The Abyss


The elusive New Zealanders who call themselves The Paul Annears have released unto the web what they declare is 'The Concise Model of the Universe'. It's a troubling, at times humorous, labyrinth of indexed texts and images deliriously juxtaposing snapshots of historic atrocities, platitudes about the general vastness of things, the odd cap from 'The Simpsons', AP blurbs about the War on Terror, bombastic complaints about the contrivances of language, futuristic vehicles, stories from small town newspapers, and terse manifestos from the authors and secret societies buried within. All entries are sorted into categories accessible by clicking rows of numbers and letters (Q is for Quotidian). However, with each click these characters reshuffle themselves like a haunted library. Browsing the database sequentially (using '+' buttons flanking the images) will eventually catapult you further into confusion. The sequence will be broken at random, sending you to a far-off entry, but with a noticeable preference for redirecting to current events that underscore a similar abandon of universal order and assurance. A semi-secret link allows you to submit 'your take on the Zeitgeist.' Like history, the only way it seems possible to navigate The Paul Annears' vortex is to stumble backwards, retracing where you've come from last. It's a mirror world that produces a startling, overwhelming, and eerily sober reflection of the times. - Kevin McGarry