The Hauntological Congress

Posted on June 3rd, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Wandering around ruined islands, surrounded by infinite oceans and the slow creaks and groans of deteriorating machines, piecing together a mysterious world that no longer works

This. It’s odd, much of the talk of stuff that isn’t strictly music on this thread (my own comments included) are pretty much just describing Ambient of some fashion — but no one’s coming right out and saying ambient, not as a huge, sweeping generalization at least. A lot of the ambient out there, it’s very… god, what’s the word, it _moves_, at least. It’s the sound of things making noise. It’s the breath of the world, whatever world that is. Even the crackle-hiss layered on a lot of tracks I wouldn’t necessarily call under the Hauntology umbrella, well that’s a sound of life layered on, too, even when it elicits the past.

Warren’s got a line in Dok that, if I recall correctly, came out of an earlier work — paraphrasing ’cause it’s not right on me at hand — about going to the graveyard and listening to the sticky sussurus of decomposition, and about standing up higher and listening to the world resonating with its own stark mediocrity.

(Which probably had nothing to do with hauntology in either context. But it’s two really hard and lovely lines, isn’t it?)

To point, though, if you unlayer anything by Burial, fuck if it’s not just little ten second cries of every mediocre musak-wail of the past thirty years, isn’t it? Without the heartbeat in the background, and the sound of bubble thin walls straining outward while the world drowns, it may as well be any little love-diddy, and little singalong pop keen, any refined-and-looped feel-sound in an Audi commercial. Just tossing the beat-layer on top really just pulls it up to an Audi-Hybrid commercial. Lookit, there’s a car racing along an open road, with “Loving you” playing in the sunlight. It’s the sticky sussurus — (you know why that line stays with me? Because it _aches_. It’s hummingbird wings dipped in hot wax and straining in painful death.) — of meat falling off the bones of the world that makes Burial haunted. It’s not the creepy filtered voices (or every boy-band tune would qualify), it’s not the beat, it’s not the words, it’s not even the occasional creak of machinery — it’s that dripping, sticky sound that the music plays fast around for fear of getting caught, spreading decay. Not so much the music in the next room, but the fear that by observing (hearing) the music in the next room, we’ve alerted it to our presence and the decay has spread. Y’know, maybe. I’ll bet there are real words for all of what I just said there.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

The DOKTOR SLEEPLESS Plasma Globe Bust

Posted on June 3rd, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Wouldn’t that have to be TWO plasma globes?

I wasn’t going to say it. I was going to ignore it and leave the thread on track. I said to myself “Self, don’t you dare link the musical telsa coils what arc between two great glowing globes, and we’ll all be all right.” I did not, apparently, cc you on that internal memo.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Science fiction karma

Posted on June 2nd, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Hope you’re enjoying them…

YES.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Flash Magazine/Flipbook Software?

Posted on May 31st, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
Oh! Actually — would slideshare work? It’s dead simple, but hitting the right or left half of the screen flips the pages.
[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Flash Magazine/Flipbook Software?

Posted on May 31st, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
If you don’t care about the branding bit at the bottom, you can put one together in a few minutes with the thing we’re running all our widgets on: sprout .
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FREAKANGELS Episode 0015

Posted on May 30th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
G’morning, Whitechapel. Here’s your FREAKANGELS. (Ooh, the little window looks particularly lovely this week, doesn’t it?)

It’s almost June (canyoubelieveitaaaaawheredidMaygo?) — how’d we all do this month?

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

The Hauntological Congress

Posted on May 30th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
I’m just thinking that limiting ‘hauntology’ to ‘the past haunting the present’ deprives this clever little concept of its nuance and overarching ’spectrality’ as applied to culture/history/et cetera.

It just hit quiet here, and there are a few foghorns outside (there will be more in the morning), and shuffle just spun up Tom Waits — Tom, who has always been able to summon somewhere with effortless ease. His somewhere is often a yellow-lit place, with horns or railroads nearby, the wrong side of several tracks, a little rough and tumble, but they melt the snow with the salt of the earth. But that’s not hauntology — those places are still very much alive, still there, no dustier than they were 20 or fifty years ago, no risk of being forgotten just yet. Escaped, maybe, but not killed.

But places can die, of course. When I was a girl the west coast was a wonderland of nearly abandoned beach towns and used-to-be amusement parks, shards of boardwalks and dark circles where carousels used to sit being sandswept to grey as rust-rigor set in. Broken horses in closed shop windows with glass eyes glazing over as the magic shriveled in the cold sun. Places that were supposed to be Hope-On-The-Sea — where money was pumped in earnest because everyone would flock to them forever. And before Disney bought a few of them and the rest were lost, you could drive a few hours anywhere and hit ghost-towns — bleached, long-abandoned gold-dreams hardening to black iron and bone. Where pyrite and witch-loads tricked settlers into blood and starvation. There was a soundtrack to both desert and shore, the wind calling the beat of horses real or fantastic, the crying of metal against metal, the water or sand roaring a bass-line so loud you couldn’t hear it anymore.

That informs my feelings for hauntology — even though much of what’s out there now summons city streets, rain, and dying music scenes I never met — because I grew up in a country-state that’s kept alive only by the water we imagine to be real, and as soon as place is neglected it shakes off all sign that humans ever touched it, leaving bleached alien artifacts, maybe a cowskull, maybe a seashell, or maybe nothing at all if you blink or look away. The world has always been full of ghosts, and just a moment off the beaten track would find them.

If I’d grown up somewhere else (and sometimes I did) I’d have swamp haints and weeping vines, alien abductions and crop circles, or crack houses and urban blight to recall (and sometimes I do). Sometimes places were supposed to be, but didn’t. The world is full of ghosts.

What’s beautiful about the sounds of else-maybe-dead-but-forget-me-not is, to me, that sometimes it is only three rooms away, even in the middle of the day, even in the middle of the city, even with the crush of people around to swear they hear it too. It’s a mass-hallucination, a shared memory of something that never could have happened, a misheard lyric that always comes out the same, a paranormal event caught on tape, for once and forever. The world has always been full of ghosts, but now everyone sees them, always knew they were there, and rewrite old logs to lie the fact that they weren’t there yesterday and we weren’t expecting them tomorrow.

So many are in mourning for tomorrows we were promised and never found, as many as say “do you remember when?” with a sigh, as many as say “if only”. I don’t think ghosts need, by their nature, to be from the past or the future, particularly — they need only not be expected here and now to be haunting.

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

The Hauntological Congress

Posted on May 30th, 2008 in quote

[This is only my side of a conversation, and may make more sense if you visit the original discussion on Whitechapel.]
See, I don’t want to talk about this because I’m not a 40 year old that was paying attention the whole time, but hauntology strikes me as a logical progression from, god help me, the short-lived and quickly-went-to-shit mashup phase we hit two years ago. Because I’ve spent a lot of time in cars in the middle of no-where, and you know I’ll go back to radio every time…

But when you hit just between two transmission zones, or you’re scanning for channels in the middle of two cities, in the middle of the night, you’ll sometimes hit on a mashup that’s just absolutely perfect — you’ll picket fence between two stations or a station and dead air, and suddenly you’ve got Funky Town and some revival music playing in tandem for a few miles. And sometimes it’s hilarious, it’s one of those unexpected surprises you only get once in a lifetime. And sometimes of course, it’s crap, and the mash-up scene started forcing it and they were 700 shit songs to one gem. I don’t think you can force delight.

The hauntology scene is DXing on a controlled scale (I am a NERD you just lemme natter for a second) I really think it is. It’s a signal that’s _maybe_ coming from three rooms away, but who knows? Maybe it’s four hundred miles. Maybe it’s twenty years. Maybe it’s a radio show some kid in texas recorded in his basement and the people moving into the house accidentally hit play while they were clearing shit out for a rumpus room. It doesn’t always make sense, and it’s always the middle of the night, because AM transmissions travel longer distances when the sun goes down. It’s also a lot easier to hear when the world goes quiet. It also, by its very nature, has to come over on what’s otherwise a hiss channel. i think that’s why it’s spooky, when it’s done right. Because we always kinda want to hear something, but it’s always a surprise when a signal breaks through.

(There’s something to be said for the nerd DXing on the SETI project, but that’s when I start sounding lame. Lamer.) I know it’s a bit of a stretch to apply listening for voices to recorded and dj’ed music — there’s a control on one that’s not on the other — but the end result, if every time the _listener_ gets a new album or hits a show they hear something they weren’t expecting from somewhere/when that’s familiar but they can’t immediately place, hm?

[Comments are closed, but you may respond in the Whitechapel thread.]

Posted on September 25th, 2007 in quote

Not a Web Site.
A light-weight message delivery infrastructure.

(Designing for Hackability)

Googlezaar is my word of the day.

Posted on September 7th, 2007 in entry, outbound links, quote

“I’m starting to think of this steampunk revival as a beast very much of the internet generation, right down to the agreed imposition of Victorian manners and social graces as a reaction to a world wide web that shows little trace of either in its social interactivity.”

Via Warren Ellis

Oh that’s interesting…

I’ve got a thought, but I don’t know what it is.

Remember, though, when the internet was largely pioneers? Thinks were all betas and broken and invites only? I think we were nicer then because it was _harder_. If you wanted a livejournal, you had to ask someone for an invite code; if you joined an IRC channel, you were respectful until people got to know you, or you hoped a friend would vet for you — if you could even get in; people even asked if they were allowed to link sites before doing so; and no one knew how to get text centered on the screen or how to link images, so they had to ask someone that had been here for a while. And the people that knew what they were doing, and the early-adopters… well those folks were really the sages of the internet, weren’t they? Crazy old men and women of the wood that could speak the native tongue and knew where the trolls lived.

But now we’ve got cities and walls, and serial killers on the back alleys of MySpace. And people keep moving here, but there’s nothing rough about it — the buildings are built, all they have to do is move in. So there’s no real need for manners: If you need something, you can probably just go to the Googlezaar and get it.

Which is why, I think, places have started going back to “Beta”. It’s a good excuse to make things members only, isn’t it? If you’ve got a fully functioning system people want to know why they can’t use it. If you’re just staying private to stay private then you’re putting on false airs, and I’ll just clone your hard work and make it free for the unwashed. Subscription only? No, I don’t think so, but I’ll look at your ads if I have to, I suppose.

I’m mixing about 20 different metaphors here I know but I said I’ve got a thought and don’t know what it is, so there.

::NOT SO SMOOTH SEGUE::

Somewhat unrelated, but also on my mind…

Trackbacks don’t work because they’re too fucking complicated (I say as I’m using one in this post — which is what made me think of it). Five years ago, people probably would have bothered to link a page AND ping it, but these days that’s one step too many. And to what end? If I’m already linking your page I don’t need to take the extra step to let you know I’ve done so. Besides, you probably don’t care.

Why has no one written a plugin (for wordpress, basically, since that’s what I’m working with) that, for instance, adds a function to the “blog this” bookmarklet that grabs any trackback links and auto-adds them to the composer page?

I don’t even know where to start figuring out how to do that. Hmm.

Announcing my new Shakespeare GN! via Emma Vieceli

Friday June, 27 2008 08:49 AM PDT

CLICK HERE FOR THE SELFMADEHERO WORKBLOG

Way back in the day, when Sonia and I were working on Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet respectively, we created a livejournal workblog to chart our progress on the books….well, a couple of years later it’s time to dust that blog off and fire up the engines as I can now announce I’ve started work on Much Ado About Nothing for SelfMadeHero!

I think some of you may have guessed this and some have mentioned the title and left me desperate to tell you, but yes - that’s the one!

I’ll introduce the first of our key players here, but any further updates will be at the workblog only for a while as it feeds through to the official Manga Shakespeare ning.
Click the thumbs for larger images, and check the workblog for details on who these four are. ^__^

I’m working on the rest of the coloured section and will be meeting up with the fabulous Richard Appignanesi in a week or so to start bashing script ideas around. As with Hamlet, it’s a play I know and love well and we’ll work hard to make it the best we can!

a little choppy out there via Trixie Bedlam

Friday June, 27 2008 07:25 AM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

a little choppy out there

the plant whisperer via Trixie Bedlam

Friday June, 27 2008 07:25 AM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

the plant whisperer

defenders of the stairs via Trixie Bedlam

Friday June, 27 2008 07:24 AM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

defenders of the stairs

blockhead via Trixie Bedlam

Friday June, 27 2008 07:24 AM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

blockhead

suspendered via Trixie Bedlam

Friday June, 27 2008 07:23 AM PDT

trixiebedlam posted a photo:

suspendered

Mornings with Henry 6/27/08: Who's Your Daddy via Kelly Sue DeConnick

Friday June, 27 2008 07:11 AM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a photo:

Mornings with Henry 6/27/08: Who's Your Daddy

http://www.thatsdry.com/

FREAKANGELS 0018 via Warren Ellis

Friday June, 27 2008 06:45 AM PDT

Am awake way too early, barely alive, but my love for you is such that I bring you free comics even in these last moments of my life: FREAKANGELS 0018.

YES, WE WIN! via Candice Cardasis

Friday June, 27 2008 05:36 AM PDT

.bitches

trust me, it's gonna be huge.

Article: Icann opens up.. SAY AAAAAAAH.

TEH MALE via Rich Stevens

Thursday June, 26 2008 07:42 PM PDT

I cannot stress this enough, college students and people between jobs:

If you do not mind a drug test and live in Americaland, apply at the post office to be a "casual carrier"* for a summer or holiday season sometime. You will learn your town and you will learn details of how the mail works that will be invaluable for the rest of your life. You will also lose ten pounds and learn the true meaning of futility.

Ten years on, I still find uses for what the USPS taught me on a daily basis. Also, driving the truck is genius. Screw the Peace Corps, the Mail is where it's at.

***

A "Casual Carrier" is a non-uniformed, non-union temporary mail carrier. You apply and take a test and get trained and shit, but you're not a full gov't employee.

tires via Irene Kaoru

Thursday June, 26 2008 07:05 PM PDT

IreneKaoru posted a photo:

tires

wil's big news of the day via Wil Wheaton

Thursday June, 26 2008 06:11 PM PDT

I was picking tomatoes in my back yard yesterday afternoon when the phone rang. Caller ID said it was my manager. I picked it up and said, "Mister Black! What's up?"

"Seth Macfarlane wants to work with you tomorrow," he said.

The next thing I knew, I was looking into the concerned faces of my wife and kids, while a machine behind me went ping!

"What happened?" I said.

"You answered the phone, screamed like a little girl, and fainted," Anne said.

"So it wasn't a dream!" I said. I leapt to my feet, doffed a Fedora, twirled my mustache and added, "Quickly! To the auto-gyro!"

Minutes later, I was airborne, soaring over the Los Angeles basin, while striped-shirt-wearing nogoodniks chased after me in pedal-powered flying contraptions. It was perilous, to be sure, but my superior piloting and my trusty manservant Kwame's peerless skill with curare-tipped darts assured my escape.

My brief and unexpected foray into a 1930s pulp novel concluded, I returned to my home, where I got back on the phone.

"What just happened to you?" He said.

"Um. Nothing," I said. "What am I doing tomorrow?"

"Seth Macfarlane has a new online project called Cavalcade, and he wants you to work on it." He said.

"Seth Macfarlane wants to work with me? Are you sure he didn't mean the other Will Wheaton, the well-known jazz singer?"

"Yes, you." He said. "I'm e-mailing you the script right now."

The script arrived, I laughed myself silly, and called my manager back. "This is hilarious! There isn't a single thing about this that I don't like."

"I knew you'd say that," he said. "I'll call them now and confirm you."

. . . and that's the story of how I got to work on Cavalcade this afternoon, where Seth Macfarlane complimented my beard and told me I was funny.

I am, without a doubt, the luckiest guy in this room right now.

Some parts of this story have been mildly exaggerated for dramatic effect.

Er...? via Kelly Sue DeConnick

Thursday June, 26 2008 05:08 PM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a photo:

Er...?

Wii Fit

Collecting Stray Thoughts - 2020-06-26 via Warren Ellis

Thursday June, 26 2008 03:59 PM PDT

  • Put my hand out the window. Sun seared flesh off my bones. Fuck you, Rosemont. I stay indoors and cheat your death rays. #
  • Chicago Day 2: http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=6080 #
  • sitting down at avatar booth for signing hell 1 #
  • never met so many people called todd in my life #
  • gggaaaahhh #
  • death approches on sweaty paws #

A Toe Freak is Born via Kelly Sue DeConnick

Thursday June, 26 2008 01:00 PM PDT

Kelly Sue posted a video:

A Toe Freak is Born

Starring Henry Leo and Zoe B.