Coming off an uneventful weekend. We were supposed to go out to Boston to attend the Fetish Fleamaket and visit the Mapparium, but the folks who were going to accompany us had to cancel, then I got called into work for most of Saturday due to the flu taking out half my crew. Ah well, I got a little shopping done, finally found the Future is Wild book, caught up on some reading, and continued working a bit on the oft-promised new content. Hope to have it up before next week's Arisia con.
Rand Richards Cooper writes in this week's Northeast that he recently attended a movie only to have a group of black youths talk all the way through it. An interesting article on the differece between racism and expecting some garden-variety manners from people.
I read this article that a lawyer has brought suit against Clonaid to reveal the location of the supposed clone baby. Can someone explain this to me? I thought the kid was born offshore somewhere. Is this going to be the technological equivillent of the Elian Gonzalez case?
And finally Strange Words has a great overview of Visionary Science Fiction, looking at the history of grand space operas. Very cool stuff.
Apparently there is an age limit when it comes to understanding sarcasm. I guess that means that little ones won't understand when I say how happy I am that the pope has once again explained to us sinners that the church's historical co-opting of pagan and judaic ritualism is the only way to heaven. However I am quite sad that Tommy Mottola, the nice Sony exec who showed the recording industry how smart it is to bury their vast back-catalogs without relinquishing the rights (as well as bashing the aftermarket and P2P sharing) has been let go. I hope those pesky artists who want their material released fell a deep shame.
By the way, the nozzleheads who repeatedly claim that she "defies genre" are the same joyless folks who said the boring, pointless, unfocused, gawdawful film adaptation of Carl Sagan's Contact was "thinking person's science fiction." Yeah, if yer thinkin' of plunging rusty steakknives into your forebrain and need one last motivation.
And speaking of Nominations, Ghostland reports that Tony Levin has gotten a nomination for Apollo from Pieces of the Sun. Gabriel, Bowie, and The Flaming Lips also got cursory nods, but so what? This is the stuff that (in a perfect, Jeff-centric world) would make up the bulk of the awards. I actually made the mistake of wading through the endless pages of nauseating, trite, mediocre, soulless, derivative chum that constitute what the recording industy considers the "best and brightest" of what they sell. The Grammys are a three hour extravaganza where the recording industry strokes itself vigorously while people squeal with delight.
The first really noticable effect of our current postmodern smart-mob zeitgeist is the appalling lack of decent urban legends. I guess sufficiently advanced technology is not only indistinguishable from magic, it drains the cultural ability to give birth to exciting mythologies. Sad, but it could be much worse. Soon we may start running out of news stories.
I admit I used to dress up in Star Trek uniforms and make 8mm movies, but I never mustered up a sliver of the unbridled ambition posessed by the creators of the film Starship Exeter: The Savage Empire. I am happy that they are getting a lot of press. It's nice when fandom uses its power for good.
In a golden age of great and wonderous technological progress, I applaud when visionary, forward-thinking engineers focus on the things that are really important, like motorcycles.
Bill McKibben has an editorial in the Washington Post (free registration required) where he refers to cloning research as "A Threat to our Coherent Human Future." I want all of you to think about that sentence reeeeal hard. I find it ironic that the an ideological throw-down about a "human future" is published on the day the Philip K. Dick Award nominations are announced.
Oh look, someone else is trying to dilute the "primacy" of christianity by claiming the historical Jesus was a pot head. I thought these stunts ended in the 70s. I want to know how exactly these studies get funded. What uptight liberal arts professor thought that the messiah's smoking habits would make for a valid research project. University telescopes fall into disrepair and their computers are 25 year old Amigas, but dammit we gotta spend millions to comb Galilee for roaches.
This week's best cheap laugh came in the form ofWeapon Brown, a post-apocalyptic re-imagining of the Peanuts mythos from the madmen at Deep Fried Publishing, with Charlie Brown as a killing machine, Lucy as an insane cybernetics doctor, and Patty and Marcy performing a sex show. See the three-page preview here.
And China safely landed an unmanned spaceship back on Earth. Oh goodie. These murderous fucks (the Chinese government, just to be clear here) are gonna go into space to spread their vast uneducated population among the heavens, to search for more beings to oppress, to hunt and secretly harvest healthy organs for their decrepid elite. Personally I think the U.S. should treat their excursions into space the same way they'd treat another invasion of Korea and prevent their launches by force. Sorry boys, you can't play in space until you stop pretending it's the 13th century. Go back to indoctrinating your populace and telling them to reproduce so you'll have even more cattle for your vulgar, arrogant corruption machine. Fuck China.
How many songs open with the line "woke up this morning?"
There's the Frampton song, the Sopranos theme, and roughly one third of all blues songs.
Anyway, I woke up this morning and realized the holidays were over. I didn't have to schedule get togethers, wrap anything, run errands before stores closed, or adhere to any arcane timetables. It was a liberating feeling.
In hindsight, it was a good Christmas. I am fortunate to have a good number of strange and eclectic friends for whom I can buy strange and eclectic gifts. I also got a lot of enjoyable feedback on this year's card. Just the same, it's nice to realize that I can get back to a sense of what passes for normalcy. January is full-to-bursting with concerts, conventions, and other happenings to consume my time.
It is still snowing, and will continue to do so for approximately the next epoch. I am too spent from the effort of getting around to pontificate today. Instead here's more goodies from the web that made me smile.
I am very excited to see that the homepage for Wolfland Pictures has returned, complete with little teaser pictures for Moebius' Arzak Rhapsody as well as Druillet's Nosferatu. Unfortunately the "Preview" links appear to be dead, as do all the other links.
The preliminary Nebula Award Ballot has been announced. There are a lot of great stories on this year's list, but Galaxy Press is determined to ruin it for everyone by reminding us that Battlefield Earth has been one of the best selling science fiction novels over the last twenty years.
New Years Freakin' Eve. As Warren Ellis says, I'll be glad to see the back side of this one. 2002 was fucked. It produced some wonderful music and comics, but it just felt like the year itself had bad karma. The new year brings with it a bevy of new laws for us cattle to obey. Joy. The good news is it also promises to bring us robotic martial artists. Here's hoping Baby New Year doesn't have Down's or thalydymide flippers.
Just in case you were worried that there might be a limit as to how British someone might be, be aware that one of the top songs on the British charts right now is by The Cheeky Girls. It's called Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum). The ladies themselves are cute, and obviously have a butt fixation due to their tragic lack of other attributes. Other songs probably include "Knick Me a Kipper" and "The Vicar's Here, Where Are My Trousers?"
I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that Midnight Graffiti still exists, albeit in web form. This was one of the better splatterpunk magazines of the late 80's/early 90's. It featured a lot of short stuff by Clive Barker and John Shirley. The site doesn't look like it is updated often, but it warms my heart to see that creepy logo staring back at me.
Sunday, December 29
Addendum to the last post: Attorney Robert Gelinas chastises me for failing to mention that "Rael" is the protagonist and "Imperial Aerosol Kid" of the Genesis opus The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and also a song by The Who (including the ominous lyric "And chaos then will reign in our Rael"). I did recall these facts but they slipped my mind in the passionate heat of writing. However, considering the cult-leader Rael's choice of clothes, this photo of him looking for all the world like he's a part of the ELO stage show, and the fact that two of his religion's major principles are masturbation and getting laid, I think it is safe to assume that he's a prog fan.
The "controversy" over the Raelian cloning claim is utterly proposterous, yet so indicitive of our culture. First off, everyone seems to have forgotten that these space cadets got their clocks cleaned in Montreal earlier this year in their sad attempt to abolish catholicism. Then, suddenly, only a few weeks after an Italian doctor claims that the first cloned human will be born in January, they leap up and scream "No, we'll have a clone before that!" Do the pundits and editorials bring this up? No. Fucking ponderous. We're witnessing the spontaneous generation of a news story without there being an actual story.
And no one has pointed out that this smells like the hype surrounding David Rorvik when he published his book In His Image.
The followers of Rael, profiled in an excellent Village Voice article, must be pissing their pants over the fact that the epic ethical shrieking over their moral "irresponsibility" has drowned out the copious reminders that they have yet to produce even rudimentary evidence to their claim. They are aware that there is no such thing as bad publicity, something the media has been trying to give them by the bucketload. The scientific community is effectively ignoring this non-story until they see some facts. Apparently our moral guardians cannot afford that luxury.
It is the official opinion of Bad Day Studio that idiots, nozzleheads and other anti-intellectual freaks bearing twisted philosophies need to be reminded that they are "part of the problem." As I've said before: they are monsters. They should be mocked, belittled, and otherwise castigated often and loudly for holding up the advancement and evolution of humanity.