the painted smile

The fifth of November it is, and indeed we do remember … The next problem was the creation of the main character and the actual setting for the strip. Since ↑Dave [Lloyd] and I both wanted to do something that would be uniquely British rather than emulate the vast amount of American material on the market, the setting was obviously going to be England. Furthermore, since both Dave and myself share a similar brand of political pessimism, the future would be pretty grim, bleak and totalitarian thus giving us a convenient antagonist to play our hero off against. Not unnaturally, … Continue reading

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the simple art of murder

There are things which are interesting again and again, forever. ↑Raymond Chandler‘s essay ‘↑The Simple Art of Murder‘ (1950 [1944]) I already have read multiple times, quoted from it in ‘↑Cyberanthropology,’ and so on. Now I just stumbled over it again, via the ↵cyberpunk reading list, where the essay is commented like this: When reading it, replace ‘mystery novel’ with ‘sci-fi novel’ and its amazing. Every complaint the Cyberpunk authors had about ‘classic sci-fi’ is there as a complaint about ‘classic detective stories.’ – Logan Joshua Ratner We ↵just had it that William Gibson prefers Dashiell Hammett and is not … Continue reading

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second person view

Detail from a promotional screenshot for ‘Max Payne’ (Remedy 2001), forcing the viewer to look down the bore of Mr. Payne’s gun while he is shooting at the onlooker. There are ↑first-person shooters (FPS) and ↑third-person shooters (TPS)—what about the second person’s vantage point? Imagine a game where you always are looking through the eyes of the non-player character (NPC) with which your avatar currently interacts. In the case of e.g. a ↑shooter game you may see your actions from the perspective of the character you are about to shoot … from the perspective of your victim.     Wikipedia … Continue reading

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elements of style

  Speaking about writing, let’s listen to Stephen King:  This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don’t understand very much about what they do—not why it works when it’s good, not why it doesn’t when it’s bad. I figured the shorter the book, the less the bullshit.   One notable exception to the bullshit rule is The Elements of Style, by William Strunk jr. and E. B. White. There is little or no detectable bullshit in that book. (↵King 2000: 11) Here it is:  STRUNK, WILLIAM jr. 1918. … Continue reading

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neologic spasm

  ↑William Gibson‘s comment on academia’s appropriation of the word “cyberspace”:  Just a chance operator in the gasoline crack of history …    Assembled word cyberspace from small and readily available components of language. Neologic spasm: the primal act of pop poetics. Preceded any concept whatever. Slick and hollow—awaiting received meaning    All I did: folded words as taught. Now other words accrete in the interstices.    “Gentlemen, that is not now nor will it ever be my concern …”    Not what i do.    I work the angle of transit. Vectors of neon plaza, licensed consumers, acts primal … Continue reading

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Favorite writing culture and cyberpunk

The above picture is a clipping from a photography by Martha G. Tyler, which served as a frontispiece in ‘Writing Culture’ (↵Clifford & Marcus 1986). It shows ‘↑Stephen Tyler in the field’, concentrated on his writing, looking away from the world, and shielding his eyes from the light by a kerchief stuffed beneath the earpiece of his ↵matte black mirrorshades ;-) ↑Evans-Pritchard allegedly once voiced that anthropology was not so much a science, but an art. ↑Hortense Powdermaker stated that the anthropologist had no instrument, that she was her instrument herself. She did not think in terms of measuring instruments, … Continue reading

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Favorite anthropology’s shades

Among the qualities which the issues anthropologists take up and belabour have, there is one which stings and delivers a lot of pain, again and again, during the whole process from shaping your project and defining the particular subject to writing the final text: No matter what topic you struggle with, sooner or later it appears to be integrally connected with a shipload of other issues and aspects. There is always the itch to scratch beneath the surfaces of this other aspects, to widely read around, to learn more new things. If you completely give way to this impulse you … Continue reading

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