Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Foundations of Decadence (part 1)


JEFFREY VON TRIER: Look at that. It’s a Liesbeth. Check it out, what I got ya.

LIESBETH: Oh. No, sorry, I don’t drink.

JEFFREY: What do you mean, you don’t drink?

LIESBETH: I’m sorry.

JEFFREY: Don’t you get thirsty?


JEFFREY: Can I get you anything else?


JEFFREY: What you gonna do with that? Thought you didn’t drink. Kidding. Lighten up. Well, so uh… that uh, that thing? You were gonna do? How’d it go?

LIESBETH: Pretty good, I guess. I mean… It was a bit heavy.

JEFFREY: Difficult?

LIESBETH: Emotional.

JEFFREY: Did he cry?

LIESBETH: He didn’t cry.

JEFFREY: That’s too bad.

LIESBETH: At least, not while I was there. He was just… einh.

JEFFREY: That’s something, anyway.

LIESBETH: Well, in any case, it’s over now.

JEFFREY: Over now. Well, then. Good for you. Guy was a dick and you’re too good for him. Cheers. Now to find someone who won’t go astray. Am I right? What’s wrong?

LIESBETH: No, sorry, it’s nothing, it’s just that term, “go astray”. I just get… Who does that? It just doesn’t make sense!

JEFFREY: What sense would it make?

LIESBETH: He’s just not like that! And her? He barely even knows her!

JEFFREY: Didn’t they date? A year or two ago?

LIESBETH: Yeah, for like five seconds, that doesn’t count! But they didn’t–that’s not even–

JEFFREY: Listen. People are machines that lie. I’m just saying. If I was you… A guy can go on for years, doing whatever, without ever thinking of anyone but himself, without anyone else even knowing about it. Happens all the time.

LIESBETH: Then there was that note.

JEFFREY: That note.

LIESBETH: You saw it.

JEFFREY: I saw it.

LIESBETH: That note. God! I can’t stand it! What are you drinking?

JEFFREY: This? Acts like beer, tastes like nectar of the Gods. Ambrosia.


JEFFREY: Thought you didn’t drink?

LIESBETH: Tastes like juice. Soda, but just… I dunno, softer.

JEFFREY: Ambrosia. I’m telling you.

LIESBETH: You and your ambrosia, man.

JEFFREY: It’s beer. I promise. What do you think? … Wow, you can drink!

LIESBETH: I gotta get rid of him!

JEFFREY: Out of your system? Flush him out?

LIESBETH: Yup. And you? Your system need any… flushing?

JEFFREY: I might have a few… bugs in my system.

LIESBETH: Is that why you drink?

JEFFREY: I drink ‘cause I drink. My system? For that, I need something else.

LIESBETH: Something else? A girl, maybe?

JEFFREY: Why, Liesbeth… Are you trying to seduce me?

LIESBETH: You’re the one driving me to drink.

JEFFREY: What, beer? That’s nothing. Not gonna get you drunk.

LIESBETH: You sure? I’m starting to feel it…

JEFFREY: Or maybe you’re starting to feel something else.

LIESBETH: Now I’m the one going astray.

JEFFREY: Thought you broke up with him.

LIESBETH: Not talking about him. Aren’t you kind of a stray?

JEFFREY: Is that what you think of me?

LIESBETH: Not allowed to think, I’m drunk. Couldn’t we… go astray?

JEFFREY: Why do you want that?

LIESBETH: Don’t you want that?

JEFFREY: It’s not about that. Why do you want that? Is it about him? Or is it about me? What do you want?

LIESBETH: No, you’re right. You’re right, it’s not about you, it’s just to…

JEFFREY: Get him out of your system?

LIESBETH: Exactly. Yeah.

JEFFREY: Good. All right, then. Come along.

LIESBETH: Where are we going?

JEFFREY: Astray.


What is it about Teenagers?

My family was a little different from Declan’s, even though we had the same age gap, twice over, three years between me and my older brother, three more between Jasper and our big sister Aly.

Well, half-sister.

Things hadn’t worked out so well between our dad and Aly’s mom. They didn’t like to talk about it. Now, of course, me being who I am, I know everything, but well… I guess I don’t want to get into it, either. Besides, it’s not really important. Not right now.

It was hard enough for us all to relate to each other when we were little. When Jasper was born, Aly thought he was cramping her style and never wanted anything to do with him. Then when I was born, she thought I’d be her side-kick, six years younger. She liked to help out with me. Or pretend to, anyway. She had trouble focusing and then as I started to become aware, I guess I really never felt all that interested in her and her big-kid stuff. I was the spoiled family baby, but even then, I was off in my own little world, making my own fun.

And now, things are even worse. Now we’re all three teenagers, more or less. Adolescents. Young folk, rather than children. All got minds of our own, as it were.

Gotta hand it to mom. Nancy Llywelyn. Strongest woman I’m ever likely to know. Putting up with us, not breaking down. Especially young as she was—barely twenty-one—expected to take in someone else’s two-year-old with her dad, and then add two more kids?

We just didn’t give her enough credit, you know?

Sure, she didn’t always keep every bit of it together. She’d lose her shit from time to time, like when we’d lose our shit, or when we’d lose her shit. She’d flip out. Break down. But she never fell apart.

Even when Dad left.

And we gotta give her credit for that.

(To Be Continued…)

Not to Bury Caesar

Friend, Roman, Countryman, lend me your hand.
I come not to bury you, but in honesty and faith.
How long has it been since we met in the field at Philippi?
No, not met, for I did not see you there alive.
Did you know I buried you? I insisted it be done in state,
For such is the esteem I hold you in, dear Brutus.
Come, let us be enemies no longer in this strange place.
So many faces have I seen here strange to me.
Such names, as Mercutio, and Iago, and Goneril.
A host there was praised the deeds of some Fifth Henry
And lamented the weakness of a Sixth.
One man I met, a madman, claimed to be Emperor of Rome,
One “Saturnine”—have you heard such foolishness?
Like a King, only greater—can one man rule Rome?
Yet perhaps, at my passing, Octavian did it.
But say, my honorable Brutus, how have you fared?
These nine years in Elysium, have you found comfort?

Nay, Antony, mock me not so. No such years have passed!
Days, maybe, that I have wandered these troubling shores.
No doubt that Octavian made quick work of you—
I know thou canst not boast of nine years without me.

I’ll call my comrades in arms to witness,
If ever yet I find them more. But speak you true?

As true as the blades that pierced that purple robe i’th’Senate.

Hold thy tongue, for I have substance yet enough,
I warrant, in this place, to rip it out.

How can nine years pass so without notice?
Are clocks such baseless things? Such rude mechanicals?

There’s strange play afoot here. Mark you,
There is politicking about, as that dread Henry
Seems to be on the move…

Can there be power after death? Ah, woe’s the Gods.

I’ve seen no Gods here yet.

No Gods? Are we not, then, Gods ourselves,
That we live on after dying?

What hubris, this?

Will not men walk on Earth as Gods?
Is not that Roman policy, since Caesar’s triumph?

Still that self-same insolence, ingratitude—

And wilt thou slay me now again?

No, gentle Brutus. You’ve offered only words now.
Our slates are clean, no need to wash them with our bloods.

Yet there’s thy sword, all bared. Why bear it?

There may be bears yet in these woods.
And if there’s one, I’ll wear it.

The Geometry of Love

KIMBERLY: Whatcha doin’?

DWIGHT: … Doodling…

KIMBERLY: Are you doing Math?

DWIGHT: I’ve always been taught to say no to Math.

KIMBERLY: That’s Meth.

DWIGHT: Ooooh. That makes more sense.

KIMBERLY: Seriously, though.

DWIGHT: Study hall is for silently studying, isn’t it?

KIMBERLY: Have you met Ms. Kelly? She doesn’t care. It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me.

DWIGHT: Do you know Marjorie Robbins?

KIMBERLY: Isn’t she a cheerleader?

DWIGHT: She’s a lot more than that.

KIMBERLY: Why? Do you have a crush on her or something? I mean, not that it’s my business or anything, but you brought it up.

DWIGHT: There’s just a lot of stuff going on.

KIMBERLY: Stuff that has to do with Marjorie Addams? Is she good at Math?

DWIGHT: I think so.

KIMBERLY: What does this have to do with anything?

DWIGHT: I think she may be gay. Like, a lesbian.


DWIGHT: So, given that—

KIMBERLY: Didn’t she date that guy Rick?

DWIGHT: Because no gay person has ever dated a straight person, either as a smoke-screen or an experiment—

KIMBERLY: I heard she broke up with him because he was gay. ‘Cause he wouldn’t, like… put out. Put in?

DWIGHT: Like I said, smoke screen. According to Rick, she was totally cold, completely uninterested in anything physical, then one day, out of nowhere, she pounced.

KIMBERLY: Sounds like loser patriarchy bullshit to me.

DWIGHT: I’m not ruling that out, but there are other things going on here that don’t add up.

KIMBERLY: Hold on—that’s what you’re doing?

DWIGHT: I’m trying to figure out exactly what’s going on here, socially.

KIMBERLY: I thought you said you were doing Math.

DWIGHT: If you’ll recall, you were the one who said I was doing Math. And then I made fun of you.

KIMBERLY: Thanks. Thanks for clearing that up.

DWIGHT: Don’t mention it.

KIMBERLY: It’s just a little bit weird, you know? A little bit sketchy.

DWIGHT: You’re the one snooping.

KIMBERLY: Oh, I’m snooping? You’re meddling.

DWIGHT: No, this is just… a thought experiment. I don’t really have a dog in this fight, but considering all the different things going on here, I thought this might be a good environment to test some theories of mine.

KIMBERLY: Right. Because that doesn’t sound even more sketchy.

DWIGHT: Interested?

KIMBERLY: All right, fine, I’ll bite.

DWIGHT: You’ve heard of love triangles, right?


DWIGHT: You know how a triangle is supposed to be the strongest shape?

KIMBERLY: Might’ve heard something like that.

DWIGHT: Well, technically, a line would be stronger, if it were pointed the right direction. But a line doesn’t count as a shape. A line would just be two people who are interested in each other. Or who aren’t. Or one of them is interested, and one isn’t. Fairly simple. But then you look at a triangle—

KIMBERLY: Things get more complicated?

DWIGHT: And then you get this.

KIMBERLY: OK, what am I looking at here?

DWIGHT: It’s a theoretical model: a love-dodecahedron.


DWIGHT: Because two dimensions weren’t enough to think about this.


DWIGHT: And part of the reason for that is because some of the actants behave differently.

KIMBERLY: What does that mean?

DWIGHT: Well, love is supposed to be directional, right? Heteronormativity would suggest that a love arrow can only go from a male actant to a female actant and back again. Now, the typical male harem mentality means that multiple arrows might come out from the same male agent to a wide variety of different female patients, but they’ll always go male to female, and a similar process would be true for women.

KIMBERLY: Assuming heteronormativity.

DWIGHT: Assuming heteronormativity, correct. Now, if that were the case, that would be complicated enough, but in addition to that, we have to include the possibility that some of the actants might be gay, i.e. not display this heteronormative tendency. Male actants sending out arrows to other male actants, female to female.

KIMBERLY: Not to mention bisexual.

DWIGHT: … Dear Gods, you’re right!

KIMBERLY: Don’t mention it.

DWIGHT: See, if it weren’t for Marjorie Addams, I would have no problem arranging the entire configuration in two simple columns, male and female, but with her, there would have to be retroflex arrows—boomerangs, if you will—and then if what they say about Kenny is true—

KIMBERLY: Kenny is totally gay.

DWIGHT: That remains to be seen!

KIMBERLY: Oh, come on. Kenny is totally gay.

DWIGHT: Oh, Gods…


DWIGHT: What about trans people? If an arrow goes from a bisexual person to a trans person, that’s probably fine—

KIMBERLY: Not necessarily.


KIMBERLY: Just because you’re bi doesn’t mean you’re attracted to everyone.

DWIGHT: You’re right. That would be pan—

KIMBERLY: And then there would be asexuals.

DWIGHT: They would just be dead ends.

KIMBERLY: No arrows departing.

DWIGHT: But they could still receive them.

KIMBERLY: Just because a person is asexual, though, doesn’t mean they’re non-romantic.

DWIGHT: It would complicate matters, though. Eugh.

KIMBERLY: Why are you doing this?


KIMBERLY: What’s in this for you?

DWIGHT: I told you. It’s a theoretical model.

KIMBERLY: Why don’t I see your name on here, though?


KIMBERLY: This is me prying, by the way.

DWIGHT: I have no dog in this fight.

KIMBERLY: Are you asexual?

DWIGHT: No… I just…

KIMBERLY: Nothing in your quiver?

DWIGHT: I keep missing. I’m a terrible shot. Probably because the consensus is to say no to Math, and anyone who uses it.

KIMBERLY: That’s not true.

DWIGHT: Isn’t it, though?

KIMBERLY: No. It isn’t. Here.

DWIGHT: What’s that?

KIMBERLY: An arrow. Think about it.

Massacre at Bowling Green

Bowling Green was our 9/11, our JFK. Ask anyone in my generation where we were when we heard about it. We’ll remember.

It just so happened I was in line at a Starbucks—not a real one, just one of those franchises inside a Barnes & Noble—when I got the text. It was a Facebook notification: “Judy Wilson marked safe during Mass Shooting in Bowling Green.”

I froze. I hadn’t even thought about Judy in… well, since college. I figured she must still be in Trinity’s Field—I mean, it stood to reason, right? What was she even doing in Bowling Green?

And if she was safe, who wasn’t? Whom else might I have forgotten about who might have ended up in Bowling Green?

The answer was, no one, but at the time it gave me a neat little existential quarter-life crisis.

In the days that followed, the usual suspects were found and blamed. Terrorists. ISIS had infiltrated our country, just as they’d done in Paris and Brussels and all those other places we don’t care about because they’re not spaces that are known to be white. Until they did something horrible.

It became part of the narrative, one more reason—an immediate reason—why we needed to deal with the Radical Islamic Terrorists and the threat they posed right here on American soil.

I was always of the opinion that hate breeds hate, that the more Darth Toupé and his Empire tighten their grip, the more star systems would slip through their fingers and into the fire, to add fuel to it.

I was never going to support more war—but that didn’t mean I hadn’t already bought into the narrative.

But then Judy’s posts started hitting my wall.

“Listen to me,” was her mantra any time it came up, “I was there, I was in that square, and I am telling you, there was no Massacre at Bowling Green.

It was preposterous, of course—we’d all seen the footage.

“But I was there!” she insisted. “And I’m telling you, the whole thing was faked! I’ve been checking up on the deep background and at least one of the so-called victims was pronounced dead earlier that morning. Two others look like they never even existed at all.”

Typical Judy being a drama queen, we all figured.

But then Judy went missing.

What if it was all true? What if it wasn’t true at all? Bowling Green wasn’t that big of a place. It couldn’t be that hard to fake something there and just have the whole town on lockdown, monitoring and correcting all communications.

After a week, there were more conspiracy theories than there were victims in the (supposed?) shooting. “Leaked” ballistics reports out of nowhere, eyewitness testimonials, locals testifying that the eyewitnesses weren’t even “from ‘round here.”

After two weeks, there was just too much noise to make any kind of sense at all. There were too many versions.

So you might as well listen to the official one, right?

After all, that’s what the administration’s going off of.


What do they call it when you put your glasses together for a toast and they make that tinkling sound? Is it “clink”? Whatever the word for it, that’s what Jake and Curtis were doing right now.

“Congratulations, man,” said Jake LeCarré. “It’s a hell of a publication.”

It actually wasn’t all that great a publication that had just hired his friend Antoine Lamarr Curtis–if anything, it was a rag, a fluff vanity called Zealot Magazine run by a tycoon who’d come out of nowhere determined, it seemed, to make himself heard and make money in the process. But it was money, an actual job in journalism, or something like it, which was more than Jake could boast.

“Thanks, man,” said Curtis, “That means a lot coming from you.”

“Hey, hey, settle down now.” The fact that he still hadn’t managed to land a steady job was somewhat of a sore spot for Jake. Not that he wasn’t good—he never questioned that. He’d even had offers—plenty of them—but he turned them all down on principle. Jake’s research skills were exceptional and he loved putting them to work at finding connections between the bigwigs in charge of the newspapers and the bigger whigs in charge of everything else. And it turned out, pretty much everyone was in somebody’s pocket. Everybody but Jake’s white whale: the Sunday Monitor.

“No, I know it’s a gig,” Curtis added, perhaps by way of apology for the subtle dig. “I know it’s not gonna do much other than line my pockets and clutter my portfolio with fluff.”

“Hey, man, if you’re comfortable with that…”

Comfort didn’t have anything to do with it, and Jake damn well knew it. They’d had this conversation before, about how privileged it was to act solely out of “principle”, to be able to afford to.

“That’s why I do it, though,” Jake always insisted when it came up. “I’m not telling you it’s what you should do, but considering I’m in a position to, I figure that’s what’s right. You know?”

Still, it was a point of contention between them.

“Hey, babe,” said Nancy when Jake got home. “How was it?”

“Great,” he said, in a tone that said “We didn’t fight or anything!”

“Good,” she said. “You two should hang out more often. You have so much in common.” She wasn’t saying this (just) to be patronizing. They actually did have quite a bit in common, even beyond journalism. Similar levels of intelligence, similar tastes in music and art. And women.

“Sure,” Jake agreed. “When we have time.”

A lot happened between then and the next time both of them “had time.” Jake had been freelancing and he continued to do so, selling his investigative think-pieces to anyone who would give money for them. He refused to start a blog. He claimed it was because he didn’t trust them and no one should, because there wasn’t any vetting process going into it, but Nancy secretly understood it was because he hated the ass-kissing that goes into marketing almost as much as he hated the idea of being a corporate shill.

Curtis, meanwhile, got some positive attention at Zealot, hooked up and broke up with a number of girls who never quite seemed to make the right noises, until he found one who did. He moved out of estate, traveled out of country, came home.

The biggest shifts, though, were for Nancy.

Nancy Pribess was an artist. Photographer, mostly. She’d had some shows, sold some pieces, balked at more modern technologies. She didn’t have the same relationship with words that Jake did, or Curtis. Maybe it was because words are too easy to lie with.

But then her sister died. Wendy Pribess, known to her colleagues as the “Spyder”, was a special agent in the FBI. She’d tracked a serial killer who called himself Kaman Set on a rampage across seven non-contiguous states to his hometown of Trinity’s Field, NC, and there, in accordance with horror-movie logic, she got caught up in the action and killed in the crossfire.

Nancy started to show the signs of grief pretty immediately, but she must have gotten caught up somewhere in the middle. “Something doesn’t add up,” she insisted every time she went over the police reports, the witness accounts.

“It does,” Jake assured her, and he tried to explain, but—

“No,” she would say. “No, no, it just doesn’t feel right!”

She started looking into it, the whole case. She had, at last, become somewhat a journalist in her own way. Just maybe not the right way. “I’m telling you,” she’d say, “there’s something more going on here!”

“And I’m telling you,” he’d retort, “even if there is, you can’t go anywhere without evidence!”

Still, she persisted. They broke up, but not until after she’d gone down to Trinity’s Field herself, moved there to be closer to the investigation. What she found there frightened her, but that only made her more desperate to discover (and reveal) the truth.

Jake, meanwhile, stopped thinking her obsession was cute even long before she started her blog on how supernatural events had shaped the small town’s history. But he couldn’t help but visit her when he found himself out on a story he thought for sure was unrelated.

“Does he work for Alchemyne?” she asked him, concerning the man he was coming to interview.

“I guess most of the people here in town do,” he said, not wanting to give anything away if he could help it.

“All the sketchy people do,” she said. “And a few who aren’t, but they eventually figure out what’s going on and then a lot of them disappear.”

Well, that sounded like bullshit.

Until he actually talked to the guy who’d called him, heard what he had to say (still thinking it was bullshit) and then what happened happened and the guy and his family were never heard from again.

“Sure lends credence, doesn’t it?” said Nancy.

“It doesn’t prove anything!”

“But it should still be reported!”

“People go missing every day!”

“Whole families? And all in the same situation?”

Then she called Curtis. Zealot, as it turned out, had it in for Alchemyne, had been looking for something like this for months, and now Nancy had brought it to them. Curtis launched an investigative report on Alchemyne Industries, their chemical manufacturing practices, their Human Resources Controversies and opposition to Affirmative Action or even color-blind hiring practices, strange unexplained disappearances and deaths in their offices all over the world, as it turned out.

The public ate it up. Everyone loves to attack Big Business, and Jake LeCarré rolled his eyes. There just wasn’t enough evidence. All these people screaming to prosecute, didn’t they understand the proceedings would be subject to due process? There just wasn’t enough evidence to bring it to trial, let alone convict. “You’d only be hurting your own case.”

But Curtis still got rich writing article after article for Zealot. “Hey, man, it sells. People want to hear it. And it’s not like we’re lying.”

“You’re just drawing conclusions from incomplete information.”

“And we’re admitting to that: look—“

“They are still reading it as fact, Curtis.”

“But what if it is true?” Nancy pointed out. “Look, if it’s not true, we will have taken down one horrible, horrible company that acted within the law to do horrible things—“

“And you will have lost thousands of people their jobs—“

“But if it is true… can you imagine? Jake, we could be saving the world.”

Jake shook his head. “I’m not buying it.”

“Is that because the evidence isn’t overwhelming enough, or because you support the free market?”

“I’m not saying that they’re not evil, I’m not saying they wouldn’t deserve it, but dammit, Nancy, there is a process!”

That’s when Nancy stopped talking to him.

“Can you blame her?” said Curtis.

“She’s not a journalist,” Jake insisted.

“Neither am I, by your standards,” Curtis pointed out. “And you? You’re freelance!”

“There’s something wrong with this country.”

“I won’t disagree,” said Curtis, “but that doesn’t mean there’s not something wrong with you, too.”

“I just want to tell the truth.”

“So does she.”

“But I want it to matter!”

Curtis took a deep breath. “What matters, Jake, might not be for you to decide.”

“Why Can’t I Be You?”

Tom Murphy and his brother Declan never really did get along.

There was a three year age difference—too much to be close friends, but not enough for Tommy to feel overly protective, always having this little kid in his hair. That was the theory, at least. Really, it was just a personality clash.

Secretly, though, each of them really wanted to be like his brother.

Tommy was cool. When he was younger, that meant he impressed all the other boys, which meant he always had a lot of friends. Having friends meant he got to practice all the social games that make men good at all the things folks like to tell us men should be good at. It made him confident, it made him witty—not in a nineteenth-Century way, but quick, good with a comeback. Good at belittling opponents and friends and even prospective girlfriends.

Declan wasn’t cool—at least, he didn’t think of himself that way. Instead, he was smart—that was his main identifier. He was a thinker. And on top of being a thinker, he had a kindness to him that made him hold back even when he knew exactly which words to use to bring his brother to heel. He wouldn’t say them.


But Tommy noticed. He always noticed when his brother said something to him that he didn’t think was true but then later it turned out it was. He’d mock him for being wrong and because he was the older brother, a lot of the time, Declan would believe him, and doubt himself.

When he was younger, at least. Back when he still wanted to believe his brother, to impress him. Back when he thought they could still be friends. But much as Declan distrusted his brother, much as he looked down on him for not being critical enough, he couldn’t help but admire him still—secretly, of course. Tacitly. To admire the way he still managed to bend men and women alike to his will.

(To Be Continued…)

The Magic If

They told her it wouldn’t be possible.

They told her it couldn’t be done, that it was a fantasy. She would fail, they said, and she would be humiliated.

She didn’t fail.

It wasn’t clear to anyone how she did it. If truth be told, even she wasn’t sure exactly how it had happened, because again, it shouldn’t have been possible. Even she knew that. But she had tried anyway. Possibly because everyone had told her it couldn’t be done. She felt safe in the knowledge of the impossibility of success.

But even though she couldn’t tell “how it had happened,” she had a pretty good idea of how it (could have) happened. She had seen a possibility, under certain preconditions, if specific things had happened in a specific order beforehand, if specific people had specific tastes or if specific people with specific tastes had been in certain roles or positions, she had figured, in the most precise of ways, that there was some possibility.

It had been slim, but she had imagined it.

So she couldn’t help but think there might have been something more to it than imagination.

She started to think about other things that people thought were impossible, things that weren’t satisfying, things that were needed but couldn’t be had, or got. She started thinking about all of the ways thing scould be different, and what would be necessary to bring them about. She thought about the biggest problems the way an architect might think about a building, from the ground up. She mined the answers to every single why not and for every facet of every answer, she asked back how?

And then she found answers. And then she changed the world.

The Race of Myths

Joseph Campbell identifies three characteristics of Myth that typify the effect they have on human beings and define their purpose.

The first is that they keep us from dying by reassuring us that all life comes from death and we must therefore feed on it to survive.

The second is that we must procreate, so that the species and, specifically, the tribe, can survive beyond us.

The third is to codify how we as a society should interact with other societies and their respective Myths.

The first two are obviously ways for the Myth itself to keep being told: both the individual and the society must persist in order to perpetuate the Myth in question. But the third is rather a reflection of the second on the Myth itself: the interaction of different societies is the main way Myths have to procreate.

Myths are alive, by the way, in case you hadn’t noticed.

But the weird thing about this interaction is that it doesn’t specify how the Myths will interact with each other. Quality #1, above, is basically “Kill or be killed”, quality #2 is essentially “Make up and make love,” but quality #3 could go any which way. How do Myths interact with each other?

Sometimes they’re polite and unobtrusive, sometimes they’re social and amenable, but sometimes we find there are Myths who are cruel and sollipsistic, Myths who insist that they—and only they—are Truth. They preserve their immortality by refusing to procreate, as though, like Zeus, they remember how they killed their own father and refuse to have the same done to them.

Do You Think He Knows?

SIEGFRIED: So… do you think he knows?

DWIGHT: Do I think who knows what?


DWIGHT: More, please.

SIEGFRIED: Well, I mean… he’s gay, right?

DWIGHT: Is he?

SIEGFRIED: Are you serious? I mean, you’ve seen him, right? This is Kenny we’re talking about.

DWIGHT: Has he talked to you about this?

SIEGFRIED: Well, everyone’s talked about it.

DWIGHT: Has he, though?

SIEGFRIED: Look, he’s gonna deny it, OK?

DWIGHT: Because it would make him unpopular?

SIEGFRIED: Uh, yeah. This is the South.

DWIGHT: So.. what if he actually isn’t?

SIEGFRIED: What do you mean? If he’s not gay?

DWIGHT: If he’s not gay, should he say that he is?

SIEGFRIED: Why would he do that?

DWIGHT: Well, you seem to think if he is gay, he’ll say he isn’t, but what if he really isn’t? How would we know? How could we be sure?

SIEGFRIED: He is, though.

DWIGHT: How do you know? When they say that being gay is not a choice, that doesn’t mean that we all get together as a group to decide who’s gay and who isn’t.

SIEGFRIED: No, but I mean…

DWIGHT: What does it matter to you, anyway?

SIEGFRIED: It doesn’t.


SIEGFRIED: I’m just saying, you know…

DWIGHT: And if he is gay, how would he “not know”?

SIEGFRIED: Well, you know, he could still be struggling. With himself. Trying to… decide?

DWIGHT: But you’ve already made the decision for him, so… Let me ask you this, what if he “decides” the other way? Is that something he can do?

SIEGFRIED: But why would he?

DWIGHT: You said yourself how unpopular he’d be if he “decided” to be gay.

SIEGFRIED: But he is gay!

DWIGHT: That’s not for you to decide! Look, there’s every chance in the world that you are right about Kenny, but whether or not he is, it’s not really any of our business, is it? Now if he is, and he tells us, that’s fine, but I, for one, am straight, so his orientation really doesn’t matter to me one way or the other.

SIEGFRIED: I’m just… concerned. ‘Cause, I mean… shouldn’t he know?

DWIGHT: I’m sure he does. And I hope one day he’ll consider us good enough friends to tell us. But until then, well…

SIEGFRIED: It’s none of our business. OK.