wax banks

second-best since Cantor

Category: site

Hiati. (Hiatae? Curse my lack of classical education.)

Blogs that went on hiatus almost never came back, and never with quite the same feeling; the medium was generally too personal to survive that kind of compartmentalization or obligation. It’s extraordinarily common even now, even with decade-old blogs, to find long silences followed by ‘I’m back and I’m really gonna stick with it this time’ posts, then a dispiriting trickle of reruns and final admission (or evasion) of defeat.

That happened here, actually — this page all but died in 2017-18 — but I’ve managed to make it back to semiregular posting. The tarot series is the thing, which is partly to say that coronavirus has driven me back to writing here: writing with a specific outlet in mind has served as an important escape.

I’m nowhere near the torrid pace I kept up at the end of the Bush years, but I was an angry attention-hungry young man in my mid-20s then.

I’m also on Twitter a lot, and regret it — The Discourse is catastrophically sick, and my tendency to follow people who chat directly with me, combined with my temperamental inability to unfollow people who say stupid things about politics, means that my feed is a lake of bullshit. This is the wrong way to read Twitter, so I’m trying to put the accounts I follow into lists, with the intention of ignoring each of them most of the time, as I do with everything else.


New here?

Hi there.

Status update.

I’ve not been writing here because (1) I write at my day job and (2) I just finished a yearslong writing project. Now I’ve got a little more energy for this work, so hopefully that’ll change this month.

The waX-Files.

Reminder: if you like this stuff, you will likely like these posts, on The X-Files. The perspective is, shall we say, eliptonic-appreciative, and the attitude toward existing popular coverage of the show is (shall we say?) largely contemptuous. They aren’t ‘recaps,’ sorry, just responses, each pitched in whatever register made nonsense at the time.

I didn’t grow up watching The X-Files, which went off the air while I was in college or grad school. I’ve now seen most of the first four years, and consider it both good and (both historically and potentially) important. The incoherence of the ‘Mythology’ doesn’t bother me, and shouldn’t bother you; caveat conspirator.

A note about the prose around here.

Almost everything you read here is a first draft, most of it written in a single sitting and posted right away. If I impose on myself a requirement to carefully edit Mere Blog Posts, I’m not sure I’ll ever actually write them. Caveat lector, then.

I have added a ‘highweirdness’ tag.

I look forward to misusing it.

Provisional table of contents.

(a work in progress)


Cognitive states associated w/games and play — ‘imaginative stances.’ Roleplaying/storygame history, design, affordances. Ludomancy. Understanding (per Iser/Vaihinger) of textual operation/reception as gamelike. Occasional pieces of RPG setting material (which currently live at a distant anonymous blog).


Writing and reading them. Regular reviews. Coming death of ‘book culture’ and ruminative reading environments. I can’t precisely pin down my reading tastes, though I do go for ‘demanding’ novels, visionary poetry and prose, and speculative nonfiction in the Fort/Hite/Hofstadter/Marcus mold.


How to do it good.


Especially improvised. Phish, inescapably, though less & less over time w/any luck. Psychedelia, paracosms, ambience, surrealism. Trane, Miles, Ornette, Mingus. Slonimsky & other weirdo collector/creators. Virtuosity as generosity.

High Weirdness

Idiosyncratic private understanding of how magic ‘works.’ Deep love of weird taxonomies, all-encompassing systems. Magic as metaphor, universal system of knowledge. Aegypt, alchemy. RAW, Discordianism, Forteana, M.P. Hall. Over the Edge (radio and RPG, coincidentally) as models of free-associative creative tools.


Early Modern America — ‘medieval Boston.’ Lost cities. The nightmare saga of the West End. Complexly integrated/assimilative Cambridge culture. Town/gown ugliness. Recently: the school system and parenting in a self-identified ‘progressive’ town.

My wife has suggested…

…that I get crotchety if I don’t get enough ‘introvert time’; while I’m not sure I ‘self-identify’ as an introvert, nor that anyone who knows me would call me such a thing, I do know that I need solitude on the reg. Not that this counts, exactly — I can hear my son and the three neighbour kids raising hell through our paper-thin outer walls and windows — but, y’know, close enough. She’s right to point it out and good to do something about it.

So I wrote up this whole blogpost about how I’m thinking of getting a Patreon up, and looking forward to writing this next book, and how you can be a part of that, and blah blah blah et cetera. But I’ll keep that in the back pocket for the moment.

More proper posts before passing the hat.

What this thing is, if/when it is indeed a thing.

I’m tempted to post, say, reviews of D&D modules here, starting with the giant 5th edition campaign Princes of the Apocalypse, about which (on reading, not playing) I have the usual mixed feelings and strong baseless opinions. Plus there would be pictures of dragons, or even dungeons.

But I don’t yet know what kind of site this is. It took me a few years to figure out with waxbanks.typepad.com. Hopefully this won’t take that long.

What is all this.

I blogged for roughly a decade at waxbanks.typepad.com (archives still online as I write, though that may change), but lost steam and put it in mothballs. Now I’m trying again. Point your browser toward blog.waxbanks.net rather than waxbanks.wordpress.com, as I may move this site to private hosting for the, as they say, schtonque of it all.