Past few days, in Jordanian history (i.e. mine, not the country’s):
- mindnumbing boredom occasionally broken up by actual opportunity to sell something to customers
- playing on rope swings for remaining hours
- maybe squeezing in a few hours’ sleep on a night or two until I am interrupted by friends knocking on my window because they were locked out
- maybe one instance of substantial writing
- during everything, keeping up my schedule of constant reading (acquired and read through Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book, got through like a page of Finnegans Wake, reread Only Revolutions for sake of maybe figuring a thing or two out, and am now over halfway through David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King)
Thank fuck this hectic period is over. Weird to call it “hectic” when business has been deader than it’s literally ever been, though.
But god I recommend The Pale King.
In the back of my mind, there’s always the knowledge that everything I do, every goal, every task, every story I write and book that I read, is all just procrastinaton to put off the ultimate thing I still believe I need to do, all because everyone tells me I shouldn’t.
Occasionally I suspect, possibly in delusion, that all the reading and writing is shifting my focus away from doing that thing altogether, but the feeling of having to do it always comes back. It’s the inescapable familiar, the ultimate action.
Sometimes I get happy. Sometimes I obsess over things and no longer think about it. But every time, my obsessions creepily take me in the direction of thinking about it, probably because it is everywhere in art. It’s implied in The World’s End, it’s considered in Hamlet, it happens in Infinite Jest, it’s struggled with in The Parallax, it’s shown in House of Leaves, it’s attempted in Only Revolutions, it’s thought about in Ulysses.
I often try to reason with it, try to step back and figure out why I can’t seem to escape thinking about it. I suppose it might be obvious why. But if this, too, is a matter of a hole that needs filling, then this is my biggest hole, and I’m not all too sure how long it’s been here.
When your own mum tells you she wishes you had gone through with it, at twelve years old, I guess that fixes it in your mind for years to come.
I rarely get intent. I’m usually just stuck in ideation.
While there’s elements of that in the sequel (because by then I had actually read Lovecraft works), regarding the logs themselves that’s an interesting thing to take out of them. I think just about anything is scarier than the unknown; I think the unknown is fascinating, and any sense of discovery is something to relish. This is why I loved writing the rabbit holes. I tried to emphasize in the logs that it’s the familiar that is the greatest fear.
There’s a lot to be said about the horror of a mystery and the horror of a tragedy and which is scarier and to who. But I mean, like, when I think of the unknown, I don’t fear it for my lack of knowledge— I fear it because I expect the unknown to actually be relatable. Like if you walk down a dark corridor and don’t know what’s on the other side, you’re scared because you expect what’s on the other side to be something familiar like a ghost or a murderer or a spider. Something tangible your mind conjures up from past anxieties. Something familiar. The actual mystery of not knowing what’s on the other side, that’s more of a thrill, a curiosity.
And maybe Lovecraft would disagree with me on this, but we’re humans, we’re curious and we’re stubbornly good at adapting our mindsets to be able to comprehend something different and impossible, or at the very least we block it out. What it takes to break our minds is the known, the monotonous, the hopeless, the horrible thing we already know too well but we cannot escape from no matter how hard we try. What breaks people’s minds in Lovecraft stories is not the unknown but the realization that they cannot escape against these horrible creatures that do not care about our suffering. If you ask me, I’d say that’s a very familiar thing.
…whoa, I didn’t quite mean for this reply to sound so argumentative or hostile or anything and I apologize for that. Maybe I just have really specific tastes, in which case feel free to just take all this as my opinion. That opinion being summed up as “Drama is the scariest.”
I spent two years committed to keeping them going and going back and editing them and constantly rethinking what I want them to focus on and how I want things to come across, and I wound up feeling very strong feelings for what I was writing about? I mean, those two things are probably big factors in why people like them, or at least that’s what I’d assume. That and I simply adore juxtapositions, in comedy and in horror and in lots of things, which it looks like lots of other people do too.
Or okay really I don’t know why people like the logs, I only know why I don’t hate them as much as most of my other stories.
Of all the blogs I’ve seen, this one stands out for a simple reason: Commitment.
This blog shows how ambitious an online writer can get. It has an ungodly ammount of twists and turns, it got media content that serves a purpose and it tells a tantalizing story that will make you think, fear, cry or a combination of those.
Before we get in detail, I’ll tell you this: The blog started in 2007. The story takes place in 2011. You are free to avoid anything pre-2011, but if you decide to read anything before it, you might find the story more entertaining. The violent takeover from normal blog to Fearblog can be a nice surprise, and some of the posts (Especially those of 2010) offer characterization and powerful foreshadowing.
Now, on the story. Jordan Eats is the chronicle of a young man’s descent to madness, his dealings with a malignant creature with strong ties to prog music, and how he must escape before it’s too late. The driving force of events, a creature named after some prog songs (the Epping AquaTarkus), is one of the most chilling Fears, and won’t stop at nothing until Jordan is out of the picture.
This blog is full of references, wordplay and between-the-lines information, and the type Magic Realism used in this blog is quite similar to the one used by Gabriel García Márquez (Chekov guns, repeating cycles, deconstruction of life, abnormal view of the mundane…)
Of note is the use of media in this blog. Most Fearblogs, even those made by people with a lot of commitment, never go that far in their search of realism. At most, a blog will contain voice-acting in a couple of posts, or a couple of pictures. Jordan Eats, however, includes evidence in all its forms: Photos, Video, and text. The videos are well acted and cover the visually impressive part of the blog, the text covers the most emotional aspects using all-caps, ellipsis, and stream of consciousness.
It’s an enjoyable read, and as I said before, the change from normal to Fearblog can add more to the experience. From someone who posts his love of Paper Mario to that same person contemplating something that can only be seen as suicide.
The blog is quite long, as it covers a complete year of investigations. It is one of the blogs that require calmness of mind and moderate analytic skill to be truly enjoyed, and may even require a second read in order to truly make sense.
I feel so extremely good about myself now. I do remember all the effort I put into Jordan Eats, and all of my attempts to keep it going despite setbacks (the most notable being Nathan and Kit moving back to America, resulting in a third movement that became utter stagnancy). I still think the last section of the blog is the best, the descent into Metropolis, but y’know what people keep telling me the rest of it was good too, so maybe someday I’ll take another look at this, my first blog.
I know that the experience of writing it wound up influencing a lot of things I would later go on to explore in other stories, as even if I think the blog was just plain shit in execution, it did have some ideas I still love.
Though admittedly the main reason I’m reluctant to read it again is because maybe it did execute some emotions really well and I don’t know if I can handle the memories of that time.
But thank you. Really thank you. Hell, thank you for even reading the pre-story posts; I’m amazed that you found value in doing that.
Fun fact: The Slender Man is actually a big fan of classic Irish modernist literature.
HEY I SET UP A TROPES PAGE FOR THIS
PLEASE HELP ME WORK ON IT
Thunderous roar. Convocation flow, five. DVD menu press play. Copyright warning audience, eight. Broken home, interesting imagery but A house in half, family torn in two— Hardly accurate. A dying man? Better, individual. Better but not individual. Title credits: Non-24 Sleep/Wake Disorder. (Depends on syntax.) One silhouette, mixing arms, mythological entity to many: To some known as ALP To you known as Misericordia (depends on contax) She’s wife of Bill, his hook her hand. Lost appendages to unspoken memories.
Years later told of years past when bracing destiny Misericordia gave a last-word “no” to the fucking affair overcome with a pent-up twenty-odd-years-of-marriage rage with left hook and fist hook and Bill’s hook flying Misericordia smacked a whack and Bill came tumbling down the stairs thrown from atop his internal world never to see never to feel never to know that which he had so long considered his undeniable right a right alright a right to feel proud a right to head in the clouds a right to centre his world around his needs no more no more Bill’s head in the clouds Misericordia thought no more silent rebuttals Misericordia thought no more of this it’s this or that he can’t have it both ways Bill has got to choose and here comes Bill right now to choose choose choose he will choose.
Wake up (so you can) smell the cigarettes. Take a (no you can’t) packed lunch small (depends on sintax, y’know man?) acked l acked l acked l acked l Her to him to you. Nobody not nobody likes a reclusive writer protagonist, But write what you know. Blame him in your sleep perchance to dream— Skirting the shirts of madmen— Hallucinate desert allusions for cultures you merely pose.
Years later told of years past enough told of years past enough written of years past this part that part the part we all know the part you always (you’re allways sixteen in an apocalypse) know the part where you get involved the less ground retreaded here the better years later told of years past the years you spent slaving over a heal slaving over a therapeutic deal the instinct came from years past (told of years later) you were conditioned to not kill yourself you were conditioned to suffer through it you were conditioned above all else to seek help help with a capital H and you spent your years down the prison of suicidal ideation and you never really got out but you’re still alive alive to watch this film alive to keep talking to Misericordia and to Bill and thanks to your struggles they communicate but never told of years past.
When Bill met I-Love-YouSee, five. Scene change, imagination takes over: New NYC City. (Eight, or is it thirteen?) Flight plain midwest noreaster, five Forbidden Bible references litter locational conditioning. Shut up Before he makes you, five Years of recovery stem from what was effectively One dude’s mid-life crisis. (Depends on syntext.) When Bill met I-Love-YouSee, five Scenes earlier than we’ll ever know, Misericordia wept For the depth of sleep (she mourns it). Shouts from the neverresting deep.
Years later told of years past Misericordia seized up muscle spasms and the lot she had to go to hospital and it scared the buggers out of you but that day was the first day this poem gave you misplaced displaced guilt Misericordia came out of it alright and Bill blamed her still refusing to choose choose choose either I-Love-YouSee or Misericordia it can’t be both not in this marriage years later told of years past a family torn in two more like a family of five torn into eight and some of those parts died and will never come back so even in this happy ending where Misericordia shouts in her sleep this is the happy ending remember that this is the happiest outcome nightmares denial a family missing parts and suicidal ideation this is the fucking happy ending but that’s alright in The End.
Scholars note, and teachers alike, That at this point the coconherent moving snapshot Slows down its frame rate. (So to speak.) What had been, to this point, fluid story, Is exposed as the lineart Is mocked back to Mothearth Like the baseline rot, the streamline dreamline yellow Its basics, as basic one-hundred-one-diddy-un Had always, in truth, been. All we, the nomniscient nawdience, are left with Is a series of This, This which the critics belittled Mocked towards This’s apparent fatherland Exposed as the texture, colours Like the upper circle, the mainline drainline purple (With a hint of meringoue, herring, indiewhoa) (Grammaratarians: Insert a comma here) Its precisements, as ambiguous DOTArussianformalismraring Had always, in truth, been (dismissed as “Joyce-lite”)?
For the record, I’m definitely still writing. I’m always still writing. Writing is who I am, as well as happy and a frequent reader of things. I have a pretty solid idea of what The Cockroach Metamorphosis is going to be, even of its freaking ending. So I suspect we’ll get to that at some point. Just keep on keepin’ on.
Only read Infinite Jest if you like extremely painful kicks to the balls, emotionally speaking. The book is ridiculously rewarding and beautiful, but it will do nothing but depress you again and again and again and again and there is very little relief. Go into it expecting a tragedy. You will still be surprised by how it goes. The book is indefinable.
I feel so empty now that I’m done.