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This is Layer 1 by Oliver Reichenstein      Tools:

Liz Danzico's Layer 1 Commentary

Halt, Who Goes There?

Let’s start by my telling you about my recent roadtrip where I got lost in the middle of the night. I thought we’d travel the road with the better-designed signs, ClearviewHwy of course, but then it all went dark... Wait. Different post. Focus.

But that's where we are with this serve by Reichenstein. In the middle of the night, calling out into the darkness of his 3am, greeting madness, the match begins with focus.

This nefarious fellow, with a simple provocation, seemingly uncomplicated, belies the match with a focused greeting. But "madness" is not then referring to Reichenstein — think not of him as mad, that he is working away on digital layers in the middle of a Tokyo evening. Oh no, Layer Tennis friends, this provocation is reference to Muller's very own own nickname, "Hello Muller." Mad Muller.

Well, Hello Muller indeed.

Let's not forget that the very history of "hello" itself is vulgar. Could it be that Reichenstein, in addition to serving a backhanded compliment, is tossing a vulgar insult in Muller's direction?

For decades, hello was enormously controversial. That's because prephone guardians of correct usage regarded it (and halloo) as vulgar. These late-nineteenth-century Emily Posts urged people not to use the word, and the dispute carried on until the 1940s. By the '60s and '70s, though, hello was fully domesticated, and people moved on to even more scandalously casual phrasings like hi and hey.

And Muller has no choice but to respond (it's, well, against Layer Tennis rules and etiquette anyway I'm getting word from the sidelines), as his opponent has expertly left the cursor — the clearly Writer-branded cursor mind you — for Muller to respond.

So we've just begun. Is that Roppongi Hills in the background? Will Muller pick up the cursor? Will the Reichenstein stay awake? It's an open canvas to work with, a bold move, and anything can happen. Over to you, Tom!


Play by play commentary for this match is provided, as it happens, by Liz Danzico.

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