Our first stop after our Jejune adventure was its associated website. The products and services mentioned in the video are expanded upon, each represented by a few paragraphs, some additionally by a full-page PDF made available for posting by Jejune acolytes.

The Aquatic Thought Foundation: Home of the Cyberfin® Immersive Dolphin Encounter Simulator which sounds like a big fat vaporware project with all the weasel words. “Future software releases,” “Real-time, interactive 3D computer-generated imagery, alone or overlaid on stereo video, is possible,” “Future experiences will employ ... ” The last exhibition was in 1996. Something’s (not) up at the ATF.

Memory to Media Center: This looked to be a separate facility at which you can record your memories to VHS tape. But apparently the audio doesn’t match up properly. It has a separate address/phone number and everything!

Time Camera: This little baby seemed to have a raft of independent creators, just like television. One inventor cautioned: “the machine can produce universal tragedy.” Coleman’s version apparently could take photos of the past and the future. The PDF indicated “the object glass is made of pure quartz, which lets ultraviolet radiation run through it without any losses,” but the web document attributed this version of the Time Camera to an “unidentified scientist.”

Vital-Orbit® personal forcefield: “composed of a hip/waist apparatus with 4 inch injectors under self-conducive iron barbells placed in the upper groin wrapping around to the lower-back with simple interface and controls.” Major surgery in exchange for the ability to repel constant, horrendous banana-based attacks? That’s a no-brainer. Also there is a mysterious half-tie to Aquatic Thought: “The Vital-Orbit reduces these basic tenets to a demonstrable formula by harboring hydro-dynamics multiplied by intention (aquatic/thought). It is proven, time tested, bonafide.” Soon dolphins will be fending off the grievous, relentless rain of bananas.

Moonlight Menagerie: This service is also tied to Aquatic Thought and human/animal interaction: “introducing psychotropic experimentation to the animals has also had positive effects. Research strongly indicate that these encounters are quite beneficial to animals and man alike.” Totally high dolphins avoid banana onslaught. It’s a bake zoo. The endless animal adoption form was also spot-on.

Polywater: An enhanced form of water. Water+. “When regular H2O is condensed through narrow quartz capillary tubes ... ” Yes. We can do this.

The Algorithm: A “revolutionary handheld device” that prompts two parties in conflict for their take on the situation and delivers “consistently divine results,” eliminating misunderstanding. “Driving the central functionality & mechanics of the server is an uber-rare spessarite quartz crystal that is embedded within.” This place is hot on quartz technology.

A few of the web pages referred to Octavio Coleman as “Octavio Coleman Esquire.” You know who else used that title? Francis E. Dec. But he blinged it out with a cash dollar sign because that was how Dec rolled. Or he had a non-functional “S” key. His “E” wasn’t doing so hot either.

There was a login screen on the Jejune Institute website, just a field for the password and enter and ... then ... the website crashed. Literally. Menu bars suddenly obeyed gravity and smashed off-screen, other bits fuzzed out, items disappeared. The website URL switched to nonchalance.org and started power-diving through sub-directories (“3/l/s/3/w/h/3/r/3”) while briefly flashing paragraphs of large-type text I was unable to read. Then nothing. Then, immersion into a space with numerous cards floating about, agreeable tinkly music in the background.

There were so many cards! Each card had a bit of Braille on it which pointed to an external website; some cards had an associated “spirit animal.” Moondog, Breatharianism, Werner Erhard, and on, and on. Some of the cards had already been created by other players.

With a few of them, it was hard to tell if a card was a player or not. Three cards pointed to old Omni articles stored at Omni Magazine Online.

The design and writing was pitch-perfect. In the Vital Orbit article, researcher Gene Donale demonstrated the forcefield – but he has no device, it’s all mind power. “Without the right mental development, any attempt to do this would involve some intrusive and painful modifications [...] you’d have to undergo surgical implants of heavy iron toroids, almost like barbells, just below your center of gravity, in the groin area. You’d need injectors penetrating your skin, and a whole separate control box. It would be grossly awkward. Most painfully of all, an electro-shunt would have to be imbedded in the lower spine. That’s the way the Establishment might utilize this knowledge.” All of this spoken back in 1978 in front of his lab partner, Octavio Coleman. Oh, Coleman Esquire. What have you done.

Time Camera: Marcello Ernetti, a researcher involved with the project, is quoted: “Fortunatamente, there is the bottleneck, so this terrible thing, it will not be built. We receive the images at random, as we have not the one essential part, the Locator Module. With that, evil men, they could look into the past at any point on the Earth, at will. May God forbid!” A six-year-old “Evallyn” appears with her uncle Ed Nichols, a project sponsor. Near the end of the article, an interesting note: “[...] research assistant Octavio Coleman was entrusted with all the research papers and notes from the project. Their destination: the incinerator at the back of the Sangfroidland compound.” Oh, Coleman. Esquire.

Delta Particles: a drug used in the 1990’s to achieve “temporary nonchalance.” The article does not feature Octavio Coleman sneaking off stage right with a bubbling beaker.

The Algorithm: Similar to the Time Camera, The Algorithm “needs to be intellectually realized without the use of material devices” which could turn “the liberating qualities of the Algorithm into a ‘coercive nightmare,’” according to its creator, a San Francisco math/financial whiz named Blair Lucien. A relative of Eva’s? The article mentions a “family tragedy” and we’re burrowing our way deep into a fictional world so yes.

Of course the Jejune Institute’s implementation of The Algorithm is machine-based. COLEMAN ESQ., YOU ARE MADSAUCE!

The nonchalance.org site homepage itself seemed to be a dead-end; ring symbols lazily inched their way left-to-right while a slow-going understated piano composition played in the background.

While I was still going through the cards, I accidentally typed “nonchalance.com” instead of “.org” and ended up at an entirely different site which featured the photos of 28 people with the text “CAN YOU SPOT THE NONCHALANT?” Each of the photos had a profile attached to it that also indicated their “Nonchalance Ratio” as a percentage. There were some people I didn’t recognize, even after net research:

Eva’s profile indicates that she has a 100% Nonchalance Ratio and is the daughter of Katherine/Blair Lucien. She was also part of the “Savants” crew of young San Francisco artists. Eva’s nonchalance.org card points to a ginned-up SF Gate article from 1988 elaborating on her disappearance. Hounding the doppelgänger site revealed three other articles:

Two other “in-game” cards detail diaristic characters: a “Katy Zwick” who kept a weblog detailing her run-ins with the nonchalance symbol and other related items, and “Kelvin Williams,” a librarian who was “peripherally associated” with the Savants and set up a weblog entitled “Remembering Eva” along with a small Eva tribute page on Angelfire. Had no idea Angelfire was still around, I thought maybe it had tripped, hit its head onna rock and quickly, mercifully expired.

The Nonchaloir card referred to a hybrid Native American-European group of people that are the historical ancestors of Nonchalants. The Braille URL pointed to a nine-page paper describing this fusion in more detail; it begins with a quote from a non-existent book unwritten by Yoko Ono, Time will Tell: The Truth of Nonchalance. Sources are name-checked; apparently fake sources are fake/real name-checked.

The Nonchalance cultural group has made widespread contributions to the inspiration and hope existing in contemporary society today, especially in the United States. Though many scholars and critics argue that the movement was destroyed in the groups’ persecution and dissemination by the US government in the 1800’s, they have not gone. Being merely unacknowledged and hidden but in plain view, Nonchalance is omnipresent, infiltrating into society ideas of liberty, love, peace, collaboration, and the sharing of knowledge.

The EPWA had its own card and a portion of it read: “a misguided attempt at saving nonchalance through bureacracy [...]” which ... what? I thought this site was EPWA-created. Not to say that self-criticism is verboten, but it seems like a rare bird, an organization (fake or not) that comes out and says “well, we’re going about it the wrong way, but hey.”

The card’s URL leads to a website that looks like an olden-tyme computer terminal.

Commands are preceded by the string “&_“; for the menu, for example, you would type “&_menu”. This is baffling, but in a funny way ... I can’t remember ever having to prepend any sort of constant to common commands from my terminal-using days [FX: moves slowly while making creaking noise].

The site itself is filled with a series of pages describing snappy manifestoes and suggestions of strange administrative-type programs.

The Elsewhere Public Works Agency provides non-liable encouragement, suggestion, influence, direction & shoving towards potential Nonchalance. The EPWA does this through subverted suggestions & disguised guidance. These things & more are well known by the mysterious folks. Would you like this curiosity?

The EPWA’s phone number featured a condensed version of some of these programs, including an obvious selection: “To hear the sound of a baby chinchilla, press four.” I was hammering on that four key, you betcha.

One section featured “media downloads” and included a flyer by a group/person/thing named “Dinosaur Riot.” I had the feeling this artifact was “ground zero” in the philosophical claim-stake of “nonchalance.” It took me awhile, but I finally recognized that the paragraphs of text on the flyer were the same ones that zip by when coming in for a landing at nonchalance.org. A sample:

Discovering IT, & then making IT easily apparent to others destroys the true nature of IT. When the curtain is thrown back, the spell is destroyed and what good are the destroyers of magic? What horrors will occur to those that break the spell? When they walk the lonely streets, what arcane mathematical emulations will cross into their mind from the echoing infinity of space and rewrite their entire synapse? We’ve been doing this for hundreds of years. WE’VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!

Today, the Nonchalants leave secret markings to show the initiated where to look and what is a product of the true, ancient secrets. These things aren’t originally pointed out or communicated using words or pictures, but are vibrationally transferred. The Hobos keep tabs on places and inform others using the crystal electro-magnetic photocopier wave machine.

Mmmm, more delicious crystal technology. But: the hobos! Yes. The hobos. The hobos had three cards.

The “Hobo Glyphs” card had a handful of markings but two of them at the bottom looked suspiciously familiar: the ring symbol, and a variant of the symbol with an “X” through it. The “The Confabulation” card pointed to the HEBREW HOBO PROPHET weblog which was filled with words that could be related to each other and reminded me that there are many perspectives on life. It also indicated that the bit from the induction card referencing a “Lost Queen” is indeed The Confabulation; she was described as being the one to “reunite and deliver them to Elsewhere.”

Just when I started thinking that all of this stuff was like drinking from a firehose, I ran across the Unforum, a BBS-type website set up for alternate-reality gamers. Unforum had its own “Jejune Institute” discussion with posts going back to October. Oh god. I had bigger fish to fry, like constructing my to-scale toothpick model of the 20th Century. But this thing was a fun scratch to itch. Reluctantly setting aside my artisanal organic free-trade acai-flavored gluepot, I dove in. Some highlights:

I had finally reached the end of the Unforum archives.

1 Other non-paid holidays include but are not limited to Packing Tape Mummy Day, Pedal Cars Take The City Day, One Gumdrop Per Hour Day, Don’t Us Th Lttr “” That Much Day, Paint Tiny Seascapes On Lampposts Day, Three Picnics Day, and Fun-Time Jumping Up And Splaying Legs Day. For more information, please consult your employee handbook.

Say, why not continue on to the next part: Mahogany.