Nan O.

This song concludes "A Null Leak Age."  Work on the next album is well underway.  26 years later than ideal, my new music will feature lyrics and vocals.  That's not to say there will be ballads and love songs, as anyone who knows me would find as laughable as I do, just that my poetry will become a part of the music.

"A Null Leak Age" Continues

The Overnodes

I have three more songs left in this album.  Two of them are within an hour of completion, but the fourth will take more work.  After that my only plan is to keep on keeping on.  Maybe I will do the whole vocal thing, since I am really a writer and my music has been sorely lacking in words.  All I have to do is overcome my hatred of my own voice...

I checked this out a little while ago.  It has digital artifacts and mid-ranges that get way too high in the first 2 minutes.  It's pretty crappy the way it is.  The last few minutes are okay, but I am disappointed I let it slip through this way.  When I get back to the production computer it will be easy to fix.  It's too bad I can't do it right now.  (Tuesday, December 16)

Quick Reviews

I really only logged on to fix another glaring error brought on by early onset senility.  Before I forget something else I figured I should review a couple of things.  I have not seen any new anime, sadly, except that Hellsing Ultimate is on AS; my how times and attitudes change...  There were a couple of good flicks that caught my attention recently though.

November Man was enjoyable, if slightly unbelievable.  The Prince sucked.  For the Emperor (Korean) was quite good for a Korean gangster movie, although it was somewhat the usual fare.  The Giver seemed like a misshapen twin to Divergent early on, but became a good movie before it was over.

I said the reviews would be quick.  I forgot to write them before I left home, and now I do not have the time to do them justice.  I never know when I'll be back online, so here they are.

Oh Joy

I quit discussing politics as a general rule, but I just couldn't help but say something today.  Active voting republicans everywhere are happy today.  I haven't felt this sick at my stomach since I mixed bourbon with my baby formula (don't tell mom).  I can only hope two years will be enough time for the rest of the country to get sick of the GOP again, but I doubt it.  If the past is any indication, all checks and balances against right wing power will be gone after 2016.  It's like there really is no cure for stupid  (notice I spelled "there" correctly this time).

It's not that republican policies upset me.  I don't care all that much for any of their policies, but I agree with some of their diatribe.  However, there are a great many republicans I don't like, personally.  And that's putting it mildly.

Wow. I actually looked at this web page for the first time in ages, instead of just posting.  It is definitely due for a makeover.  I think I'll get right on that, as soon as I change out my puke bucket.

I have more music to post.  It's a longer piece than the last few things I composed.  I forgot to bring the data with me from my home off-the-grid though.  Oops.

(edit: "do" changed to "due" in 2nd paragraph)

The Storyteller's Curse

A fiction author is a glorified liar.  The curse caught up to me before I ever spent too much time writing however.  Back then I was just a liar, or, well, a teller of tall tales.  I turned to imaginary stories over and over again through the years to keep myself from the boredom death, those million yawns that drag a soul down into the bottomless nothing.  More than once storytelling landed me in trouble, but one time will always stand out as the worst.

While in the East Baton Rouge drug court program, which happened to be in jail, my freedom depended upon my performance.  I did very well with leadership in their AA program, becoming a group leader and helping other inmates to face their addictions.  Boredom considers jail one of its strongholds, however, and it arrived in full force to shove a semi-permanent somnabulism down my throat.  I fought back.

During AA meetings, which the drug court program held around 50 times a day, there was an outspoken old convict.  Every meeting he told stories of his infamy and notoriety.  He was the hippest of all outcasts, the 'victest of the 'victs.  I sensed a challenge to my storytelling.

Before too long I had told stories that very believably made me sound almost as bad a person as him.  None of it was true.  All of it went down on my permanent record though.  The counselor's in that program graded performance based on how deeply a person was enmeshed in the negativity of the drug scene.  With every story my personal satisfaction as a storyteller grew, but my chances of graduating from the program diminished until they were nil.

I went to prison because of my storytelling.  It was not the old fashioned D.O.C. penitentiary system, it was like a little country club, but it was still prison.  And I did write a novel there, and drew dozens of pieces of high quality head art.  The fact remains I sacrificed a lot to tell a story. 

These days I try not to be so believable, or else people might believe.  Then again, I have also written very little fiction as of late.  I'd go to hell and back to avoid another situation in which peacefully telling stories could cost me my freedom.  But come to think of it, going to hell and back is the thing that has worried me recently.  Ah, c'est la vie.

"On Camera"

Here's a little gem chucked out by the old subconscious, almost as disturbing as something experienced a few years ago (which never got written about but may one day soon). The mind stores a person's visual memory; that memory can be accessed later by society's group consciousness, or by individuals acting on behalf of society who have knowledge of the memory's existence. That idea in itself is not really disturbing on the surface, at least not to someone with nothing serious to hide, but consideration of the subject easily leads to a huge number of factors that can be downright upsetting.

For the sake of coherency, and before starting this lunatic yarn, it is important to note that this self rationalizing vision/hallucination stipulated that conscious controls exist for use of the memory camera. While it seems nobody can turn it off, there are a wide array of controls that supposedly exist for this function. Thinking, “[Subject matter goes here], on camera,” denotes the things about to be seen as of special importance. Saying out loud, “[Subject matter goes here], on camera,” externalizes the camera and focuses it on the speaker.

It is important to note that this extended fantasy was effortless.  Everything seemed natural.  It was much like watching a television show.  I left out significant portions simply because describing what it felt like to experience could not measure up to the experience itself.  No words could transmit the simplistic hopelessness and despair...

One can externalize the camera and change one's face through a hand gesture I won't bother to explain, but that only works for people who have never harmed anyone. The apparent rationalization is that protections exist for innocent people. Sometimes individuals appointed to act on behalf of society begin acting on behalf of wrong, and innocent people need protections. One can also mutual a disguise with someone by performing the same hand gesture, but with both hands together. Don't ask me; I'm just the guy whose subconscious mind spit this out.

These controls came to be explained as visual memories played out, on the wall to be precise. The visual journey started off in the jail in a sheriff's department in Wyoming. The few law officers present knew about the existence of the mental camera. It seemed that the government had only recently learned of its existence. Trial usage of “on camera” (as it is was always referred to throughout this vision) for law enforcement purposes was being conducted there in an effort to sandbox the project. Frighteningly, my mind is very creative, and my subconscious mind ran wild with the idea. It approached the idea from every corruption imaginable.

The initial set of facts surrounding a visual memory record dealt with normal human behavior. While some of it may be embarrassing, none of it could be considered disturbing. From there the idea went through many sets of possibilities surrounding people who break society's laws, but do so with no intent to harm anyone. It's not particularly interesting, like adrenaline junkies who speed like maniacs through traffic, or shoplift for the rush they get, or people who sell marijuana on small scale. Those two classes of people just didn't anything for my subconscious mind to get its teeth into.

After that second class of people I would have thought the next logical step would be examining the memories of more unsavory people, but law enforcement came first. Although nothing about this “daydream” was really logical, going over all of the possibilities with law enforcement before moving on to really horrible things did make a certain sense. That brings us back to the jail in Wyoming.

Normal, workaday police with good intentions held no fascination for the narrative, since everything about them can be envisioned naturally. The next step was police brutality. There was a good bit of police brutality in that Wyoming jail caught “on camera.” These law enforcement officers were supposed to have known about the camera. There was one ranking deputy who wanted to control “on camera' for his own agenda, and for the agenda of the people in charge of the project, but the camera belongs to society's group consciousness. The more vicious he became in his attempts to hide his wrongdoings, the more he was caught in his own web.

Because of that ranking deputy's corruption, good people with knowledge of how to follow “on camera” became alerted. The power of good over evil, of right over wrong, does not recognize badges or uniforms or titles. So certain people began following that visual record in Wyoming.

An undercover officer was discovered who had knowledge of “on camera.” In this vision he had every known control of the visual record at his disposal, and went to great lengths to hide his identity. Eventually that man's visual record was tapped. It was discovered he tortured a suspect to death, a suspect he was certain was guilty. It took a long time and a lot of effort, but before it was over the undercover officer's identity was uncovered. And he went to prison for murder for what he had done, “on camera.”

Members of Seattle's Black bloc were identified as key to bringing the absolutely corrupted undercover officer to justice. From that point on the vision became deeply unsettling, as if seeing a cop slowly drown a man to death was not bad enough. Keep in mind the cop had good intentions. After that the imagined examination of “on camera” moved to people with bad intentions, and good people affected by people with bad intentions. Also increasingly alarming were visions of people losing their minds because of knowing about “on camera.” It's easy to understand why that would freak me out. That would include me. The longer the vision went on the more I wanted it to stop, and the more pointed those people losing their minds became.

Imagine suddenly accessing the visual memories of others involuntarily. That is to say, think about becoming a party to another person's visual memories and not being able to turn it off. That is far from an action of choice, as has been described so far. Now imagine the visual memories belonged to a serial killer, or a cartel enforcer. One would be forced to sit through scenes of horrific sadism and violence. I saw no such things, but the implication that such a thing would take place at any moment was horrifying in its own right.

Every second of this vision, which went on for many, many hours, but seemed to go on for days, was absolutely crystal clear, as if it had been filmed in 50 mm. After the vision descended from examining law enforcement to looking at the dregs of society, every moment seemed sinister, every person looked insidious. I recognized a number of people the vision focused on. I saw what appeared to be video footage of some of the most notorious people in North American history, and sometimes not just from the time when they committed their crimes. Sometimes the visual record captured them at different ages and in different aspects of their lives. These are things I had never seen before, at least not that I consciously remember seeing before, and never want to see again. And, once again, thankfully, blessedly, my mind was not assailed with their crimes. Just seeing the people was bad enough.

The overtones of horror can easily be exemplified. What if the murderer knew about access to the visual memories and wanted to show off? Take the case of the Virginia Tech mass murderer. I envisioned him doing everything as though he had the visual record in mind. It's chilling enough that he did it at all. If he wanted the world to be able to see what he did later, in real time replay, then it would make him even more of a monster. My mind is balanced enough to avoid recreating such an event, but I saw him gearing up and talking, “on camera.” on his mind.

I feel really lucky that, among other things, I am a fiction author. I can say I made this whole thing up. Maybe one day that disclaimer can keep me out of long term in-patient psychiatric care. But then again, considering the things I have seen, I might be cheating myself out of a well deserved vacation with such a statement. The vision kept going long after it didn't make much sense, and it was those things that thrust me into a state of absolute soul weariness, bordering on despair (it got really personal). I have only been so happy to stop seeing things involuntarily twice before in my life, long ago, when it was finally over. If you read this, then there is at least one thing on this earth you can be thankful for as of now. You can be thankful you aren't me.

The Fish

On the surface my maternal grandparents differed little from my paternal grandparents, except that my mother's parents were Baptist. Grandpa Kenneth worked at Ethyl for most of his life, just like my grandfather John. He also created streamlines to the oil refining process. However, John Samuel Day worked for Ethyl exclusively in Baton Rouge, but Kenneth Rollins spent many years working in Odessa, Texas. Both of my grandmothers, Irene Rollins and Wilma Day, were homemakers. Both sets of grandparents lived in really nice homes my grandfathers designed and built. Their personalities contrasted sharply, however.

While John passed his free time painting and working around the house, Kenneth preferred to be in the great outdoors. Irene worked with ceramics, for which she won Best of Show repeatedly at the largest ceramics club exhibitions here. She also read novels voraciously. Wilma always wanted to go into business. She was somewhat bitter about the treatment of women in the Southern United States, treatment that prevented her from attending college and fulfilling her dreams. She spent her free time socializing, keeping an immaculate house, and praying. Kenneth and Wilma were the two most devout people I have ever known, but all of my grandparents were really good people.

John and Wilma took care of me for years when I was a small child. I stayed with Kenneth and Irene a fraction of the time, but because of that I was always wildly happy at the opportunity to do so. Kenneth had a camp on the southern portion of the Amite River. Originally the camp was on land, but eventually, because of flooding, he built a house boat. We often went tot he camp and stayed the weekend in the house boat when I got to stay with he and Irene.

A few years ago I thought I encountered a panther in some deep woods in the Felicianas. Research indicated all the panthers died out or were driven away before I was born. I found that information extremely odd considering my experiences staying in the house boat. Late at night, now and then, one could hear what sounded like the scream of a husky woman. My grandpa told me that was a panther howl. I can't imagine he lied to me, and if that's not what it was then I can't imagine what it could have been.

The development of South Louisiana had yet to take off when I was still young. Vast forests covered large portions of what is now called Baton Rouge and is covered with parking lots and strip malls. The area around the house boat was as wild as it gets. These days the only places left like that are in the Atchafalaya, but back then we could fly down the river for miles in a boat and never see any sign of another human being. Grandpa Kenneth believed in the old ways. He picked a great place to keep the old ways alive.

We always fished for what we ate when we spent time at the camp. Irene loved saccalait. She fished for those for many hours from the edge of the house boat, and she must have had a good idea of peak hours because she hauled in quite a few. Unfortunately she was very good at catching eels too, and we both hated those. My grandpa set trout lines in the late afternoon as soon as we got to the camp, and again the next day. We'd go out in the boat and check those not long after daylight. The haul from those lines kept the freezers in Baton Rouge filled with catfish.

I spent enough time on the river to know when we had fish on the line, and when we had snagged a log or something else undesirable. One morning we were checking lines and I grabbed one that felt nothing like I had felt before. We pulled the boat out along the line until we discovered what it was. It was a catfish, one like I have never seen since except in photographs. My grandfather and I had a hard time getting this fish in the boat. I believe I was eight years old at the time. This catfish was bigger than I was. We knew nobody would believe it if we just told them, so we took lots of pictures. I don't think it could have swallowed me whole, but it definitely could have taken my leg.

I will always have great memories of the times I spent fishing on the Amite River. Those days came to an end within a few years. Besides my mother, my maternal grandparents also had two sons, my uncles. One night my younger uncle, Douglas, was out on the river and drowned. I very nearly drowned in the super fast current of that river myself, so I know that it was no difficult thing for the river to take someone's life.

To make a sad event even sadder, nobody knew Doug was out on the river. It took almost a week for his body to be found. I was with Irene and Kenneth when the news came; grief is a palpable pain. Kenneth sold the camp and the house boat and the boat and all their fishing gear, and never went fishing again. Irene had a sadness in her eyes the rest of her life.

Doug always called me Chopper. It was because I loved guns and spent so much time shooting. He wasn't a big man, but he was very strong. He managed to lift that fish Kenneth and I landed up into the air behind me all by himself, so we could take a picture, he and I and the fish. The fish really stole the focus of the shot away from us, it being nearly as big as Doug even. Curiously, I remember Doug more for all the people he knew in Austin, but we'll always have the picture with that fish.


I apologize to any readers who have caught my posts before every error was eradicated. In the past I never let any errors slip through, or caught them right away. I am off the grid right now, so when I figure out I have posted something with a mistake I can't fix it right away. It feels sloppy posting an error. It makes me feel dirty, in a bad way. I think I'm going to try to be more careful in the future, and read what I have written before I post it. I never had to do that in the past, but things change, and so must I.
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Related written works at Angelfire, Sex Symbols, Cymbals of Silence.Repent or Die