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Category Archives: Writing on the Wall

My mother once told me that every day, she prays that if I ever tell a lie, I’ll be found out. I don’t pray, but if I did I would pray that if I ever tell a lie, I’ll know it.

Do you ever worry you’ve lost your grip on reality? Mine has been tenuous at best from the get-go. I never had an imaginary friend, but I did imagine myself to be characters, people I made up or heard in stories. I wonder… I might have had many personalities from birth, and that was how I expressed it. I might have just been imaginative.

I remember the first time I thought maybe I was out of my mind. I was four or five, and I’d just finished performing a rendition of one of my first short stories. It was about the creatures who lived on the sun, and they would often happen to look at the sun, thus prompting (naturally) a full-throated scream. That was what one did when one looked at the sun, in my mind. I performed each scream with gusto to an indulgent audience of relatives, none of whom I can remember now. They weren’t important. What I remember is going to the bathroom and looking myself in the eye, and just… wondering.

Can you still tell lies if you’re crazy? If you don’t know the difference between reality and illusion, then is stating an illusion that different from stating a fact? If not, maybe everything I say is a lie. Hard to tell… All I can ask of myself is sincerity, but my opinions on just about everything can change from moment to moment, depending on my mood and focus and butterflies flapping their wings in China.

I don’t even know if I’m one person, or many. (That’s a lie.) Hush, you.

Ahem.

Now I’m on the subject, is there anyone who’s one person? Neurologically speaking, it seems highly unlikely. After all, a human brain is made up of many parts, awkwardly layered on top of each other in one of nature’s greatest kludges. The part of you that forms words literally does not inhabit the same universe as the part that has feelings. What does that make you? What does that make me, to be conscious of my own fragmentation? To exploit it?

I am very weary of shutting up because I can’t be sure what I say is true, or even meaningful. The fact is, anything I say about anything is speculation at best, but so is anything anyone else might say. If they can bluster and pretend they’re sure, God dammit, if they can claim to have Ultimate Certain Knowledge, if ANYONE can claim that with a straight face, to speak for God or to follow His commandments, if they can share the egotism of submission to certainty, then surely I can –

But it’s different for me, isn’t it? Always different. Why? Am I more self-aware? Smarter? Less judgmental? More freethinking? More emotional? Crazy? Who am I, that I can’t open my mouth without biting off my tongue?

When I close my eyes I see a caravan – a line of camels and tents and palanquins, slowly trudging across the desert.

Inside the largest tent, a massive red ruby is hovering in the air. It gives off a strange crackling energy. The guards stand ten feet back, they treat it with reverence.

Some bandits suddenly appear, cresting a hill and falling upon the caravan. They put every last creature to the sword and take what they can,but the ruby remains untouched. It has reached its destination. It will sit in this random patch of desert for a thousand years, until one day some asshole decides to build a city there.

That asshole was once the leader of a group of bandits. He laid his hand on the ruby – just once – and it gave him everlasting life, as well as driving him absolutely mad.

I see him build a pleasure palace around this mighty ancient stone, and I see the ruby quiver with rage. I see it wait, biding its time until a whole grand city has been built on top of it, and then shaking the earth, rending it in twain. I see the people of the city consumed by fire. I see not a single survivor.

When all this is done, for the first time, green things will grow in the desert.

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HELLO
I AM FLOYD
WHAT IS
THIS
I HAVE FEELINGS

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Myers-Briggs is bullshit. It has always been bullshit, and it always will be bullshit. Which boxes you tick off in a laboratory setting may tell you a bit about what you imagine yourself to be like, but it can tell you nothing about what kind of bizarre, complicated, unpredictable creature you actually are.

The first person to say “You must be a P lol!!” gets shot in the face. By my judgment.

The nice thing about bullshit, though – the central purpose of it – the main goal – the quest reward – the ultimate ambition – is that bullshit makes a crackerjack excuse factory. It’s so easy, you’re already doing it! Just pick whatever bad, rude, inappropriate, juvenile, childish, eccentric, freakish, unholy, asinine, or outright malicious behavior you feel like doing the most, then repeat after me.

“I’m sorry. I’m just a ______, and that’s why I’ll never change.”

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Feel free to ask, but don’t expect an answer.

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Refer to the Wheel anytime you want an objective measure of crap. To measure, just start at the top, and move the arrow to the right until the crap stops getting worse.

Some classic examples of crap:

  • Plan 9 From Outer Space: 180°
  • Death Bed –  The Bed That Eats People: 64°
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special: 258°
  • Battlefield Earth: 125°
  • Manos – The Hands of Fate: 77°
  • The Happening: 456°
  • Troll 2: 1260°
  • Captain Planet: 82°
  • The Legend of Zelda Animated Series: °

It takes a team of great artists and monumental amounts of effort to make something truly, staggeringly bad.

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The Envy Two-Step is so easy to learn, you’re probably already doing it.

Just want something your partner has, then shame yourself for wanting. This will make you confused, which will make you angry. Blame your partner.

This dance works best when your partner has no idea you’re doing it.

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Just refer to this flowchart anytime you need to speak, write, scribble, tap out in Morse code, deliver via courier van, inscribe into the surface of Mars, or otherwise communicate words.

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The man in the picture was once made of straw, but when the wizard gave him a brain he became an ordinary man.
This was not as easy a transition as he had hoped.

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I… I don’t think there’s anything left for me to add to this.