They call us the new DJs—Dream Jockeys—because we stitch together popular playlists for the masses. I think it lacks imagination to piggyback on the long-gone days of vinyl playing over the airways. But that’s human nature. Always harkening back to something familiar, something easy to romanticize, something less threatening. I guess there are similarities in what DJs did then and what we do now, except rather than trying to insert things into popular culture, we now work to extract them.
Export is the kinder term that our marketing overlords use. Still, modern DJs like myself are in the extraction business. We mine dreams. We dig through countless live-streaming dreams every day and night, weaving together real-time dreams from the thousands of amateur and professional Casters who wear a neuromitter when they sleep. It’s as trippy as it sounds.
And the tech is as scary as it sounds. Neuromitters amplify and broadcast any detectable neural network activity. Even Alice probably wouldn’t have gone down that rabbit hole. But, she’s fictional and we’re not—so, of course, we burrowed down into our nether consciousness. Even though the tech was glitchy as all get-out in the early days, humans being humans, we kept prying this particular Pandora’s box open until today the tech is highly refined, widely reviled, and strictly regulated.
Makes sense. If our last bastion of privacy exists only in our heads, then who’d be willing to part with that. In the pioneering days of thought-casting tech, some folks would try casting a presentation to share a particularly complex or nuanced idea, but it inevitably led to embarrassing moments. I mean, who can really control their fleeting thoughts enough to stave off feeling that they are being asked stupid questions or getting distracted by the attractiveness or unattractiveness of someone near them.
Nobody really wants that level of transparency brought to their thinking.
So, other than in high-profile criminal cases or national security investigations, neuromitting tech cannot be compelled on an unwilling soul. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t those willing to strut their imaginations, especially when your subconscious has the reigns and provides social cover for you. Damn the Ego and Super-Ego, full speed ahead! Our species also tends to give the subconscious a lot of moral leeway, so there’s always built-in plausible deniability for the content of our dreams: just blame that damn Id.
We did and loved it. A prurient pursuit at first, dreamcasts, quickly became booming business. It was embarrassingly inexpensive to produce wilder-than-wild content. Fresh faces, outrageous situations, impossible puzzles. The masses gobbled it up. Dreamcasts were on everywhere. And, to media titans, that meant the content was ultimately going nowhere.
The big streaming services wanted control of the product. So, the smart money watching the dreamcast feeds began to hack the trends and recognize the anomalies—the real talents, the Casters that they could make into stars.
And once they tagged those nascent Casters with a knack for conjuring dreams that mesmerized the masses, they needed us. Dream Jockeys. They needed us to find, curate and cultivate these casting icons.
I got pulled into my current gig after being recruited from a Day Dreamer channel. Let me just say that a Day Dreamer that holds the interest of an outside audience is a rarity. Daydreaming is so individual, plus you have the privacy issues of consciously bringing other individuals into your daydreams and broadcasting their images and voices without their permission. Dreamcasters got around this because of the whole subconscious thing. The legal parallel is intent and control. Kind of like invoking an insanity defense, which based on some of the most popular Caster’s dreams was very much the case.
Day Dreamers have a very refined skill which depends to a remarkable degree on their level of in-the-moment storytelling. Still, daydreaming streaming lacks the freshness, energy and unpredictability of the subconscious. That’s why Casters rule, and why discovering a Caster whose dreams have mass appeal is the grail.
And, I think I’ve found the one true grail. Her name is Lottica. She’s nine years old and her dreams are sublime. They are Beauty. Yes, capital ‘B’ Beauty. And no DJ but me knows about her. A doc I know gave me the lead after Lottica’s mother came in worried about the dreams her daughter would tell her she was having every night. I convinced the doc to have the mother bring Lottica in for some tests to rule out any medical conditions like a brain tumor. I loaned him a neuromitter. During her exam, the doc put Lottica under with the neuromitter and recorded her dreams.
Holy Chrislam! She is the one true dreamer!
Lottica’s dreams will change us all. And probably kill us all. That’s the problem. I’ve found the grail. But one drink from it and we’ll forget everything.
Lottica’s dream vision is perfect. She not only casts dreams, she casts a spell. She creates a world apart. A Beauty that all must seek. No one will want to live in this world anymore. They’ll want to live in Lottica’s heaven.
And there’s only one way to get to heaven.