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Xangles Blorkk: Fusing Skits and Prose into Mush
Evolution of Skit-Prose


Xangles is an attempt to tell a bunch of stories in a bunch of ways from a bunch of angles in a bunch of mediums, until the reader develops narcolepsy, post traumatic nostalgia, or a burning need to quit their day job and just bang themselves in the head with a protractor all day.  Blorkk is the second Xangles saga.  It takes place in the second known universe, the first of which (ours) was named Okuaka.  While Frangles (the first Xangles saga) is Douglas Adams style comedic prose--rich with all the character non-development and rambling twisted plot lines common to his books--Blorkk attempts to be much more thick and rich in sophistication, by ripping off bad Monty Python skits instead, but adding a complex plot which robs them of the only purpose they ever had: to be something fun and easy that doesn't make you think.

It's passed through many mediums of completely unrealized brainstorming to finally reach an estimated fan base of at least twenty hits a year here via its generous one time donation to the Xangles project of seven hundred million.  ...flutons.  It began with a bunch of crinkled high school notes passed between two of the Xangles writers.  The first was a demand by the Urk--later named the Urgg--to Earth, for the creative intelligence of new elaborate curses.  This progressed to an ongoing crinkled-note saga by way of communications between globby oozing operatives taking over people's Earth bodies, between the people's bodies that were being taken over, and spacial communications between ships and factions in the Urgg government all bent on the "taking over and/or destruction of Earth."  Including a dopey group called Greenpeas who thought the Urgg should just be all nicey nicey to their friendly humans.

When the saga grew too complex for crinkled notes, it grew into plans for a nine CD, plot-based skit-based audio saga.  That is, a saga that uses skits (and some narration) as the entire medium of presenting solid plot and character development of a rich, structured story.  Since fifty minutes isn't much time to present a story compared to a film or novel, it was decided to be a nine CD audio saga, thick with the complex intertwining of plot elements bending back on themselves and interconnecting with each other; a story told from many angles and perspectives, hence how it fits the Xangles template.

The plans for the nine-CD saga halted at about sixty pages of rough draft material, including full skits, skit fragments and ideas, and a ton of brainstorming on not just plot and characters, but all the possible ways that fresh new jokes could be told and presented in this unfamiliar medium saturated with new potential.  In particular, one of the main jokes of the medium is to not know what's going on until you're told.  A skit of two characters fighting their way through deadly florggs and beetnops might go on for two minutes before you realize they're still playing the video game they passed by two minutes ago.  Another is to take jokes about narration to new levels, since a narration--when present--is the only thing that gives you direct insight as to what's happening, without which you're blind and dependent on imagination and indeduction.  So if not only that indeduction can be questioned (wait, is this happening on Earth, Urgg, or my attic?), but even the credibility of the narrator, you get a saga that simply makes you think too much which is why its expected to max out at thirty hits a year.

On the other hand, it can be much lighter and easier material to follow the prose of novels, like the books of Frangles (which take place in a vaguely similar world and with which it crosses over a little in terms of plot and characters), which is why it requires extra sophistication of things skits usually lack.  But since the biggest audience it ever had into solidifying into tangible material, was a brief appearance at a one time open mic called the Pre-cram Comedy Kabob at a remote cafe near a remote engineering school (resulting in three or four individual coughs mistaken as chuckles), it was decided there was really no way in hell to develop a fan base via a skit medium.

So, almost a decade later, the original writers--in their greatest moment of brilliance--figured, why not just shrug off originality and sell out to writing a book anyway.  Because novels, as all know, are instantly published with an initial fan base of no less than fifty thousand (...flutons), the moment the first word is read by an agent or publishing company.  When this second epiphany occurred, along with the one that the writers really didn't have a drop of time to bother taking sixty pages of sophisticated skit material up another level of sophistication to the sophistication of science fiction comedy prose (a genre still lacking sophistication and respect from science fiction, which itself lacks respect from any decent normal written in English), it was finally, finally, decided to just throw a bunch of random crap up on the internet.

But when re-re-writing, it was figured people talked to much, that the laziness of retracting the quotes of standard English speech could be excused as a bold new way of breaking from conformity.  But in that case, why not just excuse any description as narration (which would normally be spoken as well), which knocked the project down from the scant hope of the respect of prose, back down to the brilliance of taking skits to bold new levels.  As for this strange new skit-prose comedy medium--perhaps closest to a play--it was discovered there could be even more jokes to play on the reader.  While it lacked being able to tell the reader who was talking, this had the equal benefit of playing jokes on the reader in that way.  That not only is what's going on only indeducible by speech (when no narrator is speaking), but now you have to use indeduction (or deduction) in order to figure out who's even talking.  Sometimes its quite obvious, but quite often it takes some thought ("some thought" being an excuse for being "just plain f***ing confusing").

Finally, it was figured, why not color the lines so you know who's talking.  This led to even more brain dead innovation, such as: if who's talking is obvious, why not develop some brand new ways of confusing the reader?  And since one idea of the original saga was to have things going on in the background--time travelers from CD 8 in CD 2 that you only realize are there once you listen to the whole thing a few times to see how sickeningly interconnected the whole thing is--why not color those things going on, because with audio its very hard to have multiple conversations at the same time.  Finally it was figured, why not have skits with multiple depths.  That is, a main skit that you can read, and then other levels with more dialogue of people behind the scenes, or watching or experiencing the events from different angles (or xangles, that is, different x angles, or angle x's).  The internet medium was the best to attempt this, because on a computer you can click around back and forth between what's going on, whereas to publish every permutation of dialogue in prose would take many many more pages.

This may sound endlessly confusing, but really, it's just something new.   Reading a story this way may seem confusing, but it only takes some getting used to.  Imagine reading a play or screenplay for the first time, or  your first Dr. Seuss poem.  Or seeing Memento or Mission Impossible less than a dozen times.  And like a twisting movie like Memento or Fight Club, its intention isn't to be overwhelming your first watching, but rather the reverse.  To feign a general sense of "Wow, this is really incredibly cool, and I'm sure it must be brilliant and worthy of watching a few dozen times until I understand it," followed by two dozen watches and the viewer's final epiphany of "Oh, I see, this is just a schizophrenic glob of crap."  Who, of course, won out in the end, because as everyone around here says, art and life are founded in the journey, not in truth.

So, finally, here it is.  A few crinkled notes turned crinkled-note saga turned unrealized audio skit-saga turned bad comedic prose turned internet junk turned sophisticated skit-prose junk  re-turned general internet junk.  Or rather, here's a small haphazard fraction of the brainstorming with a good intention of adding more soon, which was itself a fraction of any sort of material sufficient for the corporeality of finished art.  At least now, the entire planet has access to all that.

Then again, anyone on the planet could have come to that open mic.

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