Saturday, May 27, 2017

Imagine if one day I actually finished this novel

What if Beyonce Knowles had not been tragically taken from us at the age of only twenty-four? Would she have continued to grow and flourish as an artist? Or would she have reposed comfortably into a middle-of-the-road R&B career trajectory? What kind of world might we live in today? This story is not about that.

As seasons have given way to seasons, my belly has grown less of liability. There is still something hidden beyond its curvature. There is still some genital structure ever beyond the horizon, whose properties I can only infer from the beliefs of the girlfriends who mount its numinous ink.

But the belly which I once dragged around with me shamefully crashes before me gloriously. My belly announces me, tugs me laughingly by my hand along by white-flowered hedgerows. It is as if my whole life often is no more than a small ribbon, a small pretty pink ribbon flapping in the wake of the one boulder that finally manages to mow down Indiana Jones.

His fate is not sad like Beyonce's was sad. I believe all it would take is a little pink ribbon such as me flapping behind a boulder such as that, and we would not flatten Indie, would not even hurt little Indie one bit. Like spermy Kylo Ren with his ovum old man, up on the bridge, boulder and ribbon would penetrate Indie, quicken and potentiate and monumentalize him.

But you cannot tie a pink ribbon to a giant crashing boulder, because it spins without an axle, and Beyonce Knowles was tragically taken from us at the age of only twenty-four, without even asking.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Restrictive and Nonrestrictive Clauses

This is dumb but I got an email that started "Today we are marking International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia" and my sleepy brain's first thought was, OK more marking.

Anyway. In the midst of marking I had a flashback to Standard Four with Mr Cooper and "that" and "which" and restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses, and me not really believing it. And I still don't really believe it.

Microsoft Word Grammar Checker I'm looking at you.

Consider this should-be-straightforward example of a nonrestrictive clause:
Jo Walton, who wrote Among Others, is a brilliant writer.
... taking this inkling any further would involve exploring how "narrowing down a set" is maybe a clunky and misleading model for both the phenomenology and the metaphysics of reference. I'd probably have to remind myself what intensionality is again. Thank God for marking.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Somebody write this

Speculative fiction writers. In this culture, whenever anybody speaks more than a very brief phrase -- more than three words, let's say -- they end their statement with an extra word. This word stands outside the ordinary grammar of the statement. Whoever answers is bound by deep cultural logic to weave this extra word into their answer. If they were to omit the word, then to the ears of this people, they wouldn't even have made speech, just babble.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Annihilation thought

Jeff VanderMeer's nameless biologist from Annihilation must be the spooky twin of the nameless botanist from Wells's A Modern Utopia.