I think most ppl should be aware by now that I'm a BIG fan of April's work.
Evidence for the existence of superheavy element 115...
My other favourite 'science' thing today was stumbling over the term "nanomechanics". Beautiful.
I'm caught in a ridiculous Conrad Schnitzler loop:
Rot -- Blau -- Rot -- Blau -- Rot -- Blau -- Rot -- Blau -- Rot -- Blau -- Rot -- Blau -- Rot -- Blau --
On and on it goes -- with minimal daily, diurnal variations: sometimes, I'll stick on one side of one of the albums and I'll spin-rinse it two, three times before flipping the platter or switching back to the other album in this diptych (krautnerdrumourmill has it they originated from the same session(s)) - there's no set / exact pattern - so it's like playing endless limited-permutations of a single two-day 1972 stint in Conrad's studio - the same (or similar) sounds n patches emerge from different parts of the 'same' four sides and almost (but not quite) become something else from one of the other three sides: it's an Un-De-Conjoined twin of an imaginary double-album; Hirst's bisected cows reunited in audio - but wait! - we're trying to glue one side of the calf to the wrong side of the cow, or the same two sides of the calf to each other, and enjoying how they don't exactly quite fit...
You know what I mean.
The joy of a jigsaw puzzle partially completed, but incorrectly.
This is semi-ritualistic behaviour, I know; an almost-OCD (Dieter) Moebius-Loop thing. I'm stuck in a Blau-Rot groove - Gawd 'elp me, guv! - (or is it a Rot-Blau groove?) but it's also, I think, linked in some way to the fading late summer sunshine: me, sat on a step, on a stoop, with 40 yr-old music playing, reading the next bit of the same book wot I'm reading.
It's a ritual. A comfort routine. And I love it.
I have other Schnitzler albums. It would be no major effort to pick up a different one and put it on.
But this suits me for now.
Blau-Rot / Rot-Blau on repeat (...til fade...)
"That's defeatist talk. [...] A scholar can never let mere wrongness get in the way of Theory."
- China Miéville, Embassytown.
J. Tijn vinyl via Bob at WNCL. Some of this sounds niiiice. V. chunky. Liking that one of the tracks is called "U U U"....
Spotted this quote a few weeks ago that Mister Warren Ellis unearthed and it resonated quite a bit with me, so much so that I sent a link to @BrendanCByrne a few days ago. Meant to talk about it to him in emails, but ended up here...
TBH, I don't entirely know what we mean by 'authentic' any more; I think the word has a completely different meaning now than in the 30s and even (probably) whenever Adorno spat forth that comment. In terms of literature, don't we live in the Age of the Blatantly Inauthentic? - just ask Brett Easton Ellis - one where tone / surface texture / genre.simulation are just as important (or prevalent, I should say) as authenticity. Did, by 'authenticity', we once mean "honesty"? Even honesty can be simulated; writers do it all the time.
We're paid to fool you.
Books aren't the same as the Blues. You fake them in a completely different way.
Bu-u-u-ut: what I really wanted to talk about - what really rang a bell with me - was the phrase "surrender themselves to the historical substance of the age."
I remember stumbling on Ballard's short stories in my pre- / early teens, just as my reading was acclerating away from me - I was chewing on SF and Fantasy 'til it oozed out my ears - but Ballard's work revelled in its numb, almost indifferent differentness. I found pretty much all of his stories disturbing - I knew nothing about writing / literature back then - but there was this odd sense of dislocation - alienation - in his work; a sort of psychological 'remove'. A distance. (Later on, in my late teens I started twigging some of this stuff was maybe about externalisation - landscapes that refected the internal disquiet of his protagonists, blahblahblah. Thirty years later, I see the word "Psychogeography" and a bell goes off. But I digress...)
His characters were minimal, the plots often non-existent, but what really got me when I was a kid - beyond the strange, airless, hermetic atmosphere his fiction seemed to project - was the way he often dipped his work in a curious, semi-scattered layer of Science - references to pulsars, air-pressure, velocity, equations, paleotology, telecoms, surgical procedures and anatomical terms; the peripheral debris of real research, of living, breathing, super-modern 1960's Science n Engineering - stuff a twelve-yr old Grammar-school boy had kinda half-heard about, but which was still intellectually (and physically) out of my reach. No internet, no medical school library, no access to that info back then; but Ballard's writing made this stuff feel almost mythological to me; the expanding outer envelope of 60's Science came to life for me whilst simultaneously sounding mysterious and oddly poetic.
To me, that stuff positively, totally, utterly reeked of "the historical substance of the age." Only 60's Ballard could make words like "teletype" or "infrared" or the Latin name of an insect-species sound so exotic, yet also strangely dry. Later, he performed a similar trick with archetecture and transit-spaces, concrete and steel, ports and airports; transfigured utilitarian infrastructure into arid totemic vacuum. He created Ghostzones in the heart of the Everyday.
Fast forward twenty years or so and Bill Gibson performs a similar magic trick for me in his early stories: his use of dry phrasing tricks the world of late-70's / early-80's Ur-Geek mainframes and UNIX networks - of "hard-copy print-outs" - into revealing their own secret Present, a hidden SuperNow.
"The historical substance of the age."
Had forgotten about this film until I recently stumbled on a retrospective interview with Grant Cramer and Suzanne Snyder, in which they talk about what a fun film it was to do. Hated this back in the day, but starting to see it's virtues now - funny how great - and weird-looking - pre-CGI effects now seem. The design and art direction are quite surreal - especially the colour-palette - I think the Chiodo Brothers were responsible for Critters and some of the Pee-Wee Herman stuff.