Oh, how marvelous, I can see you typing away! So, this is what they mean when people say they ICQ?
URLYBIRD: Yes. I gather you've never ICQd before.
IRENE: Ha, ha. I seek you. Isn't that cute?
URLYBIRD: I suppose that's what it means; I hadn't thought about it.
IRENE: I was a bit surprised when you emailed and said you wanted an interview! Maybe I should have asked why you wanted to interview me. I suppose it's because of my association with BigSofa.
URLYBIRD: No, it's because of your association with Wymsey Village and the Wymsey Chronicle.
IRENE: Not because of BigSofa?
URLYBIRD: The Wymsey website is being boosted by the Chicago Library, so we thought...(ED NOTE: the Chicago library announces its enjoyment of Wymsey)
IRENE: The Chicago library? Back in the summer I read at alt.alien.visitors (ED NOTE: alt.alien.visitors is a newsgroup) something about a man living at the Chicago library. Well, not exactly living there. He was a homeless fellow conducting his internet business from there. Thought he had some very important business too. You could tell he didn't much trust people in Chicago--or the Chicago library. I don't recollect exactly what he wrote, but he seemed to think he was living in some movie like "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Oh, how synchronic, considering your previous interview with Martie Grey had to do with her appearing in the movie "Invasion of the Space Preachers." Maybe I shouldn't be talking about this...it's getting a little eerie.
IRENE: Yes, synchronicity, you know.
URLYBIRD: I know the term. I don't see how the two things you've mentioned are related.
Please, forget I said anything about it. I don't want to talk about it anymore. Can we switch to another subject?
URLYBIRD: I wanted to interview you about your involvement with Wymsey Village.
Wymsey is a wonderful little village. It has its own web newspaper and a Parish Notice Board. The Parish Notice Board is especially attractive. Posting an email seems so, well, definitive, but the Parish Notice Board reminds me of the message board at the local laundromat, the kind where people looking to make money typing up term papers or rent an apartment post a paper and at the bottom they have their name and number done vertically a number of times on this sheet that is longer than it is wide, and if you're interested you tear off one of the little flaps on which is the person's name and number. Very cozy feeling with the dryers humming warmly, spinning your clothes around. I've posted a few notes to their Parish Notice Board. So, when I'm visiting the Wymsey Parish Notice Board, that is where I am, it is like I am, at the laundromat. I suppose you've visited Wymsey, done your research...
URLYBIRD: I've visited the website.
IRENE: Now I'm told that in the language of the Celts, Wymsey means Wormsey. The Celts are not the same as the Anglo-Saxons, you know. A lot of people confuse the two, and I forget what the Gauls have to do with either of them. I used to have a wonderful book on Celtic origins, but I lent it out. Ha, the Irene lending library. Never mind, let's not, you know...the Chicago library. I didn't mean to redirect the conversation in that direction.
URLYBIRD: What inspired your interest in Wymsey?
IRENE: Hmmm. I honestly don't recollect. I'm not sure I was interested in Wymsey. It just happened to be there.
URLYBIRD: Many things just happen to be there.
Yes, but not where my ancestor, Adam de Mandible, happened to be as well. I understood he might have come to America from Wymsey in the 17th century. Wymsey appeared to me to have its share of knowledgable historians, and as I was at that time researching my family history I thought I would post to the parish notice board and see if anyone knew anything.
URLYBIRD: This was in September of 1999.
IRENE: You HAVE done your research, haven't you? At first the Wymsical-powers-that-be insisted Adam de Mandible had no association with Wymsey. They insisted so strongly, despite the fact there was no evidence Adam de Mandible didn't have anything to do with Wymsey, that I began to wonder why this was, why they would be so adamant about it. I mean, they were so adamant. Then it was later discovered that my Mandible ancestors did, in fact, attain Wymsey during the time of William the Conqueror. A family of cartographers. John Applegate was ever so helpful. I'm forever in his debt for this bit of illuminating information on my ancestors. Well, not forever.
URLYBIRD: They attained Wymsey...
IRENE: Went to Wymsey. Reached Wymsey. Achieved Wymsey. Yes, they attained Wymsey. I meant what I said. I don't know if they were charmed by Wymsey and decided to make it their home, or if there simply wasn't anyone left to dispossess, but, however they might have come by Wymsey, I believe the Mandibles must have forged a very positive connection between the Wymsonians and the French--they must have been great at public relations--because the Wymsonians have an especial affection for the French that is unheard of amongst the British, as best as I understand. (ED NOTE: the discovery of the cartographer de Mandibles relevance to Wymsey in the Wymsey Chronicle) Of course, I've never been to England, so it's all hearsay...anything I would have to say about Britain, or France for that matter, is all hearsay.
URLYBIRD: You are echoing the conclusion of John Applegate, who is of the same opinion. You no doubt read this.
IRENE: I have been to Canada. Victoria, on that island, in British Columbia. I had tea there. Not literally tea, because I was only about five. I mean we had tea time with crumpets, or scones. Or, we almost did. It was I think around three in the afternoon and all these shops had closed because it was time for tea. We checked into having tea somewhere but it was too expensive, so we didn't have tea at all. But I was there for tea time. I remember riding over on the ferry. I ate doughnuts and was dreadfully sick to my stomach; I threw up over the railing. I probably didn't feel much like having tea, but it might have been nice to have a place to sit down and rest. They had red doubledecker buses. So, I feel I've been as near to England as one can be without being there, especially augmenting Victoria with Wymsey. And when we moved down South everyone kept asking me to say something because they said I sounded like Haley Mills--you may be old enough to remember who she was if you're not so young that you don't have any idea--and she's English. At any rate, it's because of my Wymsonian ancestors that I've felt, well, so drawn to Wymsey, not because I'm an Anglophile, because I'm not an Anglophile. I'm a peoplephile--I don't care aboout nationality, race or creed. I have also been drawn to the writings of the Wymsonian Ernest Stuffe. Ernest Stuffe, a denizen of Wymsey, will prove to be one of this century's premier philosophers--a guiding voice for both the twentieth and twenty-first century...centuries. A cross-over philosopher. Ernest says, "May the essence that carries us forever forward lift you in it's arms and carry you beyond the realms of understanding." As profound a prayer as I've ever encountered. I have sought for years for someone willing to speak the truth, and Ernest Stuffe may just be the one to do it, if he hasn't already, if all he's thus far disclosed are half-truths because he worries about revealing the all in all all at once. His biography is so moving. If they offered a seminar on the web I would certainly take it, as long as it didn't cost anything.
URLYBIRD: But you didn't stick to the subject of Adam de Mandible in your postings to Wymsey.
IRENE: If I think about it, most anything I have to say about anything is hearsay, or readsay. I read about the other side of the world, that it is there, and I see pictures of it, and meet people from it, but I've never been there, I have never experienced it personally. I must trust the geographical cartographers of the world, that the other side is there. I don't have the time to bite into the core of every apple of knowledge and comprehend for myself the intrinsic essence of, for instance, what makes cement cement and what makes concrete concrete. How does a salmon feel different from a carp? Does an oak feel its oakness and not want to be an elm? These are things I will never personally know, but somewhere there is someone who knows just what it is to be a carp and if they write about their experience then I will know something about it. To read or hear about is not the same as personal experience, of course, though I can tell you now that personal experience is overrated.
URLYBIRD: As certain Wymsonians have it, you began to stomp about in areas where you didn't belong.
IRENE: I can't remember the last time I stomped anything. As a child, I never even stomped ants.
URLYBIRD: I refer to the controversy concerning the Wymhenge Sunstone. (ED NOTE: A long defunct issue for which there is no link)
IRENE: I believe an error has been made in classifying the Wymhenge stone as a Sunstone. It exhibits all the characteristics of a Canine Moonstone. As a canine portrait artist, I immediately saw the fox terrier which the stone was intended to recall, and as a student of Dr. Harts, I am qualified to make an, um, archaeological and anthropological analysis.
URLYBIRD: Is that Poyson Harts or Royson Harts?
IRENE: They're identical twins. They look a lot alike.
URLYBIRD: How convenient that eventually you discovered your own canine moonstone, practically in your own backyard. (ED NOTE: Again, a long defunct issue without point of reference)
IRENE: It's the fault of quantum physics. Look for it and you'll find it. My neural mapping happened to be sensitive to any canine moonstone signals sent by the landscape.
URLYBIRD: No one else has observed this canine moonstone.
IRENE: No one wants to. A canine moonstone, in the American south, in Atlanta, challenges the current belief that the ancient monolith builders could not have crossed the ocean. Not just may not have but could not have.
URLYBIRD: The Plagiarists.
IRENE: What do the writings of Camus have to do with monolith builders? Wait--oh, yes, the Plagiarists. You're referring to the Spanish Plagiarists. I'm sorry. Being in the presence of a remarkable artifact like a canine moonstone...I was the apeman, Moonwatcher, in Kubrick's "2001, A Space Odyssey." I didn't just imagine myself as Moonwatcher, I was Moonwatcher, and I could feel imminent evolution at my door, that door being the stone which is a passage into other worlds which I can experience without strapping myself into the cramped seat of an airplane, because the stone itself is the vehicle. To touch the stone is to touch the moon, is to be one step up the ladder closer to the ultimate. The Spanish Plagiarists, who built these monoliths, as well as the pyramids (something else the scientific community denies), they had a positively gigantic genius. It's absurd to insist they couldn't have possibly crossed the ocean to our shores, when they sailed the seas of the universal mind. Or at least they pointed a way to sailing the seas of the universal mind.
URLYBIRD: You hold rather novel beliefs.
IRENE: And the cost of being an individual has never been pretty. But it is what one must pay sometimes in order to access the universal mind. Not the collective mind. The universal mind. The universal mind is different from the single-mindedness of the collective unconscious.
URLYBIRD: Are you saying that any antagonism you've encountered at Wymsey...
IRENE: Could be the mandate of the prevailing pedagogy that the round peg in a square hole, or vice versa, is wrong? What is a hole anyway? Do holes really exist? All I can say is that if they didn't want to hear my opinion they should never have consulted me as an expert. It takes two to hold a discussion, and I'm almost always game for one.
URLYBIRD: It's not my understanding that Wymsey consulted you as an expert on the Wymhenge Sunstone. I have it here in writing, that they asked for your "assistance (i.e. sharing my unique viewpoint) in meeting the demands of EU2000/1/1 (The Representative Equalization of Societal Depictions Directive)." These are your own words.
IRENE: It was nice to be published again.
URLYBIRD: The expert opinion you offered proved to be entirely irrelevant to Wymsey.
IRENE: Who, may I ask, can possibly determine what is relevant or irrelevant to what when it is a holographic universe. We all descend, at least in the Western hemisphere, from Charlemagne. You'd think the world began with him, if we all descend from him. Thus, even had I not found Adam de Mandible as originating from Wymsey, I would still be sympathetically connected with Wymsey through the global village which we are by virtue of Charlemagne being the father of us all--oh my, which is tantamount to declaring him a god almost, at least to the West--and the fact that we are all in the same boat, housed here on planet Earth. If we're to survive the flood and make it to Mount Ararat then we can't have the lions eating the zebras. We must find a way to abolish the food chain, literally and socially and spiritually. The individuals of Wymsey are each my brothers and sisters. Eunice Turnipseed's declaration that I'm not a Wymsonian and don't belong there is metaphysically unsound.
URLYBIRD: Unflattering observations have been made about you.
IRENE: Now, why must you continue to bring this unpleasantness up? Certainly nice things have been said as well. You just have to look for them. You know, quantum physics. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened to you. Something like that.
URLYBIRD: You are being called "the mouth." You've also been called "unreal", a "maneater", a "nut" and whatever happens to be a "beaucoup goto."
IRENE: Have you tried looking for any nice things that might have been said about me?
URLYBIRD: We have about run out of time here. Is there any comment you'd like to make before we wrap it up?
IRENE: Yes. Naom Chomsky writes, "It is important for the general population to discover what is being planned for them. The efforts of governments and media to keep it all under wraps, except to their officially recognized 'domestic constituencies,' are surely understandable. But such barriers have been overcome by vigorous public action before, and can be again." He has further to say that, "we should attend carefully to the fear and desperation of the powerful." I couldn't agree more. I was also wondering if Elvis Presley sitings are unique to America or if one finds them the world over. If people in New Delhi and Wymsey have seen Elvis, for instance, appear in the screen mesh of their back doors. I believe as long as people keep finding Elvis in their screen doors, that Chomsky is right, that the general population will have the visionaries it takes for them to discover what is being planned for them in whatever articulacy is required to reach them. Thank you.
conducted March 17th, 2000