27th of June, 2021
Almost every time I have ever written the name "Fitzgerald" (which doesn't happen especially often, although I am known to occasionally praise Ella) I mistype it as "Fitzgerland". Even now, when writing out the above, I had to go back to correct Fitzgerland. I have no idea how this muscle memory developed, but it is normally the example I use to illustrate the curious speech impediment that impedes only my typing and not my speech. I think the reason that I use this example is that it is slightly less embarrassing, usually, than describing the second regular error I make: Minceraft. Almost every time I have ever written the name of this game (a similarly rare event—I have never played the game) I call to mind the now inevitable vivid image (inevitable by its repetition) of an intrepid sailor braving choppy waters on a haphazard floatation device made out of ground beef mince. A few years ago, before I had listened to this soundtrack, this would have been an inconsequential amusement. Now, and increasingly, it is beginning to influence in tiny ways my wider thinking.
In some hypothetical and eternal congress of innumerable bureaucrats, one small derangement in a marginal figure—some sort of subclerk—begins subtly to produce anomalies in the behaviour of his colleagues. Every morning at 9 o'clock he hands a courier a set of documents and a fluttering, imperceptible frustration is visible in the corners of his mouth and the wrinkles of his knuckles. The imperceptibility of this gesture is crucial. The courier has not noticed, but he has been changed by the gesture. In his heel, there is a diminished sense of urgency and pride in his work. A series of these imperceptible signs, impossible to trace except by the divine oversight of my authorial dictatorship, spreads among the many billions of fastidious workers. As the months and years go by and the machinery of the congress continues in its blind operation of procedure, it is changed. The cultural shift was too slight to be noticed by any one of the bureaucrats, but in an audit many centuries hence, long after the death of the original degenerate actor whose crimes will never be known to the subsequent generations he has doomed, it is discovered that the meanings of certain words—crucially important legal nomenclature—no longer correspond exactly with the way the words are used in everyday conversation. The perfect machinery of the constitution is now irreversible fucked. Procedures become de facto, common practise and ad hoc solutions are shoehorned into the creaking cancerous melange to stop everyone involved losing their minds and descending into a primal madness.
The Minceraft soundtrack reminds me, and most people, of Erik Satie. I happen to like Satie a lot, I may even love his work. Sometimes, when I think about Satie, the image of the frightened man in the tempest clinging to that pink meat flashes by, and this morning I managed to catch it on its way and interrogate it. The line of questioning leads me here, to this self-evidently mental piece of writing. Satie was of profound importance to John Cage, who is of profound importance to me. In what I generously call my organic philosophical system, Cage figures in some important way—a profound and deeply rooted influence that touches everything, probably, at least a little bit. At some point, the single incorrectly encoded gene of Minceraft may cause a gross chromosomal malfunction that leads first to the complete shutdown of Satie and then to Cage, and perhaps then to everything else. Of course, in the moving parts of the congress, the final tumour does not resemble the cancer that causes it. Just as the subjective qualia I associate with the smell of cumin does not in any way resemble or even abstractly represent the loose arrangement of material particles that constitute the spice as an object, neither will the final tragic picture of my gibbering madness be informed in any perceptible way by that image of the mince raft. There are only the inscrutable casual chains of corruption.
I have yet to identify the malignant influence that "Fitzgerland" is wrecking on my psyche. It might be better if I never know.