little bits of stuff you read and want to share

At the sight of the corner where we used to keep a dog when we were children, I couldn’t help thinking, If only I kept a dog at least! But since I grew up I’ve always hated dogs. And who would look after the dog, and what should it look like, what kind of dog should it be? I’d have to get somebody in to look after the dog, and I can’t put up with anybody in the house. I can’t put up either with a dog or another person. I’d have had somebody in the house long ago if I could have stood it, but I can’t stand anybody, and naturally I can’t stand a dog. I haven’t gone to the dogs, I told myself, and I won’t. I shall die like a dog, but I won’t go to the dogs. The dog used to sit in this corner just next to the door leading into the yard. We loved the dog, but now I’d be bound to hate such an animal, always lying in wait. The fact of the matter is that I love being alone. I’m not lonely and I don’t suffer from loneliness. I’m happy when I’m alone. I know how fortunate I am to be alone when I observe other people who aren’t alone like me and can’t afford to be, who spend all their lives wishing they were but can’t be. People keep a dog and are ruled by this dog, and even Schopenhauer was ruled in the end not by his head, but by his dog. This fact is more depressing than any other. Fundamentally it was not Schopenhauer’s head that determined his thought, but Schopenhauer’s dog. It was not the head that hated Schopenhauer’s world, but Schopenhauer’s dog. I don’t have to be demented to assert that Schopenhauer had a dog on his shoulders and not a head. People love animals because they are incapable even of loving themselves. Those with the very basest of souls keep dogs, allowing themselves to be tyrannized and finally ruined by their dogs. They give the dog pride of place in their hypocrisy, which in the end becomes a public menace. They would rather save their dog from the guillotine than Voltaire. The masses are in favour of dogs because in their heart of hearts they are not prepared to incur the strenuous effort of being alone with themselves, an effort which in fact calls for greatness of soul. I don’t belong to the masses, I’ve been against the masses all my life, and I’m not in favour of dogs. What we call our love of animals has already wrought such havoc that if we were to think really hard about it we should be positively frightened to death. It isn’t as absurd as it may at first appear when I say that the world owes its most terrible wars to its rulers’ love of animals. It’s all documented, and one ought to be clear about it for once. These people — politicians, dictators - are ruled by a dog, and as a result they plunge millions of human beings into misery and ruin. They love a dog and foment a world war in which, because of this one dog, millions of people are killed.

thomas bernhard talks about dogs, from “concrete”


did a cat person write that?




A rhetorical question often asked of male distributors was this: “Who do you love more, YOUR wife or your employer’s wife?” Some Diamonds would remark, “You must love your boss more than your wife, since you have decided to spend more time every day with him.” Others would make joking comments to the effect of: “Scientific surveys have documented that your wife is peaking sexually at about 1:00 p.m., and you missed it by being at work. Had you been a retired Emerald or Diamond, you would have been home more often to capitalize on this scientific phenomenon.”

from the same book on Amway scams that i posted about before. it’s interesting as an early glimpse at dynamics which would become ubiquitous on the mlm / nutrient pill circuit, and there’s something very sad to me about seeing it laid out here - converting people’s unhappiness about work into punitive Gender Role bullshit as a way to better enmesh people in a pyramid cult. that being said, i did get a kick out of the image of all these guys at work anguishing that they just missed the boat on Horny Wife Hour (what is going on at 1pm…??)


welcome to the fertile soil of Dutch Reform West Michigan


android kikaider episode list

  1. “The Terrifying Grey Rhino King is a Messenger of Hell” (恐怖のグレイサイキングは地獄の使者, Kyōfu no Gurei Sai Kingu wa Jigoku no Shisha)
  2. “The Mysterious Green Mantis is a Homicidal Fiend” (怪奇グリーンマンティスは殺人鬼, Kaiki Gurīn Mantisu wa Satsujinki)
  3. “The Accursed Orange Ant’s Deadly Challenge” (呪いオレンジアントの死の挑戦, Noroi Orenji Anto no Shino Chōsen)
  4. “The Demonic Blue Buffalo Sets a Trap” (悪魔のブルーバッファローが罠をはる, Akuma no Burū Baffarō ga Wana o Haru)
  5. “Yellow Jaguar’s Demonic Hands Draw Near” (イエロージャガーの魔の手が迫る, Ierō Jagā no Ma no Te ga Semaru)
  6. “Black Horse Waits in the Execution Zone” (ブラックホースが死刑場でまつ, Burakku Hōsu ga Shikeijō de Matsu)
  7. “Monster Blue Kong’s Great Rage” (怪物ブルスコングが大暴れ, Kaibutsu Burusu Kongu ga Ōabare)
  8. “Carmine Spider Laughs Eerily” (カーマインスパイダーが不気味に笑う, Kāmain Supaidā ga Fukimi ni Warau)
  9. “Agonizing Death! Calamity Bird Red Condor” (断末魔! 妖鳥レッドコンドル, Danmatsuma! Yōchō Reddo Kondoru)
  10. “Scorpion Brown’s Maddened by the Human Bombs” (サソリブラウン人間爆発に狂う, Sasori Buraun Ningen Bakuhatsu ni Kurū)
  11. “Gold Wolf Howls in Hell” (ゴールドウルフが地獄に吠える, Gōrudo Urufu ga Jigoku ni Hoeru)
  12. “The Cruel Witch Silver Cat” (残酷魔女シルバーキャット, Zankoku Majo Shirubā Kyatto)
  13. “Pink Tiger Attacks the Amusement Park” (ピンクタイガーの遊園地襲撃, Pinku Taigā no Yūenchi Shūgeki)
  14. “Great Devil Silver Turtle Summons 3 Monsters” (大魔神ギンガメが三怪物を呼ぶ, Daimajin Gin Game ga San Kaibutsu o Yobu)
  15. “The Shadow of the Golden Bat’s Curse” (キンイロコウモリ呪いの陰, Kin’iro Kōmori Noroi no Kage)
  16. “The Woman Crimson Jellyfish Calls to the River Styx” (女ベニクラゲが三途の川へ招く, Onna Beni Kurage ga Sanzunokawa e Maneku)
  17. “Red Hornet’s Terrifying Prisoner Plan” (アカクマバチ恐怖の人質計画, Aka Kumabachi Kyōfu no Hitojichi Keikaku)
  18. “Black Chameleon’s Phantom Heist Strategy” (クロカメレオン幻の大強奪作戦, Kuro Kamereon Maboroshi no Dai Gōdatsu Sakusen)
  19. “The Grim Reaper Beast Horseshoe Crab Rouge Appears!” (死神獣カブトガニエンジ参上!, Shinigami Jū Kabutogani Enji Sanjou!)
  20. “The Ruthless Green Waterbug’s Poison Plan!!” (冷酷アオタガメのドクロ計画!!, Reikoku Aota Game no Dokuro Keikaku!!)
  21. “Brutality! Purple Rat’s Poisonous Fangs” (残虐! ムラサキネズミの毒牙, Zangyaku! Murasaki Nezumi no Dokuga)
  22. “White Sawshark’s 12-Hour Nightmare” (シロノコギリザメ悪夢の12時間, Shiro Nokogirizame Akumu no Jū-Ni Jukan)
  23. “The Three Yellow Antlion Brothers Appear!” (キイロアリジゴク三兄弟見参!, Kiiro Arijigoku San Kyōdai Kenzan!)
  24. “Devilish Woman?? Pink Armadillo” (魔性の女?? モモイロアルマジロ, Majō no Onna?? Momoiro Arumajiro)
  25. “Bitter-Orange Snail’s Murderous Whistle” (ダイダイカタツムリ殺しの口笛, Daidai Katatsumuri Koroshi no Kuchibue)
  26. “Green Mammoth’s Earth-Freezing Strategy!!” (ミドリマンモス地球冷凍作戦!!, Midori Manmosu Chikyuu Reitō Sakusen!!)
  27. “Violet Turban Shell’s Evil Love” (バイオレットサザエの悪魔の恋, Baioretto Sazae no Akuma no Koi)
  28. “Red Devil Stingfish Makes Babies Cry!” (赤子を泣かすアカオニオコゼ!, Akago o Nakasu Aka Oni Okoze!)
  29. “Sponge Green Lives Thrice” (カイメングリーンは三度蘇える, Kaimen Gurīn wa Sando Yomigaeru)
  30. “Red Squid Targets the Beautiful College Student” (アカネイカ美人女子大生を狙う, Akane Ika Bijin Joshidaisei o Nerau)
  31. “Octopus Gold Calls for Jiro’s Death” (ジローの死を呼ぶタコヤマブキ, Jirō no Shi o Yobu Tako Yamabuki)
  32. “Blue Electric Eel’s Evil Arms Glow” (アオデンキウナギ魔の腕が光る, Ao Denki Unagi Ma no Ude ga Hikaru)
  33. “The Fiendish Demonface Crab Red’s Cursed Law” (兇悪キメンガニレッド呪いの掟, Kyōaku Kimen Gani Reddo Noroi no Okite)
  34. “The Child-Taking Monster Black Echidna” (子連れ怪物ブラックハリモグラ, Kotsure Kaibutsu Burakku Harimogura)

Black Horse Waits in the Execution Zone



The life of Jean-Baptiste Lully was marked by such deep contradictions, both real and widely attributed, that it becomes difficult to gauge the true essence of this extraordinary figure. A great composer, wealthy entrepreneur, buffoon, tragedian, native Italian, icon of French nationalism, notorious sodomite, and excellent husband and father, Lully’s combined traits and achievements suggest a powerfully mercurial personality. His colleagues’ love and loathing survived long after his death in 1687.

–Note by John Mark Rozendaal to “The World of Lully”

offering “notorious sodomite, and excellent husband and father” as title material


The apparent sentimentality: the idea that a shrunken, impoverished film is necessarily purer, more honest than a highly budgeted studio film. Actually, the Kuchar-Warhol is so impoverished that it gives the spectator the kind of disenchantment, sordidness, feverish wastage that no other movie even suggests.

related to glorious trainwrecks discussion in a different thread i came across this bit today, from manny farber on underground films. “feverish wastage” is a great term.


From a book called “Sun Ra’s Chicago” about the melting pot of musical influence at the time:


Pulling quotes from my time reading through The Adding Machine: Selected Essaays by William S. Burroughs, and here are some interesting or funny ones.

  1. A method for writers to try:
    “I recommend an exercise I have practiced for years: when walking down any street, try to see everyone on the street before he sees you. You will find that if you see others first they will not see you.” (from “Technology of Writing” by William S. Burroughs 33)

  2. …and another method:
    “I just tried an interesting experiment. I turn on the TV, open an anthology of poetry and read a few lines, noting action and words on screen. I throw away some duds but the hits are impressive. Just try it.
    ‘A violet by a mossy stone half hidden eye’. Wordsworth/Lucy Poems. There’s a flower on screen right now.” (from “Creative Reading” by William S. Burroughs 43)

  3. Wisdoms for writers:
    “And what causes writer’s block? Usually it’s overwriting, your bad writing catches up to you. I remember Mac McCarthy saying about me: ‘He writes too much.’ But I wouldn’t listen… went on writing and writing, and a lot of it is terrible. Then it hits. You just have to wait it out…” (from “The Maugham Curse” by William S. Burroughs 174)
    “The purpose of writing is to make it happen.” (from “The Fall of Art” by William S. Burroughs 60)

  4. The movement of his writing here, the way it takes you through time and space, is just amazing to me:
    “Hemingway wrote himself as a character. He wrote his life and death so closely that he had to be stopped before he found out what he was doing and wrote about that. There is the moment when the bull looks speculatively from the cape to the matador. The bull is learning. The matador must kill him quick. Two plane crashes in a row, both near Kilimanjaro. The matador has to smash his head against the window of a burning plane. He wrote it in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, where Death is the pilot. ‘He was pointing now, white white white as far as the eye can see ahead, the snows of Kilimanjaro.’ That’s the last line.” (from “Hemingway” by William S. Burroughs 67)

  5. Hilarious and as relevant now as this was when it was written, sometime between the 70s and the 80s I’d guess. For context, Burroughs’ imagination is filled with 1950s pulp scifi and the avant gard, so this is not like a Tesla dude saying this at all:
    “At a time when the hope of the human race lies in space exploration and above all in biological mutation, we are threated by a Moron Majority committed to enforcing their stupid, bestial, bigoted opinions on everybody else.” (from “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” by William S. Burroughs 143)

  6. Thought these are just funny…:
    “…and I started writing allegories in a vaguely Oriental setting, with dapper jewel thieves over the wine, engaged in philosophical discussions I prefer not to remember.
    ‘To observe one’s actions with detachment while making them as amusing as possible seems to me . . .’
    ‘Very interesting,’ said the imperturbable detective popping up from behind a potted rubber plant. ‘You are all under arrest.’” (from “The Name Is Burroughs” by William S. Burroughs 6)
    “On the outside he draped half a dozen ratty old rabbit-fur coats, to beef up the orgone charge. The rabbit coats give the box a surrealist look, very organic, like a fur-lined bathtub.” (from “My Experiences With Wilhelm Reich’s Orgone Box” by William S. Burroughs 166)
    “…old Doc Zeit is tops. He can switch eggs in an alley.” (from “Immortality” by William S. Burroughs 130)
    “I think that Richard Nixon will go down in history as a true folk hero, who stuck a vital blow to the whole diseased concept of the revered presidential image and gave the American virtues of irreverence and skepticism back to the people.” (from “A Word to the Wise Guy” by William S. Burroughs 31)


you’ve probably seen it but i always enjoy the letter he wrote putting a curse on truman capote for “in cold blood”

July 23, 1970

My Dear Mr. Truman Capote

This is not a fan letter in the usual sense—unless you refer to ceiling fans in Panama. Rather call this a letter from “the reader”—vital statistics are not in capital letters—a selection from marginal notes on material submitted as all “writing” is submitted to this department. I have followed your literary development from its inception, conducting on behalf of the department I represent a series of inquiries as exhaustive as your own recent investigations in the sunflower state. I have interviewed all your characters beginning with Miriam—in her case withholding sugar over a period of several days proved sufficient inducement to render her quite communicative—I prefer to have all the facts at my disposal before taking action. Needless to say, I have read the recent exchange of genialities between Mr. Kenneth Tynan and yourself. I feel that he was much too lenient. Your recent appearance before a senatorial committee on which occasion you spoke in favor of continuing the present police practice of extracting confessions by denying the accused the right of consulting consul prior to making a statement also came to my attention. In effect you were speaking in approval of standard police procedure: obtaining statements through brutality and duress, whereas an intelligent police force would rely on evidence rather than enforced confessions. You further cheapened yourself by reiterating the banal argument that echoes through letters to the editor whenever the issue of capital punishment is raised: “Why all this sympathy for the murderer and none for his innocent victims?” I have in line of duty read all your published work. The early work was in some respects promising—I refer particularly to the short stories. You were granted an area for psychic development. It seemed for a while as if you would make good use of this grant. You choose instead to sell out a talent that is not yours to sell. You have written a dull unreadable book which could have been written by any staff writer on the New Yorker—(an undercover reactionary periodical dedicated to the interests of vested American wealth). You have placed your services at the disposal of interests who are turning America into a police state by the simple device of deliberately fostering the conditions that give rise to criminality and then demanding increased police powers and the retention of capital punishment to deal with the situation they have created. You have betrayed and sold out the talent that was granted you by this department. That talent is now officially withdrawn. Enjoy your dirty money. You will never have anything else. You will never write another sentence above the level of In Cold Blood. As a writer you are finished. Over and out. Are you tracking me? Know who I am? You know me, Truman. You have known me for a long time. This is my last visit.


Fucking incredible.

During the last year of our occasional meetings, Orson and I were much preoccupied with Rudy Vallee. The popular singer of yesteryear was living in the mansion “Silvertip” high atop that Hollywood hill halfway up which I sometimes live. When the maestro heard that I was his neighbour, he sent me a copy of his memoirs Let The Chips Fall…Like a pair of Talmudic scholars, Orson and I constantly studied this astonishing book. Parts of it we memorised:

Somehow I have never inspired confidence. I don’t think it is due to any weakness particularly evident in my face, but there is something about me, possibly a quiet reserve or shyness, that gives most people the impression that I can’t do anything very well.

Each of us had his favourite moments. Mine was the telegram (reproduced) that Rudy sent the relatively unknown radio announcer, Arthur Godfrey, in 1940, to show what a keen eye and ear Rudy had for talent (for a time Vallee ran a talent agency). Orson preferred the highly detailed indictment of Rudy’s protégé, “The Ungreatfulcholy Dane,” Victor Borge, complete with reproductions of inter-office memoranda, telegrams sent and received, culminating in two newspaper cuttings. One headline: VICTOR BORGE SUED FOR $750,000; the other: BORGE SUED BY THE IRS.

As professional storytellers, we were duly awed by Rudy’s handling of The Grapefruit Incident, which begins, so casually, at Yale.

Ironically, the dean was the father of the boy who, nine years later, was to hurl a grapefruit at me in a Boston theater and almost kill me.

Then the story is dropped. Pages pass. Years pass. Then the grapefruit motif is reintroduced. Rudy and his band have played for the dean; afterward, when they are given ice cream, Rudy asks, “Is this all we’re having…”

Apparently one of [the dean’s] sons noticed my rather uncivil question…and resolved that some day he would avenge this slight. What he actually did later at a Boston theater might have put him in the electric chair and me in my grave but fortunately his aim was bad. But of that more later.

Orson thought this masterful. Appetites whetted, we read on until the now inevitable rendezvous of hero and grapefruit in a Boston theatre where, as Rudy is singing—“Oh, Give Me Something to Remember You By,”

a large yellow grapefruit came hurtling from the balcony. With a tremendous crash it struck the drummer’s cymbal…” [but] “if it had struck the gooseneck of my sax squarely where it curves into the mouth it might have driven it back through the vertebra in the back of my neck.”

Of this passage, the ecstatic Orson whispered, “Conrad”—what might have been if Lord Jim had remained on watch.

always thinking about gore vidal and orson welles reading rudy vallee’s autobiography together


hate, hate, hate the “mirror test” so much, all it is is some guy in a lab coat pokes you in the forehead and then they lead you into a room where there’s this window and some bitch on the other side of the mirror has a smudge on her face and when you point and laugh at her she points and laughs at you, but she’s the idiot with a smudge so why’s she laughing but if you yell at her she just yells back and everything keeps escalating until they drag you back out of the room, and then they ask you all these stupid questions like “did you notice anything about the person you saw” or whatever, like, yeah, i fucking hate, hate, hate her so, so, so much, i noticed that, why do they keep doing this, and then they scribble a bunch more shit in that file, it is literally the most pointless part of the week, and the worst part is they always force this conflict too, like, obvious lesson learned here, don’t interact, don’t speak, keep your head down, but if you just avoid looking through the window the test never ends and they keep waiting and watching and wanting to judge the results even though it is so, so, so tiresome and irritating every time, i don’t like her, i hate her, i don’t want to see her ever again

Haven’t been able to stop thinking about this since I read it

This one is good too


This brutal exchange between Gandalf and Saruman from The Two Towers

“When you hang from a gibbet at your window for the sport of your own crows, I will have peace with you and Orthanc” (J. R. R. Tolkien 566)

“‘Gibbets and crows!’ he hissed, and they shuddered at the hideous change. ‘Dotard! What is the house of Eorl but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek, and their brats roll on the floor among dogs? Too long have they escaped the gibbet themselves. But the noose comes, slow in the drawing, tight and hard in the end. Hang if you will!’” (J. R. R. Tolkien 567)

and these other lovely moments near the end of the book

“Gollum disappeared. he was away some time, and Frodo after a few mouthfuls of lembas settled deep into the brown fern and went to sleep. Sam looked at him. The early daylight was only just creeping down into the shadows under the trees, but he saw his master’s face very clearly, and his hands, too, lying at rest on the ground beside him. He was reminded suddenly Frodo as he had lain, asleep in the house of Elrond, after his deadly wound. Then as he had kept watch Sam had noticed that at times a light seemed to be shining faintly within; but now the light was even clearer and stronger. Frodo’s face was peaceful, the marks of fear and care had left it; but it looked old, old and beautiful, as if the chiseling of the shaping years was no revealed in many fine lines that had before been hidden, though the identity of the face was not changed. Not that Sam Gamgee put it that way ot himself. He shook his head, as if finding words useless, and murmured: 'I love him. He’s like that, and sometimes it shines through, somehow. But I love him, whether or no.” (J. R. R. Tolkien 638)

“‘Yes, that is so,’ said Sam. ‘And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it beofre we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t. And if they had, we shouldn’t know, because they’d have been forgotten. We hear not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same – like old Mr. Bilbo. But those aren’t always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! i wonder what sort of tale we’ve fallen into?’” (J. R. R. Tolkien 696)

“Gollum looked at them. A strange expression passed over his lean hungry face. The gleam faded from his eyes, and they went dim and grey, old and tired. A spasm of pain seemed to twist him, and he turned away, peering back up towards the pass, shaking his head, as if engaged in some interior debate. Then he came back, and slowly putting out a trembling hand, very cautiously he touched Frodo’s knee – but almost the touch was a caress. For a fleeting moment, could one the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, and old starved pitiable thing.” (J. R. R. Tolkien 699)



found a “genre fiction masterclass” on an ebook site awhile back

remember to be socially responsible in depicting mental illness when writing about Maniacs


what if there was a Maniac? a true writer can find inspiration anywhere…


like 60% of the book is just listing the titles of movies, i guess the idea is that if you decide to write about eg Skeletons you can go to the pertinent chapter to get some information (“Skeletons have no mind or emotions; they cannot be reasoned with, and do not recognize anyone they knew in life”) and then 10-20 movie recs for further detail (for skeletons the list includes He-Man, Nightmare Before Christmas and Captain America The First Avenger). there is a lot of interesting info in the lists, for example Jason from Friday The 13th is only a “maniac” for the first five films and then after that i guess would be a Ghoul or Revenant. And Cannibals are something different altogether. glad i took this masterclass so that i’ll no longer be embarrassing myself in mixed company.



Our little Fantec is diverting to watch. He has cheeks remarkably like buttocks and a complexion like a copper piece. But he is terrified of the crabs that walk sideways and the lobsters with their blind-men’s gropings. We put a little crayfish in the pocket of his pinafore, whereupon he placed his hands behind his back like Napoleon after Moscow, and stood that way a good half-hour, possessed by I know not what thoughts, walking backwards now and then, and pretty perplexed by this toy that moved on his stomach. This might be a way of making him behave which we had not thought of.

jules renard’s diary