They’re real.

March 31, 2010

You all know how much I like space, right?  Imagine my surprise when I read today from a very reputable source that aliums are real.  The article, written about a month ago, has startlingly not spread to other major news syndications.  The evidence is irrefutable.  People just aren’t seeing it.  Not like I do.

Listening to: You Make Me Like Charity, The Knife


Classicism FTW.

March 28, 2010

Speaking of video games, guess what I just rediscovered?  That’s right, it’s Bucky O’Hare.  He goes where no other rabbit would dare.  From comic book to television to the NES (which was then converted to a playable javascript).  Which brings me to my point: what ever happened to shows and games that made absolutely no flipping sense?  Bucky was a mutant green rabbit.  Things nowadays are all about teaching people useful things and life lessons (Dora the Explorer, come on) or telling an epic tale of epic proportions (Mass Effect, haven’t played it — actually avoided it because it looked too awesome).  Do I have a rational point to make about this?  No, not really.  I just hate that THIS (Classic) has turned into THIS (Edgy).  Really, Nintendo?  You’re putting the people behind Ninja Gaiden in charge of the new Metroid game?  This game looks bad, bad, bad.  It makes my brain want to bleed.  Next thing you know we’ll be seeing a new and edgy release of Battletoads (best game ever? probably).  A release where they, you know, try to give rational explanation for why the Dark Queen went renegade in the first place and then launch into an incredibly detailed backstory for our heroes Rash and Zitz.  Whatever, at least the new Metroid’s got Samus fighting space dragons again.

This post is also partly a response to Kyle’s post a few weeks back on the KGB Poetry Press on the evolution of storytelling.  Also this post is a load of horse puckey.

Listening to: Collection of Stamps, I’m From Barcelona


PLAY

March 28, 2010

You all (probably) know how much I like video games.  Well, I just saw this video short by David Kaplan and Eric Zimmerman today, thought it was wonderfully done.  And a child cowboy?  How David Lynch… no wonder I liked it.  Anyway, the video was featured in a series called FUTURESTATES, something I had not been aware of before but will be following now.  The short is a bit longer than your average YouTube clip, but it’s well worth it.  Enjoy.  If not, reset and try again.

Listening to: Bear, The Antlers


The Alcohol Equation.

March 27, 2010

So I was hanging out in my corridor last night (yes, being social, I know) but then didn’t end up going out because I hate the clubbing scene that tends to draw a flock as the hours progress.  So what happens when you add me plus that ukulele I bought about a month ago plus a few beers plus a night of staying in?  I play that ukulele.  And record it (then go to bed ’cause I’m sleepy but that part of the story’s boring so I won’t tell it because it would detract from the entertaining part, and, oh wait, I mean, hey look a unicorn!).  Anyway, here’s the visual equation:

+

=

“Start A Fire” – The Tiger Lillies

This song makes me giggle.  So much so that I had a bit of difficulty being intelligible at some points.  If you’re wondering what I was trying to say, take a look at the actual video (complete with lyrics and chords just a click away) here: http://ukulelehunt.com/2007/11/04/the-tiger-lillies/.  Dreadfully easy to play, and a load of fun, too.  Oh, and for those of you who were counting the beers missing between photo and video, that would be four.  I drank three.  The other one tasted atrocious and I’d called it quits after a few confused sips (banana bread beer, which is okay if you’re into that sort of thing, but it turns out that I’m not).  My sink got to drink that one.  Anyway, for my next trick… tracked down a few GPS coordinates around the Uppsala area.  First sunny and warm(ish) day this next week I will be going Geocaching.  Photo adventure to follow.

In other news, my friend Mar is making me dinner tonight because I’m just such a nice guy.  For those of you who don’t know her (probably anyone who actually reads this nonsense blog), she’s the one in my corridor with the log lady glasses.  Win.

Listening to: Cicatriz, The Mars Volta


DALEK POETRY

March 26, 2010

There are a number of reasons for today’s post.  First of all, I’m writing this in anticipation of the upcoming season of Doctor Who, featuring the newly regenerated Eleventh Doctor.  I believe the first episode airs next Saturday, April the third.  Another reason for today’s post comes from my new and apparent love of sci-fi poetry.  Writing poetry about the Kwisatz Haderach was just such a hoot, I had to give it a go with some more of my favorite science fiction.  Also thought it might be good to have a bit more poetry on this blog, as I’ve been relegating much of my more serious work to the KGB Poetry Press and to actual submissions.  This stuff is just fun.  And thirdly: I think Dalek poetry is the ultimate follow-up to a post on slam poetry (as slam is competitive, and there’s nothing a Dalek loves more than victory (although here the term “love” is a bit of a malapropism as Daleks can only feel hate, I’m sure you get the idea)).  This particular poem is written as a Shakespearean sonnet.  Enjoy, or BE EXTERMINATED!

“DALEK POETRY”

DALEKS OBEY DALEKS OBEY DALEKS
OBEY DALEKS OBEY DALEKS OBEY
DALEKS OBEY DALEKS OBEY DALEKS
OBEY DALEKS OBEY DALEKS OBEY!
MY VISION IS IMPAIRED; I CANNOT SEE!
MY VISION IS NOT IMPAIRED; KILL ON SIGHT!
MY VISION IS IMPAIRED; I CANNOT SEE!
MY VISION IS NOT IMPAIRED; KILL ON SIGHT!
EX-TER-MIN-ATE EX-TER-MIN-ATE EX-TER-
MIN-ATE EX-TER-MIN-ATE EX-TER-MIN-ATE
EX-TER-MIN-ATE EX-TER-MIN-ATE EX-TER-
MIN-ATE EX-TER-MIN-ATE EX-TER-MIN-ATE!
DALEK POETRY IS SUPERIOR!
DALEK POETRY IS SUPERIOR!

— — —

I also think it’s appropriate to include this clip of the Dalek vs Cybermen verbal smackdown, one of the best-ever moments in Doctor Who (my humble Tenth-Doctor-biased opinion, of course):

INELEGANT??? EXTERMINATE!!!

— — —

Listening to: Levitation Nation, Shpongle


Dune Poetry

March 22, 2010

I was fascinated today when I saw one of the search terms that’s been leading viewers to my blog: “Dune Poetry.”  Sure, I talk about Dune and about poetry, but they’re never exactly been linked subjects.  So as not to disappoint, I’ve written a quick poem about Dune.  It’s a metaphor for Muad’Dib, the Kwisatz Haderach.

“the crysknife.”

dry bones
and a dusty tongue
lapping up the maker of the universe.

blue in blue
and a blackened rung
within resisting the padishah witch and worse.

proved in sands
where the maker’s sign sung
blue in blue sight across its universe.

spice
it flows
in his whetted bones.

— — —

Also please note that after writing this piece I was consumed by the desire to reread Dune and, not having my copy here in Sweden, turned to Wikipedia to read about it instead.  When I threw the term ‘Kwisatz Haderach’ into Google, I was stunned to see Google suggestions pop up with ‘Kwisatz Haderach Obama.’  I couldn’t help but let myself be diverted and followed the first link that popped up, which led me to a speech by comedian John Hodgman from about a year ago.  While I normally try to avoid politics in all decent (and indecent) conversation and writing, I can’t help but share this.  Because the man drilled the President about Dune, asking the Fremen word for the sandworms, the machine used to summon them, and the name of the hallucinogenic substance created by drowning a baby sandworm in water.  The answers, of course: Shai-Hulud, thumper, and the Water of Life.  Anyway, now that I’ve spoiled (what I thought was) the best part of the speech, here’s a link: John Hodgman at Radio & TV Correspondents’ Dinner.

Listening to: Disappear in a Blood-Red Sky, Lotus


On slam poetry.

March 21, 2010

Today I made the huge mistake of trying to get into an intelligent discussion about the merits of slam poetry on the internet.  The guy dismissed slam as either rhyming too much, not rhyming at all, having no rhythm or metaphor, being all performance with zero content, having too much energy with nothing to say, etc.  When, of course, I shared a number of examples that shot his contradictory arguments to hell, I at least got the admission that “maybe slam poetry wasn’t his scene.”  I’m not sure what believed constitutes good poetry, as he never gave any examples beyond complaints.  Perhaps he had a very classic and fixed assumption about what poetry should be.  However, as much as I enjoy them, poetry’s more than just Shakespearean sonnets.

Here I’d like to share a favorite piece of mine by Saul Williams, titled “Coded Language.”  My internet opponent dismissed the slam as being pure artifice, and structureless, witless rhyme.  Now, Williams does use a bit of a visual gag with the scroll, but even this is a coded reference to one of his books of poetry, “The Dead Emcee Scrolls.”  While he does steamroll through the piece (perhaps a legitimate criticism of slam, that it’s too often fast and furious [and, let’s be honest, that was a terrible movie]), he is far from witless and hardly overuses rhyme.  As Williams himself would have put it, perhaps my opponent confused rhyme with reason.  There’s a lot going on in this poem — it might be a good idea to find a text copy to follow along.  Unfortunately, all the text versions I’ve found on the net are listed on song lyrics sites which gives you the choice between awful formatting and atrocious formatting.  I couldn’t pick one, so I’ll let you look it up on your own.  Anyway, here’s a powerful piece of humanity:

Other slam poets to check out: Marc Smith (couldn’t find any performances, but here’s a link to one of my favorite pieces), Taylor Mali (On What Teachers Make), Katie Makkai (Pretty), Beau Sia (I’m So Deep), and Patricia Smith (Medusa).  I would also recommend checking out some of the beats and black arts poets who laid the foundations for slam poetry — most notably Allen Ginsberg (America) and Amiri Baraka (Black Art).

Listening to: DNA, Saul Williams (because he’s a rapper, too, and a damn good one at that)