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Monday, June 09, 2008

Vashta Nerada Deconstructed

Do you remember when you were a kid and you got a new note book or sketch book? Didn't you want to keep in neat and clean, have nice drawings on every page and good, clear writing throughout. That book, you thought would live on as some piece of finished work that you have and look back on, your ideas and views would be recorded and your artwork, possibly primitive and not fully formed would still have a meaning.
The book would possibly be a day or maybe two old when the Vashta Nerada would strike. A shadow crossed the mind, a cloud edged out the light and a strange and unwelcome consumption took place. Your will and resolution are gnawed at and slowly eaten away by the princes in the shadows, the voices in the half light, the doubt and mind cancer that set in when you start to fray at the edges. The dumbed down darkness does it's work and by the third page your careful constructions are slowly coming apart, the patience has gone from your work and you are left with scribbles, ill formed and conceived ideas and second rate attempts at sketch or prose. The bubble has burst and the idol has been toppled from the temple, you cannot make this thing work.
By the fifth or sixth pages it has degenerated into comic book scribbles, bomb explosions and cliched sound effects, swear words start to appear and word balloons are too big and mis-shapen. To lose care and the desire to maintain a standard is a terrible thing. The mess only gets worse, the smooth paper surface becomes broken up, the pages and covers are dog eared, some of the spine is beginning to come away. Slowly the pace at which you work decreases, there is little if any detail on the page, light pencil work or cheap pen adorn the blank pages with unfinished notes and hardly discernible images. Then by pages fifteen or sixteen only white, blank sterile paper. The Vashta Nerada have consumed you, your bleak notes are testimony to their heartless triumph and your motor has wound down to zero. Until your mother buys another or you pick up the next pad from some store dump bin.

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