fletter: Hello. (at 鸿艺豪苑 | Ambassy Court)



fletter:

Hello. (at 鸿艺豪苑 | Ambassy Court)

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Photo



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ilovecharts: Mitosis Explained Through Donuts



ilovecharts:

Mitosis Explained Through Donuts

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April 1, 2014



April 1, 2014

What is it about nature that we trust so much into that world that is not of our making?   I hanker back to the days of Edmond Rostand, who sees nature as an inspiration to adapt and change, but not to be governed by the four seasons.  Emotionally speaking he was the most honest playwright of his time.  When everyone else at the time was going through a naturalistic phrase, Rostand was going for the imagination.  He based his play “Cyrano de Bergerac” on a real character, but alas, even his imagination doesn’t really hold up to the real Cyrano.



Since the play is in verse, it takes one away from everyday life into another world.  After all this peculiar play introduced the word “panache.” The grand gesture of a theater piece with even grander characters within the work, can make one dizzy.  The real Cyrano, besides being famous for having a large nose, even though that is very much over empathized in the play, was very much a dramatist as well as a duelist, which come to think of it, is a grand gesture in itself.  He also wrote science fiction, where men go to the moon and meet up with the citizens of that fine planet.  Like Rostand, he let his imagination take him to places that couldn’t be obtained then and not even now.

What is interesting to me is that here is a writer, Rostand, writing about another writer, Cyrano, and yet he’s a fictional character, but the fiction part is only in the narrative.  The character is correct, but the key point is Cyrano’s nose, which sets off the only weak link in his personality.   Nature would accept a natural physical mistake, but the artistic or aesthetic fellow or girl, must change that nature to make it work for them.  Art to me does not want to acknowledge nature, but to change it for our purposes, whatever that may be.



My one driving goal in life is to be a writer like Edgar Wallace, where I turn out one book after another, and sort of disappear in my own work.  If Lon Chaney is the man with a thousand faces, then I want to the man with a thousand books, totally disguising the nature I live in, but presenting my life as a grand gesture.   Therefore I’m seriously considering to add a middle-name to my full name.  “Tosh Panache Berman. ”
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April fool hollyhock



April fool hollyhock

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Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuve



Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuve

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Theories of moral sentiments

Not available online, but my review of Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams is in the new issue of Bookforum.
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Tudors!

Hilary Mantel on the respectable face of soap opera.
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Eaten from below, eaten from above

It's not easy being an anole in South Florida!
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Ringtone bonanza

This is an amazing project.
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Erolunar collision

The amazing mind of Freeman Dyson.
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Samuel R. Delany

delany-2

Though most often compared to Joyce, SAMUEL R. DELANY (born 1942) is also something of a latter day Hawthorne — dealing, as he does, with characters trapped in impossible worlds of fraught, impenetrable ambiguity. Which sounds much lamer than it really is — especially when we’re talking of books featuring body-altered starship captains who look like dragons, linguistic super-weapons, unstable lunar governments, post-apocalyptic mutant calamity, and in which everything has gone terribly and inexplicably wrong but let’s fuck and figure it out afterwards (also, has anyone seen my shoe?). In some ways, it couldn’t have been too much different from the New York (first Harlem, the Bronx School of Science and then later and even more formatively, Greenwich Village) in which Delany grew up in, a fecund city alive with post-apocalyptic electricity and music and sex, crime and hope, sneakers hung from every overhead wire; the city’s future was opaque, and its past so soundly defeated that it could have been Triton or Babel-17 or Neveryon. Like Joyce, Delany has a rare ear for the human: his characters chew their hands, defecate noisily, revel in their own stink, and screw lustily; and how to conjure the sprawling, confounding miasma-city that lies at the heart of Dhalgren without at least waving confusedly at Ulysses? But what Delany has tapped into most of all, and uniquely, is this fact: Trapped somewhere within the mutations, the bodily enhancements, the aliens, the lunar landscapes, and the cities where everything has gone mysteriously all to pieces, somewhere deep within these permutations of our weird is the key to our humanity.

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Jimmy Cliff, Gil Scott-Heron, D. Boon, Lon Chaney Sr.

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

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Jimmy Cliff

jimmy cliff

With the perfect inevitability of the pop record that is both a natural hit and a TV ad waiting to happen, “Wonderful World, Beautiful People,” written and sung by JIMMY CLIFF (born 1948), became a long-running soundtrack for Jamaican tourism. It remains the thing he’s probably best known for — if we count the millions who know the song well but think Bob Marley sings it. In 1969, though, “Wonderful World” was brand smacking new, an uncontrived blast of happiness from an impoverished beach nation, and the first track on Reggae Chartbusters, a Trojan Records compilation that became vinyl law to a generation of English listeners. The next year, Cliff wrote and sang an attack on “Vietnam” when US artists were still doubtful of using that place-name in their own antiwar lyrics. And in 1973, he was the outlaw hero of The Harder They Come, a Kingston-shot hot mess of an action musical whose sense of triumph was anchored by three Cliff songs and whose sense of danger was wired to every glint and shift of his body, eyes, and smile. Garish, convulsive, and unnerving, Harder is all about the revenge fantasies that powered Cliff’s escapist music in the years before he had the money to escape on. Any who would downgrade the latter-day Jimmy Cliff as mere popularizer, evader, or happy face should go back to the roots and take another look.

***

On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Gil Scott-Heron, D. Boon, Lon Chaney Sr, Samuel R. Delany.

READ MORE about members of the Blank Generation (1944-53).

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“We want a ground to which people may easily go after their day’s work is done, and where they…”

“We want a ground to which people may easily go after their day’s work is done, and where they may stroll for an hour, seeing, hearing, and feeling nothing of the bustle and jar of the streets, where they shall, in effect, find the city put far away from them. We want the greatest possible contrast with the streets and the shops and the rooms of the town…. We want, especially, the greatest possible contrast with the restraining and confining conditions of the town, those conditions which compel us to walk circumspectly, watchfully, jealously, which compel us to look closely upon others without sympathy. Practically, what we most want is a simple, broad, open space of clean greensward, with sufficient play of surface and a sufficient number of trees about it to supply a variety of light and shade. This we want as a central feature. We want depth of wood enough about it not only for comfort in hot weather, but to completely shut out the city from our landscapes.”

- Frederick Law Olmsted, “Public Parks” (1902). The quintessence of Olmsted’s vision, the glades and turfs of Central Park glimmer here. I’m struck, however, to think how many other ways trees have of being in the city—not as decoration or obscuring screen, but as residents in dialogue with buildings, infrastructure, and people.
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#RaceSwapExp

A number of women of color changed their avatars to make a point about harassment. Some people are even swapping images in #RaceSwapExp

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data-driven strategizing for tiny libraries

I really need to upgrade this version of WordPress but I only remember when I am making a post and so I am busy. I did take the time, with other VLA members (Heidi! Helen! Sarah!) of redesigning the Vermont Library Association website. It was a great project, still a little bit in process, but I learned a lot more about responsive design and working with a team of engaged and interested people. Last weekend I went to Lexington MA to speak at the Cary Public Library. Not my usual routine, I was a guest speaker at a brunch talking about blogs. No slides, just talking. I talked about the history of this blog–15 years old this month–and other things I’ve done as a blogger. It went well. You can read the talk here: Blogs, Blogging and Bloggers. Scroll to the end to read a list of good book/reading blogs I put together. Ah, blogs!

Cutler library stats

This past weekend I went to a strategic planning retreat for one of the local small public libraries. They are in the unenviable position of needing to make some changes without really having the cash or the staffing to do those changes. The head of the board asked if I’d come in and talk about… making tough decsions, what other libraries are doing, that sort of thing. I came in to talk a little bit about Libraries I Have Known and spent about 45 minutes with a combination of local library anecdotes (I got a million of ‘em) and some data-driven talk.

The Vermont Department of Libraries puts out a terrific Giant Spreadsheet every year with a lot of information about all of Vermont’s libraries. I’ve talked about it before. However, it’s more data than most people want to deal with, which is perfectly okay. I took the giant spreadsheet and used some Excel filtering and added some averages and summaries and was able to create a much more modest spreadsheet which basically said “Show us how we’re doing compared to other libraries our size” For this project, I took all the libraries that had within 400 people population-wise and found the most salient information about those libraries (budget, circ, per capita funding, programming &c.) and then highlighted where this library fell on the matrix for these values. It didn’t take long, but it was fiddly work. At the end of it I think I had a really useful one-sheet for the board (above) and a few smaller spreadsheets so they could see where the numbers came from. It was fun. I’d love to do it for more libraries. I work in-state for pizza and Fresca (and mileage if I have to schlep someplace). Look me up.

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pennilessphotographer: “Diabetic”—Accident Series Vote for…



pennilessphotographer:

"Diabetic"—Accident Series

Vote for me!

https://zerenbadar.see.me/yearinreview2013

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randomness-from-thisoldguy: Tom Toles on ‘devolution’



randomness-from-thisoldguy:

Tom Toles on ‘devolution’

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internet-of-bodies: SGT STAR: THE ARMY’S VIRTUAL GUIDE SGT STAR…



internet-of-bodies:

SGT STAR: THE ARMY’S VIRTUAL GUIDE
SGT STAR is your virtual guide to goarmy.com.  He’s here to help answer any questions you have about the Army.  Just type in what you’re looking for and he’ll find the information you need - fast.

The information you enter is to be used only for recruiting Soldiers into the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve.

Ask SGT Star

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fairy-wren: Silver Pheasant ( Lopbura nycthemera ) by Gary…



fairy-wren:

Silver Pheasant ( Lopbura nycthemera ) by Gary Kinard on Flickr.

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For a while now, facial analysis software has been able to…



For a while now, facial analysis software has been able to distinguish between the six “basic categories” of emotion—happiness, surprise, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust. If you asked me to do the same, I could probably do it. But when you drill down into complex, compound facial expressions such as “happily surprised,” “fearfully angry,” “appalled,” “hatred,” and “awed,” I’d probably blow a couple of them. This computer doesn’t. In fact, it can decipher between 21 different “complex emotions.” (via Computers Can Read Emotions Better Than You Can | Motherboard)

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Works on paper redux

Brad Pasanek at People of the Book: especially good bits on watermarks, as well as a nice shout-out to the now-deceased Jay Fliegelman, author of one of my favorite books in eighteenth-century studies.
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March 31, 2014



March 31, 2014

I woke up this morning with the recording of Glenn Gould’s version of Johan Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” I have the music hooked up to start automatically at 7:00 am every morning, which wakes me up.  This is intended to be Gould’s final recording before he passed away, and I always prefer this version than his much earlier one.  For me it represents an entire lifetime and it is in this specific recording.  As I get older, I have less time for youth and all of its silliness.   Often I want to walk around with a hammer and destroy every image of youth that comes upon my eyes.   It is a type of psychotic reaction, but it greatly amuses me as well.



They say beauty is only skin deep, but with age, it becomes a connoisseur talent to choose the difference between the pearl and perhaps a coarse stone.  Through out my life I always felt my profession was one where I show pearls before swine.   Basically this is the job of the curator, and if one has to force a category on oneself, then that is what I am.  I take all of  you out for a stroll into the woods, and we come back with goodies that I selected for you.   In other words, I am sort of the perfect date.



Sergei Diaghilev, was someone who I greatly admire, because he didn’t really do anything, except show taste.  Through out his life, he has located the most unique pearls, and presented to an audience.  Some hated it, some were transformed, but none were bored.  To have vision is a beautiful talent, and sometimes artists cannot do that for themselves.  What I do is recognize your talent and make you better.  Or not.



Richard Chamberlain, who started off as being an idol on the Dr. Kildare show, which also led him to a series of hit recordings around the early 1960s, became a serious stage actor when he went to London to perform in repertory theater.   He’s an example of an artist who created his own career, where if you follow him from Dr. Kildare to teen idol music to Broadway and then eventually Shakespeare.  It is obvious he had a strong vision of what he wanted to accomplish, and he did it with the genius of Napoleon planning an attack.   It is like he couldn’t wait to do away with his youth.



What I have gained from all of this is to always move forward, and not spend time looking backwards.  I greatly admire the films of Nagisa Oshima, because it seems to me he distances himself from his past, to explore his culture in such a way, it is almost like he’s a scientist in a laboratory.   All that knowledge one gains from one’s history and others has only one purpose.  And that is to go forward and not look back.  Orpheus, in mythology, was a figure who used his art to lead others to a better place.  He even attempted to lure his wife Eurydice, from the Underworld.  He succeeded in bringing her back from death to life. In a way, he was a curator, who transformed life as an on-going adventure.  Youth is not aware of the pitfalls or has the vision to conceptualize the need to move on.   Youth is looking back, and aging is moving forward.
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the60sbazaar: The Supremes 



the60sbazaar:

The Supremes 

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jtotheizzoe: silicongarden: Looking At Every Synapse In The…









jtotheizzoe:

silicongarden:

Looking At Every Synapse In The Brain Is Breathtakingly Beautiful

A reminder that the brain is not an orderly system of wires connected end-to-end, but rather the most powerful ball of tangled Christmas lights on Earth.

So often we see neurons drawn in isolation, but cutting into a section of brain is like slicing through a mashed-up wad of multicolor Play-Doh snakes, except everything is the same color, and it’s really small.

Sometimes I wonder if my analogies make any sense. Just go with me here.

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rhamphotheca: 33 round tailed horned lizard skulls found while…



rhamphotheca:

33 round tailed horned lizard skulls found while cleaning out an America Kestrel nest box.

“My wife and I have a place in the Chiricahua Mtns of SE Arizona. I have a Kestrel nest box there. This spring the Kestrel pair raised 5 young in the box and after they were through nesting I cleaned out the box to get it ready for next year. The only bones in the box were 33 Round-tailed Horned Lizard (
Phrynosoma modestum) skulls, which I placed in my palm and photographed.”

text and photo: John Roser

(via: San Diego Nat. Hist. Mus. - Herpetology Dept.)

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HiLobrow 1Q2014

It’s been a busy year for me, so far. In addition to my regular work as a semiotic brand analyst, as I mentioned earlier this year the UNBORED team has had to hustle to finish up our forthcoming UNBORED Games book in March, and I’ll be launching a new semiotic branding consultancy — as well as the Save the Adventure e-book club — in April. Nevertheless, HiLobrow has continued to publish new material each day! Here are highlights from the first three months of 2014.

ALSO READ: BEST OF HILOBROW: 2010 | BEST OF HILOBROW: 2011 | BEST OF HILOBROW: 2012 | BEST OF HILOBROW: 2013

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HILO HEROES

Since January 1, we’ve published some 70 new installments in the ongoing HiLo Heroes series. For example:

charley pride-6

Tor Aarestad on Charles Dickens, Raymond Aron, Albert Einstein; Joe Alterio on Milton Caniff; Brian Berger on John Hope Franklin, Shannon Jackson, Ray Price, Jackie Robinson, Big Bill Haywood, W.E.B. Du Bois, Godfrey Cambridge, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Nat King Cole, Rudolf Rocker; Franklin Bruno on Elvis Presley, J.L. Austin, Rufus Thomas; Deb Chachra on Linus Pauling, Maud Menten; Jen Collins on Chan Marshall; Adrienne Crew on Charley Pride, William Morris, Edward Steichen; Tucker Cummings on Jemaine Clement, François Truffaut, Nina Simone.

lynch

Also: Erik Davis on David Lynch; Suzanne Fischer on Joanna Russ, Margaret Mahy, Wilhelm Reich; Mike Fleisch on Manet, Jimmy Durante; Jerrold Freitag on Isaac Asimov, Paul Virilio; Mark Kingwell on Umberto Eco, Andy Kaufman, Gadamer, Terry Eagleton; Alix Lambert on Angela Davis, Will Allen, Scott Wannberg; Chris Lanier on Darwin; Mimi Lipson on Jim Jarmusch; Adam McGovern on Lou Reed, Piet Mondrian, Melora Creager; Devin McKinney on Roger Miller, Edgar Allan Poe, Luis Buñuel; Jacob Mikanowski on Mississippi John Hurt.

Exene+Cervenka+exene

Also: Anthony Miller on Norman Mailer, Brendan Behan, Leslie Fiedler; William Nericcio on Toni Morrison, Kurt Cobain, Gayatri Spivak, Flor Garduño, Juan Gris; Annie Nocenti on Sam Peckinpah, David Milch; Lynn Peril on Exene Cervenka, Gloria Steinem; Luc Sante on André Breton; Elina Shatkin on Freya Stark; David Smay on Lou-Andreas Salomé; Kio Stark on Wilkie Collins; Robert Wringham on Ronald Searle, Michael Gorham, Jerry Lewis.

Also: We published the fifth annual Rondel for HiLo Heroes. In which I celebrate — via a rondel (ABAB/CDDC/EFFEF) — thirteen of the HiLo Heroes about whom HiLobrow’s contributors wrote during the preceding year.

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SERIAL FICTION

During the first three months of 2014, HiLoBooks began serializing the following forgotten novels.

Cuinbattle

The 1926 satirical sf novel King Goshawk and the Birds, by Irish playwright and novelist Eimar O’Duffy, which 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. Long 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.

ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

HiLoBooks also branched out into adventure fiction.

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.

ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

buchan

Huntingtower was a departure for John Buchan. Published between the third and fourth of his tremendous Richard Hannay novels, the book’s protagonist is not a soldier-turned-spy, but instead a retired Scottish grocer who joins a quixotic effort to rescue a Russian noblewoman from Bolsheviks. Adventure literature exegetes agree that with this novel, Buchan was attempting to take the curse of irony off the word “adventure” — that is, to bring adventure into everyday life.

ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

ALSO 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

For more information about HiLoBooks, please visit our homepage.

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LIT LISTS

fitzhugh harriet

In February, I posted a list of my favorite 1964 books for older kids. The cusp year 1964 was a transition point between the relatively innocent Fifties (1954–63) and the more rebellious Sixties (1964–73). Among the books on this list you’ll find rebellious themes foreshadowing the “problem YA” novels of the later Sixties… but it’s all still in good, innocent fun.

score

Near the end of February, I posted a list of my favorite 1964 adventure novels for grownups.

MORE LIT LISTS FROM THIS AUTHOR: Index to All Adventure Lists | Best 19th Century Adventure (1805–1903) | Best Nineteen-Oughts Adventure (1904–13) | Best Nineteen-Teens Adventure (1914–23) | Best Twenties Adventure (1924–33) | Best Thirties Adventure (1934–43) | Best Forties Adventure (1944–53) | Best Fifties Adventure (1954–63) | Best Sixties Adventure (1964–73) | Best Seventies Adventure (1974–83) | 101 Science Fiction | 70 Crime | 65 Fantasy | 60 Espionage | 40 Atavistic & Historical | 25 Frontier & Western | 20 Avenger & Artful Dodger | 20 Apophenic & Treasure Hunt | 20 War & Ruritanian | 18 Picaresque | 11 Robinsonade & Survival. ALSO: Best YA Fiction of 1963 | Best Older Kids’ Lit 1964 | 10 Best 1964 Adventures | Best Scottish Fabulists | Radium-Age Telepath Lit | Radium Age Superman Lit | Radium Age Robot Lit | Radium Age Apocalypse Lit | Radium Age Eco-Catastrophe Lit | Radium Age Cover Art (1) | SF’s Best Year Ever: 1912 | Cold War “X” Fic | Best YA Sci-Fi | Hooker Lit | No-Fault Eco-Catastrophe Lit | Scrabble Lit |

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MORE FROM HILOBROW

WormholeComicCropSmaller

In January, we published “One Year of Descriptive Phrases from New York Times Obituary Headlines: 2013,” an epic (found) poem by Rob Walker.

hammock

Also in January, we published Hypocrite Idler (2013), the fourth annual post in which I humblebrag about my previous year’s projects.

And on January 18, we celebrated (for the second time ever) Micawber Day. The only holiday specific to idlers.

medium_MicroFacePanelClue5Small

In February, we started a new series of posts: Masked Man. It’s dedicated to evocative images of masked men from John Hilgart’s cornucopia of comics details 4CP.

ukulele club

Plus installments in various ongoing series, including Look at That Forgotten Hipster.

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Thanks for reading HiLobrow! Now on to the 2nd quarter of 2014.

***

ALSO READ: BEST OF HILOBROW: 2010 | BEST OF HILOBROW: 2011 | BEST OF HILOBROW: 2012 | BEST OF HILOBROW: 2013

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Happy 20th Birthday, Zapatistas!

** Published simultaneously at VICE (US, UK, Canada) and VICE México, Jan 1, 2014: Photo by Marco Antonio Cruz. Today marks 20 years since a previously unknown army emerged from the rain forests of the indigenous highlands of Chiapas, Mexico, and declared war on the government. It was a landmark day. Even in early 1994, as a 13-year-old middle-school kid living in Southern California, I knew something huge was happening in my parents’ homeland. And I started to pay attention. That same day, the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. NAFTA...
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“Meat Service”

Unnecessary quotation marks. (Via Alix.)
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looseunderscoreconnections: / //  //  / / // / / / //// / / ///…



looseunderscoreconnections:

/ //  //  / / // / / / //// / / /// / /////  // / / / /  / /// / / / / / / / // / / //// / / // / // / / / / / / / / // / / / / / / / / / / / /////// / / / / / / / //

In loose_connections 015  Jimmy Kipple Sound goes digging through files long backed up and since assumed lost: nigh on a decade old field recordings are reprocessed and reappropriated; things that once amused are exhumed and reexamined. Perhaps it’s aimless nostalgia but it’s aimless, inquisitive and gooey nostalgia.

OH THAT DUDE’S GOT HAIR

Over the course of the half-hour you will hear distorted piracy distorted further, the opening bars of 20th Century Boy, the rattle of the radiator in JKS’s parents’ bathroom, a choir imitating an engaged tone at the behest of Dolly Parton obliged to occupy the same time as a small section of construction work, sine waves oscillating in various states of decomposition & all the rattle, crackle, sirens ‘n’ hiss that typically characterises so much of the loose_connections SCARE QUOTES aesthetic SCARE QUOTES.

/ //  //  / / // / / / //// / / // / / / /  / / // / / / / / // / // / / / //// / / // / // / / / / // / / / / / / / / / / / /////// / / / / / / / //
loose_connections is a half hour selection of dust ‘n’ moths acquired and pilfered by Jimmy Kipple Sound exclusively for those good people at Basic.fm
TRANSMISSION TIMES : WEDS 02/04 + 09/04 @ 12:00 GMT // THURS 03/04 + 10/04 @ 08.00 BST

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foxsearchlightpictures: Concept art for Wes Anderson’s THE…







foxsearchlightpictures:

Concept art for Wes Anderson’s THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.

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March 30, 2014



March 30, 2014

The most influential man in my life is without a doubt Warren Beatty.  What I admire about him the most is his seductive powers over women, or just the need for sexual adventures at all cost.  People poo-poo on him because I think he represents the real desire in a man’s make-up.   We often have to deny it, or claim total innocence, but in truth, as Woody Allen once said, “if there is reincarnation, I’d like to come back as Warren Beatty’s fingertips. ”

To be able to step into a room and you’re Warren Beatty must be a fantastic feeling.  I have two personal memories of Beatty.  My earliest memory of him was when I was with my dad and mom and we were invited, or taken to Jack Nicholson’s house right around the time of the release of “Chinatown.” We drove up to the entrance of a long driveway, and waited for a limo to pick us up and take us up to the party.  Once we were inside the car, we noticed a teenager on a mini-bike riding along us, and occasionally kicking the side of the limo as it was driving up the long driveway.  May dad asked who was that, and the driver just hissed out “It’s Brando’s kid, Christian.” Once I walked in the entrance I was taken back by the interior which wasn’t that exciting to me, but what was amazing was seeing Warren Beatty and Julie Christie sitting on the floor, among others.  Even the appearance of Groucho Marx couldn’t make me keep my eyes off Beatty.   He was beautiful, but only on the surface, which made him even more attractive.



His charm is very studied, like he went to a class to study to be Warren Beatty.  He didn’t have the inherent charm say, one of the great French stars at that time, Jean-Claude Brialy, who just oozed a certain type of personality that was totally suitable for his work with Godard, Malle, and Serge Gainsbourg.  But Brialy was too soft as a seductive person for me, I needed a Beatty who was full of strength and a certain amount of daring.  Being shy, I needed someone to follow who didn’t have one ounce of shyness or awkwardness in front of others, especially women.



When I tried to be seductive, I come off as John Astin, who was one of the main stars in “The Addams Family.” Totally comical and just the wrong approach!   I want seduction to be as easy as the song by Astrud Gilberto “The Girl from Ipanema.” The horrible truth is that my life more like an etching by Francisco Goya with maybe captions by Paul Verlaine.  The disgust that I feel for myself whenever I am in front of an attractive woman is truly a horror show.

The second and last time I came upon Warren Beatty was many years later.  I was employed in a bookstore and he came in by himself to shop, and I remember even though he was quite old, he still had an appearance of a little boy of sorts.  A little boy with an erection!  Nevertheless when he came into the store, there was an event taking place, and it was full of middle-aged women attending this specific event.  When he came in, it was like if God walked into the room.  The women literally swoon, and surrounded him like bees being attached to the honey.  He was very courteous to the ladies, and it struck me that if I was in his place, I would look like a total idiot.   Time marches on, but I am still the same as I was before, and so is Warren Beatty.
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Joven Will

This photo of a photo shows my first apartment without roommates in Mexico City, 106 in the Edificio Victoria. It's where I wrote most of "Down & Delirious in Mexico City" and had some of the best, worst experiences of my life. Joven Will is how I called William Dunleavy, a friendly young punk from New York and New Jersey who I met one day in DF. Will threw me off at first when he let me know he was taking photos of a family of dedicated punks who lived in La Paz, past Ciudad Neza. He was 19 years...
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Huntingtower (13)

buchan

Huntingtower was a departure for John Buchan. Published between the third and fourth of his tremendous Richard Hannay novels, the book’s protagonist is not a soldier-turned-spy, but instead a retired Scottish grocer who joins a quixotic effort to rescue a Russian noblewoman from Bolsheviks. Adventure literature exegetes agree that with this novel, Buchan was attempting to take the curse of irony off the word “adventure” — that is, to bring adventure into everyday life.

HiLobrow is pleased to serialize John Buchan’s Huntingtower, which was first published in 1922. A new installment will appear each week for sixteen weeks.

ALL INSTALLMENTS SO FAR

***

Chapter 13: The Coming of the Danish Brig

Mr. John Heritage, solitary in the old Tower, found much to occupy his mind. His giddiness was passing, though the dregs of a headache remained, and his spirits rose with his responsibilities. At daybreak he breakfasted out of the Mearns Street provision box, and made tea in one of the Die-Hards’ camp kettles. Next he gave some attention to his toilet, necessary after the rough-and-tumble of the night. He made shift to bathe in icy water from the Tower well, shaved, tidied up his clothes and found a clean shirt from his pack. He carefully brushed his hair, reminding himself that thus had the Spartans done before Thermopylæ. The neat and somewhat pallid young man that emerged from these rites then ascended to the first floor to reconnoitre the landscape from the narrow unglazed windows.

If any one had told him a week ago that he would be in so strange a world he would have quarrelled violently with his informant. A week ago he was a cynical clear-sighted modern, a contemner of illusions, a swallower of formulas, a breaker of shams — one who had seen through the heroical and found it silly. Romance and such-like toys were playthings for fatted middle-age, not for strenuous and cold-eyed youth. But the truth was that now he was altogether spellbound by these toys. To think that he was serving his lady was rapture — ecstasy, that for her he was single-handed venturing all. He rejoiced to be alone with his private fancies. His one fear was that the part he had cast himself for should be needless, that the men from the sea should not come, or that reinforcements would arrive before he should be called upon. He hoped alone to make a stand against thousands. What the upshot might be he did not trouble to inquire. Of course the Princess would be saved, but first he must glut his appetite for the heroic.

He made a diary of events that day, just as he used to do at the front. At twenty minutes past eight he saw the first figure coming from the House. It was Spidel, who limped round the Tower, tried the door, and came to a halt below the window. Heritage stuck out his head and wished him good morning, getting in reply an amazed stare. The man was not disposed to talk, though Heritage made some interesting observations on the weather, but departed quicker than he came, in the direction of the West Lodge.

Just before nine o’clock he returned with Dobson and Léon. They made a very complete reconnaissance of the Tower, and for a moment Heritage thought that they were about to try to force an entrance. They tugged and hammered at the great oak door, which he had further strengthened by erecting behind it a pile of the heaviest lumber he could find in the place. It was imperative that they should not get in, and he got Dickson’s pistol ready with the firm intention of shooting them if necessary. But they did nothing, except to hold a conference in the hazel clump a hundred yards to the north, when Dobson seemed to be laying down the law, and Léon spoke rapidly with a great fluttering of hands. They were obviously puzzled by the sight of Heritage, whom they believed to have left the neighbourhood. Then Dobson went off, leaving Léon and Spidel on guard, one at the edge of the shrubberies between the Tower and the House, the other on the side nearest the Laver glen. These were their posts, but they did sentry-go around the building, and passed so close to Heritage’s window that he could have tossed a cigarette on their heads.

It occurred to him that he ought to get busy with camouflage. They must be convinced that the Princess was in the place, for he wanted their whole mind to be devoted to the siege. He rummaged among the ladies’ baggage, and extracted a skirt and a coloured scarf. The latter he managed to flutter so that it could be seen at the window the next time one of the watchers came within sight. He also fixed up the skirt so that the fringe of it could be seen, and, when Léon appeared below, he was in the shadow talking rapid French in a very fair imitation of the tones of Cousin Eugènie. The ruse had its effect, for Léon promptly went off to tell Spidel, and when Dobson appeared he too was given the news. This seemed to settle their plans, for all three remained on guard, Dobson nearest to the Tower, seated on an outcrop of rock with his mackintosh collar turned up, and his eyes usually turned to the misty sea.

By this time it was eleven o’clock, and the next three hours passed slowly with Heritage. He fell to picturing the fortunes of his friends. Dickson and the Princess should by this time be far inland, out of danger and in the way of finding succour. He was confident that they would return, but he trusted not too soon, for he hoped for a run for his money as Horatius in the Gate. After that he was a little torn in his mind. He wanted the Princess to come back and to be somewhere near if there was a fight going, so that she might be a witness of his devotion. But she must not herself run any risk, and he became anxious when he remembered her terrible sangfroid. Dickson could no more restrain her than a child could hold a greyhound…. But of course it would never come to that. The police would turn up long before the brig appeared — Dougal had thought that would not be till high tide, between four and five — and the only danger would be to the pirates. The three watchers would be put in the bag, and the men from the sea would walk into a neat trap. This reflection seemed to take all the colour out of Heritage’s prospect. Peril and heroism were not to be his lot — only boredom.

A little after twelve two of the tinklers appeared with some news which made Dobson laugh and pat them on the shoulder. He seemed to be giving them directions, pointing seaward and southward. He nodded to the Tower, where Heritage took the opportunity of again fluttering Saskia’s scarf athwart the window. The tinklers departed at a trot, and Dobson lit his pipe as if well pleased. He had some trouble with it in the wind, which had risen to an uncanny violence. Even the solid Tower rocked with it, and the sea was a waste of spindrift and low scurrying cloud. Heritage discovered a new anxiety — this time about the possibility of the brig landing at all. He wanted a complete bag, and it would be tragic if they got only the three seedy ruffians now circumambulating his fortress.

About one o’clock he was greatly cheered by the sight of Dougal. At the moment Dobson was lunching off a hunk of bread and cheese directly between the Tower and the House, just short of the crest of the ridge on the other side of which lay the stables and the shrubberies; Léon was on the north side opposite the Tower door, and Spidel was at the south end near the edge of the Garple glen. Heritage, watching the ridge behind Dobson and the upper windows of the House which appeared over it, saw on the very crest something like a tuft of rusty bracken which he had not noticed before. Presently the tuft moved, and a hand shot up from it waving a rag of some sort. Dobson at the moment was engaged with a bottle of porter, and Heritage could safely wave a hand in reply. He could now make out clearly the red head of Dougal.

The Chieftain, having located the three watchers, proceeded to give an exhibition of his prowess for the benefit of the lonely inmate of the Tower. Using as cover a drift of bracken, he wormed his way down till he was not six yards from Dobson, and Heritage had the privilege of seeing his grinning countenance a very little way above the innkeeper’s head. Then he crawled back and reached the neighbourhood of Léon, who was sitting on a fallen Scotch fir. At that moment it occurred to the Belgian to visit Dobson. Heritage’s breath stopped, but Dougal was ready, and froze into a motionless blur in the shadow of a hazel bush. Then he crawled very fast into the hollow where Léon had been sitting, seized something which looked like a bottle, and scrambled back to the ridge. At the top he waved the object, whatever it was, but Heritage could not reply, for Dobson happened to be looking towards the window. That was the last he saw of the Chieftain, but presently he realised what was the booty he had annexed. It must be Léon’s life-preserver, which the night before had broken Heritage’s head.

After that cheering episode boredom again set in. He collected some food from the Mearns Street box, and indulged himself with a glass of liqueur brandy. He was beginning to feel miserably cold, so he carried up some broken wood and made a fire on the immense hearth in the upper chamber. Anxiety was clouding his mind again, for it was now two o’clock, and there was no sign of the reinforcements which Dickson and the Princess had gone to find. The minutes passed, and soon it was three o’clock, and from the window he saw only the top of the gaunt shuttered House, now and then hidden by squalls of sleet, and Dobson squatted like an Eskimo, and trees dancing like a witch-wood in the gale. All the vigour of the morning seemed to have gone out of his blood; he felt lonely and apprehensive and puzzled. He wished he had Dickson beside him, for that little man’s cheerful voice and complacent triviality would be a comfort…. Also, he was abominably cold. He put on his waterproof, and turned his attention to the fire. It needed re-kindling, and he hunted in his pockets for paper, finding only the slim volume lettered Whorls.

I set it down as the most significant commentary on his state of mind. He regarded the book with intense disfavour, tore it in two, and used a handful of its fine deckle-edged leaves to get the fire going. They burned well, and presently the rest followed. Well for Dickson’s peace of mind that he was not a witness of such vandalism.

A little warmer but in no way more cheerful, he resumed his watch near the window. The day was getting darker, and promised an early dusk. His watch told him that it was after four, and still nothing had happened. Where on earth were Dickson and the Princess? Where in the name of all that was holy were the police? Any minute now the brig might arrive and land its men, and he would be left there as a burnt-offering to their wrath. There must have been an infernal muddle somewhere…. Anyhow the Princess was out of the trouble, but where the Lord alone knew…. Perhaps the reinforcements were lying in wait for the boats at the Garplefoot. That struck him as a likely explanation, and comforted him. Very soon he might hear the sound of an engagement to the south, and the next thing would be Dobson and his crew in flight. He was determined to be in the show somehow and would be very close on their heels. He felt a peculiar dislike to all three, but especially to Léon. The Belgian’s small baby features had for four days set him clenching his fists when he thought of them.

The next thing he saw was one of the tinklers running hard towards the Tower. He cried something to Dobson, which Heritage could not catch, but which woke the latter to activity. The innkeeper shouted to Léon and Spidel, and the tinkler was excitedly questioned. Dobson laughed and slapped his thigh. He gave orders to the others, and himself joined the tinkler and hurried off in the direction of the Garplefoot. Something was happening there, something of ill omen, for the man’s face and manner had been triumphant. Were the boats landing?

As Heritage puzzled over this event, another figure appeared on the scene. It was a big man in knickerbockers and mackintosh, who came round the end of the House from the direction of the South Lodge. At first he thought it was the advance-guard from his own side, the help which Dickson had gone to find, and he only restrained himself in time from shouting a welcome. But surely their supports would not advance so confidently in enemy country. The man strode over the slopes as if looking for somebody; then he caught sight of Léon and waved him to come. Léon must have known him, for he hastened to obey.

The two were about thirty yards from Heritage’s window. Léon was telling some story volubly, pointing now to the Tower and now towards the sea. The big man nodded as if satisfied. Heritage noted that his right arm was tied up, and that the mackintosh sleeve was empty, and that brought him enlightenment. It was Loudon the factor, whom Dickson had winged the night before. The two of them passed out of view in the direction of Spidel.

The sight awoke Heritage to the supreme unpleasantness of his position. He was utterly alone on the headland, and his allies had vanished into space, while the enemy plans, moving like clock-work, were approaching their consummation. For a second he thought of leaving the Tower and hiding somewhere in the cliffs. He dismissed the notion unwillingly, for he remembered the task that had been set him. He was there to hold the fort to the last — to gain time, though he could not for the life of him see what use time was to be when all the strategy of his own side seemed to have miscarried. Anyhow, the blackguards would be sold for they would not find the Princess. But he felt a horrid void in the pit of his stomach, and a looseness about his knees.

The moments passed more quickly as he wrestled with his fears. The next he knew the empty space below his window was filling with figures. There was a great crowd of them, rough fellows with seamen’s coats, still dripping as if they had had a wet landing. Dobson was with them, but for the rest they were strange figures.

Now that the expected had come at last Heritage’s nerves grew calmer. He made out that the newcomers were trying the door, and he waited to hear it fall, for such a mob could soon force it. But instead a voice called from beneath.

“Will you please open to us?” it said.

He stuck his head out and saw a little group with one man at the head of it, a young man clad in oilskins whose face was dim in the murky evening. The voice was that of a gentleman.

“I have orders to open to no one,” Heritage replied.

“Then I fear we must force an entrance,” said the voice.

“You can go to the devil,” said Heritage.

That defiance was the screw which his nerves needed. His temper had risen, he had forgotten all about the Princess, he did not even remember his isolation. His job was to make a fight for it. He ran up the staircase which led to the attics of the Tower, for he recollected that there was a window there which looked over the ground before the door. The place was ruinous, the floor filled with holes, and a part of the roof sagged down in a corner. The stones around the window were loose and crumbling and he managed to pull several out so that the slit was enlarged. He found himself looking down on a crowd of men, who had lifted the fallen tree on which Léon had perched, and were about to use it as a battering ram.

“The first fellow who comes within six yards of the door I shoot,” he shouted.

There was a white wave below as every face was turned to him. He ducked back his head in time as a bullet chipped the side of the window.

But his position was a good one, for he had a hole in the broken wall through which he could see, and could shoot with his hand at the edge of the window while keeping his body in cover. The battering party resumed their task, and as the tree swung nearer, he fired at the foremost of them. He missed, but the shot for a moment suspended operations.

Again they came on, and again he fired. This time he damaged somebody, for the trunk was dropped.

A voice gave orders, a sharp authoritative voice. The battering squad dissolved, and there was a general withdrawal out of the line of fire from the window. Was it possible that he had intimidated them? He could hear the sound of voices, and then a single figure came into sight again, holding something in its hand.

He did not fire, for he recognised the futility of his efforts. The baseball swing of the figure below could not be mistaken. There was a roar beneath, and a flash of fire, as the bomb exploded on the door. Then came a rush of men, and the Tower had fallen.

Heritage clambered through a hole in the roof and gained the topmost parapet. He had still a pocketful of cartridges, and there in a coign of the old battlements he would prove an ugly customer to the pursuit. Only one at a time could reach that siege perilous…. They would not take long to search the lower rooms, and then would be hot on the trail of the man who had fooled them. He had not a scrap of fear left or even of anger — only triumph at the thought of how properly those ruffians had been sold. “Like schoolboys they who unaware” — instead of two women they had found a man with a gun. And the Princess was miles off and forever beyond their reach. When they had settled with him they would no doubt burn the House down, but that would serve them little. From his airy pinnacle he could see the whole sea-front of Huntingtower, a blur in the dusk but for the ghostly eyes of its white-shuttered windows.

Something was coming from it, running lightly over the lawns, lost for an instant in the trees, and then appearing clear on the crest of the ridge where some hours earlier Dougal had lain. With horror he saw that it was a girl. She stood with the wind plucking at her skirts and hair, and she cried in a high, clear voice which pierced even the confusion of the gale. What she cried he could not tell for it was in a strange tongue….

But it reached the besiegers. There was a sudden silence in the din below him and then a confusion of shouting. The men seemed to be pouring out of the gap which had been the doorway, and as he peered over the parapet first one and then another entered his area of vision. The girl on the ridge, as soon as she saw that she had attracted attention, turned and ran back, and after her up the slopes went the pursuit bunched like hounds on a good scent.

Mr. John Heritage, swearing terribly, started to retrace his steps.

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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“If you’re not losing friends then you’re not growing up.”

“If you’re not losing friends then you’re not growing up.”

- (via huluh)
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Orange triumph



Orange triumph

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First narcissus



First narcissus

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March 29, 2014



March 29, 2014

I had exactly two martinis and a glass of red wine last night when the earthquake hit Los Angeles.  I didn’t feel a thing, but maybe it was the combination of my conversation with Richard as well as the waitress who seems to have the longest legs possible.  It was not just her legs, but she also gave out a certain amount of charm as well.  We were sitting at the smallest table possible, and yet, she was able to put the food and drinks we ordered in perfect spots.  I asked her if she had trained as an interior decorator, and she told me that her apartment is really small.

When we arrived at my doorstep, Richard looked at his phone and told me that there was an earthquake that took place, and it was 5.something or else.  Again, probably because I was a tad high, I didn’t feel it and neither did he.  Or the waitress as far as I know.  When I got to bed, I started to think about this waitress around when I was 19 or 20 years old.  She worked at Sambo’s on Ventura Bouvelard and had the night duty.  Meaning she was there from 10 PM to dawn.  My friend Gary and I would go there around 11, in excuse to have coffee and some sort of desert, but the fact is I think we both wanted to see this waitress.  She had bleached blonde hair, and wore bright red lipstick. She was very slim, and also, had long legs.   The thing about Sambo’s, is the interior of the place was all in the color pink.   Even the food served had a pink glow to it.  In the middle of the night, it was a weird juxtaposition of truckers stopping by for food, due that the Ventura Freeway off-ramp was close by, and these heavy set masculine men in an environment that is basically pink.



She would joke naturally with the truckers, but was awkward with me and Gary.  I remember feeling a little bit weird going there after a while, because my interest was for sure not in the pink interior, but in our waitress, who clearly had no interest in us or to be specific, me, at all.   I have this distinct memory of having a break down of some sort while I was there one night.  I can’t remember why or what caused this emotional melt-down. It may have something to do with a relationship that was going bad at that time.  Nevertheless I remember excusing myself from the table, and needing to get to the bathroom.  I didn’t even need to use the bathroom, but I just wanted to be alone for a few seconds.  I began to cry, and I couldn’t stop crying.   I never cried so hard in my life. It was like if someone unplugged a broken faucet within me and the water flowed out.   As I was crying, I flushed the urinal and the water wouldn’t stop.  Eventually it overflowed and the bathroom became flooded.   I felt my emotional state was one with the plumbing here in the bathroom, and I was immediately ashamed and embarrassed at the same time.   I went back to the table, and left some bills there and got into my car and drove off.



As my thoughts were bouncing around my head, and laying on my back in bed last night, I started to notice a crack in the ceiling that I don’t think was there since last night.   I suddenly felt the sensation of water hitting my forehead.  I didn’t move, or even react to it.  I just accepted that fact, because water is truly a friend of mine.


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please-not-slytherin: SIGUR RÓS’ “LEANING TOWARDS SOLACE”…



please-not-slytherin:

SIGUR RÓS’ “LEANING TOWARDS SOLACE” [SHORT FILM]


Sigur Rós. Elle Fanning. John Hawkes. Floria Sigismondi.

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While there appears to be no visible legacy of Agloe, it still…



While there appears to be no visible legacy of Agloe, it still remains on some maps — poised, perhaps, as it nears its 100th year, to reappear. “Is it real?” Mrs. Fettig said. “What’s your definition of real? If it exists in enough minds, it’s real.” (via Seeking a Town on the Border of Fiction and Reality - NYTimes.com)

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The Lost Prince (13)

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 13: Loristan Attends a Drill of the Squad, and Marco Meets a Samavian

The Squad was not forgotten. It found that Loristan himself would have regarded neglect as a breach of military duty.

“You must remember your men,” he said, two or three days after The Rat became a member of his household. “You must keep up their drill. Marco tells me it was very smart. Don’t let them get slack.”

“His men!” The Rat felt what he could not have put into words.

He knew he had worked, and that the Squad had worked, in their hidden holes and corners. Only hidden holes and corners had been possible for them because they had existed in spite of the protest of their world and the vigilance of its policemen. They had tried many refuges before they found the Barracks. No one but resented the existence of a troop of noisy vagabonds. But somehow this man knew that there had evolved from it something more than mere noisy play, that he, The Rat, had meant order and discipline.

“His men!” It made him feel as if he had had the Victoria Cross fastened on his coat. He had brain enough to see many things, and he knew that it was in this way that Loristan was finding him his “place.” He knew how.

When they went to the Barracks, the Squad greeted them with a tumultuous welcome which expressed a great sense of relief. Privately the members had been filled with fears which they had talked over together in deep gloom. Marco’s father, they decided, was too big a swell to let the two come back after he had seen the sort the Squad was made up of. He might be poor just now, toffs sometimes lost their money for a bit, but you could see what he was, and fathers like him weren’t going to let their sons make friends with “such as us.” He’d stop the drill and the “Secret Society” game. That’s what he’d do!

But The Rat came swinging in on his secondhand crutches looking as if he had been made a general, and Marco came with him; and the drill the Squad was put through was stricter and finer than any drill they had ever known.

“I wish my father could have seen that,” Marco said to The Rat.

The Rat turned red and white and then red again, but he said not a single word. The mere thought was like a flash of fire passing through him. But no fellow could hope for a thing as big as that. The Secret Party, in its subterranean cavern, surrounded by its piled arms, sat down to read the morning paper.

The war news was bad to read. The Maranovitch held the day for the moment, and while they suffered and wrought cruelties in the capital city, the Iarovitch suffered and wrought cruelties in the country outside. So fierce and dark was the record that Europe stood aghast.

The Rat folded his paper when he had finished, and sat biting his nails. Having done this for a few minutes, he began to speak in his dramatic and hollow Secret Party whisper.

“The hour has come,” he said to his followers. “The messengers must go forth. They know nothing of what they go for; they only know that they must obey. If they were caught and tortured, they could betray nothing because they know nothing but that, at certain places, they must utter a certain word. They carry no papers. All commands they must learn by heart. When the sign is given, the Secret Party will know what to do — where to meet and where to attack.”

He drew plans of the battle on the flagstones, and he sketched an imaginary route which the two messengers were to follow. But his knowledge of the map of Europe was not worth much, and he turned to Marco.

“You know more about geography that I do. You know more about everything,” he said. “I only know Italy is at the bottom and Russia is at one side and England’s at the other. How would the Secret Messengers go to Samavia? Can you draw the countries they’d have to pass through?”

Because any school-boy who knew the map could have done the same thing, Marco drew them. He also knew the stations the Secret Two would arrive at and leave by when they entered a city, the streets they would walk through and the very uniforms they would see; but of these things he said nothing. The reality his knowledge gave to the game was, however, a thrilling thing. He wished he could have been free to explain to The Rat the things he knew. Together they could have worked out so many details of travel and possible adventure that it would have been almost as if they had set out on their journey in fact.

As it was, the mere sketching of the route fired The Rat’s imagination. He forged ahead with the story of adventure, and filled it with such mysterious purport and design that the Squad at times gasped for breath. In his glowing version the Secret Two entered cities by midnight and sang and begged at palace gates where kings driving outward paused to listen and were given the Sign.

“Though it would not always be kings,” he said. “Sometimes it would be the poorest people. Sometimes they might seem to be beggars like ourselves, when they were only Secret Ones disguised. A great lord might wear poor clothes and pretend to be a workman, and we should only know him by the signs we had learned by heart. When we were sent to Samavia, we should be obliged to creep in through some back part of the country where no fighting was being done and where no one would attack. Their generals are not clever enough to protect the parts which are joined to friendly countries, and they have not forces enough. Two boys could find a way in if they thought it out.”

He became possessed by the idea of thinking it out on the spot. He drew his rough map of Samavia on the flagstones with his chalk.

“Look here,” he said to Marco, who, with the elated and thrilled Squad, bent over it in a close circle of heads. “Beltrazo is here and Carnolitz is here — and here is Jiardasia. Beltrazo and Jiardasia are friendly, though they don’t take sides. All the fighting is going on in the country about Melzarr. There is no reason why they should prevent single travelers from coming in across the frontiers of friendly neighbors. They’re not fighting with the countries outside, they are fighting with themselves.” He paused a moment and thought.

“The article in that magazine said something about a huge forest on the eastern frontier. That’s here. We could wander into a forest and stay there until we’d planned all we wanted to do. Even the people who had seen us would forget about us. What we have to do is to make people feel as if we were nothing — nothing.”

They were in the very midst of it, crowded together, leaning over, stretching necks and breathing quickly with excitement, when Marco lifted his head. Some mysterious impulse made him do it in spite of himself.

“There’s my father!” he said.

The chalk dropped, everything dropped, even Samavia. The Rat was up and on his crutches as if some magic force had swung him there. How he gave the command, or if he gave it at all, not even he himself knew. But the Squad stood at salute.

Loristan was standing at the opening of the archway as Marco had stood that first day. He raised his right hand in return salute and came forward.

“I was passing the end of the street and remembered the Barracks was here,” he explained. “I thought I should like to look at your men, Captain.”

He smiled, but it was not a smile which made his words really a joke. He looked down at the chalk map drawn on the flagstones.

“You know that map well,” he said. “Even I can see that it is Samavia. What is the Secret Party doing?”

“The messengers are trying to find a way in,” answered Marco.

“We can get in there,” said The Rat, pointing with a crutch. “There’s a forest where we could hide and find out things.”

“Reconnoiter,” said Loristan, looking down. “Yes. Two stray boys could be very safe in a forest. It’s a good game.”

That he should be there! That he should, in his own wonderful way, have given them such a thing as this. That he should have cared enough even to look up the Barracks, was what The Rat was thinking. A batch of ragamuffins they were and nothing else, and he standing looking at them with his fine smile. There was something about him which made him seem even splendid. The Rat’s heart thumped with startled joy.

“Father,” said Marco, “will you watch The Rat drill us? I want you to see how well it is done.”

“Captain, will you do me that honor?” Loristan said to The Rat, and to even these words he gave the right tone, neither jesting nor too serious. Because it was so right a tone, The Rat’s pulses beat only with exultation. This god of his had looked at his maps, he had talked of his plans, he had come to see the soldiers who were his work! The Rat began his drill as if he had been reviewing an army.

What Loristan saw done was wonderful in its mechanical exactness.

The Squad moved like the perfect parts of a perfect machine. That they could so do it in such space, and that they should have accomplished such precision, was an extraordinary testimonial to the military efficiency and curious qualities of this one hunchbacked, vagabond officer.

“That is magnificent!” the spectator said, when it was over. “It could not be better done. Allow me to congratulate you.”

He shook The Rat’s hand as if it had been a man’s, and, after he had shaken it, he put his own hand lightly on the boy’s shoulder and let it rest there as he talked a few minutes to them all.

He kept his talk within the game, and his clear comprehension of it added a flavor which even the dullest member of the Squad was elated by. Sometimes you couldn’t understand toffs when they made a shy at being friendly, but you could understand him, and he stirred up your spirits. He didn’t make jokes with you, either, as if a chap had to be kept grinning. After the few minutes were over, he went away. Then they sat down again in their circle and talked about him, because they could talk and think about nothing else. They stared at Marco furtively, feeling as if he were a creature of another world because he had lived with this man. They stared at The Rat in a new way also. The wonderful-looking hand had rested on his shoulder, and he had been told that what he had done was magnificent.

“When you said you wished your father could have seen the drill,” said The Rat, “you took my breath away. I’d never have had the cheek to think of it myself — and I’d never have dared to let you ask him, even if you wanted to do it. And he came himself! It struck me dumb.”

“If he came,” said Marco, “it was because he wanted to see it.”

When they had finished talking, it was time for Marco and The Rat to go on their way. Loristan had given The Rat an errand. At a certain hour he was to present himself at a certain shop and receive a package.

“Let him do it alone,” Loristan said to Marco. “He will be better pleased. His desire is to feel that he is trusted to do things alone.”

So they parted at a street corner, Marco to walk back to No. 7 Philibert Place, The Rat to execute his commission. Marco turned into one of the better streets, through which he often passed on his way home. It was not a fashionable quarter, but it contained some respectable houses in whose windows here and there were to be seen neat cards bearing the word “Apartments,” which meant that the owner of the house would let to lodgers his drawing-room or sitting-room suite.

As Marco walked up the street, he saw some one come out of the door of one of the houses and walk quickly and lightly down the pavement. It was a young woman wearing an elegant though quiet dress, and a hat which looked as if it had been bought in Paris or Vienna. She had, in fact, a slightly foreign air, and it was this, indeed, which made Marco look at her long enough to see that she was also a graceful and lovely person. He wondered what her nationality was. Even at some yards’ distance he could see that she had long dark eyes and a curved mouth which seemed to be smiling to itself. He thought she might be Spanish or Italian.

He was trying to decide which of the two countries she belonged to, as she drew near to him, but quite suddenly the curved mouth ceased smiling as her foot seemed to catch in a break in the pavement, and she so lost her balance that she would have fallen if he had not leaped forward and caught her.

She was light and slender, and he was a strong lad and managed to steady her. An expression of sharp momentary anguish crossed her face.

“I hope you are not hurt,” Marco said.

She bit her lip and clutched his shoulder very hard with her slim hand.

“I have twisted my ankle,” she answered. “I am afraid I have twisted it badly. Thank you for saving me. I should have had a bad fall.”

Her long, dark eyes were very sweet and grateful. She tried to smile, but there was such distress under the effort that Marco was afraid she must have hurt herself very much.

“Can you stand on your foot at all?” he asked.

“I can stand a little now,” she said, “but I might not be able to stand in a few minutes. I must get back to the house while I can bear to touch the ground with it. I am so sorry. I am afraid I shall have to ask you to go with me. Fortunately it is only a few yards away.”

“Yes,” Marco answered. “I saw you come out of the house. If you will lean on my shoulder, I can soon help you back. I am glad to do it. Shall we try now?”

She had a gentle and soft manner which would have appealed to any boy. Her voice was musical and her enunciation exquisite.

Whether she was Spanish or Italian, it was easy to imagine her a person who did not always live in London lodgings, even of the better class.

“If you please,” she answered him. “It is very kind of you. You are very strong, I see. But I am glad to have only a few steps to go.”

She rested on his shoulder as well as on her umbrella, but it was plain that every movement gave her intense pain. She caught her lip with her teeth, and Marco thought she turned white. He could not help liking her. She was so lovely and gracious and brave. He could not bear to see the suffering in her face.

“I am so sorry!” he said, as he helped her, and his boy’s voice had something of the wonderful sympathetic tone of Loristan’s. The beautiful lady herself remarked it, and thought how unlike it was to the ordinary boy-voice.

“I have a latch-key,” she said, when they stood on the low step.

She found the latch-key in her purse and opened the door. Marco helped her into the entrance-hall. She sat down at once in a chair near the hat-stand. The place was quite plain and old-fashioned inside.

“Shall I ring the front-door bell to call some one?” Marco inquired.

“I am afraid that the servants are out,” she answered. “They had a holiday. Will you kindly close the door? I shall be obliged to ask you to help me into the sitting-room at the end of the hall. I shall find all I want there — if you will kindly hand me a few things. Some one may come in presently — perhaps one of the other lodgers — and, even if I am alone for an hour or so, it will not really matter.”

“Perhaps I can find the landlady,” Marco suggested. The beautiful person smiled.

“She has gone to her sister’s wedding. That is why I was going out to spend the day myself. I arranged the plan to accommodate her. How good you are! I shall be quite comfortable directly, really. I can get to my easy-chair in the sitting-room now I have rested a little.”

Marco helped her to her feet, and her sharp, involuntary exclamation of pain made him wince internally. Perhaps it was a worse sprain than she knew.

The house was of the early-Victorian London order. A “front lobby” with a dining-room on the right hand, and a “back lobby,” after the foot of the stairs was passed, out of which opened the basement kitchen staircase and a sitting-room looking out on a gloomy flagged back yard inclosed by high walls. The sitting-room was rather gloomy itself, but there were a few luxurious things among the ordinary furnishings. There was an easy-chair with a small table near it, and on the table were a silver lamp and some rather elegant trifles. Marco helped his charge to the easy-chair and put a cushion from the sofa under her foot. He did it very gently, and, as he rose after doing it, he saw that the long, soft dark eyes were looking at him in a curious way.

“I must go away now,” he said, “but I do not like to leave you. May I go for a doctor?”

“How dear you are!” she exclaimed. “But I do not want one, thank you. I know exactly what to do for a sprained ankle. And perhaps mine is not really a sprain. I am going to take off my shoe and see.”

“May I help you?” Marco asked, and he kneeled down again and carefully unfastened her shoe and withdrew it from her foot. It was a slender and delicate foot in a silk stocking, and she bent and gently touched and rubbed it.

“No,” she said, when she raised herself, “I do not think it is a sprain. Now that the shoe is off and the foot rests on the cushion, it is much more comfortable, much more. Thank you, thank you. If you had not been passing I might have had a dangerous fall.”

“I am very glad to have been able to help you,” Marco answered, with an air of relief. “Now I must go, if you think you will be all right.”

“Don’t go yet,” she said, holding out her hand. “I should like to know you a little better, if I may. I am so grateful. I should like to talk to you. You have such beautiful manners for a boy,” she ended, with a pretty, kind laugh, “and I believe I know where you got them from.”

“You are very kind to me,” Marco answered, wondering if he did not redden a little. “But I must go because my father will —”

“Your father would let you stay and talk to me,” she said, with even a prettier kindliness than before. “It is from him you have inherited your beautiful manner. He was once a friend of mine. I hope he is my friend still, though perhaps he has forgotten me.”

All that Marco had ever learned and all that he had ever trained himself to remember, quickly rushed back upon him now, because he had a clear and rapidly working brain, and had not lived the ordinary boy’s life. Here was a beautiful lady of whom he knew nothing at all but that she had twisted her foot in the street and he had helped her back into her house. If silence was still the order, it was not for him to know things or ask questions or answer them. She might be the loveliest lady in the world and his father her dearest friend, but, even if this were so, he could best serve them both by obeying her friend’s commands with all courtesy, and forgetting no instruction he had given.

“I do not think my father ever forgets any one,” he answered.

“No, I am sure he does not,” she said softly. “Has he been to Samavia during the last three years?”

Marco paused a moment.

“Perhaps I am not the boy you think I am,” he said. “My father has never been to Samavia.”

“He has not? But — you are Marco Loristan?”

“Yes. That is my name.”

Suddenly she leaned forward and her long lovely eyes filled with fire.

“Then you are a Samavian, and you know of the disasters overwhelming us. You know all the hideousness and barbarity of what is being done. Your father’s son must know it all!”

“Every one knows it,” said Marco.

“But it is your country — your own! Your blood must burn in your veins!”

Marco stood quite still and looked at her. His eyes told whether his blood burned or not, but he did not speak. His look was answer enough, since he did not wish to say anything.

“What does your father think? I am a Samavian myself, and I think night and day. What does he think of the rumor about the descendant of the Lost Prince? Does he believe it?”

Marco was thinking very rapidly. Her beautiful face was glowing with emotion, her beautiful voice trembled. That she should be a Samavian, and love Samavia, and pour her feeling forth even to a boy, was deeply moving to him. But howsoever one was moved, one must remember that silence was still the order. When one was very young, one must remember orders first of all.

“It might be only a newspaper story,” he said. “He says one cannot trust such things. If you know him, you know he is very calm.”

“Has he taught you to be calm too?” she said pathetically. “You are only a boy. Boys are not calm. Neither are women when their hearts are wrung. Oh, my Samavia! Oh, my poor little country! My brave, tortured country!” and with a sudden sob she covered her face with her hands.

A great lump mounted to Marco’s throat. Boys could not cry, but he knew what she meant when he said her heart was wrung.

When she lifted her head, the tears in her eyes made them softer than ever.

“If I were a million Samavians instead of one woman, I should know what to do!” she cried. “If your father were a million Samavians, he would know, too. He would find Ivor’s descendant, if he is on the earth, and he would end all this horror!”

“Who would not end it if they could?” cried Marco, quite fiercely.

“But men like your father, men who are Samavians, must think night and day about it as I do,” she impetuously insisted. “You see, I cannot help pouring my thoughts out even to a boy — because he is a Samavian. Only Samavians care. Samavia seems so little and unimportant to other people. They don’t even seem to know that the blood she is pouring forth pours from human veins and beating human hearts. Men like your father must think, and plan, and feel that they must — must find a way. Even a woman feels it. Even a boy must. Stefan Loristan cannot be sitting quietly at home, knowing that Samavian hearts are being shot through and Samavian blood poured forth. He cannot think and say nothing!”

Marco started in spite of himself. He felt as if his father had been struck in the face. How dare she say such words! Big as he was, suddenly he looked bigger, and the beautiful lady saw that he did.

“He is my father,” he said slowly.

She was a clever, beautiful person, and saw that she had made a great mistake.

“You must forgive me,” she exclaimed. “I used the wrong words because I was excited. That is the way with women. You must see that I meant that I knew he was giving his heart and strength, his whole being, to Samavia, even though he must stay in London.”

She started and turned her head to listen to the sound of some one using the latch-key and opening the front door. The some one came in with the heavy step of a man.

“It is one of the lodgers,” she said. “I think it is the one who lives in the third floor sitting-room.”

“Then you won’t be alone when I go,” said Marco. “I am glad some one has come. I will say good-morning. May I tell my father your name?”

“Tell me that you are not angry with me for expressing myself so awkwardly,” she said.

“You couldn’t have meant it. I know that,” Marco answered boyishly. “You couldn’t.”

“No, I couldn’t,” she repeated, with the same emphasis on the words.

She took a card from a silver case on the table and gave it to him.

“Your father will remember my name,” she said. “I hope he will let me see him and tell him how you took care of me.”

She shook his hand warmly and let him go. But just as he reached the door she spoke again.

“Oh, may I ask you to do one thing more before you leave me?” she said suddenly. “I hope you won’t mind. Will you run up-stairs into the drawing-room and bring me the purple book from the small table? I shall not mind being alone if I have something to read.”

“A purple book? On a small table?” said Marco.

“Between the two long windows,” she smiled back at him.

The drawing-room of such houses as these is always to be reached by one short flight of stairs.

Marco ran up lightly.

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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Norwegian Northwest

Local craft woodworking pros Norwegian Northwest approached me to create a total brand identity for their business – logo, business cards, and website. I always like the jobs that allow me total control over a graphic look, because not only am I control freak, but I can draw subtle parallels between the elements that probably nobody but me notices. But I do it anyway!

We’re about three-quarters through the design process. I’ll post more here when we have some finals.

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furtho: Untitled photograph by Daido Moriyama, from the book…



furtho:

Untitled photograph by Daido Moriyama, from the book Stray Dog (via time machine)

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March 28, 2014



March 28, 2014

My not-so-distant relative the film producer Pandro S. Berman wanted to make a quick exploration film for MGM regarding the upcoming “Beat” scene that was happening at that time.  He just finished the production work for the Elvis Presley starring “Jailhouse Rock” and was interested in doing a film where Elvis played a ‘beatnik poet. ' For research, Elvis actually went to City Lights bookstore to pick up on the vibe of the store as well as the local North Beach scene.  He made an effort to get a job at City Lights as a book clerk, but that obviously wasn’t going to work out.  There was also talk of Berman producing a film version of Jack Kerouac’s novel “On The Road, ” with Elvis playing “Dean Moriarty” and British actor Dirk Bogarde playing Salvatore “Sal” Paradise, the novel’s narrator.



Bogarde flew out of London to meet Elvis in San Francisco.  At the time Elvis never drank, but still, he met Dirk at the bar Vesuvio, that was practically next door to City Lights.  Dirk just wanted to talk to Elvis personally without any managers around or studio people.  He had very little knowledge of the beats, and basically his understanding of that scene, for him, came from his knowledge regarding the Teddy Boys.  He knew and heard of the existentialist scene in Paris that was occurring at the time, but the beats were a totally foreign concept to him.   But he desperately wanted to make changes to his image from teen idol to a serious actor.  There was a darker side to Bogarde, and he felt he needed to express that side more.  But wasn’t sure how, and on top of that he was getting frustrated with the studios back in the U.K. He felt that this could be the role for him to change everything.  Also he had a great admiration for Elvis.  He didn’t really understand the music, or that type of culture, but he saw something that was sincere and raw in Elvis’ approach to music and image.



Elvis was a truck driver before singer, and he could identify with Dean with respect to his natural energy to go out and get going.  Also in his mind, the name “Dean’ relates to his favorite actor James Dean.  He was aware that his films were kind of lightweight, compared to the world of James Dean, and he wanted an ‘in’ as much as Dirk did.   Bogarde ordered himself a Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, thinking it was very American type of thing to order in a San Francisco bar, and Elvis, being Elvis, ordered a bottle of Coke.   They went together to City Lights and they each bought a copy of “On The Road, ” and looked and commented on each page of that novel over their beer and coke.

Sitting in the bar, in one of its small tables, Dirk was all of sudden taken back by him being there with the actual iconic Elvis, discussing what they both felt was an iconic novel that surely can be a film vehicle for the both of them.  With the help of Berman, they couldn’t possibly imagine this to be a failure.   Nevertheless, history has a way of by-passing moments like these for something that eventually will not be important.  And who knew at this point and time, that Dirk Bogarde would enter a second chance in the Briitsh film world as one of its most amazing actors.

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Photo



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LIBROS ASADOS: Book Burning Society of the Americas

Libros Asados: Book Burning Society of the AmericasMusic is bringing me to Mexico City this weekend. I’ll have time to dig around some of the megacity’s great bookstores in addition to parrandeando.

So, dear reader, can you recommend me some good books to check out? My Spanish-language contemporary fiction bookshelf has a lot of dudes in it — much as I love Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Cesar Aira, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Yuri Herrera, etc — I’m particularly curious about recent writing by women. And yes, Rita Indiana’s new novel Nombres y Animales will be published next week! My Mudd Up Book Clubb reading list gives you an idea of what’s up my alley. OK gracias.

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polychroniadis: ‘THINK’ by NAR, 2013.



polychroniadis:

'THINK' by NAR, 2013.

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oldtimeystjohnsscifi: Gandalf using a magical Middle Earth…



oldtimeystjohnsscifi:

Gandalf using a magical Middle Earth device while in St. John’s, 1930

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MEXICO CITY GETDOWN

VLcrop I am off to Mexico City, Distrito Federal, to perform at the Vive Latino festival this weekend. DF is without a doubt one of the world’s most incredible cities — friend visiting for the first time just wrote me: “Such an incredible place, oozing with humanity from every opening… the hustlers, the colors, the shrines everywhere, the highway underpasses playing midi classical music, those guys in the official outfits playing those weird piano boxes from another century…”

Adding to the already overloaded megalopolis, Vive Latino has created a massive musician vortex with many good friends in town: Helado Negro, Ceci Bastida, Sonido Martines, Javier Estrada, Boogat, DJ Rashad, Chancha Via Circuito, and more will perform. I’m particularly excited to be on a lineup with legendary sonidero soundsystem Sonido La Changa!

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King Goshawk (13)

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. Long 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 I: A Corner in Melody

Chapter 13: The Fair Maid of Glengariff

Boodleguts the Tripe King had a daughter, fair and well-formed, and without blemish from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet. You would not believe she could have issued from Boodleguts’ loins, so beautiful she was, and fresh, and jocund. A dowry her father had promised with her of a million pounds; but for myself, I would have taken her for her bosom alone, that was white as a bed of sweet alyssum, and for her smile, that was frank and tender, and I make no doubt would have been very sweet when bent on one she loved. Seventeen was her age, and her name Thalia.

For dynastic reasons her father had betrothed her to one Samkin Scallion, son of the Onion King, a podgy and lecherous lout, repugnant to the maiden both to sight and touch. Phew! he was a beastly slug to slaver so fair a rosebud: and piteously she besought her father to spare her so foul a fate. But old King Boodle-guts was adamant; nor dared she disobey his behest.

On the eve of her wedding, while they were all busy preparing for the ceremony, she slipped from the company of her attendants, and went walking by herself, sad and apprehensive, through her father’s demesne. The summer palace of King Boodleguts was in Glengariff, which had long ago been cleared of the mean dwellings and cabbage-patches of the common folk that had once disfigured it, and been converted into a pleasaunce of sunny lawns and shady groves, with beds of rhododendrons and azaleas and rare exotic blooms that flourish in the balmy air of the Bantry coast. Among these groves and gardens Thalia wandered, savouring the last short hours of freedom and maidenhood, and yet taking no joy of them for fear of what the morrow was to bring.

Presently she came to a little stream that ran sparkling through a green secluded valley. Along its banks fringed with willows she strayed till she came to a pool, deep and crystal clear. There she paused a while in thought; then, slipping her robes, stood gazing at her image in the water, and wept to think that so much beauty should be delivered to the enjoyment of satyr eyes and hands. Thereupon she leaped into the pool, breaking the image into a thousand ripples and splashes, and, after disporting herself a while, stood up, white and glistening, the water tugging at her knees.

And now came a sound of steps on the farther bank; the curtain of willows was parted; and the figure of a young man appeared. He looked at Thalia with gladness lighting up his goodly countenance; whereat she felt neither shame nor fear, for there was neither curiosity nor lust in his eyes. So they stood for a while, he admiring, she joying in his admiration, till suddenly, as if a spell had been broken, she turned and fled, screening herself behind the willows across the stream. The young man followed leisurely, and presently she came back to him, clothed, with her feet bare, and sat beside him on the bank, trailing her toes in the water.

“Truly,” said the young man, “you must be a millionairess.”

“Why?” laughed she in silvery notes. “Am I so fat and proudfaced?”

“You are the most beautiful thing,” said he, “on this sad earth.”

“O my love,” said she, holding out her hands to him. “Why, when you come too late, have you come at all?” and fell weeping on his breast.

Cúchulainn gave her a loving kiss, and begged her to tell him her cause of woe: which she did most eloquently. “And now,” said she, having concluded her tale, “my fate is sadder even than before; for whereas this morning I was engaged to wed unloving, now I must wed loving another.”

“That you shall never do,” said Cúchulainn, “for it is myself you shall wed, and we will away together to Tír na nÓg. There we will have fine sport and many kisses, and I will wreathe your hair with asphodels and put a girdle of roses about your waist. There shall the child of our love run wild among the lilies.”

“It is a sweet picture,” said the girl, “but it can never be. My father is one of the world’s great potentates; my betrothed is son of another. They have castles in many lands; their subjects are counted in millions; their interests are everywhere. What can you achieve against them, alone and unfriended? If you carry me off you will be hunted down and killed, or sent to languish for the rest of your days in a dungeon; and as for me, I shall be wedded to this Scallion, with sorrow for your fate added to the misery of such a union. Go, therefore, my lover, while there is yet time, for I see the torches of many searchers flashing in the distance. Kiss me again, and go. Let me but know that you are safe, and the memory of this meeting shall abide with me for ever to sweeten the long bitter days that are to come.”

“What?” said Cúchulainn. “Do you think I will leave you in the clammy clutch of this vile onion merchant? Or do you think that any slave of Mammon can turn me from what I have a mind to? No, by this hand. With this kiss I make you mine” — here he pressed his lips to hers — “and to-morrow I will take you from their midst, though all the powers of Darkness bar the way.”

Looking into his eyes she knew that he would do what he said: and so, when he was gone, she awaited in contentment the coming of the search party. Cúchulainn meanwhile went down to the town and wired to the Philosopher in what tenor you may guess.

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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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