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Showing posts from October, 2016

a campfire tale

The emerald bauble of the planet, nested on a sequin-dusted jeweller's cushion of black velvet, this is not the world.  The several billion apes with improved posture that cavort across the planet's surface, these are likewise not the world.  The world is no more than an aggregate of your ideas about the world, of your ideas about yourselves.  It is the vast mirage, baroque and intricate, that you are building as a shelter from the overwhelming fractal chaos of the universe.  It is composed from things of the imagination, from philosophies, economies and wavering faith, from your self-serving individual agendas and your colourful notions of destiny.  It is a flight of fancy spun to while away those empty-bellied Neolithic nights, a wishful fantasy of how mankind might one day live, a campfire tale you tell yourselves and then forget is just a tale you are telling; that you have made up and have mistaken for reality.  Civilisation is your earliest science-fiction story.  You c…

...One More Time: Symbolic Castration and Technical Objects

What Orff can't seem to find are his old flame Luise, a woman who embodies the perpetual lostness of Eurydice; and his own lost inspiration, as Orpheus's tale and Orff's own gradually become intertwined in a heady and poetically potent blend of mythological riffing and daft comedy. -- from this summary of The Medusa Frequency by Russell Hoban
...a massive No. 1 single, inadvertently started the late '90s teen pop boom, and created a public persona for herself that was simultaneously kid-friendly and pure male fantasy...



Perseus is holding Medusa's head like sort of sceptre, or proof of a mandate from heaven. Equally, in the sculpture-as-story Medusa has been "castrated" in a most extreme way -- ending her life, clearly, but not eliminating the magical power of her gaze.

Perhaps the issue is that her head, back when it was attached to her body, was already a sort of sceptre; and she was so closely aligned with that power as to become, entirely, a "ph…