Topher Moore’s Interest in Communitarianism

Topher Moore was an attractive 25-year-old political science graduate student; shaggy haircut, brown bedroom eyes, and a laid-back demeanor that had gotten him into a cheerleader or two’s bedroom, while maintaining a healthy male’s reputation.  He dressed in jean shorts, mole skin boots, knit blue hoodie t-shirts, and a rotating arsenal of hats.  To carry his possessions, such as his skatedisc, e-papers, and water bottles, in a canvas rucksack flung over a single shoulder.

Topher selected political science major to follow in his father’s footsteps, the famous political engineer Lewis R. Moore.  Lewis’ work kept him constantly travelling through the NAU’s north eastern city-states, giving Topher a varied cosmopolitan upbringing.  Topher was inspired by his father’s effort to push ecological communitarianism into mainstream political discussions.  Topher strives to contradict and battle tribalism, which has swept Terra following the Genesis Revolution’s isolating effects.

Topher selected Brasilia to study because of the Genesis Revolution’s surprisingly positive impact on the continent, such as increased global economic, military, and political power.  Brasilia also became flush with fertile farm land, which provided much needed food to most of the world’s population.  This turned the plantations into powerful new communities, which were independent of previous governmental tribal structures.  These new communities were independent of previous ethnic and cultural ties, becoming new societal utopias built around interactions towards shared goals and interests, and shared history.

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Personalized for Authenticity

Authenticity’s exposure is informed by expectations, the measurement ruler that experiences are held against.  Expectations color our how we present our authenticity, often diluting, covering up, or ignoring parts of myself that I would alienate me from those around me – the unique parts of an individual.  Conversations expressing authenticity are collaborative dialogues.  These interactions become cornerstones of authentic identity, informed by cooperative experiences.

Struggling with presenting authenticity is first, contradictorily, dealt with by creating facades that amplify the most acceptable of ourselves.  The parts, believed, that would force support networks away are believed to be shadows of our true place in the world.  Reinforcing social facades requires experiences go un-analyzed, unlived.

On the playground we are taught, as evolutionary survival, that it is important to be like everyone else, to find acceptance into the group dynamic.  From pre-historic to ancient-times, and beyond, avoiding being ostracized meant avoiding death.  This evolutionary hold-over is what pushes queer youth to hide our authenticity from others, keeping our interests, past-times, and loves from friends and families.

I grew up in a suburbia that was a nostalgic Mayberry: students walked to school, left campus to eat lunch in the village, and formed cliques based upon clothing labels; there was a dairy to buy milk fresh from the cow and boutiques that were hobbies for doctor wives.  The school district heavily focused on academic success and rigor, not grit or character; children were taught to be students and not to interact with educators.  We were academically prepared but street smarts were not taught between Great Expectations and chemistry.  The few gay boys that were known easily fit the mainstream suburbia of backyard pools, in ways I never could.  I sabotaged acceptance by defensively rejecting the labels and tokenism they appeared to willingly accept.  I deliberately kept to myself, denying myself a confidante, by refusing anyone I could divulge to because I was scared that if anyone knew my real fears, secrets, and thoughts, they’d not like me.

I retreated into books, making the characters my friends.  I found with Spyder from Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Silk, the characters of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers, Milkman from Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, and everyone in Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, characters similar to myself – they struggled with authenticity in silence.  The characters modeled authenticity as being politely selfish by connecting through known shared hardships and joys.  Connecting through the simple failed-expectations of personal days deepening relationships with friends and family.  Personalizing shared experiences allowed façades to be dropped, deeper connections are formed, resulting in an increased quality of life.

Dorian at Aerynd University

While attending Aerynd University I avoided most social circles, believing they’d peak beneath my mask and judge me inappropriate – or worse, inadequate.  Around friends, I remained shy as if they were strangers because facades kept everyone at an arm’s length.  It was simpler to cover my self-consciousness and inferiority beneath masks, that were fashioned for inclusion by adopting specific friend-interests, and sub-cultures, and abandoning my own.  I made myself look like a light skinned gypsy with the manners of a gentleman.  I brought what I learned from Blithedale, to be a person, anyone could share their sordid family life with.

I attended Aerynd University’s art’s conservatory, The Waterfront Annex, from 2047-2051; none of the traditional professional studies interested me so I constructed my own on graphic fiction.

While attending Aerynd University, in Biell, I appeared in final project student films “Noh” by Johann Tronberg and “Chimera” by F. Rohrbach.  I began dating Jeremy Schwach.  While I studied graphic fiction, Jeremy majored in music & production to be a DJ.  At the Annex 2051 Graduation Show, Jeremy’s composition “Megalodon,” retold the global environmental impact of the Monolith’s electromagnetic storms in 2012 & 2103.  The depth of his work became the talk of the University, which had promised him a serious future that failed to materialize.  Instead, my graduating short story cycle, Snow, was a collaborative effort with Ian Jimenez, who provided static and sequential mixed-media illustration for my stories, yielded a Tilael Publishing contract for my original graphic-serial Babalon’s War; Ian’s woodcarving illustrations garnered him an agent.

The success of Snow gave me the ability to move into the Langham, in Caentibiry, amongst vagabonds, ecchi, socialists, and anarchists; rather than go home after graduation.

Suburbian In Reverse

Freedom came with undergrad life.  I was away from home and finally near New York City, of a world that I had dreamed deeply about escaping to.  At SUNY @ Purchase perfect was the antithesis of suburban high school, evolving to from machismo jock to artistic and eccentric.  In college perfect was chased by girls and boys, and perfect boys were more likely to chase boys back.  Perfect was still not the quietly humorous one who liked school and read in his dorm.   He was cool though, which afforded me the opportunity to be entertained by a peer as a possible date.  I freely made my homosexuality explicit and explore relationship dynamics.

Refreshed by a gust of attention, I set my sights on who was deemed the most desired boy on campus: Marc.  He wasn’t a student, but was the friend of students on the floor below me, and visited every weekend.  Luckily, the friends I had made on my floor knew the people down stairs through a mutual friend from Long Island; guess New York City isn’t that big of a city.

Mutual friends who knew of my crush arranged for a chance encounter with Marc.  While nothing came of the meet, I did gain wonderful new friends who are cherished deeply.  Marc, also, knew of my crush on him; apparently, subtlety was not in my repertoire.  His rejection of me (I wasn’t his type; he preferred guys more seasoned than I was) dissipated my attraction.  His friends felt sympathy for me, revealing that Marc gets crushed on a lot.  I thought how if I wasn’t special or a first to Marc I’d move on and I was over him.  We hung out after and it was clear we had nothing in common other than our mutual friends.  During that friendship, I saw that beneath bravado, was a desperate want for stability with a boyfriend, just as I did.

As college goes relationships were fleeting but sexual encounters were not, with my attention no longer fixated on one person. The relationship that I had dreamt of, had hoped for during the college experience, eluded me.  I was good enough for a lay, but not to spend time with.  I was no wallflower, but I was unable to break the habit of isolating in my room and studying.  I didn’t go to the campus’ LGBTQ Union to meet peers because the members I conversed with assuredly proclaimed their identity to everyone.  Despite my sexual escapades during this time I continued to rebel from any identity label, that I had no history with.

With a false identity in place, I adventured beyond campus-boys to older gay males.  I turned, again, to the internet to dominate my acquisition of homosexual dynamics.  I quickly accepted invitations, hoping that I’d be a step closer to NYC-escape, that I had expected from Oliver & Company and Tales of the City. Behind my more sophisticated and cool mask older men seemed more worldly and attractive. The Jodie Dallas specter faded from the peripheral of my concept of homosexuality, Sex & the City experiences that I had dreamed of seemed a greater possibility.  Instead of the Manhattan fantasy – theatre, dinners, and art galleries – I repeated my suburban youth in reverse.  This version though didn’t synchronize with the ticky-tacky boxes.  Now I saw behind the neighbors’ curtains, and I didn’t like it.  Calling them dates is using the term at its loosest.  The men that I went home with would close their curtains, citing their need for privacy.  As my perceptions grew I came to see “privacy” as a bent mirror to my rejection of the homosexual label.

Blithedale

Blithedale is an entertainment cabal with involvement in projects as varied as fashion houses, publishing companies, cabarets, propagandapapers, television stations, etc…

It began with the orgiastic religion of Dionysos.  Within the Dionysiac cult, money in principle played no part, or played only a secondary role – like a sickness of the body.  Those who took part in Dionysiac orgies were often have nots, sometimes even slaves.  They were a small group of people that refused to cast eroticism out of religion, men had reduced religion to a utilitarian morality.  Eroticism, having lost its sacred character, became unclean.  The popularity of Dionysos in the first centuries of the Roman Empire was such that his cult might have been considered a serious rival to Christianity.  On the other hand, the later existence of a soberer Dionysiansim, seems to indicate that the fear of derangement forced those faithful to Dionysos to renounce the virulence of earlier times.  To the extent that Christianity ruled the world, it attempted to liberate it of eroticism, it turned paradise into the world of immediate – as well as eternal – satisfaction.  But first it made paradise the outcome of an effort, the outcome of labor.  Those that did not chose to conform their violently religious ways found acceptance in the Christian sect of Catharism, calling themselves Blithedale.

They had left on the Mayflower to come to America.  At first the Blithedale members thought they’d get along with the other Mayflower passengers, but they were wrong.  After only a annual and a half at Plymouth the Blithedale members left to set up their original idea.  They envisioned a populace of liberal intellect and cultivated personalities, where interpersonal relations that fostered a more wholesome and simple life could be cultivated away from the energy depleting competitive constitutions.

They moved their community and abbey eight miles east of Boston.  Remaining a isolated community as well as self-sufficient allowed them to amass a small community fortune.  The prototype Blithedale community was originally financed by the sale of stock, a purchaser of one share automatically becoming a member of the institute, which was governed by a board of directors. The profits, if any, were divided into several shares corresponding to the total number of man-days of labour, every member entitled to one share for each day’s labour performed.  During the Panic of 1837, that shut banks and closed lines of credit, Blithedale was the only organization – aside from the Catholic Church – with the resources to give out such vast loans, leaving them to be one of the only money lending agencies around.  In the following depression Blithedale acquired the thousands of abandoned acres of agricultural land as people hoped factory work might save them, and turned the land into resorts of the wealthy.

By the 1840s there was obvious immigration toward towns, cities, and factories.  Hoping to increase its newfound power base Blithedale took advantage of the rapidly developing industrialization made possible by steam and iron mechatronics, by introducing the barons to Blithedale’s inner most rituals for passage to Heaven.  Once a month the most senior members meet for orgies, and wine, and various other indulgences.  Each one a way to purge their souls of sin so they could easily return to their holy lives, unencumbered by being human.  The earliest members were grateful for their free pass to Heaven and they left fortunes, trusts and seedlings for FORBES’ 500 companies.

With its near unprecedented accumulation of capital in the hands of a powerful few, the new mechatronics, city tenements, over-crowded factory town-cities, Blithedale joined other philanthropic organizations to attempt the cultivation of the arts, protection of prostitutes, and the care of orphans.  To clean up any of the rumors that haunted Blithedale since they separated from the Mayflower.  But Blithedale’s good deeds bred just as many rumors.

X-Men’s Bent Mirror

When I realized there really was no rhyme or reason to the comics on the spin-rack, so I expanded out by discovering Wizard Magazine.  Its pages were bursting with comic book news, art, and a back-issue price guide – giving me an inclination that comics lasted longer than three months before disappearing.  When this no longer kept me contained so mom could grocery shop in peace, my parents began taking me to local comic book shops that were found through the yellow pages.  It took a few weeks until we ventured to Empire Comics.  In this comic book shop, I found organized bookstore shelves filled with the most recent 6 months of each title, and long boxes filled with back issues.  Empire Comics treated a comic book shop as more than just a secret club, but treated comic books themselves as the escapism that they had become for me.  I scanned the shelves, intimidated by the independent comic books I had read about, and grabbed the issues to fill in the gaps in my new X-Men collection.

Growing in isolation as a gay teen, I came to grasp the larger social issues entrenched in the X-Men, becoming my original introduction to a subculture.  This was accomplished through their cartoon when it featured the Morlocks, mutants who lived in the sewers of New York City because their powers made them grotesquely disfigured. Their disfigurement and mutant-identity was analogous to my queerness that I actively kept a secret because I feared being further separated from my classmates and friends.  The Morlocks illustrate a key dimension of the mythos, the group that requires isolation through creating its own culture because society won’t accept it.  The Morlock Tunnels became an analogy for subculture and minority neighborhoods I discovered when I became 18 and went to college near NYC, and began going to gay clubs and Chelsea, I was enlightened to a world that was tailored to me.  In NYC’s clubs the drag- and nicknames used were similar to mutants’ code-names as their primary self-identity and opting out of their government birth names.  As my knowledge of queer history and culture grew the mutants’ outsider place took on greater meaning of social acceptance of uniqueness.

Elusive Ideal

For the longest time Joey was the elusive ideal.  Joey was sthe one ex that all potential suitors were measured against.  In attempting to write down our first encounter I came to the realization that there was nothing epic, template worthy, about the encounter.  There was nothing grandiose or particularly outstanding about the relationship’s arc.  In fact, the mental glorification of that relationship and its beginning is rather obsessive.

I met Joey just as I was turning 20 years old.  It had been New Year’s Eve, at club Tilt, during the celebratory drag show.  I felt the back of my ear get flicked.  I turned around, “Hi.”

Joey explained he was following an impulse and immediately knew the type of person I was dealing with.

“Alright.”  And turned back around.

Joey got my attention again by asking if wanted to roll.

“Okay,” I answered.

 

While we dated, I believed I was not complex enough for him because all that he was appeared brave and loud.  Two things that I was not.  I was scared the whole time that he’d find out that beneath the image I had designed wasn’t someone worthy.  I feared his rejection, and so created chaos to deflect from being a cypher.  I covered up my exuberance, believing that a demeanor of cold detachment decision making would be impressive, because in my fantasy of you I saw strong and decisive; weighed down by another’s gushing emotion; a man that saw devotion as a flaw.  Instead I became frigid and distracted with constant repair on my ice-walls.  I never learned to thaw for those I care about.

We broke up in 2011 on a Sunday in mid-January.  Thank you for being polite until after my birthday, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.  We hadn’t seen one another the previous night – I had worked late, so was all puppy-dog tails to see him.  When I arrived, I was greeted by a friend of his unceremoniously handing me my things.  I was numb; I needed to understand, so putting my belongings down took out my phone.  Joey’s response was a generic text stating the official dissolution.

I should have predicted the break-up because of the distance for three-and-a-quarter-months.  I persisted by being better at playing house as a new year’s resolution, but it was all too little, too late, and now suspiciously out of character.  His apprehensive glances telegraphed the to end our relationship.

Years later, when I looked backed on the relationship I know I wasn’t particularly happy.  When I recall the relationship with Joey, what comes to mind is his habit of telling him something, then he vehemently disagrees.  These weren’t ideological differences, or rooted in arcane knowledge.  Rather, disagreements came over individual rights and basic operations of politics and humanism.  We’d part in the morning for our separate work, and then return to each other that evening with Joey’s mind changed.  This change of mind arose because he had talked to his co-workers, who told him that he was in the wrong; that I was correct.  That was the routine of our relationship: Joey respected only his friends and their opinions, and not mine.  The chaos that I had sewn had seeped into every aspect of our relationship, leaving Joey unable to have faith that I’d be saying the truth, or respect my stance as having validity.

Dead Roads outline

When the Pantheon left the plane of existence they sealed the planet beneath a mercury sky.  One thousand one hundred eighty-one years after the Second Revelation, The Awakening occurs, those that fell into catatonic sleep awaken from their immortal slumber.  Among the awakened is an orphan five-year-old boy.  Sixteen years after that a young man wonders the remains of Bharat ad Xinca.  He is flanked by six direwolves.

As the boy journeys across the deserts and mountains, he gathers followers.  Traveling the boy hopes to trace his origins, having awoke with no memory.  He is raised by Rejenys monks in an underground Sacred Garden.  The monks train him to control all cells in his body, and to manipulate his xi into a body encasing tactile psychokinesis.

The boy left the monastery on his twenty-first birthday to find his origins.  Along the way the boy meets the Pantheon one-by-on – coming and going as they please.  The Pantheon uses the boy to gain access to dense urban areas, where the boy is compelled to re-enact Rejenys myths.  Doing this the Pantheon creates a spiritual resurgence of stories and prayers to the Pantheon.

Reaching the Xinca Archipelago, alone, the boy reaches the site of his conception.  There he is met by an undisguised Nico, who with open arms, reveals her to be his mother and takes him to join her and Topher.

It Takes A Village

Being overwhelmed can have a physical effect on the body.  It doesn’t always need to be pressure, but an overriding omnipresent emotion or anxiety from a routinely occurring event.  Triggers can be wide ranging from job promotion to routinely being around negative human beings.  In the instance of myself it causes extreme stomach and back pain.  I begin feeling constant pain in my abdomen that doesn’t dissipate with consuming food.  Knots form under my shoulder blade or at the base of my skull as pressure becomes more consuming.

When the stress’ antecedent is removed, stamina must be regrown to fully participate and engage with life.  The road to mending is a slippery slope – anxiously re-entering the hamster wheel.  Life is a cyclical series of work, relax, work, relax.  At any moment during the early moments of recovery there is the nagging thought that the next quick cycle would be the trigger for another physical episode.

Living from crisis to crisis doesn’t lead to stability, but creates a system of management only.  Management sustains a depressing homeostasis, which is as imprisoning as the pain itself.  Activities are missed; isolation ensues.  Regardless of the cycle that a person endures, breaking and starting on a new path is difficult to do.  The body and mind have reflexes driving actions towards knowable patterns – again the cycle repeats.  Friends and inter-personal relationships assist with driving the new path, constantly grabbing the brakes by injecting day-to-day with vulnerable relatable stories.  While they are not trained cognitive therapists, friends and co-workers offer opportunities to relate anxieties, failures, and successes.  They provide conversations where automatic thoughts, which distort reality, can be challenged.  Then the automatic thoughts can be worked through and dispelled with a professional.

It takes a village.

Diamond Queen – outline

Angel Constantine is an artist poised between two worlds: indie-art and dance-pop musi.  She burst onto the cultural radar with her single, the pure-peppy fist-pumping electro-pop “Hanging Out.”  The song’s promotional video contained brave sexual imagery that reflected her parents’ home country’s political upheaval in a vibrantly violent story; the promo went on to sweep the EU Grammy categories.  Since then, through her gleeful imagination ruled by a disciplined study of gesture and attitude, as well as strength, in body and spirit, Constantine has designed a new iconoclast daring the world to not scrutinize.

The brighter Constantine’s star grew the heavier she came under criticism for having a Svengali in DJ/Producer NORE, having begun a professional relationship when she was 15 in Ibiza.  Their mentor-protégé relationship is sweetly protective and utterly confusing to observe.  He has nicknamed her “Songbird”, calling her by it as they discuss work, art, & fashion.  Both she and NORE fought back by asserting Constantine was her own artist and dictated the direction of her work, writing all the lyrics and vocal arrangements.  The nature of their relationship was eventually revealed when a marriage certificate listed the couple married in 2052 in Hubbe City; Angel would’ve been sixteen, and NORA would’ve been thirty-three.  Three years later Angel was linked to the Blithedale sex-game murders, when a young man died at an Commission licensed event, when papers turned over to NEON in the Depravity Watch’s indecency investigation, listed Angel as an employee of Thaïs Kyabakura in 2051, when she would’ve been fifteen years old.

Inquisitors declared Constantine a victim of a clandestine and manipulative organization, escaping obscenity and prostitution charges.  But former co-workers disagree with The Watch’s ruling, going as far as to say that she perjured herself, claiming Angel had been in Neophyte training for six weeks at the Basilia Phalanstère in Sidume.  Constantine maintains she never took that path, and hopes that she won’t be called to testify at the indecency trial, scheduled to begin in November of 2056.  In the meantime, Angel wasn’t free from any entanglement with the Malthusian Commission, claiming to being continually monitored by The Watch.  Constantine says it’s because when inquisitors brought her in for questioning, they became annoyed and frustrated when she couldn’t supply names of executives or guests because she didn’t know anyone’s real name.

The November 2056 inquisition was too much for Angel and NORE who broke up early in 2057.  Angel left the studio that year and turned towards acting, turning in an award nominated and winning performance in ‘Perfect Blue’, playing a singer turned actress whose mental stability slowly unravels after shattering her perfect image.  Further distancing herself from her past, Angel moved into The Sacred Orchard at Topher’s invitation, acting as ambassador to the World Government Organization.