Street, hand cuffed and surrounded by armed policemen and a section of the Special Air Service, I was interrogated mercilessly by a strange man called David Cameron. He shone a table light in my face and kept asking me who I was working with. There was this other really creepy guy hiding in the shadows behind me called Nick Clegg, whenever this silent menace leant forward I could feel him breathing down my neck, it was terrifying, they were playing at bad prime-minister and bad deputy prime-minister, at one point Dave slammed his hands down on the table and yelled, “Tell me the truth, think of your sons credit rating, think about your families future.”
He interrogated me like that for six days, sleepless and exhausted I finally broke down in that wine cellar under 10 Downing Street, I implicated everybody I could think of including Albert Einstein, Sheryl Crow, the woman who runs my local news agents, my editor, you, Vlademir Putin, Brad Pitt, Steven Spielberg, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and even Annie Liebowitz. It was the intolerable threat of being exiled to the Isle Of White that broke me in the end. Not that anything but that.
That was only a month ago, I have seen the chaos that erupted as a result of my little experiment, the New York Stock exchange as he appeared on all of their screens, the air traffic controllers very bad day has bothered my conscience more than a bit. The hospital and traffic chaos that ensued was my fault too. I do not feel responsible for the Tsunami of unpublished newspapers nor the absence of any form of television briefly. Although I do like the speeches he gives at Times Square and feel quite proud of the deal he struck with The Coca Cola corporation. However maybe over time my little computerised Casper could be seen beneficially, after all how dangerous can any photograph truly be.
So I am sat in my cell awaiting a forgone conclusion of my guilt to be announced, my son visited me but he has a new best friend in that pixelated child I accidentally created so didn’t stick around because he needed to do a bit of laptop tree climbing. Unfortunately Pixel won’t talk to me. So abandoned and all alone I write these words and plan my speech which will go something like this.
“Your Honour. None je ne regrette a rien is a really nice song, but I regret absolutely everything even being born. Please don’t kill me. Please I beg you, broadband will one day function again, the Queen will be able to play online bingo once more, and I will never again play with pixels ever. So please please please pretty please, HAVE MERCY!!!! Please.”