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The Pit

I want to take a moment to tell you all about some music I love.  I am a devotee of movie soundtracks.  I am particularly fond of two movie scores by Eliot Goldenthal.

Alien 3 (which I've been thinking about lately because of this)



and

Titus



Amazing scores.  Do stick with Titus after the famous bit at the start.  The rest of the score is equally good.

I also adore George Fenton's music for Mary Reilly.



I'm using these scores (on a loop) along with some others (Hans Zimmer's music for The Dark Knight Rises and Nicholas Hooper's gorgeous score for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince



) while trying to write a fiction project I've currently got on the boil.  I really don't know why I'm telling you this, except that I like to share nice things.

By the way, the films I've mentioned are all particular favourites of mine (apart from The Dark Knight Rises, which is a bloated, pompous, incoherent fascist nightmare of a movie).  Yes, I like Alien 3 and Mary Reilly.  In fact, I love them.  And Half Blood ...

A Present

I created this meme the other day...




...to be used in online debate when someone evades a sincere demand for answers.

Just don't say I never give you anything.

Darwinia

Here are a few of the fortunes I devised during my first week as a writer of fortunes at Trang's Fortune Cookies Ltd:


YOU ARE CURRENTLY BALD.  THIS IS A MISTAKE.
 
OBEY THE WISDOM OF THE FROG.  HE KNOWS.

LOOK NOT TO THE RIGHT NOR TO THE LEFT BUT SIMPLY DO.
 
KEEP IT SIMPLE.  COMPLEXITY KILLS.
 
HAPPY THE MAN WHO KNOWS NOTHING OF CHEESE.
 
STARSKY AND HUTCH, I SUMMON YOU.

I LOVE YOUR EARS, MY LITTLE FRIEND.
 
ABUSE ANTS.
 

Mr Trang speaks no English, but he pops his head round my office door every day and expresses his benevolent interest in my work by means of gestures and facial expressions.  I show him my work book.  I concoct something in the region of 500 fortunes a day.  More, on a good day.  Mr Trang cannot read them but he casts his eyes over my work politely.  He smiles and nods encouragingly.  Sometimes he bows and mimes applause.  I smile back, bow in return and mime modest shrugs.  This appears to please him and he leaves.

I came to work at Trang's after losing my job at the Ministry ...

Excuses, excuses...

Things have been weird for me lately.  In a bad way.  Personal stuff.  Worries.  Health issues.  Melancholia.  And other obsessions, plans, dreams... including a recurring one that I really should've abandoned by now...  but haven't.  In short: no time (and not much inclination) to blog.  The promised Skulltopus post on 'Image of the Fendahl' is stalled, swollen to vast and unruly size, stuck at an impasse, erupting out of the Skulltopus category into all sorts of other genres (appropriately enough).  Bear with me, Reading Few.  I will rally.

Tygers & Horses

"The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction" said William Blake in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and on lots of European walls in the 60s, and under the cover of an Eighth Doctor Adventure by Kate Orman.

I disagree.  I think you need the horses of instruction just as much as you need the tygers of wrath.  The thing about the tygers is that they chase you.  The thing about the horses is that you have to chase them.  If you've got a horse ahead of you and a tyger behind... well, that's not comfortable, but it's the better way round.  It gives you both a strong impetus and a goal.

Of course, horses can be wild and tygers can be calm.




I'll stop there.  All analogies can be pushed to breaking point.  Even the ones invented by geniuses.

Categorically Speaking

Kant's categorical imperative is an expression of the bourgeois liberal ideas of the 18th century, expressed as morality.  It is progressive in the sense that it attempts to derive morality from Reason.  It is part of the Enlightenment.  It also expresses the new, universal promises of the bourgeois revolutions in that it universalises (i.e. "All men are created equal").  It is based on the principle of universality.  What you do must apply to all people or it fails to be truly moral. 

However, it is also based on a bourgeois notion of rights.  The concept of 'rights' is a product of the rise of bourgeois property/trade relations.  One brings one's rights to the market place and, on that basis, one participates in the putatively level playing field.  For Kant, one negotiates the conflicts between these rights on the basis of contractual clauses.  If the Party of the First Part undertakes to do such and such, the Party of the Second part will be understood to be obliged to do so and so.  It is this which finally inverts the universality of the notion into an ...

Sport, sport, masculine sport, prepares a young man for society...

The Olympics really depresses me. 

Not just the horrendous waste of money and the revolting jingoism and the all-pervading ideological reinforcement... but it represents a boat I missed. 

Sport.  Games.  I hate them.  But I strongly suspect that I hate them because school trained me to, through social punishment. 

In school, sport is a dark ritual soaked in hierarchy and humiliation and hatred and contempt.  Win or you're rubbish.  Understand and like and care about the right things or you're 'gay' (horror of horrors).  Be thin and athletic or know that you are subhuman. 

All school is like that.  A huge pyramidal structure of power in which the establishment trains its next generation to be drones or managers or lumpen failures salutary for the rest of us.  Meanwhile, the kids compete for popularity and cool and acceptance.  Learn, children, straight away, that life is a race and the losers are scum.  It's all built on the shaming and degradation of anyone different or overweight or awkward or sad or bookish or unattractive or poor or clueless or weak. 

That was the context ...

Reimagined Moments #1

"Hurr hurr... You think this is the real Quaid?"

Well it might be, thought the guard.  Then again it might not.  It might be Quaid using his hologram thingy... or it might actually be Quaid pretending to be a hologram in order to trick us.  I have no way of knowing, really... unless I wait to see if it flickers in that way that really makes the hologram projector next-to useless as a weapon.  But that would take time.  Time in which I might get shot if it turns out not to be a hologram.    So I think I'll shoot it anyway.  Just in case. After all, better safe than sorry.

Luckily for the guard, this train of thought only took him a split second.  What with him having been highly trained and everything.

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