Posts Tagged ‘ “Bob” ’

Harvey Pekar Z”TL

2010.07.12
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Fig. 1.

A MOMENT OF SILENCE WOULD be inappropriate to mark the death this morning of autobiographer, comix legend and music critic Harvey Pekar, since (depending on your view) the former Cleveland Heights resident is right now either a) arguing with “God,” b) planting one on Billie Holiday, or c) sitting around saying, “NOW what?”

Pekar’s gift for depicting the epic struggles of everyday life was mostly channeled into his comic, “American Splendor” (later a 2004 movie auteured by Paul Giamatti), itself inspired by a friendship with the young R.Crumb. His unsentimental and award-winning prose had the brutal honesty and tender insight of a Joyce or a Steinbeck, had those gentlemen worked at Cleveland’s V.A. hospital or tangled with David Letterman. Unlike many compulsive autobiographers, Harvey himself didn’t flinch from writing about his own less-than admirable side. That’s what it means to be Pekaresquely human: to accept our flaws and brokenness as the price for a wonderful sunset, cold beer, arguing with friends and everything else worthwhile on this side of the grave.

“Zecher tzaddik livracha — the memory of the righteous is a blessing.” We’re gonna miss you, Harvey. Thanks for showing us that it’s the little things that count — and that they’re not so little after all.

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So Much For Earth

2010.05.24
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What happens when the opposable thumb outweighs the brain? Fun fun fun! Unless, of course, you live here.

Fig. 1

WORST-CASE SCENARIO: THE BP SPILL will kill everything in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be the tipping point for all of Earth’s oceans to die. In 50 years we’ll be wishing for one more breath, if we even live that long.

So much for immortality, rice pudding and Beethoven, not to mention the Cubs’ pennant chances. (Apparently we’ll all die before hell freezes over[1].) And all because we weren’t smart enough to count our blessings before turning them into curses. It’s not like we didn’t see it coming … but it’s hard to really see through a primate program that says Someone Bigger Will Fix This and It’ll All Be Okay, Somehow.

Well, right now, for this, there isn’t anyone or anything bigger than what the hands of man can build. Right now we’re at the mercy of our own inventiveness.

To whomever-from-Elsewhere may find this note: My apologies on behalf of (at least the wiser members of) my species and the others we silenced. We really thought we’d hold it all together long enough to find you, or for you to find us, or at least to become smart enough to solve all of our problems, or at least the pressing ones, or even decide what they were, so you see our difficulty, but that’s all moot now. Enjoy the fruits of what we were and could have been.

And please, despite my own anger, don’t judge us all too harshly. We were only self-domesticated apes after all, choosing expediency over longevity. Let this be a lesson to yours and other species: Always look for the catch — and if you don’t see one, look harder.

PS: And if this sounds defeatist and crabby and depressing to you, why are you just sitting there? Go ahead. Make me a liar.

Please.

__________________________________
- [1] To Bill, Stanley, Jay and my other Chicagoan friends– my condolences.
- Graphic courtesy of http://www.warninglabelgenerator.com/.

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Frank Frazetta, RIP

2010.05.11
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Frank Frazetta 1928-2010

IF YOU GEEKLY ADOLESCED IN the 1970s, his illustrations danced through your dreams, between your headphones and into your all-night D&D sessions. His is the pen that transported us to immortal Barsoom and summoned Conan with his blood-dark legions; whose ink-wet brush splashed with light and weird shadow barbarian, cowboy, and demon prince alike; whose voluptuous Vampirella idiom was often copied, occasionally parodied, never equaled.

Frank Frazetta: February 9, 1928 – May 10, 2010. Thank you, sir, for bringing us wonders.

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Lunar Update: Back to the Redrawing Board

2010.05.06
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LAST OCTOBER, I POSTED “A Proposal for the Moon of Earth” — “a suitable solar-powered visual display in the lunar crater Tycho, for the purpose of looping Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film ’2001: A space odyssey.’” The original idea visualized a miles-wide JumboTron that could be seen through a backyard telescope (say, the 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain in my living room). The seemingly impossible logistics didn’t bother me — after all, it’s Only An Idea, and one for which I’m offering a spurious and very large reward to anyone who can complete it. I put out some feelers, made appropriate noises on appropriate websites, and figured we’d all have a good laugh and go on to the next thing.

Then I heard about the IPN Project, whose goal is “to define the architecture and protocols necessary to permit interoperation of the Internet resident on Earth with other remotely located internets resident on other planets or spacecraft in transit.” And it occurred to me that APftMoE might actually be possible: not by building a giant video display, but a smaller one — oh, say, large enough to fit inside a full-size monolith model and produce an image sharp enough to be transmitted to Earth by a moon-based webcam (see Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: TVA-1

Thus, and from this moment on, APftMoE is no longer dedicated to building a giant video display — we are now dedicated to building a rocket which will deliver and deploy the “TVA-1″ module consisting of a power source, webcam, transmitter and monolith with embedded HD display. This should give us a great view of the crater rim in the background, prove less costly of both time and money, and make it more feasible and attractive to potential backers and/or sweat-equititians.

I’ll make a few phone calls. Meanwhile, stay tuned to http://metaphorager.net/lunar-enterprise/ for updates!

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Lunar Immortality: Vote Today!

2010.04.15
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A PLAN TO LOOP STANLEY Kubrick’s 2001: A space odyssey in the lunar crater Tycho is now ranked 413th on the website http://www.goodideas.org — and Metaphorager.Net readers can help this dream become a reality.

Although the project originally offered as incentive a million-dollar prize, today anonymous reader David S. pointed out that since the prize money doesn’t actually exist, the purpose might be better served by an appeal to like-minded nerds visionaries through GoodIdeas.org, “a web site which gathers, tags, ranks and distributes good ideas.”

Despite that most of the ideas thereon are goody-two-shoes attempts at cheap desalinization, environmental survival and feeding the hungry, we’re hoping the maginificent frivolity of Lunar Immortality comes to the notice of someone who might actually build it. If you are one, or would like to become one, vote today for “Lunar Immortality Now!” at http://www.goodideas.org/a/dtd/37744-6782. (And don’t forget to sign our online petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/2001shot/petition.html!)

Vote Lunar Immortality Now! It’s not every day you get to save a million bucks.

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ORL Redux: Interview with Robert Anton Wilson

2010.02.02
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(AS A FOLO TO THE previous post, and at the urging of sinister forces who would prefer I remain nameless, I now present a reprint from the bygone Bulletin of Obscure Research, Far Corner (v1n5, c. 1991): an interview with the late Robert Anton Wilson, who wrote about everything Dan Brown does (and much, MUCH more) but did it first and funnier. He was and is a great influence on both my writing and my thought, and I hope his fans will be amused rather than disappointed by this previously Lost Interview (which is transcribed with errors intact rather than scanned, at least for now). And if you’re listening, Bob — thanks for the cartography lessons.)


THE FAR CORNER INTERVIEW: ROBERT ANTON WILSON

[picture taken from the inside back cover of The Illuminati Papers (1980 ed.)]

Every publication worth its salt must, from time to time, feature interviews with the Heavyweights of the Field. Unfortunately, most of the heavyweights of the fortean/weirdological field do not share the philosophy of the staff here at Obscure Research Labs; and hence, either do not return our polite inquiries or (more often) write us rude letters requesting money. Fortunately, there are exceptions to these stuffed shirts of pseudo-inllectua; and one of the most delightful is the dsitinguished Dr. Robert Anton Wilson.

Poet, scientist, author, guru, wise guy and internationally-known weirdo, Dr. Wilson scarcely needs an introduction to the readers of this publication. He is the author of several books on psychology, conspiracy theory, literary criticism, magick, history, epistemology, sexuality, ontology, fortean study…but is probably best known as either a) The co-author (with Robert Shea) of the Illuminatus! trilogy, b) a frequent contributor to such magazines as Magical Blend and Gnosis, or c) the Inner Head of the Ancient Illuminated Seers of Bavaria, Inc. When we interviewed him, the Good Doctor had been under pressure due to book deadlines and lecture dates; but despite a severe case of eyestrain he graciously allowed us to pester him.

FC: Many publications have interviewed you, and yet it seems that none have asked you what we feel to be some Burning Personal Questions. I realize that you are a busy man, but we’d like to ask you: what did you want to be when you grew up?

RAW: The emir of Kuwait.

FC: Okay. what makes you happy?

RAW: Lotsa bucks.

FC: Is there any truth to the persistent rumour that Illuminatus! will be made into a movie?

RAW: There have been stage productions of Illuminatus! both here and abroad but although it has been optioned for films several times nothing has come of that as yet.

FC: When the Schrodinger’s Cat trilogy was issued in one volume (New York; Dell, 1988) we could not help but notice certain shall we say alterations or differences from the 1979 edition. Could you comment on this?

RAW: Three men in black visited me with editorial suggestions. Glimpsing their tentacles I felt it wise to obey.

FC: Turning back to the personal stuff: What is your favorite food? And do you have any recipes to share with our readers?

RAW: Anything full of cholesterol and sugar which is expensive and accompanied by raw oysters and vodka martinis. Recipes I leave to experts.

FC: Before we leave, are there any Words of wisdom for the aspiring fortean?

RAW: Smash those paradigms and keep the lasagna flying!

We’d like to thank Dr. Wilson for his patience; we’d also like to thank his wife, Arlen, for her help. Incidentally, among other things the Good Doctor is currently publishing Trajectories, an ongoing journal of ideas and opinions. It’s $6 from the Permanent Press, PO Box 700305, San Jose, CA 95170.


More metaphoragings RAW and ORL: http://metaphorager.net/tag/robert-anton-wilson/ and http://metaphorager.net/tag/obscure-research-labs/.

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Pithyism #999

2009.06.07
By

“LAUGH. SEE?”
The Book of the SubGenius

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“I Seen It Too!”

2007.12.16
By


WAITING FOR THE GRATEFUL DEAD with Sputnik at the Shoreline, c. 1989ish, one of us began the following conversation:

“For example, that guy over there with the ‘I Climbed Lassen’ T-shirt.”

“Yeah.”

“Well, he obviously wants everyone to think that he climbed Lassen. But ‘those who know do not speak,’ so…”

“So you’re saying he didn’t really climb Lassen?”

“I’m saying that whether he did or he didn’t, he wants everyone to think he did.”

“‘Ckin’ poser.”

“He might as well have a T-shirt saying ‘I Seen It Too.’”

“Yeah! Or a bumpersticker. That would pretty much cover everything experienceable.”

“Bumpersticker’s better. They’d be cheaper to print and we could sell more of ‘em.”

“Sell ‘em to who?”

“To people who didn’t actually see It, but wanted everyone to think they did for whatever reason, but if they had seen It, they wouldn’t need to tell everybody.”

“What if they had seen It, and just wanted in on the joke?”

“Mmm … let them get their own damn ‘stickers.”

“But they should buy them from us since we thought of it first!”

!

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