Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas in Mongolia


photo courtesy of Bayarmaa

Friday, December 24, 2010

Best Flag Designs

"NAVA, the North American Vexillological Association, conducted a poll on its website, asking its members and the public their opinions of flag designs in the U.S. and Canada....

"Participants rated 72 flags on their design qualities (rather than on political, historical, or geographic considerations)...

"The public’s overall responses paralleled those of NAVA members quite closely... Their insightful comments showed a strong intuitive grasp of flag design and confirmed NAVA’s expert opinions on design principles. One doesn’t need to be a flag expert to know a good flag design....

"The highest-scoring flags all embody the five basic principles listed in NAVA’s publication on flag design, Good Flag, Bad Flag:

"1. Keep It Simple (The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory...)

"2. Use Meaningful Symbolism (The flag’s images, colors, or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes...)

"3. Use 2–3 Basic Colors (Limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set...)

"4. No Lettering or Seals (Never use writing of any kind or an organization’s seal...)

"5. Be Distinctive or Be Related (Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections...)

"Good Flag, Bad Flag: How to Design a Great Flag is downloadable free from the NAVA website. It can help any organization, tribe, company, family, neighborhood, city, county, state, or even country design a great flag."

--North American Vexillological Association, 2001 June 10


1. New Mexico


3. Quebec


4. Maryland


5. Alaska


6. Arizona


9. Republic of the Marshall Islands


10. South Carolina


The flag of Maryland is one of my favorite flags. I hate the flag of Arizona; it looks like a nondescript mall decoration.

up over yawning emptiness

"Beneath me, there is the crust of the earth. Beneath that, magma. Go far enough, through the core, eventually there will be crust again, and the bottom of the ocean. Then sea water. Then air. Then the edge of the atmosphere. Then infinite nothingness, directly beneath my feet. The entire earth is a little trapeze, holding me up over yawning emptiness. And space extends to either side of me, in front of me, behind me, and above me as well, forever."

--Michael Cisco, "Machines of Concrete Light and Dark" in Lovecraft Unbound: Twenty Stories, 2009

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nodak Fashion


--http://getcarhartt.com/stories

faff : doing exactly that ; divided by a common language ; blogging in general

Etymology
Dialect, 'blow in gusts'.

Verb
to faff (third-person singular simple present faffs, present participle faffing, simple past and past participle faffed)
(UK, slang) To waste time on an unproductive activity.
I decided to stop faffing about and get some work done.

Usage notes
Particularly used as faff about.

Synonyms
dick around (American)

--Wiktionary

The Book of Ratings on Superman's Powers


"Super Breath

"Yes, Superman has super breath. He can inhale and exhale large amounts of air without swelling up like Daffy Duck connected to a bicycle pump. We're dealing here with a man who can travel between the stars, who can change the course of mighty rivers, who can, in certain incarnations, reverse the flow of time itself. When does this guy encounter a problem that leaves him with no recourse but to breathe on it? At any rate, any potential uses are automatically offset by the fact that it's called 'super breath.' D"

--The Book of Ratings

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Everything's Better With Platypi


"He's a semi-aquatic, egg-laying mammal of ACTION!"
--Perry the Platypus theme song

"Some believe that the platypus proves that evolution is 100% real, because not even God could make that shit up. This is an animal that, upon being sent to a British natural history museum to catalog, was believed to be a taxidermist's prank. It looks like a beaver crossed with a mole with a duck's bill added for laughs. They belong to a group of mammals known as Monotremes, a group consisting of it and the echidna, which means they lay eggs. Additionally, they're an offshoot of mammals that evolved before teats/nipples evolved, so while they produce milk, they simply... sweat it out for their young to lap up. They also have ten sex chromosomes, where in most mammals there're simply two (X and Y). And their duck-bill? It's actually quite soft, and it acts as an electrical receptor. See, platypus eyes aren't too useful, especially underwater, so they use an electrolocation system in their bills to hunt shrimp and other aquatic invertebrates. (Sharks have a similar sense, in case they weren't scary enough.)

"And to top it off, they're poisonous. Yup, male platypi have poisonous spurs on their feet, and while the poison isn't lethal to humans, the cocktail of venom will usually incapacitate people, and can cause you to be in excruciating, incapacitating pain for months. And to top it off, morphine has no effect on said pain. So it won't kill you, it'll just make you wish it did.

"So, in short, it's easy to see how humans can become so interested in this goofy-looking creature. Odd appearance, cool features, and the ability to cripple you if you get stupid. What better metaphor for Australia? And it's an Inherently Funny Word. Also, baby playtpi are called 'puggles,' which is quite possibly the cutest word ever invented, and have been called so since before pugs were crossed with beagles to make the dog breed of the same name.

"Plus, if you want to talk about them in the plural, expect to confound linguists until the end of time. (Platypodes, platypi, and platypuses are all acceptable spellings.)"


--TVTropes.org

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Law of Conservation of Ninjutsu

"In any martial arts fight, there is only a finite amount of ninjutsu available to each side in a given encounter. As a result, one ninja is a deadly threat, but an army of them are cannon fodder.

"You can have three guesses who's going to win. The first two don't count."

--TVTropes.org


Monday, December 06, 2010

Old Russia in Color

The Empire That Was Russia: The Prokudin-Gorskii Photographic Record Recreated exhibition at the United States Library of Congress.


"These rare color photos by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii document the Russian empire between 1909 and 1915. With the support of Tsar Nicholas II, Prokudin-Gorskii traveled throughout the Russian empire in a specially outfitted train car conducting a photographic survey, according to the Library of Congress, which owns the original slides.

"Using a special technique that captured three black and white photographs in succession, the pictures could then be combined using red, green and blue filters to create realistic color. The result is vivid photographs that look startlingly modern."







Friday, December 03, 2010

Awesome Captured on Film: Orson Welles as Father Mapple in the 1956 movie *Moby Dick*

The sermon scene ends halfway through, and the following isn't worth watching, but this is the best-quality clip of Welles' performance on YouTube.

The set was reproduced from Melville's description, including the memorial plaques of the whalers lost at sea and the pulpit like a ship's prow.

"Delight is to him who against the proud commodores and gods of this earth, stands forth his own inexorable self...

"Yet this is nothing."

Monday, November 29, 2010

uninterpenetratingly: the comprehensive cosmic horror of Moby-Dick

“How dost thou know that some entire, living, thinking thing may not be invisibly and uninterpenetratingly standing precisely where thou now standest; aye, and standing there in thy spite?”

--Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Satire

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Satirical literature can commonly be categorized as either Horatian or Juvenalian.

"Horatian
Named for the Roman satirist, Horace, this playfully criticizes some social vice through gentle, mild, and light-hearted humour. It directs wit, exaggeration, and self-deprecating humour toward what it identifies as folly, rather than evil. Horatian satire's sympathetic tone is common in modern society. Examples of Horatian satire: Jonathan Swift's Gulliver’s Travels, Daniel Defoe's 'The True-Born Englishman', Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock, C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, The Onion, Matt Groening's The Simpsons and the Ig Nobel Prizes.

"Juvenalian
Named after the Roman satirist Juvenal, this type of satire is more contemptuous and abrasive than the Horatian. Juvenalian satire addresses social evil through scorn, outrage, and savage ridicule. This form is often pessimistic, characterized by irony, sarcasm, moral indignation and personal invective, with less emphasis on humour. Examples of Juvenalian satire: Joseph Hall's Virgidemiarum, Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, Samuel Johnson's London, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, William Golding's Lord of the Flies, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, Joseph Heller's Catch-22, William Burroughs' Naked Lunch, Stephen Colbert's performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner, anarcho-punk band Crass, and the cartoon South Park."

Friday, November 19, 2010

past and gone

“Life continues interesting though I find it hard to realize that this--breakfast, dinner, lessons, mending, writing letters, arranging flowers, with a little visiting and reading is actually my life with a capital L. One waits for it to begin and will be waiting perhaps when it is past and gone.”

--Emily B. Trevett, journal, 1894 August 6

collected in Talking on Paper: An Anthology of Oregon Letters and Diaries, 1994

Thursday, November 04, 2010

ARMISTICE DAY WAR POETRY READING

Australian soldiers in Ypres, Belgium, 1917
photo by Frank Hurley

At 11:00 on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, “The War to End All Wars” came to an end.

Designated Armistice Day, it is still commemorated as such in France and Belgium, as Remembrance Day in the UK and Commonwealth countries, as Volkstrauertag in Germany, and as Veterans Day in the United States.

In World War I, on the Western Front, a years-long stalemate between the German, French, and British armies would see millions of men die pointlessly in the living horror of trench warfare.

Out of this colossal tragedy arose poetry that is among the most beautiful, disturbing, and compelling poetry ever written.

“These men are worth your tears.”
--Wilfred Owen

Classic World War I Poetry
read by Radigan Neuhalfen
2010 November 10, Wednesday
20:00 (8:00 PM)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Reading - H.P. Lovecraft - Mongolia

“I have an odd craving to whisper about those few frightful hours in that ill-rumored and evilly-shadowed seaport of death and blasphemous abnormality. The mere telling helps me to restore confidence in my own faculties; to reassure myself that I was not the first to succumb to a contagious nightmare hallucination. It helps me, too, in making up my mind regarding a certain terrible step which lies ahead of me...”

--H.P. Lovecraft, “The Shadow over Innsmouth”

Unnatural sex acts, a dangerous secret cult, and one very long night...

H.P. Lovecraft's
“The Shadow over Innsmouth”
read by Radigan Neuhalfen
Cafe Amsterdam
Wednesday, 2010 October 27
8:00 PM

In the shunned New England seaport town of Innsmouth, something is very much not right, as one unfortunate traveller discovers on one unforgettable night.

Written and published in 1936 during the worldwide Great Depression, this popular and provocative classic of cosmic horror treats themes of economic collapse and desperation, miscegenation, racism, fear of the foreign, and humanity's wilful though perhaps necessary misinterpretation of the nature of the universe and our own role within it.

The subject of ever-increasing academic and mainstream attention, H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) stands as the most influential American horror writer since Edgar Allan Poe.

Radigan Neuhalfen is the author of the novel The Steppe and the blog The Crush of All Things.

Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar

Friday, October 08, 2010

Hip Hop in Mongolia

"Hi
"My name is Ronald and I am a college student in New York City. I came across your blog and I am writing to you because I am writing a paper for a scholarship competition that gives students a chance to travel to another country. I want to go to Mongolia and study what effects the Hip Hop culture has on the Mongolian political culture. I would like to know if you can give me some information Hip Hop artists in Mongolia. If not, do you know anybody who would know about this topic?
"Thank You"

=

Hi Ronald. Odko is active on the Internet:

http://www.myspace.com/akaodko
http://akaodko.hi5.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/aka-Odko/118614728275

And this is a resource and support center for foreign scholars in Mongolia:

http://www.mongoliacenter.org/

Good luck,
Radigan

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Mongolian Film Festival


"The Arts Council of Mongolia (ACM) is pleased to announce the inaugural East Meets West Film Forum and Festival to be held in UIaanbaatar, Mongolia from October 5 – 8, 2010.

"With support from the Asia-Europe Foundation and the Open Society Institute, ACM will bring together filmmakers and film industry professionals from Asia, Europe, Central Asia, the USA and Mongolia for this very special event, the first of its kind ever to be held in the country.

"The film industry in Mongolia is currently in a state of flux, and local filmmakers struggle to make an impact at an international level. As such, ACM identified a great need to bring support and recognition from the global filmmaking community to Mongolia.

"A panel of international guests has been invited to meet in Ulaanbaatar to share ideas, screen films and work with Mongolian filmmakers to further the local industry. East Meets West will consist of film screenings with post-viewing discussion and Q+A sessions, a day forum focused on the global film industry and workshops for up-and-coming Mongolian filmmakers."

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Influenza Pandemic, World War I, mass death is individual loss multiplied many times over, cosmic horror

"Elizabeth had fallen victim to the greatest cosmic prank of all time, the flu that had swept across the world in the spring and summer of 1918, as if the bloody abattoir in the trenches hadn't been evidence enough of humanity's divine disfavor. That's what Elizabeth had called it in the last letter he'd ever had from her: God's judgment on a world gone mad. Garner had given up on God by then: he'd packed away the Bible Elizabeth had pressed upon him after a week in the field hospital, knowing that its paltry lies could bring him no comfort in the face of such horror, and it hadn't. Not then, and not later, when he'd come home to face Elizabeth's mute and barren grave."

--Dale Bailey and Nathan Ballingrud, "The Crevasse," Lovecraft Unbound, 2009

Lovedrive


album cover
1979 German

"We just did not know it would be a problem in America, it was just sex and rock n roll. It is odd that in America that some of these covers were a problem because in the 80’s when we would tour here we always had boobs flashed to us at the front of the stage. Nowhere else in the world, just here."

--Klaus Meine, 2010

Friday, October 01, 2010

"enormous moral energy": Bataille on de Sade

"We know what men are with their particular circumstances and limitations. We know in advance that generally speaking they cannot fail to judge de Sade and his writings in the same way.

"Lack of understanding is in the order of things; it is that of mankind in general; it comes from their lack of strength and their feeling of being threatened.

"The criticisms that de Sade defied were well founded. He was not against the fool and the hypocrite as much as against the decent man, the normal man in all of us, so to speak. He was less concerned to convince than to challenge.

"Certain minds are fired by the thought of turning the most securely established values topsy-turvy. They are thus able to say gaily that the most subversive man who ever lived--the Marquis de Sade--was also the man who rendered the greatest service to humanity. Nothing to their mind be more certain; we shiver at the thought of death and pain (even the death and pain of other people), tragic or unspeakable events cut us to the quick, but that which inspires us with terror is like the sun, no less glorious if we turn our weak eyes away from its blaze.

"Like the sun at least in being intolerable to the naked eye, the figure of de Sade fascinated and terrified his contemporaries: was not the very idea that the monster was alive revolting? In our day and age, however, an apologist for his ideas is never taken seriously, and no one thinks them at all significant.... That would not matter if only de Sade's ideas did not lose their essential value: namely, that of being incompatible with the ideas of reasonable beings.

"De Sade asserted these unacceptable values in book after book. Life, he maintained, was the pursuit of pleasure, and the degree of pleasure was in direct ratio to the destruction of life. In other words, life reached its highest intensity in a monstrous denial of its own principle.

"Such a strange doctrine could obviously not be generally accepted, nor even generally propounded, unless it were glossed over, deprived of significance and reduced to a trivial piece of pyrotechnics. Obviously, if it were taken seriously, no society could accept it for a single instant. Indeed, those people who used to rate de Sade as a scoundrel responded better to his intentions than his admirers do in our own day: de Sade provokes indignation and protest, otherwise the paradox of pleasure would be nothing but a poetic fancy.

"In one way it is easier to be be receptive to de Sade's eroticism than to the religious demands of old. No-one today could deny that impulses connecting sexuality and the desire to hurt and to kill do exist. Hence the so-called sadistic instincts enable the ordinary man to account for certain acts of cruelty, while religious impulses are explained away as aberrations. By describing these instincts in masterly fashion then, de Sade has contributed to man's slow-growing awareness of himself--in philosophical terminology 'consciousness of self'; The expression 'sadistic', in universal use, is in itself clear proof of his contribution.

"The cruelty of de Sade's heroes should not be wholeheartedly abominated. It is a denial of the principles on which humanity is founded. We are bound to reject something that would end in the ruin of all our works. If instinct urges us to destroy the very thing we are building, we must condemn those instincts and defend ourselves from them. But there remains this question. Is our being ineluctably the negation as well as the affirmation of its own princple?

"One cannot fail to observe mankind's double nature throughout its career. There are two extremes. At one end, existence is basically orderly and decent. Work, concern for the children, kindness and honesty rule men's dealings with their fellows. At the other, violence rages pitilessly. In certain circumstances the same men practise pillage and arson, murder, violence and torture. Excess contrasts with reason.

"These extremes are called civilisation and barbarism. But the use of these words is misleading, for they imply that there are barbarians on the one hand and civilised men on the other.

"Common language will not express violence. It treats it as a guilty and importunate thing and disallows it by denying it any function or any excuse. If violence does occur, and occur it will, it is explained by a mistake somewhere, just as men of backward civilisations think that death can only happen if someone makes it by magic or otherwise. Violence in advanced societies and death in backward ones are not just given, like a storm or a flood; they can only be the result of something going wrong.

"But silence cannot do away with things that language cannot state. Violence is as stubbornly there just as much as death, and if language cheats to conceal universal annihilation, the placid work of time, language alone suffers, not time and not violence.

"Useless and dangerous violence cannot be abolished by irrational refusals to have any truck with it, any more than the irrational refusals to treat with death can eliminate that.

"The characters of de Sade's novels do not speak to man in general, as literature does even in the apparent discretion of the private journal. If they speak at all it is to someone of their own kind. De Sade's twisted libertines talk to each other. But they indulge in long speeches to show they are right.... What they insist upon is the overriding value of violence, excesses, crimes and tortures. In this way they fall short of the profound silence peculiar to violence, for violence never declares either its own existence or its right to exist; it simply exists.

"These disquisitions upon violence which keep interrupting the accounts of infamous cruelties that make up de Sade's books do not belong to the violent characters into whose mouths they are put. If such people had really lived, they would probably have lived in silence. These are de Sade's own ideas, and he uses this means to address other people.

"A paradox underlies his behaviour. De Sade speaks, but he is the mouthpiece of a silent life, of utter and inevitably speechless solitude. The solitary man for whom he speaks pays not the slightest heed to his fellows; in his loneliness he is a sovereign being, never called to account, never needing to justify himself to anyone.... All this calls for enormous moral energy, but such energy is in fact the point at issue.

"The solitary man proceeds step by step towards total negation: denial of other people first, and then by some monstrous logic denial of himself.

"It may be that de Sade's language is not common parlance, not addressed to all comers, but intended for those rare spirits capable of attaining to superhuman solitude in the very bosom of humanity.

"The man who speaks has nevertheless broken out of the solitude to which his condemnation of other people has condemned him.

"This monstrous anomaly hardly seems to correspond with the intentions of a man who, as he spoke, forgot the solitude to which he was condemning himself more unreservedly than other people had done, for he was betraying this solitude. Normal men, standing for common necessity, obviously could not understand him. His plea could not have any meaning, so that this enormous work taught solitude in solitude; a century and a half passed before its message was spread.

"Misunderstanding and revulsion from the generality of mankind are the only results worth of de Sade's ideas.

"De Sade's philosophy is not to be classed as madness. It is simply an excess, an excess to make our heads reel, but the excess of our own extravagance. We cannot ignore this without ignoring our own nature--and it is our nature that makes us tremble with fear.

"For the sake of greater satisfaction de Sade strove to infuse violence with the orderly calm of awareness.

"De Sade's writings, and this is their peculiar value, tend to bring men back to an awareness of something they have almost completely turned their backs on, looking for loop-holes and postponing the moment for coming to terms.

"They bring to man's thinking on the subject of violence the slow pace and the spirit of observation that characterise the conscious intelligence.

"In this way we reach a violence possessing the calmness of reason.

"The fact is that what de Sade was trying to bring to the surface of the conscious mind was precisely the thing that revolted the mind.

"It is only today we realise that without de Sade's cruelty we should never have penetrated with such ease the once inaccessible domain where the most painful truths lay hidden.

"And if today the average man has a profound insight into what transgression means for him, de Sade was the one who made ready the path. Now the average man knows that he must become aware of the things which repel him most violently--those things which repel us most violently are part of our own nature."


--Georges Bataille, "De Sade and the normal man" in L'Erotisme (Death and Sensuality: A Study of Eroticism and the Taboo), 1957


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ilf and Petrov in America

"When we had been in New York for a week and, as it seemed to us, we began to understand America, we were quite unexpectedly told that New York is not at all America. They told us that New York is a bridge between Europe and America, and that we were still situated on the bridge. Then we went to Washington, being steadfastly convinced that the capital of the United States is indisputably America. We spent a day there, and by evening we managed to fall in love with this purely American city. However, on that very same evening we were told that Washington was under no circumstances America. They told us that this was a town of governmental bureaucrats and that America was something quite different. Perplexed, we traveled to Hartford, a city in the state of Connecticut, where the great American writer Mark Twain spent his mature years. Much to our horror, the local residents told us in unison that Hartford was also not genuine America. They said that the genuine America was the southern states, while others affirmed that it was the western ones. Several didn't say anything but vaguely pointed a finger into space. We then decided to work according to a plan: to drive around the entire country in an automobile, to traverse it from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and to return along a different route, along the Gulf of Mexico, calculating that indeed somewhere we would be sure to find America....


"This picture should be captioned as follows: 'Here, this is America!'

"And, indeed, when you close your eyes and try to rekindle memories of this country where you spent four months, you don't imagine yourself in Washington with its gardens, columns, and full collection of monuments, nor in New York with its skyscrapers and its poor and rich, nor in San Francisco with its steep streets and suspension bridges, nor in the mountains, factories, or canyons, but at such an intersection of two roads and a gasoline station against a ground of wires and advertising signs."


--Ilya Ilf and Yevgeni Petrov, Odnoetazhnaya Amerika, 1937, translated by Erica Wolf

Friday, September 17, 2010

"We have no chance": England vs. United States, 1950 World Cup

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"On 29 June 1950, at the 1950 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the United States defeated England 1–0 in a group match.

"At the time, the English considered themselves the 'Kings of Football', with a post-war record of 23 wins, 4 losses, and 3 draws. Conversely, the Americans had lost their last seven international matches by the combined score of 45–2. The odds were 3–1 the English would win the Cup, and 500–1 for the U.S.

"The American team consisted of semi-professional players, most of whom had other jobs to support their families. The team had also been hastily assembled, and had only been able to train together once, and that was the day before they left for Brazil. 'We have no chance,' recently-appointed coach Bill Jeffrey told the press.

"Newspaper headlines in most World Cup nations trumpeted the shocking upset, except in the United States and England.

"There was only one American journalist even at the World Cup: Dent McSkimming of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who could not get the newspaper to pay for the trip, and had taken time off work to cover the event. His report of the match was the only one to appear in any major American newspaper.

"In England, so unexpected was the result that it was presumed that the 1–0 scoreline was a typing error and so it was reported that England had won on a scoreline of 10–0 or 10–1.

"England's blue kit, which had made its debut in this match, was never worn again.

"The United States and England did not play another World Cup match against each other until the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which ended in a 1–1 draw."

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival goes to Los Angeles


"Date:
2010 September 11, 2:00 PM

"Location:
Warner Grand Theater
478 West 6th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731-2632

"Contact:
Aaron Vanek
aaron@hplfilmfestival.com

"Description:
The first H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles will screen six of the best movies that have played at the original HPLFF in Portland, Oregon, from the past 14 years.

"Schedule:
2pm - 2:45 = Socializing and opening ceremonies
2:45 - 5:45 = Movie Block 1 (180 minutes)
5:45 - 6pm = Q&A with block 1 cast and crew
6pm - 6:45 = Break
6:45 - 7pm = Astra Dance performance
7pm - 9:30 = Movie Block 2 (150 minutes)
9:30 - 9:45 = Q&A with block 2 cast and crew
10pm - 2am = Party at Whale & Ale (free admission with festival ticket, 21+), music by Thelonius Dub

"Block One:
Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (2008) - An award-winning documentary about the man who created the Cthulhu Mythos, H.P. Lovecraft. Directed by Frank H. Woodward. (90 minutes)

Cool Air (1999) - "Never underestimate the power of the human will." Jack Donner (Transformers 3, Star Trek: The Original Series) stars in this powerful period adaptation of the classic Lovecraft tale about a man who will do anything to survive. Masterfully filmed in Los Angeles on a shoestring budget, directed by and also starring Bryan Moore. (44 minutes)

AM 1200 (2008) - Eric Lange (Lost), John Billingsley (True Blood), and Ray Wise (Reaper, Twin Peaks) star in this taut supernatural thriller about a man on the run who flees into a far worse Hell than the one he left. A modern Lovecraft-inspired tale directed by David Prior. (40 minutes)

"Intermission:
During the break, The Astra Dance Company, a theatrical dance company inspired and influenced by famed Gothic horror author Edgar Allan Poe, will perform some of their haunting scenes: http://www.astradance.com/

"Block Two:
The Music of Erich Zann (1980) - One of the earliest versions of one of Lovecraft's most popular stories. A boarder is drawn into the web of his mysterious old musician neighbor, who plays haunting music for an unseen audience. Directed by John Strysik. (17 minutes)

The Call of Cthulhu (2005) - Filmed in Mythoscope, this black and white film was made as if it were produced in 1926, the year Lovecraft wrote his definitive tale about a worldwide cult bent on raising their obscene god from the depths of the ocean. Expertly crafted by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, this is the most faithful Lovecraft story adaptation to date. Winner of many awards. Directed by Andrew Leman. (47 minutes)

Re-Animator (1985) - This extreme 80's horror movie spawned many filmmakers to follow in its footsteps by adapting Lovecraft tales. Starring Jeffrey Combs (Star Trek, The Frighteners) as Herbert West, a scientist obsessed with curing death. 2010 is the 25th anniversary of this outrageous horror-comedy. Directed by Stuart Gordon. (86 minutes)

"Guests:
Portland H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival founder Andrew Migliore

All directors of all six films: Stuart Gordon, Frank Woodward, Bryan Moore, David Prior, John Strysik, Andrew Leman, and Sean Branney

Music composer Richard Band (Re-Animator, From Beyond)

Actor Eric Lange (AM 1200, Lost)
Actor Jack Donner (Cool Air, Star Trek: The Original Series)
Cast and crew from The Call of Cthulhu: Noah Wagner, Barry Lynch, Patrick O'Day, Richard Lucas, Leslie Baldwin, cinematographer David Robertson, and special visual effects artist Dan Novy

"Vendors:
The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society: http://www.cthulhulives.org/toc.html
Behind the Scenes Costumes: http://www.behindthescenescostumes.com
Author Cody Goodfellow and Perilous Press: http://perilouspress.com/index.html
Artist Mike Dubisch: http://www.dubisch.com/theartofMike/TheArtofMike.html

"Advertisers:
Mythos Con: http://www.mythoscon.org/
Film Threat: http://www.filmthreat.com/

"The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival:
http://www.hplfilmfestival.com/ "

Monday, September 06, 2010

Every Last One

"Eventually, every fetish will be commodified and every commodity will be fetishized."

--A.S. Hamrah, "A Better Mousetrap," Hermenaut, 2000 March 1

Saturday, August 14, 2010

shared between ourselves and death

"We do not suddenly fall on death, but advance towards it by slight degrees; we die every day. For every day a little of our life is taken from us; even when we are growing, our life is on the wane. We lose our childhood, then our boyhood, and then our youth. Counting even yesterday, all past time is lost time; the very day which we are now spending is shared between ourselves and death. It is not the last drop that empties the water-clock, but all that which previously has flowed out; similarly, the final hour when we cease to exist does not of itself bring death; it merely of itself completes the death-process. We reach death at that moment, but we have been a long time on the way."

--Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Ad Lucilium epistulae morales, ca. 65 CE, translated by Richard M. Gummere

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Coastline Paradox

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The coastline paradox is the counterintuitive observation that the coastline of a landmass does not have a well-defined length. This results from the fractal-like properties of coastlines.

"The measured length of a coastline depends on the scale of measurement: the smaller the increment of measurement, the longer the measured length becomes. Since a landmass has features at all scales, from hundreds of kilometers in size to tiny fractions of a millimeter and smaller, there is no obvious limit to the size of the smallest feature that should not be measured around, and hence no single well-defined perimeter to the landmass.

"Over a wide range of measurement scales, down to the atomic, coastlines show a degree of self-similarity, and as the measurement scale is made smaller and smaller, the measured length continues to increase, tending towards infinity.

"An example of the coastline paradox. If the coastline of Great Britain is measured using fractal units 100 km long, then the length of the coastline is approximately 2800 km. With 50 km units, the total length is approximately 3400 km (600 km longer)."

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Grande y Felicisima Armada

Defeat of the Spanish Armada
1740-1812 French/English

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"An attempt to press home the English advantage failed the following year, when a comparable English fleet sailed for Portugal and the Azores in 1589. The Norris-Drake Expedition or English Armada limped home after failing to co-ordinate its strategy effectively with the Portuguese.

"High seas buccaneering and the supply of troops to Philip II's enemies in the Netherlands and France continued, but brought few tangible rewards for England. The Anglo-Spanish War dragged on to a stalemate that left Spanish power in Europe and the Americas dominant."

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

a grandeur, and unnecessary duplicates

“Seat thyself sultanically among the moons of Saturn, and take high abstracted man alone; and he seems a wonder, a grandeur, and a woe. But from the same point, take mankind in mass, and for the most part, they seem a mob of unnecessary duplicates, both contemporary and hereditary.”

--Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Stupid, Greedy, Fat, Stupid Americans

> Subject: FW: OH USA YEAH RIGHT
>
> Right here in our own country:
>
> food banks are empty
>
> unemployment is over 15 million
>
> repossessed homes are at a record pace
>
> probably 1,000,000 in 2010
>
> repossessed cars at a record pace
>
> bank failures almost 2 per week
>
> 401 plans slipping
>
> medical insurance out of sight
>
> No Social Security C.O.L.A. 2010,11,12
>
> Doctors are stopping Medicare patients
>
> Gulf Coast states in deep trouble
>
> Our young men coming home in body
>
> bags from unnecessary wars in record numbers
>
> record numbers of illegals in OUR country.
>
> Our political leadership throughout our
>
> Federal & State level are worthless!!!
>
>
> These are just SOME of the reasons that I
>
> support the information in the copy below.
>
> Please be sure to read the last 4 lines
>
> and see if you WILL pass this along.
>
>
>
> SO 'Pathetically'  TRUE..................
>
> OH USA   YA RIGHT!!
>
>
> We're "broke" & can't help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless etc.,?????????
>
> In the last month we have provided aid to  Haiti , Chile , and  Turkey .
>
> Our retired seniors living on a 'fixed income'
> receive no aid or get any breaks while our
> government and religious organizations pour
> Hundreds of Millions of $$$$$'s and Tons of Food to Foreign Countries!
>
> We have hundreds of adoptable children who are shoved aside to make room for the adoption of foreign orphans.
>
> USA a country where we have homeless without shelter,  children going to bed hungry,
> elderly going without 'needed' meds, and
> mentally ill without treatment -etc,etc.
> YET...................
> They have a 'Benefit' for the people of  Haiti
> on 12
> TV stations, ships and planes lining up with food, water, tents clothes, bedding,
> doctors and medical supplies.
>
> Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT*  gave 'US'
> the same support they give to other
> countries.
>
>
> Sad isn't it?
>
> 99% of people won't have the guts to forward
> this.
> I Just Did!


Re: FW: OH USA YEAH RIGHT


“In March 1997, a joint poll by the Washington Post, Harvard University and the Kaiser Family Foundation asked Americans which area of federal expenditure they thought was the largest. Was it Social Security (which actually constituted about a quarter of the budget)? Medicare? Military spending? Sixty-four percent of respondents said it was foreign aid—when in reality foreign aid made up only about 1 percent of total outlays (Washington Post, 3/29/97).

“Today, Americans think about 20 percent of the federal budget goes toward foreign aid. When told the actual figure for U.S. foreign aid giving (about 1.6 percent of the discretionary budget), most respondents said they did not believe the number was the full amount (Program on International Policy Attitudes, 3/7/05).

“It’s no wonder that most Americans think they live in an extremely generous nation: Media reports often quote government officials pointing out that their country is the largest overall aid donor, and the biggest donor of humanitarian aid. But what reporters too often fail to explain is how big the U.S. economy is—more than twice the size of Japan’s, the second largest, and about as big as economies number 3–10 combined. Considered as a portion of the nation’s economy, or of its federal expenditures, the U.S. is actually among the smallest donors of international aid among the world’s developed countries.”

--Ben Somberg, "The World’s Most Generous Misers," Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, 2005 Sept/Oct

===

In 2009, of the 22 wealthiest countries in the world, the Swedes, Norwegians, Luxembourgers, Danes, Dutch, Belgians, Finns, Irish, British, Swiss, French, Spanish, Germans, Canadians, Austrians, Australians, New Zealanders, and Portuguese all were more generous to their fellow humans than were the Americans.

--Poverty.com; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

===

US federal government funding for all of its international programs, of which international aid forms but a portion, is generally 1% of the total US federal budget (in 2008, it was 3% of the 38% discretionary budget spending, which equals 1.14% of total spending).

Most of the US federal government budget is spent on US citizens, mainly through the Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid programs:

“Social Security claimed just over one-third of mandatory spending in fiscal 2008 (see figure 4). Medicare and Medicaid took up 25 percent and 13 percent, respectively. The remaining 28 percent covered income security programs (such as food stamps), retirement and disability programs (including pensions for federal retireees), and other programs.

“About half of fiscal 2008 discretionary spending paid for defense, and most of the rest went for domestic programs such as agricultural subsidies, highway construction, and the federal courts (see figure 3). Only 3 percent of discretionary spending funded international activities, such as foreign aid.”




--Tax Policy Center of Urban Institute and Brookings Institution

===

“As percentage of GDP, Arab states of the Persian Gulf are the most generous, with Kuwait contributing 8.2% of its gross national product and Saudi Arabia contributing 4% in 2002.”

--Wikipedia; SAMIRAD

Friday, July 30, 2010

Because if, maybe

Do you know how long you'll live, how long you'll tell them what filth they are, how long you'll sway here in this cage?

Yes.

But you'll still do it?

Yes.

Why? Do you like being pointless?

It isn't pointless.

Why not, you said it was. Why?

Because if I do it forever, maybe at the end of forever they'll let me die.



--Harlan Ellison, “Silent in Gehenna,” 1971

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lyrical IIII

Marilyn Manson
I don't like the drugs
But the drugs like me

Orgy
Message from Opticon
Guess what? You're out of time

Mark Chesnutt
And then if she's still on my mind I'll try to drink enough to drown the hurt
And if that don't work
I'll think of something

John Denver
Come let me love you
Let me give my life to you
Come love me again

Rolling Stones
I'll be in my basement room
With a needle and a spoon
And another girl to take my pain away

Shakira
Solo tu sabes bien quien soy
Y por eso es tuyo mi corazon

Strong Bad
Oh that skinny blonde girl
And the circles and the ages and the ages

K's Choice
I'm not an addict (maybe that's a lie)
Nothing means a thing to me

Coheed and Cambria
Bye bye, Beautiful
Don't bother to write

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sons of Norway

Sons of Norway!

http://sonsofnorwayblog.blogspot.com/




http://www.sofn.com/home/index.jsp


(Norway is district 8 -- Ha ha.)


As of December 31, 2009:
Total Members: 66,342
Members in the United States: 62,022
Members in Canada: 2,873
Members in Norway: 1,447

Monday, July 19, 2010

Definition of “Oof da”

Oof da is:

-trying to pour two buckets of manure into one bucket
-trick-or-treating in a blizzard
-eating hot soup with a runny nose
-discovering that your blind date is your teacher
-having more miles on your snowblower than on your car
-sneezing so hard that your false teeth end up in the bread plate
-knowing that somewhere in Minnesota is a flagpole with a frozen piece of your tongue still attached to it
-seeing non-Norwegians at a lutefisk dinner using lefse as a napkin
-waking yourself up in church with your own snoring

Sunday, July 04, 2010

mourn

“I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.”

--Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” speech, New York, Rochester, 1852 July 5

liberators

“They said they came to liberate us. Liberate us from what? They came and said they would free us. Free us from what? We have traditions, morals, and customs. We are Arabs. We’re different from the West. Baghdad is the mother of Arab culture, and they want to wipe out our culture, absolutely.”

--Mohammed Abdullah, as quoted in Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq by Thomas E. Ricks, 2006

no instance

“There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.”

--Sun Tzu, The Art of War, 6th Century BCE

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sivas Massacre

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The Sivas massacre (Turkish: Madımak Olayları or Sivas Katliamı) refers to the events of July 2, 1993 which resulted in the deaths of 33 Alevi intellectuals and two hotel employees. The victims, who had gathered for a cultural festival in Sivas, Turkey, were killed when a mob of radical Islamists set fire to the hotel where the group had assembled.

"The attack took place not long after traditional Friday prayers, when the mob broke through police barricades to surround the Otel Madımak, where artists, writers and musicians had gathered to celebrate 16th century Alevi poet Pir Sultan Abdal. Reportedly angered by the presence of Aziz Nesin, a writer who had translated and published extracts from Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, the enraged fundamentalists surrounded the hotel, shouting 'Death to the infidel!' and threatening the assembled artists with lynching. The hotel was set alight, and the fire claimed 35 lives, including those of musicians, poets, tourists and hotel staff, while assembled police did nothing to intervene. Aziz Nesin was able to escape only because attackers initially failed to recognize him. According to reports, when rescuers eventually realized his identity, he was beaten by firemen while a city councilman from the Welfare Party shouted, 'This is the devil we should have really killed.'

"The event was seen as a major assault on free speech and human rights in Turkey, one which seriously deepened the rift between religious and secular segments of society. After lengthy court proceedings, the State Security Court sentenced 33 people to death on 28 November 1997 for their roles in the massacre; 31 of these sentences were upheld in a 2001 appeal. When Turkey overturned the death penalty just over a year later in 2002, the sentences were commuted to life in prison.

"Each year on the anniversary of the massacre, demonstrators hold protests and vigils to commemorate the victims of the fire. Many wish to see the hotel, which has since re-opened, declared a memorial and turned into a museum. In 2008 a government minister indicated that it would be turned into an Alevi cultural center, but this has yet to occur. In June 2010, the Minister of Work and Social Security announced that the money for buying the hotel had been transferred, and that the Ministry would provide additional resources for restoration."

Flag Variations

"Blood Flag"


"Black-Spangled Banner"


"Reverse Black-Spangled Banner Against All-White"


"Reverse Flag"


"Blue Barcode Stain"


"Grey Grille"


"Orange Reverse"


"Pink Grille"


"Vomit Grille"


"Barcode Stain
(Black-Spangled Banner Against All-White)"


Flag Variations
Radigan Neuhalfen
2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Gödel and the Grundlagenkrise der Mathematik (and Knowledgelessness)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Since the time of Pythagoras, mathematicians have wondered about the nature of mathematical truth, the ontology of mathematical entities and the reasons for the validity of proof and, more generally, mathematical knowledge. From the Enlightenment until the middle of the 19th century, the prevailing scientific ideology saw mathematics as the only way of reaching a truth that is final, absolute and totally independent of the human mind's capacity to understand it. The basic notions of mathematics were thought to reflect essential properties of the cosmos and the theorems to be the truths of a higher reality.... Yet, in the 19th century this traditional belief was undermined in the minds of some people and eventually led to a serious foundational crisis in mathematics. The first of the discoveries which caused the loss of faith, dating from the time of the Renaissance, was that of the imaginary numbers (i.e. those involving the square root of minus one)....

“The foundational crisis of mathematics (in German: Grundlagenkrise der Mathematik) was the early 20th century's term for the search for proper foundations of mathematics.

“After several schools of the philosophy of mathematics ran into difficulties one after the other in the 20th century, the assumption that mathematics had any foundation that could be stated within mathematics itself began to be heavily challenged.

“One attempt after another to provide unassailable foundations for mathematics was found to suffer from various paradoxes (such as Russell's paradox) and to be inconsistent: an undesirable situation in which every mathematical statement that can be formulated in a proposed system (such as 2 + 2 = 5) can also be proved in the system.

“Various schools of thought on the right approach to the foundations of mathematics were fiercely opposing each other. The leading school was that of the formalist approach, of which David Hilbert was the foremost proponent, culminating in what is known as Hilbert's program, which thought to ground mathematics on a small basis of a logical system proved sound by metamathematical finitistic means. The main opponent was the intuitionist school, led by L. E. J. Brouwer, which resolutely discarded formalism as a meaningless game with symbols. The fight was acrimonious. In 1920 Hilbert succeeded in having Brouwer, whom he considered a threat to mathematics, removed from the editorial board of Mathematische Annalen, the leading mathematical journal of the time.

“Gödel's incompleteness theorems, proved in 1931, showed that essential aspects of Hilbert's program could not be attained. In Gödel's first result he showed how to construct, for any sufficiently powerful and consistent recursively axiomatizable system -- such as necessary to axiomatize the elementary theory of arithmetic on the (infinite) set of natural numbers -- a statement that can be shown to be true, but that does not follow from the rules of the system. It thus became clear that the notion of mathematical truth can not be reduced to a purely formal system as envisaged in Hilbert's program. In a next result Gödel showed that such a system was not powerful enough for proving its own consistency, let alone that a simpler system could do the job. This dealt a final blow to the heart of Hilbert's program, the hope that consistency could be established by finitistic means... Meanwhile, the intuitionistic school had not attracted many adherents among working mathematicians, due to difficulties of constructive mathematics.

“In a sense, the crisis has not been resolved, but faded away: most mathematicians either do not work from axiomatic systems, or if they do, do not doubt the consistency of ZFC (the Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory with the axiom of choice), generally their preferred axiomatic system....

“It may or may not be the case that there is a fundamental limit to what humans can understand about numbers (i.e., there may be true number-theoretical principles which cannot be perceived as being true by any human), but Gödel's theorem does not tell us which of these is the case, and we have no way of knowing.”


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Queens of Mongolia

"Jack Weatherford will give a talk entitled 'Queens of Mongolia' this coming Wednesday the 16th of June at 8pm.

"His presentation will focus on the daughters of Genghis Khan, their history and achievements and their place in Mongolia’s society. This is the story of his second book: The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire.

"Jack Weatherford is a professor of anthropology at Macalester College in Minnesota. He is a specialist in tribal peoples and the author of Indian Givers, Native Roots, Savages and Civilization, The History of Money, and Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

"Come early as this talk is expected to be exceedingly popular. See you all then!

"--Café Amsterdam"

Friday, June 04, 2010

heard of him; but don't believe in him at all

“Come aboard, come aboard!” cried the gay Bachelor's commander, lifting a glass and a bottle in the air.

“Hast seen the White Whale?” gritted Ahab in reply.

“No; only heard of him; but don't believe in him at all,” said the other good-humoredly.


--Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Америкийн Dj Memnok


Notice from Sancho, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia:

“Date: Friday, May 28, 2010
Time: 9:00pm - 11:00pm
Location: Зөгий Fm 107.0

“Энэ Баасан гарагт буюу 2010-05-28 ны дугаараар Америкын Dj Memnok бид нартай шууд холбогдон тун сонирхолтой ярилцлагыг өгөх гэж байна. Мөн түүний Dark Minimal урсгалаар хийсэн сэтийг сонсох болно Гадаадын Dj нарын сэт болон тэд нарын сэтийг сонсноор дэлхий дахинд электрон хөгжим хэрхэн хөгжиж байгааг мэдэхээс гадна Dj хүн ямар байх ёстой мэдэх боломжтой. Холбогдох цаг 21.00 цагт Клуб Соёл булангаар.”


“Memnok's music evokes dark spirits and black energies. His name is Jeremy Brown, a native of West Michigan not too far from Detroit, and his music speaks this reality. Despite the renowned bleakness of this area of the world, Memnok masters the ability to channel his creative energy, yielding a product that is sinister and moody while retaining a level of stripped-to-the-bone dark funk.”

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hagar the Realistic


Risk and Peril

"This Book explains the Universe....

"Each one of us has an universe of his own....

"The object that you see is never the same as the one that I see ; we infer that it is the same because your experience tallies with mine on so many points that the actual differences of our observation are negligible. For instance, if a friend is walking between us, you see only his left side, I his right ; but we agree that it is the same man, although we may differ not only as to what we may see of his body but as to what we know of his qualitites. This conviction of identity grows stronger as we see him more often and get to know him better. Yet all the time neither of us can know anything of him at all beyond the total impression made on our respective minds....

"The study of this Book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading.

"Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril."


--Aleister Crowley, The Book of the Law, 1938


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

all my life the cost of living has been rising

"An hour of light will cost you about a quarter of a second of labour -- a little more if you include the cost of the bulb.

"According to economist William Nordhaus, to get the same amount of light with a conventional filament lamp in 1950 and the then average wage, you’d have needed to work for eight seconds. Using a kerosene lamp in the 1880s, you’d have needed to work for 15 minutes; a tallow candle in the 1800s, more than six hours. From a quarter of a day to a quarter of a second is an 86,400-fold improvement. That’s how much better off you are than your ancestor two centuries ago -- in lighting, at least....

"Yet all my life the cost of living has been rising. Why? It’s partly because prices are quoted in money, rather than in hours worked, and partly that the basket of goods used to measure inflation is slow to include new inventions, which are the items that are the fastest to fall in price....

"The computing power of one of today’s pocket calculators would have cost you a lifetime’s wages in 1970, yet I don’t recall ever calculating that it would be sensible to wait until 2009 before buying one....

"Moreover, in satisfying your needs more cheaply, you have more money to spend, so you chase up the cost of your wants. So the money that you’ve saved on candles now gets spent on homoeopathic pet medicines."


--Matt Ridley, Wired UK, 2009 April 21

Friday, May 14, 2010

bug reports

"So, you have had a glitch. Send in a bug report. The programmers need a laugh too."

--Cracked.com

Yes, per logical consistency, and in denial of self-righteous fiction

"The conditions of combat place human beings under unbearable and extraordinary circumstances of stress that can and have provoked decent and good men to perform terrible acts. Is it just for those judging these acts to place standards on combat behavior that they cannot say with any confidence that they could meet themselves, if placed under the same conditions?

"The United States walked right into this one when it launched the first international war crimes trial at Nuremberg after World War II. Nobody doubted that what the Nazis had done to Jews and others during the war was monstrous, but subjecting it to official and legal condemnation under the category of 'war crimes' was, and remains, problematical. The tribunal at Nuremberg would not accept 'following orders' as a defense, but neither does the US military permit soldiers to pass their own moral judgements on which orders they will obey.

"Ultimately, the importance of officially condemning the atrocities of the Holocaust was determined to be more important than consistency. What the Nazis did could not stand unpunished, even though, in truth, there were bound to be actions by American soldiers in future wars that could be called war crimes under the Nuremberg definition. There were such actions during W.W. II: should the crew of the Enola Gay have refused to drop the atom bomb?"


--Ethics Scoreboard, "The Housewife and the Marine," 2004 November 22

Sunday, May 02, 2010

in the great loneliness

"The only true wisdom lives far from mankind, out in the great loneliness."

--Igjugarjuk, as quoted by Joseph Campbell in The Power of Myth, 1988


Of all this fiery life

"Of all this fiery life of thine, what will at length remain but one little heap of ashes!"

--Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Friday, April 30, 2010

Alfred Korzybski Koan

"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"One day, Korzybski was giving a lecture to a group of students, and he suddenly interrupted the lesson in order to retrieve a packet of biscuits, wrapped in white paper, from his briefcase. He muttered that he just had to eat something, and he asked the students in the front row if they would also like a biscuit. A few students took a biscuit. 'Nice biscuit, don't you think,' said Korzybski, while he took a second one. The students were chewing vigorously. Then he tore the white paper from the biscuits, in order to reveal the original packaging. On it was a big picture of a dog's head and the words 'Dog Cookies.' The students looked at the package, and were shocked. Two of them wanted to throw up, put their hands in front of their mouths, and ran out of the lecture hall to the toilet. 'You see, ladies and gentlemen,' Korzybski remarked, 'I have just demonstrated that people don't just eat food, but also words, and that the taste of the former is often outdone by the taste of the latter.' Apparently his prank aimed to illustrate how some human suffering originates from the confusion or conflation of linguistic representations of reality and reality itself."