You understand why this journal needs to exist,
you understand what I am doing here,
challenging your thoughts and beliefs
with a metaphorical chainsaw,
expressing ideas (to the extreme) that you think but won’t say,
meanwhile sharing a bit of my heart every now and then.

One of the most fascinating essay I have read in years, Acidexia is an initiation path (half way between diary and story) of the 2000s, well past the hippy and punk ages – right into the cyber world. Rachel Haywire prefers to speak about transhumanism which is, if my understanding is correct, one step or more beyond Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity.

Rachel Haywire journey enroute towards transhumanity

However, before being a philosophy book, Acidexia is an existential firework where it is difficult to distinguish between life and style. Think about a mix of Jack Kerouak’s On the road for the plot (Rachel Haywire is always moving from one city to another) and Hubert Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn for the style, and you will have an approximation of this new meteor that crashed in our world.

A pale approximation though. Rachel Haywire is much more ambitious than her predecessors in the way of exploring everything weird, unexpected, at the extremes of life. I do not only refer to acid, drugs and sex, but as well to her total rejection of all forms of the western society: hierarchy, authority, education, family… She explains, “I am People Exaggerated… I am a combination of every person I ever hung out with, exaggerated. Every time I hang out with a new person, I change.”

This initiation path starts when the heroine is a 17 suburban kid living with her parents: “They think they have to protect me, but it’s too late for that. I am chaos. I am the collapse,” and ends up when she is 20 and a full-blown Internet cultural agitator: “Then we found our saviour. The Internet, it was called. It was here that social standards were forever altered. We were the aliens, here to colonize Earth, and the Internet was our home.”

However it is music, not Internet which constitutes the thread that crosses the modern world chaos. Rachel vibes with industrial music: Einstürzende Neubauten, Hocico, Front 242, Throbbing Gristle, Death… This kind of experimental music based on provocation and transgression is a source of inspiration.

And believe me, when I write “provocation”, I am not speaking of aesthetic metaphors for bleeding heart humanists. Listen to this: “I was secretly happy on 9/11 because I immediately knew our generation would have the chance to correct the fuckups of the ‘60s. Of course there was going to be a war. But there was going to be a resistance – and we were going to party!” More than Kerouac and Selby, I should have referred to Rimbaud and Apollinaire: “Ah Dieu! que la guerre est jolie, Avec ses chants ses longs loisirs…” (Good God! Isn’t war a lovely thing, With its songs its killing time).

Rachel Haywire is a writer who makes people react and think and object and dream. All male chauvinist pigs (as your critics) cannot stop themselves from thinking “what about if I had the chance to meet such a woman?” Not to save her, mind you. On the contrary: to be saved (or destroyed) by her. Do not be mistaken: Acidexia is not an adult book. No sexual scene in this book. Rachel Haywire is strangely silent about physical sex. It cannot be modesty. Sexuality is everywhere in this book, but it is invisible as the air that surrounds us.

Changing the human condition, this is what Rachel is at. She takes Nietzsche seriously when he writes in Zarathustra: “I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome.” She is teaching the transhuman and she has read Ray Kurzweil (even though she never quote him) and she went fighting on the fringes of our humanity as she proclaims at the end of her journey: “Let’s explore the dark and sick areas of our minds, because the apocalypse is sexy as fuck…”

How many of you have the guts to give these new “Illuminations” a try?

by Jean-Guy Rens

P.S. There are a few sections (a few pages only) in this book that are not worthy of Rachel Haywire: for example, “The Ten Types of LiveJournal Users” which is a series of clichés. The last part of Acidexia contains some banalities such as “Racial supremacy is out. Mental supremacy is in.” Thank you Rachel, this was obvious enough!

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