The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

Now Playing: Chapters 5 & 6 (The Late Show)

A famous Zen master (can’t remember if it was Thich Nhat Hahn or not, but it most likely wasn’t) once described the Twitterverse (or something similar to it; the abnormal behaviour found on social media actually predates it by millennia) as an ocean full of gasoline. A collective monkey mind which the smallest spark will cause to violently explode. My former boss possessed such a monkey mind. I once casually described it in such terms to the executive assistant du jour. When the boss found out what I said, she went right ahead and proved my point in plain view of me, completely failing to notice I had proven it. How could she notice? She never had the beginner’s mind to notice such things. From her perspective, she was the stable genius who was always right, and I was always wrong. Because she went to Harvard, and I didn’t. The executive assistant (who also didn’t go to Harvard) quit in disgust a few weeks later upon realizing I was right.

Years later, she who attained Eternal and Everlasting Rightness during her time at Harvard went wrong. Very wrong. As in, attempted murder wrong. Going insane and stabbing a dude doesn’t fit any definition of Rightness that either I or the Crown are aware of. A couple of weeks before The Incident, she spoke to me on the phone. One final time. With a tone of voice that sounded very loving and motherly, she told me I had a “brilliant mind” and that she was proud of me. Make of that whatever you will. For me, it felt like a Luke-unmasking-Vader moment with a faint tinge of Lovecraft to it…


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…except she was a werelizard, so it was something more like this.

Since I obviously have plenty of practical experience dealing with monkey minds, I like to think I’ve learned a thing or two over the years about channeling their energy towards more beneficial ends. In many ways, the outrage culture makes the Sea of Tweet ideal waters for the maiden voyages of new chapters. If a creative work of any sort can survive a perilous trek across the great ocean of gasoline, then she’s seaworthy and can be brought to port.

Chapters Five and Six of SILVER BROWN have had their maiden voyages already. Not only were there no devastating explosions to speak of, but I actually got some positive feedback to boot. Having passed the first test, these chapters shall now be archived at a rate of one page a day. On a platform with a significantly less restrictive character limit, allowing for the massive herds of happy-clappy types native to the area to pen their famously impassioned rants detailing why this author is assured of eternal damnation. In either title case or all caps. With the mandatory quota of at least three Biblical citations and a non sequitur reference to some “socialist” politician that apparently ruined their life. That platform being the Zuckerberg Tabernacle, of course. A late show is presently afoot there, for the benefit of those who missed the early show. Click or tap on Zuck’s head below to watch. The price of admission is your soul. Because it’s Facebook.


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The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

Now Playing: Chapters 3 and 4 (The Late Show)

Chapters Three and Four of SILVER BROWN will be gradually revealed to the good citizens of Planet Earth via Facebook over the course of these next few weeks, for the benefit of the fine folks at home who didn’t catch the initial showing of these chapters on Twitter way back in July.

I’ll always tweet new chapters before using them to toilet paper Mr. Zuckerberg’s lawn, but in some ways Facebook is a more suitable medium for this sort of thing. It’s slightly more conducive to in-depth leisurely reading and archiving images and memories for the long term. Twitter operates in a very different manner – it was designed to cater to our inner goldfish. Anything more than ten minutes old is as stale as last week’s leftover doughnuts. A typical tweet gets a reaction like this:

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There’s always a few that will be liked and retweeted:

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If it’s something about a massacre or a racist or homophobic comment some politician tweeted years ago that their rivals dug up in order to use it against them in their smear campaigning, the reaction will more like this:

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The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

Let Me Rub My Juices All Over You

A peculiar attribute of the technological zeitgeist of this decade (whatever we end up calling it in the end, which will likely be either the #MeToos or the Avocado Toasties) which sets it apart from the Nineties and Noughties is that people today are too lazy to actually surf the Internet. There’s no longer an incentive to do the gruntwork of visiting online forums or Usenet, when technology has evolved to a point where people no longer have to actually do anything to get their daily dose of memes. Now the Internet comes neatly packaged directly to the people, in the form of their Facebook timelines and Twitter feeds, to say nothing of the seemingly endless parade of smartphone notifications.

In recognition of Western civilization’s bold new devotion to intellectual sloth, I would like to remind everybody I have left behind the obligitory urine stain on both Facebook and Twitter. Not Instagram, though. Instagram is just one big digital high school. With a very impressive yearbook. Which is fine, except I graduated years ago.

As much as there is to dislike about social media as a whole, one of its useful aspects is as a supplementary energy to an organization’s already existing web presence. Like an appendage growing out of your website, reaching out to fondle people so it can coat their hair and clothing with its juices.

My twin social media appendages have indeed been doing a lot of fondling. I occasionally do this thing where I take an entire chapter from the book and post one page from that chapter a day, on one platform or the other. I don’t do it all the time, and which platform I end up posting it to depends on a complex schedule based on the time of year and the phase of the moon and the current coordinates of the magnetic north pole. But I do it occasionally, and love to drink the essence of the people’s reactions. The concept started on Twitter and gravitated towards Facebook a few months later. I have way more followers on Twitter †, so it’s a useful avenue for conducting grand sociological experiments. The Facebook page was more of an afterthought.

† I somehow gained a followership of over 1000 people on Twitter without being young, female or pretty. In this day and age, that’s an accomplishment.