Volcanoes and Chessboards

Monday, July 25th 2011

I've often wondered why certain bands take off, or certain books hit the big time, or certain people become famous.

Yes, there is raw marketing power and all that entails. But if that was the sole cause, then Big Budget Movie Making wouldn't be such a risky business.

And there are other strange phenomena ...


Saturday, July 23rd 2011

Ah, look at the lovely rabbit.

If something is cute I get suspicious.

I ask myself: if this was 10 times bigger would it eat me?

Do I still think it's cute?

FOTU and the Void Gremlins

Friday, July 22nd 2011

Gen. Patton famously said:

Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.

A classic, canonical example is the "nerds versus suits" battle-line you see in IT. But it takes other forms: "workers versus management", "men versus women", "academics versus admin", "media versus politicians", "rock and rollers versus the establishment", "hippy versus businessman", "Metalhead versus popfan", "Middle class versus working class", etc, etc.


Thursday, July 21st 2011

I've always had a fondness for Kinder Surprises. I used to love eating chocolate and putting dodgy little plastic toys together when I was a kid.

Ah, the nostalgia! I stumbled across a Kinder Surprise egg again. A Kinder Surprise! Cool!

... and, bonus, things have have become strange in Kinder Surpriseland.

Very strange indeed.

It makes me think there is a mad designer working there. Some crazed scientist/Artist. He takes copious numbers of drugs of his own invention, and cranks out designs for very strange creatures indeed. I model him on the mighty Jeffrey Combs, perhaps.


Mixed with the glorious Mr. Auden:


"Dinosaurs! Kids love dinosaurs!" he cries, the spittle flying from his lips.

He lurches down the corridor to return to his laboratory. "Dinosaurs! Dinosaurs!"

And then he produces things like this:


But now questions are being asked. About the guy who inhabits a dark, dungeon-like laboratory he calls Castle Surprisenstein.

The guy is only working at night. He has been seen naked in the staff car park. The female members of staff are finding his presence uncomfortable.

He has been known to howl while on the staff loo.

He prefers to be naked from the waist down.

But, somewhere in an secret antechamber, where the Kinder Surprise Council of Overseers meet, the assembled ancients all concur: he stays.

His work is of cosmic significance.

Boris Karloff agrees:

Boris in the Annex

Shadow Thoughts, Stupidity and the Origin of Art

Wednesday, July 20th 2011

Most abstractions start off with reference to things in the "real" world. The word "tree" for example. Or the sentence "that tree over there". Or make reference to memories, stored emotions.

Making the leap from "that tree" to "trees" is a big conceptual jump. You move from an actual reference to a tree to a generic abstraction.

The Hero's Way of Explaining Oneself

Tuesday, July 19th 2011

"No, you don't understand. The world is my dancefloor."

We're at the bottom of page 223.

Click a page number above to go to that page.