roses in december…

Basically just wanted to put this here since Twitter feeds are so ephemeral.

Dec18_Roses
Dec 18th, just North of Boston. Dear Roses: Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?

Snapped this last Friday when I got home from work. I’m no gardener at all, so this poor rosebush has been left to fend for itself until I can find a decent landscaper next Spring. One can only admire its stubborn opportunism, though, getting in that one last bloom just a week before Christmas. (First frost was later that night).

Our typical blizzard season around here is January-March, but by this time in December, there would usually would have been a few minor storms, and there’d be snow cover on the gardens and sidewalks.This bush is normally bare by mid November, but the New England coast has been unseasonably warm this year (and, so far, mercifully quiet).

It wasn’t until I looked at the picture above on a bigger screen to post it (for its own sake) that I noticed the ‘fuzz’ around the window framing. Which brings me to this photo:

AtticOrb
The iPhone cam caught… well, something. (Please don’t mind Gizzmo the cat, he’s actually quite friendly– he can’t help the shiny retinas).

I had taken this picture a few days before, on the 13th.  I’ve been working through large piles of crap in my half-finished attic area, sending a load of junk off with the haulers every couple of months or so. While setting up the picture, I saw that the sleeping bag near the bottom of the frame was obscuring the cat, so I reached down to move it out of frame (mostly). So at this point I’m standing, knees slightly bent, and I’d just tossed the bag out of the way as I was pressing the “shutter” on the phone (oh how I miss real buttons…)

Just as I did so, I distinctly saw… something. Something that appeared to fly out of one of the boxes under the sleeping bag, then upwards, right in front of me, and then shot up quickly, through the ceiling.

The most curious thing is that it flew literally right in front of me. Less than 6-8 inches from my face. And it was real: It was about 4-6 feet wide so I could see it distinctly around the edges of the phone, almost filling my peripheral vision. Not just on the screen. I’m also reasonably sure it’s not a flash artifact, since this happened right before the flash went off. My first thought was that it was just a cloud of dust I’d kicked up by moving the sleeping bag, but I once it was at eye level, I quickly realized that it was made of light. Bright light of a clear, distinct color: A brilliant white/cyan, with touches of violet around the edges. The edges seemed to move and wave more than the white part did, to the extent I could tell (having only seen the thing for a split second).

Luckily I was lucid enough to snap another photo ASAP:

AtticClear
Snapped 1-2 seconds after the previous one. Gizzmo saw it too, BTW.

Forgive my weak photography (and terrible early 1960s vinyl/asbestos flooring, that’s getting covered up with something nicer once this gets all cleared out).  Gizz’s eyes still have that certain feline glow, as in the previous photo, but any other “orb” or flash artifacts are completely absent from this one.

The cat saw it too, BTW. His head and eyes had followed it up to the ceiling, then looked back down at me, so here I am capturing that startled “WTF was THAT!? did YOU see that!?” look most cat owners would recognize.

I’ve never seen ball lightning, but this doesn’t seem to fit the descriptions I’ve read. It was unseasonably warm on that day, too, with a slight on and off drizzle, but no storm or electrical activity. It was too damp that day for static electricity. And, it did fly less than a foot in front of my face. I’d have expected to feel the static, and smell ozone afterwards… but none of that manifested. Only by sight, and only the light. (Fun fact: I have two EE degrees. I’ve fried enough circuits in my younger days to know what electricity ‘smells’ like. I’m reasonably certain this wasn’t electrical in nature).

I didn’t get any malevolent feel. It almost felt like stumbling onto a mouse or something, just some little thing had been hiding in the box that got startled and GTFO when I moved the sleeping bag to the side. However, I don’t much like uninvited guests in my house (of either kind), so I salted the room, lit some incense, and did a few other things I won’t get into here… but I’ve neither seen nor felt anything up there since that Sunday.

Now back to Friday: I snapped the Roses picture because I saw untimely roses on Dec 18th, and knew they would die that night. I didn’t notice the fuzz around the first-floor window until I uploaded it to post it for its own sake, and saw it on a bigger screen.  In this case, I saw nothing out of the ordinary in real time. But I’m wondering now if “it” just kind of politely left my parts of the house, and started hanging out outside and/or downstairs (I don’t live down there myself, it’s rented out… and I’m not quite crazy enough to ask the tenants if they’ve seen anything “ghosty” down there. The neighbors think I’m eccentric enough).

I’m half tempted to leave it an offering or something (which isn’t generally a thing I do). It’s welcome to hang out on my tiny little plot of land as long as it doesn’t hurt anything. I just don’t want it in my living space. Still deciding on what to do. (And am open to suggestions!).

BTW: The wind has just starting whipping up as I was typing this.  So much for the quiet Atlantic.

Happy Solstice, Kids…

-mjl

PS: Just to be clear: I have no idea what this phenomenon is/was, and cannot even begin to pretend to know. And these photos are unredacted (straight from the built-in iPhone 6S camera, through email, then up to wordpress. No filters or compression applied).

into the squeeze chutes…

Tell me your race, how you worship (and/or, if you do), what socio-economic class you happened to be born into, which subculture (professional or otherwise) you most identify with (again, if any) and where you live now… and I’ll have a really, really good chance at guessing:

  1. How old you think the earth is.
  2. Your opinion of climate change.
  3. Your position on gun control.
  4. Whether or not you believe in astrology. Or tarot cards. Or magic (for our purposes, this would include belief in the ‘power of prayer’)… as a Thing.
  5. Who’s funding ISIS.
  6. Putin: Villain… or Leader?
  7. Where does the oil come from? And how long will it last?
  8. The Apollo Moon Landings: Real or fake?
  9. UFOs. What are they?

Now.. why would that be?

This odd set of random little questions, across a broad swath of disconnected subjects. Some pop culture, some not.  Some political… some not.  Not one of them having any immediate effects or consequences with respect to any of our daily lives, whatsoever.

Yet, there we have it.  Disparate beliefs do seem to cluster, for some reason. Why?

We’re tribal creatures (it’s in the wiring).  But we do seem to be parceling ourselves out into different mental Tribes, more so than usually (at least within my lifetime).  And more virulently.  And with stranger and stranger shibboleth to distinguish them from one another.

Reaction to a stressful era?  Signs and Portents of the End Times? Just feeling the slide towards some (alleged) inevitable Collapse coming sometime around 2040?  Fun fact: That last thought-berg broke the surface in all sorts of oddly correlated places,… but the subtext of the “Business Insurance” article amused me most:

“Rest assured, Citizens: the actuaries who compute your insurance tables are well aware of the situation, and have already updated their analytical models to account for any potential disturbances.”.

We’re deep in the post-post-post-post-modern era.  There is no shortage of available scripts for the future.

But I don’t much like the current table of scripts.  They all suck.  They all ‘rhyme’.  And they all have the same shitty, trite, pointless ending.

black iron prison, velvet cage.

How does one destroy a Republic? You destroy the very notion of res publica.

You convince the people that there is… no People. No civic space. No public forum. Every square inch of the planet, owned by someone. Every idea, every invention, every thought, every human creation of value, owned by someone.

Every one of us… well, owned, by someone.

You convince them that the notion of banding together in their own common interest is naive and stupid at best, or insidious and evil at worst.

You leverage almost a century’s worth of social engineering to peel away at their very human pieces. Commoditize their religions, their politics, their stories, their History, their fictions. Their dreams.

Train them to identify with some abstract Tribe (their innate biological wiring predisposes them to it, after all) and to instinctively distrust, despise anyone or anything Other. Offer them a limited buffet of (so-called) “Lifestyles”, and they will happily choose, and thank you for the right to do so. Train them to speak in social codes, shibboleth, images, feelings, symbols that are unique to each tribe, until they lose the ability to even communicate across the artificial semiotic fences you’ve built for them.

Give them idols to worship– artists without art. Leaders without leadership. Gods without… godliness. Give them joyless, pointless festivals and rituals to keep them busy, and so they can feel as though they belong. Keep them just well fed enough that they won’t revolt (but not too well– be sure to keep just enough of the poor around to keep the others in permanent fear of losing what little they have).

You convince them that this is the only World. That they are without hope of escape, or improvement, or that the very notion of the possibility of ‘progress’ in the classical sense is a naive illusion, or delusion (and make sure you train them how to laugh at those who do, while you’re at it). That Power is all. That Money is all. That they are nothing more than meat to be cultivated, bought and sold, and finally consumed.

Until one day, they have nothing left but fear and ignorance; distrust and hatred. The useful submission that comes from Quiet Desperation.

You train them to act as their own prison guards, essentially. No need to censor (or censure), at least not publically. Keep the forums open and free, and let the little people speak as much as they want. For have no fear, the others will gladly shout them down.

Black Iron Prison, indeed. Only this time around, enclosed within a Cage of Velvet Rope.

so, as i was saying…

It’s been over a year. Not yet over, a year.  (Won’t get into that… here). Just never really felt like writing. Moulting time, I suppose. But at least I’ve been making a lot of music.

Maybe I needed that more.

IMO, the particular “decade-ness” of any decade doesn’t really become apparent until the 3rd or 4th year of that decade. The music shifts then. The politics shifts then. The fashion starts to shift then. The look and feel of it starts then. And so, here we are…

…and (quite abruptly, as it usually does) it’s finally begun to feel like ‘the future’.

Tomorrow came. Now what?

new release: the chaldean social club

In Mid-November, five titles occurred to me. Just the titles. From then on until mid-January, I made tracks to match the names. The result:

About 20 core sounds involved. More than a few of them remixed/repurposed from pre-existing material.

Released under Creative Commons license (non-commercial/attribution/share-alike).

Tomorrow Came (2013 : The Year in Review)

Well, not really. But Disquiet Junto Project #0104 had us go through our past year’s work, and splice five seconds per month into a one minute year-in-review piece:

Details (and links to the source tracks) are at the SoundCloud Link.

In other news, last week’s Disquiet had us make a secular holiday track, using material from the previous week’s project:

I’ve also uploaded the third in the ‘The Chaldean Social Club” series (which I will explain at some point, I promise):