"Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo;
So little time--so much to know!"
--Jeremy Hillary Boo, Yellow Submarine
"More and more often there is embarrassment all around when the wish to hear a story is expressed. It is as if something that seemed inalienable to us, the securest among our possessions, were taken from us: the ability to exchange experiences."
--Walter Benjamin, The Storyteller
Ever Evolving (i.e. perpetually under construction)
Some people prefer thoughts that follow like links in a chain, a linear queue of ideas following a clear sequence. I prefer thoughts that interconnect on multiple levels, like the strands of a web woven by a forever-restless spider of the intellect: this is my EV-WEB.
Herman Hesse describes spinning such interconnections and congruences in his description of the Glass Bead game. Edward O. Wilson refers to this activity as consilience, the "jumping together" of facts and empirical theories to form a common grounding of and for knowledge. Walter Benjamin refers to it as perceiving "constellations" of thoughts and ideas taken together, just as a constellation is not the sum of its stars but the pattern formed by the simultaneous perception of all the stars in toto.
Such thinking has been reflected in the growth of interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary studies, in the scientific interest in finding a TOE (Theory Of Everything), and even in the schizophrenic tendency of postmodernism to condemn universals while simultaneously universalizing all human thought as cultural inferences.
What follows are my thoughts on a number of interrelated subjects, supplemented with various relevant internet sites which I hope you find of interest. I have also included those websites I find particularly delightful for provoking thoughts. I hope my website inspires consilient webspinning of your own.
: These are websites I have found which stimulate the open mind, providing
the intellect with either ideas on which to gnaw or ideas with which to play. They
provoke new modes of thinking, new perspectives on physics and evolution and the internet,
new ways of viewing films and analyzing literature, and religious humor for the spiritually
Miss Manners : Everyone should take time to sample the wit and wisdom served as part of Judith Martin's eternally relevant lessons on courtesy and etiquette.
Gender Rights : Equality between and within the two predominant sexes or eight genders can only begin when all genders work together to end gender oppression on all sides at once. Gender Rights is the union of the equity schools of feminism, of the Men's Movements, and of Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual Rights.
Myth, Legend, Folklore : Contrary to popular misconception, the term myth has nothing to do with superstition nor outmoded worldviews. Myths deal with the anecdotes and stories which give us a sense of who we are, why we are here, what our place in the overall scheme of life might be, and what our purpose might be - what it means to be a mentally and socially healthy human being. Myths form the conceptual frameworks within which we can organize the intangibles in our lives. Here I have resources on the Green Man, the merfolk archetype, unicorns, urban legends, and various resources for reading about myths.
The Last Unicorn : This work is one of the two most spiritually authentic films I have ever viewed.
The Neverending Story : This is the other of the two most spiritually genuine films I have ever viewed. I still cry when the Rockbiter talks about his "big, strong hands".
Cuspers : We're the youngest and last of the Baby Boomers and the first and oldest of the so-called Generation X, caught in the cusp between two cultural generations in the United States, too young for Woodstock and too old for Lollapalooza - and we share this betwixt-generations status with the 20-something cuspers caught between Generation X and the so-called Generation Y or Millenials.
When You're Old Enough For Childhood Again : Remember the brilliant heroes, Mr. Peabody and Dr. Benton Quest, and the newest member The Brain? These are some of my childhood delights, the cartoons and live action programs which had enchanted me as a child and still charm me today. Who can forget the boy who can walk into any book (a talent I often envied) : in his best episodes, Gumby combined a certain playful innocence with an almost-hallucinatory surrealism, and Gumby and Pokey have been joined at the 3-D animation throne by Wallace & Gromit. Friendships and group projects often seem to follow the archetypes of the two quintessential adventuring groups : Jonny, Hadji, Bandit, Race, and Dr. Benton Quest in the original and the only real *The Adventures of Jonny Quest*, and Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby Doo in *Scooby Doo*. Then there's been the social commentary of the 'supernatural sitcoms' : *Bewitched* with its use of trickster magic to satirize U.S.American conformity (Darrin's phobic response to anything 'weird') and the manipulativeness of modern advertising, *The Munsters* with its gentle satire of culture conflict, and *The Addams Family* who, in their generosity of spirit towards everyone they met, exposed the hypocrisy of U.S.American xenophobia and conformity. Finally, there's the 1960's naive exotic futurism in Hanna Barbera's *The Herculoids* and Gerry Anderson's *Stingray* series.
Celtic Christianity / Celtic Paganism / Pagan Christianity : When Christian priests/missionaries first appeared on the islands now known as England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, the natives demanded of this new faith the same energy and vitality as their old faith before they would begin to consider conversion. No missionary could get away with simple proselytizing - he or she (yes, the original Celts believed in female as well as male priests) had to be as hardy in daily living as the priests of the old faiths and just as mythically forceful. Even after assimilation into the Roman Church, the Celtic fervor remained, until eventually the Celtic Christian church separated again from the Roman Catholic Church in the form of the Anglican Catholic (or Episcopalian) Church under Henry IIX (no doubt to the great relief of the Roman side of the Catholic church!). This combination of Christian theology and pagan passion gives this Celtic mode of Christianity its own unique potency as a center of Christian faith in the world today, rendering it a sort of 'pagan Christianity'.
Furry / Kevin & Kell : At first glance, the Furry phenomenon might seem a part of SF/fantasy, with the various tales of alien life evolved from felines or wolves, or perhaps Furries belong as a subset of Myth, Legend, Folklore with the plethora of anthropomorphic and theriomorphic entities found throughout the world. However, in my opinion, Furry interest has become a phenomenon unto itself. A particularly witty (and tasteful) example of Furry is the brilliant *Kevin & Kell* series by Bill Holbrook.
Television SF : I adore SF literature, but I don't go to my computer for literature, I go to the library and bookstore (and spend much more than I can afford every time!). In my opinion, television SF is a different class of fiction than literary SF and therefore should be appreciated and evaluated differently as well. Literary SF takes place within the theatre of the mind and, because it exists only in the mind, can more easily address the intellectual aspect of issues and ideas; however, television is a visual (and auditory) art, an art which follows real-life time, so television SF must work within the confines of the physical senses rather than the freedom of the mind. Moreover, television SF is far more vulnerable to commercial lowest-common-denominator demands because of the greater expense of television than literature. In light of this, what is notable is not how often SF television fails but how often it succeeds. Here are links to some SF television shows which have managed to fulfill SF's sense of awe and scientific or sociological curiosity on a television budget, including *Classic Star Trek* and its one true screen successor *Babylon 5*, *Blake's 7*, *The Prisoner*, and Gerry Anderson's *Space Precinct*.
Superhero Retro : Superhero comic books have become so gratuitously attitude-besotted and self-referential that it's sometimes hard to remember back to when the majority of them were enjoyable. Here are a few that still remember what fun is : Big Bang Comics; Alan Moore's *Supreme*; Kurt Busiek's *Astro City*; *The Tick* animated series with my hero, Sewer Urchin; and a link to a delightful internet site which commemorates those magnificent superpets, The Space Canine Patrol Agency!
Kaiju / Sentai / Mecha : For those who do not know, kaiju is a general term for giant monsters who uncannily resemble people in rubber suits (only a hurdle for those who can't handle a simple suspension of disbelief for the sake of fun), sentai is a general term for a combat team of heroes often but not always with special abilities or associated with some sort of fantastic machinery, and mecha refers to giant robots and humanoid combatships or spacevessels. Though these terms originated in Japan, they have since been co-opted by fans in the United States to the point that the rare well-done U.S.American iterations on these styles, such as the original *Transformers*, qualify in these categories as well. There are some intriguing similarities between kaiju and beasts from Myth, Legend, Folklore and, although I've noticed that fans of Furries have mixed feelings about them, I've also noticed the occasional Mecha furry, strange as such a concept may appear at first glance.
Role-Playing Gaming : Role-playing games by their very nature may encompass a large number of ideas or simply exemplify the special nuances to a particular action/adventure genre, There are a large number of role-playing game websites; here are just a few. This is also the website on which I've had the least time to work, so it is less a work in progress than a blueprint or skeleton awaiting my free time.
Gaming Parody : introducing the latest offering from Wight-Woof, sucrose punk in Barniecraft: The Saccharinizing!.
The-World's-Easiest-Role-Playing-System : Originally intended as pure parody, TWERPS has turned out to be a liberating gaming system; in its simplicity, it forces players and game master to turn to each other and to their shared storyline, a pleasant change from the usual focus on memorized rules errata and player-game master duels over petty technicalities.
Animé : Like the Furry phenomenon, the animé phenomenon covers many genres : realistic drama with *Graveyard of the Fireflies*, situation comedy with *Maison Ikkoku*, graphic SF with *Akira*, gentle fantasy with *My Neighbor Totoro*, and epic fantasy with *El Hazard* and *Fushigi Yuugi*. Here are links to some of the best animé sites I could find on the web. Unfortunately, I could find nothing on *El Porco Rosso*, but I highly recommend it if you can find it.
Webpages of Friends : All of them interesting, I might add -- both the webpages and the friends themselves!
for comments, considerations,
commendations and confusions,
or to just me.
visitors have spun their way to my web.