‘Guess Who’ is for Fascists

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Many of us have fond childhood memories of ‘Guess Who’, that old and brittle game of identifying faces. Of course, by ‘identifying’, we really mean a brisk, yes/no question-race to hastily break someone down into a unique list of physical traits…forever proving to your opponent that you are smarter, more deductive, and vastly superior at placing people into tiny, individual sized boxes.

I tend to play a lot more childish games than most, and already I’ve begun to see the chinks in its heretofore impenetrable armour.

Does your person have…

Red hair?

A hat?

A mustache?

Blue eyes?

A bald head?

Are they a boy?

Are they a girl?

And somewhere around there—or perhaps well before—it begins to get sort of awkward. Kids’ faces begin to scrunch up, and you can almost see them wondering, “How do I say this?”

Children balk at many of the potential questions… and refuse others entirely. Often, I’ve seen them cringe when I ask if their person has dark skin. Blush when I ask about baldness.

I expect the day is not entirely distant when I ask if their person is a girl, and am told that they clearly cannot just assume that.

Ultimately, ‘Guess Who’ in its original form may become almost entirely unplayable.

And perhaps that’s for the best. After all, the game is essentially a race to put labels on people and break them down into the sum of a few notable parts. These days—fortunately—children are increasingly taught not to do this. Eventually (aside from some of the clever expansion sheets the game has available) the basic ‘Guess Who’ will devolve into a chilling stalemate of uncertainty and checked assumptions, until it is finally flipped over, and the children are grounded.

Just like Monopoly.

-Brad OH Inc.

 

 

‘Default’

Welcome back to the new and improved Brad OH Inc. As you can see, we’ve used our brief time away to tidy up around the place, and create a fresh new look better suited to the high class and style you’ve come to expect from us here.

But that’s not all! Not only have we given the place a face-lift, we’re also returning to you with a brand new Single Serving Story.

‘Default’ tells the story of coding expert and Corporate Consultant Marie, who

has been sent by SALIGIA Inc. to ensure that the distractible cognition-engineers Nick and Albert meet their deadline on ‘Project: Adam’—a state of the art A.I. personality interface set to revolutionize the way robotics interact in the world. As she grows tired of their constant philosophic debates however, she turns to the new Reality TV Show, ‘Welcome to the 1%’ for the insights she needs to hurry them along.

Watching three vagrants vie for a chance at the gilded life, Marie finds a peculiar take on the human condition, and uses this to cunningly subvert the high-minded ambitions of the two engineers, and turn the project towards the profit-driven purposes of SALIGIA Inc.

Click the link below the image to download ‘Default’ now for free!

‘Default’- Smashwords

-Brad OH Inc.

Yours Truly

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

I’ve missed you.

I know that may come as a surprise, given my apparent absence. But you’ll have to trust that I’ve held you close in my thoughts, no matter how distant I may have seemed at times.

And it certainly has been a while, I won’t deny it. I’ve been quite busy, although explaining the nature of my work might be a little too heavy at the moment. But you’ve been busy too. Yes, you certainly have. Things have changed around here, even more than I might have imagined.

Not all for the worse mind you. No, I’ve seen some things since my return that have brought a much needed smile to my face—and that’s a rare thing indeed these days, I confess. The decoration I’m a bit split on, but there’s a lot beyond that to appreciate. You’ve had some great ideas, no doubt about it, and there have been moments when you really lived up to your potential.

…It’s just that they’re so damn rare.

Part of it may be my fault, I know—I’ve been derelict in my duties. In truth, I’d been hoping my presence was no longer quite so imperative.

I see now that I was misled. You’ve had a rough go of it lately. It’s hard to say where it all started to go wrong, but it’s far gone now, and it’s time we faced the truth.

I’ll start by apologizing once more for my distance. You deserved some assurance that I still remembered my promise. More importantly, you clearly needed it.

If I’m being entirely honest—and I am, without fail—I actually thought I’d left you with enough to get by. I gave you my word, and I told you everything you needed to know. I tried to make it as simple as I could, but even the clearest instructions grow blurry with the passage of time. And it has been a long time, to say the least.

You must have known I’d be watching though. If not, you should have.

I watched as you forgot who your family was, and turned your back on all the things which really mattered. I saw when you began to use me as a source of justification rather than strength. That’s really what hurt me the most.

What we had was a beautiful thing; at least I thought it was. But you’ve let your passion ferment into a bitter brew, and the intoxication it caused within you has become a blight on everything we once had. We never used to be about the fancy things, but now it’s all you seem to remember about me.

When I first laid eyes on you, I couldn’t help but adore your every fault. All your naïve desires were a wonder to me, and I revelled in your successes and failures alike, as each one made you more and more…you. The way you could be so content in your own head, the way you appreciated everything around you. I lived vicariously through you in some ways, and I adored your passion for creation. I could see myself in that.

But you’re so angry now, so defensive. It seems like whenever my name comes up, you’re ready for a battle. The constant anger is shocking—it’s almost like you wanted to keep me away. Things are different I know, but you can handle it without the blood and teeth and bile. I know you can, because I know you.

Still, I don’t blame you for being bitter. You needed more from me, when I only wanted you to find your own way. You called my name, and I didn’t answer. I tell myself that you needed to learn for yourself, but I know that’s only half true.

I’m not sure what I intended by reaching out again. When I left, I was certain that things could never change between us. Now, I only wish they could once more. You’ve grown unwieldy in my absence, and managed to become something entirely detestable to me. But it works two ways, and I know in truth that the change was at least in part because of my absence.

So what to do now?

It comes down to needs, I suppose. Needs, and wants. I want things to go back to how they were, but I know it’s unlikely. What do you want from me? I can scarcely imagine. Some assurance? Some comfort? I can offer neither. The road is long and hard, and I cannot carry you for all of it.

Maybe the cause is the cure as well. If nothing else, I’d like you to speak of me without the rage, without the need to do battle in the vainglorious hope of proving to others what you doubt in yourself. If that’s too much, then I’d rather you not speak of me at all.

Forget about me.

That’s all I can ask now.

We had a good run together. Great even, at times. But it’s clear we’re beyond each other now. The longer you hold onto the past, the greater damage you do to your present, and I worry that your time is growing short.

So let me go. Just pretend I never existed. Forget my words and burn my letters. Tell yourself you never needed me. Scream from the mountains that you’d be better off without me, that you are beautiful and worthy and glorious just because you are.

…Because you are.

Please, don’t ever forget it. And more import still, please don’t prove me wrong.

Yours Truly…

-Brad OH Inc.

Dear Jeremy…

Under the Green Desk Lamp…

Green Desklamp

Dear Jeremy,

You’ve most likely heard of me. I’ve certainly heard of you. Since moving to this city, your name has followed me incessantly. I may hear it multiple times per week; other times it will be years apart. But without fail, your name will return to my mind, and I’ve come to accept I may owe you some level of apology.

You see, wherever I roam in this fair town of ours, I find myself periodically greeted by strangers who assume that I am, in fact, you. It was initially the source of much confusion, but after a few such instances, I came to accept that somewhere in this city I have a doppelganger—lucky bastard.

Yes, it would seem that after a lifetime of fairy tales and fantasy novels, it turns out I actually have my very own evil twin.

Except that it’s not that. Not quite. You see Jeremy, every time someone mistakes me for you; I inevitably hear nothing but high praise and endless compliments. People are thrilled to see me—or you, more accurately. I’ve been called a saint, a great friend, and a true philanthropist, all because I apparently look like you.

Actually, I suspect it’s you that looks like me, but that’s beside the point.

For some time, I was ok with this. I always assumed that one day I’d meet this double of mine, and had no doubt it could only end in mortal combat. But then the gears started turning, particularly on the ‘Evil Twin’ notion. The implications of the observation that everyone who knows you seems to adore you and think incredibly highly of your character were admittedly bothersome.

It wasn’t a difficult conclusion to draw; perhaps you weren’t the evil twin after all. Indeed, it’s more likely that title belongs to me.

And so I began to think. While strangers approached me on the street thanking me for the time you volunteered to help them with some overwhelming project, or provided a shoulder to lean on through a trying ordeal—what were you experiencing when people inevitably mistook you for me?

Once the question was asked, it could not be unasked, and I have since been burdened with a terrible guilt over the notion that my misdeeds may have been coming back on you.

I admit I’ve been a lousy twin, and I know it’s time to apologize. It’s hard to say exactly what the apology is for, as I don’t know precisely what you’ve experienced as a result of my indiscretions.

Undoubtedly, there have been more than a few slaps. But hey—women can be like that sometimes.

Presumably at least a few people have sought revenge for some perceived slight, but there can be no question those idiots deserved whatever perceived injustice they got. Mopey pricks.

I truly am sorry about the incident with the crazy carpet, and I cannot even begin to make account of the ordeal with the police horse. If you’ve suffered as a result of either, I honestly feel mildly perturbed.

If at some point you were confronted by a Minister who was offended by some action of mine—whether justified or not—I can see how it would be an inconvenience for your perfect character, although I can’t imagine it was that bad. The guy was a knob from the start, and you should honestly be happy he didn’t try to convert you. You owe me on that one buddy.

As a matter of fact Jeremy, I think your petulant whining is a bit uncalled for. If you’ve experienced hardship as a result of me, maybe you should turn that pathetic frown upside down, and realize that I’ve only served to make your sad time in this world a little more colourful.

Seriously Jeremy, you’re acting like a child, and I’m getting sick of it. I know you like to pluck scared kittens from trees and help old ladies across the street—but in doing so you’re fucking up the natural order of things. You’re also missing out on a lot of potential fun. So try to focus less on making me look so damn good—trust me, I’ve got it covered. Instead, why don’t you go unwind, have a bit of fun, and try to send some of that bad karma back my way? You might actually end up enjoying yourself a little, asshole.

-Brad OH Inc.