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mark a rayner: William Shatner’s Inaugural Address

(After Winning the First Post-Two-Party Presidential Election) Friends, Americans, Countrymen! Lend me your ears. I come to bury our two-party system, not praise it. I stand before you today, not as a conqueror, not as pop icon, but as your President. … . . . → Read More: mark a rayner: William Shatner’s Inaugural Address

Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Mumia Abu-Jamal on Star Wars

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Dead Wild Roses: George Takei – On Star Trek and Society

Science fiction is one of those genres that can inspire genuine hope for the future. Gene Roddenberry’s idea was well ahead of its time, let’s hope we can live up to some of the ideals he put forward as to how 23rd century life would be like.

Also, I had no idea about the . . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: George Takei – On Star Trek and Society

Sketchy Thoughts: Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia

This essay investigates the explosive Soviet interest in space travel during the New Economic Policy (NEP) era of the 1920s, as expressed through amateur societies, the press, literature, painting, film, and other popular culture. In recovering an obscured history of the roots of Russian cosmonautics, it shows how the cause of space exploration in . . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia

Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia

This essay investigates the explosive Soviet interest in space travel during the New Economic Policy (NEP) era of the 1920s, as expressed through amateur societies, the press, literature, painting, film, and other popular culture. In recovering an obscured history of the roots of Russian cosmonautics, it shows how the cause of space exploration in . . . → Read More: Kersplebedeb | Kersplebedeb: Imagining the Cosmos: Utopians, Mystics, and the Popular Culture of Spaceflight in Revolutionary Russia

Sketchy Thoughts: THOSE MYTHOLOGICAL MEN AND THEIR SACRED, SUPERSONIC FLYING TEMPLES

From this anxiety of imitation, it is a short step to seeking authenticity in texts from the past, even if one of those texts is itself a modern imitation. The effect is further magnified by a narrowly instrumental education, the shrinking of public debate, the subservience of media to business interests, the proliferation of . . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: THOSE MYTHOLOGICAL MEN AND THEIR SACRED, SUPERSONIC FLYING TEMPLES

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Why do lit-ah-rary types look down on SF

So what is it about science fiction that causes “literary” types to look down upon it? Like any genre, SF has its bad and good. No scratch that, like any writing, there is both bad and good. I’ve read plenty … Continue reading →

Sketchy Thoughts: How come so many UK leftists are Trots?

In Terry Bisson’s interview with Ken MacLeod in The Human Front (PM Press, 2013), there’s this great answer to Bisson’s question “How come so many UK leftists are Trots?” :

Short answer: because Trotskyists in Britain moved fast on the CP’s crisis in the 1950s, and moved with the times in the 1960s.

. . . → Read More: Sketchy Thoughts: How come so many UK leftists are Trots?

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Lucidiva™ — Side effects

Common side effects include heavy breathing, panting, hyperventilation, lack of peripheral vision, excessive screaming, painful hearing and nasal discharge that may look like rice pudding. Sorry, but it happens. You should probably enjoy flatulence if you want to take this … Continue reading →

Politics and its Discontents: It Always Seems Like A Good Idea At The Time

…but who can forget the Borg and the Cylons?

Will Google eventually forget its motto, “Don’t be evil”?

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mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Poor career decisions

The alien on the right is thinking: “My agent is so fired.” The one on the left? He’s just experimenting with his knobs. Alltop loves a good knob experiment!

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Renoir’s The Festival of Slorg

Many art historians believe this to be the famous painting, Luncheon of the Boating Party (Le déjeuner des canotiers) by the French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, painted in 1881. They are right on two counts: it was Renoir, and it was … Continue reading →

Chadwick's Blog & Commentary: Tom Swift and His Rocket Ship

I was 8, maybe 9 years old, when my parents gave me a hardcover copy of Tom Swift and His Rocket Ship by Victor Appleton II. Probably a birthday or Xmas present. I can’t recall which. I just recall how … Continue reading →

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Take me to your breeder

Klaktron XII was the Hyper-Commander of the United Federation of Incredibly Regular Planets Space Vessel, Cheeznip. His was a storied career. He’d eaten ultrasonic oysters in the Seafood Nebula, and lived to tell the tale (in five-part harmony). He’d fought … Continue reading →

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RedBedHead: Prometheus: Big Ideas Made Dull

$130 million and all you can come up with is that we were created by muscular white dudes with waxed chests?

Let’s keep this quick and painless and cut straight to the point: the $16 I spent to see Prometheus in 3D (and, sorry Andrew, I dragged you into a $16 expense along with me) . . . → Read More: RedBedHead: Prometheus: Big Ideas Made Dull

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Why doesn’t SF produce “big idea” books anymore?

“…today you don’t need to read SF to get a sense of wonder high: you can just browse “New Scientist”. We’re living in the frickin’ 21st century. Killer robot drones are assassinating people in the hills of Afghanistan. Our civilisation … Continue reading →

. . . → Read More: mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Why doesn’t SF produce “big idea” books anymore?

Art Threat: Ghosts with Shit Jobs – Is this $4,000 “lo-fi sci-fi” the future of Canadian Filmmaking?

It is the year 2040. China is the world’s dominant economic power, while North America’s decline has forced most of its citizens into degrading and menial jobs. In Toronto, two “silk-gatherers” collect and sell “spiz,” the remnants of secretions from giant arachnoids. Other jobs of the future include “digital janitor,” “baby-maker” and “human . . . → Read More: Art Threat: Ghosts with Shit Jobs – Is this $4,000 “lo-fi sci-fi” the future of Canadian Filmmaking?

mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Vermeer’s Girl With Funky Hat About to Be Sucked Into A Naked Singularity

Few people know the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer had an advanced understanding of modern physics, but only alluded to it in some of his works because he dare not reveal his knowledge. He lived in the mid-17th century, so if … Continue reading →

. . . → Read More: mark a rayner | scribblings, squibs & sundry monkey joys: Vermeer’s Girl With Funky Hat About to Be Sucked Into A Naked Singularity