Hmmology – episode 20: About Plots as a Stringent Necessity

To get the full story, start with EPISODE 1

Perhaps I was being unfair and it was up to me to break this task into reasonably-sized morsels. It’s not that surprising after all that these poor fellows have a pathological fear of long-term plans. It stands to reason when you’re bound to push up the daisies in a couple of years.

Then again, it’s not like humans are that much better at making plans, even though we practically live for eons by hamster standards. Actually, from a rodent point of view, humanity is quite useless. All that lifespan and what have we to show for it?

say what?
Source: Josh Tashman

OK, well, quite a lot. And not all of it good. But it all becomes rather laughable when you consider that in a fraction of that time a hamster created the universe. And you thought atoms were cool.

‘Wait, but… what about all those other things on your bucket list?’ I intervened. ‘As far as I remember, there were quite a few things there. You didn’t seem to have a problem making up that list.’

‘Oh for crying out loud… I didn’t make that list. It doesn’t count.’

‘Right… so it’s like that, huh?’

‘Like what?’

‘That’s how you live your life. Your short, pathetic life.’ I had the knife in there and you bet I was going to thoroughly twist it.

Source: Neil Williamson

‘Hey! Watch it’ he tried, but it was more like the growl of the cornered beast rather than a full-blown warning. So I pushed on.

‘You could achieve greatness. And by the gods, you have a lot to live up to! Yet you choose to live your life by someone else’s lists? I mean, what do we even know about these guys making up must-do lists? For all we know, they might even be people. For fuck’s sake, B!’

I paused for dramatic effect. Also because I knew from experience that it would be a lot harder to avoid a punch when distracted by having to deliver some inflammatory rhetoric. To my surprise, Bifidus sat still, deep in thought.

What followed was a bit like having to learn how to walk for both of us. Our thoughts treaded lightly, careful as to not place too much weight on either cognitive leg, lest the thin ice of reasoning should crack beneath us.

Source: PJ Nelson

We came to the conclusion that, since nobody seems to have thought this whole purpose of being thing through, one really has only two ways of dealing with the situation. You can either live your life in a stream of consciousness sort of fashion, a collection of alternating sensations, dazes, giggles and vomit-inducing bouts of hysteria; or go for a more structured, classical approach and establish a plot for yourself.

Now, clearly, plots are not an easy thing to conjure up. Some people have this idea that plot is simply something in one’s everyday life that goes a bit… wrong. Of course, these people are idiots, and we shouldn’t be distracted by traces of truth running through their argument when dismissing them with a most haughty wrinkling of our sky-ward pointing noses.

Plots, in fact, are what happens in the golden hour of an author’s creation cycle between his or her feverish weeks of thinking up a web of remarkable scenes and characters, and the subsequent years of self-doubt, self-hatred and self-induced writer’s block because ‘really, who would want to read this shit, anyway?’

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