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Chronicle of the NonPop Revolution

Ancient Irrelevance

by Matthew H. Fields (a.k.a. The Doctor)

February 22, 1998

     The Heretic, having retired from a long and satisfying career dowsing for gravity and thus determining the appropriate digging locations for gravity wells, had visited every physical dimension, region of reality, value of Omega, nook, cranny, and suffix. In each of these places, he had found lurking components of Ancient Authority, and he had battled a battle of wits, badgers, and mud pies with all established modes of art, science, philosophy, phylogeny, and philandery. Such was his thoroughness that despite his advanced age, he often passed himself off as a meticulous though sadly anorexic little girl--for just a few minutes at a time, at least. Everywhere he went, he found mud pies, mud pies, mud puppies, hush puppies, guppies, and suffixes, and buried deep in the corners in between them, where only an utterly rational deductive person such as himself could detect them, he found telltale signs of Ancient Indoctrination. With rapier-like wit, accompanying himself at the piano in the modern triadic manner so anaethema to Ancient Authority, and keening in parallel fifths, he set out into the mountains north of Tiajuana one day and eradicated every trace of the spiritual miasma of Chthulu until he had beaten it back, out of Vons Supermarket, out of the game of bridge, out, out, out for all to see, until it had retreated into the one remaining frontier: Cyberspace.

     And so, on a dusty morning in the mystical year of 1993, he set out to modify his '87 Rambler by adding a seven-year-old Macintosh computer which he promptly interfaced with the Pacific Ocean, through a cable made of coral and sea shells, for which the ocean charged him a flat monthly rate. Verily, he had opened a sea shell account, and in so doing, had converted the Rambler, the Macintosh, and the C shell interface into a mighty flying fortress of a cyberspaceship.

     Without batting an eyelash, he started the machine up and embarked on a tour of cyberspace, using his handy Captain Midnight Binhex Decoder Ring to decode the sudden influx of Non-Macintosh Information, and thus to navigate his vehicle. And indeed, all around him he saw that cyberspace was awash in foul breezes, poopy babies, mangoes, perfessers, pugil sticks, skunk cabbages and kings, Hatters, tortoises, croaks, slippery butter, and dodgers, all, all, all in the Thrall of The Strange and Ancient Demented Pathological Liar, The Wicked Doctor Terwilliker, whose evil doings have been so thoroughly exposed by the Good Doctor Seuss. Indeed, he found them following one of Terwilliker's key dictums: "Practice makes perfect." They were so intent on practice that they imagined Musical Theory to be interwined with it. And like Mrs. Collins in Seuss's expose, they were all quite brainwashed by Terwilliker. But unlike Seuss's 500 little boys whose 5000 digits prestidigitated on a single digital musical instrument, their collected digits consoled themselves communally creating crosstalk upon computational consoles.

     "Begone", he cried, "Theory is synonymous with understanding!" A chorus of virtual voices glanced his direction, saying a single word in Lower Asciian: "huh?" "Begone", he cried again, and again, and again. "I am the Heretic, and as I have explained in a million words, the Ancient Theorist is Ancient Bunko. He leads you down false pathways of pluralism and practice! I am here to save you, I, the Heretic, with the One True Theory, the Triadic Theory of Disputational Distortion!"

     Weeks of his onslaught stretched on into months and eventually years. At times it seemed he was winning, as he cyburnished his bionic sword throughout cyberspace, cutting through threads of discussion. He valiantly offered up his own ettiquette as a substitute topic of discussion to the exclusion of all others, thus distracting thousands from their Indoctrinated Discussions. But one day, suddenly the tide turned. And a big tide it was, the Pacific Ocean creeping up his C-shell interface like a giant moth. For the host of Ancient Indoctrinees had pronounced him harmless and kooky, and went back about its business, all but ignoring him. The lack of attention was tantamount to censorship! Well, he would teach them a few things about censorship. And while he was at it, he would teach them a few things about harmlessness, too.

     And so he returned to the cybertrenches, redoubling his effort to bring all Ancient Irrelevance to a halt. He took the battle to their turf. He called them names. He attacked their spelling. He attacked their choices of e-mail addresses. He said self-contradictory things to confuse them, then he demanded that they prove that he'd contradicted himself, and to put teeth in that, he threatened them with copyright suit should any of them actually quote his words. He derided them. He derided their educations as irrelevant. He derided their educational institutions as He derided their musical productions as worthless. He didn't need to hear a note of their music to know this. And indeed he never did hear a note of their music, for he had his Theory, and he Understood, and they did not. He concocted certificates of Ancient Indoctrination and affixed their names to them. He wrote plays likening himself to Alice in Wonderland.

     But lo, they ignored him all the more. In rage, the valiant crusader wrote graffiti all over Cyberspace declaring his animousity for Terwilliker, and warning all not to have any truck with the Wicked Doctor T lest they lose their abilities to comprehend his One True Theory, for verily, Terwilliker was illogical, whereas he, the Heretic, was not only logical, but deductive!

     But alas, he was ignored, except for a young intrepid netizen who turned to him and said: "Perhaps you need to brush up on so-called 'Ancient theory'...This need is most often exemplified by the terror of incomprehensibility that you project out onto the world of music theory." And with this, our hero's will was broken, for, in a cruel twist of the strange logic of Cyberspace, he had been flamed. Quite crisped, in fact, in a delicate sauce, more precisely known as le flambeau oriange. Grappling frantically for a dagger with which to parry, he brushed one roasted mit against the dashboard of the cyberspaceship, accidentally and inexplicably causing the Ancient Indoctrinated Delco to spring to life, bringing to his ears the melifluous beat of WGDR 91.1 FM, Kalvos and Damien's New Music Bazaar, also found in cyberspace via