The Secret History

January 26th, 2010 | daybook

Photos by Cassandra:

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This is one of those Secret weeks. I’m working almost exclusively on projects that are developing, or pre-pitch, or unannounced. Which means, when people ask me what I’m working on, I kind of have to shrug and make that face that makes me look a bit like a stroke victim and go "Muh?"

And there’s a lot of it: I have to redraft a one-sheet on one thing and beat out a rough structure on another thing in the next, um, four hours or so. And read over a contract for a weird gig I think I alluded to last week. And finish a short pilot-style script, which might not happen, because I haven’t had the funny over the last couple of days, and it needs the funny. (The funny comes and goes. I can go a week without being funny. Hell, some people will tell you I can go years without being funny.)

And because I’m essentially perverse, right now I’m picking at a bit in the middle of FELL #10 that’s been bothering me for a while.

Strange days.

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Being essentially perverse, of course, the back of my brain is working on something else. Or at least chewing on something else. Sort of trying to put it into words. Killed my Facebook account (again!) last night — I had needed to hold on to it for work communication, but that ceased to be a requirement a few days back, and then Facebook did something really fucking annoying, and I just killed the account. To no change in my daily information diet at all. MySpace may have been a clunky piece of shit, but that place, at one time, was crawling with bands and photographers and people making stuff. (Hell, my MySpace account has been static and untouched for months, but I note tonight that bands are still contacting me there, like the San Francisco spacerock collective Spirits Burning and the German military-classical spookmongers Argheid. I’m tempted to re-open that account just for music collection.)

What’s forming up is an attempt to surround in useful language a sense of the continuing fracture of useful cultural information. Which is an abortion of a sentence, and doesn’t really do the job, either. The expanding universe of the internet means that things fly apart, and places that were hubs for creativity fractionate according to that rule and also the rule of Scenes, which is that they have a short lifespan. And they keep splitting, and the scenes get smaller, and so today you’ve got five things that do the same thing Soundcloud do, and tomorrow there’ll be ten, and etc. And so you find you can’t pause in that part of the job which is tracking cultural shrapnel. I have a hundred RSS feeds in the box and I feel like I know less than I did six months ago.

So, yeah… another time.

Also, it suddenly occurred to me that the best TV series in the world is lurking in the first two chapters of Charlie Stross’ ACCELERANDO: a show where venture altruist Manfred Macx comes up with a new crazy scheme to immanentise the Eschaton every week while being pursued by his dominatrix ex-wife and the American tax police. I would watch the shit out of that on a weekly basis. And so would you. I get great television in my head, I tell you.


4 Responses to “The Secret History”

  1. The idea of an Accelerando TV series is just worth thinking about because it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Like House, but with science and no chance of fucking lupus.

  2. I’m going to pretend that the Accelerando TV series was a hint to a secret project and not just idle meditation….

    life is better this way.

  3. I think MySpace – for all its faults – is a good place to find new music. I use it all the time just for my own curiosity or for the radio show – often streaming tracks off it directly over the air. I use it like a vast, free music library full of obscure artists I wouldn’t even know existed otherwise.

  4. I like the word “fractionate,” although that’s not quite right either. The web is an isolating medium, and “social” isn’t really “being together” with someone in time and space. The only bonding connections we can have are in very small chat room corners, where people are talking to each other in a virtual room, and it has to be a very small number, in real-time. You just can’t do that with news, music, art–Peter Murphy is trying an exclusive webcast performance out this month. Maybe something like that can pull the pieces together. I like what Dean Devlin is doing with his blog about the US tv show Leverage (kfmonkey.blogspot.com/). But I’m not sure that fixes the issue. It does take longer to find out what the hell is going on in our “connected” world.