Tag Archive: Death

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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Automatic Metric Solves Wireless and Ethernet Network Issues

Automatic Metric: Windows 7 Laptop Will Only Connect to Huawei E5372 on UK Three Network, OR the Wired Home Network

Windows 8 Computers Work Fine Though!

Connecting Win7 to wireless and ethernet networks simultaneously

Problem link is shown in red

Automatic Metric is the place to be!

I have two networks essentially:

  • The “normal” wired network (gigabyte ethernet) that links all computers and printers through the Cisco Router.
  • The temporary mobile network that allows the PCs to connect to the internet while we are in temporary accommodation.  It’s a Huawei E5372.

The Issue

After setting up WiFi on the PCs, access to the Ethernet network disappeared – but only for the Windows 7 computer!!!

This meant that file transfers, backup etc between the machines, ceased, as well as access to the wired printer.   The printer worked fine when connected through its USB connection.  It has no WiFi.

In the same way, disconnecting the wireless enabled connectivity to the wired home network (Ethernet).

I searched and many forums had similar “fixes”, none of which worked. e.g.

  • Remove IPv6 leaving just IPv4 on the network adapters.
  • Remove network devices completely and re-install.
  • Try new or updated drivers.
  • Reboot each time.

However, two very small items appeared and worked for me!!  They are network settings, deeply buried and that I’ve never set before.

The Fix(es)

It’s the same in both Win 7 & 8.  Maybe even Vista, but as we know, Vista Means Death.  I did two places that got the Win7 machine to connect to the web through the Mobile WiFi dongle and to the home, wired and routed, network.

  1. Adapters and Bindings
  2. Automatic Metric

So Adapters and Bindings…

Network Adapters And Bindings

Network Adapters And Bindings (as seen in Win8)

  • Network and Sharing Center
  • Change Adapter Settings
  • Advanced on the menu. (Alt+N)
  • Advanced Settings
  • Adapters and Bindings tab
  • Set WiFi at the top

Oh Woe Is Me Again!

At this point, connectivity was still not restored, but it was an interesting setting, totally hidden in Win8!

 And Automatic Metric…

This is the killer setting that worked!!!  You need to do this twice:

  1. once for the Wireless network adapter
  2. and again for the wired Ethernet adapter
Here’s how
  • Network and Sharing Center
  • Network Adapter Wireless - Automatic Metric

    Network Adapter Wireless (Win 7)

    Click the first adapter, the one I need windows to use first.  i.e. The Wireless adapter.

  • Click Properties
  • Scroll down to “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and select it.
  • Click Properties
  • Click Advanced
  • Uncheck Automatic Metric and put a low number (say 1) in the “Interface Metric” box
  • Click OK to save the settings changes.

Now do the second, Ethernet adapter.  Follow the previous method.  However, this time,

  • Network Adapter Ethernet - Automatic Metric

    Network Adapter Ethernet (Win 7)

    Uncheck Automatic Metric and put a high number (say 5000) in the “Interface Metric” box

  • Click OK to save the settings changes.

Conclusion

One commenter on the forum I saw (link to be done) said that just setting the order to 1,2,3 etc wasn’t sufficient.  Setting a large gap between interface metrics did the trick, which is what I did.

What Is Automatic/Interface Metric?

Well, you can do this search, or probably the best answer comes from Microsoft, here.

It sets the priority of network interface access, lowest number first, on an individual machine.

In my case, weirdly, the Windows 8 machines had no difficulty.  The single Windows 7 laptop fell over and caused me immense hair loss until I stumbled across the settings which I have never, ever touched in 17 years of computing and the web!

 

 

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Life is fleeting so first of all learn about death

Nichiren – The Importance of the Moment of Death

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

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

With it’s dramatically sombre title, “The Importance of the Moment of Death“, Nichiren tells us exactly what’s on his mind. The text of the letter shows that it was sent to an unknown person to read to the lay nun Myōhō.  Presumably she was unable to read… Whatever, Nichiren knew several lay nuns called Myoho and this one’s a widow.

We know he despised the “Pure Land” and other teachings and espoused the Lotus Sutra as being the final version of a lifetime’s work and thought by Shakyamuni, who most know as the Buddha.  His outspokenness brought him many enemies in feudal Japan.

He was drawing to the end of his life, being 56, with 4 years to go.  In this piece he states exactly what he thought – and did! The sheer poetry when he talks about the transient nature of life, is like majestic magic.

Looking back, I have been studying the Buddha’s teachings since I was a boy. And I found myself thinking, “The life of a human being is fleeting. The exhaled breath never waits for the inhaled one. Even dew before the wind is hardly a sufficient metaphor. It is the way of the world that whether one is wise or foolish, old or young, one never knows what will happen to one from one moment to the next. Therefore I should first of all learn about death, and then about other things.”

So I gathered and considered the sacred teachings of Shakyamuni’s entire lifetime, as well as the writings and commentaries of scholars and teachers.

Which is what Nichiren really did.  From a young boy he sought the true nature of existence.  And using the metaphors that without white there can be no black, and without life there can be no death, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo was the fruit of his lifetime’s studies.

Nichiren explicitly says (above) that it was from looking at dead people at such an early age that he commenced his life’s work and started studying Buddhism!  What a fantastic thing from such a gloomy beginning!

Encouragement

  • Nichiren encourages the lay nun Myoho that her recently deceased husband is okay.
  • He also says that she will be (and is currently), okay.

The persistent care and trouble that Nichiren takes over ordinary people is noteworthy; he continually encourages, when things are just pottering on as well as when people are at their darkest hour and are troubled.

How does he say these things?  Here?

The key passage for me is here:

Carina Nebula

Carina Nebula

One who upholds the daimoku of the Lotus Sutra transforms the black lacquer of the evil deeds of a lifetime, and of countless kalpas of lifetimes in the past, into the great merit of good deeds. All the more so is this true of one’s good roots from the beginningless past, which all take on a golden hue.

And when your deceased husband chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo at the end on his deathbed, the evil deeds of a lifetime, and from the beginningless past, changed into the seeds of Buddhahood. This is what is meant by the teachings called “earthly desires are enlightenment,” “the sufferings of birth and death are nirvana,” and “attaining Buddhahood in one’s present form.”

And because you are the beloved wife of such a man, the teaching of women attaining Buddhahood without doubt also applies to you.

The image is that of a huge dying star, the Carina Nebula which is likely to cataclysmically pop.  From its remains, new stars will be made, which is the whole point of it all.   Nichiren then goes on to finish saying,

…if this were to be a lie, Shakyamuni, Many Treasures, and all the Buddhas of the ten directions, who are Shakyamuni’s emanations, would be liars, great liars, evildoers, and those who deceive all living beings and cause them to fall into hell (…)  It would not be Nichiren’s lie; rather it would be the lie of all the Buddhas in the ten directions and three existences.

But consider: How could such a thing ever be?

I will explain this matter in detail when we meet.

I would love to had been at that meeting!

And in Another Letter to the Lay Nun Myoho…

ShunnedThree years later in another letter to the nun, Nichiren again encourages the nun.  Her loneliness has increased as she is shunned by her family – all for chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

In fact in this letter, we get a clue to Nichiren’s realisation that Buddhahood applies to everyone.  He paraphrases Shakyamuni’s disillusionment with the women of his time and at the same time praises the lay nun Myoho, when he says,

I have received your gift of a light summer robe.   You have been left behind by your deceased husband in a woman’s situation, and are separated from your relatives, too. You hear nothing from your one or two daughters, who are not to be relied on. Moreover, you are a woman who is hated by others because of this teaching. You are just like Bodhisattva Never Disparaging.

I had therefore thought that, though women would tarnish their names and throw away their lives on meaningless paths, they were weak at following the path to Buddhahood. But now you, born a woman in the evil world of the latter age, while being reviled, struck, and persecuted by the barbaric inhabitants of this island country who are unaware of these things, have endured and are propagating the Lotus Sutra.

She must have been a tough one.  She chanted the daimoku, probably just like in this YouTube video.

Conclusion

Operating Table

Operating Table

Nichiren does not explicitly say, to my eyes, what “The Importance of the Moment of Death” is.  But his meaning is clear.

The importance of the moment of death is to be chanting The Daimoku of The Lotus Sutra, even if it’s only in your head.

I did this when I had an operation a few years ago, just as I was going under the anaesthetic.  Of course I woke up later (like dah…), but my faith was paramount in my thoughts as I drifted off, though weirdly, I almost forgot…..  Here’s how.

I was completely empty of thoughts, or a bit shocked, as they prepared my hand for the drugs, maybe my face showed trepidation or something to the anaesthetist, but she said “most people try to think happy thoughts or faces at this time” – it was then that I remembered I’d previously promised myself many times to chant as I went under…. so I did… and just in time.

  • I continue.
  • Clifford Worley Quote

    Clifford to Clarence Worley – Click image for Quote

    I have a set drill in my head now that should I feel I’m a goner, to chant, even if it’s just inside my mind.

  • Is this mad?  Not for me.
  • Will I forget again?
  • Who can tell?  But though I quoted this at the top from Nichiren, I’ll repeat it again here…

It is the way of the world that whether one is wise or foolish, old or young, one never knows what will happen to one from one moment to the next.

“So quit fuckin’ around!”

– from True Romance (1993)


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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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Zyklon B Zombies – Never Too Leyte

A performance piece for Dionysian Heights. Part Two: Death

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it – George Santayana

This is a revision of the earlier video with something that I consider more appropriate both to us at the time, the feel of the piece, and how I feel right now.  The music is the same and I’ve edited lots of WW2 video archive material to fit, where possible, to the sounds.
Recorded circa 1980-81
The music was created by Crawling Chaos as accompaniment to a performance piece by Zyclon B Zombies called Dionysian Heights, a morbid and gory on-stage blood fest with real offal and copious quantities of ketchup.
See http://crawlingchaos.co.uk/1145/zyklon-b-zombies-death/

All music copyright Crawling Chaos
All video and images are in the public domain, free of copyright or under creative commons’ licences.  They’re all available here on the wayback machine.  These are what I used:

NewsMaga00_2_edit.mp4
Into_the_wind_at_leyte_gulfRedoRedo_mpeg2video.mpg
gov.dod.dimoc.26524.mpeg
gov.archives.arc.65631_512kb.mp4
gov.archives.arc.35904_512kb.mp4
gov.archives.arc.3483_512kb.mp4
gov.archives.arc.2765_512kb.mp4
1944-12-20_Allies_Fight_Fierce_Nazi_Counter-Blow.mpeg

n.b. My dad missed The Battle of Leyte Gulf (some of the footage here) though he was at D-Day and then was part of the British Task Force  57 at Okinawa on his ship, HMS Slinger.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Pacific_Fleet
This piece is dedicated to my dad and folks like him

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