â€œHis feet keep walking.
A lonely night.â€œ
Iâ€™m going to start a series of posts about bearparade.com, because I really like bearsâ€™ parading and feel like maybe not a lot of people know about bearsâ€™ parading (?) and feel like it â€˜deservesâ€™ attention. Did you know bears parade? I didnâ€™t until like a month ago.
â€œ3. People who have gotten published at Bear Parade know that literature is dead, it has gone the way of painting, poetry, jazz, sculpture, and heavy metal, it is dead. But like learning that there [is] no god, a new freedom arises, knowing that the audience will never be that big again, gives a new view on the literature, I’m not sure if Bear Parade has a correct or incorrect view, but it is a new view, of fun mixed with existential hell.â€
Bearparade.com is, basically, a website with free semi-amateurish fiction and poetry on it. Its type of writing is â€˜writing that people who seriously read Steven King novels wouldnâ€™t like probably.â€™ Or â€˜writing that people who â€œread seriouslyâ€ in general probably wouldnâ€™t like.’ Or â€˜the only literary writing people who grew up w/ internet access and w/ unexplained subconscious disdain towards classic books and literature in general could maybe read w/ genuine enjoyment.â€™
What excites me about bearsâ€™ parading is that it seems like the type of writing that people who donâ€™t generally read could maybe read and enjoy.
I like to readâ€”I read both â€˜serious literatureâ€™ and â€˜semi-amateurish stuff on the internetâ€™ and enjoy bothâ€”and bearsâ€™ parading is the only material I feel like I could earnestly share w/ friends who donâ€™t read.
As a person who reads, I consciously try not to get atop altitudinous horses and tell people that they â€˜shouldâ€™ read. Truly nobody really â€˜shouldâ€™ read; some people must read, because itâ€™s, like, required for their job or something, but nobody really should just feel compelled to read thick novels just because reading thick novels is ostensibly eo ipso good, I feel. But, as person who reads but doesnâ€™t like to tell other people to, I feel like I could earnestly tell someone who doesnâ€™t read that they should read bearparade.com, because I would feel like Iâ€™m telling them to do something thatâ€™ll result in genuine enjoyment, not telling them to do something thatâ€™ll result in â€˜enjoyment from fulfilling societal pressures to read oddslot because reading supposedly means youâ€™re an intelligent, artsy, cultured person.â€™ (Itâ€™s a huge, commonly held fallacy that reading is just automatically always a good thing. Like, â€œI should read The Great Gatsby because reading The Great Gatsby is intrinsically good.â€ No. Donâ€™t ever read just because you â€˜feel like you should read more,â€™ ever.)
Noah Ciceroâ€™s â€œNosferatuâ€ is a bear in the aforementioned parade of bears. Iâ€™ve decided to write about â€œNosferatuâ€ first in my series of posts about bearsâ€™ parading because my house is having a â€˜vampire partyâ€™ this weekend and vampires currently feel relevant to me.
â€œIn a city that does not require a name.
The city has a McDonalds, Wal-Mart, several municipal parks, sewage, city-water, garbage men, coffee shops, several colleges, coffee shops, and even some poets. The city has obese women who sweat when it is hot outside, it has men who think their haircut is more important than commerce, and it has cats who shit in litter boxes and never know the touch of grass on their paws.
This is where Nosferatu walks. â€œ
â€˜Relevanceâ€™ is really important for writing onlineâ€”thatâ€™s one thing Iâ€™ve been figuring out, by reading / writing online.
I posted the first page of â€œNosferatuâ€ to my houseâ€™s vampire partyâ€™s Facebook wall, in relevance. Posting â€œNosferatuâ€ to a party wall seems like a good example of how I feel bearsâ€™ parading is suitable for people who maybe donâ€™t like to read. I would never post, like, a James Joyce excerpt to a party wall. But â€œNosferatuâ€ seemed somehow suitable. I would never post, like, an excerpt from Bram Stokerâ€™s Dracula to a party wall.
The writing on bearparade.com is like that friend whom you feel comfortable bringing to a party because sheâ€™s cool and can handle herself and wonâ€™t embarrass you, whereas â€˜serious literatureâ€™ is like that friend you feel uncomfortable partying with because, although heâ€™s your good friend and you really like him, he can only handle himself in a few limited social contexts and situations, which is fine, but parties arenâ€™t included in his relatively small social â€˜comfort zone.â€™
I.e.: James Joyce is the awkward guy w/ whom I canâ€™t party, Noah Cicero is the guy who maybe would be too cool to party w/ me.
â€œNosferatuâ€™sâ€ word length is probably in the â€˜short-storyâ€™ range, but the way itâ€™s spaced outâ€”it has a weird style that utilizes very short paragraphs that have like only one or two sentences eachâ€”and its presence on the internet instead of on cut-down trees makes me want to arbitrarily call it a â€˜novella.â€™
“Nosferatu” is a â€˜novella,â€™ by Noah Cicero.
â€œNosferatu looks sad and says, â€œWhy is everyone criticizing me?â€
Leo in an exasperated tone of voice says, â€œBecause you have done nothing in years. Not since the fall of Rome have you done anything. It is like you’ve been depressed for 1500 years.â€
I used to wear an uniform.â€
â€œNosferatuâ€ really doesnâ€™t have anything to do with vampires. Ciceroâ€™s choice of a vampire-lord protagonist is arbitrary, which is funny. Bearsâ€™ parading is arbitrary, which is funny. I just read â€œCiceroâ€™sâ€ and pictured the Roman political guy instead of the internet author guy. Which isâ€¦
â€œNosferatuâ€ is arbitrarily set in a city â€œthat does not require a name.â€ As our world continues to homogenizeâ€”(e.g. thereâ€™s supposedly now a McDonaldâ€™s very close to the Great Pyramid of Giza)â€” it no longer seems to matter whether something is set in New York or Berlin or Chicago or wherever; all these places = â€˜cityâ€™ now. Noah Cicero seems to know that [bunch of different cities] = ‘city’ now, which makes me think he’s smart.
Cicero picks a vampire-lord for a protagonist because the character is dark and detached and badassâ€”and thatâ€™s all there is to his decision, it seems. â€œNosferatuâ€ just as easily could have been â€œHolden Caufieldâ€ or something. On bearparade.com, it seems the writers pay less attention to trying to make every detail and nuance of their stories â€˜make perfect senseâ€™ and pay more attention to trying to write things real peopleâ€”instead of just, like, English professorsâ€”will actually want to read, for genuine enjoyment, which seems very good to me.
By Googling â€œbear paradeâ€ I found some words from Cicero himself about why he likes bearsâ€™ parading, and I share his sentiments (literally [get it?]):
“Why I like Bear Parade
1. Bear Parade does not publish idiots. Idiots can write well, an idiot can construct a 1000 page plot full of great poetic beautiful sentences, and still be an idiot. When Gene Morgan reads a submission and it is well written yet idiotic, he says, “This person is a [trucking grasshole (whatâ€™s the rules for profanity on arts, ink anyway?)],” and does not publish it.
2. People who write for Bear Parade do not take themselves seriously. People who write for Bear Parade don’t go around calling themselves writers and acting like bookish asses, and learn the names of really obscure shitty authors so they can sound cool inside of a coffee shop. There is no such thing as a “writer”, it doesn’t exist, it is like the word “cowboy”, it is a myth made up by movies to sell movies for the sake of profit. There is nothing awesome about a person sitting alone at a typewriter or computer, they are sitting, alone, their fingers are moving, that scene in that Rimbaud movie with him upstairs in the cold writing, that is really lame, it is a myth made up by the media.
3. People who have gotten published at Bear Parade know that literature is dead, it has gone the way of painting, poetry, jazz, sculpture, and heavy metal, it is dead. But like learning that there no god, a new freedom arises, knowing that the audience will never be that big again, gives a new view on the literature, I’m not sure if Bear Parade has a correct or incorrect view, but it is a new view, of fun mixed with existential hell.â€
He goes on, but those first three points seem like the main reason to like–or dislike–bearsâ€™ parading. I imagine the bearparade style is not everyoneâ€™s cup of tea. But I personally find it refreshing to read something different, on the internet, with nicely colored font. Because I get bored of reading 12 pt.-Times-New-Roman canonical books printed on paper sometimes.
â€œAko says, â€œNos, you have to listen to me: Leo wants the power. And you don’t want it. You should just let him have it.â€
â€œThey are all short, flaccid penises.â€
â€œOne last question Nosferatu, do you want to be the vampire-king?â€
Nosferatu stands up and says, â€œI have always been king,â€ and walks out of the room.”