“’Can You See Your Nose?’” / Memorable Fancies #2000

[a question from John Kelly’s column in the Washington Post – some people can catch a glimpse of their own nose just by looking sideways, and other people can’t] Yes, I can see my nose. It’s a blur. The nose I see in the mirror isn’t blurred. That one must be a fake. [This concludes the second thousand Fancies; you can buy the first thousand on Amazon:] … [Read more...]

“Professional Hopers” / Memorable Fancies #1999

Now that prayer has become vanishingly efficacious, the profession of Hoper has arisen to fill the gap. The problem with prayer has been that it substitutes for action – leaving to God what we could have been doing ourselves, or at least trying to do. But now, the Professional Hoper will not only (for a fee) hope for whatever future you want to see happen, but will (for a substantial extra fee) make it come true. Or convince you that what you hoped for, despite all appearances, has really … [Read more...]

“Sequinity” (def.) / Memorable Fancies #1998

“Sequinity” = The property of a piece of clothing having sequins on it. Or, the order of attaching sequins to a piece of clothing, or cloth that will or may become an item of clothing. Or, of a box, bowl, or other container of sequins, the order in which they are withdrawn for use in millinery or other applications by a seamstress, seamster, seamist, seamer, or seam-bot. Or, a property of that which is studied by a sequinologist or measured by the operation of a sequinograph by a licensed … [Read more...]

“Guilty!” / Memorable Fancies #1997

[“A monstrous sense of guilt that knows no redemption becomes the cult, not to atone for this guilt but to make it universal” – Walter Benjamin] Of course I’m guilty. Of what? I say “guilty of being,” very loftily, and “we are all guilty” in the style of the French existentialists. But I know that’s not true. It’s just me.   … [Read more...]

“La Différence” / Memorable Fancies #1996

[“…the simulated generation of differences.” – Jean Baudrillard] This new thing is different from that old thing! Very different! Buy it today. OK, I know, every thing is different, when you get right down to it, when you peer and poke inside, when you look at its history, so this one thing isn’t newly different, it’s just more of the same old difference. … [Read more...]

“Originals” / Memorable Fancies #1995

Max and Amy’s son died very young, and so they had a clone of him created and grown. At first they wondered if they should, some day, tell him that he wasn’t – the original. But they decided to say nothing. And Max and Amy – were they the originals of themselves? Had their own parents ... ? … [Read more...]

“Clonefish” / Memorable Fancies #1994

It started with goldfish. Before we dared try the technique on people, we cloned goldfish. I’m looking at one now, one of the first clonefish, staring into its bowl. It looks back at me, opening and closing its mouth. I think it’s trying to say something. About being an original, not a clone. How pathetic. Now we routinely clone people, and there is some discrimination by the originals (the “O’s”) against the clones (the “C’s), whom we can’t help thinking of as somehow inferior, suitable only … [Read more...]