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Know When to Fold 'Em - We're All Mad Here
You can tell I'm mad because I have straw in my hair.
baronmind
baronmind
Know When to Fold 'Em
For a while, I wanted to become good at origami. Being able to fold plain squares of paper into intricate designs is a skill worth having. It's also, as it turns out, a skill that's hard to acquire. Paper squares are notably reluctant to form themselves into dragons, meaning that there's rather a lot of work on the part of the origami practitioner to make this happen. The diagrams explaining how a piece of paper needed to be folded were difficult to understand, and I quickly came to realize that creating an original, replicable figure was well beyond my talents, at least without putting in a lot of work. And I just didn't want it that badly.

Many people would have given up at this point. And, in fairness, many people would call the course of action I chose "giving up." I, however, prefer to think of it as "moving the goalposts." As the famous Swiss painter Hermann Rorschach once said, "What makes you think that I wasn't trying to be abstract?"

You see, it's not that I am bad at origami. No, I am simply the world's foremost practitioner of enigami, the art of folding paper into shapes that other people must then puzzle out. Enigami is an ancient tradition going back thousands of years; it's also a secret tradition, so don't bother looking that up. If you were the sort of person who had access to the traditions, you'd already know about them, so don't waste your time.

Enigami has many advantages over origami, chief among them being that absolutely anything you fold is correct. The more angles it has, the better; you want a shape with a lot of facets in order for the viewer to truly be able to reveal something about himself through what he sees in the art. Technically speaking, even an unfolded sheet of paper is enigami, but you basically only get two answers: "It's a sheet of paper" (no insight about the person), or "It's a tabula rasa, a blank slate on which I can create anything I want!" (trying much too hard). Adding creases allows shapes to suggest themselves, and raises the worth of the enigami.

The only way to screw up enigami is to have everyone agree on what it is. If this happens, you have accidentally created origami. This is no good. Unfold it and try again. Try to be less good at origami this time around.

Mood of the Moment: good good
Auditory Hallucination: Proteigon

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