April 2007 | Inhuman Swill | William Shunn
Inhuman Swill : April 2007

YYZ hero


Some of you here—and you know who you are—will share my enthusiasm and anxiety about this coming Tuesday's release of the new Rush album, Snakes & Arrows. The first single, "Far Cry," didn't blow me away, but the fragment of "Spindrift" now available at the Rush site sounds different from anything they've done, so my hopes are high.

Anyway, for those of you I'm talking to—and you definitely know who you are—here's some "YYZ"/Guitar Hero 2 action for you:

Be sure to watch all the way to the end.

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Ella the Wonder Dog saves the day again, this time warning the Invisible Hounds of Hell away from Astoria before they can instantiate a doorway into our dimension.

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Introducing Clymonistra

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Steinway Street Station

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A sign at my local subway stop warns me that the station is managed by one Crythen Langhorne.

Every time I see this sign, I feel as if I have somehow wandered into New Crobuzon. And I check the track bed for nasties, just in case.

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Raise your hand if you're planning to attend Nebula Awards Weekend in New York next month.

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Habitable planet for man?

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The headline of this Malaysian Sun story is rather optimistic, but the discovery of the most Earthlike extrasolar planet yet is definitely exciting.

A nice perspective on extrasolar planets is offered in this 2004 New York Times essay by Dennis Overbye, written on the occasion of the discovery of what was then the smallest yet detected.

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Countdown to fascism

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In the Guardian, Naomi Wolf shows us the road to a "Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps":

  1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
  2. Create a gulag
  3. Develop a thug caste
  4. Set up an internal surveillance system
  5. Harass citizens' groups
  6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
  7. Target key individuals
  8. Control the press
  9. Equate dissent with treason
  10. Suspend the rule of law
You can see that, as concerned as I am about the slippery slope we're on in America, I still couldn't resist the temptation to edit item #9 for parallel construction.

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Astoria Sidewalk
Every Sunday morning, Laura and I walk Ella through our neighborhood to Astoria Park for a pre-9:00 am romp with her friends. It takes about half an hour to get there. Last Sunday, Laura brought the camera along and took pictures.

Astoria has the largest population of Greeks outside of Greece, or so I am told. It's the kind of neighborhood with a Dunkin' Donuts on one block and a supper club called ΠANΘEON on the next. Astoria's sister city is Athens, which donated a couple of statues to a little park on 30th Avenue called Athens Square.

We don't always walk through Athens Square on the way to Astoria Park, but when we do Ella usually barks at the Socrates statue. (Had she lived in ancient Athens, she'd have been one of the citizens calling for the death of Socrates.) Sunday, though, she couldn't be bothered.

From Athens Square, it's another twenty minutes or so to Astoria Park. There's a children's playground in the park that overlooks the once-dangerous East River channel known as Hell Gate. Only in a Greek neighborhood would the playground be named after Charybdis, the ravenous sea monster of Greek mythology responsible for whirlpools.

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In the years since the Mormon material came down from my site, my ratio of clueless-to-clued-in email has dropped considerably. In fact, back in the old, old days, I had a feature called "Postmarked: Clueless" at the site that was devoted specifically to dissecting the most clueless of those emails. My favorite of all those emails was the first one I ever posted, from back in 1996. On a page linking to other ex-Mormons, I had written a little squib about the porn star Brandy Alexandre in which I praised her site for its "wit and intelligence," and for its "dearth of dirty pictures."

Ms. Alexandre herself sent me email to complain about what I had said about her:

Please do not advertise that my web site has "a dirth of dirty pictures". It does not and I'm proud of the fact that it gets so many hits each month without them.
What are you gonna do?

Sometimes I miss honest, old-fashioned cluelessness like that. Fortunately, this morning's mailbag brought me this gem, which may not be quite as amusing but does indicate a serious misreading of what my manuscript format page is all about:

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Great Googly moogly

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Today's Google logo for Earth Day is pretty poignant.

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William Shunn

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This page is an archive of entries from April 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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