The Bullhorn of SILVER BROWN

Now Playing: 11 and Maybe 12 (The Late Show)

An encore presentation of Chapter Eleven of SILVER BROWN awaits those who dare drink from the poisoned chalice that is Facebook. At a rate of one page a day, as usual. I might throw in the next chapter after that, if I feel like it.

On a somewhat distantly related note, the Zuckerverse brings to mind the Holy Grail scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, if we think of Dr. Schneider as a metaphorical personification of the platform’s now-infamous algorithm and rechristen her male Nazi colleague with the name of Karen. I totally get symbolism.


The Zen of SILVER BROWN

The Ultimate Social Distancing Sport

Actual people exist who practice chess as a high science. A few of them I’ve met. In person, to boot. I’m more the other kind of player, though. The kind who play the game strictly for shits and giggles. There’s probably a slight ring of truth to the high science bit methinks, after having played against opponents from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds hailing from multiple countries (ain’t the Internet grand?). This is a truly universal language, like mathematics. No matter what flag they hoist or what tongue their mama spoke or what god(dess)(e)(s) (or lack thereof) they believe in, all the world loves a good chess game.

Not all chess players are created equal, of course. The feeble and weak-minded ones are the least fun to play against. Prone to automatically resign from the game without so much as a moment’s pause the second their queen gets bumped off. Often with all or most of their remaining material intact, like it never dawns on them that other pieces exist aside from the queen. I imagine this person to be of the emotionally brittle type who would go berserk and rob their neighbourhood liquor store at gunpoint if they should happen to lose their car keys.


tumblr_o1u88zJVOj1um01uyo1_400


Players of a slightly-higher-but-not-the-highest calibre play with the skill and cunning of a master swordsman up until the final moves of the middlegame, when they abruptly quit in disgust after their opponent offs somebody vital to their whole checkmate strategy, like their last rook. These players can handle their stress, but you get that sense they don’t really understand what the game is about. They treat it like it’s a union gig or an office job, refusing to do any task that might endanger them.

The best players are the warriors. The gung-ho ones who never say die and fight until the bitter end. They make up about five percent of all the people I’ve ever played against. In a perfect world, I would always play against a warrior. Alas, a more typical opponent is somebody like the gentleman playing Black in the figure below, who reacted rather whimsically to my checking his king and sentencing his queen to certain doom…


gg_bastard


I don’t always win. Nobody’s invincible. But even when all hope is seemingly lost, I rest on the knowledge accrued through a great deal of practical experience that this game punishes pride almost as ruthlessly as it punishes incompetence. You can eliminate all your opponent’s material and still bugger yourself by getting drunk with power and ending the game in an accidental stalemate. Like this guy did with his five queens…


Screenshot_20200425-104330
 

The Journey of SILVER BROWN

I Title All My Chapters

This is a practice I’ve been doing almost since the beginning. Bestowing every chapter in a written work with its own title helps to give it some context, methinks. The few words that comprise it can be used to comment on the general vibe of the chapter or give supplementary information, in a way that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the narrative.


ColorfulVainIberianmidwifetoad-small


My chapters frequently go through several working titles before they settle on a definitive appellation. The chapter I’m editing now sees our heroes visit the top-secret lair of a powerful warlock on the island of ₪KLAVERIOS, who after several rewrites has evolved into someone vaguely like a hybrid of Morpheus (of The Matrix) and the character Q of James Bond fame, with maybe just a smattering of Glinda the Good Witch thrown in. This exhibition-heavy whopper of a chapter’s original working title was:

…AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT

After fully digesting this chapter’s innards and melding my consciousness with its innate atman throughout the editing process, the old title found itself abandoned like an outgrown shell. Replaced with the (somewhat) more cozy WHO IS THE TRAINER? It’s possible the original title might be claimed by another chapter down the road; it would probably fit the next chapter after this one like a glove.


image