There was too much wooden furniture in his room for Keith Toland's liking these days, now that he was becoming increasingly enamoured of plastic, which, in contrast to wood, he equated with a supernatural bias. He found himself day-dreaming, on occasion, of a room in which all the furniture was made of plastic or, at any rate, some kind of synthetic material transcending nature. His room was largely bourgeois, he thought, and lagged behind his ideological development. Ideally, he would have preferred to bring it into line with his current tastes or, better still, move into an unfurnished flat which he would then proceed to furnish from scratch ... in the most supernatural fashion - plastic everywhere. The room he rented was fully-furnished, no possibility of the Licensor allowing its wooden contents to be thrown out. Besides, he knew that, in his current financial position, he couldn't afford to buy the sort of furniture he had in mind. It was just a pleasant dream, a suggestion of what he would do if given half the chance.

But there were small things that he had been able to afford, and they were invariably made of plastic - his second-hand portable television, for example. Not a bad little set, though monochromatic unfortunately, which he associated with an anti-natural and probably bourgeois constitution. Still, a black plastic exterior was something, better, at any rate, than a wooden one! Then there was his hairdryer, as plastic as his stereo headphones and, latest purchase of all, headphone radio. There was a plastic wallet, a plastic comb, pen, typewriter, zipper jacket, pair of moccasins, rubbish bin, shaver, and watch - this latter a black digital. He ate lunch off a plastic platter with plastic cutlery, and drank milk from a plastic beaker. His record-player had a predominantly plastic exterior and his LPs were of course vinyl, which is a strong plastic-. They were beginning to shame him, however. He wondered whether there wasn't something inherently liberal if not conservative about records as opposed to cassettes, which, on account of their more idealistic constitution, he supposed to have a comparatively radical right-wing essence. Records were played horizontally, whereas cassettes usually slotted vertically, if sideways-on, into the cassette deck, symptomatic of a masculine bias, he thought. Probably he would gravitate from records to cassettes, if given the opportunity. He had enough records anyway, and was fast running out of space. Cassettes were smaller and ... more plastic; they didn't come in cardboard covers.

For the time being, however, Keith was resigned to his records, record-player, and headphones. He preferred listening to music through headphones anyway, and this had led him to the purchase of a headphone radio set, which he considered to be a marked evolutionary improvement on his old radio, even though it was also of plastic appearance. Probably he would get himself a pair of headphones for his television before long, just to complete things and bring an absolutism to bear on each of his listening habits. Instead of coming at one from outside the head, as appearance, sound seemed to come at one from inside it, as essence, and this constituted, to him, a far more theocratic way of listening-in, suitable for an ongoing transcendental age. With people living in ever-closer proximity to one another in large residential conglomerates, it was imperative to minimize noise and thus cultivate a headphone exclusivity. Probably a time would come when listening to music or speech without headphones would, in any case, be unlawful. At present, with walls and houses fairly materialistic, it wasn't particularly necessary to put what might be called 'relativistic listening' under ban. Such a ban would be irrelevant, in any case, to an open society. But with the future development of less materialistic and more transcendental types of accommodation, with comparatively thin walls, it followed that 'absolutist listening' would become obligatory, in order to minimize neighbour disturbances and, more importantly, encourage an increasingly theocratic lifestyle, suitable to a closed society. A headphone absolutism would then be the rule rather than, as at present, the exception.

Keith knew from experience of certain neighbours, past and present, in his own lodgings that there were more than a few noise fools still at large. Time would eventually catch-up with them, as with everyone. And as if this thought prompted it, he glanced down at his digital watch in order to consult the time: 11:57 was what he read, before the seconds digits flickered over to the next second. So quiet and efficient compared with the old wind-up watch he used to own, always stopping and running slow. It used to have a leather strap, he remembered, which gave it a kind of naturalistic bourgeois status in his estimation. A right-wing watch, so to speak. Better, he mused, than left-wing ones, those metal-strap affairs. For there was something about metal which suggested an anti-natural as opposed to a supernatural status, commensurate with socialist tendencies. As if metal, even in its modern alloyed guises, was somehow closer to the subnatural than to the natural, like wood or leather. A kind of proton-biased inorganic opposition to atomic, organic formations; though, of course, this was to exaggerate the point. At any rate, metal was cold, hard, and impersonal, like minerals and jewels. Steel, being an alloy, was typically anti-natural, he thought, and thus left wing compared with wood or leather. He had never owned a ticker in steel but still possessed a digital with steel strap, which he had bought from a street vendor for little under 2 about a year ago. Now he only wore it in bed because it had a sort of light that enabled one to read it in the dark, should one wish to consult the time at night. He regarded it as inferior to his black plastic digital and had no desire, in consequence, to wear it during the day. He supposed it indicative of a communist equivalent - anti-natural steel with a supernatural digital face, something Marxist-Leninist rather than democratic socialist or radically socialist, such as would have stuck to hands and winder, if on the most metallic terms. His plastic digital, by contrast, was to his mind theocratic and, hence, Social Transcendentalist, the digitals dividing the day into two lots of twelves, with a PM indicator for the afternoon, and therefore suggesting a relativistic absolutism, the forerunner, one could argue, of the super-transcendental twenty-four hour digital watch, the hour digits flickering from 1-24 in an ongoing, absolutist process, the time having to be read in the manner of a train timetable. Not bad for the late-twentieth century! For such watches were already on the market, and he had seen one or two intriguing Japanese examples before settling for the twelve-hour digital he was currently wearing, the digits of which kept perfect time. If the leather-strap winders were democratic watches and the metal-strap digitals ... anti-democratic, then the plastic digital was very definitely a supernatural watch, superior in essence to all the others, the metal and plastic winders not excepted, the latter of which he supposed to reflect a petty-bourgeois, neo-oriental form of theocracy commensurate with Western transcendentalism.

To be sure, there was a definite evolutionary progression from the plastic winder to the plastic digital, as, on lower terms, from democratic to anti-democratic watches, though perhaps devolutionary progression would be a more applicable description there! Whatever the case, a watch, no less than outer clothing, could tell one something about a man's ideological leaning and/or class integrity. The same could even be said of spectacles, which appeared to reflect, in their different constructions, various stages of ideological evolution and corresponding levels of class allegiance. Why, he himself was - and had long been - the wearer of a pair of round-lens, metal-rimmed glasses which, in spite of the metal, he now supposed to indicate a bourgeois democratic allegiance, to his slight embarrassment. It seemed to him that opticals had evolved from the absolutist autocratic level of the monocle, a single lens, to the relative right-wing democratic level of metal-rimmed spectacles, from where a further evolution had taken place in the form of plastic spectacles, as germane to a left-wing democratic level, before the emergence of communistic one-piece spectacles, such as suggested a pair of goggles stretching, in a gentle curve, right across the face, and which thus appeared absolutist within a democratic context - both eyes covered, after the fashion of conventional spectacles, the lens plastic, the frame metallic. Clearly, he didn't want either a pair of plastic democratic spectacles or a pair (if that's the correct word) of plastic/metallic anti-democratic ones. If he ever abandoned 'granny glasses', it would have to be in a theocratic direction, which of course meant the purchase of contact lenses - something Keith could, as yet, ill-afford.

However, he could speculate, and did so on the basis that hard-lens contacts were somehow petty bourgeois or neo-oriental, meaning transcendental in a contemporary Western way, whereas the soft-lens variety suggested a more radically transcendent bias appropriate, he supposed, to a Social Transcendentalist allegiance. Thus, ideally, a pair of soft-lens contacts for someone who dressed in all-black and wore a plastic digital watch, confirming a radically theocratic ideological integrity. Probably the future would witness the emergence of a one-lens contact fashion; a soft lens, in other words, for one eye only, antithetical, in its interiorized absolutism, to the exteriorized monocle absolutism of autocratic allegiance. Did not the monocle lead to dual lenses minus wings, to pince-nez, the frame of which had to be clipped onto the nose and held or perched there without reference to ears? A kind of absolute relativity preceding the development of spectacles-proper, which reflected a more extensively relative, and hence democratic, integrity, a right-angle formed between lenses and wings, the frame no longer simply a support for lenses but embracing, in addition to a nose clip, a pair of metallic wings, one for each ear. Well, if autocratic precedent was anything to judge by, why shouldn't contact lenses, which simply fit over the eye, be superseded, in due course, by a contact lens ... in response to the requirements of a more absolutist theocratic age? A progression from the relativistic absolutism, as it were, of a Social Transcendentalist stage of theocratic allegiance to the absolutist absolutism, so to speak, of a Super-transcendentalist stage, when, if justice is to be done, the world will tend towards a theocratic unity, thus completing human evolution not only with regard to optics but to everything else as well!

Yet that is still a good way off, and most people with a theocratic leaning can do no better, in the meantime, than to purchase and wear a pair of contact lenses, preferably of the soft-lens type. Keith was looking forward to doing this, in order to be able to harmonize his appearance and essence, or ideological integrity, all along the line. At present he was thinking as a Social Transcendentalist and looking, with regard to spectacles, like a right-wing democrat! Something had to be done about this, and the sooner the better! He was no longer the bourgeois naturalist of some years ago, but a proletarian supernaturalist, for whom the absolute was of paramount importance.

And what applied to optics applied no less to sex, where, by contrast, a supernaturalism had long reigned supreme in his solitary life in the form of a voyeuristic/masturbatory appreciation of heterosexual pornography, derived from various quality men's magazines, which seemed to constitute a sexuality complete in itself. His indulgences were, on the whole, very moderate, no more than once a week, and he usually made sure that his concentration was focused on the vagina of any specifically congenial models, in order to keep his sexuality as supernatural as possible. Deviations embracing the rump and/or anus he regarded as a left-wing form of theocratic sexuality, permissible though not essential to the main supernatural trend. He knew himself to be predominantly right-wing, and hence straight. He would occasionally joke to himself that there was only one alternative to being right: namely wrong. And this applied no less to right-wing communist sex, involving homosexual pornography, than to left-wing theocratic sex, though, obviously, even that was preferable to the left-wing communist variety, such as involved the sodomitic violation of man by man. If homosexuals were 'bent', then those who used homosexual pornography for voyeuristic/masturbatory purposes were still 'bent', only slightly less so, since given to the appreciation of a perverse theocratic dimension, endemic to this kind of pornography, which suggested a Leninist influence. Better a right-wing communist integrity, in his opinion, than a left-wing (Marxist) one. But better by far a right-wing theocratic integrity! He was glad that his sexuality was supernatural rather than anti-natural, 'hetero' as opposed to 'homo'.

But he was becoming dissatisfied with pornography alone, which seemed to put too great an idealistic strain on him. He wondered whether, in view of his other preferences, it wasn't time to purchase a plastic inflatable, a so-called 'sex doll', in order to have access to a more bodily and apparent form of supernatural sexual activity. Some of the sex dolls on the market were relatively inexpensive, no more than 30, and came with a variety of sexy lingerie to stimulate one's lust and enable one, if desirable, to approach sex with rapist's intent. Of course, for those who could afford it, there were all sorts of additional qualities, back passage and talking mouth included. But he knew that he was a long way from becoming a connoisseur in such matters and that a more modest start would probably be to his advantage, enabling him to feel his way by degrees. There were, after all, certain advantages in possessing a plastic inflatable. She (it) couldn't turn one away, pleading ill-health or a period or business obligations or an indifferent mood. There would be no B.O. or farts or back-chat or bad breath or scratchings or bites. One wouldn't have to worry about getting her pregnant or of contracting a venereal or other disease from her. There would be no contraceptive expenses and no need to date her on a regular or, indeed, any basis. In fact, one wouldn't even have to dress her, if fetishism was not in one's line or one regarded clothing as irrelevant to the sexual act, a further unnecessary expense. And one could make love to her in any old fashion one pleased, never fearing an objection or criticism.

To be sure, the plastic supernatural was certainly preferable, on a number of counts, to the fleshy natural, and anyone who considered himself a supernaturalist would sooner or later have to come to terms with sex dolls, if he wanted to remain consistently theocratic and not regress to or remain the victim of a naturalistic and democratic mode of sexuality. There was a place for copulation as well as masturbation in Social Transcendentalism, provided they were artificial and, hence, supernatural. Artificial copulation would correspond, in a manner of speaking, to the 'Social' side of this radical theocracy, artificial masturbation, or masturbation induced by a pornographic stimulus on computer disc and preferably availing itself of the services of a plastic gadget ... such as would contain the spermatic discharge, to its 'Transcendental' side, no-one required to be absolutist on the higher, or pornographic, side, each man having a personal bias one way or the other, some doubtless balanced between the two sides, himself very much given to the transcendent. Though, of course, a pornographic absolutism would become the ideal, if not the norm, in the course of time, as Social Transcendentalism was duly superseded by Super-transcendentalism, its more absolutist goal.

And what applies to men (become supermen) also applies to women who, in a radically theocratic society, would be encouraged (as quasi-supermen) to utilize plastic vibrators as their apparent, bodily equivalent to sex dolls, an essential side of sexual activity, doubtless manifesting on the level of late-teenage computer pornography, co-existing with this lower side and eventually completely superseding it, with the emergence of Super-transcendentalism. As to communist sex, whether of the Western Left or the Eastern Right, not a chance! A closed society of Social Transcendentalist integrity would place it under ban. Only the supernatural would be respectable. And Keith knew this better than anyone else. Yes, he would get a plastic inflatable before long, if only for very occasional use. Then there would be a little more plastic in his room, perhaps even enough, if the lino was also taken into account, to tip the balance away from wood. At least there wasn't very much steel in evidence, 'granny glasses' notwithstanding!