Interviewer: Welcome homies, once again to, “Get to know your Monkey Barner.” Today we have Hyperion, one of the original members of the Barn. Hyperion, how did you come to be affiliated with this site?
Hyperion: I knew the guy who created it. I knew most of his secrets. That helps. Actually, I had a site called Hyperion Thinks Too Much, where I posted random dumb things I thought of. To my utter horror it went from a sideshow to the most popular site I had. At some point the decision was made to invite the people who always visited to join in a new Super Site, and Monkey Barn was born.
Interviewer: Love at first sight, eh?
Hyperion: Actually, I hated Monkey Barn for the longest time. I hated how something so inconsequential could be so popular. Here I was working my ass off, trying to offer the best in commentary, reflection and cutting-edge fiction, and I’m trumped every day of the week and twice on Sunday by a site where people post random links and inane thoughts.
Interviewer: But over time you came to have a grudging…
Hyperion: I’m not finished. The first 5 months of my original site I had to pull teeth to get anyone to comment, a trend which continued with the new people. I saw the visitors each day—knew they were there—but God forbid they throw the ball back once in awhile!
Interviewer: Come down, Messiah!
Hyperion: Sorry, but you can’t imagine how frustrating it was. I remember one time, when it was just me, when I declared it “Bar Joke Month,” and asked for people to send in Bar Jokes. I got a few, but then nothing. I finally wrote that there would be no more posts period until someone sent me a lousy bar joke.
I’m a paranoid guy, which I recognize, but you can’t imagine how hard it was not to come to the conclusion that people are conspiring against you when NO ONE, sent in a bar joke for over five days.
Interviewer: But once the others came on board you grew into a family and came to love them….
Hyperion: It was cool to have others around, but even that brought problems. We had three rules: Post at least once a week, get involved in group projects, and sign your posts. (For some reason older browsers can’t see who writes each post.) Getting certain unnamed Barners to follow these simple requests was like pulling teeth, and then turning those teeth into gold. There were times when I felt like I was running a nursery.
Then there was the fact—and I’m not proud of this—that I’ve been jealous of the site. I work very very hard on my posts, and often Monkey Barn readers would eclipse all the other sites put together.
Interviewer: That would be frustrating
Hyperion: It was. Sometimes people would come to the Barn and completely ignore the home page or other sites. I got to the point where I was devising ways where you couldn’t go to Monkey Barn unless you went through the Home Page.
Interviewer: What turned the Tide? (Or did anything????)
Hyperion: I think I calmed down some when I realized that whatever the reasons people were coming, they were coming. Even if it frustrated me that something mindless like Monkey Barn was more popular than my serious work, if people were coming back, they had to like what I’m doing, at least on some level.
The group projects also helped. They were/are difficult to coordinate, but I think they brought us together; especially the first set of Questions and the Campfire story.
Also, at some point we started to pull together as a family. I now love these people, and would do anything in my power to help them.
Lastly, I think I finally realized that my website might never bring in the masses I’m looking for, but if I identify a small number of people who believe in me and my message, then I’ve narrowed the search for disciples considerably, and when I make my move to take over the world I can take some of them with me.
Interviewer: Soon Come the Day!
Hyperion: Soon Come the Day.
Interviewer: Speaking of those Group Projects, what plans do you have in the future?
Hyperion: for awhile I’ve wanted to do some sort of Contest, either in Survivor mode, or American Idol, or even Men vs. Women Olympics. When I first brought it up I received a lot of support and some absolute balkiness, but I realized those people were just reacting to a perception that I was going to run a reality show, which I’m not interested in. It seems like we could devise a good contest, though, to make it fun for the Barners and casual readers too. I’m always open to new ideas too. As most people eventually realize, I’m not afraid to try new ideas. Even if they don’t all work, they’re worth a shot.
Interviewer: How do people actually get in Monkey Barn?
Hyperion: Sometimes I approach the person, because I like what they say on their own site, or they’ve been making insightful/funny comments on the Barn. Sometimes someone else recommends a person. If a current Monkey Barner vouches for you, that’s usually good enough for me. Sometimes people write and ask if they can be a part.
Interviewer: Are you open to new members?
Hyperion: Absolutely. At first I wanted to keep it small and exclusive, but Monkey Barn is growing, and I don’t want to run some sort of Good Ol’ Monkeys club, where you had to know me back when. If you’re new and you think you’d be a good fit, you should write and let me know.
Interviewer: What makes a good fit?
Hyperion: #1 important trait: your ability to mock everyone else.
Interviewer: What about hotness? It can’t be a coincidence how many hot women you have.
Hyperion: It’s a total coincidence! I’m interested in the minds of my people, not their bodies!
Interviewer: Then why all the “what are you wearing” “who would you sleep with” questions?
Hyperion: Okay, I’m interested in the minds first and foremost, but I guess I do like sampling all the meats of our cultural stew. The important thing to remember is that I welcome anyone. It is a total coincidence that all but one of the women are smoking hot.
Interviewer: Why do you say things like that? You know they are just going to obsess over it now, trying to figure out who…
Hyperion: (Snickering) I know. If women knew how easy they were to manipulate, they’d band together and take over the world. Actually they DO know this, but they can’t help it. Women are like raccoons who get their paws caught in traps. All they have to do is let go of the shiny thimble and they’re saved, but damned if they can do it.
Interviewer: You’re saying Women are raccoons. You’re either very brave or very foolish.
Hyperion: Hey! It explains why so many women feel compelled to wear 8 pounds of eye liner every time they leave the house. Seriously: who ever thought that was a good idea?
Interviewer: For realz. Let’s move on: Where’d you get the idea for the Monkey Barn clubhouse? I think that’s been the most popular type of question in your interviews (other than “those” questions).
Hyperion: Thank you. It actually just came to me when I was writing up the questions for Dominique (the first Monkey Barner interviewed). I’ve been very pleased with the Interviews, although now that they’ve started to run, you definitely see a “Real World” effect coming into play.
Interviewer: What do you mean by that?
Hyperion: I think it’d be fair to call “The Real World” the very first reality show. As much as living in a fabulous apartment with cameras rolling all the time could be real, they seemed to disappear into that world. However, at some point during the taping of the second Real World (and I remember watching the episode where it happened), the first Real World premiered on TV, and the current Real Worlders saw how life and career changing it could be. From then on, there was an incentive to “act” certain parts in front of the cameras, to get noticed, to increase the shelf-life of the person later on. (This totally wasn’t helped by MTV’s stereotypical casting, but that’s another story.)
Anyway, the first four interviews were done before any posted, but I knew that once people saw how great they were there would be a tendency to “top” what came before. Despite that, I’m very happy with them.
Interviewer: Tracy Lynn was right: you DO go on Tangents!
Hyperion: It’s one of my Super powers.
Interviewer: But back to the clubhouse….
Hyperion: Oh, yeah. Like I said it just came to me, but I instantly realized it was a great opportunity to explore. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I want to incorporate it into something bigger.
Interviewer: Bigger how?
Hyperion: When Monkey Barn started it was a stolen catchphrase…meant nothing. Now I feel like it is an actual Barn, maybe not a literal one, but a metaphorical one. In other words, it’s our clubhouse, where we can meet, hang out, just have fun.
Interviewer: All due respect, but how is that any different from what you’re doing now?
Hyperion: I hate when people say “all due respect.” They never mean it. Just come out and take your shot, assholes! Anyway, The Monkey Barn Clubhouse could almost be like a fan club or something.
If you extend my analogy, the
The Monkey Barn Clubhouse would be in back, where you go after a long day or philosophical discussion and art, just to chill.
I’m considering making tee shirts, hats, mugs, edible panties; the works.
Interviewer: (skeptically) Edible panties?
Hyperion: C’mon! Who wouldn’t want to be a Monkey Muncher?
Interviewer: (cracking up) You do know that “Monkey Muncher” will be the only thing people remember from this interview?
Hyperion: You remember those lame commercials awhile back for the Wheel of Fortune? People sang that insipid song, “I’m a Wheel Watcher…..I’m a Wheel Wathcher…..”
Hyperion: Can’t you just see it? We make a web-commercial or something with Barners singing, “I’m a Monkey Muncher….”
Interviewer: You’re insane!
Hyperion: I know you are, but what am I?
Interviewer: Whoa! That’s a tad too existential, so let’s move on. Do you plan to ever build the actual Monkey Barn?
Hyperion: First I must build the Institute (for which I already have an architect, I’d like to add), but yes, I will one day build the Barn as well. More than that, though: if I ever make it big, selling a movie script or novel, I totally plan on flying all the Barners to one spot to meet each other and hang out.
Interviewer: Where would that be?
Hyperion: Well, it depends. If I’m so busy on Institute projects I’ll fly the Monkeys to the Barn. If it’s only one night, like a special dinner, it’d be
Interviewer /Hyperion: (Together) VEGAS!
Interviewer: You sure do think big. This isn’t really Monkey Barn related, but while I have you here, what other plans do you have?
Hyperion: Glad you asked. As you know, I recently initiated several “Group Projects.” Progress has been slow, for which I take full responsibility. Some of it is I probably did too much at once, while part was I was hoping for a more egalitarian distribution of the workload, and when I realized it was going to rise or fall on what I did, I got a little discouraged. Nevertheless, I’m still fully committed to…
Interviewer: (interrupting) For new people out there, why don’t you tell us a bit about those Group Projects.
Hyperion: Oh, sorry. Empire of the Mind is a philosophical Discussion Group, founded by four people. The idea was to bring curious minds together and discuss…anything. We’re looking to define the universe.
Interviewer: That’s pretty ambitious.
Hyperion: I know, but I dream big. If we come up with anything—either on our big mission or more topical “Events of the Day”—then we’d even consider publishing it.
Interviewer: How does one get in?
Hyperion: There’s actually a formal application on the site. The application goes to the four of us “blind,” which means we judge it without knowing who it is.
Interviewer: What are you looking for?
Hyperion: The application is 5 questions, 1000 words. Basically we’re looking for someone who can make a cogent but somewhat concise argument. It’s not really important what they have to say, but can they defend it? Can they back up their opinions with logic?
Interviewer: What else?
Hyperion: Well, The Five Kingdoms is another project I started. Basically, we’re trying to create our own world.
Interviewer: What’s the point of that?
Hyperion: To tell stories. Once we have the geography and a few simple rules mapped out, we start telling stories of this place. I wanted a community project where people could practice their story telling in a safe environment, maybe work on stuff together if they want, or get feedback from their stories. Hopefully we’ll create a few “characters” that everyone can use in their stories.
Interviewer: That sounds cool. Is there an application?
Hyperion: No, it’s open to anyone. There is a “get to know you” questionnaire, but that’s once you already want to be in.
Interviewer: What else?
Hyperion: Well, the first group project (not counting Monkey Barn) was probably International_______Day. I liked the idea that every day could be a holiday. Every month I ask a few people to come up with several “holidays” we can celebrate. That site is open too, if people want in. They just have to let me know, and we’ll try to find a spot for them.
Interviewer: This brings us to our favorite site:
Interviewer/Hyperion: (together) Hyperion After Dark!
Hyperion: It’s funny how that came about. Initially it was just for fiction stories that were more “adult” than what normally went on Literary Hype. However, I casually mentioned once that if anyone had any erotic stories, I’d be happy to publish them anonymously. Almost immediately I got emails from several different people asking me if that was true. Once assured it was, the stories rolled in. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how popular that’s become.
Interviewer: What about the future?
Hyperion: Well, I have another year-long story planned, with possibilities that it could be expanded to allow others to write sections as well. Without Denny’s I’ve been slowed in this venture, but I have the idea all mapped out and plan to start as soon as possible.
Kapgar and I are working on a Movie project that will totally Rock if we can get the details right. More on that at a later date.
Tracy Lynn and I have a plan for something…but I better not mention that until she says it’s okay.
I plan to increase the fiction on the site: more of my own stuff, and more of the painting/stories that we’ve done before.
I may do TV awards again like I did in 2003, and Lady Jane Scarlett has been developing an idea for “The Hypey” Awards.
Laureate and I are trying to get a couple of web comics off the ground…and I may start my own political party.
Interviewer: Those all sound like….(just catching up) WHAT????? Your own political party?
Hyperion: Well, I run for president every four years. Some people are slowly coming to the idea of how awesome a leader I would be. I hope to rule the world some day. Why not a political party?
Interviewer: I just meant, you HATE political parties. At least, the ones they have now.
Hyperion: All the more reason to start my own.
Interviewer: Wow. Okay. Uh, We’re getting long on time, so I’m gong to skip the rest of the questions and go straight to the last two. First: what’s your biggest Monkey Barn regret?
Hyperion: Forcing Bear out. Bear, if you are reading this, I was wrong. Come back to the barn. I need help with those bitches! (And I’m not talking about the women, but all of them!)
Interviewer: You make enemies like a welfare mom makes babies! Last question: We’re back in this mythical clubhouse of yours….who do you sleep with, and why?
Hyperion: Actually, I wouldn’t pick anyone. I mean, I’ve had
Interviewer: And on that note, we’re out of here. Hope you’ve enjoyed this interview, and join us again when we discover, “What’s in Your Barner?”