Chuck your muck

January 13th, 2014, 3:14 am

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Reply TheCatMolloy, January 13th, 2014, 4:31 am

Chuck Palahniuk describes his own work as 'transgressional fiction', so the horribleness is an intentional style element. He writes about bitter, powerless people, and seems more interested in explaining why they are the way they are than in bringing them to any sort of redemption. The narrator/protagonist goes along with whatever's happening to them and makes cutting, darkly humorous observations while being unable or unwilling to steer their own story. Then they abandon us at an ambiguous turning-point in the narrative, and the book ends. If we believe things are going to get better for them, then it's our own damn fault.

Palahniuk's an interesting author, but not exactly uplifting.

EDIT: Perhaps predictably, Cosmo the Quote Bunny gave us a Chuck Palahniuk quote to accompany this strip - "Deliver me from Swedish furniture. Deliver me from clever art...May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect."

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Reply Rob (Guest), January 13th, 2014, 4:48 am

sounds familiar Sounds a bit like Stephen Donaldson. DOOM DOOM DOOMITY DOOM DOOM DOOM DOOMITY happy DOOM DOOM DOOM happDOOM

Reply TheCatMolloy, January 13th, 2014, 6:10 am

Haven't read any Stephen Donaldson, what's his best book?

I've only read Fight Club, Survivor, and the short story 'Guts' by Palahniuk, but the from those and stuff I've heard, his meta-narrative seems to be "Hey! Here's a shitty person in a weird circumstance! Let's see how they came to that circumstance, and along the way find out why they're such a shitty person! Hey! It's because of all these other shitty people and the shitty society that shat them out!"

Some of it's quite funny, but it's a very dark outlook on life. His shitty people are Really Shitty People, and over the course of the book they're humanised without really becoming any less shitty. It's good reading, but he's deliberately trying to be 'transgressive' and it shows.

Apparently he's doing satirical horror stuff now, so his more recent stuff might be a bit lighter in tone, I haven't read it.

Reply GabrielsThoughts, January 13th, 2014, 8:04 am

Fight club: the movie, and Memento both seemed to imply there was room for improvement in a nihilistic world where the protagonist learned nothing over the course of a few hours save that he was absolved from any crime by virtue of the fact that he was mentally defective in some way. I suppose the moral in such stories is ambiguously stated as whether you fail forward or fail forward fast, it's alway's someone else's fault... and they are going to die. Those books could very well be the works of a omnicidal maniac and we'd never know.

I assume most people have been clerks, secretaries, or cashiers at some point in their life. As such, that sort of character would be easiest to identify with. Second easiest to identify with would be a scholar, or student, which is basically a clerk.

Also, as far as group dynamics are concerned 48% of the population interact with only one other person on a regular basis in their daily lives 22% interact with four or more 19% with 3 or more, and 11% with two or more. Less than 1% interact with five people in a group experience so if anyone asks you "how do you know if you can get along with anyone? And, telling them you can get along with anyone, mentioning your track record, or arguing that you follow a person centered approach to social management, and belting off a list of techniques developed by Dale carnegie and Carl Rogers don't pan out, you can always use statistics. Granted, the statistics are more than 30 years old, but that hasn't stopped politicians from using them.

If you're only going to spend half your day interacting with one person and 1% interacting with five or more, I think it would be nearly impossible to have a situation where you couldn't resolve a conflict indefinitely if not temporarily.

Reply Aderis (Guest), January 13th, 2014, 10:13 am

A nice surprise? I stop reading for a good while. I come back, and I see Neko smoking. Just like the good old times.

Reply TheCatMolloy, January 13th, 2014, 11:13 am

@Aderis: These are just little one-shot things. Effectively, Whitespace Neko doing standup. It's not quite filler, but it's not what we were doing before the break. We've dropped the strip numbers and given Neko back his cigarette to reflect this.

Not making any promises regarding the update schedule, though. Keeping it as a hobby.

Reply VictorB, January 13th, 2014, 3:44 pm

I was always wondering what Neko did before burning himself....

Reply GabrielsThoughts, January 13th, 2014, 6:52 pm

I assume he worked as an agent for the R.I.P.D. then sold the rights to G vs E and was reincarnated into a digital mouse chaser or virtual pet.

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