The Proverbs of Hell 36/39: And The Woman Clothed In Sun

AND THE WOMAN CLOTHED IN SUN: The big one. Hannibal describes its “unique and nightmarish charge of demonic sexuality,” which is fair enough, but seems desperately insufficient. Let’s add, then, a brief discussion of gaze. As John Berger memorably simplifies it, in art the norm is that “men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at.” Which at least broadly describes this picture, sure, in that we are seeing a woman being looked at. But the woman is obscured in the picture. We watch her being looked at, yes, but we do not really see her ourselves. That picture is The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed With the Sun. Here the object of our gaze is, as they say, dat ass. This isn’t so much a charge of demonic sexuality as a stunningly homoerotic vision of erotic puissance. Dolarhyde, clearly, does not miss the point nearly so much.

FRANCIS DOLARHYDE: Hello, Dr. Lecter. As an avid fan, I wanted to tell you I'm delighted that you have taken an interest in me. I don't believe you'd tell them who I am, even if you knew.

HANNIBAL: What particular body you currently occupy ...

Thoughts on Dynasty Warriors 9: Flavours of Musō

Each numbered Dynasty Warriors installment comes in a set of three games. This is also true of Samurai Warriors, and the collaboration games (Gundam Musō, One Piece Pirate Warriors, Hyrule Warriors, etc.) will often have a variation of it. The three versions of Dynasty Warriors are as follows:

The Base Game (e.g. Shin Sangoku Musō 7/Dynasty Warriors 8)

These are the core numbered releases, and the ones that tend to see all the major changes. They will often appear at the start of a new hardware cycle to take advantage of graphical and processing enhancements made since the last main entry, will offer significant gameplay changes (while the base combat of course always remains comparable, things like modes, story progression, RPG elements and other features can and do change quite frequently and dramatically). This is when the vast majority of new characters will be introduced and existing characters will be completely redesigned from the ground up, oftentimes both aesthetically and mechanically. Some characters will lose former signature weapons and gain new ones (or in the case of Dynasty Warriors 9, get shifted into a different weapon class).
 
You might see new areas of China rendered and new ...

Kickstarter Update/Capaldi Entry List

Since I did my usual "forgetting to queue Proverbs of Hell for a Monday," I figured I should provide a Kickstarter update instead. At the time of writing, we're at $8069. We hit the Algebra of Ice stretch goal over the weekend, which means we're now approaching the $9000 stretch goal of The Unknown, which from Big Finish's Diaries of River Song series. I haven't listened to it yet, but it sounds fascinating. The hook is simple: River Song meets the Seventh Doctor. This is self-evidently a good idea. River's entire M.O. is that she destabilizes the Doctor's place in the narrative. She can do the things they do, and knows more than them. That's especially true in stories before A Good Man Goes to War, which obviously this is. The Seventh Doctor, on the other hand, stands out even among the Doctors. He's manipulative and has foreknowledge of events in ways they don't. That's a stereotype of his character in the same way "the loud obnoxious one" is of Six, but it's also similarly true. So having River meet him is, in its own way, as much ...

Fromm Frankfurt With Love (Part 1)

Let’s be cheeky and try to understand something about the Austrian School using the ideas of the Frankfurt School.  The two are, in any case, now permanently locked-together in a Reichenbachian struggle.  At least, the bastard ideological descendants of the Austrian School seem to imagine this.  For some reason.  So fuck it, let's ignore the fact that this is actually a delusional notion (at least as it is generally meant), and see what happens when they actually fight.

In his 1941 book Fear of Freedom, the Marxist-Freudian Erich Fromm elaborates a dialectical account of human consciousness in late modernity through the prism of a dichotomous conception of the concept of freedom.  For Fromm, freedom can be divided into the very dyad of ‘freedom from’ (negative freedom) and ‘freedom to’ (positive freedom) that we have already raised in connection with Hayek.  Hayek, the Constant Reader will remember, is (ostensibly) concerned for the most part with ‘freedom from’, that is: absence of coercion.  Fromm says that freedom from (hence ‘FF’), while desirable and often fought for, carries dangers within it.  It is not a guarantee of happiness.  Indeed, it can generate unhappiness, and from thence destruction.   ...

Kickstarter Week One Update

Just wanted to use a dead day to give an update on how the TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 7 Kickstarter is going and to highlight one of the reward tiers I'm offering for this Kickstarter that I know will be of interest to some of you. So, after the best first couple of days any of my Kickstarters have ever had (yay!) the Kickstarter has dried up pretty significantly (boo!), ticking up only $60 or so the last two days. At the moment we're stuck pretty grimly in the low $7000s, which is fine and delightful, but a ways off from some pretty attractive stretch goals like the Kate Orman interview at $10,000 or me slogging through The Pit at $14,000. So if you haven't backed yet, well, now's a great time to. But more importantly, even if you don't have the money to back, I want to beg you again to spread the word about the Kickstarter. Post to social media. Right now a dozen and change of you have posted to Twitter about the Kickstarter. That's great, and thank you, but I know more than a dozen of you are reaeding ...

Thoughts on Dynasty Warriors 9: Records of War

The latest entry in my favourite video game series is out this week in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea and will release in the United States and Europe next week. And I won't be buying it, at least not yet. Allow me to elabourate.
 
Some might say my taste is suspect for picking Dynasty Warriors as my favourite video game series, but that would be saying nothing as my taste has *always* been suspect. Furthermore, I believe Dynasty Warriors, and the larger musō genre it gave birth to, is frequently misunderstood and sadly underrated outside its core fanbase (at least in the West). It is a deceptively accessible series with what I find to be a profound amount of hidden depth and meaning at both a mechanical and symbolic level. Furthermore, at the stage of life I am now at, Dynasty Warriors and its ilk are basically everything I'm looking for in a video game. Consider this series, written in honour of the release of Shin Sangoku Musō 8/Dynasty Warriors 9, an attempt at putting some of that right...And perhaps explaining myself.
 
While a major series in the East, Dynasty Warriors has an unpleasant ...

The Proverbs of Hell 35/39: And The Woman Clothed With The Sun

AND THE WOMAN CLOTHED WITH THE SUN: This is not the picture that Dolarhyde worships, which is “The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun.” The distinction flummoxed Harris himself, who got the wrong one in Red Dragon, and the most satisfying explanation for this preceding the episode named after the story’s central painting is that Fuller is providing an homage to the error. In any case, this painting is essentially Dolarhyde’s from the opposite perspective. The result is that the woman is the central object of the painting, with the Dragon looming above her, mimicking our own act of looking at her. The picture Dolarhyde prefers is on the whole the far more interesting framing, which we’ll get to next week.

HANNIBAL: That's the same atrocious aftershave you wore in court.

WILL GRAHAM: Hello, Dr. Lecter.

HANNIBAL: Hello, Will. Did you get my note?

WILL GRAHAM: I got it. Thank you.

HANNIBAL: Did you read it before you destroyed it? Or did you simply toss it into the nearest fire?

WILL GRAHAM: I read it. And then I burned it.

HANNIBAL: And you came anyway. I'm glad you came. My other callers are all ...

$5000 in Two Days. Dang. (Also two new reward tiers)

After what was not only the best launch day i've ever had for a Kickstarter but the best second day I've ever had as well, the TARDIS Eruditorum Volume 7 Kickstarter has managed to break $5000 in just two days. I am stunned, humble, and unbelievably grateful. That's not only enough to print the book, but enough to get bonus essays on NightshadeSpringhill (a mostly overlooked and forgott4en Russell T Davies supernatural soap opera worked on by Gareth Roberts, Paul Cornell, and Frank Cottrell-Boyce), and "Was He Half-Woven On His Father's Side?", my essay on Looms and whether they make any goddamn sense. The next couple stretch goals are on the Andrew Cartmel-overseen season of Casualty (I got my hands on it!), the Big Finish audio Master, and Lloyd Rose's novel The Algebra of Ice. Plus we're halfway to the Kate Orman interview!

Anyway, by popular request I've added two new reward tiers for people who want to catch up on the Eruditorum Press catalog, but don't necessarily want all seven TARDIS Eruditorum Books. There's a $10 ebook threepack, and a $60 print threepack. Either can include Volume ...

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