Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ulillillia

I can’t remember precisely how I came across the website—but the point is, I did, and I’m very pleased. Go here: www.ulillillia.us. Think of this entry as a preparation/primer for it.

Ulillillia is a boy—no, a man—22, from North Dakota. At first glance, the website is utterly stifling, with its plain presentation and often stilted language—somewhat unpleasant, in a way, but intriguing all the same because it’s quite clear that this man is not from the same planet that most come from.

He’s got a thing for numbers. Understatement?

Every detail has a figure attached to it, a quantification and categorization, like an over-analyzed role-playing game—but what’s being discussed is real life here. My first conclusions about Uli? Ill. D&D fan. Whatever. OCD. Too much detail to be able to sift through his thoughts.

True, there’s a lot (read: tons) to get through, but the website, this website, has given me the clearest picture of anyone I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting. In fact, I don’t even have to wonder what he’s doing right now—there’s a handy little formula on his website that one can use to figure out whether he’s likely asleep or not—and if he’s awake, you can bet that he’s either working on a movie script, updating his website, one of two video games, is on How What Why, or is lost in his thoughts—what he calls his “mind game.”

The man’s got more going on than I do, and he doesn’t have a job or own a car. The solution to getting it all done? Don’t leave the house. Ever. This is an overstatement. He gets out, I’m sure, but this is rarely discussed in any measurable detail.

You’ll find a wealth of information about his projects on the site, but the most intriguing, far and away, is the “About Me” section. This’ll give you not a glimpse, but rather an unabashed stare into the mind—yes, the mind—of Uli. All the way in.

Most folks, if you’re anything like me, keep much of themselves to themselves—the little things that you do while you’re walking, like counting your steps or making sure not to stand on a crack or picking up pennies on heads—but not Ulillillia. He’s remarkably candid about who he is, what drives him, and where he comes from. He describes each year of his education in detail, as well as “special events,” the most interesting of which is a story detailing a Shakespearian play he was in (I’m not sure which one—anyone familiar with the line “Hello within,” and then a character runs across the stage?).

The most harrowing and telling sections of the website are, without any doubt, those titled “Video Games” and “Major Fears.” “Video Games” shows us the man’s origins, where his current mode of thought originates from and affords us the opportunity to know him in terms of why—it’s all explained. Why do I keep saying that?

My favorite section of the website, hands down—and I admit that it’s schadenfreude (spelling?) that makes it my favorite—is the “Major Fears” section. Ulillillia lists—and yes, describes, in harrowing robotic detail—each of them. Here’s a taste: "This fear, the fear of mirrors, has been with me for over a decade and a half, since about 1988 or 1989. This fear prevents me from getting too much in the direct path of a mirror. However, I have no problem going in front of mirrors in my mind game or in video games, even seeing one head on as an image on a screen is okay as well. I've got one major example of a case in which I didn't have this fear.
The exact cause is not known."

After some thought, it’s not the fact that I like to indulge in things that aren’t necessarily pleasant, or the fact that the misfortune/weirdness of others intrigues me that I like so much about Ulillillia—it’s the fact that he’s telling the truth in every way. This is the world as he sees it, told through his own foggy lens. These words are him, no question about it.

Aside from the content itself, what’s most striking about Uli is the presentation of the content, its mathematical bent, its extreme detail. He sees everything with a strange equality—no stone is unturned. But most important, he details those things that most of us just skip over, those things that we usually generalize without ever thinking about it—and he twists them, turns them into something new. Something great, something real, and something genuinely fantastic. I love Ulillillia.

UPDATE: 05/12/2006

Ulillillia's come across this weblog and references it on his website. He notes the entry about him as "interesting." I am very pleased, I think. Ain't the web great?

14 comments:

Leah said...

I love him, too. I love the way he's made me see the world in a little bit of a different way. I love that he has me questioning a better way to prepare Hamburger Helper.

Anonymous said...

I'm a long-time fan of Ulil. I just ask you and your readers to be respectful of him and his hard work. It's no question it takes a special person to be motivated to create such a site. For all the challenges facing this young man, he is quite productive with his website and his projects on his computer.

Everything Reviews said...

I completely agree w/ you. Rock out.

bustelette said...

It seems to me that not only is uli's site interesting - it also has a strange "effect" on the reader. When I read for a while, I get a weird, Zen, dissociative tingly feeling, as if his state of mind is really being conveyed through the writing (the site's minimalist style, fonts, graphics, everything seems to contribute to this phenomenon). Does this happen to anyone else?

Sean said...

Actually, yes, I get that weird tingly "Zen" feeling as well. I read Ulillillia a lot when I can't sleep. It really helps me clear my head.

Anonymous said...

That site is actually quite depressing...

Anonymous said...

I actually find his site to be disturbing, yet intriguing. I am of the opinion that if anyone is perturbed by another person, the reason is that they see the portion of themselves that perturbs them. In George, I see the antisocial tendencies and eccentricities that I strive to escape from...... but honestly, his work is fascinating.

Anonymous said...

I came across his site through a thread on a forum with the intention to bash him. At first I joined the mob and playfully quoted some of his stranger material (namely his fears and mud dreams). Shortly after I just couldn't get enough of it, in a good non-negative way. I started to read his site like a novel, it excited me to dig deeper into the mind of this troubled young man. I know more about him than I do myself. Ulillillia, if you're reading this, just wanted to say that I love you man. I don't know why, I just do.

Anonymous said...

Haha, shit. I thought I was freaking out, being intrigued and feeling some kind of attraction towards this human being. I guess I'm not the only one. I'd suggest checking him out on youtube too, his voice is somewhat enchanting. Respect.

O Sweet Flowery Roses said...

osfrjournal.blogspot.com

I'm trying to solicit him to write poetry

Everything Reviews said...

Wow. That seems very... pandering and almost mean-spirited, like when Denise Bevins asked me to go out with her in 6th grade, and I was excited, so excited. Until I found out it was an elaborate joke.

Sean said...

I get that tingly feeling too. I like to read the site when I'm stressed out or when I can't sleep. The combination of the fonts, the tone, and the way everything is spelled out for you is VERY relaxing. Nick (Uli's real name) is a rad dude.

Benjammin said...

I found the site while at work, Googling "frozen pizza pics." He came up, and I was amused at first, but then I was hooked. The disassociated feeling happens to me too.

Drew said...

rap song about Ulillillia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdLbUHdKTJ4