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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn


Carrying on with yesterday's theme, a blast from the past, a page made in ’12, of an item from 2011. And speaking of blasts from the past, I thought of another sorta-time travel film I really enjoyed Mr Plait didn't mention: Blast from the Past. Though its overall ratings were poor, I really enjoyed it, for much the same reasons Roger Ebert did (plus of course the shy gentle mannerly guy versus street-smart girl thingie, of course.)

Also, I'm really enjoying the music of Mark Lanegan. My friend Page played this song as her choice of soundtrack for one of the trailers for the new del Toro/Tom Hiddleston movie, Crimson Peak, and it worked amazingly well. Also, the sets and costumes (except that one horrid pansy thing the heroine wore) were utterly luscious. And the fake red ground. I've seen Georgia Red earth, and it's more orange:)

Anyway. Here's a beetle, though not a particularly creepy one.


Via pharyngula, a fanfic about the frustrations of ‘commie-pinko’ (it's a family joke) Steve Rogers’ 21st century publicist. Pretty cute!

Speaking of history, no, I didn't know that the red scare was responsible for the ‘in God we trust’ on US money. (or if I did, I'd forgotten.) Also, yesterday was ‘Back to the Future’ day (the putative day Marty McFly travelled and yikes, I have seen every one of the films (excepting, perhaps T2) on Phil Plait's main list. —Spider Robinson wrote a wonderful short story about time travel that actually happened—to some vet who was a POW for 15 years, and suddenly has to catch up (sort of like Captain America, who started this post...)

The racism against the apes coding for that of PoC in Planet of the Apes mostly went over my head. Though I do recall, (as Fred slacktivist notes,) the idea that a random white kid taught Chuck Berry Johnny B Goode was probably the least believable part of BttF and I remember being intensely uncomfortable during that bit. Now I just marvel that I saw that film in the theatres thirty years ago. Yowza.

I guess since cicadas live underground for 13 or 17 or similar numbers of years, they're an appropriate subject for today's post.


Insomnia for the win.

Though I admit, this is definitely another one of those filler posts, since I discovered the thing I wanted to photograph didn't come out very well. (Use your lens paper, people.)

In the meantime, the joys of flash-fill.


What a gorgeous day Monday—I was sure Monday a week ago would be the last time I'd get to spend the day outside, arting, but my art buddies & I lucked out & got to do it again today—I so love the light and green-golds of Autumn.

I was really busy during over the past weekend, and will likely continue to be busy this week...so today's post (a muffin recipe may be it:) Sorry about that. On the other hand, via pharyngula, a really cool parade made of people representing a strand of DNA

And with luck, I'll have a slew of new posts in a week or so about the Joy Munshower workshop I'm taking this weekend.


Until I finish some more of them, I'm basically caught up on little zippered containers.

Also, Vihart:)

I've checked in on Vihart periodically for years, and I'm certain I've seen this meditation on art framed as how to write your very own copyright free 12 tone music but evidently I never posted it. It's unusually long for her—about half an hour—but it's brilliant in the same way I found Hofstadter's Goedel Escher Bach brilliant; she manages even to touch on perception and reality (we try to define art, she says [*heavily* paraphrasing here], but is that any harder than defining the reality of tables or chairs? And what about the reality we haven't the conceptual framework to perceive, which would be 99.999...% of the universe?)

I had a suitemate in college who particularly liked 12 tone music, which I found harsh and unmelodic, though I came to appreciate it in small doses, and understand why standard stuff might feel bland and boring after getting deep into it. I mean, as an aside she beautifully characterizes that whole ‘art is just chipping away all the marble that isn't the sculpture’:

Creative people are just skilled at navigating an exponential tree of possibilities... Creativity means fearlessly embracing things that seem odd, even random, knowing if you keep your brain open you'll eventually find the connections.


That basically everything out there is beyond my limits of perception or understanding is rather scary (though enticing too—with all that to discover, we'll never get bored); but I love making art because it's nearly the only time I get to be fearless.


2015. 2015. Two-thousand-and-FIFteen, not fourteen. (I'll probably get this right...around 2016. Sigh.)

Today's link is for Aepril Schaile whose [sic] Babalon I find absolutely gorgeous. She bills herself as a shamanistic bellydancer, and clearly comes out of the tribal tradition, which, despite the name, is actually a USian fusion style (her dance, frex, appears to me to include robotic influences, which makes sense as this style also relies heavily upon isolations—see especially the 36 and 1:30 marks, where the guy does chest-ups, and absolutely amazing whole torso shimmies, respectively.)

Like the wearing of kimono, some people feel “bellydance” should be restricted to members of its culture of origin; others are dubious of what they see as crappy, hollywoodish influences. And just with kimono, there's pushbacksome, perhaps, more easily justified than others.

If my brother were being deported by the US government and people were calling me a dirty, fat, camel of a terrorist ever since I moved here, I think I'd have little patience for defenses of something I saw as an appropriation of my culture, too. As it happens, I don't think people should adopt faux Arab names for their dance personas. I do think we should work to reduce racism, because frankly, if no-one's marginalized, then a lot of the difficulties with appropriation go away. If Eid al Fitr is considered a holiday just like Christmas or Passover, or the ratio of dark to light folk getting incarcerated (or deported, in this case) reflects the makeup of the larger population, why then how some clueless costumer styles her beads is far more likely to become the province of the toxomoplasmically enraged than the genuinely hurt.

But that's gonna take a while. In the meantime, I also feel, if something really resonates, if you really love it, it shouldn't be barred to you because you were born in the wrong place, or of the wrong sex (why yes, men can too belly dance) nor even the wrong color. (Any more than the absurd assertion that black people can't dress up as Wonder Woman.) Nor can you freeze a living practice of any art—people are inevitably gonna mix, match, and adapt, as indeed Aepril has done above.

That to my mind is a good thing.

And today's post? Well, it's something I dug up to fill today's slot, and happens to be a fusion of Japanese and US textile traditions, featuring a quintessentially US holiday because, yanno, when you take a souvenir to a foreign country, quite often they like to have something representative. Like these 4th of July gift bags.