By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on May 17, 2013
To the Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes,
The events of this last fortnight have been very difficult to bear. We are losing. Hopes and morale are low.
I’m sure that news has reached the old town by now, so you’re bound to know; the government can’t help but use this as an opportunity to pacify those who don’t think so much and frighten those who think enough for two. What you won’t know are the noble details. Flo Gotsam, the old blacksmith, joined the resistance a while back. You knew that, didn’t you? He’s always been a firm supporter of true liberty– none of this pseudoliberty that is being thrown around like a good idea in an advertising office. He served the resistance and the people as one of our finest message interceptors and decryptors. Well, he was captured a couple of weeks ago. We’re still thoroughly at a loss of how they found him out as he is more elusive than most of us, and he is known for covering our tracks so well that some of us didn’t know about some of our own main operations until he told us specifically.
We were unsure of what exactly had happened to him except that we were certain he had been found out; we had to move our headquarters to another location just in case (I’m sorry I took so long to write you; moving typewriters and telegraphs during unearthly hours of the night and trying not to be found out during the day has occupied most of my time since Flo went missing).
It was announced last week in the Southshire Gazette that the “Rebellion’s First Traitor Caught and to be Publicly Executed Friday”. We knew it was Flo. He looked awful, but he still had the light in his eyes. Even they couldn’t take that away from him. Even now the image haunts me.
Some of us decided that we would be there for Flo, in his last moments. We daren’t try a rescue; we didn’t have enough manpower to pull it off, anyway. There was quite a crowd assembled in Southshire Square, and all to see a rebel to “liberty” meet his just desserts. We interspersed ourselves throughout the crowd so as to avoid detection, and we waited. Stolid-looking men with an air of authority stood in the center of the town square to give eloquent speeches of how our country has weathered several centuries of traitors like Flo who would sell their liberty for money or power. They riled up the crowd so much that I’m surprised they didn’t mob and kill Flo when he entered the square.
When the propaganda-spreaders had done their work, a hush came over the crowd; everyone was watching and waiting for Flo to come forth for his execution. A creaky door opened in an old three-story stone building situated near where the firing squad was set up (which was up on a platform so that all in the square could distinctly see). He was ragged, and he was in chains; manacles embraced his wrists behind his back, his ankles so that he couldn’t run, and his neck. One could feel the glare of the crowd upon him, and all was silent except for the click-ey-clink of his chains as he trudged toward his death
I was situated near the front of the crowd near the steps he was to ascend up to the top of the wooden platform. His eyes met mine, and we both gave one another a sort of sad half-smile. He stopped, still staring at me, as if to say, “Do not worry, my friend. This is just a step nearer to heaven for me.”
A soldier aimed a blow to his back so as to get him moving again. After getting back up on his feet (it was quite the blow), he took one more half-grinning glance at me and began to ascend the stairs. It was all I could do not to push the crowd aside and start shooting wildly (we all keep sixshooters hidden on our persons– just in case), but what happened next kept me dead still; the entire crowd was still: Flo began to sing, the chains he wore making an eerie orchestra against the wooden stairs as he slowly crept up them.
Nearer, my God, to thee; nearer to thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me.
It was all I could do not to let the tears fall; a citizen crying at the sight of a traitor meeting his death would be suspicious. Do you know what’s funny about the situation, though? The soldiers didn’t do anything to Flo as he sang. I was certain they would give him a blow to his head or shoot him on the spot, but it’s as if they just stood, unsure of what to do, unsure of what they felt they were doing.
Still all my song shall be– nearer, my God, to thee!
Nearer, my God, to thee. Nearer to thee.
Flo ascended the last step and began to make his way toward the end of the platform opposite the firing squad as he started another verse– and his chains, oh his chains!
There let the way appear, steps unto heav’n
All that thou sendest me, in mercy giv’n.
Angels to beckon me nearer, my God, to thee!
Nearer, my God, to thee. Nearer to thee.
As he turned to face the firing squad, a soldier offered him a blindfold. He waved it away and stood firm– a sight to behold– an abused, bloodied old man with fire in his eyes enough to set the country ablaze, staring down the guns of his oppressors as he sung the last words he would ever sing, this time a capella, sans the chains:
Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky– a solitary tear escaped his eye and dropped to the wood below his feet.
Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upward I fly– the captain of this particular band of soldiers gave the order to ready their weapons.
Still, all my song shall be– Some of the guns quivered; I know not all of the soldiers believed Flo to be a traitor.
Nearer, my God, to thee– “Aim!” the captain continued. Nearer, my God, to thee!–
The guns sounded like a thunderous death knoll, the smoke ejected like spurts of angry flame, and I don’t think I will ever be able to rid myself of the lack of resolution– the lack of the final words– that song now has in my mind.
In the midst of all this, with morale so low, with so many failures we have seen, I feel a little nearer to heaven myself. Sadness can do that to a person, if he lets it.
When will I see you again, my dear? When will this end?
I love you. Forever, even if I don’t get to whisper those words to you ever again.
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on May 3, 2013
Even as regular society deteriorates around us, I believe that there is a piece of the world that will never decay but will stand as an island of refuge, safety, peace, and purity, ever-shrouded by the clouds of the disintegration of the common mind. We must cling to this society even as the rest of culture drifts away to enveloping and perpetuating darkness.
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on May 3, 2013
As I was contemplating whether or not I should see a new film with some friends– a film whose predecessor tells me that I should be wary– a film whose predecessor is loved and adored by hundreds of millions of people worldwide– I decided to check the content rating and specific reasons why it was rated thus.
It turns out that I won’t be seeing this film today– or ever. There are too many people in their underclothes along with a few other things. What bothered me most was that I found this:
Most of the sexual content is aimed to have comedic implications.
Is funny sex somehow supposed to be more acceptable than sex portrayed by itself?
Sometimes I wish Kim Jung Un would make good on his threats and get this world over with.
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on May 2, 2013
One might say that my tendencies are a little dated. A little antiquated, even. After all, I’ll be the first to admit that I rightly ought to have been born in the 19th century and married a 19th-century British lass complete with overdone (but striking) hair and fluffy (but striking) dresses and an overabundance of beautiful (and striking) vocabulary and intelligence.
Some of my tendencies are “antiquated” in the sense that I haven’t yet learned enough from them to move on from them, but they are contrariwise quite modern, as you will read (below):
One such is my tendency to become distracted with whatever glorious project I have before my face. When I’m working on my computer at home, this is very easy to do seeing as how I have one of a half dozen projects to choose from at any moment and four monitors to work on the said half dozen doozies.
Lately I got a hankering for a working antique adding machine– you know, the fully mechanical ones with 81 digit keys and a lever? I discovered that they’re not particularly in high demand on eBay, so the price is very agreeable. I found one in excellent condition dating pre-1930 (everyone knows that most collectibles from about 1945-ish and later aren’t collectibles at all but are merely overpriced excuses for not wanting to build things like they used to pre-1945). I decided that this adding machine was going to grace one of my desks in my study downstairs. I therefore added it to my eBay “watch” list and went about my work, happily furthering my updated nerdology.org theme (which will go live here within a few hours, by the way), singing and replacing words in paltry songs with the name of Julie, and sipping Powerade from a high-quality plastic bottle.
Suddenly it hit me. The last time I checked eBay, there were about 45 minutes left. It had certainly been about that long, but then I never received a notification on my smartphone stating that there are only fifteen minutes left to the auction. Certainly eBay’s binary wouldn’t forget to do that… would it?
It did. When I clicked on my eBay tab in Google Chrome, I found the thrillingly blood-red letters ticking down the time: 11 seconds left.
Now, when you read the common onomatopoeia gasp, you probably rarely understand the weight associated with that gasp– the sorrow or excitement or adrenaline or surprise. I want you to thoroughly contemplate the following gasp before you read any further after it. I want you to soak up that gasp. I want you to view it in its full horror, terror, and mire.
“Gasp!” I gasped as I frantically moved my mouse’s cursor to the “Place Bid” button and clicked it as if clicking it would put diamonds in my vault in Zurich.
“Nooo, nooo, nooooooooo!”
Of course, anyone familiar with bidding on eBay knows that clicking that button isn’t enough; there’s a secondary confirmation window that comes into view wherein the bidder must type his or her maximum bid, meaning that if anyone else bids for less than what he or she set the maximum bid for, their account will place an automatic bid for something like $1.00 more than the other person’s bid.
After what felt like an eternity, “$55.00″ was typed out as my max bid. But this was not the end! With only five seconds to spare, I still had to click the “Confirm Bid” button. My mouse felt like it was made out of lead, but somehow I managed to click the button just in time for the page to refresh with a beautiful message in green at the top stating “You won this auction.” I could have cried.
I realized that I hadn’t been breathing and decided to inhale once again.
And that is the story of how I came to obtain a working 1928 Burroughs Portable adding machine with full adding, subtracting, and printing capabilities for only $19.95 (plus an understandably hefty shipping fee)!
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on April 17, 2013
The World wants a person to bow. To integrate. And to become part of the Mass of Culture.
The World would disintegrate those who will not integrate.
Above all else: do not integrate, even if it kills you.
Even more importantly, do not interpret this message as one of the millions of messages spattered across the interwebs that attempt to give a person excuse to let go of his or her dignity, nobility, purity, and virtue for some cheap return of glory or supposed individuality in the eyes of others. That’s just integrating– being like all the others. That is one of the greatest lies of our time: in order to be different, give away the virtues that define you, that build you. That’s what everyone else is doing; there is nothing individual about it.
Firstly, do not mistake the need for love as a necessity to integrate.
Secondly, do not mistake the need for individuality, creativity, and difference as an excuse to give away your dignity, your nobility, your purity, your virtue. It is in the trying to be different that so many people lose sight of the fact that they already were.
Lastly, individualism, creativity, and difference is much more simple than most people try to imagine to themselves. It has a lot to do with light. Pictures, music, literature, and style are common effects of this light, but they are often misconstrued as the light itself; it’s important to note that often these forms of “art” today can very often stifle, douse, and eventually extinguish that light.
Be careful, though: if a person tries to disconform from every piece of pre-existing thought, he will be attempting to destroy himself, and he will succeed. Rather, he ought to find a Light that is greater than he, and then he ought to hold to it eternally.
If you could truly talk to another soul– not in the shallow way we often communicate with even our dearest friends– you would find many broken, hidden things. But you would find beauty there.
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on April 11, 2013
In lieu of my recent displeasure with Carl’s Junior’s mode of advertising, a PR person responded to me, and this response apparently was kinder than the responses others have received; it also sported a promise to forward my request up the line. In hopes that we may have redress, I share their response with you, loyal readers.
If you’re one of those people who consider themselves “forward thinkers”, you might raise your finger at me in a philosophical way as you push your glasses up your nose and tell me with condescension that Carl’s Junior has every right to advertise themselves however they want; I will push your glasses farther up your nose and tell you that you are correct. I will further tell you, however, that I have every right to be displeased with any company who vies for my patronism, and I also have the right (and the duty) to invite them to alter their methods or else say farewell to my money. Surely even the forward thinkers of the world can wrap their heads around the fairness of that as they kick and scream about the fairness of everything else. I won’t go into morals here, though, because the forward thinkers of the world have all but done away with them except for murder and similar extremes, and we the people can’t use them as grounds for reform anymore.
Now, for the response. As I anticipated, their vocabulary replaces our common words of “sexually stimulating”, “immoral”, and “inappropriate” with the much more positive “creative” and “entertaining content”. You see, apart from the hard-core pornographees, nobody is going to watch anything that’s “immoral” or “inappropriate”, but everyone loves creativity and entertainment as long as the media tells them that that’s what it is! Just rip the “POISON” label off of the bottle and print out a billion colorful “A BOTTLE O’ FUN!” stickers, and you’ll be able to kill off a billion families in a week and be all the richer for it, especially if you pay off the People in Charge to cover it up for you with shouts of “Rights!”, “Freedom!”, “Entitlements!”, “Tolerance!”, and, somehow, “Global Warming!”.
Oh, and I mean no offense to the people with glasses.
Dear Mr. Jordan Spencer Cunningham,
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us.
CKE Restaurants, Inc., owner and franchisor of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants, adopts a creative approach to our advertising. We do not aim to offend anyone with our efforts, but merely to offer entertaining content. We understand that not everyone may view our advertising the same way, so we respect all views and welcome all comments.
We regret that you were displeased with our advertising promotion. Your feedback is very important to us, and I have passed your comments on to our marketing department and senior management. Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.
[Name Withheld for Obvious Reasons]
Carl’s Jr. Guest Relation
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on April 9, 2013
I hate television and therefore never watch it, but I was alerted to this sad reflection on society and have decided to do something about it. I’m taking my burgers back! If you at all feel the same way as I do– and I love Carl’s Junior, and I love virtue and morality and cleanliness of mind– please have your voice heard by navigating to their website to log your own formal complaint. Please. My tasteless tastebuds and shrinking waistline are counting on you to help tasteify and expandify them.
Along with many others, I am thoroughly disgusted with your new “Mrs. Robinson” commercial. I have been a long-time fan of Carl’s Jr. and, between my own spending and allowing wealthier people than I to take me out to lunch and dinner, I have spent literally hundreds if not thousands of dollars at your restaurants. “Fan” is an understatement, too; for example, people have known me to say that “the Big Carl is proof that God exists and that He loves his children immensely.” However, this new commercial of yours is not only unnecessary but is only giving in to a relatively small but loud and obnoxious portion of the population who tend to love their lives sexualized. If you continue to air this and other such commercials, you obviously don’t want my business and the business of my family and friends– you obviously want only the business of people who can’t control themselves sexually. If this continues without redress, I will take my business elsewhere. I am very sorry that such a reputable chain has fallen to these moral depths, and I thought better of you.
And if you’re just going to tell me that you need creative license to advertise as you’ve told others I know, you might as well save the bandwidth because I’d rather not hear it. “Creative” my foot. That’s just an excuse. Your marketing minions have seen that sex sells all too well in this corrupted world of ours, and you’re giving in to that just like everyone else. It’s thoroughly unnecessary. I promise you that, despite all of the marketing hogwash that you’re fed by overpaid marketeers, you will be more of a successful chain without this kind of advertising.
I suggest you get back on track for the sake of your business and the sake of your many disappointed customers. I plead it of you– I want more Big Carls, and so does my family of nine and my vast network of friends. You don’t want the money that could be yours going to the local Arctic Circle chain, do you?
Regards, if any,
–Jordan Spencer Cunningham
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on March 29, 2013
My dearest Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes,
Your last letter has left me longing even more for home. You know as much as I do how fulfilling it is to be involved in such a worthy cause where I am at, but there is nothing to fill my life in comparison with the friendly familiarity of the old town, the soft peacefulness of the north meadow, the safe feeling of you by my side. But I suppose all of that has been shattered with this new mayor you’ve been writing about. I fear that our town has lost its soul and will never again be the same. Like you, I am certain that her appointment was planned by higher, federal powers, not commissioned by the good voters of our town. How many people exactly have gone missing? One of them joined the Resistance and is with me, but the others I’m certain have had something happen to them. Those people just don’t suddenly move to other countries like what’s been dutifully told you. The ones you mentioned were more liberal in their outcries against corruption, and it has cost them their freedom. Intelligence on our side has gathered some evidence that leads me to believe that they’re still alive, but they are not ever going to be the same if they survive. I’d rather not give you any other details. It saddens me just to know it.
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on March 24, 2013
While I was snuggling with Julie dog and contemplating, among other things, first the slow and inevitable demise that the United States and civilization as a whole are currently suffering, and then the things I could do to both prevent and escape it, it came to my mind again that not only my existence but the lives of just about every other citizen of all first world countries (and in some cases second and third world countries) are constantly being bombarded with information– “a whirlwind of words and opinions”– a significant portion of which is acrid and toxic, of course, but the bulk of this information is simply asphyxiating due to its overwhelming and useless nature.
By Jordan Spencer Cunningham on March 21, 2013
The time has come yet again for another edition of the Podcast Apparatus. This time round you may be slightly more entertained. On a subtly note, you may notice that I said the word “sweared”, which is, in fact, not a word at all, except in toddler vocabularies. On an ever subtler note (subtler is a real word, mind you), the prelude and postlude music I chose is very fitting for whose birthday was yesterday, and only Kyle Larsen will know what I mean here.
I know. Inside jokes are awful when they’re done on the outside. Bear with me.