Dawson Filter as He Relates to Music

“My, a philosophy shop,” thought Dawson Filter, “I’d better enter that shop.”

He found a door, and walked through the hole he created when he opened it. The walls of the shop were covered with old newspaper articles, most of them from 1999 and 2016. They were mainly missing person articles, with a few human interest stories about alchemy and time travel. A leaf fell from a potted tree as the proprietor stood.

“So,” he said, “do you fancy some philosophy?”

Dawson Filter recognised the voice from when he’d been stuffed in a burlap sack, held prisoner on Ganymede, framed for tax evasion, and trapped inside the universe with a large steel orb; but he couldn’t quite place who the voice belonged to.

“Some philosophy sounds delightful,” Dawson Filter replied.

“Let’s end the charade, Filter!” the proprietor said, ripping off his mask to reveal his true identity as Wayne Rubblefish. He knocked over a stack of books and pointed at Dawson. “We both know that I tend to run around making your life worse, and that’s probably my goal now!”

Dawson Filter remembered the door and how bad he was at conflict.

Wayne Rubblefish ran after him to kick his shins.

“Wait,” he said, “remember those people I stole in 2016 and 1999? I only took them to save them from the fire and Y2K. So that’s quite a reason to keep talking to me.”

Dawson Filter turned around. Wayne Rubblefish was gone, challenging Dawson Filter’s ideas about reality and space, thereby ruining his day.

He found his old cohort Babe Listowel, with whom he decided to talk.

“Hello, Babe Listowel. I recently became sad. Would you like to help me quest for this feeling’s true meaning?”

Babe Listowel nodded his head in confirmation, “Maybe first we should find the meaning of meaning first, though.”

After sitting in deep thought for a few hours, Babe Listowel remembered that the power of music helped him think more clearly. He pulled a guitar from his pocket and began to strum.

“Thinking, thinking,” he sang, “that’s what I’m doing / The thing that I’m doing is thoughtful and in my mind / Look at my mind / Can you see the thinking?”

A small crowd had gathered around him and Dawson Filter. The people of Murderville had forgotten about music. Someone tossed a head of wheat into the guitar.

“Golden, golden,” the admirers said amongst themselves.

Babe Listowel reached the climax of his song.

“All of the other things / That exist that I’m not doing / Must not be thinking / Man, I must be free”

The crowd cheered as the music faded out.

“I sure appreciated THAT music.”

“Woah, how did my mind get so blown?”

“You must agree to be the town’s official rockstar!”

Babe Listowel raised his hand to silence the mob. Someone handed him a microphone; and he cleared throat to speak.

“You will have your king.”

Dawson Filter followed the crowd as it carried his friend to the town hall. It set Babe Listowel on a heavy wooden chair, draping fine silks over the back of the seat. It found a nearby laurel to hang around his neck, after which it hung the laurel around his neck. A tophat was found, and covered with tinfoil. A lady tore a string of rubies from her neck to embed in the crown, which she set atop Babe Listowel’s head. A single cheer, to which all in the room contributed, roared through the halls.

Dawson Filter smiled. Babe Listowel had got them a bit off track from their original goal, but Dawson was positive they could get back on course by nightfall.


Dawson Filter as He Relates to Generally Positive Events

Flames curled up around Dawson Filter as the world burned. Fortunately, Felipe, an intern of sorts, arrived in a time and space machine. Another thing of fortune: Felipe was nice, and saved Dawson Filter’s life.

A cloud of black sand, much like that produced by slaying dragons, swirled around Felipe’s time and space machine, thereby slooshing it through time and space. When the sand settled around the cube, it settled in Murderville, Nevada, 2026. Felipe explained that the fire problem had worked itself out and that he would be bringing some other quality people soon, and taking the boring people to 1821.

Sylvester Denny, Babe Listowel, and Twelve-Anne Stradivari appeared shortly thereafter.

“Hello, individuals,” Twelve-Anne said, “how are all of you?”

“I’m fast,” Babe Listowel said, “and Dawson is feeling fine. Sylvester is taller, though.”

Looking out into the wasteland, the quartet decided to continue in their search for the True Meaning of Feelings. They thought back to personal experiences they’d had with feelings in the past few years.

Six months before the quest started, Babe Listowel bought a boat. He polished it daily for six weeks. When he’d finally got the boat to a sufficiently shiny level, he put it in the water. Water caressed the side of the boat, and Babe Listowel noticed that the paint was gleaming brighter than ever. He felt a pang of something rip through his chest. What was this feeling? What did it truly mean?

After telling this story to the others, they determined that Babe Listowel had felt pride. The meaning of this seemed to be that he had done something, and it worked. He tried to recreate the feeling by breaking a nearby twig, but was unable to feel anything at all.

Once, Twelve-Anne Stradivari had a dog. She enjoyed the dog. Then, the dog died. Twelve-Anne was sad. What could it mean?

The Quest Committee agreed that Twelve-Anne must have wanted the dog not to die; and when it did, her disappointment made her sad.

It seemed that sometimes, when things happened, people had feelings. Feelings truly meant that something had happened.

However, it was established in the first chapter of our quest that the True Meaning of Feelings was 241 letters long. ‘Something had happened,’ on the other hand, had 20 letters.  Dawson Filter, a rocket scientist, said that these were different numbers.

Mary Taubert, a counting linguist, arrived to confirm this state of affairs.

She set up shop in downtown Murderville, selling numerical and linguistic consultations.

As others arrived, they too set up shops; ranging from quantum mechanic information shops to tribal drum warehouses. Because of a lack of resources and a lack of training in practical fields, most people’s shops remained largely information-based. Seeds were imported from the past, and the community decided to take turns tilling and harvesting. With the average person carrying $16.50 in his pocket, in a diverse range of currency, money was deemed worthless; and information became free. Surrounding communities operated in largely the same way, except for those in areas rich in natural resources, which set to work accumulating enough raw materials to make the largescale manufacturing of goods a vyable industry.

People still made things (case in point, paragraph 15, “tribal drum warehouses”); but mostly just gave them away in order to amass popularity, and pursued other studies on the side. Quite a lot of research projects were underway in the community, some practical, individuals trying to find the best way to filter Murderville’s water supply; but many were simply people’s attempts to solve the greatest standing problems of mathematics, physics, and whatnot. People generally tried to be helpful when they learned of these projects, and no one’s projects were secret. Dawson Filter’s semantic quest fit well in this world.

Dawson Filter as He Relates to Paper Flowers

Dawson Filter sat on a porch, polishing an object. Suddenly, he realized that origami was sort of neat, and went inside the house to which the porch was attached. Seeing that Sylvester Denny happened to be in the house, Dawson Filter decided to talk to him.

“Hello, Sylvester,” he said, “remember that porch that exists? Well, let me tell you: I was sitting on it when I decided to like origami.”

“Oh, boy!” Sylvester Denny exclaimed, “I sure hope nothing terrible happens as a direct result of this.”

Dawson Filter found a stack of paper in an otherwise empty closet to his left. Seeing that some of the pieces had sharp edges, Sylvester Denny slipped a pair of oven mitts onto a pair of hands that were attached to his wrists. After taking the top piece, Dawson Filter contorted the piece of paper into a bent piece of paper. He folded it again, forming a shape not unlike this:


Seeing that he was getting no squares fast, Dawson Filter, accompanied by Sylvester Denny, left the house. On the porch, they saw an origami festival.

“Oh,” said Dawson Filter, “that’s probably where I got the idea from.”

“(unintelligible),” Sylvester Denny replied.

The duo was greeted by Makayla Pundit, a local arsonist. She had decided to attend the festival to find out how to spell ‘origami;’ but, having accomplished her goal sooner than she’d expected, had taken to greeting various duos.

“No, I don’t know how to make squares yet. I’ve gotten pretty legit at making paper flowers, though,” she said, having got to a point in the conversation where she was answering questions.

“You could just show me that,” Dawson Filter said, “and then I could just figure out how to build off of that to make a square.”

Makayla Pundit burned down a forest until there was only a single sheet of wood remaining. She treated it the caustic soda, sulfurous acid, and anthraquinone; and began to fold it for Dawson Filter. Sylvester Denny took notes.

“So, you fold it like this, and then you do other stuff,” she explained.

“Neato!” Sylvester Denny remarked. It might not seem like a particularly noteworthy thing to remark, but we’re still talking about it.

Dawson Filter tried his hand at the process of paper-flower building. He folded it and did other stuff. His flower was perfect. Sylvester Denny hung his head in irrelevance, aware that the notes he’d taken on the paper-flower building process were unnecessary to Dawson Filter’s flower-making abilities. He saw a porch and felt better.

As the seconds slid by, and life slowly crept from Dawson Filter’s youthful face, Dawson continued to fold paper flowers. He’d amassed some dozen score when he slipped on one of the flowers, fracturing his lower femur.

A spark shot up from the ashes of the charred forest of Makayla Pundit. It landed on a nearby fire hazard, setting it ablaze. Not only was this fire hazard an heirloom of a local merchant, but it was also connected to all other local fire hazards.

People ran in terror, but found no refuge. Because the fire had seen Dawson Filter’s love of origami, it trained itself to target everything anyone had ever loved.

The fire bored into the ground, reaching our planet’s core.

Flames shot up from Earth, bathing the moon in a sea of fire. Paper flowers drifted up to kindle the moon; and there was no night.