Posts Tagged ‘ creating ’

When The Troll Sweats, Bottle It

2011.07.28
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Fig. 1.

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!”

At the Renaissance Pleasure Faire, I inhabited a world peopled (in part) by a cast-off group of fannish folk who sometimes chant together after consuming a quasi-alchemic formula during their quasi-religious rituals. “Trolle Sweate!” they chant, in inebriated consequence of quant suff. “Trolle Sweate!”
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The Color Of Metaphor

2011.07.26
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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 a fuzzy pixel foam, but that description doesn’t do justice to the finished product (which can be purchased as a print).
Some are surprisingly “truthy,” while others — like these two — seem cut from similar weave. (Or is it a comment on the weaver, or on the woven web?) We at The Metaphorager welcome this latest effort to concretize abstractions, and tip the Metaphorager Propeller-Beanie to Anthony A. for hipping us to it.)

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Am “I” The Only One?

2011.07.24
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IN THIS ELECTRONIC ME-FIRST age, it is both rare and a point of honor never to begin a blog post with “I.” (Nitpickery note: I mean the word and concept, not the letter. Yeesh.) Not that I’m not tempted — but it’s too easy, too prevalent (for my tastes) and symptomatic of what I find least attractive about Lower North American pop culture.

There is a blogger who epitomizes what I’m talking about, and whose (apparently non-ironic) advice for Internet success is “Tap into narcissism.” She makes an interesting point, but I think that only produces a pile of people shouting “Lookit me! Lookit! Lookit!” instead of offering something interesting.

I don’t want my art to be narcissistic; I’d rather have it said about me “Who is this guy?” than “Who does this guy think he is?” Better still would be, “What a great story! Who wrote it? And are there more?”

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Pithyism #888

2011.07.06
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INTELLIGENT DISCUSSIONS ABOUT ART’S ROLE in shaping cultures and individuals have to recognize the difference between censorship (an external restraint based on fear and loathing) and self-control (an internal restraint arising from the artist’s desire to communicate).

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NextWave SF: “Retropunk”

2011.07.05
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FIRST CAME CYBERPUNK. THEN STEAMPUNK. And by 2021, … RETROPUNK.

Shiny robots. Gleaming atom-powered spaceships. Martian canal races. Alien arcologies in the jungles of Venus. Male pronouns. All the glory of a big exploitable universe sans angst or post-apocalypse modernism. AND NO %$#@!ING VAMPIRES.

Remember, you heard it here first. “Retropunk: Yesterday’s Future, Today!”

Illo thanx: public-domain.zorger.com

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Dorothy Parker Nailed It

2011.06.30
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(From the should-be-better-known blog Letters of Note, here’s a desperate telegram dispatched by a wall-stuck author to her (apparently, or at least in Ms. Parker’s mind) neck-breathing editor. Between this and the previous post my own writer’s block should be dang near invisible.)

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Oh, How I Miss John Lennon

2011.06.26
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IT’S GOOD TO JUDGE FAVORABLY, if one bothers to judge at all, and yet I sometimes feel that if I see one more pair of hipster horn-rims, I’m going to scream so loud they’ll hear me on Mars.

Perhaps I’m judging too harshly — it may well be simply a postmodern alien ovipositor. Either way, I hope it’s not terminal. Or any more contagious than it apparently is.

Since The Metaphorager exists where time is fluid and frames are a matter of perspective in addition to holding one’s eyeball extenders, I should note that one of my ancient colleagues (will) comment(s)(ed) about the functionality issue — that they are “comfortable on my face and built like a tank so I can’t very easily destroy them.” Functionality makes great points with me, and to be fair my friend is not the sort of self-serious nerd I’m writing about, or in the case of this post, occasionally am.

No, what I’m talking about is the same compulsive nonconformity which had all us liberal-arts majors wearing John Lennon frames in the 1970s (hell, I still do) — it’s the style of the thing that I wonder about (why this? why now?), not the thing itself. Horn-rim glasses have become a sort of deconstructionist face-bullhorn, not unlike a Dobbshead or a Monty Python lyric or any other of the ten thousand signs of instant nerd recognition. In that, they’re useful — but in their prolificity they have also become something of a visual cliche.

To be honest, there are more important things in the world to bother about than other people’s choice of eyewear. (I could get back to talking about religious visions or writing, for example.) But if nothing else, I hope I’ve happily answered for some lonely soul the burning question, “Is it just me?”

(On the other hand, they look great on women. But then so does everything.)

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And Now, A “Word To Bring Back”

2011.06.20
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PERFORCE.

- Definition:1 (obsolete) by physical coercion 2 by force of circumstances.”
- Used in a sentence: “As the VCR is currently recording Deep Space Nine, we must perforce view Firefly on DVD.”
- Why: Because sometimes, “really really really” just won’t do.

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Consensual Art: Do Not Screen

2011.06.17
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Fig. 1.

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 fellow to “see what [he] could do with this here tape … rearrange it, delete anything, add anything” (as David growled at some random 3 a.m.). Listening to it evolve, with bits of past tapes peeking through the mix like enigmatic epitaphs, brought a satisfaction like no other: an aural jigsaw puzzle assembling itself from cracked refractions.

That spirit of collegial creativity is one of the ideas behind Do Not Screen, a website which purports to present the contents of a mysterious red box in the “vast remoteness of Northern Michigan.” The contents included hundreds of cut-up 16mm film strips and a variety of other documents, some retrieved from envelopes marked “DO NOT SCREEN:”

Rather than re-assemble the film myself, I am, in the spirit of analog, snail-mailing frames from the film as well as a url with a corresponding activation code to scholars, students, theorists, film buffs, cultural anthropologists, writers, artists, editors, and others. In collaboration with the Critical Media Lab, I will manage a database that will reassemble the film in its proper order, with each frame-series (the strips of 12 frames) being activated as frame recipients log onto the website and enter the unique activation code that corresponds to their film strip. The more people who enter their frame numbers, the more complete the film will be.

Under a lens, the strip I received in the mail last week seems to show a group of 50 people dressed in cold-weather 1940s businesswear standing around someone’s backyard. The accompanying handwritten document, brown and crisp with age, was a labor receipt for ash retrieval and ditch filling. The whole exudes a creepy and cool aura, and I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

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Paleostyle Question

2011.06.10
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I UNDERSTAND WHY CARTOON DEPICTIONS of “cavemen” show them dressed in fur. But why does the fur usually drape over one shoulder?

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21st Century Magritte

2011.05.23
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Fig. 1.

(Neither is this sentence a comment on your monitor’s display of some pixels or posphor-dots ordered in a JPG file of a digitally manipulated photograph of a blank sign obtained via txt2pic.com, which isn’t even a valid URL anymore. In fact, how do you know you’re reading this?)

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April is National Words Month

2011.03.29
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(PASS IT ON.) AND USE yours with care — they’re a non-renewable resource.

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Recent Tales

…And We’re Back

IT FEELS GOOD to write again. It has been just over six years since I last added to this blog (which once boasted a...

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Prosatio Silban and the Starving Survivor

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Prosatio Silban and the Visitor From The Sands

PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls...

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The Poet

HE COULDN’T TELL WHETHER HE loved beauty or women more until the day he called his mom and said “Guess what? I’m marrying a...

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Storyteller’s Knot

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF any story is the point at which it’s attached to the reader.

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