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Sub: Application for Clemency August 6, 2009

Posted by fungus in Uncategorized.
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Is it over yet? As in, has all that is to be said and done about this already happened and will every word written and uttered this point forth speak of “this” in the past tense? Or is there more to unfold in this tale of ours? In short, is there hope for us yet? Or are we done? More pointedly, are you done with me so completely that my not being done with you is, now, only of academic interest and that we are, in fact, done? History?

I ask, not from a lover’s point of view but from that of a writer’s – although, I would understand your confusion about the difference. Lovers aren’t allowed the luxury of knowing where their tales are headed. Theirs not to know the verdict on their existence. Theirs, only, to plunge blindly ahead. But, in my secondary role as my own chronicler I need to stay a little ahead of the curve.

As an author I have a responsibility towards my reader. My reader expects a plot, a variation in tempo, a twist in the narrative. Without that twist I am doomed. I am not a Dostoevsky who, with but a single emotion in mind could pen a classic like The Brothers Karamazov. And only too long has my story languished in the doldrums. What it needs is for a chapter to end and another to begin.

What would be best for the story, my readers tell me, is a little song and dance, some flowers and whole-hearted reciprocation of the professions of undying love we have already discussed in previous chapters. A lot of correspondence I receive from my adoring faithful complains of a feeling of being short-changed. Too long, they say, have I subjected them to dry spells of unrequited love on the part of our protagonist. The general trend the last few chapters have established is one of overall ineffectuality on his part. Our hero, it seems, runs a very real risk of being branded a Wuss.

Understandably, that was not the intention we started out with. When we began we had envisioned a Magnum Opus – the story of a Prince among Men, an Influencer of World Events, the Uber-Mensch Nietzsche spoke of. It is safe, now, to divulge that the story was supposed to pick up in his thirtieth year and, thereafter, he would have enjoyed the two most productive decades anyone has seen barring, perhaps, Einstein and da Vinci. We would never, explicitly, have spoken of The End and, after his fiftieth birthday, the narrative would have jumped to the next generation; kind of like how The Phantom is succeeded by The Son of The Phantom but the unsuspecting Public can never tell the difference. Such would have been our hero’s legacy.

In light of such an epic backdrop you can sense the chagrin of our readers seeing how the highlight of the last six years – certainly the entirety of our hero’s productive life – has been pining for a heroine they do not completely fathom. The blame, of course, lies squarely on the shoulders of this chronicler but, as I have pointed out previously, when protagonist and chronicler become one the waters of the narrative tend to muddy rather than clarify. It has been said that our hero seems in love more with a concept rather than an actual person and there is some substance to this charge.

In one of the ancillary volumes – to where we have relegated the less scintillating events of our hero’s biopic – we talked about how the two central characters have met only a handful of times and how most of the jolly back and forth has happened over, either, the telephone or the Internet. What we have neglected to mention, even in the secondary volumes, is how when our hero dreams of our heroine the dreams are, usually, about e-mails from here rather than of her in person. I will go so far as to reveal that he dreads these e-mails fearing that each may be the last.

This is no Internet Romance, however; in so much as it can be called a romance. There is substance to this below the, seemingly, non-descript facade. However, to exhibit the substance explicitly would be to undermine all that has been achieved thus far. The subtlety with which this Romance-of-the-Ages has played out has escaped all but the most discerning of my readership. And, surely, the reward for such insight cannot be for me to flush the subtlety down the proverbial drain.

All are in agreement, though, that our heroine is a keeper. The little we have glimpsed of her has been enough to convince all but the most ardent sceptics that our hero could not have found a worthier foil. There are hints of royalty in her blood – true royalty and not the, merely, titular, aspiring type – but not enough for her to lose the Common Touch. Her eyes, it is fabled, speak of mountain mists and ocean breezes, all at once. The wisps of her hair trail off as, surely, the manes of unicorns must. And to actually hear her speak must feel like being in the presence of God.

To try and answer the question of how our readers, or even our protagonist, know so much about the female lead of the series, who, to the casual reader, seems little more than a spectre till now, would warrant a lengthy foray into the art and science of subtlety, of smoke and mirrors and of Truth and Illusion themselves – an undertaking far too grand for a mere application for clemency, for that is all this humble piece of literature is. I ask you to trust me on this. For now.

And it isn’t only the feedback from the hitherto adoring masses that is giving me cause for concern. Of late the bulk of the communication from my publishers, restrained and deferential as it is, has been strained. And I understand only too well how this situation might be awkward for them.

When my original publishers had signed on to this project they had been assured of a handsome Return on Investment. Our hero had already established his credentials and they were only too certain that an episodic chronicle of his achievements fit all their equations. There was much nodding in agreement when the matter had come up before the Board. The verdict had been unanimous – their fledgling business had found its Cash Cow. A suitable liaison had been appointed and no more thought was given to it. After all, all said and done, over-achievers were a dime a dozen. Every publishing house worth its salt had a few to spare and, now, they had theirs.

It had been an over-zealous proof-reader who had brought it to the notice of his immediate superior who, in turn, informed his boss and so on so that, by a couple of weeks after the fact the entire company knew that the hero of their most successful franchise had found himself a love interest.

Not that that is so remarkable in itself. Why, even our hero, himself, had had a few dozen immediately preceding this. But this one read differently. It might be of interest to note, at this point, that the afore-mentioned proof-reader has, since, launched his own publishing house, outdoing his previous employers by several orders of magnitude. I only mention this now because this publishing mogul is soon to become a Person-of-Interest within this sequence of events.

Meanwhile, the original liaison was replaced by an Interface Team whose responsibilities now included monitoring the story, the subscription rates, reader feedback, market research designed to offer the biographer suggestions for developing the plot and, also, overseeing the dental and medical plans for the protagonist and maintaining his general well-being. They reasoned that, while they had a good things going, a solid romance could push the story into the realms of greatness. The proof-reader, the one I had mentioned earlier, quit to start his own publishing enterprise and brought in a team of Private Equity experts who, using complex methods of Debt-Restructuring, Balance Sheet Expression and Reverse Acquisitions, bought all the rights to The Franchise. The Interface Team came included.

Mr. Ex-Proof-Reader knew that he had gambled big on this one piece of Human Interest. He implemented measures that would help him monitor and protect his investment. Assessment Banks were set up to do real-time monitoring of the readership and public sentiment regarding our protagonist and his story. The leading lights in Public Psychology and Public Relations were employed to, respectively, figure out what sequence of events would best excite the masses and how these could be packaged. A discreet security detail was provided to the hero, without his knowledge or consent, and attractive and interesting women were discouraged from befriending our protagonist too much lest his attention wander.

Over time, these measures proved remarkably successful. Far from waning, public interest in The Story continued to grow. Marginal media like Twitter and Facebook came into the fore riding on the back of the largest ground swell of public sentiment since they discovered that the moon landing had been faked. This added to the sense of confidence of our young entrepreneur and, like all young, foolish men, he gambled bigger. Pledges were made, contracts signed and undertakings undertaken. Deals with the Devil, and other publishing houses, were made. Where it stands today is that, depending on where the main story goes from here, the publishing house of interest to us could, either, grow to become a juggernaut the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Department of Justice took such a dislike to monopolies or could crumble leaving a trail of destruction among Media, Investment Banks and Governments the likes of which we haven’t seen since, well, October 2008.

Our hero, meanwhile, continues to live an exemplary life. He is on the cusp of setting up a Food and Beverages empire. In the interim, he moonlights at a weekend job where, by all measures, he is a resounding success. My publishers, nonetheless, have cause for concern. The narrative, while nowhere near being a disaster, runs the real risk of being a has-been. Unless something momentous happens within it the public will just move on, not realizing the destruction their short attention spans could cause. They would find another fad to hang their eyelids on for the briefest moment. The next Facebook. Or Twitter. Or, gasp, even some MBA who fancies himself the next Cervantes.

And then there are the readers. What of them, you ask. Well, consider how most of them have grown up rooting for this Hercules of today. Imagine what learning you and I would have derived had the Aegean Stables flummoxed our hero in that tale. And then there is the entire class of people who have lived off the glory reflected off our protagonist. Their lives, should our hero fail in his endeavours, would collapse like Lehman Brothers.

Note how I ask you to spare no thought for the protagonist himself. He has no say in any of this. I hope I have resolved your confusion regarding the duality of my roles and you have seen how steadfastly objective I have been in keeping my roles insulated from each other.

Let’s take a minute to do a quick recap. At this point, what hangs in the balance are the careers and lives of thousands, if not millions, involved in the publishing industry and all associated fields like Finance and Media who have helped prop it up, the lives of the millions who depend on those already mentioned for food and sustenance, the billions of readers who hang by every turn of phrase our hero employs and the protagonist himself. No, scratch the protagonist.

I am sure the quandary is great and weighs heavily on your shoulders. But, being so closely associated with our protagonist has taught me two things. First, I never present problems I do not have solutions to. Secondly, I care deeply for your well-being. Keeping both these considerations in mind, I am happy to announce that I have a ready solution for this predicament.

I propose a December wedding – the kinds with lots of flowers but little pomp and show. A small, private affair with only the most close-knit in attendance. A honeymoon in New Zealand and an indefinitely long happily ever after.
The readers will never see it coming. Neither will Mr. Ex-Proof-Reader. And what little stock I hold in his company will soar through the roof and then some. What say?

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Comments»

1. Mags - August 6, 2009

Sub: Application for Clemency.
Status: Granted.

2. Allah will smite you... - August 6, 2009

“But, in my secondary role as my own chronicler I need to stay a little ahead of the curve (sic…sick!!)”

Your curve is an illusion waiting for tectonic plate to shift ‘neath you, shake the spoons in the kitchen and bring this yawn fest analysis to an abrupt yet volcanic and hence much much more exciting-than-this-narrative end. Do not tempt fate.

— To be contd. After all, i care about my writer.

3. ink - August 6, 2009

Nietzsche wouldn’t approve of the ending 🙂 but then between a lifetime of shared togetherness or a great story of unrequited love, mango people seem to prefer the former…(ref: lak)

in any case, good luck 🙂 clemency or otherwise…

Fungus - August 6, 2009

Thank you. And, OMG, I love the work at your blog. Loved the crayons most. Good show!

4. She - August 7, 2009

The lengths we go for TRPs. Tsk tsk!!! For all your well thought out, logical, reasoned out arguments, you resort to cheap tactics to keep your (handful) audience hooked. Good job, I trust you’ll go far.

5. Jesus WILL Excommunicate You - August 11, 2009

“What would be best for the story, my readers tell me, is a little song and dance, some flowers and wblah blah blaaaaaaah”

Yes, mothers are known to be active contributors to their little artists.

6. Moses will Admonish You - August 11, 2009

“you can sense the chagrin of our readers”

“To try and answer the question of how our readers, or even our protagonist, know so much about the female lead of the series, ”

Studies show that 80% of the people who spend 50% of their free time on the Internet are only looking free entertainment (henceforth defined as anything more exciting than watching a fly clean itself), failing the credit-card-code tests on porn sites, these sods often turn to blogs for vicariously sadistic pleasure and tag! You’re it!

*Btw, soon as i get my new masterfuckingcard code im off …will you miss me????

7. You Heathen Piece of Chickshit - August 11, 2009

P.S. I like the way you “mind read” the readers and maybe knowingly (although I think its more to do with grossly overrated self worth) ignore the more frequent questions that crop in our plebian minds viz. “are you ugly?” “why don’t you buy books?” “which villain taught you English?”

Fungus - August 11, 2009

Wow! You must be exhausted now. As must your English repertoire. Not to mention your religious one. You’ve completely failed to have me smote by Zoroaster, The Buddha and the like. Remind me to send you a tutorial in Comparative Religion to give you more ideas.

Of course I’ll miss you when you leave. When ARE you leaving, though? Readers have sent many mails asking this question.

Though, to give you your due, I am, indeed, ugly. And obnoxious in real life. Makes you think I should have been in Radio, no? A 20-something, cad who hides behind words and tries to be pompous on anonymous fora. Oh, oops 🙂

P.S. As long as this gives you kicks, feel free to keep commenting. I’m very democratic about the process.

Loki Will Lockjaw You - August 11, 2009

So stupid!

So all that you can glean from my very smart critique of your work is that I need to get academic panties and a dictionary. Wow! I guess your ilk has more respect for those who say things like “granted” in their comments, because with one single (albeit inane) response to the header they have managed to seem like they got the underlying meaning of your verbiage viz. essentially chicklit.

Casting aspersions about ones occupational pursuits is the easiest way to get back at anyone because at the heart of it, all jobs are indeed, meaningless and stupid when deconstructed. A bit like our “author” in his “publishing house.” I know a carpenter who makes miniature furniture and accessories for such make believe worlds……his last commission was a five-storeyed doll house, so i’m guessing you wont be much of a challenge.

Have patience and know the mobius strip of my knowledge.

8. Fungus - August 11, 2009

The “granted” of this world aren’t trying to piggy-back on my blog to gain personal notoriety, you see. And, you call your critique smart. Hmm.. There’s a poser. I can see you being mildly interesting face-to-face company, what with your witty quips and acerbic tongue. However, on a medium like this you’ll need intelligence that has some transcendence to be at all memorable.

“So stupid”, by the way, is a fantastic come-back. Right up there with, “Nancy, if you were my wife I’d drink it.” Bravo!

9. Mags - August 11, 2009

May I?
It seems some small sacrifice has to be made for greater good of the society.
I only have my credit card to offer-
5548 3700 0267 7933
CVV- 954

10. Isis Will Stupeify You (some more) (if it's possible) - August 11, 2009

Very funny!

Piggy back on your blog and appeal to precisely .000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of humanity. And I’m still looking for intelligent life on this little planet of yours.

So, you also want to use this shamelessly pink chicklit narrative as dating website ….dont think i cant see past your subtle (not!) expression of the desire to meet.

“on a medium like this you will need intelligence”???? Bwahahahahhaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! I like your little costume party. Is Big Bird making punch in the kitchen???? Is that your Einstein wig on the floor?????? C’mon honey, be honest! At least to yourself.

Mags…thanks for that….I’ll be checking its validity soon enough….seeing as I’m not getting any “notoreity” on this little island, might as well stack up on material comfort. Ebay here I come!!!

11. Horus will make holes in your pocket - August 11, 2009

P.S. Mags — How about furnishing me with the expiry date on your card…and issuing bank???? I will figure the Master or Visa out by myself! 🙂

12. Ouroboros Will Consume You...and Regurgitate - August 11, 2009

oH OH OH !!! Your blog you personally tagged as romance! It’s pointless defending this farce innit???? Bwahahahahahahahahahahaahahahhahahaahahahahahahahahahahahaaha
hahahahahahah!!!!

But dont give up just yet….I will want to kill it slowly and painfully. So do put up a lame fist in the air and make some grand gas Braveheart style (you probably watched it thrice anyway!)

Fungus - August 11, 2009

He he. I can almost picture you sitting there trying to un-knot your knickers. Ironic, considering you got them all knotted up yourself, in the first place. It is romance within this post – Mine and someone else’s. So, turn down the Intensity knob on your fantasy amp. Only enough place here for my delusions. Am sure there is enough riff-raff out there to make you feel as important as you think you are.
And you’re right, the longer you spend on my one post the more painful it becomes for all concerned. I’ve been recommended euthanasia for you but, I hear you have some bite left in you yet. Where it is, though, I don’t know. But I’ll give you the benefit of doubt. For now.

P.S. Have already covered the Braveheart rants earlier. Do some research before you turn up. Makes this blog sound very immature, otherwise.

13. Eos Will Annihilate You - August 11, 2009

Awwwwww!!!!! When is your period? Try ginger tea for PMS.

Research your encyclopedia of snoozies??????? Man I’m unemployed NOT suicidal.

Give me the credit details and I’ll be off sooner than you can say “Will she love me or not, I am thirty, making money but unwanted and trying to sound smart with a masturbatory blog.”

Oh! and btw! Just in case you’re there sitting in your mustard-ketchup-stained boxer, paunch making tea-tray, thinking this is romantic foreplay or some such (because I know your type does the entire Bridget Jones routine with “he’s so mean to me must be animal lust” thing)…then please banish the thought. I’m fifteen and yet ruling your arse.

14. Eos Will Annihilate You - August 11, 2009

Awwwwww!!!!! When is your period? Try ginger tea for PMS.

Research your encyclopedia of snoozies??????? Man I’m unemployed NOT suicidal.

Give me the credit card details and I’ll be off sooner than you can say “Will she love me or not, I am thirty, making money but unwanted and trying to sound smart with a masturbatory blog.”

Oh! and btw! Just in case you’re there sitting in your mustard-ketchup-stained boxer, paunch making tea-tray, thinking this is romantic foreplay or some such (because I know your type does the entire Bridget Jones routine with “he’s so mean to me must be animal lust” thing)…then please banish the thought. I’m fifteen and yet ruling your arse.

Fungus - August 11, 2009

Fifteen, eh? A simple reverse IP lookup tells me you’re approximately, 27, employed at such and such, with, evidently, not enough work. Is this what you’re hoping to do at the UN, eventually? Find random people’s blogs to get off on?

The credit card details have been mailed to you. Flit off, now.

P.S.: Couldn’t help posting twice, could you? I see premature ejaculation writ large all over your virtual face.

P.P.S. Nice, bringing the whole Bridget Jones reference into it. I hadn’t though of it that way yet. Hmmm….

15. Jade Emperor will Jab At You - August 12, 2009

So so stupid!

For one my word isnt gospel. The sky hasnt split just because my biological age isnt what it seemed like i claimed it was. (i can almost picture you doing a jig when you found out)

For two, with all your florid barbs at my mental (in)capabilities, i was simply humoring you by humbly acknowledging my mental age (you see im not the one pretending to be cool)

reverse IP !!??? Golly gee!!! And congratulations, in the true style of a chicklit heroine you have — tormented at coming face to face with your mediocrity — done what only a nancy from single in the city or some such pink-jacketed book would do. you had an extended conversation with your girlfriends at a coffee shop…snarled at the “bitch” who one-upped you at the office party …and decided to …in true kitty style “get the dirt” on the girl and use it to make for an amoeba-for-brains retort.

I was told id find a worthy opponent in you. unfortunately rather than stylishly analyse my critique and tear me apart for my own weaknesses therein revealed — like how i generalised your love story into just that and lost out on something truly grey-cell stirring; or how i have acute phobia of being typecast —….you did what all us girls did in high school…….sigh.

and about what i will do in the UN (and i thought i was unemployed, will you please tell me my blood type too?), well let’s just say i have smarter things on my agenda. Like playing with my Neopet Mondaymoo on superspeed internet ….it would certainly be more stimulating than this. I hope you get the girl. I’ll wait for the blog on wedding day jitters and how you made out with your ex flame and regretted it.. how the dress was too tight and the catering late,,….but in the end it all worked out…..after all, isnt that how all sex-in-the-city inspired narratives flow???

P.S.criticism when taken in the right spirit helps one improve. that is to say if one is mentally evolved enough to introspect. the acid test of the said evolution is to see if the criticised was able to escape the labyrinth of grandiloquent words and see the crux of the critique for it really was…. tsk! tsk!

16. nephthys - August 12, 2009

hmmmm and the last reply totally annihilates fungus. as an innocent bystander all I can now do is to sigh

17. radhika - August 14, 2009

sad endings are good as long as they are in books… or they happen in someone else life….. but when it comes to real life or should i say “our life”, we all want a happy ending.. Even if we are not important for the world and the so called normal love story would not make any difference to anyone, but it does make difference to our life. And as we know, we have only one life… n if its wasted in sorrows just to make a story to be remembered for ages, then you are almost wasted… In making a difference, you lost yourself, so what good that difference made to you… You can make yourself special to the world by doing other great works, which can keep you as well as others happy.. and its quite difficult for a broken heart to do that.The author here is just trying to pen down what he felt for someone special, and how beautiful he wants his life to be, with this special someone (even though it looks ordinary to everyone else) and he did it beautifully…….. Instead of looking it as just another story if you look upon it as someone’s feelings, i think u will have a better idea of what he wrote….
Its just how you see things……
great work….


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