Friday, December 24, 2010


I'm trying to do this writing thing with a bit more sincerity, honesty, and consistency. That being said, whenever I sit down to write some neo-shit babbling, I have no clue where it's headed, for what reason, with no regard for topic, thought, intelligence or coherence. After having displayed a piece of writing to a dear friend last night, I got my first helping of actual criticism, more helpful and insightful than I really expected from such a curt and frank discussion. What follows here is a hypothetical and hyper-fictionalized version of that conversation, taken to the extremes of stupidity, obscenity and utter shit. I believe that this conversation, as short as it is, displays what my brain sounds like in my head. With that in mind, I guess I'm kind of fucked up. This is a "short story" that has no story and is simply two people conversing. The dialog should be read as quickly as possible, mostly being shouted. I would recommend any readers to find a dark room, away from children, and with plenty of room to yell. I stand here surprised and amazed that I produced such psycho fucking banter but I guess I should be more offended than anything. I am giving myself a "WTF" for the semester.

“This makes no sense! Absolutely no fucking sense! I have not a goddamn clue what the fuck you’re talking about here! There’s no plot, there are no characters and, as far as I’m concerned, I’ve accepted the fact that you wrote this shit either A) to prove your fucking diction to me or B) blatantly display that you scored in the 97th percentile on your SATs. Where is the direction of this piece? No plot, no structure; purely verbal masturbation. Consider me offended.”

“I prefer the term ‘golden-shower-plot development'. Dead-weight lit. Shitty weed.”

“See! That’s exactly what I’m talking about. How the fuck am I supposed to categorize your writing if you allow these obtuse descriptions to go unreferenced and unexplained?! With shit like this, you’re leading your readers into the dark. Look! Look here! A fine example: you cannot throw in the words “slings”, “arrows”, “outrageous”, and “fortune” connected by a series of hyphens with punctuation, articles, and conjunctions dropped, and not expect me to know that you’ve ripped off fucking Shakespeare! What is this fraudist horseshit, you neo-Trotskyite??”

“Sir, you asked me to come up with a thought piece on the cohesion of the human experience. Now, I’ve been studying here for seven semesters. I asked thirteen people, and I played a few rounds of pool before I could figure out what that means. This piece is me throwing a dart at a dictionary on a wall in a house watching Indiana Jones and every word that is touched by the steel of the dart is a word that I pissed onto this paper to satisfy the god awful metaphysics that were involved to produce such a stupid topic! If you read this on a literary level, it’s roughly equivalent in stature to the assignment assigned. Epistemologically speaking, this four-page diatribe on the cohesion of human experience is an art installation of more or less literary “fraudist horseshit”, to use your own words. This is a big, big fuck you! Give me a god damn A.”

Professor Blomthal gingerly tore up my paper, called me “an egregious wordy fuck”, failed me and destroyed two hours of opium-hazed incoherence. That was the day when, seven semesters in, I changed my major from English to management.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sonnet Youth #1 - In the Endless Wood

And in the endless wood there came the sound of snow fallen, fallen to tuck in for winter the pine-needled ridge-lined forest of hills that sleeps behind my home. In this wood I passed a stranger, a fortress of cloth, woolen and scarved, starving to trek the path.

These hills, this land once belonged to the Powhatan tribes. And before that, the Chesapians, he said. Snow collected on the flannel brim of a worn cap, auburn and gray. I looked around as he spoke. Pine and birch stood kings and queens, the forest a chessboard. Tangled vines, dead and decayed, thistled the bushes of squat, sand-rooted plants. The snow fell silent, dampening the roar of nature's solace.

Before that, this land was very different. He said, You stand on the shore of a sea long since receded; recursive before its own waters. The sand beneath you is all that remains of the coast and the fossils of fish feed the trees, permitting their growth in the mineral desert. What strangled the waters from this beach, ancient and primordial, is the very snow matter that falls to your brow. As this land came to know cold, it soon forgot the fluid borders of its aqueous neighbor, the mighty Atlantic. Deep blue, crested in white, cold and stirring, the Atlantic dried itself from these shores, uncovering the reef bed of pine and birch. The warmth of life grew cold and din, heeding the mechanization of forest and home. The natives arrived.

Perhaps 'twas Marxian redistribution; other shores need seas. I chuckled before my snark. A sea of shadow cast the coast to cold and other shores sought other seas, I continued, recursive, recursive again. Besides, the histories of time long lost are of concern to us no longer. The primordial freeze that choked the shores keeps my home on its foundation; no need for floating cities on the water world. Our civilization is built on that freeze. On the snow that falls. The ground that ices binds the roots in this region where the Powhatan slaughtered the Chesapians in their sleep!

My mouth steamed, my fingers numbed, and I knew the setting sun sought further to blanket the forest in snow, dust, and cold.

Soon, he started, the return to warmth will end the so-thought eternal abomination that humanly plagues the earth with their humanly plagues. Recursion, recursion! Life on this rock is not natural, as it is not natural throughout the universe. Soon, the return comes. This precipitation precipitates civilization's decline, precipitously! Recursion, recursion!

The stranger vanished.

Perhaps he thought himself impeding the fallen snow that blanketed the forest eternal in directions all. Perhaps he himself an apparition was, a spirit or whatever, sent by the Earth to warn of demise and nature, a course for the unnatural, and a prediction based upon the past. A quiet calm returned. Once again in the endless wood there came the sound of snow fallen.

J. Moulton

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Europe Central" by William T. Vollmann

I started reading this masterpiece in June. Six months later, I am 150 pages from the end, but I will most likely finish it in the next few days. A few things popped up here and there that either prevented or precipitated heavy amounts of reading: LSAT preparation, a trip to Seattle, Cosmos by Sagan, Thanksgiving, and scattered weeks of heavy work schedules. That being said, I think the passing time has allowed me to more deeply come to understand that complexity that drives not the plot of "Europe Central", but the literary purity. My understanding of the book has developed in stages and I feel that, with such a short amount left (the book stands at 750 pages, total), I can provide some general insight into what this book is at an elemental and essential level.

To start, I will quote the back of the book, to provide the sort of concise summation of background that I simply cannot write:

In this magnificent work of fiction, acclaimed author William T. Vollmann turns his trenchant eye on the authoritarian cultures of Germany and the USSR in the twentieth century to render a mesmerizing perspective on human experience during wartime. Through interwoven narratives that paint a composite portrait of these two battling leviathans and the monstrous age they defined, EUROPE CENTRAL captures a chorus of voices both real and fictional - a young German who joins the SS to fight its crimes, two generals who collaborate with the enemy for different reasons, the Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the Stalinist assaults upon his work and life. With these and other unforgettable stories, Vollmann breathes life into a haunting chapter form the past and gives us a daring literary masterpiece.

That phrase "two battling leviathans and the monstrous age they defined" perfectly encapsulates the central metaphor of the book: the defining quality of juxtaposition. Each chapter serves as a call to a later chapter's response. Successive chapters always differ in content but the use of some imagery or events is consistently adapted to several contexts that lead to the ultimate conclusion: the vignettes of generals, martyrs, artists, and leaders; the omnipotent narratives and pretentious critiques of high art from the ever-observing NKVD officer, Comrade Alexandrov; the dreamlike and ideologically driven stories of the front by former telephone operator and Gehlen operative; all is written to support the analogy between the times and the love triangle between Elena, Shostakovich, and Karmen.

Elena Konstantinovskaya is not your traditional main character. Very little of the story is about her. Most of Europe Central's plot is dedicated to Shostakovich. A large portion is dedicated to Roman Karmen. But between the actions of these two characters and the imagery that continually strives to describe beauty and horror in terms of a beautiful, dark haired woman (and vise-versa: typically, interactions between Elena, Shostakovich and Karmen are written in terms of art and war) who we know as Elena Konstantinovskaya. She is the focal point of the book in that every detail described in any chapter serves only to more finely tune the gigantic analogy of Elena that I know as EUROPE CENTRAL.

A fine example is found in the chapter "We'll Never Mention It Again". The reader gains a superfluous understanding of Elena in the opening lines of the chapter, which reads: "Everytime she said no to him, that no was as perfect as her cheekbones. There was about her something comfortably immovable, reassuringly merciless..." So early in the chapter, you can not be sure to whom Elena is saying "no", whether Shostakovich or Karmen, but the complexity of the those opening lines, that she is "comfortably immovable, reassuringly merciless..." is better understood in the context of the previous chapter, "Red Guillotine". "Red Guillotine" details the life of Hilde Benjamin (, an East German judge dubbed the 'Red Guillotine' for her aggressive propensity to sentence beheading to those leftover Nazis and Anglo-American instigators. "Red Guillotine" is spent illuminating that Benjamin was "immovable...merciless..." When Vollmann tells us that Elena says no, she says it with the force of thousands of executions. This is one example of the way in which the complex relationship between Elena, Shostakovich, and Karmen is not only narrated, but progressed. Words are bombs, bodies movements of armies, nos executions, and so forth. To return, this is why I believe the phrase "two battling leviathans and the monstrous age they define" perfectly sums the book. The war between Nazi Germany and the USSR serves as an analogy for the love triangle in the sheer passion of intensity.

And that's why this book was awarded the National Book Award in 2005.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Space is a void that human beings want to fill with more of itself. It wouldn't be called "space" otherwise. The term does not reflect the physical realities of the cosmos inherently, but rather the infinite closet of humanity. Intrinsically, we view it as such. Realistically, we're archaic in form. I suppose I'm really calling for someone to build a Death Star.

Monday, November 29, 2010

WikiLeaks Founder: America's Facebook Hacked

Following the release of over a quarter-million State Department secret emails and messages, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange reveals the organization's next ploy. "We've hacked America's Facebook page and we're to release it to the public," he stated early Monday in Rotterdam. "Not just messages; friend requests, pending and ignored; secret events attended; and Farmville holdings, to name a few." Assange states that many Americans are unaware of secret Farmville sites where digitized animals are raised for slaughter and digital armies conduct "massive, multi-million soldier operations."

The hacked information is startling. Detailed logs show that the Obama administration several times nearly changed its 'Political Views' from 'Democratic Republic' to 'Socialist', but "America never hit 'enter' on the keyboard." Pending friend requests from Pakistan, Taiwan, and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, among those of 43 other countries and heads of state, speak volumes on the current state of American diplomatic relations.

Between March 15th and April 21st of 2010, it has been revealed that over 100 messages sent to North Korea were never replied to, which explains better the April 23rd wallpost by North Korea: "8=====D". As tensions between the two countries have grown between the states, their results have been fleshed out all over the social networking site. The United States is shown later to have untagged themselves when North Korea wrote a note on nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula and how it stands vis-a-vis terrorist distribution networks. The June 3rd note reads: "People like @United States don't furry [sic] understand the implications of our situation at Yongbyon and other sites. People like @al-Qaeda do." The US has reported abuse, but the internet abuse department at Facebook, headed by Ban-Ki Moon, has failed to take action.

Assange does wish to point out a lighter side to the new leaks: "There is an interesting set of positive, friendly relations that the US keeps secret. One, a poking frenzy between Sweden, whose profile picture of Princess Madeleine has been clicked an estimated 800 times. Two, a hidden relationship with Turkey." Analysts believe that the latter relationship is purely a matter of late November euphoria.

- J. Moulton

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I need the flavor of key lime pie to overpower me.