A Message from Barnaby

Dr. Barnaby Oblivion, longtime resident and physician of Swaffham passed away in his home yesterday. Dr. Oblivion had been in the Swaffham hospital for the past two weeks recovering from pneumonia and just released from the facility several hours before his passing. His sister, who was bedside when he passed, said he wanted to be at home and given his place in the community and his background as a physician, the doctors allowed him to leave the hospital on his own accord.

Dr. Oblivion leaves the town of Swaffham indebted to his service, insatiable spirit and willingness to help others. He will be sorely missed by many.  He recently created the Swaffham Sudoku Society and a scholarship for university that will allow needy Swaffham youth to attend university. A complete obituary, including a look at his life, will be printed this Sunday.

Below is a message from Dr. Oblivion that he wished printed upon his passing.

What I Learned Too Late in Life
By Barnaby Oblivion

Kindness is the only thing of value.

Faith in my life has been a challenge to find, but long ago I heard a leader of men, the Dali Lama, speak these words, “My true religion is kindness.” That has had a lasting impact on me and I was too old when I understood it. But I also know you can only be where you are, and so from that day on I tried. I feel fortunate to have learned it at all.

But enough of that shit. Let’s look at some things that are here today, and we can do right now.

I spent much of my life conversing with wonderful people in Swaffham. In the tavern and in the clinic, at homes, and then on the telephone. I communicated using the medium of the day. It was not until my eighties that I found the “internet” and a game I enjoyed playing, Sudoku. I was given a computer by my sister and I slowly learned not to be afraid of it. The Internet came to Swaffham and I found and joined a community of Sudoku players and greatly enjoyed the games we played.  I had fun.

The one day I saw an advertisement for The Twitter on one of the Sudoku game sites. It sounded great and I joined up. Immediately my life changed. I became ensnared, largely due to my own actions, in a broiling mayhem called ds106. Apparently it was a class about “digital stories” and was being offered to some students in the United States. The man in charge, loosely I might add, was Jim Groom.

During my years of university and schooling the expectations were as clear and orderly as the rows of chairs in the rooms and the lines on our ledgers. I knew what to do because there was only one option: Do as the professor told you or fail. Looking back I was like a sheep being stalked by a wolf. I remained silent as possible and rarely moved.  Much of my education consisted of listening and reciting things back to the professor and I was tested in a similar manner. Answer the question correctly or you fail. That was certainly applicable in many situations, but looking back it was often the only situation.

Now I am not saying my professors were not good, kind, and wise people, but the system they worked in seemed to be one of developing control and that is what trickled down to us, the students. We were controlled. I think if that was the situation I found myself in today I would be a revolutionary in the classes. I would demand to be given alternatives and I would speak out of turn and I would ask fellow students difficult questions only loosely related to the content of the course. I would no longer be a sheep, I would be a lion.

And that brings me to the ds106.

When I arrived into the chaos and confusion I found that while I had no clue what the Twitter was for, and I had only just created my thing called a “blog” I was still engaged and a part of the communication network. So I spoke. I said what I thought and I did not just wait. I, in my old age, roared into the “class” and I had no idea what I was getting into. I will not go into the grisly details as they can be found on my blog and in the blogs of others, but I will share with you what I found.

I found a village of humans from many parts of our planet. How strange is that? I found a small village that seemed caring. Not all of them to be sure. Some were more distant than others, some more polite, some more fearful. But I found them to be, in the rectangle before me on my desk in Swaffham, humans who shared some similar purpose. And I was part of it. The villagers would help me if I needed assistance. Not just the “professor” Jim Groom, but the students themselves offered assistance. Just like my town of Swaffham. There was caring and there was camaraderie. And chaos, but that is another story for someone else to tell.

And this is schooling? In my view yes it is. It is like the schooling we receive after our “schooling” is over and we enter into the “real world.” What a tragedy that we spend so much time in schooling that only schools us on learning in fictitious environments called “schools.” Then we are supposed to learn all over again in the real world. The ds106 seemed more like the real world in many respects. The challenges greater, the obstacles larger and more difficult to overcome, and the community that developed seemed somehow more useful and relevant to what I see on the telly news day after day.  Perhaps it is true, we live in a global village yet modern schools want to keep us in small boxes.

I learned in ds106 to have my own voice and that I could share it beyond the tavern or classroom walls. Maybe that is not what each and every class should teach or expect, but certainly in many cases, there are more teachers/students willing to share their expertise that the one we get handed at the front of the classroom. And in the ds106 I found many teachers willing to share. That is where I hope I find myself when this earthly voyage is over: in village of learners who are willing to explore and wonder and share the journey we all must walk alone.

I hope that you as students spread this message far and wide and you share it at parties when you are drunk and you speak these things at the most serene moments in the wilderness. That you go forth into the world and share what you have learned about leaning in a world that often believes it can do the learning for you. You must move forward or you will be, as Mr. Hesse noted in this brilliant Beneath the Wheel, run over.

Be kind,


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“Long Live the New Flesh”

When I heard Jim Groom say that the young Mr. John Oblivion “has trouble with his sweater,” I nearly re-broke my nose as the tea I was drinking came flying out of it and sprayed across my still scarred chest. The gall of that man Groom  insulting the gentleman sweater in a public forum! Never have I seen such callousness. Never!

That, coupled with the brewing revolt led by his downtrodden students, has led me to believe that it is Jim Groom again who has a hand in the disappearance of Dr. Oblivion. And now I am beginning to see that Bianca and Mr. Groom may have had a play in this. I watched Mr. Groom While I believe that Mr. Fixer did come to do me harm and he was sent by someone trying to get rid of a possible leader of the ds106, it is also apparent that Bianca was romantically involved with him. Perhaps Mr. Groom is Number One. That would fit his self-absorbed personality.

You can see for yourself. It is perfectly clear in the Justin’s Telly video here at 35:15 minutes in where Mr. Groom is talking to @arabaBky via The Skype. Look at his facial expression as be begins to realize that others know the truth.

The revolution being led by Mr. Liddell seems worthy and given the egregious and nefarious behavior of the Mr. Groom on the Twitter and on Justin’s telly, I think it is wise to discontinue the current state of the #ds106 communications and move on to a brighter future in the new flesh as #ds107

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Happy Birthday America and Unwashed Hippies

As I sit here looking at the Twitter I see Jim Groom is busy commenting about unwashed hippies. I saw that a man made a flag with the skulls and crossbones and a black and white American flag. The longer I watch this group of people the more I am concerned for America. Clearly these individuals cannot represent the normal Americans. There must be something wrong with this group. Missing people, teachers sending hit men, the strange Bianca Oblivion (no relation to me) and the bizarre Twitter conversation. Not to mention Justin’s television station.

As I have had plenty of time on my hands sitting here in bed, I have been trying to make my computer work. I found that I can create colors and shapes in a thing called “paint.” I remember back when the “hippy” movement was prevalent in American society and how we watched the demonstrations on the telly. They all seemed so dirty. Poor kids. I thought I would try to recreate on of the symbols I recall from those days in America. But with a twist for the ds106.

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Recovery and TwitterHugs

I  have been pondering the TwitterHug concept these last two days in recovery. My nose is still sore and the numerous abrasions I have have started to itch as the scabbing dries. I have had a very relaxing two days and had some time to wonder about the potential for this TwitterHug idea.

I really don’t have any grand ideas beyond a lot of people secretly getting together and LOVESPAM someone. But I wonder, is it a silly way to use the Twitter?

If any of the people in that ds106 group in the US have any ideas, please let me know.

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New Clues and a Hand Extended to Join in the Search

The photo here was printed in the Waffon and Swaffham Times this morning. The report described the image, found in Mr. Ward’s wallet, and several other items being found on the body of Jesse Ward. The other items in the report included a set of keys with a plastic pendant in the shape of a fox head that had the inscription, “I’m your sexy fox,” a pair of bifocal glasses, and a ring with the inscription “love forever, BO.”  These items were described as being found on his person. The auto he drove into the pond has some other items that were reported earlier including surveillance equipment and a handgun.

I write this today because I have seen the woman in this photo and I have said as much to the Waffham magistrate. This woman appeared on Justin’s telly show all of this week! She is named Bianca Oblivion! Now earlier today I sent Mr. John Oblivion, the uncle of Brian Oblivion, this very image in the hopes that he can use it on the quest to find his missing uncle.

I believe I need to make another apology here to me Jim Groom. At the onset of this misadventure I believed Mr. Groom to be one and the same as this “other” Dr. Oblivion that seems to be currently missing. I know believe that I had misjudged Mr. Groom and that he in fact is a mild mannered man from Virginia and this Brian Oblivion, or Dr. Oblivion, is in fact another person altogether.

I did some research on the internet and was able to find the following images below of the two men described above, the missing Dr. Oblivion and the Virginia man, Jim Groom. While there are similarities, there are clearly great differences. One is the missing hair. The other is Mr. Groom seems to be much slimmer in physique. The glasses create a challenge as they are similar, but clearly the mad look of Dr. Oblivion and the kindly gentleness of Mr. Groom show a very different personality. I simply cannot see the good looking gentleman on the right as being the madman on the left.

I will be listening to the radio in the upcoming days for updates on these events here in Swaffham. If I can be of assistance to anyone in the search for the uncle of John Oblivion, Dr. Brian Oblivion, please let me know and I will do my best to assist you. I am learning how to use these computers, as you can see I even made the blog. And the Twitter. You may reach me at droblivion@mail.com

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Some Bad Dreams After the Mr. Fixer

I don’t want to trouble anyone with my nightmares these last two days but I have struggled to get a good nights rest. To add to the trouble I watched Justin’s telly today and watched Bianca Oblivion, clearly no relation to me, and listened to Jim Groom.

It was fitting that part of Justin’s program was about making dead people because that is about what I have been seeing during my nightmares. I seem to wander into this cave like environment and muddle around in the muck and slime. Crawly bugs all around and slithering reptile looking things that are half human and half snake or spider, or something awful. It is a very frightening affair.

My nose is healing and I only have to re-bandage the numerous abrasions I have one a day rather than every few hours. They have stopped weeping and begun to dry. Thank goodness for that!

I sat this morning and attempted to draw some of the creatures I have been seeing in my dreams. There are parts of animals and things all crisscrossed and having hideous hues to them. I don’t wish to offend any readers and I certainly do not want to spread my nightmares. I hope by making them I have somehow pulled them from my sleep! We shall see.

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Back Home, Finally

I do not know what has transpired since this morning. Thankfully I was able to leave the hospital much sooner that the dreadful doctors had thought. My own story is left unchanged and confirmed now beyond doubt that Mr. Groom had sent a man after me. He admitted as much on Justin’s television station this morning. The evening edition of the Waffon and Swaffham times tells the tale very clearly and it is my belief that the “source” in the United States is in fact Mr. Jim Groom. Perhaps he was trying to eliminate his troubles by calling the constabulary. If he could get rid of the “Mr. Fixer” his problems would be over? I do not know at this point. I am too tired from it all.

I would like to say to Mr. Groom that the very idea of the “Twitter Hug” this morning was my effort to help you through these troubling times. And with that you repay me with a broken nose, abrasions to my face, arms, and chest. Perhaps this assault on your sense of right and wrong will jolt you back into reality? Perhaps tomorrow I will have enough energy to complete my Part Three and explain why I attempted to subvert your authority as teacher or whatever position you hold.

And Mr. Groom, I hope you find your Dr. Oblivion, whatever form he takes.

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