Tuesday, July 21, 2015
For my future readers
Every day it looks more likely that my work will not become canon. My blog will not be swept up into notoriety, or acclaim, or written into to annals of human experience. I won't get rich, or lionized, or passionately discussed. Millions will not flock to my blog like monarchs to milkweed.
I can live with that if I have to.
But while there stands one tiny chance, one lottery sliver of possibility, I don't want to pass up the opportunity to mark this time of my anonymity, to speak amongst the small number of my readers, and to excoriate with full prejudice and disdain, the seven billion people who are not reading my blog right now.
If, as is so likely, my blog falls off the face of the earth the second I stop writing it, if in 20 months or 20 years it is unfindable, unread, and forgotten, so be it. These words will be like a seed that never grew, a bright flower that did not bloom in its radiant designs of vindictive revenge. There will be no revenge and no cause for it to have ever been.
But if by some monumental freak, through what could only be a kind of astonishing miracle, I am launched to fame and glory, then my wrath here will grow wild and cover the land. A black mark will be emblazoned on the failing souls of every able person on this planet, circa 2015, every person other than those patiently reading this now, here in the years of its obscurity.
If in 2015 you are, or were, 16 or younger, you are safely exempted. Likewise if you are old and of a last guard unacquainted with computers, or you are too poor or illiterate or non English speaking to encounter me in my present time, you too are fully exempted.
But everyone else...
Here, let me put it to a kind of personal example. As it is unlikely to match your exact situation you will have to write yourself in. Let that be a part of your penance.
The year is 2035. My Nobel Prize is in my hand. My blog posts have been translated into hundreds of languages. This very post here is frequently assigned reading in 11th Grade classes (don't forget to ask your teacher where they were in 2015 kids). I am frequently quoted. My blog collections are readily available in volumes covered with fawning quotes by the most revered people on the planet.
I find the whole thing surprisingly disturbing, but that's not the point here.
You are a huge fan. You've read all eleven volumes. You can freely recite me, and often do. You even stick up for my more uneven later works. You are the same age in that future that I am right now, 50. You absolutely love clerkmanifesto. It is the most important work of art you encountered in your whole life.
Thank you so much. I am touched. I treasure you, my dear future reader.
But right now, in 2015, you are tooling about on the Internet. You are checking Facebook, looking at cats, Reddit, Boing Boing, reading wherever things lead you on the Internet, like falling down a hill forever. If one of my posts came before your eyes you wouldn't even recognize it for anything. It would pass through you like air. Above all, you are not here.
So I just want to say to you now this one small thing, for all time, and with all due affection, presence, wisdom and regard: