October 01, 2005

Dead Rags and Dust

This was on my dreamscapes blog but i just revisited it and I dont think the poem was so bad, so here it goes again:
Something stirred him as he stared,
something quiet, something scared
turned his head but failed to look
or did he?
From office cramped to office dusty
Aboard the sturdy not quite rusty
He smoked, and stared into the sky
Barely nothing caught his eye
But barely nothing's something still
Dead rags and dust
A hint of elbow, a hint of shirt
A hint of brown skinned, shambling dirt
and no fingers
A hint of hatred, hint of pain
Hints of anguish, hints of shame
Hints of bruises, cuts and sores
Hint of sweat from tired pores
Blood and sweat and hatred hinted
He never saw, he merely squinted
At mounted lingerie
To fail to see is quite a task
How do you do it? One might ask
Think of British Comedy
Bertolt Brecht
Large Breasted women
computer games
Salman Rushdie
The mind it is the queerest thing
A bell once pulled forever rings
And strange detectives dig the earth
Uncovering skeletons spouting dirt
From the subconscious
From a book where once he had escaped
To hide from taunting kids who taped
the memories of childhood tears
and taunts and insults, calls and jeers
A book where shambling cudgel knees
Crunched at skulls, and of a man who sees
India and Indira in a strange double-vision
A word reached out, to drag him back
To the traffic, where commuters hacked
their lungs out, and the smog-filled sky
played strange games with the sun
And squinting worked upto a point
but city eyes can only blind
He who has learned, with his mind
To dull the screams, the blood, the tears
To separate models with big bustiers
from dead rags and dust

September 30, 2005

Mapping the Collective Literary Consciousness

The internet as a collective consciousness. An idea flung about so often its almost become dogma. But has anyone seen a way towards mapping this collective consciouness, of visually tracking the depth of this strange interconnected consciousness. Perhaps such an exercise is impossible, because a collective consciousness, just like any other consciousness, is infinetly multifaceted. However, it may be possible to map out one facet of this consciousness as a sample study, as a showpiece for interconnectedness...
Well, thats my take on gnod, anyway. Gnod is two things at once, an intuitive searchable database and a map. The searchable elements are a little limited: books, movies, music. Its supposed to work like a search engine for things you dont know about. Let me stick with explaining Gnod Books ( Gnooks!) for a start:
1. The intuitive database
Access the intuitive gnooks database and type in three of your favourite authors
Gnooks processes your query and throws back the names of some other authors that you may like, dislike or not know at all. Click accordingly.
The end process is a list of authors that are pretty much connected, on some level or the other, to the ones you just keyed in. In itself, no big deal, the database throws back authors who were liked by other people who keyed in authors similar to yours. Its a learning database, but then again, what isnt nowadays?
Now for the cool part.
2. The map
Access the literature map and key in the name of a random author (try to get it right, please). In about five seconds, the browser takes you to a page that explodes with words, names of authors, that scatter to the corners, or bunch around the center of the page, with your author's name at the epicenter. Slowly they settle into tentative positions, shifting ever so slightly now and then. This is the result of all your database entry creation: A collective map of all the authors who were liked by other users, placed in relation to the author you keyed in. Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and other satirical science fiction authors huddle together for warmth and comfort, surrounded by at least fifty other names, all placed in relation to Kurt Vonnegut (my search).
It need'nt be more than an exercise in coolness, or a place to find more authors like the ones youve loved, or to map the very idea of a genre as a spot within the landscape of literature... Its potential appears mind boggling, however, as it graphically displays the landscape of literary preferences. Check it out, see what you think. If your a bookie fan, this is some sort of psychedelic dream come true.
Or a totally new way of seeing and mapping the topography of literary preferences.

September 29, 2005

Ruminations on the end

We live in strange times. Our world grows steadily demystified, dissected, denuded of romance, de-romanticised, if you will. There are no points on the map that havent been scanned and scrubbed vigorously of mystery by satellite imagery. There are no races that hold strange esoteric talents or mysterious cultures living in isolation from any but their own way of life. There are no mysterious creatures of fantastic proportions left to discover. They've even uncovered the poor giant squid, caught like paris hilton on spycam. The mysterious kraken of old lies bared to all, its fearsome unimaginable proportions requiring no further imagination in the cold lens of an underwater camera. There is probably no spot left on earth which, if traced for human contact within the past fifty years, would come up negative. There are no more Macchu Picchus. I mean, of course there is a Macchu Picchu, but whats the point, where's the awe and splendour of the unknown, when you've got fat german tourists and korean shutterbugs crawling over that once inaccessible fort where men considered themselves either gods or dead.
Where is the dragon?
Where is el dorado and shangri-la?
Its not surprising that in these rational, scientifically verifiable times, fantasy sees a redux. These are the days where the only true creatures of awe inspiring fantasy lie within the head. the lion was once considered a semi-mythical creature by the Chinese. There's very little myth left in a creature left to feed, fart and fornicate in a cage.
I'm not pretending to make some sort of point here. Perhaps I have little or nothing of any real substance to say, and a whole bunch of you can get back at me on how new the world is... Write in and try to convince me.

Putrid Poetry for Puerile Pessimists

Life in vitro's very sad
Fun as such just cant be had
Enough to drive a foetus mad

Bobbing like a cork

Life on four legs isnt better
Branded chronic diaper wetter
To the nipple always fettered
Toothless mewling larva

Life on two just does'nt cut it
Think you're free and mobile but it
Doesnt make a difference huddled
On a desk in school

Adult life is not suggested
If you thought the foetus festered
Or that toddlers are sorely tested
You ain't seen nothing yet

Life when lost is simply boring
Quiet enough to hear worms snoring
Save for the sound of termites boring
Gently through your skull

The purpose of this putrid letter
Is to encourage those with better
Sense to never let their
Selves be born at all