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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
FUCKING HELL
posted
2:17 PM
I met these guys once, over a decade ago. The nicest, least pretentious, most down-to-earth mega-successful gallery artists I've ever met. They build all this stuff out of plastic bits from the hobby shop, melting and destroying it as they go along.

Basically they've been doing it since they were eight or nine years old.

Monday, March 23, 2009
EXTREME SHEEP
posted
7:26 PM
LED Art .

[thanks to Sal]

I FEEL AS THOUGH THE CARNIVAL HAS LEFT TOWN...
posted
6:44 AM
If you go out to the field where they set up, there's trampled grass, crumpled programs, pieces of popcorn, empty Lung-Kuro bottles, and, mysteriously, a paisely ascot, stained with some unspeakable and possibly reptilian ichor.

Mr. Womack and his fabulous Borgesian Book Show have moved on, taking the girl gangs of New York, the flat earthers, and the sex aliens with them.

Dang.

That was awesome. Thank you, Jack.

But we've made him his own set of keys, and look forward to him dropping in again, at the earliest opportunity..

Mr. Womack's Neighborhood: "This is your mind on books."

Sunday, March 22, 2009
AND NOW WE RETURN TO THE STARLIGHT ROOM
posted
2:10 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


I'd like to thank our generous host once again for giving me access to the keys to the place this past week. Having barely begun to even touch the surface of what is out there (or rather: in here), I shall return from time to time to proffer items and images from the Old Weird America and et alia.

Let us remember the eternal watchwords for our times:

"Once again, we have graphically illustrated the fact that we know very little about some aspects of human behavior."

--J.C.Rupp, M.D.
Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol 18, No. 3
July 1973
"The Love Bug"


IF I HAD A RAZOR I'D CUT YOUR THROAT JUST TO SEE WHAT RAN OUT OF IT
posted
9:31 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


It was late morning in early May, with the sun shining and the foothills fading in and out along the horizon. I parked the car.

The place was one of those big old houses with a coach house in the back surrounded by eucalyptus trees and white acacias. All I knew about my caller was that he needed to find out something about a redheaded woman, and did something in the Valley with aerojets. The woman's name was Thelema, as near as I could make out. Okie version of Thelma, I guessed. I’d made a couple of phone calls and found out the owner seemed to have established some kind of Bohemian Grove in the heart of Pasadena, where bohemians could gather, sit with their legs in their laps, and sip absinthe through lumps of sugar. It didn't sound like rocket science.

A stubby fellow opened the door when I rang. His hair color looked as natural as oranges in a Hollywood grocery. He wore an ascot that appeared to have been tied around 1880. It didn't quite succeed in holding up his jowls. His face was hard and white as cold mutton fat and he didn’t look healthy.

“Marlowe’s the name,” I said. "Here to see Jack Parsons."

“Clearly.”

Saturday, March 21, 2009
BUT...
posted
10:38 PM
Guy's Guide To The Flipside, that's the old weird Vancouver.

Virtually all of that is gone, now, in the Regooding.

I know this, increasingly, as an old weird Vancouverite.

NEW YORK VS. VANCOUVER: LET'S LOOK AT THE RECORD
posted
6:13 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


On the left: Women of New York, 1869, a study of the naughty women of Manhattan between Fulton and 59th Streets, as well as the criminal behavior of their associates, between the years of 1868 and 1869.

On the right: Guy's Guide to the Flipside, 1993, a full accounting of all naughty places and doings in Vancouver, B.C., greater British Columbia, no doubt a large part of Alberta, and possibly bits of Saschatchewan[SIC].

Resolved: that the Boston Tea Party brought results.

WELL???!??
posted
5:54 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]

A correspondent writes:

>>Before your guest stint ends, allow me to make a specific request. You can't forget one of my personal favorites:

>>Menstruation: Its Cause and Cure by Raymond Bernard, Ph.D.

Well, while somehow I don't have that particular work by the author of (naturally) The Hollow Earth (1964)....


THE OLD WEIRD AMERICA, PT. 2
posted
5:48 PM
[Guest-posted by Jack Womack]


SCOOBY DON'T!!!

AND YOU THOUGHT THE INTERN SHOULD DO THE COVER BECAUSE?
posted
5:38 PM
[Guest-posted by Jack Womack]


YOU GOT DAMES? WE GOT SLABS!
posted
5:19 PM
[Guest-posted by Jack Womack]


AND THE LORD DID GROAN
posted
4:55 PM
[Guest-posted by Jack Womack]


Resolved: that the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel were, in fact, dinosaurs.

THERE'LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND
posted
4:47 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]



Special bonus point: Ms. McKinney is the evident owner of the world's first cloned dog, so-called.

WELL, IF YOU MUST
posted
4:41 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


GEAR
posted
4:01 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]



Pete Best's career took considerably different turns following his departure from the Beatles.

THE OLD WEIRD AMERICA
posted
3:32 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


Why Batman's antisocial tendencies grew, over the years.

I'LL ZIG, YOU'LL ZAG, WE'LL SWIRL
posted
1:06 PM
[Guest-posted by Jack Womack]


Uh, er, well now then there...


Oh. Ohhhhh. Well, sure. Of course.

For further information, google A) Alfred Lawson; B) the Zig-Zag and Swirl Theory.

THE FIRST LINE ALWAYS WEEDS OUT THE RIFFRAFF
posted
12:41 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


Bore Hole, by Joseph Mellen, Glucocracy, 1975.

THE BOOK PUBLICIST'S NIGHTMARE
posted
11:58 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


"WHAT'S THE SCARIEST BOOK YOU'VE GOT BESIDES THE ENEMA BOOK?"
posted
6:19 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


SEZ YOU! SEZ ME!
posted
6:13 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]




BEVARE THE BIG GREEN DRAGON
posted
5:59 AM
[Guest-posted by Jack Womack]


Speaking of Ed Wood, Jr., of the seventeen novels of his that I own*, this is the only one where he also served as cover model.


*I realize this possibly has the same impact as Fort's line:

>>I have collected 294 records of showers of living things.

If so, let me further note that I have twenty-one novels by Harry Stephen Keeler.

MISTER, I WAS MADE FOR IT
posted
5:24 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


Here is William Lindsay Gresham's life insurance ID card, and his copy of a particularly apt title by Ed Wood, Jr. (Kathleen Everitt was Ed's wife's name.) His books: Nightmare Alley and Monster Midway, fiction and nonfiction respectively.


If you met Gresham, I gather he would hand you one of these two cards.

WHAT'S HAPPENIN', HEPCATS?
posted
5:08 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


We'll get things off to a cool start and gradually up the volume.

Friday, March 20, 2009
THE NON REALITY-BASED COALITION WILL PLEASE COME TO ORDER
posted
12:53 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


Agreed: that the earth is hollow and that we live on the outside.



Seconded. Agreed further that a posh civilization of unknown origin concurrently lives on the inside, its nude inhabitants perhaps fed on honeydew, or bulldozer-size mushrooms.



Point of order.



Would request of the Chairman permission to modify the motion.



Agreed, that the earth, if it is indeed a globe, is accordingly hollow, likely does have a posh civilization of unknown origin living in luxury within, and that it stands fast.



Seconded.



Mr. Chairman, I have here in my hand specific information that the earth stands fast and is indeed hollow; is, contrary to the belief of some in this chamber, globular; and that ours is the posh, so-called, civilization what lives within. Only the ball of electricity-infused phlogiston that serves as our "sun" prevents us from readily looking up and glimpsing the Great Wall of China, through a telescope. Anticipating the usual challenges to our all-encompassing theory, I have taken the liberty of consulting with well-regarded figures representing Dogmatic Science.



Point proven.



Motion carries.

BLACKPOOL ROCK
posted
12:51 PM
The lovely Little Boots !

KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES
posted
10:33 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


Flying Saucers! Everybody loves them.


And they're part of the secret history of science fiction as well. Google Ray Palmer, the one who edited Amazing Stories in the 1940s. Or, say the following two words to anyone of a certain age, in the field: "Shaver Mystery."


Luckily, UFOlogists were equally concerned about strengthening the traditional firewall between science, and imagination.


As time passed a certain overlap redeveloped, to the benefit of neither science fiction nor saucerdom but rather to formerly untapped divisions of the marketplace.


And we all know how well that worked out.

SCIENCE FRICTION
posted
6:48 AM
[Guest-blogging by Jack Womack]


When I showed my copy of Martian Sexpot to Bob Silverberg, he said that if his publishers back then had done SF sleaze as well as detective, romantic, and medical sleaze, he could have done a novel a day.


"As others see us," indeed.

THE SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION
posted
4:17 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


Discuss.

Thursday, March 19, 2009
OFF WITH THOSE PANTS 2
posted
10:00 PM
Bravus is getting there, but the material itself remains so stubbornly leaden that I can understand his impulse to moon the camera.

BLACKLISTED
posted
3:47 PM
Betsy Blair

THREE REAL BEAUTIES
posted
1:36 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


The frontispiece of Frog Raising For Pleasure and Profit, by Albert "Originator of Canned Frog Legs" Broel, Marlboro House, 1954 (orig. late 1930s).

Also, the greatest photograph of the twentieth century.

WE WILL BURY YOU YEAH YEAH YEAH
posted
9:32 AM
[Guest-posted by Jack Womack]

There was one thing Soviets and Americans agreed upon.

First let's have a big round of applause for Free World Democracies:


"The music is loud, primitive, insistent, strongly rhythmic, and releases in a disguised way (can it be called sublimation?) the all too tenuously controlled, newly acquired physical impulses of the teenager. Mix this up with the phenomena of mass hypnosis, contagious hysteria, and the blissful feeling of being mixed up in an all-embracing orgiastic experience, and every kid can become 'Lord of the Flies' or the Beatles."

--Communism, Hypnotism, and the Beatles, David Noebel, Christian Crusade Publications, 1965


Next up: Commie Dictatorships, ladies and gentlemen! Commie Dictatorships!


"Students of archaic religions have shown that ritual music is based on an almost mathematical knowledge of the human psyche, of its rhythms, features, and functions. However, the awakening of the vital force during an orgy is accompanied with a special warm-up of the audience. It is done so that the vital force, released with the help of rhythm, should not get out of control and lead to disintegration of the personality. Rock does not offer similar preparation of the audience, so the stream of unconscious energy overwhelms the young, subjugates them and hypnotizes their will and unconsciousness."

--Soviet Rock, Igor Zaitsev (ed.), Progress Publishers, 1990

And behold, verily that thing upon which Godless Communism and Free World Democracies agreed was that nothing so threatened their young people more than Little Richard.

IS GARDEN OF FORKING PATHS, COMRADE
posted
6:48 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


From the Earth where Superman's uniform is itchy, baggy, and gray.

YOU BETTER CUT OUT ALL IDENTIFYING LABELS
posted
4:41 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


This is the blacklist. As in, The Blacklist.

In 1950, when this was published, copies would have been found in at least one executive office in every radio and TV broadcast network, and every Hollywood studio, in the US.

Among the lepers are Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lena Horne, Langston Hughes, Arthur Miller, Artie Shaw, and Orson Welles. They are notable among the rest for not having had their careers destroyed as a result of having been listed.

In Red Channels, well-known stripper Gypsy Rose Lee is noted as having once sent a letter of greetings to Dr. Edward K. Barsky, who attended a dinner hosted by the Joint Anti-Fascist Committee at the Hotel Astor, NYC, sometime in the late 1930s. The other three entries regarding her actions over the years are of similar import.

When I was young my mother told me to never sign a petition, because you could never know where your name would wind up.

ALWAYS SOMETHING UNDER THE BED
posted
4:25 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


They don't have to be Commies, of course. Early on they were Illuminati, Freemasons, the wave of immigrants in the 1840s, the Copperheads, the Carpetbaggers, the Papists, the Romanists, the tramps, the Eastern Bankers, the Jews, the African-Americans, the students; since then they've been Arabs, the French, and Democrats.

Would-be Rwandan disk jockeys are always very happy to tell you who should be added to the hit list. Update most of the faces depicted on this cover and find it on the Current Affairs shelf, today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009
CO-DEPENDENTS
posted
4:12 PM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


Growing up, we all heard on a daily basis that the Soviets were forever on the verge of overwhelming us with masterful strategy, superior technology, and brute force. Luckily, as we finally discovered, the Soviets were in fact most preoccupied with making it to the next drink.


As luckily, this message of our impending doom via our precious fluids was passed from one American generation to the next through calm, reasonable discourse.

WHEN I SAID I WANTED A MASH-UP...
posted
1:14 PM
I didn't mean I wanted to be mashed up with that guy. Ick. Burroughsian foulness of the first water. (Burroughs believed the tape recorder to be "God's little toy", and a potent fulcrum of magic. Best be careful what you mash together.) But props to poster Bravus for stepping up.

I now suspect that there's some deep fractal essence in play, with that material. Probably fundamentally impossible to rock it. And perhaps just as well.

THE GONE WORLD
posted
9:21 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]

Hello from Hicksville on the Hudson. A brief nostalgia break, prompted by memories of pre-Regooded NYC.


P & G Bar, Amsterdam & 73rd, opened 1939, closed at this location in February 2009.


The Meatpacking District (MePa[TM] at present) was called the Meatpacking District for a reason, after all. This from 2007, now I believe a store for echt-German eyeglass frames.


When I was six, Lexington's local amusement park, Joyland, closed; a subdivision was built there and a strip mall that has since housed everything from a tanning salon to a Holy Roller church. My daughter is now six, and Coney Island is no more, save for the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone roller coaster. Just about everything else -- gone. Time share condos preferred by those who do the preferring, it seems.


Kit Burns' Rat Pit, c. 1850. Built late 1700s. Restored out of recognizability within the past seven years.


Who regoods the regooders?

We now return to our previously scheduled program.

LOVE THAT E-METER MERIT BADGE
posted
5:33 AM
And the enema book was actually discovered, I recall, on one of those gomi-spread sidewalk blankets that were such a common feature of the pre-Regooded city. The sort of find that makes all things seem possible, at least to the stroll-by bibliophile. And many, certainly, were, New York having been in those days seemingly not a part of the United States but something simultaneously autonomous and interstitially abandoned.

When I first visited New York as an adult (so to speak) at the start of my writing career, it seemed to me that it couldn't possibly go on, that way. All of it, I suggested to the supposedly futuristically-concerned New Yorkers I was meeting there, would one day be equally unaffordable, post-interstitial. As Jack would soon have it, Regooded. At which suggestion I was invariably recognized as a hick from Hickograd.

But lo.

"YOU FLEW THE GULLFIRE OVER LENINGRAD"
posted
5:09 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]



Two-page spread in the Intourist Guide to Moscow, 1937.

FERAL FEMMES
posted
4:10 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]



All people herebound be evilsouled heartside, no ho they sweet talk.



I be running streetwild come nightside and nobody safes when I ride. I bite.



I'm with the D-cons now.

OK, STAND BACK...READY...CLEAR!!
posted
4:07 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]


Tuesday, March 17, 2009
HAVE THAT MASH-UP ON YOUTUBE BY TOMORROW, LATEST. AND DOUBLE DOWN ON THE FUGLY!
posted
8:06 PM
As our poster Fuldog (I *like* Fuldog) pointed out today, another Bill and I
have a certain stock photograph in common .

If you're American and confused, this photograph was also used on the dust jacket of the British hardcover of Spook Country. If you're still confused, it's about the publishing practice of obtaining the right to use a stock photograph. And has nothing to do with falafels.

RIOTCLITSHAVE
posted
7:12 PM
My wife just reminded me of the need to link to her favorite photo-blog .

NOW ALL IT NEEDS IS A BLONDE AND TWO SWASTIKAS
posted
10:36 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]



"Well the Weimar girls really knock me out
They leave die Ost behind
But Saxon fraus make me sing and shout
That Dresden's always on muhmuhmuhmuhmuhmuh mind."

RATHER...GOOD!!
posted
9:05 AM
Thanks, Jack!

Ah. The enema book. It's been years...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR.GIBSON!!
posted
4:31 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]




Yes, truly: bound in duct tape.



You may have believed you saw such things once, if only in a dream.



Trust us. You did.

YOU CAN NEVER PLEASE ANYBODY IN THIS WORLD
posted
3:57 AM
[Guest-blogged by Jack Womack]



Inscribed November 20, 1999, in NYC, during their only appearance outside New Hampshire. I forget which one signed for Helen, who couldn't make it (and who died in 2006).

Bless them.

Monday, March 16, 2009
MMMMMMMM, OBAMA FINGERS!
posted
4:36 PM
A friend of mine insists that the package declares they're "all white meat" , but I think he might be pulling my leg.

MEANWHILE, ON EARTHS 6 THROUGH Z-PRIME
posted
1:18 PM

[Guest-posted by Jack Womack]

From left to right:

A side of Vietnam Michael Herr didn't cover. Nor, anyone else.

A Golden Guide, published the year Carter took office. Something for the young people. No better manual for budding Luther Burbanks.

Fantasy 54: "I Am Trapped In A Stalled Elevator at Norwescon with People Banned From Philcon."

ITS HUMOR COLUMN WAS CALLED "THE FUNNY SIDE"
posted
1:13 PM
[Posted by Jack Womack]



Let's move in a little closer and see if we can spot Roy Batty.

IT CURES HOARSENESS
posted
6:25 AM
[Guest-blogging: Jack Womack]



The past may not even be past, but it is a different country. Here from roughly 100 years ago, the box in which came a bottle of Lung-Kuro, the consumptive's friend, the delight of the lady of the house, the child's instantaneous soother. We mean, REALLY wonderful.



Produced during that brief moment in American history when heroin, chloroform, alcohol, and North Carolina pine tar pretty much took care of anything that ailed you. That, and radium.

HI HI HI THERE
posted
4:13 AM
[Guest-blogging: Jack Womack]





First off many thanks to our host for extending this invitation to me; I'm more than pleased to participate.


We shall begin shortly; the old "drop 'em in the deep end" approach will probably be best.



Sunday, March 15, 2009
A MODEST PROPOSAL
posted
2:58 PM
eBay is apparently doing everything it can to discourage the kind of auction-based digital flea market it so gloriously was in its beginning. It's becoming increasingly difficult to use, that way, and many buyers and sellers of wondrous fifth-hand hyper-specialist gomi are getting very discouraged. A market is being created, thereby, for a purpose-built all-gomi auction site, optimized for people who want (nay, need) to buy and sell, say, anonymously designed 20th-century American workwear, one piece at a time. Or, really, whatever. Used. Gomi. Junk. Clinically otaku-searchable, no fuzzy logic messing with your carefully refined strings. Micro-transactions. For dropshipping of boring new merch, there'll always be eBay.

The business model, basically, would be what eBay was about eight years ago.

MAKES AN OLD X-FILES WRITER PROUD...
posted
2:37 PM
To see Mr. Carter's recycled New World Order memes dusted off and recycled yet again, this time in a deliciously stupid bid to induce clinical Obamanoia . Myself, I never dreamed they'd have the legs for it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009
FALLING FROM A CLEAR SKY
posted
10:29 PM
Re the Womack Month thread, I'd like to take this opportunity to invite Jack, should he ever have the time, to guest-blog on whatever choice items from his justly famous Collection he might see fit. Or, indeed, on anything, though I have had the very great privilege, over many years, to be shown so many breathtakingly wonderful volumes, that I would particularly love to see him share some of them with you.

The self-published monograph, for instance, lovingly bound in black electrical tape, explaining once and for all how Dan Rather assassinated JFK... The much more expensively-bound but also privately printed (but copiously illustrated!) life's work on how the shape of a woman's breasts accurately and exactly reveals her personality...

Deeply and wonderfully peculiar, the Womack Collection, and quite perfect for this new age of the blog and and the digital camera.

(Jack: I'll leave the keys under the mat.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
THANKS TO FIELD NOTES!
posted
9:34 PM
The perfect *pocket* notebooks. *Any* pocket. Opens flat as a strap on the writing surface. Looks and feels like part of the good side of 1952.

I'm all set to become a power user!

AFTER THE GYRATORY
posted
9:29 PM
Like entering a game, a layout, something flat and mazed, arbitrarily but fractally constructed from beautifully detailed but somehow unreal buildings, its code perhaps reshuffled since the last time he’d been here. The pixels that comprised it were familiar, but it remained only provisionally mapped, a protean territory, a box of tricks, possibly benign. This last owing, he suspected, to his having relatively little history here, prior to Basel.

FRANK MILLER'S CHARLIE BROWN
posted
8:22 PM
Cinematical

PURE IDEOLOGY
posted
3:24 PM
Nothing at all pragmatic, yet nothing as dangerous as neoconservatism.

Pure Ideology

(100% Irony Free)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
WHEN FUTURISTS FEEL OLD
posted
9:25 PM
I don't really get this very often. I don't even seem to get it more than I used to. I guess I'm professionally immune to most kinds of future shock. A science fiction writer thing: "Oh. *That* finally happened. Sort of. But not like in the Tiptree story."

But this struck me, tonight, like some loose fragment of Mona Lisa Overdrive. Not part of the plot, but the sort of casual reference that slides by peripherally. Then I remembered that gay people aren't even allowed to legally marry, most places in the United States. But technology, Bruce Sterling says, trumps ideology every time. Doesn't it just.

Monday, March 09, 2009
CHAIR
posted
9:43 AM

Gonçalo Mabunda

Sunday, March 08, 2009
WEIGHTED DOWN (THE PRISON SONG)
posted
10:18 PM
There really isn't anything like this . Like Dock Boggs' "Country Blues" , it's a paradoxical antagonist to certain kinds of truly ass-biting melancholy.

THIS TORNADO LOVES YOU
posted
7:23 PM
I like this a lot.

Saturday, March 07, 2009
IGOR SIWANOWICZ
posted
10:36 PM
Photographs

MOMENT OF SURRENDER
posted
6:58 PM
Lovely anonymous cover on YouTube. Perfect that we can't see the performer's face. Bones of the song revealed, particularly the chorus.

Thursday, March 05, 2009
DID AMBROSE BIERCE INVENT THE EMOTICON?
posted
8:43 PM
'Bierce proposed "an improvement in punctuation - the snigger point, or
note of cachinnation: it is written thus \___/! and presents, as near
as may be, a smiling mouth. It is to be appended, with the full stop,
[or exclamation mark as Bierce's later example used] to every jocular
or ironical sentence". (Bierce, 'For Brevity and Clarity' in the
Collected Works, (N.Y. and Washington, 1909-1912) XII (ante
penultimata, 1912), 387. Quoted here by James Milton Highsmith,
The Forms of Burlesque in The Devil's Dictionary, reprinted
from "Satire Newsletter" Oneonta, N.Y. 7, no 2, 1970, in Critical
Essays, Davidson, op.cit.)'

PRIPYAT, UKRAINE
posted
5:53 PM
2009

COLD-FX
posted
1:13 PM
"Time for a coffee?”

Clammy shivered. “I’m fucking ill,” he said, and sniffled noisily.

“Herbal tea. And something I have for your immune system.”

“Were you Reg’s girl, in the band? My mate says you were.”

“Never,” she said, firmly. “Neither symbolically nor biblically.”

He looked lost.

“They always think the singer must be fucking the lead guitarist,” she explained.

Clammy smirked, through his cold. “Tabloids said that about me ‘n’ Arfur.”

“Exactly,” she said. “A Canadian-made, ginseng-based patent medicine. Herbal tea chaser. Can’t hurt.”

Clammy, sniffling, nodded his consent.

ZION DUB ON THE VIDEO
posted
11:39 AM
Love this .

XYLENE
posted
8:01 AM
I have absolutely no memory of getting silver paint-pen ink on my leather jacket at Barbara's Bookstore , but thanks very much, Bryan!

If I did, I'm sure I simply removed it with a product rich in xylene, the magically carcinogenic wonder-ingredient that eats paint-pen ink for breakfast!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009
"WORK IN PROGRESS"
posted
6:05 PM
Those little bits of text I sometimes post are, for the reader, I imagine, a lot like visiting the set of a film. The scene you see shot, and remember, may not be in the film when it's released. Or, owing to the editing process, or even reshooting, it may be there but not remotely resemble what you saw shot.

For example, I titled an earlier fragment "The Gabriel Hounds". In it, a character sees some dogs (of sorts). Those dogs no longer have anything at all to do with that which is called "the Gabriel Hounds" in the draft today.

Apophenia. Faces in clouds.

And I'm actually rather careful not to put up enough to allow you to figure out what's really going on, in terms of the broader narrative.

GABBLE RATCHETS
posted
2:18 PM
Eventually she sighed, asked the Italian girl for a white coffee, a cup rather than a pot. Got out her iPhone and Googled “Gabriel Hounds”.

By the time her coffee arrived, she had determined that The Gabriel Hounds was the title of a novel by Mary Stewart, had been the title of at least one CD, had been or was the name of at least one band.

Everything, she knew, had been the title of a CD, just as everything had been the name of a band. This was why bands, for the past twenty years or so, had had such pointedly unmemorable names. But the original Gabriel Hounds, it appeared, were folklore, antique legend. Hounds heard coursing, high up in the windy night, cousins it seemed of the Wild Hunt. This was Inchmale territory, definitely, and there seemed to be even weirder variants. Some involving hounds with human heads, or hounds with the heads of human infants. This had to do with the belief that the Gabriel Hounds were hunting the souls of children who died unbaptized. Christian tacked over pagan, she guessed. And the hounds seemed to have originally been “ratchets”, an old word for dogs that hunt by scent. Gabriel Ratchets. Sometimes Gabble Ratchets.

Inchmaleian totally; he’d name the right band the Gabble Ratchets instantly.

Monday, March 02, 2009
MOLESKINE, SHMOLESKINE
posted
8:28 PM
Field Notes

There was someone posting incessantly, on the boards here, after Spook Country, who apparently believed that I must be taking product placement money from Apple and Volkswagen.

Seriously.

Hollis had a Mac because I've never had a PC, so couldn't comfortably imagine her using a Windows machine, and Bigend's minions drove those overgrown luxury uber-Jettas because I drive a Passat, so could imagine Volks product more convincingly (I have to convince myself, before I can hope to convince you) and also because I saw one on the street, here in Vancouver, once and only once, and it made an impression.

And no, I've never gotten so much as a dime from either Apple or Volkswagen (and if I were Apple, I'd be plying me with cutting-edge product on a regular basis, but if you know Apple, you know that's not going to happen).

Nobody in my next novel is likely to use Field Notes products, that I know of, but I'd like to give them some (free!!!) product placement right now, right here on my blog. I haven't even seen any, in person, but I love their site, and eventually I'll get around to ordering some. I love the idea of really well-designed, well-made, preferable simple, American-made (or Canadian-made) products, particularly if they have really smartly-designed websites that are entertaining to read.

So here's your product placement for this evening: Field Notes. Has a kind of American Muji thing going on, it seems to me. (They should do a Field Notes t-shirt, if they don't already. Every manufacturer of genuinely cool things should do a t-shirt, particularly if they're sort of obscure and specialist. Keep it simple, logo-only, on a quality shirt, and they almost always sell out.)

Maybe I'll make this the first in series.

DIGITAL SHOTGUN HOUSE
posted
2:02 PM
Flatpack!

Sunday, March 01, 2009
TRAIN
posted
8:58 PM
Plowing snow!

A MILLION SECONDS IS 11 DAYS
posted
9:06 AM
A billion seconds is 32 years.
A trillion seconds is 32,000 years.

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