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Gantic (Nec)Romantic - on hiatus

Posted Jun 12, '11 at 11:36pm

Gantic

Gantic

6,759 posts

Moderator

As I said, purpose clear, motive?
We all get where this is going, but why? For the simple lulz of it? Or is it really simply to enlighten us on yourself? The latter option would have been considered by most, but with you, it's hard to tell exactly where things are going to end up, or if you won't pull a rabbit out of a hat halfway through, thus my confusion.

I don't see why there should be any other motive than what is laid out in the opening post. I certainly wrote a somewhat inaccurate and lightly incongruous blurb/review on an imaginary interview I did of myself, tongue-in-cheek.

The part with Watership Down was great.

Only El-ahrairah.

After I realized I didn't NOT understand and re read it again, I am not AS afraid of you. :D

Incessant frippery inculcates apprehension!

 

Posted Jun 13, '11 at 1:23pm

Gantic

Gantic

6,759 posts

Moderator

Perhaps some of you have been waiting for this...

Discover the meaning and inspiration behind the title, characters, and story of "Reaching Out and Touching No One". Uncover the true inspirations for the characters and the rubber ducky. Who is the Bullman? Is Stallion Man just a poorly veiled Strop? Who is the mysterious narrator? What did the Stranger really want to say when he opted instead for "...nothing. Absolutely nothing."? What does it all mean? And...

"'Reaching Out and Touching No One' might have gotten me more popular and it might be my most well-known thread, but it certainly isn't my most favorite, and it certainly wasn't my first. There was one thread before that..."

Learn about the White Rabbit's first Amwian fiction thread!

Take a look behind the scenes.
Next Time on "Gantic Romantic: Like Trees in November" Friday, June 17th @ 11:00 pm.

 

Posted Jun 13, '11 at 6:11pm

CommanderDude7

CommanderDude7

2,408 posts

I must wait now for 4 days in breathless anticipation to once again not understand what was written.

 

Posted Jun 13, '11 at 6:25pm

gaboloth

gaboloth

1,372 posts

That was really interesting. It was great to discover where your rabbitness come from. Too bad I never read watership down! I'll look for it soon. I'm also looking forward to know the history behind the bullman.

Oh, and I suppose I should finish reading ROaTNO, waiting for the next part to come...

 

Posted Jun 14, '11 at 7:59pm

Gantic

Gantic

6,759 posts

Moderator

I fail so bad. I already went over what the Stranger was going to say instead.

If anyone has any specific questions about ROaTNO that they'd like answered, please post your question here by Friday, so I can fit it into the Reader's Questions section.

"I highly anticipate the coming of my greatness." -- The Bullman
"This will be the best one yet!" -- The Bullman
"I recommend this to anyone!" -- The Bullman
"Is this thread dead?" -- Crowman
"Are you sure?" -- Crowman
"plop" -- ploppey
"^^^^/^^^^" -- Lagless
"Not to split hares, but are these reviews even real?" -- Rainheart

 

Posted Jun 17, '11 at 10:46pm

slayguy8

slayguy8

510 posts

wow to everything... a good wow but wow

 

Posted Jun 17, '11 at 10:52pm

Nurvana

Nurvana

2,179 posts

A last second question from my slow mind; is there anything behind your whole 'number of cowboys' deal at the beginning of ROaTNO? Well, the whole story for the most part.

 

Posted Jun 17, '11 at 10:54pm

Gantic

Gantic

6,759 posts

Moderator

Last second? The next part is going to be released in six minutes! There isn't enough time! Nah, I'm pretty sure I sufficiently answered that question but not directly.

 

Posted Jun 17, '11 at 11:00pm

Gantic

Gantic

6,759 posts

Moderator

Part II: Like Trees in November

"Reaching Out and Touching No One" is arguably the rabbit's most popular thread and perhaps the one that propelled him upward in Amwian Society. According to him, it was slightly better than campy at best and irregular at worst. One character, the Bullman, transcended fictional boundaries and went on to compete in the "The Way of Moderation" and star as the protagonist in "Lore" along with the not-so-familiar Stallion Man. The interview was more direct than the initial interview. It had only been a couple days after the first interview that we started discussing the first detailed accounts of the Bullman's adventures.

"'Reaching Out and Touching No One' might be my most well-known thread, but it certainly isn't my most favorite, and it certainly wasn't my first. There was one thread before that. 'The Road to Brickridge'. It starred Falston, a freshly-kicked-out-of-the-house adult on his way to Brickridge to find a job. On his way he encounters problems to be solved by solving logic puzzles with amusing outcomes. It never made it further than the start of the thread. I dropped it and went on to other things. I dunno, I might bring Falston back, maybe as a throwback to the original."

"The title is nothing special, but it is the core, the everything of the serial. If you understand the story, then you understood the title. 'Reach out and touch someone' isn't an uncommon phrase. It used to be the slogan of that AT&T advertising campaign." He started singing, "Reach out, reach out and touch someone. It's a really catch jingle. I think there's an SNL parody of it. The irony with reaching out and touching someone is that though we are more interconnected, there is still a disparity in the amount of connectivity. That's how I came to reach out and touch no one. This exists on many levels. In a way, it somewhat summarized my frustrations at the time with the internet, and yes, it's uncapitalized because I speak it uncapitalized as there is capitalization in my speech in the same way that there is punctuation as well as imperfect but perfectly understandable grammar, contradiction, and redundancy in natural speech."

"It wasn't hard to come up with the title from there. In fact, I had the title before I even had a story, but I recognized the potential in the title. The story's not that great but heck, it's the title that matters. From 'reach out and touch no one', I moved to 'reaching out and touching no one' because 'reach out and touch no one' marks a single instance, one act. 'Reaching out and touching no one' signifies a continuous act of 'reaching out' and 'touching no one'. It is more dynamic."

In a sense, reaching out and touching was a definition of his Americanity. The Americas were a frontier and a vast land of opportunity for all of its immigrants. The same could be said of Armor Games. Every user was an immigrant in a land built by the administration.

"I draw parallels with this to the Old West and a sense of frontierism. The West was an expanse so vast one could reach out and touch no one. I can apply that to Armor Games. I further interpolated this to one of my favorite genres, space Westerns. I mean have you seen Cowboy Bebop? or read it? Seriously. I know it's Japanese, but the samurai and the cowboy? They're mostly the same. You don't even need to know what Cowboy Bebop about to know it's awesome. Seriously! It's Cowboy Bebop. I could also apply to Armor Games, from outer space to cyberspace. I combined the three different settings to achieve the feel of ROaTNO."

"The first thing that came to mind after the title was the opening line. The whole story was created from that line. From there, I created the Space Cowboy, the Bullman, and the Stranger. In essence, ROaTNO was the return of the Space Cowboy. There is a reference to this by the Bullman in the second 'Three Cowboys' entry. The Space Cowboy was a concept I was always fascinated with and a mainstay of space Westerns. The Space Cowboy, to me was cooler than the concept of Space Pirates, Space Banditos, and Space Ninjas. You have one tough guy taking on the universe by doing whatever he pleases because there's no one to tell him not to do something. Nothing beats that. That really is what the Space Cowboy was and who the narrator wanted to be. He is the newbie and the seasoned explorer with wanderlust ingrained in his nature."

"It all starts with the narrator who introduces the situation in first person. The narrator is a complex case. He is never named, but he is the one telling the story, all of the stories. He's not an author surrogate. He isn't anyone. But he is both the Stranger and the Space Cowboy. And in part, he is also the Bullman. Not much is known about him other than he lives in a city on an island that is mostly foggy throughout the year and he has a friend named Lena and a few other uninteresting tidbits."

The narrator was one of the less popular characters but he went on to appear in "Written Nothings" which filled the gap between Parts I and II of ROaTNO and also appears as the melancholic narrator in "Lore" whose depressive nature is also reflected in the post-WOM Bullman. The only character who previously shared this melancholic nature was the Stranger.

"The Stranger was named after L'Etranger by Albert Camus. I wanted a name that was enigmatic, yet at the same time, represented the question of whether or not anything meant anything. He is an extension of the narrator. The glitch in the program that gave rise to him, if I remember correctly, was a reference to the forum glitch where older threads started showing up under Last Post. That glitch is still here. He is brought back to life because of this glitch. He is a symbol of the forgotten past and the Space Cowboy was the symbol of the present. The Space Cowboy is a reiteration, just as some threads are reiterations, as some users are reiterations of the past users. People aren't as unique as they think themselves to be. Ideas are often recycled. But as long as you don't know, then it's still all new. That was what the juxtaposition of The Stranger and The Space Cowboy was."

Just as The Stranger was a foil to the Space Cowboy, Stallion Man was a foil to the Bullman. He was more grounded in reality and humdrummery. The most interesting characteristic of Stallion Man was his resemblance to a famous persona.

"Stallion Man is not Strop, although he does share many similarities. The Bullman actually met Strop during his stint in WOM and also knows Stallion Man but they aren't one and the same. The Bullman even refers to Strop as Ponyboy. Stallion Man, I'm not sure if I ever mentioned his breed, is a black-and-white tobiano American Paint. It's a Western horse. Ninja Strop is a bay thoroughbred with blue eyes to boot. There are some borrowed characteristics. In some ways, he is Strop, but he isn't meant to be Strop. He's meant to be a foil to the Bullman. The Bullman is steadfast and takes challenges head on. Stallion Man is more agile and ninja-like. The Bullman has the rubber ducky water gun. Stallion Man has the rubber chicken sword. That's actually really all the difference there is. I still haven't fully developed the character of Stallion Man as much as I have the Bullman. I hope to develop him further in 'Lore', though. If anything, he's only a horse because the only animal that takes prominence over cattle in the Old West was probably the horse."

"The characteristics of Stallion Man are partly based on my entry in the Weekly Poetry Contest theme 'Strop the Christmas Ninja', but his name was only realized because of an interrupted ST-- reference that was a reference to Strop. I had realized that the Space Cowboy's craft was shaped like a black horse called the STar STRaddler. It was based off of the phrase 'dark horse'. But the superficial similarity between Star Straddler and Strop was unmistakable. I had always intended a horse character but I didn't have a name until that point."

"Most people probably don't know he has a panama hat, but he's famous, the Bullman. Almost everyone knows him. He's one of my favorite characters and he's been everywhere. There's just so many things about him, behind his name. He is literally the 'bull' man. What he says is bull. He's a bull-man. He's a cow's boy. He was also supposed to be a momma's boy, but I scrapped that part of his character. I envisioned him as a caricature of obnoxiously helpful users who are only helpful to further their own interests. I got part of that but he turmed out to be a good guy with the wrong intentions. He's a take-the-bull-by-the-horns kind of guy, loves praise and hates haters. He gets things done because they're supposed to be done and because he's a hero. He's a good guy and good guys are never wrong. He's the self-appointed sheriff with the rubber ducky water gun instead of a six shooter. His motives and his ideals may be questionable but there's not questing that he's a good guy or tries to do good."

Oddity and absurdity, perhaps, helped the popularity of ROaTNO. The absurd extended beyond surreal caricatures, cameos and characters and were present since the beginning of ROaTNO. Among the oddities were a solar-powered laptop and the infamous rubber ducky water gun. They were seemingly incongruous and served more as plot devices than useful tools.

"I think everyone was probably thinking 'wtf' when they read rubber ducky. It was different and fun. The main reason why I thought of a rubber ducky was because I used to have a rubber ducky by my computer all the time. It's still there, just not by my computer. It's a cultural icon. And who wouldn't want a rubber ducky that was also a water gun? The solar-powered laptop was more a bit of wishful thinking. It's something that would be interesting to have. I think that they just came out with a conceptual design that is fully solar-powered, and not just solar-recharged. The geese and the Rainbow Gang are a weird one though. Partly they're based around playing on the word 'bogan' after Strop and kingryan, had been throwing the word around and eventually started the Bogan Wars. Geese always seemed like such silly creatures. The Rainbow Gang, beyond the pun was also a reference to backseat mods, usually users who had a lot of Armor Points and therefore access to more armatars, a rainbow of armatars. That's what it was. They were vigilantes. Initially, I also wanted to introduce a character called 'The Man With a Thousand Face', a common bad guy trope, as the leader of the Rainbow Gang because he had all the armatars unlocked."

Animals featured heavily in ROaTNO with varying degrees of anthropomorphism. It is no surprise as the rabbit himself was an animal. Many of the animals had symbolic meanings behind their selection.

"There was a lot of animal symbolism. I had always intended to add Crowman just because I wanted a trickster. He isn't much of a trickster but he is one of my favorite characters. Crowman's a little off, seemingly obsessed with death, and a little sinister. From him I later included the Marabou and the Great Condor. The Marabou is the Undertaker. It's an interesting bird. It's one of the coolest creatures. It's no surprise it is associated with death. It has black feathers, bone-white legs, a sickly-looking bald head, and it eats carrion. How much more symbolic can you get? The Flames of Condor was not intentional but it worked out really well to be an unintentional reference to Games of Gondor. The Great Cataclysm that destroyed the Kingdom of the Sky was the change to what is now Armor Games. I also tried to add Rainheart, a trickster fox and Lagless, a rabbit trickster as trickster types but it doesn't really show. Rainheart was also doubling as the dark and handsome vampire type who was also a fox, harhar, who's name was not only emo-like but also a play on Reynard the Fox. Lagless was the countertypical bright handsome elf who was also a rabbit. His name was a play on both the speed of a rabbit and Legolas, the Olando Bloom one. It really doesn't make all that much sense, you know? They even had secret superhero/villain identities. The Pun-dit and the Pun-isher."

Reaching Out and Touching No One was also the first taste most users had of his terrible puns and wordplay. There were as many puns outside of the story as there were within, including referring to 'prairie oysters' as awful and a short stint of verbal fencing towards the end of Part II. Wordplay featured heavily in the beginning of Reaching Out, and was less prominent, but still evident later on, as the story meandered, lost itself, and went every direction before reaching the end. The entire purpose of Rainheart and Lagless was a series of puns. It included the infamously bad multilingual pun "Kits you nay." and multiple Trix references.

"One of the first pieces of wordplay included the reference to Buffalo Man. Buffalo Man is the silhouette character on Jamiroquai's albums, and on their second album, The Return of the Space Cowboy is the song 'Space Cowboy'. I'm a bit surprised no one seemed to pick that up. The most obvious, and absurd, pun was presented in the form of the Rainbow Gang punishing spammers by slapping them with Steaks of True Meat. I wanted it to be a little absurd and just overall silly. When the Space Cowboy and the Bullman first encountered to goose, it was rife with bogan wordplay. You had Rainbow Gang, beau gander, bowgun, bough 'gainst, and brogans. There's a lot more wordplay in there though."

ROaTNO was sometimes 'awfully informative' as Strop put it. It was a parody and reflection of Armor Games in many respects, but it is its Amwianness that shines through, the dark horse, the cash cow, and the forgotten story. The adventures referenced the frequency of moderators around the AMW forum, the promotion of a(n Amwian) user to moderator, several of my Art Skills Competition entries, the delay in Art Skills Competition judging, the change in judging of the Art Skills Competition, the floundering of the Weekly Poetry Contest, the amount of AG fictions around that time, and other occurrences within the Art, Music, and Writing Forum. It was a chronicle of the Art, Music, and Writing Forum and ultimately, Gantic's Amwianness. On Armor Games.

Next Week: "In Which Gantic Has a Busy Year"

 

Posted Jun 17, '11 at 11:03pm

Nurvana

Nurvana

2,179 posts

Oh I feel stupid... Well I guess I'll read it now :P

 
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