EDITION AVAILABLE JUNE 6
May 2005: Pagan Poetry
Wonderland. Down the hole and well beyond the acid stained
peripheries masqueraded by Grace
Slick comes the threat, and the promise. Give us $50,000
or the rabbit dies. Take one garden variety suburban rabbit,
roll a SUV over the only foot that could matter. Retrieve
the rabbit from beneath the porch where it waited for what
rabbits do hesitate for--- name it Toby, then nurse it back
to health. Decide you are hungry. Take pictures. Write Recipes.
Build a website called savetoby.com
Await reply. This, the story of one rabbit subject to the
least conventional, and, most literary assassination plot
of recent times. This despite the media stranglehold on all
things “hostage” and “crisis” amidst
the “war on terror”. What if there was nothing
that could be done?
my childhood, at least three stories involving rabbits come
to mind. Two are well known; the repackaged fable The Hare and
the Tortoise starring Bugs Bunny, and, Alice
in Wonderland. The third story involving rabbits from my
childhood, a not so Disney-fied version of the rigors/wry of
the protestant work ethic ---is the story of how I grew up working
on a rabbit farm watering/feeding and yes, eating rabbit. To
allay any concerns of Bias, it tastes like chicken. What doesn’t?
Cow and pig? To the young children we teach: the cow goes “___________”,
the pig says “_________”. Mom and dad, safe in the
SUV, busy on their way to affirm other meats, don’t see
it coming. As the race begins from the edge toward a likely
margin, the rabbit says nothing. It’s nobody’s fault
if Toby lives or Toby dies. Toby is a fiction. Shaking, pissing
as it placed in the hands of an audience which must ascertain
the allegory required to resolve the story.
Choose Your Own Adventure…
It would be disingenuous to suggest savetoby.com is the first/only/successful
storytelling that has been accomplished on the internet. Observable
distinctions set savetoby.com. First, stories found online are
more oft “content”. Unique information which would
compel visitors to return to a site, more closely related to
examples of publishing in a medium, and not realizing the
medium as the fuel for the story. No deception that looking
at savetoby.com, we can trace roots in literary manifestation
of more a common sense vein; savetoby.com is the story and the
audience. No artifice. No flash-y intro. No sanguine biography
about never getting published. No mega-medias behind it pushing
an ad framework. No tie in. No logo to rally behind that is
another story in and of itself. Second, savetoby.com achieves
where previous internet storytelling ventures have not; using
the bare bones amount of storyline to achieve a richly complex,
the one already available.
Weekend whodunit getaways, choose
your own adventure books, the unfinished work of didactic poetics
--- are all of examples where the audience is invited to influence
the outcome of a storyline. However incomplete a map these analogies
provide for the territory savetoby.com occupies, a few simple
facts should suffice that savetoby.com is first literary. Speculation,
the need for further exploration lay the framework will for
the question of whether savetoby is a unique literary manifestation.
I’m Late…It’s always about yesterday!
engages the audience toward conviction of the situation by a
simple visit to the site. There is a place, a time, an outcome.
employs common story telling techniques, obvious from the
creators selection of a quasi-urban myth to convict the viewer
of the protagonist fate. Savetoby.com applies knowledge of
a common suburban experience, dealing with injured/maimed
dead wildlife as central to the plot and outcome.
Uninvited!...I’m Not Here?
is media savvy. It’s not that savetoby is on the internet.
It’s that savetoby.com is insulated by the internet. Savetoby.com
would not happen in your local arts district. Definitely could
not muster the end credit credentials that “no animals
were harmed in the production”? For all that may be profane
about it, how do you censor something that requires attention
to actualize it? Only those involved, more carefully, those
who choose to be involved, are participant.
employs the energy of all attraction, not select attraction,
to derive the outcome of the story.
expands upon previously understood storytelling techniques
(telephone, guerilla marketing, urban mythology), but in ways
that had not been realized as they are with this story. Complexity
is what every guerilla marketer wants, but eventually must
freely give up as they understand things change once you find
out that curious logo/poster/commercial/sticker is simply,
a bid for your money. Savetoby.com provides a simple story
but develops complexity because the outcome is of the story,
the “campaign” is unknown. Even if they do take
achieves merit as the story line is realized in space
and non-space. That is, savetoby.com
develops a narrative which requires an audience, but re-draws
the setting. Not in a traditional outlet, rather the tangible
“theater” of everyday living. No Ushers. No tickets.
No boring Playbills.
as a story, is available to its readers in ways literary works
rarely are. All ideas, notions, that result from the work can
influence the outcome of work. Point in case: PayPal,
the vendor the creators chose to collect the ransom funds through,
who has "temporarily"pulled the plug on accepting
funds, and, outcry from groups like People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA). Despite the fact that these agencies
can/are lending gravity to the outcome that Toby will die if
the money is not collected, the story is maintained, arguably,
strengthened. Losing nothing from the input, reaction. Find
it rather resilient.
Waterships in the Briar Patch:
Bigwig: I'm from a warren where life is free. Where you
can do is as you wish. I've come to bring you all out of Efrafra.
Un-cited altogether, are the known credentials for those who
take up the work of declaring a unique literary manifestation
is working. Witnesses are flawed and savetoby.com makes it no
easier being both, is a precocious fete from the usual expectations
of online literature, and like nothing seen before. Certainties
can be assessed in the interim. People will say it’s about
the money, it always is. People will say “I” did
it first, they always do. The first picture is rarely the most
accurate, and more than a thousand words have already been spent.
Toby is waiting
at semantikon dot com