Ptarmigan

a grouse with completely feathered feet

6/28/2004

And lo, on this day, the inchoate vortex heart was at last found.

6/24/2004

I sprained my ankle. The Tartar Steppe is a very good novel.

6/18/2004

A nightmare layered 'pon a nightmare:

Early morning of May 11, Steve Kurtz awoke to find his wife, Hope, dead of a cardiac arrest. Kurtz called 911. The police arrived and, after stumbling across test tubes and petri dishes Kurtz was using in a current artwork, called in the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Soon agents from the Task Force and FBI detained Kurtz, cordoned off the entire block around his house, and later impounded Kurtz's computers, manuscripts, books, equipment, and even his wife's body for further analysis. The Buffalo Health Department condemned the house as a health risk.

Only after the Commissioner of Public Health for New York State had tested samples from the home and announced there was no public safety threat was Kurtz able to return home and recover his wife's body. Yet the FBI would not release the impounded materials, which included artwork for an upcoming exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

While most observers assumed the Task Force would realize that its initial investigation of Steve Kurtz was a terrible mistake, the subpoenas indicate that the feds have instead chosen to press their "case" against Kurtz and possibly others.


more...

6/16/2004

This picture pretty much says it all.

I just realized that Poetry magazine is essentially a pulp, the Analog of poetry...pretty much the same size...originating from (roughly) the same era (or rather Poetry began peaking at the time of Campbell's "heyday", back when Analog was Astounding, coming from a tradition and lexicon of poetry rooted in High Modernism for the former and Gernsbackisms for the latter; moreover, they both have the utmost faith in their respective lexicons and really don't see the need to alter their courses; things have been JUST FINE and IGNORE the barbarians at all costs!

Would have been interesting to see how long Poetry would have doddered on if that old loon didn't give the magazine 100 million dollars. Now Poetry gets a huge dose of hydrocortizone, or methadone, or whatever. I'm sure it will zombie along for the next 100 years and provide great kindling after the nuclear winter.

Which will be the first (or rather, next) of the science fiction digests to fold?

6/14/2004

Nexus of Evil Exposed

Regarding "Garfield's" surprisingly strong bow, an upbeat Bruce Snyder, president of domestic distribution at Fox, said: "We had great matinees on Friday due to schools observing President Ronald Reagan's funeral. So between the holiday and Garfield's huge fan base, we had a terrific Friday, and it continued through the weekend."


So Garfield...Fox...and Reagan...isn't that like all the planets being aligned? The evil planets, of course!

6/11/2004

Most devastating review of Garfield: The Movie can be distilled into one line: "The special effects are less sophisticated than the comic's."

6/08/2004

Reagan's "Strength" and "Moral Clarity"

Lest we forget...

During a 1987 deployment, the USS Stark was struck by two missiles fired by Iraqi aircraft. The fires that resulted claimed 37 lives, and only the heroic action of the crew saved the ship...

Reagan was under fire from Congress and the press for putting American servicemen in harm's way on a vaguely defined mission. "We need to rethink exactly what we are doing in the Persian Gulf," said Republican Senator Robert Dole. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution, sponsored by Dole and Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, that demanded the president explain to Congress the strategy and goals of the Persian Gulf mission -- and the risks involved. Congress was also unhappy with Saudi Arabia for what it viewed as a lackadaisical response to the request to pursue the Iraqi Mirage...

The administration argued that to withdraw from the gulf would be to surrender America's role as leader of the free world, and that if oil shipments were disrupted, prices would soar, adversely affecting the U.S. economy. ..."We will not be intimidated," said Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. "We will not be driven from the gulf." He described the attack on the Stark as a "horrible error," and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was quick to apologize for the "unintentional incident." Evidently, the Mirage pilot had mistaken the Stark for an Iranian tanker. Iraq promised to pay compensation to the families of the 37 slain seamen, and reparations for damages to the frigate. Officially the United States was neutral in the Iran-Iraq conflict, but the administration had decided that geopolitic considerations required that Iraq not lose the war.


So keep up the canonization!

6/07/2004

Kerry is lumberingly gracious about not campaigning during the week of Reagan's hagiography, with later permanent display, a la Lenin, in Grover Nordquist's living room. Class act. Kerry sounds like one of those big dying thingies from The Dark Crystal.

Or wait, I'm getting my movies mixed up, maybe it's The Neverending Story. No it's not, nevermind!

Bastian, pls. defeat "Blue Jean"-era David Bowie! Thx!

6/02/2004

Also, I'm too emotionally scarred to talk about the Timberwolves' loss. Sigh. But onto the Lakers and Pistons! And I actually think the Pistons have a shot. Not a great shot, but a shot. Detroit has a knack for making teams play down to their level. They sludge. Their offense is a quagmire, but Los Angeles can't very well avoid that quagmire. Shaq isn't going to get very many easy baskets.

Of course, if Detroit wins in, say, 7, the series will be ABSOLUTELY UNWATCHABLE. It will make the '94 Knicks-Rockets series -- so far, the apotheosis of sludgeball since the invention of the shot clock -- look like a mid-70s ABA All-Star game.

Back from a very long and very fun Wiscon. We left Wednesday morning and got back pretty late Memorial Day night. We're exhausted, but all in good ways. Maybe the best year for the best con ever. Kristin helped with packet stuffing, and it was eye-opening to see just how much work the ConCom and other volunteers do behind the scenes. They're amazing. So if you get teh chance, volunteer yourself next year if you go, even if for a few hours.

Our chapbook release party went swimmingly; it was great to cohost with the Flytrap dynamic duo. Many thanks to all who helped out with set up, clean up, and in-party logistics, including Lena, Elad, Dave and Rachael, Karen, and...crikey, lots of other people that my brain is too addled to remember. Best karaoke moment? Was it Jim Munroe singing Destiny's Child? Ben Rosenbaum's "I Will Survive"? Haddayr's "Fist City"? Kevin's "Paperback Writer"? Too close to call.

Ultimately, beside from the fun and hanging out with my closest friends in the world, the con always gives me something to think about in terms of what it means to be a writer, particularly in the realm of speculative/fantastic fiction and progressive social causes. This one was no different. Eleanor Arnason's Guest of Honor acceptance speech was a galvanizing moment, a wake-up call, one that (I hope) will reverberate throughout the science fiction community. I hope to talk more about it in this blog in the ensuing days, while I try to mull over a tangled set of political and aesthetic questions.

Btw, a very threadbare ordering page to the new Rabid Transit chapbook, Petting Zoo, is now available. They are truly some amazing fictions. If you haven't read any of the chapbooks in the Rabid Transit series, you can get all three, one of each, for $14, with free shipping. Holy shit that's 15 stories! And every one of them truly rocks and rules.