Long Sentences, Big Comments, and Slow-Growing Stories


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Long sentences exist because of the spoken word, not in spite of it. Short sentences are conversational but only because they follow, usually for no reason, the convention that we speak amongst ourselves only at the sufferance of each other. Conversation waits with limited patience for its turn to speak, patience thinning as the wait lengthens. In conversation, long sentences inspire interruption. Continue reading

Myriad Day


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I wrote ten thousand words today (in addition to this post) to see if I could. Early afternoon is indeed the very worst time of the day to write. Cranky, falling behind the thousand-words-per-hour pace I set and audibly cursing the distractions who think open exhaust expresses one’s individuality, I cut loose and managed to finish. For this reason I can’t really post the thing without offending a lot of people (and losing others with the long, circling, unreadable bits). South Park has already addressed the v-twin subject better than I could in that one expletive-rich paragraph. But I did it. I wrote a gen-u-wine ten thousand words in a single day, in about nine and a quarter hours, mostly on the subject of writing ten thousand words in a single day. A myriad of words, ten thousand, from the Greek. One hundred squared, which if you think about it would make a very challenging multiplication table. For the first time I think I can say I have a favorite number.

My nanowrimo experience was a bust. I wrote the fifty thousand but they weren’t of-a-single-thing so I don’t intend on claiming it. November was a regular month, writing-wise. Since then I’ve been skipping days entirely and being a slug, doing research. So I figured what I might need is a complete day without the internet but not away from the computer. I’ve tried to do this a couple times before and never got more than a few thousand words into it. My goal was to begin typing words into the typey-type and see if it was possible to spend absolutely all day typing stuff from my head without censoring much or editing. It is. Possible. Just. With coffee and ibuprofen. At around two in the afternoon my brain stopped working but I soldiered on while I set some food going. As mentioned above there was a moment when I imagined pouring gasoline on and lighting up every member of the open-exhaust-hipster Mafia. After this late lunch I regained sanity and spent most of the afternoon catching up. The final thousand words flew by in about 38 minutes.

I’m tempted to enter it into Mur Lafferty’s Magic Spreadsheet. Plus this post, of course, whatever it ends up being.

For the future I need to slow the rate. To consistently better one hundred words every six minutes it is necessary to abandon a thread of writing the moment it gets complicated enough to sit and think about. That’s not very satisfying and it doesn’t really advance the long-term cause. But it broke my tendency to distraction.

To the sci-fi fans analyzing the new Fox show “Almost Human”…


…I reproduce a piece of dialogue from the recent episode, an undisguised parody of Die Hard:

DRN: People’s lives are in jeopardy.

KENNEX: Dorian, you’ve been shot. Your head’s full of bubblegum, you can’t do this alone.

DRN: I have to.

KENNEX: And I’m coming with you.

DRN: You can’t. I’m designed to do this, John.

As a parody of Die Hard the episode barely even accomplishes that. It simply duplicates the plot points and some of the notes while slumping bonelessly upon Ealy’s and Urban’s ability to bro-up and chew the screen. This is typical of the show’s young life; it’s fun but lazy. As sci-fi.

As a comedy, though, the show has potential. But right now it’s trying to be genre-drama without giving a shit about either the genre or the drama. The writers aren’t likely to change this without being replaced, so I suggest they tighten up the comedy by whacking the slot to 1/2 hour. Too bad one of the leads isn’t comically plump. It could be a real thing.

Just a short aside during nanowrimo.

It was inevitable that the Cheney sisters would fall out. Mary came out under the protection of pseudo-libertarian wealth but even the whitewash of pseudo-libertarian social policy wasn’t enough for Wyoming. So under the bus her sister directed a shove.

This generation of Cheneys had a choice: live as a united family of rich and shadowy oligarchs protected from the day-to-day consequences of their backroom power politics… or step more fully into the light of celebrity and resolve their contradictions. Being as much her father’s daughter as Elizabeth, Mary Cheney was unable to conveniently step back into the gloom. Elizabeth could have let our dark memories of her father fade and gotten on with her life of obscene wealth on the Board of Director circuit, but unlike Mary she is anointed with the hubris of the child who was both loved—as Mary surely was—and is the politically acceptable vessel of her father’s ambition to rule from the richest corner of the right.

Submitted a thing


I submitted for publication for the first time last night. It’s a different feeling from what explodes in my brain after turning in an assignment right up against the deadline. I like it much better.

. . . and the quick rejection, right in the social-rejection part of the brain. Ow.

The Stenographic Putsch



Apparently the Tea Party was unable to stack the entire functional staff of the Capitol building entirely with crazy people, so it didn’t last very long.


It’s a good thing the staff aren’t elected. Who knows how many would be openly mouthing strange conspiracy theories simply to avoid being primaried.

Sleeping may be a good option for many



Because John Boehner is going to show his true colors very soon, and I’m fairly sure that his aged frat-boy act is going to turn venal and power-hungry very, very quickly. He didn’t just turn up as the leader of the Tea Party House out of random bad luck. He’s had years to slot himself in. He might have been fine with being Speaker for a House of Pork Barrel like in the old days, but the ball of crazy he’s riding right now is a ball of crazy he’s seen coming for more than a decade. And he’s not going to give up for something as abstract as the good of the country.

The goal of the anarchist far right is to cause a default. It’s been their goal for 20 years.

What should the Democrats do? For the abstract good of the little people Obama should invoke Article IV and let the House hurl itself upon another impeachment trial. But that might not be enough to break the anarchists so Democrats might be tempted to let the country default and milk the chaos in the elections of 2014. I see far too much risk in this. When this kind of thing happens, voluntarily, it’s a tossup whether a country recovers. I strongly hope the Democrats won’t tempt history by risking a fascist coup.

I am not a sleeper.


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I shouldn’t take politics so personally and I shouldn’t feel so strongly the stretch of tenterhooks from the mean-spirited, delusional shitshow that is this nation’s Republican party, but I do. I live here, after all, and the empathetic fabric of my skin is stretched just as tightly as anyone’s. I grew up in Republican-land and I was even a productive member of their society. But actually being hard-working and productive didn’t mean I got credit for it. I didn’t. Every generation realizes, at some point, that working is only a tiny part of doing well in the rat race. It took me longer than most to figure this out. When I realized that hard work meant little, when I realized that I’d get much farther if I bought a giant shitty truck, gained 50 pounds and joined the pseudo-anarchist right-wing, when I realized that I’d have to repeat Limbaugh or Randian talking-points at work and around my buddies, I lost all desire to martyr myself to the Protestant work ethic. I refused to live my life as a sleeper agent.

A good way to make an enemy is to restrict opportunities to members of a club. The stupidest way to make an enemy is to restrict membership of that club to the dumb, the lazy, and the mendacious.

My strategic analysis of the current situation is that unless a discharge petition goes forward, John Boehner is going to have to ride this out to the end. The people who think he’s going to be a statesman and break the Hastert Rule are mistaken. He doesn’t identify with anyone; he and his are very well set up; there is no motivating impulse that will wobble him from his historic path. He might even see a path to the Oval Office. If so, then we are fucked because there’s no arguing with a delusional wannabe-tyrant. That seems like a stretch given Boehner’s orangey loucheity, but greater turns in history are known.

More specifically short-term, John Boehner has already lost in any reasonable scenario. His only option for a win is the unreasonable scenario. If no Rs vote to discharge a D bill, the next step would be for the executive to invoke Article IV to avoid default. If Obama invokes the constitution to make interest payments then Boehner must either choose to give up (giving up his majority and maybe his seat in the election) or keep going without a budget. He would have nothing to lose. A louche and callous character argues for destruction, in this scenario.

What does Boehner see at the end of this path? Will he throw a couple dozen Rs under the bus along with his majority? Is someone planning a coup? That really is the only option for the Tea Party right now. Anything less will be another humiliation for them. They can’t win national elections; they can’t win much territory without gerrymandering; their only option is to continue the shutdown, assume that Boehner won’t bend the Hastert Rule, and keep their fellows from breaking ranks, somehow. Do we instead get an entire year of shutdown even without a default?

An entire year until the next election is a long time. An actual slide into deep recession maintained by Boehner’s adoption of the Tea Party mantle is a path into uncertain darkness. Can the country hold out until the election, then through the lame-duck Congress all the way to January 2015? I don’t think it can. We’ll either get enough Rs signing a discharge of a continuing resolution, some kind of coup, or John Boehner acting like a human being. I predict the former, followed by a D-House next November. Then an attempted coup. Followed by Boehner crying real human tears that smell of citrus.