KURT VONNEGUT, 1922-2007 “make me young, make me young, make me young!”

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.'”

I received a dozen e-mail this morning regarding Kurt Vonnegut’s death and today it is all my friends-list is writing about. Thank you. I found out last night, almost as the last conscious in-put I managed. Dark, brilliant, cherished, he died last night in his home in Manhattan at age 84. He had fallen several weeks ago and received brain injuries. I hope it was as peaceful can be.

I thought, as I slipped into sleep, that I wanted to hold him close a moment, and then I was gone. Waking, he was my first muzzy thought. I do not feel bereft, as thousands are today, but I do feel unsettled, as if something essential has gone missing. His easy, beautiful writing was unique, (a good trick if you can manage it), and everywhere today are stories about how his books changed lives for the better. 14 astonishing novels in 84 years. One of which, the semiautobiographical Slaughterhouse Five, (he was one of just seven American prisoners of war to survive the Dresden Fire Bombing, an act he later described as “a work of art.”), is considered one of the best American novels of the 20th century, appearing on the 100 best lists of Time magazine and the Modern Library. Go, read them all, for they are all gifts to the world. There was never an artist quite like him, his lyricism should never be neglected. It is with regret that I say I have not given away his books enough.

“I am, incidentally, Honorary President of the American Humanist Association, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that totally functionless capacity. We had a memorial service for Isaac a few years back, and I spoke and said at one point, ‘Isaac is up in heaven now.’ It was the funniest thing I could have said to an audience of humanists. I rolled them in the aisles. It was several minutes before order could be restored. And if I should ever die, God forbid, I hope you will say, ‘Kurt is up in heaven now.’ That’s my favorite joke.”

shaman ache

“And so it is that we, as men, do not exist until we do; and then it is that we play with our world of existent things, and order and disorder them, and so it shall be that non-existence shall take us back from existence and that nameless spirituality shall return to Void, like a tired child home from a very wild circus.”

–Principia Discordia, pg 00058

Robert Anton Wilson died this morning, age 74.

monday and life continues

he looks happy
Originally uploaded by Foxtongue.

Thank you to everyone who sent their condolences, thank you very much. The hardest part was wrapping him up in the plastic bag and putting him in the freezer. Irrational, but I felt I was smothering him. He’s there now, though I feel as if he’s still sleep somewhere in my room, as if he might scramble over to me at any time and tramp all over my keyboard. It’s tricky, knowing and not knowing, all at once. I’m worried that when it comes time to cut into him, I won’t be able to separate his body from his now absent mind.

I hope that when I die, there will be someone who cares for me enough to preserve me as art. Take me into pieces like the BodyWorld exhibits or do simply what I am doing, sewing wings onto the corpse. Tyler said I was creepy for saying so, but I think it’s an expression of dedication, of the continuance of being in memory preserved into flesh. Tricky things, emotions and motivations difficult to express.

Thank you, too, to those who donated through PayPal to help me with the intense veterinarian bill. Your kindness has been overwhelming. The bill has been covered, I’m not going to have to painfully swallow it whole like I expected. (I’m finishing the verification of my account right now.)

And to those who’ve been asking, the lovely James Everett has renewed my Flickr account.

Ashes and Snow will be on view in Santa Monica, from Jan 14 to May 14, 2006. I want to go.

[pj harvey – water]
Now the water to my ankles
Now the water to my knees
Think of him all waxy wings
Melted down into the sea
Mary, Mary what your man said
Washing it all over my head
Mary, Mary hold on tightly
Over water
Under the sea

Ashes and Snow
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Gregory Colbert has updated his website. &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Remember to breathe.

I’m so sorry there are not more angels. That there are not more years for grace.

I’m sorry I don’t have words for what I feel I want to say.

This is a universal thing, I know, but it brings us down every time.

May you have time to give everything you still have to say to the family you’ve made.

You have my deepest sympathies for your sorrow.

This isn’t enough, but I don’t know how to play the song that needs singing.

oops, wrong speed on that one

Peel’s comparing debut on Top Of The Pops: “In case you’re wondering who this funny old bloke is, I’m the one who comes on Radio 1 late at night and plays records made by sulky Belgian art students in basements dying of TB.”

What sound does not create the grandest of consequence? This October 13th was the one year anniversary of the very last session played by the late John Peel. For you in the Americas, John Peel was the man whose tastes dictated law in the land of new music. Your media failed you if you didn’t know this already. He died of a heart attack last October while on vacation with his family in Peru, a tragedy. The BBC has been putting together tribute concerts for him all week.

Here are some of Peel’s stories, collected from a series of interviews with Simon Garfield.

Here is a collection of legally free downloads of music that he’s played, as well as a toss of links relating to other pages of Peel and information.

Here is his list of twenty favourite albums, with a bit of Peel information on each. There is a BBC list of links at the bottom of the page that are well worth going through.

Speech-only MP3s of Peel standing in for Mark Radclffe in October 1996, with guests Lee & Herring and Stuart Maconie. Nearly all the music has been edited out (bar a Swedish Elvis impersonator), leaving 50 minutes’ worth of deadly genius. All reports agree that Peel’s contributions on the second MP3 are particularly fine.

A comprehensive list of his Festive 50’s, a yearly listener’s poll of favourite records.

“I know that I’m going to die trying to read the name of some band in the headlights of a car behind me, and then drive into a truck in front. People will say, ‘Oh, this is the way he would have wanted to go.'”

tag “john peel” should make this easier

Mark on the calendar, October 13th 2005 is the date of the first John Peel Day. Later I hope to have time enough and the inclination of the awake to collect together as much John Peel as I can to share with you all. audiography has dedicated this week to him and has already been posting some very choice music. However, my main contribution to the discovery of new music will be slightly early, as Nicholas has pointed me to loveliness this evening.

The artist is that 1 guy, and he is the best one man music I’ve ever heard. His lyrics are superb, his wacky home-made instrument intimidating awesome. It’s called “The Magic Pipe” because it is. I’m not sure I know of anything so captivatingly versatile. There’s a Listen To Entire Album button. I highly recommend it and also say, watch the video too.

I’ve discovered that I’m still twanging in dangerous ways from my dancing binge. It’s effort to turn my head, it goes against the natural reaction of my body complaint. I’m impressed. I walked away from an afternoon a few weeks ago attempting to teach Graham and Ryan how to use a sword with less bruises. (And Graham catches on quick to the idea of being hit without being hit). Course, part of it is the stupidly long walk I took with Alastair earlier today. He’s only in Vancouver a few days before leaving for San Francisco and Fiji, so we went for breakfast at Slickety Jim’s Chat & Chew this afternoon. My first mistake was expecting service on a holiday, my second was walking with him from there to Commercial and First, then up to Broadway. My eyes waved at some houses I knew and some interesting landmark graveyards, but the blisters are trying to argue that it wasn’t worth it. Lying on the couch at Korean Movie Monday was like sinking into hot chocolate on a cold day.

The film tonight wasn’t astonishing, My Beautiful Girl Mari was too mellow for that, but it was legitimately beautiful. The IMDB summary tells you nothing of use. What’s needed is an appreciation for magic realism, for the illusion of edgeless animation, and a commiseration with the logic of children. There is no painfully basic plot, only a gentle climb into a remembered summer that unwinds into terrifically averted disaster and cleverly prosaic goodbyes. The alternate world the boys enter is deeply reminiscent of dreaming, (that the cat also visits this world, they do not bother to explain, and nor will I, as it should be evident), being a place of clouds and peculiar consequences that drops them back into the real world without any warning, though certainly with the sadness of parting.

vividly in memory though I never had a chance to meet her in person

I’m not sure how to say this, so I’m going to steal Warren’s post because it carries everything needed to say. She was one of the nicest people I met through him on-line. I didn’t know her as well as many did, but she was a sweet support through my recent rough patch and her words were always cherished and smiled upon. I am stunned to have this news. I wish I were close enough to go to the memorial and pay my respects properly.

My friend Leticia Blake, also known as Eva Lux, died yesterday afternoon. She was 32.