The Compost Kids

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P.C. Nantahala
- 6/14/2018 9:10am

Kids can be so mean!!! I'd only complain to you, dear diary, because I wouldn't give them the satisfaction of knowing how much it hurts, but I really never expected this kind of outright hatred. It's true that my shell has grown quite large (5 and a half whorls!) and I can't fit into most classrooms, so why can't they just walk around me? I've been kicked, called names, and even spat on. And I move pretty slowly these days, so it's hard to come up with a witty comeback, or even a threatening posture.

Most students are really understanding though. And it's not like any of us could do this alone. The mean kids just all assume that incorporating the genome of an endangered land snail is some kind of vain dress-up game, like I just want attention and to say "look at me!" But for every one of us who have undergone "the change" there are 4 or 5 other humanoid students who are our official kin, because we need to work together on all fronts--making official filings with the Psychic Fish & Wildlife Service, helping with habitat reconstruction, managing media relations, etc.

But there's a group of students who just don't get it, and feel threatened by what we're doing. I mean, yeah, I guess we do want to radically dismantle the earth-killing social machine we've grow up in, but I just wish they wouldn't take it so personally.

May 7, 1987

Add a journal entry to The Compost Kids

Melon Seawater
- 6/9/2018 5:56pm

From Psytimes, the then student-run newspaper, September 13 1988:

PSYCHIC HIGH SCHOOL--The standoff between Psychic Security Force agents and the self-styled Compost Kids on the south end of campus continued into the early afternoon today, following more than two hours of a heavy barrage of Unhappiness Beams from PSF agents of the besieged forest area.

This reporter was allowed passage across the disputed Haraway Zone--the region of liminality that forms the border of the area currently occupied by the Compost Kids. The Unhappiness Beams seem to have had little effect on the members of the radical oddkin separatists, which they attribute to the fundamental difference in ontological frameworks. There's also a hyper-oxygenated, electric feeling in the air, which the Compost Kids explain as a result of their separation from the universal electro-grid (this region of woods is the largest area of campus not crisscrossed by electrical and telephone wires).

"We're fighting for the survival of the world," said @Zoe Missouri, a member of the group involved in the standoff. "We're not separatists--quite the opposite, in fact. A fundamental "coming-togetherness" is absolutely necessary to maintain viability of the ecosystem. It's terribly unfortunate that the administration deems this as a threat."

After the group's recommendations for pesticide cessation were respectfully declined by the school administration, the disappearance of the pesticides from campus storehouses was blamed on the group. Compost Kid spokesbeing @Justin Heathcliff said that the use of such pesticides "is causing the death of species on a wholesale level across the globe," but when asked directly about the disappearance they declined to comment.

"Asking us to leave the area shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the connection we've developed to this region, which exists at a chemical level for us now," continued @Zoe Missouri. "Though our hybridization with marginalized species is the most obvious change we've gone through, we're now directly connected with the entire web of species and processes of the Psyhigh biome. It's not really possible to leave at this point without facing extinction ourselves."

Janitor Pete
- 6/6/2018 6:10pm

There wasn’t much ruckus about the Compost Kids till their species affinities started kicking in. Babbity (a senior) had merged with the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis), and one summer the school became a destination for swarms of the endangered bee. It was great for the gardens and all the pollinating plants, but they eventually got deemed a nuisance (and there were students with severe bee allergies and phobias). That was the start of the trouble for the Compost Kids.

The Shengen Twins
- 6/4/2018 9:02am

We’ve taken the original evacuation maps left by the Compost Kids and overlaid then with present day campus maps. Through Dasein Processing (see slide #16) you can clearly see the pollination corridors still active today, but what is only visible through fictive sampling are the mycelium networks (slide #17) which are roughly 900% more active than comparable non-psychic campuses. The role of the unique Barnsley formations (slide #19) is still being examined.

Melon Seawater
- 6/3/2018 7:48pm

A clipping in the folder from Psychic Phenotype Review, July 1986:

"We know now that Reality Accidents are cyclical, driven by the boom & bust cycle of the overproduction of hyperreality¹⁸. Every idea that emerges from the Reality Market substrate is immediately replicated, mass produced and remarketed, until hyperreality inflation becomes so great that the system collapses in on itself and resets.

"The Compost Kids deny the products generated by the Reality Market and turn inwards, towards resources generated by nature²⁷. These resources have no brand names, no serial numbers, no manufacturers. They believe that merging with DNA from the natural, unmanufactured, wild world provides the only way truly forward in time (in their view, the machinations of the Reality Market exist only in simulated time¹¹⁴). The Reality Market is doomed to destroy itself in an endless cycle, but through their praxis, the Compost Kids seek to create Refuge from it."

Cruz, Monica. Department of Patabiological Studies, Psychic High School (1986) The Compost Kids. Psychic Phenotype Review, Volume 37 (Issue 9), pp 188.

Zoe Missouri
- 5/23/2018 8:55am

Subject (not pictured) Zoe Missouri incorporates totipotent stem cells of Holsinger's planarian, endangered, and exhibits pseudo morphological tendencies including a complete ectoderm covering the extent of their original bipedal structure and a pair of ocelli on either side of the head, while the mouth has moved to the underside of the body. Subject reports difficulty in making new friends and finding partners to attend social events with, including school dances. Immigration to Refugia is approved.

Justin Heathcliff
- 5/18/2018 5:07pm

Photographs 27-34. Justin Heathcliff presents as a young male in his mid-teens, a mop of brown hair just covering the eyes. The distinctive orange and red markings of Nicrophorus americanus (hybridization choice) are visible on the pronotum (the large shield-like area just behind the head) and on the elytra, covering the delicate wings on the back.

It is unlikely, given the body mass of the remaining mammalian aspects of the subject's biology, that the wings will ever enable actual flight. They could play a role in heat exchange for the rest of the structure, however.

Note abdominal segmentation already beginning to occur in photograph #33.

Melon Seawater
- 5/17/2018 9:00am

Stashed in the Compost Kids’ secret room in the archives I found checkout records from the Tool Library. Things still weren’t computerized back then, so it’s all paper cards names and due dates. There’s a lot of activity for one particular tool—the Jiffy Whacker Hack ‘n Splice—which was a primitive version of CRISPR/Cas9 associated gene editing technology.

The Jiffy Whacker Hack ‘n Splice checkout cards are neatly paper-clipped in a manila folder with checkout cards from the Gene Library, and includes cards for marmot, tree snail, bumblebee, Monarch Butterfly, and frog.

There’s also an envelope of photographs...

Janitor Pete
- 5/16/2018 9:09am

Of course I remember the Compost Kids—I was interviewed for weeks during the investigation, but I didnt know anything more about their disappearance than anyone else. At the time, students were free to use the equipment in the psychic lawn maintenance sheds, and in those days there was a much more freewheeling attitude towards experimentation. If you wanted to graft yourself with grasshopper or bee DNA, well, there weren’t any rules specifically against it. That all came later. But the Compost Kids were the first ones to really get into it, and took it the furthest. I just hope they got to where they were headed.

Juliana Eggplant
- 5/12/2018 5:25pm

I was looking at my best friend's mom’s Psyhigh yearbook and there's a picture of a group of students around a picnic table near the edge of the woods. The picture is black & white, and a little out of focus, and a couple of the kids were moving when it was taken because their faces or arms are blurry. Below is a caption that reads "The Compost Kids, M.R., D.R., D.R.E., M.F.D., K.R.S., W.T.C., P.E., L.D." I took a picture of it and will post it here for you, @Melon Seawater.

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