The Unknown: The Red Line.
  We saw a lot of spiders in Tuscon. We had a reading at Bookman’s, alongside of Leslie Marmon Silko. We were honored to be standing there, alongside her. Dirk was on mescaline. The spiders there were of nightmarish proportions. The only thing we’d read by Silko was Ceremony, which was kind of embarrassing since she’d read all of the Unknown books, and had memorized portions of the hypertext. She said that our writing was good, but in a very white male kind of way, that certain of its obsessions were sophomoric, that we should include some of her students’work in our next volume. Ceremony is a very good book in which a Native American discovers his identity in the desert. It is gritty and passionate and moving. We admire Silko, and should have read Almanac of the Dead by now. Dirk got bit by one of those spiders. If I were a nut on verisimilitude, I would look it up, the specific genus species, etc. But I’m not like that. The reading went pretty well. Dirk went into convulsions after he got bit, but he recovered completely within hours.

The plan was to move some books and then go help irrigate a mesa with Silko and some other MacArthur people: Nicholas Strausfeld, a fascinating man who did a lot of work with brain chemistry and insects, and Brackette F. Williams, an anthropologist who’s done a lot of work in culture and cultural production. Strausfeld convinced us that killing the spiders would have been a bad thing to do. They actually have very complex neural structures, for insects. He also convinced us that if we could only get the World Wide Web to work like a spider’s neural network, the world would be a better place. We all have varying degrees of fear of spiders, like in that movie with the big ones, we would all be scared, but William would be the least scared and Dirk would be the most. Dirk is sensitive to spiderwebs, and he got a pretty nasty bite, so it makes sense. Frank, it turns out, had actually eaten a couple of spiders, albeit smaller ones than those in Tuscon, covered with chocolate, at a boulevard bistro in Santa Monica, CA. Frank wore green jeans.

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The Unknown at Spineless Books.