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Tuesday, October 31, 2006
CASTING CALL FROM THE MINISTRY OF CYBERPUNK ARCHITECTURE
posted
7:50 AM
Corporate headquarters of Oh My Golly S.A. ?

Sunday, October 29, 2006
SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY
posted
8:35 PM
Directed by Nagi Noda .

Found on the highly recommended Japan Probe .

Saturday, October 28, 2006
"INTERFACE-FREE" TOUCHSCREEN
posted
7:05 PM
Way to go .

Thursday, October 26, 2006
LOS ALAMOS TRAILER PARK NUCLEAR WEAPONS DRUG BUST MASHUP?
posted
9:15 PM
Way cross-genre .

MEDICINE HAT SIMULACRUM
posted
6:29 PM
And it's listening to an iPod .

Sunday, October 15, 2006
CRYING...
posted
8:59 PM
while eating .

Friday, October 13, 2006
THE NEUROTYPER
posted
9:52 PM
As anyone knows who's ever looked at any bio notes on me, Neuromancer was written on a typewriter. This is often presented as evidence of weird lotek eccentricity on my part, but in 1981 I didn't know anyone who wrote on a computer. All the hotshit professionals had the IBM Selectric, which turned out to be the endpoint of typewriter evolution. Stephen King may have already had his Wang, which was the first I heard of anyone writing fiction on a new-fangled "word processor". Me, I was writing on a Hermes 2000 . Mine was identical to the 1933 example mid-way down the page. It was built by E. Paillard & Cie. S.A., Yverdon (Suisse) with all the precision of a Swiss mechanical watch. That precision, plus the rigidity of the small but heavy steel frame, made it one memorably fine writing tool. I had inherited it from my wife's step-grandfather, who'd been a journalist. I wrote all my short stories on it, Neuromancer, the first half of Count Zero, and then some crucial doohickey broke. There were absolutely no NOS 1933 Hermes parts available, in Vancouver. I made do with a really horrible manual office machine, all I could afford at the time, until Bruce Sterling's dad gave him an Apple II and I started hearing really a lot about that. But if the 2000 (I'll bet they were thinking about the year, Gernsback Continuum style) hadn't broken, I'd probably have gotten into computers even later.

Thursday, October 12, 2006
SPOOK COUNTRY IS...
posted
10:13 PM
completed.

FULLY FUNCTIONAL STEAMPUNK LAPTOP
posted
8:43 AM
The 1927 Hermes "2000" manual portable on which Neuromancer was written in many ways resembled this little beauty .

PASSENGER AS ARPHID
posted
8:36 AM
View from the panoptic airport .

Wednesday, October 11, 2006
TRANSCRIPT OF YESTERDAY'S POST
posted
8:28 AM
Many thanks to Fashionpolice, in Copenhagen, for this:

Background:

Two Danish comedians, both adopted from Korea, visit North Korea to discover their roots, perform theater and last but not least create several TV shows for the youth department of the national TV channel.

Simon Jul (also known as Simon Juul Jřrgensen) is a well known Danish comedian appearing in numerous TV shows and is currently popular in the Danish mobile phone company Sonofon's "Happy Dolphin" commercials, where he plays numerous roles including the happy ninja.

Jacob Nossel is an 18 year old stand-up comedian and has cerebal palsy.

Under the cover of "Cultural Exchange" they perform theater under the name "Det Rřde Kapel" named after "Die Rote Kapelle" . However due to strict censorship they are not allowed to perform "The Princess and the Pea", recite Piet Hien poetry, or sing the song "Jutlandia". They do get to perform a zany sketch about a old woman with hearing problems called "Fru Kristoff"

The first 2 minutes are in English. They are presenting the Vice Minister of Culture with a pizza spade to be given to Kim Il Sung.

The guy standing in the background is the director, Mads Brügger. He says "Maybe you should assemble it and demonstrate".

From Minute 2:

Host Kurt Strand (Host): Could you give me an example of something that didn't survive the censorship?

MB: For example I told them that we have a famous Danish communist poet and worker's hero named Piet Hien (which he of course isn't). Jacob gets wheeled onto the stage and starts to recite his poem "Little Cat", it was censored, the Princess and the Pea was censored.

Host: It was censored? The Princess and the Pea?

MB: Yes

Host: Did they give you a reason?

MB: It was because "the Korean people wouldn't like that", "they had already heard that", etc. etc. but "The Princess and the Pea" wasn't politically correct. It's a tale about the blue bloods, and that doesn't fit into their world.

Host: But you did get to perform theater. Here's a clip that shows Jacob Nossel who's handicapped and has cerebal palsy performing. You can explain it afterwards.

Clip: 2:45-3:45 - should be somewhat understandable

3:45

Host: Mads, what's going on here?

MB: We're practicing the show in front of a censorship committee.

Host: Those are the people we see standing there?

MB: That's the North Korean theater director who I think is the North Korean equivalent of Bille August. Slowly Jacob's presence on the stage is reduced to that he is sitting in his wheelchair and isn't allowed to speak but has to blow a whistle and is told to play a normal person acting like a handicapped person, to try to conceal from the audience that he has cerebal palsy.

Host: That's because it's not acceptable to be handicapped in Korea, that you can't see handicapped people in Korea? Here are some pictures from a large parade in Pyongyang for the dear leader. Here we see you marching in the front leading that large parade.

4:38:

Host: How did you end up marching there?

MB: It's a parade leading up to a missile launch. It's a direct message to the US. We were told it's a "peace march" but the retoric is "Kill, murder, smash!" and for some reason they put Jacob and I in the front of this marching legion of workers. So in a way they've used us for their own propaganda. You could see us on TV that evening.

Host: And you were presented as Danes visiting. "Look here, our friends go in the front for the launching of missiles."

MB: Exactly.

Host: In the fight against the Americans. How do you feel about that?

MB: Being there was one of the scariest situations I've ever been in. Nürnberg in Nazi Germany was like Roskilde Festival compared with that. But the scene is important because Jacob Nossel gets scared and starts shouting, "I want to go home, I'm scared"

(BACK TO STUDIO)

MB: I try to calm him and the interpretor is asking "What's happening, what is he saying?" and I say "He's very happy, but tired." And I think it's a scene that tells a lot about the society.

Host: What surprised you the most about North Korea.

MB: There are lots of things to choose from on the shelves but in every room you walk into there are portraits of Great Leader, Kim Il Sung and Dear Leader, Kim Jong-Il, the great leader's son. The portraits are painted just like in George Orwell's 1984, so no matter where you stand, they are looking at you. They've taken it a step further and made the frames a bit thicker at the top, so that they are also looking down at you. It's a good example of how they have taken 1984 as a type of manual. North Korea was founded the year 1984 was published, 1948, and they've refined it and taken it to a level where it's nearly satirical.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006
DANISH-KOREAN COMEDIANS PUNK NORTH KOREA
posted
3:33 PM
Exceptionally ballsy comedy a la Ali G.

"*Not* pineapple. No." .

Monday, October 09, 2006
SPOOK COUNTRY: THE TITLE
posted
8:14 AM
Jack Womack, one of the people who's been privy to the material and process throughout, offers the following take on it:

Spook: as spectre, ghost, revenant, remnant of death, the madness lingering after the corpse is sloughed off. Slang for intelligence agent; agent of uncertainty, agent of fear, agent of fright.
 
Country: in the mind or in reality. The World. The United States of America, New Improved Edition. What lies before you. What lies behind. Where your bed is made.
 
Spook Country: the place where we have all landed, few by choice, and where we are learning to live. The country inside and outside of the skull. The soul, haunted by the past, of what was, of what might have been. The realization that not all forking paths are equal -- some go down in value.
 
The ground of being, pervaded with spectres. The ground of actuality, similarly teeming.
 
In traversing spook country, we ourselves have been transformed, and we will not fully understand how until we are no longer what we were.
 

Sunday, October 08, 2006
DEEPER IN THE GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS...
posted
8:46 AM
My new novel is being published as The Very Latest, The Most Recent And Terrible News. On the multiverse fork immediately adjacent , though, it's titled The Mongolian Death Worm. Utterly different works, of course, in spite of their texts being exactly identical in every regard.

For you, though, it's still Spook Country.

Friday, October 06, 2006
JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN...
posted
10:32 PM
The new book is called Spook Country.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
THEIR DIFFERENT DRUMMER
posted
9:42 PM
“How do I get back in touch with you?”

He handed her a phone. “Don’t use it to call anyone else. I’ll call you when things are bit more sorted, on our end.”

“Okay,” she said, and was out of the car, running back along the sidewalk, to intercept a biker-jacketed Heidi Hyde, striding toward her with some sort of three-foot paper-wrapped club in her hand. She heard the van pull away, behind her.

“What’s going on?” demanded Heidi, tapping the palm of her hand with the gift-wrapped club.

“We’re getting out of here,” Hollis said, passing her. “How long have you been here?”

“Just got here,” said Heidi, turning.

“What’s that?” Indicating the club.

“An axe-handle.”

“Why?”

“Why not?”

PIMP MY JET
posted
4:37 PM
Can you say "classy" ?

Monday, October 02, 2006
HE WAS ALSO FRIGHTENED OF INVERTEBRATES...
posted
11:26 PM
...marine life in general, temperatures below freezing, fat people, people of other races, race-mixing, slums, percussion instruments, caves, cellars, old age, great expanses of time, monumental architecture, non-Euclidean geometry, deserts, oceans, rats, dogs, the New England countryside, New York City, fungi and molds, viscous substances, medical experiments, dreams, brittle textures, gelatinous textures, the color gray, plant life of diverse sorts, memory lapses, old books, heredity, mists, gases, whistling, whispering—the things that did not frighten him would probably make a shorter list.

--Luc Sante, on H.P. Lovecraft

THE PHANTOM SENTINEL
posted
3:05 PM
By Edward Gorey.

Well no, not really, as much as it sounds like he'd have written it.

It's another variant on the U.S. Army's recent frisbees-from-hell R&D bonanza, this one more boomerangy, and intended, to judge from the photo, to be deployed by teams of Wild Boys .

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