In December 2011 I learned from a Google Alert that the Mexican…



In December 2011 I learned from a Google Alert that the Mexican Government had disrupted a plot they dubbed “Operation Guest” to smuggle Saadi Gaddafi, the son of the late Col. Muammar Gaddafi, from Niger, Africa to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, MX under the assumed name Daniel Bejar Hanan. Investigators also discovered false passports and birth certificates with the surname Bejar for Saadi, his wife, and two children. Saadi was to assume the name Daniel Bejar Hanan; coincidentally my name is Daniel Bejar, and we also share a similar likeness. Utilizing this bizarre coincidence as a unique opportunity to continue my research into questions of identity, authorship, and geo-politics, I traveled to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, MX to realize this story through documented site- specific performances in the safe houses, beaches and resturaunts Saadi was to spend the rest of his days in. (via Daniel Bejar - “Operation Guest (Pool #1)”)

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“A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton” by Holly George-Warren



I have not previously met a person who didn't like something by Alex Chilton.   He's a cult artist by definition, but he is without a doubt a major work who made priceless pieces of treasure throughout his long career in music making.  Why he didn't play the Greek Theater or the Olympia or Albert Hall on a regular basis is not his fault, but it was  the 'general' audience that was asleep at the wheel, or using their extra funds foolishly by buying 'that' other record.  At this point and time, everyone 'now' knows that Big Star are essential recordings as well as his long and complicated solo career.  And of course, The Box Tops, you can't forget that!

The story of Alex is really the story of the South, and the southern aesthetic in how it played to the rest of the world, as well as the influences that touched the region that Chilton came from.   In other words, it's a Cecil DeMille production, but in reality it was directed by Sam Fuller.  Chilton and Big Star are blessed with some exceptional books.   Rob Jovanovic's biography on Big Star and Bruce Eaton's focus on Big Star's Radio City are excellent titles.  So is this biography by Holly George-Warren, which is well-researched and well-rounded view of this unique figure.   "A Man Called Destruction" (a catchy title, but I feel there is nothing tragic or destructive about Alex, compared to.... Chet Baker or ....etc.) covers all the bases and she, like the other writers, has a feel on Alex, his music, and his world.  The thing is Alex is just one character in this fascinating story - the whole creative and boho culture of Memphis is also part of this story.

I always felt that Alex's genius lies in not only in his music, but in his culture as well.   What you get is black American culture, Elvis culture, and William Eggleston culture as well.   It's an insane world, but one that is totally manageable, but it does have its tragic side as well.   I got the feeling from reading this book and the others that he really felt the death of his parents, Chris Bell, and his brothers - he didn't talk about it, but the silence is pretty loud. Excellent biography.
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Eggishness

These are amazing!
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Closing tabs

“A body-temperature wallet is a petri dish.” (Via Tyler Cowen.)

Also: the private lives of public bathrooms (via I.H.D.).

Snails.

Upcoming: Little Women/Girls mashup - see it while you can!

Good but busy week upcoming (still have slightly implausible amount of work to do between now and Wednesday morning): a dissertation defense, an oral exam, the regular weekly meetings and seminars, but also tickets to various friends' artistic enterprises (this, this and this).

I am sad to have finished all three books of Jane Gardam's Old Filth trilogy! And surprised I didn't read them sooner. They are perhaps not quite as much to my taste as Susan Howatch's Church of England books (I prefer a novel's span to be defined by a period of crisis rather than the entirety of the character's life), but they are very good indeed - I will certainly read her other ones. Have been reading a lot of top-secret books for the Tenure Review Advisory Committee - I suppose at the end of the year I could make a few recommendations, as committee membership is public and so is fact of tenuring, once it's gone through final stages of approval.

Highlight of the week: IMAX 3D Island of Lemurs: Madagascar! Only was able to stay for the first two segments of The Mysteries on Thursday evening (I got home at 11pm and still had a couple more hours of work I had to do before Friday morning meetings, really couldn't face getting home a couple hours later than that with remaining work ditto!); not sure it is quite as transcendent as the Sophocles marathon a few years ago (there is unevenness in the switch from one playwright to another, also too many of them want to make the same sophomoric jokes), but many great aspects, and I definitely recommend it.
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kiameku: David Shrigley Swan 2000 Cast polyurethane resin…



kiameku:

David Shrigley
Swan
2000
Cast polyurethane resin object with label
2.5 x 12.5 x 8 cm

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OKCathy

This week’s Aunt Pythia column features Cathy O’Neil’s take on what questions online daters ought to have to answer in their profiles:

How sexual are you? (super important question)
How much fun are you? (people are surprisingly honest when asked this)
How awesome do you smell? (might need to invent technology for this one)
What bothers you more: the big bank bailout or the idea of increasing the minimum wage?
Do you like strong personalities or would you rather things stay polite?
What do you love arguing about more: politics or aesthetics?
Where would you love to visit if you could go anywhere?
Do you want kids?
Dog person or cat person?
Do you sometimes wish the girl could be the hero, and not always fall for the hapless dude at the end?

I gotta say, thinking back to when I was single, during the second Clinton administration, I don’t think these are the questions I personally would most want to ask of my prospective dates.

On the other hand, I think the questions provide a near-perfect portrait of Cathy!  So let me offer my own suggestion:  maybe profiles shouldn’t have any answers.  Maybe they should just have questions.  And you contact the person whose questions you’d like to answer.

What would your questions be?

 

 


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OKCathy

This week’s Aunt Pythia column features Cathy O’Neil’s take on what questions online daters ought to have to answer in their profiles:

How sexual are you? (super important question)
How much fun are you? (people are surprisingly honest when asked this)
How awesome do you smell? (might need to invent technology for this one)
What bothers you more: the big bank bailout or the idea of increasing the minimum wage?
Do you like strong personalities or would you rather things stay polite?
What do you love arguing about more: politics or aesthetics?
Where would you love to visit if you could go anywhere?
Do you want kids?
Dog person or cat person?
Do you sometimes wish the girl could be the hero, and not always fall for the hapless dude at the end?

I gotta say, thinking back to when I was single, during the second Clinton administration, I don’t think these are the questions I personally would most want to ask of my prospective dates.

On the other hand, I think the questions provide a near-perfect portrait of Cathy!  So let me offer my own suggestion:  maybe profiles shouldn’t have any answers.  Maybe they should just have questions.  And you contact the person whose questions you’d like to answer.

What would your questions be?

 

 


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Dark Rye does Present Shock

This artfully-produced little film about me and Present Shock just came out from Dark Rye, a film series funded by Whole Foods. I have trouble looking at it, myself, but that might just be because it's me on the screen, looking into lens most of the time. The movie recreates the experience of present shock, which is probably why it feels a bit frenetic to me. But I have shown it to my friends, who agree that it does well communicate the concepts of the book - and in just a few minutes at that.

The filmmaker, Angus Cann, is super bright, and I encourage you to check out some of his other work on the site. Here's a link to the whole Rushkoff section:

http://www.darkrye.com/content/rushkoff-0

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April 20, 2014



April 20, 2014

It has been a frustrating week. Yet, I was thrilled to get a beautiful gift from a friend of mine in Colorado.   She sent me some flowers, and not only that, but my favorite species of flower, the Colorado Blue Columbine.    I went to high school in that area of the world, and the one thing that stood out for me was seeing these flowers grow naturally around the area.  I almost have a manic need to have them around me as much as possible.  So I was very grateful to obtain this special delivery yesterday.   Right now, I’m playing Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit, ” and trying to make plans to visit Germania, one of my all-time favorite cities in Europe.  Some years back, I was invited to give a talk on a panel regarding urban planning of that city, and it always been a point of interest for me, because it seems most cities are planned as they are happening, not as something to look forward to in the future.





It was proposed to have a large clock in the downtown area of Germania, where as a tribute to the cinema arts, there would have been a statue attached to the clock of a man dangling on one of the clock hands.  Unmistakably a tribute to Harold Lloyd.  The plan never came to fruition, due that there were fears that people may have mistaken this as an actual person on the clock, either stuck there or about to commit suicide.  I tried very hard to convince the city government to follow through the tribute to Lloyd, but I was cut off by the committee at the time.  Nevertheless I did arrange a retrospective of Paul Poiret’s clothing in Germania.   He was recognized as the Picasso of fashion, during the turn-of-the-century.  He basically freed women from restrictive clothing, but like all good things, it had to end sadly.  He lost his business, and died pretty much broke.   He was married for many years, and his wife was his main muse. Nevertheless, that relationship turned very sour, and he never recovered from the divorce nor got his reputation back again.  One can see it now as him being Warhol, and his wife as Edie Sedgwick.
























I have had sentimental thoughts regarding Germania, ever since my 50th birthday party there, organized by the Government cultural committee.   Due to my interest in culture, I have brought numerous exhibitions and events to that city, and I guess this was their way to honor me as well as saying thank you.   The gifts they gave me were border-line kitsch, but on the other hand, I appreciated their gesture and goodwill towards me.   So yes, this past week has been difficult on many counts, but still, I look forward to the week ahead.  Also since April is my favorite month, I am listening to April March's recordings throughout the day. I think there will be a change in the weather.
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Dutch TV’s Tegenlicht does Present Shock

The strangely compelling Dutch TV show Tegenlicht offers artists, musicians, and writers 45 minutes to explain themselves, using media and objects that relate to their ideas. Here's me doing Present Shock in this wonderfully expansive format.
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timeless-couture: Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2014 at Paris…



timeless-couture:

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2014 at Paris Fashion Week

See more from this collection here

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X-Ray Scan Reveals 513 Migrants in 2 Trucks – NYTimes.com -…



X-Ray Scan Reveals 513 Migrants in 2 Trucks - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com

When police ran X-ray scanners over two cargo trucks at a checkpoint in southeastern Mexico on Tuesday, they made a surprising discovery: Inside the trailer were the ghostly shadows of 513 migrants — some suffering from dehydration — packed together in near-suffocating conditions. The police released an image of the harrowing scan, which shows how migrants sat in tight bundles or stood clutching cargo straps for hours of clandestine travel from beyond Mexico’s border with Guatemala.
)
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Harold Lloyd

lloyd

In many of his films, silent clown HAROLD LLOYD (1893–1971) wears an artificial hand. His real one was partially blown off by a bomb on which he’d lit a cigarette. The backfiring stunt, which also threatened to leave him blind, happened during a promotional photoshoot in which a real bomb was somehow mistaken for a prop. I love these Lloyd facts, partly because they’re gruesome but mainly because they highlight the peril often involved in his stunts, and the vanity and sensitivity that drove them. Though he made several talkies (including The Milky Way, nicely remade as The Kid from Brooklyn with Danny Kaye on its tenth anniversary), Lloyd stands with Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin as immortal loa of silent comedy but apart as the one who performed those death-defying stunts. His iconic hanging-from-a-clock sequence from Safety Last! (1923) has been subject to endless parody and homage, most notably and affectionately by Jackie Chan in Project A, in which Chan loses his grip on the minute hand to plummet sixty feet through two canopies.

There are many things to love about Lloyd’s films — the acrobatics, the perfect timing, the satire of American go-getter culture — but a detail I can’t help but delight in is that his protagonist is almost always called “Harold Lloyd”, pre-dating Larry David, Stewart Lee, and Paul Auster in ventriloquising through a shifted self. And he did it all with a missing finger and thumb.

chan-clock

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Alvin Weinberg, Hylo Brown, George Takei.

READ MORE about men and women born on the cusp between the Modernist (1884–93) and Hardboiled (1894-1903) Generations.

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George Takei

GeorgeTakei

GEORGE TAKEI (born 1937) helped plan the subways of Los Angeles as a public servant in the 1970s, so they promoted him to navigator of the galaxy. He’d started as a child internee during World War II; though that made him a witness to America’s shame, he became a prophet of its promise. Leonard Nimoy may have been Star Trek’s breakout star, but Takei turned out to be its dimension-breaching citizen, bringing a large share of the future into the real world. Trek paid Takei a backhanded compliment, displacing the Asian stereotypes of emotional remoteness and questionable loyalty onto Spock, while Sulu, though an umpteenth wheel like most of the cast, got to be the kind of athletic, quick-witted sex symbol that a less racist era might have made into another James Bond. But from Star Trek and Heroes to stage musicals and Stern, Takei’s career got a longer future than most of his crewmates. Despite the infamous reluctance on the part of the producer of the Next Generation Trek series, there were gays on the Enterprise all along — which the whole planet learned when Takei broke “out” into being his real self, no longer trapped by barbed wire or social condemnation. Now on worldwide media that’s as utopian as it gets, Takei is an indispensible commentator, public conscience, and much-needed comedian, helping fast-forward his fellow citizens’ 21st century into that most unimaginable of futures, an America that looks like the one he believes in.

***

Star Trek fans, check out our 2012 series KIRK YOUR ENTHUSIASM: Justice or vengeance? by DAFNA PLEBAN | Kirk teaches his drill thrall to kiss by MARK KINGWELL | “KHAAAAAN!” by NICK ABADZIS | “No kill I” by STEPHEN BURT | Kirk browbeats NOMAD by GREG ROWLAND | Kirk’s eulogy for Spock by ZACK HANDLEN | The joke is on Kirk by PEGGY NELSON | Kirk vs. Decker by KEVIN CHURCH | Good Kirk vs. Evil Kirk by ENRIQUE RAMIREZ | Captain Camelot by ADAM MCGOVERN | Koon-ut-kal-if-fee by FLOURISH KLINK | Federation exceptionalism by DAVID SMAY | Wizard fight by AMANDA LAPERGOLA | A million things you can’t have by STEVE SCHNEIDER | Debating in a vacuum by JOSHUA GLENN | Klingon diplomacy by KELLY JEAN FITZSIMMONS | “We… the PEOPLE” by TRAV S.D. | Brinksmanship on the brink by MATTHEW BATTLES | Captain Smirk by ANNIE NOCENTI | Sisko meets Kirk by IAN W. HILL | Noninterference policy by GABBY NICASIO | Kirk’s countdown by PETER BEBERGAL | Kirk’s ghost by MATT GLASER | Watching Kirk vs. Gorn by JOE ALTERIO | How Spock wins by ANNALEE NEWITZ

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Alvin Weinberg, Hylo Brown, Harold Lloyd.

READ MORE about members of the Anti-Anti-Utopian Generation (1934-43).

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Cargo scanning – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Gamma-ray…



Cargo scanning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gamma-ray radiography systems capable of scanning trucks usually use cobalt-60 or caesium-137 as a radioactive source and a vertical tower of gamma detectors. This gamma camera is able to produce one column of an image. The horizontal dimension of the image is produced by moving either the truck or the scanning hardware. The cobalt-60 units use gamma photons with a mean energy 1.25 MeV, which can penetrate up to 15–18 cm of steel. The systems provide good quality images which can be used for identifying cargo and comparing it with the manifest, in an attempt to detect anomalies. It can also identify high-density regions too thick to penetrate, which would be the most likely to hide nuclear threats.
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April 19, 2014


April 19, 2014

As a child, I lived not that far away from the legendary and iconic “pink” residence of Jayne Mansfield.   The thing is, even though close to my home, I never seen the place.  I have read about it, and people around me talked about it, but actually seeing the home never happened for me.  I also believe the house was right on Sunset Boulevard.  Where I must have passed numerous times, but I have no recollection of seeing the place.  Now come to think of it Jayne Mansfield, herself was like a phantom figure through out my childhood.  



I used to have dreams about her when I was a child, which was strange, because I knew who she was, mostly through looking at movie magazines at the time.  There were quite a few publications in the local market, so while my parents were shopping, I would dip into the world of fantasy, knowing very well, that is what it was.  I knew the difference between the life in front of me, and the life projected on a huge screen or on my portable black and white TV set.  I think throughout my knowledge of Jayne Mansfield, I thought of her as a fictional character, which is probably why I didn’t ever see the pink palace.  I probably thought it was a made-up location, and often people used Sunset Boulevard as an address, but nothing exists there.  For example, “77 Sunset Strip” is not a real address.  I knew that, so I just presumed that Mansfield and her pink palace were just the work of those whose job was to make illusions. 



I was shocked one day when someone told me that Eliot Ness actually existed, where for sure I could just swore that he was a fictional character on the great TV show “The Untouchables.” At the time it never dawned on me that the show was based on a true story with real characters from the rolling 20s.  I lived a life that had a hard time telling what was illusion and what was true.  For instance I always admired the westerns I saw on TV, especially Wyatt Earp.   It was a shock to me that all cowboys were not dandies!   So, it was a weird position to be a part of life, where one had to decide what was real or not real.   As you can gather, I kept getting the names and stories mixed up.  To me, Mansfield living in a pink palace seemed totally unreal. Yet Hugh O’Brian as Wyatt Earp was totally realistic to me.  Go figure!



For the past two years, I have been looking high and low for an album by the Dudley Moore Trio, which I thought, perhaps this record doesn’t exist.   I was never a huge fan of his films he made in Hollywood, but I did see some footage of him and Peter Cook together, and that got me interested in his music.   I have been told that he was a serious musician and jazz composer.   Yet when I went to a record store, I could never find his music!  I started to suspect that perhaps this was an imaginary or fictional aspect of the Moore narrative.  Or maybe it was a part he played in a film or TV show, and people just presumed that he was also a talented musician?   Today, someone sent me an actual copy of one of his early albums, and presto, he is a musician and a damn good one at that!  So he does exist in that role, and I was wrong about him not playing music.  

Identity confusion is very much part of my personal make-up.  It is one reason why I don’t participate in national or local politics, because I can’t trust my judgement, when it comes to voting for someone or not.  I’m totally swayed by a commercial and I’m often proven wrong by me being so gullible. 




Funny, but the one thing I have seen that cuts through the idea of illusion for me is Bas Jan Ader’s conceptual piece “Broken Fall (geometric).”   Here in stark black and white,  you see the artist trying to fall on a little stand somewhere in a rural area of Holland.  Unless you’re a professional stuntman, it is very difficult to actually fall down on purpose.   Here I see Jan Ader struggling with the idea of falling, but of course, he stops himself, because it is natural to do so.  Finally he does topple over, and watching this short film makes me feel emotional, but not only that, but I also feel I am watching something that is very real.  The thing is I have to basically trust what is in front of me, and allow myself to be driven to another landscape - whatever that is real or not is just something I have to cope with on a regular basis. 
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Posted by Andrea Feldman over on Twitter. I still have vivid…



Posted by Andrea Feldman over on Twitter. I still have vivid memories of this (would’ve been 1993, I believe)—one of my favorite shows I’ve ever seen. If there’s ever been a better live band than DFH, I would like to know about them.

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Sentry® Portal – American Science & Engineering YOU NO…



Sentry® Portal - American Science & Engineering

YOU NO LONGER HAVE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN FAST AND THOROUGH. At crowded seaports, border crossings, and security checkpoints, high throughput is critical. So is high-quality imaging. The Sentry Portal system offers both—while ensuring safe drive-through operation with robust technology to avoid scanning the cab and driver. This compact drive-through system utilizes high-energy transmission X-rays—capable of penetrating up to 300 mm (11.8 in) of steel—to detect hidden threats and contraband in cargo containers, tankers, and large vehicles. The Sentry Portal system scans containers at a rate of up to 150 trucks per hour.
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Bas Jan Ader

ader

Silent, black-and-white films, a few seconds to a few minutes long, showing a man (the artist) falling off a roof, out of a tree, or into a lake, or, in I’m Too Sad To Tell You, weeping inconsolably without discernable cause or explanation: these, along with some still photographs and other fugitive documents, make up the slim, reticent oeuvre of BAS JAN ADER (1942–75). Born and raised in Holland, Ader moved to Southern California in 1965, and operated for the next decade mainly on the fringes of Los Angeles’ conceptual-art scene, exhibiting and performing almost entirely in university and non-commercial galleries there and in Europe — if “performance” isn’t too grand a word for The Boy Who Fell Over Niagara Falls (1972), in which Ader calmly read from a survivor’s account of a boating disaster while sipping, at points marked in the text, from a glass of water. Ader had been an experienced sailor since adolescence, and the centerpiece of his final work, In Search of the Miraculous, was to be his own solo ocean voyage from Massachusetts to England in a 13-foot sailboat. He set off on July 9, 1975 and was never seen again; his boat, though not his body, was found in Spanish waters ten months later. (Though the trip was risky, few believe its intent was suicidal.) Forgotten by the art world for decades, Ader has recently been rediscovered by critics, historians, and other artists — in part, perhaps, for his work’s melancholy counter-suggestion that the “ideas” on which his contemporaries’ conceptualist rigor was founded were not only immaterial and imperceptible, but incommunicable.

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Jayne Mansfield, Stanley Fish, Tim Curry.

READ MORE about members of the Anti-Anti-Utopian Generation (1934-43).

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The Lost Prince (16)

lost-prince

Frances Hodgson Burnett is best known for her sentimental children’s novels Little Lord Fauntleroy (1885-6), A Little Princess (1905), and The Secret Garden (1911). But HiLoBooks prefers a later Burnett novel: The Lost Prince, a 1915 Ruritanian-style thriller in which two adolescent boys, one of whom is a disabled street urchin called “The Rat,” play a proto-Alternate Reality Game about a revolution in far-off Samavia… which turns into the real thing.

HiLobrow is pleased to serialize The Lost Prince, our first departure from Radium Age science fiction — into adventure fiction. A new installment will appear each week for thirty-one weeks.

ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

***

Chapter 16: The Rat to the Rescue

Marco walked through the passage and into the kitchen part of the basement. The doors were all locked, and they were solid doors. He ran up the flagged steps and found the door at the top shut and bolted also, and that too was a solid door. His jailers had plainly made sure that it should take time enough for him to make his way into the world, even after he got out of the wine-cellar.

The cat had run away to some part of the place where mice were plentiful. Marco was by this time rather gnawingly hungry himself. If he could get into the kitchen, he might find some fragments of food left in a cupboard; but there was no moving the locked door. He tried the outlet into the area, but that was immovable. Then he saw near it a smaller door. It was evidently the entrance to the coal-cellar under the pavement. This was proved by the fact that trodden coal-dust marked the flagstones, and near it stood a scuttle with coal in it.

This coal-scuttle was the thing which might help him! Above the area door was a small window which was supposed to light the entry. He could not reach it, and, if he reached it, he could not open it. He could throw pieces of coal at the glass and break it, and then he could shout for help when people passed by. They might not notice or understand where the shouts came from at first, but, if he kept them up, some one’s attention would be attracted in the end.

He picked a large-sized solid piece of coal out of the heap in the scuttle, and threw it with all his force against the grimy glass. It smashed through and left a big hole. He threw another, and the entire pane was splintered and fell outside into the area. Then he saw it was broad daylight, and guessed that he had been shut up a good many hours. There was plenty of coal in the scuttle, and he had a strong arm and a good aim. He smashed pane after pane, until only the framework remained. When he shouted, there would be nothing between his voice and the street. No one could see him, but if he could do something which would make people slacken their pace to listen, then he could call out that he was in the basement of the house with the broken window.

“Hallo!” he shouted. “Hallo! Hallo! Hallo! Hallo!”

But vehicles were passing in the street, and the passers-by were absorbed in their own business. If they heard a sound, they did not stop to inquire into it.

“Hallo! Hallo! I am locked in!” yelled Marco, at the topmost power of his lungs. “Hallo! Hallo!”

After half an hour’s shouting, he began to think that he was wasting his strength.

“They only think it is a boy shouting,” he said. “Some one will notice in time. At night, when the streets are quiet, I might make a policeman hear. But my father does not know where I am. He will be trying to find me — so will Lazarus — so will The Rat. One of them might pass through this very street, as I did. What can I do!”

A new idea flashed light upon him.

“I will begin to sing a Samavian song, and I will sing it very loud. People nearly always stop a moment to listen to music and find out where it comes from. And if any of my own people came near, they would stop at once — and now and then I will shout for help.”

Once when they had stopped to rest on Hampstead Heath, he had sung a valiant Samavian song for The Rat. The Rat had wanted to hear how he would sing when they went on their secret journey. He wanted him to sing for the Squad some day, to make the thing seem real. The Rat had been greatly excited, and had begged for the song often. It was a stirring martial thing with a sort of trumpet call of a chorus. Thousands of Samavians had sung it together on their way to the battle-field, hundreds of years ago.

He drew back a step or so, and, putting his hands on his hips, began to sing, throwing his voice upward that it might pass through the broken window. He had a splendid and vibrant young voice, though he knew nothing of its fine quality. Just now he wanted only to make it loud.

In the street outside very few people were passing. An irritable old gentleman who was taking an invalid walk quite jumped with annoyance when the song suddenly trumpeted forth. Boys had no right to yell in that manner. He hurried his step to get away from the sound. Two or three other people glanced over their shoulders, but had not time to loiter. A few others listened with pleasure as they drew near and passed on.

“There’s a boy with a fine voice,” said one.

“What’s he singing?” said his companion. “It sounds foreign.”

“Don’t know,” was the reply as they went by. But at last a young man who was a music-teacher, going to give a lesson, hesitated and looked about him. The song was very loud and spirited just at this moment. The music-teacher could not understand where it came from, and paused to find out. The fact that he stopped attracted the attention of the next comer, who also paused.

“Who’s singing?” he asked. “Where is he singing?”

“I can’t make out,” the music-teacher laughed. “Sounds as if it came out of the ground.”

And, because it was queer that a song should seem to be coming out of the ground, a costermonger stopped, and then a little boy, and then a workingwoman, and then a lady.

There was quite a little group when another person turned the corner of the street. He was a shabby boy on crutches, and he had a frantic look on his face.

And Marco actually heard, as he drew near to the group, the tap-tap-tap of crutches.

“It might be,” he thought. “It might be!”

And he sang the trumpet-call of the chorus as if it were meant to reach the skies, and he sang it again and again. And at the end of it shouted, “Hallo! Hallo! Hallo! Hallo! Hallo!”

The Rat swung himself into the group and looked as if he had gone crazy. He hurled himself against the people.

“Where is he! Where is he!” he cried, and he poured out some breathless words; it was almost as if he sobbed them out.

“We’ve been looking for him all night!” he shouted. “Where is he! Marco! Marco! No one else sings it but him. Marco! Marco!” And out of the area, as it seemed, came a shout of answer.

“Rat! Rat! I’m here in the cellar — locked in. I’m here!” and a big piece of coal came hurtling through the broken window and fell crashing on the area flags. The Rat got down the steps into the area as if he had not been on crutches but on legs, and banged on the door, shouting back:

“Marco! Marco! Here I am! Who locked you in? How can I get the door open?”

Marco was close against the door inside. It was The Rat! It was The Rat! And he would be in the street again in a few minutes. “Call a policeman!” he shouted through the keyhole. “The people locked me in on purpose and took away the keys.”

Then the group of lookers-on began to get excited and press against the area railings and ask questions. They could not understand what had happened to cause the boy with the crutches to look as if he were crazy with terror and relief at the same time.

And the little boy ran delightedly to fetch a policeman, and found one in the next street, and, with some difficulty, persuaded him that it was his business to come and get a door open in an empty house where a boy who was a street singer had got locked up in a cellar.

NEXT INSTALLMENT | ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

***

READ GORGEOUS PAPERBACKS: HiLoBooks has reissued the following 10 obscure but amazing Radium Age science fiction novels in beautiful print editions: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague, Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”), Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt, H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook, Edward Shanks’ The People of the Ruins, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, J.D. Beresford’s Goslings, E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man, Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage, and Muriel Jaeger’s The Man with Six Senses. For more information, visit the HiLoBooks homepage.

REDISCOVERED BY HILOBOOKS: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague | Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”) | Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt | H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook | Edward Shanks’ The People of the Ruins | William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land | J.D. Beresford’s Goslings | E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man | Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage | Muriel Jaeger’s The Man With Six Senses | Jack London’s “The Red One” | Philip Francis Nowlan’s Armageddon 2419 A.D. | Homer Eon Flint’s The Devolutionist | W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Comet” | Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Moon Men | Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland | Sax Rohmer’s “The Zayat Kiss” | Eimar O’Duffy’s King Goshawk and the Birds | Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Lost Prince | John Buchan’s Huntingtower

ORIGINAL FICTION: HiLobrow has serialized three novels: James Parker’s The Ballad of Cocky The Fox (“a proof-of-concept that serialization can work on the Internet” — The Atlantic); Karinne Keithley Syers’s Linda Linda Linda (which includes original music); and Robert Waldron’s roman à clef The School on the Fens. We also publish original stories and comics. These include: Matthew Battles’s stories “Gita Nova“, “Makes the Man,” “Imago,” “Camera Lucida,” “A Simple Message”, “Children of the Volcano”, “The Gnomon”, “Billable Memories”, “For Provisional Description of Superficial Features”, “The Dogs in the Trees”, “The Sovereignties of Invention”, and “Survivor: The Island of Dr. Moreau”; several of these later appeared in the collection The Sovereignties of Invention | Peggy Nelson’s “Mood Indigo“, “Top Kill Fail“, and “Mercerism” | Annalee Newitz’s “The Great Oxygen Race” | Charlie Mitchell’s “A Fantasy Land” | Joshua Glenn’s “The Lawless One”, and the mashup story “Zarathustra vs. Swamp Thing” | Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri’s Idoru Jones comics | John Holbo’s “Sugarplum Squeampunk” | “Another Corporate Death” (1) and “Another Corporate Death” (2) by Mike Fleisch | Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and Frank Fiorentino’s graphic novel “The Song of Otto” (excerpt) | “Manoj” and “Josh” by Vijay Balakrishnan | “Verge” by Chris Rossi, and his audio novel Low Priority Hero | EPIC WINS: THE ILIAD (1.408-415) by Flourish Klink | EPIC WINS: THE KALEVALA (3.1-278) by James Parker | EPIC WINS: THE ARGONAUTICA (2.815-834) by Joshua Glenn | EPIC WINS: THE MYTH OF THE ELK by Matthew Battles | TROUBLED SUPERHUMAN CONTEST: Charles Pappas, “The Law” | CATASTROPHE CONTEST: Timothy Raymond, “Hem and the Flood” | TELEPATHY CONTEST: Rachel Ellis Adams, “Fatima, Can You Hear Me?” | OIL SPILL CONTEST: A.E. Smith, “Sound Thinking | LITTLE NEMO CAPTION CONTEST: Joe Lyons, “Necronomicon” | SPOOKY-KOOKY CONTEST: Tucker Cummings, “Well Marbled” | INVENT-A-HERO CONTEST: TG Gibbon, “The Firefly” | FANFICTION CONTEST: Lyette Mercier’s “Sex and the Single Superhero”

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Twitter / contagious: “Hmm, nobody is clicking our banner…



Twitter / contagious: “Hmm, nobody is clicking our banner ads. Let’s try them on print. (via @spencerholladay)”

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1,000,000

By the way, sometime yesterday this blog received its millionth visit.


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1,000,000

By the way, sometime yesterday this blog received its millionth visit.


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Meeting myself at 17

For something I’m writing I looked up a newspaper article I was interviewed in in, from June 7, 1989.  Here’s what I had to say:

Ellenberg on mathematics: “I always think of it — this is kind of crazy — as a zoo. There are a million different mathematical objects. They are like animals. Some are like each other and some are unalike, and they are all objects . . . . There are things in different guises. The amazing thing is, it all connects. Anything you prove with trig[onometry] is just as true if you do it with algebra . . . . I think it is kind of amazing actually, if you think of it from an emotional point of view.”
On learning math: “My feeling is that a lot of people expect not to be good at math. If you see calculus and trig, to a seventh-grader, they see it as something very difficult and very arcane, when maybe the trick is to relax a little bit . . . . Many things you can understand on two levels. If you look at a novel, a novel can be very hard to interpret, but you can still read it and see what happened. With math, there is no real surface level. It is already written in a sort of obscure language. You don’t have the comforting template. You only have the deep structure, and that can be very off-putting.”
On the practicality of math: “Why is it important to have read any Shakespeare for your everyday life? To tell the truth, I can get through the day without ever using a Shakespeare quote, but I think Shakespeare is useful, and I think math is useful.”

What a strange experience, looking at this.  In a way I seem very mentally disorganized.  But at the same time this is recognizably me.  Unsettling.


Uncategorized

Meeting myself at 17

For something I’m writing I looked up a newspaper article I was interviewed in in, from June 7, 1989.  Here’s what I had to say:

Ellenberg on mathematics: “I always think of it — this is kind of crazy — as a zoo. There are a million different mathematical objects. They are like animals. Some are like each other and some are unalike, and they are all objects . . . . There are things in different guises. The amazing thing is, it all connects. Anything you prove with trig[onometry] is just as true if you do it with algebra . . . . I think it is kind of amazing actually, if you think of it from an emotional point of view.”
On learning math: “My feeling is that a lot of people expect not to be good at math. If you see calculus and trig, to a seventh-grader, they see it as something very difficult and very arcane, when maybe the trick is to relax a little bit . . . . Many things you can understand on two levels. If you look at a novel, a novel can be very hard to interpret, but you can still read it and see what happened. With math, there is no real surface level. It is already written in a sort of obscure language. You don’t have the comforting template. You only have the deep structure, and that can be very off-putting.”
On the practicality of math: “Why is it important to have read any Shakespeare for your everyday life? To tell the truth, I can get through the day without ever using a Shakespeare quote, but I think Shakespeare is useful, and I think math is useful.”

What a strange experience, looking at this.  In a way I seem very mentally disorganized.  But at the same time this is recognizably me.  Unsettling.


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Guilt pangs

Not even going to link to this article but this is so magnificently dumb I had to share it with someone.

As everyone knows by now, GM’s entry into the electric car market–the Chevy Volt–costs $41,000 before tax breaks. After the tax breaks, you can happily drive one off the lot for $33,000 … if you can ignore those guilt pangs knowing your fellow Americans have chipped in $8,000 to your new ride.


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Guilt pangs

Not even going to link to this article but this is so magnificently dumb I had to share it with someone.

As everyone knows by now, GM’s entry into the electric car market–the Chevy Volt–costs $41,000 before tax breaks. After the tax breaks, you can happily drive one off the lot for $33,000 … if you can ignore those guilt pangs knowing your fellow Americans have chipped in $8,000 to your new ride.


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April 18, 2014



April 18, 2014

I have only been to Catalina Island once, and I was seven years old at the time.   My grandfather’s immediate family lived on the island and we visited them over the weekend.  It was my mom and grandmother, and I have no memory of Granddad or father there.  We arrived there on a sea plane. That mode of transportation was both scary and unique, because it may have been the first time I have ever been on a plane.  Landing on water was something out of the cinema; it felt it should have been on a huge movie screen instead of my little un-important life.   I have experienced beach life, especially Santa Monica beach, but the Catalina shore felt differently for some reason.  Mostly due that the ocean water was very clear, and I never experienced the ocean that way.  My understanding now is that the water is very polluted owing to the sewer system on the island, but in 1961, I remember being transfixed on the image of my toes as I walked into the ocean.



It was there that I ‘think’ I fell in love.  Her name is Hayley Mills, and I went to see “The Parent Trap” at the Avalon Theater.  It appeared to me to be a lighter version of the Chinese Theater on Hollywood bouvelard.  Here the theater was even bigger, and it shared the aesthetic of the island at the time, which was art deco reliefs throughout the movie palace.  And it was a palace to me, because it was huge and decorated so beautifully.  With such perfect surroundings, of course I fell in love with Hayley.  Not only, that, but she had two roles in the film, she played a pair of identical twin sisters.  Sitting there, I was overwhelmed with her image on the screen and in the theatrical setting of the actual location of the theater itself.  The combination of her beauty matching the elegance of the theater was hard for me to make a distinction between a woman's beauty and a beautiful building.  I often think of a woman's beauty as being a type of architecture.



Once I got home I remember purchasing a Haley Mills fan magazine.  Such publications were very common at the time.  It had numerous photographs of her, and I spent that afternoon cutting the images out of the magazine and putting it up on my wall in Beverly Glen.   I had a certain amount of attraction for the girls in my class, but Hayley Mills was something bigger than that.   It is like those girls I knew, but projected into another dimension.   It was around this time that I saw “Whistle Down The Wind, ” a black and white film, which made it totally different from the technicolor images of “The Parent Trap.” In other words, this film was a projection of one’s nightmare compared to the sunlight world of the Disney film.  This became even more of an obsession for me, due that it was the story of a young girl who finds a fugitive in a barn, thinking he was Jesus Christ.   He wasn’t of course, just a man running from the law, but he allowed her and the other children to believe that he was Christ.  I loved the idea of the time that a gang of children are keeping a secret from the outside world.  It made my world more powerful, and by seeing this film, I felt I was sharing a common secret.


As a teenager I started reading the works of the French film theorist André Bazin, and I was very taken by his thoughts on cinema criticism should be written by the critic who liked the film he or she is writing about.  I totally concur with this manner of thinking, because “The Parent Trap” may not be a great film, but to me, it was a significant work that somehow shaped my childhood.  The same goes for “Whistle Down The Wind, ” a work that was perfectly natural and logical for a love-struck pre-teen like me.
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Created by Sures Kumar, Pro-Folio is a portfolio website built…



Created by Sures Kumar, Pro-Folio is a portfolio website built from fictional identities of artists and designers. The project is a response to the “Scientific Hoax” brief at the RCA Design Interactions and theoretically can generate up to 690,903,803 trillion fictional identities with unique name and work combinations using data from various online sources. (via Pro-Folio - Online portfolios from fictional artists and designers)

http://pro-folio.org/

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blackhistoryalbum: Happy in Love | 1940sA unidentified soldier…



blackhistoryalbum:

Happy in Love | 1940s

A unidentified soldier kiss’in on his sweetie in a photo booth, circa 1940s.

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Missing boy existed only on Facebook | World news |…



Missing boy existed only on Facebook | World news | theguardian.com

Police searching for two-year-old Chayson Basinio knew it was a race against time to find the missing child, who had reportedly disappeared from a supermarket car park. The local judge opened an inquiry for kidnapping and sequestration and police divers dredged a lake, fearing the child may have drowned. As the days passed without any leads or clues, detectives at Allier near Moulins in the Auvergne prepared to warn relatives who had alerted them that they could find no trace of the boy. Which, in the circumstances, was hardly surprising. In fact, neither Chayson Basinio nor his parents existed – except in the virtual world of social media. Police had found photographs allegedly of the boy and his father, Rayane Basinio, 20, on Facebook, but absolutely no evidence that they were real.
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King Goshawk (16)

Cuinbattle

The 1926 satirical sf novel King Goshawk and the Birds, by Irish playwright and novelist Eimar O’Duffy, is set in a future world devastated by progress. When King Goshawk, the supreme ruler among a caste of “king capitalists,” buys up all the wildflowers and songbirds, an aghast Dublin philosopher travels via the astral plane to Tír na nÓg. First the mythical Irish hero Cúchulainn, then his son Cuanduine, travel to Earth in order to combat the king capitalists. Thirty-five years before the hero of Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land, these well-meaning aliens discover that cultural forms and norms are the most effective barrier to social or economic revolution.

HiLobrow is pleased to serialize King Goshawk and the Birds, which has long been out of print, in its entirety. A new installment will appear each week.

ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

***

BOOK II: THE COMING OF CUANDUINE

Chapter 2: Elixir Vitae

“You must know,” said the Philosopher, “that in the stress of modern life few of those who attain to riches do so at an age when they still have zest to enjoy them. Wealth, too, when injudiciously employed, is a great squanderer of years; and it is a misfortune, that grows harder by geometrical progression, that the more a man can accumulate, the less grows his ability and opportunity to spend it. In brief, the one thing needed to make perfect the happiness of having great possessions is the gift of perpetual, or at least of continuously renewable youth.

“In the early days of the century many crude attempts had been made to discover a scientific substitute for the elixir vitae of fable; and, later on, a handsome prize offered by a Coal King stimulated research in that direction. It was soon discovered that a solution of infants’ thymuses in horse serum and chloride of platinum would have the desired effect. Unfortunately the removal of a child’s thymus is a dangerous operation, resulting in premature senility and early death. It was also illegal. It was believed, however, that there must be many thousands of parents in the world who would welcome the opportunity to barter the lives of one or two of their children for a price that would lighten the lot of the remainder: indeed, it was known that there were many who had cheerfully denied life to a dozen to better the lot of one. A bill was accordingly introduced into Congress to legitimise the operation. It was of course strenuously opposed by the Socialists and others, who characterised it as a deliberate attempt to rob the children of the poor of their youth. To this the supporters of the bill retorted that it had always been a pet argument of the Socialists that the children of the poor had no youth worth speaking of, so where was the robbery? The average poor child, they pointed out, had no real need of a thymus: it was sheer selfishness and class-hatred that objected to its transference to one who had. They denounced also with much heat and zeal this unscrupulous attempt of professional agitators to obstruct a truly progressive measure whose object was the betterment and enrichment of the lower orders. The Bill passed the House of Representatives; but in the Senate a learned statistician demonstrated that if the number of thymuses required were forthcoming (as he had no doubt they would be), it would soon make an end of that floating surplus of labour on which the existence of our civilization depends. This argument, uttered with such authority, settled the fate of the Bill, the lower house concurring with the Senate in rejecting it.

“The scientists immediately renewed their experiments, hoping to find a substitute for the forbidden gland. Every known animal substance was tested, from the pseudopodium of the amoeba to the prosencephalon of the larger anthropoid apes. At last Professor Pepper, of Harvard, a pioneer in this work, succeeded in darkening the grey hairs of a favourite cat which he had been dosing with a preparation, the recipe of which has been unfortunately lost. Discoveries now came hard and fast on one another’s heels. Six months after Pepper’s discovery, Brainstorm, of Berlin, caused a dog thirty years old — blind, toothless, and unable to stand — to frisk, yelp, and wag its tail, by injecting it with extract of capercailzie gizzard. Two years later Assenhead obtained a pint of milk daily from a moribund cow which had been sold for cat’s meat, by treating her with an ointment compounded of the gelatinised bills of embryo ornithorhyncuses. The very next year brought mankind to the threshold of triumph, when an ancient spavined cab-horse with a tube in, after treatment by Fuhzler with sub-caudal fomentations of skunks’ bile, won both the Grand National and the Derby in a canter, breaking all records for both races. Subsequently the complete rejuvenation of half-a-dozen nonagenarian paupers by this process proved that it might be safely applied to human beings, and even to millionaires. The latter, indeed, were in the early days the only beneficiaries of the great invention, for the cost of treatment was prohibitive. They came at first cautiously, only the bravest and the most desperate venturing on the experiment; but when these began to show good results there was a rush to follow their example, and soon all the world of wealth and fashion was flocking to Fuhzler’s consulting room. Then was the great scientist’s letter-box choked with testimonials from his grateful clients. ‘I am growing younger at the rate of a year a week,’ wrote one delighted Oil King; ‘I am already spending nearly a tenth of my income,’ wrote a charmed stockbroker; and an exuberant milk monopolist testified: ‘Since using your stuff I have trebled my harem.’ In course of time the cost of treatment was reduced until it came within the reach of the average middleman; nor were there wanting quacks to reap rich harvest of pennies from the credulous poor. You would have marvelled at the vast concourse of seekers after a few extra years on our unhappy planet. So great it was that the race of skunks was almost extirpated, and a fortune was made by a speculator who cornered the whole available supply. From that time the treatment was obtainable, as at the beginning, by millionaires only; who submitted themselves to the process more enthusiastically than ever, even young women in their thirties throwing themselves back into girlhood by its assistance.

“Fuhzler’s triumph, however, was short-lived. While he was at the very height of his fame a mysterious epidemic suddenly broke out in the Millionaires’ ghetto at San Francisco. A few months later there was an identical outbreak at Chicago. Within a year every ghetto in America was afflicted, and before long the infection reached Europe and spread throughout the world. On its first appearance it had been thought to be Chorea (or St. Vitus’ Dance), but this theory was soon found to be fallacious. It transpired eventually that the effect of Fuhzler’s Process was to infuse more vitality into a body than it could stand. After a certain period of increased health and vigour, the patient began to lose control of his movements. Desiring to rest, he found himself unable to do so. His artificially acquired energy, left without guidance, was forced to express itself in violent jerks and gyrations, which exhausted the patient without appreciably fatiguing itself. Frantic leaping and dancing, ending in collapse, marked the culmination of this first stage of the malady.

“After a prolonged state of coma, consciousness gradually returned, and the second stage of the disease commenced. While the mind regained its normal condition, the body began rapidly to age. The process was so swift as to be easily perceptible. Limbs that could walk on one day were too weak to stand upon by the next. Teeth and hair fell out in a night. Sight and hearing fled like down upon the wind. Thus, in a typical case, a man who had been fomented, say at forty-five, found himself at forty-eight, with all the faculties and desires of a man in his prime, shackled to the body of a dotard of more than a hundred. As he lay helpless in bed he was tormented by feelings of impatience and disgust for this outworn tenement; which, as they could no longer find a vent in physical action, were the occasion of severe mental pain, leading, in some cases, to mania.

“The third stage of the disease was now reached. From this point the ageing of the body proceeded at a slower and a constantly diminishing rate, accompanied by a fall in temperature, while the exhausted mind held but one instinct, an intense longing for death. Death, however, was slow in coming. In the early stages of the malady many had sought to end their misery by suicide; only to find that their superabundant vitality was proof against wounds that would have killed any ordinary mortal. Fuhzler himself, broken by failure and disgrace, was one of the first to seek relief in this way, and lived for many years with a bullet in his brain, a ghastly warning to his fellow-sufferers. In the normal course the inertia of the body required from twenty to forty years, according to the age of the patient, to quench fully the vital flame, and the intervention of death was invariably painless.

“I was once permitted to see in a public hospital some poor men in the grip of this frightful malady. One, a faithful old retainer in a millionaire family, had been fomented, as a mark of esteem and gratitude, at the expense of his employers; another had abused his position as valet to steal some of the drug from his master. (Did he not richly deserve his fate?) These two had attempted suicide not long before. The breath of one rustled through his jagged throat, which was cut from ear to ear. The other looked like one who had been many days in the depths of the sea: and so indeed he had been. There were two others in the same ward who were drifting slowly through the last stage of the malady towards death. They lay quite still in their beds, poor shrunken bags of skin and bone, seemingly asleep. They looked to be of incredible age, though they were neither of them, I was told, above fifty. They were hairless, blind, deaf, senseless. Their dried-up skins crackled and flaked; their bones could be heard to crepitate. The loud reverberant thumping of their labouring hearts told of the stubborn fire that burned within.

“Humanity, you may be sure, was staggered by the realisation of the calamity it had brought upon itself. Fully two million persons, mostly millionaires, had undergone the fatal treatment from first to last, and one after another found himself falling victim to its inevitable consequences. Moreover, in the first panic of the revelation, there had been a disastrous slump in the price of skunk bile, the Fuhzler Trust had gone smash, and the markets were glutted with consignments of the drug going for a song, a dire menace to the public. Governments everywhere at once took action, and legislation was hastily introduced in the various Parliaments, making the manufacture, sale, and application of the drug a penal offence. These measures have had to be reinforced from time to time; for such is the craving for life that has been aroused in human breasts that not all the penalties, legal and physiological, known to be involved can deter some depraved creatures from applying the baneful fomentation to their posteriors. Meanwhile Science, stimulated by liberal benefactions, has been earnestly seeking an antidote which, taken along with the elixir, shall counter its ill effect. Many learned savants have devoted their lives to this research, but hitherto without result.”

*

When the Philosopher had finished his narrative, Aurora said: “This is folly and waste of time. A man can live as long as he wants to.”

“I do not understand you,” said the Philosopher. “Surely, if any one ever wanted to live, it was those who were willing to endure the pain and shamefulness of fomentation to that end?”

“No,” said Aurora. “They only wanted to enjoy themselves. They were like children who long to be grown-up, thinking that manhood means no more than long trousers and freedom to stay up late and eat what one likes. Life is a whole, and enjoyment but a very small part of it: look at it so, and while you want to live you shall not die; but you will not want it long. I will give you this gift besides, which I denied to Tithonus, that, so long as you live by willing, you shall not age.”

Dazzled with the effulgence of Aurora’s eyes, the mind of the Philosopher fled back to its earthly tenement in Stoneybatter.

NEXT INSTALLMENT | ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

***

RADIUM AGE SCIENCE FICTION: “Radium Age” is HiLobrow’s name for the 1904–33 era, which saw the discovery of radioactivity, the revelation that matter itself is constantly in movement — a fitting metaphor for the first decades of the 20th century, during which old scientific, religious, political, and social certainties were shattered. This era also saw the publication of genre-shattering writing by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sax Rohmer, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, Aldous Huxley, Olaf Stapledon, Karel Čapek, H.P. Lovecraft, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Philip Gordon Wylie, and other pioneers of post-Verne/Wells, pre-Golden Age “science fiction.” More info here.

READ GORGEOUS PAPERBACKS: HiLoBooks has reissued the following 10 obscure but amazing Radium Age science fiction novels in beautiful print editions: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague, Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”), Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt, H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook, Edward Shanks’ The People of the Ruins, William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land, J.D. Beresford’s Goslings, E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man, Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage, and Muriel Jaeger’s The Man with Six Senses. For more information, visit the HiLoBooks homepage.

REDISCOVERED BY HILOBOOKS: Jack London’s The Scarlet Plague | Rudyard Kipling’s With the Night Mail (and “As Easy as A.B.C.”) | Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Poison Belt | H. Rider Haggard’s When the World Shook | Edward Shanks’ The People of the Ruins | William Hope Hodgson’s The Night Land | J.D. Beresford’s Goslings | E.V. Odle’s The Clockwork Man | Cicely Hamilton’s Theodore Savage | Muriel Jaeger’s The Man With Six Senses | Jack London’s “The Red One” | Philip Francis Nowlan’s Armageddon 2419 A.D. | Homer Eon Flint’s The Devolutionist | W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Comet” | Edgar Rice Burroughs’s The Moon Men | Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland | Sax Rohmer’s “The Zayat Kiss” | Eimar O’Duffy’s King Goshawk and the Birds | Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Lost Prince | John Buchan’s Huntingtower

ORIGINAL FICTION: HiLobrow has serialized three novels: James Parker’s The Ballad of Cocky The Fox (“a proof-of-concept that serialization can work on the Internet” — The Atlantic); Karinne Keithley Syers’s Linda Linda Linda (which includes original music); and Robert Waldron’s roman à clef The School on the Fens. We also publish original stories and comics. These include: Matthew Battles’s stories “Gita Nova“, “Makes the Man,” “Imago,” “Camera Lucida,” “A Simple Message”, “Children of the Volcano”, “The Gnomon”, “Billable Memories”, “For Provisional Description of Superficial Features”, “The Dogs in the Trees”, “The Sovereignties of Invention”, and “Survivor: The Island of Dr. Moreau”; several of these later appeared in the collection The Sovereignties of Invention | Peggy Nelson’s “Mood Indigo“, “Top Kill Fail“, and “Mercerism” | Annalee Newitz’s “The Great Oxygen Race” | Charlie Mitchell’s “A Fantasy Land” | Joshua Glenn’s “The Lawless One”, and the mashup story “Zarathustra vs. Swamp Thing” | Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri’s Idoru Jones comics | John Holbo’s “Sugarplum Squeampunk” | “Another Corporate Death” (1) and “Another Corporate Death” (2) by Mike Fleisch | Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer and Frank Fiorentino’s graphic novel “The Song of Otto” (excerpt) | “Manoj” and “Josh” by Vijay Balakrishnan | “Verge” by Chris Rossi, and his audio novel Low Priority Hero | EPIC WINS: THE ILIAD (1.408-415) by Flourish Klink | EPIC WINS: THE KALEVALA (3.1-278) by James Parker | EPIC WINS: THE ARGONAUTICA (2.815-834) by Joshua Glenn | EPIC WINS: THE MYTH OF THE ELK by Matthew Battles | TROUBLED SUPERHUMAN CONTEST: Charles Pappas, “The Law” | CATASTROPHE CONTEST: Timothy Raymond, “Hem and the Flood” | TELEPATHY CONTEST: Rachel Ellis Adams, “Fatima, Can You Hear Me?” | OIL SPILL CONTEST: A.E. Smith, “Sound Thinking | LITTLE NEMO CAPTION CONTEST: Joe Lyons, “Necronomicon” | SPOOKY-KOOKY CONTEST: Tucker Cummings, “Well Marbled” | INVENT-A-HERO CONTEST: TG Gibbon, “The Firefly” | FANFICTION CONTEST: Lyette Mercier’s “Sex and the Single Superhero”

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“What can I tell you about Brooklyn Arts Studio? You’ve already eschewed the joys of rinsing…”

“What can I tell you about Brooklyn Arts Studio? You’ve already eschewed the joys of rinsing your hair with hand lotion and making off with tiny bars of soap, with staring into empty minibars and the travesty of CNN International. You’re an airbnb user, a wanderer of the electric world, a swimmer in the liquid modern! Well let me tell you, best beloved: you aren’t ready for the Blue Annex—not unless you were raised among the golden lions of Shangri-la, wrestling the gimlet-eyed inferno birds till dawn. You aren’t ready for the tintype wreckage and the clouds of American Spirit, or the red-lidded stare of postrock refugees rolling back from shows. Maybe first you should try kickstarting yourself a Bates Motel, or youtubing a haunted inn in the snows of Colorado, or tweeting yourself a cozy wicker man of a Summerisle. But you can’t sleep in youtube; kickstarter isn’t about to hand you a sloppy plate of curry and a snifter of hand-made gin. Twitter ain’t gonna light your cigarillo. Only wait—you say you miss the golden lions and their wishy-swishy tails? Perhaps even the inferno birds and their wobbly songs raise fond memory-welts on the back of your head? You pine for the pale mosquitos of morning whining their siren songs to inflame your gentling dreams? O best beloved, there’s a can of Off waiting for you in a trailer in Brooklyn.”

- My review for this place on AirBnB.
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Introducing AISight: The slightly scary CCTV network completely…



Introducing AISight: The slightly scary CCTV network completely run by AI | ITProPortal.com

Imagine a major city completely covered by a video surveillance system designed to monitor the every move of its citizens. Now imagine that the system is run by a fast-learning machine intelligence, that’s designed to spot crimes before they even happen. No, this isn’t the dystopian dream of a cyber-punk science fiction author. This is Boston, on the US East Coast, and it could soon be many more cities around the world. […] BRS is currently working with the organisers of the world cup to try to prevent crimes before they even take place. “We can recognise a precursor pattern that could be associated with a crime before it happens,” Cobb told reporters. “In a lot of cases, you can see someone casing the joint, poking around the back of buildings, going where they shouldn’t be.”

Video: BRSLabs’ AISight - The World’s Only Behavioral Recognition System for Video Surveillance (by BRSlabs AISight) BRS Labs | Behavioral Recognition Systems:

BRS Labs is the Leading Provider of Behavior Recognition Software for Video Surveillance Operations. AISightTM, created by BRS Labs, is the most powerful video surveillance software on the market. Out of the box it quickly becomes your security team’s most formidable weapon; autonomously building an ever-changing knowledgebase of activity seen through every camera on your video network. The result: AISight delivers accurate, real-time alerts on any suspicious behavior important enough for your team to respond!
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Booklist and Kirkus on How Not To Be Wrong

Some good pre-publication reviews are coming in!  From Kirkus:

Witty and expansive, Ellenberg’s math will leave readers informed, intrigued and armed with plenty of impressive conversation starters.

And Booklist (not available online, unfortunately:)

Relying on remarkably few technical formulas, Ellenberg writes with humor and verve as he repeatedly demonstrates that mathematics simply extends common sense. He manages to translate even the work of theoretical pioneers such as Cantor and Gödel into the language of intelligent amateurs. The surprises that await readers include not only a discovery of the astonishing versatility of mathematical thinking but also a realization of its very real limits. Mathematics, as it turns out, simply cannot resolve the real-world ambiguities surrounding the Bush-Gore cliff-hanger of 2000, nor can it resolve the much larger question of God’s existence. A bracing encounter with mathematics that matters.

 

 

 

 


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Booklist and Kirkus on How Not To Be Wrong

Some good pre-publication reviews are coming in!  From Kirkus:

Witty and expansive, Ellenberg’s math will leave readers informed, intrigued and armed with plenty of impressive conversation starters.

And Booklist (not available online, unfortunately:)

Relying on remarkably few technical formulas, Ellenberg writes with humor and verve as he repeatedly demonstrates that mathematics simply extends common sense. He manages to translate even the work of theoretical pioneers such as Cantor and Gödel into the language of intelligent amateurs. The surprises that await readers include not only a discovery of the astonishing versatility of mathematical thinking but also a realization of its very real limits. Mathematics, as it turns out, simply cannot resolve the real-world ambiguities surrounding the Bush-Gore cliff-hanger of 2000, nor can it resolve the much larger question of God’s existence. A bracing encounter with mathematics that matters.

 

 

 

 


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an IRL animated gif! itscolossal: New Bird & Butterfly Flip…



an IRL animated gif!

itscolossal:

New Bird & Butterfly Flip Book Machines by Juan Fontanive

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Anchorage

My long-time game collaborator Gabe Smedresman came back to me and ask I help him with a new brilliant idea for a game that is based around memory, relationships, and time, all by using your email patterns. Called Anchorage, I tried to reflect some of Gabe’s revolutionary thinking by making artwork that is equally unlike much in the game world these days, using watercolor patterns and a storybook, fable like look that harkens back to childhood and nostalgia. The game was an official selection from the 2014 Experimental Gameplay Workshop this past March, and we’re not even in Beta!

Go over and sign up to be notified of when we’re ready to show you more. It’s gonna be awesome.

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Rob Walker

My friend Matt and I were hired to refresh the online identity and presence of raconteur and media commentator Rob Walker, of the New York Times magazine and Yahoo!

We came with the idea of a very simple portfolio site, nearly blank, but anchored by a constantly changing animated logo up top, speaking to Rob’s many interests and subjects that he covers. After some initial digital efforts, we came back to the idea that rough and hand-drawn was best, as it offered a rather bespoke counterpoint to the sparse page. It was also a chance for me to hand animate, which I love, and don’t get to do too much of these days.

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In Human Years

My very good friend Matt Glaser and myself run a small concern called Squonk Studios, where we put all the stuff that he codes and I design–  In Human Years is one of our most recent efforts. In a conversation about the Internet of Things concept, we hit upon the funny (to us) idea of every item have am expected life cycle that may not always be obvious. We thought a quick and dirty web app that can do the conversion for you might be just the thing.

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April 17, 2014



April 17, 2014

I can never fully understand why Bob Dylan is always regarded as the greatest songwriter alive, when there is someone like Pete Shelley who is obviously a much better melody maker as well as a lyricist.  I first heard the Buzzcocks when I was close to 20, which was at the height of the punk era.  I purchased the 7” EP “Sprial Scratch” at the day of its release. I think at Bomp records in the San Fernando Valley.   The combination of Howard Devoto’s lyrics and Shelley’s music hit me hard.  After Devoto quit the band, I thought that was it for the Buzzcocks, but alas, I was totally wrong.  “Another Music in a Different Kitchen” their first full album was an amazing piece of work that made my head spin and my heartbeat go faster.   Over the years, including his incredible solo albums, I noticed that Shelley writes at least two types of songs - one is the pretty melody done fast and hard, and the second, which is my favorite by the way, is the song that if you did a painting of it, the shape would be a circle.  They are zen captured as a pop song.   Songs like “Autonomy,” “Why Can’t I Touch It?,” “I Don’t Know What To Do With My Life,” “Noise Annoys,” “ESP,”  and the incredible “I Believe” convey not an answer, but if you ask the question over and over again you may get some sort of peace.  Shelley is screaming out over and over “There’s no love in this world anymore, ” has such an effect on my life.



That sense of anger in his songs liberated me on a huge level.  The only other time I felt that way was when I first saw Lindsay Anderson’s “If…”, a film that ignited my soul, that I finally realized I wasn’t alone in the world.   That film opened at the height of my time at Parkman Junior High School, which to me was just like being condemned in a concentration camp.  It is one thing to get bullied by a fellow student, but to be bullied by your teachers I think is a total sin, if such a thing exists.  The fact that I was taken to the main office of the gym teachers, and called a ‘fag’ over and over again, strikes me as not a nice thing to do with a 14 years old boy.  I wasn’t aware of the “what” or “why” when they march me to the shower and then made me to take off all my clothes and take a shower, and then afterwards they told me to do it again, and this time get my hair wet.  I didn’t do it the first time, due that I had long hair, and it took forever to dry.   I was, and still am, very vain with respect to my appearance.  It seemed to me that Anderson captured the whole school experience for me, and I couldn’t believe someone captured that and I can see it on the big screen.  The final scene where the students go up on the roof and shoot down the teachers and fellow students made my heart warm.  It was at that moment where I decided I will not be impacted by these people anymore.



Of course, this set me down the path to find the artist that I feel is not respected by the masses, which ironically enough, are the reason why I would like an artist.  Billy Fury, like Shelley and Anderson, represent a harsh world upon a sensitive soul, and therefore I become a huge fan of that person.  When I first heard Billy Fury’s “Don’t Jump, Billy, ” it also was like a moment that lasted forever, even though the song was only a few minutes long.   The beautiful image of the song for me is imagining Fury on the edge of a mountain cliff, and down below are the rocks and sea.   Splattered on the rocks, yet the sea will carry his remains to another world.   Yet the chorus in the song behind him pleads “Billy don’t jump.” That and the songs by Pete Shelley are probably the most moving works of art for me. “If…, suggested a better world within a horror show, and it was at that moment that I realized I didn’t need a gun or a weapon.  My pen on paper is the perfect weapon for me.

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bullit1987: Shit, the boss is here …





















bullit1987:

Shit, the boss is here …

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prostheticknowledge: AgencyGlass Bizarre proof-of-concept tech…









prostheticknowledge:

AgencyGlass

Bizarre proof-of-concept tech by Dr. Hirotaka Osawa are glasses with small displays that give attention to others around you.

The idea here is that we have technology to help us work in areas such as physical labour and brainwork, but not “emotional labour”, the social face-to-face aspects of job roles. Video embedded below:

From IEEE:

Have you ever had trouble concentrating in the office as people walk by and glance at you? Do you come off as unfriendly or aloof, when you’re really just focusing on your work?

Dr. Hirotaka Osawa from Tsukuba University, in Japan, has developed a new wearable device to help us with something called “emotional labor.” His idea is that people could adopt cyborg technology to increase the emotional comfort of those around us. In this case, the device is a crazy pair of glasses that display eyeballs on their lenses.

The device’s virtual eyes naturally follow people and movement, making it appear as though you’re friendly and approachable, even if you’re too busy doing something else or too tired to actually look friendly and approachable.

"This emotional support reduces a user’s cognitive load for social manners," Osawa says.

More Here

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Robert Tressell

tressell

If you needed some brick-laying or sign-painting done in the final decade of the 19th century, the Irish-born workman ROBERT TRESSELL (Robert Croker, 1870–1911) might have been your man. However, in his off hours, he beavered away at The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, a novel — published posthumously in 1914 — which offers a bustling portrait of British working-class life. Frank Owen, the book’s protagonist, blames capitalism and his society’s upper class for his own class’s impoverishment and hunger, though he’s made angriest by his own co-workers’ reluctance to discuss socialist theory or any aspirations for a better life. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, a Dickensian romp filled with monikers like Rushton, Sweater and Didlum (Owen’s employers), charts Owen’s increasing frustration with the self-perpetuating, forelock-tugging caste in which he’s trapped. Like Dickens, though, Tressell — whose pen name is a pun on the trestle table used by wallpaper hangers — gives his savagely critical novel a warm heart and a sense of humor.

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Katia Krafft, Artur Schnabel, Posh Spice, Don Kirshner.

READ MORE about members of the Anarcho-Symbolist Generation (1864–73).

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Chilling App Reveals Security Cameras All Around You |…



Chilling App Reveals Security Cameras All Around You | Co.Design

Watch Your Privacy renders bulls eye-like hot spots on the ground where cameras could be filming, and it extends field-of-view cones from cameras themselves. This user interface does not blend in with subtlety. Cameras flood your view with red, yellow, and green iconography, and the relatively covert world of public surveillance is made wonderfully overt. If it feels ironic that Google Glass—another camera aimed at the world around you—is the platform for Watch Your Privacy, know that the irony isn’t completely lost on Veenhof. When using the app, Glass users automatically upload their own GPS coordinates. This tags every other Watch Your Privacy user in your field of view, but tags you, as a fellow Google Glass/camera wearer, in the process.
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“When striving to re-form the pattern of our own way of life, we often invoke Nature as our great…”

When striving to re-form the pattern of our own way of life, we often invoke Nature as our great teacher, seeking to justify man’s actions by arguments based on what happens in nature. We strive after ‘organic creation’, ‘form production from within’, ‘functional forms’, all of them aims which man believes he can find realized in works of nature. Using such slogans, our spirit protests against the artificiality of outward show; it demands ‘essentials’ instead of ‘façades’, and thinks that the very observation of nature should make us proof against false appearances and superficiality.

But what do we see in natural objects which are said to be examples for us? The functional form pure and simple, so much extolled by some as befitting Nature, is a rare and special case. How much more often do we find in animal forms just what is not comprised in these concepts? And what about ‘form production from within’, which is supposed to be Nature’s way of salvation, which should be the aim of Art? The inside of an animal does remind us of really ingenious man-made apparatus, and a machine-like interpretation does explain some of its functions. But against this, the covering of such ‘apparatus’ always stimulates us to compare it with those kinds of human artistic creations which are farthest removed from any purposive conception. How often does it seem to us as if roving fancy had been at work; sportiveness, the capricious free play of creative force, comes to mind rather than a technical necessity.



-

Adolf Portmann, Animal Forms and Patterns: a Study of the Appearance of Animals (Faber, 1952).

The Oblique Strategies card I turned over today tells me to “discard an axiom,” and of the day’s reading this comes the closest to meeting the obligation.

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ART ASSIGNMENT: The Quietest Place


The Art Assignment is a new PBS webseries created by curator Sarah Urist Green and hosted by her and author/YouTube superstar John Green, in which they ask artists around the country to devise an ‘art assignment’ related to their work that viewers can carry out, sharing the results online. Here’s the video for mine. It involves walking to find the quietest place near where you live. Fascinating responses to my #theartassignment have come in already — songs, videos, a delightful array of photos, even diary-style written logs of soundwalks, from all over the globe. It’s been wonderful to see the enthusiasm with which people are searching for their ‘Quietest Place’. (As a bonus, we get to experience the complications of recording quiet — wind in the smartphone mic… handling vibration rumble… it all ends up sounding rather noisy.)
t desert
t book

[some of the participants' photos]

You can check out a growing assortment of the responses over at the Art Assignment blog; some of the best will be folded back into a future episode of the program.

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April 16, 2014



April 16, 2014

When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I put on my turntable is “The Versatile Henry Mancini, ” specifically the opening track “Poinciana.” The lines you hear in this mostly instrumental song is “Speak to me my love.” In fact, I believe that it is the only lyrics in the song.  Nevertheless it serves as a meditation for me, before I have my first cup of coffee, as I get ready to go to the downtown library on Fifth street and flower.  I’m off today to research a writer by the name of Samy Rosenstock, a Romanian poet of some note, who to this day, has a strong influence on my writing.  It is very hard to locate his books in English, but I first discovered him as a teenager, when I was desperately looking for a mentor or an influence for my own attempts at writing poetry.



He was the first one to actually do the cut-up writing, where one takes a newspaper and cut out words, and then throw them into a hat, shake it up, and then toss them on a table or floor.  You then see what sentences come out, and bingo, you have almost an instant poem.  William S. Burroughs is famous for this process and many think he was the first to present it, but alas, it was Rosenstock that came up with it first, sometime after World War 1.  Everyone from the great lettrist writer Gil. J. Wolman to David Bowie has used this process of putting together a poem. My technique is similar, but I do this in my head.  I sort of have a pictorial memory of an article, and it seems as though it is right in front of me.  I choose the words or even half-a-sentence, and I go from there.



Chance is a big part of the process.  I am without a doubt attracted to artists and writers who use ‘chance’ as a tool of sorts.  Merce Cunningham strikes me as an artist, who can work with others, but there is a deep collaboration between the music, his dance steps, and how that is processed to a live audience.  Writing to me is a performance as well.  As you all know by now, I have committed myself to writing a piece for everyday this year (2014).  To do so, is very much an act of meditation, chance, and using Rosentock’s method of writing poetry.  Spike Milligan is a comic writer and performer who I admire greatly, and he too, uses improvisation in his art where one is not sure where it will go.  The act of heading towards failure is almost drugged like paradise, and I feel the need to rush to its entrance and work my way out towards the exit.



Charlie Chaplin’s best work for me is not his final films, but the clips I see of him working out his gags, and often failing, and then you see him getting frustrated and losing his temper.  That to me, is an inspirational moment for me, to see such a control freak in the moments of utter despair!  Also the fact he filmed everything as he worked on the skits, or trying out new things.  “City Lights” and “The Great Dictator” are wonderful films, but his outtakes are even much better.  To see the artist work behind the curtain, is truly wonderful.  The magic is exposed, and people like Chaplin and Milligan are seen working without a net underneath them is thrilling to me.   I feel the same way regarding Rosentock’s methods of writing poetry.



So it is odd that when I try to relax, it is with someone like Mancini, Ray Ventura, or Dusty Springfield: artists who only show perfection.  Like the yin and yang, I bounce back between the two forces, and here I find myself in the library, in a cubicle, a prisoner of sorts to my private demons.

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