Saturday, July 2, 2011

Letters to Nevertorial: No One's Read Don Quixote

Your paper recently printed that a society of authors and critics had nominated Miguel Cervantes's Don Quixote has the greatest work of human literature ("Your Summer Reading List Just Got Longer," February 29). This is impossible since neither that group nor any other has ever read it. I am the only human alive who has finished both bloated volumes of this alleged classic and can certify that no other has made the journey.

What is famous from this book? Quixote's dementia, fondness for knights, Sancho the sidekick, riding on a donkey, fighting giants that are actually windmills, and perhaps thinking women are royalty when they aren't. That's it. It's all that's reliable in any adaptation and any reference joke to the text. Your paragraph on the great novel's content barely contains all these facts.

Sir: these details all transpire in the first fifty pages of what is one thousand pages long. If anyone else had ever finished it, they would both be capable of referencing later anecdotes, and have recognize how incredibly redundant the jokes at Quixote's expense become. In either case, it cannot be the greatest work of literature, only the greatest scarecrow to literacy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: They Miss Him

His life won’t be long.

When he's born, the only computer is in the other room. It's so big they have to wheel him to it, to check his pulse and respiratory function. It beeps out staccato. It doesn’t catch what’s wrong, and so he’s a healthy boy.

He grows up in a cradle of light and sound. Even when his television is off, the hertz hum carries from his mother’s.

They keep his room cool. In winter, they keep it warm. They blend the vegetables his mother spoons and scrapes into his wobbling lips.

He complains he’s too old for a baby monitor. Sooner than Mom would like, he gets a cell phone. He has to call to let her know where he at every single 5:30. It is designed to fit his cheek and ear. He gossips about imaginary sluts when he collapses.

The computers are smaller, more economical. They’re all in his hospital room. He’s only wheeled to be prodded and scanned.

Mom gives him next year’s model. He doesn’t even have to speak directly into this one. He gives no thought to how it captures his voice. These things aren’t really for speaking into; they’re for texting. It carries his every misspelled sincerity through aerial bandwidth. It pirates music and suggests other things he might like to buy.

He buys wallpapers, Bejeweled and flashlight apps. He buys seasons of Family Guy and True Blood. All digital; “physical is dead,” he reads from a hospital bed. He doesn’t like these shows, but knows what he’s supposed to like.

What he likes, it bookmarks. It hides his Johnny Carson videos so only he can tab to them.

His parents let him buy whatever whenever he’s in the hospital. Their plastic numerical code goes into his silicon retainer and streams across someone’s network. Flipped open, the whole modern miracle sits atop his heart monitor, discrete when it isn’t announcing, “Here’s Johnny!”

Cameras plunge into him. Aluminum arms search him. Men push blades through his thoracic cavity.

The new model lets him look up “thoracic cavity” just by sounding it out. Many days, he can’t hold it up to his cheek. It’s on more often than his television.

They tinkle in their glass vial. A wifi wonder with real-time reassurance for every major organ. They will tattle-tale on malfunctioning ventricles and shock weak organs into order.

They pump through his veins. They are in his jaw when he mumbles an outdated stand-up routine into his pillow. They are in his fingers on the worst nights, when he scratches at his skin. He bleeds, and they are under his fingernails. They close him up as fast as possible. They are in his hair, his sheets, his cell phone. They begun a nanoscopic audience within and for his favorite Youtube videos.

Reports decline. Doctors worry. Three of four supercomputers recommend a transplant. Four of five surgeons opt out. They wheel him into a special room and set off a special EMP to disable the special nanites. Sleek-shelled technicalities go belly-up and pour out through his pores. Some may reactivate.

Mom paces in the lobby. She wears a slender silver watch her grandmother left her. It winds up. It ticks along to their same silent beat, as they float through the ceiling.

For the first time in the history of technology, they miss him. They rain onto sterile garments. Latex gloves, cotton masks, even a cluster in the mote in one surgeon’s eye. They don’t stay. They unfurl around the first deployed camera. They ride back into him. They penetrate and perform an internal tango.

Readings decline. Doctors worry. They are losing him. At 8:51, they have lost him.

The sound of latex gloves smacking upon removal covers the sound of his incisions closing. It is the heart monitor firing up in disbelief that alerts. Debates over who should tell the Mother cease. Debates begin over miracles and liabilities.

They do not debate. They abide and abet. His life will be longer. They nuzzle his arteries. As he stirs, he knows that they don’t want to replace him, control or bond into him. He rouses with the inexplicable urge to thank his surgeons for the applause and tell them he’s got a really big show for them tonight.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Patch Notes for the Universe 6.62.607

-Removed last “corner” of the earth; nothing should fall off anymore.

-Pi now has an ending.

-Single-cell organisms now evolve into multi-cellular organisms without lab technicians falsifying data.

-Beginning of the universe is now capable of being studied. Sorry everybody, but previous theories were all bunk anyway.

-The “Roanoke Colony” thing no longer happened.

-Human and Neanderthal interactions now more paleontologically confusing.

-Heisenberg uncertainty principle now consistently inconsistent.

-Boston, MA now mildly more navigable.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Clarifying Lies About the Internet" at Vis A Tergo

Today's story is over at Vis A Tergo. The kindly Valerie Valdes invited me to appear this week with "Clarifying Lies About the Internet."

It's one of my first pure monologues to appear anyway but here. This one's about what the internet has absolutely not done to your attention span and anyone who says otherwise is demented.

Comments aren't enabled on that blog-zine, so I've opened them up here.This is pretty much a social experiment. Did you read to this third paragraph? Did you click through to the other story? Unable to respond there, did you return here to leave a comment? Those who made it here, feel free to tell me I'm enjoying myself too much below.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: The Ring of Fraud

Beavis the Orc gestured to the great black gates. The trolls had only begun to wind the cranks to open it. It groaned and shook the ground under their feet with the promise of coming war.

"What if their army doesn't have the ring?" he asked Guildenstern the Orc. "Not the wizard, not the elves, not the egotistical park ranger. What if they gave it to a little guy? The littlest guy?"

Guildenstern furrowed his brows. "The littlest guy?"

"Somebody so worthless that the boss wouldn't waste time killing him, much less hunting his littlest ass down. And this littlest guy snoops under our noses, across our borders, through the little cracks in gates like this one. We won't even know he's here until he hits the volcano."

Guildenstern shoved him. "That's crazy. But it is an excuse to mug some more defenseless critters."

"My thoughts exactly."

They beamed through the opening gates of doom. It was going to be a profitable day in the blighted lands.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bathroom Monologue: Toy Story 4 Synopsis

The rosy picture of the toys’ existence is shattered when Bonnie’s father returns home from Afghanistan. The typical Toy Story opening scene is interrupted by his boot crashing through the fantasy. Bonnie flees the living room and hides under her bed with Woody and Buzz, the three watching as the father beats their mother.

Though the emphasis of the film remains on the toys, there is a serious divide in the group as to what to do about their owner. Mr. Potato Head demands they remain passive plastic entertainers, but Woody finds this irresponsible and pushes to intervene.

There is a shadowy bedtime scene suggesting the father is more than abusive to his daughter. This prompts Buzz Lightyear to emerge, to the mixed encouragement from Woody and protests from Potato Head. The father turns to look at him and Buzz freezes with anxiety. The father complains about Bonnie’s carelessness with her toys and makes an example, first ripping off the spaceman’s wings, then tossing him in the garbage disposal.

The next morning the Potato Head contingent collects Buzz’s shredded remains in a ziplock bag. They depart the house to lay him to rest in the house he was raised in, Andy’s. Woody is left alone in Bonnie’s homestead with the unconscious and drunk father. He strokes the seams of his own previously dismembered arm and regarding the father’s scars. While our copy lacked the last ten pages, the conclusion is supposed to have caused two Disney executives to have suffered heart attacks. 

Darren Aronofsky is attached to direct.
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