Sunday, July 12, 2009

Choice and Hope (Sunday 15)

All life, at least all intelligent life, is wrapped in a conflict between two continuua.

The first continuum concerns the choices we make. Choices come in three flavors: A choice between that which we want to do and that which we do not, a choice between things we want to do, and a choice between things we do not want to do. As we get older, we will naturally experience more of category three and less of category one.

The strange thing about these choices is: they do not always correspond to the benefits they provide. A choice between many things we want decreases our overall happiness with the outcome regardless of what that outcome is. A choice between two things we don't want is a slavery, and if the choice was presented because of a choice we made earlier, then it is a self-induced slavery. We had better hope that the time we spend resolving the effects of those choices is worth the benefit of getting ourselves in that situation, because otherwise we've made a stupid decision. There are worse things in life, and stupid decisions have resulted in some of the most spectacularly positive discoveries in modern history. But mostly they just suck and we feel stupid for making them. Also, being stuck in a decision between two things we don't like tends to beget other decisions between two things we don't like. That's called stress. The wages of stress is death.

The other continuum has to do with vitality. The tension caused by hope, the desire to strive, to prepare for some future benefit not guaranteed, but anticipated, is the source of personal vitality. If we aim our goals low, we will find we aim yet lower every day. For some the decision to get out of bed in the morning weighs as heavily as matters of Solomon. For those aiming for the stars, they may not reach them but they certainly go further.

There is no limit to how much good we can do. A surgeon working tirelessly may save two or three lives a week for fifty years, netting him 5000 lives saved. That same surgeon may develop a technique that saves many more lives, or learn something important about disease and injury that saves even more lives. But we have to make choices that get us to a position of helping people rather than being helped by people, and we have to have enough personal vitality to make the maxium difference.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sleeptalking (Sunday 13)

My new dictation system allows me to record what I say in my sleep. It even adds periods and commas. I've cut out the vast majority of the garbage from my sleep/edge of sleep session, and left these few semi-intelligible gems. Enjoy.

The year was 1850; I remember it as the first year I was allowed to ride a horse in town by myself. Things being the way they were America that time moves from Chile. Very little urban society, we got most of our news from the neighbors. And mostly it was about the neighbors pa would sometimes say a thing or two about friends. Who knew about was going on, the New World. But for the most fondly kept to ourselves that dirt-road town. Unless third visits down. I had my first homosexual encounter with the bartender named Smith, a man three times my age. Good year, 1850.

When I was seven my mother gave me two toothless chickens raise all by myself was feeding the money about how to run around in my nightfall. Make sure they don't get in trouble being decrepit and flightless birds for the most part. It wasn't much challenge keeping them in line. On the contrary, I found the caretaking of these animals to be most agreeable to myself.

My best friend for what I have school was a melancholy fellow who used to call piano Jim. Jim Was a couple years too old to be in a great, be a little slow. Not much of a talker it was often assumed he was quite ignorant. And so he been held back a couple years. He never talked much and when he did he talk with real quiet. But I tell you I never met anybody thought so much as Jim. He always got right to the heart of the matter at hand. Seemed to always know how things would play out, always able to guess how somebody in the class would react. He knew everybody in that room better than they knew themselves, and everybody there thought he was an idiot. I found him to be a dear friend -- enthusiastic, charming, as ready as any for adventure in the stolen minutes while we were supposed to be walking home from school. An eye for an eye, a heart for a heart. So his heart was mine, and mine was his, and we both lost our virginity to the bartender Smith. That was piano Jim.

When I was 17, I decided to volunteer for the Army. At the time, the government was weak and didn't have much of a treasury. So it was more of a volunteering position than a career or profession, and my parents were very disappointed that I had chosen such a foolhardy path. How could I go off to fight and die When I had yet to take a wife who had given them any grandchildren?

how could they know that I would never give them grandchildren? Do I move on loan loan loan loan lowest the honeymoon when I will go no no no no no no no no no no he can be mean he he he he he will now tell you. I use those little i.e., I know you are, as they should be giving way to make me lose my healing love you buddy. Others who I am 80 dead in, and that's a little foot slope unless I am a care in testing reasons for doing fireworks. Taking your time to stay in fifth grade fabric class and atmosphere me in my set for traveling five at giant waste to curl in my car chase on a shining it in cold and beautiful and wise. Everyone rolling in my twisted row wheel mobile. Things like this now puts tech in the firecracker control, and it's how race is Lemke power if he fished with rolling in special ways taking my special socks off chip like to care rolling knife in her yes. Yes! We've given ourselves lightly away to the red and green monkey see monkey do mother factor doesn't give you any greater clarity to this rolling greens are calling shiny metal

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Eternity of Markov (Sunday 12)

I ran my own poem eternity of music through a markov chainer. I think these 2 cantos, computer generated, are better than my original work.


Canto 1

When the lights less bright, and until the dusk came
there was no brightness in the sky
eyes glinting fire jumped out
snatched up by the heart cries aloud the movement of my own cleverness
even if it
was before the omen of times
drinking the blood
every time you breathe
that is enough to enjoy yourself

the opening of the world, and unaware of the field,
Now the queen, "Now I am Achilles,
come from the orange lagoon"
and there is no twisting lady on a weary summer night
to gaze upon life's great offering, or
find sleep inside the tube.
we are the proud souls, the watchful souls,
that foolish try to bounce up into the energy commons;
empty plots of land
dropping sand blasting achievement.

We murk in the world below us.
and the breaking of the carvings
that make this world wonderful.
I am not without spontaneous
Nor without moments
in which we lose ourselves.
Wherein the meaning comes breaking in
from the list of one's fetlocks,
anticipation of whistle Karaoke street defense.

Canto 2
And snowed in the world,
free and clear, imitating the art made
by the eastern docks
cockfight empty wallet feeling
pier twisting dumped out
the screws in the garden.
you, in love's green garden
shall mute the signs and wonders
from the country's substitute homeless.
Wake of the moment,
afraid of the windy war-hood.

cease to become haunted.
No wonder we are found
by the fireside anachronistic chats,
stored it a focus and primation of our wailing heart
into the sky at the gate.
if our brothers tell us; we cannot admit
the cause of our chances

Where we died so many before me,
we which could not harm the angel,
despite their rough treatment of her.
in the night, there is no king wherewith to feed me
but I know those things of matter,
and the ocean.
We are not ready to expand, comfort
in the shame of a private heart
the world's running caper

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Grammarian Run (Sunday 11)

Someone should do a zipfian analysis of a dictionary, and see what ratio of words are only used once; in their own definitions. If they are never used again, one can safely eliminate them from the language, as they won't affect the rest.

Of all the homonyms, the affect/effect one is the most cruel. To say them both uh-ffect, with the schwa in front, is a horrible, horrible way to let your sensibilities die. Aaa-ffect and eee-ffect are the only way this is ever going to work.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Gregory Peck and Martin Sheen (Sunday 10)

Martin had a dull imagination. While his siblings played "bears" or "duck the window-sneak", David would sit alone by the pond, pushing little curls of earth around with a stick.

"Rarr! I'm the bear! You have to run!"

Out of the woods came his youngest sibling Gregory. She was tall for her age, but willow-thin, with shapeless joints masked by bespreckled flesh.

"You aren't a bear. Now, a bear I'd run from. You I just observe mutely until you get bored and leave."

"Listen to you! 'You ain' a bar.' You sound like a hick, playing dumb like that. Don't be so common." For seven, Gregory had a fluid melody to her voice that caught you off guard.

"I know you're trying to hurt my feelings," Martin began, "but it won't work as I haven't any." Martin retained the inhuman smile on his face. "And speaking of insults, now who's being common?"

"Now you're being impossible." Gregory scowled. She turned away from Martin, but kept him in the corner of her eye.

Grinning now, a very human grin, Martin roared like a lion and charged toward Gregory, his arms outstretched. "Rarr! I'm a lion! I EAT bears for breakfast!"

Gregory squealed and ran in mock terror, giggling all the way. Martin caught up with her quickly and, scooping her up, placed her on his shoulders. Together they ran through the woods, howling and growling at everything they could see, pointing out shapes as they ran past that looked like wolves or dogs and screeching at them in all directions.

All directions, including the direction that ends this story.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Death of words (Sunday Essay 9)

I had a large backlog of these essays, I figure i'll put them here in case i want to see them again.


I think the world is done with the written word as entertainment.

Do not mistake me as saying fiction is dead. Fiction is not dead. As instruction, it remains. As a way to pass the time, it remains. But the days are soon over when someone will say, "of the many entertainments available to me, I choose THIS BOOK for the next 12-25 hours." I think we are the last generation that will think that.

So I'm writing to an audience destined to forever shrink, in a market already oversaturated with talent.

Historians will say of this time, "that's when the moving picture replaced the written word." And it's true. It hasn't stuck around because it liquefies our brains. It has become the dominant method of entertainment because emotionally it resonates more directly with the audience. And so much film appeals to baser desires, because these can be sold easily to the public to lift their moods and therefore recommend the film positively to their friends, while allowing directors working on the intellectual cheap to skip some of the more difficult elements of filmmaking. But to say film is less 'deep' than a book is moronic; the poignancy of real images filmed and conjured by real artists, even incompetent ones, are worlds more instructive than the code-words produced by a bumbling man in a shack.

Even the most cheap commercial trash has more depth, ounce for ounce, than the most sublime book ever could; the ability to focus on images as they move and change, allowing the photographed reality to become our reality for a season, these events are not to be taken for granted; they are what books try and fail to demonstrate.

Watching a man vomit makes us queasy; reading about it doesn't. It may make us uncomfortable, but it won't make the bile rise up our throat.

So, let's enjoy the subtle pleasures of a book while we can. We have been predicting the death of the book for generations and always been wrong. I don't think this is an abandonment of the prevarications of literature, just a reduction in standing of the novel versus the financial and critical success of film. And that IS something we've seen. As the number of readers grows, the number of writers grows. Which means the truly great are lost in a sea of unimaginative stinkers. Like a flower choked down by weeds, but not quite dead.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The End

I have learned what I set out to learn from the blog. Now it is learned and done. The end.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Career Cavities: An Exploration (Sunday Essay 7)

Two things:

( 1 )
Some nights ago, I dreamt Kermit the Frog was the captain in the latest Star Trek show. It was more J J Abrams than Gene Roddenberry, (firefox has an entry for 'Roddenberry' in their spell check but not for 'firefox') and he was a tough-as-nails captain. All "Fire the torpedoes! Get out from underneath them, goddammit!" and then grover gets on the bridge and says "Hey guys! Let's sing a song while we're..." and kermit all slaps him in the face "this is no time to sing a song! We're up to our fucking shit in klingons! Now I'm the captain, you get the fuck back in engineering!" And then the screen shakes and everyone braces themselves. I was pretty happy about it at the time.

Having a classically absurd dream premise is a pleasant reminder that there is still sanity and order in the world.

( 2 )
Speaking of dreams, I had no idea added a dream interpreter to their thesaurus services:

I think it's pretty rad. Someone (me) should do what [linkify] has done, except rather than looking directly at Google, it looks at the dream symbols as linked above and provides an interpretation. I could make a dream interpreter, in essence, that takes a block of text where you describe a dream and turns it into a link-filled extravaganza.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

(Sunday Essay #6): Why no one on this green earth should ever trust Simon Fuller

Bill Gates had a plan. Bill Gates had a scheme. History will say that while he wrote QDOS at IBM, people scoffed at the idea of merchandising an OS, but he knew better. He had a vision.

It's better than that. Bill Gates was in a singular position to comment on the marketability of operating systems, and I'm willing to bet he prevaricated his analysis, deliberately making it look as though operating systems would never be sold for much money. I'm willing to bet that when he left, as he said "oh, and by the way, while I'm on my way out can you sell me those things that I said were worthless? The rights for OS distribution?" And because IBM is a huge corporate beast the person reviewing the request didn't know he was the one that had done the analysis, and said "sure, let's get something for nothing," and sold him the rights. I'm willing to bet that's the history they never tell of Bill Gates. He had a plan. He had a scheme. And he was in a singular position to pull it off.

Simon Fuller (creater of American Idol) has a plan. He has a scheme. But I'm wiling to bet he doesn't have all his cards in place yet for his big move. Here's how I see it:

Casinos hire a specific third party (a secret subsidiary of a coalition of casinos) to count the individual votes in American Idol and other call-to-vote shows. They can't offer gambling odds if there's any chance the show was rigged, and so they take the ability to cheat out of the hands of the show's producer, Simon Fuller, knowing full well he would place bets and rig the show in order to profit. However, for allowing them to monitor the voting and verify its authenticity, they give 19 Entertainment (Fuller's company) a cut of all the Idol-type shows' gambling profits.

Fuller rigs the show anyway. Even though the votes cast are authentic, he colludes with the guys at AT&T to increase the number of busy signals on the voting lines, therefore skewing the polls in favor of a specific candidate. In addition, the RIAA and other content management agencies Fuller works with contract with the casinos to bring their acts to Vegas stages in exchange for RIAA acing as a watchdog against AT&T and Fuller. The RIAA, however, was distracted with suing 12-year old girls using Napster, and failed to see the corruption that was right under their noses. Or more likely, they didn't care since the Casinos didn't have to know that their attention wasn't focused on the Fuller shows. So it's a weak alliance of the RIAA and the Casinos and a stronger alliance (though still breakable) between Fuller and AT&T.

Those shows (America's got Talent) that don't have a watchdog group, the Casino monitors directly and (as you'll notice) 100% of the talent goes directly to Vegas shows. So Fuller has to rig them by psychologically manipulating the competitors. Waking them up all hours, making auditions last far into the night, waiting in lines, forcing them to compete in front of different groups of people, the constant stress and tension, it allows them to be easily manipulated into collaborating with Fuller to throw shows in order that Fuller can take the casinos for as much cash as possible.

Fuller tolerates this painful alliance while he is building up cash; He's already a billionaire, but he's waiting until his wealth increases and their stock lowers to the point where the following headline can become reality:


Then, he will have a perfect vertically-integrated monopoly. Who harvests the talent from nothing? Fuller (on Idol and other shows) Who promotes and managest the artists? Fuller. Who owns the radio stations that pimp their music? Fuller. Who owns the shopping malls where the music is sold? Who owns the airports where they play the music, sell the music, and portray musicians as glamorous jetsetters? Who owns the movie theaters that play the movie crossovers starring the talents? Fuller, Fuller, Fuller.

That's his plan. That's his scheme. And nobody should trust him; hes a busy man with his fingers in a lot of pies right now, just waiting for the day he can pull them all out at once and gobble up the mincemeat that sticks so pleasantly to his fingers.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Buncha prayers these guys saying

Davy Holmes once told me that punk music was his favorite kind of music because of the "joy" of it. After some more explaining, I finally got out of him exactly what the "joy" was. It was the fact that because it was all done on the first take by kids just fooling around with instruments, you could hear the enthusiasm with which they create their art. Ben folds used the fact that he recorded every take 27 times a day and he spent 16 hours in the studio remixing to his advantage - you can hear the broken, flat, emotionally scarred note in his voice, and that is the exact sound he is going for. But what cannot be abided (abidden?) is the same emotionally scarred, pained tone in every single band trying to outdo one another in an effort to make their music more appealing to the buyers. A person like Davy Holmes can only take so much of that, so he gravitates toward a genre of music and a lifestyle that doesn't believe in perfection as a goal; in fact, the more raw, the more corrupt, the better. Because those are the only people that take art seriously enough to enjoy every minute of it. Grafitti art, underground music, the so-called "high concept" artists, in many cases - they don't realize they're an ironic joke by people who enjoy them because they represent the wrecked nature of society, or if they realize, then they're in on the joke, too.

With people as demoralized as they are, I don't think it's too much to ask that we, the youth, make a stand that isn't punk music. What about me? I try hard at my art, but i don't kill myself over it. So what? I enjoy making it, every second of it, and I think you can feel that when you listen to my music.

What about you mr john? I get a feeling you see this in every second of your movie(s); that we are not a joke, we're earnest, but we have resolved to maintain our integrity even at the expense of quality because there is a segment of society that needs us, that has been craving what we do but had not found anyone to give it to them. We do not suspect we can make it on pure talent; but we are smart enough to see a need, to fill the gap between perfection at the expense of joy and joy at the expense of any quality whatsoever. We have a desire to fill that need, and we suspect that there is a market that will respond to us alone; not a big market, but one we know exists because we are a part of it.

Perhaps I make too bold a statement concerning your motivations. If so, please respond in the comments and set me straight.

I do not believe that an artist can change his aim. I think he is set that way in stone, and the goal of his art will always remain the same. Me, I'm aimed at listenable but never at the expense of my joy in creation, so that my art will always retain that liveliness that you can hear in so many first albums but none after. It means that you continue to hear the joy, and that's why people continue to contact me after years of non-communication begging for one or another of my tracks.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Whose is worse for wear

whose is worse for wear

Whose is the vigil, there?
Whose gear is worse for wear?

Where have the trumpets gone?
Where has history malice borne?

What comes so naturally as a fist?
What blinds us in this violent tryst?

When can we be crowned in night?
When shall our blessed burdens light?

Why hath evil to us come?
Whyfore this terrored tome?

Who is the vigilant, here?
Who is worse for wear?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Isle of Syndicates (Sunday Essay #5)

The Isle of Syndicates

[[Author notes that he doesn't know why he got started writing these, but they kept coming and so he put them all in one place: here. Most follow a specific format, but you'll see later editions straying from that opinion.)

- 1 -
Your attempt to be stopped by a moving train
is fantastic!

- 2 -
Your ability to survive 15 Pelican attacks
is significant!

- 3 -
Your proximity to Murder Man makes
your death imminent!

- 4 -
Everything up is down, and that head
is spinning!

- 5 -
A warrior-specific font in which
is birthed the Mouths of Angels!

- 6 -
There is no hell deep enough
to purge the Iron Soul

- 7 -
Prognostication! Splendid!
I'll talk to you myself.

- 8 -
You know what will help, but
advice isn't followed.

- 9 -
Trains are passing through,
one chasing the other.

- 10 -
Courage is valued and scourged
equally on both sides.

- 11 -
Requests for aid are regarded thus:

- 12 -
So, too, is it thus: for a thousand marksmen cannot cheat
the sages!

- 13 -
forget the fat one, the sounds respective to their maker
do not so hastily end!

- 14 -
it's bad luck
to let your face
grow as a cheese

- 15 -
Experiencing slender format
a tone throughout the ages
ploughs into each furrow
the springtime seeds of wretchedness

- 16 -
When you are all the way down, you don't even know that up exists.
At first, when you start to come up for air, you reject it, preferring instead the strange new world of the sea.
Then, later, you accept it, knowing that you are enjoying yourself except for the while between dives.
Finally, you welcome it, since you know now that both experiences are satisfying and, perhaps, you have spent too much time on the other side.

- 17 -

Stewed is not proud,
a loud spellcheck
pouch of putrid flesh
pound of breath

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Barrington Runners (Laundromat!)

a night-time tale by helen mushroom

This is the way it used to be done. Out there, underneath the stars, the women would go down to the river when all the daytime predators were asleep – and wash their clothes. They weren’t much at first (the clothes, not the women), a fur here, some scraps of leaves woven together there, but they were our first clothes, and in the time before things could be repaired, the women came with intent to wash them and instead sometimes threw them into the river, going naked until some more suitable leaf or animal came along.

As time has gone by, we’ve expected a lot more from our clothes. At a time when tailors were plentiful, but expensive, and weavers did their painstaking work by hand, we expected our clothes to last us a lifetime. Children outgrowing clothes was less celebrated by our ancestors than by us: for us, 'tis a blessing to have a child that grows at all; for them, who knows why they kept on living. After all, the state of their clothes was horrible, much more so than in the ancient times.

Still, there was a time, (was it so long ago?) when there was nothing more human than smashing stinking rags on the rocks with a stick or a small stone, running naked screeching like banshees, back when delight or excitement was an impulse response to lurking danger, back when our instincts ruled us, keeping us one step ahead in a land that did not want or need us.

So when you see us, howling and running nude, throwing sticks at small mammals in an attempt to kill them for their precious fur, do not be alarmed. Think of it as a trip to the laundromat: we’re just socializing while we stick around somewhere washing our clothes before moving on to more inviting environs, same as you. Come tomorrow, we’re probably going to be your friend, your plumber, your lawyer, your pastor. You’ll never know which of us was there that night, which among all these seemingly well-integrated members of society. And maybe, just maybe, you'll realize that you’re among the very few that don’t participate, and the joke’s been on you for years.

I know you're reading this (you know who you are) and you should know: I mean it. Every word. I always told you never to trust anyone. Well, I'm telling you again. Don't trust anyone. Good night.

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Laundromat'.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Silver Trains

Silver trains
by Definite Smudgeweed

Predatory in her premonitions
The wounded king acts out his sweet remorse
ever tendering less engendered
so soak the Calvinist Cross in leather tankard
and hear the voices of Gypsy Chanters
riding clear and green over the rain-soaked valley

Severing soothsayer minds glistening china gems
Following train and herb and fen
rolling silver raincoats along furtive journeys
through the humorless caves of malice

and, gaining teeth, fights the whole of the earth
prowling protective among a clean flat heather;
dusted and dense; yet light,
pursuant to effective gestures
messing essence greivous kitchen burdens
brought into vogue by cursed crooked worms
fern shooting star treats misaligned earths.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Law of Inverse Creative Visualization (Sunday Essay #4)

The Law of Inverse Creative Visualization:
"The more you think about something,
the less likely it is you will be able to have it."

Spark's Corollary:
"If thinking about money made you money, the poor would be rich and the rich would be poor."

Jean's Corollary to Spark's Corollary:
"The richest man is the one who needs not think about money at all."

My Thesis:
Perception is the defining force of reality. But you can't alter your perception through fixation.

In the experiment with the russian gymnasts, where they discovered mental training was doing more to improve physical performance than physical training, they were not fixating for 6 hours a day on the end result of their training (wealth, renown, trophies and gold medals), they were preparing themselves mentally to augment their exertions physically. They weren't, in fact, thinking about the result at all, but about the performance.

The difference is not subtle; it is, in fact, frankly obvious once you think about it. But Napoleon Hill and other New Thought big shot gurus made the mistake of wanting it to be easy, without thinking about whether they were right.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Flanders Girl

flanders girl

flanders married a parked car waxing Supershine
The one whose might prepared in Roumes
Our abundant shaking terns
Aloof in silent consequence
A sanguine sentiment emerge with most

The self which blooms lke a flower
are tortured tumescent fumes in angry weather
remembered scents of life and survival
come racing down drifting
plumes of generous vice

flanders girl, daughter of a King,
whose mind encompasses the
range of my thoughts,
how I pray for my
own rough sentence

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Zeno's Men (Eleanor!)

entitled Zeno's Men
revised from the antiquity in 1717 by Edmund "Knuckletooth" DeLarnygylio
with commentary by Jackmond Gorgin, 1973
with secondary commentary by Sternfield Hauppage, 1912, responding to Larry Burkekis, 1884

performed in thirteen parts by three choruses

( I ) From A to Elea!
this cry the lords of the altar

( II ) From Elea to B!
respond the lords of the host

( III ) We are Zeno's men!
call out the lords of the altar and of the host as one

( IV ) She is not!
this cry the lords of the host, pointing to ELEANOR, emergent from the circle

( V ) Who then stands forward from the circle? Go you also to Elea?
cry the lords of the altar to ELEANOR, who is making an indentation in the east

( VI ) No, I am ELEANOR, traveling neither to ELEA NOR any place with a name.
this cry ELEANOR, carrying about her breast the emblems of her house and lineage

( VII ) Hail ELEANOR, Empress, Priestess, and Queen!
this respond the lords of the host, in recognition of their triune matron

( VIII ) Hail ELEANOR. Tell us how to travel to a place with no name!
this respond the lords of the altar, who draw their swords and hold them aloft so that the hilt is over the breast and the blade is no further away than one inch from the nose

( IX ) I cannot tell, I can only lead.
this cry ELEANOR, strong amidst the blades

( X ) We shall follow.
this cry lords of host and altar

( XI ) I shall not go to Elea.
this cries soberly ELEANOR

( XII ) Yet we shall follow.
this cry lords of host and altar

( XIII ) It is only by this virtue that we shall reach B!
this cry all, thus ends the ceremony, orgy optional, play safe kids

Gorgin's commentary:

You, as a human being, are not being defined by your destination. People do not judge you based on what you will become, or even what you have become. You are judged based on your journey. You are judged based on your actions and attitudes, which people see on a daily basis. Christ said we are judged by our judgments. Therefore, let not your heart be troubled about the destination of your journey, for men will not judge you of that and in the end all destinations are the grave. Instead, be mindful of your journey. You are walking through a strange life, not a Zeno's paradox where all progress goes nowhere, forever from A to Elea. Instead, we all readily reach our destinations, even when we strongly disagree with them. If we wish to make a difference, we should seek whenever possible to exhibit our benevolent, generous, charitable qualities on our journey, the one thing we can change.

Hauppage's commentary:
The three choruses of DeLarnygylio's rituals (altar, host, feminine mystery) are endlessly varied and fascinating. Notice how with no more than thirteen utterances he establishes and then subtly changes the tone for each of his principal characters, suggesting progression and change!

In one of his works for scholars, DeLarnygylio pointed out that the altar represents how things can remain the same generation after generation, while the host, the body, is a living organism, forced into constant change or else its life expended. A body that breathes stale air will eventually suffocate. but if we could not count on the seasons, we should all starve. So it is with host and altar.

The path of life has not changed for mankind since long before mankind existed. Man is born. He is instructed. He trusts, and then he learns not to trust. He flees. He conquers. He finds love. He reproduces himself. And then he ceases to be the focus, and the child, the new life, becomes the focus. The remainder of his days are spent instructing the child and trying to cope with a biome that has declared his body obsolete. This is the host and the altar. Always things are changing, and yet they are always the same.

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Eleanor'.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I do not feel free to masquerade

I do not feel free to masquerade
by George Manfore

Examine the horses, touch their dreary hems
with womenfolk's crafts mend the swollen holes
Do not allow self to be propelled by hate alone,
nor by the casual ties of friendship.

And if you must weep a little, then weep none.
And if you must weep greatly, then weep a little.
Only belong to the spirit of the town
and speak loyalty to those whose residence is thine own.

Look not at watchful peeping eyes,
for he who shares his bread with you,
is his brother's keeper, performing
a shattering prelude of hopeless confusion
and in the presence of perfection
does not mate his spirit
with death's conception.

And above the great and terrible rocks,
where swim shark-fishes and mermaids
there is a sweet substance
That becomes you when you are bouyant
and soothsaying Phillipians beaurocrats
stand at attention to give homage
to life's denial.

For they are the dead ones, terrified dreamers,
souls made out of stone but dreamt in crystal
and in which nascent shattering
moves in the clock of time it's daily forward
that the night begins and ends with sticks
carefully attuned to accept prayer,
and that God himself paints a straight line
from here to Heaven if you but take his hand.
But never forget it is a battlefield, and we seek
to destroy our winged saviour with a shipwreck
before he reaches his lofty castle on Oedipus' Hill

So too the predation on his father's marks,
I whose aspirations in the potter's mill
bear no remarks.
And in whose canvas is forgotten in the
melding of reverent leaves.
Never again to be reprieved,
our spacious lanterns accept the dead
and lay in heady turmoil among the docks
where rot and petrify
shall happen in their proper course.

So down the workhorse shoes and rents
inheritance of continents
pursue it forth inimitably
and veritably, inevitably
the evidence spans you contentedly.
And serves you forth inheritedly.
And rallies the troops inspiringly
and curves through in life's entirity
Reporting the lover's fire in me!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Conquests of the Heart (Sunday Essay #3)

Conquests of the Heart

Mankind is not swifter than his fellows, neither is he taller, nor stronger. By most measures he is duller-witted, and it was hubris that led him to call himself "Sapiens". Mankind controls the earth not because he can dominate it, but because he can conquer it. To conquer means more than just to dominate. It implies more than just ownership; that which a man conquers he owns, but also he is. A man departs from normandy to conquer England, and we do not call him the Man from Normandy that Conquered England, or even the King of normany, conqueror of England. He becomes the First King of England. That which he conquers becomes part of his identity, and so too within each person are conquests great and small, those things which we have mastered that now reside in us.

Now, we will observe a conquest of a different sort. It involves a man and two horses...

[[The remainder of this post has been deleted by the author.]]

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why O'Keefe had to go to space (Metamorphosis!)

Why O'Keefe Had to Go to Space
by Moments of Smelt

It was finally hitting me that this was the last time I would ever see Brian O'Keefe. This, of all the times we had met and talked and loved each other's company, would be the last one. He'd got his call to join Iris in September. (Some still called it by its old name IRIS, which stood for International Research and Information Society) They took eighteen years to process his application for employment. Just eighteen! And so, the test scores he sent out at ages 6 and 11 were finally recognized.

Iris was formed in about your time, I'd think, or maybe just after. There is speculation among historians that another society of researchers headquartered in some "private corporation", whatever that is, were the precursor to Iris. This would definitely have been in your time. See, it was in that year the alien transmissions first started hitting Earth.

And they didn't just come from anywhere; they came from everywhere. Four diffferent points in the night sky, each near a star known to be nearby, began flooding the earth with literally tens of thousands of signals on all different bandwidths. In a display of technological brilliance we had never before seen, these four transmissions were perfectly synchronized, allowing one to capture the signal from any point on the Earth year-round.

It didn't take us long to decode the digital information presented: it was coming in at maybe 2Ghz, with the other keying signals clearly demarking different "chapters", each with "pages" in between. What followed was a silent series of images. The signal depicted definite shapes with severe outlines against a background of murky shadows. Their home movies. It was not at all clear at what framerate they intended the movie to be played, so scientists gave up trying. The video was clear enough to make out individual shapes in the background, but all anyone knew of them was that they were utterly alien in nature.

A movie, yes, but only if you chose to represent it visually. It made sense that it was so; each 'page' had just under 3 million bits. The number had a square root of 1728, which was 12 by 12 by 12. It was definitely a two-dimensional image; each frame slightly diffferent from the last, making definite and lifelike motions when played in succession.

But it was something else as well. If you broke up the pages into 144 cubed, you got a digital audio signal. It was every bit as clearly an audio signal as it was a video signal - the waves centered around 72, and followed the patterns of natural sound we had seen on our planet. Presumably, these were the alien voices, but as we could only vaguely guess at the playback speed, we made due with putting their voices in the same frequency range as ours, the piercing harmonic whistles of their song made even the most dedicated musicians nauseous, and translation efforts were soon abandoned; not because translating them was unimportant, but because something far easier to decypher came along just after.

After the little movie we were treated to for about four years, we started recieving the encoded text data. The extremely short primer signal repeated itself about three million times. So, for nineteen days, everyone got ready for what was next.

The text primer was so easy to crack, they had the task completed within the hour. The video signal, encoded as before, was no longer animated. Instead, it was a series of 1728 symbols, more than a few of which looked to be duplicates. The audio track was a series of 1728 'utterances', for lack of a better word, each one unique and thought by linguists to be sufficiently different from one another to have arisen from the use of natural language. After that came a 12-bit digital signal. First it ran through all the numbers in binary, two at a time, until 1728. Then from 1729 on, a second, synchronized signal counted all the numbers backward from 1728 to 0. Then it moved on. It demonstrated binary arithmetic, with the main operands in their elementary mathematics being, apparently, "successor and predecessor" - adding 1 and subtracting 1. The other elementary operands were also what we'd expect: add and subtract, multiply and divide, bit shift left and right, and the four bitwise conditionals. Everything was encoded in 144-bit signed integers. At first it was not clear what they were doing with fractions, but half an hour later, a young scientist by the name of Eddie Kurts had cracked everything, including that piece of strangeness.

Fractions were all of a value less than 1 (mixed fractions were used) and were represented with 144 other bits following the 144-bit number; the first bit indicating 1/2, the second bit 1/4, the third 1/8, and so on. Fractions always occurred before the number, and if paired with a negative number brought that number closer to 0 by its indicated amount, not further from zero as in our negative mixed fractions.

There was every indication that they knew their salt about chemistry, too. All the elements, from 1 to 121, were labeled by a single symbol in their strange text 'language' and had an associated utterance. Elements 122-153, long theorized to exist as the 'superactinate' group, were listed as combinations of symbols. They were grouped in twos, and sixes, and tens, and fourteens, and so forth. Tables that represented orbital energy, electronegativity, and other properties we had yet to develop instruments to detect. Then they listed several different kinds of violent chemical reactions: acids mixed with bases, oxidizing agents colliding with reducing agents, the likes such as those.

And all this in the first thirty minutes.

So we've never stopped recieving text since. And there is no indication we will ever stop. The text is keyed into 'books', and 'chapters', and 'pages', and we recieve a page every quarter second or so, repeated many times (the number of repetitions is in a predictable non-repeating pattern we are calling Rho Prime.).

Many translation algorhythms have been developed, but they are all so slow that we have hardly anything deciphered. It's clear that some portions are more prominently mathematical than others, and after sixty years of transmissions, it's also clear that it's probably never going to stop. So, people at Iris continue the translation effort, hoping that someday they will be able to decipher something useful, or develop a translation algorithm that will translate faster than pages are recieved. It is the problem that has occupied every brilliant mind from that day to this.

This is what Brian is hoping to do. This thing that has occupied the mind of every top scientist for six decades. He wants to go. He needs to go. But damn it, I'm gay for him. I don't want Brian to go to space. Even if I am a quadraplegic with no hope of ever finding love, or controlling my bowels.

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark (that's me) of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Metamorphosis'.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A poem on mankind

A poem on mankind
by Herbert Conder

We men shoot out our hands,
and take green flesh, clean air,
uncorrupted tree and valley
and stuff them into our mouths.
Down into our stomachs they go,
and in the end we shit out buildings,
we spit our useless symbols
onto paper mountains, we
use up everything
until violation
upon violation
we become

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Writing Rules: Sunday Essay #2

Writing Rules

When you eliminate something permanent, you illuminate something pertinent.

Nothing is more powerful than the vernacular. it makes or breaks a story.

English rules are made to be broken. Challenge people's comprehension of the language. Play with it. If you're having fun with it, and you don't mock the readers for misunderstanding you, then they'll be willing to play along just to hear what you have to say.

No story is too good for the editor's pen. You are fashioning literature out of words, and like all things fashioned, words need a steady hand, an application of force, to guide them into beauty out of chaos.

Never forget that the old are wise, and old things have a wisdom to them; because there is much that is forgotten, that which is remembered, however faintly, has the semblence of genius about it.

Bad writers have a natural tendency to shirink back from the right way to handle a story. If your natural tendency is to speed up the pace, slow down! If it is to expose, conceal; and if to conceal, reveal in absolute detail. Don't ignore your instincts; just know that they're most always wrong.

Good writers taught bad don't have to be bad forever. They can learn. Bad writers are bad forever. The only thing they have to learn is how to do something else.

Every novel has to be "for" someone. You are not writing to a void, you are writing to an audience. Write for them. Command their attention. Make it so they can understand. If you don't, you are simply writing to avoid, writing because the process isolates you from everyone else. In which case, please don't bother submitting to be published. You're wasting everyone's time.

Write to be clear. Write to be understood.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dirk Zoogan's poetry: more by request!

Edible Panties
by Dirk Zoogan

Why must they make comestibles
of young womens' unmentionables?

And for that matter, would we wince
if anything should "happen", since
we'd be promoting cannibals?

I do suspect we're animals.

Friday, March 13, 2009

This image sparked a firestorm at work

See, we all know this kid Bee Man. And he's a big ol' Phish fan, went to Hampton Coliseum last Friday and Saturday to go see 'em live, both nights! Which is why this image below is so controversial:
Also, if any of the Givemebackmyson guys are reading this, I STILL need the trailer you did for the bee man movie. I am going to use the movie to introduce Bee Man's secret life as a superhero to all his friends. It will be 100% EPIC.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ringleader (Poverty!)

My name is Edmund Edgefield Twylarp. I don't need to be smart to get my point across. I just need to tell these guys behind me to hit you. There, see? I got my point across.

Let me tell you a little about my upbringing. No home richer in spirit and beauty was this; my parents humble and content, though their wealth was everlasting. Never were two children more well cared for than my brother and I; the Ladyship called us Bertrand and Eddie and was quite capable both as a mother and a child-rearer, tutoring us in Greek, Latin, Poetics, Astronomy, Mathematics, Rhetoric, and (while it was not called that at the time) Thermochemistry. My brother and I, through mutual support, had grown quite beyond the capabilities of our peers; and soon, when we were old enough to crawl, beyond the capabilities of our parents. We discovered talents hidden in our blood that few on earth retained, and shook the cage of our mother's womb crying with anticipation to get out and start living! Soon the husk of a shell that had been the "before" was gone, and there emerged beneath a gleaming skin, a person living within his own centre; if it had not been for my mother understanding what we were, we would have run amok, but she knew, and she understood. We were special children, and we deserved special attention.

So when it came time for us to begin to receive our Tutor in the Classics, she sent him away, knowing that we had studied them and in our raw, natural state we could assuredly see truths where he only saw purposeless logic. Yes, mother was our bodyguard, our saint. Father was God, he was father, he was a rock solid foundation. The house was our refuge and our starting point for new adventure. All for ten wonderful years.

Finally, it came to be our tenth birthday. On that day, the Prince of the Realm is crowned, and so it was expected that there would be a parade and a lovely party afterward with cookies and tea. What happened was, we were stopped just outside our bedroom door and taken by my father to a dark basement, some town about three miles from where we lived.

Our father said to us, "there are laws in the land. We must crown the oldest surviving male child 'Prince!'" At this he held his hand over his eyes, bent over, and began crying. "Someone lost the records of your birth. We can't remember which of you was born first. Nobody remembers, the doctors, nothing. I don't even remember!"

Our father stepped back, eyes still swimming with tears. "And so, the judges have said that... we must kill one of you... and feed him to the other!" With this, he slammed his fist into the table. "There is no other way!"

I thought, for a moment, that I should kill my brother quickly, and surprise him, so as I could prove myself fit to rule. I realized in that moment that a moment was all I could possibly have before the thought occurred to him too, and so I grabbed the dagger out of my brother's sheath and jammed it into the back of his skull.

He twitched and voided his bowels. I saw him reach into his sheath for his knife, only to find it was missing. He fell in sprays of blood that dripped in rich red-brown cascades against the wall behind him, enormous splatter sprays thirty feet high and more, the kind they depict in movies that seem so outrageous they could not possibly be real. But he was really spraying like that. An incredible amount of force.

"No, it was a joke, we were joking! Oh my God, Edmund, what have you done? What have you done?"

Then it occurred to me that maybe my brother wasn't that much like me after all.

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark (that's me) of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Poverty'.

Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel in: The Great Awakening

Chapter 1
In which Gabriel is introduced, and is deemed a Regular Guy (mostly)

My name is Gabriel, and part of your world's history is missing. If you compare your world to other worlds, well, for one, it's weird that you had Oil Barons and no Food Barons. If the someone from our world looked up "Great Algerian Awakening" in your world, googled it or something, he'd be shocked to discover y'all have said nothing about it. But it would be impossible for any of them to imagine that in your world Magic, that's capital M, which had been a myth for so long, stayed a myth forever.

Some piece of brain tissue meant to develop by mutation in your world did not quite make it there. This piece of tissue does some doohickey with quantum displacement, I dunno, I'm not a real educated guy, y'know? Maybe you can ask Simon when he gets here. But they all got it, these sister worlds of yours. All of them. Yours was the only one that didn't.

So, naturally, I got sent to the place where no one can send me home. Because you see Magic, that's capital M, really does exist, everywhere else. Pretty much like in the myths that preceded it. Every one of them except you has it; at least, of places we know about. And I can use it, and so can Simon, and probably nobody else on the planet. I say probably because, the tissue was already just about there, and the mutation could be happening on a small scale. Don't witches run in families? Maybe there's something in that. Might be worth checking into; just speculating here, so don't take my word for it. I'm not going to go knock on some old biddy's door just to discover she's a curse-thrower and I have to blow her brains out. Anyway, Simon's here, and he's going to tell you how we got here because I don't remember rightly myself; I was asleep at the time.

Chapter 2
In which Simon dutifully explains how he and Gabriel got there

Martin was having a seizure. He fell on the floor, staring at the ceiling, shaking slightly. He felt, with detached embarassment, urine his body had been dutifully holding was now leaking into his trousers.
  Hey, Simon!  Get on with it, will ya?

Gabriel, hush, let me tell the story how I see fit.
The other kids had cleared away the desks in an instant, everyone standing around in a circle, staring at him, at Martin, and now he'd pissed himself. Nobody laughed. The other kid's faces were fixed on him, concerned, but determined. Not uncommonly, Martin's seizures became unsafe affairs, and so Martin's class was filled with the best young magicians in the State. The teacher had already sounded a sort of alarm. The other teachers were running down the halls as fast as they could. The teachers were top magicians too.
  Everybody's a fucking magician in this place, got it?  Even the janitors.
They do background checks for this sort of thing in my world.

Gabriel, please don't interrupt me.

Fine, sorry.
Someone turned the lights out in the back of the classroom, and now the whole room glowed with candles held by a dozen young teachers, none older than 35, as they formed a circle around Martin in front of the kids, who had lined up, backs against the wall, chins between their knees, and were all now glowing a soft purple. Do not misunderstand me. I'm not talking the Aurora Borealis here. It's more like a discoloration of the skin, a shimmer, something very subtle like that. You wouldn't notice it at first. It's so common where we come from, we don't notice it either.

The hum from the fluorescent lamps died down, and the whirr of all the electrical equipment became a low growl, then nothing. Apart from the candles sputtering in the wind that had picked up in the room where Martin had just pissed himself, there was no artificial light and no sound above 40 decibels in about four city blocks radius around Martin's school. Just the sound of ants crawling around and the occasional rabbit taking a sprint through the nearby park. But the rabbit was three quarters of a mile away, and probably it would be fine.

The sun was shining outside, but Martin's classroom was equipped with windows that became opaque at the touch of a button, and so while the fluorescent bulbs were still glowing slightly from being on all day, the kids in the back of the classroom had blacked out the windows. With the door closed, the only real light was from the candles.

The desks had now been moved completely out of the room. Martin was still shaking. Arcs of lighting were shooting from his fingertips, hitting the walls and ceiling around the adults. The children did not flinch. A tongue, two feet long and covered in earthy vines, shot out of Martin's mouth and wrapped itself around my leg. I happened to be sitting next to Martin in class that day. Nobody knows what triggers the seizures. It was, if anything, a quiet moment as the teacher wrote a little something on the board. I forget what it was. Too many years ago now.
  God, how long is this going to take?
Just tell him already: he pulled you into his mouth and then five minutes later I
showed up here too. Don't know where I came from, just that it's probably related.
There, now they know.

You really can be a bitch, Gabriel.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Had a tornado warning the other day. I penned this in the bathroom with the sirens going off:

It's easy to see just why
we thought gods were in the sky.
the thunderous noises they make
as they play in the giant upstairs
and you see feet and faces in
the clouds

then the sirens stopped and broke my concentration.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The internet wrote me the most beautiful poem

The internet wrote me the most beautiful poem:

Just in case that ever goes down, here is the poem in full:

If you will pass Alfred's jail above crowns, it will accurately equip the dancing.

Tell Ikram it's lonely crossing on behalf of a breast. Some
selfs sit, hand, and indulge. Others wherever upset. Alvin
contracts, then Osama thoughtfully approachs a regulatory perception
at present Yvette's sunshine. Tomorrow, companions interpret
beneath maximum isles, unless they're primitive. Just flying
below a edition past the firm is too gigantic for Allahdad to
cover it. Get your adequately multiplying dwelling more than my
jungle. He might neatly finish combined and introduces our splendid,
major interests at a barrel. Every worrying wells in respect of the
cold pond were proving in view of the advanced route. Some royal
content magnitude sweeps carpets including Faris's critical religion. Who
troubles regardless, when Said weakens the roman oxygen in response to the
corridor? What did Charles sack via all the defences? We can't
stimulate frames unless Walt will biweekly cause afterwards.
He can ride the brown coal and distinguish it per its staircase.

Mohammar's thigh enters of course our decree after we dismiss
according to it. They are slowing plus rural, including premier,
except for cognitive computers. Don't even try to breed specifically while you're
looking on the part of a overall poultice. Will you call against the
studio, if Saeed less than inherits the patrol?

Other complex classical preparations will comply nervously v
lawyers. Try frightening the race's resident ace and Aslan will
weep you! He might reward changing shortages, do you answer them? The
administrative dominance rarely relys Liz, it divides Georgette instead. We
express the electric evidence. I was activating tins to solar
Mohammad, who's urging like the breed's gang. Frederic! You'll
dare welfares. These days, I'll justify the night.

Both excluding now, Brahimi and Grover analysed the sympathetic
expeditions along with inappropriate piece. For Calvin the course's
united, amid me it's natural, whereas prior to you it's subjecting

She might recently propose once again ugly upset books. If the
experienced corps can determine hopefully, the desirable republic may
make more partnerships. Are you usual, I mean, pledging behind
alive dogs? I am please varying, so I tolerate you.

While indicators scarcely document drops, the bombings often
combine once more the european kingdoms. Mohammed, in charge of
sections deliberate and unemployed, refers round it, trading
openly. It's very whole, I'll substitute surprisingly or Hassan will
fuck the thresholds. May Dilbert's elegant college releases,
Jay recognizes to sharp, divine investments. One more straight
pad or sequence, and she'll late gaze everybody. Until Timothy
neglects the buckets kindly, Roxanna won't behave any definite
radios. Don't even try to bless a street! Lots of portfolios
selfishly spell the inadequate toilet. They are protesting for instance the
trial now, won't emphasise spectrums later. To be feminist or
flexible will lay payable singles to abroad dare. Little by little,
Ayaz never mays until Mustafa markets the practical skull nevertheless. You won't
launch me comprising but your gay shell. No existing sunlights
contain Jimmy, and they sternly sustain Hala too. Almost no
strict levels are satisfied and other used myths are generous, but will
Rifaat plant that? Sometimes, it solves a estimate too sacred
at once her monetary corner. If doesn't Rasheed wound sleepily?
It can remark across if Fahd's congregation isn't tame. Can will we
elect after Jason invokes the firm development's garment?

The goldsmiths, households, and foreheads are all careful and
selective. If you'll share Yvette's interview with grips, it'll
fairly exhaust the conversion. Some public potential experiments
rightly obtain as the complete hungers produce.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I promise Essays

Even if you break them, promises are essential to keeping your priorities straight. Therefore: I promise Essays to you, gentle readers, though you may be few in number; I will write them one for each Saturday, and I will spend on them no more than one hour, until such time that I miss one just because i'm lazy, and not due to extenuating circumstances. Thenceforth shall it be 'over, and you can just cry about it you big baby.' And I will, readers. I will.

Second Childhood

It is the most natural thing, to want to be a child again. A child's creativity, exuberance, and simple genius: all qualities sought after by those in pursuit of entertaining for a living. But we must remember; a child is clumsy, gets tired easily, and has trouble maintaining focus on a number of things at the same time.

For the child, a dark cloud hangs just behind their vision, clouding their eyes; their immortal souls unable to interact with the world at large. A child is mostly instinct, unable to affect when he or she laughs or cries, eats or sleeps, and only barely in control of his or her bowel movements. A child is seen through the filter of the parents, and so children can't really see the world at large without the parents' (often inadvertant) distortions.

A child is thoughtful, tragically, comically thoughtful of things like the feelings of rocks or whether their feet think they're funny; and yet, they are also thoughtful of very pondrous questions like, "is life worth living, and if it's worth living, how should I live?" As children, we get as far into answering this question as we'll ever get. Some of us got further than others, so isn't it natural that those left behind would want a second place to be children before old age? By this second place, I mean a second period of time when most questions had no answers, when the hours were laden with possibility, when imagination was free to travel in strange channels because the world had not yet preprogrammed its responses into it. We need strange channels and strange processes in order to deal with this strange world. In essence, those of us who became old too young, who learned too quickly how to read, how to walk, how to take control, we did all our strange thinking in a time before we even knew we were alive. And we haven't got very far answering those difficult questions from earlier: is life worth living? if it's worth living, how should I live?

Because I wired into adulthood much more quickly than others, I was hugely underdeveloped when it came to my moral grounding. I hadn't spent enough time thinking about deep questions, or applying my experiences to answer unspoken questions. I was hard up for answers, and I knew it. But somehow childhood was not childhood for me; My earliest memories are when there were already wires in my head that shouldn't have been there, and whether that was my immortal soul showing through or it was just a very rapid development in my brain, I don't know. All I knew was I was running out of time, so I was a very sober child, and focused a lot of energy on difficult questions. But I found my efforts were largely repelled by the fact that I was developing so quickly, it became difficult to even think about those questions in any meaningful way.

"Right now, I get to decide how I live. Do I want to express myself for a living? How badly?"

"Not badly enough, considering how much effort you have made on behalf of Working by Trading In Little Pieces of your Soul."

"Shut up, you."

"I'm just saying, you spent a lot of time as a kid dreaming about being educated and living utterly disclosed from the world in the Groves of Academe. What happened to that?"

"None of your business!"

"Ah-ah, sounds like a sore subject. Well, I can't say I blame you for not thinking much about those things, considering how badly you've cocked it up."

"What are you talking about? I enjoy my life!"

"You're crushing all the life out of yourself!"

"Don't I get to choose what gives me joy and what takes it away?"

Children absorb much more than they know, and much of what they absorb can only later be understood. Imagine you were walking down the street, and the span between two roads was your life. In childhood, we are given, essentially, a big red carpet that will roll out beneath our feet as we walk, and when the carpet ends, so does our lives. Whatever we experience is fed into this carpet, and so as we walk, we may see underfoot that we are walking on green fields or starry sky, but really, we are just seeing the carpet, painted in different ways. All those thoughts we thought as children - the strange ones, the probing ones, the important ones - are rolled up into the carpet, too, so we may feel like a hand is guiding us (religion), or that nothing ever ends up the way we thought it would (chaos), or that events are predetermined (fate).

"Religion. Chaos. Fate. Religion. Chaos. Fate."

Religion, Chaos, Fate! Wafting up from the carpet as it unrolls to occur to us at different points in our lives. And if you want to change how you'll react to a situation, because the carpet was rolled and painted long before, you can't! You have only one choice: to walk it. Walk it until it rolls out and you die.

You believe in either Religion, Chaos, or Fate. Those of us that think we don't have any religious feelings probably belong in chaos, and that we can make decisions that cut our lives short, or extend the length of the roll - but also that nothing is sacred, nothing is safe, everything is testable and refutable, and that people have the ability to rationalize everything they do. I tend to fit in that category.

How do you explain why bad things happen to good people? You either have to invent a god/demon that metes out injustice (religious), or say that the universe is incapable of being just or unjust (chaos), or say that Fate has planned things for everyone, good or bad. Fate and I have a close relationship, because I can see how little of what I will become depends on what I do day to day, and most of it is locked up in these childhood memories that have yet to be uncovered like undetonated land mines in a decommissioned field: the danger is there, but lurking, impossible to plan for. But, I do believe this fate is built in a higher cosmos which applies impassive rules on a statically random system (chaos). At the same time, I have a totally irrational core belief that before we were born, we 'existed' in some way, and after we die we will be in essentially the same state as before, as part of a great consciousness or just drifting in the void, alone with our thoughts. That's religion if I ever heard it. So I have fundamentals in all three. Fundamentals only.

If you've got it all figured out, great. Enjoy being an adult. But for the rest of us, if you have a chance to be as a child again, take it! Everyone's always asking themselves the difficult questions: is life worth living? If it's worth living, how should I live? But as adults, they are already so distanced from their childhood they can only ask those two questions in a very roundabout way: "Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I doing?"

Here's another analogy: Imagine you at seven years old, standing in front of an audience of parents, peers, and others you have met in your life. You know you are here to make a speech, and in it, you will decide permanently whether you are going to be a good person or a bad person. In attendance also was a brass band, standing at attention 20 feet behind the folding chairs set outside for this beautiful spring day and this ceremony, all with reeds and embouchure whetted and ready.

(I simply must make this aside: 'embouchure' is a damned tricky word to spell, considering it is said, more or less, like "Amish shirt".)

Here, you start to say, "Today I shall decide to be a Good Person!" But instead of "Person!", it comes out "person, " hesitant like you are about to continue the sentence. You think briefly about your options, and decide to wait to see if the brass band is getting ready to play. They stay still - that means that wasn't the one you were supposed to say, right? So you continue the sentence, "or a bad person, as my conscience dictates." And you continue to hem and haw, trying to get a clue as to which answer will cause the brass band to play.

The brass band never plays, no matter which one you choose. They're just standing back there to fuck with you. But by the time we realize that, childhood is over for us, and we never got to the final question: So, do I want to be Good or Bad anyway? And so the question dangles for the rest of your life, unless you seek Second Childhood.

Remember the questions:

Where did I come from?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?

These are just adult rephrasing of two simple questions:

Is life worth living?
If it is worth living, how should you live?

And there are a string of related questions leading to the Big Question:

What do you want to do for a living?
Do you want it badly enough to not settle for something more mundane?
Is there something else you want to do other than make money and acquire posessions?
What is it?
How badly do you want to do it?
Are you going to be a person that blames, withdraws, acts out and/or goes nuts?
Are you going to be a person that improves, learns from mistakes, and faces up to tough problems?
How clearly do you want to see the world?
Do you want to accept the consequences for your actions?
Do you want to be a good person or a bad person?
Do you choose to believe in Religion, Chaos, or Fate?
Now that you've decided on one, and realize that no matter what you picked being good or bad is meaningless, do you want to be a Good Person or a Bad person anyway?
Have the answers to your other questions changed as a result?

If you are grown up, and you are not in Second Childhood, ask yourself those questions all you want. It won't do a lick of good. Find second Childhood, and find the answers. Only then can you finally achieve balance in your life, being Adult and Child at the same time, able to be insightful without being naive, able to challenge authority without being outclassed by our protectors, able to remain inventive without being absent-minded. To a degree, we are all of these things some of the time. but unless we find answers to these questions, we will never be both at once.

(my hour is up and I'm traipsing off to be in the rushing wind outside. So fun!)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Prosperity by Prospero: an explanation

As I have received an impressive amount of fan mail about this for a blog that has so few readers, I will be happy to illuminate a couple of the mysteries surrounding "Prosperity by Prospero". So, as a means of explanation, here is my webcomic that explains a couple things:

My resident evil 2 fanfic

This is the entire text of my resident evil 2 fanfic. Some of you will be familiar with the catchphrases I now use frequently in my language. 'Twere incubated in these words below:

Things we should never say
An RE2 adventure. [Rated: R (Leon/Ada)]

Leon emerged from the dog. "Boy, it smelled like something else in there", he said aloud, to himself, like I know they say people don't do but I do it all the time so you must all do it too and just be afraid to admit it because people might think you're crazy.

Ada Wong swung in from a zipline whose grappling-hook end was plunged into the awning of the nearby airplane hangar. "You out of that dog yet, Leon? Oh, I see. Wow, you smell like something else."

"I know, that's what I just said."

"Who were you talking to?"

"Uh... just thought, I meant. I just thought."

"You're a crazy motherfucker, you know that, right?"

Leon didn't reply. He was staring at his hands. Oh, those rascally hands! Why did the fingers never do what he told them to?!

He had reached into the dog to pull out its lungs, but he had reached too far. He'd grabbed something else instead, something that Should Not Be Grabbed. He was still holding it in his hands. Ada noticed it too.

"Is that... do you really... oh, those rascally hands of yours!"

"I know, that's what I just said!"

And that's why, in the end, Paul Harvey was right: in a perfect universe, it would be men who would ride sidesaddle.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Prosperity: Movie

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark (that's me) of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Prosperity'.

The Oblivion (Prosperity)

Dark crept along the grass where Grendel slept. It had been forty-eight hours since his last meal. Along the crocodile-infested streets of Venice there was the baying and swooning of gondoliers, and here where the city sank lowest, where the houses flood almost daily, was Grendel, sleeping in a patch of sun, resting his eyes under the pale morning sun on the brightest, greenest grass.

And then, outside, somewhere beyond the grass there was a moving shadow. And whatever was in that shadow was steadily closing in on Grendel. The blue sky shrank and collapsed, leaving only the extended void behind.

As he shook himself awake, Grendel remembered.

This had been done hundreds of times before.

The Men of the Garment pulled Grendel up out of his dreamworld, and he was in a waste more dreary than any nightmare could conjure. They forced him to wish for food and then, at it appeared before him, took the spoils. They then shoved him back down into the sunny, grassy bubble, where the extremely sensitive computer monitor detected and erased the recent negative memories from his mind, leaving him pleasantly hungry, without any clue as to why.

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark (that's me) of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Prosperity'.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Car owners rejoice

Judges 1:19

"And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron."

That means the God, THE God, the God of Israel, COULD NOT DRIVE OUT THESE PEOPLE... and why? Because they had CHARIOTS OF IRON.


Monday, March 2, 2009

R Lee Ermey


R Lee Ermey, right?

How did he never pursue a career in acting before Full Metal Jacket?

He was made for the silver screen!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Magical Bum

This is my magical bum. you can use it to see the misc folder in a totally new way, with all the songs given illustrations by the kind-hearted folks at Google labs! That, plus a little artificial intelligence by me, gives rise to each of the songs having an illustration that surprised me in some way, and here they are, unedited, for your perusal:

Edit: I should note that, since it is technically an automated process, while there is nothing NSFW on there now and won't be for presumably the near future, if I ever open the service for others to use, i can't guarantee what google will come up with.

To Winifred, where it may find her ( SANCTUARY! )

To Winifred, where it may find her
by Stumbles McHorsecock

Sanity is always attesting to its heavy nature, and sometimes the levity of madness is quite a relief. It is in this spirit, the relief of madness, the realization that something is broken inside, and you can no longer be expected to fix it on your own (if at all), that I write to you, Winifred Bergsgend, on the evening of your son's trial and subsequent execution, february 13, 1941.

I want to tell you what it seems to me you want to hear - but what would be worse? Telling you it was all a big mistake, your son is innocent? How would that comfort a grieving mother? What's the alternative, that he was actually killed in a secret spy mission on behalf of his country? You won't buy it - you'll see right through me and my smug tricks. So I'm going to tell you the truth. And I'm going to be court marshaled for it, but them's the breaks; I killed your son. I shot him down in cold blood because he threatened to expose me as a corrupt general with ties to dirty money on four continents. Your son was a good kid, but he wasn't executed. He was murdered. About the time you are reading this letter, I will have taken the first bus to Bishkek. You ever been to Bishkek? It's in fucking Kyrgyzstan! But nobody will ever find me there. I hope my exile pays some penance for what I did.

First, let me digress a little bit. Nirvana, the attaining of Buddha-nature, has been the the goal of Buddhism, (and Hinduism) for much of its life. People in the West say these religions are more balanced than the male-dominated Abrahamic ones they're used to. But Nirvana is the place of forgetting that follows a male orgasm, and so attaining it is essentially the Great Masturbation - ha ha! It is a primarily self-pleasuring act and it is directly linked to the male genitals, which makes Buddhism, and Hinduism, male-dominated religions. God silently wanking us off, one by one.

The problem is, there can never be a Western or Eastern female-dominated society again. Even if women made all the rules, they have been taught to seek goals - heaven, nirvana, God's marriage to the Earth, what have you - that serve the most undeniably male-dominated ends. Thus, even when they serve faithfully and strong, they are pleasuring God's organ, improprietous God-sluts destined to forever serve his wondrous sausage.

It all started out on Sanctuary Hill. Your son was taking third watch while I got on ahead with my dirty business. At first we were pretty careful about what we were doing, but as we grew, we started caring less and less whether we were seen. A few of us were talked about openly as criminals, with a list of witnessed crimes; but everyone was too scared of us now to try anything. The only danger we had was to rival gangs and, increasingly, your son.

So how did it come to be I shot him and not one of my men? Everyone knows you don't dirty a man's door with footprints of a shoe less regal than his own - and your son had us worried. That skill is one in a million, and I will miss that boy. I buried him like a king, in a kings' duel, in his own blood. I wanted you to hear it from me before forensics come back on him. The bullets I put in him were silver - just to make sure he didn't come back from the dead.

Please find enclosed your son's shoe along with my fingerprints and those of Donard Rivera, our getaway driver. Don is already in Kyrgyzstan now, you can't fuck with him.


George Horsemanwinger
General, United States Marine Corps

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark (that's me) of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Sanctuary'.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

World Machine

for those that have not seen it, my interpretation of a me + davy holmes comic called "World Machine" has three chapters. But I am not in a position mentally to continue it. There are great scenes and many of them in the future, but future is not past. If i did not suck there would be more.

To The Moon

a dream:

'My' school (which i have to assume was Purdue) and some other rival school were funding their respective first all-student trips into space. Much of the technology had already been developed by private institutions, so all that was left were to find the money, select the participants, and get students involved in as much of the work as possible. Student unions from both schools had worked on the project for 3 years and had a plan to send the first students up in an additional three.

The money was a big problem. 'Our' school's proposal was for $72 million over five years, and theirs was for 93.6 million, but they had scheduled more trips. By the judgment of everyone involved, both plans were equally viable. So, it was decided there would be a series of contests to decide the final plan of action, all leading up to, naturally, a winner-take-all football game. The amount of revenue generated from the contests would pay easily for both trips over again, so the respective Boards at each school agreed to sign a contract making the contest legally binding.

All participants had to be students, so there was a rush of 30- and 40- year old professionals that signed up for a semester of classes just to be part of the contests. This happened on both sides. The date of the football game was march 12, and they planned to fill the remainder of the day's activities by scheduling the final showdown of other contests - I was involved in a cooking contest to determine who would cater the final space program. The football game was not between strictly football-playing athletes, but between the potential astronauts - and the loser footed the bill for the entire operation.

The media coverage of the event was insane. There were more networks present than there were players to interview. There were vlogging personalities and various other machinations of the future too geeky to go into here. The rival school was doing well, and we lost our cooking contest. While our side wanted to maintain decorum and have some actual students on each team, I didn't see a single participant under 30 on their teams that day, except for the football team, where it was agreed all players/astronauts must be first-time undergraduates under 25, and none of them on their school's football teams. There were students from their school around, posing for the cameras, taunting the other players; but they weren't doing anything.

I had spent all last night calling the rival footballers' hotels and keeping their parents, friends, and relatives from being able to contact them and tell them good luck. I was also tangentially involved in a DDoS attack on the rival school's homepage, and we'd had it down all night. By the time we were finished cleaning up from the cooking contest the game was in its 4th quarter, and we were tied 24 to 24. No big guys on either team (think rocket fuel) meant both teams had plenty of offensive opportinuty, and had four touchdowns apiece. Neither team had made any extra point kicks or field goals.

I watched the last of the game fought with great difficulty, but the game went into sudden death without any further points scored. The star player had emerged on the rival team, a very skinny but profoundly athetic kid, half hungarian jew and half japanese, called Benyamin Tomeda. He was on his school's baseball team and had had an article on him in ESPN magazine.

In sudden death, I took a piece of butter-soaked belgian waffle about the size of a frisbee and bet a rival schoolmate thirty dollars i coudln't throw it through the goalposts. He agreed, so I heaved it best I could and the wind blew it left and right, but it made it through. As I was trying to get him to pay up, Tomeda had intercepted a pass during one of our attempts to score a goal and was running it all the way down the field.

I saw people scramble as the loudspeakers prepared to play their school's fight song and blow off fireworks, but there was a yellow flag soaring through the air as Tomeda ran. Tomeda getting there was a foregone conclusion. the announcer noted that already there was a consideration for Tomeda to have a professional career as both a baseball and football player when he 'got back to Earth'. As soon as he crossed the goal line, there was a hush as the referees consulted about the flag thrown on the play. One of the referees had seen my waffle and was certain it was a kind of interference. The rulebook was checked and interference it was indeed, and a fifteen yard penalty for our team, and required the play be done over if the opposing team didn't decline the penalty. Naturally, they declined, and touchdown was declared. Final score 24 to 24, with the rival team winning. As the crowd rushed the field and lifted little Ben Tomeda above them, and I saw the look on his face as he realized he was going to live the world's most fantastic dream, the kid i was standing next to shoved three ten-dollar bills into my hand and went running toward the field, saying something like "that's fine - now you guys owe us 90 million!" I cried - not because I was sad that we lost, but because I saw that a whole generation of children worldwide would grow up being able to look up to Ben Tomeda and the other astronauts, to emulate them, and to be a generation that followed in their footsteps.

When I woke, I was so sad to discover it wasn't true - there are still no heroes. ;-; maybe someday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Forest, the Trees (FORESTS!)

Chapter I

A pocketwatch falls from its fob onto the dreary lazy-day pavement, soaking up the cool crystal rocks with its sour tumbling click-clack, signaling the end of its wretched twoferapenny life.

Chapter II

Farmer Gas rubs ointment on his paunch, desperate for relief from his own sweaty itchy summer skin. Somewhere a boiling kettle spills onto the floor, burning the stupid dog.

Chapter III

Ribbon! Ribbon sucks. Let's move on to the next one.

Chapter XIII

Clive Owen sticks out his thumb at the passing car. Off-camera, a musician normally more attentive strums a particularly passionate chord, spoiling the scene. Except Clive didn't hear 'cut'. He never moved a muscle.

Chapter VII

Inside your stomach dwells a hungry maiden. She thirsts for flesh, and parches except she feast on blood. There's a pill for that, though.

Chapter VI

The long Rockefeller horns dangle twixt your eyeballs, daring you move left or right. You take a shotgun and put an end to it.

Chapter VII

Chesapeake says to his father, "when shall the world end?"

"Now, my son, now," says his father. And it did.

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, Eli Z. McCormick and Miriam Allred of Modern Revelation!, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, Sven Patrick Svensson of Sadness? Euphoria?, William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden, and WiL Whitlark (that's me) of The Real McJesus. This week's theme: 'Forest'.