Saturday, March 7, 2015

The tour

Clerkmanifesto is a far larger place than most people know. It is not the small room that many think they have wandered into. If this is your first time here you may imagine that you have stumbled into an abandoned closet. What was that shabby, anonymous door in some empty backroom of the Internet? What is this featureless, dimly lit text, presuming to talk to you. It can't be talking to you. You are anonymous out in Internet land. Prose can't see you.

I can't help the strange things you might choose to believe.

This little room is akin to C. S. Lewis's wardrobe. Step through. I will show you around.

The next room is a hall of mirrors. These are all a lot like funhouse mirrors. They do interesting distortions and sometimes one hardly knows what they're looking at. I know this room well, and love to jape around in here and play the fool. This, you might say, is the room of my jokes, which I like to keep to a modestly funny level because I can't figure out the trick of making them "very funny", my posturing, which I like as self aggrandizing as possible, and my nonsense. It's a big place, and colorful. Certainly some people think this is the whole clerkmanifesto. They might read and enjoy clerkmanifesto regularly, and never leave this room. Every once in awhile someone gets very mad at one of the mirrors, which is why a couple of them are shattered. Everyone has something it's not okay to joke about. Everyone. Sometimes people have felt trapped in this room, but the funny thing is there are hundreds of exits, huge vaulting, arched exits here. You need only look away from the mirrors to see them clearly.

Think of these first two rooms, the shabby closet, and the jester's hall of mirrors, like you might a medieval castle. The first would be the moat. The next is the walls. They are part of the castle indeed, but only when you are past them are you in the castle itself.

And so now we are through one of the many, many arches. If everyone would follow me through... Oh, I've lost everyone again haven't I? Except you. Well, thanks for staying near. I swear, this happens every tour. Who knows where everyone else has wandered off to. They could have taken any archway, and from this point on this place can go forever. Do you see those stairs? I'm not even sure there's a bottom.

I just better go make sure no one looks behind the curtain.

Here, take this arc lamp and meet me in the garden of enlightenment in half an hour. If you get lost, at every fork, take the easiest way. Oddly, you will eventually get there.


  1. Well, I dropped out of the tour and am trying to find the café. Is it in the kitchen wing of this castle or out in that modernist gazebo thingy with all the umbrella'd tables?

    1. This comment fills me with glee.


      So, right, fool that I am I kept thinking people were lost on my tour when they were all just ducking out to head to the cafe. You were in the right place, but opposite the gazebo is the thing that looks like a baroque church. That is the cafe. The alcoholic and non alcoholic cocktails are astonishingly expensive, but may be worth it if you can get the table by the bridge.

  2. I thought I was looking at the same archway as you, but the one I was looking at, the stairs definitely went up. When you said you weren't sure if they had a bottom, I thought, "Is this not already the bottom?" Is this place ADA compatible? I am not sure how many stairwells my knees have left in them and I am saving them for something important. Or at least for something interesting.

    1. No, no, I am surprised at just how low I can go. Or maybe it was deep, how deep I can go. One of the two, possibly both.

      We are currently trying to raise enough money to bribe the ADA compliance inspector. Ooooh, maybe a kickstarter! "These aren't stairs! They're new. We call them "Geometric ramps".

      It won't really hurt your knees. It's pretend.


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