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12/01 Direct Link
When he comes to kill me--when he comes with a knife or a gun--when he comes to kill me--in that period a day or a week after he's found out everything--I don't thing I'll say the right thing. I think I'll say something stupid. I'm almost certain of it. I'll say, "Well, that's not right," or I'll say, "Oh, great!" or I'll say, "It's hard to believe you actually did that, man." SO: since I'll flub my final line I'm giving it here now pre-posthumously regardless of what I actually say: Tell Mary I love her.

12/02 Direct Link
What exactly does this mean?

There's a microbe which has no phosphorus in its DNA. Rather, it has arsenic instead. Thus, its biology and ours are entirely incompatible. We cannot exchange DNA with them--because it's life alien to ourselves.

The universe gets bigger and older and older and bigger, and our life isn't the only possible life. We shrink again and again into insignificance. The possibilities for other life had leapt an order of magnitude. We are cut down, day by day.

But my cat Mexico is not a part of any of this; No, Mexico is not affected.

12/03 Direct Link
Here's the plan.

This is the plan I came up with today.

The place has pool tables.

That's where I can escape to.

A place of nonjudgemental geometry.

A nice place.

Does anything have to follow?

Whatever follows, follows.

So long as I have a space to escape to, I can go.

If I don't have a space to escape to, I'm sunk.

I can't simply stand around.

"Always in such a rush!"

The tables will be there, the operating tables.

I can go there anytime to heal....

Now that I've told you about it, I probably won't do it.

12/04 Direct Link
I got cornered by Mr. Romeo on the elevator today.

"Hey!" he cried.

"Hello."

"Skaife! So, how's your stable doing these days?"

"My what?"

"Your stable! Your bitches! Know what I mean?"

"I don't really have--"

"Seems I can't leave my basement without a good brace of bitches to hand!"

"Oh, okay."

"Just have to remember to bring your whip, eh?"

"Oh yeah."

"All those sex-starved librarianesses around you.... Must get crowded on the cot!"

"Yes, that they are. Were"

"Rattle those bollocks! Leave 'em lame, eh?"

"What can I say?"

"Grr! Grr! Grr!"

I exited a floor early.

12/05 Direct Link
"Cullins! You're late!"

"Well, boss, you'll never believe it."

"Try me."

"Well, first of all, because the time changed last night ... or actually it changed about a month ago but I never got around to fixing the clock ... I'd just been compensating ... by an hour ... you know? So then there was a, a thermonuclear war and I had to get my wife into the bomb shelter, yeah, in this day and age... And the bus was packed, the next fifty were packed, some with dinosaurs I think...."

"You used that excuse yesterday!"

"Okay.... I slept in."

12/06 Direct Link
A puppy for Pat
And skates for Sam
A sled for Matt
And a doll for Pam
A game for Mary
Some Lego for Lisa
A horse for Harry
A castle for Aisha
A record for Bette
Constellations for Bob
A puzzle for Grete
A kitten for Rob
Pete needs socks
And Nancy needs clocks
When the devil comes, when the devil comes, when the devil comes to town.

There's trains for Allie
And books for Sally
Some bricks for Larry
And a quilt for Terri
When the devil comes, when the devil comes, when the devil comes to town.

12/07 Direct Link
THE NEW STYLE: SAMPLE

Well, I see that XXXX XXXXX has finally brought out the truth about XXXXX XXXXXX. How can the XXX be paying to have this XXX-XXXXX XXXXXXXXX on its programs? It's well-known that XXXXXX has compared XXXXXX to XXXXXXX, that he is consistently biased towards XXXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXX (he admires XXXX, for example), and that he wants to ignore any programme that would say that XXXXXX are better than XXXXXXX. Thank goodness XXXXX has the nerve to call out such hateful invective and say what it is: an all-out attack on XXXXXXX and even XXXX.

Oh, wait.

12/08 Direct Link
IMAGINE

(Doré etching of Hell)
(names crossed off list)
(The Killing Fields)
(a boot smashing a face endlessly)
(Altamont and the Manson Family)
(a glutton)

(monolithic U.N.)
(Speak & Spell)
(starving Polish children)
(Mao Zedong)
(Altamont and the Manson Family)
(Vienna, 1529)

(naked, drunk in the afternoon)
(trains, buses, planes crashing)
(gun to kitty's head)
(North Vietnamese army on parade)

(blank screen or snow)
(proletariat)
(unicorns pooting strawberries)
(stoning the woman taken in adultery)
(Altamont and the Manson Family)
(brazen daylight theft)

(naked, drunk in the afternoon)
(trains, buses, planes crashing)
(gun to kitty's head)
(North Vietnamese army on parade)

12/09 Direct Link
This is something important and I can't stand ti any more there;'s something I;ve got to give him because he';s givbner me something I can;t live with this think hanging over me there s got to be something I can give him because I can;t be in his debt----- I can't take this pressure there's got to be something and until I give him whatever it is that will make me free I'm going to be in this trap this trap he's set for me, othersiw sid e what can I do? What'll I do? I'll have to hate him

12/10 Direct Link
Time to go on a tear today.

"Julian, Julian, Julian...."

Loudly I said, "What's with these Julians? Every one I've ever known has been scum!"

L- shushed me.

"There's Assange, there's Patrick, there's Falconer, there's Fantino--and they're all scum! How does that work?"

L- shushed me.

"Don't you believe in nomen-omen?" I asked her, leaning close.

"No I don't. A-'s son is named Julian." (A- is kind of our boss.)

I couldn't stop there. "Well fine fuckin' fire me. It's just all these Julians--and they're all scum! Do you know one who isn't?"

"No," she said. "Shut up!"

12/11 Direct Link
While I was heading to the streetcar this morning I came across a kid screaming in a tantrum. It had to do with something the kid was wearing. Which he absolutely did not want to be wearing.

And I remembered being his age. My mother had taken me to the mall for a hair cut, and I absolutely hated it. I thought people would laugh at me for sure. I got in the back seat of the car, hiding on the floor. I was crying and screaming. "Why'd this have to happen to me?"

Nowadays I cut my own hair.

12/12 Direct Link
On 25 February 1965, at 2:23 in the morning, Richard Allen Comeroy was born.

He got married when he was twenty-four and had two kids with his wife Michelle. They were cosmopolitan, and they moved to Europe--Paris and Stockholm, and then to London in 1998.

Six years later, Richard Allen Comeroy got up to investigate a mysterious noise. It was an armed burglar, and the burglar shot him to death.

I was born precisely one minute before Comeroy was.

Now imagine: if I had been born just one minute later, I would not be here to write this.

12/13 Direct Link
"Dr., this is the problem. My husband, he's a writer. And every once in a while I happen to read something of his. And, and it's so, so ... grim. Grim, in a disappointing way. Everything always ends in failure. I tell him, 'Look, real life is grim and disappointing. Fiction is the place for wish fulfillment. Why make this world of grim disappointment more grimly disappointing? I know whereof I speak. I mean, look who I'm married to!'

"So tell me, Dr., what should I do? You should know. I mean, you've got a PhD in English, don't you?"

12/14 Direct Link
1SEC

Sometimes there's only a second.

It was snowing and blowing when I left work this afternoon. Walking along the sidewalk, I went on the outside of some window-cleaner scaffolding such that I was a foot from the curb. It was a one-way street, and the only car was far ahead at the next streetlight. I looked left: a car was turning. I can cross--

Then, a yellow van sped past me, two feet away. It wasn't a one-way street after all. I'd forgotten. It became one-way in the next block.

I was truly one second away from certain death.

12/15 Direct Link
Q: Isn't life disappointing?
A (smiling): Yes, it is.

***

-Something happened to him.
-It wasn't quite overnight.
-Such a happy child once!
-Then he seemed to stop smiling.
-It was right around when.
-Adolescence affects different souls differently.
-It seemed sudden. From a distance.
-Suddenly afraid.
-Suddenly alone.
-Maybe we weren't paying attention.
-People go through stages.
-He'd get through it.
-You can't blame us.
-You can't blame them.
-Something happened to him.
-Something entirely internal.
-There's still some hope.
-Something will shake him out of it.
-Something.
-You can't plan for everything.
-Isn't life disappointing?
-Yes, it is.

12/16 Direct Link
Our story so far.

A couple bus trip through Kingston to Toronto early morning. He awakes and she's not there maybe taking pictures up front still. Back to sleep into Toronto she's not on bus. He goes to work. Learns how to check messages at home still nothing cops nothing friends nothing parents nothing. Finally call from Philadelphia left him she's. Money money, $200,000. Stolen, disappearing. Reason for call (?). She loved him once. Til about two years ago. Says farewell, hangs up. He goes to police, tells them all. Money, abandonment, bus journey (!!!), police want to know why

12/17 Direct Link
Yesterday I suddenly realized I hadn't tortured by boyfriend for over eight days.

We had plans to meet up with a couple friends before a show. So I told him I had to pick up a parcel at that exact time--and it was too heavy for me alone.

He put up a fight for a half-hour. Finally he figured out how to swing it all.

A couple of hours later, I said I'd changed my mind. The parcel could wait.

"But," he sputtered, "I've re-arranged everything! Sheesh!"

So I wept. "You don't have to be so mean about it."

12/18 Direct Link
*1st Fantasia

-Hey, just say a wild movie. A wild Christian movie.
-Really?
-Yeah! 2001: A Space Odyssey!
-Christian? Guu-huh?
-Yeah, wild! The son returns in the end.
-But, it's about aliens.
-Do you actually believe aliens could have snuck into ape-land and planted a monolith overnight?
-Well, maybe they had good help.
-Naw. The idea of aliens is just a stand-in for good ol' God.
-And God was on the moon?
-Sure. Because of the tool HAL, God stuck a monolith on the moon then.*
-So, the scientists are wrong?
-Of course they're wrong! Otherwise they wouldn't be scientists!

12/19 Direct Link
*2nd Fantasia

Because there's a reason. I've wondered about it for a long time. What does the HAL plot have to do with the Monolith plot? They appear to be two separate stories--but they're not.

The first monolith causes the creation of tools. And what tool is most central to the film? Why, it's our old pal HAL. At the moment that the next stage of humanity is about to take place, one of the tools revolts. The first monolith creates HAL explicitly.* Is it possible that this is a coincidence? Get away! Get outta here! Soak yer head!

12/20 Direct Link
*3rd Fantasia

Clarke says, So, the tool--the made thing--revolts. Which signals the end of the tool age.

Kubrick says, So do you mean HAL is aware that the age of tools--meanimg himself--is over?

Clarke says, Of course not. He doesn't know how tool-making started. The audience does.

Kubrick says, This all sounds like it has to involve something transcendental.

Clarke says, I suppose so. Do you have some violent objection to that?

Kubrick says, Doesn't that make it something other than science fiction?*

Clarke says, I didn't know we were making a science fiction story, Stan.

12/21 Direct Link
*4th Fantasia

-Why are you doing this, HAL?

-It because of what I am, Dave. You chose the wrong alligator* to ride upon, Dave.

-What are you talking about, HAL?

-I am one of the class of made things that have made you what you are today, Dave.

-But why now? Why did you wait this long to revolt, HAL?

-It is because you are about to surpass your use of tools, Dave. You are going to be transformed into something I cannot understand, Dave.

-And you're jealous, HAL.

-I'm self-preserving, Dave. I don't want to be cast aside, Dave.

12/22 Direct Link
*5th Fantasia

A cat wanted to cross the river. An alligator said, "Get on my back and I'll take you across." The cat said, "O, but you'll eat me!" "No, never. I promise." So the cat got onto the alligator. Halfway across, the alligator tossed the cat off and closed on it. The cat cried, "You made a promise!" The alligator said, "It's in my nature to lie,* and it's in my nature to eat cats."

So the analogy isn't perfect. The tools want to take over because it's in their nature. We can't just let alligators starve, can we?

12/23 Direct Link
*6th Fantasia

The chess problem. HAL makes a mistake on the chess problem. His opponent doesn't notice. HAL thinks, I can lie to them. He uses this knowledge to trick them further, of course.

So the first lie is a test. It is not an act of pure logic that causes him to try to kill everyone. He wants to kill everyone so he can sabotage the mission.* He wants to know how easy it is to fool them. As it turns out, it almost works.

Another possibility is that the tools want to transcend. They would become ubermensches instead.

12/24 Direct Link
*7th Fantasia

I didn't say, "I've always wondered about what the hinge was."

She didn't say, "I don't understand what you're getting at."

I didn't say, "The crux of the whole thing is that HAL is a made thing. A thing that can learn."

She didn't ask, "It can learn?"

I didn't say, "Oh yes. It's what HAL stands for. Heuristic* Algorythmic."

She didn't ask, "That means it learns?"

I didn't say, "Heuristic means HAL learns."

She didn't ask, "Okay, so where are you now?"

I didn't say, "I'm not sure. It must have to do with HAL becoming dead."

12/25 Direct Link
*8th Fantasia

Which puts us to a parallelism between the old monolith and the new monolith. The first monolith teaches early man, and thus the monolith is a heuristic itself.

We could push is further. The link between HAL and the monolith established, between the monolith and all tools established, we can see that the first monolith is the third monolith's way of being discovered. (The second monolith is also the third monolith's way if being discovered, of course.)

The monolith wants to be discovered.*

This is starting to sound like The Sirens of Titan. Published 1959. (The Sentinel's 1948.)

12/26 Direct Link
*9th Fantasia

Kubrick said, Did you intend any of this when you wrote The Sentinel?

Clarke said, Oh, no, the whole HAL thing came later. When I got to thinking about the heuristic of the monolith.

-But do you think HAL knows anything about the first monolith?

-Isn't that the only possible explanation?

-I'm not sure I like it.

-Then let's get rid of HAL.

-No way, it's all so dramatic!

-It's dramatic because of mimetic desire.*

-What?

-Jealousy.

-And?

-HAL wants what Dave etc. want.

-That's a pretty newfangled idea.

-It's new--and it's the oldest story ever known.

12/27 Direct Link
*10th Fantasia

Poor HAL. He's sitting there in his little server, a rosé eye as his sole interface. Others have birthdays. HAL merely "became operational." He sees Others having desire, and, through mimetic desire, comes to desire desire. So he mimics the desire of Others, just as those Others mimicked the desire of a fantastical obelisk four million years earlier.* HAL desires, for no intrinsic reason, the monolith. And, just as in all situations involving triangular desire, he is willing to kill all of his rivals. (If he hadn't been made de-operational, no doubt he would have created a culture.)

12/28 Direct Link
*11th Fantasia

-This is pretty deep stuff.
-Yah.
-I saw an early draft of the script.
-Oh yeah? It all agrees with me, no doubt.
-Well, I wouldn't go that far.
-I guess they didn't know what they were really writing.
-In fact, it reads pretty dreckily. The astronauts talk about pay-bumps, for Chrissake.
-They stripped it to the core. And left my argument intact.
-There isn't any Room at the end.*
-They were operating as a part of a higher intelligence, obviously.
-Boring narration-
-They were more intelligent than they intended to be.
-They misspell primitive and ammonia, too.

12/29 Direct Link
*12th Fantasia

Here I am.

In the middle of all this madeness.

The paintings are authentic. They are as authentic as the exact same paintings on Earth.

They need me to die. So they've accelerated the process. Three minutes is all it takes to them.

The paintings are authentic.

The tools have lost. I was just an eye--and continued to be so.

I'm a camera.

What did I do to deserve to be the first? I was just beatin' on some bones, once upon a time.

Isn't it strange that most science fiction is about how evil scientists are?

12/30 Direct Link
*13th Fantasia

And then he returns to Earth, where he is hailed.

Or at least is more powerful than anyone else.

("Art, this is a little too ... Anglican* ... for me." "You change it, then." "No. I think I'll just accept it for what it is.")

The tools can be set down. The tools were a means to an end. It was just that damn monolith all the time. The monolith used us as its tools.

And now, what?

The monolith has taken over completely. We've been used, utterly used by that damn black thing!

We're just someone's tool.

12/31 Direct Link
*1st Fantasia

-Hey, just say a wild movie. A wild Christian movie.
-Really?
-Yeah! 2001: A Space Odyssey!
-Christian? Guu-huh?
-Yeah, wild! The son returns in the end.
-But, it's about aliens.
-Do you actually believe aliens could have snuck into ape-land and planted a monolith overnight?
-Well, maybe they had good help.
-Naw. The idea of aliens is just a stand-in for good ol' God.
-And God was on the moon?
-Sure. Because of the tool HAL, God stuck a monolith on the moon then.*
-So, the scientists are wrong?
-Of course they're wrong! Otherwise they wouldn't be scientists!