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Over[-]hea[r]d Gnomes

“Twins! I can’t tell them apart!”
“Left is holding Right’s right[-]hand, but Right is holding Left’s wrong, remaining, left hand. Do you see?”
“I hate you. And… you know, I’m sensitive about my vision.”
“Touche”

OR

Over[-]hea[r]d Gnomes:
“Twins! I can’t tell them apart!”
“Left is holding Right’s right[-]hand, but Right is holding Left’s wrong, remaining, left hand. Do you see?”
“My eyes(I’s) are wide open, and at least one a-hole is clearly visible.”
“Touche”

Gnomish Proverb

The written world is black and white, an inside-out recording of an imagined adventure, a kaleidoscopic, so to say, carved by inverse words. Reviewing the work may induce euphoria, and/or crippling fear; read with care. -Ogledosh Crackey on The Art of Cowardice

Gnomish Gurgle

Okay, okay, I need to let up on the smileys. I know. I should, maybe, I don’t know, use my words? What with the authoring and all? Well, mayyyyyy-be. But. I think. The smiley is a little reminder along the way: I’m a jackass first, and an author second – or third? – which critically, affects/infects all my interactions. Like a Donkey braying at the moon, if you put a thousand together and listen long enough you might hear Shakespeare at one point, but, and this is most important: at the end of the day, you’ve still got a thousand donkeys that can’t do much more than bray at the moon, eat, and shit. Now, Donkey is a far cry farther from Monkey than the words would imply – like we name all creatures: letter-of-the-alphabet-onkey, or something? – but still, I don’t want a thousand of them.
This is what I’m saying.
Also, the whole idea is interestingly analogous to the current status of artificial intelligence that everyone touts so highly today: we found a way to expedite monkey selection so that Shakespeare appears sooner, and we all look at each other and celebrate, and call that intelligence, but the reality is that better monkey selection ain’t the same as better monkeys. They’re different. And my hunch is that the usefulness of one of those wears out before the other, and the benefit notwithstanding, the cost is something to the tune of a thousand -onkeys. Anyway, think of it like this, AI today is shopping around a bizarre for bags of a thousand animals to do work for us, and the vendors are all shouting about the speed and efficiency of their monkeys, and that, over generations, the monkeys get faster and better at solving the problems they work on; they’re lying. Sure, the results arrive sooner, but the monkeys themselves aren’t any smarter, and ultimately, despite the exceptional moment of Shakespeare, they mainly eat, fuck, and shit, and occasionally throw shit, and that’s about it. We won’t have anything close to intelligence until our approach to AI results in the monkeys asking us why we care so much about Shakespeare.
Fuck novelty, perception, and lies, these foundational tropes of society, politics, and progress; when can we handle the truth?
In the meantime, I think I’m going to continue to use smileys.

Gnomes Running Waters

Inspector: This is the story of the Earth, right now? A planet that cannot successfully deliver a fundamental resource of life all its inhabitants. The peak of civilization, and the result is that, ‘they just can’t get along?’ are you fucking kidding me? Who’s in charge here?

Gnomes Over[-]hea[r]d:

Drily Macab: what do you mean, they don’t yet have water?

Glad be Urve: right now?

Drily: don’t do that. You know exactly what I mean, don’t be temporally anal. Who’s in charge?

Glad: temporarily?

Drily: you won’t be ‘glad’ much longer…

Glad: sorry. In charge? Right now? No one, really.

Drily: a committee, then? Who leads the committee?

Glad: no. I mean, there was one brilliant human in charge for a bit, but the seat turned over, and now, some kind of troll rules.

Drily: is the troll at least actively working on the water problem?

Glad: he’s actively working on a cheeseburger, or, something not water, anyway.

Drily: how much time have they had?

Glad: more than ten thousand revolutions.

Drily: more than ten? And the most active organism doesn’t even have a fully functional water system?

Glad: they’ve had a rough go of it.

Drily: says here: Earth. Blue planet.

Glad: true true, but their strength is will-power driven by desire: even with abundant resources, several thought, and sought, to own it all for themselves.

Drily: you’re telling me, after more than ten thousand years of a prominent, dominant organism overseeing a blue planet, water does not run to all constituent life because they don’t… get along?

Glad: yes. Er, yes, more or less. Yep.

Drily: shut it down.

Glad: but wait! Some have water.

Drily: and a troll’s steering the ship?

Glad: I wouldn’t say that exactly, but he is standing neeeear the helm. (No button, by the way! so, they’ve got that going for them.)

Drily: I’m supposed to be impressed they don’t have a single point of failure exposed to destroy themselves?

Glad: yes? It is a big positive. I told you the leader is a troll, right?

Drily: now.

Glad: yes. Right now.

Drily: no. Now. Shut it down. Now.

Glad: right.

Drily: now.

Glad: right.

Drily: stop it.

Glad: now?

Drily: …

Glad: I just don’t think that will help. Let’s allow it to play itself out; it’s not like they’re getting off the planet at this rate!

Drily: fine. But if they contaminate another sector, it’s on you — next!

Glad: next what? I’m g[G]lad[,] we’re just gnomes.

Between an Immovable Object and an Unstoppable Force

What about that, huh? I mean, we’ve created a situation for them, as well, and not just the academic notion of it; if the universe contains all things, certainly a subset of those things, in the very least, contains those-things-called-into-existence-in-one’s-imagination such that a subset greater than or equal to our imaginations exists within the universe, and contains at least everything we can imagine. I mean. That’s just logic, right. So, something exists at the impact point of the unstoppable force and the immovable object. I mean, either fuck us for imagining it, or fuck me for mentioning it (I’m. soRRyyyy! The odds are astronomically against me being the first anything. Fuck me for trying…), but at least fuck all of us for knowing enough to know, logically, that this is true. We are aware of the existence of an unstoppable force intersecting an immovable object, AND no one thought of the implication to those living at the point of impact!? (Which, ironically… Ha ha! Moving on…) surely there’s something there, I mean, I’m not saying it’s a species of mmicro-furry-lov-puppykittens – could be hitler’s army, doing exactly what they’re told, because, what else is there? Or is that just a lie we tell ourselves, to avoid the hard things we know we should be doing? Anyway, there’s something there, at that point of impact, in our imaginations, whether it’s my fault right now for bringing it up, or because we’ve all been ignoring it, it’s true. Who’s out there anymore? Who’s saving the point of impact critters? Who’s carrying signs for them? Who’s amplifying their voice?

And more than that…
I frequently wonder…
if maybe, just maybe…
it’s me.

Or us. At the point of impact.

But, it could be just you. 😀

Two Negative Gnomes

Dolagnome: ‘Why. Do. You use so many double negatives? Just say what you mean.’
Numba: ‘I do say what I mean. I meant: Not, fucking, far. Any qualifier that is a spectrum, that is to say, not binary, may benefit from a double negative.’
Dolagnome: ‘That’s just near.’
Numba: ‘No. It’s not far. If I say, near, and the walk is actually, ‘not far,’ in terms of time or distance — which we didn’t fucking qualify — you might be upset with me. There is a context of fuzzy logic, of a shared understanding of distance as it relates to us in practical terms. We’re talking about whether something is easy or difficult in the abstract and applying it to the concrete. It’s complicated. The one thing I know for sure is that if I tell you something is, ‘near,’ and it turns out to be farther than that, then the next time I see you, if we argue about it — which I’m sure we will — and I defend myself saying, ‘Well I didn’t want to use a double negative. I know how much you hate that.’ Your response will invariably be, ‘Well, I don’t know how far it is, but it sure as fuck is not near!’
Dolagnome: ‘Are you done?’
Numba: ‘Yes.’
Dolagnome: ‘Here’s your sandwich.’
Numba: ‘Thank you.’
Dolagnome: ‘Might be a little cold.’
Numba: ‘Fuck you.’
Dolagnome: ‘Kisses.’

New Interview on Self Publisher’s Showcase!

I answer questions for Self Publisher’s Showcase about my year as an author!
Check it out!

Comic Musings

Comic-style [way-rough]:

Narrator. Adult male, gruff – “Childhood was rough, same as for every boy I suppose. I knew about girls. Didn’t know if I liked ‘em or not… well actually, that one got resolved pretty quickly — Mary Jane, I promise, she’ll get you each and every time. But you know, I didn’t get the girl, so the girl got me. Now, I have my Harley. Seems to be enough, as long as I ride once in awhile.

[Narrator paints the picture of a troubled youth: descriptions of normalcy while violent and decidedly troubling images appear, escalating through the short. Random friendly, reaffirming voices in the background frequently stating, “be yourself,” or, “don’t be so hard on yourself,” or, “don’t let them tell you what to do,” or, “You don’t need to listen to them,” or similar.]

[examples:]

A [three years old]: “My parents disciplined me when I was bad.” [image of picking his nose and getting punched in the face for it.]

B [seven]: “At times they didn’t know what to do with me… I was such a bad bad boy.” [at a kitchen table not eating his string beans, hauled out his chair by his hair, dragged kicking to his room already equipped with shackles and ropes, tied, and force-fed until his mouth is bleeding.]

C [thirteen]: “I did my best to follow their example, but I was never good enough.” [luring a starving dog with beef jerky, and then poking it with a sharpened stick. Female shadow appears, takes the stick, fear and tears on the boy’s face at first, but as she whips him with the stick, he begins to smile viciously through the tears.]

D [seventeen]: “But I never gave up on me. Or is it, ‘myself?’ I can never remember when to use the reflexive.” [in a classroom with ‘me, myself, and I’ written on the chalkboard while other students shoot spitballs at the back of his head, his hair a mess as though he’d been beaten that morning, and then from the front, two darkly shadowed eyes like bruises above a sinister smile. His paper is returned, inked up red, with a D+. Face again, then background change to his bedroom. Pulled back image, he’s shackled and being force-fed the paper, mouth bleeding.]

E [twenty-something]: “Eventually, I got myself together. That’s right. I. Got. My-self. To-gether.” [Graves of mother and father, dead in the same year. Next frame a Harley motorcycle in the forefront, a shy Harley Quinn in a summer dress in the background. Main character staring. Voices swelling, telling him to, “be himself.” Frames of him stealing the bike, grabbing the girl, both smiling, and ending in his bedroom, voices continuing, he ties her up and begins to punish her. Punches her in the mouth, a trickle of blood, and she smiles. Voices stop. She asks him to look in her bookbag. Inside, a sharp cross with blood on it, a large cross that looks more like a paddle, the words, “Love Him, Fear Him,” scorched into it. He pulls out the literally chewed up bible, with half the pages gone. Smiling with blood on her teeth, she says, “Please, read to me, Big Daddy. Please,” and he’s confused for a moment, but then shrugs as he begins ripping pages and shoving them into her mouth. Laughter.]

[back to the present, face-framed close-up] “Now, I think I’m doing alright. Figured some things out. But probably the most important thing?”

[Turns out he’s actually looking in a mirror, but as he turns around, his face is painted like a clown.]

“You just have to be yourself!”

[He leans in as the frame widens, revealing the back of a young person’s head. He is shivering tears, shuffling feet, legs and shoes scraping the floor as he tries to back away but can’t.]

“And I think I like it! [leans in and waits.]

What do you think?” [wider frame showing the jester-fitted Harley leaning against a wall, bored in the background.]

“What’s that? I can’t hear you?” [whimpering from the captive]

[Harley:] “He agrees!”

[Joker, growling:] “I didn’t ask you!” [more whimpering, louder whimpering]

“Oh? You agree!? Marvelous!” [laughter, pulls out a huge gun and holds it to his head]

“I knew you’d understand.”

[pulls trigger, and dud fireworks go off, little flags, “bang,” out of the sides of the revolver chambers, he looks at it, examines it like he can’t believe it didn’t work, shakes it more and more viciously, but then he smiles and points the gun at the captive again.]

“Just. Kidding!”

[Bang. Blood splashes the frame, and out of the frame.]

“I meant the fake shot. You got that, right? I was kidding about the fake shot. FUCK. I hope you got that. I hope he got that. Do you think he got that?” [Harley giggling]

“He got all of it, Boss.”

A Response to Hate

Almost 120 million people voted. No matter what your political stance, that’s 120 million citizens, including your friends, family, and neighbors, that stood up to make a choice, each casting a vote for hope, a vote to improve this country. At 60 million a side, the fuzzy edges of our political system have been brought into sharp focus: we’re uncertain about our leaders and their methods, our present and our future, and now we’re uncertain of ourselves as a collective. Let’s not fracture our society further by building a wall between us, when it’s never been more obvious how important it is for us to work together. Irrespective of the tremendous promises made to the contrary, the issues that led to this result will not disappear tomorrow, in seventy days or the hundred that follow, or even in a single term. Working toward meaningful, lasting change is something we do every day, and something we’ve been working on for more than 238 years. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I like to think, some progress, and maybe even learned some things. One of the most important lessons is to not hate or wish violence on someone for not sharing your opinion. I strongly oppose Trump for many, I believe, rational reasons, but that does not mean I oppose my fellow voters, or wish them ill. It’s the opposite. I’m just afraid they’re wrong, but I hope for all of us, that I’m the one who’s wrong.

Voting

I am frequently frustrated by the propaganda around the importance of voting — no emphasis is placed on knowing anything about the measures, issues, or candidates. Is a vote cast in ignorance better than no vote? Social pressure puts you in a booth, ego kicks in, and it’s like you’re taking a test? If that’s the case, I think it’s like the SATs, and answering wrong is worse than not answering.
Maybe that analogy doesn’t hold, I’m not even sure how to test it. :-) But I do feel like voting for voting sake, thoughtlessly, makes you an extension of whichever arm of the political machine paid the most in your area, where you spend your time both physically and virtually, and encourages the buzz-wordy, nonsense driven propaganda to continue every year.
Inform yourself. Be skeptical. Question the issue as though you hold the opposite opinion. You don’t have to research every issue, but there is a high likelihood something on the ballot matters to you. Find out about it.
Punching a hole, filling a circle, or drawing a line on a ballot? That’s the easy part.

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