Transmissions from Somewhen is an exploration of the mind that dwells in the past and the future, seeing how we can use our obsession with other times to improve the present.

Synaptic Grab Bag

Synaptic Grab Bag

A parade of events has been marching down the boulevard of my limited attention the last few weeks, apparently never got its permits in order, and also filled at least one of the balloons with hydrogen instead of helium and there was a bit of a spark, oops. Hence, no post recently. I’ve been trying to dredge up a good topic from the silt settling in my brain gutters but found only some rat skeletons. Poor guys. Anyway, instead, I’m going to try an experiment - sit here until a thought pops into my head and type a paragraph about it. Throw ze svitch!

I love metal. The music genre, I mean. Obviously the substance has a stellar record and its value to humanity is beyond reproach. I think one reason I love the style so much is that its combination of intensity and technicality embodies one of my bedrock principles of art: Intellectual appeal does not preclude, and should not be considered opponent to, visceral appeal. That’s why I love Shakespeare so much. It’s full of brilliant wordplay and dizzying philosophy, but all that’s built on a solid bedrock of love, lust, revenge, loneliness, and madness. A piece of art that waves fancy ideas in your face without punching you in the stomach first isn’t worth your time.

I’d love to learn archery to complement my swordplay, but I cannot imagine scraping together the time. I already don’t get in nearly enough practice with the swords. Boy would that be fun, though. As cool as fictional swordsmen are in books and movies, I think fictional archers have the coolness edge. If I were an archer I’d fletch my arrows with some really unusual bird, like emu or puffin. Could well be that flightless birds don’t have great feathers for arrows, but shooting off a volley of penguin-fletched bolts sounds real satisfying.

The ‘flight or invisibility’ question depends on specifics. Does the power of flight burn energy like walking and running? Are you adapted to survive in thin higher atmosphere? Are you invisible to all light wavelengths, like UV and infra-red? Does it have a time limit, and does it include your clothes? I’m still not sure which I’d pick, but I definitely need more particulars.

Cyberpunk has a unique double status amongst science fiction which is a lot of why I enjoy it so much. It is both, at this point, a deeply locked-in retrofuturist aesthetic, the 1980’s vision of the 2030’s that now exists safely outside of time, and the style that has had more of its predictions come true, and more quickly, than any other. It’s true that this graduation from earnest prophesying to fun aesthetic happens to other sci fi styles too, but it never happened this fast with any other style - fast enough to be truly simultaneous.

Well, that’s a few silly thoughts for today. Maybe something better planned next time. Maybe.

A Wise(?) Dip Into Music Criticism

A Wise(?) Dip Into Music Criticism

Fiction: 'Twiddling in the Void'

Fiction: 'Twiddling in the Void'