The Dongola Times

(Anachronistic) Dispatches from the Kingdom of Makuria.
25th of September, 2013

Growing Up with Music and MacGuffins

Hmm, let me stand in solitary contemplation. Having changed the title of the blog, and followed through with a total design overhaul (which had some strange coincidences, such as were I remembered to use that font, Swiss 721. I had last seen it (and used it) back in 2005 or thereabouts. Probably earlier.

Now, why the emphasis on Makuria? It is a MacGuffin. And around it I will create this fantasy place, hopefully over time, blog post by blog post, where the elders of the city of Dongola, having become Christians and become full of the Holy Spirit, discuss how to restructure their society.
All the episodes are set around the Muslim invasions of the kingdom of Makuria and the period of the baqt.

The novel that most-inspired me was The War of the End of the World. There was a period in my life when I read it and I was struck by how rebellious the style of Mario Vargas-Llosa was. This was early 2000s, before he had won the Nobel. So it is not strange that I would be trying to write in the style of Mario. It will be commentary on the issues of the day today, but recast for the kingdom of Makuria.

Today, I was doing a teleconferencing, and I realised that I had just had yet another instar; I had grown up. I went to try and rescue data from my old blog going back five years, and I could not. Apparently databases have changed that much since then. So that is lost to time. That blog was called, on its English side, My Song in the Trench. The name was taken from a North Korean war tune. So, sine then, I have moved from North Korea to Nubia. That is the correct movement. The tagline of the old one was

“… read these letters aloud to [the Children], that they may know why the Revolution was worth dying for …”

Exactly as I have written it there; it was a quote of an edited quote of a sentence from? I made it up. —And, of course, when I wrote that, I didn’t have children. Now I would know to whom that letter from the front line was written. It’s very frightening how lightly I took such weighty matters, and how accurate it was, even though I would now have been forced to consider to be larval-stage madness. I always hate things I wrote long ago. I don’t usually disagree with them, but usually just consider them old problems. For this reason I write under a pseudonym, so that my past can drop off behind me much easier.

This week I listened to genres of music I last listened to when I was 17. I listened to a favourite album from that time and put it on repeat. The effect it had on me was surprising. People need to take time out of their jobs to live again a little. When I played this album at 17, I was doing cassette tapes. Today, iTunes on a Mac.