Tag Archive: extinct

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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The Destructive side of Humanity

Strangely post on October 14th, 2010
Posted in Buddhism Tags: , , , , , , , ,

PHOTO IN THE NEWS: “Extinct” Bird Seen, Eaten

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090218-extinct-bird-photo.html

Did climate kill off the Neanderthals?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7873373.stm

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Islands ‘Defy’ Sea-Level Rise

Glittering IslandsIntroduction

This week will see some news that will be twisted and churned by the climate change sceptics…

Apparently, the coral islands are responding well to sea-level rises, which are real, make no mistake.

The New Scientist article is here and the BBC News item is here.

The Reality

Angaga Island Resort & Spa, MaldivesIn my previous post, The Maldives and Tuvalu will be Alright Without People, I pointed out just such a fact.  My reasoning was based on the not-so-recent research and conclusion of Charles Darwin into the creation and maintenance of coral islands, reefs, atolls and submerged sea mounts.

Now, recent measurements as described in the New Scientist prove this is so.

But there’s still no room for optimism because the reason that islands like Tuvala and The Maldives are suffering is because of human interference…  How so?

A. Because people keep using the coral for building materials, and smooth out it’s natural deposits into runways and hotels for tourists and the like!

This far beyond what the coral can naturally replenish by accretion from storms and it’s natural growth.

Ancient History

One other aspect comes into the “coral equation”.

Coral almost disappeared following a major extinction event!

we warned you......Dinosaurs and Coral

The KT event which wiped out the dinosaurs and left room for our own eventual evolution, also wiped out 90% of coral species.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/…Tertia…event#Marine

Quoting from this source,

Further analysis of the coral extinctions shows that approximately 98% of colonial species, ones that inhabit warm, shallow tropical waters, became extinct.

Prior to this, in the greatest known extinction event at the end of the Permian Era, far worse damage was done to corals.  See link.  Quoting from the article:

The event had a profound effect on the terrestrial ecosystem, which is still being felt today, a quarter of a billion years later….

Nothing resembling a coral reef shows up until 10 million years after the Permian extinction, and full recovery of marine life took about 100 million years…

Dishonour not the bones of those who trod this earth before us, lest one day they return...Now this is serious shit!  Because we are right now part of a mass extinction event, started by our own human activity, that will one day show up as such in the geological record.

Currently the coral can keep pace with increasing water temperatures and rising sea levels as it did at the end of the recent glacial period ~12k years ago.

But for how long?

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It’s Just Like Bladerunner.

It’s Just Like Bladerunner, And Not Just the Weather!

Tears in Rain

Just Like Bladerunner?  This morning's View.

Just Like Bladerunner? This morning's View.

Bladerunner, the movie, based on an old Philip K Dick science-fiction story, was made by Ridley Scott from North-East England, someone I’m distantly related to.  Made in 1982, it presents a very grey, wet, bleak future, heavily referencing Scott’s (and my own!) upbringing of wide, breathtaking Northumbrian vistas, interspersed with the constant oppression of continuous rain in a dense urban landscape.  It’s a metaphor for the continuous duality of freedom and slavery.

Sex Machine

Back in 79-80, when Jeff and I made Crawling Chaos’ Sex Machine, I saw it as a neat tune, with our comically scientific words slapped on top.  The words humorously refer to a future of gene control and designer-led bodies.  Because humans are so sexually fixated, we postulated that this may become the be-all and end-all of most technology, with real work for the betterment of mankind taking second spot.  And of course, the more sex, then the more sexually transmitted diseases (STD) there’ll be.  It’s all in the words.

Reality

Blade Runner Fly ByAmazingly, apart from the flying cars and an army of androids, the world is very much like Bladerunner.  Floods (like the recent ones in the UK, and 2007, and 2005 etc), storms, heatwaves, blizzards, insect plagues, species extinction.  The whole world has had them in increasingly bizarre locations and strengths.

And yet while disasters hit us, those in The West, certainly, are more concerned with celebrity gossip and inane personal acquisitions.  The pursuit of the self.

Drone Plane

The scientists trying to model vast climatic changes are ridiculed for doing so as their words are endlessly quoted out of context by the vested interests of the climate-change-sceptic lobby.  All science indeed is held in contempt by the ignorant classes, except if it can be used for sex or death.

Pudenda and Hymen

  • Remarkably, there’s now a huge cosmetic industry devoted to amending women’s pudenda to some ‘ideal look’ more akin to pre-pubescent girls!
  • Now, in a neat twist on Barry Bucknell‘s DIY skills, there are online designs and instructions so that anyone can make their own sex machine…. a machine-driven giant cock with a flywheel!  Ordinary dildos are not enough!  For males there is an army of sucking machines of various types.
  • Even more bizarrely, women are now having their hymen repaired – just so that they can be filmed having it ‘broken’ again for the porn industry.  And then they get it repaired again!  So it can be filmed being broken, again.
  • Men have penis inserts and painful extensions both mechanical and physically while parliament is petitioned for the ‘rights’ of non-breeding couples to be somehow mated and made to conceive children.
  • Breast implants and augmentation are hardly worth mentioning, they are so commonplace.

Ordinary Sex Machine

All of these things are done to ordinary people.  They are not deformed or burned like some WW2 fighter pilot or Elephant Man.

They are just ordinary folk.

So what is it about ordinary people that makes so many want to be less-ordinary, sexually?  They are not sex slaves, but are slaves to sex, so much so that peer kudos is their sole reason for existence.

Tears in Rain

For me, our song Sex Machine does not sound so odd now, despite the ignorant comments made towards it.  And Bladerunner now seems so prophetic, it’s scary.

Rutger made up the line “Tears in Rain” on the spur of the moment.  It was unscripted and has become one of the most famous lines in film.

I feel the same, because,

I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe…

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Copenhagen Congress on Climate Change

In this stark summary from a meeting of 2.5k scientists from across the globe, we find that not only is anthropomorphic climate change real, not only is it getting worse, but also, within the error margins for the ‘hockey stick‘ predictions of only a few years back, recent measurements put the actual effects at the top of the predicted range!

Kongres Logo

Copenhagen, Denmark: Following a successful International Scientific Congress Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions

Many years ago I read a book (actually in a few volumes) by the late climatologist from East Anglia, H.H.Lamb called Climate Present Past and Future (ISBN 0-06-473881-7).  It’s extremely hard to get hold of now, but I recall that nearly everything Professor Lamb wrote is now coming true.

Many of the scientific concepts he wrote about are being used in the so-called ‘climate debate’ between various vested interests.  Check out the apologists for freedom at The Heartland Institute (you can’t make it up, can you?) or Climate Change Fraud (who change their hyperlinks regularly to avoid comebacks).  Several lone souls tackle these monsters of misleading fact-providers, such as Greenfyre’s and the Ecogeek.

The amount of cloud cover and water vapour is always a good red herring for the deniers.  As Prof. Lamb pointed out 30 years ago and is perfectly obvious to any observer, clouds are both insulators and reflectors of heat.  It just depends where they are, if it’s night or day, and where you, the observer are!  For instance:

  • cold day, -> clouds move in and night falls = cold night as cold trapped at ground level
  • cold day, -> no clouds at night = even colder night as heat radiates out to space
  • cold night, -> cloudy day = cold day as cold trapped under clouds and sun’s heat is reflected back to space
  • cold night, -> sunny day = warm day as sun warms earth’s surface

These temps are all relative, of course.  But throw in a bit of dirt into the clouds or let dirt fall on snow (another good reflector and insulator) and the picture changes because dark clouds and snow absorb more heat.  What is clear is that cloud and snow cover, like continuous volcanic eruptions, and like CO2 and CH4, are critical positive feedback agents.  Like trying to slowly push a light switch to stop in the middle, eventually all the slow forcing you do makes it flip to it’s other stable state.

Any worldary wobbling that the deniers use is also a red herring.  The wobble cycles tie in with ice-ages as Professor Lamb pointed out.  We’ve at least 20k years until the next one.  Bothered?  No.  Thought not.

The fact is that there are many scenarios for cloud behaviour and it’s influence – the climate change deniers just tend to use one (like the wobbles) as the basis of their arguments.  But even back in 1977, Professor Lamb’s models basically predicted the climate forcing we are witnessing now although at the time, a swing in the other direction looked possible.

But now we do know!

A recent exploration to the Arctic has been forced back because there’s no safe ice to walk on!  Coral is dying.  Floral and faunal species are being made extinct at an E.L.E. rate.  Make no mistake, it’s our fault and if we don’t pay now we or our children will pay in the future.  We need land and food to live on, not equities and price to earnings ratios.  A week of reduced fuel supplies in the UK and Europe and the continuing travails of African economic migrants revealed a tiny window on our probable future as billions, globally, seek somewhere to live and breed.  A few street riots will be the least of everyone’s worries.

I just wish that the OCO spacecraft had made it

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