Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dark Times

I left work early two days in a row. My lovably Indie rock roommate, Zack, was looking out the window at around 3 o'clock or so, and he commented, "It's too nice a day to be stuck in this building." We sit on the 20th floor of one of those filthy Atlanta skyscrapers, so we could tell that it was a genuinely wonderful day.

Meanwhile, I'm packing up my stuff and emailing my supervisor and preparing to close down shop completely. I will be unemployed shortly, and to be honest, I am so incredibly "over it." The good folks at The Carter Center and Fernbank will receive my resume very soon.

I walked out of that building and stepped into the cool late-September breeze and that delicious afternoon sun. I hopped onto the Marta, plugged in some headphones, and opened up some H.P. Lovecraft. There was no better remedy for the foolish tragicomedy of the whole situation. Add one part Howard Phillips' delightfully nerdy psychological horror plus one part radiant sunshine plus one part
Thunder, Lightening, Strike and you've got a winning combination:
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
Yet with stranger aeons, even Death may die.
Tell 'em how it is, Howard. You crazy bastard.



*** insert some sort of incredible post-Hegelian synthesis ***


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Reading Fear and Loathing

So, I've not possessed the energy to read a book cover-to-cover since I started this foolish job. (To be honest, I actually like it very much. It just drains me in a very thorough way.)

Last weekend, I visited Book Nook where I picked up a copy of Hunter Thompson's "Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream," deliberately choosing a copy printed before the movie with Johnny Depp. I'm still mowing down a chapter at a time at a regretfully slow pace. Oh well - it's all part of my remedial, self-taught course in English and Journalism. Here's a passage from the middle of Thompson's savage tale:
I got my attorney's .357 Magnum out of the trunk and spun the cylinder. It was loaded all the way around: Long, nasty little slugs - 158 grains with a fine flat trajectory and painted aztec gold on the tips. I blew the horn a few times, hoping to call up an iguana. Get the buggers moving. They were out there, I knew, in that goddamn sea of cactus - hunkered down, barely breathing, and every one of the stinking little bastards was loaded with deadly poison.
Is it just me, or is the phrase "goddamn sea of cactus" simply awesome?


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Speaking of 1984, as some of you may already know, I absolutely love that fabulous 80's phenomenon, Ghostbusters. What surprised me on my latest viewing actually, is a line given by Dr. Egon Spangler, the "nerdy" member of the team. During the early half of the movie, he has this exchange with the Ghostbusters receptionist, Janine:

Janine Melnitz: You're very handy, I can tell. I bet you like to read a lot, too.

Dr. Egon Spengler: Print is dead.

I am finding the bottom of my frustration with print as a medium of time-worthy communication. It's expensive, and to be honest, there are so many fantastic possibilities in the digital media. It won't be a revolution, but we can certainly have a lot of fun.

I write, and I plan to continue writing well into the 21st century.

Here's to Aquarius, dear lovers.

::: )


Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cyber Warlords

I am still writing at the moment. The demands of work, Dragon Con, my failing health ... many things have conspired to delay my progress with Deconform.

But I promise, my dear comrades, The Ghostmap Radar is still in operation. Reports indicate that ideological terrain continues to shift at a global level, culturo-tectonic readings are disturbing at best, and television microwaves are still causing cerebral power outage on a massive scale.

The Guardian reported this week that a cell of Chinese hackers, possibly affiliated with the People's Liberation Army, have been strategically attacking key information networks controlled by both the United States and British federal governments. There is evidence that this cell of hackers, currently referred to in the West as "Titan Rain," have been in operation for more than four or five years. Their tactics have been called a form of "Pressure Point Warfare." In that sort of scary, real life sort of way, it's a little too much like science fiction

In the opening chapters of the 1984 novel, Neuromancer, a man named Henry Case runs for his life through the streets of Chiba, Japan (the current real world location of Narita Airport). The novel may seem naive at first: Henry Case teams up with a female "street samurai," does massive amounts of synthetic drugs, and has long conversations with holographic entities. The book, however, was one of the main influences of the movie, Blade Runner, and it coined the word "cyberspace" in 1984 - before the internet even existed. The novel depicts a future completely overrun by the capitalist market, inter-continental levels of urban development (a theme borrowed in Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan), and a hyper-industrialized vision of modern Asia.

The climax of the novel involves Case jacking his brain directly into the internet and hacking into the secret stronghold of a clandestine mega-corporation. He does so with the help of Molly Millions, a technologically enhanced mercenary, and McCoy Pauley, a.k.a. "The Dixie Flatline." Pauley McCoy is an older hacker who, after returning from the threshold of death several times during his most daring espionage adventures, had his personality uploaded into cyberspace posthumously. Case and McCoy are able to enter the network undetected via an experimental military virus of mysterious, Chinese origin.

Despite its dated status, the novel continues to be significant. Stranger than fiction, huh?

Ghostmap out.