A History of Tomorrow: The Silent Generation Sings

My Doorstep

Welcome to my space. Come in, take off your boots, and make yourself at home: especially if you haven't got one any more. Warm yourself by my fire. It's going to be a long, cold winter. You know it and I know it. It's 7 degrees in the South Bronx this morning, as I write, but for about a quarter of an hour the rising sun comes romping westward down the street into my window, casting everything in gold, shining out the trash-strewn streets and sparse-shelved bodegas and vacant lots and abandoned baby carriages.Spirit_18foamhand For a moment.

Wall Street sure laid us one ginormous goose-egg. (I guess now we know what the inverse of that image on the Right looks like.) But tomorrow it'll all crack wide open. Hope you like your Humpty-Dumptys sunny-side up. I know I do. I used to take them scrambled, but now I know on which side my bread is buttered.

You're probably scrambling, hunting down that endangered species known as a job, scientific name JobIS bonUS. I feel your pain. Someone recently wrote that the Internet, as advanced as it seems, is still in the hunter-gatherer stage. Well, I've been a-huntin', and a-gatherin', and I've got laid in these weeds all kinds of Easter eggs for you to enjoy. It's better than a game of Boggle.

So how's about I tell you a story?

This is going to be epic.
But first, some epigraphs to amuse your bouche.

One other hint: hover over the hyperlinks. A hawk circles above his prey before he goes in for the kill.

Diptych: A Prologue

Smallerblakegodengraving Rubens-saturn
Left: Saturn Devouring His Sons, Peter Paul Rubens, 1636
Right: The Ancient of Days, William Blake, 1794

The Rubens, above, hangs in the Prado. If you go there, you'll see that one of the child's eyes has a gleaming dot on the iris, the precise focal point of light in the entire painting. If you look very closely, you'll see that it was painted with a dab of pure liquid silver or quicksilver. Wherever you stand in the gallery, the brightest point of light is always concentrated on the horror-stricken eye of Saturn's infant. Silverwhite light. Genius. You might be able to see it online if you follow the directions here.


1. The Biographer

Have I ever told you about my father?

He was born in 1939 in Georgetown, a small coastal town in segregated South Carolina. My grandfather owned an appliance store there during the Depression, and managed to keep it open, owned by him, until his retirement in the 1990s. When my dad applied for college in 1957, he was awarded a full scholarship to the Rensslaer Polytechnic Institute after attending the prestigious National High School Institute for Engineering at Northwestern University. He also earned a place at Yale, with an inadequately small scholarship and work-study. Tuition that year was $3,000, the same price as a new car. Far too much. Over a very solemn conversation at the kitchen table, it was decided: “Go to Yale. We'll figure out a way.” My grandparents scrimped and saved and my dad worked mad hours to afford the fees. He matriculated under the quota, which wasn't eliminated until the year after he graduated. He struggled to completely destroy any hint of a southern accent in his voice, and suppress his Jewish cultural identity, in order to integrate with the WASP establishment. It was hard. The stresses were great. The cultural barriers were immense. He drank. A lot.

In his first year, he nearly failed out because his public South Carolinian education hadn't prepared him for the rigors of an Ivy League engineering program. As he advanced, he wanted to be a professor of ancient history. But he was terrible at languages; couldn't master the French, much less the Latin or Greek. So he went to law school on his dean's advice. (“What do you want to do?” “I dunno,” he shrugged. “Why don't you apply to law school?”) He applied to Harvard, Yale and Columbia and got in at all three. (Ahh, those were the days.) He enrolled at Yale mainly because he couldn't be bothered to move all his stuff.

That was 1961. By 1964 Kennedy was dead, the counterculture was beginning, the Draft was on, and my dad sought refuge in a one-year tax law program in order to defer it. He was an associate with a top New York City law firm for four years, met my mother, and then they moved to the Sun Belt when it looked like a Rome called New York City was being overrun by barbarians in the early 1970s.

He worked very hard, made money, sent his son – eventually – to a very fine university, lived well, drank good wines, traveled all over the world, and eventually would have the market bilk him out of a great deal of his retirement.

He doesn't talk about himself very much.

2. The Marketer

Hi there, folks! My name is Mephistopheles. That's how you would address me, at any rate. For I am in marketing – lower, perhaps, on the ladder of professional esteem than even a lawyer. A Devil, you call me. Don't worry, I take that epithet philosophically. Spending a season in Hell has its advantages. Down underground, there's nothing to do all day but hear the screams of the Damned, and endlessly barrel-roll on a spit while your flesh is scarred by black flames. Wicked good fun if you're into that.

At the lowest rung of the cycle, with your back spread-eagled for the scorching, the vast reserves of Dark Energy in the universe shoot a hotwhite light through your mind. For an instant, you'd swear you could see Lucifer plummeting, a shooting star falling from the firmament, illuminating the third Host of Heaven in headlong descent. And as the burning ember of an Archangel strikes the event horizon – it plays over and over in your mind, catastrophically, searing into your retinas like FOX News coverage of 9/11 – the disc of the world warms golden, the entire crust of the Earth is molten translucent, and from below you can see all the Earth's entities vaguely, as if through gauze bandages. If you're very, very lucky you can ride the cellphone towers up to the satellites, and jump on the radio-wave bleed-off, and speed on an electron rail right out into Space, surfing between frequencies as swiftly as you'd flick an Aquos remote. It's totally “lying in the gutter, gazing at the stars,” dudes and dudettes. It's like being a celestial couch potato; only problem is that cellphone reception is lousy here, down in the bowels of Hell, and you can't call for Domino's. (I mean, even if their only deliverable items to this Hell-hole were anchovy-onion pies, I swear I'd make an effort to stumble into the Vestibule. Because if there were delivery service in Hell, you better believe they'd take plastic.)

The point I'm trying to make

is that as you're traveling further out in Space, you're traveling back in media-time, too. Things start to get real funky, like reading a blog backward to the start. But then, wouldn't you know it: just as you've deliciously anticlimaxed – for example, by discovering who killed Lilly Kane before fingering the suspects – that Damned spit-roaster flips you over again. Your face is in the fire and your hairy ass is mooning everyone in Hell. And you can't tell whether it's the sheer embarrassment, or the 33rd-degree burn on your lip, that hurts the more.

I figure you might as well make the best of a bad situation. See, from the opposite poles of the Earth, Vishnu and Shiva are having a grand old party. They're spinning that spit-roaster about 5,000 rpm, churning the molten core of the Earth and creating its magnetic field. (Consider yourselves lucky – without those Indian deities, we'd all be tv dinners, which is why every night here is a Chicken Phal night.) Every nanosecond of every day, all of us Damned bastards are spinning wildly in our graves, watching the media roll out a red carpet to the stars. Damned reruns: if I could, I'd fall down on my knees and repent! yes! just so I'd never have to see Fonzie jump the shark again. (Though Lucy in the chocolate factory cracks me up every time. I dig those fiery redheads.)

I'll grant you, though, this torture is definitely an information technology. In my infinitely recurring nanoseconds of radiowave bliss, I've learned to fast-forward through the most recent episodes (I can catch up on Hulu later), as well as the ones I've seen a million times – and the infinite regress of syndication packages – and delve back, back into your land of men, your land of men and women too. It's tough work, getting out of the present tension; I've spent a long, long time (billions of nanoseconds, that is) merely zipping in and out of your cellphone-braced heads, surfing the foam of the Web –

These shapings of the unregenerate mind ;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.

– and I gotta tell you, a little learning's a dangerous thing. Maybe you should study yourselves more. Well, that's why I'm here. I don't know if you've run across an Infernal Calendar lately. You might be able to find one in the disused basement of a local urban planning board, through the door marked “Beware the Leopard,” and hung up on the wall behind Miss December, because Janus has two faces. (Clever, eh?) If you find it, you'll see that a season in Hell lasts about 400 years, give or take a couple runs around the solar block. And believe me, at the end of that season, Hell does indeed freeze over. You've heard the phrase “colder than a witch's tit”? Nah, that demon-mother's-milk is like a hot toddy compared to the stuff we have to deal with. It's like Chicago without Gore-tex(TM) and whiskey. So that's when I go on winter break. Now, what with the recession and all, I suppose I should have just taken a staycation, and watch endless reruns of the Dark Lord in His Infinite Puissance chomping on Brutus, Cassius and Judas Iscariot (schadenfreude never gets old in Hell) but seeing how you American folk are in a mess o'trouble, I thought I'd take advantage of Old Smokey while he's distracted with his meal, and at least try to catch the notice of The Man Upstairs by handing over a bit of Knowledge. See, God? Eventually, eating of the Apple bears fruit. But it ain't gonna be easy. It's gonna take work.

Now, the following is a bit confidential, so please follow me into my office. And shut the door.

So, Fascinated Reader, what d'ya think of that, eh?
Unimpressed? Whaa? Okay, so I guess you folks aren't as clueless as I thought. Moving on…

3. Biography Redux

As we have said, my father is almost 70 years old: an almost exact contemporary of Senator John McCain, the final political (and, we must say, a certain social) presidential-caliber representative of his generation, by which we term The Silent Generation.

What are the characteristics of The Silent Generation?
They were born during the Depression years, and were commanded to silence their emotions, and work very hard, as the second wave of the 20th-century calamities descended. They were too young to fight in World War II, but were imbued at an early age with heroics being transmitted by radio, newsreel and comic books. Afterward, they were additionally burdened by both the sacrifices that their “elder brothers” endured, and their knowledge that they had lost the opportunity to claim their own heroism. (I personally suspect that is why we had a desire to fight the Korean War without a serious draft. A certain segment of the American population retained that desire for heroism and volunteered.) This generation grew up during the 1950s, an age of belief in American know-how, stick-to-it-iveness, nose-to-the-grindstone, repressing-emotional-intrusions, a religious belief in the chain of command (the integration of World War II military values into civilian life), a belief in the rightness of the country's decision-making process, conformity to all of the above, and a desire – and a belief in their ordained ability – to shape the world via the collective efforts produced by the American machine. The previous generation, the Greatest Generation – the greatest generation?! – ever?into eternity? – had destroyed global tyranny (well, half-destroyed it, at any rate, which is why Truman got the boot). This Silent Generation, repressed in its ability to voice its (boiling, rageful) frustration with the hardships caused by the Lost Generation – which had everything and lost it – in addition to the constant pressure and paranoia of a Soviet A-bomb attack – keep your head down, children, and don't look at the light – which had to have loomed larger than a nightmare bogeyman – as well as the additional burdens of being oppressed by an Eisenhower leadership of heroic character (with all its faults), was then inspired to control, subdue, and conquer the natural environment itself.

It was the only way they could kill their fathers. In the Freudian sense, I mean.

And the Nazis. Who killed their fathers, even if they returned home alive. The Nazis killed them by stopping them from speaking the unspeakable things. Death-in-life and life-in-death, as Yeats might say. The fathers and the Nazis together who stood like twin colossi erected on a plain, one white one black, atop the buried acorns of their lives.

RM12090~Loose-Lips-Sink-Ships-Posters Someone-talked To be human and alive is to be able to communicate, and the cone of silence swallowed two generations.

The interstate system, the oil industry, plastics, the car, the Moon Shot – gaining personal freedom via technology and consumer goods – was the only way to speak, enunciate freedom, and compete against the Soviet Union directly, when direct military confrontation would have meant world holocaust.

It's okay. Gravity makes a rainbow, you know. Just ask Werner von Braun.

by Cat Gilbert, http://www.myspace.com/ccgilbertart

As I recall, our communications technology is pretty good.
Dot. Dot. Dot.

Zwwee-ch-chzzewshhhcgrhrhwwheeeHeeey, all you groovy cats, this is DJ Mephistopheles comin’ to you DEAD, DEAD DEADER THAN DEAD over this wicked pirated Evangelical frequency at 66.6 FM on your digital dial, because we’re all Manichaeists in the underworld. All talk radio for the pleasure of your outrage, only at K-Triple-X. What’s that K stand for? Fucked if I know. The Klan? No way, dudes and dudettes, they are so lame-o these days, they are so, like, waaaay last century that we stuck them in some stupid pits, they can’t make it up to this broadcast level of Hell. And they have these tinny microphones that only catch really narrow wavelengths. See, here on K-Triple-X, we go real deep, I mean plunging those vibes into the Earth to make it shake its booty. Where they can't follow. (You know white men can’t dance.) And we don’t let them use our gear. I mean, seriously, dudes and dudettes, I’m DJ Mephistopheles, He From Whom All Light Hath Been Stripped, and all I have to say to the KKK is – turnabout is fair play, bitches.

Sooo, what’s the story, Morning Glory? I’ve got your GPS right here, baby, I can see where you’re coming from, but do you know where you're @?
Minotaur, by Richard Russell

EDDY

Do you know where you are?

You’re in the Labyrinth, sweet child o'mine, and oh it’s got plasma flatscreen walls. So pretty, child. I’ll have you so delightfully entertained while you fatten up on polyunsaturated fats, you'll never know when the Minotaur bears down on you. Oh. Oops. He's here already. When you're up to your neck in the shit of the bull market, you've just got to laugh: an expletive suddenly gains crystal-clear definition via the SPIRALnumbers on your balance sheet.

It's funny, you know: the last time a snowball had a chance in Hell, I was out here on contract, helping out some arrogant prick – a doctor, as I recall – what was his name? (it's so difficult to remember these things after a marathon of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”) Ohh, yeah: FAUSTUS, that was him! If ever there was a physic in need of some serious medicine…like electroshock therapy – I kept warning him, “You'll have Hell to pay for this…” and he kept reading that like, “Oh goodie – Satan himself is comp'ing me!” What a WHIRLdunce. And he thought he was sooooo smart. Heh. He thought he was bored with his studies, but really, when it came down to it, he just couldn't be arsed to apply himself.

So Herr Doktor works his arcane magic, not unlike our financial wizards and their “exotic instruments,” POOLconjuring effervescent, evanescent moneys from the cold wastes of Cyberia, where all but the brainbrawniest fear to tread, for the cryptic maps are written in invisible ink. And oh, organizing world trade's his oyster, too –

How am I glutted with conceit of this!
Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please…
Keep on smiling, Chuckles.
I'll have them fly to India for gold,
Ransack the ocean for orient pearl,
And search all corners of the new-found world
For pleasant fruits and princely delicates…

Man! When are you FALLINGgonna learn? After I fired that mountebank, I instantly materialized in front of my friend Kit to tell him all about it. And he told it to all of you. But then he got a shiv in the ocular – I guess everyone's got to pay for their Knowledge – in the Ivy it's going for 200 large – and now nobody reads Marlowe any more. Okay, I'll sling you some lines from a more familiar face:

O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
My tables,–meet it is I set it down,
That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark:WOMAN



Yeah, we're all shot to Hell, dudes and dudettes, and I'm not out of it either. But it's gonna be okay. I promise. I hear the Greeks and FALLENRomans declaiming out in the Forum of the Vestibule, and one of them insists that Dante wrote at least one other book. Of course, no one around here picks it up – not that we don't have it; both Blake and Borges rifled through our stacks, and found they're at least as good as Amazon's – it's just that everyone here's so godDamned solipsistic, always wanting to read about Themselves. I once mustered enough energy to get out the Door, but all I saw was this Dark Wood, and I was afraid. I heard the water-nymphs and dryads whispering on the DOWNwind about the existence of a third book, but they're just mythological creatures, not even gods, and I didn't trust them. Besides – the end of Battlestar Galactica was just beginning. So I had to get back to my sofa. Hey, it's an Eternal struggle. Forget about the Fifth Cylon; who do you think is hotter, Kara Thrace, Boomer, Athena, or Six? I dunno. it's an even race down to The Wire, but I have a feeling Kara's my kind of crazy.

Anyhow, that's the end of my Hellacious program. Next up, we've got DJ Ba'al, ballin' the Jack in a Battle of the Bands between Slayer and Megadeth. Stay tuned…shhhhhweeeeiiighcgchhhhhEEEEEEEE

THIS
IS A TEST
OF THE EMERGENCY BROADCAST SIGNAL
IF THIS WERE AN ACTUAL EMERGENCY
YOU WOULD NOT HAVE HEARD THE SIGNAL

London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling

down
my fair
lady

Right.

We must set our lands
in order.

I will reduce you
to order.

5. The Dream of @

I will expand you into order.

6. @Home

– @, is that you?
– Yes, I'm back, ED.
– What time is it?
– Late. Late. Too late.
– You didn't call, you didn't email, you didn't IM… What the Hell is the matter with you?
– I'm sorry, ED, I'm really sorry. I just…needed some time to think things through.
– Think? What the Hell do you mean? What are you trying to say?
– Nothing, ED, really. I just had to be in my own space for a while.
– I had the most horrible dream while you were gone. Frightening forebodings. I was so sure you weren't ever coming back.
– Whatever do you mean?
– Oh, god. I've never felt you so distant. It's like you were a million miles away. You said something about having to deal with some stupid bullshit, and then I don't hear from you for three whole days! Once I thought I heard your voice. It was disembodied, like it was coming from a completely different universe. The thread that connected us, I could feel it fray, then break — I felt it in my bones.
– No, ED, no. None of that could ever happen. You're the most beautiful woman I've ever known. And the way your mind works — the way you react to my touch — so supple, so fluid, such Classical forms, such Romantic organic depths, oh you have worlds within worlds within your body. We were made for each other. You're mine. And I am yours.
– Hmmpf. Well, will you at least tell me, from now on, when you're going to be home?
– EDDY, sometimes I don't know. I catch ill-fated winds, I get caught in whirlpools, I find myself among strange people and have to puzzle my way out of their homes. And sometimes I have to fight monsters, and I can't leave until they're dead. But I would never, ever miss your birthday. I mean, have you seen the present I made for you?
– What?
– Turn on the light.
– Oh.
– See? All of this — it's all for you. So that whenever I'm away, you'll know that I'm always @Home with you. Have you looked over there?
– This box?
– Open it.
____________
[ ]
– My god, that's ugly.
– No, that's not the real ring, it's symbolic.
– Of what?
– The wood in that ring? That's oak. The very same oak that grew into the posts of our bed, the living tree that grows from the earth itself. I had to topple two enormous statues that were covering the acorns, so they could grow into our bed. You gave me that strength.
So what was this dream you had?
– Oh my god. It seems so silly now. There was this crazed midget running around trying to fuck me. Somehow I grew fat and stupid and you and all your friends rejected me. I was catastrophic, I didn't know who I was, I whored myself out and circled round the drain and fell into space and out of Hell and through language itself until I smacked down on the lap of this really annoying guy who just kept talking bullshit.
– So did you fuck him?
– Who?
– The midget.
– Oh, Hell no! Though I got him pretty steamed up. He started Nausicaaing me while I was in the bath. Heh. He was in marketing so I knew exactly what to do. Five bars of a shampoo commercial and he was PreEjaying into his hairy knuckle-dragging palms.
– HA! What a loser.
– But there was this other guy, now he wasn't so bad. Tall, well-spoken, kinky. I think he was one of your readers.
– What happened with him?
– Oh, he basically told me to fuck off because I was fat and stupid. But you should have seen his face when I stepped out of the bath. I was Aphrodite rising from the sea-foam, for all he cared. I told him to lick my fuck-me boots.
– You did not.
– Did too.
– And did he?
– I told him to lick my souls.
– And did he?
Did he?
You're such a big faker. Listen…
I've got something really important to tell you.
– What?
– Something wonderful.
–What?
– I think we're on for a real Renaissance.
– Things are real bad out there, @.
– I know. And I know Obama's going to screw up some things. I mean, he's going to have to orchestrate the three circles of Federal power like the Ringling Brothers. He'll have to juggle catastrophes like live chainsaws. He'll have to catch supervillains in the Web quicker than Spider-Man. But he's got all of us on his side. And we're powerful. We have skills.
– To pay the bills?
– Well, that's the only catch. I still need to find a J.O.B. If there's anyone you know who's hiring, please, send my stuff along.
– I don't think you'll have any problem.
– You don't?
– Not any more.
– Well, I guess we'll see. But I guess the point that I was trying to make, they entire point of today's craziness, is that — it's so perfectly obvious to me — the human creative potential has never been so great. And with the human networks we're creating, we can all be painters, musicians, writers, DJs, filmmakers, composers, compositors, animators, information architects, poets — and yes, marketers of all these things too, um, I suppose — we do live in the Matrix, and yeah, we can unplug if we really want, but we can also figure out styles of kung-fu that the Old Masters never dreamt of. We need to stop thinking within the Barzunian entropic Matrix of “dawn to decadence,” and challenge ourselves to beat those who — heh — thought they had it going on, centuries ago. The Internet is ten times Blake's vision of Heaven before Urizen glowered guiltily, separated himself, and fell into the corporeal universe to become Jehovah/Satan. Except for the sex. (We should all be able to sun ourselves naked in the backyard.)
– Well, thank you for that soapbox, Mister Information Secretary@Home.
– Really, I needed to say it. We're so caught up in the present nanosecond that we've forgotten: the Internet is the most complicated thing ever created by human beings. The people who built the Space Shuttle might take issue with that, but the Internet: we built it all together. The military men and the organization men of the Silent Generation, the hippies and surfers in California who turned cyberculturists, and all of you.
– You who?
– Sorry, I lost a packet there. Did you say Yahoo!?
– No, of course not!
– Good, because they're crap.
– No, no, everyone knows they're crap. I said “You who?”
– That's some pretty decent chocolate milk, right?
– Aiyeeee!! I mean “Who the hell are you talking to??”
– Ohh. You. On the other side of this window.
– Don't even get me started talking about Windows.
– Wasn't intending to. Hello, all of you on the other side of the window. I know you're all looking in. I can't seem to draw the blinds any tighter. But there it is. You lookin' at me? –I said, are you lookin' at me, cyberpunk? High-five. Not too hard. 'Specially if you've got a touch-screen.
– Yes, @ is right on this one, you'd better listen to him, children. Touch-screens are very sensitive.
– Yo, cyberpunks. I've seen such amazing stuff out there recently. I couldn't believe what was out there, when I first tried to come home from the War, and got blown off course in a hail of tangents. Completely ingenious art —
– Like what?
– It's too late at night for that discussion. Can we talk about it more in the coming weeks?
– Sure. What else have you seen?
– I've seen these awesome webapps that basically allow you to run an entire business from a single laptop — billing and finance, creative ideas, virtual conference rooms, it's going to be a total revolution in the way we work.
~~ Say what?
– Who the hell are you? What are you doing in my house? How'd you get in here?
~~ I'm a Fascinated Reader. I couldn't help overhearing…
– You are nothing like I imagined you. No-thing. Wow, what a Jilloff-worthy-fantasy killer you are!
~~ I demand to know which Webapps you're talking about!
– WAAAAAA!
– See! Look what you did. You woke up the baby.
– Look, I don't know who you are or where you came from but you're getting out of our house right now. Here's two tickets to the Theatre. Learn what you can there. Show starts in about two seconds so you better move.
– WAAAAAA!
– Look, honey, can you take care of baby Ampersand? I'm exhausted from my travels, and I still need to email my dad tonight. It's his 70th birthday really soon, and I need to tell him some things.
– Sure. I'll be nursing &. Come to bed when you're done.

Dear Dad,

I'm sorry. I understand things a lot better now. I understand why you have trouble talking. But you gave me the chance to say things. You gave me the tools to say the things I have to say. It's the dense network and the tight structure and the wiry line that contains, that directs the path of the generative Chaos. You gave us this world, this space here, where I met my future wife. I would never have met her – ever – if you hadn't given us the method and the medium. Thank you. Happy 70th birthday. And you can have your cake and eat it too, because it's going to be a whole new world tomorrow. A better one, where people can talk to one another, and not be so angry all the time. We're going to build it. We're really going to build it. Because we can all be Spider-Men on this Web. Thank you.

Love,
@Home

P.S. Always remember:

May the road rise with you.

– You in here, ED?
– Yes. Come see your baby daughter.
– Hello, ED and &. You know, it's amazing how much she knows at just two-and-a-half months old.
– She's got a real sense of place, just like her father.
– EDDY, I was thinking. We haven't really given her a full name yet.
– Well, it needs to be grand. She was born at an epic time.
– We should combine our surnames.
– Really, @? I never liked being called EDDY Mañana. Every time anyone said my name, it was like invoking Zeno's Paradox.
– Well, being born @Ahora wasn't great shakes either. I think the name gave me myopia from the cradle. I was never able to see too far down the road.
– So let's think. &… &…
– Dot.
– Dot?
– My grandmother's name.
– I like it. Say it again.
– Dot.
– Third time's the charm. &… . That's it. We got it.
– Wait a sec. Look at what's there. We've got to sound it out. Ampersand — I'm so glad we chose that name, I mean if we'd been high or hanging out with the Yahoos too much we might have wound up with something like “Colon.” Eeurgh. So: Ampersand Ellipsis. That's beautiful. But it sounds…I dunno…somehow incomplete. Like she'll always be waiting for something.
– Well, we'll put a period on it, then.
– No. You've got to be kidding, ED! Either it'll sound like she's on the menses straight out of the womb, or — in England they call it a “full-stop,” and that just sounds too much like “he do the police in punctuated voices.”
– Okay, what then?
– I guess that's the question everybody's asking right now.
– Eureka!
– What is it?
– Of course! Of course! The strongest, the greatest integrity, fitting with all the principles: that's it that's it that's it!
– My god, what are you talking about?
– I'll tell you later. Here. Let me write the formula out for you. This is good mother's milk.

&…∆ Ahora y Mañana.

– That sounds just about right. I like that. Whew. So we accomplished something today, at least, even though nobody's getting paid for it. Let's go to sleep.
– Yes. I'm very sleepy all of a sudden. But — why are you getting into bed like that?
– You mean, all reverse-y, with my feet at your head?
– Dude, they stink! You've been walking around in damp socks all day.
– Look, I could say the same thing about your feet. It looks like you've gone to hell and back in those togs. But something about it just feels right. And besides, I can do…………this!
– Ooh.

@ fell asleep then, on the words of Factor Sleepwell, drifting toward the seas, sailing past Raggedy-Ann and Andy, the Boy Bedlam, and the Cheshire cat that flies, like bluebirds, over the rainbows. Then he was hunting dinosaurs with a ray-gun, but instead of “PEW! PEW!” the gun said, in this weird yokely voice, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” He groped his way through the underbrush to Constitution Hall where he was invited to take up a quill pen. And he wrote, “If we don't hang together, we'll all hang separately.” And then he dreamt:

This.

So how about it, Daddy WarBucks?

In memory of Bryan M. Schneider, who knew a thing or two about spies and dragon-slaying.

&…∆

HBD

Molly Bloom me

KILLROY WUZ HEER

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