Dreams & Nightmares

This post has nothing to do with the blog…

Yet, it has everything to do with the blog.

A momentary pause on the Broken Mirror series.

This is a brain purge.

By a twist of fate that was not planned, I find myself tonight (August 28 2023) in a room at the Capital Hilton 2 blocks north of the White House in Washington, D.C.

What makes this hotel– formerly known as The Statler Hotel– and this date remarkable is that this is the hotel that sponsored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have A Dream” Speech.

That speech occurred 60 years ago today… and after that speech Dr. King and many of his organizers stayed at this hotel afterwards. In a hotel that historically had discriminated against black people.

It is impossible to be here in this city, at this hotel, on this date and not find myself reflecting upon the magnitude of the occasion.

60 years later… what happened with that Dream?

Where are we today as a civilization? A culture? A community? A People?

I walked around the National Mall as the 60th anniversary scaffolding is being removed today and experienced the enormity of the Smithsonian collection and I was struck by many thoughts pinging around my head.

And I don’t know how to unpack it all…

It is impossible to be in this city and not be struck by the magnitude of being in a National Capital city. The spectacle. The grandeur. The history. The monuments commemorating history. The history of the history. The history of the monuments. The history of this strange and fucked up country.

And nothing exemplifies all of that better than the Smithsonian. The world’s greatest collection of human knowledge and achievement and Science and Art and Industry and Technology.

This institution exists and has assembled and amassed the greatest collection of everything in the history of humanity… an effort to ensure the education of our society and that this education would be free for ALL. FOREVER.

You pay nothing to walk into the world’s greatest collection. Of EVERYTHING.

It was funded by money donated to our country by a man who never once set foot in it with the purpose of: “to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men”.

To be amongst the greatest displays of… well… everything is humbling. And here is the great promise of this country at its best. An institution of learning and knowledge free to everyone and anyone.

Yet it’s impossible to not notice that almost all of the staff of our National collection are African Americans. Surrounding these buildings are immigrants from every country in food trucks trying their best to grab a hold of the supposed American Dream. In a city built by slave labor where our National Phallus Washington Monument has two very strikingly different types of stone in its construction. You can see where a Civil War interrupted its construction.

The legacy of a divided nation.

On my way into the National Art Gallery I passed two African immigrants (unsure which country) who were selling Trump hats. Nothing BUT Trump hats. A whole table full of ’em.

And as I wandered around a gallery full of every great painter and sculptor European and American history produced– from DaVinci to Rodin to Matisse to Van Gogh to Pollack to Rothko and literally everyone in between– I emerged onto the roof of the modern wing of the museum staring down on the media reporters who were covering the trial date setting of the Jan 6 insurrection trial at the Federal Courthouse across the street. Up the road you can see the Capitol where the insurrection occurred. Behind that, the Supreme Court where the Donald Trump handpicked fetus fetishizers have spent years unwinding so many of our legal protections… like the Voting Rights Act which did not exist 60 years ago when Dr. King demanded all men be treated equally:

“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men — yes, Black men as well as white men — would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The juxtaposition of all these factors was made even more notable as I gazed down on some uberblonde propaganda reporter for Faux News– my stomach was in knots.

Why was my stomach in knots?

Because about 30 minutes earlier while staring at Van Gogh’s self portrait my spouse’s and my phones start going haywire with incoming emergency notifications and automated calls.

What were the emergency notifications pinging our phones simultaneously in this very, very, very quiet museum?

3,000 miles away back home our local PUBLIC LIBRARY had just received the 3rd Bomb Threat in the last two weeks.

The city I live in has this PUBLIC LIBRARY placed between a PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOL and a PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL. And so both PUBLIC SCHOOLS have to be locked down and every parent has to be alerted while the publicly-funded-police shut down our PUBLIC LIBRARY and send bomb-sniffing dogs through the building until it can be cleared before the kids leave their PUBLIC SCHOOLS for the day.

The fury and rage I felt made the ice cold air conditioning futile in this PUBLIC MUSEUM. I was sweating. Livid.

My teens 3,000 miles away in school.

Why is someone routinely calling in bomb threats to my local PUBLIC LIBRARY sandwiched between two PUBLIC SCHOOLS?

Because anti-trans activists have formed a “Moms Demand Liberty” group of bigots who have been relentlessly attacking our PUBLICLY-ELECTED SCHOOL BOARDS and PUBLIC LIBRARIES for the last two years taking shots at LGBT+ kids. They had a rally two weeks ago in the PUBLIC LIBRARY and were kicked out of the PUBLIC LIBRARY when their rally got too ugly.

As a result, the PUBLIC LIBRARY has been hit with bomb threats for the last two weeks.

And today– that I receive notification that my local PUBLIC LIBRARY has a bomb threat– is the 60th Anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic and world changing “I Have a Dream” speech.

And to be inside the world’s greatest effective PUBLIC library/museum/research Institution while my local library back home is under threats of home-grown terrorism is a psychological puzzle I was unprepared for.

To look down upon the typical eye candy Faux News reporter who was reporting on the Insurrection Trial of the 45th POTUS who is the primary person responsible for tearing this country apart and making it cool to be a bigot again while two African immigrants sling his merchandise blocks away as this city is reflecting upon the 60th speech about equality and the Dream of the American Dream that has never been given to ALL.

It made my head spin.

Who can give a shit about Renoir and Picasso when you’re worried about people you love who are being targeted with violence by bigots?

An hour later, still numbed with shock, I found myself staring at the actual suit Neil Armstrong wore on the moon. And I suddenly notice I can’t fight the tears anymore.

And I feel the tears slide down my cheeks and disappear under my N95 mask I’m wearing because the pandemic is spiking again and being around people is dangerous.

And it’s too much.

How did a country that put a human being on the fucking moon still not be able to deliver equity and equality of opportunity for all 60 fucking years later?!?

Where is the Life, Liberty, & Pursuit of Happiness for anyone anymore?

Dr. King was protesting the bombing of black churches and barbershops 60 years ago! Eventually, he would be shot in the head and killed. Months after delivering his famous speech the sitting POTUS would be assassinated. Whose brother would be killed as well when he ran a few years later…

It’s hard to see the Watergate Hotel and not think about Presidential corruption. It’s hard not to think about the privilege of the wealthy– every building and road and monument dedicated to some white, powdered-wig-wearing, son-of-capital-luxury-and-inheritance in a city built by slaves while disabled people wander the streets in extreme poverty forgotten by those who profit from everything… somewhere above me Elon Musk’s satellites dominate the sky while he continues to destroy a FREE SPEECH social media platform that had toppled governments in the Arab Spring a decade ago.

And it’s impossible to be thinking all of these thoughts and not be thinking about the purpose of why I started writing this blog.

How literally it was the decision of SCOTUS to overturn Roe a mile from this hotel room… How it was the January 6th Insurrection wondering how many of my fans were committing treason that day because they’re trapped in an apocalyptic political cult because they grew up listening to the radio show I did that brainwashed them?

Tomorrow I head to the US Capitol to take a tour. As an ExecDir of a county Democratic Party I’m hoping to pull a string and get a tour half as good as the ones that Lauren Boebert provided Insurrection planners… if people trying to destroy a democracy get to see the roof of the Capitol and then smear shit on the walls, can a guy trying to save a democracy get such special treatment? We shall see.

As I stared at Neil Armstrong’s Space Suit feeling the tears under my COVID mask… I looked over and saw the display of the door of the hatch of the Command Module that Neil and Buzz and Michael descended to earth in from their extra-planetary excursion.

What is remarkable about the display of the door is that it is right next to the door of the Apollo 1 mission where the hatch was unable to be opened from inside as Gus Grissom and crew asphyxiated to death from a fire. The door hatch of the Apollo 11 mission being a testament to the genius of engineering and problem solving. To see the mechanical ingenuity and complexity… to see how things can be improved upon when people work together towards a common goal.

And it struck me how a country put a man on the moon. How a people could be so united to accomplish such a feat.

Yet… as I wandered on the rest of the day thinking about that door and that space suit… I had to remind myself that the Apollo program was happening WHILE Dr. King was making his speech.

In fact, Dr. King never lived to see the Apollo program send humans to the moon. He would be assassinated 8 months before Apollo 7 lifted off. Another 7 months would go by before Neil took that first step.

And as all these thoughts flooded me today I think of that damn door. The gears. The wheels. The steel. The milling. The multitude of engineers and companies that provided parts. We made a bad thing better.

We didn’t stop the Apollo Program because Apollo 1 burned and killed our first astronauts. We figured the problem out. We made it better. We worked each problem and solved it.

And then two missions after Neil stepped on the moon, Apollo 13 would struggle and all those same brilliant engineers would work tirelessly to bring those astronauts safely home while a nation of people prayed.

I guess the thing I’m meditating on now is that there are problems and solutions. Advances and setbacks. In all things.

I remarked to my traveling companion why we as a nation couldn’t work together towards common goals of majestic ambition anymore… when the dichotomy of the Civil Rights Era occurring during the Apollo Mission program hit me square between the eyes.

That we as a nation reached for the moon while we wouldn’t let black people become astronauts, or vote, or stay in hotels….

While women couldn’t have bank accounts or get divorced or work most jobs or be allowed into space….

While the Stonewall Riots where the LGBT+ community was being targeted just days before those first momentous steps on another celestial body….

While the mentally ill were being shut out of hospitals to wander the streets for decades….

While a 500 year genocide continues to occur….

We landed on the moon at a time when our country was suffering. Struggling. Fighting itself. We had just started desegregating schools a year earlier.

And I guess the only takeaway I have of all of these thoughts is that: Good things can happen amongst terror.

We can reach for heaven while trapped in hell.

And what is the heaven we’re reaching for now as a society? The hell is clearly all around us. Cultists are trying to destroy all of our institutions. Our public education system, our public libraries, the want to roll back women’s rights, POC rights… they want theocracy. They want illiteracy. They want ignorance and hate. They want pandemic. They want school shootings. They want homelessness and poverty because they do nothing to change any of it for the better. Always the worst.

And what are we going to do to push back against this hell of our time?

What is our reach for the heavens?

This was the question I have pondered for 12 hours today.

What is our cultural defining moment here that we can all work towards?

I believe in my heart that the answer to that is to finally cash in the check that Dr. King demanded. For ALL people.

We have to save this insane experiment in self-governance. We should be the country that has free museums and libraries where every person can stare at the brushstrokes that Leonardo DaVinci painted 500 years ago with his hand. That access to knowledge would lead to greater freedoms and understanding and better human health and if we can walk on moons can’t we maybe make this planet a little better?

The Smithsonian was gifted to us all who live here by a man who never stepped foot on our shores but believed in the promise of whatever the hell it was we were trying to do during this early Enlightenment Period. The idea that self-governing was a revolution of knowledge– not just government. The ideas of We the People rooted in the philosophers that came long before the founding authors who borrowed heavily from their prose.

The Dream of this country has always extended beyond these shores… hell BEYOND THE ATMOSPHERE.

And are we just gonna let some bloated oligarch asshole who likes to name everything after himself hijack a religious cult that is trying to end the world because they think they’ll be swept up to heaven and the rest of us will suffer? Are we really gonna passively sit by while fascism returns to our shores and our cultures tears itself apart with mass shootings and bomb threats and tiki torch mobs of proud boys and anti-trans moms in bigoted denial?

Or are we going to grow a fucking spine and reclaim this Dream for everyone?

Finally? Just once?

If a nation can put humans on a moon… can we save that same country and fix it and make it better with the same dedication and strength of purpose the way we fixed a door hatch that wouldn’t open?

A man asked a question 60 years ago today:

“There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, when will you be satisfied?”

A country and a people owe his legacy an answer.

Right fucking now.

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10 responses to “Dreams & Nightmares”

  1. Devon Avatar

    Excellent piece, Dave! I had the opportunity to spend 2 days at the Smithsonian 2 years ago, almost exactly, while travelling for work, and it truly is an awe-inspiring institution. Obviously I only had the opportunity to see a fraction of the collection, including missing out on the national art gallery and museum of american history. I can’t imagine the emotions that must’ve come over you when realizing /when/ you were where you where. The connections and convergences of this story create a fantastic image for the point being made, and you make it very well, as always.

  2. Shamus Kelley Avatar

    Dave, I finally got caught up on this blog and I tell you. This blog was not what I expected it would be.

    I heard about the post of the “Lost Gay Episode” of AIO and thought, “oh hey, that’s interesting. Oh, the guy who played Jimmy has a blog? I bet it’ll be like all other behind the scenes blogs/podcasts people do these days.”

    It’s nothing like those.

    And it’s so much the better for it. The fact you can weave posts like this one, that ON THE SURFACE seemingly have nothing to do with AIO, into a larger tapestry about our culture and your place within it, is truly mesmerizing from an artistic perspective.

    You are doing your own thing, creating your own style. The kind of style that I’m sure, if you took a class on “blogging” you would be told NOT TO DO. But fuck it, you did it anyway and everyone who reads this is all the better for it. It reminds me to be committed to my own art in such a passionate way. To say FUCK IT and tell my own stories because THOSE are the ones that will resonate more than any other.

    It was worth spending a whole weekend catching up on this blog. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

    1. dave Avatar

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you so much for your kind words and your perspective and your willingness to dive into the material.

      I haven’t yet written too much about the process of creating the blog, but you’re keying in on pretty much everything I’m sweating to do, lol.

      When I first started realizing that I had no choice but to start writing, I sat and thought about what I wanted to achieve. And what are my skill sets to achieve such a thing.

      What I wanted to achieve: I want people to sit with the magnitude of a giant story and let it marinate in their soul. But like… this is not a small story. For Evangies… all the obvious reasons. But also for everyone who is not them. I want those people to understand what’s worrying me about the Evangie crowd.

      And my first thought in any artistic endeavor is: How do you get eyeballs? And then once you get the eyeballs, how do you keep them?

      Engage. Entertain. Educate. Enlighten. Enact.

      ^ this is my core artistic philosophy.

      You can’t change the world if you can’t get anyone to listen to you. How do you get people to listen to you?

      Get their attention! (Engage)

      What gets attention?


      This is the key Engagement tactic that I’ve played around with for my whole life. I’m a disruptive artist by nature. Back to my earliest days of life on this earth I was always able to see the cultural patterns in pop culture and then figure out what’s next.

      And as a disruptive artist who spends time googling “how do middle aged white guys blog” I kept feeling that I needed to do something… well… disruptive.

      And so I look to all the mediums I enjoy and consider “what were the key disruptions that gained massive followings?”

      DaVinci was a disruptor. Van Gogh, too. When you see a Van Gogh on the walls of a museum and you see his brushstrokes and bright colors from across the room drilling into your brain… you can’t look away.

      To see a Jackson Pollack in person and to understand that he created that on the heels of Picasso’s cubist revolution of disruption.

      The disruptive artists that influenced this project were:

      Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bollocks
      Nirvana Nevermind
      The entire canon of Pink Floyd (but primarily Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You were Here, Animals, The Wall)
      Mark Twain
      Arthur Conan Doyle
      Rex Stout (but only in the context of having read the canon of Doyle)
      George Orwell 1984
      Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451
      Monty Python
      Wachowski Siblings Matrix
      Fight Club (film and book, but the film was a massive disruptor)
      The Big Lebowski (all the fucks make more sense in this blog when you realize I’m writing this from the perspective of the Dude)
      Michael Tal (disruptive chess player who I would liken to Picasso)
      Bobby Fischer(ditto)
      Eddie van Halen Eruption (and pretty much any of his recordings)
      Plato (amazing to see Thomas Jefferson’s personal copies of Plato and Locke at the Library of Congress)
      George Carlin
      Early Dave Chappelle (not the transphobic asshole he’s become)
      Sam Kinison
      Lenny Bruce
      Martin Luther (this blog is my version of nailing treatises on the Vatican door)
      Storm Thorgeson
      Andy Goldsworthy
      Japanese Flower arranging and other mediums from that culture that emphasize negative space.

      It’s a heckuva pedigree. But it’s very intentional.

      A commonality that all of those artists and groups had is that they all did their own thing OR they built upon something that came before them in a new remixed way.

      You have to know the rules to break them. And at some point… like Pollack staring at a drip of paint on his studio floor and suddenly having this “AHA!” moment… you have to know how to paint and what people are painting in order to upend it.

      This blog is my attempt to upend everything, really. Systems. Government. Voting apathy. Cults. Can I get my fans to vote in such a way that I can get off disability and have health care and make a living before I die? Can I sway people to not kill me and my friends who are different? Can a lowly blog help defeat fascism?

      How do you do that with words? And yet EVERY major change that’s ever occurred in this world came from art FIRST. Some idea thrown up on a page.

      Can I find my voice? Or the appropriate question actually is: What is the appropriate voice for this piece? And do I have the skill set to deliver that appropriate voice?

      What will get the attention of the crowd I am trying to reach?

      And all I could think in my brain was Sex Pistols (a band I can’t stand). Lenny Bruce. Eddie Van Halen scorching some insanely difficult solo. Michael Tal sacrificing major pieces and throwing GrandMasters off their game to win from nowhere.

      All those cultural zeitgeist moments that affected the world for millennia. What can I learn from them and can I mimic their approach in some manner that will make a middle-aged white guy’s fucking blog suddenly be like Bob Dylan plugging in an electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival and pissing everyone off.

      Can that work in a blog?!?

      We’ll see.

      That it’s working for a writer such as yourself is such an immensely satisfying thing to feel right now. I’ve been waiting for someone to write the kind of words you’ve been writing.

      IT DOES GET IN YOUR BRAIN, RIGHT?!? mwahahahahahaha

      And then once I have your attention can I keep it? (Entertain)

      And while I’m Entertaining you… can I Educate you the Audience?

      Can I teach you the thing that I’m putting all this effort of Engagement and Entertainment tactics into? Because that’s the ACTUAL goal.

      With the whole goal being that if I do my job properly… then the audience should be Enlightened.

      And once they have been Enlightened… hopefully they will finish the artwork by Enacting some change in the world.

      Engage > Entertain > Educate > Enlighten > Enact.

      That’s the goal.

      It means the world to me that after a year somebody sees it the way you do.

      Thank you sooooo much for your notes and honesty and willingness to say nice things (a rarity in creative endeavors).

      1. dave Avatar

        Oh also I’m curious… you mentioned you had heard about “The Lost Gay Episode” post.

        How did you hear about that?

        I’ve put almost no effort into promoting this other than occasionally linking the blog to my FB page. I kinda wanted to see if it organically could attract eyeballs without my having to push it.

        I know you mentioned doing research. Did that lead you to hearing about it? Or did you stumble into it? I’m curious to understand how people are finding it and appreciate any data you can provide.

        Again thank you so much.

        1. chanagon Avatar

          Dave, I don’t know for sure how Shamus found the site, obviously, but I have a hunch, because I myself got here through a reference (without any links, as you requested) to the lost gay episode on the ToO website

          (which I myself found earlier this year, after I developed an interest in reading blogs & listening to podcasts by adults who listen to Odyssey / listened to Odyssey as children / are deconstructing and listen to Odyssey / are not deconstructing and listen to Odyssey / are deconstructing Odyssey / are not deconstructing in the strong sense but have moved far to the left and critically consider Odyssey in that light, even though they still mostly like it — I guess I would put myself in this last group)

          and I am so glad I found your blog. I look forward to each gut-wrenching and hilarious entry. Thank you so much for putting your life-force and brilliance into it.

          Aside: I swear I am not a stalker (really!!), but I first read this post late at night when I was both bored and lacking the executive function needed to stop clicking on things, and I noticed that one of the people who “liked” this post is your wife, who appears to be AWESOME; I assume you already know this. I’m going to try to adapt the soup to a fake-meat version. (I won’t blame you if it goes wrong, for many obvious reasons.)

          Keep going!!

          1. chanagon Avatar

            (not bored by your post. just generally so)

          2. dave Avatar

            Ah yes the ToO. I was wondering if that link would produce results when Brian shared it there.

            That would make sense. I forgot that was out there.

            And thank you for your kind words as well. I’ve been bad about responding to comments the last few months and you’ve written so many kind things– I’m grateful and I keep meaning to sweep back through and finally respond to everyone. My life has been a little chaotic lately and I get overwhelmed easily in my current circumstances.

            AH YES THE SOUP. Mwahahahahahahaha.

            One of these days I need to put out a recipe book.

            Perhaps that’s how I monetize this whole effort: “The Prodigal Cook Book– How to cook food in ways to piss off your local religious community.”

            I hope it works out with the meatless variety. Do follow up and let me know how it came out!

          3. Shamus Kelley Avatar

            Dave, first off, thank you for the incredible insight into your process in creating this blog. Again, it helps inspire me to pursue my own art in my own unique way.

            I’ve been writing TV scripts for awhile, many of which touch on themes of religion and being what YOU want to be, not what anyone else wants you to be. No idea where I got THAT from. I’ve also worked to use my platform writing about media on Den of Geek in unique ways, taking what COULD just be a simple reviews of TV episodes and trying to examine its themes and what it says about our world. Maybe got some people to think.

            Your inspiration of Japanese Flower arranging and how that contributed to your use of negative space is one I found particularly fascinating. I don’t know much about that practice of flower arranging but it’s a great reminder that inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places.

            And yes, I did hear about your blog on the ToO forum. Though the thread I saw discussing that blog post didn’t link to it directly. The poster specifically cited your wishes to not link to the blog in places younger AIO fans could find it.

          4. dave Avatar

            Yeah if there was an AHA moment for me just like Jackson Pollack had staring at those drips of paint on his studio floor and suddenly having his mind blown with what he could do with it…

            For me that moment arrived on the Second Whale Vomit post when I was trying to find some way to visually play with the idea of my character being stuck inside a whale. And I really, really suck with technology and am constantly frustrated by formatting and how do I add pics and images to this stupid platform. And because I suck at all those things I just kept relying on italics and bolding and it handcuffed me in a good way I think.

            but once I explored and discovered adding space (blocks of emptiness) I realized I suddenly had breaths. And time. And using negative space to create rhythm and pacing.

            And that was my AHA moment where the medium upended itself. At some point I have to go back and re-space those first posts because you can see where the style took hold as I was playing with it before I finally settled into the rhythm of it.

            The scrolling became a fun “reveal” of information and surprise and delivery.

            And then that led me to a fascination I’d always had with Visual Japanese art forms. Primarily Flower Arranging which focuses as much on the negative space as well as the positive space. That if you create this gaping giant negative space and then place one bloom in it your eye is immediately drawn to it.

            I forgot to add two critical influencers of this project: Calvin & Hobbes and Salvidor Dali.

            And w/ Calvin and Hobbes Watterson was a master at negative space and text within space and how to use language efficiently and effectively and emotively when handcuffed by spatial limitations.

            As this project has gone on I feel like that’s the one innovation I’ve managed to find/create/exploit that I hope gives this project a unique and fun spin.

            The final part of that thinking process is my desire to keep the space as visually uncluttered as possible. I don’t want ads or clickbait or have my dialogue/monologue interrupted every 3 paragraphs with some distracting ad.

            I feel that one of the goals here in a media world saturated with distraction is to give readers a visual break. A vacation from overload. Give our eyes a rest. Give our brains a chance to fairly focus on something that, imo, requires some mental bandwidth to dive into. I want to create a space where people have the ability to give themselves to the project as an audience and what are the ways I can help make that process easier and appealing to readers.

            Which brings me back to the Sex Pistols and that late 70’s punk era that stripped away all the production budgets of Floyd and Zeppelin and these mega corporate stadium filling progressive bands and just get a shitty guitar through a shitty amp and some snarling snotty vocals and just fucking play with pure raw emotion. That’s negative space too emotionally and production-wise. Stripping everything out that does not matter. can that work?

            And so for me the negative space and the breaths … when I found that it married well with the profane element I’m strategically trying to bring in to shock my AIO fans that was when I feel like I started hitting the stride or finding the voice of the piece. (I realized in my first comment to you in this thread I should have written “Fucking Disruption”.)

            But, yes, I do try to take lessons from a variety of media. I’ve always been a multi-media artist and how can I apply those elements to the handcuffed rules I’ve imposed on myself of using ONLY WORDS ON BLANK SCREEN. (this project was written on a laptop and best viewed that way– phones are a bit limiting in the negative space I’m trying to create)

            Sorry for all the words here if I’m being too self indulgent, but this is actually the part of the blog effort I spend the most time thinking about and geeking out on and I haven’t been able to share it with anyone yet who would get it or be interested to read it.

  3. dave Avatar

    Another odd inspiration for this project is Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Who again used negative space in ways that were revolutionary. But one innovation he had was the way he created the entrance to a house.

    Back in the day, the entrance foyer into a bougie house would be a really giant opulent door and huge foyer.

    Wright chose opposite. He created these smaller entryways so that when you entered the house– like a birth canal– the house itself would suddenly open up and expand as you enter through the door.

    I tried to do the same thing in the flow of those first pieces to hook the readers. Give them small, easy to read– few paragraphs at a time bite sized posts that flow from one to the next and wait for the first couple posts or so until you really open up a larger piece that takes more time to read. But by that point the reader has already come through the tiny door of those first posts and now they’ve entered the larger great room of the project and it can expand and fill out their attention.

    The first 5-10 posts are very much inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s creation of doorways into his homes. Can I take that same concept and weaponize it in a serial blog form?

    And I think that’s key when you’re creating a piece of art where you’re actually trying to influence people as opposed to just making art for art’s sake (which is important too). But here I am actually trying to do a thing. To accomplish something. And so each step of the process, from getting a reader to read that very first post and click “next”. What other mediums can I look to that have similar effects on human behavior?

    When you walk through the door of a Frank Lloyd Wright home and once inside the space expands and opens up now you’re in this new environment that consumes you. But the ask to go through the doorway is a small ask of the audience. The reward is the expansion once the reader has committed.

    At least that was the theory a year ago when I started.

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