Saturday, January 20, 2018

H.P. Lovecraft Mashed up with Billy Joel! It's the mash up I never knew I wanted!

I saw an article last night about how a specific poem by H.P. Lovecraft fit to the tune of Billy Joel's "Piano Man" almost perfectly, and on twitter an artist by the handle of "Julianvelard" had uploaded this mashup onto Souncloud. Needless to say, it's absolutely lovely. The poem was "Nemesis", and although Julianvelard had to remove a line or two to make it fit, I'd stay he still did an excellent job. 

By H. P. Lovecraft

      Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
          Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night,
     I have liv’d o’er my lives without number,
          I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.

     I have whirl’d with the earth at the dawning,
          When the sky was a vaporous flame;
     I have seen the dark universe yawning,
          Where the black planets roll without aim;
Where they roll in their horror unheeded, without knowledge or lustre or name.

     I had drifted o’er seas without ending,
          Under sinister grey-clouded skies
     That the many-fork’d lightning is rending,
          That resound with hysterical cries;
With the moans of invisible daemons that out of the green waters rise.

     I have plung’d like a deer thro’ the arches
          Of the hoary primordial grove,
     Where the oaks feel the presence that marches
          And stalks on where no spirit dares rove;
And I flee from a thing that surrounds me, and leers thro’ dead branches above.

     I have stumbled by cave-ridden mountains
          That rise barren and bleak from the plain,
     I have drunk of the fog-foetid fountains
          That ooze down to the marsh and the main;
And in hot cursed tarns I have seen things I care not to gaze on again.

     I have scann’d the vast ivy-clad palace,
          I have trod its untenanted hall,
     Where the moon writhing up from the valleys
          Shews the tapestried things on the wall;
Strange figures discordantly woven, which I cannot endure to recall.

     I have peer’d from the casement in wonder
          At the mouldering meadows around,
     At the many-roof’d village laid under
          The curse of a grave-girdled ground;
And from rows of white urn-carven marble I listen intently for sound.

     I have haunted the tombs of the ages,
          I have flown on the pinions of fear
     Where the smoke-belching Erebus rages,
          Where the jokulls loom snow-clad and drear:
And in realms where the sun of the desert consumes what it never can cheer.

     I was old when the Pharaohs first mounted
          The jewel-deck’d throne by the Nile;
     I was old in those epochs uncounted
          When I, and I only, was vile;
And Man, yet untainted and happy, dwelt in bliss on the far Arctic isle.

     Oh, great was the sin of my spirit,
          And great is the reach of its doom;
     Not the pity of Heaven can cheer it,
          Nor can respite be found in the tomb:
Down the infinite aeons come beating the wings of unmerciful gloom.

     Thro’ the ghoul-guarded gateways of slumber,
          Past the wan-moon’d abysses of night,
     I have liv’d o’er my lives without number,
          I have sounded all things with my sight;
And I struggle and shriek ere the daybreak, being driven to madness with fright.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Because, Sasami

My favorite anime of all time is "Cyberteam in Akihabara", followed by "Ranma 1/2", "Dragon Ball", and a few others. My favorite anime character on the other hand is Sasami from the "Tenchi! Muyo" series. "Tenchi!" has a long and twisted history, but to some it up, it is all in canon because the basis of the series from what I can remember is about four cosmic deities who want to experience the extent of human life and possibility. Don't quote me though, it's been twenty years since I've seen the OVA's or any of the original series. 

Sasami stands out though as her influence on my life far exceeded the impact of "Tenchi!" in all aspects. Sasami, to me, is the titular heroine, with a simple iconic look, and an origin that was both surprising and beautiful. Even in her various spin-off series I found her to be a strong character who really didn't need any of the other characters from the original "Tenchi!" at all; she shines bright with or without them.

It's a shame there wasn't any decent merch based on the series from my youth at the time, I would have loved a beautiful figure of Sasami to display on my shelf. We did get a set of figures from Mcfarlane Toys, but they were mostly terrible, and weren't the same quality as their other more popular lines. I mean of course I have the Sasami figure, but that's because it's the ONLY figure available to me. If there was a better one I'd hunt it down for sure and it'd probably be the centerpiece of my collection. 

I could ramble on for hours about Sasami and not really say anything though. I need to revisit the original "Tenchi!" series someday as I've put so much more focus on the various Sasami-based spin-off series instead. Sasami's true origins are better spelled out in the original series and they really shouldn't be ignored. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lex Luthor's "Angels vs Devils" painting

"Batman V Superman" wasn't a great movie, but there were elements of it I really enjoyed. I'm one of the few who really enjoyed this particular version of Lex Luthor. I'm happy that he was more of a mad scientist than an evil CEO, and I don't mind his overall look and portrayal. His nervous ticks, his ruthlessness towards maintaining his own personal safety, and the mystery surrounding his father (presumably Lex Luthor, Sr.). I really enjoyed about this version of Luthor was his fear and hatred for God, and his resentment for heroes, which I think might be unique to this version of Luthor. He wants to kill Superman and any other alien threat because he's afraid of them, not because he wants to save humanity or anything like that. He's a selfish weakling out to destroy heroes.

In his fathers den, he points to a large painting that hangs on the wall and says something like, "demons don't come from beneath us, they fall from the sky" or something like that, and by the end of the film the painting is flipped upside down; demons on top and angels below. 

I adore this painting, and I was shocked when I found out it wasn't a print of something that already exists. This is a beautiful prop for this not-so-great film, and I wish it was available for purchase. I would very happily have this hanging in my apartment somewhere. I love the Yin-Yang aspect of the two suns, and the detail of the demons and angels themselves. 

I enjoyed the recent "Justice League" movie well enough, but it was mostly a nothing film. As confusing and mislead as "Batman V Superman" might have been, there were at least interesting concepts within it to keep me thinking about it after the fact. It was an ambitious mess. I doubt we'll see any continuation of the storylines that began in this film, so I'm curious to how that will affect the characterization of Lex Luthor in the DC movies. We'll have to wait and see if Warner Bros. decides to continue making them after "Aquaman" and "Wonder Woman 2".

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Unicorn sacrifice to Peter Cooper

I nearly forgot about this. While I was in Cooper Square the other day, near the statue dedicated to Peter Cooper, I saw a strange sort of offering to him. I'm sure it's from the night before, there are a lot of bars in the neighborhood, so some drunken person probably left not only their unicorn doll, but also their costume as a sort of sacrifice to Peter Cooper, who was one of the most important politicians in New York City history. 

What strange and arcane ritual must have occurred here. Did they strike a deal with the ghost of Peter Cooper? What was the nature of this deal? I wonder how the world will shift now as a result. Only time will tell... 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Happy Religious Freedom Day, apparently

I had no idea this was even an acknowledged event, but it is apparently. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but like anything else, I can only feel distrust for our government. Trump's proclamation is both beautiful and insidious to me, but I can't place why exactly. 

Religious freedom is of course important, but I'm against most forms of institutionalized religious corporations (like the Vatican for example), or extremist groups (take your pick). The dispensation of religious values and philosophy is a lost art, and most spiritual leaders are too focused on their bottom dollar than they are of how they're steering the minds and hearts of their congregations. 

I'm not even sure this should be a recognized "holiday" or whatever this is, unless it'll give me a day off from work that is. The whole thing just seems a bit too zealous for me to appreciate. As I've stated again and again, and will continue to state, the religious life is a personal and private one. I sort of feel like "celebrating" it in this way puts too much focus on an aspect of personal life that should not be paraded around but public officials to appease their constituents.

But hey, maybe I'm being a poor sport about all this, and maybe this is a perfectly okay and dandy things to celebrate. I mean, what the hell do I know, right?

Read the proclamation below and judge for yourself. 

Proclamation transcript I found via: LifeStream
Other Interesting Links: 




"Faith is embedded in the history, spirit, and soul of our Nation.  On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate the many faiths that make up our country, and we commemorate the 232nd anniversary of the passing of a State law that has shaped and secured our cherished legacy of religious liberty. 

Our forefathers, seeking refuge from religious persecution, believed in the eternal truth that freedom is not a gift from the government, but a sacred right from Almighty God.  On the coattails of the American Revolution, on January 16, 1786, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.  This seminal bill, penned by Thomas Jefferson, states that, "all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."  Five years later, these principles served as the inspiration for the First Amendment, which affirms our right to choose and exercise faith without government coercion or reprisal. 

Today, Americans from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds remain steadfast in a commitment to the inherent values of faith, honesty, integrity, and patriotism.  Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion.  Unfortunately, not all have recognized the importance of religious freedom, whether by threatening tax consequences for particular forms of religious speech, or forcing people to comply with laws that violate their core religious beliefs without sufficient justification.  These incursions, little by little, can destroy the fundamental freedom underlying our democracy.  Therefore, soon after taking office, I addressed these issues in an Executive Order that helps ensure Americans are able to follow their consciences without undue Government interference and the Department of Justice has issued guidance to Federal agencies regarding their compliance with laws that protect religious freedom.  No American -- whether a nun, nurse, baker, or business owner -- should be forced to choose between the tenants of faith or adherence to the law.  

The United States is also the paramount champion for religious freedom around the world, because we do not believe that conscience rights are only for Americans.  We will continue to condemn and combat extremism, terrorism, and violence against people of faith, including genocide waged by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria against Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims.  We will be undeterred in our commitment to monitor religious persecution and implement policies that promote religious freedom.  Through these efforts, we strive for the day when people of all faiths can follow their hearts and worship according to their consciences.  

The free exercise of religion is a source of personal and national stability, and its preservation is essential to protecting human dignity.  Religious diversity strengthens our communities and promotes tolerance, respect, understanding, and equality.  Faith breathes life and hope into our world.  We must diligently guard, preserve, and cherish this unalienable right.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2018, as Religious Freedom Day.  I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that remind us of our shared heritage of religious liberty and teach us to secure this blessing both at home and abroad.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second."

Drowning my woes in 1990's fansites

Like Popeye, I feel pretty bad, but at least I look better than I usually do. My hair is shorter and easier to manage, and I'm starting to lose the weight I gained over the holiday season. It's been a slow shuffle to start this year. Only 16 days in and I feel like I've been drowning in my own misanthropy. 

I'm trying to stay positive though, and relax my mind so I can focus on the important stuff. Recently I've started smoking mugwart, a legal herb that is suppose to offer some benefits during sleep, but also help relax the body. It tastes no different than tobacco, but I'm not expert. I do feel it's smoother than pipe tobacco though, and it leaves my apartment smelling rather aromatic like I've been burning incense. 

Another aspect about of my positivism are my hobbies. Generally, I collect action figures and books, but my finances are tight right now, so I've decided to shift all of that obsessive energy into reconnecting with my other hobbies; namely watching obscure old cartoons and anime. 

And although I haven't had much time lately to watch any anime, I've found myself digging through more and more archaic fansites and character shrines from the 1990's. Last year I created my own, soley based on Sasami from the long-running "Tenchi" series, but I feel like putting together a much larger site to dedicate to my favorite anime character of all time. Maybe I'll just take what I've already created and reestablish it on a web-hosting site that provides more than a few measly MB of memory. Angelfire isn't as powerful as it once was; maybe I'll try Tripod next. 

I don't have a plan just yet, but I've been carrying a notebook around and jotting down ideas. I hope to have something up by the summer. 

I wonder if I have to learn HTML... 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Current Read: "Without the Bands", by Darrell B. Cobb

So I don't normally read novels, but this one is different. It's a novel that is about the SubGenius mythos, in a sense anyway. I don't believe this is an official release by the SubGenius Foundation, which makes it even more interesting. 

The story is about a strange salesman named John Robert Dobbs and  the events that transpire after his wife, Connie, and his daughter Carrie, are killed in a fire at their home. Bob returns home and is mostly unaffected by it all, and now lives in a tent on the property where his house used to be. Some SubGenii have taken noticed though that this man named J.R. Dobbs, with a wife named Connie, looks like the spitting image of the smiling Dobbshead that represents "Bob" in all Church of the SubGenius materials. What makes things even more interesting is that Bob has a strange neurological disorder that allows him to transverse multiple dimensions and see beings from different time periods at nearly all times. 

So is Bob Dobbs actually "Bob" Dobbs? I'm not sure yet, but this is such an interesting read. I got it on my Kindle app for $3 two days ago, but I only really started reading it today and I can't stop. I honestly can't tell where the story is going. Part of me feels like this is just high-grade fanfiction that is meant to be an "origin story" for "Bob", but I'm not sure if that's the right mindset to have while reading it. I don't want to take this as part of the official liturgies.

What I find interesting is how each chapter starts with a quote from G.I. Gurdjieff, a mystic who was popular back in the early 20th century.

I'm about 20% done with the novel, and it's starting to really pick up. I'll give my final thoughts on it after I'm done, but I can definitely say it's worth a read.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bandcamp: Dinosaur Love, "The Gospel"

It always does my heart good to see someone preaching the truth, especially in such a beautiful way. The artist/band Dinosaur Love released this truly excellent album sometime last year I believe, entitled "The Gospel", which tells the tale of our world and its true rulers. 

Reptilians, aliens, dinosaurs, and Jesusaurus Rex; this album has it all. 

Precursor to hacking the spacetime continuum

This past week I've been under the cloud of negative emotion. Towards myself and humanity as a whole. While I admit I've been misanthropic in the past, I've tried my best to steer away from that so that I could live more harmoniously with my inner and outer self. It's difficult though, especially with the weight of time on my shoulders, slowing me down as I trudge along. 

I feel as though all my worries are truly invisible and non-existent. They're just made-up demons in my mind pestering me and creating self-doubt. But to a degree, I suppose, my concerns are real, but then, I wonder if it is possible to live a 100% carefree life. Everyone suffers, rich or poor, sick or healthy, so I guess what I'm going through is natural. If it's natural then why do I worry? If my aim for this year is to create a new reality tunnel by hacking into this thing I call my reality, I have to find a way for it all to either make complete sense to me, or, to make everything so abstract I don't have to worry about right or wrong answers.

My true goal is to be 100% self-sufficient. To be at a point where I don't have to ask for help from anyone, where, my finances will all be in order and I can walk into practically any restaurant and not have to worry about the price, and I can save money with confidence that I won't have to continuously loan myself anything for any sort of emergency. It's a tall order right now, but I'm sure that if I manipulate the spacetime continuum enough, that world can be mine. I just have to plan accordingly. 

What sort of device must I construct within my pineal gland to change the structure of the universe I wonder. 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fred Mertz, Bodhisattva

Fred Mertz, according to a sect that I believe no longer truly exists as it once did, is a Bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas are in essence the Buddhist equivalent to a saint, or angel. They do good works to no reward and little thanks. 

I'm no expert on this group, as I don't believe they've ever had an internet presence, and all of their literature is become trapped in the boxes of collectors who have a fondness for this sort of esoteric knowledge. I first heard of the Church of Fred Mertz, Bodhisattva on a rerun of the "SubGenius Hour of Slack" where a young Reverend Ivan Stang is interviewing a not-so-young Pope Robert Anton Wilson, and they both talk very briefly about the group. This recording took place during the late 1980's.

Below is a page from the book "Angel Tech", by Antero Ali, where a page is dedicated to some of the teachings of Fred Mertz, Bodhisattva. This book, by the way, is very good. I plan on doing a short reflection once I'm done with it.

The most extensive bit of information comes from Facebook where a user named "Fred Mertz" into a group called "Steve dilley 100,000 boddisatvas". This information syncs up rather nicely with what I've heard said previously about the group, and also what was printed in "Angel Tech". I'm not sure if it's authentic to the original group, but it sounds about right.

Sadly, that's all the information I could find on the Church of Fred Mertz, Bodhisattva. It's a bit sad, but maybe this is an indication that his mission is complete and now Fred Mertz's eternal self that finally be at ease while basking in nirvana. If I had to guess I'd say Homer Simpson is continuing his mission. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

"The Happy Mutant Handbook" is a masterpiece of timeless 1990's wisdom

So sometime back I ordered a book from Amazon call "The Happy Mutant Handbook" without any prior knowledge of what it would be about, but I was under the impression that I would be a big fan because it was reminiscent of "The Official Slacker Handbook" and "The Book of the SubGenius". And I thought since I love both those books, I would give this one a read. I do love counterculture handbooks. 

And boy oh boy was I astonished to the beauty of this book. Full color, glossy pages, and a huge collaboration of authors. The content is somewhat limited to the 1990's, but the various concepts can be applied to the present day to avoid adherence to normal culture. Like the previously mentioned books, this handbook is one about rebellion, but specifically, rebellion against how we absorb and dispense content through media. 

Taking into account how much slowly we used to enjoy our entertainment through television, radio, and the internet way back in the 1990's, that just makes the battle these days all the more difficult as we are bombarded by normal media at all times, but we can also drown in the media we enjoy. Even the things we love can become vanilla if we consume them too regularly. 

I've just started reading this wonderful book, but I'm already deeply impressed. I don't believe there are any revised copies, or updated editions, and that's just as well. I would hate this wondrous artifact to be tainted by today's terrible standards for media.