May 10th, 2004


present shock

Thanks to Llar'en, for designing this (take the blue pill) nifty little countdown-to-my-happy-frelling-birthday thingy. It's hypnotic. There goes the future, one second at a time.

Blogger has a new look this morning. I think it's finally going to try and compete with LiveJournal. Nice, but it has me just a little disoriented here. After 894 entries, they go and change things on me.

As predicted, we got through chapters Three and Four yesterday, so today will be Five and Six. It's a hard book to read again. I'm tempted to say that I've never written anything even half so personal or half so autobiographical as Murder of Angels, but that wouldn't be true. Still, there's something here, some new directness, that's deeply unsettling. Because I know what I'm really saying. I know what I'm really writing about. When I say "Niki" and "Daria," I know that, this time, I'm really just talking about splintered bits of me. That's always true of my characters, to some extent or another, but in this novel I seem to have made very little effort to hide Me from Myself.

There were storms all around us yesterday, but we saw not a drop of rain. Just thunder and clouds. But we're promised a week of thunderstorms.

Last night, we discovered that a fat green caterpillar was devouring the basil plant.

I'm feeling peculiarly mundane this morning. It'll pass. Enjoy it while I can. What was I saying? Yesterday. After all the reading, we made dinner (fettucini with pesto and sauteed porta bella mushrooms, broiled asparagus, salad). Spooky worked on a vest for her Nebari costume, and I watched silly crap on television.

I'm beginning to suspect that, despite all my earlier claims of propriety and prudery, I am becoming quite envious of, and intrigued by, acquaintances and friends who talk openly of very private matters in their blogs and ljs. At first glance (and, for me, second, third, and fourth), it seems an extraordinary violation of the most fundamental concept of The Journal, putting all the gory details of one's sex life, mental and physical health, relationships, finances, etc., up where all the world (or at least a few chosen friends) can read them. Me and exhibitionism, we go way, way back, but I think I still have one foot very solidly planted in the generation before such things were done, before the internet gave Andy Warhol's too-too-often-repeated comment about fame and fifteen minutes a whole new anti-meaning. It's taken me quite some time to begin to understand these new species of vouyeurism and self-display. We have moved, at light speed, well beyond priests and psychotherapy. The whole world is becoming a confessional. But I'm drifting. I was saying, I'm beginning to envy those who have the luxury of talking so freely (at their own risk, of course), about very personal matters. And that envy calls into question the validity of the privacy and manner which I preached for the past several years. My stodgy Neo-Victorianism is rapidly dissolving in a seductive flood of phosphor unconfidences. And yet, I also see that I am not free to speak so openly, to follow these examples, because there are people who would frown and shake their heads, and probably rightly so. There are opportunities which might not present themselves (they might not anyway), were I ever to become so candid myself.

But. I am beginning to comprehend, slowly, and to retract some earlier judgements.

I think, sometimes, that what all this really amounts to is the unconscious construction of a vast databank on the human psyche for some as yet unbirthed AI. Millions of minds, bleeding themselves into the aether daily, providing templates and primers and step-by-step instructions to the mind/s that we'll construct, intentionally or unintentionally, a little later on.

There. That nasty mundane feeling has passed.

All better.
  • Current Music
    Alphaville, "Big in Japan"