Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Personal / Writing / Letters /
an email to my son
who already knows that I wrote fiction as my primary ambition from 1948 to 1990 without ever getting any of it published. I figured that was enough and turned exclusively to the kind of writing you see at Knatz.com and Macroinformation: which further earns me not one cent. But I’m a writer. That’s what I said I’d do. That’s what I do do. Paying me isn’t up to me: beyond half a century of rejected submissions.
Used to be I’d think of story ideas and think maybe I’d remember them someday when I was being less lazy, less cautious, suffering less accedia. Most of those where lost as ideas by my twenties. Then I’d scribble or type very brief notes. The Model [First Week] had been mentally filed and had had fulcra jotted well before I actually sat down and typed “All right, What’s next?”
This past decade-point-three I’d commenced no fiction. King was the last “finished”; Primitive Access was the last with any kind of a complex beginning begun. These days I do keep a data base in which I jot story notes: most of that impulse gets siphoned off into expository or satirical ideas for Kdot.com. Essays, narratives, instead of woven fictions.
But a story formed itself in my mind at breakfast that I think I’ll share with you, scribbling an email first, then moving it to the db.
The Five Minute Lottery of One Thousand Cuts
You know my shtick about law and enforcement and perceptual thresholds: action triggers. I last articulated it after seeing Minority Report. The cops predict a murder at an address at a time. They’re there. They watch idly as the husband goes to work, as the wife prepares for a lover, as the lover arrives, as the two go to the master bedroom, as the husband comes home for his whatever he forgot, as the husband practically pukes and wets himself as the wife and lover go at it. Nothing is a crime here until the husband picks up a scissors and stabs somebody. Now the police move in and arrest him.
The cops watch the capitalist cheat the laborers, then move in when the laborers freak out. The cops watch citizens abused by banks, then move in only when the cheated john goes berserk …
So this idea is about the absurdity of human justice and about thresholds: thresholds of perception and of action.
Does the manual actually have exactly 1000 cuts prescribed?
That’s neat because the hero who arrives to rescue his beloved just too late then applies the cuts to the torturer, leaving the last till last.
I know my son can decypher some of my abbreviated references, see the flower in my two-letter symbols. The random visitor will need to work, probably won’t; the fan will be rewarded: with understanding.