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WELCOME PAGE BIGSOFA COMING UP NEXT

BIG SOFA BIG SOFA BIG SOFA BIG SOFA

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Imagine blinking caution light above.

WARNING! WARNING!

IT'S HAPPENING
NOW
EVERY DAY

YOU THINK ABOUT SOMETHING
WE THINK ABOUT SOMETHING
? ? ? ? ?
what's the connection

THOUGHT YOU OUGHT TO BE FOREWARNED
THAT THIS WEBSITE IS (WAS) BEING BUILT BY
A COMPLETE COMPUTER ILLITERATE. IF YOU
CAN READ THIS, I GOT LUCKY. (I GOT LUCKY.)
THERE WILL BE PICTURES THAT TAKE TOO
LONG TO LOAD IN. (THERE ARE.)
SIMPLE, HUMBLE PAGES HAVE I TO OFFER, BUT
I HAVE ATTEMPTED TO MAKE THEM VISUALLY
INTERESTING AND TO SUPPLY THEM WITH SOME
CONTENT. I REPRESENT A GAUDILY UPHOLSTERED SEATING ARRANGEMENT
KNOWN AS BIGSOFA AND AM TRYING TO NOT
PUT IT TOO MUCH TO SHAME. HERE IT'S
INTENDED THAT YOU GET TO KNOW A LITTLE
ABOUT BIGSOFA...

THE TEXT ABOVE WAS INTENDED TO CONVEY A MESSAGE AND SO IS, SHALL WE SAY, LEGITIMATE. THIS TEXT HOWEVER IS A DECOY. THIS TEXT IS LIKE THE INDIVIDUAL WHO COMES UP TO YOU ON THE STREET AND KEEPS YOU OCCUPIED WHILE ANOTHER INDIVIDUAL SWOOPS AROUND BEHIND YOU AND PICKS YOUR POCKET OR STEALS THE KNAPSACK YOU'VE SET ON THE BENCH. THE TEXT YOU ARE NOW LOOKING AT HAS THE SOLE PURPOSE OF PREOCCUPYING YOU WHILE YOU'RE WAITING FOR THE ANIMATED GIF BELOW TO LOAD. YOU KNOW THE GIF IS TAKING A WHILE TO LOAD; I KNOW IT'S TAKING A WHILE, SO THERE'S NO POINT IN IGNORING IT. (OH WOW, I'D NEVER NOTICED THAT WHEN I'M TYPING IN MY HTML TEXT ON A WHITE BACKGROUND THAT THERE ARE LITTLE BRIGHT FLASHES OF WHITE IN THE PRECEDING LETTERS ON THAT LINE. I DON'T KNOW WHY I'D NEVER NOTICED THAT BEFORE BECAUSE IT'S PRETTY OBVIOUS.) THIS
IS A NOVEL NOTION TO ME, TEXT LODGED IN A DOCUMENT FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO PROVIDE THE VIEWER SOMETHING TO DO WHILE THEY ARE WAITING, WAITING, WAITING, AND WAITING SOME MORE, RATHER LIKE OUT-OF-DATE MAGAZINES PROVIDED FOR PATIENTS IN A DENTIST'S WAITING ROOM MAY NOT TAKE THE EDGE OFF YOUR WAITING AND WORRYING BUT THEY WILL COMMUNICATE TO THOSE AROUND YOU, "SEE, HERE'S SOMEONE WHO CAN ACTUALLY FOCUS ON SOMETHING OTHER THAN IMPENDING DOOM. WHY CAN'T YOU BE MENTALLY HEALTHY LIKE THEM?"

ON SECOND THOUGHT, TEXT THAT EXISTS FOR NO OTHER PURPOSE THAN TO SERVE AS A DECOY IS COMMON. BUT ISN'T IT STILL SOME KIND OF STRANGE THAT, AS FAR AS WEB PAGE DESIGN GOES, A COMMON ADVICE IS IF THERE ARE IMAGES ON A PAGE THAT TAKE A WHILE TO COME UP, ONE OUGHT TO PROVIDE ALSO TEXT FOR PEOPLE TO READ IN THE MEANWHILE JUST TO KEEP, WELL, THE TARGET PREOCCUPIED. IN THE LITERARY MEDIUM ONE IS COUNSELED TO BE CONCISE, TO COMMUNICATE AS MUCH IN AS FEW WORDS AS POSSIBLE AND TO LEAVE OUT ANY HINT OF REDUNDANCY, CHOPPING OUT SUCH SUBSTANCE THAT MAY BE AMBIGUOUSLY MUSCLE OR FAT. BUT NOT SO IN THE EVENT OF MY HAVING CHOSEN TO INCLUDE COMPLEX IMAGES WHICH TAKE A WHILE TO LOAD IN AND WHICH MANY WOULD COUNSEL NEVER TO INCLUDE AS IT IS ONLY THE INFORMATION THAT MATTERS AND INFORMATION IS OF COURSE WORDS THAT ARE PROBABLY CONCISE AND TO THE POINT UNLESS SOMEONE IS TRYING TO PULL THE WOOL OVER YOUR EYES, IN WHICH CASE--FROM THE OBVIOUS BRIGHT FLASHING LIGHTS TO THE SUBTLE DULL AND ULTRA-FINE PRINT--DECOYS COME IN A NUMBER OF STYLES.

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, I COULD REPLACE THESE WORDS WITH LOTS OF BRICKS AND THE TARGET MIGHT JUST KEEP SCROLLING AND SCROLLING DOWN, MUCH THE SAME AS YOU'RE DOING NOW, WHICH MEANS IT'S ALL A MATTER OF MAKING THE TARGET FEEL HE OR SHE IS ACTIVELY DOING SOMETHING RATHER THAN PASSIVELY WAITING, DOING SOMETHING SO THAT YOU FEEL YOU ARE ON THE WAY TO SOMEWHERE AND TAKING IT FOR GRANTED THAT SOMETHING WILL BE AT THE END OF THE BRICK WALL WHEN YOU GET THERE, BUT IF INSTEAD THERE WAS NOTHING HERE EXCEPT THE PLACE WHERE YOU'RE WAITING, WAITING FOR THE GIF TO START DOING ITS THING YOU WOULD GET IMPATIENT BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT THE ONE DOING THE DOING AND WOULD SOON BE OFF TO ANOTHER WEB PAGE. IN OTHER WORDS, YOU ASSUME THAT THE BRICK WALL WILL EVENTUALLY END AND ANOTHER THING WILL APPEAR IN ITS PLACE. HOWEVER, IF YOU WERE LOOKING AT AN EMPTY SQUARE WAITING FOR THE GIF TO COME UP, OR A STATIC IMAGE WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO EVENTUALLY MOVE, YOU WOULD BECOME TIRED OF SIMPLY WAITING AND BE PREDISPOSED TO THINK THAT THE GIF WILL NEVER APPEAR IF IT HASN'T APPEARED YET, OR YOU MIGHT DECIDE THE STATIC IMAGE IS ALL YOU REALLY NEEDED TO SEE AND THAT YOU DON'T NEED TO WAIT FOR THE ANIMATION. IF SOMETHING ISN'T THERE WHEN YOU GET TO WHERE IT SAYS IT'S GOING TO BE, OR DOING WHAT IT SHOULD BE DOING THEN YOU WALK OFF. IT OCCURS TO ME THAT NINETY PERCENT OF RARE SENSIBLE INSTRUCTION IS PROBABLY EQUIVALENT TO SOMEONE HANDING YOU A SHOVEL AND TELLING YOU TO DIG HERE AND TO KEEP ON DIGGING UNTIL YOU ARE TOLD TO STOP WHICH IS JUST A MEANS OF GETTING YOU TO WAIT UNTIL THE MAGICAL MOMENT OCCURS WHEN PROMETHEUS APPEARS OUT OF THE SEEMING NOWHERE TO HAND YOU HIS LITTLE TONGUE OF FLAME AND YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO DECIDE IF IT WAS BECAUSE YOU WERE WILLING TO GO TO THE EXTREME OPPOSITE END OF THE WORLD BY WAY OF CHEWING UP THE MIDDLE OR IF IT WAS BECAUSE YOU STUBBORNLY REFUSED TO BUDGE FROM THAT ONE SPOT WHERE YOU WERE DIGGING AND DIGGING.

BUT, CONTINUING ON, YES IT'S A BIG GIF THAT'S COMING UP BUT I SWEAR THAT WHEN THE TRAFFIC ISN'T CONGESTED IT DOESN'T TAKE WAY, WAY TOO LONG TO LOAD. THE GIF IS AN ANIMATION BASED ON BASIL VALENTINE'S NINTH KEY. FOR THOSE NOT ACQUAINTED WITH BASIL, AN UNKNOWN SIXTEENTH CENTURY SOMEBODY, HE WAS AN ALCHEMIST AND ALCHEMISTS ARE INTERESTED IN THE TRANSFORMATION OF BASE ELEMENTS INTO GOLD AND THE PREPARATION OF THE SO-CALLED PHILOSOPHER'S STONE. BASIL WROTE A TRACT CALLED "THE TWELVE KEYS OF BASIL VALENTINE", THE STUDY OF WHICH WAS SUPPOSED TO "OPEN THE DOORS OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE MOST ANCIENT STONE AND UNSEAL THE MOST SECRET FOUNTAIN OF HEALTH." HIS ADVICE WAS, "...DO NOT LET ANY BABBLING SOPHIST INDUCE YOU TO SET UP A GREAT VARIETY OF FURNACES. OUR FURNACE IS CHEAP, OUR FIRE IS CHEAP, AND OUR MATERIAL IS CHEAP--AND HE WHO HAS THE MATERIAL WILL ALSO FIND A FURNACE IN WHICH TO PREPARE IT, JUST AS HE WHO HAS FLOUR WILL NOT BE AT A LOSS FOR AN OVEN IN WHICH IT MAY BE BAKED. IT IS UNNECESSARY TO WRITE A SPECIAL BOOK CONCERNING THIS PART OF THE SUBJECT. YOU CANNOT GO WRONG, SO LONG AS YOU OBSERVE THE PROPER DEGREE OF HEAT, WHICH HOLDS A MIDDLE PLACE BETWEEN HOT AND COLD. IF YOU DISCOVER THIS, YOU ARE IN POSSESSION OF THE SECRET..." I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THIS. BIGSOFA IS CONCERNED ONLY WITH THE MUNDANE. IS THE GIF ROLLING YET? THAT'S ALL THAT I HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN, IS KEEPING YOU PREOCCUPIED UNTIL THE GIF STARTS WHIRLING. I INVITED A LEGITIMATE ALCHEMIST TO LOOK AT THE GIF, EVEN THOUGH I WAS AWARE HE DIDN'T HAVE MUCH OF A SENSE OF HUMOR WHEN IT CAME TO ALCHEMY, AND HE SAID WHAT I HAD DONE HAD DISTRACTED FROM THE IMAGE--AND I'M NOT DENYING THAT--SO IF YOU ARE A CARD CARRYING ALCHEMIST THEN YOU MAY WANT TO LEAVE NOW. THAT SAID, IF YOU ARE STILL HERE AND WAITING FOR THE GIF TO START ROLLING THEN YOU, WHOEVER YOU ARE, MAY BE JUST THE SORT OF PERSON BIGSOFA IS INTERESTED IN. CONGRATULATIONS.

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9th key of Basil Valentine

READY? CAN YOU HEAR ME ABOVE ALL THIS RACKET?! ALL RIGHT, NOW PRESS THE 9TH KEY OF BASIL VALENTINE BUTTON.

ENJOY THE ROGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN IMAGINARY BACKGROUND SOUND
WHILE TRAVERSING THE GREAT DIVIDE.

"Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you..."

NOTE: You are currently in the ancient core site of BigSofa. If you followed the intentionally laid bread crumbs, click away this browser window to return to the page from which you came. If you entered via points unknown, you may want to go to the Big Sofa home page.

FURTHER STUDY HELPS: A useful exercise in the examination of perspective can be found in almost any dimestore "How to Draw" book. The most utilitarian, by far, is the illustration of how telephone poles running alongside a railroad track seem to get smaller as they apparently recede into the distance.



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