List of Contributors
What is the Vlad Abacus experience?
Salutations, internet! Chalk Chesterton here, your misanthropic man-on-the-scene. Some of you may remember me from every gay pride parade that ever happened. Older fans may remember the time I invented the hotel room drug orgy. Interesting as I may be, you're not here for that! Oh, no, we have someone far more interesting to get down with today, the chaotic existential mystery known only as Vlad Abacus. In this candid interview, we explore the question, "what is the Vlad Abacus experience?"
CC: A thousand "thank-yous" for finally sitting down with me, Count! What compelled you to break your long silence with this interview and your new website, old chap?
VA: Marketing. I recently battled a master martial artist atop Mount Fuji. As we flew through the air vertically, ever upward into the ionosphere, he revealed to me, between supersonic flurries of open-palm strikes that could rip apart a tank, that he had a business degree with a focus in sales and marketing. Intrigued, I asked for some advice on how best to make an impact on the mainstream community.
CC: Fascinating! So this website of yours, what with the Twitter tweets and everything, is some natural extension of this advice?
CC: Nonetheless, my good man, having spent some time drunkenly clicking on your website, I can't find a jolly thing to buy. Whatever is it that you're selling?
VA: Oh, I'm not here to market a product. I'm marketing an idea.
CC: Psychic karate aside, whatever might that idea be, Count?
VA: Look around you. The information age is leading us into a second dark age. Everything you do and anything you say will be subject to scrutiny, ridicule and admonishment, no matter how benign it may be. If you wish someone a merry Christmas, some hipster will accuse you of attacking them by "pushing Christianity." If you say happy holidays, some shriveled old school marm will accuse of you of assaulting the sanctity of Christmas. The social push toward what I call, "Entitled Offense" forces creativity and self-expression into an exponentially-shrinking box, leaving nothing behind but the sanitized heat-death of the human soul. Not on my watch, Mr. Chesterton, not on my fucking watch.
CC: Fascinating, but perhaps too much for one to wrap one's head around. Having sampled my own viewership many times, both textually and sexually, I think there's a broad consensus that people are assholes when placed in anonymous groups, but why the sense of urgency, my dear boy?
VA: Without a sense of urgency, you become one of them. Entitled Offense has a double meaning; the user feels entitled to be offended by something, but in turn is using their own hurt feelings as a means of offense, to attack another. This is the dark side of psychic karate that all adepts of the discipline seek to avoid. By developing self-awareness of your own entitled shittiness, you turn the dark to light, a light that inspires the soul.
CC: Deep, indeed! But, and please don't think less of me, you fine gentleman, you, but I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't ask the tough questions for my readers, you understand-
VA: Ask away.
CC: If you're so bought into evangelizing psychic self-empowerment, as you so eloquently claim to do, it simply does not follow, old sport, your rather brutish manhandling of this poor soul-
VA: You mean the artist, Ryan O'Laughlin?
CC: Precisely. Everyone's read my interview with him at this point, my good man. However do you respond?
VA: Simple. You turn the clock forward twenty years, and what will Ryan be? Here's a man that has no future, no talent, nothing much to say and nowhere to go. Sooner or later, and I bet sooner, he'd simply become yet another one of those naysaying internet types who values their opinion on things primarily, as opinions would then be his sole product in life. Instead, I've taken him, chained him to a radiator in an undisclosed apartment in Pittsburgh and forced him to create. It doesn't rightly matter to me what he creates, it's that he simply does. The prevailing opinion on what it is will almost assuredly be negative, but again, that's not what's important.
CC: He is something of a simpleton, I must say.
VA: True, but not yet dangerous. When you master the art of psychic karate, it allows you to look past a person's body and mind, into the soul. People like Ryan will never be a threat to their community or society unless their soul is annihilated by the dark side of Entitled Offense. Sure, he'll never be much more than a footnote in the annals of psychic karate, but at least he can be employed as an effective marketing tool.
CC: You paint a rather hopeless picture for the young man. By my reports, he would appear to have some kind of native intelligence.
VA: Really? He thinks he can pay off his student loans by working in a cubicle and updating spreadsheets. Does that sound intelligent to you?
CC: Ha-ha-har! Dear Lord, no, ha-ha!
(Raucous, ribald laughter pervades the room. Many a high-five are exchanged.)
VA: Exactly. He's a moron, because he's small-minded. He doesn't think beyond his front lawn, so to speak. Now, Chalk, as a thought-exercise, how can such an imbecile, as an artist, produce anything artistically that would intentionally offend you?
CC: I think I see where you're going with this, my man. The entitled mainstream thinks, to themselves, that Marilyn Manson actually intentionally created their opinion of each and every one of his songs, that Jackson Pollock meant for them to see sperm and shit, that my own past pornographic romps intentionally wanted them to to be assaulted by exploitation and body worship-
VA: Well, chalk, those DVDs literally said on the cover, "We want you to be assaulted by exploitation and body worship," so...
CC: True, true, bad example! But I'm beginning to get down with your action, as the kids like to say. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the unlearned lesson here is that the artist is not in control of the actual artistic experience?
VA: No. I am.
CC: Come again?
VA: You heard me. I'm the sin-eater, here. Take O'Laughlin as an example. You put a gun to his head and force him to write haiku, and what do you get? Absolute trash, the guy's cognitively incapable of writing one that doesn't end with, "all up in them guts." It's offensive garbage, but how can you blame him? I'm the one with the gun to his head, you have to put the responsibility on me. And when you do, I will beat the ever-loving shit out of you with psychic karate.
CC: Hey, I rather like those poems!
VA: True, but you're a degenerate.
CC: If the shoe fits, old chap, if the shoe fits! But surely, you know, strapping as you may be, it would be impossible to perform psychic karate on every offended culture warrior with a social networking account.
VA: True, but I'll have help. Hence the website.
CC: Delightful! Can you feel that, my good man?
VA: Don't put my hand there!
CC: But you could feel it, yes? The plot... thickening!
VA: That wasn't the only thing thickening!
(Raucous, ribald laughter pervades the room. Many a high-five are exchanged.)
CC: So, you are selling something, you saucy prick, you!
VA: Indeed. There will be a dojo. Soon.
CC: Details! My audience demands it!
VA: Not yet, not yet. Timed release is an important part of the marketing strategy.
CC: Oh, you shameless cock-tease! You're a genius! Still, my readers must know, who won that fight on Mount Fuji?
VA: Who said anything about a fight? We were just doing some light sparring while the ribs smoked. It was a hell of a barbecue! We had beer, cole slaw, fried chicken, corn on the cob, and the aforementioned ribs. It was fucking awesome!
CC: Sounds like an absolute gas! Thank you so much for your time, old sport!
Well, there is is, Internet! The masked avenger known only as Vlad Abacus is going to beat the living shit out of you with psychic karate and there's no hope of escape! I, for one, wish him the very best in his endeavors and hope he touches my penis again very soon!