Evil Monkey Transmission: From Down Under

Jeff VanderMeer • February 13th, 2009 @ 10:14 am • Evil Monkey

Evil Monkey:
Jeff, what’re you doing? You’re not supposed to be interrupting.

Clarion South students too awesome. Must blog.

Evil Monkey:
Don’t blog! Sleep.

Eh. Sleep is overrated.

Evil Monkey:
Far be it from me to stop you, but many stupid things have been happening. Maybe you’d rather not know.

Try me.

Evil Monkey:
Locus tried a roundtable on the year’s best and it’s stinking up the joint. It seems to want to deny how the internet works. It’s puffery at its worse. It makes me want to hate Locus, and I love Locus.

Why should I care? I’ve been teaching/learning from students for the last week. I don’t give a crap about the rest. I just met 17 remarkable people.

Evil Monkey:
At the new media conference in NYC some complete moron asked why novels aren’t more like websites. I say: because neither are oranges anvils, and once you get your head out of your ass, maybe you’ll be able to see the horizon, too.

Why should I care? I just spent a week on another continent. I saw a tree possum late tonight, although, granted, it might’ve been a shadow.

Evil Monkey:
Nancy Kress called an obsidian crystal a porridge and then admitted it was an obsidian crystal, but still blamed the New Yorker.

That doesn’t scan. I just had a revelatory week of teaching.

Evil Monkey:
The world doesn’t care, Jeff. The world’s continuing to get on with its business.

Why do people need to create categories?

Evil Monkey:
Because people have emotions and they have hierarchies and they need to have structure in their lives, and if they don’t, they get afeared.

Ah–now I see. Kress asked why the New Yorker doesn’t value Stross as much as Millhauser. Might as well ask why F&Sf doesn’t value William Burroughs as much as Edgar Rice Burroughs. And on again and on again we go, and, honestly, who cares?

Evil Monkey:
I care. I live in this world. I have to read the headlines.

Maybe you just need to start living in the real world.

Evil Monkey:
I’ll cease to exist in the real world, Jeff. There’s nothing I can help you with in any *real* world.

Then maybe you’re going to die, Evil, because right now I’m in a foreign hemisphere and the stars even look different and I’m looking at each word on a page and whatever manifests in the electronic world is as insignificant as a grain of sand in the desert.

Evil Monkey:
Soon, Jeff. Soon, you’ll be reintroduced. Then you’ll care. Then we’ll have a proper conversation.

I hope not, Evil. I hope not.

Evil Monkey:
Godspeed frog emperor, godspeed…

10 Responses to “Evil Monkey Transmission: From Down Under”

  1. KJ Bishop says:

    >>Why do people need to create categories?

    My latest and possibly dumbest theory is that it’s dear old Nature manifesting her tendency to create competitive species — virtual species in this case.

    Enjoy the southern stars. (I sure miss them.)

    And watch out for the cane toad king…

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    The cane toad king?! Now there’s a story.

    Hope all is well.


  3. KJ Bishop says:

    Tyrannowartus Rex (who can be distinguished from other cane toads by the topaz lustre of his warts and his elegant cane) knows that his people should not be in Queensland, and therefore turns a blind eye when the local humans deliberately run them over on the roads. But since they didn’t come to Queensland of their own free will but were summoned, with dark magicks, by well-meaning fools, those who laugh when the cane toads pop like balloons under the tires risk the vengeance of the just but touchy cane toad king…

    All is well :-)

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    develop that a bit more, send it to me, and together we can build a cane toad king to rule the world. LOL!

  5. Kit Reed says:

    am I right and it’s like India, where the water swirls backward when you flush and the moon is upside-down?

  6. KJ Bishop says:

    Jeff, I just might take you up on that. If Ann finds a cane toad in the slush pile, you’ll know where it came from. :-)

  7. Alex Carnegie says:

    Re. categories: I think there’s something very human in the need to name and classify things, it’s a way of controlling and understanding them. Maybe we’re fundamentally more inclined toward division than unity – my experience of music scenes and of genre/subgenre sniping that takes place would support this theory. We’re quick to create distinction, artificial walls where they might not be needed, and then the old Narcissism of Minor Differences comes into play.

    The backlash against categorisation that we witness is, I think, perhaps a Postmodern phenomenon- a disregarding of old false certainties, of genre as just another narrative.

  8. GlenH says:

    @ Kit Reed
    I think you’ll find that the moon here is the right way up and the water spins forwards. It’s people in the northern hemisphere who have it wrong way up and back to front.

  9. KJ Bishop says:

    Alex — I suspect it’s fundamentally an animal thing. Territory, hierarchy within a group of (evil?) monkeys. Something like “I pee here, this my place / you smell funny, I kill you with rock” wells up and affects a quite rational process, like observing differences and making certain useful categories based on them (e.g. toxic, non-toxic), distorting it into a neurotic shape.

    Has there really been a backlash against categorisation, do you think…?

  10. Alex Carnegie says:

    Certainly more so within music scenes where people see excessive pidgeonholing as “trainspottery”, “geeky” and so on. I’ve noticed it in terms of literature too though.

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