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William Onyeabor

William Onyeabor studied cinematography in Russia for many years, returning to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a music and film production studio. He recorded a number of hit songs in Nigeria during the 70s, the biggest of which was “Atomic Bomb” in 1978. William has now been crowned a High Chief in Enugu, where he lives today as a successful businessman working on government contracts and running his own flour mill. [LAST.FM]

Douglas Coupland - Player One

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Rachel said, “Rick, when Donald Duck traded his wings for arms, do you think he thought he was trading up or trading down?” 

"Donald Duck? Trading down, obviously. Who wouldn’t want to fly?"

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"Mom, what do you think happens to you after you die?"

"What do you mean?"

"Do you believe in something specific, like a religion, or do you think maybe there’s a warm cosmic flow, followed by the total extinction of your being?"

"Casey, this isn’t something I expected to be discussing on a Tuesday morning."

"On Star Trek: Generations, Soran said, ‘Time is the fire in which we burn.’ Imagine that, Mom, burning inside a fire of time.”

"It’s Tuesday fricking morning, Casey. And you know I’ve got a big day ahead of me. You tell me, what do you think about an afterlife?"

"I don’t know," said Casey. "If I was truly practical and green and into recycling and all of that, I’d request that you put my body into a big pot and then reduce it until it turns into that soup powder they put in your ramen noodles."

"But you’re not practical."

"No I am not. I want to be buried, not cremated. And no coffin. I repeat, no coffin - just put me in the dirt."

"Just dirt? That’s kind of ick."

"Not true. Being soil is a good idea - I’d be moist and granular, like raspberry oatmeal muffins." Casey scraped up the remains of her oatmeal. "Kendra from my twirling class says death is like a spa resort where everything is pre-decided for you and all you have to do is lie back and submit to the regime."

"Kendra sounds a bit lazy to me."

"Kendra is wicked lazy."

"Let’s go. I can drop you off on the way to the airport."

"But you haven’t told me what you think about death!"

"Well Casey, I don’t remember where I was before I was born, so why should I be worried about where I’ll go after I die? When we die, we have no choice but to join every living thing that’s ever existed - and ever will."

"You’re getting cosmic, Mom. Get cosmic more often. But what do you really think of my hair?"

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I think cloning is where it’s probably going to get really fun. Imagine being a lab worker in 2050 and creating a great-great-great-grandchild during a coffee break. Or blackmailers holding your hairbrushes hostage, something like, “Give us your money or we’ll make ten of you - and then kill them all.” Or maybe captains of industry rewriting their wills, deeding everything to themselves down the line, forever and always. And imagine being born and getting an owner’s manual written by the previous versions of you - like the manual that comes with a 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. 

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"But now is different. You know what I wanted?"

"What do you mean, ‘What I wanted’?"

"To do before I die."

"Max, you don’t need to think that way."

"I wanted to get shot."

"You what?”

"I wanted to get shot. And survive. And what I wanted to do after getting shot was to get my driver’s licence and then buy a car, a real wreck from the 1990s, and shoot some holes in its side, because that would be the coolest thing you could ever have on a car. You’d be instantly cooler than if you had a Mustang or Lamborghini."

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A TV commercial showed a reindeer, so Luke brought up the subject of reindeer and Rachel thought she handled it very well. Then came the subject of religion, and she thought she held her own there, too. There was a conversational lull after Luke said something about sparrows, during which Rachel looked around the bar. 

Luke then asked her what ideas she’d had that day, a question that seemed, even to Rachel, slightly out of the blue. Perhaps this was what she had read was called “foreplay.”

"Is that a foreplay question, Luke?"

Luke smiled and almost made a laughing noise, but pulled back, which came as a relief. “Nope. Not foreplay. Our church is losing younger members, so they give us brochures on how to connect with young men and women. This one brochure told me that women love being asked that question, but they never get asked it. So I asked it.”  

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