Some peeps and I are having a small Open Mic at Barefoot. Was quite encouraged by the poetry reading at the Galle Literary Fest. Personally, it was captivating seeing people sitting quiet, just listening to words. I think it’s something that we should keep going, so in that interest we’re having an Open Mic at Barefoot today (Thursday the 12th) at 7:30. I think me and J have enough content to fill if needs be, but quite a few other people will be sharing. This may be a bit more political than the GLF thing, we’ll see. I dread events with a passion and I worry about the smallest things, but I think some sort of creative community is important. The Arts Centre fell apart cause no one had created anything in years, but I think it may be time for a Restart.
The structure I was thinking of was 1) muck about and drink some of the arrack malum J is making 2) Read some MIA and Nas lyrics until the crowd fills out 3) Read the freedoms we have in the Constitution, and the ones we don’t under Emergency 4) Muck about, drink 5) Open mic for anyone with poems and anything 6) Do a 10 minute state of the blogosphere, reading from some of the popular ones, including Sitting Nut 7) Wait for Tracy and the Through My Earphones crew to come and salvage some entertainment 8) Whatever anyone wants to do.
I have some content on deck anyways. A blog post about United Sri Lanka which got like 300 comments in 2006. A couple bits of fiction from the writing workshop, and a longer piece of fiction I’ve been working on for fun, based on the Ramayana, but Science Fiction. I’ve included another chapter below, not necessarily one I’d read.
But if you’re around, do drop in. It’s meant to be small and intimate, and ideally a 1 to 1 (or 1 to 0) ‘performer’ to audience ratio. I’m pants at organizing stuff and I get nervous, but I think this is important to just do, now, while we have energy from the GLF, and to continue. Because we do have a lot of talent still, and we can at least entertain each other a bit. So Barefoot today at 7:30. I think we were going to ticket it but now I can’t be assed. There’ll be a bucket of arrack malum and buy a drink or bite if you please, but it’s by no means a booze up. That is, try to keep your wits about you.
Below is an excerpt from some fiction I’ve been doodling on my laptop. Will read a bit more at the thing:
Ravana paced near the tower, watching his grid. All the connections were up, all systems stable. Looking down, he could see the command center below. Multiple monitors and maps showing uptime, downtime and – indirectly – profit and loss. But these blips he was monitoring were of little good as the economy churned inexorably down. It was time for something else.
In meetings of ten he could think for all of them. He wondered now, hearing drivel. Sometimes he’d say something stupid just to see who agreed, who spoke up. And silence was not a plus.
He watched the senior managers stream into the elevator, which inevitably beeped. They were too fat. One got out, loitered sheepishly. Four stories down and it beeped again. Ravana smiled. As you descended, the elevator’s own chain added weight to the carriage. Past experiences.
Later he settled over an arrack and ice in Galle Face Court 2. He was surrounded by the heavy burdens of success. The assets become liabilities. The paucity of his own education, the fawning impotence of his acolytes. These are the experiences of days,
weeks, years, it all comes out the same.
Ravan Corp liquidated the majority of its new holdings, the investments of the fat years. He slashed the company from top to bottom, flooding the Labour Department with both lawsuits and the cash to ignore them. He slashed product lines into two, production and service lines into one and removed all the bloated titles and, sadly, redundant underlings along the way. Ravana’s boot had blood on it and his pockets were lighter, but he could walk now, even run.
The austerity measures brought results. And attention.
and the next, er, chapter
Globally, the bull market was on one leg. Morality and efficacy were reduced threefold, leaving few in the fold with the wits or the money to survive, being that the stampede had proceeded directly off a cliff. But some did. In this dark age of Kali, morality would wait on men.
The Governor gunned the engine of his Subaru expectantly in traffic. He clocked past the high-occupancy bus into a high-cost lane. He sailed along the causeway as an appropriate amount sailed out of his bank account. But WTF. He was the banker.
His desk was maps today, various things, graphs and data protruding in stellar constellations. He looked then smiled humbly at his Secretary to parse the data. She was wearing green. Parsley. Horn rimmed glasses.
“They want a bailout,” she said. “It’s smaller than Mumbai, and the impacts of its. Collapse. Would be less. Terminal.”
She had this interminable habit of pausing when she spoke. It was disturbing. As came naturally to women, she’d mastered the
art of the pregnant pause. The Governor, ever the father figure, smiled expectantly. She went on.
“Bail them out,” she said. “The numbers are in your desk. The conversations are on the record. It’s cheap enough and we’ve already got our hands full to the north. There are people,” she said. “We can work with.”
Sovereign bailouts still had uncertain results, but the causes of inaction were better known. There were geopolitics, of course, but that, he suspected, had already been decided. He made some phone calls to check. Indeed. He signed the check, got the deed.
Of course he remembered. Lanka had already been restructured, by Vish W. Karman no less. That divine architect had already rerouted the capital flows and laid the foundation for a more stable Lanka. But more stable, down there, was still very unstable. Their proxy fell, along with the government and the best laid of plans. But the architecture was in place, along with the appropriate… protocols.
“Kubera,” he thought, and his secretary smiled. “Nideesha Kubera”
And the bit I’ll read today will be about Kubera, and his car. By all means, bring something you’ve writ, or read, or thought, and come. Ravana himself will be there, as should Pradeep Jeganathan, Delon Weerasinghe, Tracy Holsinger, Gihan de Chickera, Mike Masilimani and more.