The Mysterious Stain

I was born in Pennsylvania, and my biggest mistake was meeting Paul Ford.

I promised Paul I'd write for his site; I promised, and did not deliver, and yet I still have excellent intentions to send fine prose his way; I have not yet abolished those intentions.

There is always a need for a Change of Pace , a way to escape from the circumstances in which you find yourself, to better those circumstances. And yet I think there is some foolishness here, the desire to keep moving, because you promise yourself that there is a better world around the corner. And although I've turned about 5,000 corners, in 15 states, the world looks about the same; people everywhere lie to themselves. And the goal of being one of the Revolutionaries , of changing everything, defining the Moral Futures never leaves us; we - I and you, in all the places I've been - want a perfect world, a utopia, and yet there we are, horny as hell and maybe this one last time we'll lie on the bed with this person we met and pray and pray before we crawl under the blankets for that slow goosedown comfort of wet hands and mouths. And somehow this is wrong, and so we can't ever get the peace it promises. Faith of My Fathers , tuning in to the same Sky Frequency

The Temporary End of Paul Ford
Get that bastard out of here, and put him on the bus.
Monday, February 26, 2001
Being Good
A chapel in the woods.
Wednesday, February 28, 2001
The Discussion of Music
Yaaaaan Haaaamah.
Thursday, March 1, 2001
Coming Back
Let the taxi-clogged air spread through my lungs, drawn by capillary action into my agnostic soul.
Friday, March 23, 2001




Ftrain.com is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at ford@ftrain.com and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for TheMorningNews.org. (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

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