Accountants hover over the earth like helicopters,
Dropping bits of paper engraved with Hegel’s name.
Badgers carry the papers on their fur
To their den, where the entire family dies in the night.

-From A Dream of Suffocation by Robert Bly.

Dated: 08.15  Comments: 1   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Quote: The Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest piece of literature known, but it has lost nothing of its original freshness. Gilgamesh for Apes is an attempt to translate it into the pictorial language used by American and Japanese primate centres teaching language to great apes.

Its creator (Wilfried Hou Je Bek, of Socialfiction.org, who previously brought us Primate Poetics) notes that she does not know if an ape coming upon her translation would be able to make heads or tales of it, saying that, in terms of narratives, apes tend to glean most information from body language and in as much perhaps a stage play would better please an ape audience. In any case, it’s a fine idea, and I applaud the effort. Much more info available at the bottom of the Gilgamesh for Apes pdf. 

Dated: 08.14  Comments: 1   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Though I am an avid science fiction reader, and fond of my dear girl poetry, the bastard child of the two remained unknown to me (as bastard children, and ultra sub-genres, seem prone to do) until I stumbled across some sci-fi poetry, or speculative poetry as it’s also called, by accident. I knew immediately an overwrought illustration and slapdash post were in order! One is above, the other below. Form your own conclusions.

Infoetry: The Science Fiction Poetry Association, Speculative Poetry Symposium, Ultimate Science Fiction Poetry Guide, About Science Fiction Poetry, Writing Science Fiction Poetry, Dialogues by Starlight, Notes on Speculative Poetry, Gnawing Medusa’s Flesh, The Failure of Genre Poetry.

Poetry: Strange Horizons, Author’s Den, A-Z, Journal of Mythic Arts, Bruce Boston, Andrew Joron (audio), The Removes, Scott Speck, Robert Calvert, Electric Velocipede, Goblin Fruit, Lone Star Stories, Whispering Worlds, The Pedistal, New Myths, Ideomancer, Abyss and Apex, Sci-Fi haiku, and Robot Folk Tales.

And yes, I just coined a kick-ass new word. Hands-off! I’m selling it to Tufte.

Dated: 08.13  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Quote: ‘Depression’ was not a particularly common term in the eighteenth century, at least not in the modern psychological sense. Samuel Johnson in his famous Dictionary of the English Language (1755) has three definitions for the word, none of which is to do with mental dejection. Only with the verb ‘to depress’ is one definition given as ‘to humble, to deject, to sink’. While ‘depression’ was sometimes used in its modern sense during the period, other terms were far more current, including melancholy, hypochondria (and its popular versions, such as hippish), spleen, vapours, and a host of others, all expressing variants in terms of supposed cause and anticipated effect of the basic experience of ‘depression’.

From the accompanying pfd for the show currently on view at Shipley gallery, 18th Century Blues. The Image is, of course, a detail from Hogarth’s etching “The Bathos.”

Dated: 08.12  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Recently New York officials announced a project that would allow citizens to view “live traffic conditions” via a slew cameras set up along roadways all throughout the city. The announcements on all the local news channels were so “gee-whiz! aren’t we all so lucky?!” in tone that I couldn’t help but envision the meetings which hatched the campaign, with city officials asking one another- “but how can we introduce the city-wide grid of near-omniscient security cameras without causing an outcry? How can we make these rubes actually want cameras everywhere?” It struck me that these traffic cams were almost certainly phase-1, the public relations leg let’s say, of some larger plan. Speaking of which…

Before we all shift our fat asses toward the couches’ edge to watch the next batch of soon-to-be-revoked precious medals awarded in Beijing, have a read of these two pieces by Naomi Klein outlining the idea that these Olympics are “the coming out party for a disturbingly efficient way of organizing society, one that China has perfected over the past three decades, and is finally ready to show off.”

The Olympics: Unveiling Police State 2.0, and China’s All-Seeing Eye.
Interesting stuff. Now back to work!

Dated: 08.08  Comments: 2   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

UK rag the Daily Mail has put up an expose purporting to “unmask” graffiti phenom Banksy. On the one hand it makes me cringe, it’s just so damned silly. But then, I suppose since Banksy’s chosen graffiti as has mode of expression, the whole “law breaker” aspect would warrant, in law enforcement circles at least, some genuine interest in his identity. I for one am happy to let him remain a shadowy figure with passable artistic skills, some good ideas, and a set of giant, often hilarious, balls.

In his own words: I have no interest in ever coming out. I figure there are enough self-opinionated assholes trying to get their ugly little faces in front of you as it is. And: I am unable to comment on who may or may not be Banksy, but anyone described as being ‘good at drawing’ doesn’t sound like Banksy to me. Hahah. Bravo.

Dated: 08.07  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Here we have a detail of the Bagdad Metro, work on which evidently began in 1983 but was stopped not long afterward when hostilities between Iraq and Iran heated-up. This is the same Bagdad subway which was famously cited by both Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell, during the run up to the current war, as being part of the vast underground network of tunnels used to store WMDs. There were no WMD’s of course, and the subways we found? Ahem. Evidently, hard as it may be to believe, the plan to build a metro is back on the table. I would have to assume they plan to rebuild the destinations before they bother with the subway.

Click here to see the map, designed by Richard Dragun for Design Research London sometime in the early 80’s, in full.

Dated: 08.07  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

The openly atheistic Nebraska Senator Ernie Chambers, who filed suit in 2007 against “God” evidently had his day in court on Tuesday. He filed this suit to “make a point” obviously. Unfortunately that point was not “Since this God character can’t even be bothered to show up for his own court appearance, and shows no respect for the authority and laws of this great land, perhaps we ought to think twice about involving or invoking him in matters of legislative policy.” Here are the papers filed (pdf) in case you missed them.

Dated: 08.07  Comments: 1   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

The kids could be cruel. He could see them, groaning at the sight of him, as he rolled up in the volvo. They were embarrassed they’d say. They’d call him weird and look away. His wife always seemed tired. She didn’t laugh at his jokes anymore. She often slept on the couch with the television on. Sure, she’d smile big for the family portrait, but in private, in the bedroom, things were strained. As with so very many husbands and fathers across this wide world of ours, it seemed that no matter how hard he tried, and no matter how much he wished it were otherwise, Wendell’s wife and children just didn’t “get” him. You know?

Dated: 08.06  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Here we see reader, and fellow “neoyorquino,” Evan wearing the first Nonist T-Shirt ever sold, seated in front of a spanish-language version of the poster which inspired it. Cheers Evan, you are a scholar and a gentleman. As soon as I receive the $3 profit I made I will tape it on the wall above my desk like a proud deli owner. And to everyone else currently rocking a Nonist tee- feel free to send a photo of it “in the wild” as it were. 

Dated: 08.06  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

“Beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.” -André Breton.

“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.” -Charles Dickens

Hence: Nature gives to every time and season some convulsions of its own.

(Image is titled Eve Gets a Gene Altered Tomato by Davis and Davis, 1992.)

 

Dated: 08.05  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

“I have named her Augustine.”

“Named a lunatic after a saint! Well, perhaps they are much the same. The idiot, the mystic…”

“She is not an idiot.”

She listens at the door, biting her fingernails. She needs to know what they want from her so that she can perform when asked. She has to know how mad she’s supposed to be. Satisfied, she goes back to her room where she dreams of blood and fire. Faces hidden behind shrouds. Dead men.

-Helen Kitson, from Charcot and the Saint.

Dated: 08.05  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Live Loathe laugh. No wordy highfalutin’ explanations needed for this tee yall. Here we have good ol’ fashioned proverbial words to live by. Passed down through generations of unsatisfied, pissed-off, cynics and stoics and realists and sarcastic nay-sayers its folksy wisdom is as relevant today as the day it was coined. Digitally hand-stitched by yours truly right here in the good ol’ N.Y. of A. this traditional faux-crochet design will bring a down-home charm to even the most critical, world-weary, annoyed, judgmental, hysterically vitriolic curmudgeon. Hooray.

See all your options for this tee here or see all the Nonist’s offerings here. See below for a closer look at the design…

Dated: 08.05  Comments: 1   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Above we see a control image (a) and the same image drawn by a patent suffering from hemispacial neglect (b), a condition in which awareness of an entire side of space is lost.

Quote: Hemineglect, also known as unilateral neglect, hemispatial neglect or spatial neglect, is is a common and disabling condition following brain damage in which patients fail to be aware of items to one side of space. The deficit may be so profound that patients are unaware of large objects, even people, towards their neglected or contralesional side. They may eat from only one side of a plate, write on one side of a page, shave or make-up only the non-neglected or ipsilesional side of their face. Many patients are often also unaware they have a deficit. - Masud Husain, Scholarpedia.

Though it can affect both hemispheres and can manifest as unawareness of sounds, smells, tactile stimuli, and even memories, dreams and hallucinations, the most common form is left-sided “visual neglect,” as seen in the cat example above, in which sufferers are rendered blind to everything appearing to their left.  Fascinating. Also of note is the extremely odd way in which those suffering this most common form of the condition perceive ordinary television screens… see below.

 

Dated: 08.03  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Quote: One summer’s day in the mid-1860’s, a young French boy named Joseph Pujol had a frightening experience at the seashore. Swimming out alone, he held his breath and dove underwater. Suddenly an icy cold feeling penetrated his gut. Frightened, he ran ashore, but then received a second shock when he noticed seawater streaming from his anus. The experience so disturbed the lad that his mother took him to a doctor to allay his fears. The doctor complied.

The boy didn’t know it at the time, but this unsettling rectal experience at the beach not only indicated no illness, but it also foretold of a gift that would later make him the toast of Paris and one of the most popular and successful performers of his generation. —Paul Spinrad, from The RE/Search Guide to Bodily Fluids.

So began the ascendance of the most celebrated and beloved of flatulists known to grace a stage at the turn of the twentieth century- Le Pétomane! Translation: “The Fart Maniac” or simply, “The Fartiste.”

Dated: 08.03  Comments: 1   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

To the reader who recently wrote in to ask what “educational gift” I might recommend for his teenage nephew I hereby suggest this beloved classic- The Avenging Unicorn Playset by Accoutrements Outfitters of Popular Culture. Comes complete with 4 magical horns and 3 figures to impale. “Yes, that pleases me.” Magical Unicorn Mayonnaise not included. 

Dated: 08.03  Comments: 1   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Hello all,

Just a note to let you know that the lady and I are off to a tropical paradise vacation tomorrow and I’ll be largely incommunicado. Though both my nature and complexion are utterly unsuited for such a trip I plan to do much lazy ocean-side drinking and reading, and expect I’ll survive to blog another day.I should return to action around Saturday of next week… perhaps.

In the meantime I am setting the Nonist proper to display random posts from the archives, so you might want to check in there as there’s sure to be something on display you missed.

Lastly I thought I’d also mention that I lost all my email contacts and archives when my machine died recently so if you are a pal, an associate, an acquaintance, an enemy, a well meaning stranger, or a skeleton in my closet feel free to just shoot me an email so I can repopulate my address book. Returning home to something other than spam would be nice. If on the other hand you were hoping against hope to never hear from me again… Congrats!

So long everyone.

J

Dated: 07.23  Comments: 1   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Whilst looking over some traffic statistics for thenonist.com I had an interesting realization. It seems that in the time that I’ve been using my current statistical analysis tools, a span of roughly 2 years, The Nonist has welcomed at least 1 visitor from all but 8 countries on planet Earth.

Now, The Nonist has existed in one form or another since 2003 so I could take solace in the thought that in those 3 dark years of missing statistical data The Nonist may have received visitors from one or all 8 of those countries. I could then take comfort in this fact. I could smile and allow myself to feel as though this were some sort of tangible evidence that I had accomplished something with this endeavor. And I could skip joyfully through a field of dandelions, or have a tea-party with some teddy bears, or go rainbow hunting. But I wont. This site is not called The Optimist after all…

Dated: 07.21  Comments: 4   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

Sometimes one might walk down the street, breathing the air, hearing the sounds, looking around, and get the sense that the youth of America are shaking-off their apathy, finding their social conscience, and embracing the idea of active involvement so succinctly summed up by Martin Luther King Jr. when he said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Other times… not so much.

Dated: 07.19  Comments: 0   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »

You know, no matter how looney and wrong-minded much of religiosity may strike me, no matter how I may cringe and jerk away from it like smelling salts, I can say one thing for certain, it is not for a lack of really nifty charts. A fellow by the name of Clarence Larkin helped see to that. Pictured above is Antichrist in the Time of the Gentiles, taken from his 1919 guide to The Book of Revelation, a grand tour of the Apocalypse of St. John. Sure, they don’t chart any actual, you know… data, but they sure look cool dag nabbit!

Dated: 07.19  Comments: 2   Permanent link to this post: &equiv   Email this post: »