vr

a novel

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

May 1996

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

From: Nichelle
Date: 1 May 1996
Subject: Gabe's Back

It has been five days since anyone has sent e-mail to this list. As I told Murder (who doesn't read e-mail anyway, so who cares if he gets this), Gabe and I are going through classical music 101, beginning with Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Beethoven seems to have omitted the part about the cannibals, but we will have to put it back in because I'm reading Heart Of Darkness also, having joined Gabe's Book Of The Month Club.

Actually, I have been meaning to sit down and write e-mail to the list for days, but have been sitting behind Gabriel on the couch plotting to take over the computer. He pages everyone on the MOO with "Nichelle is getting very angry with me because I am spending all of my time on the MOO". I need to find new ways to amuse myself, I guess, because there isn't a seat in the house that doesn't give me a glorious view of the back of Gabriel's head. I told him that I ought to buy a computer so that we can talk to each other on the MOO. As he told Peri, the only thing I get three times a day is meals, though I'm not complaining. They are delicious meals, and I got my pancakes with maple syrup this morning for breakfast.

I wrote a heart-breaking letter to David, my "boyfriend in the midwest", this morning, and I'm feeling like a horrendous bitch. I'll get over it, after a nice walk down to the public library and a trip to that godawful mall so Gabriel can get a belt and I can go to Hooters for a beer. At least the sun is out today, which may be a good omen. Perhaps the AT&T software will arrive. And if His Magesty's Mother (Gabe found us a geek-for-hire, but he had to ask his mother if he can help us post porn on the Web) would just surrender, we could begin work on our Web site, and I could even pull up a chair and sit at the computer too.

From: Peri
Date: 1 May 1996
Subject: Whatever

My point is that if you want me, you have to be kind to me. If you don’t want me, you won’t break my heart. I realize that that condition that I place on your behavior may seem unreasonable to you but it’s still a condition.
Whether my writing needs editing or not is really no concern of yours unless I contract your as an editor.
I’m glad you’re interested in me and how I might use my life to create literature, but honestly, I’m old enough that I’m not interested in spending time with asocial arrogant intellectuals unless there’s something concrete I get out of it that outweighs the risks I Take spending time with such people like yourself. The benefits have to clearly outweigh the risks, and what I call risks are social ones. If one of the conditions that you level on me while I spend time in your World is putting up with your rude behavior, and I don’t clearly see a special opportunity for me in that World (which I don’t), then I don’t see any reason for being there.

Peri

From: Peri
Date: 1 May 1996
Subject: P.S.

The reason I know about prioritizing between risk and benefit is that I already do spend time in the company of many socially ‘dangerous’ people on Jay’s House MOO. There, there is probably a slightly lesser risk to my sense of propriety and social graces than there would be in your World with you, but the benefits are obvious to me: ready technical answers to miscellaneous technical questions, and a very solid foundation in business-type networking. Another reason that occurs to me now to refuse belonging to your World is that I simply don’t have the time to participate to a degree that I’d feel comfortable with.
Also, as for my e-mail address, you can find it here on Lambda in the Library, and I believe it’s on my nametag on JHM, but you’d have to ask someone there who I am there, since my handle is different.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 1 May 1996
Subject: Goetterfunken und feuertrunken

Quodlibet I hope you appreciate this. I've been breaking my balls translating the Ode into English trochees and neither the English language nor my brain finds trochees very easy. Actually I just began doing it lazily last night after getting into a fight with Peri, who's trying out our list, and drinking a lot of whisky. I should write whisk(e)y because I also had a miniature Jacky, which smells like silage, before drowning the bad taste away in the pure, the noble J&B. Si ca passe, tout passe, dixit Dede. I've got some good lines: Joy, beloved, God-inspired, Thine enchantment binds together, Him who a fair wife has taken, Join us in thy jubilee, Joy all beings do partake of, From the breast of Mother Earth, All the good and all the evil, Follow in her floral path, Kisses she bestowed and vintage. I can see some of you smirking: "That's just a translation. Anyone with a dictionary and a quart of whisky can do that." Yeah, you fucking try. English words just do not want to be twisted into trochees. Stiff Lips suggested I just set it to swing and write iambs. That might be smarter. By the way, Jeff and John, I've had to make some kind of Faustian deal with Peri that we would all be "nice" to him/her, whatever that means. I guess what the fuck. I promised Tyisha I wouldn't call her a nigger and she still left. Oh well. We'll be on the web soon enough and trust me, Jeff, this list will explode. Have I ever been wrong before? OK, once or twice, but never mind. I hope you're all (Corinne, John, yes Johana) working busily on your web texts. Why should Nichelle and I have to do all the work? I wrote Lonni about her son's helping me with the 'puter. (No, I don't want to spend the next few years at Sommers.) and she answered that while her he had probably already seen almost everything that's available on the 'net, she wasn't sure whether she wanted him to make money from "such things". It's OK if he just uses it to jack off, but heaven forbid he actually do something useful. Anyway she'll probably say yes, and the thought of causing that FWB some domestic strife amuses me.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 4 May 1996
Subject: Bad-ass bitch

I think I've got a live one, one hundred and ten pounds of smart, mean psychoanalyst. The first time we met, about a year ago on DU, she told me she had read all of Freud. Whatever that means, that's about a hundred thousand pages. Nichelle asked at breakfast (pancakes, they're a favorite of hers) if that included his shopping lists. She was joking, but yes some editors publish shit like that. I also pointed out that it might even be interesting. I've had to streamline my shopping lists, but I used to write these four-language monsterpieces that only Dede and I could read. Anyway, Rosanne is about my age. Peri I guess you're 26 to be exact. I'm almost done with the Ode, about a dozen problems still to be dealt with. We're probably going to go to the library and watch the 120 Days of Sodom this afternoon. Perhpas Nichelle will give you her commentary. I don't think she'll have any nightmares about it. It's disturbing, but very cold and cerebral, very little blood and only one good scream. Where have you been, Peri, under house arrest? or did the wife just get fed up and throw the 'puter out the window? I bet Stiff Lips has thought about it...

From: SAGReiss
Date: 4 May 1996
Subject: Rosanne

Nichelle is in the kitchen weeping. She just yelled at me: "It's a piece of shit!" talking about Pier Paolo Pasolini's 120 Days of Sodom. You've got to help me. This is a major domestic dispute. Please go to the video store and rent this film and tell us what you think. I feel like I've done something very wrong, but I don't quite know what. It's a work of art. Anyone can see that. So, it's a little weird and violent. What am I s'posed to do? Obviously I far underestimated the disturbing aspects of the Marquis de Sade's work. Actually Nichelle's attitude is refreshing. I've been reading Sade for so long it almost seems normal to me. And Jeff discovered Sade like a fish discovering water. I guess one can become immune to bad craziness. I had no idea this could be so upsetting. Everyone I know reads this shit. John is probably on his way to the library to check out the 120 Days in the Wainhouse translation. Shiiit, I went to high school with the man's daughters. John will just say: "Gaby, you have some odd friends." What can I say? I guess I'll take Naked Lunch off of the Book of the Month Club. I had forgotten how powerful a work of art can be. I guess I'll be waking up to screams in the night for a few days. But as I said, I think Wozzeck is in some ways more disturbing, because it the scene of everyday domestic violence, whereas Sade is just a man who's been fucked with and imprisoned a little too often and just decided to say good-bye to the human race. But I'm not sure it's so much worse than Kurtz saying: "Exterminate all the brutes!" or Falkner making everyone sleep with members of his own family, or cutting the balls off Benjy or the nigger in Light in August. That seems to be a recurring theme in his work. What's that called, Rosanne, castration envy? Anyway the storm seems to be dying down. We've agreed on pasta, mushrooms, garlic, basil, olive oil and lots of parmesan cheese. I've got to go. I feel like I've still got some explaining to do. Gott verdammt mich, was will das Weib?...

From: Nichelle
Date: 4 May 1996
Subject: Rosanne

" On another topic, I know you have all been waiting for the oracle at Syracuse (Sicily in Greek, where the Greek colony had an oracle) to speak on the all-important subject of what Nichelle really looks like. For the answer, each of you must make a trip to the library. Look up Man Ray's picture of the Marquis de Sade, and there you have her, same nose, same chin, same blue eyes looking off into the distance, same curly hair, same corpulence. When I told her this, she didn't seem happy. I wonder why..."

It's real, and you can't just squeeze your eyes shut and pretend not to see it. I sat through the movie, didn't I? Without flinching, or vomiting, and with dry eyes. I didn't want to talk about it when we got home. I still don't want to talk about it. I don't need you to run to the video store to settle any domestic dispute. I won't be waking up in the middle of the night screaming. Not all art is meant to be pretty. The world isn't always pretty either. What is terrible is not that I'm horrified, but that you're not.

From: Malcolm
Date: 4 May 1996
Subject: National Systems Meetings

I find that ending up going to a national systems meeting tends to cut down on my geeking time. I'm Peri, the one your dear leader has been aiming his rhetorical questions at me. V., my wife, would probably be highly unlikely to throw my computers out the window. For one, we live underground, with windows high up in the ceiling that tend to be at ground level and that tend not to open very widely. Minimal falling damage. Second, she knows I'd just use it as an excuse to buy a bigger and more powerful one, or worse, a mac. Too great a risk. Better to let me buy computers at a slower rate, like when they become unbearably slow for the latest version of Bob Pro.

A friend of mine is spreading around his idea of a Massively Parallel Pornographic Supercomputer. I thought you all might be interested. First I have to tell you his name so that you know that he has dibs.

Andy Maxwell

Some legal shit could apparently let him sue anyone who uses his idea without permission or something. Of course, lawyers will let you sue for just about anything these days. How irritating. Anyway, the idea is that we can use Java, a language which only really allows for processing and network communications, to randomly split up big jobs (like image processing, rendering, least squares fitting, and modelling and simulations) and run them on web browsers' computers. Since browsers' computers are relatively idle when browsing, say, graphics, like, say, the biggest draw, free pornography, the calculations should be relatively quick, and if we can get a lot of hits at the same time, we could get one hell of a huge massively parallel supercomputer. We could host popular pages for free, because the payoff in connections would be worth it, and we could probably do fine with just the revenue generated by selling the computing power, let alone possibilities in advertising to such a large sector audience.

Lastly, disturbing news about Sade. Amazing how art can be so powerful. Gabe, how can you be so self-professedly brilliant and not know this? Culture is here for a reason - I think to help give us a framework with which to understand, control, and at times redirect the powerful emotions we come up, and the powerful ways we seem to invent to evoke it.

Also, so far, I have seen nothing I'd call 'literature', something Gabe has been talking at me about while trying to convince me to preview your World and participate. I've seen what look like typical shared diary entries, but I've been promised literature, and I'm wondering where it is.

Oh, and I'm 27, not 26.

Peri

From: SAGReiss
Date: 5 May 1996
Subject: Rosanne

SAGReiss is so stunned by that horribly weird and pretentious name that he has to postpone this message to get it right. (That's not being mean, Mr/Ms Malcolm, just surprized.) I must confess I didn't understand shit about the first three or four paragraphs of your letter. Most of it was too technical for me (I'm missing a cyberchromosome on my left ear.) and some of the American slang was just too tough. Remember, I missed out on the eighties. I like your friend's idea, however. I too am always coming up with hare-brained schemes for fomenting subversion and making lots of money usually necessitating Jeff's cooperation, which of course he'll never give. I don't even understand the huge and stupid fight between Macs and PCs. (One of my first humiliations coming back to the States was Mrs McGinn [the man at SU] saying: "We are PC." and I didn't know what that meant.) scaredycat and other high-class geeks hate Macs, but I've used both and really can't see any difference at all. Right, literature, well that depends on what one is looking for, how one defines and recognizes literature. (For those of you watching on TV: "This is not a book...") A certain kind of literature died and went to limbo upon the publication of Finnigan's Wake many moons ago. Besides, as I've written elsewhere, if the internet is going to change the way we shop and work and entertain our bordom, let alone how we fuck, it might as well do something useful as change the way we create art. Literary questions concerning BABEL. What is the role of Corinne and Jeff? They are characters of some kind, but they seldom appear. They are really stand-ins for the reader himself. But how can the reader be a character? And what of the narrator (foul-mouthed, drunken, polyglot intellectual)? What of the other characters based on real life? Or those, like Dr Geisskopf who are more typically literary? And what of the question of time? (As I told my class last year: "All English poets are obsessed by time.") Murder , you swine, when are you going to answer? Johana what's your final word on that pseudo-scientific theory of the internal clock of music? Where the fuck was I? God I hate going to work at some dumb-ass time like eight AM on a Sunday morning. Why didn't I stay in the States, waste a hundred thousand dollars of my parents' money and now have a cushy job when I can mostly sit around MOOing all day like the fucking wizards and going to some cheap-ass conference and watch naked girls dance, instead of serving breakfast to the conference goers? Oh yes, time. BABEL (which some low-rent publisher in San Francisco is now reading) is written in real time, but drawn out over the course of six months, which bears no relationship to the narrated time, which skips about all over the place. How about fiction? Some of you may remember the Saddam Hussein incident at the hotel. Only problem, as I once confessed to Nichelle, is that I never saw it, except in my imagination. So far as I know something like that happened on my day off. I heard two versions of the tale and invented the rest from my knowledge of Saddam, Hafez and the general atmosphere of ignorance and bad manners at the hotel. I just made it up for your reading pleasure. Isn't that what literature is? OK, so maybe it's bad literature, but until someone comes up with a better definition, and finds a name for what we're doing... Actually I really don't give a fuck what we call it. I write, like other people breath. Peri, you missed all the talk about the punctuation in Stiff Lips' Great American Rape Letters, but if I took note of the effects of the punctuation, and if she answered that she had thought about and played with the punctuation, then isn't that a literary concern? You'll see those letters just as soon as I get my slimey little hands on a piece of software and get that sixteen-year-old geek over here to hook me up. I've got to go serve brunch to the boys from the Defense Department. I've already told them they had better not fuck with the internet or I would spill orange juice down their backs...

From: SAGReiss
Date: 5 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rosanne

One last thought before work. THIS IS NOT BEING MEAN. Does anyone besides me and Jeff know what a capon is? It's a neutered rooster, aka cock. Just a culinary tip of the day from the trained professionals in your local food service industry.

From: Nichelle
Date: 5 May 1996
Subject: Rosanne

I will even begin by talking about Rosanne, since her name has been the subject of so many letters. I tried paging you several times on DU, but with no response. I'm going to go brush my teeth and gargle with some of Gabe's Listerine, and go back to try again.Hi Peri, nice to hear from you, though I admit that I didn't understand much of your letter either. I refuse to talk about literature anymore because the last time I did Gabe trashed me, especially the line about 'guiding you like a lover to my center' or whatever, which I admit was in very bad taste. Not that I haven't been spending a lot of time thinking about literature. I'm racing through Gabe's Book List at about 80 mph. (No, negatron, I don't do km, you canadian pervert. Ask Gabe, though I doubt you'll have any luck. He won't translate for me half the time when we're talking here in the apartment.) Anyway, I don't give a fuck about all that. I'm here to learn a few new words (Note last week's dazzling use of 'cunt') and watch Gabriel tear through the MOOs like some kind of posessed cyberdonjuan, brilliantly but dangerously sucking down stunning amounts of Ricard and tobacco. I usually just sit on the couch and nag him about it.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 6 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rosanne

I've thought of a nickname for you, Peri, unless you'd prefer to stick with Peri, which might have its advantages and inconveniences, should you decide to put a text on the web site. We could call you Capon. Rosanne of course can be Dr Geisskopf. I'm still working on a nickname for Johana. Any ideas? That means I'll have to change the name of that Chinese girl I cyberate to Dr Yung, which is a nice pun for those of you with very bad taste, like myself, and also avoids confusion such as why the fuck we weren't speaking German. No, Sade is neither domestic nor even gender violence. What means gender to Sade? He was the original gender-bender. Here's a good spot for a very elegant little polyglot pun. One of the obvious problems of BABEL, which you seized upon implicitly Peri, is the question of its genre, French of course for gender in all of its grammatical, social and biological implications. Sade is violence on a cosmic scale. Sade is just a monster of linguistic fury, all recorded in this dead-pan very pretty eighteenth-century French or, as all the biographers say, copied on a scroll of paper in microscopic handwriting. Of course I take the problem of genre to its last logical degree, using handwritten texts, typescript, e-mail, cybersex etc. There is even, Peri, a carefully worked-out and elaborately illustrated theory of language and literary esthetics behind this madness. Some day you can read BABEL and decide for your self. We can begin with the text from Kierkegaard's Sickness unto Death which JD Salinger uses as an epigraph in, I think, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters. I haven't got time to type it now. I'm s'posed to be writing our shopping list. It may not look like it, but I've been working on the ideas that allow me to write the way I do for more than fifteen years. We all have our hormonal problems. I've just never gotten beyond the star-struck thirteen-year-old boy who discovers sex and Doestoievski at the same time and feels something from which he will never recover, which Henry Miller brilliantly analyses in The World of Sex, the first realization: "They've got cunts, and if I'm nice to them they'll show it to me and maybe even let me touch it."

From: Malcolm
Date: 6 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rosanne

Actually, SAGReiss, thank you for pointing out that my name information is old in my .elmrc. I fixed it. You'll find this name far more pretentious. :>

Peri

From: Malcolm
Date: 6 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rosanne

> One last thought before work. THIS IS NOT BEING MEAN. Does anyone besides
> me and Jeff know what a capon is? It's a neutered rooster, aka cock. Just
> a culinary tip of the day from the trained professionals in your local
> food service industry.

Yep, knew that, thank you, and yes, it's been remarked upon and discussed in my circle of friends, and no, I don't find it mean, and no, it isn't why I changed my last name.

For a far more scarring childhood experience, though, I have to mention that my first name was originally intended to be 'Lincoln', a surprisingly just-off-the-boat kind of name for parents whose families had immigrated to the United States before they were born.

Malcolm/Peri

From: Malcolm
Date: 6 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rosanne

I think I'd far prefer 'Peri' for a nickname. I'm used to the mis-attributions associated with that name and don't want yet another nickname to keep track of, thank you. I do see the humor and applicability in 'Capon' with regard to me and my RL name and my gendered interests in various realities, but honestly, I'm preferring sparseness over creativity these days when I organizie myself.

I still don't see the utility in this mailing list beyond a somewhat cozy gathering of people who know each other and who don't seem to be as crippled by low intellectual self-esteem as 'normal' people are. I suppose I should look at your Web pages and see your offerings there as well. I've had my share of lists like these, though, and I'm wondering what Gabriel's hub-bub is all about.

From: Malcolm
Date: 6 May 1996
Subject: Names

It looks to me like my 'name' in mail won't change until I exit elm and restart it, so for all your references, my real name is 'Malcolm X y Z', where X is my original family Chinese (Cantonese, Hoi-San provice) name [were I able, I would give you its calligraphy equivalent], and Z is my wife's name. Oh, and my middle name is still the same, 'K'.

Peri

From: SAGReiss
Date: 6 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rosanne

I don't think anyone except Jeff understands the concept of meanness as it occurs in my daily life working in a restaurant. To give a small, everyday example: Yesterday one of the FWBs came in despite a case of hives, which she saw fit to explain to me and one of the busboys. As we listened sympathetically (Alright, so I really don't give a fuck about her God-damned skin conditions. When she calls in one of the fag boys usually says something like: "I guess her pussy crusted over." whatever that means.) and as soon as she turned her back (She may or may not have still been within earshot.) the busboy said to me: "It's probably from all the poison ivy she's been lying down in." That's not even mean in a restaurant, despite the fact that she's going through a divorce (mit Kinder) and has a lover etc. That's just considered gentle needling. I still don't think I know what your name is, Peri, but it doesn't make that much difference to me. I know I can call you Peri or Malcolm, which is good enough for me. It may sometimes be confusing whom I refer to because I use real or nicknames interchangeably. I guess when I finalize the list of Charter Members I'll create a directory for us. The real reason for nicknames, aside from my tendency to invent them, is so that you others can protect yourselves from all the hackers and psychopaths who may come our way once we get public on the web. My guess is next week. I'll just have to deal with the fucking psychos on their own terms. I've seen worse and I can handle it. Besides I've always got Jeff and John, low-rent, white-trash boys who just don't give a fuck, to back me up. The only thing I'm a little worried about is that some of these weird punks may try to attack Nichelle's Great American Rape Text and, if you should choose to put it on, Peri's There's no such thing as gender. Don't be worried. I will take the heat and I can spit back more bile than these cunts have ever imagined. I s'pose we'll go on with just my three texts ("Marie, please kiss me, fuck me", "12000 Virgins" and that wild and savage e-mail I wrote a year ago and stunned Nichelle when she read it), Nichelle's Great American Rape Letter, oh also the cybercunnilingus, and Jeff's calligraphic "real night mare of classical education". You others need to get orgasmized. I'll just add them as I receive them, unless you authorize me to orgasmize something I've got. I could do that for Johana and Peri. Shiiit, I can write small and large in Chinese characters...

From: Malcolm
Date: 7 May 1996
Subject: Organization and Participation

Really. For me, not yet. I'm still not sure of staying with your crew, SAGR, I don't feel like it's more than an etheric pastime right now, and I still feel like other issues in my life could take precedence.

This isn't the same as saying that I'll be too busy for you, but a recognition also of the idea of quality of participation. I don't want to participate in whatever community is here in some half-assed way. If I'm in, I'm in, but if I can't be in, I'd rather be out than floundering around without being able to be fully, consensually, with you all.

As for pyschopaths and hackers, there are plenty of bigger, more tasty targets on the web, I think, than you all will make yourselves out to be. It sounds almost as if you want to have trouble. It sounds like you're bored or something. I think unless you put out some big pink flashing neon Web sign that says something stupid and insulting about crackers, you won't have much of any trouble at all.

When I go out on the Web, I prefer to use my real name and my real information. Why make it harder to find out who I am, when the reason I'm out there is to take a stand about who I am and what I am? I don't mind making reference to my nickname/MOO alii, but I'd prefer to be me.

Also, it looks like there's some hidden little property on my account that insists I'm the old me to the mailers, so I guess I'm stuck, until I bow down to Netcom and ask them to change it for me. I'd sooner lick a cat's asshole, so it may be a while.

Love,
Peri

From: SAGReiss
Date: 7 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rosanne

Just back from the bar and had to arm wrestle another bottle of Ricard open. The French ones one can't open without slicing up one's hand, the American ones one simply can't open. Lou and Mister Betsy are angry with me, feel I've abandoned them. Nichelle's going to Colorodo next week, so I'll be able to do some serious drinking. If you see me on the MOO, please keep in mind that I may be beyond the point at which Buck (Is that name right? Who's read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof?) says he hears the click that means peace. Some random notes on your latest letters, Peri. "etheric" I don't know what this adjective means, except pertaining to ether alcohol, which I used to sniff in the morning before eighteen hour days at La Farfalla, Le Funny Burger, Le Commerce et al. Did you perhaps mean ethereal meaning airy as I once called Stiff Lips' voice? or perhaps ephemeral, which makes more sense in context? Anyway there are many ways of participating in this list/MOO whatever. (The sixteen-year-old geek offered to give me a MOO if I've got a unix machine. Have I?) Writers need readers, so one way of participating is to read the letters. Corinne has read a thousand pages of my drunken nonsense and her eyes have fueled my fire. She has perhaps written me half a dozen letters which all told would make up about a page. We've never talked about this irl, but her brother Eric said she was just shy or intimidated or something. I can see no problem with that, though I sure wish you could see your way to sending me a text for the Web. This doesn't need to be a major part of anyone's life. Nichelle and I have chosen to make it so for reasons of our own. How much you write is entirely up to you, though I will eventually eliminate Murder  if he doesn't say something. Everyone else on here is, so far as I'm concerned, a charter member and welcome to participate however he wants. I've designed this to be as democratic and anarchistic as I could. I also think (and I probably shouldn't say this, but you were so bold as to give me a piece of advice this morning) you might lighten up, Peri. Don't take everything so seriously. I know that you are New-Age and PC and whatnot, but who cares about a little swearing and name-calling from time to time? While I have chosen to live my life through the medium of words, ce n'est, as the French put it, que de la litterature... I don't want trouble. That's why I shall use nicknames for everyone and edit texts to conceal even our (Nichelle, Corinne, Jeff and my) location. I'm just a little nervous about going public with texts so powerful and provocative as the ones you shall soon see. I'm just being careful and preparing myself for the odd weirdo who may come our way. After all, there IS no such thing as paranoia. Nichelle WAS raped four times, including by a man possibly still on lambda... I see the scars he inflicted on her every day. His AIDS virus is possibly infecting me as we speak. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here, which has been misquoted on IDmoo of late. As for our apparently high intellectual self-esteem, that depends. At the high end of the self-esteem spectrum lie Johana, Peri and myself. Johana is a well-educated bitch, reads a couple of languages aside from English and has more or less the same cultural references as I. She also thinks she's smarter than I. Peri seems to be well-educated, but doesn't seem to have learned many languages, which is a fatal flaw. S/he also thinks s/he's smarter than I. I have a broad and deep education in virtually every intellectual field, have read more than two thousand books, learned Greek and Latin, and then French and German and Alsatian. Since I discovered at the tender age of seven that I was smarter than my old man I have never entered a room (irl or vr) and felt that I was not the smartest man in the place. Jeff is probably in the middle (meaning his seventh-grade history teacher probably did not call him a megalomaniac, as did mine) a brilliant, well-read, well-educated boy whose French does not cease to disgust his ex-future French teacher (me). John feels somewhat self-conscious, being well- or at least not-too-badly read and smart, but not having the breadth and depth of our education. Corinne is the hardest nut. While her English is about as good as my French, which means it couldn't be any better, and her German also about as good, though not so idiomatic, and despite a depth of reading that occasionally surprizes me (I remember seeing at their place the French editions of both Under the Volcano and Jean Giono's magnificent translation of Moby Dick.) she is very self-effacing and perhaps insecure about her intellectual abilities. Nichelle knows music, but not much else. She has courageously (She is the bravest soul I have ever met.) begun a frontal assault on every book I name, exploiting two libraries. I have suggested to her that we should invite Corinne and Jeff to supper at our place. The way it works is that we serve drinks and appetizers in the 'puter room, kick the womens out of the kitchen and me and Jeff go to work. This, I suggested would give the girls an ideal occasion to chat, away from our loud, low-pitched voices. I didn't really mean to run on quite so much. I'm going to MOO. Rectum Vinum.

From: Nichelle
Date: 7 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rosanne

I have tried three times to come up with a decent response to Gabe's latest e-mail, but it hasn't been easy. When he says 'Nichelle knows music, but not much else.' I don't really konw how to respond to that. We talked about it for a long time, before I literally carried Gaby to bed again, but I still feel a little hurt. Is there anything more to a person than what they've read and how many languages they speak? Maybe it's all about who has the biggest dick after all.

Peri, our in-house skeptic, doesn't want to be a part of a list where people just whip out their brain in the locker room and try to prove it's bigger than everyone else's, but he still has the balls to claim that he's smarter than Gabe, or any of us. He doesn't have the time to dedicate to participating, but he has written more e-mail than any of us lately. You don't want to participate unless Gaby is nice to you. I guess you weren't around when Tyisha asked him not to call her a nigger.

Negatron, I'm sure you know your miles and gallons, and I'm sure you know your inches 'cause all the chicks on the MOO will laugh at you if you tell them how many centimeters your dick is.

I don't know. I can't deal with this shit. All I know is, I haven't been wasting my time, and as Gabe admitted, whatever I was doing must have given me something, or else I wouldn't be able to write my occasional brilliant letter. Whatever that means. Still, when Gabe has a question about the MOO, he asks scaredycat, and when he was a question about music, he asks Johanne or Murder . I usually just grate the parmesan. I don't speak his language (any of them) which means if he wants a blowjob, he's just going to fucking ask me in English. I'll just lie on the couch and read Bronte, or Hemmingway, or whatever.

From: Malcolm
Date: 8 May 1996
Subject: Having to ask for politeness

I think it was yesterday that Gabe called me a Newage PC something or other. I imagine that's what I look like to the ignorant and the impatient. I think, in all honesty, that for all Gabe's intelligence (at least at being tested, if those were truly his GRE scores he quoted at me) and education (self- or otherwise, it is education), Gabe is terribly, woefully ignorant about a very important skill in this country. In short, it's called politeness.

No, I'm not claiming that knowing the 'language' of gentleness or being able to be non-abrasive is better than knowing a half a dozen romance languages well enough to get confused between them, and to be able to read in them. I am saying that I do have that talent or education or whatever you may call it and that by and large, it's important to me that the people I spend a lot of time with also have that skill.

I'm setting simple rules, and they're not meant as any kind of value judgement. Those simple rules say: "if Gabe is more rude to me than I feel I want to put up with, I leave". True to the nature of consent in my personal ethics, I've informed Gabe of these rules, and I figure he's a big boy; he can make his own decisions.

As for the volume of my writing, an incidental facet of my life and life's work is that I type very quickly (70-90 wpm depending on the time of day). I type well when I'm typing my own free-form thoughts and I type well when I enjoy what I'm doinng. Since I'm in a lag period at work, I have time and compunction to contribute, so I'm doing so, but I'm warning you all, especially Gabe, who may well be the ultimate reason I leave, that this is not permanent. Things are bound to change, I'm likely to leave.

As for intelligence, I'll be the first to admit that intelligence is hardly measurable. I would also like to state that I think Gabe thinks he's the brightest among us, and I find it offensive enough to challenge. Also, being an elitist intellectual type in my own circles, it's difficult for me to brook a person who thinks it goes without saying that he's smarter than I am.

I'm sure some of you must understand.

Anyway, it's time for me to leave for the commute home. Good luck with your life-matters.

Peri
who would prefer to be referred to with Spivak pronouns, even when being 'masculine'

From: SAGReiss
Date: 8 May 1996
Subject: Rosanne

Those gay boys at work are fucking misogynists. (You have to realize, I don't deal with New-Age, PC, college-educated fairies, but bad-ass, white-trash queens who take pride in calling themselves mean bitches.) Some woman was glaring at me on the floor every time she wanted yet another bullshit condiment or whatever, so I would try to think of every conceivable excuse not to go to her table. I said to one of the fags: "If that cunt keeps glowering at me, I'm going to scalp her pussy and mount it on the wall." He thought that was the height of wit and very funny. We all type fast, Peri, and my GRE scores really are 770, 770, 640, but what's most impressive is that I took the test drunk, on no sleep in forty-eight hours and without taking a standardized test or a math class in fifteen years. If I had tried to do well I'd have gotten 800, 800, 769, to chose a round number. So, I test well. I don't think 'puter languages challenge basic assumptions about life as human languages do. We've already talked a lot about gender, but consider this: ancient Greek has a singular, a dual and a plural, an active, a middle and a passive voice. Some languages have only two words for color, which may more or less be translated light and dark. What we think of as biological distinctions between, say, fruits and vegetables, are in reality purely linguistic in nature. Alsatian has a way of addressing friends in the vocative, another way for strangers and a third way for people in between. Linguists all say: "He who speaks but one language speaks half a language." As to politeness (And I think we may be belaboring the theme. If you want to leave, just say the word. Wait, perhaps a few days, until I set up the web site.) I work in the service industry. I am an extremely polite man, who if pushed will be impolite in ways so obtuse that the guests are never sure whether I'm serious. Ever since I came back to the States, I've been tripping over women who don't know how to slow up so I can open doors. I say: "May I..." I refer to everyone as Sir or Madame or Mr or M(r)s. (The French have a useful expression we could use for you, Peri, Messieursdames, but I don't know the Spivak pronouns.) Because I speak Euro-English I tend to say thank you much more than Americans. I have no idea what you mean by 'in this country'. Americans are woefully impolite and are made fun of everywhere in the world. Nichelle can also tell you that I am a very gentle, tender, thoughtful man, even if my narrator doesn't appear so. She, apparently, was keen enough to see through some of the bluster. I also think we may be misunderstanding eachother as to intelligence. I would never say, nor even think: "I'm smarter than you are, Jeff or John." I just think I'm the baddest man on Earth. I think there's a difference. It amuses me when people attack my intelligence, or try to measure theirs to mine. I just say to myself: "Here I am, Mike Tyson. Have I really got to kick another ass? I'm tired, why do they provoke me?"

From: Malcolm
Date: 8 May 1996
Subject: A sense of being patronized

> round number. So, I test well. I don't think 'puter languages challenge
> basic assumptions about life as human languages do. We've already talked

Yes, I'd tend to agree, but I feel it important to note that you seem completely unimpressed by my computer-related and science-related accomplishments, and if anything, science/math/computers/empiricism represent a set of paradigms that do challenge the basic assumptions about life. Again, as I've told you, I've had Latin and I'm learning Japanese, so it matters to me that you understand this - it makes you look foolish to me that you seem unable to hear that I have this 'linguist's' experience. Also, please note that we seem to agree that gender language constructs also challenge basic assumptions. It seems foolish to me, Gabe, that you so quickly dismiss others' accomplishments in light of your own. :>

> a lot about gender, but consider this: ancient Greek has a singular, a
> dual and a plural, an active, a middle and a passive voice. Some languages
> have only two words for color, which may more or less be translated light
> and dark. What we think of as biological distinctions between, say, fruits
> and vegetables, are in reality purely linguistic in nature. Alsatian has a
> way of addressing friends in the vocative, another way for strangers and a
> third way for people in between. Linguists all say: "He who speaks but one
> language speaks half a language." As to politeness (And I think we may be

Uh, if I accepted your linguists' saying, I think I still am exempt from your judgement. My experience is unlike yours but I think at least similar in its effects in my ability to break set, leap out of context, and wander between paradigms.

Also, you Linguists should note that these concepts are taught in ddepth in other social sciences, including anthropology, sociology, women's studies, psychology, gender studies and cultural studies. Linguists, unfortunately, have no monopoly on these concepts..

And guess what: I've taken a total of about 25-30 c ourses in these varied fields.

> belaboring the theme. If you want to leave, just say the word. Wait,
> perhaps a few days, until I set up the web site.) I work in the service

I may.

> industry. I am an extremely polite man, who if pushed will be impolite in
> ways so obtuse that the guests are never sure whether I'm serious. Ever
> since I came back to the States, I've been tripping over women who don't
> know how to slow up so I can open doors. I say: "May I..." I refer to
> everyone as Sir or Madame or Mr or M(r)s. (The French have a useful
> expression we could use for you, Peri, Messieursdames, but I don't know
> the Spivak pronouns.) Because I speak Euro-English I tend to say thank you

Subject: e
Object: em
Possessive: eir

I'm assuming you can extrapolate.

> much more than Americans. I have no idea what you mean by 'in this
> country'. Americans are woefully impolite and are made fun of everywhere
> in the world. Nichelle can also tell you that I am a very gentle, tender,

Yes, I've noticed. I've lived in Britain and even there they're more polite than in the U.S.

> thoughtful man, even if my narrator doesn't appear so. She, apparently,
> was keen enough to see through some of the bluster. I also think we may be
> misunderstanding eachother as to intelligence. I would never say, nor even
> think: "I'm smarter than you are, Jeff or John." I just think I'm the
> baddest man on Earth. I think there's a difference. It amuses me when
> people attack my intelligence, or try to measure theirs to mine. I just
> say to myself: "Here I am, Mike Tyson. Have I really got to kick another
> ass? I'm tired, why do they provoke me?"

Okay, then my question is: How can you possibly dream that your arrogance doesn't bleed through into your rudeness?

This is silly. I think you're aware that you're arrogant, and you're reasonably well aware of when you're being an offensive bitch. It's further silly for you to play the wounded narrator. You know what you're doing and it's clear from how you address people.

As I've said before, Gabe, you are a big boy, and you're informed about my needing politeness. If you want to argue technicalities, you're aware that translates, for me, into inaction. If you show improvement and it's real, I might stay. If you don't, I will probably leave within a week or two.

I have intelligent friends with whom I share my productivity who know how to be polite. I'm not starving for attention from arrogant fucks like you, Gabe, so there's no personally significant reason for me to stay with you all.

Malcolm/Peri

From: SAGReiss
Date: 9 May 1996
Subject: Arrogant prick/fuck

"Wounded narrator"? If you wish to wound me, Peri, you'll have to do better than that. I just meant that there is a subtle difference between the I on the page and the man who sleeps with Nichelle. This difference is what is called literature, although the internet (and my previous experimentation [There's a pun hidden in there.] with letter writing) tends to blur this distinction. As we talked about with Nichelle (a French construction which I hate) is my relationship with Corinne and Jeff irl or vr? I seldom see them, perhaps half a dozen times in the last year. I am very impressed by math and computer skills, which I'm sure you have in abundance. I don't know why you throw in empiricism. As Big Dave Hume showed many moons ago, math has nothing to do with empiricism, whence its great charm. Math, as I've told you, is invented, not discovered, represents and does not describe reality, and is purely tautological. Indeed I'm so impressed, I'll offer you twenty dollars an hour to come over here and fix my fucking 'puter and web site and list serv. I'm still arguing with that boy's mother about whether he is old enough to read the sorry-ass porn on my screen. Paradigmata (SAGReiss looks very foolish showing off his elegant Greek plural.) are simply the virticle axis of language, the amo, amas, amat we learned in school, as opposed to the syntagmatic or horizontal axis. Saussure (As you know my education leans very strongly towards Euro-fag structuralism.) was very fond of these so-called binary pairs. Linguistics, as your friend Claude Levi-Strauss of blue jean fame knows very well, is the pilot science, so of course the other disciplines must copy us. (SAGReiss has always wondered what men's studies might be.) (SAGReiss wonders if extrapolate is some kind of new dance he forgot to learn in high school.) I think I just won't refer to you in the third person to simplify my life. (SAGReiss thanks the language gods there's no gender in English second-person pronouns.) You've now called me both of the names I've used in the title of this letter, and I'm rude? I don't understand what you mean by "even in Britain". The fucking Brits are the most polite race on Earth, with the possible exception of the Japs, whom I don't fucking like anyway, except for Calamity Kate, and I don't know her e-mail address. I'm also a bitch? Well, you're the first man to have called me that, though "arrogant prick/fuck" has been said before. Dickhead seems to be my nickname on lambda. Apparently I've got a rep there. Don't these cunts have something better to do than talk about me? Why don't they call John anus-breath or something? You seem quite active to me, Peri. I wonder you don't take as much shit at home as I do for looking at the screen more often than my housemate's pussy. Hell, I think John's screen time to jerking off time ratio is lower than either of our sex life. Is there life after cybersex?

From: Malcolm
Date: 9 May 1996
Subject: Whatever...


Gabe, I'd prepared an elaborate reply to your last, but my host ate it, so the simple version is:

It's obvious to me that you're playing power games with this list – an area for your ranting, you become simply irate and immovable if someone disagrees with you. It's obvious you're intelligent, but your ability to apply it to utility in life (like learning how you can attract more flies with honey/politeness) seems sadly lacking. Whether it be a personal choice, or a simple inability, I find it will probably be my ultimate reason to decide to leave and enforce that decision.

All the rest of the argument/dispute/discussion we're having is trash.

It's obvious, too, that this is an intellectual locker room where you compare the size of your prodigious cerebrum to ours, find us lacking (because it's your locker room) and feel justified in insulting us over that. Fine. I can be perfectly happy knowing I"m not participating in that. Again, a reason to leave.

And again, you've given me precious little reason to stay. I've already explained to you that I've intellectual resources I find kinder, gentler AND more compelling than the one you offer. You flippantly offer me money (far less than I'm worth - for your reference I do hardware/software tech at $50/hour minimum, Web-related skills rate $100-$200/hour depending on the complexity of the job - and those are private rates - the rates I'm billing for on behalf on my company are 2 or 3 times more, up to 5, depending on the client) to do some insultingly low-tech work for your World. You continually seem to think that the honor of worshipping your enormous intellect should be reason enough to stay.

Gabe, you are drunk and rude for the wrong reasons. You seem to assume that being such will attract the gracious muse of art to the FWP nest you've prepared in yourself. If you're rude enough and drunk enough, maybe the muse that visited Dylan Thomas will alight in your cavity and inspire greatness in you. Wrong. Art brings its own insanity, insanity does not bring art.

You are educated and intelligent, but you cannot grow genius in a garden. I'd venture even that you have genius, but I don't agree that it's anywhere near where you think it is. The revelations you've brought me are simply pedestrian (I've seen it, heard it, done it and thought it all years before you have - and so has every sufficiently educated intellectual on the planet). Show me something new. Remember, freakishness is not new, candor is not new. What would be new would be something from your heart, Gabe, not cloistered in all the shit you give people. But something real, something honest and something you... which I've yet to see and don't bet that I will.

Insult is just bluster. You know that and I know that. That's why I ask for politeness. If you can stop being blustery and show me something real, I might stay. If you can't, I guarantee I'll be gone soon.

Simple enough?

Malcolm

From: Nichelle
Date: 9 May 1996
Subject: Here E goes again

If you show some improvement, I'll stay. Just be nice to me. Just don't insult me. Just don't say you're smarter than me. It's not okay for you to be smarter than me, but it's okay for me to be smarter than the rest of you. If it keeps up this way, I'll leave. I have all these reasons to go. I'm going to do it, don't try to stop me. Don't think I won't.

Come in off the ledge, Malcolm. You're not going to jump, and we're not going to beg you not to.
You're playing this game too, Peri. Coy looks good on those 15 year old MOO bitches, but on a 27 year old, married, educated person, it is getting a little stale. Show me something new.

Simple enough?

-Nichelle

From: Loretta
Date: 9 May 1996
Subject: address!

Well guys, I won't be here until the fall....so I need your snail mail....If you don't mind....I would deeply appreciate it...thanks...

Alpina!

From: SAGReiss
Date: 9 May 1996
Subject: Freude!

Now that, boys and girls, was a mean letter "my Nichelle" wrote, which I appreciated in the same way I appreciated our polygamous bartender's answering the hostess' question about whether some bitches had tipped him: "No. They asked where State street is, so I sent them in the wrong direction. Every dog has his day." Of course you are both wrong. I'm not playing any game and particularly not a power game. This is real life, folks, and anything you say can and will be used against you. We went through this once before during the so-called first mutiny. I have created a world so devoid of hierarchy, that you could all depose me at any time, simply by leaving or better yet by continuing without including my address. So you see, Peri, this isn't even my room. By the way, Peri, I should perhaps tell you that Nichelle doesn't like you very much. I don't really give a fuck one way or another. I'm interested in furthering the possibilities of an electronic collaboration. This is work. I'm not here to make friends. Does generation X (of which I consider myself a member) have no sense of humour? Did you really think I was serious about your coming to Syracuse to help me? The kid will do what I need and he'll be very happy about an extra couple of hundred bucks and a few cheap thrills. I am not a wealthy man and can't afford much more than that. De chacun selon ses dons; a chacun selon ses besoins. Of course it's Brick, not Buck. Here, then, is my little gift to you:

Oh friends, not this tone! Rather let us raise our voices in cheerful, joyous song!

Joy, beloved, God-inspired,
Daughter of Elysium,
We set foot in, fire-drunken,
Heavenly, Thy Saintliness!
Thine enchantment binds together
What the times have torn apart;
All mankind will brothers follow
Where Thy gentle wing o'rflies.

Let him whom success has chosen
E'er a friend to friends to be,
Him who a fair wife hath taken,
Join us in Thy Jubilee!
Yea who but one soul his own can
Call upon the rounded Earth!
And who's never known it, he can
Steal away from us in tears.

Joy all beings do partake of
From the breast of Mother Earth;
All the good and all the evil
Follow in her floral path.
Kisses she bestowed and vintage,
And a friend betrothed in death;
Lust for life she gave the leeches,
And the cherub stands with God.

Glad, as fly the suns in orbit
Through the heavens' splendid path,
Run, my brothers, on your way
Joyful as crusading heroes.

Be embraced, ye teeming millions!
With this kiss of all the world!
Brothers, o'er the Milky way
He must dwell, beloved Father.

Do you kneel before him, millions?
Do you know your Maker, world?
Seek him o'er the Milky Way!
He must dwell beyond the starlight.

From: Malcolm
Date: 9 May 1996
Subject: Bad Ass, Heartfelt letters from Nichelles of their own

Fucking goddamn, woman. Very nice reply. First time I've seen _you_ behind Gabe. Thank you.

> Come in off the ledge, Malcolm. You're not going to jump, and we're not
> going to beg you not to.

Actually, unfortunately, I still am planning to 'jump'... it seems to be difficult to get this message across, but I'm in a work-lull and when I stop being in a work-lull, there's a 'good' (80-100%) chance that I'll ask you all to stop sending mail to me.

> You're playing this game too, Peri. Coy looks good on those 15 year old
> MOO bitches, but on a 27 year old, married, educated person, it is
> getting a little stale. Show me something new.
>
> Simple enough?

Quite. thank you for getting angry enough to be real.

Malcolm/Peri

From: Malcolm
Date: 10 May 1996
Subject: Re: Freude!

Gabe, you remind me of a republican.

Oh, by the way, all, I'll be chirping not today if, as I hope, work will have inundated me. I'm also not bringing my known-functional modem-bearing laptop. I Have a modem on my desktop, but at last test, it wasn't working.

So there you are. Weekend is busy too, so we'll see about next week. If it's busy, too, I may be sending my request to drop me RSN (real soon now).

Peri

From: SAGReiss
Date: 10 May 1996
Subject: New motherfucking software

One small step for a man, a giant step for mankind.

From: Nichelle
Date: 10 May 1996
Subject: Pretty Please?

Tears of joy- It works!

From: SAGReiss
Date: 10 May 1996
Subject: Restaurant humour

This is the title of a letter I’ll write later. We’re just testing the new bad-ass software. This is fucking beautiful. In a week or so we’ll have a web site.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 10 May 1996
Subject: Restaurant humour

I woke up late this morning, went to work half an hour and a half late. I cherish my reputation as a steady, punctual worker, so I was in a very bad mood when I finally got to work. Free, the cook, had been out a couple of days because his wife was in the hospital. Fred once got court-martialed for slugging an officer. As he explained it to me: “I just didn’t feel like dying that day, so I decked him.” They sent him to some squad where he was sure to be killed. He was shot up and laid bleeding for a fortnight before someone found him. He said it took him eighteen months to learn to walk again. I said: “I knew you are a slow learner.” Anyway this morning I walk by and say: “Morning, Fred. I hope your wife died.” Now I know what you’re thinking out there, that I learned about as much in sensitivity training as Marge Shott, but we don’t go for that New-Age bullshit in the food-service industry. Fred just laughed and said: “I wish she would so I could get her pension and fly to Bermuda.”

From: Nichelle
Date: 10 May 1996
Subject: Good morning

I forwarded all of the e-mail from the World to this account and saved it in a folder called ‘Forwarded Messages’.
A little trick I learned: I guess you have to sometimes click on ‘check host for new mail’ and it downloads anything new. You might try that if you have no mail. Also, there is a message about the WWW Page in the Main Folder, which I have printed out for you.
You must have been exhausted. You were snoring by the time I got from the bedroom to the kitchen. To be honest, it wore me out too. You’re hard work, love. In music, we call that a ‘hard release’.
-Nichelle

From: RiverMoo Mailer
Date: 11 May 1996
Subject: Re: Roseanne

Seeing that this account has been placed on this mailing list for no particular reason, I would request for you to stop mailing this account. I'm sending to everyone who has received messages in the past couple of days so that anyone who actually cares to respond to know how to remove this address out of the recipients line.

Thank you

Staff Member at IU, Honors Department.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 13 May 1996
Subject: Coming soon at a theatre near you

I have found the Obscure One and, lo, he is among us. Actually his web site is one of the more tasteful I have seen, which basically means there's no cheap pictures of Beavis and Butthead. (Yes, boys, I may be culturally challenged, but I do know that's some dumb-ass shit on MTV.) There is, however, a picture of him as a boy that we can all make fun of. He looks exactly the same, but a lot less ugly. So far, in terms of texts, this is what I've got: 12000 Virgins, Ronsard, the Ode to Joy, the BABEL letter, the cybereating of the Chinese doctor, the Great American Rape letters, and Jeff's "real night mare of classical education". Last night John said he was thinking, so it may take him a while... In terms of graphics, I was thinking of the constellation Pleiade to go with Ronsard, the staff with the theme from the last movement of the Nineth and some other odd shit just so that it doesn't look too bare. Nichelle keeps trying to look at dirty pictures on the web. Here's an idea. I remember a porno magazine fifteen years ago with shots of genitalia and faces and the contest was match the heads to the tails. I think it was called: Mix 'n' Snatch. I guess we could do that with ourselves. No, maybe that isn't such a good idea... That was fun last night with Mirage, John. She seemed very confused. Who the fuck is she anyway? I'm waiting for Nichelle to wake up so I can make us breakfast. I think I'll e-mail my rotten family and then MOO. I'm waiting for Rosanne to send me a professional text. I told her her poem isn't good and she didn't seem hurt, at least I hope not. She's a tough cunt. She can take it, bitch... Rectum Vinum.

From: Nichelle
Date: 14 May 1996
Subject: Boulder, CO

Well, I'm amost ready to fly to Boulder today, where I will be until Sunday. I guess you'll just have to beat yourself up on the MOO, negatron, until I get back. Maybe Gabriel will do it for you. I'll be checking my e-mail regularly, Murder , so don't think you can get away with putting off this letter you're writing. I'm not quite sure what to expect in Boulder, but I guess if Jen and I get bored, we can chain ourselves to a lumberjack or whatever it is environmentalists do for fun.

God, Gaby, I can't believe you get up at this time. It's awful. And if you're really drunk and in bed with three girls when I get back on Sunday, please be kind enough to leave a pillow (not the feather one, it hurts my neck) and the white blanket I love so much out on the couch. I'll miss you, love.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 14 May 1996
Subject: Nichelle teleports out

There's an empty space in my home, where Stiff Lips has installed herself, I think, much to the satisfaction of both of us. It's been many moons since I had last been shacked up, and it still beats living alone. Jude, the Obscure One, has begged off the list saying he already gets too fucking much e-mail, but he had words of encouragement, no doubt calculated to make me swallow his $30 an hour bullshit. I don't care. I'm not going to haggle over pennies. I would rather Kipp do it because he would enjoy it so much more and appreciate the financial rewards. Also I've already probably caused some grief in he and his mother's life... It's also a nice thought that we begin our life on the web with a monstrously illegal act. The texts for the site are basically set, along with some ideas for some decoration (I don't really care what.) but if anyone would still like to contribute something, it's not too late. On the other hand, it would be so nice to see Jude and have a few drinks together. Another question, Peri: do you really think there are good and bad reasons to suffer from the pathological condition known in medical circles as dipsomania? I'm not feeling very inspired. My muse has left, saying BRB...

From: Nichelle
Date: 14 May 1996
Subject: Re: Nichelle teleports out

I just lost my first resopnse to this letter. The flight here was more or less painless, though the travel wore me out. I managed to get here even though I had to pretend to be Jennifer Kolar in order to do it. She mailed me a wallet filled with her ID, and I showed the man at the counter her social security card and all. It reminds me of the time (not that I actually remember this) my parents got some special flight deal for kids 2 and under. (I was three.) When the stewardess asked my age, I told her "I'm three, but I'm two on the plane."
We went straight from the airport to lunch, and ate at a small but wonderful Ethiopian restaurant. We had spinach, lentils, some spicy stuff, some yellow stuff, potatoes and cabbage, and probably a few other things, all smeared around on this delicious spongy bread. it's still all over my hands. We came to the university to check our e-mail (You see, Gabriel? Even though you don't like my friends, at least they understand the value of e-mail.) and briefly walked through the art gallery. I think now we're going to Jen's apartment, and to the grocery store.

(Gaby, I checked IDT and read the message from Lonnie. Also, I sent a letter this morning, which is in the sent-mail folder. I didn't know if you had read it.)

From: SAGReiss
Date: 15 May 1996
Subject: New-Age assholes

"Kipp and I have decided that this is not the kind of project he can work on." The boy is sixteen years old. When I was sixteen I had spent two summers at Yale and was about to become a freshman at Georgetown university. I had long since lost my virginity and tried every drug under the sun. The Marquis de Sade had been my friend for a few years already. What kind of a faggot is this kid? So I had an overbearing FWB for a mother too. When I said: "Move out the way, it's big, bad Gabe," what choice did she have? Anyway, the Obscure One is a man of calibre. I have offered him an honorary membership, which means he can come to our parties. I hope he's got time this week-end or early next week. This bullshit is beginning to try my considerable patience, and has long since exhausted Nichelle's. I just wish I knew whether I should be converting paper text into word files instead of wasting my time at the bar or getting into fights on the MOO. Of course once I've got the URL in my description, I'll have a secret weapon: "Go to my web site and RTFM." Even scaredycat seems excited about it. Of course she's so weird and paranoid I never know what to think. If anyone has any thoughts or ideas about graphics or whatever to add to the site, please tell me what you've got in mind. I don't see what the point of putting in that stupid picture of me working at my desk in Strasbourg. We just need some little things so it won't look to weird-stupid...

From: Nichelle
Date: 15 May 1996
Subject: Re: New-Age assholes

Gaby, I'll be online later tonight, about 8 your time. Jen is going to a meeting, and I'm hanging around. More later.

From: Nichelle
Date: 15 May 1996
Subject: Re: New-Age assholes

Got back late from a drive in the mountains up to Gold Hill. Spent most of today walking around Boulder, going into little shops, feeling dehydrated and hot (I didn't believe Jen when she told me how hot it is here.), and driving in the mountains. It's beautiful here.
Jen does everything fast. If she makes love the way she drives, cooks, walks, eats, talks, etc. then it can't take longer than 4 minutes. No wonder she has time for three boyfriends.

Gabriel, I'm going on the MOO to see if I can find you.

From: Nichelle
Date: 15 May 1996
Subject: Re: New-Age assholes

I know what you're thinking, Gabe. "Those two chatterboxes are probably talking each others ears off." Right? (I can't help it- I always double-space.) Well, that's more or less true, but it's still good to be here. We went to the liquor store today to buy brandy. We're making vanilla, though I suspect we'll end up drinking the rest of the brandy too. And don't laugh at me, and don't mumble about undergraduates who can't hold their liquor. Vanilla beans are expensive. ($198.00 per pound.) At that price, I'd be worth millions.

From: Murder
Date: 15 May 1996
Subject: Re: New-Age assholes, Boulder

Well, I must say Boulder is one helluva beautiful town if the weather's right. I was there last February, and before I left I was listening to their weather forecast. "Well shit," thought I. "I need to bring all of my warmest clothes to cope with the frigid temperatures." Bullshit. I got over there and was greeted with 75 degree temperatures, sun shining brightly. IN FEBRUARY! IN COLORADO! I was definitely not prepared for that. Have you walked around the campus there? Feeling particularly ambitious one morning (okay, I was HORNY, all right??? I admit it. I needed to release some excess energy) I went for a run at 6:00 A.M. Beautiful campus. And during the day, I strolled through there drooling at all the luscious babeage, clad in virtually nothing. Heat waves are cool. Okay, so it's a bit of a granola town, I admit. But it's kinda refreshing getting away from the goddamn cow stench in this fucking town.

So much for my first appearance on this list. Maybe next time I'll respond to some recent postings, if I can survive this week in one piece (seven papers due).

Murder

From: Malcolm
Date: 15 May 1996
Subject: Okay, kiddies

Please remove me from your mailing list. I got inundated over the weekend and it isn't letting up, so as I promised, I gotta split. Thank you for your cooperation, and it's been 'pleasant'.

Gabe, should you get your web site up, drop me a MOOmail with the URL and I'd be happy to go look at it.

Malcolm

From: Nichelle
Date: 16 May 1996
Subject: Re: Okay, kiddies

Well, I'm roasting here. I guess I thought Jen was lying to me when she told me to be prepared for warm weather. John, what is babeage? (Did I get it right?) But yeah, not every town has a fast food chain called Falafel King. Last night, Jen and I fell asleep to Woody Allen's Love and Death. I have no idea what is in store for me today.

Peri/Malcolm, I'm 'glad' you got some 'pleausre' from our 'literature'. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids (I have no doubt that's what Gabe is doing, and why I haven't heard a word from him.) and get plenty of sleep. I don't know if I'll be as 'real' without you. Guess I'll have to ask Gabriel if he thinks I can. Maybe he can show me how.

Gabriel, where are you?

From: Murder
Date: 16 May 1996
Subject: Re: Okay, kiddies

I'm sorry, I guess I should have clarified. "Babeage" is my term for whatever you want to call hot-looking women. I didn't want to use the words "bitch" or "cunt," etc. I'm sure you get the point.

Murder

From: Nichelle
Date: 18 May 1996
Subject: Forwarded Messages

Gabriel,
My account is screwing up again, so I forwarded a few messages and deleted them. I think you must have them already. Still waiting to hear from you, but I assume you are lying on the floor covered with cool, damp towels and drinking bottles of water. If it’s as hot there as it has been here, that is.
See you soon-
Nichelle

From: SAGReiss
Date: 18 May 1996
Subject: The most hated man on the MOO

This morning the mad Greek woman came running at me: "Joey fell off the front porch and broke his back." He came in anyway. He started explaining: "The boys painted the porch green and I slipped off." "Don't give me that shit, Joey. You were all drunk and you took a spill." I've whupped your ass again, John. I've only had a character for about two weeks and some dude pages me saying he's making a study and is wondering why I'm on nearly everyone's hat(r)e(d) list. I can't write much, have no inspiration. It's too fucking hot and I just want us to go pub(l)ic on the web. No word from Jude, the Obscure One, yet. If the bastard doesn't e-mail me tomorrow I'll just write up a few want ads and post them in the clusters and in the Coffee Cave. Some kind soul will answer our prayers...

From: Nichelle
Date: 19 May 1996
Subject: Coming Home

Gabriel, I haven’t been able to send e-mail to the list for some reason. I’m having the same problem that I had back at EWU with quota. That’s why I forwarded all of my saved e-mail to you. Too bad I haven’t been able to reply to the list… I’ll be back before 9:30 tonight. I can’t wait to see you, even if you’re snoring or something when I return. Make some room in the bed for me (you hay have to ask aq few of those girls to sleep on the floor…) or at least leave the couch open for me. I like the firm pillow (the one without the feathers). Feel free to wake me up in the morning when you get up, too… I miss you.

From: Nichelle
Date: 19 May 1996
Subject: Homecoming

I flew into the Syracuse airport for the second time, this time feeling so happy to be coming home. No doubt I am a much different woman than the one who flew in two months ago. Gabriel even stayed up to welcome me.

My trip to Colorado was an amazing experience, to say the very least. Jen and I have gone from two giggling girls skinny-dipping in the Spokane rive to two giggly women skinny-dipping in Boulder Creek. I guess we've both changed, because I have flown across the country and started a new life for myself, and she spends her free time standing in front of guns during hunting season and heading the environmental groups at her university.

I guess Jen's bf (one of them) brought her to a showing of the 120 Days of Sodom (he's a graduate art student and film-maker) about a week ago. She said that she didn't speak to him for the rest of the day. She didn't even want to talk about it, save to say that she thought things like that shouldn't exist. I don't know, maybe it's the neighborhood we come from...

Negatron, if you want me to send you my copy of Naked Lunch (I finished it on the trip home, even though the guy next to me asked me not to read it while sitting next to him. I'm serious.) then you need to e-mail me your address. I'll get it off as soon as I hear from you.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 22 May 1996
Subject: Prototype

Behold, The Obscure One parts the waters. I can't believe you motherfuckers live literally across the street from Jude and never see him nor can get in touch with him. If you don't know his phone number or e-mail address, why wouldn't you just knock on his door? Anyway Nichelle and I woke up to the wonderful surprize of being able to connect to our page, The World According to Gabe. It's just the first draft, with typos, things we want to change etc, but it's alive... I have already communicated to Jude the changes, large and small. He's working on them and he'll come over here (He has no choice. I'm not carrying a bagful of twenty-dollar bills out to Sumner.) to finish the job. I'll e-mail you the rendez-vous in case you wish to come too, if for nothing else to taste the bread I have made. Even you can eat it, Jeff. There's just water, yeast, salt, whole wheat flour and I used safflower oil to grease the loaf pan. It shall be served with all the necessary condiments, butter, cream cheese, Nutella, peanut butter, olives, jam, cheese (whatever I can find at the farmers' market tomorrow morning), marmalade, wine, Ricard and scotch whisky. By Sunday night, boys and girls, we shall be on the web. It may get scary, but I don't give a fuck. I don't care how many psychos I have to kill. I can deal with it. We had a hundred really fucked-up kids in the hotel this weekend for the Facilitated Communication conference. You remember last year? I had them in the dining room and in room service. Their problems run the gamut of mental, physical and emotional illness and it's not easy (even for their attendants) to make those distinctions. They are not only grotesque and disgusting, but deeply disturbing. Unlike Quasimodo, they do not appear to hide any repressed humanity. Rather they seem a sarcastic and self-conscious parody of our humanity. They seem to mock our gestures of society as the obscene and vain caterwaul that they are. For instance: this pretty Spanisch-type I had on table 15. She wanted coffee bad. (So do most of my other guests.) She kept twisting her head in an awful way and making these weird kisses to no one in particular. She also drooled on herself and the table constantly, using paper napkins to wipe her mouth a postiori when it made no difference. I gave them, and all the freaks, the best service I could, but it's not easy 'cause we were extremely busy and it takes them ten minutes to order on their Ouija typers. As I was clearing the table, she thrust the last bit of her pickle under my nose. I said: "Thank you, honey, I don't think I need that," as her parents or attendants grabbed her hand and pried the half-eaten thing from her. It was worth five bucks to me, but they really could have picked up the dozen napkins she had drooled on...

From: Nichelle
Date: 23 May 1996
Subject: Kick and Tell

Your future has been decided before you even reach the age of eight. Gabe was (or so he tells me) kicking his father's ass, a pattern he would follow (and by this I mean both the ass-kicking and telling us all about it) probably for the rest of his life. I was already developing a deep understanding of violence and sex, and those themes seem to be carrying through my life in an overpowering way. It is more or less why I am here, too. If I hadn't been in that bizarre and frightening situation, would I have come here?

We joke about rape, Gabe, and I can handle that, but sometimes I wish you could know what it means, and what it is. It is the same kind of desperation I felt the night we met, when you didn't believe me. You don't understand that despite all of my silly whining and weeping I have real pain still, and I doubt it will ever go away. Can I imagine you as a rapist? I can even imagine myself as a rapist. Sex and violence are a part of the same thing to me. I don't honestly know if that is normal or commonly believed. I still dream about it, I often fear that it will happen again, and because you brought me here away from that danger you are my hero.

From: Nichelle
Date: 24 May 1996
Subject: 1980

Sometimes I can remember a million details, sometimes almost nothing except a dull ache, like that paralyzing fear of death in my gut each night when I try to go to sleep. I started to die when I was seven years old. He stood there with his pants around his ankles and he lifted up my dress and pulled down my panties and he touched me and put my hand on him and I didn't want to touch him but I did it and maybe if I could have said NO right then I wouldn't have been raped, not ever. Maybe I could have stopped him if I had said that word, because he was just a young man, and he's human, and he knew it was wrong, and he wasn't trying to hurt me, he just wanted to know about sex, and he never knew that what he did when he took my hand and put it on his penis would change everything.

I didn't know it was rape, because I was seven and I didn't really know about sex, and I'd heard of rape, but rape was just a nasty grown-up in a trenchcoat on the playground, a stranger you shouldn't talk to, a villain. But Jamie (which comes from J.B., and Gabe drinks that shit every night) was a neighbor and a friend and somebody I trusted and looked up to. I did know it was wrong, but I didn't say no to him. I was only seven, and maybe I couldn't have done anything. I didn't like touching it. I didn't want to touch him, and then he asked if I wanted to touch them together, and I didn't know he meant put his dick in me, and I said I didn't want to and he told me it felt good, and I asked him how did he know that, and he said his friends told him, and maybe I could have run off then, or screamed, or said no don't do this, or cried, but I didn't, and he hurt me, and I don't know if I'm responsible or not. I knew it was wrong, and I was only seven.

It was the middle of the day. I don't know for sure what time it was, but I keep thinking it was three o'clock, even though I could never be sure if it was three or not now that I look back at it. I liked to visit their house, and I liked to play with their piano, and I always wanted to play with Jamie and Whitney, and he took me up to his room and I think it was summer, and his bedroom was upstairs, and he promised me things, and I didn't want to go, and he showed me his penis and touched me, and took my hand and put it on him, and I didn't want to. And there were several times it happened, not just one day, one night, but a few times. I can't remember how many. One time I spent the night on his floor, and he told me to come up into his bed, and I did, and he gave me some candy from a gumball machine on his window sill, and I ate it in his bed with him, and I loved him, and I didn't know anything about sex or rape, just that he was my friend. I could have said no. I never said NO.

In between our houses was a crooked sidewalk and rose beds on either side and a little stone well to the right, and a garden, and the big tree with the tire swing, and he used to push me on the swing. I remember once he saw me in the bathtub. Was that where it all started? Maybe he saw me in the bathtub, and he got the idea then. Maybe there was a moment, that's what I'm trying to figure out, a moment when I could have done something to stop all of this, a moment when it all started and if I could just figure out when that was maybe I would know if it was my fault. Can there really be such a thing as a coincidence like this?

People make all of these distinctions, especially these little eighteen year old cock-tease bitches in the Lambda sex rooms, about making love and fucking and rape, but it isn't really that easy to draw the line. I don't even know what the fuck consent is, but I don't think it exists either. I think it's some crazy idea people have when they have too much time to think about their fucking virginity. I only had seven years to think about it, and I don't think I ever knew what that word meant. I lost it before I knew what it was, so I didn't have time to come up with some crazy fucking theory about consent. Take it, bitch. (That has become a favorite expression in the Reiss home.)

Can't say NO. Or didn't. Or you said no and you meant yes, or so he says, and so he fucked you anyway, and maybe you kind of liked him fucking you but you didn't want to, or maybe you didn't like him fucking you but you wanted to like it. Every woman has been raped, or thinks she has, but who the fuck knows, I can't tell the difference now. You say you've been raped when you sleep with him and regret it, or when he cheats on you and you want to get back at him, and you just throw that word around like a cheap insult but you don't fucking know what it means to be raped. Maybe you think that you ought to be raped because all of the other women have been raped and that's just the way it is. Maybe you think you're being raped because you don't know how to participate in sex, as a partner, or as an assistant. Maybe you think that your cunt can't do anything but just take it, the penis is the aggressor, you just swallow it up, you can't fuck, you can only be fucked.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 24 May 1996
Subject: Weirdness

Yesterday was a weird and stupid day of going shopping, waiting for busses, making fun of our very bad waiter and making strawberry-rhubarb jam that isn't quite right though we can't figure out why nor even agree on how. This morning I woke up before four and read those two stunning messages Nichelle wrote last night. The sentences: "Can I imagine you as a rapist? I can imagine me as a rapist." took a lot of guts to write. The sentence: "I liked to visit their house, and I liked to play with their piano, and I always wanted to play with Jamie and Whitney, and he took me up to his room and I think it was summer, and his bedroom was upstairs, and he promised me things, and I didn't want to go, and he showed me his penis and touched me, and he took my hand and put it on him, and I didn't want to." is simply Falkneresque, which is as good as anything an American can expect to write. The paragraph about the cock-tease bitches... The amazing "Every woman has been raped" paragraph... The "I started to die when I was seven years old." is worthy of Emily Dickinson, which is as good as it gets. I read these mind-bending texts and went back to bed, woke Nichelle up and mumbled something about her writing making me horny. That proved to be a strategic mistake. Let's put it this way, when the thunder finally stopped and I got to work, I just said: "I didn't get laid last night and I'm in a really bad fucking mood." The whole kitchen was trashed, everything, dirty dishes and shit everywhere. No one got laid last night (except apparently the night dishwasher) and everyone was in a bad fucking mood. The whole restaurant seethed in anger. Harsh voices screamed in English and Spanish. The FWB with whom I opened raged about losing both her husband and her son. I decided it was my turn to whine my way home early so I could have sex. Not that I expected to be wroth much in bed, but it turned out I was in pretty good form. Nichelle was in excellent form. I can see and feel her learning, both physically and mentally about sex and about each of our bodies. She is already a very good lover. We also had a little lesson in theology at work. I had said to the FWB that I didn't think I had ever committed adultery because I've never been married, though I'd fucked a few guys' wives. We weren't sure if that counted, so I decided to ask Darryl, a three hundred and fifty pound Baptist to settle it. He said it's adultery either way and that I'm going to Hell if I don't beg for forgiveness: "I don't want fucking forgiveness."

From: SAGReiss
Date: 26 May 1996
Subject: Rice, broccoli and Nutella

Friday afternoon I forgot to make the pizza dough for the famous broccoli calzones which failed to lure the Obscure One into my fetid lair (See? I could write a dumb-ass MOO description if I wanted to.) so I called Sammy at Win Hope and ordered tofu and jumbo shrimp and when I had served Nichelle the rice I served myself and as I was sitting there the plate just exploded sending shards of glass everywhere and leaving the rice undisturbed on the table in a neat pile. I did make the calzones yesterday, but it's the first time I have made them at home and I sorely missed the tools of a professional kitchen. This morning I was peacefully reading Le Manuscrit trouve a Saragosse when a powerful lust came over me. I got back into bed and woke up Nichelle. I couldn't get it up. This has never really happened to me so as I'm laughing I'm wondering to myself if age or alcoholism are finally catching up to me. I tried to get her to suck me hard, but I guess she was not awake enough. I figured all she needed was the right incentive so I went into the kitchen and put some Nutella on the end of my cock. (No, John and Jeff, I didn't stick my dick in the jar.) She licked and nibbled, but by that point I was laughing too hard and worrying about being late for work. Maybe next time I'll just call in sick: "My prick won't get hard, so I'm going to the doctor's." I wonder if PHP covers impotence...

From: negatron
Date: 26 May 1996
Subject: Re: Rice, broccoli and Nutella

okay, hopefully this will offer temporary relief from constant nagging…
i don’t know if i told you this, but i put in my application for re-admission to the university here about two weeks ago, and am waiting for answer. i had considered applying to some other universities, but a quick look at my transcript put that idea to rest, though not without disappointment.
i’ve been required to discontinue from two different programs, but i fully intend to return as a full-time student in september even if it means i have to break a personal rule against kissing ass.
i’ll put it in the form of a crude baseball metaphor: it’s the last inning of the big game, two outs, and i’mat bat with two strikes. i have one thing on my mind: i’m going to hit a home run. not for the fans, not for the love of the game, but for the money.
or in this case, the paper. i’ve given up on any fancy ideas i may have once had, i don’t believe there is any chance of getting a quality education. there are fat too many professors using the classroom as a pulpit to preach their personal politics to the hordes of unsuspecting fresh-off-the-farm idiots who make up the majority of the student body here. a particularly nasty example of this was the english class i just finished taking. the class material was chosen for its appropriateness to the professor’s feminist agenda. we had a number of graduate students for small-group tutorial instructors who also occasionally gave lectures to the entire class. during one of these lectures by my tutorial leader, the professor cut him off and criticised him for not discussing gender issues related to the particular text
this isn’t to say that all of the blame is with the professors. the minds of some of the students must have been poisoned from the days they were born. one evening in tutorial, we were discussing what was meant by the word Indian or Native Canadian. i said that it was the name given to a specific race. one of the girls - er, women - in the class piped up “ew, race, that’s such an ugly word”, and “i don’t like to label things.”
now, the white trash thing. i won’t say there’s no such thing as white trash, only that the label has about as much use to me as “toyota drivers.” i reject the label not because of any reasons of political correctness, but because people should be treated as individuals. PC has an entirely different effect. it doesn’t remove labels, it merely sanitizes them so as not to offend, and promotes hive-mindedness by giving certain perks to the “disadvantaged” groups and attempting to make the rest of us feel shared guilt.
PC is an attack on individuality and an attack on reason and progress. during man’s progress from the cave to the metropolis advances have been made by individuals, not collectives. i hate to think of mankind returning to the caves to sit around waiting to grow tails so we can swing from the trees better, but this image comes to mind. maybe i’ve just read to much SF.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 27 May 1996
Subject: Restaurant humour revisited

I boned me an FWB this morning. It's some stupid fucking holiday, so it was dead beyond despair. This party of ten came in for a birthday party. The minute I saw them I knew I was adding on the tip. In most restaurrants, including ours, the gratuity may be added at the waiter's discretion for parties of six or more. This group had two crabby old grandparents, six adults and two of the rottenest kids I've ever had the displeasure (Does that word exist?) to serve. They were all so mean and cheap and rude they even hated eachother. I served them well, but I did glare at one woman's finger when she pointed at me. I brought out a piece of pecan pie (the best of our deserts) with a candle for the birthday boy, a horribly fat asshole. I wrote up a bill for eight buffets and two child buffets. This cunt of a Jew bitch complained, saying that one of the kids hadn't eaten: "I'm sorry, Ma'am. I hadn't noticed. I'll take care of it right away." So I went back and voided one child buffet ($3.95). I then added one apple juice ($1.79) which I had brought for the offending little monster and one pecan pie ($2.95) which I had comped ("made complimentary" for those of you in the television audience) on the first check. By the time I brought back the bill the whole waitstaff was watching the slut. As we watched and laughed she pondered that check, scratched her head, started to say something. Finally, realizing she had just been screwed, she paid my smiling face and left as I wished her a very nice day. I've got a problem with your use of the word 'individual', John. It's horribly wrong and out-dated. We are not individuals. On the one hand we are not, literally, indivisible. We are even more fragmented and shattered than Freud knew when he divided us into the Es, the Ich and the Ueberich. Je est indeed un autre. On the other hand we are not discrete members of society. Our own identity is forced upon us by such terrible constraints as a name and a language. Speaking in tongues and exploiting all of the names my parents have given me is my way of fighting my way out of those chains. I guess Peri's way is to confound his gender. (He really got pissed at me when I said: "I couldn't believe you didn't jump all over me when I said that the fruit/vegetable distinction is linguistic and not biological. Why didn't you say that the same as true of the boy/girl distinction. You could have beaten me at my own game." I can't help it if I'm smarter than that whiny boy/girl.) If, however, John, you don't like the title "There's no such thing as white trash." I would suggest another: "La tolerance est la virtue des faibles."

From: negatron
Date: 27 May 1996
Subject: Re: Restaurant humour revisited

perhaps i should have been more clear, but i was full of caffeine and all wanderyminded yesterday. i realize that is an oversimplification to try and view a person outside of the social context. my point was that i have little respect for people who behave simply as drones, letting their entire world-view be dictated to them by the loudest voices within the group they are most easily identified with, or worse, by another group altogether. i consider it a duty to myself to at least try to understand the various forces at work around me, and in the absence of verifiable, absolute truths, to devise working models. i find programmatic indoctrinations offensive, particularly at the university level. if i was interested in hearing ‘this is how it is…’ i would sit on my ass and watch tv. what i want to know is why, and how can you tell.
on another note…
every day while driving home from work, i encounter numerous assholes who seem to have no other aim in mind but to make the drive a stressful experience. and stupid me, i let them piss me off every time. today it was this prick driving slowly along in the left lane of the highway into town. there was a slower car yet in the right lane, so i pulled in behind this asshole until i was past that one then pulled in the right lane to get by this asshole. but he had to be a tough guy, keeping right along beside me as i sped up, until i got caught again behind a truck. i pulled behind him, passed the truck and back into the right lane. there was a car turning left at the first light and he was stuck behind it for a second and i finally got ahead of him. but before i could get back into the left lane, there he was again right beside me, looking all surly and mean. big tough guy with his wife and daughters. ugly little girls too. i hope they grow up and become whores.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 May 1996
Subject: Our Mutual Friend

Nichelle, my FWB who goes by the name of Petrouchka on IDMOO, tells me you think you've got what I'm looking for. I've been to your MOO twice now and I think so too. I know you're a five-foot-seven-inch redhead with green eyes and big tits and you know I'm whatever the male equivalent is. (I don't usually read men's descriptions. It's bad enough I have to see them in their underwear when I do room service.) A lot of things about your MOO make it look more serious than others. But there's nobody there. Lambda is going through some turmoil. There's lots of disaffection and I think some people are looking for a new alternative. IDMOO won't take any new members. The time is ripe. If you would agree to work with me (and your friend [Defender?] would agree), I think we could populate your MOO and change the MOO culture into something meaningful. I would want to make a few changes in the structure of your MOO. I'm willing to compromise on most of these changes. The goal of all of the changes would be to make it more user-friendly to the cybernetically challenged like myself, and to encourage (without coersion) responsible use of the MOO. I've been on a lot of MOOs and I've had a lot of servers. I've also got a little stable of badass motherfuckers who would be able to help us. I shall very soon have the web site from Hell. I can recruit people to your MOO. On lambda, people I've never spoken to page me and ask when my web site is going up. Most of the people hate me, but it's stunning the way I can control the terms of debate in almost any room at almost any time. I think we could do great things together. SAGReiss platonically licks your pussy and leaves, saying: "RECTVM VINVM".

From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 May 1996
Subject: SAGReiss looks at Yasmina

Just a short note to introduce a new member, Vicki. I have described her to herself as a "black Amazon with a Brittish accent". She's a little weird on the MOO, but so what? She says she writes a lot, which is more than I can say for the rest of you. She's twenty years old and studies literature in Reading, UK. What am I s'posed to say, she smells nice? How do I know? I tried to get into what Nichelle called her "private sector" yesterday afternoon, but it didn't work too well. We talked about making a career move and taking up phone sex for pay. Quodlibet made $20 an hour doing it. I've got a beautiful voice and the proper moral qualities for this job. Shiiit, I'm a cunning linguist...

From: Terry
Date: 29 May 1996
Subject: Re: Our Mutual Friend

I’ve just got a few moments before I have to leave for work, so, I’ll just hit a few high points that I thought of while reading your Email. :)
ClubMOO is a VIP MOO; an elite MOO. We don’t want it heavily populated, in that the people that have chars there are hand-picked selectively by the members already there. :) We’re not looking for a large MOO; just a community type MOO where sincere adults can come to gether for some conversation, privacy, whatever. The goal/direction of ClubMOO is practically set in stone.
negatron did take a char there last night; and I think he’ll like it. If you decide you want one there, just let him know and he can sponsor you. :) That simple. Just keep in mind that we don’t tell everyone about ClubMOO coz we don’t want everyone there. Heh. SnobMOO? Maybe. Or perhaps just VeryselectivewhoweallowinMOO.
Catch ya later!
Terry

From: SAGReiss
Date: 29 May 1996
Subject: Do you smell that?

Last night at this stupid fucking staff meeting we saw a training film and this tall waitress delivers the entrees to a table and this black dude turns towards her and savors the piping hot aromas. The way its filmed it looks like he's sniffing her snatch. He says: "Do you smell that?" The whole room immediately burst out laughing, hooting, hollering: "Don't you ever wash that thang?" "I scrubbed it just for you, sir." "Smells like strawberry Summer's Eve." "Can I take that home in a doggy bag?" How could they be so stupid as to show that to a group of (mainly gay) waiters, cocktail waitresses and bartenders? Who the fuck makes these stupid training films? Do you have to watch these, John? The other funny thing at work today is the room service gayboy told me he's subscribed to a twelve-dollar picture service, where you can see things like a woman being eaten out by her doggie: "What does she do, put a bone up her cunt?" "Here, Fido. Come to Mommie." "Woof, woof."

From: SAGReiss
Date: 30 May 1996
Subject: BadassMOO

Your MOO sounds interesting and I shall continue to check it out and perhaps ask for a character. John couldn’t believe you had allowed me to go there. He said something about my disturbing the social order… I’m still looking for a MOO which isn’t doing much and whose wizards would allow me to make some changes and try a little experiment. I’ll tell you what I’m thinking. The spoofing, spamming and lack of any meaningful dialogue are what create lag and drive us all crazy, me more than most. My gf gets sad watching me rage and weep and bleed as I fight with these idiots to try to get them to understand that they are wasting a new media of art and learning and communication. I think that if people had to use their real names, that would be a big change. Diversity University does that, with mixed results. One could probably eliminate a lot of the worst spam and spoof by eliminating the features which make this possible. We could also lead by example. If a geek enters a room where people are talking quietly and no one’s spamming, how likely would he be to act like a jerk? If he did and twenty people gagged him at the same time, wouldn’t he just leave? It would also be a political experiment. We could have no rules except @gag. No toading guests because you don’t like them, no disputin’, no arbitration. Just anarchy and absolute freedom of speech. What amazes me is that people would actually recreate the worst aspects of our society, political oppression and the criminal justice system, in a world (MOO) where such structures make absolutely no sense.

From: SAGReiss
Date: 30 May 1996
Subject: Dawn of Man

Thy ways are inscrutible, O Obscure One, but we bow down to thy benevolence. Jude fucking e-mails us that if we answer this message before it self-destructs in five seconds he'll be over and we can do the do. I was jerking off or something in the bathroom, so Stiff Lips wrote him back and offered him food, whisky, cigarettes and a blow job. I guess God doesn't answer His mail. She wrote again giving him our phone number and turning on the ringer. No amswer. No hope. No exit. We even tidied up again (She had done the washing up in anticipation of his visit.) and I suggested we play the Halleluja chorus when he entered, but she doesn't have it so she shrewdly suggested Also Sprach Zarathustra, to which I agreed. Anyway Jude, whenever the fuck you wish to come here is fine with me. I should be home late morning or early afternoon today and I'm free all day tomorrow... That piece is inextricably bound to 2001, the greatest film I have ever seen, except for the dumbass middle part where they actually speak. The beginning of that film is a clever commentary on Totem und Tabu. Freud's or Sphocles' inaugural ritual murder of the Father is set to music by Strauss, a suspected Nazi sympathizer, thus tying old-fashioned original sin to new-fangled mass murder. Moreover, because of the title of Strauss' work, the philosophical underpinning of Hitler's (mis)reading of Nietzsche's Uebermensch also comes to the fore. In our next installment perhaps I shall explain: "Wo Es war, soll Ich werden," as the theme song from my acte-manque on the internet. By the way, that phrase could easily be set to music. If one counts the comma as an unaccented beat, it's four trochees. Any takers...

From: SAGReiss
Date: 31 May 1996
Subject: Site is up

http://www.dreamscape.com/sagreiss

From: Nichelle
Date: 31 May 1996
Subject: Biggest dick on the MOO

I can't believe you assholes. We send you mail with the address of the web page, and wake up with one e-mail message on the account from my *mother*. Last night was terrifying and exhilarating, the Obscure One at the keyboard deleting half of the computer and I don't know what the fuck else. Gabe was trying out multiple meanings of the word 'tight', his shoulders were practically in his ears, they were so tense, and the whisky...

When it was all over, we both wanted to go to see it at the lab because our Netscape is all fucked up, and Gabe kept telling me he would break out the windows if needed to get into the clusters. I tried to get him to swear on Tropic Of Capricorn that he wouldn't break anything, and he wouldn't do it. We swaggered up to the labs, got in immediately, and he still isn't sure what the fucker looks like. Where are you people? What do you do? Why don't you look at the web site, or send e-mail?
What's more, we might have a MOO. You see how hard we've been working, seducing geeks, conquering the internet while you're all still in bed?

From: SAGReiss
Date: 31 May 1996
Subject: BadassMOO

I’m very interested in the idea of having a MOO. I would be pleased and delighted if you would be its Wizard. It will be a nightmare for me to write even the minmal amount of legislation necessary, disclaimers and whatnot to encourage people to act like human beings and tell the fucking truth. What do you think of our website? We could use it to populate the MOO and vice versa. Have you any specific ideas about the MOO. One of the unpleasant things about me is that I’m a fucking drunk and often can’t remember what was said the night before the day after, every day. In any case, on the page you see basically the best of me and the worst. I hope to talk to you soon. RECTVM VINVM.

April 1996

June 1996

vr: 1996

SAGReiss Home