September 11th, 2014

On the Road with...

The Glasgow Pineapple Baron
James Mansfield

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[A one-day guide to Glasgow---13.35, departure time 16.12---from the co-founder of the Museum of Imaginative Knowledge.]

 

1. Kelvinhall to Buchanan Street

 

The Glasgow subway system is an underground railway which is small enough to be disconcerting. The water running on the tracks at Kelvinhall was disorientating, and the bright orange decoration reminded me of the subway in Brussels, New York and Milan. But not London. Yet having spent some time away from the metropolis, to visit another city was reassuring. On the subway I was reading Paul Theroux’s 1975 book The Great Railway Bazaar in which he travels from London across Asia to Japan and back again.

 

My journey on the subway was 12 minutes long and I almost stayed on longer just to carry on reading. I should perhaps have been studying my fellow passengers in the four carriage trains which circular around the inner ring and outer ring of the Glasgow system. It was enough just to remain in the system, looking up at the same adverts for Glasgow in bright pink. This tropical shade reminded me of the jacket worn by Douglas Dalrymple, a 19th century explorer and businessman. While the painting of him (hanging in the Kelvingrove Museum) may have been over-restored, his pink jacket was unlikely to be something he had ever worn.

 

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August 29th, 2014

Ben: Letter 3

Excerpts from the Wes Letters
Ben Segal

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[The Wes Letters is a collaborative epistolary novel composed of letters to the film director Wes Anderson and recently released by Outpost 19. The below is part of a series of single-letter excerpts from the book. Look for other entries from one of the three authors: Feliz Lucia Molina, Brett Zehner, and Ben Segal.]

 

 

Dear Wes Anderson,

 

There’s a thing Feliz didn’t mention. Let me explain or at least narrate:

 

We left Crestline quickly and got our lunch in Lake Arrowhead Village. It isn’t really a village, just a collection of shops and underdeveloped attractions with a free parking garage. Its got an ugly bit of walk by the lake and seems mostly bent on clouding up its natural beauty with commerce. Still, the lake itself is beautiful. They can’t take that away.

 

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August 24th, 2014

2 of 2

Places Outside of Place
Luther Phillips

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[This is the second part of a 2-part article. To read the first half of it go here.]

 

3.
Imaginary Realm: History, Memory, & Self

 

“Answer my prayer, God, and tell me, pitiable as I am, be pitiful to me and tell me this: did I have another period of life, which died and was succeeded by my infancy? Was this the period which I spent inside my mother’s womb,” (Augustine, Confessions, p. 22)

 

Both Thomas More and his friend Desiderius Erasmus were humanists. Meaning specifically that they emphasized the dignity of Man and the power of Reason while remaining deeply committed to Christianity, and through all of his many successes—entering the service of King Henry VIII in 1518, becoming Chancellor in 1529—More remained a profoundly religious Catholic. Because he couldn’t escape his desire for a wife, More chose to become a “chaste husband rather than a licentious priest” but all the same longed for a Christian vita contemplativa from early youth, and throughout his life, More followed many of the ascetic practices of monks: rising early, fasting, engaging in prolonged prayer, and wearing a hair shirt. He also was famous for his immense poverty.

 

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August 23rd, 2014

Lina ramona Vitkauskas on Spiny Retinas!

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[Lina ramona Vitkauskas recently released her Spiny Retinas with us, a truly indescribable and wonderful book. Recently we wrote her to get a few answers to the questions that had been plaguing us concerning Spiny Retinas. Below is her response.]

 

 

Gabe, you are writing to me from Tokyo.

 

Whenever I think of Tokyo, I can’t help but think of the film Lost in Translation. And I’m going there now (mentally) because Bill Murray starred in that film, and one of his great contemporaries, Robin Williams, tragically removed himself from this planet this past week. This also transitions into the questions you’ve asked me about my work, most relevantly, Spiny Retinas, because before Williams’ death, he was interviewed specifically about the perception of the “sad clown” archetype: what did mean to him, how did he relate (sadly, he fully committed to that life role).

 

I think of this specifically because I often use humor to confront personal challenges and I use it in my work to address the “darkness” of our times, which is what I believe Spiny Retinas somewhat deals with. In past work, I have let this sardonic voice come through a bit (e.g. my e-book from 2012, HONEY IS A SHE, often trails off into dark humor [it deals with going through a divorce]). More so with Spiny Retinas.

 

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August 13th, 2014

My Asinine Life

The ejaculating soul’s unlikely apocalypse
GB Chad

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The first thing you incoherent erogenous zones should understand is that there is no apocalypse. The apocalypse already happened, you pleasantly subdued psychologies. There will never be an apocalypse if you keep this up my half-whored verb friends, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for it like you would prepare for one of your notorious cyclical weddings or any of the other great beginnings or endings of you. It is in this way that your brains become peopled with new and colorful crustaceans of the cartoon variety.

 

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August 11th, 2014

Mutable Sound of the Month

Ziggurat!

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The first track of Jonah—of Devil Music Ensemble and Debo Band fame—Rapino’s aptly named and under-appreciated album, High, is a ten-minute meditation that revolves around a reading of Ovid’s Metamorphosis. It has the driving power of Crystal Method—although a Crystal Method that has matured to a more Brian Eno level, a more spiritually complete vision of the musical workings of the universe. This is a music built on the foundation of a JRR-Tolkien-level logic and with a serious psychedelic overbite, and it is a powerful piece of music. It stands out on the album and is a current favorite of mine!

 


August 7th, 2014

1 of 2

Places Outside of Place
Luther Phillips

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1.
Places and People: Adam, Eve, & Prometheus

 

“And I wish that I were not any part / of that fifth generation / of men, but had died before it came, / or been born afterward,” (Hesiod. Trans. Richard Lattimore. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1969; p. 39).

 

Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge, and then they knew things. The true and honest experience of their former idyllic lives had now been sullied by a pervasive internal vision. If people are Gods that shit, then we can envision this as the story of an Adam and an Eve happily shitting away in Eden day in day out until one day they discovered the God in them when they ate of the tree of knowledge, and never again would they be able to so blissfully vacate their bowels in the bosom of nature as once they had done. This is the quintessential tale of the noble savage, in which humanity is pure, ignorant and blissful, but there is a snake in this garden. It’s worming its way through your brain at this very moment!

 

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August 4th, 2014

Ubixic
Michael S. Judge

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ubixic [ubi’∫ikʔ], n.: the “reading” or signification of a sign
(Quiché Mayan)

 

Diviners are semioticians by profession; they start from signs (etal), in this case signs that take forms other than those of spoken words, and try to arrive at a “reading,” as we would say, or ubixic, “its-being-said” or “an announcement,” as is said in Quiché.
       —Dennis Tedlock, The Spoken Word and the Work of        Interpretation (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania        Press, 2011), p. 132.

 

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