All posts by efcs


This actually doesn’t really have anything to do with anything…

I came across this game because of someone’s blog post in a popular culture class the other day. I’m going to spoil the game and say it has to do with people’s consciousness –and the transference of an identity, of a mind. It made me think of Calcutta chromosome, and I thought it was weird to encounter such a premise/game while in the midst of such a novel.

The game of course, is not the same thing. But it does deal with several different time lines.

Here’s the link if anyone would be interested.

Just a thought on the idea of why the sections were labeled so ambiguously, or so non-specifically “august 20” or “the day after” and maybe why the surprise reveal of Sonali being the daughter of Philboni —

Maybe it’s too simple a thought, and I agreed with most of the things said about it in class, but I just thought maybe it has to do with the idea of relation, and how things take on meaning depending on their relation to other things, other events, which may or may not seem to have any significance otherwise. Things might just look like mere coincidence, things might look like the webbing of a whole conspiracy based on unexpected or unseen relations. I thought the sudden reveal of Sonali as a literal relative of Philboni just goes hand in hand with this theme of unexpected relations.

And the section breaks of “august 20” without a year, or “the day after” –both don’t really mean anything by themselves without the context of other surrounding information. These are things that don’t and can’t stand alone. We give them meaning by reading it in relation to the rest of the narrative/novel –just like someone else said about how we sort of play a part of detective fitting pieces together.

Some Thoughts on the Harlequin…

I keep reading and rereading Harlan Ellison’s “Repent, Harlequin!” Said The Ticktockman just because it’s one of my favorite readings, and because I was using it for my second paper. After the first class we talked about it, it became apparent to me that the Harlequin was indeed caught and “readjusted” to suit the “system,” this “metronomic” world governed by the Ticktockman. But I had thought, after the first reading, that somehow the Harlequin was able to escape his fate, even though he appears on the communications screens at the end clearly brainwashed.

I thought we were supposed to get this feeling about the Harlequin that he can pull off anything, even beyond reason, like somehow getting and paying for so many jelly beans when jelly beans hadn’t even been in production in so many years. I thought his escape, and switch, was perhaps just another question that will “never be answered to your complete satisfaction” (372). And yeah, not only did I think they weren’t able to keep a hold of him to perform whatever adjustments to his brain, I thought he somehow was able to rise up, dethrone, and switch himself with the Ticktockman himself.

I mean, of his previous feats before, many where physically really high up, whether up in the air-boat with the jelly-beans, or up on the shopping center spire. He seems to have this ability to inconspicuously raise himself up high to get the attention of the people. In the same way that he has a knack for elevating himself for his feats, I figured his greatest one then was getting himself to that top position where he could have more influence.

It said that “the important reactions were high above and far below. At the very top, at the very bottom” (369) so I figured he had done what he could from the low position he was in as this laughable jester, and he was championed as a hero from the lowest classes, but now that he had accomplished sort of stirring change from the very bottom, now to get the top he would have to take a different approach. I figured, that maybe, he someone created the plan as it worked out that he was now the Ticktockman and maybe the old Ticktockman was behind the new Harlequin costume/persona spewing good things about being on time, and belonging, but now in this doped up image, it’s more laughable. It’s like with having the Harlequin say these things, the people who didn’t champion him, the upper class would sort of disregard what he says as nonsense, but now what he’s saying as nonsense is the things the Ticktockman would have said seriously. It sort of…discredits those ideals. And then I thought now, as the Ticktockman he can sort of stir change from the top little by little, by being late himself like he is at the end, relaxing the rules from the top, and easing those who became so accustomed to order into disorder.

The Ticktockman himself said that many people liked how the world worked then, people like Pretty Alice, accepted the world how it was, however terrible, just to belong and conform. I thought then the Harlequin would be right in starting with little changes too at the top as he did at the bottom in a way.

And at the very end, with the Ticktockman grinning sheepishly, calling his own actions ridiculous. It just felt very Harlequin-esque. And I guess everyone said that, that was the change the Harlequin started in the Ticktockman himself. And that now makes sense, thinking about it. It’s just not what I originally imagined. Also since the Ticktockman wears a mask just as the Harlequin wears a costume, I just thought it would be so fitting that they could switch without anyone ever knowing. And also the mrmee mrmee, mrmee that the Ticktockman says was so confusing. I tried to make sense of it, and I just thought it reminded me so much of the Harlequin’s own name, Everett C. Marm. E. Marm. But I don’t know.

Doesn’t Really Pertain To Anything But…

While rereading over all the topics that were listed on the Paper 2 assignment sheet I thought of something from another class I have. It reminded me of a short story by Ryan Harty called “Why The Sun Turns Red When The Sun Goes Down.” He’s not an “sf” writer, not labeled as such anyway, just a short story writer but this one had some sf elements. I thought it was an interesting read anyway… It’s a quick and easy read if anyone was interested or anything.

I was just reminded of it thinking of the “Bodies that Matter” and “Automata” topics from the sheet, and the relationship of humans to robots, the mind to the body (whatever it might be), and how memories and having a personal history affects any being.

Anyways, the pdf version of the story can be found at:

Wells, quote

“As a matter of fact, use and wont still ruled the world, and save for the talk of idle moments and the splendor of the night, nine human beings out of ten were still busy at their common occupations.” (Wells, 45)

I find this part interesting because for all the hype and hysteria surrounding what seems to be a life altering, world altering, event people still carried on with their usual business. With possible death and destruction of the earth, people still lived like it would go on as it always has, even if none of it might matter at all in just a little time. The mathematician earlier said that “Man has lived in vain.” And it seems true with the end of it seeming so close with the star approaching, but I guess in the same way, no person really knows when their life will end, but they know that it will at some point. I guess it doesn’t matter then if that time then seems closer, people will live their lives without death at the forefront of their minds, or else nothing will ever seem like it matters. And maybe nothing does, in the larger scheme of things.

Wells, H.G. “The Star.” The Wesleyan Anthology of Science Fiction. Ed. Arthur B. Evans, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr., Joan Gordon, Veronica Hollinger, Rob Latham, and Carol         McGuirk. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2010. 40-49. Print.