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June 12, 2017
[conspiracy] The Other Shooter: The Saddest and Most Expensive 26 Seconds of Amateur Film Ever Made … another look at the Zapruder Film

All the newest technologies have been thrown at Zapruder. The limitation, ultimately, isn’t the resolution of the 8mm film stock, but the quality of the lens. A rash of theories about JFK continue to revolve around the film, which, despite being such a landmark testament to what happened, hasn’t brought questions about the assassination to rest. “It’s one of the great ironies that, despite the existence of the film, we don’t know what happened,” says Begley.

“We’re still in the dark. What we finally have are patches and shadows. It’s still a mystery. There’s still an element of dream-terror. And one of the terrible dreams is that our most photogenic president is murdered on film. But there’s something inevitable about the Zapruder film. It had to happen this way. The moment belongs to the twentieth century, which means it had to be captured on film.”

June 9, 2017
[comics] The Alan Moore 2016 Christmas Interviews – Part 1 … from Pádraig Ó Méalóid and the TRVSAMSG on Facebook‘Advertising itself is the most blatant form of bad magic being practiced in the world today. Its practice progresses in leaps and bounds, even without the personally-targeted advertising which the internet allows, while our human neurology and our capacity to deal with these techniques progresses at a much more leisurely crawl. I was taking recently with the highly respected magician Lionel Snell, who was pointing out that rational statements, if anything, tend to lose power with repetition, simply because we become used to them and they seem commonplace or boring. Magical incantations, however, many of them in languages that the practitioner does not even understand, will actually gain power from repetition. Clearly, under the rubric of magical incantation we should include the slogan, be it for commercial advertising or for political purposes. The slogans ‘Brexit Means Brexit’ or ‘Let’s Make America Great Again’, while they mean precisely nothing, if repeated enough times with steadily increasing volume will come to seem like profound eternal truths.’
June 7, 2017
[truecrime] A Loaded Gun … a look at the violent past of a non-standard mass shooter … ‘For fifty minutes, Bishop said nothing. Then, just as the meeting was concluding, she stood up, pulled out the gun, a 9-mm. Ruger semiautomatic, and shot Podila in the head. The blast was deafening. She fired again, hitting a department assistant, Stephanie Monticciolo. Next, Bishop turned and shot Adriel Johnson, a cell biologist. People screamed and ducked for cover, but Bishop was blocking the only door. Moriarity did not fully register what was happening until she saw Bishop—her jaw set, her brow furrowed—train the gun on a fourth colleague, Maria Ragland Davis, and shoot her. Moriarity dived under the table. With gunshots ringing out above her, she flung her arms around Bishop’s legs, looked up, and screamed, “Amy, don’t do this! Think of my daughter! Think of my grandson!” Bishop looked down—then turned the gun on Moriarity. Click. Moriarity, in terror, stared at the gun. Click.’
June 6, 2017
[tech] The Lost Joys of the Screen Saver … a thoughtful, nostalgic look at Screen Savers … ‘To me, screen savers have always afforded some tenuous connection to the afterlife. The first one I can remember, on my family’s household desktop, featured a crimson psychedelia that overtook the screen’s blackness, a kaleidoscope of paisleys and helixes forever in a state of irresolution. Late at night, I’d prepare an unhealthy snack and sit patiently in front of the monitor to watch it, a child beseeching death. How fitting would it be, I thought then, if we all ended up trapped behind a pane of glass roiling with pixels? My instinct was only reaffirmed by a childhood friend’s widowed grandmother, who held onto the conviction that her husband was trying to communicate to her through her Dell’s wispy screen saver. She spent her evenings careful not to disturb the cursor, basking in her lover’s strange séance.’ [via jwz]
June 5, 2017
[comics] Comics Recommended by Alan Moore … great page of recommendations (sadly the orginal is a 404 but archived) … On Marshal Law: ‘If Watchmen did in any way kill off the superhero – which is a dubious proposition – then Marshal Law has taken it further with this wonderful act of necrophilia, where it has degraded the corpse in a really amusing way.’
June 2, 2017
[books] Drif Field, Raymond Carver, and the infamous Guide… a look at Drif’s Guide to All the Second-hand and Antiquarian Bookshops in Britain … ‘It all has the tone of a man about to bow out, and leave the blinkered inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah to their well-deserved ruin. And his prophesy has largely come to pass. The ranks of second-hand booksellers have thinned drastically. There are still some left in Sussex, but like antiques in general it’s a dying trade in which a very few discreet high-class niche dealers (without the overheads of a shop) might still do well, but most bookshop-owners won’t. The times are against them.’ [thanks Phil]
June 1, 2017
[truecrime] Isdal Woman: The mystery death haunting Norway for 46 years … a fascinating unsolved true crime story … ‘On the morning of 29 November 1970, a man and his two young daughters see a body in Isdalen Valley. The corpse is sprawled across some rocks – with its arms extended in a “boxer” position, typical of bodies that have been burnt. Isdalen is known to some locals as “Death Valley” – it was a site where people committed suicide in medieval times, and, in the 1960s, some hikers had fallen to their deaths while trekking in the fog. But the woman does not appear to be a normal hiker…’
May 31, 2017
[comics] What Does Wonder Woman Actually Represent? … wonderful comic by Lucy Bellwood and Sarah Mirk on the origins and meaning of Wonder Woman …

May 30, 2017
[politics] 60 things the Conservative Party manifesto (genuinely) promises … interesting summary from Diamond Geezer‘The government’s agenda will not be allowed to drift to the right.’
May 26, 2017
[life] World Death Rate Holding Steady At 100 Percent‘Death, a metabolic affliction causing total shutdown of all life functions, has long been considered humanity’s number one health concern. Responsible for 100 percent of all recorded fatalities worldwide, the condition has no cure. “I was really hoping, what with all those new radiology treatments, rescue helicopters, aerobics TV shows and what have you, that we might at least make a dent in it this year,” WHO Director General Dr. Gernst Bladt said. “Unfortunately, it would appear that the death rate remains constant and total, as it has inviolably since the dawn of time.”‘
May 25, 2017
[life] Andy Warhol on being shot by Valerie Solanas in 1968: “Before I was shot, I always thought that I was more half-there than all-there – I always suspected that I was watching TV instead of living life. People sometimes say that the way things happen in the movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen to you in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television – you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.”
May 24, 2017
[moore] Alan Moore on Science, Imagination, Language and Spirits of Place‘If by coming to know more about the historical or mythological aspects of the places in which we live we make those places more meaningful, to us at least, then I suggest that this will lead to experiencing ourselves as more meaningful in our new, illuminated context. The big difference between ‘meaning’ and ‘a spirit’ is that where meaning is concerned, we have to do all the necessary hard work in order to invest that place or that person or that object with meaning, whereas spirits just sort of turn up, don’t they? I believe that our world is gloriously haunted with meaning; that it’s we ourselves that are doing the haunting; and that we should be doing more of it, or doing it more strenuously.’
May 23, 2017
[tv] The Keepers review – a breathtakingly brave true-crime documentary … reviewing a new true-crime documentary from Netflix… ‘In November 1969, a young nun, Sister Cathy Cesnik, went missing from her Baltimore apartment. The following year she was discovered, lying on her back on a frozen hillside, far from home, her skull broken in. From that day to this, no one has been able to conclusively say what happened to her. In this meticulous, skilfully edited series, White sets about interviewing key witnesses, police, former pupils from the school where Cesnik worked, local journalists and conspicuously few members of the church, painstakingly unearthing the complex story like a palaeontologist with a fine paintbrush. And his way in is a group of dedicated sixtysomething former pupils of Sister Cathy, who band together to find out what happened, despite the passing of years and the repeated denial of any justice. It is their story, and rightly so.’
May 21, 2017
[politics] Spot the Nuttall!

May 19, 2017
[politics] Conservative election manifesto actually the Necronomicon … Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn! … ‘An eldritch tome of unholy secrets written by an insane medieval prophet has been launched to sweep the Conservatives into government this morning. The grimoire, attractively bound in a bright blue leather of unknown provenance, was launched at a press conference by the Prime Minister and several capering imps.’
May 18, 2017
[curtis] Adam Curtis on the Dangers of Self-Expression … Curtis discusses a variety of subjects … ‘I sometimes wonder whether conspiracy theories are an attempt to re-enchant the world in a distorted way. It’s like religion knocking on the door and trying to come back in a strange and distorted form. A sense of mystery beyond our own understanding of the world. If you ever talk to conspiracy theorists, that’s the sense you get from them. A sort of almost romantic sense of awe that there is this dark mysterious thing that a rational thing could never penetrate. That’s sort of religious. Maybe what’s trying to get back into our world is enchantment, and the only way it can come back in is in these strange distorted ways. The downfall of capitalism is that it’s become appropriated by rational technocratic disenchantment. It’s become an iron cage. It’s trapped us. Some new form of enchanted myth is going to have to come back in.’
May 17, 2017
[movies] Crime in Counterpoint: Michael Mann on his Restored Masterpiece Heat‘I’ve got a theory, which probably holds no water whatsoever, about why there’s so much genre content in media — meaning police stories, crime stories, so much of that. It’s because of the nature of the medium. Detectives detecting do what writers and directors do in the inverse: We have an idea for a character, and our character has origins that we invent. Those origins become an engine that causes him to do certain activities and express himself and have different attitudes based on who the character is. And then those activities have consequences and leave behind certain effects. But a detective works all the way at the other end. He sees the remains of a crime — the leavings. He starts to work backwards to what happened. What was the activity? And if this was the activity, what could I discover about the motivations of the person whose identity I do not know? And how can those motivations allow me to predict his future activity, so that I can intercept him and find out who he is?’
May 16, 2017
[press] Is the editor of the Daily Mail the most dangerous man in Britain?… The Guardian on on Paul Dacre and Brexit… ‘His own success at the Mail has bought him schooling for his two sons at Eton, membership of the Garrick, a chauffeur, a house in the country, flat in town and a shooting estate in Scotland (generously subsidised by the EU). He rarely rubs up against the people he believes he represents. “It always amused me that his shoe leather never wore out,” one reporter told Addison, “because every day he was on a carpet in the office; he strode out the door and was in a car which deposited him either at home or a restaurant. He would be horrified at what modern Britain had become – but he was never part of it.” Despite this insulation, Dacre has always presented himself as having a unique “feel for the emotions of ordinary people”. He still apparently locates this feeling in the 1950s London suburb of Arnos Grove in which he grew up, and which persists as the model of the Mail’s middle England.’
May 15, 2017
[comics] How do I become … a cartoonist … Nigel Parkinson describes the insane amount of persistence you require to become a professional cartoonist … ‘I spent 17 years asking the Beano editor for a job and eventually he relented.’
May 12, 2017
[comics] Edgy Comics Bingo… by Cathy Leamy

May 11, 2017
[music] Return of the KLF: ‘They were agents of chaos. Now the world they anticipated is here’ … a look back at the KLF … ‘In a climactic act of public self-destruction, Drummond and Cauty decided to perform a KLF/ENT speed-metal version of 3am Eternal (one that Christmas Top of the Pops had turned down) at the 1992 Brit awards. The performance was brutal enough, with a kilted Drummond stalking the stage, supported by a crutch, barking the lyrics over ENT’s barrage of noise, and finally machine-gunning the audience with blanks. (“They cut our guitars right down,” says Jones, “but at least we made Noel Edmonds cry”.) In the aftermath, they dumped a dead sheep on the red carpet at the Royal Lancaster Gate hotel adorned with the message, “I died for you – bon appetit”. But what they originally planned was even worse. Vegetarians all, Extreme Noise Terror refused to slice up the sheep on stage…’
May 10, 2017
[life] Britain’s ‘moral values’ based on Star Wars, Breakfast Club and The Godfather‘Tom Logan, from Hatfield, said: “Star Wars taught me about the importance of freedom, democracy and courage in the face of tyranny. And about the importance of using your miraculous gifts to benefit the entire galaxy.” Jane Thompson, from Stevenage, added: “Breakfast Club taught me that we are all insecure but that through dialogue we can find our common humanity. It also taught me that teachers are the worst people in the world.”’
May 9, 2017
[crime] What Bullets Do to Bodies … powerful profile of a trauma surgeon in North Philadelphia and what happens to the gunshot victims she treats …

It’s possible for a surgeon to get distracted by the wrong wound. The most dangerous wounds don’t always look the worst. People can get shot in the head and they’re leaking bits of brain from a hole in the skull and that’s not the fatal wound; the fatal wound is from another bullet that ripped through the chest. One patient a few years ago was shot in the face with a shotgun at close range over some money owed. He pulled his coat up over his mangled face and walked to the ER of one of Temple’s sister hospitals, approaching a nurse. She looked at him. He lowered the coat. The nurse thought to herself what you might expect a person to think in such a situation: “Daaaaaamn.” He was stabilized, then transferred to Temple. He lived. The price of survival is often lasting disability. Some patients, often young guys, wind up carrying around colostomy bags for the rest of their lives because they can’t poop normally anymore. They poop through a “stoma,” a hole in the abdomen. “They’re so angry,” Goldberg said. “They should be angry.” Some are paralyzed by bullets that sever the spinal column. Some lose limbs entirely…

May 8, 2017
[weird] The weird poetry Google Translate writes when fed the same characters over and over … Don’t introduce A.I’s to the work of H.P. Lovecraft. It will end badly.

May 5, 2017
[politics] Why the Phrase ‘Late Capitalism’ Is Suddenly Everywhere‘Finally, “late capitalism” gestures to the potential for revolution, whether because the robots end up taking all the jobs or because the proletariat finally rejects all this nonsense. A “late” period always comes at the end of something, after all. “It has the constant referent to revolution,” Roberts said. “‘Late capitalism’ necessarily says, ‘This is a stage we’re going to come out of at some point, whereas ‘neoliberalism’ doesn’t say that, ‘Shit is fucked up and bullshit’ doesn’t say that. It hints at a sort of optimism amongst a post-Bernie left, the young left online. Something of the revolutionary horizon of classical Marxism.” It does all this with a certain concision, erudition, even beauty. It’s ominous and knowing, brainy and pissed-off. “Now is a crazy political time,” Yeselson said…’
May 4, 2017
[books] OrderOfBooks.com – Complete List of all Book Series in Order … useful site to bookmark if you’re looking for the order of a particular series of books or an author.
May 3, 2017
[comics] Leo Baxendale obituary … Steve Bell’s remembers the creator of Minnie the Minx, Little Plum and the Bash Street Kids … ‘Ideas for the strips were literally kicked around the Beano office during games of keepie-uppie, while the chief subeditor took notes. Leo’s task was to synthesise the whole into a design and then pour in even more madcap detail all over the page: words, jokes, battles of wits between “Red Indians” and bears, frogs, machines, explosions and terrible scenes of violent conflict, not to mention wholly unnecessary captions, such as Leo’s favourite “Sudden Gust of Wind”. “You could tell by their facial expression how they were feeling,” he said, “but it was funnier if you put an arrow pointing at someone’s bum saying ‘Throbbing Pain’”. In some ways the name Bash Street Kids was a misnomer, though violence was everywhere: “Teachers, janitors, the world might be trampled underfoot by stampeding bison … the school was shelled, classrooms exploded, battleships were sunk; but there was no bullying. It was another world.”’
May 2, 2017
[kubrick] Forever and Ever and Ever: Uncanny Doubles in ‘The Shining’ … A look at how Kubrick heightened a sense of the Uncanny in the Shining … ‘Robert Kolker writes that the film also features many instances of symmetrical framing. He notes that each side of the frame is doubled and perfectly composed, and therefore any horrific event happening within the frame seems even more out of place and strange. The symmetrical shots are almost too perfect, which can be uncanny and off-putting in itself. Kolker cites the red bathroom as an example of a symmetrically framed scene, with its rows of white urinals and sinks lining either side of the wall and the long mirrors running along the wall. The bathroom is symmetrical, yet Jack and Grady discuss violent, murderous plans in the middle of the room, throwing the symmetry off balance and into uncanny space.’
April 28, 2017
[social] Climbing Out Of Facebook's Reality Hole … Buzzfeed on Facebook’s virtual reality projects … ‘The Facebook CEO took the stage at the company’s annual F8 developers conference a little more than an hour after news broke that the so-called Facebook Killer had killed himself. But if you were expecting a somber mood, it wasn’t happening. Instead, he kicked off his keynote with a series of jokes. It was a stark disconnect with the reality outside, where the story of the hour concerned a man who had used Facebook to publicize a murder, and threaten many more. People used to talk about Steve Jobs and Apple’s reality distortion field. But Facebook, it sometimes feels, exists in a reality hole. The company doesn’t distort reality — but it often seems to lack the ability to recognize it. The problem with connecting everyone on the planet is that a lot of people are assholes.’
April 27, 2017
[war] U.S. Funneling Arms To Dissident Angel Group In Effort To Topple God‘According to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter, a CIA-orchestrated operation has provided firearms, ammunition, and financial support to the insurgent angels of the New Dawn Front, with the goal of deposing the longtime Heavenly Father and replacing Him with someone who will advance American interests in the region.’

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