Musashi Mix Inq

Confessions of a Mask

Posted on June 24, 2011

Confessions of a Mask, ©MMXI

My Japan Studies advisor at college once told me that, "Reading Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask is like covering yourself in vaseline and rolling in sand." I always took this to be quite a compliment; that Mishima's prose could illicit such a response by merely mentioning the title of his book in passing.

Confessions of a Mask is thought by many to be an autobiography. The text speaks of the "reluctant masquerade" in which we all take part. Mishima was a man obsessed with Japan's identity, as well as his own. His personal sin was not his proclivities but shame itself. It tore him up to see Japan broken and tamed by America; a worthy mirror and foil for the creative expression of his secret life.

Mirror Mask

Mishima wore his nationalist pride as a mask while he hid his homosexual life from the world. At the same time, his countless artistic victories served as passing obsessions to blot out the desires of his heart. His convictions unquestioned, Mishima lived life theatrically.

In 1970, after taking hostages at the SDF Headquarters, Yukio Mishima chose the samurai-romantic path; the only choice that he felt could resolve his double-life. To pierce the veil, opening his shameful innards and presenting them to the world.

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. " -Oscar Wilde

Yukio Mishima both lived his life and ended it allegorically: I am my mask.

• • •

The more we can see beyond the mask and to the eyes behind it, the better our lives and world will be.

I'll see you there, if you'll join me—

Happy Pride!


The Diamond Age

Posted on June 20, 2011

The Diamond Age, ©MMXI

The Diamond Age, spiritual sequel to Snow Crash, is definitely my favorite book. If Snow Crash was Neil Stephenson's prediction of the last 20 years, The Diamond Age takes a look at our future 100 years from now. The title of the book speaks to the world built within it, when mankind has mastered nano-technology and can finally delicately wield the atom.

Hiro Protagonist's base world of franchise-states and dead-end cyber-life has given way to an extreme return to traditional cultural ties. Enter the Neo-Victorians and Neo-Confucianists of Hong-Kong where the story is set. Nell, the Bildungsroman hero of The Diamond Age, lives in a world of nano-punk with a healthy side of steam:

"Moral reforms and deteriorations are moved by large forces, and they are mostly caused by reactions from the habits of a preceeding period. Backwards and forwards swings the great pendulum, and its alternations are not determined by a few distinguished folk clinging to the end of it."

Sir Charles Petrie, The Victorians

To me, the most fascinating feature of steampunk is that it is based on a universe of tangible technology. Unlike our current micro-tech, nano-tech computers are a physical manifestation of the gears of change. There are no more programers, only gifted craftsmen. There are no "black-boxes" in The Diamond Age except for the minds of people who live within it.

As the story grows, Nell rises from an orphan of the slums to become princess of a world of her own making. A time when humanity can finally unite in a world of drummers' dreams.

Neo-Victorian, interrupted

The Princess of Mice

Warrior Nell

Buddha in the sky with Diamonds


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p.s. reading this story first on paper and then on an e-reader is quite the experience. to hold the current-tech "primer" in my hands, knowing that soon the day will come when the future is upon us.

p.p.s. on the other hand, reading snow crash on an e-reader made me fearful to turn the page, like a late victorian scared by an on-coming train in moving-picture show 🙂

Snow Crash

Posted on June 13, 2011

Snow Crash, ©MMXI

"Snow Crash" is not only one of my favorite stories of all time, it also continues to inspire me to look at the world with fresh eyes. In 1992, Neil Stephenson created the Metaverse, Avatars, MMORPG elements and the constant threat of world altering cyber-terrorism. 19 years later, the novel shifts from speculative fiction to just another day of our lives:

We are all cyberpunks.

Hiro Protagonist and his accomplice Y.T. fight to save a world on the brink of implosion. Information is the currency and coding is the weapon of choice… when a katana, mini-gun or skateboard are not available.

The first page of the novel will force you to finish it, and the last paragraph hits the replay-switch in your brain so hard that I recommend some cranial protection and a sake-bomb. Welcome to the future, care of 1992:

"Why is [Hiro] the Deliverator so equipped? Because people rely on him. He is a roll model. This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it - we're talking trade balances here - once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwaves in Tadzhikistan and selling them here - once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel - once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider to be prosperity - y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else:

microcode (software)
high-speed pizza delivery"



I need a Hiro

Aleutian at Babylon

End of Days


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The Salvage

Posted on April 25, 2011

The Salvage, ©MMXI

I know of only one hero qualified for the job…




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Thank you—


Beyond the Sea

Posted on April 18, 2011

Beyond the Sea, ©MMXI

"The men all played along to marching drums,

And boy did they have fun, behind the sea.

They sang, 'So our matching legs are marching clocks.'

And we're all too small to talk to God."

- Panic! at the Disco -


dragon rising

on the goh

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Thank you—




Posted on April 8, 2011


The Sun shall Rise again…

Awaken, sleeping giant— your friends have come to play.

Forget earthquake, tsunami and nuclear decay.

Hallowed ground shaken,

Mighty deluge fought,

Split-atoms in the æther,

And yet the Sun shall Rise.

Daruma and the Forest God

Akira Cycle



Please donate and help rebuild.

Thank you—