Imagine you’ve built an intricate cuckoo clock with a mechanism that shines and sparkles as it clicks around and around and into place. The chains with lead pine cones are made of some mysterious but beautiful metal that looks impossibly delicate while being impossibly strong. The bird itself is a marvel of hand-painted beauty whose cuckoo is beautiful and haunting instead of annoying. You put your heart and soul into the cuckoo clock. And then, because you’re an artist you wanted to take it a step further. You suspended the cuckoo clock in a clear box using a web of delicate human hair, hair collected from your long-dead great grandmother, which now spreads taut in every direction from the cuckoo clock like a strange silvery halo.
You bring in your beta viewers. And they both are like “Wow. But… Oh, yeah, I like that and that and that and… I don’t know something’s not right here.” And then one of your beta viewers, let’s call her S., asks “shouldn’t the container be egg-shaped, not square?”
Impossible! How can I change the shape of the container? Did you not see all of the historic gossamer hair? Can we talk for even ten seconds about what a pain in the ass it’s going to be to undo all of that and not get it tangled and then redo it in an egg? No, no, no.
But then, the more you think about it, the more you’re constantly asking yourself if there’s any way to get across the feel of the egg without having to make the outer container egg-shaped.
And there is not.
And that’s where I am today. The cuckoo clock is perfect. The hair is weird but cool. The thing that gives it it’s larger shape is wrong and S. is right about the shape it should have.
I have been saying “Fuck” to myself repeatedly, but it hasn’t changed the fact of the matter.