(Please Don’t Sue Me.)
by Joe Buonfiglio
Right up front, I need to warn you that you should probably read this as quickly as possible. I’m using the MechaBetty artwork without permission, so this blog will probably be pulled off the server any minute now as the MechaBetty creators get the copyright-infringement lawsuit underway.
Goddamn intellectual-property rights!
And William Faulkner?
He’s dead, so fuck him.
Now, on with the show….
So last night (in relation to the time of this writing), I was in the studio of a local radio station to celebrate the successful conclusion of season one of MechaBetty during the broadcast of the weekly arts and literature program, The Blotter ‘Zine show, the radio progeny of The Blotter magazine. Along with a bounty of food and drink, the MechaBetty creators where there for a marathon of the show, as well as the radio-program’s hosts, the magazine-sponsors, a couple of musicians who seemed a bit confused as to why they were there and me, who was DEFINITELY confused as to why I was there.
I did bring cake, in case you were wondering.
Hey, funeral receptions and radio shows; you always bring cake. It’s just the right thing to do.
Anyway, MechaBetty is this delightfully absurd sci-fi web-based program that is completely modern, but performed and produced in a manner that simulates an old-fashioned radio-serial format; taken from any angle, it’s just fabulously creative.
And that’s the problem.
It’s passion-project shows such as this produced by “young Turks” with a clear vision and on an artistic mission that will create product that today’s instant-gratification generation will use to supplant the literary giants of old.
TRANSLATION: Goodbye, Faulkner. Hello, MechaBetty.
Now you have to understand; earlier that day I was having some fresh-brewed cups o’ Joe at my favorite coffeehouse with the editor of the aforementioned arts and lit mag (and co-host of the radio-show version) when he somewhat aggressively lamented the demise of the likes of Faulkner and Hemmingway and Wolfe and Sandburg at the hands of a generation unable to engage in face-to-face communication. And while we both agreed that this new breed of human instead opts to maneuver two thumbs across a virtual keyboard than do anything resembling conversing, we disagreed as to the implications this holds for Humanity overall. It is a generation that replaces courtship and romanticism with texting selfies of their genitalia to one another. He saw it as a bad thing. I just see it as the next phase for the air-breathing descendants of Bonzo past his bedtime.
Trying to recognize that just because the newest inductees into Club Big-Boy Pants communicate through the latest digital tools and not through pen-and-paper rotary-phone communications or, God forbid, in a manner requiring actual eye-contact, does not mean how they see the world is of any less value or validity than our years-enhanced view of Gaia’s House of Horrors. It is simply the next stage of evolution. We dinosaurs — and yes, the metaphoric fossilized remains of Faulkner and his ilk — must step aside to make way for the MechaBetty generation.
Our time is over. It is their time to rise.
At least that’s what I thought at the moment.
And then, there in the radio studio, as the humans who would replace me and the other dino-folk in the room explained to us how one can have sex with the fictionalized two-ton mechanized lead in their little marvel of audio theatre, wondered how to artistically introduce a space-lesbian character without coming off as clichéd, and then repeatedly interrupted themselves in midsentence to catch a Pokémon Go creature that stumbled into the studio and onto the touchscreen of their phone, I could feel a tiny teardrop beginning to form in the corner of my eye.
I turned to the editor-host with whom I shared some java that morning as he sat in the dark recesses of the radio studio. Though I was barely able to discern the expression on his face, I saw enough to decipher its not-so subtle message:
TOLD YOU, DIPSHIT!
Sorry, Mr. Faulkner. Humanity is unquestionably doomed.
I guess it’s time for this relic of another era to lumber off the stage. Life is a young person’s game. However, I’m strangely okay with that.
Perhaps the great master said it best:
“I’m bad and I’m going to hell, and I don’t care. I’d rather be in hell than anywhere where you are.” ― William Faulkner
Interested in the MechaBetty program? It can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUBgsbNvvB9GI3db-h_Ay7A
The Blotter literature and arts magazine is available at http://www.blotterrag.com/
The Blotter ‘Zine radio show airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on WCOM out of Carrboro, NC. You can listen online at http://www.wcomfm.org/
Where can you find the works of William Faulkner? It’s called a public library, my friend; use it! No, I didn’t say “Google it.” EBook, my ass. You need to hold processed dead trees in your hand in order to properly read and appreciate Faulkner, dammit!
And me? Besides finding me here at JoeBuonfiglio.com (AKA LiteraryAbsurdist.com), you can join me on Twitter at @JoeBuonfiglio or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PotpourrioftheDamned/ You can also check out my newly minted YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2R89yhf-afJB6R89D9HqxQ
And so, “Talk, talk, talk: the utter and heartbreaking stupidity of words.”
― William Faulkner, Mosquitoes
© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio All Rights Reserved.