I conducted this email with Theron Jacobs over email. You can find him on twitter @TPHD
Theron: PERSONALLY, I IDENTIFY WITH NOISE
C: So Theron, you’re a poet. There is a camp of video game studies that makes a claim for the autopoetic nature of gameplay–that is, they argue that radically new experiences come from the game-player assemblage. Can you explain this phenomenon?
T: CERTAINLY NOT.
AS A POET, MY JOB IS TO AVOID THE IMPULSE TO EXPLAIN.
(IS AUTOPOETIC DIFFERENT FROM AUTOPOIESIS? IM NOT FAMILIAR WITH THE TERM)
C: Nah, just the adjective form of autopoietic that I misspelled.
Are you a comics person? I heard you had some comic book projects in the works. Can you talk a little about comics and, if you do, why you like them?
T: I GREW UP READING CONAN AND 80’S X-MEN AND LIKE THAT. THEY WERE COOL, BUT I BECAME INCREASINGLY LESS INTERESTED IN THEM AS I ENTERED MY TEENS. MY RELATIONSHIP WITH COMICS COOLED UNTIL THE MID 90’S WHEN I SIMULTANEOUSLY DISCOVERED THINGS LIKE CHARLES BURNS’ “BLACK HOLE” AND MINICOMICS LIKE “MONSTER” FROM BRIAN RALPH.
BOTH WERE EXCITING, BUT MINICOMICS MORE SO.
THE IDEA THAT WITH AN EXTREMELY LIMITED BUDGET AND NO TOOLS SAVE PAPER AND PENCIL, I COULD PRODUCE SOMETHING EXCITING, NEW AND COMPLETE, IN A FORM SHAREABLE WITH OTHERS IS INSPIRING.
THE LOW BARRIER OF ENTRY IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE REASONS THE MEDIUM IS SO ATTRACTIVE TO ME.
I LIKE THAT I CAN START AND FINISH SOMETHING IN A SINGLE BURST.
IT’S DIFFICULT TO SUSTAIN MY ATTENTION PAST A SINGLE BURST, SO THIS IS CONVENIENT.
IT’S ALSO WHY I LIKE TWITTER SO MUCH.
C: It is interesting that you mention Black Hole–I recently read it a couple times and wrote about it on my blog. There’s a strange relationship between the content of that comic and the communal property of twitter–Black Hole is, at the bottom, about kids with diseases creating their own flawed communities. Twitter is sort of the same thing.
What do you think?
T: I CAN SEE THAT PARITY.
I JUST LOOKED UP THE WORD PARITY. I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS AND I WAS PRETTY SURE I WAS USING IT CORRECTLY, BUT I SOMETIMES LIKE TO VISIT THE DEFINITIONS OF WORDS. IT’S NICE TO SAY HELLO.
THE FIRST DEFINITION IS: THE STATE OR CONDITION OF BEING EQUAL, ESP REGARDING STATUS OR PAY
THE SECOND: THE FACT OR CONDITION OF HAVING BORNE CHILDREN
PICTURE ME PREGNANT AND SQUATTING OVER A SWAMP–THE SWAMP IS HUNGRY AND WANTS TO EAT MY CHILDREN BUT I AM FURIOUS AND CLENCHING. I AM CLENCHING AS HARD AS I CAN.
I DIDN’T COME TO TWITTER FOR THE PEOPLE, BUT IT WOULD BE DISINGENUOUS TO PRETEND I AM NOT PART OF SOME KIND OF COMMUNITY. I WAS ON TWITTER FOR A LONG TIME BEFORE I DISCOVERED OTHER PEOPLE BEING CREATIVE AND INTERESTING. AT FIRST, IT WAS ALL TECH PEOPLE, JOURNALISTS AND ENTREPRENEURS. I FOUND THEM FASCINATING FOR A WHILE. NOW THERE ARE LOTS OF INTERESTING FOLK.
I THINK THERE ARE A LOT OF UNHAPPY OR UNHEALTHY PEOPLE ON TWITTER AND THAT SOME OF THEM CONNECT ON THAT POINT, IF THAT’S THE ANALOGY YOU’RE MAKING.
I TOTALLY HAVE AN AGENDA ON TWITTER, BUT IT’S NOT COMMISERATION.
C: Oh that is interesting–what is your agenda? Give me THERON’S TWITTER MANIFESTO
T: IT’S A SECRET. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER DOT COM FOR IMPORTANT CLUES.
C: I already follow you on twitter.
Change of topic: tell me about music.
T: HOLD UP, IM GOING TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION LOL
I’VE ALWAYS HAD THIS IDEA THAT THE REALLY IMPORTANT THINGS I WANT TO COMMUNICATE TO OTHERS CANNOT BE CONTAINED IN WORDS.
I WANT TO CONVINCE PEOPLE TO PLAY MORE. TO LOVE THEMSELVES MORE. TO ACCEPT THEMSELVES.
I SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN MY YOUTH BEING PARALYZED BY ANXIETY AND NOW THAT I AM NOT, HELPING OTHERS TO ADJUST THEMSELVES FEELS IMPORTANT.
BUT I DON’T THINK IT HELPS TO EXPLAIN OR PROVIDE REASONS; I THINK ONLY DEMONSTRATION IS PERSUASIVE.
SO MY TWITTER AGENDA IS TO BE A PLAYFUL, RELAXED, ACCEPTING PRESENCE.
THAT’S MY MAIN AGENDA. MY SUB AGENDA IS “HORSE”
C: Lets play a Choose Your Own Adventure game
You wake up in a dark passageway. Wind whistles above your heard. Far ahead of you there is a pin prick of light. Behind you there is a growling.
What do you do?
T: >BEGIN GROWLING BACK
(I RAN THIS TXT ADVENTURE TWITTER ACCOUNT, BEFORE I GOT DISTRACTED BTW: https://twitter.com/TEXT_ADVENTURE)
C: Your stomach begins to growl with ferocity. The growling behind you gets closer. You still haven’t turned around. The pin point of light in front of you disappears when you blink.
T: >I CLOSE MY EYES AND RECITE THE LITANY AS I HAVE BEEN TRAINED TO DO (TPHD VS THE BENE GESSSERIT http://tphd.tumblr.com/post/8402458242/i-will-face-my-fears-i-will-permit-them-to-pass)
C: You feel a warm hand on your back. All sound ends. A hymn wells in your throat. Your eyes open. There is no darkness. Light emanates from each object; every atom, a sun.
You look behind you. Standing before you is a very old woman. I am your final mother, she says without moving her lips. Existence grows faint.
Do you reject the music of the spheres?
T: NAW, IM READY
C: A comical buzzer sounds. Red curtains fall from the ceiling. A man with a too-tight smile hands you a check.
Alright, one last question: what are your plans for the near future? Things in print? Zines?
T: COOL. NICE. FEELS LIKE I WON, EVEN THOUGH I GOT STUCK WITH THE BILL.
PROBABLY THE FIRST TO BE REALIZED IN THE REAL WORLD OF PHYSICAL THINGS WILL BE POSTERS, THOUGH. I KNOW PEOPLE WANT TO PAY ME MONEY FOR POSTERS AND THAT SEEMS LIKE A NICE THING.
EVENTUALLY, IM GONNA PRINT SOME POEMS INTO A BOOK.
MAYBE PEOPLE WANT TO GIVE ME MONEY FOR A BOOK OF POEMS AND THAT, TOO, SEEMS VERY NICE.
C: I probably want to give you money for a book of poems.