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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution

The Essay
Show #200
The Decamillennium Show
David Gunn

Like a school of flounder that had en masse flunked social studies, the words gradually swam into focus on the visi-screen cold and oblique. In an aerosol cabin that blithely floated six feet off the ground deep in the New Hampshire desert, Beano Bengaze studied them, trying to get a sense of their meaning. Occasionally, one fish would bump into another, and he would recognize the consequent outburst of language as Algonquin High Doggerel, but otherwise the words made about as much sense as had been left in the coin tray of the 1949 DeSoto roadster on exhibit in the Klondike Locomotive Museum. Beano turned down the contrast on the monitor. Immediately, the blocks of text blurred into the familiar image of a fogdog, and even gave off the friendly aroma of cedar, rust and tincture of Anbesol. Nevertheless, a satisfactory interpretation eluded him. Beano summoned Weasel Slayer, the bi-nosal ancestral spirit who frequented his chimney, but the spook refused to speak, choosing instead to look on in bemused silence. The apparition plopped down on Beano's upholstered armoire and accidentally bumped the visi-screen. The image changed again, this time to four chanteuses from the Ural suburbs animatedly crooning Russian Revolutionary songs in period costumes. For a person accustomed to -- indeed, weaned on -- the bizarre, the message's fishy meaning continued to baffle Beano.

But then Weasel Slayer, clearly weary of his apprentice's mental discombobulation, leapt up and pantomimed the word Fibonacci, and a light bulb clicked on in the Bengaze brain. The Fibonacci continuum, of course, is a string of numbers which, when puréed in a food processor on which is painted a facsimile of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" along with August Möbius' topological probability sequence, tends to dispute the First Law of Fractal Mathematics by a factor of ... well, a heck of a lot. And when Beano scanned the peculiar piscine pictographs into his Fibonacci-o-meter, the previously random blocks of text suddenly transmogrified into 200-character data chains. As Weasel Slayer and the fogdog watched, the musical shaman-for-hire grouped the linguistic data into neat statistical blobs, which in turn coalesced of their own free will into 200-step algorithms. Beano noticed that the fish, too, were now hovering at the edge of the screen in 20 scaly cliques of ten each in a subliminal parody of a Rorschach test for whales. Listening more closely to the words, he detected a speech pattern that repeated after strings of 200 glottal stops. He glanced back at Weasel Slayer, but his chimerical mentor had abruptly vanished, leaving behind only a briar meerschaum pipe on which 200 basso relievo nymphs with timpani seemed to be dancing the fandango.

The recurrence of the number 200 was not lost on Beano Bengaze, and he began to look for some significance in it. The distance from the attic to the fogdog kennel was 200 paces, there were 200 steps listed in the manual to assemble a tokamak, his largely unpronounceable nickname given him by the Council of the Skull of Montovani contained 200 syllables, and he had an even 200 payments left on his supercharged Harley Wingback.

But perhaps of more immediate interest to you, our listening audient, is the fact that today is Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar Decamillennium show, the 200th in a continuing series. And while our gala radiophonic festivity is geared proportionally smaller than those of the upcoming Y2K computer disaster celebrations, we feel it is no less significant, nor potentially calamitous. And while Kalvos is not here to bask in today's intrinsic two-hundredness, opting instead to share wine and cheese chitchat with the Czechoslovak musicati, his spirit, as Weasel Slayer's does not, herein lingers.