Why not surrender to the VHS static

If you rewind the tape to this exact fractional frame, to the instant where the door in the upper left corner of the screen begins to open, the flickering yellow line that just rolled from top to bottom does not roll the same way it did on the previous viewing.

The important thing to understand is the static is non deterministic.

The flickering yellow line is non deterministic. This is a VHS tape not software. Software also is non deterministic. Nothing deterministic deserves to be called software.

Watch this tape again and you will see the same big picture. But every dot, every shimmer, every brightening and dimming will be new, unfamiliar, original.

Is it even the same big picture, when every little part of its many little parts is different?

Is the door in the upper left corner even a door anymore?

Is the door closed now?

Have you missed your chance?

Is there even hope?


Do you ever wonder how barbicide tastes


Probably it tastes blue. Blue like twelve bars. Blue like Joni Mitchell. Blue like Gershwin. Blue like Miles Davis, kind of.

Blue like ritual. Blue like Windex. Blue like ammonia, which is not even blue but smells like Windex, which makes it brain blue, which is bluer than if it were actually blue anyhow.

Maybe barbicide is salty, a little. Maybe it's seawater flavoured pickle juice.

Maybe it tastes like more. Maybe let's all have another sip.

knowledge questions

Was this article informative

It is too early to say. You are only on the second sentence and yes your attention span is short but even you have another few paragraphs in you.

Meyer lemon on a tree
Debra Roby, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the second paragraph the information really starts flowing. You learn that luminous red, aka brain red, will be the next impossible colour to get its own feature here in hot sandwich. You learn that mules and coywolves and Meyer lemons are all hybrids, but you do not learn the surprising property they have in common. You will learn that in a different, more informative article.

In the third paragraph you learn that a fruit salad tree is made by grafting branches of several different kinds of fruit trees onto a single rootstock. You learn, specifically, that one fruit salad tree may grow mandarins on the left and grapefruit on the right and Meyer lemons in the back. You will find the second mention of Meyer lemons intriguing and the third a bit much, but your curiosity will remain piqued and you will not redirect your attention yet, because the fourth paragraph may turn out to be even more informative.

Barbicide looks delicious but is not. It is blue, which is the tastiest of all colours, the colour of the sky and the ocean and of Curaçao and even, really, life itself. Barbicide’s colour is a lie. The liquor that combs through the scissors is as bitter as a broken promise. Bitterer.


The oil in the skin of a Meyer lemon is bitter also, yet fragrant. It is golden, a gold so gold if you stare at it then close your eyes you see brain barbicide.

Coywolves are wild dogs having a hard time choosing between solitary life and the pack.

L. David Mech, Bruce W. Christensen, Cheryl S. Asa , Margaret Callahan, Julie K. Young, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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