wax banks

second-best since Cantor

Category: unguessable

Free ideas.

Take these and run with them!

  • Scientists and engineers use complex language in precise ways, and your sloppy repurposing of that language damages understanding, so don’t do that.
  • Your tastes aren’t interesting in themselves, so unless you have something beautiful to say about the world using your tastes (you probably don’t), stop making a big deal about them.
  • Stop giving advice on your blog.
  • Don’t describe yourself as talented. Even if it’s true, by the time you realize you’re talented, you’re too far along to still be talking about your talent.
  • Alcohol is poison, alcohol consumption is an unsustainable pleasure, and you don’t need it to have a good time. Build as much of your social life now around being drug-free as you’re able; later on you’ll have no choice.
  • Root for your local sports team, not whatever team is hot right now. Jumping on the winners’ bandwagon is like skipping to the last page of a story.
  • Judge people’s choices, not their circumstances.
  • Listen to strangers, especially older ones.
  • Go to the theater. Go to the library.
  • Don’t describe kids as ‘stupid’; unlike you, they haven’t yet had a chance to choose to be mean and ignorant.
  • Don’t marry your high-school sweetheart without seeing other people first. But don’t lose touch either.
  • Choose a rugged, ugly glasses case over a fashionable, flimsy one.
  • If you buy sweets, you’ll eat sweets. Fill your house with healthy snacks.
  • Keep a journal — even if it’s nothing more complicated than ‘Grocery shopping w/Bill; 2hrs Game of Thrones,’ you’ll learn something about how you live your life. Don’t resist revelation.
  • Bike riding is a skill. Get a decent bike, take good care of it, learn to ride it skillfully.
  • Find an enjoyable core strength workout and stick with it.
  • Watch Deadwood.
  • Read Aegypt.
  • Buy my books.

Here’s how amazingly groovy I am, Reader(s): I didn’t include a hyperlink in that last line, did you notice? On account of I wanted this to be classy like.


we three kings

  1. Thrice-Born Lorrev is known (i.e. rumoured) to have died on two separate occasions, both times riding his favourite horse in battle against the black-veined Rowat Supplicants during one of their periodic millenarian uprisings. He wears only pale blue, and covers his shimmering vedantium armour with flowing blue silks cut from a bolt his mother (Thrice-Damned Krisseva) stole from a Gheltish monastery at the height of her glory seventy years ago. Lorrev’s trusted advisors are a circle of twelve sentient ravens. He abhors the new moon, divination, games of chance, and travel beyond the boundaries of the capital district, which — alas — contains the great temple of Rowat, lately showing signs of unrest.

  2. Aodhra the Devil is unable to sit still for more than a few moments within the bounds of the royal keep, and so avoids the endless council meetings and hearings which the death of his father, King Quehlor, foisted upon him. Aodhra is haunted by hallucinations of his parents performing unspeakable acts, which he misunderstands as memory — he is convinced that he alone knows their true nature and must tell no one lest the kindgom fall into turmoil. Only by retiring to the royal greenhouse, with its rows of wickedly beautiful red lotus (a thaumatic anhallucinogen), does Aodhra find mental respite. This week he completed work on the first volume of a rigorously logical prophetic work which he intends to publish anonymously for unguessable reasons.

  3. Since it appeared a fortnight ago, Krayd IV conceals his newborn second head beneath a topologically improbable assortment of hoods, shawls, cravats, and grand turbans. It speaks to him of a second world which contains ours, accessible through cracked mirrors and half-open doors to lightless hallways. It is a terrifically insightful judge of character, but dismisses Krayd’s questions about social matters, insisting that ‘true light’ is only visible from a certain vantage in the second world. Krayd and his consiglieri Alvo Gretzz have worked out a way to discuss a solution to the problem of the head in writing without involving the head itself, and Alvo presently leans toward the pragmatic solution of a royal marriage, as his early priestly training leads him to believe that (speaking strictly) Krayd is presently living in sin. No explanation for the head’s appearance is being sought; Krayd is a ruthless pragmatist. The head is able to affect the movements of the king’s left middle finger only. It grows restless. This is not its home.

I cannot share the grammar of (etc.).

When you talk about one work of art being better or worse than another you mean ‘better/worse for me,’ which is just to say you like it (at this moment) more or less than the other thing.

Usually you can’t say why. Indeed, not being able to explain your affection for a thing is a precondition of falling ‘head over heels.’

Teenagers fixate on taste in art because we don’t let them have anything else — and taste gets refined more quickly than skill.

Popular art is for, and generally by, the young. They’re what ‘popular’ means. We don’t care what 70-year-olds are watching or listening to, because for the most part they’re not buying, and they certainly won’t be subscribing long-term. They don’t play status (ego) (money) games the way we do; that’s why they’re wise. It’s what makes wisdom possible.

We hate it when artists get old because an aging artist forces us to think about why we liked their early work (i.e., too often, its earliness). This takes us out of the game, so to speak, and forces us to consider its rules as a self-contained system.

Time is the eye of God.

Have a magical day!

Because I wore a Magic Band I hadn’t thought to bring my wallet — there is no need for real money here in the Magic Kingdom — so when the time came to purchase a broad-spectrum antibiotic at the Super Target, I entered my credit card information from memory. I had a prodigious memory once, but now I have anxieties and a five-year-old son, and difficulty remembering last week in any detail; that said, years of compulsive book-buying from online sellers have driven my card number, expiration date (the card’s, not mine), and security code into my head. Or fingers. I keyed in the appropriate numbers. The credit card terminal claimed to be Unable to Process my Request. I blamed myself. I called the human representative of the credit card and its company. He seemed impressed by my swift sure recall. Together we tried to figure out which machine had rejected my request. He told me that they had ‘not even declined’ my purchase. I said to him, ‘…so this is a Super Target problem.’ Resigned and a little sad. I looked at the thick wire connecting the card reader to the computer — at least I assume it was a computer; from my angle it was indistinguishable from a soda machine, but I know better — and experienced a surge of disappointment in myself, in my way of living which had made me unpalatable to these machines, who want so badly to help, if only I would choose more thoughtfully when given the chance.

The aisle beyond the Super Target’s pharmacy was lined with baskets full of single-use shaving gels, hairsprays, and supplies of dental floss, a dollar apiece. No one sticks around here long enough to need more than that.

The definition of ambivalence.

David Mamet repeats the old joke: ‘They say the definition of ambivalence is watching your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your new Cadillac.’

My unfunny version: Ambivalence is wanting to start a project over from scratch in a new key but not wanting to waste the work you’ve done already — and then realizing you’ve done so little that it doesn’t really matter, so go you.


the children here are feral and wise to unnameable impulses, which doesn’t faze the hunters

the city vaults across the mountains on angelbone struts and within its borders the living light makes loneliness impossible, which doesn’t faze the hunters

every guitar is always tuned, which doesn’t faze the hunters

a single penstroke in the right light beneath the proper sign is said to be able to capture three lifetimes’ worth of pain and portend three lifetimes’ worth of joy, and wasteful writing is seen as a form of malign madness, which doesn’t faze the hunters

no food is prepared more than an hour in advance and the war stops every night for dinnertime, which doesn’t faze the hunters

high in the clock tower overlooking the greyest quarters of the steel city there are bird-men with no voices of their own, no wings, only the memory of flight which the wise among them know can’t possibly be theirs, must be an imposition, a punishment, and they should never have entered service to dangerous men and the sound of the clock hourly beating like a great iron heart is ruinous but they never ever leave, which doesn’t faze the hunters