The Lonely Gunman - "To chaotically explore the underside of digital life in an amusing manner."
June 22, 2000
Happy Summer Solstice Loyal Readers!
My apologies to you all, it's been far too long since I've sent out an issue of the Lonely Gunman.
This time of year always makes me slightly retrospective. The winters in my home on "Here be Dragons" are very long, very cold and very dark. One of the few thoughts that helps us all survive the devastating attacks of cabin fever is remembering that after Winter Solstice the days actually start to gain light. So even through the darkest times we're always moving slowly towards longer days.
But, after the Summer Solstice we start to lose light, The days of summer grow ever shorter. This always reminds me of one of my favourite songs, "Forever Autumn" by Justin Haywood of the Moody Blues. It is part of an amazing double album called "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of War of the Worlds", this album has always been one of the most influential in my life. http://ic.net/~drestinb/wotw/index.html
"The summer sun is fading as the year grows old
And darker days are drawing near
The Winter winds will be much colder
Now you're not here."
To complement the excellent music of JWWotW is a wonderfully illustrated booklet. All of the illustrations are very memorable, one that sticks out in particular is that of the Parson Nathaniel facing the Martian war machines with nothing but a cross for protection : http://ic.net/~drestinb/wotw/spirit.html . I find it very amusing that this piece of art must have been influenced by "The Temptation of Saint Anthony" by Salvador Dalí : http://www.mcs
I wonder if Dali was influenced by some of the first "surrealists" like Pieter Bruegel? http://sunsite.auc.dk/cgfa/bruegel1/p-brueg1-4.htm . Pieter doesn't have any long legged mounts, he seems to prefer riding flying porpoises.
At least it's not the straightforward hellfire and brimstone of Eugène Isabey : http://sunsite.auc.dk/cgfa/i/p-isabey1.htm .
Don't forget to check out the rest of Pieter Bruegel's stuff on the CGFA : http://sunsite.auc.dk/cgfa/bruegel1 . My favourite Bruegel is "The Triumph of Death" : http://sunsite.auc.dk/cgfa/bruegel1/p-brueg1-9.htm , this guy should have been doing Role-Playing Game Covers! I'm sure that "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" was the 16th century equivelent of Where's Waldo and "The Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind" : http://sunsite.auc.dk
/cgfa/bruegel1/p-brueg1-6.htm is even more valid today than it was 432 years ago.
Surrealism has had a huge influence on my own way of processing the world and the information that I'm bombarded with everyday. Classic images like Dali's melting clocks or Magritte's Bowler hats : http://www.magritte.com have helped me to learn how to question the reality I'm exposed to each day.
Well, it seems that this issue is starting to focus on me more personally, which is fine, I love discussing the things that influence me, especially when those things can influence others to break the bonds of conventionality and start thinking for themselves.
On the subject of your writer Dylon Whyte aka Kusari Kahn, Roz Z. writes :
"The wise old guru that sits on his island and gives his view of the world as bystanders pass taking a peek at his philosophical world...some sit and some choose to indulge their own but overall they are all influenced [grin]"
Of course, all I've done so far is prove that very few thoughts are truly free anymore. Let's hope that just the knowledge of the way that each and everyone one of us is influenced by the weight of all that has come before us is enough to help us break ultimately destructive cycles. I've recommended this site in the past, but I've noticed that my readership has about doubled since I last mentioned it. So, everyone, visit http://www.memecentral.com and learn about viruses of the mind.
I'm currently working on a website that contains a visual exploration of my own thoughts on memes and free thought. Hopefully it will be ready by next issue.
While you're waiting on the edge of your seats you may enjoy a tour of the Museum of the Unnatural : http://www.unmuseum.org . A surprising useful site, chock full of weird stuff.
As I was just skimming my bookmarks I was suddenly reminded of the a certain movie featured on the series Mystery Science Theatre 3000 : http://www.mst3k.com . The name of the episode is "The Day the Earth Froze" : http://www.tilt.largo.fl.us/critic/mst3k/ss4422f.html . This is one of the few mst3ks that I've never been able to make it all the way through, sure, there's some great jokes about log flume rides, but the movie itself really stinks!
To celebrate this really horrible movie I've decided to run a little contest. During the course of "The Day the Earth Froze", you will here everyone referring to a certain mystical device called "The Sampo". In fact, the Joel and the Robots even sing a song about the Sampo, "Sampo, Sampo, who's got the Sampo?" Well, to win my contest you'll have to discover just what the mysterious Sampo really is! The first and only prize is a hand signed copy of one of my latest pieces of art about memes called "Id Infection". Like I mentioned, it isn't posted on the 'net yet, I'll try and have it up before the contest ends.
How to Enter :
Email a 100 word or less description of "The Sampo" to dwhyte
@onlink.net. The prize will be awarded to whomever comes up with the best description before September 5th, 2000. To help out folks that may not be up on their current Norse mythology, you may find The Viking Answer Lady to be helpful : http://www.realtime.net/~gunnora/ .
To round off this issue of The Lonely Gunman, I'd like to introduce you to another one of my favourite influences, Canadian poet and musician Leonard Cohen : http://gator.naples.net/~nfn03972/lcindex.htm. I've been listening to Leonard for about 15 years now and his career started more than 15 years before that.
Besides being an amazing poet and gifted musician, Leonard also has a wicked sense of black humour.
Here are some of my favourite lyrics :
From "The Future" : http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/B0000028W9/consolatiumphi02
"Give me back my broken night my mirrored room,
my secret life
it's lonely here,
there's no one left to torture
Give me absolute control over every living soul
And lie beside me, baby, that's an order!
Give me crack and anal sex
Take the only tree that's left and stuff it up the hole in your culture"
"There'll be the breaking of the ancient western code
Your private life will suddenly explode
There'll be phantoms
There'll be fires on the road and the white man dancing
You'll see a woman hanging upside down her features covered by her fallen gown
and all the lousy little poets coming round tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
and the white man dancin'
Give me back the Berlin wall
Give me Stalin and St Paul
Give me Christ or give me Hiroshima
Destroy another fetus now
We don't like children anyhow
I've seen the future, baby: it is murder"
From Closing Time :
"Ah we're drinking and we're dancing and the band is really happening and the
Johnny Walker wisdom running high And my very sweet companion she's the
Angel of Compassion she's rubbing half the world against her thigh"
From Democracy :
"It's coming from the sorrow in the street, the holy places where the races meet; from the homicidal bitchin' that goes down in every kitchen to determine who will serve and who will eat."
From the "I'm Your Man" : http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/B0000026J6/consolatiumphi02
First We Take Mahattan :
" ... And I thank you for those items that you sent me
The monkey and the plywood violin"
"Ah you loved me as a loser,
but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin"
Jazz Police :
"Jazz police are working for my mother
Blood is thicker margarine than grease
Let me be somebody I admire
Let me be that muscle down the street
Stick another turtle on the fire
Guys like me are mad for turtle meat"
Tower of Song :
"I was born like this, I had no choice
I was born with the gift of a golden voice
And twenty-seven angels from the Great Beyond
They tied me to this table right here In the Tower of Song"
Anyone who's actually heard Leonard sing understands why that last quote is so darn funny, he has just about the opposite of a "Golden Voice", more like "Golden Gravel".
Ok, that's all for this issue, be careful boys and girls, don't have too many original thoughts or the Jazz Police will be knocking down your doors.
If you have any comments or questions about this issue, you can email The Lonely Gunman at firstname.lastname@example.org . I offer no guarantees to the validity, functionality, safety, usefulness, or amusement of any of the links or information included in "The Lonely Gunman".