CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
March 20, 2009

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)

We were gobsmacked by this astonishing review of our interactive adventure "100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water":

I found this at Craig Conley's site. I can see I'm going to have to allow myself some serious play time with this blog.

Conley is the type of genius I like--where there's room for charm to co-exist with the genius, and where part of the expression of that genius is charm.

Plus, his type of genius is always producing things, not talking about producing things or lamenting not producing things or explaining why it is not producing things.

I would negatively contrast him with the MENSA guy who poisoned his neighbor and her family who was featured on TRU TV's Forensic Files the other night. MENSA seems to exist only for creeps, boors and bores. Hey, I was invited to join MENSA AND the Triple Nine Society (the next decimal point over, which presumably gives the Society the right to piss on MENSA members) because I qualified after a superevil intelligence test they gave me when I was a (t)wee lad, and I had the good sense even then to realize patting oneself on the back is a waste of time. Besides, there are much better places to pat oneself if one must, indeed, pat.

When they told me how remarkable my intelligence score was, I knew one thing instantly....I was going to have a lot of brain cells to kill.

And I am proud to say, several decades later, that I have accomplished that goal.

See? Attainment over patting.

Okay, enough of a detour into Me-ville.

Many of the things Conley creates are fun and engaging and smart and poke reality in its stomach or give reality a "Hurt's Donut" on the back of its neck.

I'll share a lighter piece with you.

Here is "100 Ways I Failed to Boil Water" by Craig Conley and some other guy who is not Craig Conley.

I was trying to think who Craig reminds me of today, and I think I decided he's a bit Sal Mineo, a bit Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode, a bit Jon Cryer in the golden years and some other people who haven't yet emerged from the shadows where people are used to compose other people.

In other words, he's good people.

And he's also himself. Obviously. If you visit his blog, you'll see just how much he is himself. Trust me.

I am enjoying some dried papaya chunks right now and they are heavenly.

I like to talk about food.

Food is, like, epistemological. Almost. Lots of things are "epistemlogical...almost."

Gertrude Stein thought food was VERY epistemological in Tender Buttons.

Conley's blog also features a great series of visual puzzlers where a little "something something" is used to cipher out various celebrated literary moments in English and in other languages. BLOG search ABECEDARIAN (see my blogroll) for Basho's celebrated frog poem if you want to see what I'm talking about. These images take literary touchstones and force you to re-examine what's going in the representation by thinking about it visually. I can't explain more.

For once, I am at a loss for words. It's rare with this mouth, but it happens.

This is weird, because there's a Jungian synchronicity in my search terms today where somebody searched "death is not something." I think I'm remembering that correctly.

I remember that striking me as very French. But then there's Wittgenstein with his "The moment of death is not lived through." Which is just as funny, actually.

When is philosophy not funny, really?

I guess when it leads to death camps or things like the Soviet terror state under Josef Stalin.

Here. Enjoy a very funny confessional....

Failure has never been so amusing.

> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
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