Category Archives: Wtf did I just read?

The escalation of feline ontology


The baseline, the definition, the foundation. This is where it begins, grammatically and ontologically. We have introduced the category of cats, and the possibility of cats existing in some form. By familiarizing ourselves with the Platonic ideal of cats – the form of Cat – we prepare ourselves for the potentiality of there, at some point and at some time, being one or more cats. It all begins here, with a good Idea. Alas, like all good ideas, they only exist for as long as we keep them in mind

Cats are

This is it. we have reached the point of facticity. Cats – the category whose potential existence was introduced above – are now actual. They exist. They have made the transition from merely being a good Idea to being actual physical objects in the world. The addition of an “are” (is, be) might seem trivial, but it is a difference that makes a difference. Unlike ideas – however good – these actual things exist independently of the act of being perceived

Cats are very

At this stage, having established the reality of cats, we can move on to become more specific, defining the various aspects of actually existing cats. “Very” is a good word for cats, seeing as they seldom contend themselves with mere existence. They exist, thus they insist. Whatever the situation is, cats, in their veracity, will inevitably impose themselves on it

Cats are very real


Preliminary notes on the five categories into which all things can be sorted

Bears: at no point subtle, at all times very intent on what they are doing. Big, loud, affectionate and overbearing. Sometimes, brute forcing it is the only option

Birds: first impressions and associative lines of flight. Lateral leaps and bounds and flights of fancy. For whenever a quick getaway is required, and at times the cause of their necessity

Cats: head, tail, paw, paw, paw, paw, floof. Will never be anything but itself, but will sometimes body slam into you as a sign of affection. Can not be forced into anything

Snakes: logistics, trains, tenacity. Seeing it through from one end to another. Leave no aspect undone. Will out-endure you when necessary, and become intensely inert when circumstances allow

Spiders: weavers of webs and masters of endlessly intricate devices producing relentlessly specific things. Small and interconnected is beautiful

Prefiguring in medias res

“You can’t just start things off right smack in the middle. Readers won’t have context for what they’re seeing, and thus become confused. Whatever literary effect you’re trying to achieve will be lost on them, both in the initial confusion and in the latter stages of having stopped reading”

“So what you are saying is, Tolkien style worldbuilding through the most literal historical exposition possible?”

“Gods no. Books should be brave enough to begin somewhere after the literal creation of the world”

“That sounds very much like a middle to me”

“You know what I mean”

“How about endings?”

“Oh, you definitely should not end before”

Zarathustra on podcasting

The goal, of course, was to produce a text such that no part of it could be understood out of context. Each and every sentence would have some idiosyncratic characteristic or other, making it context-dependent in such a way that any attempt at quotation would require extensive explication. Or, if this could not be achieved, it would refer to some component of the sentences prior or afterwards, making quotations an effort in ever grander parameters of inclusion, until it all simply became too much. Better yet, these semantic interlinks could transcend mere adjacency and refer back to some passage many lines or pages ago, necessitating an even further scope of hermeneutic inclusion for those in search of a quote. The goal, thus, was an impenetrable fortress of words flowing over the reader, either like a revelation unfolding one interconnected line at a time, or like a comforting glossolalia whose beginnings and ends were as arbitrary as the particulars contained therein

Recipe for new dreams, v1.1

Go to new places

Go to old places

Go to familiar places and explore the overlooked nooks and crannies

Go to unfamiliar places and make them familiar

Walk every street in your city

Take different routes home every day

Pop into a shop just to see what’s inside

Find out what’s on the other side of that bridge

Pick a book at random and start reading

Meet new people

Meet old people

Ponder where your habits are taking you

Get new habits

Eat a new food every month

Ask him out

Ask her out

Become friends with all the neighborhood cats

Take a train to somewhere you’ve never been before and just walk around

Buy groceries from different stores each week



Open that book that’s been in your bookcase for years

Ask someone for a music recommendation, then download their discography

See what there is to see

Cook food with your friends

Leave nothing undone

Do it now

A comprehensive list of things Meat Loaf would do for love (and some he will not)

Will do:

run right into hell and back

pray for silence

pray for soul

pray to the god of sex and drums and rock ‘n’ roll

raise me up

help me down

get me right out of this godforsaken town

make it all a little less cold

cater to every fantasy I got

hose me down with holy water, if I get too hot

take me places I’ve never known


Will not:

lie to you (and that’s a fact)

forget the way you feel right now

do it better than I do it with you

screw around

Speedy scene transitions for writers in a hurry

There is now a door in the closet. Don’t ask

The protagonist entered a mansion through the wrong door. They are promptly sent on a deep expedition to the asteroid belt beyond Mars until things cool off

One of the protagonists notices a rock that doesn’t look like normal rocks. This is what they do now

The chorus comments that something is amiss


After glancing a painting, the protagonist suddenly remembered with unusual vividness and verbosity that one time when

A presumably benevolent forest bard barges into the situation and recites poetry for a while

As they carefully opened the outer door, they found out they were not on a space ship after all

Following the dictum that it is better to rule in hell than serve in heaven, we went

As the music started to play, everything faded away

He awoke. This surprised him to a great extent

As she awoke, she noticed the dinosaur was still there

As the bear creatures carried me away,

Among the great certainties of space travel, was the fact that space elevators take a long time

The drugs kicked in faster than I thought

While the invention of teleportation sure sped things up, it was considered polite to ask first

Computer, end program

A new character enters from stage left. They bring news

The cat escaped. We followed

The need to soliloquy suddenly grips one of the usually silent characters

There is one new notification

This snowball has more gravity than it should have

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Thus, we suddenly found ourselves in

Snake magic. Why did it have to be snake magic

Having thus closed the book, she sighed


A small clockwork device lay on the floor. As I cautiously picked it up, it started to whir and rotate in an ever faster manner

Let me tell you one thing: budget cuts sure shift things around

We fell. It took a while

Have you heard about the Kenosha Kid?

It was at that moment my spider sense started tingling

Everything is almost ready to go. There’s just one thing left

No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? I sensed that it was connected with the taste of the tea and the cake, but that it infinitely transcended those savours, could, no, indeed, be of the same nature. Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it?…And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom , my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

All the king’s horses

The book rewarded rereading. In fact, it managed to become an entirely new story upon every subsequent reread, each time from a new point of view. Or, sometimes, from a point of view so thoroughly redefined as to become a new character, for all intents and purposes

Most stopped at their fifth or sixth reread, not because of a sense of having understood it all, but because things ended in a nice place this way. Some, however, had pushed the boundaries and were now at their nineteenth successful redefinition of the narrative, each reread as dramatic as the last one. When asked, however, their responses were either vague or incomprehensible; it is unclear whether this stems from a fear of spoilers, or the impossibility of communicating their understanding to those not already in the know

In an interview, a daring journalist once asked the author how he managed to accomplish this feat of literary polysemy. The author had only shrugged and replied that he only wanted to write a story about someone walking their dog, with some strange happenings along the way. The response from the fanbase was immediate and surprisingly coherent:

The dog? The dog! The dog! The dog? The dog!

Attention deficit

This was clearly a dream. Everything was too ordered and structured to be otherwise. To be sure, it was all disjointed pieces juxtaposed in parallel with no clear reasons for anything being where it was, but every piece was also clearly delineated from other pieces in such a way that there could be no confusion as to which was which. Such precisely organized chaos could only be the product of a dreamscape; any real agent organizing these things would attempt to impose some sort of principle or another into what went where, rather than this haphazard everything everywhere all at once kind of hot mess

Somewhere in the back of his mind, a nagging suspicion made him think that this might be one of those rare moments in his life where paying attention to what was going on might be a priority

Attention was duly paid

It turned out that each and every one of these strangely underorganized pieces were reconstructions of conversations that took place after he had left the scene. Some were about him specifically, some about other things. Some conversations painted him in a flattering light, others not. Some surprised him, others came crashing down on him the way only a confirmed suspicion could crash and down

At length, the dream ended. Immobilized by insight, he stayed put in bed the rest of the day, to sort out what even had happened and how to deal

Attention was duly paid

When you see it

The video clip began

Immediately, it was apparent that this was porn. Nothing in the proceeding seconds did anything to dispel this insight. Strangely enough, they also did very little to support it. As the moments went by, very little of a pornographic nature took place. Very little, in fact, took place. There were no characters to speak of, barely even anything in motion. Still, somehow, the very essence of porn was evident all over, communicated loud and clear to anyone who saw or heard it unfold. All this without bothering with people, plot or anything else beginning with the letter p. This video clip managed to convey everything without everything – a masterful subversion of genre and medium

Needless to say, a great many academic articles were written about this relatively short video clip. Not a single one of these articles dared mention it directly, leading to a powerful surge of circumlocution, some more skillfully performed than others