We've lost a great journalist, the kind that investigates what's hidden from the public, the kind that reveals valuable hidden information for the general public to make decisions with. In order to be such a great journalist, the man I speak of had to constantly change skins. As Chris Redfield/A Very Disappointed Author/Jade Ravenrug/Justin Brenis pointed out, such alteration could be nauseating, and can make talking about any one person annoying, so for the purpose of clarity, I'll call him by the name he was best known as, A Very Disappointing Author, but for the record, his transfigurations occurred as listed below:
Jade Ravencarpet, A Very Disappointing Author, N0 Trust, Christ Redflag, I Am Max Krugman, and MuteTealBlossom. It might be of interest to some that he died before becoming "Darthing."
Now, the pointing of this publication is not to regurgitate the eulogy of AVDA (who's account predated A Very Disappointed Author's, as he insisted), but to publish his posthumous Opus Magnus as a journalist, his exclusive interview with the most notorious flamer of them all.
-Typewriter King, Senior Editor
Going Gonzo At The End of The Copyright War, and Jazz Like That
The following takes place after the war with North Korea is concluded. Dialog between AVDA and Flames is authentic, with some embellishment painted into the ambiance.
Is. Not. An. Essay."
-Just A Whimsy
Old Jade is filing his column here. I have a lengthy dispatch to file, so this may take up the newswire for some time, but I got a scope, I got a candid discussion with none-other-than Mister Flames! Yep, Flames, a Lone Wolf terror I've long had my designs on shining a light on.
I caught up with him in the Pacific, at the end of major combat operations against North Korea, aboard the USS Carl Vincent, where we witnessed the aviator Mavrick catch the third wire on his trap, to the strobes of a thousand flashbulbs from different news outlets. After touching down, the Senator from Arizona crawled out as gallantly as he could muster, shaking his fist and shouting "to Iowa and New Hampshire, 2008!" The photographers parroted the chant, until most on the flight deck had uttered the call.
Not far behind, an S3 Viking, designated Navy One, called the ball. As it rolled down the strip, I saw the banner atop the watch tower: "Kim Jong Il Capped Dead." The daily operations were over.
"Are you in the Navy?" asked Mr. Flames, curiously. I told him a simple no, to which he declared he thought I was in the Navy.
love how when I have a real essay that has "rape" in the
title, fictionpress deletes my essay," said he, "Yet when I have
two chapters that have a total of four words, that is somehow
This gave me a start, momentarily. Why'd he say that? We entered the officers ward room, where I showed a young ensign my intelligence papers, stamped with the Film Action Guild (FAG) official seal. This room wasn't to be disturbed. He shut it after us, giving us ample privacy for a candid discussion.
"Yeah, I usually just make up everything on my profile," said he, taking a puff homoerotically on a Florida variety Havana, "I haven't been Arab yet. Maybe I'll try that next."
"A very distraught Arab," quipped I, giggling, thoughtfully adding, "I've never tested them that way, seeing how I don't want my account deleted."
He seemed amused at my cowardice.
"I'm not worried about one of my accounts being deleted. They obviously don't care enough to actually freeze the other accounts from your IP. If your account got deleted, you probably could make another one."
All I said was "indeed." Best to keep him talking. He bit into his cigar.
"And, Hell, I'm not banned yet! You'd have to do some pretty retarded things to get yourself banned from that site." To this I felt an epiphany coming on, but I ignored it.
I decided it was time I lead him with a question hidden as a statement.
"You have a trove of accounts, I'd guess. One would think they could better regulate it, seeing how only some twenty-thousand accounts exist on the site." I'd only partially baited him.
"Unless of course there's only something like two people working at the site." I carried out some idle small talk.
"I've always assumed all the columnists chipped in."
"The columnists?" It seemed he didn't know about them.
"You've never seen the columns on the right side of the home page?"
"No, I have. Haven't you seen autumndark?" Feeling threatened at appearing ignorant of his domain, it appeared he needed me to validate his knowledge. I of course knew how to respond.
"One of the columnists. What about him?"
"The column feature is broken so he's been posting in the essay section," duh!
"I wouldn't really know. It's not like there's a list of moderators or any conceivable way to talk to the admins short of the report feature." I of course knew better.
"Oh yeah? I've seen a list of moderators for the different genres."
"Really? You have the link?"
Action/Adventure: HoneyB (HoneyB87 at hotmail dot com)
Essay: Mia (waypastcurfew at hotmail dot com)
Fantasy: Shalott (Shalott134 at yahoo dot com)
General: Ellen Enchanted (Lncz at Comcast dot net)
Historical: Swatkat (swatkat24 at rediffmail dot com)
Horror: Gilraen (riallewellyn at hotmail dot com)
Manga: Yume no Hoshizora (yumenohoshizora at yahoo dot com)
Mystery: Gilraen (same as before)
Mystery Alternate: Andrew (fredamazonia2 at yahoo dot com)
Poetry: Liz (winterrogue12 at yahoo dot com)
Romance: Ellen Enchanted (same as before)
Mr. Flames: "Gilraen is a mod? Jesus, no wonder this site is so fucked up!"
AVDA: "If you think you can do better, I dare you to try it."
I knew he wouldn't take the challenge.
"Me? Gods no. But there are better mods out there!"
"Dare them," I urged.
"Although when I actually do have power I generally don't abuse it nearly a much. The people I speak of are already moderating less retarded sites."
"There are less retarded sites?" I've never heard of this!
"People already treat the review board as a forum. Perhaps having an actual forum would help the site. groups.yahoo also has some pretty good sites, and google groups, and pretty much everything other than fiction press."
Call me a skeptic, but: "Their writer groups don't impress me much."
"Wait wait wait wait.. fictionpress writers impress you?" I never said that!
"They don't, but at least they (usually) refrain from using netspeak."
This he mused over, thoroughly chewing apart his Havana.
"Hmm. Yeah, that doesn't really mean much to me when I've used and visited other communities that are far better."
"Sturgeon's law plagues nearly everything," I stated.
"Hence why good groups are inherently more selective."
"And so small, nearly nothing ever happens," I quipped. I poured some more brandy, desirous of more of that caramel liquid.
"Untrue, if you do nothing they boot you from the group. That's what people do when they're actually selective… As a rule of thumb, I now try to avoid posting good writing online."
I'll say! Yep, I'm not only a reporter, folks, but a critic!
"I guess everyone must do that," I said morosely.
"GRENADE!" I'm not sure why he said that, for I heard nothing. Then again, I'd spent much of the war around jets. (Editor's note: the Navy's official casualty report did list the occurance of a grenade detonating in the medical ward. AVDA didn't live to file this, however.)
"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence," recited Mr. Flames, "Anarchy and tyranny simultaneously commence? That's incredible!"
"John Adams got away with saying it," said I. Flames ignored me.
"It's like water on fire or "reality TV""
Or "political science." Flames, what was your point?
(Editor's note: for the next few minutes, Flames speaks of a story he's written. The editor has decided to keep the contents of this discussion secret.)
Flames: "Do you find any of those "funny"?"
Flames: "What exactly do you think of them?"
AVDA: "They're like the contrived comic relief of a major motion picture."
Flames: "Well, I'm making progress. At least people can tell that it's at least supposed to be funny."
To which I said consolingly, "Aiming for comedy is difficult." I didn't enjoy his Seinfeld-like story any more than I enjoyed the original Seinfeld.
I changed the subject, painting this picture for him: "They carried the heaviest and most complex bomb known to man, a bomb of horrifying power. Does anyone outside of the scientific community know just what ten terawatts is? That's ten to the thirteenth power watts, sickening amount of electricity, enough to heat a packet of deuterium (heavy water) to a really big number in scientific notation, a temperature seen in nature only around quasars (which are probably masses of space dust and gas being pulled into a black hole). All you need to burn water to these temperatures is a collage tabletop laser to concentrate all its output into the briefest moment, say a femtosecond (a time so short, nerve impulses are turtles in comparison), and got a whole lot of steam power lunging against the bomb casing. They worked on this, too. "
To which he asked, "was that supposed to be funny?" I fell out of my floor laughing.
"I hope to build that bomb one day," I said.
"..Why? So you can heat up 100 gallons of hot chocolate instantly?"
I tried to sway him.
"Dude, bombs are awesome! All the chocolate would evaporate. Naw, it would be more useful for moving objects through space."
I believe he morally disapproved.
"Bombs are interesting as a form to relieve sensory deprivation and as a tool. Do you not have enough contact in real life?"
Hey, I'm the journalist here!
"Contact? Contact with what?" What's he saying about me, exactly?
"Other human beings non-standard environments... a sufficient supply of mental input."
But he overlooked something…
"Don't tell anyone, but I'm talking to a human right now!"
Missing the joke, Mr. Flames then insisted he was a god, a claim he's made many times in the past.
AVDA: "Right, you're a nonentity."
Mr. Flames: "Precisely."
AVDA: "You've never looked for yourself, therefore, you don't exist," said I, echoing a C.S. Lewis argument.
Mr. Flames: "What do you mean by "yourself" and "exist?" The idea of self and other are merely abstract concepts that oversimplify a complex state."
AVDA: "Untrue. A self may be nothing more than some inquiring. It thinks, therefore it is."
Mr. Flames: "Does making no sense give you a boner or something? Descartes was a tool, "I think therefore I am" isn't a proof, it's just a catch-phrase."
AVDA: "Dropping names gives AVDA an erection, not nonsense."
Mr. Flames: "What is this thing you speak of, "thinking"? Where, precisely, do you think? Can you point to the specific location where you are? Is there a specific portion of your brain that, if we removed it, would be "you"?"
AVDA: "Socratic junky!" I spilled brandy from laughing.
"Yes, I am employing rhetoric," he admitted, looking ashamed.
I just kicked my desk, proving my leg exists.
"I just kicked my desk, proving my leg exists."
"To who?" He asked. "I didn't just feel your leg get kicked."
"Feel that?" Said I, after fondling his brain with telekinesis.
"Please don't do that, I'm playing music," he protested, "That came from my computer, not from "you" specifically. There are computer programs I have dealt with that are capable of almost equivalent reactions." Somehow, I doubted that, unless I'd programmed it.
"Are you claiming that merely because you can create sound that you exist?"
"You seemed to think trees existed because they made a sound when they fell," I rebutted.
"There is evidence that trees make a sound even if no one is watching," he admitted. "However, this does not prove they exist. The human mind shapes and defines reality, because of this everything is subjective to the individual's perceptions. What exactly do you mean "you exist"? That means nothing. That there is some matter which you would refer to as yourself? This could be just as easily supplied should I be schizophrenic. Or dreaming, even.
I wedged in, "I own property. The property-owner is defined by law," although I knew he'd dismiss a legal argument. Those aren't his bag.
I once dreamed that I was walking in a world of pure white, with no other entity in "existence" other than myself? Because I perceived this, does this mean that world "existed'?
"I've been there," I told him knowingly. He looked caged, and wild. I'd been there?
He bolted, ending my first interview session, but I knew there would be more to follow.
Editor's note: There will be a subsequent chapter, and yes, it has juicy information.