Tag Archive: Audio

Clark Ashton Smith, The Crawling Chaos, Artistry

Artistry

Bow down, I am the emperor of dreams. - Clark Ashton Smith
my pre-ramble… :-)

Letter From Clark Ashton Smith About Crawling Chaos And Art - April 14th, 1937

Letter From Clark Ashton Smith About Crawling Chaos And Art

While doing some link rot checking using the Broken Link Checker plugin I came across this old post which is about an old edited letter from Clark Ashton Smith (CAS) to August Derluth.

A screenshot is at left – click to enlarge or see the original here.  CAS tells about the creation of The Crawling Chaos by the two authors, showing a natural deference for his friend, Howard Phillips Lovecraft (HPL).

Some people may know that CAS also sculpted, from soapstone if my memory is correct.  The letter mentions some of this, but mainly describes a gripe that all artists have – now, quoting directly from CAS, emphasised & paragraphed for web clarity by me…

I am pleased to hear that the sculptures continue to attract so much favorable attention. I am writing to Sloane, and offering him a copy of The Double Shadow if he hasn’t seen it. . . . On second thought, I’ll mail him an inscribed one anyway.

As to a volume of my stuff, I suppose there is no harm in trying, It makes me pretty sick to remember that at least five publishers asked HPL to submit story-material for a possible book and then turned it down.

It is curious how ready people are to admit the worth of a writer after he is dead, and how goddamned cautious they are about it while he remains alive. Death seems to bring about a sort of crystallization, so to speak. . . .

As for me. I am pretty tough, and come of a hardy and long-lived ancestry. I’ll survive my present difficulties. What the future holds, I am not sure. But I have made up my mind to quit California at the earliest possible date.

Plugging Away

So CAS just kept plugging away.  He never had any money, yet mysteriously, I’ve read nearly all his stuff!!  The bulk of this was some time ago when Panther published stacks of compilations by HPL, CAS and many others.  But, just as CAS mused, he was dead by the time I read them…

The original issues had wonderfully mystical, sometimes horrible, artwork by Bruce Pennington….

Crawling Chaos

When the band (The Crawling Chaos) was formed, it was just Jeff Crowe, Keith Wear & myself.  We all read and devoured everything to do with The Cthulu Mythos – and more! [e.g for myself it led me to Lord Dunsany, Robert Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, Philip K Dick, Daniel Keyes & the rest of SF]

Genius Loci cover

Genius Loci cover

In particular, since there’s only a few folks that now know this, Keith took it upon himself to copy the whole Bruce Pennington cover for the 1st Panther book version of CAS’s Genius Loci.

I scanned my book some time ago and cleaned away the title etc just leaving the work. That’s it, left.

Bedroom Wall

So…….Keith copied the key guts of the thing onto his bedroom wall in Ashington!  The whole wall…

You can see his copy as part of the cover for our first recorded output, Magnum Innoninandum (sic) here:

Crawling Chaos - Magnum Innoninandum (cassette cover)

Crawling Chaos – Magnum Innoninandum (cassette cover)

The original (nicked at Tynemouth) drumkit is there as well as the really noisy HH amp, Jeff’s record player, speakers & discs on the floorof his mum’s living room. Keith did the cover.

The Black Abbott of Puthuum

Genius Loci also includes one of my favourite CAS passages in the description of the Black Abbott.  (I think my favourite story has to be “The Coming of the White Worm“, but that’s for another time).  Anyway, here’s the bit about the black abbott blokey…

To add to their distress, the terrain grew rougher and steeper, and they climbed acclivitous hillsides and went down endlessly into drear valleys. Anon they came to a flat, open, pebbly space. There, all at once, it seemed that the pandemonium of evil noises drew back on every hand, receding and fading into faint, dubious whispers that died at a vast remove. Simultaneously, the circling night thinned out, and a few stars shone in the welkin, and the sharp-spined hills of the desert loomed starkly against a vermilion afterglow. The travelers paused and peered wonderingly at one another in a gloom that was no more than that of natural twilight.

“What new devilry is this?” asked Cushara, hardly daring to believe that the hellish leaguers had vanished.

“I know not,” said the archer, who was staring into the dusk.” “But here, mayhap, is one of the devils.”

The others now saw that a muffled figure was approaching them, bearing a lit lantern made of some kind of translucent horn. At some distance behind the figure, lights appeared suddenly in a square dark mass which none of the party had discerned before. This mass was evidently a large building with many windows.

The figure, drawing near, was revealed by the dim yellowish lantern as a black man of immense girth and tallness, garbed in a voluminous robe of saffron such as was worn by certain monkish orders, and crowned with the two-horned purple hat of an abbot. He was indeed a singular and unlooked-for apparition: for if any monasteries existed amid the barren reaches of Izdrel, they were hidden and unknown to the world. Zobal, however, searching his memory, recalled a vague tradition he had once heard concerning a chapter of negro monks that had flourished in Yoros many centuries ago. The chapter had long been extinct, and the very site of its monastery was forgotten. Nowadays there were few blacks anywhere in the kingdom, other than those who did duty as eunuchs guarding the seraglios of nobles and rich merchants

The animals began to display a certain uneasiness at the stranger’s approach.

“Who art thou?” challenged Cushara, his fingers tightening on the haft of his weapon.

The black man grinned capaciously, showing rows of discolored teeth whose incisors were like those of a wild dog. His enormous unctuous jowls were creased by the grin into folds of amazing number and volume; and his eyes, deeply slanted and close together, seemed to wink perpetually in pouches that shook like ebon jellies. His nostrils flared prodigiously; his purple, rubbery lips drooled and quivered, and he licked them with a fat, red, salacious tongue before replying to Cushara’s question. [isn’t this bit amazing? – SP]

“I am Ujuk, abbot of the monastery of Puthuum,” he said, in a thick voice of such extraordinary volume that it appeared almost to issue from the earth under his feet. “Methinks the night has overtaken you far from the route of travelers. I bid you welcome to our hospitality.”

So, buy the book, or read the whole story here.

Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams?

(clue – “The Hashish Eater”)
Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-colored sun
Of secret worlds incredible, and take
Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar….

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Freak Electric – Advance

Freak Electric – Advance Reworked

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For Moyly, Ian, Lorna and George….

Freak Electric Demo Sleeve

Freak Electric Demo Sleeve

Freak Electric Folks

Freak Electric Folks

I have an old demo cassette of yours.  Now I have remarkable computer power (8 cores at 4Ghz+), Reaper is becoming one hell of a tool.  Here I’ve had a 1 hour session at cleaning up what is a really rubbish quality cassette recording, all hiss and sweeping mushiness….   I think it’s better than my earlier effort with different software.  Even so, the source tape has no audio over 8kHz so it’ll be dull whatever I do.

Update 8/9/14:  I’ve since found two better quality versions of my aged cassette tape.  This is one below, starting with one of my favourite tracks.  Arseholes to the ambiguously sounding WIND, west wall…?  Either way. Crank it up, especially at 11:45.  [If done now, I’d thin out the long intro sound and add maximum punch for the loud bit – that’s technical folks…  ]

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Facts and Lies: UKIP Checking

Nobody can be bothered to check facts.

UKIP, the Lernaean Hydra of British politics

UKIP Hydra
[credit: Jon Worth, please click image ]

For months I have endured a deluge of facts and lies, all leading up to yesterday’s election. (I voted Green – there were only European elections in my area, so no local stuff).  Mostly, it’s all been around UKIP.  They really have stoked the fires, first lit by this government that wasn’t elected and that has done a raft of nasty things never included in their 2010 manifestos.  But the fires against the disadvantaged are really aflame now.

It’s UKIP wot done it guv.  It’s Suzanne Evans talking – click here to pause her waffle.

Tactics

The Chubby Elite

UKIP’s backers are some of the sharpest, wealthiest people in the land.

UKIP’s tactics however, have been to take on all crackpots of all kinds, then, when the fuckwit says something beyond the pale, they evict them.

This has the effect of being news-worthy, and as we in entertainment know, all news is good news.  The normal triumvirate of red, blue and orange have had a few gobshite moments, but UKIP beats them hands down.

The litany of UKIP’s tactics is strewn across the web, but a fairly recent summary and discourse on them can be found on Another Angry Voice (AAV).

Fact Checks #1

As Tom at AAV noted in the link above, UKIP-ers are not fond of reading anything beyond the first few lines of anything and have a raft of weird ideas all   the stuff headed up and analysed with examples, summarised neatly here:

General abuse Confirmation Bias Denial of reality Just making stuff up
Conspiracies Meta-slander Persecution complexes Marxist fearmongering
Talking in absolutes This is a “Hate group” The Censorship fallacy Fascist sentiments
Straw-manning You called us racist Humourlessness Right, I’m definitely voting UKIP now!

It’s all very “lowest common denominator” (LCD) stuff.  Confirmation Bias rules, okay!

 Fact Checks #2

Though I despise UKIP and parties like them, I do try to check facts, from all over and presented by anyone.  Even those that I support get it wrong sometimes.  Question everything!

UKIP’s Suzanne Evans on Radio 4

I heard that Evans had been quoted as saying that UKIP ” had difficulty appealing to the educated, cultured and young” with regard to the voting in London.  It was on the BBC Radio 4 “Today” programme.  You can listen to the whole thing here for the next few days.  If you do a Google search for the phrase, “difficulty appealing to the “educated, cultured and young”” a whole raft of websites, news organisations, social media and news agregation websites are all reporting this very same thing.  The search produced >1000 – here are 3.

This Reddit chat is a notable exception to the broadcast-info-with-impunity-or-checks brigade and also has a link to the interview.  They say she never said it and provide a textual view of the interview.

She Never Said It!

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The trouble is, she never actually said it!  This is my recording of the show, editted down to Suzanne Evans’ interview and compressed for audio clarity before MP3-ing it.

 It’s True – She Never Said It!

Ukip members wait for results of local election in Croydon

So why are all the news sites and almost every Google search result saying that she did?  ( Well almost all – a Reddit chat also says that she never said it. )  The Independent report even has a nicely forlorn UKIP blokey.

In the interview, then interviewer actually says that it was a colleague in London  (not known, not named) who, she said, UKIP “had difficulty appealing to the educated, cultured and young”

 

 Conclusion

Either:

  1. The truth of the matter is that people hardly ever check anything nowadays.
    • The deluge of information is too great.
    • Everyone expects reputable news providers to do properly journalistic background checks.
    • The BBC interviewer never checked.
  2. The truth of the matter is that all news providers are in collusion with the establishment to maintain the neoliberal status quo.
    • The UKIP freaks who commented on AAV are correct in that it is a conspiracy.
    • UKIP freaks are right in that the BBC shows anti-UKIP left-wing bias.

The trouble with #2 is that UKIP contains part of the powerful establishment elite.

  • Farage is a former banker and apart from a host of wealthy backers, the normal tory paper (Daily Telegraph – torygraph in common parlance) is now swapping sides since the tories are not right-wing enough for it’s wealthy  owners, the reclusive, island-owning, tax-avoiding, feudalistic, Sark-criticising (because it won’t allow them to set up a tax haven),  Barclay Brothers.
  • Many other establishment papers likewise share a divisive, right wing, xenophobic stance.
  • The BBC has had rafts of governement enforced right wing management changes (government plants is the phrase).
  • The BBC has given more airtime to Farage than any other panellist on “Question Time” except for Dimbleby.

This leaves #1.

Answer:

Nobody can be bothered to check facts.

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What is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo?

What is Nam Myoho Renge Kyo?

Lotus Flower

Lotus Flower

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Click to play and hear.

  • Just gaze at the Gohonzon.
  • Merge yourself with it, without seeking anything, without thinking anything.
  • Thoughts flow but you don’t seek them, you don’t follow them.
  • If they come that’s fine, if they don’t that’s equally fine.
  • If you become attuned to this way of practising, thoughts will no longer disturb you and you will become completely concentrated.
  • If many thoughts come to you as you practice don’t get annoyed with them, simply the idea that you want to be free from them will start a battle.
  • Instead it is a natural process. Just as the leaves unfurl on the trees, thoughts unfurl from your mind, there’s nothing bad about this.
  • Just remain an impartial observer and they won’t disturb your concentration any longer.
  • The less your thoughts irritate you, the more you will become one with the Gohonzon and you will find yourself in the state of Buddhahood.

And what will you gain by attaining Buddhahood, nothing?

  • On the contrary, a lot of other things are lost; anxiety, ambition, hatred, violence, possessiveness.
  • Each of the ten worlds are illuminated.
  • Greed, anger and stupidity vanish and all that remains is that which was always there, the Buddha inherent in ourselves.

 

Daisaku Ikeda. Tokyo. 20th April 1974

Lotus Blossom in McClelland Art Gallery - contrasts to the large sculptures...

Lotus Blossom in McClelland Art Gallery – contrasts to the large sculptures…

My Thoughts

I bullet-pointed out President Ikeda’s words to make them clearer for me, to make them stand out, individually, as thoughts.  If you do it right, as Daisaku said,

All that remains is that which was always there, the Buddha inherent in ourselves.

It’s the universal truth. Just as heaven and hell are within each of us, so is the Buddha nature.



 

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Daily Mail Headline Change After Vile Benefits Murder Comments Backlash

Lynch Mob Witch-hunt in Britain

Deeply Disturbing Daily Mail Changes Headline After Vile Benefits Murder Comments Backlash

Deeply Disturbing

The lowest common denominator mentality is alive and well in Glorious Britain.  “Most people” (according to a man-in-the-street soundbite on the BBC News yesterday, so it must be true) now think benefit scroungers are the ruin of the nation and treated like dogs.  Truly – the news article used this man to justify the April 1st cuts.

Also, at the last count, over 58,000 would be quite happy for the couple in this screenshot to be strung up, bashed to death in prison, hung drawn and quartered, dumped in the streets of Derby – you get the idea.

Deeply Disturbing Doubts

But this looks really bad to me.

Q. Oh!  How so?  You saw the telly last night, didn’t you?

Well actually, that’s part of the point.

  • How is it that just a few hours after the three convictions for parents Mick and Mairead Philpott, and their friend Paul Mosley, how is it that three main TV channels are running in-depth full length investigations into the three and the deaths?
  • How is it they all have recorded interviews with witnesses and others that knew the threesome?
  • How is it that the police, weeks ago, released secretly recorded audio of the threesome while the trial was in progress?
  • How is it that the Daily Mail ties the child deaths and lifestyles of the threesome to the benefit scrounging ethos of the recently introduced welfare cuts?

I’ve Seen It All Before

The media hysteria and manipulation of facts we’ve all seen before.  How do the 58k Facebook lynch mob so easily forget this?

Daily Mail Headline Change After Vile Benefits Murder Comments Backlash

Like the cowards that the Daily Mail is, it punches up nasty headlines to get the sales, gets a backlash, then can’t stand by its own words – so changes them.  Here’s how:

Initial Headline and URL
Deeply disturbing Daily Mail Changes Headline After Vile Benefits Murder Comments Backlash

DM Initial Welfare Headline

The URL for this page is http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2303120/Mick-Philpott-vile-product-Welfare-UK-Derby-man-bred-17-babies-milk-benefits-GUILTY-killing-six.html- but just try clicking it!

You’ll find that you are redirected to a wholly different page, similarly designed but with a different headline.  Click Here to try.  The original page that you should go to is on the right.

Redirected page with New Headline
DM Redirected Welfare Headline - Deeply Disturbing

DM Redirected Welfare Headline

If you clicked the link you’ll be taken here, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2303120/Mick-Philpott-Judge-hears-good-father-awaits-sentencing-killing-SIX-children-house-blaze.html which looks like this image on the left.

But check it through – most images are intact, their comments and much of the text.  Key to the change is the removal of the “Vile” headline.  However, a Google search on the headline still pulls the original page from the vaults – and this is when the redirect takes effect.

Daily Mail Sales

Still, it must’ve had an effect on sales, else why else would the two journos and their odious editor do it?  The Daily Mail is not without “form” in this respect.

JIll Dando and Barry George

DM Barry George Conviction

DM Barry George Conviction

The conviction and media witch-hunt on the run-in to George’s conviction is artfully recorded here on the Daily Mail website (image on left).  Complete with hysterical quotes from the judge over the killing of the nation’s favourite TV gal,

Mr Justice Gage told George, 41, that he was ‘unpredictable and dangerous’ – and said that there was no doubt that the murder was ‘premeditated’. But he added: ‘Why you did it will never be known.’

…the Mail continued in a salubrious investigation into George’s past.

Barry George On DM Website

Barry George On DM Website

Now Barry George is a troubled man, having several personality disorders and being of limited intelligence, but, as was proved eight years later, Judge Gage was seriously wrong when he said that there was no doubt that George committed premeditated murder.

In fact, the whole conviction and the media stories around it were completely wrong.

Indeed the Daily Mail has now just reported that Dando’s murder is unlikely to be solved and that George spent 8 years banged up for it.  But compare and contrast the imagery of Barry George used in the two articles and the text to tell the tales….   so very different, are they not?

Michelle Keegan Cunt Comment

Michelle Keegan Cunt Comment

But let’s thank goodness that Facebook wasn’t around in 2002 so that dishy doll psychos like Michelle Keegan couldn’t spill their vile venom under the disguise of public comment.  She now has a more recent one saying “This cunt needs hanging share if you agree”

I Disagree

Obviously.  I’m a Buddhist.

Also obviously, the man as presented and as I see him, and the others likewise, are the pits.  But this does not deserve a witch hunt with thousands up and down the country baying for their private parts to be burnt in oil.  Those doing so should better beware.

Faulty Convictions Abound

Because British justice has a long running habit of throwing curved balls.  For the last few decades we’ve seen a continuous stream of high profile murders and atrocities, where;

  • culprits are found,
  • the media has it hysterical bitch fit,
  • hanging is called for and worse,
  • and then amazingly,
    • everyone was wrong,
    • apologies are made
    • and lessons must be learned.

A few are listed here, Long-standing miscarriages of justice in the UK 

But at least most of these people didn’t die for the alleged crime.  Some, appallingly, never really recovered from their time in jail and died early, sad deaths.  For not doing something.  Take Sean Hodgson for instance.  27 years inside for doing nothing, then dies three years later.

Prior to this, folks really did die for things they didn’t do – Timothy Evans had the ignominy and anguish of knowing that Christie killed his wife & daughter, yet was hanged for their murders.  (The story is curious and involved yet it’s plain, especially following the posthumous pardon, that Evans was disturbed and probably simple.)

Philpott et al certainly appear as scum, guilty of the deaths of their children.

But give it time.  The spotlight glare into which the case has been placed coupled to the hysterical benefit-loaded media commentary give good grounds for a flawed judicial process.

  • At the time of Timothy Evans conviction, a similar media frenzy was in place.
  • Similarly for the Birmingham Pub (not) Bombers
  • and Judith Ward the M62 (not) bomber

All of these (and more) have had long drawn out media frenzies where the hang ’em and flog ’em brigade appeared, just as now, like a syphilis from the sewers of unclean thoughts.  They should be better than that, better than a killer.

Folks should learn from history.   Getting hot and bothered now will not resurrect the dead children.

 

 

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