Tag Archive: Lookalikes

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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Lookalikes

Strangely post on January 5th, 2010
Posted in Art Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Much merriment is being made about the Spanish  presidency website being hacked and Mr Zapatero’s image being replaced by that of Mr Bean.  See Mr Bean replaces Spanish PM on EU presidency site

However, the images also seem very similar to those of France’s President Sarkozy.  Are they all, in some way, related?

Nicolas Sarkozy

Sarkozy

Zapatero

Zapatero

Bean

Bean

Zapatero

Zapatero

Sarkozy

Sarkozy

Zapatero

Zapatero

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Garbage Summer Science

Is This the Worst Science Project Ever?

Pitt JolieThe Daily Telegraph, short of stories this summer now that the expenses scandal is dead, has published a picture of Angelina Jolie under the heading:

Women getting more beautiful, say scientists: (see link)

According to some work done by  Finnish Philosopher/PsychologistYliopistotutkija – University Researcher Degree: Doctor of Philosophy Department of Psychology University of Helsinki P.O. Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 20 D) FIN-00014 University of Helsinki” http://web.archive.org/web/20100115033346/http://www.helsinki.fi:80/psykologia/english/introduction/personnel.htm Markus Jokela,

…attractive women have more children than their less attractive counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female…

The methodology was to look at 2000 Americans, and then decide that ‘beautiful‘ women had 16% more children.  How this ‘beauty‘ decision was derived, is unknown, save for the comment that,

“attractiveness was assessed from photographs taken during the study”

The article continues in the same vein by quoting the results of yet more “scientists” from the London School of Economics taken in 2006.  They had the same ‘results‘.

The gaffa in charge of this, Mr Kanazawa, said…,

“Physical attractiveness is a highly heritable trait, which disproportionately increases the reproductive success of daughters much more than that of sons.”

Rubbish Science

Dunce's Hat

Dunce’s Hat

The point is that the above statement is produced with absolutely NO backing.  It’s an opinion, that’s all. 

It could be equally well said about men.

Remember, it takes two to tango and make a child.   The fact that attractive men can rapidly spread their seed faster than any woman proves that this statement is bunkum…

Look at it like this…
  • In 9 months, a woman can parent one child.
  • In 9 months, with one successful shag per day, a man can parent 270 children.

Who is having the greater initial reproductive success?  Obviously, the man.

I’m sure that someone like Brad Pitt, Jolie’s husband, if let loose into the wild, would procreate many more children than Jolie could!  If he came to Bridgwater, it’d be legs akimbo for weeks followed by lots of little Brad lookalikes!  Apart from the jollity, this will seriously slew the statistics wholly against the research’s argument! It only takes one rampant male to break the ‘hard work’ of hundreds of ‘beautiful’ women taking a lifetime to improve the gene pool!

Or look at it like this…

DNAThis ‘research’ assumes that attractiveness is a one-way process and that women passively sit around waiting to choose the best mate (using what criteria, are we to wonder?).  Again, this is plain garbage.  Women aren’t passive.  If one of a woman’s criteria for mate choice is the appearance of the man, then it chucks out the research findings right out of the window.  Indeed, the ‘beauty’ gene, if it exists, could be being selected for because the man holds it (he having half of his mother’s genes, after all) without actually expressing it himself.

Note to Researchers: check out the difference between a genotype and a phenotype before spouting this muck.

Or Look at it This Way…

My Observation of many UK towns tells me that there are a lot of fat munters on the estates (call them endomorphs, please).  They all have appear to have heaps of children despite any perceived lack of ‘beauty‘.  So what does this mean to a ‘scientist‘ in this calibre of research?

A.  Using their specious logic, I could say that fat munters are the most successful breeders in the country.  I could say that only fat people breed fast.   I could make all sorts of scurrilous accusations about them and the reason(s) for the perceived fecundity.  Just like boys-nights-out on a Friday eyeing up the talent?   But I won’t….

Because Any Logic with like this is seriously flawed.

CrowdIt’s not logic, it’s just opinion dressed as fact.  What the Telegraph (and other media organisations) has done by publishing this rubbish as summer titter, is to denigrate the hard work of real scientists with the mumbo-jumbo claptrap from pseudo-scientists looking for job justification.

There’s a heap of proper evolutionary and genetic research that disproves this tripe, so why do the Telegraph publish it?  A.  To fill space.

Finally

Even defining beauty with the narrow bounds of appearance is hard enough – but beauty and appearance, the attractiveness of an individual – these are all complex concepts that have provided artists and writers material for millenia

The trouble with the ‘research’ and it’s reporting, is that it demeans the real work to titillate the lowest common denominators in society, with the result that scientists, striving for humanity’s betterment, are made to look like pariahs and idiots, which in the long run, is very, very bad.

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Daft Ducks

Strangely post on April 2nd, 2009
Posted in Buddhism Tags: , , , , ,

See your reflection in a hole. Read the rest of this entry >>

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