Writer’s Log: 2144

Phil Huston says, “Let your characters speak. Let them tell the story. Tune into the Cosmic Radio and dictate their words.”

Many authors admit, that to write a story, a full and complete story, you must write swiftly, get it out and down on the page before you move on to other endeavors. Why?

Because, how many characters can you hold in your head? Could you possibly tell three or five tales, simultaneously, every one exposing fantastical entities speaking to you in tongues? No. To tell a tale, you must tell only one at a time. Verisimilitude can only be applied One-Story-At-A-Time, at-a-time, at-a-time…

So, that’s the trick. I’m no Sybil, and so, as I write, I can only maintain the authenticity of a few fabricated folks within my mind.

To honor both Phil’s Philosophy and the general advice of writers everywhere I must keep to my structure, maintain discipline to detail, pick one and only one story and apply myself.

*sigh*

I wish it were that simple.

It must be a curse. I know it’s a curse. These virtual people, who cry out at the wall that I’ve built around the connective node that winds down from my imagination to these fingers, they plead with me, “Tell my story,” they shout.

Ah, but if only I could. Alas, I’m transfixed to the cork board of existence by a pin named mortality. I have only so much time and energy to be released upon any of you. Therefore, only a few will make it. I’m sorry.

 


Dear Mudge, I’m a Martyr

Dear Mudge,

Only years later did I understand my mother’s words when she told me—all throughout my childhood, “You’d cut off your nose to spite your face.”

Huh?

Oh, you mean I’m a self-righteous fool who would rather fall on his sword than give you the benefit of a false victory over this obvious injustice? Well, yeah, pretty much.

I mentioned a while back about certain challenging circumstances at work. Let’s just say there’s this person, we’ll call him Prick, who was hired about the same time as I, but, for whatever reason, (certainly not his technical skills) hired two company levels above me. Prick and I never got along, still don’t; we never say good morning; never even allow our eyes to meet during uncomfortable juxtaposing hallway encounters. Prick gets twice my salary, and can’t even deign to acknowledge one of the company’s critical software developers? Maybe it’s my strong opinions contradicting his own? Maybe its the fact that he forced a number of good people to leave, people with whom I worked and valued.

So, in the secrecy of night I… No, no that’s not what I meant to tell you.

Last week the whole IT department was rearranged, by Prick and others, regarding seating. You know the drill: this cube vs that one, that office vs this one, who has to sit close to to the noisy printer, who gets a view out the windows into the attractive grounds around the building—petty shit like that that represents the pecking order of a corporate office. The software team was reorganized as well, all except me. The other six programmers were nested together in a cube row while I, who has maintained the same Amsterdam whore-on-display seat since I started, gets to remain where I am. (I’ve petitioned to be moved and have been quashed at every attempt.)

So be it, Prick.

OfficeSeating

A great place for deep mental activity like programming.

 

I’m not sure where this capacity to endure discomfort came from. I will say that I tend to gravitate toward isolation, attracting scorn and self-deprecation. Why? I truly don’t know. My mother recognized it early on. It may be hubris but I’m certain I can identify injustice more often than most.  But to intentionally endure an injustice, perhaps in an attempt to call it out, hoping *someone* might acknowledge the situation and correct it? That’s one strange behavior.

~~~

Regarding the attempt to leximize “leximize” and the recent realized recognition of your bizarre feat of digital flagellation, aka Notes from the Avalon, I have to point out that both seem to be indications of the need to leave a mark on the world.

I Exist and Here is Evidence.

I submit that such endeavors are ever more evidence that DNA controls our destiny. For in such a world as ours, social notoriety is culture cash. This admission chaffs at my purposefully distant and haughty sensibilities, but you have to agree, receiving those NFTA emails and notifications felt pretty good, no?

The more we delve into this Absurd Universe the more absurd it becomes.

Chin held firmly up, nose directed into the shit-smelling breeze,
‘Mole


Dear Mole, La-De-Da

annie-hall-3

First, leximize is a superb word in serious need of official entry into the lexicon.  It’s timely, too, since it seems that every year since the mid-90s has seen Merriam-Webster beaten into submission to add internet-related non-words into its formerly esteemed publication, which I believe is the very definition of your newly-coined masterword.

I finally remembered something this morning that made me feel silly for having wallowed in amnesiac depression and disgust these past few weeks: consciousness.  Arguably, the only concept still completely elusive to scientific theory and experimentation due to the fact that the very consciousness that tries to grasp it is it, thus we always grasp in the wrong place because we are incapable of doing otherwise.

Worry not: this doesn’t re-open the doors of spiritual metaphysics; just plain old run-of-the-mill physics will suffice here.  To my mind, there is only one philosophical question left that’s worth pondering: do we create the phenomenal world with our consciousness or vice versa?  This is enormously significant because if it turns out to be the former, then I do not have the right to complain about a single goddamn thing.  If the very creation of my (our) own consciousness rubs me the wrong way, I’d say the problem lies purely in perception, specifically my perception.

My adolescent mind was strikingly similar to that of the young Alvy Singer in the movie Annie Hall; mildly depressive, doubtful and precociously cynical.  I haven’t changed much in 50 years and I think this might have something to do with the habitual orientation of my perception.  In other words, if happiness is truly my aim, then I am the only one that can bring it about and the only tool I need is my own mind.

By the way, yesterday, I noticed that Notes From The Avalon was getting an inordinate number of views from Canada.  Then my follower count went up by 1, as someone new had registered via e-mail.  I tracked the e-mail address back to the Facebook page with which it was associated and found that it came from a small company that offers acting classes.  The owner and CEO?  The beautiful Robyn Ross, a/k/a Brooke:

rross

It’s not Deadpool, I know, but I’ll take it!  See that?  I told you there was a method to my madness.

La-De-Da,

‘Mudge

 


Dear Mudge, Expectations

Dear ‘Mudge,

In response to your previous correspondence, I’ll confess that I too hate having expectations laid upon me; society’s shackles. In analysis, stepping up and away from said constraints, I’d say that these are more evidence of DNA’s brand upon existence. Conform. Fulfill your obligations to family, friends, and foe alike. Grrrr, I chafe like a back-stroked cat. Yet, as a father and husband I knew I must submit, surrender my contentious ideals in lieu of compliance, harmony within the burden I’d voluntarily adopted.

To reject such expectations, seen from the light of an ordered society, must surely seem misanthropic. But, I’d offer that all radical divergents of the past have presented as such. To break from tradition, strike out against the norms, even an extreme as contending that humanity itself should be rejected, may provide you with exclusive insight into the nature of being. An explorer of sorts. Quest on.

~~~

Per my son and his development as an agent of nefarious intent, something easily identifiable seems appropriate. He and the fellow he manages the 1M account for claim to have participated the recent fervor: “cats can have a little salami as a treat.” Stupid, inane shit seems the easiest to track.

In a similar theme, back in 2010, I dreamed up the word “Leximize” to maximize a word’s lexical coverage. For a while, I would push the word out through whatever channels I had available to me to try and get it adopted as a colloquial meme. [See below.] I even went to the extreme to register that domain, still own it in fact.

I think I was early. Such a concept could today, I believe, actually work. Luck, massive luck would need to shine its golden glow,  but the mechanism is in place to do what I’d planned nearly 10 years ago.

In other news I’ve come up with a plot device I can use to continue Shadow Shoals, a 30k word story I’d started a few years ago that I may now be able to add a few new chapters. We’ll see. If I place too many expectations on myself I may end up in a vicious self-loathing loop.

Just think, somewhere tectonic plates are at strangle holds, the tension growing daily, and soon, perhaps tomorrow, perhaps beneath a certain Casa Blanco, the forces will erupt and chaos ensue. Real chaos, not the piddly kind the IBI stirs with his tweet-stick.

N-1,
‘Mole

ChartActivity.aspx

My original Leximize request to friends:

I would like each of you to participate in a linguistics experiment.
I propose creating a new word, one which hits on a Google search of less than 20, mainly due to random letter arrangements.

The purpose of this experiment will be to create a global awareness of a new word in as little time as possible.

We will create a new word, create a definition of this new word, and then release it into the wilds of the infospace, rather like a semantic virus.

Then we will each use this word, at least once in a blog post or email or comment on an article or blog on the web. The spread of the use of the the term is the intent so a high frequency of usage is suggested. The simple reposting of this email will suffice.

We will then watch how quickly, or not, the word becomes prevalent in the linguistic maze that is the web.

Each week I will send a Google search count update to this list.

~~~

* The first word I propose is “leximize” which is to maximize the lexical exposure of a word.

As of this moment (5/10/2010 8:30 AM PST) there are 5 hits on the quoted word “leximize”, none of which have legitimate meaning.

~~~

I would also like to attach a future event to this word. The concept of this event will infiltrate the consciousness of the netmind bleeding out into the memespeak of the mainstream media. The purpose of attaching a fabricated event is to determine if we have any influence, to any degree possible, on the event and date in question; if in nothing more than the escalation of anticipation of the proposed date and event, simply through awareness.

* The spring equinox 2013 (March 21, 2013) will mark this event’s horizon.
* This event will entail the the joining of hands of multiple, long time national rivals and the collapse of physical, political and cultural barriers.
* At this point in time not only will these nations build a neoleague but newly constructed terms to describe the event will have been leximized.

~~~

Your participation is welcome in this experiment.

I urge you to reformulate the content in this email, to create a names to commemorate this event, to create your own neoleague terms and to send this email on to whomever you believe will find this experiment entertaining.

This experiment has officially begun!

NOTE: That Leximize AppleStore app, not mine.


Dear Mole, Misanthropy Rising

misanthrope

I’m glad to hear you and yours had a pleasant Thanksgiving.  Mine served as another crystalline example of the way we make ourselves suffer through forced rituals and tired traditions with people we secretly disdain simply because “it’s what people do”.

Remember that nonsense I recently spewed about embracing kindness to others as a possible fulfillment of my life’s “purpose”?  Of course you do, you just referenced it in your last letter.  Well, it should come as no surprise that I’ve already analyzed the wisdom right out of that vague plan, and that analysis went a little something like this: “The very crux of my current malaise is my utter distaste for the rest of my own species.  I do not wish them well, so why in the hell would I waste my time trying to help them?”

Your son sounds like an interesting and compassionate guy, but I’m probably not the best source to advise how his talents and resources would be best utilized, especially since I found myself involuntarily wincing at the inclusion of the word “spiritual” in your opening greeting.  I understand that you used the word (much as I’ve done, ad infinitum) to poetically describe human connection as opposed to religious belief, but it’s a word that has become anathema to me over the course of the past year or so for the simple reason that it implies the existence of a soul or spirit within each of us and that, to me, represents the loftiest heights of human arrogance.

Before you think that this letter is a complete downer, I’ve got some exciting news to report.  I’ve found my purpose!  Or more accurately, it found me.

The longer I float along without a job, a relationship or even a semblance of a social life, the more my remaining friends and acquaintances react with alarm.  Similarly, and even more amusingly, those with whom I used to discuss Eastern philosophy and other pseudo-spiritual topics are reacting to my declaration of life’s lack of meaning with extraordinary alarm.  They want to encourage me to find a career I’ll love, a religion I’ll embrace, a philosophy about which I’ll write extensively for the benefit of the world.  They want to play matchmaker, get together for coffee to “discuss what’s going on with me”, and it seems that they will be relentless in their collective nagging unless and until I tell them that my life is imbued with purpose.  This amuses me more than I can possibly express.

Do you think that they’re reacting this way out of genuine love and concern?  I don’t.  In fact, I know exactly why I cause such a visceral reaction in my friends these days: those who live their lives “the way they’re supposed to” are slaves to worries, anxieties, disappointments and concerns the likes of which I have washed my hands of and this, frankly, pisses them off.  “Why should that little shit be allowed to flout society’s conventions that way?  He needs to get with the program!”  However, deep down, they all know that I have no such “need”.  It is they who need me to play ball with all manner of societal bullshit because people who speak and live the way I do represent an enormous threat to the imprisoning stories they’ve accepted and embraced about life and how to live it.

Tell me more about your son’s platform.  Despite everything I just said, I’m sure I’ll have some ideas to throw your way.  And while brainstorming these ideas, I promise to pretend that I don’t hate humanity more than life itself.

Tally-Ho,

‘Mudge

 


Dear Mudge, I ate too much

Dear Mudge,

I hope your holiday unfolded in a way that left you both nutritionally as well as spiritually nourished.

My wife and I drove to Corvallis, Wednesday, to pick up our son who has lived there for the last two years, post-graduation, to be with his honey. He’s struggling, economically, not being able to find employment that befits his degree. Our daughter and her beau arrived for T-Day festivities and the five of us (mostly me) proceeded to consume too much food ending with a creation of my daughter, a chocolate/Nutella pecan pie, the last of which I devoured just this morning.

Overall, a lot of cooking work for too short a gathering and too many left-overs. It was nice to see and chat with my son. We discussed the Absurd Universe and how it’s a theme he’s loosely explored through his Instagram account. I have to hand it to him on that regard; he’s dedicatedly posted daily for a few years now, growing his follower count to over 100k. Due to this, he’s now managing another account with 1m+ followers. Imagine having the temporary eyes and minds of a million people. What havoc could you wreak?

I broached that topic with him and expectantly, he admitted that he’d considered it. Lost sleep over it in fact.

I offered that were he to have a secret agenda, subtly must prevail. But what kind of agenda? We discussed the fact that all million-plus accounts, on all platforms, are no doubt targets for corporate and political influence. He’s just 26 now, so, though exposed to my overt biases, he’s yet to dream up his own evil plans. The venue now exists, however. We’ll see.

I wonder, given the opportunity, what agenda might you suggest? Kindness seems like a more hands-on incentive, one that would get lost or derided in the message. My son uses humor to success in his message delivery. Could we find some means to express humorous kindness? Could that even work? Satirical kindness feels like an oxymoron.

December is here. The month of guilt and giving-envy. I’m trying to bring back Saturnalia and other pagan traditions. On the trip down to get my son I spied loads of green nodule-nests in large oak trees—mistletoe. Only the pagans would celebrate Freya’s fetish for kissing beneath a parasitic plant. I love it!

Best,
‘Mole

mistletoe


Apocalyptic Scenario 3.a.i

Listen, I’m going to tell this tale. But you need to understand something… Hold on, I’ve got a primitive alert system rigged across this hillside and one of my alarms is jiggling something bigger than a ground squirrel.

Denton breaks open his double-barrel and drops in a pair of blood-red #6 duck-shot, the only type of shell that remains in his collection. He pockets two more, clamps the ammo can shut and slips out the uphill door of the cabin.

This time of the season, corn fit to reach the sky, squash and beans resting while they wait for first frost, I see vandals come up the valley from that cesspit of a town. I hate to waste shot, but if I don’t, they think they can come back with a mob.

He heads across the slope avoiding the sight of anyone trekking across his fields toward his house. His gardens are below in a broad swale that stays naturally moist throughout the summer; the dry heat elsewhere burns crops to desert bones. His wide descending arc brings him to his plot, this end showing rows of peppers, deep green, crimson and gold. A woman is walking oblivious, straight through his gardens.

Would you look at that. Talk about brazen disregard for your own safety. She’s not stopping to steal or to even marvel at my work. What she going on…

… continued over here

~~~

If any others would care to submit Apocalyptic Scenarios, here’s the End-Of-Times outline:

Apocalyptic Scenarios:

    1. Nuclear War/Winter
    2. Coronal Mass Ejection
    3. Biological pandemic
      1. Engineered Bio-Agent
    4. Volcanoes
    5. Asteroids, meteors, comets
      1. TBD
      2. TBD
      3. While traveling in a jet.
    6. Artificial Intelligence
    7. Global warming
      1. Rising Seas
      2. Methane clathrate exposure
    8. Extant events (gamma ray burst, black hole, aliens)