Culture, Links, Poetry

Wallace Stevens and other Links

Ryan Ruby’s article on poet Wallace Stevens and how his imagination superseded that classic need to be a roustabout like the Beat poets is a pretty good one (Courtesy of More Intelligent Life). Oddly enough, I spent some time yesterday in the City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco, and I wondered at the level of discomfort a “square” like Stevens would have had in there, especially during the Howl days.

In another stroke of coincidence, the bookstore was at the edge of Chinatown, which reminded me of a Lev Navrozov  article on why China will rule the US. In my opinion, it’s a very alarmist and seems to be pandering to the Glenn Beck set, but it did pop two images into my mind:


And to cap it off, I want to help out Doug Williams in his continued quest to work with Neill Blomkamp. It doesn’t hurt that his art is pretty cool too.

Art, Research

Happy Horny Werewolf Day: The Origins of St. Valentine’s Day + Funny VDay Cubee

I’m not one to knock on St. Valentine’s Day/Single’s Appreciation Day/ Hallmark Holiday #4. My point of view is that any day that produces any emotion, be it love or bitterness or abject Mafia rage, is a good one in our increasingly mind-numbing world. That being said, a couple of years back Warren Ellis posted up this message on the internet:

Always remember: Valentine’s Day is a Christian corruption of a pagan festival involving werewolves, blood and fucking. So wish people a happy Horny Werewolf Day and see what happens.

I was intrigued by this message, so I researched this holiday’s origins. I found Lupercalia, which is a spring cleansing festival from Ancient Rome tied to the Capitoline Wolf . To put the most important acts succinctly, priests would sacrifice a dog and two goats, shower in their blood, then cut out the entrails of said goats and whip women with them in order to increase their fertility and ease childbirth pain. There is a more left field take to this ritual, however, and although it comes from a very questionable source, I’m not gonna let things like conspiracy theories get in the way of a good joke. Here’s a fun part from it:

As the Romans grew ever more sophisticated, the Lupercali would be celebrated by a man binding the lady of his choice wrist to wrist, and later by passing a billet to his object of desire, suggesting a romantic rendezvous in some secluded place.

On an unrelated but equally as funny note, I made a pretty amusing cubee for my girlfriend today. Check it out:

To all my friends: Have a Happy Horny Werewolf Day.

Film, Top Fives

Top Five Guilty Pleasure Movies

Normally I run the entire show for my T5s, taking in suggestions and going through it myself. This time, however, called for an expert in the matter, someone far better than myself. Enter my friend, Chris “Toph” Puglia. Mr. Toph has towers of DVDs taller than him filled with movies of very questionable caliber, which I  have criticized him for in the past. A week ago I called on him to give me his kingly advice on this from the throne he has now made with his movies. Without further ado: I give you Toph (Big warning: this article is heavily laden with profanity and one borderline use of a racial slur):

When Jesus asked me to do a guest blog entry on my Top 5 Guilty Pleasure Movies, I was excited. Declaring me the “King of Guilty Pleasure Movies”, I wasn’t sure whether to be honored or offended. I’ll freely admit that I like a lot of movies most people would consider BAD. I like to think that it’s because I can see the good in movies while ignoring the bad. Or I just have horrible taste in movies, I’m not sure which. Continue reading

Music, Sci Fi

From 3030 to Lazerfaces: Sci-Fi’s Influence on Hip Hop

To continue on my unofficial “things that people don’t associate with science fiction” series of articles, I have decided that it’s about time I wrote on the effect science fiction has had on hip-hop. Now, there are a lot of differences between the music of  The Notorious BIG with the writings of Isaac Asimov, but that doesn’t mean it can’t have some sort of overlap. Both genres have a thing for pointing out sociopolitical undertones via a narrative, be it through the lens of a robot on a generational ship or a crack dealer through his Pyrex. Both have larger than life characters that have to deal with “the struggle,” whether it’s an intergalactic war or the five-o. For my examples, I’ll present two different artists who have used SF elements: producer Dan “The Automator” Nakamura and rapper/producer Jaime Meline, also known as El-P.

The idea of a connection between a part of black culture and sci-fi in music is not a new one. Continue reading