Friday, November 15, 2013


nin - happiness in slavery by robertjgunn

About five years ago, early on in my writing program, I found myself desperately in need of inspiration, motivation and validation. I felt like no one in my workshop even understood what I was trying to write, let alone having any useful input on the results of my efforts; I felt like the stories being praised were skin pieces about romantic trysts in Europe when I wanted to write something more intimate and epic; I felt like my urbanized philosophical struggle was alien to my provincial peers. So one day I said, Fuck it. I know there's something out there for me.

What followed was a long day spent sifting through the fiction section of the local second-hand bookstore. I wasn't looking for names I recognized, because big names only pandered to the very literary circle-jerk I was railing against. I wanted something weird, cool, and independent, something that spoke to my personal inclinations as a punk/rebel/black sheep who was going to write his fucking bullshit no matter what the workshop suggested. And so I walked out with a little black book called "Zed," a blind buy if there ever was one, a book that I quite honestly figured was self-published and might inspire me to self-publish my own stuff.

As it turned out, it wasn't quite a consignment self-publication; it was a small-press novel that had actually received quite a bit of acclaim. Still, it was a weird little book, a sort of dystopian gothic sci-fi metaphor about survivalism, and it spoke to me in a way few books have. It seemed to scream out angst and it resonated as an impressionistic projection of something that I, at that very moment in my life, identified with emotionally. I'm not sure it would mean as much to me now, but for a blind buy during a particularly frustrated and alienated period of my life, it couldn't have been a better investment. After I read it, I googled its author, expecting to find it had come out of some post-adolescent metal chick who shared some of the same insecurities as myself. But what I found was a little unexpected. I found a blog that was a literal cry for help - not in some abstract psychological sense, but in the literal "I am dying" sense. As it turns out, Elizabeth McClung was a local lesbian with a fetish for Japanese anime and a terminal illness. I began to follow her blog with regularity, no longer as a fan of the novel but as a perverse voyeur.
Narrator: Hold on, I'll tell you; we'll split up the week, okay? You take lymphoma, and tuberculosis...
Marla: You take tuberculosis. My smoking doesn't go over at all.
Narrator: Okay, good, fine. Testicular cancer should be no contest, I think.
Marla: Well, technically, I have more of a right to be there than you. You still have your balls.
Narrator: You're kidding.
Marla: I don't know... am I?
Narrator: No, no! What do you want?
Marla: I'll take the parasites.
Narrator: You can't have both the parasites, but while you take the blood parasites...
Marla: I want brain parasites.
Narrator: I'll take the blood parasites. But I'm gonna take the organic brain dementia, okay?
Marla: I want that.
Narrator: You can't have the whole brain, that's...
Marla:: So far you have four, I only have two!
Narrator: Okay. Take both the parasites. They're yours. Now we both have three... 
After a while, I grew bored of the anime and felt uncomfortable rubbernecking. On some level, I think I began to question whether she was actually dying, with the way the specifics of her condition were so vague and the physical pain began to bleed into the existential. Whatever it was, whether boredom or cowardice or simply an inability to face down that level of misery, I gradually gravitated away from her blog and back towards my own interests.

At the time, I didn't realize there's a cottage industry of this sort of thing, people taking to the internet to record their last months, days, hours. And it hits close to home. McClung was a local writer. I'd never heard of Eva Markvoort until I read her obituary in 2010, which mentioned a documentary about a livejournal account called 65 RedRoses. I discovered that she was from Vancouver, but had attended the same university at the same time as I had. I'm not sure what her major was. Most likely we never shared a class. Perhaps we were enrolled in the same first-year lecture but she was too anonymous (or likely, too absent) to notice. It doesn't matter. I heard her accent on the documentary and I knew her. I'm sitting there listening to a dying girl talk about her small earthly pleasures and all I can think is: who does that sound like? The unique twang to her voice, Canadian in its upbeat tone but also a little BC hickish; it's the same accent that after seven years on the island I'm beginning to adopt, an accent that locals protest to me they don't have. And it's a reminder that sometimes sounding a certain way isn't a mark of otherness but actually an anchor to a time, place and sense of identity.

Eva had Cystic Fibrosis. So did most of her friends profiled in the film, and after a while of looking all these people up it becomes a depressing stream of online eulogies. And I realize that damn, these people are younger than me! Same goes for Laura Rothenberg, who wrote my first encounter with Cystic Fibrosis, a book that stumped me in my teenage years, back when death was an amorphous idealized thing that terrified me in its meaninglessness. Apparently she was 18 or 20 when she found motivation to write the book that I still, at 27, haven't yet. I have a James Dean poster on my wall, but do I really carpe diem? Does anyone? Rothenberg died at 22, an age when I was just discovering the world I thought I'd built around myself was a house of cards. If I were ever to find that motivation to sit down and focus, I imagine a brick wall coming at me at a thousand miles an hour would ironically be an enormous aid, but at 22 I still wasn't ready to live yet, let alone die.

On some level writing about this is cathartic. It reminds me of the close calls, the bad decisions or potential bad decisions which could have changed my life: getting into a car with a drunk on a fatal stretch of road; watching a close friend drunkenly climb onto a 14th-floor railing; hearing about an acquaintance falling off a building to his death. But I'm still here to think those through. These girls lived their whole lives with the guillotine, while we throw ours away willingly. It's enough to make you wonder.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Basest of Men

So, apparently Rob Ford is crack addict who likes to go down on hookers and Kevin (not Justin) Trudeau is finally in jail. In other news, the world is populated by filthy con men and two-bit hustlers. Remember the ShamWow guy? Yeah, him:
God, I keep forgetting how much our world still rewards assholes like this, self-righteous money-grubbing douchebags who thrive on scams and bullshit. On the one hand, I tend to embrace the gutter in fiction, but somehow the news always seems to gain the upper hand. I think the irony lies in the fact that we expose human weaknesses in writing to find their softer counterpoints, while newsreels have no such moralistic aspirations.

I work in a job which requires a lot of face-to-face customer service. Long ago I learned to emotionally divorce myself from whatever crap gets thrown across the counter. If the store has made a mistake, I try to be apologetic and courteous. If we haven't fucked up or I'm not sure how we've fucked up, I try to reason with the person and talk them off the ledge. But my kindnesses extend no further than that. The odd totally irrational customer - the lady who throws her no-ketchup burger at the cashier because it came with ketchup, or the old man who recently haughtily dressed down my 14-year-old cashier for offering him a combo, before asking for one - spurs in me a certain level of emotional detachment. It's important to step back and see the humour in the situation; weather the storm without succumbing to it. Everyone loses control occasionally, of course, but the people who struggle the most with my line of work are the ones who become defensive because on some level they view their antagonizers as equals. It's important to see the fray for what it is while simultaneously rising above it.

And that's always what gets me about pop culture. It's the gutter, which is fine, because the gutter is human nature. But it's the gutter without perspective, people hounding together and screaming "He hit a prostitute! Scum of the earth!" without taking the opportunity to have insight on the situation and their own horribly coloured perspectives. Stepping above the game isn't about degrading other people when they succumb to their weaknesses, it's about stepping away for a minute and laughing at the whole divine comedy.

That isn't to say I'm against playing, of course. I use pool as a metaphor more than I probably should, but pool is a game that speaks to all our base instincts. It's simultaneously a game of the gutter and a game of royalty. Some people pursue pool as an intellectual pursuit while others consider it the basest "my cock is bigger than your cock" battle of supremacy. And if you manage to step away from it far enough, you begin to realize that sometimes you can play a game within the game. Sometimes you lose on purpose to the same guy every time you play until he starts to wonder if he's ever going to beat you on his own. Sometimes you make a show of sitting on the sideline and railbirding until people become nervous and want to see what kind of game you're hiding. Sometimes there are different strategies to hoarding the table, either by winning every game or by subbing in your friends until the strange people get bored and go away. But other times you want to play the strangers because you need fresh blood. It's one thing to win or lose any given game; it's another thing to have perspective on the control you have over that game's outcome and its collateral outcomes.

We have a new cashier at work; a reasonably intelligent, affable guy constantly bemoaning the affectations of the customers. It's not so much the rudeness that comes with the territory that bothers him so much as it is their idiosyncrasies, the way one customer will count out all his change while another will feel the urge to sit in the drive-thru and munch down his entire burger rather than pulling over. I always tell him to forget empathy while he's on the clock. I tell him to see the people ordering as nothing more than sheep to be herded through the cash register and to their position in line, but the other day he responded: "It's not that I'm trying to empathize with them, it's that for all my cynicism I have great hope for the human race, and this job depresses that."

I understood him then. I know we're nothing but gnashing animals trying to carve out a niche at the expense of our fellow competitors, but I also find that realization unfailingly depressing. At work, I force myself to focus on the collective rather than the individual. But goddamn, is that collective ever depressing.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I can recall reading Ender's Game during three different seminal stages of my life: once, at age 10, as a kid's book; once at fifteen, as a revenge fantasy; and once, again, at age 22, because some acquaintances had discovered it and I wanted to engage them philosophically. The fact that it could factor into three so different periods of my life speaks to what makes it such a terrific book: good books mean one thing to many people; great books mean many things to a single person. Ender's Game was about the id and its hero complex, but it was also about high school, it was also about the Cold War, it was also about religion, it was also about the responsibility bestowed by authority, it was also about children, and it was also about empathy and compassion.

After decades of rumours and failures, the movie version has arrived. To its credit, it tries to hit every note. Every character is there, even the ones I'd forgotten. Everything proceeds at the breakneck pace mandated by the structure of the novel, an unimpeded march towards Ender's inevitable anointment as savior. Watching this anointment exposed so blatantly reminded me of my one critique on my third read: the book is too committed to its own mythmaking. For every artificial obstacle thrown Ender's way by his superiors, there's never any real sign that he isn't the chosen one. In the movie, we're told that he's been tormented by his peers in school, but when we see him he is in the process of ruthlessly eliminating the bullies. Harry Potter, for all of his messiah-like qualities (though it's been argued he's a derivative of Ender - this is a thirty-five-year-old source character), at least had to struggle with girls and crushes and a regular antagonist or two. There's no Snape or Draco Malfoy regularly pulling him through the mud because Ender, we're told from the outset, can handle anything. 

(Of course, Orson Scott Card is a Bible-belt Mormon, so it's probably not a coincidence that Card's Jesus is a little too perfect. Which isn't to say I give a damn about Card's moral failings. Regardless of what he may believe in his personal life and whatever views he may expound to the world at large, the book/movie stand on their own merits. He doesn't like gay marriage? So what? I'm a moral relativist at the worst of times. To juxtapose: I'm reading a novel right now about a filmmaker who's so committed to realism that he makes a snuff film, and it's possible that in real life you could convince me why such a thing should be boycotted, but boycotting a movie about war and reconciliation because its original author holds a single outdated political view? While we're at it, let's burn every movie from the forties because their producers were probably sexist. This isn't even a borderline case: if the informed viewer must to go in with the understanding that the story contains certain religious underpinnings, he can quickly move on to the story's many strengths.)

We receive generic exposition in Ender's voice-over, which serves little purpose other than to tell us this is Ender's story. But this is Ender's story; moreover, his coming-of-age story. We could have learned the world as he came to understand it, but the movie allows for no such subtleties. The voiceover comes back at the very end, as it always does, but this artificial attempt at world-building could have been scaled back to allow us closer to Ender. (Technically, there are point-of-view issues. The audience observes the adults conferring about Ender behind his back, which significantly reduces the dramatic irony of Ender's penultimate stand. The tension in the book comes because he's not sure why he's being toyed with, whether the adults are trying to break him or push him. Here, it's a foregone conclusion.)

In some ways - and you don't hear this one often - the movie struggled too hard to stay faithful to the book. The Battle Room (a training room, similar to a zero-gravity game of Quidditch mixed with laser tag) is a place for the kids to work out strategies and for Ender to quickly elevate from undersized nobody to commander. But at its heart it's a game, and it could have been filmed more like one. Picture a non-basketball-fan watching a 30-for-30 special on LeBron James where the only basketball shot was a slo-mo buzzer-beater, and you'll understand how unimportant the battle room sequences feel in the movie. Yes, that shot might have been the most important one but it only matters if you understand the ebb-and-flow of a regular basketball game for forty-seven minutes, and have some sense of how that particular game came to be deadlocked at the critical moment. We see Ender win at his games before we really understand the rules. If that's a minor flaw in the book as well, it's at least excused by the difficulties of rendering the mechanics of a game with words; here, there could have been ample opportunities to let the game speak for itself. 

In the movie, this gives off the impression of a guy who's really good at a video game. Meet the bullies, beat them up, level up to battle school. Be a petulant launchie, get promoted to a real team. Fight with your commander, become a commander. Etc, etc. But I never played video games in the way most did, so I always equated Ender's ascendancy with the work of a great Magic: The Gathering player (due to the timing of when I read the book in my life). Technically, Magic is a card game with a rulebook, but the cards themselves are constantly at war with the book. Almost any text on any card is a specification for how this card is allowed to break this or that rule. Creatures can't attack and block at the same time; vigilance give them the ability to do so. Non-flying creatures cant block flying creatures; reach gives them the ability to do so. Its very malleability is a main reason I've always struggled with Magic strategy. Spending hours figuring that perfect three-card combo feels like a waste of time as soon as you encounter a cheap deck that's properly equipped to break it up. Magic takes someone who can transition on the fly, figure out razor-quick combos without spending hours on the necessary computations. Card understands the human condition enough to understand that linear thinking is eternally limiting and so he makes the source of Ender's genius his ability to think outside the box, to understand asymmetrical clusters in Formic battle formations as something completely alien to human understanding, yet ultimately understandable and containable. His learning doesn't come only in the Battle Room but also in a quest video mind game that explores his psychological nuances.These aspects are present in the movie but they aren't explored in a meaningful way. Instead of breaking down the binaries for ourselves, we sit back and marvel at the boy genius. 

This was Ender's story all the way, but it could have belonged to him even more if the cameras had trusted him. Asa Butterfield does a good job of holding a stuff upper lip and maintaining composure, but the character is about more than staying composed; Ender is supposed to be the kid who was so good he broke the game, and Butterfield never exactly radiates genius (admittedly how exactly one would radiate genius is hard to say). After he's proved himself  and begun to lead, Ender is confronted with a handicap; he goes into a 2-on-1 situation. The point is that in a militant environment, you not only need someone who can master basic strategy, but you need some who can break the rulebook and go off the grid. If you throw him into battle against superior forces, he will find a way to come out on top, whether it's through cheating or ducking or using the enemies against each other. The is the essence of why the movie was always deemed "unfilmable"; not because the mechanics of the story taking place in zero-gravity were a problem, but because a pre-teen (Butterfield is about ten years too old for the role) had to carry the burden of being such a prodigy with the necessary weight and the skill.

None of which is to say I hated the movie. It does a great job of rendering Card's book for the already converted, and it's a fantastic visual spectacle. But at the end of the day, it's a companion piece.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Obligatory World Series Post

So. The Red Sox won the World Series. The Red Sox. With John Farrell. In the aftermath, I tried to articulate to a bystander what that means from the Jays' perspective: "For Canucks fans, it'd be kind of like Alain Vigneault winning the Cup with the Rangers this year. Only worse." But even that doesn't really capture it. It's not so much infuriating or gut-wrenching as it is a nod to cosmic irony, the kind of situation that elicits self-effacing laughter. The Blue Jays tried to pilfer a coach from their second-most-hated division rival, only to have him stab them in the back and take the rest of the coaching staff along with him.  How cute of you, the universe seems to say, to think yourself so mighty.

In a way Farrell winning was good, because it put all of my fellow Jays fans in their place for the offseason gloating, the premature photoshops Pyrrhic reminders that the last laughs come in October, not March. The Jays lost their coaching staff and tried to make up for it by adding millions in star power, and transformed from a 73-win team into a 74-win team; the Red Sox dumped their stars with their corresponding salaries, replaced them with role players and new coaches, and transformed from a 69-win team into 97-win team. Any way you cut it, the Red Sox came out on top and Farrell got the cherry on the sundae. If anything, this turn of event anoints the Red Sox the new Yankees as the real Yankees' empire crumbles, while the Jays begin to assume the mantle of the pre-2004 Red Sox, all foreboding and doom.

Coincidentally, just for the opportunity to watch John Farrell clinch and edge the knife in deeper, I wound up trading a shift at work. Normally that wouldn't have been such a big deal, except that the particular shift that I took back was on Wednesday morning - which just so happens to be my weekly hangover - and that particular Wednesday just so happened to be the day of our annual corporate audit. As things roll downhill, it all led to me working slightly out of position and out of sorts on our most important day of the year, which may or may not have contributed to my general manager offering me a transfer later that day. Everyone gets traded eventually, or so goes the dictum in sports, including managers, and by the time the Red Sox hoisted the trophy Wednesday evening my mind was on other matters altogether. 

And so it's back to square one for the Jays and, just maybe, for me. Re-evaluate strengths. Improve weaknesses. Pursue new opportunites and make difficult decisions about the people you've kept close and your own place in the cosmic scheme. Whenever your head gets too big, the universe will come back and bite you in the ass.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Rabbit Hole

I met two random men on a two different buses last night. One was middle-aged, bearded and carrying a guitar case; the other was "probably the same age" as me. (When I pressed, it turned out he was four years older.) Both of them may or may not have just smoked a joint or something more, and seemed eager to tell me how much they had just enjoyed a Chris Cornell concert. Both conversations were incredibly vapid, as chance meetings with strangers tend to be, and  the first one culminated with the older guy pulling the unstrung guitar out of his case and holding up a signature of the man/myth/legend for all the bus to ignore. I felt a twinge of pity. Then I got off the bus, because neither of those clowns matter in the long run. But their random desire to bring me into their experience did leave me thinking a bit about my identity as pseudo-grunge kid, and the tools I use to define myself.

It seems lately my Facebook feed is being blown up by questions of identity. Gender identity, sexual identity, political identity, familial identity, job identity - all that adult shit. And despite the fact that I see no need to parade my station before the world in specific "life events," I have begun to see my own identity crystallize around me. There's a sense of community about Vancouver Island, a sense of community I wilfully ignored as a university student, but one that, having hashed out a life here since, has become more readily apparent. It's a small-town mentality: banter with your churchgoing sandwich-maker, discuss your life decisions with the dude you see on the bus every day, get to know your bartender on a first-name basis. These pockets exist the world over, of course, and like anywhere, there's a pool of strangers-cum-friends-cum-acquaintances who form degrees of separation. Beyond that, the municipalities blend into one another because we're isolated from the rest of the country by a moderately imposing stretch of Pacific Ocean. And within that ever-shrinking world, I've started to arrive at a crystallized stage. Now, looking back at my love for Badmotorfinger, I no longer need to be a grunge kid, or wannabe grunge kid, or any other subset of a various number of scenes. I don't have to play guitar to hold down a conversation with someone who has a passing interest in 90s rock; I'm no pool pro, but having a tab at my regular bar game is the next-best thing; I don't make enough money, but I have a job I like that I chose for unique reasons, and an apartment which provides the technological necessities for the life that I lead. When I walk around in jeans and a t-shirt and a neighbourhood regular calls me "sir," I no longer take it ironically.
But then I wonder if who I have become is more than just the sum of its parts, because in a world of my own making there's no room for new perspectives or experiences. I don't listen to Katy Perry because I don't particularly like Katy Perry, but today I stumbled across an article that documents her new record as a failed coming-of-age experience, and I enjoyed that. From there, I thought that maybe I should listen to Katy Perry - and then I did, and wished I hadn't. But Katy Perry isn't really the point. The point is the limiting of potential experiences, the idea of settling down without really living. The more comfortable I become, the more resistant to that which doesn't fall under my little sports/niche culture umbrella, and that worries me.

Pop culture is an enormous, amorphous, mostly unnecessary entity, but it's also kind of fascinating. And if Katy Perry is the queen of modern teen idols and I don't understand why people like her, how am I supposed to understand Miley Cyrus' bizarre (and maybe kinda meta/kinda cool) coming of age? (Why I should care is perhaps a more legitimate question, but looked at under that prism, sports are just artificial competitions with predetermined potential outcomes.) I may not give a shit about gossip-magazine shame culture, but I am interested in the dissection of art, and pop art is important in what its popularity says about the world.

But what are the damn kids saying these days? Last week, again on the bus, I ran into a pretty blond on her way to see an electronic duo who happen to hail from my hometown of Toronto. I asked her who Zeds Dead were. She stopped at my seat and stared down with her jaw slack, giving me the exact look I give people who tell me they've never owned a computer. I Googled them later and found out it's a pair of kids who started producing three years after I left, so maybe I would have heard of them had I stayed in Toronto. But then again, maybe I wouldn't have. It's the miracle of the digital age that one person's lifeblood is another's greek, but what else are we missing out on?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Writing existence

I was six or seven years old when I had the epiphany that most gloss over and some never experience at all. I exist, I realized. Not only is there a thing that exists, but that thing is me, and that's unbelievably awesome. And this early realization drove my curious mind into some philosophical netherland, raising questions that I still haven't really learned how to elucidate, let alone answer, twenty years later. What is the self? Why do I myself have this consciousness as opposed to the millions of other potential selves? How does this apparent consciousness relate to this physical body I seem to have control over? How does this awareness belong to me? How is this consciousness, so finite that it never would have existed but for a one in a million shot, and will undoubtedly cease to exist within the next century, real? (Of course, these are issues that excessive italics and rhetorical questions will forever fail to grasp.)

My parents told me to let them know if I ever found the answers for the unknowable questions I was asking. But I never abandoned them, and as I developed from an angsty teen into a university student who understood their patent absurdity, my frustration with the questions changed - it wasn't the lack of answers that bothered me, but the total disinterest most of the human race seemed to have in the questions. How can so many worker ants fail to pause and reflect on the miracle that their perception belongs to no one but themselves and thus is totally unique?

I took creative writing rather than philosophy at school (though I did take a few introductory Philo classes that drove me as far away from that academic field as possible) and in the course of my studies I did focus more on structure and clarity than meaning. But all the while I was critiquing other people's plot dynamics or character inconsistencies, in my own writing I could never get away from some level of two-bit philosophizing. All I wanted to do was write existence. So I tried really hard to do that. And I failed pretty hard at first. Early on, responses ranged from "cool phrases but what the fuck is going on?" to "this is a big mess of words but why should I care?" As my university career progressed, the world-building improved marginally. Instead of throwing up their hands with a "huh?", my classmates would scratch their eyebrows and say something like, "But did he go into the apartment or didn't he?" when the apartment in question was intended as a red herring anyway. Yet still I often received critiques which boiled down to, "I don't understand why this story has any significance because it doesn't address any important issues." Important issues? I wanted to scream. I'm writing about the meaning of life, you fuckwit!

But now as I look over my unpublished catalogue, wondering whether to throw it out or send it out, the one question I keep coming back to is the same: how do I frame the question? How do I make people understand what I'm writing about so that it seems as important to them as it seems to me?

I've recently been turned onto a new Showtime show called Shameless (an American remake of a British original). It's about six enterprising offspring of an inner-city alcoholic, raised mostly by an older sister and partly by no one, who engage in constant debauchery to make rent. At first its patent ridiculousness turned me off, but as I've been drawn into it I've come to see its philosophical underpinnings. Its slapstick drama is not ridiculous because the show is masquerading as a comedy; it's absurdism, utterly unrealistic and yet entirely plausible. In the episode I most recently watched, the alcoholic Frank Gallagher (played totally over-the-top by William H Macy), berates his ten-year-old son for asking for a room at his stepmother's:
Every day you wake up breathing you should be calling me in a thank you note of gratitude that the half of you that came from me wasn't splooged on your mother's neck but instead was guided by yours truly to get up inside of her to start the life of you. So walk and talk with gratitude son.
Straight from the asshole's mouth like a truth bullet. No one empathizes with Frank on the show, but in his own self-absorbed way he's dead right. Your life belongs to no one but yourself, and you should be grateful that it happened at all. At the end of the day, it's little truths like this, camouflaged as they may be by the bullshit of human experience that surrounds them, that fascinate me. And maybe in a way that's why the show's vices draw me in and reflect the same debaucherous fiction I try to write. Destitution fascinates me because all human struggle boils down to the same damn thing. Childlike wonder.

Sometimes when I look over my writing, I'll realize how foolish it all seems. How mundane, how everyday, how naive. I know that what I'm trying to do is write an adult world filtered through that same wonderment that Frank is trying to instil in his homeless child. But how can I force a reader to wilfully subject himself to that idea and find pleasure in it? How can I communicate the incommunicable? I suppose I could write an epigraph that explicitly directs the reader to read everything in the ironic voice of an existentialist and recognize going in that all plot is subjective nonsense, but that seems like cheating. My goal, in either blowing up old stories or writing new ones, has to be to find a way to draw a reader into the fiction without losing grasp of the absurdity. Not to tell people how to read it, but to make the reading of it the whole point.

The next frontier, of course, is the internet. The internet is a world unto itself of subjectivity and chaos and the limits of human understanding.
But I admit I'm not quite ready for that. I'm still, somewhere deep down, wishing for a resolution. Rituals, predictable outcomes, safe spots - the places the worker ants go to escape the existential questions. Because too much chaos just makes my head spin.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Hey folks, long time no see.

Trying to get off the schneid here, as I haven't updated my old blog in over a year. Though I'd still love to do some serious writing about baseball, I envision this as more of a hybrid - general sports, life experiences, philosophical musings, less angst and fewer run-on sentences. Blog title is a nod to an awesome artist:

And the header photo is from a Mike Brodie's unbelievable train hoppers series.