February 26, 2004


When frickin' China has its shit together about sex more than we do, it's a real measure of how fucked-up everything is.

Link via the indispensible Boing Boing.

February 23, 2004

She Scores

Today is Spyder's birthday. She's twenty today, for those keeping track; well-wishers should go on over to her blog and give appropriate encouragement on having graduated from brooding and angsty teen to brooding and angsty youth, or something. Anyway, happy birthday, meu amiga, and here's hoping you get lots of whatever you want.

Today is also the birthday of gentleman diarist Samuel Pepys, who enthusiastically chronicled the major events of his day such as the Great Fire of 1666 as well as his own perambulations and shagging of servants and such, making him sort of the granddaddy of blogging. (I note that he's buried in St. Olave's, presumably the same place where Current 93 and Antony and the Johnsons performed a couple of years ago, which is quite enough connect-the-weirdness for me on the 23rd of the month.) There are no reliable sources on his relation to the marshmallow candy that bears his name, though.

In any case, if you want to celebrate 364 years of angsty personal diaries, or two decades of Spyder, today's the day.

EDIT to add: Jesus, Eris and Crowley, did anyone else notice the time this posted? I did NOT do that on purpose, I swear.

February 19, 2004


This one's for Good Martha, who's been feeling a bit down. I'm hoping this cheers you up, courtesy of Patrick Nielsen Hayden (with a little help from Billy the Bard).

No promises that you won't cry, though.

February 13, 2004


In honor of Friday the Thirteenth, a witch's dozen of fun and interesting things I learned this week:

1. Patrick and Bernice came to visit over the weekend, inspiring us to go down into Baltimore for one of our first real city-exploring excursions since making the move. We wound up eating at a place called Crabby Dick's, where we made two discoveries: first, that they serve a crabcake sandwich that meets with Stacy's approval, which is no mean feat; and second, that jokes about crab balls take a lot longer to get old than you think.

2. Also, Patrick has now got me addicted to Hefeweissen. I'm almost positive this is part of the Dark Romany Plot, wherein good beer is left lying around the gaje's house, tempting him to drink it and thus leaving him open to sinister energies, or maybe just so the caravan can come by and take all his comics and stuff while he's passed out. Or, um, something. Anyway, it will probably work.

3. Speaking of Romany, or, well, Romanians, Andrei Codrescu's NPR commentaries are a sure way to get me to have one of their famous Driveway Moments, as I did the other night when he did this piece on the rising popularity of Mesh Music, which sounds like it's very much my thing.

4. Jim Macdonald - writer, instructor, sf personality and all-around nice guy - has a forum where he talks about writing, and on which he says many fine and wise things. I don't always agree with his opinions on style, but he's always worth paying attention to. (He was certainly nicer to me than he needed to be a couple of months ago when I was being brooding and complex about my fear of rejection on the comment threads of Making Light, which meant quite a lot, considering how hanging around with all those Clever Famous Folk over there intimidates the fuck out of me.)

5. On a related note, I need a rich benefactor. And an extra week of vacation.

6. Department of Well, Duh, Moron: If you're a big lazy slob, and you haven't excercized in a long time, and then you do - it hurts. A lot.

7. What with the definition of marriage, and the ensuing idiotic debate thereon, being in the news these days, Stacy sent me this excellent article, which brings up a number of points I'd been wondering about myself.

8. I got my long-awaited copy of Tom Ligotti and Brandon Trenz's Crampton from Middle Pillar yesterday. I haven't sat down to read the whole thing yet, but after a skim-through, I'll tell you this: it's damn weird seeing the word "motherfucker" in a Ligotti work. I can't wait to hear the CD.

9. Maija has returned to the Blogosphere! Rejoice!

10. I've long been of the opinion that "reality TV" is an oxymoron; in a less charitable mood, I'm inclined to shorten that evaluation by three letters. Nonetheless, Stacy's written up a convincing rec for the current incarnation of The Surreal Life, on the merits of a couple of highly unlikely cast members. Go read.

11. Some people have a lot of goddamn time on their hands.

12. Not content with riding the coattails of the Viking Kittens' success, the Spongmonkeys of Rathergood's Moon Song fame can now be seen on network TV, pimping toasted subs for Quizno's. Among other things, this is making the experience of television more surreal than ever. (I did go right out the next day and get a Quizno's sub, though. Draw from that what conclusions you will.)

13. Finally, I looked at my inbox this week and despaired at how many folks I owe email to. If you're one of those people, I have not forgotten you. Try not to feel neglected, in the meantime, or at least be assured you can probably guilt me into buying you ice cream at some point. Ice cream forgives a great many things, right? Right?

February 06, 2004

Two Magick Serpents

Courtesy of Languagehat, a nice little dose of geek joy: Michael Everson's attempt at a translation Of Merlin's Charm of Making in the film Excalibur.

(Go on and just try to read that without hearing Nicol Williamson's voice echoing in your head. Yeah, I can't do it either.)

Also, there's a really nice (and spot-on) review of the remastered reissue of Current 93's Thunder Perfect Mind here. A great summary of the album, and why it's maybe the best intro to the C93 catalogue for the Apocalyptic Folk neophyte. Reviewer Brandon Stosuy's obviously a fan, not only because he's read England's Hidden Reverse, but also because he says things like describing "They Return to Their Earth" as "a 50s prom performed by a Celtic troupe, Tibet presiding over a room of nervous, angelic teens." (I don't know what the hell he means by that, but I love the image, which also pretty well sums up my reaction to David Tibet's lyrics about 90% of the time. So there you go.)

February 05, 2004

Here to Go

William S. Burroughs would be ninety today.

Of all the surreal, outrageous, wise and funny words he left behind him when he departed for the Western Lands in 1997 - and he's always worth paying attention to - I think my favorite may be his reaction to being inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1983: "These people, twenty years ago, they were saying I belonged in jail. Now they're saying I belong in their club. I didn't listen to them then, and I don't listen to them now."

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted. Go out and do something subversive in the name of Uncle Bill today.

February 03, 2004

"...And I Have Great Need to Blaspheme"

For the second day in a row, I have been tempted - sorely tempted - to ask my office mate if perhaps there's some other track on that gospel CD that he might enjoy listening to. As it is, it's only by great force of will, and a distinctive and colorful internal sountrack, that I don't have "I pray for you, you pray for me" running through my head constantly now.

Y'know, I'm a great admirer of Jesus, but some of His fans give me the willies.

A cruel man would've put "How the Great Satanic Glory Faded" on repeat before he went to lunch. Fortunately for everyone, I am not a cruel man.

February 02, 2004

Punching Judy

Once again, Katha Pollitt is dead-on, in a Nation article about the media's dumbass treatment of Dr. Judith Steinberg (AKA, if you're a neocon/Neanderthal/Dave Sim, "Mrs. Howard Dean").