Peer into Tangental Thinking

typed for your pleasure on 28 December 2005, at 7.53 pm

Sdtrk: ‘J’achète des disques Américains’ by Stella

It’s recently just struck me that I need to buy, borrow, or rent a copy of the book ‘Watership down’.

In browsing the mecha board on one of my favourite Internet time-wasters and hard-drive-fillers,, someone had posted some more illustrations of mecha from the Gundam side story ‘Advance of Zeta‘, serialised in Dengeki Hobby magazine. It’s not (yet) officially canon in the Universal Century Gundam timeline, but ‘Advance of Zeta’ profiles various models of Mobile suits that the Titans were testing, I believe prior to the events that took place in ‘Zeta Gundam’. At this point, it’s not even a manga, let alone a television or OVA series; it’s simply a bunch of model kits designed by Hajime Katoki and Kenji Fujioka. Well, I think there’s some sort of story wrapped round the mecha maybe, much in the same way that they built the Gatling cannon for the A-10 Thunderbolt II first, before they even designed the plane. Derek, you wanna help me out with the details here?
At any rate, one of the interesting/fab things about the Mobile suits from ‘AoZ’ is that a lot of them have development names that are taken from ‘Watership down’. It’s rather ace; almost all of the logos for the Titans Test Team are stylised bunnies, as seen here.

two of the insignia used by the Titans Test Team

You’ve got the Hazel, the Bigwig, the Dandelion, the Kehaar, etc. The Hazel’s booster scramble pack is called the Hrududu, which is what the rabbits called motor vehicles.

So after the initial statements of ‘O, that’s feckin’ ace’ were made, it’s occurred to me that I’ve never really read ‘Watership down’, and I haven’t seen the 1978 film in years, as I’d found it to be creepy and moribund. All I remember is unsettling 70s animation showing rabbits dying horribly, and gnashing of teeth, and lots of blood everywhere. But in looking up info on Watership down on the Interbutt, in particular the Wiki article, I’d noticed something about that story that I didn’t remember at all: the rabbits had their own language, called Lapine. Again, refer to ‘O, that’s feckin’ ace’ statement above.
Despite my rigid adherence to the idea that English-speaking people should speak English properly, otherwise I throw them headfirst down a well, I love it when authors manage to alter or augment language, or devise a language all their own — this would be one of the reasons that I really dig Anthony Burgess. ‘A clockwork orange’ was the first book of his that I’d read, shortly after seeing the film, of course, and words like ‘ptitsa’ and ‘korova’ and ‘horrorshow’ and ‘malenky’ thrown in amongst English much in the same way we use ‘croissant’ and ‘rendezvous’ and ‘zeitgeist’ and ‘sushi’ nowadays fascinated the hell out of me. So discovering that the rabbits of Watership down spoke a vaguely Welsh-sounding language definitely piqued an interest in wanting to read the novel.

Now I want to know what the hell those rabbits were saying, and eventually, I’d like to learn Lapine. I may not have a whole lot of opportunites to use it, but nevertheless..
Knowledge is Power, The More You Know, etc etc

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Heaux heaux heaux

typed for your pleasure on 24 December 2005, at 9.31 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Calloway’ by the High Llamas

After being out and about amongst the crowds a couple of days ago and being innundated with horrible music and shopping drones on search-and-purchase-and-destroy missions, I have concluded that the only Christmas music worth listening to is the soundtrack to ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ by Vince Guaraldi; in particular, the song ‘Christmas time is here’. This is known as an irrefutable statement.

At this point, I’d also like to bring a riot of a post to your attention. Nicked from Penda’s Diner, who in turn obtained it from, err, someplace else. It’s a Festival of Theft Borrowing!

What is this Empire Coming to?

As soon as I find a link – I’ll post it.

What’s this empire coming to? Now they want us to stop greeting people with “Io Saturnalia!” “We have all these different cultures in Rome,” they tell us. “We shouldn’t offend anyone,” they tell us, “We’ve got to be inclusive.”

We’ve got the barbarians from the north with their tree decorations and their fire rituals. And the weirdos from Gaul, cutting mistletoe with a golden sickle. And the Mithraists, the Zoroastrians, the Isis cults, and, of course, those characters who hang out in the catacombs. “Hail, Winter!” we’re supposed to say. I ask you, what next: we lose the feast? We stop the Solstice parties? No more honoring Ops, goddess of abundance?

I was buying some greenery down by the Forum the other day, and there’s old Macrobius with some Visigoth chick, and she goes, “Gut Jule.” And I go, “Hey! In this country, we say, “Io, Saturnalia! Maybe you should go back to where you came from.” Then Macrobius goes, “She can’t, she’s a slave.”


At this time of year, the Visigoths sacrifice a pig and burn a special log that they dance around, instead of acting like normal people and going to the temple of Saturn.

I swear, I was at this party over at Septima Commodia’s house the other day. She always has a Saturnalia party. Anyway, she decorated the place with prickly green leaves. “It’s holly,” she said, “The latest fashion from Brittania. They all do it in Londinium.”

It gets worse.

She had this statue of some goddess from Ultima Thule or somewhere, name of Frigga, sitting right there on the dining room mensa. I mean, this is darned near blasphemous. I’d be scared about what the lares and penates would do if I put that thing in my house. But Septima Commodia just said, “Oh get over it! We’re cosmopolitan around here.” Cosmopolitan. That’s what they call it. Well by Jupiter, I live in Latium. I’m a Roman. And this empire was founded on the principle that the gods, our gods, must be honored at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way. None of this foreign heretical nonsense or these strange customs from Germania or Hibernia or Palestine. I say, “Io, Saturnalia!” and if you don’t like it, you can leave.

Finally, a non-sequitur excerpt from a conversation I had with Derek whilst out at a Burger King recently:
DAVECAT: ‘What the.. They’ve brought back Furby??’
DEREK: ‘Furby never went away.’

So let that be a lesson to you! Happy hols, everyone

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This was the Future, Vol.20

typed for your pleasure on 22 December 2005, at 11.23 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Mile end’ by Pulp

On my inevitable headstone — a three-inch thick slab of moulded smoke-coloured perspex with chrome highlights, flanked by angelic figures carved in the likenesses of Twiggy and Peggy Moffitt — the inscription will read,


Well, probably not. But it is a statement based on fact, as evidenced by this latest instalment of ‘This was the Future’. Tonight! We peer intently at Expo 67, held in Montreal, Canada!

the Katimavik, Canadian Pavilion

Visitors could climb onto the gigantic Katimavik via a series of stairs including the final open one that cut diagonally up to the topmost perimeter of the inverted pyramid (an elevator for the elderly and handicapped). Inside a display of unusual “sculptures” was fixed to the four sloping sides. Many of them moved while eerie electronic music accompanied the sculpture’s movement in an odd dance of dance and movement. [..] The view of Expo from the Katimavik’s 109 foot high top was spectacular. Below, beside the Katimavik was the six story high abstract People Tree. Its brilliant red and orange nylon “maple leaves” were actually hundreds of color photographs depicting Canadians at work and leisure. At night they turned incandescent under floodlights.
taken from this site

It being an expo, the Katimavik wasn’t the only building with a fab design. The German Pavilion was a giant white-tent-with-metal-exoskeleton affair, Great Britain’s entry was an enormous white Brutalist slab, which somewhat echoed their castles and the idea of Albion, and the United states had a vast geodesic dome designed by the inimitable Buckminster Fuller. And, of course, some of the more astute fans of the ‘This was the Future’ series will remember that Expo 67 also was home to Moshe Safdie’s unique Habitat 67, appropriately enough.

I also think one of the reasons I dig Expos of the Sixties variety, is due to a lot of the overreaching Space-age names that the places and the buildings received. The Gyrotron! The Magnasphere! The Ultravex! The Panheligate! The Supertropophone! Fantastic, on so many levels

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Back-to-back Holidays

typed for your pleasure on 21 December 2005, at 10.45 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Two of hearts’ by Stacy Q

Today was Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Very odd. I think we had daylight for roughly two hours and eighteen seconds today; it was pretty astonishing. Apart from workin’, I spent most of the day burning countless .mp3s to Cds, which was something that really needed to be done..

And although I still have to purchase an unadorned metal pole of my own, Shi-chan and I would like to remind all and sundry that Festivus is on the 23rd. Remember: Festivus is not considered over until the head of the family has been pinned to the ground. I’m rather looking forward to that bit.

Happy holidays to the lot of you! Better post later soon, or something

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typed for your pleasure on 14 December 2005, at 11.06 pm

Sdtrk: ‘The obsidian pyramid’ by Eric Zann

Okay, can I just point out how feckin’ hard it is to find information about the Andy Warhol Android? I mean, egad. I remember reading about him in People magazine back in the early Eighties; Andy was having an Android duplicate of himself made, initially for a stage show based on his book ‘THE Philosophy of Andy Warhol’, but Andy eventually pointed out that he wanted the Android to take his place during television shows and interviews, like a kagemusha. Which is a pretty damn good idea, when you think about it. Always an innovator, our Andy.
But yeah, since I was fascinated with Synthetiks back then, I recall cutting that article out of the magazine and saving it for years. Somehow or another, it disappeared, and now, I am sad. One of these days, I will actually make good on my promise to make my pilgrimage to the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and I fully intend on grabbing the nearest staffer by their lapels and asking (loudly) as to where I could get information about the Warhol Android. Internet, you disappoint me.

So you like that Ricky Gervais, then? Of course you do! Then you need to partake in The Ricky Gervais Show, sponsored by the Guardian Unlimited website, and download yourself some episodes. It’s Ricky and Steve Merchant, mostly taking the piss out of their mate Karl, and discussing various things. Usually, it simply degenerates into taking the piss out of Karl, though. Lovely stuff..

Lastly, for all of you Zeta Gundam fanatics, someone has made a torrent of the subtitled Zeta Gundam first theatrical release from last year, ‘Heirs to the stars‘. Hit up your favourite anime torrent site provider and give their search engine a whirl for it. I’m bringing my bandwidth to an absolute crawl by getting a copy; why not you?

O, right, I knew I forgot something.

The Andy Warhol robot is on display at the Tate Museum in Liverpool through May 2004 as part of the Mike Kelley: The Uncanny exhibition.

The robot was designed by Alvaro Villa shortly before Warhol’s death for use in a stage show titled Andy Warhol: A No Man Show based on Warhol’s books, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) and Exposures. The production was to be produced for Broadway by Lewis Allen of Annie fame, but the project was cancelled after Warhol’s death. (Mr. Allen passed away in December of last year).

Bob Colacello: “… there was a big project that Fred [Hughes] killed after Andy died. Lewis Allen, who was the producer of Annie and of Tru, the Truman Capote one-man show, had taken an option on the Philosophy of Andy Warhol and Exposures and had this wonderful idea to make the two books into something called Andy Warhol: A No Man Show. It was going to be a robot of Andy sitting on stage just gossiping and philosophizing based on the text of those two books. Peter Sellars was going to direct it. But the technology kept moving so quickly that every time Lew thought he had a robot, they’d find they could make an even more advanced robot, which would have eleven hand movements instead of three hand movements. And so he’d actually invest more money to get a better robot and then that would put the whole project back a year or two.

Andy loved this idea; he loved the fact that there was going to be this Andy Warhol robot that he could send on lecture tours. It could do talk shows for him. The idea was that the show, if it was successful in New York, could then also simultaneously be running in London, Los Angeles, Tokyo with cloned robots. And people would actually be able to ask questions of the robot, which would be programmed with a variety of answers. The whole thing was so Warholian and so perfect.

But when Andy died, Fred refused to renew the option. I owned fifty percent of Philosophy and Exposures, and Andy owned fifty percent after he died. In any case, the deal was killed. I think that Fred didn’t want this Warhol robot haunting his existence. It’s a shame. It really would have been the greatest thing that could have happened for Andy. It would have almost been like coming back from the dead. And he really loved the project. He sat for hours at some high-tech place in the San Fernando Valley where thy made a mold of his face and his hands… there’s a whole photo session of it.

Sorry the photo’s crap; it’s the only one I could find. Like I said: Internet, you have been a disappointment

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typed for your pleasure on 11 December 2005, at 10.51 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Just like honey’ by The Jesus and Mary Chain

I’ve just recently discovered another tiny Euro car to obsess over for the next couple of months: the Peugeot 1007. Upon first glance, it seems pretty bog-standard, by contemporary tiny Euro car standards. However, the vehicle’s construction contains a crucial, innovative difference, as witnessed here:

The doors? They slide open. They slide. Open. They slide open! To me, that makes about as much sense as, I dunno, breathing. They slide open! That’s one of those ‘shit, why didn’t they think of that years ago?’ type of revolutionary ideas, really.

Also! Simon of ‘Undercover in Japan’ has a link to a high-larious documentary about sushi and sushi-ya etiquette. Won’t you take my hand, and join me in watching it?

Also! Go wish MontiLee a Happy 33rd birthday, you bastards. It’s not too late

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It’s us again, auf Deutsch

typed for your pleasure on 10 December 2005, at 1.56 pm

Sdtrk: ‘Uluk constitution’ by Merzbow

ACHTUNG, PEOPLE OF GERMANY — also non-Germans with access to good bookstores — Go hit those bookshops and pick up the January ’06 issue of Maxi magazine, as it contains a stunning new article concerning ‘Still Lovers‘. Writer Annett Heide conducted some brief interviews with Elena Dorfman, as well as a few iDollators, such as Gordon Griggs, PB Shelley, Everhard, and myself, of course. 😉

This would be the cover:

If you hit Maxi’s website, it currently displays the cover for the December ’05 issue. On second thought, don’t hit Maxi’s website, cos quite frankly, it’s pretty damned useless. You say you’ve already clicked on the link? O, sorry.

Yes, the article’s entirely in German, as is the whole magazine, but don’t let that stop you. Plus, that issue comes mit einem grosse Astro-Tabelle, for all of your German Zodiacal needs for the new year! Such a deal!

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