So you have found your way here and are wondering, "what is this place, and why is it here?" What this is, is a grand experiment in self-motivation. I am, at heart, a lazy person. I have become this way as a result of many years of succeeding in "life" (or, in this case "school") with very little effort, and constantly being told how terribly clever, bright, and creative I am. Putting aside my issues with this technique of education (I spent my fair share of time as the social outcast or "teacher's pet") I have discovered in recent years how terribly incorrect this assessment was. As I moved through college into higher levels of education it became painfully evident, within the social circles I moved in, exactly how large the gap of intelligence lay between my friends and I. At one point in particular, I discovered that I was the only individual in the room who had NOT been his or her high school valedictorian. My ego, such as it was, suffered greatly under such an imposition, but, being naturally lazy, I couldn't motivate myself to respond properly by further exerting myself in my studies. In addition, I began to fully realize the social loss I was suffering by being such an intellectual snot....practicing exclusionary concepts that I now have deep philosophical problems with, and involving the concept of raising oneself above enjoyments and making assumptions about the legitimacy of other people's lives and contribution to society. Fortunately, I had an egotistical resource to fall back upon. My writing. I cannot draw. I cannot play any musical instrument (despite several years of failed attempts at the piano). I have a dismal singing voice. I've never been able to take an even mildly interesting picture. My video editing skills (see other essays) are somewhat adequate, but not extraordinary. However, on a few rare occasions, I have demonstrated something of an ability in the field of literature and poetry. What is most extraordinary in this skill is that even years after the original composition, I still look back on my older pieces, and enjoy them. My usual reaction to previous endeavors in the realm of art is one of repulsion, disbelief at the childish nature of my mistakes or style. However, I still manage to like what I have written, and I honestly believe that I might have something to contribute to that field.


There is a major obstacle to me ever making this contribution. My aforementioned lay-abouted-ness. I have discovered that the only time I am ever able to create something of even minor worth is when I am profoundly depressed or (very occasionally) terrifically intoxicated. (I am presently working under the impression of half a pint of Guinness...the only true beer.) Neither of these conditions is terribly conducive towards polishing one's style or motivating one toward the ever-important practice. "Oh, I really feel I should try to write something this weekend...I guess I should contemplate my Grandfather's death again." See? Just isn't the kind of thing to make one want to stay in when one's friends are out getting terribly drunk and making catcalls at mildly pornographic cartoons. (Again, see other essays.)

Thus THE WEB PAGE. The simple concept of setting up a gallery where any number of individuals might pass through and look at these strange portraits I've painted in pixels of black and white (or whatever color/background combination they end up in) provides some motivation to produce. I'm under no illusions that it will become enormously popular. In fact, if anyone outside of my present circle of friends visits more than once, I would be rather startled. Nonetheless, I can pretend, and that alone may provide enough of an impetus to slog on. One day I may ever produce something worthwhile while not absolutely smashed or contemplating the four story drop outside my window.

Now. Some ground rules. I will be presenting writings here along the lines of what I have been doing for so long on mailing lists in the way of writing for the past months. That is to say: Writing long and careful dissections of pompous, baseless, and in some cases imbecilic arguments. That is to say: Flames and Rants. I have something of a scientific mind (that being my field) and, as such, I cannot abide bad logic or bad application of logic. This may sound extremely odd coming from someone who wishes to found a new vein in the world of horror (as difficult as that may be) but one would do well to remember all the writers with overactive imaginations that were also able to devote their excessive neural capacity towards the worlds of science and philosophy. I would not presume to set myself alongside the great chemist Isaac Asimov, the antiquarian Howard Philips Lovecraft, or the mathematician Lewis Carroll, but one can always dream. At any rate, as a series of writing exercises (much as this has been so far) I will put down my thoughts on various subjects that catch my attention. With luck, it will provide a whetstone upon which to sharpen my skills for the time when actual inspiration strikes. The subjects will range far and wide and will likely touch on taboos, politics, public misconceptions, and my own hobbies (although my own personal life, such as it is, will stay out of this. I believe myself to be a gentleman and will try not to disprove that illusion through boasting or drunken confession.) Updates will likely be erratic, although encouraging e-mails may prod me along. I will probably not be putting any of my fiction on this page. My fiction can be rather extreme in nature and likely to frighten those of my circle of friends who stumble across it. If I produce something I view as palatable for public consumption, I may reconsider. I will state now that I expect to contradict myself either directly or indirectly frequently within and between these impromptu essays. To be able to write entirely consistent essays upon an infinitely wide range of subjects implies that the author has gotten this whole life "thing" entirely worked out and resolved. At a mere 24 I hold no illusions of having figured much of anything out, but I like to think I am trying, and working on resolving those contradictions I still support. Someone once said that the sign of true genius is the ability to hold two contradictory viewpoints and still function normally. (To be honest, I've always suspected that the quote was to be read sarcastically...but I'm not certain.) Keep in mind that I have a nasty dissociative habit when I write. After having written (or tried to write) fiction for so long, I have a strange inability to write about myself accurately. Even now I look back at the strange melodramatic picture I've painted of myself in the paragraphs above and wonder who the hell I was talking about. The truth of the matter is that I'm a 2nd (going on third) year graduate student (almost) in the PhD program for chemical engineering here at Georgia tech. I'm 6'0" tall, 160 lbs, brown eyes (thick glasses) and brown hair that I've grown out in a desperate attempt to remain visually memorable to acquaintances as my own memory for names is abysmal. My name is Matthew Christian Wagner, my friends call me Matt, and my online sig (as well as what I sign all my written works with) is M.C.Wagner. Despite the unintentional reference to a failed rap artist, this was judged better than Matt Wagner, a signature already taken. I should also warn the unsuspecting audience that I tend to get a bit carried away. Many of my writing idols wrote in a manner considered today (and in some cases, even then) as antiquated and outdated. I have minorly adopted those aspects of the literary dialects that appealed to me. Unfortunately, it occasionally leads me to ramble on (No, really?) and engage in odd sentence structures. Finally, getting all of this written out on each subject is also a thought exercise for me. By the time I finish an essay I may feel very different about the subject than I did before. Writing a second essay my try my (ever fickle) patience, so one should keep this in mind when lambasting me. Thus we set off on this grand endeavor! Perhaps something I write may even be of use to you, my sputnik. In the end, it matters little. I will probably keep writing wether or not the webcounter ever advances. Y'all are welcome along on the ride if you want.

"Old School" "Censorship"
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