In Spectre, James Bond has entered the Lovecraftian universe.

Holy shit. I’m convinced.

He’s in Lovecraft territory; those trillion-tentacled monsters from outer space that intrude upon stately New Englanders were always a barely concealed metaphor for one man’s horror of black and brown bodies in their nameless shoals, leaking degradation over a world fissuring from imperial decline. But over and above that, they stand for a universe that is not required to make sense.

The Englishman and the Octopus. Sam Kriss also connects it to Thomas Pynchon and there’s an unspoken Bolaño reference.

new Monte Verde study

A new survey at the Monte Verde site in Chile suggests human habitation 18,000 years ago. Early habitation of the Americas and multiple waves of colonization is a theory I remain sympathetic to, just because I’m a silly bastard who clings to the notion that humans as a whole tend to move around a lot, and if one group finds a path, another group is likely to find it later. John Hawks makes some cool observations on the findings. I completely missed the inspiring detail that this Monte Verde survey was published as open source.

The Twin Peak Tarot

Benjamin Mackey created a Major Arcana from Twin Peaks and its truth is eerily accurate. Going through the images, I agree that Mackey is onto something. Lynch hit upon symbolic archetypes consciously or not.


Daily Grail posted this and has a short Youtube interview embedded of an interview with Mackey, on how he went about creating the deck. It seems like an excerpt from this 42 Minutes podcast interview which I might need to cough up the 99 cents for.

morning 11.23.15

I’m up listening to music before Elijah gets up and tries to make me play the same six King Tuff songs he’s apparently obsessed with. I played him so much music when he was an infant, but “Tuffy” is what he’s fixated on for now. It’s charming in small doses, but he needs to branch out. At least it’s not the Fresh Beats band or some equally vile Disney shit.

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Cold November mornings can make me nostalgic for Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd, eating oranges and drinking tea. Yep. I know that is more of a Leonard Cohen reference, but the people who hipped me to Barrett were Anglophiles, thus the tea, and the oranges in late November is a Louisiana thing. Hell, I first picked up Cohen from those same people.

Maybe I should find a purple paisley shirt.

No reading. Luc Sante and Umberto Eco await. I wrote a couple of rambling posts for the blog about the Louisiana gubernatorial election consumed with anxiety that Vitter would snatch victory at the last minute with his bigoted fearmongering. I’ve never liked Vitter, but the more I remembered what he’s gotten away with over the years, the clearer it became that he’s not just a corrupt asshole with an unsavory sexual appetite, but an amoral monster. Some of those posts might be salvaged, but now there’s Edwards, the conservative Democrat who plugged along solidly, running a campaign against the narcissistic policies of Jindal. I’m neither pro-life nor pro-gun like Edwards, but I believe he genuinely gives a damn about having a functioning state, and is not using the office of governor for a quixotic ambition to be president.

Slade House

Oh yeah… I read that. It’s been a few days and I’ve nearly forgotten the damned thing.

It would be a lie to write that I didn’t enjoy it. However, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve read more complex comic books. I’ve read many more complex comic books. Slade House had me thinking of comic books the whole time. The expository boasting of the villains at the end of every section called back the superhero comics of the ’60s. That would have been fun but it almost certainly wasn’t intentional. Doctor Doom sounded less arrogant. Throwing in some occult, Theosophy, and orientalism was the junk food I crave, but it wasn’t quite esoteric enough. It left a regular reading of that genre thinking- fucking casual.

The haunted house conceit was problem as well. Tie this into the actual book design and it’s outright annoying. It’s a nifty little square with a nice texture to covers. There’s a little cut-out in the front that reveals a portion of a map of the interior of the house…. which winds up being almost irrelevant. The rest of the book is littered with breathless blurbs of just how fucking literary it all is. The problem is that fifteen years ago, I read House of Leaves. Whatever problems with that book are, it’s a better effort in book design and in an exercise in haunted houses. Its labyrinthine qualities worked better than Slade House‘s game of “What if Burnett’s The Secret Garden was evil?! Tee hee hee!”

It’s a book created for the features of retail bookstores, the Whole Foods James Patterson if you will. The more I think about it, the more it irritates.

Man, I wince at the memory of Cloud Atlas the more I think about it. It’s a good thing I gave up the Man Booker nonsense when I did.