September 1, 2016
[moore] Alan Moore and literature’s fascination with the fourth dimension
… a look at Alan Moore’s conception of time in Jerusalem and earlier comics … ‘In Jerusalem, Moore makes these mysterious topographies known. Here, the fourth dimension is both temporal and spatial—as much a way of seeing as a thing unseen. Moore’s fourth dimension is both conceptual (i.e., a collapse of temporal moments, like Vonnegut’s “beads on a string” or Dr. Manhattan’s “intricately structured jewel”) as well as a material plane, called Mansoul, invisible to the naked eye, home to all manner of mystical and supernatural creatures. It’s very much the stuff of escapist high fantasy, like a 4-D Narnia. The extra-dimensional level of Jerusalem is place of “twisting crystals” and “ghost-seams” and afterlife academies, where characters use the made-up word “wiz” as linguistic copula that refers to something happening across the caved-in tenses of past, present and future. Back on the solid, three-dimensional footing of Earth, an eccentric artist called Alma Warren attempts to represent this mystical, magical realm, informed by recollections from her brother, who was transported there as a child.’
September 2, 2016
[life] Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom Murdered
… disturbing true-life story of Munchausen by proxy and murder … ‘Because Dee Dee is dead, it’s impossible to diagnose her. She didn’t leave behind a diary or some other documentation of her intentions. She did keep a binder of medical information in which she seemed to be sorting through the different information she’d given to various doctors. And she did fit certain parameters that doctors often cite as red flags for Munchausen syndrome: For example, she had some medical training. The number of doctors she took Gypsy to see over the years, and her propensity for changing locations so there was no clear medical trail, is also common. So are the concerns over sleep apnea, which is one way Munchausen often seems to begin in the various documented cases.’
September 6, 2016
[movies] 10 great British rural horror films
… interesting list of British horror films to watch … ‘Witchfinder General is a doom-laden film. Many of its characters are either left dead or end up in a terrible state, while Michael Reeves, its brilliant young director, died shortly after the film’s release while still in his 20s. Yet it’s also an extraordinarily beautiful film that makes great use of extensive location shooting in the east of England. Here it is not the landscape itself that is the source of unease but rather the savagery of the people who occupy it. This juxtaposition of an indifferent nature with appalling human behaviour recurs in other British rural horrors, but it is never done quite so effectively.’
September 7, 2016
[docu] What Werner Herzog’s new film ‘Lo and Behold’ reveals about the internet
… More about Werner Hertzog’s new documentary
from the Independent … ‘And when I bemoan the proliferation of cat videos, he rises to the defence of the internet, which is the triumph of the useless, and the beautiful, the cruel and the ingenious and the insane, the place we go when we are bored, when we are lonely, when we want to know Steph Curry’s stat line and why your knee is making a weird sound and why they tore down the Bastille and what happens when we die, which we will, unlike the internet, which will not. “There are fantastic, crazy cat videos out there,” says Herzog.’
September 8, 2016
[apple] Apple Plug
… ‘Fill in your archaic headphone connector with beautiful aluminium and plug yourself into the future.’
September 9, 2016
[comics] A Party in a Lunatic Asylum
… Alan Moore Profiled in the New Yorker … ‘He found a seat on a low wall overlooking the River Nene, which plies its milky, reluctant course through the town’s suburbs. The last time Moore had walked this way, the underpass had been littered with hypodermic needles. Today there was nothing but a square of soggy cardboard, apparently used as someone’s groundsheet, and the jacket of the golfing guide “Putting: The Game Within the Game.” Abutting the wall was a jumble of stones—the remains of the world’s first powered cotton-spinning mill with an inanimate energy source, and thus, arguably, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. We were therefore sitting, Moore explained, at the source of the Anthropocene, the geological epoch defined by man’s influence on the environment. It was also the birthplace of capitalism, by Moore’s account. “Adam Smith either visited the place or heard about it,” he said, of the mill, speculating that this might have led the thinker to develop his famous “invisible hand” theory of laissez-faire economics. “Jerusalem” is full of such local arcana; it also demonstrates Moore’s tendency to see deep congruities everywhere’
September 12, 2016
[herzog] How To Be Werner Herzog
… A Hertzog fan watches Werner Hertzog Teaches Filmmaking
… ‘Werner described being bitten by one of the iguanas and/or desert lizards that Nic Cage hallucinates in Bad Lieutenant. “He bit me so hard, I cannot explain. It was like a vise. The crew was delighted and laughed like mad.” Werner then gazed, momentarily wordless, at the playback of the twitchy, expressionless lizards. “These creatures are so insipid, so stupid, so demented,” he reflected. “Look at the face of that iguana. I love that creature. It just can’t get any better.” He paused, utterly transported. “I love these moments. How beautiful.” And, scene. Please trust me that it was fucking amazing.’
September 13, 2016
[tv] Make it Stranger
… a Stranger Things logo generator …
September 15, 2016
[tech] People, Please Don’t Store Private Data in Your Address Book
… Putting personal data in Smartphone address books is a terrible idea … ‘They know why people use these shortcuts, but Siegrist and Paradise emphasize that address books and plaintext notes apps put sensitive information at serious risk. And it’s not just some social security numbers, which would be bad enough. The two said that they’ve heard of people using their address books to store passwords, bank PINs, passport ID numbers, photos of passports, confidential work data, credit card numbers, financial account numbers, home security codes, and vault codes. It’s an address book, folks, not a magic data garden patrolled by dragons.’
September 16, 2016
[crime] The Detectives Who Never Forget a Face
… fascinating look at the Metropolitan Police’s Squad of “Super-Recognizer” detectives who scan CCTV and databases matching images to criminals … ‘Porritt sometimes talks about the database using mystical language, like a trophy fisherman musing about the sea. Scrolling through thousands of photos, he squints his eyes, as if looking for a pattern that is hidden just beneath the surface. “I still think in the database there’s a massive series—bigger than Caballero,” he said. “Keyser Söze’s in there.”’
September 19, 2016
[people] An Extremely Awkward Encounter with Larry David
… Larry David discusses the Seinfeld Curse amongst other things …
LD: Here’s what I’ll have: split-pea soup and white-bean hummus. Is that okay?
PUBLICIST: Whatever you want.
LD: And I don’t need the cheesy croutons. And if there’s cream in the soup, don’t get it.
PUBLICIST: I’ll check.
LD: Yeah. No cream or butter in the soup or the hummus.
SR: Is that a lactose thing or a general-health thing?
LD: General health.
SR: So you tolerate lactose.
LD: I tolerate lactose like I tolerate people.
September 20, 2016
[comics] Dredding Every Minute of It
… profiling Judge Dredd – Arthur Wyatt back at the career of Mega-City One’s greatest Lawman… ‘The far-future setting served Judge Dredd and 2000 AD well over the years, acting as a springboard for all kinds of science fiction-themed stories and building up a menagerie of aliens, mutants, psychics and visitors from other times and dimensions, which all somehow managed to be integrated seamlessly and have a distinctive Judge Dredd spin to them. This magpie tendency even extended across genres: When Dredd wanders beyond the borders of Mega-City One into the vast wasteland of the Cursed Earth, the stories become futuristic Westerns. The genre shifts again to Horror with the introduction of Judge Death, Dredd’s twisted mirror image from another dimension, where life itself has been declared a crime. The one constant is Dredd. Imbued with an unlimited reserve of stoicism and not much given to change himself, Dredd is a perfect foil for the chaotic ever-changing world around him.’
September 21, 2016
[movies] Where Will Snowden Rank Among Oliver Stone’s 10 Biopics?
… an attempt at ranking Oliver Stone’s biopics … ‘JFK is in some ways a ridiculous film. It’s also one of the greatest films of all time. Stone puts the audience through over three hours of near-constant information overload, accented by a variety of film stocks and shooting styles, all leading the viewer to feel, by the end, that they see conspiracy everywhere they look. Stone doesn’t just tell the story of Garrison’s life. He immerses us in Garrison’s headspace until we can’t help thinking the way he thinks, and see the world the way he sees it. It’s an incredible cinematic feat…’
September 22, 2016
[tech ] The Doom of Your Memories Doesn’t Really Exist
… On reinventing classic video games… ‘That’s what digital media does: it allows us to create alternate histories, versions of our gaming past that better match our heightened expectations. And as our expectations change, as our memories shift and gather junk data with age, so, too, can we return to our old passions with those shifts intact, remaking them to suit us. Brutal Doom recently added weapons from the new Doom, taking new ideas that seem appropriately Doom-y and rewriting them into the game’s past. There’s not just one Doom, or one Super Mario, or one Half-Life. As we modify and reimagine these games, we’ve created dozens, hundreds, each signifying an alternate version of videogaming’s past.’
September 23, 2016
[moore] If you read only one Alan Moore Jerusalem interview, make it this one
… extensive must-read profile/interview with Moore on Jerusalem and Northampton …
It’s a strange experience, walking the streets with this bearded compendium of knowledge. Every corner provokes a reminiscence, such as the graffiti which he recognises as the work of Bill Drummond of art-pop group the KLF, who came round to his house to show him the film of them burning a million pounds. Do they regret it now, I ask?
“It’s not so much that they regret it, but I think it haunts them. I heard a brilliant definition of haunting: ‘That which haunts us is that which we do not or do not completely understand.’ And I thought, that makes sense. Often we don’t understand our own actions. And certainly, if we’d gone to the Isle of Jura and burned a million quid, we would have a lot of questions!”
September 24, 2016
[life] ‘…It Goes On.’
September 26, 2016
[tv] Eastenders to show Ian Beale discovering old episodes of Eastenders on UK Gold
… ‘Forthcoming episodes see Ian Beale taking time off work with a chest infection and watching daytime TV, during which he discovers old Eastenders episodes showing the exploits of his younger self, friends and family. A BBC spokesman said: “It’s going to trip him the fuck out.”’
September 27, 2016
[ww2] High Hitler: How Nazi Drug Abuse Steered the Course of History
… an interesting examination of Adolf Hitler’s drug addictions …
For Hitler, though, a crisis was coming. When the factories where Pervitin and Eukodal were made were bombed by the allies, supplies of his favourite drugs began to run out, and by February 1945 he was suffering withdrawal. Bowed and drooling and stabbing at his skin with a pair of golden tweezers, he cut a pitiful sight. “Everyone describes the bad health of Hitler in those final days [in the Führerbunker in Berlin],” says Ohler. “But there’s no clear explanation for it. It has been suggested that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. To me, though, it’s pretty clear that it was partly withdrawal.” He grins. “Yeah, it must have been pretty awful. He’s losing a world war, and he’s coming off drugs.”
September 28, 2016
[tv] Netflix Original Series, Ranked (Again)
… Vulture rates all 36 of Netflix’s current original TV productions … ‘House of Cards – One of Netflix’s first tentpoles, House of Cards is better at a prestige-y veneer than it is at actual prestige-quality narrative. While Kevin Spacey plays his character with embarrassingly visible excess, Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood is a stunning, implacable pillar of hard surfaces and internal machinations. Everything else veers rapidly between way-too-complicated plotting and underdeveloped surprise twists. Though initially absorbing, it feels increasingly unnecessary given the drama of real-life politics.’
September 29, 2016
[trump] Psychiatric hospitals filling up with time travellers sent back to kill Donald Trump
… ‘They all say the same thing, they come from a future of riots, war, famine, the collapse of civilised society, and then being sent back to ‘make it all right’. I mean, it’s almost like they’re telling the truth and for some unknown reason the future is getting increasingly desperate to stop the rise of Donald Trump and the end of the world he will inevitably bring about. He can’t be that bad, can he?’
September 30, 2016
[tweets] Following On Twitter: @WernerTwertzog
… ‘In the future, everyone will be dead for an infinite number of minutes.’