Bruce Dickinson to make Aleister Crowley film

Man, ol’ Bruce just keeps adding to his legend status. Not content with singing in the best band ever ( 😛 ), writing books and airlifting civilians out of Lebanon,

According to U.K.-based music journalist Dave Ling, IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson’s film about occult legend Aleister Crowley (infamous as “the wickedest man in the world”) will shortly go into production, with Simon Callow (IMDb) — of “Amadeus”, “Shakespeare in Love” and, appropriately, “The Phantom of the Opera” — set for the title role. “Dickinson has spent 12 years working on this project, and is understandably thrilled to get it moving at last,” says Ling.

Story here.

So weird.

proverb

Now that it is gone, does it matter whether a cow ate it or not?

the solution to most things

“If you accustom yourself to do well the task of the present moment, you will learn to do everything well. You are here, now. Sacrifice everything else. All your presence, all your thoughts, all your associations must relate to the matter on which you are working.”

– G. I. Gurdjieff

USD 2.0

Woo-ha.

USD version 2.0. Weighing in at 111246 words, 247 pages. Took three maybe three and a half months?

Plan from here is print it out, read it over and tinker with it – hopefully a tinker and a polish and that’s it – and then it will be version 2.1 and ready for its beta readers.

Now I go to confront the screaming void that is the rest of my life outside writing.

how to avoid the inevitable zombie apocalypse

Remove the brains of the dead before burial.

More radically, we could remove the brains of the living if they aren’t using them.

You may now build statues to my greatness as pre emptive saviour of the human race from zombie apocalypse.

the best thing about not knowing anything

is that it leaves you with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

plant intelligence

This fun little article about plant intelligence caught my eye.

Though they lack cognition and memory, the study shows plants are capable of complex social behaviours such as altruism towards relatives, says Dudley

That’s a little weird.

“Gardeners have known for a long time that some pairs of species get along better than others, and scientists are starting to catch up with why that happens,” says Dudley. “What I’ve found is that plants from the same mother may be more compatible with each other than with plants of the same species that had different mothers. The more we know about plants, the more complex their interactions seem to be,…”

Which reminds me I should read Intelligence in Nature by Jeremy Narby, a collection of research arguing for the presence of intelligence in plants and animals of a sort that is generally only associated with humans.

The best thing about being unhappy

is that it gives you such a great reason to fundamentally change everything that you are doing in your life.

the power of nightmares

Over the past week the moose has watched The Power of Nightmares (the link is to a really good summary at wikipedia; the three parts can be downloaded or watched here). And, hell’s teeth, you should watch this.

It is Adam Curtis again (he did Century of the Self which I raved about). This time he charts the entangled rise and falls of militant islamic fundamentalism and American neo conservatism.

I found it really fascinating getting more history on the development of islamic terrorist groups. Specifically the development of the ideology and tactics, and their failure to gain mass support. Most extraordinarily, Curtis claims that al-Qaeda did not exist before Bush named it after 9-11. Bin Laden had few direct followers, who were killed in Afghanistan in the months immediately following 9-11. The reason Al-Qaeda has not been found is it does not exist as described. What triumphs there have been in unearthing terrorist groups, on closer inspection, turn out to be laughable.

What most interested me was the conscious tactic of creating myths to unite populations, and the practice of lying to achieve this effect. The myths revolved around the exaggeration of a threat – in the first case the soviet union, in reality collapsing from within, in the second islamic terrorists, in reality scattered and incoherent – and America’s “unique destiny” to represent good fighting evil. Curtis makes a fascinating case that evicting Russia from Afghanistan was a flashpoint in the beliefs of both US neo conservatives and Islamic fundamentalists – each believed they had been decisive in bringing down the empire, and could go on to spread their idea of revolution through the world. He goes on to explain how deluded this belief was – essentially how dangerous coming to believe in one’s own bullshit can be – with the Islamists wiped out in a matter of months, and the Americans now descending into a form of fascism in fear of a false enemy.

The documentary’s strongest moments are in the staggering exposure of blatant duplicity. (eg) the series of scandals that enveloped Bill Clinton, admitted point blank by a journalist for the American Spectator, the magazine which led the charge, as being false, known to be false, but no one making the claims cared because they were so effective.

There’s a lot more to it than this; I encourage you to check it out for yourselves.

Ventura on Writing

Michael Ventura on writing:

No class can cultivate what a writer most needs, the gift I call the “talent of the room.” Writing is something you do alone in a room. If you don’t have a talent for being in that room, your other talents are useless. Before any issues of style, content, or form can be addressed, the fundamental question is: How long can you stay in that room, for how many hours, for how many years? That’s the writing part of a writer’s life. Nothing romantic about it. It’s the one thing about writing that’s straight up-and-down. No matter your felicity with words, no matter how good a tale you have to tell, if you can’t spend a long time alone in a room, you can’t be a writer. Classroom learning happens in a classroom, a room filled with other people, and no classroom can teach solitude. Which is why most writing courses, by their very nature, ignore the fundamental thing a writer needs: the ability to cultivate the subtleties of solitude.

The whole thing is well worth a read if you are so inclined.

My own musings about the writing process can be found here.

And now I must resume spending time alone in my room.

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