Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In Norway Kids Are Freezing

Interesting take on international aid from the prospective of those who feel exploited by images of starving children. From their website:
Imagine if every person in Africa saw the “Africa for Norway”-video, and this was the only information they ever got about Norway. What would they think about Norway?
So they made a parody video:

Best comment on YouTube from fellaciousderp:
the radiators will just be stolen and fuel their viking tribal warfare.  They'll have a population explosion and then they'll just need more radiators. By interfering, you're just going to increase the misery. Let them freeze, that's their way of life.

You Are Warrior Dreams. Wait, That Doesn't Make Any Sense

This is just kinda AWESOME.

Monday, November 26, 2012

"A Darker Cycle" in Nihilist Sci Fi, Issue 1

Hey! Sold my Week 5 Clarion West short story to the lovely folk(s?) over at Nihilist Sci Fi in their first issue, for five dollars used American currency!

I'm just happy it's found a home, cause this has been one of my most problematic stories. (When I saw the market, Nihilist Sci Fi, come up, I immediately thought of this story. This story is nihilist as shit!) Two professional novelists have torn it asunder. And yet, it's still one of my favorites. It's from an old conversation I had with a friend, oh, say, 7 years ago. Would a peaceful society make war on itself in order to test whether or not peace is superior to war?

My background is in anthropology, the Franz De Waal branch, which recognizes peacemaking and reconciliation are more common than aggression, and that cooperative peaceful societies (species) tend to out-produce war-like ones (mind you, this doesn't mean the war-like ones won't destroy the peaceful ones, thus in the end out-producing the otherwise more productive society). But what if we did have total war? Always? What if that was our laudable goal? What if we were Klingons? Personally, I don't think Klingons would make it into space. And yes, we are really having a Star Trek conversation right now. 

Civilization is, at least in part, built on cooperation, with slavery being forced 'cooperation'. We might be able to slave ourselves into space, but could we war ourselves into space? If you had paradise and perhaps even a means to rebuild your civilization if it turns out that war leads to ultimate destruction (because you're in a posthuman post-scarcity god-like civilization) might you be seduced into war just to make sure peace was the right choice all along? Add to that a bit of historical amnesia and a dash of boredom, and voila!

Originally, this story was of two posthumans in a trench, reciting poems to each other, who the capture an enemy they don't really know what to do with. Halfway through I remembered just how bad I am at poetry.

I workshopped this with Charles Stross. Charlie is a bit of an idol of mine, I'm not ashamed to say. I loved Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise and was blown away by his short story collection Wireless. He ripped my story a new one. Everything he said was absolutely on point. What remained after his public flogging I swept up and pieced together. Later, I workshopped this with another group and got accused of being a closet torturer. That also wasn't the most pleasant experience. "A Darker Cycle" has an opening that makes people bounce. But if you write provocative things you best be prepared for what you provoke.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Neurosis w/ Voivod @ The Fox


Went with Mike G. to see Neurosis rock the Fox. They were good. And there was a lot of black clothing present. Surprising, right? Taking pics was hard, though. Live shows aren't usually well lit, but this was ridiculous. It was like taking pics inside a movie theater, which is why they're so blurry/low quality. The light show was a dark as their souls, man! Still, it was a good show: 

Neurosis - Creepy!
Neurosis - Scary!
Actually, the film show was pretty good. Lot's of explosions and cow skulls. What more could you want?

Oh, and Voivod opened. 


Their best song was a cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine".

Metal Forever! (This guy had his hand up the entire show.)

Birds from Tree of Life

You seen the Tree of Life? It was good. Very good. Though the last twenty minutes kinda blew. Sean Penn walks through the set of what looks like an 80's music video. Doesn't ruin the film, but sorta drops the ball, because before that point, galaxies, fatherhood, dinosaurs, water effects, the birth of the universe (man that sequence was beautiful/amazing), it was pretty awesome. One thing I really liked is that for all the grandeur the movie is really made up of  small, quiet (sometimes loud), intimate moments. Like this sequence of birds flying.

The Tree of Life - Birds Sequence from Hugo Hollmann 

My favorite moment is when they're mostly obscured behind the building, and yet, I can still feel them moving, flowing. If this is special effects then it's brilliant. If it's real and just a moment captured on film, it's magnificent. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jack's Record Cellar

Ever seen that double door little shop right at the corner of Page and Scott?

The one that says "Records" over the entrance, but never seems to be open?

Well, my main damie Mike G. has been living around the corner from this place for over a year now and never seen it open. Not until this last past Saturday. Jack's Record Cellar. It's actually not in a cellar, so I guess you could say they are effing liars. Originally located over on Haight Street, they've been in operation since 1951. Some dude named Jack started it, but his buddy, a longshoreman, bought him out for a buck. Both of those guys are gone and this place is currently run by Wade, a generally friendly dude who doesn't feel the need to post hours or abide by any kind of schedule. ("Generally open on Saturdays for a few hours between two and seven," he told me.)

Records. Many, many, many records. Too many? Don't be stupid.
They got a metric shit-ton of records and memorabilia, including a holographic poodle mounted above the register area that stares at you wherever you go. They had some Edison Disc/Diamond Discs, but I really don't know rare those are, so perhaps that's not worth mentioning. 

The aisles are exactly one record wide.
From their stock it looks like they stopped buying records in the late 70's, but they have a knockout selection of local San Francisco based Jazz music. Something of a specialty, it appeared.

Mikey G. browsing through the Sleazy Listening section.
Anyhow, this place has loads of character and if you've even been keen to see what's up inside then free up some time between two and seven on a Saturday. They might be open. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sounds: Gayngs - The Gaudy Side of Town

I'm not one to usually to go for music that is so derivative, that's so just riffing on a single musical time/era. If I wanted to hear music from that time/era, why wouldn't I just go and listen to it direct? That being said, these guys just fucking kill it. Gayngs.

Monday, November 12, 2012

When All Is Said And Done, It Makes Good Toast

Hrm. Perhaps this sheds some light on why Florida is so fucked up. Satanic Toast.

Satan Lives!

Thanks to Gen for bringing this into my life.