Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Manifesto 117B, The Starmaker in Shmoo-ville


1. Seek out weird cosmologies, wherever they lurk: a treasured tome of natural philosophy, the small advertisements in comic books, or a worn blue velvet Cutty Sark sack.
2. Reread at least a few panels of 'Lil Abner the daily strip that  intrigued me most of my childhood--and which I far preferred to the overly-subtle Pogo. "He [Al Capp] was a very angry man" -- rough quote from a Capp biography. 

Too many subtexts, not enough time, just enjoy the cereal.
 3. Do something with the etched ribs I bought on a whim at a temple flea market in Kyoto. At least find out if they are genuine Edo-period erotica or just crass imitations of delicate yet crass originals. (I don’t currently have a den in which to bring my guests--male or cigar-smoking new women of the 1920s--pour tumblers of scotch, and say, ‘ah yes, something I picked up whilst in the Orient.’)
4. Uphold my vow never to learn a single magic trick, particularly one involving playing cards or small tongue depressors.
5. Continue to “enjoy my publishing journey” as one children's books agent suggested in a brush-off line.
6. Never purchase a shrunken head—even if Walmart starts to stock them at discount in its ‘weird yet lively accessories’ aisle.
7. Sign daily at least three on-line petitions that are at cross purposes. 
8. Never trouble over ways to conclude an essay involving a list as structuring device.   
9. Someday finish one of Ursula K. LeGuin’s novels (not the kids' books, I've read those), and, while I’m at it, one of Olaf Stapledon’s idea heavy yet narrative light essay-novels (I've made it at least halfway through one). It is about time we all learn who the Starmaker is. 

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