Monday, October 16, 2023

Rough Beasts 'n Stuff

I was reading Yeats' "The Second Coming" again and I keep getting stuck on the Sphinx rising up to be born in Bethlehem. You could read it as the Age of Leo moving on to the Age of Pisces, but that's not prophesy; it's history. Also, it skips a lot - a WHOLE LOT - of time. Between Leo and Pisces, there's Cancer, Gemini, Taurus, and Aries, each of those covering thousands of years. Unless it's Leo devouring Pisces. Time moving backwards by nonsensical leaps. The world wobbling off its axis. I mean, we've already established that things are falling apart, right? He makes a double reference to chaotic things being "loosed" which, if unintentional, would be kind of sloppy. Desert birds (like Thoth's symbol, the ibis) are reeling in confusion.

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Friday, October 06, 2023


Have you ever thought, hey, I've got this wound, and it's starting to heal. If I leave it alone, it should be fine. Also, if I claw the shit out of it, it might radiate pleasure like those hot peppers only ever hinted at. Maybe it'll bleed like a firehose, and the wrongness will get me off. Maybe after this one it will be over.

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Monday, October 02, 2023


I've been listening to Bonfire, by Krysten Ritter on the drive home after work and just finished it tonight. I loved it.

I generally avoid books by famous actors because I hate the thought that they might be written by a ghost writer who, while paid, will never get credit for giving some rich person yet another thing to brag about. Not that it would affect whether or not the book was good, of course. 

Anyway, I looked into Ritter's background and I think it's plausible that she can write for herself. She's sold screenplays. And it's not like what you're known for has to be the only thing you're good at. Most of the people I've worked with at my day jobs, even customers I chatted with at my old comic book store, had no idea I was a writer. 

The book is written in a noir detective novel style, which I think she almost overdoes sometimes, but I'll always pick a book with too many poetic phrases over one with too few. I think there was plenty of Jessica Jones still skulking around in her brain when she wrote this. It's also written in present tense, which put me off at first. It's kind of like when you're watching a good cartoon with a weird animation style, though. Eventually, you don't even think about it. Also, telling the investigation story in present tense makes it easier to keep up with because there are a lot of flashbacks.

The protagonist is an environmental lawyer who is returning from Chicago with some of her colleagues to the small company-owned town she grew up in, Barrens (a little on-the-nose for a town in Indiana, but whatever). They're investigating the possibility that this company, Optimal Plastics, has been dumping dangerous chemicals and covering it up. Combined with the event from the prologue, it doesn't sound like there's much more to learn, but there are a lot of surprises coming, and they aren't goofy, last-minute Murder by Death style surprises; they make sense.

Abby, the main character, is not Jessica Jones, but she has some of the traits that make Jessica appealing. She's a loner who thinks for herself; she doesn't mind a drink now and then; and she doesn't have a problem with one-night stands. She's not perfect, but unraveling her flaws is part of the fun of the book, so I'm just gonna leave that alone.  

I guess what it boils down to is, if you like noir, you'll probably dig this. Also, if you've ever lived in one of those small towns that some corporation rules like a feudal lord, you'll find it particularly easy to root for the hero. 

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