THIS IS ONE OF THOSE blog posts where the writer tries to predict, dreads to inspire, hopes to distance himself, and wonders if.
IN THE STARS MY DESTINATION, Alfred Bester imagines a world peopled (in part) by a cast-off group of future savages who chant scientific formulae during their religious rituals. “Quant Suff!” they chant, in abbreviated imitation of “sufficient quantity.” “Quant Suff!”…
WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING AT (in addition to these words) is, according to thecolorof.com‘s rendering engine (still in beta!), the color of “metaphor.” (The color of “metaphorager” is, alas, invisible to normal eyes.) The website evidently layers keyworded images into…
YESTERDAY, I POSTED A COMMENT to BoingBoing asking people to “Google ‘deconstructionist face-bullhorn’ (for) … where I stand on the whole horned-rim/hornrimmed/modern-equivalent-of-John-Lennon’s frames issue.” So far, 22 people have. Whee! (This post’s title is taken from a phenomenon well-known to after-hours Renaissance Pleasure Faire folk, whereby those standing at the bottom of the little valley need only howl once to provoke a full-throated choral reply from a horde of unseen collegial up-valleyites. And it never failed.)
STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING RIGHT now and read this article by Patton Oswalt about how instant access to everything has brought about the Death of the Fannish Underground. Oswalt speaks to and for those whose fannish identity was built up layer by carefully wrought layer, recalling when one person could consume an entire year’s output of fantastic and science fictional media (and still have room for more). It’s all, he says, in the effort:
The Lord of the Rings used to be ours and only ours simply because of the sheer goddamn thickness of the books. Twenty years later, the entire cast and crew would be trooping onstage at the Oscars to collect their statuettes, and replicas of the One Ring would be sold as bling.
The topsoil has been scraped away, forever, in 2010. In fact, it’s been dug up, thrown into the air, and allowed to rain down and coat everyone in a thin gray-brown mist called the Internet.
More tragic historian than off-my-lawn ranter, Oswalt perfectly captures the sweaty essence of 80s fandom — and makes me wish I’d written it first. I’m not sure I agree with his conclusions, but I do feel a bit sad for kids who’ll never have the fun that we had(1). Something thrilling there is in being part of something secret that yields unexpected connections in unlooked-for places…
(1) (On the other hand, they’re probably having some sort of fun that I can’t, so it all works out.)
YOU WILL FIRST NEED A healthy interest in the way people interpret the inexplicable — their beliefs, theories, conspiracies, religions, philosophies, ideologies and desperate explanations of What’s Behind It All. (N.B. This works better if you’re a non-dogmatic critical thinker…
“SOMEWHERE SOMETHING INCREDIBLE IS WAITING to be known.”
THE LAST MAIL-ART PROJECT I “did” was a series of one or two audiocassette collages with (sub)genius co-conspirators Alan K. Lipton and David Wilson circa 198x-199x. We’d record a bunch of weird stuff and send it on to the next…
“HELL, BOY, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE between us is that I know I’m asleep. Now if you want to see a real miracle, hand me that wrench.”
I UNDERSTAND WHY CARTOON DEPICTIONS of “cavemen” show them dressed in fur. But why does the fur usually drape over one shoulder?