Well I could call out when the going gets tough
The things that we’ve learnt are no longer enough
No language, just sound, that’s all we need know,
to synchronise love to the beat of the show
And we could dance
Well I could call out when the going gets tough
Sdtrk: ‘Wow’ by Kate Bush
This post would be about a friend of mine and a fellow iDollator who you may have seen a number of times on ‘Shouting etc etc’ over the years; his name is Rob — online he used the pseudonym PBShelley — and his Synthetik partner was a RealDoll named Lily Godwin. Back on 30 March, he passed away quite unexpectedly, and I’d written this in a thread on Our Doll Community, an iDollator forum we’re members of. I’d held off on publishing it here, but reconsidered, as he would’ve turned 62 today.
Both Euchre and Ceej let me know what was going on via phone call and Email, respectively. That’s… that’s a mess.
I’d known Rob for almost a decade, and he always struck me as the quintessential artist/writer type — basically working on their craft to a single laser focus, and ignoring everything else. From the time I first met him and gorgeous Lily, he always spoke of Unbound, the story he had been working on for years, long before joining the iDollator community. It was really heartwarming to hear that he had finished it, cos working on a tale that extensive takes a lot of effort, and it was just great to see that he’d accomplished what he’d set out to do with it.
The problem was was when he had to move from his house in Washington state back to reduced accomodations in San Francisco, during the tail end of finishing his book. His flatmates weren’t as empathetic as they should’ve been, particularly when he couldn’t secure a supplemental income. From the Emails he’d sent me, I think a large part of his health deteriorating was due to stress from the people he lived with. One’s home should be a place to get away from the terrors of day-to-day living, and that wasn’t the case with Rob’s so-called friends.
When he told me Z-Dr was gracious enough to let him move in, that was fantastic news. He’d had a couple of burgeoning health issues develop before getting the move sorted, but he’d be able to relax, recharge his batteries, and hang out with a fellow iDollator besides. I also thought it’d be awesome, as I was fortunate enough to hang out with him in San Francisco in 2012, and was hoping to see him again this Summer for DolLApalooza 2014. Then back in mid-March, Rob let me know that he’d been diagnosed with cancer. He’d gotten down about it, understandably, but he didn’t let it keep him down. If his spirits were flagging, he didn’t want to bring everyone else down by going on about his health. He had correspondence and multiple anime shows that he had to catch up on, after all! Unfortunately, it seems that cancer doesn’t give a shit about what we as people have to do with our lives.
Saying that Rob was a kind, creative, cheerful, and unique person is one of those tip-of-the-iceberg descriptions. For those of us who were fortunate to have known him, it’s going to be strange not being able to hear from him again. However, he’ll be able to spend time with the spirit of Lily Godwin, his Doll and muse for Unbound, as much as he likes
image © 2004, by Elena Dorfman
Now that it’s right to decide
In his time he was a total man
Taken from Caesar’s side
Kept in silence just to prove who’s wrong
He no longer denies
All the failures of the modern man
No, no, no, he can’t pick sides
Sees the failures of the modern man
All the failures of the modern man
Sdtrk: ‘Dance floor bathroom’ by Coachwhips
Time for the annual Shouting to hear the echoes Boxing Day Post! And by ‘time’, I mean that this would be the first time I’ve ever announced this sort of thing. And more than likely the last! Who has time to read a blog on Boxing Day? People are too busy punching each other!
And that’s the exact lack of cultural sensitivity that’ll prevent me from moving to Toronto.
For all of you who keep furtively checking the post announcing the impending arrival of our rubber Russian, Elena Vostrikova, she’s been safely home since the 18th of the month. I’m slowly writing the posts that’ll comprise my review of her (spoilers: Sidore and I are in love with her), as well as the tale of How I Brought Her Home, so expect that in… err, January? Yes. But Lenka’s enjoying herself at Deafening silence Plus! The Missus has someone female to interact with, and my plan of getting multiple Dolls from differing manufacturers has moved a step forward!
We’d hosted the last Doll Congress of the year round at ours; Mahtek and Noquiexis from Ohio, CJD and his Organik wife Cat from Ontario, and ‘Hans’ from Chicago were in attendance, and we were joined by Euchre later that eve for dinner. Not only was it the first official Congress we’d had since last August, but this was the first time everyone got to meet Sidore and Elena together! As usual, it was a fab time, with great people, but then, our iDollator meetups always are.
After everyone piled into their cars and went home, Lenka wanted me to get her first official photoshoot in! So I did.
Just under sixty photos is a good start, I think. She’s gonna need more clothes; she’ll never fly Korean Air again, as they lost her luggage. Lesson learned!
And on the obverse side of the coin, today I also learned that Gerry Anderson, creator of amazing science fiction productions such as UFO, Space: 1999 and ‘Doppelgänger’ (aka ‘Journey to the far side of the sun’ outside the UK), and pioneer of Supermarionation, the revolutionary technique that brough us Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet, passed away today at 83 years of age.
Gerry Anderson: Obituary
BBC News | Published Wednesday, 26 December 2012
TV producer Gerry Anderson, who has died at the age of 83, made his name with classic shows like Thunderbirds – despite saying he never liked working with puppets.
After starting his career at the Colonial Film Unit, part of the Ministry of Information, Anderson set up a TV and film production company, AP Films.
But work was hard to come by, and when he was approached to make a puppet show called The Adventures Of Twizzle in 1957, he had little option but to accept.
“I was shattered when I learnt the programmes had to be made with puppets as I’d allusions of making great pictures like Ben Hur,” he later said.
“But there we were with no money, and an offer on the table. We had to take it.”
Another puppet series, Torchy The Battery Boy, followed, and the positive reaction to his wooden creations and relative failure of live action ventures persuaded him to stick with the marionettes.
The 1960 series Supercar, about a vehicle that could travel in the air, on land or under the sea, honed Anderson’s trademark formula of mystery and futuristic adventure.
It also allowed Anderson to perfect his production technique called Supermarionation.
The voices were recorded first, and when the puppets were filmed, the electric signal from the taped dialogue was hooked up to sensors in the puppets’ heads.
That made the puppets’ lips move perfectly in time with the soundtrack.
Subsequent science-fiction puppet series Fireball XL5 and Stingray were also hits, and Anderson dreamed up the idea for Thunderbirds in 1963 while listening to a radio report about a team of rescuers rushing to a collapsed mine in Germany.
The idea for International Rescue was born, and the show saw the Tracy brothers take off in their fleet of space-age craft from the secretive Tracy Island to complete daring rescue missions and combat nefarious villains.
the rest of the article is here
After Doctor Who, UFO has to be one of my favourite science fiction programmes from England. Its optimistic view of the future — the series took place in 1980 — was the kind of future that I would’ve loved to live in, as the fashion and architectural design was completely informed by the Sixties. I mean, if you can’t trace a direct line from the purple wigs of the SHADO Moonbase Operators to my wife’s preferred haircolour, you haven’t been paying attention. And although I enjoy Thunderbirds, to me it pales in comparison to Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. The episodes were a better length, more espionage-driven, and every episode had the Mysterons broadcasting their intentions, as Spectrum raced to foil their plots.
Those shows, as well as most of the ones produced by Gerry’s company, Century 21, featured mechanical designs by Derek Meddings and Reg Hill, whose influence lives on in the many tokusatsu series of Japan. Years ago, I’d attended an anime convention, and one of the Q&A panels had one of the Super Sentai production staffers being interviewed; I can’t remember his name off the top of my head, but he was one of the producers. One of the friends I went with had asked if there was a correlation between all the vehicular techno-gadgetry of shows such as the Ultraman and Super Sentai franchises, and he’d replied that Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation programmes were a huge inspiration on the set and model designs. And of course, let’s not forget that we wouldn’t have Parker and Stone’s ‘Team America: World Police’ without him.
Considering the legacy of innovations that he’d created, the world will probably never see another director as unique as Gerry Anderson
Random similar posts, for more timewasting:
18 May 1980 on May 18th, 2009
Now with the latest go-faster stripes / Pet a cat and roll your Rs in her honour on December 26th, 2008
You’ll see the horrors of a faraway place,
Meet the architects of law face to face.
See mass murder on a scale you’ve never seen,
And all the ones who try hard to succeed.
This is the way, step inside
Sdtrk: ‘Valerie’ by Broadcast
It is with great sadness we announce that Trish Keenan from Broadcast passed away at 9am this morning in hospital. She died from complications with pneumonia after battling the illness for two weeks in intensive care.
Our thoughts go out to James, Martin, her friends and her family and we request that the public respect their wishes for privacy at this time.
This is an untimely tragic loss and we will miss Trish dearly – a unique voice, an extraordinary talent and a beautiful human being. Rest in Peace.
Warp records, 14 January 2011
1997 was when I first learned of Broadcast; their debut Cd ‘Work and non work’ had come out on the Drag city label. I’d read about them somewhere — can’t recall where, but it was a case of ‘if you like Stereolab, you might also like Broadcast’, recommendation and similarity being the way I find a good number of groups. ‘Work and non work’ was really a compilation of their first three 7″ releases; the three-year wait until ‘The noise made by people’, their first proper release, would be excruciating, as I found myself listening to ‘Work and non work’ far more than I thought I ever would, and was eager to hear new material.
The comparison to Stereolab is actually a bit tenuous — sure, both groups traffic in retro-Sixties-sounding music, but whereas Stereolab’s basis draws from motorik, tropicalia, and easy listening, Broadcast took their influences from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, avant-garde pop groups, and Eastern European film soundtracks. Admittedly, one of Trish’s favourite films was the dreamlike Czechoslovakian entry ‘Valerie and her week of wonders‘, and having seen it for the first time a couple of years ago, it totally made sense why she loved it, and why both Jaromil Jireš’ direction and Luboš Fišer’s soundtrack were such a heavy influence on their sound. Stereolab overall are brighter and poppier, but Broadcast projected a mood akin to a year-long autumn. Their music and images complemented each other, but the thing that tied it all together was Trish’s voice — vulnerable, but simultaneously strong.
Broadcast were one of those rare groups where each successive release was better than the previous one, going from ‘The noise made by people’, to ‘Ha ha sound’, to ‘Tender buttons’, to their collaboration with The Focus Group’s ‘Investigate Witch cults of the Radio Age’, from 2009. They can quite literally be said to be the originators of a new genre of music: hauntology. Groups like Moon wiring club, Research Laboratory of Electronic Progress, Mordant music, and every artist on the Ghost box label create nebulous sounds, couched in the past, like soundtracks from déjà vu experiences from places you’ve never personally visited and occurrences you’d never personally witnessed. We’ve all been there. But do you recall that voice you’d heard in the background of nearly all your dreams? That whisper like a familiar but slightly chilling breeze? Naturally, that was Trish.
I’d say she’d be missed, but she’ll always be with us. Especially in our dreams
Random similar posts, for more timewasting:
Text / Audio on June 10th, 2006
Sdtrk: ‘When it rains, the puddles shine black’ by Leyland Kirby
It appears that another one of my favourite authors has passed away: Jerome David Salinger has died of natural causes at his home in New Hampshire, at the age of 91.
JD Salinger, in a recent photo
Obituary: JD Salinger
BBC News | Published Thursday, 28 January 2010
When The Catcher in the Rye first appeared in 1951, chronicling 48 hours in the life of a teenage rebel, Holden Caulfield, as he wanders the streets of New York in a state of mental collapse, it enjoyed early, but modest success.
But within a few years, it had become a bible of teenage dissent in America and a staple of high school and freshman college English courses.
A study of adolescence — at once tender and harshly honest — it spoke for millions of young people who didn’t want to be “phoney” in a commercial, materialistic world.
Caulfield became a cult figure comparable with James Dean, but it seems the novel also had an undesirable influence on Mark David Chapman, who said he killed John Lennon to promote Salinger’s work, and the man who shot and wounded Ronald Reagan, John Hinckley.
Almost immediately after “Catcher” was published, Salinger became disillusioned with publishing.
He hated interviews and contact with the public and in 1953, increasingly fed up with publishing and the public, he bought a house at Cornish, New Hampshire, and retreated into a seclusion that was to last for the rest of his life.
the entire article is here
Like many people, I was introduced to Salinger through ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, which stands as an honest tale of disillusionment. It may be slightly dated — it takes place during the very late Forties — but its sentiment still holds true. But then I began reading his other stories, and pretty much fell unhealthily in love with the Glass family, a family of five brothers and two sisters. They were blessed with precociousness at a young age, which was exploited for years through being panelists on a radio quiz show, and suffered the price for it as they grew older.
From Holden to the Glass family, as well as many other Salinger characters, the underlying theme of many of his stories is that of a dissatisfaction with the way society is, and how short of falling into lockstep conformity, living a decent individualistic lifestyle can be extremely difficult.
Salinger is once quoted as saying that he was in this world, but not of it, which is a sentiment I can completely empathise with. It may sound strange coming from someone who enjoys being a public face for the community that he represents, but apart from the resonant and bittersweet tone of his characters, I always admired the fact that Salinger was a recluse’s recluse, and yet still managed to garner the attention of millions. That’s really something to be proud of