Cracking Surface

Whole Grains of Salt

Cracking Surface
Cracking Surface
DATELINE MARCH 29, 2004. It was bound to happen. It was bound to happen to me. After three and a half years of critical stagnation, or seven, if you count the ego-soaked swillibuster era—after compiling thousands and organizing hundreds of spewing streams of political, artistic, and theological treatise, essay, opinion, oddball blasphemy, jack wrong nonsense, half-baked curds and whey rolling up the sleeves of the duly infatuated—in a single absent-minded act of accidental shredding, the work that had filled my long gaps of inactivity has finally vanished. If I were more the conspiratorial flogstaff, I'd swear that old bean sprout leftie Len Bracken had something to do with this tragic miscue. Just yesterday, he had me worried that he wanted me to yank up some old 1994 manuscript files of a book I'd typeset for him. I still had them sitting on my drive, but wasn't anxious to go digging for them.

This was my first mistake. I'd boasted instead of keeping my own counsel. And as is nearly always the case, I soon paid the price for my bravado, always finding new and ingenius ways to suffer the consequences of ego. Here's my crash report to Bracken this morning:

Thanks again for the editor's copy of your movie. I think I will take a few breaths before watching it again. In a completely unrelated event last night, I trashed and shredded my entire Scenewash Project, losing forever some 800 MB of text and graphics I had been collecting and coordinating as reference material for both the web site and my own stalled writing career, such as it is. Attempts to recover the data netted only about 200 MB of the original gigabyte of material including what was backed up by virtue of sitting on the webserver already in play, so that's one small consolation. Bad news is that among the 800 MB was your entire archive of Guy Debord - Revolutionary, the cover I designed, the original typesetting, et cetera, all of which has been lost.

Young Guy Debord
A Young Guy Debord
The only remains of Len Bracken on my system are those web pages I created, and whatever is posted to the web site in the Situationist section where other "conspiracy" material was archived. Of course, I had the whole mess backed up on the wife's machine, until I dumped it clearing out space in which to edit —yep, you guessed it—The Lazy Ones not so long ago you may recall. Now isn't that a striking irony.

Apparently when I was thrushing out the the weeds I (or some ghost in the machine) managed to drag the entire Scenewash folder containing all these working archives into the trash, and when prompted to empty I noted the size of the dump was rather high for what I presumed was in the trash by choice, but failed to follow up my suspicion with a quick peek of the contents. Result was instant disaster and chaos, regrets in a handbasket.

Bowing to fate, all this so-called scholarly work has been lifted off my shoulders, for better or worse, for the foreseeable future. The weight has lifted. One day I will regain my strength to sort through what little I was able to recover, and merge them with my paper files, and perhaps only then be rightfully prepared to sculpt a work of art worthy of all those keystrokes and hours lost in sitting. Time will always kill a mockingbird.

This post is republished from the Project Scenewash archives.

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