5 years ago this month I began publishing The Nonist. It’s been a very gratifying stretch. I’ve come in contact with some terrific people. I’ve grown as a writer and completed a 10-ton truckload of illustrations. I’ve learned a lot. For the most part I’ve successfully distracted myself from the terrifying void at the center of human existence and had fun while doing it. After 5 years of diligently searching out or concocting content I managed to achieve a level of discipline I’d never managed before. For all this I am grateful to you. After all, it is in large part the knowledge that you, my readers, lurk out there like a shadowy star chamber which has kept me on the path and working so hard. It is the thrill and immediacy of being able to craft posts and share ideas with like-minded individuals which transforms a largely purposeless enterprise like (ad-free, non-topical, stubbornly eclectic) “blogging” into a pleasurable and addictive pursuit. Though it may sound counterintuitive, from my point of view it was not the content provider who in this case was the “pusher man” but you, the readership. Every week I’d tap my arm and say, “C’mon baby, I need it!” and there you were to indulge me. So thanks.
That said, after some deliberation I have decided the time has come to retire The Nonist as a brand. Really and truly and finally. No crying wolf. No turning back. I feel an overwhelming need to move forward, start fresh, and as an old friend has said “allow for the possibility of change in my life.” In as much, from this point forward The Nonist, and its offshoots, will no longer be updated. I will no longer answer to the name on the street or while hunched on the last stool in a subterranean dive bar, but instead will stick with the more humble name which my parents gave to me, Jaime Morrison.
The Nonist is dead. I, however, am not. So as for the future…
I intend on leaving the archives in place so all of you content providers out there who have linked in will not be penalized for your impeccable taste. I am already in the preliminary stages of mapping out a new online entity of some sort. It will be different, as I feel I’ve wrung all I can from the linear call-and-response blogging style, but what exactly it is and when it will be loosed I can’t yet say. I will also be perusing a couple “real world” projects having nothing to do with pixels. In the meantime I wish to let it be known that I am perfectly open to the idea of taking on outside projects in the service of others. If you are a content provider (of any sort, blogger, editor, designer, art director, etc) who has enjoyed my work here and feel you might have a project, be it writing, illustrating, or a collaboration of some kind which might appeal to me, please do not hesitate to contact me and fill me in. I am free now and looking to get involved in new things.
When I have a project going live or new outlet for my work that’s launching I will post an announcement here, so RSS subscribers- feel free to leave The Nonist in your feed reader. Alternately, if you would like me to drop you a line to announce my post-Nonist whereabouts just click here to email me and I’ll respond when a new project goes live. Lastly, though it’s hit-or-miss, my AIM screen name is jaimesmorrison.
So, thanks again, sincerely, to you my readers and fellow bloggers. You’ve made these past 5 years a terrificly gratifying experience for me. I hope that when I resurface, wherever it may be, that you will see fit to come and visit me again. Until then I encourage you to print out the image above, fold it carefully, and place it in your purse or wallet, so if you happen upon me on the street you can positively ID me, and shout something like, “back to work you lousy sloth!”
That or invite me out for a pint. Xoxo.
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.
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.
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.
‘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
, 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.”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?