national novel writing month - a sophomoric tale

So November approaches and by the time you – or anyone – reads this I will once again be embroiled in two days of National Novel WritingMonth. Last year was my first attempt and I am pleased to say that I was successful in achieving the fifty thousand word mark in the allotted thirty days, although since the beginning of December I have done little to expand/finish what I had started. I’m unsure if I mentioned in last years NaNo blogs regarding my problems with finding a third act for the novel I was writing and so it has sadly sat in the doldrums since November last year. But, armed with the experiences of last year and having had the concept for this year’s novel in mind since midway through the month last year I am pleased, if somewhat apprehensive to say that I am confident about this years novel.


to appear to disappear

Like ‘big brother’ before it, the word ‘Anonymous’ has come to mean a great deal of things beyond its original intention. Technology has become such an integral part of our lives that what started as a crude, pan-offensive and hold-no-punches image posting site, 4chan.org has manifested itself in such a way that it is often touted on national news. The now household renowned hack-tivist group ‘Anonymous’ has taken a very key ingredient of the internet and, like batman before them, used it as a symbol for a special kind of justice.
So far they have stood for freedom of speech, the press and are currently inspiring jealousy in the ranks of law enforcement by toppling child porn rings like they were dominoes. These determined, skilled and seemingly organized net-vigilantes follow a paradoxically strict-yet-loose set of rules:

“We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

How do they succeed where our established institutions fail? How can they juggle the seriousness of FBI criminalized hacking with glib showmanship? The clue’s in the name.


going on (at) the game

There is a current furor in the gaming world, a divide of interests and sensibilities. On one side fire-fueled overzealous, liberal feminist posers facing off against the might of machismo ingrained in the hyper-privileged white male stronghold. War cries stream across no (wo)mans land as this hoard of harpies, armed to the teeth with history’s oppression and rhetoric storm the time honored Bastille of male-oriented, by-rights, verbose and staunch sexists; an ancient brotherhood of solidarity ready to unearth the inalienable truths of hidden succubae agenda.   
The sad truth of the matter is that this fight is fought by neither of these stereotypical champions at arms because, quite frankly, neither exists.


when the work is never done

There is an oft quoted misnomer surrounding the maintenance of the Forth rail bridge which spans the Firth of Forth on the way into Edinburgh. It is said that as the bridge is so long - upwards of 2.5 km - that once you have finished painting it you have to go back and start all over again. There is some curious fun in imagining the hardy painters, like Sisyphus with his boulder, living a constant yet noble task in keeping the mighty and spectacular structure safe from the wear of the notoriously brutal Scottish elements. Unsung heroes filled with the purpose of a never ending function.
Last week I wrote a little on the benefits of art and creative pursuits; on the unerring dedication to the process of creation and I began thinking, thinking about my (possibly overzealous) use of the term process and its near undefinable hidden structure on the way we produce art.


this is dedicated to...

In 2006 the BBC produced a dramatic interpretation of Sondheim’s opus Sweeney Todd, removing all music and giving the demon barbers role to Ray Winston. This version – added to the wide and varied list of adaptations to the story – claimed a further visceral look into the life of Benjamin Barker by taking away any previous frivolity and cutting back to the harsh realities of a man driven to murder.
When asked about his crimes Mr. Todd coolly answers:

“… At first I did it because I could, and then I did it because I couldn’t not.”


this horse bears no gifts

There are and have been many calls for the retelling of Greek myths, they undermark the basis of so many stories throughout history; they formed a view of the world which seems to transpose itself across the ages. Today one can easily see Prometheus as 80's CEO who gave away all his stock (and thus unimaginable future power) of an early grassroots dot com which lead to his eventual bankruptcy, now he lies on a central park bench destroying his own liver on a daily basis with whichever cut-price gut-rot dulls the pain best. Sadly it seems the story of the Hydra has almost reversed itself, having banded together a brave collective of 10 million Heraclean souls to fend off the dual heads of SOPA and PIPA, they appear to have combined into the frighteningly ambiguous and demonstrable CISPA