There are times when I encounter a dichotomy between fiction and non-fiction endeavours. Striking a balance between the two literary forms isn’t easy for me – I tend to veer towards one or the other for long periods of time.

Regular readers of the Intellectual Plane have no doubt noticed the lack of blogs of late. Being honest, part of the reason for the low output is weariness on my part towards any topic pertaining to the historical, philosophical and economic.

Simultaneously, I’ve been putting energy into editing a sizeable manuscript (500 pages so far out of an first draft totalling 940 pages), writing a new novel set in an unrelated universe to the former and doing both amidst the usual chaos of holding down a day-job.

External, non-literary inputs are also partly to blame for the lack of blogging. The Unite the Right Rally and the accompanying death and disorder in Charlottesville, Virginia confirmed political trends I’ve previously discussed in the posts, The Drive to the Right, Victimhood Part 1, Poetry, Politics and Old Files, and An Architecture of the Corrupt.

Furthermore, philosophical questions and criticism have taken both up time and word-count with Canadian Sophist and the follow-up A Peaceable Warrior. Occasionally, a writer needs to step back from assessing current affairs and lines of inductive and deductive inquiry and focus on other things. In my view, doing so keeps all literary faculties from getting dulled.

Even within the creative context in which my brain is currently operating there are occasions when fiction alone does not satisfy the creative compulsion. Music, painting and poetry then fill the void. The following poem, therefore was written to address a combination of frustrations about world events, the literary craft and the manner in which the Internet has become an echo chamber for falsehoods and anti-democratic forces. Furthermore, how the online world can be a distraction when pursuing literary and artistic goals.

When the World Wide Web was launched in the 1990s, idealists trumpeted its virtues, declaring that the Internet would set us free. Over the following decades, the obverse has occurred. As the fictional character Hank Moody from Showtime’s Californication argued, the world wide web has been reduced to twenty four hour coverage of banal events and pornography, complete with the devastation of the King’s English.

Critics will correctly point out that the Intellectual Plane is a small burst of static within the noise that is the Internet – and they are correct. Having said that, chances are that, if you are reading this, you too, have a Facebook or Twitter profile and perhaps a website of your own. In those events, you and I share a common connection: That of the online world. The question then becomes do we use that online forum to communicate in a meaningful way, or do we surrender to the deluge of gray noise?


Too much delayed while languishing in gray noise.

Insights are like over-ripe fruit weighing down the branches of wisdom

We could read forever here and still never understand

Answers are not found with sages, only constellations of meaning.

Confusion arises and ignorance grows in the garden of data, mismatched images and colliding face-value fictions

To unplug is to be out of step, to tune in is to be misled.

And so we delay and languish in gray noise.

Copyright Chris O’Connell August 17th 2017. The right of the author has been asserted.


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