Creative Metanonfiction,  Memoir,  MFA,  Satire

A Report on the Ontological Status of Somebody’s Acting Head

IMG_0749Subject: Update Concerning Somebody’s Acting Head

Classification: Ultra Secret – For University MFA Eyes Only

As none of you may know, I am a self-appointed detective investigating the current ongoing fiasco occurring in Hong Kong. But now I am depressed because I have discovered the truth about the Acting Head, my nemesis. My greatest fear was manifesting. Could I have been unwittingly wormholed into a Thomas Pynchon novel?

When praying to the deities, Jesus, Peter Hessler, and Kim Kardashian didn’t work, I decided to take matters into my own hands and improvise a voodoo doll out of unwashed socks, a moldering potato, and my emergency sewing kit.

Still nothing.

Then on May 1, I got on my Ouija Board to reach out to Joseph Heller. It was his birthday, so I thought maybe he could reveal something Zenish, like: “What would Yossarian do?”

But instead all I got was, “Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.”

Now that I think of it, I’m not even sure if that was Heller. But I did realize I was doing something wrong. And since we ready have a fengshui detective on our side, I decided to get more scientific in my investigative methodology.

After boning up on some basic quantum mechanical and many-worlds cosmological theories, I decided to see if the Acting Head was in fact who he really says he is. After all, I was beginning to suspect that he was a hunter-killer droid, dispatched from the mysterious hive mind known as P.O.R.L.O.C.K.. Now this droid from P.O.R.L.O.C.K.—what is P.O.R.L.O.C.K.?

I suppose some explanation is in order these days. P.O.R.L.O.C.K. is a posterity-corrupting secret society that has colonized our space-time continuum. Meddling in the creative affairs of humanity is their forte. One famous example of their overreach is when they prevented my psychonautical colleague, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from completing his poem, “Kubla Khan”, back in 1797.

Now P.O.R.L.O.C.K. is back with a vengeance.

So I decided to investigate the Acting Head’s claims that he is an alumnus of the Maxwell School of Public Policy at Syracuse University. And while many believe the CityU MFA closure was just the Second Law of Thermodynamics in action, I believed that if anybody could yoke the laws of physics to his or her own will, then it would probably be somebody who attended or attends CityU MFA Programme—the Hogwarts of Creative Writing Programmes. So on the offhand chance it was me, I applied theoretical physics to investigate the Acting Head’s alleged alumnus status of that prestigious institution. It could be the Smaugian chink in his armor. What if CityU Human Resources had neglected their due diligence way back when he began working with CityU–the year 1989? What if the Maxwell School had no record of the Acting Head’s ontological status?

As Allen Ginsberg says via Joyelle McSweeney, It’s sinister.

Then this would change everything. It may even call attention to the bastard reasoning behind his decision to close our MFA Program.

And wasn’t the Maxwell School named after the great philosopher and physicist, James Clerk Maxwell? Well, maybe not. But it was a cosmic clue, reminding me of Maxwell’s Demon, a thought experiment suggesting that Second Law could be violated. Thus, the entropy the Acting Head had wreaked upon world literature could also be reversed.

However, after contacting the Maxwell School to verify his status as an alumnus, it was reported that his claim was genuine. My reconnaissance mission paid off! The Acting Head is in fact an alumnus of the Maxwell School, which means he is probably human and mortal. Of course, this does not rule out that he is in the employ of P.O.R.L.O.C.K., or being remotely controlled by forces unseen. More on this later.

I also tried deciphering some of his academic papers in the high hopes of finding a secret message to or from his P.O.R.L.O.C.K. overlords. But alas and beware, each one of his transmissions has been booby-trapped with anesthetic word gas!

In the interest of scientifick discovery, it is imperative that even our failures and mistakes be reported, so that other investigators can learn from them.

Somewhat Sincerely,


Agent Muller
Hyperdimensional Intelligence Analyst
Counter-P.O.R.L.O.C.K. Unit 49C-6958-641

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