“March Fools’ Day” by Richard F. Yates

march fools day (1 mar. 2019) by rfy - (peg)

So last night, while driving deliveries (and listening to They Might Be Giants, Beck, Tenacious D, Acen, Radioactive Goldfish… Tell you what, I’ll just post the full playlist for “Delivery CD 12” as an appendix below…), I was also contemplating my existence and planning for (with the road, the smell of not-my-favorite pizza, the cool air rushing through the slightly open window, and the tunes in my ears for atmosphere) my NEXT MOVE—which was supposed to be a planned FREE-WRITE once I got off work, but ended up being a MENTAL free-write as I was cruising around Cowlitz County. (I ALSO wrote a bunch in my notebook when I got home.)

One of the things I came up with during this drive-slash-trance is a desire to create a PANTHEON for my ideology / mythology / religion / method of thinking and creating, or whatever it is. The TRUEST way for ME to create a useful pantheon, I decided, (borrowing, slightly, from Malcolm McLaren—who I find VERY problematic as a person, but who did come up with an interesting idea from time to time) was with a LIST. (One of McLaren’s earliest fashion “successes” was a t-shirt that has a list of names of people who were cool on one side and people who McLaren hated on the other. I learned about this shirt design by reading Jon Savage’s excellent punk history, England’s Dreaming…) My list will be of people / characters / monsters / things (famous, sometimes fictional, as well as my own family and friends, that in some way EXEMPLIFY the humor ideology) who will be CANONIZED in THE GREAT JOKE. Or, more specifically, will be immortalized on the BLOCKCHAIN and semi-permanented in general in cyberspace, as the list will be cross-posted on a few sites that AIN’T part of a blockchain, as well. (WHY do this? Because I want to. Because it makes me happy. Maybe to introduce people or creatures to folks who might not otherwise know of them. Think of it, almost, as the BEGATS of the ideology, but with dubious paternity and maternity claims! DNA isn’t as import here as HAHA is…)

While thinking about this canonization process, it occurred to me that I haven’t actually formalized anything for the humor ideology yet—I keep waffling and flip-flopping—because I WANT IT ALL, ULTIMATE FREEDOM, and formalizing means making choices and zeroing in on specifics… I could always DECLARE that waffling and flip-flopping are HOLY and an integral part of the ideology—but I’m not sure how many people would buy that. (And if nobody buys it, I don’t get paid!) I thought to myself (or whoever it was I was talking to in my head)—I SHOULD WRITE A WHITE PAPER!

And then I thought, “Wait a minute… What IS a white paper, anyway?” I looked up the definition (just the Wiki definition, because although Wikipedia isn’t a scholarly source, THIS isn’t a scholarly paper, so FUCK IT!) Basically, it’s just a short declaration, used by governments or businesses or others organizations, to make some claim or statement or somesuch— (I love that word—SOMESUCH—even if spell-checker doesn’t believe in it!), and in a white paper, the producers are often trying to explain their position in a clear and concise way to convince OTHERS that it’s a good idea. Okay. Simple enough.

Then I thought, “Why the Hell is it called a ‘white paper’?” And I looked that up, too. Apparently, so the Wiki story goes, it was a British thing—a proposal made somewhere around WWII times that came on white paper instead of being presented in the standard “Blue Book,” which most folks who went to college will remember as unpleasant little things meant to torture students—especially when the professor made you buy your own! White not blue. Check!

Then, just to be thorough, I read the Bitcoin white paper, which (surprisingly) was only NINE PAGES LONG! I haven’t taken a calculus class since 1990, so the math left me a bit glazed over, and the programming aspects were full of jargon that I’m not that familiar with, and the paper made use of terms that had multiple possible meanings (like “block” and “hash” and “coin”) so, as a literary guy who enjoys word games (a la Wittgenstein and Derrida) I can take the Bitcoin paper to mean about a hundred different things—all very absurd. Imagine “hash” means either an ultra-processed T.H.C. product or a type of food made with potatoes… Imagine a “block” means a chunk of wood with letters on it or an object meant to bar progress or movement… “Coin” can be a verb meaning “to create or name” or a chunk of metal used to play Pacman… What I mean by all this nonsense is that I’m not sure I UNDERSTOOD the Bitcoin white paper. I think it was mostly about transactions between people who don’t trust each other and how computers can be used to make double dealing and cheating more difficult, BUT whether I’ve understood the paper completely or not, I’VE READ IT… And if it’s an example of a successful white paper, (seems to be,) I can emulate the style and language in my own white paper, which I’ll try to use to outline my IDEOLOGICAL INITIATIVE and a practical program for implementing the concepts. Or so the plan goes in my brain-space:

I’m going to write a WHITE PAPER (which can be considered a form of GREY LITERATURE—seriously) that will not be written in a BLUE BOOK for a MAGENTA (AURA) PROJECT! (And, NO, I don’t believe in auras, and because mine is magenta, I’m going to be manipulative and funny about it all—so be careful!) (Or something…)

I’m also feeling a pretty strong desire to create a SOCIAL club (like, in the real, physical world) that is based on the concepts of CONVERSATION and NOVELTY. I’m thinking of calling it The Novelty and Conversation Club. (If you’re curious how I came up with the name, let me know and I’ll try to explain…) I was thinking about posting a NOTICE for folks in the Pacific Northwest (maybe starting in Cowlitz County in southern Washington State—because that’s where I live—I can’t control what’s happening in Venezuela or at the border between India and Pakistan or in the White House, but I’ve got a TINY BIT of influence over what’s happening HERE, where I live,) posting a notice on some media platform (maybe several media platforms) of a gathering in the works, and then mentioning three or four potential destinations where interested parties might meet for drinks and chit-chat and for the exchanging of ideas for future novel experiences! The premise is simple: a moving gathering that explores the local environment (a la the “derive” of The Situationists International) combined with an opportunity to swap suggestions for interesting things to DO, either individually or as a group, while enjoying civil and exciting conversation with friendly people! (Is there a down-side to this plan?)

And that’s were I am at the start of March… MARCH FOOLS’ DAY!!! Time to play with the leprechauns! (But don’t let them put the come-hither on ya!!!) So much to do—so don’t-know-how-much time we have left. Better do what we can while we can—and laugh about it later!

—Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)

Appendix: “Delivery CD 12” Playlist (Here’s what I’ve been listening to for the last few days!):

  1. They Might Be Giants – “Twisting”
  2. Shonen Knife – “Twist Barbie”
  3. Strawberry Story – “Behind This Smile”
  4. Cub – “Magic 8 Ball”
  5. The Sugarcubes – “Motorcrash”
  6. Beck – “Where It’s At”
  7. The Judybats – “Native Son”
  8. P.J. Olsson – “Visine”
  9. They Might Be Giants – “They Might Be Giants”
  10. Tenacious D – “Kickapoo”
  11. Crush – “She Came Down (The Lizard Mix)”
  12. Flashmen – “Little Wildkat”
  13. Heaven 17 – “Crushed by the Wheels of Industry, Pt. One and Two (Uninterrupted Single Version)”
  14. The Legendary Pink Dots – “Princess Coldheart”
  15. Tenacious D – “Tribute”
  16. Acen – “Trip II the Moon (Parts One and Two)”
  17. Radioactive Goldfish – “LSD is the Bomb”
  18. Sweet Exorcist – “Test Four”
  19. The Smiths – “London”

I usually listen on random. It makes it exciting—but in a controlled way (as there are only 19 songs total…) Anyway, I’m happy with this playlist and will probably be able to listen to it for several more days before moving on to “Delivery CD 13”!!!



About richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)
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