The Law of More

The Elimination of Middlemen

The Elimination of Middlemen

Moore’s law, put simply, states that computing power will double every eighteen months. This was predicted back in 1965 at the dawn of modern computing and has so far held true. What used to be a precious and costly commodity is now being produced at an exponentially faster rate. Some find this humorous, in a sardonic way. To others it is overwhelming.

The Commodore 64 when it was introduced boasted sixty-four kilobytes of RAM, all within that ‘little’ box. There is the famous quote from one of the pioneers in the industry where he can’t ever foresee anyone needing more than 64k. Only a decade earlier such an extravagant amount of memory would require an entire building. Nowadays memory is so cheap you can easily afford to store a well-stocked bookstore on the phone in your pocket.

It’s amazing how far we have come. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai it took two tablets to hold ten short paragraphs. Nowadays even the most basic tablet or ereader can store dozens, even hundreds, of books in their entirety.

Life Under the Letters

Life Under the Letters

Life Under the Letters

New Word: Zudswackxomnebplight

Get out a fresh circle of paper and a sliver of chalk, add this to your parents dictionary, here is today’s new word.

Zudswackxomnebplight /(no pronunciation)/ onomatopoeia v. unable to speak,
having no words. As in “I don’t know what to say, that film left me zudswackxomnebplighted.”
The key to pronouncing this word is remembering that all the letters are
silent; z from zoetrope, rendezous; u from colleague, guess; d from Wednesday,
sandwich; s from island, debris; w from sword, answer; a from artistically,
logically; c from muscle, scissors; k from knife, knight; x from faux pas; o
from colonel; b from crumbs, debt; m from mnemonic; n from autumn, column;
p from coup, psychology; l from would, should; e from breathe, psyche;
i from business; g from gnaw, high; h from honest, ghost; and t from castle,
gourmet. So if you pronounce it properly the listener will think
you have trailed off…

See the rest of my new additions to the English language!dyslexicon2prog

Expanding Vocabulary

ThreateningSnowWe Chicagoans share many similarities with the Eskimos, besides our subarctic climates. The Eskimo language, they say, has sixty-two different words for snow. I would venture to bet we Chicagoans have sixty-two words for snow as well. Very few of them, however, are appropriate for use in polite company.





I turn to look for available seating and see that most of the people waiting in line are chanting in the odd cafelalia; some with tongues jutting from their mouths, some looking heavenward with eyes rolled into their heads. The entire shop is filled with a dull cacophony of nonsense. A few scattered patrons seem to roam around the perimeter of the tables in a trance.

Indigenous Editor


Horse-Faucet Remains

Horse Faucet RemainsThe sweaty fog of delusion hung over the ancient bones and fossil caves. Six erections and a batch of wristwatch clams stuck sweetly in Horse-faucet’s coat pocket., he stapled the ransom note to his forehead and strode into the bar.

He spoke liquid words that stirred the dust of a dozen sleeping drunkards. Dentist was nowhere to be seen. He was in fact on hiatus, trekking the egg yolks of dilapidated villas and the recycled law enforcement strategies which had battered many a poor man.

The sun fell swiftly like two large omelets skiing naked in a carbonated water bag. Horse-Faucet knew the meaning of the word facilitate, but often confused erotic with exotic. He spent too much time in pet shops and smelled of sleep… bad sleep.

Just as the last train was turning its oars toward the ocean, Horse-Faucet found himself face to freckle with the impeccable shot of Dentist’s long arm. Time stood still, the air was so stiff you could get rug-burn just thinking of pork. Paper-cuts flew left and right, when the steam cleared and frogs settled in for the winter. Dentist lay dampened and Horse-faucet was gone, never to be thought of again.

(recently recovered in an anarcheological dig within my closet, the notebook it was extracted from has been carbonation dated circa 1991)

Virtual Vitriol

shutfixWhy are people like this?

I was hanging out on Facebook a little while ago, talking on a thread. Some of you know I like the band Phish, and the thread was about their albums and songs and their live shows, and how would you introduce someone to the band and their music?

The thread veered as threads do, a festive, fun, informal little discussion about some of the band’s albums and our initial reaction to them.

At one point I was talking about a common opinion among Phish-heads, and one I must admit personally held some credence when I was younger. The notion that longer songs are better. I was in a playful mood, so in the comment I stated it as, “Longer = Gooder.”

I know ‘gooder‘ is not a word. I can see the little red line pop under it informing me of a language breech.

So, the next comment was from someone who had not participated in the thread up until this point, either they were only lurking or they just found the conversation. Either way, their first offering to the topic was to call me out on my word usage.

I asked if he was seriously going to attempt to reprimand me in an informal conversation about the band Phish on Facebook, especially since mine was not the only non-word in the dialogue. Some folks had used words such as ‘Squicky‘ and other fun recent additions to the lexicon.

This person held their ground.

I told them they were similar to the person who would look over my shoulder at a live concert, correcting my punctuation and grammar as I attempted to keep a set-list of the songs and continue to dance my ass off at the same time.

I asked if they had written angry letters to Phish about the misspelling of their name, and some of the words they use in their songs, such as ‘thunk.’

I pointed out that the band itself has some song titles which are not real words, ‘Gotta Jiboo‘ and ‘Faht‘ for example. But, I continued, I was pretty certain this person had corrected the song titles on the back of their CD case, properly renaming the songs with their red permanent marker.

I told this person I know it’s not a word, but I was certain in the context people would be able to grok the intent. It’s not like I made up a word like ‘frundlesporkled‘ or something vague and indecipherable. Gooder is not a word, but you can pretty easily deduce it’s meaning.

This person must be a real blast at parties.

The thing that irked me, though, was this was the first thing they added to the conversation. They had sat on the sides reading along without adding a comment, an opinion or even a ‘me too’ to the discussion. They didn’t speak up until they saw me use a non-word.

Why are people like this? I don’t get it. Sometimes I think its envy or something similar, these folks can’t produce an original thought within their tiny skulls to save their life. So they take out their frustration on anyone who dares to say anything out of the ordinary. I don’t know.

Shakespeare made up words. I told the person I admired their rigid adherence to the guidelines of the language, but this is not school, and ‘you are not my editor.’

I don’t know if it made this person feel better or superior to point out my foible. I’m not sure, I just don’t get people sometimes. These are the sort of people who write YouTube comments and hang out on reddit.

Speaking of reddit, I had a similar run in there. It was pretty much the last straw. I rarely check into reddit anymore just because there are too many small-minded nasty people who only value an opinion if it is vitriolic.

I was talking in a thread about the TV show Community, and the return of the shows creator and executive producer Dan Harmon.

I commented that I was glad he was returning, and seeing the way the show faltered when NBC and Sony replaced him was a vindication of sorts for Mr. Harmon’s unconventional approach to making good television.

This one redditor tore into me; a lengthy, nasty soliloquy rife with expletives and sentences in all caps. Besides ridiculing me for daring to defend him, this redditor went on to call Mr. Harmon ‘King Baby,’ and other colorful descriptions.

I tried to clarify my position, but it fell on deaf ears. Sometimes you have to know when to cut your losses and move on. Pick your battles, if you will.

The next day I check into reddit and see a long thread of conversation has branched off from the conversation I was in. And who decided to pop in and comment but Dan Harmon himself, who had some scathing words for this nasty redditor.

And here the real hilarious thing was how this redditor’s attitude changed. ‘King Baby‘ was now being addressed as ‘Mr. Harmon, sir.‘ And near the end of the conversation this redditor offered to buy Dan Harmon a drink if the occasion ever presented itself.

I told this redditor after all this was over, I hoped he enjoyed his beer with ‘King Baby.’ He tried to defend his change of tone as it being in a completely different conversation.

“An entirely different conversation that grew out of our discussion,” I said, “The word we use around here for such a change of heart is ‘Two-Faced’. Do not even bother replying,  I’m done with you, I will not read or respond.”

And I didn’t. I let that thread die, and I rarely even look at reddit anymore because it is filled to capacity with this petty, nasty, duplicitous, miserable sort of person.

So, why are people like this? Are some people unable to find any sort of contentment unless they are putting someone else down?

I don’t know, but there seems to be way too many of this sort walking around on the planet.

I got a genuine laugh, an out loud laugh, from this redditor and the way his tone changed. The vitriol he aimed at me for defending the guy turn obsequious when the man himself showed up in the thread.

It reminds me of the saying, ‘Those who say it can’t be done should not interrupt the ones who are doing it.’ It’s not a direct analogy, but is the same sort of tiny-minded person.

I know my punctuation is suspect at best, and my penmanship has turned to chicken scratch, but this is the best I can write down the songs and still enjoy the concert. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it. You are free to write the set-list any damn way you wish. You are entitled to your opinion, but you aren’t required to share, and I really don’t care to hear it.

Good day to you, sir. Kindly shut your clamoring trap, and let me get back to dancing.


Back to One

5512587253_768845ce89_oI often use the New Year, New Years Day, as a common theme in my work. More so in songs, it’s a pretty standard symbol of change and rebirth and starting over fresh. But in reality, it’s just another day.

I think we set ourselves up for disappointment. Many use the New Year as a catalyst for change. New years resolutions are the perfect example, many make them, few follow through.

Instead of standing as symbol for change, New Year can take on an ominous feeling that we are stuck, no change is possible, might as well not try.

But this, I think in part at least, comes from applying too much power, or too much weight, to the date. Nothing is really different about today, compared to yesterday, other than the arbitrary number we have assigned to it.

Changing the calendar won’t change our lives. I think it sets many up for disappointment and an acceptance of their lot. We can change, it is possible, but it takes more than a cosmic odometer rolling over.

If I want to quit smoking once and for all I will make a plan, talk to a doctor, put some steps in place, change the way I approach some situations and thoughts.

Change is not easy, it is possible, but let’s look at it realistically. Let’s look at what steps need to be taken, let’s put a plan in place to affect some real, actual change. Let’s not leave it up to the calendar, and expect the world to be as fresh as January’s brand new page, which is, after all, just a number jotted on paper.


The Word Made Fresh

BLAHBLAHWriters have a different sort of children, mine are born with many, too many arms. Later I inspect them closely, one at a time, cutting away the limbs with digits not pointing in any particular direction, and the ones not holding up anything important.



I’ve been amassing these little sayings for years, weird stuff just falls out of my head. Most of these are skewed takes on familiar sayings, others are some of my ‘go to’ lines for certain situations. I know there are some I’m forgetting, and I’m always coming up with newer and weirder ways to break the language, so this page will be updated occasionally.

‘You have to learn to walk before you can properly fall down’

thinker‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid indefinitely.’

‘It wasn’t me! And I promise I’ll never do it again!’

‘A watched phone never boils’

‘People who live in Glass Houses shouldn’t worry about whether they’re half full or half empty.’

‘A woman is like a fine wine, one is too much and a thousand isn’t enough.’

‘Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and he’ll have an excuse to get drunk at five in the morning.’

‘They say that when God closes one door, he opens a window; so obviously He’s not the one paying the heating bill.’

‘You can lead a horse to water, but you still have to hold it’s head under manually if you expect it to drown.’

‘When life gives you lemons, wrap them in a sock so you can beat people with it and not leave a bruise.’

‘Some say the glass is either half-full or half-empty, I say the choice of vessel is completely inappropriate for the amount of liquid it contains.’

‘Relearning an old trick, you may at first feel rusty, but it soon comes back to you just like falling off a bike.’

‘I don’t put much stock in Horoscopes or really believe in the validity of Astrology, but this is a typically Pisces thing to say.’

‘They say sometimes you must choose between being happy, or being right. I do hope you’re happy, because you certainly are not right!’

‘Of course I’m right, I’m always right! And even when I’m wrong, I’m still righter than you!’

‘I like my coffee like my women; cold, black and bitter.’

‘I can tell the future, but I can’t tell it much. The future never listens.’

‘I’ve never laughed so hard in my mouth!’

‘I don’t care much for tomatoes, but I rarely stop in the produce aisle to yell at the people buying them anymore.’ (standard reply to most trolls)

© Robert Emmett McWhorter


guruA few days ago I added a new piece called ‘A Writer Calls in Sick.’ It was a spontaneous collaboration between myself and a writer friend P.T. Wyant. If you haven’t read it, go read it now– it’s a quick, funny little piece.

The response to it has been a little overwhelming. I came online the following day to find it had been liked and even shared all over the place, and I was getting comments from folks I had never met thanking us for the laugh.

We were talking about how we should collaborate again, a few people commented as such. I’ve let my mind wander as it does looking for possible paths to follow toward this end, we could make a whole series of ‘Writer & Editor’ pieces, a web series or a book or both, who knows. I’m open to any options, but I am having a hard time grasping how to even try to repeat this effort. The whole thing was born so spontaneous, there was no intention stated of working together or trying to write something or work on a bit. It grew out of such a tiny spark and came to life so fast, and completely unexpected.

Over the last few months I have been typing nearly non-stop, back to writing after a few dry years. I have been writing new stuff and transcribing some old scribblings from the notebooks.

I have files I keep, like a junk drawer for thoughts and ideas, I was going through it recently, and I don’t even recall writing this little line. Where it came from or why I thought it was important, but there it was, this off little half-thought:


It struck me as an odd little thought, so I posted it on facebook, just to see what sort of reaction it might get.

A few minutes later I saw P.T. had replied, in character as the Editor, responding to the post. We traded lines back and forth for twenty or thirty minutes, I was laughing and she has commenting she was laughing the whole time too.

And then there it was, as simple as that. A piece was born. I messaged her and asked if she would mind me making it a bit and posting it. She asked if I had intended this when I posted the blurb. No, I answered honestly. I had no motive to post the little random half-thought other than to see if it made anyone chuckle.

So, how does one repeat that? How do you recreate an activity that seemed to happen on its own. This is one of those intangible sides of art. You can learn and study and read and practice and develop and repeat. But there are just some things you can’t prepare for or train for or practice, things you never expect, things you may struggle to explain.

It has been a while, but it is not the first such experience I’ve ever had. Strange things happen, miracles occur, and I strongly believe there are some songs out there floating in the ether, some stories just waiting to be plucked from the air and told. Sometimes the stories get tired of waiting and manipulate events to bring about their creation. Why not?

As I’ve said, I’ve seen things of this sort before. Not common, and I don’t think it is something you can ever get used to. Sitting here thinking about it now still gives me a little chill down my spine and tickles the hair on my head ever so slightly against my brain.

It reminds me what I love about being a writer, an artist. Yes, you get to build your own Universe and play god with your characters and recall the stories exactly as you would like them told. But sometimes you got to see something like this, even better when you find yourself participating in it. It is a form of magic, really– the story literally appeared out of thin air. I truly believe it’s a tiny miracle, a wink from elsewhere, reminding me to wonder at the wonder; and proof that occasionally the Universe keeps something up its sleeve.

©Robert Emmett McWhorter