Balckwell Manifesto #4 – January, 2021

I find that I spend much less time nowadays thinking of my past. It used to be that I would spend hours of days recreating past circumstances, trying to return to my mind those lost emotions – emotions which felt so much more real than their present counterparts, due to their being frozen in time, encased in an immovable bubble that provided them solidity and clarity, as opposed to the malleability and transience that characterizes the here and now. My past is, in essence, a work of fiction, that I may read at my own leisure, while my current life is a manuscript, a work-in-progress, the writing of which brings with it the struggle and pain of creation. I am, these days, more of a writer than a reader, if you will. I remain an avid reader, but now I read not so much for escape but for inspiration. I read because the more I allow beautiful words and ideas into my mind, the more it becomes a rich, flowering garden, from which I may pluck delicious fruits as I laze within its luxurious grounds – fruits that provide the foundations for Works of which I will one day be so fond.

As it stands right now, these Works are but a pain in my side, a bee in my bonnet, and a sword in my back. My goal is to become one of the greatest writers to ever live. This is, of course, pure vanity. I often say that I lack ambition, but I find that I must now reveal the truth, which is that I aspire to a glory so high and vaunted as to possibly not even exist. Perhaps it is as they say, and the Age of the Novel is over. If this is the case, so be it. This fact changes nothing of the ferocity with which I approach my mission. In fact, its impossibility only increases its honour in my eyes.

I am a writer of novels. It is not my job; it is not my hobby. It is my vocation. I would not go as far as to say that it is what I am best at; instead, I would say that it is the only thing I am capable of doing. Over the years of my life, it has become increasingly clear to me that any other course is impossible. This is not to say that in some alternative reality, such courses may not have made me happy, or been met with success. In certain circumstances, I am sure that I could competently perform a wide variety of activities. However, in the specific circumstances that make up my existence on this planet, at this time in its lifespan, all these courses are closed to me. It is nothing about my social or economic position that bars me; it is instead some aspect of my own mind. Perhaps it has been poisoned, or perhaps it alone contains an antidote that frees me from other poisons – either way, due to what 19th century doctors might describe as my “nervous disorder,” or 21st century psychologists might describe as my “mental illness,” I find myself woefully ill-prepared for the lifestyle that many might term “normal.” For many years, I blamed this on my own stupidity.

Well, the words that we use inside of our head have immense power, and this word “stupidity” brought with it a self-restraining paralysis that was of no use to anybody, least of all myself. Nowadays, I choose not to call myself stupid. I do not call myself anything at all. I simply accept that I am the way that I am, and repeat to myself the adage: “It takes all kinds to make the world go round.” My kind, I admit, is one whose usefulness for maintaining the rotation of the Earth is difficult to recognize, but I, like many others, take the word ‘all’ to mean ‘each and every one,’ and logically speaking, this must necessarily include my kind as well.

All this is to say that I no longer consider it my duty to spend quite so much time reflecting on my life in order to determine what, exactly, “my problem” is. This time I now spend trying to determine what “my problem” will be – i.e. what disastrous circumstances might befall me in the future and make it readily apparent that my decision to make no money and forego the “building of a career” is a foolish one. This is futile time wasted, I know, and it is one of my primary short-term goals to eradicate such thoughts completely, allowing myself to focus exclusively on the composition of my Works.

‘What Works are these, exactly?’ you may ask. You may look around this website and see no works able to justify such an audacious renunciation of civil duty, instead seeing exclusively the confused, amateurish writings of a young man with an overblown sense of his own importance. In which case, you may chalk this entire project up to simple egoism! Well! I can’t help but admit that this judgement is a sound and reasonable one! All I can say in my defence is that a man’s life has the potential to be quite long, and I am trying my best to continually improve. If I fail in my goal of becoming one of the greatest writers to ever live, I consider that failure a more worthwhile use of a lifetime than success in any other pursuit. If I die having contributed nothing of artistic value to the universe, I will at least be able to say that I did no harm, and on top of that, I managed, at times, to enjoy myself.

I believe wholeheartedly that the creation of Beautiful Works is in itself a positive act, and that such an act is the most positive that I, as myself, can perform. This is not to the neglect of more tangible acts, such as being affectionate and generous towards my loved ones, and to a lesser extent, the entire portion of the human population that I come into contact with. My egoism does not extend to the social sphere; I consider it my duty as a responsible human being to behave in a virtuous manner towards whomever I am able. I love everyone. I love everyone, although many are twisted, evil, malicious creatures, and the structures and systems they create facilitate wickedness on a scale that no single individual could possible conceive. I can not help but be a human being, and as such, I can not help but feel a certain amount of love for all other human beings. I hope that you can understand.

It is on this note that I end this update to the ever-evolving Balckwell Manifesto. It is my hope that this document will continue to grow and change over the years, reflecting the contents of my soul and the system by which I govern my actions. I extend a hearty Happy New Year to all denizens of the Soup Web, and many happy returns. My greatest hope is that I can one day do you all proud

– Balckwell

Strangers

“I have never seen these people before, and I know not who they are.”

“They are the people you once were, in a past world. They live in your apartment building with you, but they keep from your sight like rats in a cave, appearing before you only on days such as today, when you have proven yourself to be resolute and pure of heart. They appear before you as a reward: the reward is the reminder of how far you have come. Seeing where you were lifts your spirits, and confirms that the way you have chosen is correct. To be virtuous, to be pure of heart, to be free from Gravity, is the course that leads to an especial glorified blessed existence among the stars.

Those shadows you see: when they are alone, they say, “Zoom up!” and they zoom, and are burned in the fires of the atmosphere, and their bones they burn too, and are blackened and sent down to Earth again as soot, dark as a moonless night. Their way is perverse and horrid, and they seek to make it to the starry world as by a shortcut.

Be not like them, my young friend, but stay your course. Though it seem difficult, though it seem trying, and though it seem that Gravity pushes you down at a rate of approx. 9m/s², the truth is that your path is the easiest and most fruitful.”

My Moustache

One of the great features of my life is that I have structured it such that I can grow a moustache with impunity. No one dares defy my right to grow a moustache, and I have been met with great support from all sides since the day of its coronation. That being said, I did not grow a moustache in order to reap admiration; no, I grew my moustache because I felt that it would help me to define a marked change in my attitude and behaviour towards the strange mishap that is life on earth. This it has done, and so much so that I believe the great scholars who in the future take it upon themselves to write my biographies will have no choice but to divide them into two sections: pre-moustache and moustache. Of course, this implies the fact – which, while it might easily be left unsaid, might just as easily be said – that this moustache is here to stay. Make no mistake about it, friends! There is no end for this moustache but my grave!

Continue reading “My Moustache”

Hokey-Bokey: An Introduction

放棄ボーキー
Hokey-Bokey: Throwing it All Away

Throw away your memories, and all that lies in your past!
Throw away your dreams, and all that lies in your future!
Throw away your worries, and all that contaminates your present!
Make ice! It’s all nice on ice, alright!

The time has come to Deny the Earth, and thus, it is time for Hokey-Bokey.

What must be done? Ah, well there we go – but also, there we gon’t. Must?
What should be done? Ah, well there we go – but also, there we gon’t. Should?

Hokey-Bokey is a philosophy with only one rule, and that rule is: Always give up!
Hokey-Bokey is a philosophy with only one motto, and that motto is: Deny the Earth!
Hokey-Bokey is a philosophy with only one suggestion, and that suggestion is: Be yourself!

PART ONE: ALWAYS GIVE UP

What you are aiming for cannot be achieved! That which you seek is beyond your reckoning! Look around you! Why are you striving when there is so much sitting to be done!? The Master said: ‘A true sage ignores that, and chooses this.’

*

Did you ever want something so badly that it made you sick? Was that thing, perhaps, a papaya? Do you know how much those cost around here? Maybe it’s best to forget about it.

*

Have you ever felt that love is more trouble than its worth? Alas, my friend, it seems you’ve never been in love.

*

Here I sit, awaiting a promotion. With a promotion comes power; and with power, comes money; and with money, comes power. With enough power, I could give myself a promotion! With enough money, I could quit my job!

*

‘Ahhhhhh’, you say. ‘Ahhhhhhhh!’ Okay, okay! I’ll listen – just stop screaming!

*

My father used to expect things of me. He’d say, ‘Aren’t you going to do this? Aren’t you going to do that?’ It made me weep and gnash my teeth. I decided, ‘I’m doing nothing!’ and off I went. ‘I’m happy!’ I screamed. But still, ‘Aren’t you going to do this? Aren’t you going to do that?’ The words rang in my ears.

I didn’t do this, and I didn’t do that. No, I did some other thing. When I’d finished, my father said: ‘That’s the ticket!’

*

I started something that I couldn’t finish. And now it sits there, incomplete. It’s missing its… What was it missing again? I don’t see anything.

*

Balance your dreams atop a high perch, and let them crash all over you. A dream ‘comes true,’ so they say, when you are playing in its wreckage.

*

Phew! It’s over! And I thought that was going to continue until the day I died! It’s over now! And I’m only half-dead.

*

‘This has to be done. It must be done. It can not not be done. There is no way for it not to be done! Doing it is a necessity. It is required that it be done. It must. It has to! Stop! You ought to do it! It is best for it to be done! It would be greatly appreciated! Where are you going! Wait! It would benefit us all for it to be done! It’s not too hard! Come back!’

*

And he stood atop his dusty mountain, and stared down at all that lived and breathed in this century and those to come. He saw it all, and he leapt, arms outstretched.

*

LOVE! Love is the power! They don’t understand that it is LOVE that makes it all possible!

PART TWO: DENY THE EARTH

No, do not fear the earth, and do not hate the Earth – Deny the Earth! With fear and hate the Earth spins its web around you. Deny it! The Earth has no power over me, for I do not recognize it!

*

‘But the trees are shining, and the birds are calling!’ Exactly! I did not ask you to deny birds, did I!?

*

Behold! The man whose photograph you are looking at – this is a man who takes no pictures, and would not be caught dead appearing in one!

*

An App? You call this an App? Well, I’m still hungry! Where’s the main course?

*

‘Is your goal not to change minds – to purge others of their latent, dangerous beliefs? Why, then, do you act as if the mind is immutable – that it cannot be changed?’ So says Falsital of Wizzeroth.

*

Take from Earth what little you need – you will treat it better than Earth ever did. You are rescuing it! I say, take what you need and cherish it! And then… then there is nothing left to do!

*

A man far away screams from a mountaintop.

‘Stop it!’ I yell.

‘No!’

Well, then. I suppose I’ll just listen to something else.

*

And there, across the sky, burning hotter than a thousand suns, stood that grand Castle, and within it, the people of God slept. Slept to dream a million dreams, of torments and passions, and of retribution. The world around burned with a crazed fire, but within those walls, not a sound of it could be heard!

*

‘Become a mechanism!’ they cry, papers flying out of their pockets. ‘Become a mechanism and it is easy!’

*

‘Don’t try too hard,’ she said.

‘It’s okay – I wasn’t trying at all!’

*

Fame will crash your computer desktop. Fame will knock over your bookshelf. Fame will spill your paints. Fame will drink your water. Fame will sit in your chair. Fame will walk in your shoes. Fame is for scoundrels, and only scoundrels deserve it!

*

Freedom! This is what we are chasing for – this is why all else must be denied! Freedom! Freedom can only come when that which tries to control you is thrust away! Freedom can only come when you Deny the Earth! Do not let the mind control control your mind. Your mind is deadly; your mind will kill you. Well, I ask, who better to be my murderer!?

PART THREE: BE YOURSELF

You can not help it! It is right there for you to do!

*

Let’s watch the birds! There they are: Up a tree, down a tree. High in the sky and deep in my dumpster.

‘How I wish’, you might say, ‘how I wish to be like that bird! Flying, hopping, stopping, crying. It is the life for me!’ (You say.) My friend, that bird’s life is not for you. For one, you do not like to get wet, and it is raining out.

*

He looks like he’s having fun, doesn’t he? Well, me too!

*

What a miserable sap. Standing there with a grimace on his face. Cheer up, darling! We can’t all be this way!

*

Thirty minutes a day is all you need
To make your pay, to eat your feed
Why do you always want for more?
You walk the dog, you walk the store
Don’t you know what you are living for?
Haven’t you seen this all before?

You eat your pay, you make your feed
You stomp your hoof, you eat some hay
You’re going somewhere new today!
Why must you always stomp and bray?
Just go along, just come with me
Worry not, take no heed
You are a horse, and nothing else

*

I can not control the movements of orbs! They roll away from me, and they fall on the floor. They bruise, and then no one will eat them any longer. I won’t apologize – I can not control the movements of orbs!

*

When I paint a thousand pictures and write a thousand books – inside of this mass, this detritus of my soul, will lie an original work that will prove to you what I was.

*

He stepped forward, gingerly. “I can’t do this, I can’t do that. It’s harder for me than for some.”

He stepped backwards. “Ah, it’s very difficult.”

He stepped to the side. “Ah, some may find it easy, but not me.”

He jumped in the air. “Great!”

*

‘Away on a boat! Off to the sea! It is clear: this is the life for me!’
‘My friend, please stop! You fear the sea!’
‘That is not for you to decide! Off I go!’

Legends of Love and Luck – Chapter Four

Xiu Wen walked through the forest in search of a certain herb that would grant her husband Hurly-Burly the speed necessary to reach the Red Capital in a certain amount of time. Suddenly, she was caught in a spider web.

Legends of Love and Luck is a collaborative epic novel composed by Balckwell and Hoober, for publication on the Soup Web Zone. It is inspired by Classical Chinese Novels such as Journey to the West, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Bandits of the Water-Margin. Odd-numbered chapters will be composed by Balckwell, and even-numbered chapters by Hoober. We hope you enjoy the result.

Chapter Four

Xiu Wen and Distant Octopus Converge Inside the Green Onion Forest /

Infidel Carbonate and Burly-Hurly Converge Outside the GreyTown Garbage Heap

Xiu Wen walked through the forest in search of a certain herb that would grant her husband Hurly-Burly the speed necessary to reach the Red Capital in a certain amount of time. Suddenly, she was caught in a spider web. In the resulting confusion, she felt a hand reach out to grab her, and heard someone say the name “Distant Octopus.” With her renowned wits and quick mind, Xiu Wen easily deduced that the speaker was none other than her old friend, Distant Octopus.

Continue reading “Legends of Love and Luck – Chapter Four”

“I Know of the Rot That Poisons Your Mind” (or, “Congratulations!”)

It is my belief, or you could say, a principle of mine, that all people should construct their own cosmology, or at the very least, heavily modify an existing one, or create a synthesis of multiple cosmologies. You should always be constructing this cosmology; it should be as changeable as the universe itself (that is to say, modified by time.) Continue reading ““I Know of the Rot That Poisons Your Mind” (or, “Congratulations!”)”

Let’s Start the Heck Over (Balckwell Manifesto #3) (Balckwell Manifesto 2, #1)

I look around at the citizens of the world and I don’t understand what they are doing. I don’t understand their motivations. This makes me think that, perhaps, the citizens of the world do not understand what I am doing, and don’t understand my motivations. I know we are already two parts into this manifesto, but maybe we need to start again.

Continue reading “Let’s Start the Heck Over (Balckwell Manifesto #3) (Balckwell Manifesto 2, #1)”

Kyle When He Was Human

Kyle when he was human killed ten-thousand bugs. Many by accident, to be sure, but many on purpose as well. Not out of cruelty, but because he just wanted them out of his house. Stomping, crushing, swatting, poisoning, flushing down the toilet. Kyle often saw others take a bug who had wandered in back outside. He had done the same thing every now and then, but generally if there was a bug inside, it was going to die.

Continue reading “Kyle When He Was Human”