“2009, 2010, wanna make a record of how I felt then.”

Right, so now each month on Counterforce, at the end of the month as that chapter closes, I find myself looking back on my posts and just wondering about all the puzzle pieces left strewn about. Some things planned, some things decidedly not planned, some accidents, some just flat out mistakes…

Sometimes your blog is both a testament to you and a museum devoted to your mistakes and victories. It can be a lovely display of all those things you loved, or hated, or sometimes a combination of the two, and usually more about yourself than anything else.

I’ll never forget that an ex once told me that “nostalgia is for people who have no future.” I found that to be a rather curious statement and when I pressed her for clarification, she told me that, to her, too many people use the mirror as a reflection on the past and only rarely on the present. I asked her what was wrong with that, in certain doses, and she responded with, “You shouldn’t have time for that. You should be moving so fast that when you pass by the mirror all you see is a blur.”

She said that and then she was gone. I felt like all I got out of that was the blur.

This relationship was a long time ago. It was short, but it felt longer, and it feels like it was longer ago than it was, but it was probably circa the first Arcade Fire album (not the EP). And now they have another album coming out.

If one of the leaked songs had been called “Month Of June” instead “Month Of May” that would’ve been a lot more convenient for my blogging concerns, thank you very much.

from here.

Real quick, two things you should know about me…

The first thing you should know about me: The other day, on twitter of all places, I was self analyzing out loud and wondered if I hold better conversations via the phone or if my stronger quality is my voicemails (which are, quite frankly, amazing)(to the point that, ladies, you would have to hold the phone away from your ear for fear that said voicemails could put you instantly in heat), you know, from the perspective of whoever the fuck it is I’m calling. Honestly… I don’t care.

But that lead me to realize: When I talk on the phone, you can tell if I’m actually active in a conversation not so much by what we’re discussing or who I’m talking to anymore, but what I’m doing physically. I mean, obviously if I’m sitting there watching TV, then I’m not listening to you, but it’s more of a kinetic thing. If I’m up, walking around, pacing, then there I’m there, I’m really a part of the thing, the process, the bullshitting, whatever. My other mode, oddly enough? Staring at myself in the mirror.

It’s weird. You could call me up, we could be having a fascinating conversation and I’ve noticed that, without thinking about it, I might just walk into the bathroom and start looking into the mirror. At myself? No. It’s hardly ever a really conscious thing. Maybe it’s self reflexive, like staring out at the horizon, only in this case, the horizon is my face and it’s a portal to a larger gateway of either the honesty or just flat out sexy bullshit that I’m going to peddle your way.

Or, maybe, by looking at myself, with a certain visually conscious part of myself shut off, I’m actually subconscious recording myself looking at myself looking at myself looking at myself looking at myself as I talk about myself looking at myself looking at myself looking at myself… in some kind infinite loop of recursive blogitude?

The second thing that you should know about me right now, right this very second is that I have every intention of making this song the jam of the summa summa summertime:

I mean, that’s my intention, but as for you? You’re so vain, you probably think that summertime jam is about you, don’t you?

More and more this blog feels like a book to me, in a way. Like you could collect it into a hot mess of an interactive coffee table curio. A book in 12 parts, chronicling the year in which we make contact. But contact with… what? Ourselves? Each other? Slow dancing in the burning hotel room that is the past? Or staring at ourselves in the mirror, reflecting on the future? Or is “the future” just another aspect of right here and now because all times are one (especially on the internet)?

All of those and more, maybe. Maybe not. But, so far, in the section of this starship/book/beast/blog entitled “June” we have so far been subjected to:

The nature of time spent having fun in all these new worlds we inhabit.

Today and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and how each day is just another day.

Seeing words everywhere you look, just like a casual synesthete would.

The shape of our heads and of our favorite TV shows to come and return.

…or to leave us, as Peanut noticed, because, sadly, Party Down has apparently been canceled.

A lot of Doctor Who, a show about time and space, and just in time for this (hopefully bullshit) rumor about Johnny Depp starring in an Americanized big screen version in 2012 (of course it would be in 2012).

The oil spill and the music of this year, such as new albums by Stars and the aforementioned Arcade Fire.

Our lovers and our former lovers and the music they inspire. And schemes.

And bombs and explosions and more music.

And this:

And all accumulating to but quite possibly falling way short of a certain sense of… thisness.

But, as we already covered, tomorrow is another day. With a different mirror to look into. And a different version of ourselves reflected back in. Perhaps we’ll start to look more like ourselves as we strangely believe that ourselves should look or perhaps we’ll look like another stranger in a strange land.

Haecceity.

Maybe this is not for you. Maybe it’s just not the time for this kind of thing?

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A case of the Mondays.

and

and

and

Comics by Brad Neely, whom I originally discovered here. His art is like a fucked up trip to The Far Side and it’s exactly what I need today…

It’s Monday and you know what? Whatever.

Leave a few tools in the toolshed.

Just a quick word on three books that I’m currently reading…

The first:

Krakatoa: The Day The World Exploded by Simon Winchester, which is about, as you probably guessed from the title, the explosion of Krakatoa on August 27, 1883. Winchester is one of my favorite authors of general non-fiction, and I’d highly recommend his The Professor And The Madman, one of his accounts of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary.

from here.

Anyway, I could say quite  a bit about both of these books, but the book on Krakatoa just felt timely, what with the eruption in Iceland a few months ago. And Krakatoa was an explosion that significantly changed the world in quite a few ways, both lower the temperature of the planet much like Mt. Tambora and “the year without a summer,” but Krakatoa also affected the way we look at our world and us. For the first time, the “global village,” as Marshall McLuhan would say, was assembled through technology such as the telegraph and news traveled faster to and from more remote places, and in this particular case, that news was that the world wasn’t all that it seemed, and that our relationship with nature could be quite fragile in places.

The second book:

Love And Sex With Robots: The Evolution Of Human-Robot Relationships by David Levy. At first I thought this was going to just a silly little read, but it’s actually quite fun and interesting, dealing not just with human/robot couplings, but with mankind’s long history of emotional attachments to our technological creations, and our seemingly continuing return to synthetic love and how it can be as important to us as “the real thing.”

And, obviously, this is something we’ve talked about before here.

But it brought up things that I didn’t know before, which is embarrassing in a regard, but talking about the creation of the vibrator, the book brings up the word hysteria pretty much translates from the Greek as “womb sickness.” For a long time prior to the early 1900s, many woman would suffer from a “madness” due to “sexual dysfunction” and it would be the job of a doctor or a midwife to essentially bring them to paroxysm or orgasm to cure them.

And, of course, coincidentally, one of our favorite writers, Tracy Clark-Flory, would link to a similarly related article, “Turn Right, My Love” from The New York Times on her tumblr the other day:

Unlike my wife, my GPS voice is completely subservient. She gives me something I want and doesn’t ask anything in return. All I have to do is plug her in every now and then and she’s happy.

Our relationship is all about me.

And therein lies the boon to my marriage. Having someone around whose sole role is to serve me gives me what I want as a man (efficiency and attention) while not threatening what my wife wants as a woman (kindness and equality).

People are just so weird. It’s wonderful. Anyway, the book opens with a quote from this 2006 article from The Economist, talking about South Korea is pushing to have domestic helper robots in every home in it’s country by 2020 and then quoting Henrik Christensen, the chairman of the European Robotics Network…

Probably the area of robotics that is likely to prove most controversial is the development of robotic sex toys, says Dr Christensen. “People are going to be having sex with robots in the next five years,” he says. Initially these robots will be pretty basic, but that is unlikely to put people off, he says. “People are willing to have sex with inflatable dolls, so initially anything that moves will be an improvement.” To some this may all seem like harmless fun, but without any kind of regulation it seems only a matter of time before someone starts selling robotic sex dolls resembling children, says Dr Christensen. This is dangerous ground. Convicted paedophiles might argue that such robots could be used as a form of therapy, while others would object on the grounds that they would only serve to feed an extremely dangerous fantasy.

So, the question is: When do we start falling in love with our tools and how does that reflect our own personal reality and view of the world around us?

from here.

Oh, and the third book:

I haven’t actually started reading it yet, but it looks like I’m about to take the leap and join the rest of America in reading this. Who else has read this? What did you think?

I know Benjamin Light said he saw the Swedish film version of the first book in the trilogy – The Millennium trilogy, which is a name I like – and that he wasn’t crazy about it. I think they’ve already finished the third film over in Sweden, and any second now we should hear about casting for the American version of the films (which will still be set in Sweden), which will be interesting in a way similar to creation of an American version of Let The Right One In. I can’t wait to see K-Stew sneer her way through this one.

Bend sinister.

Mad linkage:

They made a movie starring Ben Stiller and Robert Deniro’s boner. Also, it’s a threequel.

The human genome was decoded. Then what happened?

The Office‘s Ellie Kemper and her sister to publish novel.

Release dates for new albums by Interpol and Blonde Redhead, with a new Radiohead album to come this year?

“I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, I speak like a child.”

-Vladimir Nabokov, from Strong Opinions.

How Rolling Stone was able to bring down a general.

Trailers for The Social Network (remember the poster?), the new Todd Solondz, and Red, based on the Warren Ellis/Cully Hammer miniseries/graphic novel (and retaining the general plot, but seemingly having dropped everything else).

Daniel Day-Lewis as Professor Moriarty?

The Onion AV Club interviews Dogtooth director Giorgos Lanthimos and Janeane Garofalo.

Pictures from this post on redesigning Nabokov covers, and how certain limitations could be an artist’s saving grace. In this case, the recurring theme tied back to the author’s love of lepidoptery.

The covers are: Despair by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin. The Enchanter by Megan Wilson and Duncan Hannah. Speak, Memory by Michael Bierut. King, Queen, Knave by Peter Mendelsund. And The Defense by Paul Sahre.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

So, a very, very, very long time ago, there was this massive explosion. It’s just a cosmological theory, but it’s also been accepted as fact. Our universe was so incredibly hot and dense for a finite time, and it just exploded and expanded and it was bigger than anything ever, because it is everything and it’s always expanding and cooling…

…and it happened. How do we know? Because you’re sitting there, right there, right now, in your comfy chair, or on your couch, or perhaps laying in bed, or wherever or however you read your friendly neighborhood Counterforce. Well, or so we think. It sounds nice. Exploding into being, from essence to existence by way of KA-BOOM! That sounds good, right? But this thing, which we can call “Event One,” it happened, and because of it, the universe as we know it was created.

And then something happened. A serious of events that lead to the total and utter collapse of the universe and all reality. Well, they didn’t just collapse, but they began a severe process of collapsing. But the universe is big and vast and this took a little bit of time. How long? Well, roughly 2,000 years in theoretical time, but in subjective time, about 45 minutes or so.

And all of that happened, and then happened again in tonight’s season finale of Doctor Who’s fifth series, “The Big Bang.” Following last week’s ridiculously intense episode, the universe collapsed, or rather, began the process of collapsing until there was a second big bang, and everything was re-created again.

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Lovers.

“She looked at me like I was crazy. Most of my lovers do, and that’s partly why they love me, and partly why they leave.”

-Neal Stephenson

More Neal Stephenson on Counterforce.

Pictures from here, here, here

…and also here.